We Took the Walk

Do you ever decide to go for an unplanned stroll? Like you’re going through your day and suddenly decide to just step into the scenery for a few minutes? 

A few weeks ago I wrote a story called “Take the Walk”. (If you’d like to read it, here’s the link.) It was my realization that busy is simply a matter of perspective. 

The day before we left for vacation, Little Bit and I were in town and it was the most beautiful sunny day. He suggested going for a walk and we didn’t because we had all this stuff to do. In my story, I share my lessons learned by not going for a walk that day. 

Yesterday, we were back in town. Guess who suggested a walk again? This time, I threw busy to the wind. 

Our little town did not disappoint. It’s full of history and beautiful things to see. You wouldn’t believe the fun we had, when this time we took the walk. 

When We Deliver the Rolls

Do you enjoy cooking for others?

I’ve noticed that the act of cooking and/or the sharing of the food seems to draw people together.

Something I learned from my mom, my grandmas, and a lot of friends over the years, is that putting love and compassion into cooking can really make a difference in someone’s life. What I love about sharing gifts from the kitchen is, it makes it easy to “show up” in people’s lives at times that might otherwise be awkward.

For instance, it’s hard to know what to do for a friend who suddenly lost her dog, but dropping off a pie or cookies expresses care and concern in a not so intrusive way.

I also love how cooking is personal. It’s a great opportunity to make someone’s favorite dish or if someone is allergic to say, wheat, different recipes can accommodate that. It’s almost like cooking has the ability to sometimes bridge that gap between wanting to do something for someone, yet not really knowing what to do. When I don’t know what to do, I bake.

I thought it’d be fun to share ideas and maybe have a recipe swap, if you’d like. Right now my go-to recipe is cinnamon rolls. I like that they are easy to transport if I need to drop them off to someone miles from my home, and they mail quite well. A few weeks ago I mailed some to Iowa, and I heard they arrived intact.

So, my first recipe I want to share is:

Baby Super Man’s Cinnamon Rolls (named for my friends’ miracle baby that I wrote about in my story called Extraordinary Events)

Mix 1/4 oz pkg quick rise yeast with 1/4 cup warm water (110 -115 degrees). Set aside until it bubbles and activates the yeast.

Meanwhile, mix 2/3 cup milk, 1 egg, 1/4 cup melted butter, and 1/4 cup sugar together. Add in yeast mixture.

Mix in 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 and 3/4 cups of flour one cup at a time.

I mix with a spoon and knead by hand. After kneading about 5 minutes or so on a floured board or counter, shape into a 12 x 8 rectangle. Brush the dough with a 1/2 cup of melted butter.

Sprinkle 1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar over the melted butter on the dough and pat down slightly. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cinnamon over the brown sugar.

Starting on the 12 inch side, roll the dough up so that it is 12 inches long when rolled. Cut into 1 inch slices. Put into a greased pan. I use a glass 9 x 12 pan. Let rise. Depending on the weather and the coolness in the house, sometimes I let mine rise in a slow oven at 170 degrees with the oven light on.

When they are raised, bake at 375 degrees for about 15-25 minutes, depending on whether they rose in the oven or on the counter.

Top with your favorite frosting or glaze.

So far, Little Bit and I have made many pans of these cinnamon-y delights. Now, we even have requests for them. I love the idea that he is learning compassion through cooking, just like I did, and that he sees the happiness that a simple offering of food can bring each time, when we deliver the rolls.

IMG_7387

 

Lucy’s Shortcake–1933

Do you have any family recipes that you love?

I have some of both my grandma’s recipes and one thing I love about making them, is that I can use some of their baking items as well. I have a mixing bowl and a loaf pan that I use whenever I make quick breads. It’s pretty neat, because even though they’ve both already passed on, it’s almost like they are baking with me in a sense.

My friend Karen shared this post that I absolutely LOVE. She really pulled on my heart strings with the photographs and the pictures of the utensils she uses.

With summer and the approaching berry season coming up, this would be so delicious. It’s the first recipe I’ve seen with butter in the middle. I bet that makes it so moist.

Thank you, Karen! I can’t wait to try it.

finding merle

What better way to combine many of my loves into one than write about our family recipes using farm fresh food that I have grown?

I’ve been chewing on the idea for quite a while and I’d rather not stew any longer. Please join in and let me know what you think of my debut post here in GOOD EATS as I share with you some of our family recipes. (History, cooking, photography, and writing…all in one…I can hardly stand it!)

First up is Shortcake, just in time for berry season. Enjoy!

This recipe is from Lucy Fox Beachler, my husband’s grandma. I never met Lucy, but a few years ago I visited the house in Ohio where she gave birth to Dorothy, my mother-in-law, in 1914. Here is the Beachler family in 1917.

May 2016_Lucy Beachler_grandma of Bruce Hoskins (2)OLD FASHIONED SHORTCAKE

2 C flour                                                  3 tablespoons shortening

1/2 teaspoon salt                                  1 egg

4 teaspoons…

View original post 294 more words

The Rain Has Stopped 

How is your weather today? 

Since we returned from vacation, it has been cold! In fact, when we were driving home from Louisiana, the further north we got, the more the temperature dropped. 

This morning, the thermometer read 41 degrees. For several days, water has been pouring out of the sky like a constant drip of a soaker hose. Cold and wet. 

It’s almost like the clouds have a flashing No Vacancy sign up and have uninvited the sun to join in on this day. 

That’s ok though, I just got back from a walk to the mailbox and even though the hours seem dark, there is a light of different sorts shining. 

Wildflowers. They’re standing tall, strutting their stuff. Looking beyond beautiful on such a gray day. It’s almost like they don’t notice that the sun is off jet setting elsewhere this week. Perhaps like me, they’re just quite happy that for now, the rain has stopped.



It’s Back

Remember that possum? The one that blared the garage weather radio at 3 am and got into a bag of apples on my deck?

Yeah, I forgot about it too. I mean, if you don’t see something, it has to be gone, right? 

Last night, I walked into the garage, shrieked, then slammed the door. 

Apparently, it’s back. 

Unless… 

Maybe my cat is wearing a disguise??? 

Two T-shirts 

When you go on vacation, do you take home a souvenir?

Sometimes we do. For instance, last year my husband and Little Bit got shirts from a restaurant we really liked in Orange Beach, Alabama. 

When we were leaving Grand Isle, Louisiana a few days ago, for our “souvenir”, we did something a bit different. We stopped at a seafood shop on the canal to buy some fresh shrimp to take home. 

I have to say, it was definitely a different shopping experience than we’re used to. Here at home, the only shrimp we can get is in the frozen section of the grocery store.

When we walked into the seafood shop, it looked similar to an open type warehouse. In the middle were three large containers. 

One was full of ice and the others were brimming with fresh shrimp. It was really neat to see. I mean, here this place was, right near the water, with shrimp boats docked just outside. 

All we had to do was, walk up to the containers and choose which size we wanted (there were three), and tell them how many pounds. 

A few moments later, he had them scooped into the scale, bagged up, and ready to go. From start to finish, including paying for the shrimp, the whole process took about ten minutes. 

For our trip back home, we had a separate cooler and ice for the shrimp, and stopped every few hours to make sure they were still iced down. They made it home wonderfully.

Last night my husband cleaned, bagged, and put them in the freezer. Months from now I can just hear the conversation as we sit down to a delicious meal of gulf shrimp. 

We’ll probably talk about how much fun it was to stop there, then chuckle when we recall that the amount we paid for the fifteen pounds came to less than the price of two t-shirts.