Thursday, February 25, 2021

Recipe Memories, Herb Garden Prep, Scenes from Puerto Rico and Update on my Brother........

Wednesday Louis Dean got outside in the sunshine and cleaned off his new deck, scrubbed down two rugs from the kitchen and then started back in on the soon to be new herb garden. 

This is what he does when I tell him he can go outside and play!

He credits his manly biceps to digging in the dirt - something he dearly loves to do!

While he was working outside ......
I was working inside! In the sewing room which is where I have a bookcase filled with cookbooks.

When I was cleaning out all the cupboards in the kitchen preparing for our new countertops, I emptied one that was full of old recipes. It was in a hard to get to place so I have not seen these in years.
Bea's Peanuts! 
I was 26 years old and Summer was 11 when we made these for the first time!
Such good memories. We stitched up the burlap bags and gifted these at Christmas....using Mod Podge on the burlap. Mod Podge was invented by Janet Wetstone in 1967 so this was still relatively new back then. By the way, Mod Podge is short for Modern Decoupage

The recipes used to come in our gas bills as I recall.
Such treasures to rediscover on a February day in 2021!

These are the original recipes I copied off. 
The sugarplums from 1970 - before I started dating and signing them.
The original recipe is from 1966 and I know this because I copied it from the package of  Pure Cane Confectioners sugar and made it the Christmas after my son, Jesse, was born in November of that year.
I caught up by writing '1970, 1971 and 1972' on the recipe page. I used spiral notebooks back then to write my recipes in.
The 5 pound fudge recipe was a bit later and Jesse, Jr made it famous among his church group friends and our family!
Funny story about that fudge!
He made it up for Christmas one year and I put it in a tin and stored it in the pantry.
Summer would get up in the night and go in there and sneek a piece.
The thing is - I forgot it was there.
One day I opened up the tin, discovered the fudge - all covered in MOLD - and wondered why Summer looked sick all of a sudden!
We STILL laugh about that!
From that year on - I kept it in the fridge!

I remember baking these for Christmas way back when and have tried to find the recipe online several times. They are delicious and people loved them even when they thought they didn't like mincemeat!
I am going to make some of these for my stepson. Dean LOVES mincemeat!

And I did NOT remember that I have been making fruitcake cookies BEFORE 1985 when my Aunt Irene gifted me a Hood County, Texas cookbook with a fruitcake cookie recipe in it which is the one I use now. For Christmas 2021 I intend to make my cookies from this recipe!

Do you know why these vintage keepsake recipes mean so much to me?
My home burned in 1983 and I lost nearly everything.
My kitchen literally burned up.
I remember taking a stick and stirring the ashes as I made my inventory for the insurance company.
Where WERE these recipes that they survived??
They had to be in this house which I still live in today.
I can't remember where they were but they survived and it is impossible for me to throw them away now.
They will not mean anything to anyone else......but I do love holding pieces of my history in my hands and seeing them with my eyes.
My handwriting has changed. My life has changed. I have changed.
We never stand still. We never remain the same. We are a work in progress and when I see these pieces of my past, I am so grateful for the way God has led me through this life.

Recipes and cooking will always be a part of my life.
At this stage - I am cooking for two - and I try to be a good steward and NOT waste food.
So last night we had a second run of the Shrimp Scampi - with the addition of Alfredo sauce and diced chicken. Louis Dean - while out on Sunday on his shopping spree - bought a huge bag of frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts. These are so handy in making meals for two! I found a recipe for chicken pot pie in my collection so that will be on the menu this weekend.

While we meant to be down at the ranch by now - rain has arrived - both here and there.
So we are stuck at home until around March 15th when Sherry and I get the opportunity to see veteran bee keepers (they have 50 hives)  splitting them! We will observe, learn and assist!

Today (Thursday) has been a good one.

The Birthday Quilt for great granddaughter, Kaitlyn, is finally finished!
Rain was in the forecast today so I went out early and spread the quilt on the deck so I could pin it to tack in place on the sewing machine in lieu of using needle and yarn.
One more quilt in line to do - a birthday quilt for our Chandy Girl.

Since I'm talking about recipes......

I mailed this book made by the Karate Federation to Chandy.
It was published in 2009.....and I was reading through it before I sent it to her (I have a scond copy for myself) and forgot all about contributing my Sugarplum recipe in it!

This is a photo of Dean and his mother, Ellen, on the first page.
So recipes and cookbooks can be emotional and memorable treasures as well as practical ways to feed our loved ones.

I went out this afternoon and took Christmas down from the gazebo!
It's really late but we haven't been out there due to all sorts of reasons but today was the day!
Tabitha wanted to see what I was doing so she kept vigil at the sewing room door.

Our dear friend, Jimmy, whom I have known since he was a child, is in Puerto Rico visiting Summer and Sabrina. I am having an amazing time visiting as well through his photos and videos.

Puerto Rico is a paradise and it's always fun to share it with someone.

Jimmy knows how to have fun and he loves LIFE more than most people I know.

What a perfect picture!

Someday I wll be there and seeing all this with my own eyes!
Until then - I am having such a good time enjoying his trip!
Summer left Texas on November 9th and will be returning on March 5th.
I have missed her so much but we have kept in touch by phone, photos. messages, Facetime and Marco Polo. I am happy she has had such quality time there and been able to share it with a childhood friend.

And now I have a good update on our beloved brother, Lonnie.

He is in the hospital tonight, as I write.
His wife, Michele, wisely called 911 sometime after midnight this morning and he was admitted and will remain there for a few days. Michele has been gracious in keeping all of us sisters in the loop and the prognosis is that Lonnie will be able to pull out of this. But going forward, he will have to step up in his self care if he wants to regain his health.
Thank you for each and every prayer.....

And in other news, I talked to Lillian today and she was excited about getting a card from my blog friend, DeeDee in Gainsville! I intend to go to Fort Worth on Tuesday next week to see my brother and I told Lillian I will stop by the nursing home and take her some goodies and a pizza - or maybe take out form Jason's Deli - and we can have a visit together in person! She said there are no active Covid cases there at this time. I will check with the office first, of course, but at the very least I can deliver her some lunch and groceries.


Ginny Hartzler said...

What a treasure trove you found during the kitchen remodel! Both literal and in memories. And now for your herb garden, such an exciting spring project!! Thank goodness about Lonnie!!

Bluebird49 said...

What a great post full of news! Hope you don't get so much rain. We're supposed to have several days of rain and my bones are letting me know!

Deb J. in Utah said...

Hi Linda - so glad you are all doing well - especially after the fiasco with the power grid in Texas. I love the old recipes. So fun and full of memories. Hope your brother is doing well and out of the hospital soon. Have a good weekend.

Vee said...

That is a very nice photo of Lonnie and Michele. It is good to have a helpmeet who can look out for troubles. Praying for them both at this challenging juncture.

My goodness, you do find some interesting things tucked into the corner of your home. One year my mother went through her collection of old recipes going back to many from her grandmother's collection. She was particularly interested in that cherry marshmallow concoction that her grandmother always made especially for her at Christmas time. Guess it didn't taste quite as she remembered as it landed in the garbage. I watch a vlogger who just made a 1930s recipe for chocolate tomato cake. I vaguely remember my grandmother baking that one. My palate has changed so much through the years that I seldom cook from the old recipes, There are a few, though!

Thank the Lord that there are no active cases of that evil covid in Lillian's home. Glad that you'll be able to see her next week.

A blessed weekend to you and Louis Dean!

peggy said...

Just love your story about the recipes. Mine are like a history lesson also. Little comments here and there and a few tear stains. Online is nice to have but can't take us back to times we shouldn't forget.

MadSnapper said...

I need that last quote enlarged and hanging on the wall in every room to remind me of that.. i fretted last night for 2 hours and lost that much sleep over something that had righted itself this morning, all that fret for nothing. enjoyed the beautiful pics from Summers friend and it looks a lot like Florida. the only time i get emotional about cooking or cook books is when I am crying because I HAVE TO COOK... I rather eat peanut butter sandwich than cook anything at all. Prayers for Lonnie

photowannabe said...

I wish I had written comments and dates in some of my old recipe books. Now I want to know more about the events that happened. I'm sure not a baker/cook"er" like you but there are memories that need to come to the surface again.
A project I had in a college class was creating a cookbook. I was engaged at the time and it was a perfect way to preserve some favorite recipes of my Mom. The book has been dismantled but I do have some of her favorites loosely thrown in a drawer..I must do a better job of corraling them for me and my kids down the road.
Happy to hear about Lillian and her place not having cases now.
Prayers continuing for your brother Lonnie.
Love to that hard working hubby of yours too.
Stop by my blog sometime. I love hearing from you.
Sue of photowannabe

Debbie said...

cooking and baking will always be a big part of my life is an expression of love to others!! i always enjoy seeing your recipes, hand written with handwritten notes on them!!

the quilt looks awesome...

and warm thoughts and best wishes for lonnie, thank goodness for michele!!

Hootin Anni said...

I don't think I've ever had fruit cake cookies. I bet they're delicious. Pretty quilt...and I'm pleased to know your brother has been hospitalized, getting help.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Yes, old recipes are treasures as often they can bring back memories of good food shared with family and friends. Thanks for sharing your memories of these recipes, Linda. Nice to see that Summer and Jimmy are having a good time in Puerto Rico away from a lot of the craziness here. Hope that your brother Lonnie will be feeling better and home again. And, good to hear about Lillian's care home having less outbreaks so maybe you will be able to have an in person visit soon.

Carole said...

Hidden blessings indeed. Stay safe

Great-Granny Grandma said...

That hubby of yours sure has a lot of energy. I'm always amazed at the things he does.
And what a wonderful find, those treasured recipes from the past. I was trying to read the fruitcake cookie one. It sounds really good. The mincemeat crescents sound yummy as well.