Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Just Peachy!

Peaches, Peaches, get your freestone peaches!  This was the sound that could be heard echoing through the stands once upon a time.  Peach season is here.  Time to make peach ice cream, peach sorbet, peach cobbler and peach jelly (my mom's favorite)  It is also the new season of Top Chef which always invites me to be more creative in the kitchen.  Recently, I prepared a peach salsa to be served atop grilled Mahi Mahi.

2 cups peaches, 1 sweet onion or 1/2 red onion (my fav), dash of cider vinegar or lime (needs a little acid) 2 tablespoons maple syrup, a small piece of fresh ginger finely minced (or a shake of ground ginger) toss in blender and serve over fish.

*tip*  if you use the blender make sure your peaches are not overly ripe.  I prefer a chunkier consistency and may just chop everything next time rather than blending. The onions can be left out if you prefer to use it as a dessert topping.  P.S. I take full credit if your salsa is delicious...if not, well okay...it wasn't an exact recipe!

I love cookbooks, however,  I rarely follow the recipes exactly (except when baking) or I make something like the peach salsa with no recipe.  There are many fabulous websites with a variety of recipes.  I plan to can peach jelly in the next day or two.

Several, very near and dear to my heart, ladies taught me the basics of canning fruits and vegetables.  It is a labor intensive process however the sense of satisfaction over a row of freshly "canned" produce on the counter is immeasurable!

So thanks Betty for teaching Dot and me how to make pepper jelly and peach jelly.  Sadly, we lost Dot to ovarian cancer several years ago.  My dear Betty resides in a nearby nursing home and I am keeper of the memories. 

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Are you pining away for an exotic vacation, an exciting life, playing the WHEN _______ happens THEN I can _______.  My friend Jayne and I always have the very best conversations during dinner.  Jayne is so very well read, remembers everything and has taught psychology at the college level for a very long time.  We have delicious conversations and the food isn't bad either!  She recently joked (maybe) that she should start a WHEN/THEN support group.  Are you guilty of when/then thinking?  I certainly am.  She reminded me and several others that if you do not follow up on your dream you may see, for example, your idea for a book written by someone else.  I think she would have a LOT of takers on the when/then group.  It was a poignant reminder that each moment is significant...that once it passes...it is lost.  Do we/I really want to spend those precious moments in time playing the WHEN/THEN game? 

Two of the granddarlings recently spent the entire weekend with me...apart from a beautiful shiner and pure exhaustion...we had a lot of fun!  They remind me of those precious moments in time when a sprinkler system and a puddle of water rivals any grand resort...when the ordinary becomes extraordinary!

Children live in the moment.  Absolutely no WHEN/THEN thinking for them.  How about you? 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Two Wolves

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.
"One is Evil - It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
"The other is Good - It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

So which one will you choose to feed?  Sometimes, we feed "evil" unintentionally or unconsciously. 

photo credit:  p> Native Americans
First People is a child friendly site about Native Americans and members of the First Nations. 1400+ legends, 400+ agreements and treaties, 10,000+ pictures, free clipart, Pueblo pottery, American Indian jewelry, Native American Flutes and more.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Calling all Winners!

A winner has been declared in the Apple Pancake and Cookbook giveaway!  My grandchildren thought everyone should be selected as they kept pulling names out of the hat.  How could you look at this face and not come up with a consolation prize or two? 

 In the spirit of fun...Sherrie of Good News is the winner of this...

And in other good news...

Kristi and Carrie will receive something suitably SOUTHERN!

Thanks to everyone for playing along.

The granddarlings and I had a great weekend with lots of bubbles, water play, a trip to the vet and a beautiful shiner for me...that my friends is a story for another time!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

G.R.I.T.S Cooking and Apple Pancakes Giveaway!

If you don't like grits...you don't know one or haven't had them prepared correctly!  (it is not just a breakfast food...Girls Raised In The South)

Mr. Darling Husband whisked me away on an extended weekend mini vacation.  Just enough notice was given to reserve the Aunt Dee suite at The Baird House Bed and Breakfast located in Valle Crucis, North Carolina.  We had a delightful stay...Tom and Deede are so generous and gracious...the food was absolutely delicious.  In the spirit of sharing such an abundance of Joy, Adventure, Beauty and darn good food...I am hosting my FIRST ever blog giveaway contest.  So spread the word to make it more fun...leave a comment here or on facebook...what was your favorite unplanned event, trip or day...My grandkids will pick a name out of a hat on Father's Day and perhaps you will enjoy the following treats!  Seasons at The Baird House cookbook, stoneground buckwheat, whole wheat pancake mix, a pampered chef trivet and a few little surprises!   

Mr. Darling Husband is a bacon, eggs truck driver breakfast kind of guy.  He raved and raved about the German Pancake with apples!  Other samplings included in the cookbook...hashbrown casserole, creamy eggs with dill (rapturous expression), homemade buttermilk biscuits with homemade apple butter made from the apples on the 200 year old apple tree outside the window of the Aunt Dee room.  AND one of my favorite amenities...the cookie jar is always full with the BEST chocolate chip cookies ever and a butter pecan pound cake is always on the sideboard in addition to tea, cocoa and other beverages!

These apples are on the 200 year old apple tree! 

Ya'll join in for some good ole fashioned southern hospitality and charm!

p.s.  This cookbook is chock full of anecdotes, tidbits and history...all sorts of goodies.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Thought for Thursday

Sometimes...You are the One Watching AND Sometimes...You are the One Being Watched!!!

"What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say." – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Revolution of Kindness

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."  Mother Teresa


I am very curious to know if you participate in random acts of kindness.  Is it a natural part of your existence to be kind and giving?  Or do you get busy, have good intentions or just forget?  When I am in an expansive
mood being kind and giving comes very naturally to me without any actual forethought.  When I am feeling shrinky (whiny, self centered etc) it is harder to be kind.  Some actions are automatic for some people, opening and holding doors for others...picking up dropped items...allowing someone to merge into traffic...simple things.  When I serve others my world expands and I feel great.  As I said, this usually comes naturally to me, lately I have been feeling a little snarky and small...so with a little prompt from the Care 2 folks and this article in particular...I am joining the kindness revolution...29 acts of kindness for 29 days! The author of the article was prompted by a book entitled "29 Gifts".  The following is a little  insight as to how the book and the kindness revolution was launched.

“At age 33 Cami Walker, the author of 29 Gifts, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and the life she knew changed forever. When she was going through some of her most difficult symptoms, she received an uncommon prescription from a friend, an African medicine woman named Mbali Creazzo: Give away 29 gifts in 29 days. Cami was amazed by what unfolded during her month-long journey.”

A friend of mine from blogland did something similar to this a year or so ago and for the most part found it to be quite easy to accomplish however did run into a snag or two on occasion.  I think the biggest thing to remember is that "a gift" does not have to cost money.   If you live in the spirit of love and giving, the spirit will prompt you to know what to do and when to do it.  Personally, when the spirit prompts I listen. 

My friend Christy of Christy Peake Photography (she also has a facebook page) captured some adorable best friend moments between her daughter and my granddaughter.  Christy captures the essence of her subjects.  She puts her whole heart into everything she does and is so generous with her talents.  I thought it very fitting that one of her photos should appear in a post about Kindness!!!

Join me...29 days...29 "gifts" (or random acts of kindness)...29 suggestions below...or leave a suggestion for me!

*make that phone call*send an email just to say hi*sincerely compliment someone*smile often, sometimes that is all someone needs*bake cookies and leave them with a note or anonymously for a neighbor*cut your elderly neighbor's grass or water their lawn*bring flowers to a co-worker (secretly is more fun)*leave chocolate on your partner's pillow*sweet notes in a lunchbag*give someone a heart attack (cut out lots of hearts and festoon their space or car with them) *prepare a casserole for some very busy family*be the water/lemonade mom/person in the neighborhood*child care is always appreciated*pick up litter*donate  pet food to the animal shelter*visit the nursing home...everyone goes at Christmas...some elderly do not have local family*offer prayers or postive thoughts*open/hold the door*buy breakfast*put a candy jar on your desk and SHARE*help your friend organize something*help someone pack for a move, offer to take stuff to Goodwill for them*take a friend or neighbor's pet for a walk (or play)*run errands*plant herbs in a pot and give to your favorite cook*clip articles you enjoy and pass them on to someone with the same interests*comment on someone's blog to encourage their writing*buy that starving artist's work, you know you love it*give that spare change away*leave a note in a library book that you enjoyed*SMILE OFTEN*
oops, more than 29...oh well...what will you do?

"Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies."

Mother Teresa