pens or pins? that is the question...

What's one to do when the heart and hands enjoy words and fabric, the pattern of paragraphs and quilts to an equal enthusiasm? To solve my dilemma I'm writing the print that stirs me and sharing the journey of blending fabrics into quilts and wearables, the discovery of old--be it quilts or friends, and the pleasures of today. Come...have a visit with me.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dipping into the comfort foods from the distant past…forward to today's modern
and always sharing the big table of love

                                        Isn't it the best when a "happy" package day happens? Such is today, as an anticipated project was delivered in my postal box. My package delivery was actually two years in the making. 

Simply, it began...

I was visiting my daughter and noticed an old recipe box among her decorative vases and cookbooks.  It was one I had made mom for a Mother's Day gift, many moons ago. Mom, a sentimental type, saved it, then I, a bearer of her sentimental DNA passed it on to my daughter. I picked it from her kitchen shelf, opened and found it full of simple little 3 x 5 recipe cards from mom's collection and my childhood. I pondered…I remembered.

About the same time my husband was taking a writer's workshop and enjoying the journey of his memoirs. I was intrigued by his stories and wanted to write mine. What, I thought, can I possibly write about? I mused a few days and realized most of the days past had cooking in them. Reflecting, I realized most of the current calendar days have food prep in them.  Then the light dawned--our family story was obvious, it was a story of daily food. Food not only sustained our health; it kept us above the crisis barometer.

Flipping from a 1950's Better Homes and Gardens magazine tear-out recipe for pot roast to a stuffed pork loin in a year 2000 classy Junior League cookbook made me realize how far cooking has moved. My grandmother, in the 1940's, still caught a chicken, then rung his neck for her family supper. Today's modern cook has a choice of fresh chicken produce,  pre-breaded chicken nuggets or drive-through chicken restaurants for their family. I ask, is this progress?

But I digress. More importantly I had fun remembering, reflecting…one recipe after another. Natalie Goldberg, well known writer of the memoir how-to book, Old Friend from Far Away ( or amazon) reminds us again and again, "our story is our story." We are the only one that lived it. The simplicity of our story is simple. Memoir writing pushes those old buttons…it helps you remember. For me, food was the impetus. It was the "remember" for me. Homemade ice cream, soup of every flavor, simple pineapple salad from the elementary years. From recipe to recipe, I soon realized food, for our family, meant family life was functioning. It covered the scratches, it healed the empty spots and celebrated the happy ones. And today, food serves much the same purpose, altho in ways it is totally different--it is Paleo, it is vegetarian or it is a mixture of yesterday and today. But regardless, modern is just a different flavor of yesterday.

Yes, indeed, food spelled Hard Times, Good Times and Great Home Cooking. Check it out on, HARD TIMES, GOOD TIMES AND GREAT HOME COOKING. I suspect you'll relate.

Oh, if you need a recipe from the book to help you remember, try  page 192. A perfectly  yummy

blueberry pound cake:

1 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
4 ounce block of cream cheese
3 large eggs
1 egg white

Beat first three ingredients at medium speed about 5 minutes. Add eggs and egg white, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 8 ounce lemon yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla

Lightly spoon flour into a measuring cup. Spoon 2 Tablespoons flour into berries and stir until berries are well coated. Combine remaining flour and dry ingredients with the sugar/egg mixture, alternately with yogurt. Begin and end with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries and vanilla.

Pour cake mixture into well greased 10 inch tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool and remove from tube pan. Serve with mixed berries and topping of vanilla flavored yogurt

First cooked from Cooking Light magazine, 1998.

Enjoy, and happy cooking,


A favorite scripture:  2 Thessalonians 3:12    Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

A favorite food quote: Charles Schultz: "All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt."