Thursday, July 24, 2008

Paying forward

For all my buddies out there who have bestowed this neat award on me, I have to say a belated thank you kindly. It also comes in this variety:
I am going to try to list y'all in the proper way. I always seem to have trouble with blogger getting this right - so here goes.

Donna of Cottage Days, a sister at heart for always
Karin, my special Peanut, of Countryfolk Keepsakes
Betty, my sweet and fun friend of She Sews Pretty
Tammy of Remembering the Good Old Days a fellow Tar Heel and lover of all old prim things!

And I know that there were a few others, I think. My only excuse is picking, canning, being married to Luscious who is enough to distract any sane woman, and mostly because I keep forgetting to do this.

Now I know that it is proper breeding to smile and say thank you. So close your eyes and imagine a possum grinning. That's me. Now open your eyes and thank the good Lord that particular nightmare is over.

Sincerely, I am always tickled when folks read my blog, comment on it and oh, the sweet friendships I have made in the past year. I believe most sincerely that we meet for different reasons at different places, stages and seasons in our lives. It is never by chance, it is by design. We are all somebody's special someone in each day. If you happen to look at the links, you can see who all my special someone's are. I don't list links for popularity or for any other reason than these folks have touched my life with laughter, inspiration, friendship and motivation.

I am supposed to list a few other folks to receive this award. I am going to list them here and hope that you will visit them. They are each one different and a gift to me.

Karen of Farm Girl Ga. Style
We are kindred spirits in our pioneer hearts and love of the Lord

Kady of StoneyHill Cabin
A friend for more seasons than I remember. This will be a clutter for her blog, LOL. sorry Kady. Couldn't resist.

Sandy of Sandy's Space What you see is what you get with her. Honest, simple and just good folks. Hi Sandy! Surprise!

and last but not the least at all is:

My new friend across the Pond,of Jelly Bean Angel I cannot keep her to myself. I know you shall fall in love with her.

Okay, there you have it.
Please get to know these gals if you haven't already. They have enriched my life and I know everyone can use a sprinkling of happy each day.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Blondie's Blue Ribbon Blueberry Muffins

Are you tired of me talking about my garden yet? It has been so hot the past few days that I have been lazy. I haven't canned much but instead have done the lazy gals job of picking and freezing the blueberries. Freezing blueberries is easy. Just pick, put in a freezer safe ziplock and put in the freezer. I generally freeze mine in the snack size bags. That size seems to hold a smidge over 1 cup of blueberries. Just the right size for most recipes.

I make a lot of different things with the blueberries but what I am most asked for is my Blueberry Muffin recipe.

Blondie's Blue Ribbon Blueberry Muffins

It's true; I won a blue ribbon umpteen years ago at the County Fair with this recipe. It is easy, and yummy!

6 tbsp butter
2/3 c. sugar
1 egg

Beat above until fluffy; then add:

1 tbsp baking powder
1 ¾ c. A/P flour
¾ tsp salt
½ c. milk
1 tsp lemon extract
½ tsp vanilla
1 cup blueberries

scoop into greased muffin tins

Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minute

Monday, July 21, 2008

Another Giveaway!

But not me this time - I will be having another one this fall - however ~ ~ ~ ~
a dear and precious sister is having a giveaway on her blog. A great chance to win
a book by Mary Emmerling! Wowza! Go and check out Karen at Farm Girl in Ga This is what you
will be registering to win.

Tell Karen that Blondie sent ya!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Summer Fruits

I am not a lover of summer. Anyone who knows me well knows this. The only thing that makes summer's heat tolerable to me is the garden. I know when I get to heaven, there will be no humidity, no flies, mosquitoes, hot flashes and perspiration. But until then, I will be wringing wet. We recently purchased a small room size a/c unit for the house. That will compliment the other on its last legs window unit. This house was built before anyone considered central air a necessity.
Okay, that vent is out of the way. Let's talk fun stuff - like flowers, fruits and veggies.
I haven't always been able to have a veggie garden. I didn't always want to have one. My granny always said that blood will tell. I reckon its in my DNA because I can think of no other reason besides the great flavor of fresh home grown than it is in my blood. Each year I plan a better garden. Sometimes it turns out that way, other times, it is just fair to mid'lin.

All the produce - the fruits of our labor are coming in. Some are more bountiful than others. This time of year the blueberries shine brightest. Since we are still in a moderate drought, they are not as large as they have normally been. gosh, folks, I am just THRILLED that we have blueberries this year. Last year with NO RAIN for months that was measurable, we didn't even get a pint of blueberries. They resembled wizened shriveled raisins. I was ashamed to leave them for the birds!
But this year ~ Woo Hoo! We're back in business. Luscious and I started picking blueberries Friday night. The branches are so full they are touching the ground. No Joke!

This picture is just of one of the blueberry bushes. There is much joy in being able to share our fruits and veggies with friends and kin. The blackberries I wrote of the other week are still coming in and we have frozen what we want for the next year while giving away all the surplus. We will do the same with the blueberries. I have standing orders for them each year and generally get a friend or two to come help me pick now that the kids are grown and gone.

Last week I went to a friends home and picked plums. I have several pint jars of plum jam put away for the winter. It is sooooo sweet with just a thin film over buttered toast from homemade bread.

Now although I despise of the heat, humidity, vampire mosquitos and those particularly nasty teensy little no-see-um type of varmits, I find it a delicious dichoetemy and rather ironic that I will sweat like a hawg in the kitchen canning, blanching and freezing.
When I was a child, I would sit in the garden and delight myself by eating a tomato right there in the dirt. Lawdy! Nothing finer than a big fat German Johnson all for me! As I grew older and more real work was required of me, I had to not only snap beans, but had to learn how to scald the skin on the tomatoes, and fill the jars without spilling and wasting the precious cargo. I have to admit to that I had a few years of hating this task. I thought my family was odd ~ what was wrong with canned good from the grocers or at least freezers veggies. Isn't that what God created freezers for? Once I was on my own, I discovered the difference. Canned and frozen green beans had no real flavor.
I am thankful each year for my family and their love of this land. How I miss both of my grannies, their wisdom and their culinary skills. I can understand the pride they took in their pantry. When I grow up, I want to be just like them. I couldn't always say that.

Monday, July 7, 2008

She began her life quite innocently as a gourd - I am not very good at taking photos in progress. Most of the time because I am too lazy to wash off my hands to pick up the camera. Working with clay can be messy business. Here are a few shots of her before she was lovely . . .

The last shot is her getting "cured" in my oven. Pay no attention to how dirty it is. LOL. I don't. Actually, after that picture, I was so aghast, that I cleaned it. Yeah, right.

click here to see it on ebay.
She is a winsome, toothsome beauty. She would love to sit on your porch this fall! Be sure and share the link with everyone. I really, really want her to fly outta here!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Humble Arts preview . . .

The Humble Arts has been posted for the month of July. Come on over and take a peek!