Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Merry Christmas!

When I was a little girl, my five brothers and sisters and I were allowed to choose one “big gift” from Santa in the Sears gift catalog. We were comfortable, but since we were a large family, we all understood that by “big,” Santa meant $5.00 or less!

Actually, this was just fine by us, and Mom filled in with books, pajamas, and simple stocking stuffers. I know some people who tell me they spend thousands on each child, and I find this so sad; we were more than happy with our little gifts and I truly believe we felt the true spirit of Christmas much more deeply.

Nonetheless, one year something totally unexpected and thrilling rolled down the chimney. When I came down Christmas morning, a gorgeous shiny green three-speed bicycle stood at attention under the tallest of the tree’s branches. It was for me!

Oh, how I loved that green bike, and I rode it up and down our dirt road for many years.Best Christmas present ever -- thank you Mom and Dad!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Seamstress's Prayer

”...As the pieces come together, help me sew seams that are straight, so that nothing tears apart or unravels; and when it does, show me where and how to patch with just the right touch...” 
The Seamstress’s Prayer by Jay Hanley

I saw this on a lovely blog which I just discovered, Content in a Cottage. The poster, Rosemary, is one of those people who makes me sound like the sister in the movie, Notting Hill, who tells the famous actress played by Julia Roberts: "I feel -- and I have done for some time -- that you and I could be best friends." Here's to my new cyber-bestie, Rosemary, for sharing this, because I love this simple prayer. And we all know the words are so true for much more than sewing, don't we?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Daffodils Abloom on Cape Cod

Yes, thanks to the warm winter, 

the sweet daffodils are up. 

Time for a little Wordsworth, 

don't you agree?


I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
--William Wordsworth
Want more?
Here's a lovely recitation 

by Jeremy Irons.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ouiser's Words to Live By

Steel Magnolia" quotes by and about the weird and grouchy Ouiser Boudreaux
(played by Shirley MacLaine in the 1989 movie):

Clairee Belcher:. Ousier's never done a religious thing in her life.
Ouiser Boudreaux: Now that is not true. When I was in school, a bunch of my friends and I would dress up as nuns and go bar-hoppin'

He's a real gentleman! I bet he takes the dishes out of the sink before he PEES in it!

The only reason people are nice to me is because I have more money than God.

Don't try to get on my good side, Truvy. I no longer have one!

He is a boil on the butt of humanity.

The only reason people are nice to me is because I have more money than God.

I'm not as sweet as I used to be.

I'm not crazy, I've just been a very bad mood for the last 40 years.

I'm pleasant. Damn it! I saw Drum Eatenton at the Piggly Wiggly this morning, and I smiled at the son of a bitch 'fore I could help myself.

Clairee: Ouiser, you sound almost chipper. What happened today - you run over a small child or something?

I do not see plays, because I can nap at home for free. And I don't see movies 'cause they're trash, and they got nothin' but naked people in 'em! And I don't read books, 'cause if they're any good, they're gonna make 'em into a miniseries.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mom's Chicken Pot Pie

This is just a simple homemade chicken pot pie recipe from my mother with a few variations. The mushroom, sherry and fresh parsley make this something I'd be happy to serve  to company. My mother would add her own pie crust or buttermilk biscuits, but I had an emergency crust in the freezer and it was time to use it. I also relied on store-bought gravy, but that's something Mom would use in a pinch, too. For the chicken, I broke down a whole chicken I'd roasted earlier in the week, but you could substitute leftover chicken breasts or even a rotisserie chicken from the market. I'll tell you one thing, though; after eating this, you'll never again want to taste a frozen pot pie.

Betty's Chicken Pot Pie

2-4 cups cubed chicken

4 medium potatoes, diced

3 stalks of celery, sliced

4 large carrots, halved and sliced

1 pound mushrooms, sliced

3 tablespoon rough chopped fresh parsley

2 cups or half a bag frozen pearl onions

1 cup frozen petite peas

2 jars chicken gravy

2 heaping Tablespoons stone-ground or grain brown mustard

2 Tablespoons butter

3 Tablespoons sherry

Chop chicken meat and place in large mixing bowl.

Put saucepan with water on stove, and start prepping veggies, beginning with potatoes.
Cook potatoes in water until fork tender. Put onions and peas in bottom on colander. Remove potatoes with slotted spoon, and place in colander to drain over and defrost frozen vegetables. Place sliced carrots in water, and cook until they too are fork tender.

Meanwhile, in frying pan, melt butter. Saute mushrooms in batches in pan, making sure each slice has complete contact with pan to get nicely browned on both sides. When all mushrooms are browned, remove, and add celery, cooking until wilted. Add mushrooms, add sherry wine, and cook until liquid is reduced slightly.

Add vegetables, parsley, mustard and gravy to bowl with chicken. Salt and pepper to taste, and mix well. 

Place mixture in large casserole dish. Carefully center pie crust on top, and tuck the edges under to make a rustic presentation. Prick crust with fork. Bake 40 minutes, or until casserole is bubbly and crust in browned nicely.

I serve this with cornbread. Saturday night, we all took second helpings!