Saturday, January 22, 2011


Little girls are Treasures.
Olivia wanted to start a Bible study group for the young girls in our community.
She began by inviting those in our church who are 6-12 years old.
Each girl takes a turn 'running the show', so to speak.
They study a Scripture, discuss it, pray, sometimes watch a Christian video; they do some activity or craft, have a snack and time of fellowship together.
Last week it was Naomi's turn to lead. Naomi and Tara had chosen a passage from the book of Esther to read and discuss. Naomi asked someone else to read part of the passage also.
Here is 5-year old Alina, my grandgirl, reading the passage. My heart swelled with pride that she could read such a passage with so little help from her mother and teacher, Lovella.

I'd been invited to teach the girls how to make aprons for the craft time this night.
You can see all the girls and mothers gathereed around to hear the explaination of the steps involved. I'd already cut them out knowing there'd be 3 smalls, 3 mediums and 3 large sizes. I'd already cut ribbon to go with each apron for the neck band and ties too.
You can see that Robin, whose home is used, had set up tables on which the moms set their machines. Naomi had created a 'treat' tray for afterwards,
and Robin had set out cups for tea.
Moms and girls got to work pinning right sides together with the bands and ties on the inside (they were reversible).

I had the distinct pleasure of teaching Alina.
My heart soars just toying with the memory of it.
Another grandmother was there with her little one too.
Katrina's apron was made from two fat quarters I'd been saving for something special.
These aprons were reversible, so there was no binding or hemming...easy: sew almost all the way around the edge, turn right side out, press, and topstitch the opening.

Bailey had come for the first time Wednesday evening. I think she and her mother, Tina, were impressed with what goes on that she can be a part of.
All the girls are home-schooled, so social occasions like this are really important.

Olivia (in her newly created apron) is the originator of this Girls' group.
She approached her mother about creating a Bible study until Lisa got it organized and going.
Next week they will practice some etiquette arts.
Naomi is 7 or 8, mind you!

Anna loved the yellow fabric, and it went well with her complexion and hair.

Although we had a sewing machine for each girl, we had only one iron and ironing board. It worked out well to have one mom, Lovella, instructing and supervising there. You can also see little Cora with her grandmother (my friend Cindy) waiting her turn at the iron.

Naomi, Alina, Anna, Katrina, Olivia, Cora, and Bailey looking like Treasures in their aprons.
Thanks to Tara for inviting me and to Robin for hosting us;
It was my Pleasure!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Blackberry Pie...from scratch!

Here is how it works:
You take a little more than a quart (5-6 cups) of frozen, handpicked blackberries from the freezer in the morning, putting them in a large bowl. When I run out of the blackberries I will use the 3-berry bags from Costco.
When they are mostly thawed add about a cup of sugar (I use evaporated cane juice crystals.), 3 tablespoons of flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour.), 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of lemon or orange zest (I used orange zest today.), and 1 apple (I used a Pink Lady.), peeled and cut in small chunks.
Mix all together, and then let it sit for several hours so the berries can absorb all the other ingredients. Sift and measure 2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour with 1/2 teaspoon of salt,
and cut in 2/3 cup of cold butter.
I have a 'pastry cutter' shown in the picture below for this part of the process.
Add 5-7 tablespoons of cold milk, depending on the humidity of your kitchen.
I live in a dry climate and in a home with wood heat,
so I used a little more than 7 tablespoons today.

Stir with a fork until you can form a ball of the dough,
and then roll it out on a pastry canvas like my Auntie Lela gave me back in the 1970's.

Place the first rolled out crust portion in the bottom of a pie pan. I use a 10" glass pie dish.
Pour the filling in and dot with two tablespoons of butter on top in various places.
Roll out top crust, place it on top, pinch the edges all around, cut a design on top for steam venting purposes, sprinkle about a teaspoon of sugar on top, and bake at 400 for 50 minutes.

Wait at least an hour before cutting into it.
However, it SHOULD be eaten warm.
An hour and a half is the maximum time for waiting, and you'll need to top it off with some really high quality ice cream (Bryers)...because you will have a high quality pie.
I took it out to 'The Ranch' where 'the kids' are building their house.
Lovella made coffee from Costa Rica to accompany it.
It doesn't get much better than this for a blustery day in winter that needs some spicing up!
Yum, yum, yum!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Mama's Visitors...and more

My "Little Mither" loves little children,
so I invited two of my dear young friends, Rachel and Deb, with their small children to visit. Mama had last seen the older ones, Jesse, Mari, and Kate when they were about two years old. Now Maggie Pearl and Lillian Hope have joined the families.

Below, Kate and Maggie dug into the toy basket and played puppets right away. Rachel had a visit with Mom while I visited with Deb as the kids played on the floor together.

Mari and Maggie were VERY interested in 'Tita' as Mom is called by some of her grandchildren.

I switched up the gathering to a cookie making episode for some variety.
Stoplight cookies are easy for kids to make, and they are a great treat:
a half piece of a graham cracker square spread with peanut butter
and a red, yellow, and green M & M's on top.

When it was time for the kids to leave Tita told them the story of the woman with the alligator purse.

And that evening...

We had dinner in the sunroom while we waited for the Christmas Fire Truck to come by.
It is well decorated, plays Christmas music, and wishes folks Merry Christmas by way of a loudspeaker. I set us up in the living room so we could knit and visit together when we weren't out and about or entertaining company.

Mom's gone home; the New Year has begun; and this is what I did to celebrate this afternoon.

I haven't been X-Country skiing in several years, and it was very cold (10 degrees). But the sun sparkled on the snow and I wanted to celebrate with a bit of PIZAZ!