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Anything is good, in moderation. I cook because I love to and because I can share with those around me. I crochet for the same reason.

Do what you want to do, enjoy what you do and use it to touch those around you.

May 31, 2012

Short Cake - Alda Jane Low

This is a dry, crumbly shortcake that can be topped with any fruit you like, or none, the finished with milk and sugar.  A bit of a shock to Hubby the first time I made it.  Use an 8x8 or 9x9 cake pan.  To make a 9x13, double.

  2 Cup Flour                                                   2 Tbl Sugar
  5 Tsp Baking Powder                                     1/4 Cup Shortening
  1 Tsp Salt                                                      2/3 Cups Milk

Mix sugar and shortening well, sift dry ingredients together and into sugar mixture.  Add milk, mix well and put into a 9 x 13 pan and bake at 425 for 15 minutes.

May 30, 2012

Easy Pound Cake - Kathleen Ronk

I made this to serve with fresh strawberries.  Hubby and I disagree on what strawberry shortcake is - he likes little angel food or pound cakes, I like the Pennsylvania Dutch Version.  That will follow tomorrow.  Make sure you use a tube pan - this is too large for a bundt pan.  All purpose or cake flour can be used.

  6 Eggs                                                                                      2 Cup Sugar
  2 Cup Flour                                                                              1 Cup Shortening
  1/8 Tsp Salt                                                                              2 Tsp Almond Extract

Mix all ingredients.  Beat at low speed with electric mixer approximately 10 minutes. Pour into greased and floured tube pan.    Place in cold over and turn over to 300 degrees.  Bake for 1 1/2 hours.  Do not open over for first hour of baking.

May 29, 2012

Funnel Cakes - Kathleen Ronk

Every year at one of the Riverfront festivals in Harrisburg, I get a funnel cake.  Now, perhaps not good, but I can make them myself.  We halved the recipe and made one 10 inch funnel cake on the Sunday of memorial day.  I don't know why mom had this recipe, but I am glad she did.

  2 Egg                                                             2 Cups Cooking Oil
  1 1/2 Cups Milk                                            1 Tsp Vanilla
  2 Cups Flour                                                 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  1/2 Tsp Salt                                                 

Combine eggs, milk, flour, baking powder, salt.  Add eggs and beat smooth.  Put in hot oil and fry.

May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

In my (almost) 40 years, I have enjoyed the benefits of a three day weekend offered by the celebration of Memorial Day.  I have been thankful for those who have given all to give us the opportunity to live as we choose.  I have not known much about the history of this day of remembrance.  I found the Memorial Day History Website which gives the following summary as well as an extensive, and interesting history of what was originally known as Decoration Day. 

"Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all."

May 27, 2012

Week 21 - 52.08

This week, I just eek my way into Wisconsin. The following trivia is a sample of what is available at :

  • Wisconsin visitors and residents enjoy the state's 7,446 streams and rivers. End-to-end they'd stretch 26,767 miles. That is more than enough to circle the globe at the equator.  (That probably means I'll highlight some of them in the next few weeks.)
  • Wisconsin's Door County has five state parks and 250 miles of shoreline along Lake Michigan. These figures represent more than any other county in the country. 
  • In 1900 land acquisition for Wisconsin's first state park began. The park became Interstate State Park located in St. Croix Falls.  
  • Devil's Lake was established in 1911. The facility has become one of Wisconsin's oldest and most famous state parks. It leads the state parks in attendance. 
  • The nation's first kindergarten was established in Watertown in 1856. Its first students were local German-speaking youngsters.  
  • The National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward is shaped like a Muskie. 
  • Famous Wisconsinites include: Harry Houdini, famous magician and escape artist. Douglas MacArthur, well known World War II and Korean War general. Frank Lloyd Wright, America's most famous architect. William H. Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Don Ameche, actor and winner of an academy award for his performance in "Cocoon." 

May 26, 2012


More family recipes next week.  Today, I had a conundrum with this week's CSA box.  It contained a Kohlrabi.  My first thought was Kohl what?  My second thought was what do I do with it?  According to the website, kohlrabi is a German word.  Kohl means cabbage, Rabi means turnip.  It looks like a turnip, it grows on top of the ground and it has a broccoli/cucumber flavor.  Okay, so now I knew what it looked like, what to do with it?  As I peeled it, I noted that it had a cabbage like smell.  A small taste reflected that odor, so I tried making coleslaw with it and it turned out beautifully.  If you have two kohlrabi, double the apple and the carrot.  Do NOT double the dressing - you will have plenty.  To learn more about CSA's, To make the slaw:

1 kohlrabi (3 - 4 inches in diameter)
1/2 granny smith apple
1/2 cup sliced carrot
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbl lime juice.

Peel and Julienne the kohlrabi.  Julienne the apple.  Combine with carrots in a bowl.  In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, brown sugar and lime juice.  Pour over the kohlrabi mixture.

May 25, 2012

Butter Cream Frosting - Alda Jane Low

My niece recently wanted to learn how to make butter cream frosting and this is about as easy as it gets.  No cooking, just mixing.  Mix all ingredients together except cream.  Slowly add the cream as you may not need it all, depending on humidity and temperature.  Alternately, you may need more depending on the consistency you want.  If you are allergic to nuts, replace the almond extract with vanilla.  For a layer cake, double the recipe.  After frosting the cake, it should be kept in the refrigerator.  After all, it is butter and cream.

  4 Tbl Butter                                                                             1 Tsp Vanilla
  2 Cup Powdered Sugar                                                            1/2 Tsp Almond Extract
  3 Tbl Cream                                                                            

Cream together adding cream last, slowly.

May 24, 2012

Gold and Silver Cake - Alda Jane Low

I unfortunately never met my grandmother, but I am certainly enjoying these recipes.  The recipe says simply flour - I used cake flour but you can use all purpose flour.  If you use cake flour, it will raise more and a 9 x 3 cake pan should be used.  This goes great with butter cream frosting.  Before I hear from my brother, that recipe will follow tomorrow :) 

No egg separator?  Silly you, yes you do -

  Silver Part                                                                            Gold Part
  4 Large Egg Whites                                                                5 Large Egg Yolks
  1 1/2 Cup Sugar                                                                      1 Cup Sugar
  1/2 Cup Milk                                                                           1/2 Cup Shortening
  1/2 Cup Shortening                                                                  3/4 Cup Milk
  2 Cup Flour                                                                             2 Cup Flour
  2 Tsp Baking Powder                                                              1 Tsp Baking Powder

Bake in two greased and floured 9 in round pans at 350 25 to 30 minutes - toothpick should come out clean.

May 23, 2012

Baking Powder Biscuits - Alda Jane Low

This are very old fashioned biscuits that, if made with plain shortening, don't taste like much of anything at all.  If you make them with butter flavored shortening, they have a slight taste.  They are the perfect vessel for jam, apple butter or for breaking up into soups and chili's.  I put peach jam on them and they went famously with the Bean Salad.  Make 15 biscuits.

  2 Cups All Purpose Flour                                                         1/4 Cup Shortening
  3 Tsp Baking Powder                                                               3/4 Cup Milk
  1 Tsp Salt                                                                                

Sift together dry ingredients.  Blend in shortening with pastry blender or fingertips until mixture remembers course cornmeal.  Stirring with a fork, add enough milk to make a soft dough that can be handled.  Turn onto a floured surface and knead lightly  for about 1/2 a minute.  Roll or pat to 1/2 inch.  Cut with a 2 inch biscuit cutter.  Bake for 350 degrees for 12 - 15 minutes.

Per Serving: 96 Cal (35% from Fat, 9% from Protein, 57% from Carb); 2 g Protein; 4 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 2 g Mono Fat; 14 g  Carb; 0 g Fiber; 1 g Sugar; 71 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 260 mg Sodium

May 22, 2012

Hazel's Bean Salad

Another recipe I never had at home but that was intriguing is this bean salad.  It is very versatile and can be used as a lunch dish or a side dish.  When I made it, I omitted the onion and added salt and pepper to taste.  This makes 4 lunch sized servings.

  15 Oz Dark Red Kidney Beans                                                2 Pickles
  1 1/2 Cup Carrots                                                                    4 Hard Boiled Egg
  2 Stalks Celery                                                                         Celery Seed
  1 Green Pepper                                                                        Mayonnaise
  1 Onion                                                                                  

Drain and rinse beans.  Chop carrots, celery, peppers, onion, pickles and egg.  Mix together with celery seed and mayonnaise to taste.  

May 21, 2012

Banana Nut Bread - Aunt Alda May

I have always liked banana bread and Aunt Alda May is partially responsible.  Her recipe is below.  The nutrition information is for 16 servings.  You can substitute some of the flour with whole wheat flour, if you choose. 

  1 Cup Sugar                                                                           2 Cups Flour
  1/2 Cup Shortening                                                                  1/4 Tsp Salt
  2 Large Eggs                                                                          1 Tsp Baking Soda
  3 Medium Bananas                                                                  1/2 Cup Nuts

Sift flour, salt and soda together, set aside.  Mash bananas and set aside - you should have about 3 cups.  Cream together sugar and shortening, add beaten eggs.   Add bananas to sugar then add all other ingredients.  Add chopped nuts.  Divide between 2 – 8  inch bread pans.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Per Serving: 229 Cal (37% from Fat, 6% from Protein, 57% from Carb); 4 g Protein; 10 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 4 g Mono Fat; 33 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 16 g Sugar; 12 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 127 mg Sodium

May 20, 2012

Week 10 - 47.62

This week finds me near another beautiful state park.  From the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website, Green River State Wildlife Management Area is a wildlife restoration area popular among hunters, hikers, birders and other outdoor enthusiasts. Topography of the 2,565-acre area varies from flat to gently rolling. Swampy slough areas dominate nearly a third of the acreage, but the remaining portions are prairie restorations, open fields, cultivated areas or timberlands. Many of these areas have been specially planted and managed to provide more food and cover for a variety of wildlife species. Native prairie plants are found in many portions of the Green River Area.
Acquired by the State of Illinois in 1940, with the assistance of funding from the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, Green River State Wildlife Area is located about six miles northwest of Ohio, Illinois, off Illinois Route 26.

May 19, 2012

Get Your Greek On - and support the community

I moved to the Harrisburg area in 1990.  In Spring of 1991, I saw signs for the Greek Festival at the local Greek Orthodox Church.  I thought - OOH, I should go to that.  Then I promptly did not.  This scene, sadly, repeated itself for several years.  21 in fact.  FINALLY, this year, I successfully made it to the festival.  Moussaka, Gyros, Souvlaki, Spanakopita, Baklava.....soooo many choices.  They also had arts and crafts vendors, tours of the church and Greek dancers.  All in all, a good time and a great way to raise funds.  So, if you live in a reasonable distance to the Harrisburg area, check it out.  You can find more information at  If you don't live nearby, lots of communities have festivals that allow you to explore different foods and cultures, so check them out.  You will be glad you did.

May 18, 2012

Snow Pudding - Kathleen Ronk

I have to admit, I don't remember mom ever making this, but the name intrigued me.  Then the ingredients did, too.  So I thought why not.  Why is it called Snow Pudding?  No idea.  Maybe they didn't know what cappuccino was at the time.  That is what this tastes like - cappuccino that you get at your local convenience store. 

  1 Tbl Unflavored Gelatin                                                         3 3/4 Oz Vanilla Instant Pudding
  1 Cup Milk                                                                              1 Cup Milk
  1 Tbl Instant Coffee                                                                2 Large Egg Whites

In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over 1 cup milk.  Add coffee and heat over low heat, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.  Set aside.  I a small (about 4 cup) mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff, set aside.  In a large mixing bowl (at least 8 cups), stir together pudding and 1 cup milk.  Add  coffee mixture and beat according to package directions.  Fold egg whites into pudding  then turn into mold and chill until set.

May 17, 2012

Tea Cakes (Kathleen Ronk)

Mom made these, but not often.  They are made in a Madeleine pan and mom was nice enough to share hers. 

It may not have been heartbreaking for her as I now know why she didn't make them often - the pan is a pain in the neck.  It is aluminum and you brush it with butter to use it, but it still doesn't like to let go of the cookies.  You don't have to wash the pan in between, but the cookies do not look as nicely ridged.  I really like my Fat Daddio's Cake Pans, they offer a Madeleine pan, so I have ordered it to try again.

The recipe calls for 2 tsp lemon rind, but I like to grate the entire lemon skin and use it, even it is more than 2 tsp.

  1 1/4 Cup Cake Flour                                                              1 Tsp Vanilla
  1/2 Tsp Baking Powder                                                            2/3 Cup Sugar
  1/4 Tsp Salt                                                                             2 Tsp Lemon Rind, Finely Grated
  3 Large Eggs                                                                          3/4 Cup Butter

Sift together cake flour, baking powdered and salt.  Set aside.  Beat 3 eggs until light, add 1 tsp vanilla extract.  Gradually beat in 2/3 cup sugar.  Continue beating until volume has increased about 4 times the original.  Fold in lemon rind.  Fold flour mixture into egg mixture.  Stir in 3/4 cup melted butter.  Brush pans with additional melted butter and spoon about 1 tbl batter into each  shell.  Bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes.  Sift confectioners sugar over tops.

May 16, 2012

Lemon Pie - Alda Jane Low

This pie has a rich lemon flavor.  The water seemed a little odd, I am more familiar with using milk or cream, but it tasted quite good.  The recipe calls for a 9 inch deep dish, but a 10 inch pie plate could also be used.  When I made this pie, I enhanced it by putting 1 cup of black raspberries in the bottom of the crust before pouring the pie filling in the crust.  You could also use blueberries, red raspberries or strawberries  Please note - if you do this, you will have leftover batter.

  1/2 Cup Butter                                                                        2 Med Lemons
  3 Cup Granulated Sugar                                                           2/3 Cup Flour
  11 Large Eggs                                                                         1 Cup Cold Water

Prepare a 9 inch deep dish pie crust, set aside.  Cream butter and sugar, set aside.  Beat 8 eggs and 3 egg whites, mix with butter mixtures.  Grate the rinds of the lemons and juice them, mix into batter.  Pour into pie crust and bake in 350 degree oven until  set.

May 15, 2012

Peach-Butter Syrup

If you look at the end of the flannel cake recipe, you see instruction to use with peach butter syrup.  Well, here it is.  I usually use jam or fruit to top my pancakes - Maple Syrup is last on my list.  This fruity syrup is a great substitute.  The ingredients say to use frozen peaches, but you can also used canned or fresh.  I used home canned peaches in medium syrup and the amount of honey could be halved.  Also, I like to process it lightly with a stick blender after I add the almond extract.  If you don't like almond or have an allergy, use vanilla.  I don't remove all the chunks, just most.

10 Oz Frozen Sliced Peaches   
1/4 Cups Butter   
1/3 Cups Honey   
2 Tsp Cornstarch   
2 Tbl Water
1/4 Tsp Almond Extract
2 Tbl Lemon Juice

Put peaches into a small saucepan.  Add butter, honey and lemon juice.  Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to boil.  Mix cornstarch with water until smooth, gradually stir into hot peaches.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened.  Remove form heat and stir in almond extract.  Serve hot over flannel cakes.

May 14, 2012

Country Flannel Cakes (Alda Jane Low - Grammy)

For a start to my homage to family recipes, we have flannel cakes.  Nope, not a typo, it is flannel, not funnel.  This recipe includes instruction to cook on a griddle, but this works just as well on a waffle iron.  When you add the melted butter to the liquid ingredients, if it hardens, put it in the microwave just long enough to remelt the butter and mix the ingredients - about 30 seconds.  If you don't have buttermilk, you can make sour milk.  Put 1 Tbl lemon juice in the bottom of a two cup measure and pour enough milk on top to make 1 1/2 cups.

  2 Cup Flour, Sifted                                                                  2 Tbl Sugar
  2 Tsp Baking Powder                                                              3 Eggs
  1/2 Tsp Baking Soda                                                               1 1/2 Cup Buttermilk
  1/2 Tsp Salt                                                                            1/2 Cup Melted Butter

Sift flour with baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.  Beat eggs until thick and foamy.  Stir in buttermilk and melted butter into eggs.  Stir in dry ingredients until mixture is just blended;  batter will be lumpy.  Fry cakes on hot, lightly greased griddle until bubbles appear on the surface.  Turn with a spatula and brown on other side.  Serve flannel cakes immediately with hot  peach-butter syrup.

May 13, 2012

Week 19 - 39.85

First things first, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!  For the remainder of May, I will be sharing my mother's recipes, which can be connected to various family members.

This week was a slow week - 39.85 miles  It finds me near Wyoming, Illinois - where you can find the Rock Island Trail State Park's headquarters.  From the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Website, this is a 26 mile trail that stretches from Alton to Toulon.  It is a rail-trail trail and the prairie grass and wildflowers are remains of early rail travel.  Also reminiscent of the rail travel are the trestle bridge found connecting Wyoming and Toulon over the Spoon river.   There are also three remaining passenger depots along the trail. 

May 12, 2012

Crab and Asparagus Risotto

The CSA season has just started, but I am greatly enjoying it already.  First with a stir fry, now with risotto.  When making risotto, you may use wine or replace the wine with broth.  The only rule I follow is I am going to use wine, I will use a wine that I enjoy drinking.  For this risotto, I used Cullari Vineyards White on White, a semi-dry wine.  Not only did it compliment the recipe well, it is a bright, crisp wine to drink.  The nutrition information supplied is for 6 servings.

  4 Cup Chicken Stock                                                             1/2 Cup White Wine
  1 1/2 Cup Water, more if needed                                            1 1/4 Tsp Salt
  2 Cups Asparagus                                                                 1/2 Lb Crabmeat
  3 Tbl Butter                                                                          1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  3 Tbl Spring Onion, Minced                                                    1 Tsp Orange Zest
  3 Clove Garlic, Minced                                                          1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley
  1 1/2 Cup Arborio Rice                                                         1/4 Tsp Black Pepper

Cut the ends off the asparagus and cut into 1 inch pieces - you should have two cups when finished.  Bring the water to a simmer in a medium pot. Cook the asparagus in the broth until just done.  Remove with a slotted spoon. Put in a colander, rinse with cold  water, and drain. DO NOT DISCARD WATER - keep it at a simmer.  Bring broth to a simmer

In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add the rice and stir until it begins to turn opaque, about 2 minutes.  Add the white wine and stir until the wine is absorbed. Add about 1/2 cup of the simmering broth.  Cook and stir until the broth is absorbed.  Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time and letting the rice absorb it before adding more. Cook the rice in this way until tender.  If you run out of broth before the rice is tender, use the water from  the asparagus.  You may not need all of the liquid, or you may need more broth or water.

Stir in the salt, asparagus, crab, cheese, orange zest, garlic, parsley, and pepper; cook until heated through.

Per Serving: 383 Cal (26% from Fat, 25% from Protein, 49% from Carb); 23 g Protein; 11 g Tot Fat; 6 g Sat Fat; 3 g Mono Fat;  45 g Carb; 3 g Fiber; 1 g Sugar; 159 mg Calcium; 5 mg Iron; 2125 mg Sodium

May 11, 2012

Tex Mex Macaroni

This is an especially simple to make, quick recipe.  I'll admit, it may seem an odd mix, but that is why this blog is called try and like.  Use any baked beans and barbecue sauce that you like - if you prefer to make it vegetarian, use a vegetarian bean.  I used Bush's Original Baked Beans and Kraft Thick 'n Spicy Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce as they have very complimentary flavors.  Generally, I do not like a sweet sauce, but it really works in this case.

For the vegetables, you can use fresh, but frozen are just as good.  I used the Giant Brand steam in bag and undercooked them slightly so they could finish cooking in the sauce without over cooking.  I also added about a cup of peppers that were frozen from my garden last year - you can never have enough veggies, right?

This reheats well.  The nutrition provided is for 6 servings.

  13.25 Ounce Whole Grain Macaroni                                       2 Tbl ketchup
  14.5 Ounce Diced Tomatoes                                                  1 Pkg Taco Seasoning
  16 Ounce Baked Beans                                                         12 Ounce Frozen Mixed Vegetables
  1/4 Cup Barbecue Sauce                                                        sprinkling of crushed chili peppers

Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain.  While cooking, cook the vegetables to package directions.  Combine the pasta and vegetables in the pan used to cook the pasta.  Add tomatoes, baked beans, barbecue sauce, ketchup, taco seasoning, and  crushed chili peppers to the pot.  Stir and simmer for 15 minutes.

Per Serving: 389 Cal (3% from Fat, 15% from Protein, 81% from Carb); 16 g Protein; 2 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 0 g Mono Fat; 84 g Carb; 13 g Fiber; 13 g Sugar; 87 mg Calcium; 4 mg Iron; 1404 mg Sodium

May 10, 2012

One recipe, many options

I only discovered Quinoa in the last year, but it makes a wonderfully different option for sides and salads.  The beauty of this recipe is that you have many options.  It can be 4 servings of a stand alone main dish, you can use less salad and serve it over tuna.  I did that for lunch last week and it was wonderful.  You could also do that with a nice piece of salmon.  Finally, it makes a great side dish.  I find Quinoa in the organic section of my local Giant.  The nutrition information provided is for 5 main dish servings.

  1 Cup quinoa, rinsed                                                              
  2 Tbl honey                                                                             1 Cup Celery
  1/4 Cup Lime Juice                                                                  1/2 Cup Golden Raisins
  1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt                                                                 1/2 Cup Slivered Almonds, toasted
  3 Tbl olive oil                                                                           Coarse salt and pepper
  1 Cup Granny Smith Apple                                                    

Cook quinoa to package directions.  While cooking, whisk together the honey, lime juice, and salt. Gradually whisk in the oil until blended.Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl.  Dice the apple, slice the celery and add both to the bowl.  Stir in the raisins and almonds and toss the ingredients well. Add the dressing and toss once more to coat the salad. Season it with salt and pepper to taste.

Per Serving: 347 Cal (37% from Fat, 8% from Protein, 55% from Carb); 7 g Protein; 15 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 10 g Mono Fat; 50 g Carb; 5 g Fiber; 20 g Sugar; 65 mg Calcium; 4 mg Iron; 265 mg Sodium

May 9, 2012

Landscaping - Part 2

After removing the old mulch, fabric and cutting sod, we had a blank slate.  I intended on just putting down stone, so we found ourselves at Lawns Unlimited.  They offered a wide selection of mulch and stone in various sizes and colors.  We selected a pea sized sandstone and went to the office to order it.  I had measured what we needed, but it was still hard to say the words "10 Tons."  After ordering the stone, we went to pick up the rose bushes that prompted the project and Lowe's to purchase a replacement holly bush.  While there, we selected stepping stones as well.  When we got home, the bushes were planted.  The Holly bush has officially been designated as Abby's bush as she helped dig the hole.

Then the stone arrived.  When delivered, I was shocked about the small amount. 

I started moving it and finished the holly bushes and rose bushes in a few days.

As we drew nearer to the newly created front beds, Hubby took one look and said we needed plants.  Of course we did, so off to Ashcomb's we went.  Ashcomb is a local nursery that offers older, well established plants.  In addition, they have gifts and gourmet foods.  While I will purchase some plants at Lowe's, we were looking for a specific plant as well as older plants.  It will take several years for our plants to mature, we did want to get the oldest we could.  In addition, we wanted to support a local business.  Ashcomb's had what we wanted - Red Twig Dogwood.  We selected the 5 we needed and hubby decided that we needed more, so we found a complimentary Crapemyrtle.  Plants purchased and home, we set them in place and found we still had holes.  Back to Ashcomb's we went for Lilac and Juniper.  We had a plan from local garden expert, but the juniper he recommended were not available, so the staff at Ashcomb's was very helpful with selecting alternatives.  Plants home, in place and ready to go on Friday evening. 

Saturday morning, we placed the stepping stones and I started digging holes while hubby mowed.  Once I had enough plants in the front, hubby worked on moving stone.  After a very productive day, we had the plants in and the stone done. 

One more run for plants netted us primrose for the front of the path and a rhododendron to connect the roses and the lilacs. 

While it was a lot of work, it is very satisfying to have a completed landscaping project.  Made even more so when a landscaper who was driving by stopped to say that the projects looked great and that she would hire me to work for her clients.

May 8, 2012

Southern Pie

Okay, I know Southern Pie is not very descriptive, but it is what Aunt Madeline gave me.  It is also the third pie I took to work.  Generally, I don't eat Grape Nuts, but they are good in this.  Some people said this reminds them of Pumpkin Pie, some said Shoo Fly and some said both.  They all said it was good, so here you go.

3/4 Cup Grape Nuts Cereal                                            1 Tbl Molasses
1/2 Cup Warm Water                                                     3 Tbl butter
3 Large Eggs                                                                  1 Tsp Vanilla
3/4 Cup Sugar                                                                1/2 Tsp Salt
2 Tbl Light Corn Syrup

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine cereal and water, set aside until cereal is soft.  Prepare one 9 inch pie crust and set aside.  Beat eggs, add sugar and mix well.  Stir in syrup, molasses, melted butter, vanilla and salt.  Fold in cereal and pour into the pie crust.  Bake for 50 - 60 minutes until filling is set.

May 7, 2012

Oatmeal Pie

Digging through recipes Aunt Madeline gave me, I came upon the second pie option I took to work last week - Oatmeal Pie.  It tastes NOTHING like an oatmeal cookie, as you may suspect, but it is very good in its own right.  If you do not have Coconut Powder, you  may use all flaked coconut.  If you like a nutty flavor, substitute 1 Tsp Almond Extract for the vanilla

3 Large Eggs                                                         2/3 Cup Old Fashioned Oatmeal
2/3 Cup White Sugar                                             1/3 Cup Flaked Coconut
1 Cup Brown Sugar                                               1/3 Cup Coconut Powder
2 Tsp Butter                                                           2/3 Cup Milk
1 Tsp Vanilla                                                          1 Tsp Cinnamon (Optional)

Prepare 1 9 inch deep dish pie shell.  Blend all ingredients and pour into unbaked shell.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes until set.

May 6, 2012

Week 18 - 46.21

Still in the middle of farm country, IL, but I found Birkey Lake.  From the Hook and Bullet website comes the following information:

Birkey Lake is a reservoir located just 3.5 miles from Marquette Heights, in the state of Illinois, United States, near Pekin, IL. Fishermen will find a variety of fish including rainbow trout, carp and sucker here. Whether you’re baitcasting, spinning or fly fishing your chances of getting a bite here are good. So grab your favorite fly fishing rod and reel, and head out to Birkey Lake. If all goes well, the sucker will be hooked by your canned corn, the grass carp will be biting your worms and the rainbow will be grabbing your grasshoppers.

To find this fishing spot check the map shown above or enter latitude, and longitude into your GPS device.

May 5, 2012

Lemon Sponge Pie

I love lemon desserts and I used to purchase half pies at Karns when I could find their Lemon Sponge.  Then I remembered that Aunt Madeline had supplied me with a recipe.  Now, when the mood strikes (usually once a year), I make a pie.  You can too - it is easy.  You can use any milk - I do not recommend skim.

1 cup sugar
2 Tbl all purpose flour
1 lemon
2 eggs
1 Tbl butter
1 cup milk

Line a deep dish 9 inch pie plate with crust, set aside.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Sift flour and sugar together (No sifter? Look here.)   Cream in softened butter and milk.  Separate eggs (How do you separate eggs?.
Add egg yolks to flour mixture, mix well.  Zest and juice lemon and add to the flour mixture. 

In another bowl, beat egg whites until they peak.  Fold into the lemon mixture and pour into the pie shell.  Bake for 35 - 45 minutes until set.

Cool completely before cutting.

May 3, 2012

Mixed Berry Frozen Delight

I have some blueberries and black raspberries in the freezer from last year and wanted to use them and the local market had some nice strawberries, so it was time to break out the freezer.  I did use the frozen berries without thawing.  The black raspberries do not need to be chopped as they will break apart in the freezer.  If you have leftovers, they can be kept in the freezer, but please note it will be hard to scoop.  The nutrition information below is for 2% buttermilk and 8 servings.

  1/2 Cup Strawberries                                                               2 Tsp Lime Juice
  1/2 Cup Blueberries                                                                 1 Tsp vanilla extract
  1/2 Cup sugar                                                                          Pinch of salt
  2 1/2 Cup Buttermilk                                                               1 Cup Black Raspberries
  1/2 Cup Low Fat Half And Half                                             

Combine strawberries, blueberries and sugar in a small bowl and let sit, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has begun to dissolve. Transfer the berry mixture to a blender and process until smooth.  Add buttermilk, half and half, lime juice, vanilla and salt to the blender and mix until well combined.  Place blender pitcher in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.   When ready to freeze, pour into the canister of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturers directions. During the last 15 minutes of freezing, add the black berries.

Per Serving: 127 Cal (26% from Fat, 10% from Protein, 64% from Carb); 3 g Protein; 4 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 1 g Mono Fat; 21 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 18 g Sugar; 109 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 87 mg Sodium