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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pretty Gumdrop Ornaments

I've got a table at a small craft show this weekend. I've been making, among other things, ornaments to sell.

Here are steps to making pretty gumdrop ornaments.


Supplies needed: paint (color or your choice), glue, 22 gauge craft wire, egg shape Styrofoam, glitter, paint brushes, toothpicks, serrated knife, small wire cutters




Cutting the Styrofoam with serrated knife.



Cut a short piece of wire, bend in half and twist the bottom ends around each other. Dip in glue and push into rounded top of Styrofoam. This will be the hanger.


Paint bottom of gumdrop and sprinkle with glitter while paint is still wet.



Insert toothpick into bottom of gumdrop and paint the top.



Stick gumdrops into something to dry (I used another piece of Styrofoam) and sprinkle top of gumdrops with glitter (again, while the paint is still wet).


Here are the finished gumdrop ornaments. They look good enough to eat.....but don't!



I also made little gumdrops with the small cut off ends of the Styrofoam.

These would be cute hanging on a small kitchen tree. I like the orange best, what's your favorite?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

I'm a writer, not a poet, but......

I'm thankful for my family
and what they mean to me
I'm thankful for my country
and for being free.

I'm thankful for my home
and the food we eat
I'm thankful for the pies
and all the rolls and meat.

But, most of all I'm thankful
for each and every day
God sees fit to grant us
to work and love and play.


Here's an old piece of paper that was my mom's. As you can see, it is old, yellowed and torn.
I'm often guilty of complaining about the many dishes I wash each day. I keep this on my fridge as a reminder of some of the little things I should be thankful for.

Maybe we should remember this as we are faced with a sink full of dirty dishes throughout today.




HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL and may God bless you and yours.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pecan Pie Muffins & Nuts and Bolts

Down the interstate, and up the hollow
to my sister's house we go....

Our family will join the rest of our family at my sister's home tomorrow for Thanksgiving.
Below are a couple recipes I'm making.

See you tomorrow sis, Dad, my other sis, and all my nieces and nephew (only have one) and their families.


If you love pecan pie, but want something quicker and easier, try these.

Pecan Pie Muffins

1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
2/3 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Pour into a greased mini-muffin pan, filling each cup 2/3 full. Bake 12 to 15 minutes.


Here are the ingredients



Mixing them all together


In the pan



Finished muffins, ready to eat and enjoy



I've taken care of the dessert, now for a snack to keep them from starving while waiting on the turkey to get done.

Nuts and Bolts

3 cups corn chex
3 cups rice chex
2 cups pretzels
1 cup cheerios
1 cup nuts
1/2 cup melted butter
4 1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t. garlic powder

Mix the cereals, pretzels and nuts together in a large shallow baking pan. Mix together the remaining ingredients and pour over the first mixture. Mix thoroughly (I use my hands).
Bake at 250 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.


Cereals, pretzels and nuts all thrown together



Add the second set of ingredients - mix together good




Finished nuts and bolts fresh from the oven.....mmm, mmm



Hope you enjoyed these recipes.

If I don't post anymore before tomorrow, I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving from all of us here in West Virginia.

Enjoy the food, family and friends.




Sunday, November 23, 2008

Road Trip on a Cool Day

We went on a road trip Saturday up the Ohio River to Wheeling.

Here are a few sights we saw along the way.....


This was an unexpected pleasure. Marble King at Paden City, WV. I saw the sign and couldn't resist stopping.
It was a nostalgic trip back in time. Anyone remember playing a game of marbles when they were a child? The factory was beside the gift shop. The gift shop was a house with an open sign in the window, filled with lots of marbles and glass items.




MARBLES, MARBLES.....



AND MORE MARBLES!



A Mail Pouch Tobacco Barn in Friendly, WV




This building is the home company in Wheeling, WV


For my previous post on the history of Mail Pouch Tobacco Barns and more pictures go here.




At the end of the road, just what we were looking for.




"COME ON IN AND LOOK AROUND"




"JOIN THE CROWD!"


"HURRY!"



"NOW BE NICE, THERE'S ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE"


"Y'ALL COME BACK NOW, YOU HEAR."


Have you ever been to Cabela's?

Friday, November 21, 2008

WHAT'S FOR SUPPER?

We decided to have an easy supper tonight.

Hot Dogs & French Fries

Or should I say, West Virginia Hot Dogs and French fries.

I've heard people, who used to live in West Virginia, say that one of the things they miss the most is West Virginia hot dogs.


This blogs for you........




What's on a West Virginia hot dog when you say you want one with everything?


ketchup
mustard
chili
cole slaw
onions

But you knew that, didn't you. (The above picture is without onions, because I don't like onions)
Also, sadly we had used up the last of our frozen chili with the last hot dogs we ate, so we had to use canned hot dog sauce tonight.

We go to Pipestem State Park a lot and so do a lot of out of state people. We always look at the license plates of the cars in the parking lot and there's usually more out of state cars than there are West Virginia ones.

One day we were in the Black Bear Restaurant. It is a little eatery there at the park that serves hamburgers, pizzas, hot dogs, ice cream cones etc. While sitting and waiting on our food we observed an out of state customer questioning his order.

"I asked for a hot dog with everything," he said.

"Well sir, that's what we gave you. What else did you want on it?"

"All I wanted was ketchup and mustard!"

We sat and chuckled.

I used to be a secretary in the State Purchasing Dept. at the Capitol. There is a cafeteria in the basement where we went to eat on a regular basis. They made great hot dogs!
A long time ago when we bid out the gilding of the dome, the winning contractor was from Fitchburg, Mass. They were a great bunch of guys. A few of us girls from the office took the main guy to the cafeteria one day and we convinced him to try one of our hot dogs. Well it was love at first bite. He said he was going to tell so and so at this place back in Mass. to start making hot dogs like we did.

So much for my hot dog stories.

Here is a copy of my husband's hot dog chili. He makes a big batch and we freeze small batches of it in the freezer for future use.

HOT DOG CHILI FOR A CROWD

5 lbs ground chuck (cooked in water, so it is fine in texture)
2-3 onions chopped fine
1/4 cup (more or less, season to taste) chili powder
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 t. cayenne pepper
half gallon tomato juice
1/4 cup dried mustard
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 T. garlic powder
1 t. cumin

Drain ground beef then add the above ingredients.
Simmer for 2 hours.
Add 32oz of ketchup
Cook additional 1/2 hour.


What do you put on your hot dog?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Crafting With Tiles

I'm always buying items at yard sales with the intention of making something with them.

Well, last week I took my bag of 20 white tiles out of the floor that I had bought at a yard sale. I figured my husband was tired of stubbing his toes on them.





I cut some pretty Christmas material into squares.



I love to decoupage! Decoupage or Mod Podge is a waterbase sealer, glue and finish for all surfaces. You can use it on just about any type of surface.


Spread the Mod Podge onto the tile.



Place the material on the tile, making sure to press out any wrinkles or bubbles.



Spread more Mod Podge on top of the material. (It dries clear)




If you want you can sprinkle a very small amount of white glitter on top.



Add two or three more layers of the Mod Podge, letting it dry between applications.

Oh, I almost forgot, cut out squares of felt and glue to the corners on the bottom of the tiles so they wont scratch your surfaces.


You now have trivets to set your hot cocoa cups on this winter.

They would make a nice gift. Stack four together, tie a ribbon around them, add a mug and hot cocoa packets and place in a pretty basket.

You could also use pretty Christmas wrapping paper instead of material for this project.

As I stated in one of my comments, do not immerse these in water to clean. If needed, dab gently with a paper towel.

If you have any extra tiles, give it a try, it's easy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Pan of Fried Bread

I made fried bread for supper last night. My son wanted it for dinner on Sunday, but he told me too late.

Guess what we had for dinner on Sunday?

Squirrel casserole and squirrel gravy. It was really good, too, but I didn't take pictures.

OK, back to the fried bread.

I mixed up:

approx. 3 cups of self rising flour ( like Granny Sue, I used Hudson Cream flour)
1 egg
milk

This will make 2 batches in the skillet.


Melt butter.


Mix up the batter to this consistency. I'm sorry, I'm like my grandma used to be, I don't measure the milk. It is a little thick, but pourable.


Here it is in the skillet, where I'm checking underneath for doneness. When you pour it into the skillet and spread it out, leave a little space around the edge of it. I guess you could make a bunch of little serving size ones. They would be easier to flip, kind of like flipping pancakes, but I've always did the larger ones.



Here's a picture of it after flipping. And yes, flipping it without tearing it up is the hardest part.


Two batches on the serving platter. Tear off a hunk and eat.


It's very good, I hope you like it. Have you ever made fried bread?

This is an old fashioned bread, my dad used to make it all the time when I was young. I think he used a mixture of flour and cornmeal with his. There were certain things my dad always cooked. He cooked salmon cakes, the big pots of pinto beans that lasted for days and fried bread. What did your dad cook?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Collections and Recollections - Aprons

Aprons have been around for a long time. They were worn to protect your clothing from dirt and stains.

Women of the Civil War era were frugal and they recycled fabrics. Aprons were made from flour sacks, old blankets and old dresses.

During the Great Depression aprons were created from flour and feed sacks, the same as quilts.
Soon after, the new choice for aprons was calico.

During the 1930s and 1940s it seemed that all the women of the household wore aprons and the 1950s were definitely the high point of their popularity. They became a way of showing off their handiwork.

Women wore aprons while cooking, to meet guests in, and to do the housework.

But aprons had multiple uses such as:

picking up hot dishes
drying the inside of a freshly washed mug
wiping up spills
wiping away tears
wiping dirt from your children's faces
drying your hands
carrying in eggs from the hen house
carrying in fruits or vegetables from outside
dusting furniture
standing on the porch and waving it to let the men and children know supper was ready
and of course -
a place for shy children to hide behind.

How most people do without them now, I don't know.

Yes, the apron was a very useful item of the housewife. Most of my memories of my grandmother have her in an apron.

But the beautiful handiworked aprons are almost a thing of the past.
I collect them in remembrance of a by gone era.
I wish I had my grandmother's aprons. But, sadly, they have disappeared and I only have my memories.

Here are a few of my vintage aprons:

PRETTY PASTELS ALL IN A ROW


A small one......



a dainty one....


a pink and blue one.



Two ginghams.....


a patchwork and pillowcase one....


and two more for good measure.


This last one, a smock apron, isn't too old. I have pictures of me wearing it in the 1970s.


Hope you have enjoyed a trip down memory lane with my collection and recollections.

Do you have any apron memories? If you can help me date any of the above aprons, please comment and let me know.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

YUMMY BAKED POTATO SOUP

Charley and I decided we wanted baked potato soup today.

While he was out in the garden digging more potatoes, I made the soup.

First, I gathered all the ingredients.....


cooked bacon (to be crumbled up), flour, potatoes which have been baked in the oven



milk and melted butter



sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese


I apologize for not taking more detailed pictures of the process, but I had a vision of me dropping my husband's camera into the pot of soup. So, we fast forward to the finished product.....

in the pot


and in the bowl.



Of course, you should have some cornbread....


A few tips on making this delicious soup:

Gather all the ingredients before hand.
Have the potatoes baked, skinned and cut up.
Have the bacon cooked and crumbled and have the other ingredients measured out and waiting.

Also if you don't want to be standing at the stove a long time stirring the soup (waiting for it to get hot and thickened), put the milk in the microwave and heat it for 2 or 3 minutes on power level 6 to warm it up just a bit before adding it to the butter and flour mixture.

I'll be honest, this is a very, very good soup, but it requires your attention.
It has to be stirred almost constantly to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot, that's why you need to have everything ready to go.

Once you get the hang of it, you'll want to cook it all the time.


BAKED POTATO SOUP

4 large baked potatoes (or more smaller ones)
2/3 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup all purpose flour
6 cups of milk
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
12 (or so) slices of bacon (cooked, crumbled)
1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz container sour cream

Wash potatoes and prick several times with fork. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until done. Let cool. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, then scoop out pulp and set aside, discarding skin. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat, add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Add potatoes, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup bacon and 1 cup cheese. Cook until thoroughly heated. Stir in sour cream. Add extra milk if necessary for desired thickness. Top each bowl with a sprinkling of the remaining bacon and cheese.

Hope you give it a try. It is a very good meal for an autumn day.