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Posts from ‘December, 2012’

Merry Christmas


We are having a very merry Christmas and enjoying having our out of town children and grandchildren here for a few days. Nora and Topher were here today and hopefully the whole family will be here this weekend.

Drew is in kindergarten and is learning to read. Here he and Megan were reading an old family favorite, Harry the Dirty Dog:

Maddie is ten months old now. She crawls well, stands and walks around the furniture, and babbles a lot. She is not a smiley baby but her aunt Nora, Uncle Topher, and Poppie were able to coax a few smiles out of her while we were at the supper table.

This is my favorite:

Hoping you and yours had a wonderful Christmas. We were blessed to hear today that someone we have prayed for for many years has come to the Lord.
God is good.

Becka


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Are you keen on quinoa?


Lately I've been reading a lot about quinoa. I had eaten some years ago when one of my students prepared some, but I had never cooked it...until last weekend. I decided to use it in a salad and used this recipe using the quinoa instead of couscous. I found that the quinoa doesn't swell up as much as couscous or rice, so keep that in mind if you try it in a recipe. I just followed the cooking directions on the package using about 1/3 more water than quinoa and cooking it for about 15 minutes and then letting it steam in the covered pan for a bit while we ate lunch. Some articles I read about quinoa emphasized rinsing it well before cooking to prevent it from tasting bitter. We enjoyed eating the quinoa salad and found it to be similar to couscous or brown rice but it has a slightly different "bite."

Elizabeth posted recently about cooking quinoa in milk, sweetening it and eating it for breakfast or anytime she wants a comforting, nourishing meal. I'll have to try it that way some time. You can read her post here.

Have you ever tried quinoa?

Here is a recent picture of someone we are pretty keen about. He is admiring the Christmas tree.

Becka


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Fruit Bars


The bakery at the school where I used to work would make these Fruit Bar cookies from time to time. They taste something like the Archway Fruit Bars that we used to get when I was a child up in Ohio. The recipe contains honey and molasses which help to keep them moist and tender. They keep for quite a while and would be a good cookie to send in a care package. The most unusual aspect of this recipe is that it calls for cake crumbs as one of the ingredients. You can use leftover cake or you can make a Jiffy mix or use a recipe for a one layer cake such as The Dinette Cake in some Betty Crocker cookbooks. A one layer yellow cake will make enough for two batches of these cookies. I make the cake and crumble it into a ziplock bag and store it in the freezer until time to make the Fruit Bars. The recipe may seem a bit unusual, but it is well worth the trouble--these are addictive!

Fruit Bars

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup shortening
2 tsps. baking soda
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup water
2 2/3 cup cake crumbs
1 1/3 cup raisins
4 3/4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsps. ground cloves
2 tsps. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice

Cream sugars, shortening, and soda. Add egg, molasses, honey, and water. Blend. Add cake crumbs and raisins. Blend. Add spices and flour. (You may need to stir in part of the flour by hand depending on your mixer.)

Divide dough into five parts and pat each piece of dough into a strip the length of the cookie sheet. Bake about 15 mins. at 350 degrees. Ice with the following glaze and cut into pieces when icing has set.

Glaze
2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup milk or cream
2 Tbsps. soft butter
Combine all ingredients and beat until well blended. Add more milk or cream if necessary to thin to glaze consistency. Spread on top of cookies.(I use my fingertips for this.)

Here are some of the bars iced and ready to be cut:

I hope you will try them sometime. Do you have a favorite cookie memory?

Becka


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A bittersweet week


I'm sure most of my readers are keeping busy this month with various preparations for Christmas. Our house is no exception. Rob is busy with his last few classes of the semester and preparing for exams. He also helped out with some landscaping at church Saturday morning when the men had a work day. I've been busy shopping, sewing a few last minute Christmas gifts, and baking a few cookies.

Monday was a very sad day at our house because of the death of our seventeen year old cat Adelaide. She had become very thin recently and was showing other signs of distress. She had a lot of personality for such a little creature and will be greatly missed here in our home. My husband wrote a tribute to her here.

Friday morning I joined a group of people from our church to help with the Christmas decorating. There was a lot to be accomplished but the work went pretty quickly with so many people helping. It was enjoyable to fellowship with ladies I have known for some time and to meet one new member who has recently moved here from Illinois.

After a sad beginning to our week we had a rather sweet ending. My good friend, Sandy and her husband went up to Ohio for Thanksgiving and brought back some cornmeal mush (in a loaf form) and some maple syrup. Sandy and I used to work together and she knew that I love fried mush.

Friday evening we had a special meal of fried mush and sausage patties with maple syrup. After our supper we spent the rest of the evening decorating the Christmas tree.

Have you ever eaten fried mush?

Our one remaining (eighteen year old) cat, Clementine spends most of her time under the tree. We got her at Christmas time when she was about one year old and she has always loved sleeping under the tree.

On Saturday my friend Judy and I went out to the Grain Loft in Duncan for their grand opening. They sell a variety of grains, grain mills, mixers, blenders, dried beans, seeds, rice, nuts, etc. They have a lovely new store and they also deliver here in the area.

This morning we went to a nearby nursing home where one of our pastors has a service each Sunday morning. Rob helps with the music from time to time and it was enjoyable to sing some Christmas carols with the residents there.

Although we are saddened at the loss of Adelaide we have much to be thankful for, including our family, friends, church, and the peace we can have through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Becka


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