Thursday, August 31, 2017

From the August archives, part 3

I just can't seem to stop myself from a third August archive post.  If I had time, there might even be a fourth, but I am going to try and do one on my Christmas blog as well.  I've tried to keep a balance in this post between devotional thoughts, recipes, crafts and memories.  Here we go ...

Thoughts from reading Jonah is a post from 2008 that might encourage anyone going through difficulties right now.
From 2009, Lifting up my soul to God is another post that resulted from my quiet time.  I hope it will be a blessing to someone else today.

Now for a few recipes:

Lemon Artichoke Romaine Salad is the perfect salad for serving to company alongside pizza or other Italian food.  It tastes impressive and reminds me somehow of Olive Garden.
Root Beer Float Pie is a cool and delicious pie for the end of a late-summer meal, or to bring to a potluck.

And Farmstand-flavored memories shares a recipe link as well as some precious childhood memories.
 Speaking of memories,A hike with the grandkids talks about a 2015 hike where we made some memories.
 And lastly, a crafty post: Around the felt campfire shares photos of a fun felt project I did for my local grandkids.  Still have a set like this in the works for the out-West kiddos.

There you have it!  Hope you've enjoyed this rummage through the archives.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

August 30 Hodgepodge

It's Wednesday again!  Time for the Hodgepodge with Joyce and friends at From This Side of the Pond.  Head on over and get the questions, answer them on your own blog and then jet back to Joyce's and link up!

1. Can you believe we're rolling in to the Labor Day weekend? What's a project you'll labor over this fall?

No, I can't believe it's Labor Day weekend so soon. Probably the biggest project I'll be laboring over this fall is trying to get my parents' house cleaned out and dispose of the contents.  Come to think of it, that just may be the biggest project I've ever labored over.
The little loom pictured above is just one of the many items I had to find a home for -- with many, many more things to go.  Fortunately, a local friend who enjoys weaving was delighted to have this child's wooden loom.

2. Tell us about the best perks you ever had in a job?

That would probably be my "second cook" job back in the early 1970s at a gorgeous, historic inn on a beautiful lake.  This was a situation where just a certain amount of food was prepared as the menu changed every day.  If the kitchen ran out of, say, chocolate cake or a certain entree, there just wasn't any more available that day.  We cooks and waitresses got to eat leftovers and were they ever yummy.  We were also allowed to spend time at the lakefront in our off hours. 

3. August 31st is National South Carolina Day. Have you ever been to SC? Any desire to go? According to Southern Living, these are the top ten things to do in South Carolina...

Explore Charleston, bike, golf or relax on Hilton Head Island, see the beach and the boardwalk at Myrtle Beach, visit the state museum in the capital city Columbia, observe the wildlife and natural beauty of the Ace Basin, take a walk or hop on a trolley and check out Greenville's charming main street, visit Fort Sumter where the Civil War began, stroll through Pearl Fryar's Topiary Garden in Bishopville leaving time to check out The Button Museum, also in Bishopville, see Morgan Island (also known as Monkey Island)-home to nearly 4000 Rhesus monkeys. 

Which is most appealing to you today? If you're a SC native, resident, or frequent visitor what would you add to the list?

I've been to SC a couple of times and have spent time in the Greenville area as well as the Charleston area.  Which is most appealing to me today?  I would love to go back to Charleston someday and explore further.  The beauty and history of this city deserve another look.
Photo from Pixabay
4. Beef, pork, country-style, barbecued, baby back, spare or short...your favorite kind of rib? 

Some years ago I made southern-style ribs in the slow cooker very frequently ... every time they went on sale for $1.99, basically.  Here is one recipe that we really enjoyed: Tasty Pork Ribs.  Nowadays we eat very little beef or pork.  I never buy it.

What's a dish you enjoy that really 'sticks to your ribs'?

Let's see.  One that comes to mind right away, a stick-to-the-ribs breakfast treat that stays with you a long time, is Hot Apple Oatmeal.  If you go to this post: Some of my favorite apple recipes, it's the second recipe down. 
(I think I know why this question came to Joyce's mind.  Her own severely bruised ribs are really making their presence known these days!)

5. What's one important skill you think every person should have? Why? 

The ability to think clearly and make rational, wise decisions.  And I do think this is not a given, especially not in our day of "fake news", Facebook, and Photoshop.  So many people believe everything they're told, and that's scary.  Thinking for oneself is a skill and, like any skill, must be honed and utilized to be at its best.
Graphic from
6.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Let's see ... random thought.  Summer has simply flown by this year.  Being gone to Nevada for two weeks really cut into the summer, but it's more than that.  First we had no real summer weather, then a spell of heat and humidity that was just unpleasant, plus lots of rain.  We had perhaps a week, maybe two, of perfect summer weather.  Now, we're experiencing fall-like crispness, which I really enjoy, but it just doesn't feel like we've had much of a summer.  Not complaining at all, you understand.  Just saying how it seems to me.

And so ends another Hodgepodge.  Thanks to Joyce for these questions -- and I'm looking forward to seeing how others answer!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Blueberry Lemon Cream Pie

I wish that I had thought to take a picture of these pies ... but sadly, I did not.  Back a couple of weeks ago when I made a blueberry buckle, I came across this recipe:Lemon Blueberry Cream Pie on a blog called Something Borrowed, Something Blueberry.  I saved the recipe because it sounded so good.

Well, let me tell you, it IS good!  I made two of these pies for Sunday's potluck at church.  The recipe stated that the pie was best served the day it was made, but I couldn't do that, as I needed to make them the day before.  The only thing I did on Sunday morning was to make some lemon-flavored whipped cream to put on top.

I made one of the pies with a homemade graham cracker crust (baked) and the other with a gluten-free baked pie shell, also homemade.  I only tasted the gluten-free one, but the other pie must have been fine too, because not a scrap of either one was left.  This is definitely one of the most delicious pies I've ever tasted.

Basically, the filling is similar to a lemon meringue pie filling, only with blueberries and sour cream added.  Don't try this with frozen blueberries, as I fear the results would be very disappointing.

The only thing I did differently was to use whole eggs instead of egg yolks -- long ago, my mother taught me that a whole egg could be substituted for 2 egg yolks.  This pie calls for 3 yolks, so I probably wouldn't have attempted this substitution except for the fact that I was making two pies.  Thus, I would need 6 yolks, so I successfully substituted 3 whole eggs.

This substitution did make the filling a paler yellow, and I probably would have added a drop or two of yellow food coloring if I hadn't been out of that.

If you are making only one pie, go ahead and use the 3 yolks and find another use for the whites.

For the top, you could use cool whip, but I would suggest real whipped cream.  I gilded the lily even further by making it a lemon flavored whipped cream.  For the 2 pies, I whipped 2 cups of cream, adding in 1/2 cup confectioners sugar gradually after the cream reached soft peaks.  I continued beating until the cream was in stiff peaks, adding 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, a tablespoon of vanilla and 1/2 tsp. of pure lemon extract.  (If I'd had another lemon, I would have used a couple teaspoons of lemon zest instead of extract.)  If you are making only one pie, simply halve all the quantities in these whipped cream directions.) I spread the whipped cream all over the top of each pie.

People were raving over this pie!  And my hubby and I were very sorry there was none left over.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

August 23 Hodgepodge

This gorgeous photo is by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
 Not sure how this happened, but it's Wednesday again, and time for the Hodgepodge with Joyce and friends at From This Side of the Pond.  Head on over and get the questions, answer them on your own blog and then jet back to Joyce's and link up!

And now to this week's questions:

1. Did you watch the solar eclipse? Your thoughts? 

I did not.  I wish that I had at least watched it online, or gone outside and looked for shadows on the ground.  By all accounts it was spectacular in totality, and fun to observe even not in totality.  What a testimony to the fact that "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork."  (Psalm 19:1)

Sun Chips, Moon Pies, Starburst candies, a Blue Moon beer, a Sunkist orange, or a Milky Way candy bar...what's your favorite eclipse related snack on this list?

Of those on the list, probably a Milky Way candy bar.  Does anyone remember Sky Bars?  Every bar had four distinct sections and each one had a different filling: fudge, caramel, peanut, and vanilla nougat.  Those candy bars were my very favorite as a teen.

Image found on Amazon, where you can still buy these!
2. What are you 'over the moon' about these days? 

You know, I really can't think of anything.

What's something you enjoy doing every 'once in a blue moon'?

Probably eating some truly unhealthy but delicious food -- like "fair food", for example -- fried dough, or onion rings.  Probably every couple of years is as often as we do this.  The picture above is a cider doughnut sundae at the Deerfield Fair a couple of years ago.

3. Tell us about something in the realm of science that interests you. 

I guess one thing would be wildflowers ... that would be botany, right?

How do you feed that interest?

My father-in-law kept a list of wildflowers he saw each year, and where he saw them, and what date.  I keep a sort of mental list, but I really should do as he did and write it down.  I also take pictures (not very good ones) of wildflowers I see,  and research unfamiliar ones in a couple of good wildflower books I own.

4. What are a few things you remember about going back to school as a child?

Book covers -- remember when we were required to cover our books?  I think that was more in high school, though.  Gym suits -- any girls remember having to wear those?  No wonder so many girls disliked phys ed!  One nice thing I remember was new clothes.  My mother always sewed a few new outfits of my choice, or I ordered some from Sears.  Always so much fun when the fall catalog came out and we got a look at the new styles for back to school!
Vintage ad for school pictures
5. I've seen several versions of this around the net so let's make one of our own...share with us five words that touch your soul and briefly tell us why.

Not sure if this is meant to be a list of five words or a phrase.  I'm choosing "The LORD is my shepherd."  It's incredibly meaningful to realize that the God of the universe, the Creator of all things, the One who just orchestrated that solar eclipse, is my shepherd, caring for me, guiding me, directing and protecting me.
6.  Insert your own random thought here. 

I need to bring this post to a close as it's late and we're experiencing a thunderstorm.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

From the August archives, part 2

Graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
Here we go with another post containing links from the Kitchen Table archives.  Enjoy!

Shades of green, from 2012, might be a good one to start with.  Green is so refreshing, don't you think?

From 2009, A tale of four curtains is a cautionary tale about not taking on a project one is not qualified to carry out.  The voice of experience speaking here.

How about a couple of recipes?
Crab Melt Loaf and a picnic by the pond, from 2011, may give you a new idea for picnic food.

Great Garden Veggies is also a recipe I shared in 2011, wonderful for using up garden tomatoes, zucchini, and summer squash.

For something sweet, this Blueberry Almond Buckle, from 2010, will help make use of any fresh (or frozen) blueberries you'd like to use up.

Now for some simple crafting!
I'm probably a little late sharing these Citrus Coasters, although it was an August post.  But they are easy and fun to make!

Or maybe you'd like to try your hand at making felt food, as in this 2013 post:  Hamburgers, Anyone?.  It has links to instructions for several other foods, like sandwiches and ripple chips.

Lastly, Appreciating the little things (2013) is something I aim at doing every day.

Hope you've enjoyed this prowl through the August archives.  I have a third archive post planned for later.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The All-American Total Solar Eclipse

I found the above postcard when we visited Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho a couple of weeks ago.  The postcards for the park were all gone, but they had these and I liked their retro look.  Although Craters of the Moon is just outside the path of totality, nearby Arco, Idaho (where my hubby and I spent a night while the others camped) will have totality for a minute or two.

Enjoy the eclipse wherever you may be, but do make sure you are viewing it safely.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Updates to my Prayer Journal posts

Back in 2009, I wrote two posts about my prayer journal that have been some of the most read posts of all time on this blog.  One commenter at the time asked me to add photos to the post on making a prayer journal because she wasn't quite getting it.  It has taken me years to actually get around to taking a few photos and adding them in to the post.  I finally decided I was just going to do it even though the pictures were not fancy or staged, but just snapped as I opened up the journal to various dividers and pages. 

So, for readers new or old who may be interested, here are the links to the prayer journal posts:

How to Make a Prayer Journal


How to Use Your  Prayer Journal.

I hope that these updated posts will encourage someone in her prayer life today.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

August 16 Hodgepodge

Wednesday again, and time for the Hodgepodge with Joyce and friends at From This Side of the Pond.  Head on over and get the questions, answer them on your own blog and then go back to Joyce's and link up!

The photos today will all be from Nevada, and most were taken by my husband or by my daughter or son-in-law.   Please do click on the scenic photos to enlarge them.  The smaller size simply cannot do this scenery justice.

 Here are this week's questions:
1. Do your actions match your words? Elaborate.  

I hope that they do.  More importantly, I want for my actions to line up with God's Word.  James 1 tells us,

"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
"For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
"For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
"But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."  (James 1:22-25)

2. Sick as a dog, go to the dogs, dog days of summer, dog tired, it's a dog's life, every dog has its day, can't teach an old dog new doggone it which saying could most recently be applied to your life?

 Dog tired would be one.  A combination of jet lag, altitude, a red-eye flight, and just plain general busyness -- I'm starting to feel a bit better, though.  Still, I fell asleep while praying this morning and woke up over an hour later!

  Dog days of summer fits too.  It's not bad here, but out West, temps were between 95º and 100º every day.  No humidity, so it didn't feel quite as awful as it does here on a hot day, but still ... We discovered handmade neck coolers on this trip.   

Can't teach an old dog new tricks seems apropos also.  There is so much to all of this estate stuff, and most of it is out of my comfort zone.
3. Your favorite book featuring a dog in the storyline? What makes it a favorite?

Oh boy, that's a tough one.  As a pre-teen I loved all those tear-jerker dog and horse stories like Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows, and many more.  Nowadays (I had to really think about this one) I guess I would say the Mitford books by Jan Karon.  Father Tim's dog, Barnabas, is a true friend and an integral part of the story line.  These are favorite books of mine because I can revisit them in stressful times and just feel refreshed by a visit to Mitford.
4. What's something you hope to one day have the confidence to do?

Start an Etsy shop.

5. August 16th is National Tell a Joke Day. So tell us a joke.

You know, I just don't feel in a very jokey mood.  Nothing is striking me funny right now.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Just trying to get my thoughts together as to blog posts I hope to do this month.  I have several in mind, it's just getting my thoughts organized and doing the work.  And of course there are a zillion other thoughts in my head right now -- grocery list and menus, estate tasks, appointments for this week, church activities and pastoral search, friends going through difficulties, Sunday School lesson prep, homemaking tasks, and much more.

Monday, August 14, 2017

A great no-churn ice cream recipe

One of the fun things we did out West was to go to a new ice cream shop that had just opened in Elko, Nevada, where my daughter and her family live.  It featured rolled ice cream, a very interesting concept.  The photo above is of the pina colada variety, which our daughter and son-in-law shared.  I will share a link to the shop and further details when I find time to blog more about our trip.

I didn't get a picture of everyone's ice cream, and the younger kids just got cones.  Our 16-year-old granddaughter (who traveled with us from NH) chose the salted caramel rolled ice cream and commented that it just might be her new favorite flavor.

So later in the visit I remembered a recipe I had seen for a no-churn Salted Caramel Ripple Chip Ice Cream by Brianne at Cupcakes and Kale Chips.  We decided that we would make this ice cream for our last night in Nevada.
Photo by Brianne at Cupcakes and Kale Chips
Oh, my, is this ever a great (and very easy!) recipe!  I did just two things differently, and one of them made the recipe even easier.  Rather than cooking the sweetened condensed milk to turn it into caramel, I just used a can of dulce de leche (found near the condensed milk in many supermarkets).  And then I used fewer chocolate chips.  The miniature variety is called for.  I think I used about a half cup in the ice cream -- some of the chips are also used in the fudge ripple.

If you are looking for a good homemade ice cream without the trouble of an ice cream machine, give this one a try.  I don't think you will be disappointed.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

August 9 Hodgepodge

Another Wednesday, and time for the Hodgepodge with Joyce and friends at From This Side of the Pond.  Head on over and get the questions, answer them on your own blog and then go back to Joyce's and link up!

Here are this week's questions:

1.  Do you try to set rules for yourself about how you use your time? Explain.

I try to use my time very wisely, but I don't think I set actual rules for myself in using it.  Sometimes I think I should, though.

2. Monday was National Lighthouse Day. Have you ever visited a lighthouse? If not, do you have any desire to see one up close?

I have visited several lighthouses in person, several in Maine and at least one on Prince Edward Island.
Pemaquid Point, Maine
 Of the 10 Most Beautiful that made this list, which would you most like to see in person-

Lindau Lighthouse (Germany), Fanad Lighthouse (Ireland), Portland Head Light (Maine), Yaquina Bay Light (Oregon) The St. Augustine Light (Florida), Peggy's Point Lighthouse (Canada), Start Point Lighthouse (England), Tower of Hercules (Spain), Bass Harbor Head Station (Maine), and White Shoal Light (Michigan)?

I have actually visited two of these -- Portland Head Light and Bass Harbor Head Light.  Any of the others would be fun to visit, but I think I might choose the one in Oregon because we have not yet been to that coast.
Pemaquid Point Light, Bristol, Maine
When you've been away, what's your 'lighthouse' telling you you're on the right road home?

Not sure how to answer this.  It sort of depends on the length of the trip, I guess.  Maybe the New Hampshire state line?

3. What have you unintentionally stopped doing? Is this something you need to pick back up and begin again, or is it something you need to let go of for now (or even permanently)?

Drinking kombucha on a daily basis.  I couldn't find it easily in grocery stores in Nevada.  My daughter did buy us some at a health food store, partway through our visit.   Thankfully there is a fridge full of it waiting here at home, so I can pick it back up.  It's a healthy habit, for me at least.

4. We've had a full week of August. Share a GRAND moment from your month so far.

The week was full of GRAND moments as we spent it (and the week previous) with seven of our grandkids -- six who live in Nevada, and one New Hampshire teenager whom we brought with us.
Sunday afternoon on the walking bridge over the Humboldt River, Elko
At the California Trail Interpretive Center in Elko
Near Balanced Rock, Castleford, Idaho
 5. Tell us one song you love with the word 'baby' in the title.

Honestly, I can't think of any song that I "love" which meets that criteria.  But below is a baby that we love -- Jerusha, whom we met in person for the first time this visit.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

We have had a great two weeks of vacation in Nevada, Utah, and Idaho.  Now it's time to get back into the responsibilities and realities of everyday life.
Little America Hotel, Salt Lake City, Utah
No, we did not stay here.  Just got a couple of photos.
Downtown Elko, Nevada -- sporting many fiberglass boots to celebrate the city's Centennial.
Cloverleaf Creamery, Buhl, Idaho
Happy Wednesday, everyone!