Thursday, April 24, 2014

Determined....

Thursday already!  This week - and the lovely spring weather - are just determined to pass all too quickly!

"Determined" also describes my approach to fulfilling my plans - without the convenience of water coming from the tap!

Hot Cross Buns!  

Yes, it was the time for Hot Cross Buns!  I was able to take advantage of that bottled water for going ahead with this recipe!

I may have included this on the blog at some time in the past, but here it is again for your enjoyment.

HOT CROSS BUNS
4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
1 cup raisins (I used currants this time)
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons yeast
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter,  plus a little more melted to brush over the buns
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
- Heat butter, water, and milk to 120 degrees.  Add to 1/3  of the flour and remaining dry ingredients and raisins.  Beat two minutes at medium speed.  Add 1/2 cup of flour and eggs.  Beat two minutes at high speed.  Stir in remaining flour to make a soft dough.
- Knead until smooth and elastic, about five minutes.  Cover; let rise about 20 minutes.  (I just turned the mixer bowl upside down over the dough). Punch down; divide in half.  Shape each into 12 equal pieces.  Round piece into a smooth ball.  Place two inches apart on greased cookie sheet.  Brush with melted butter.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate two to 24 hours.  Uncover; let stand 10 minutes.
- Cut shallow cross on top of each.  Bake at 375 degrees F. for 15-20 minutes.
GLAZE - 2 cups sifted confectioners sugar, 2 Tablespoons milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla - Blend all together and drizzle over the top of the buns.   Yield: 2 dozen.

These are always a big hit!  The recipe came from our local newspaper many years ago - in the early eighties - and I have been baking them every year since then!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.




Wednesday, April 23, 2014

From the kitchen....

This week seems to be passing quickly.  Wednesday already!  I hope you are having a good week.

The last post was about having no water at my fingertips.  That did create just a bit of uneasiness as I was set to do some food preparation.  We planned to visit Munchomom, Machoman, and the Munchkins on Good Friday, and I had some ideas of things to take along with us.  So - what is one able to do with no water?

Here's a recipe that has been in my files for a number of years.  I really cannot remember the source.

SUNSHINE SALAD
1 can (20-oz.) pineapple tidbits
1 can (11-oz.) mandarin oranges
1 box instant lemon pudding
1 cup quartered strawberries
1 cup sliced ripe banana
- Drain pineapple and oranges, reserving juice.  Prepare pudding using reserved juice in place of milk.  Combine pineapple, oranges, and strawberries; gently fold in pudding.  Chill at least two hours.  Add banana just before serving.

Underway!  
It was definitely enjoyed!:-)

There was some water needed here, though.  While we do not buy bottled water, we had a bottle that had been given out recently at an event we attended.  Fortunately, I was able to use some of that water to wash the strawberries before adding them to the salad.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Necessities....

We learn through life that there are those things that are necessities for us to function.  For a moment, let's consider electricity.

When a severe storm is predicted, we always hope there will be no power outage from any possible damage caused by the storm.  Should we lose electricity here during cold months, our heating system would no longer operate!  That would lead to a cold house!  If the heat would be inoperable for a long enough time, and if the temperatures were cold enough, one of the effects might be frozen water pipes!

Should we lose electricity here during warmer months, our cooling system would no longer operate!  That would take me back to the years of my childhood when we had not even dreamed of something called "central air!" 

Notice I haven't mentioned that we wouldn't be able to cook.  We have a gas cooktop!  Of course, the igniter requires electricity to operate properly, though we are able to very carefully light it if needed during a power outage.  Also, there is a gas fireplace that would give a bit of warmth when turned on. 

What does losing electrical power bring about for you? 

Now, let's consider water!  Last Thursday morning, I had a few errands to complete, and I had my schedule full - with kitchen activities - when I returned home.  Imagine my dismay when I turned on the faucet to wash my hands before beginning my work in the kitchen and - there was no water!  I began thinking about all the things I had on my schedule!  How would I be able to complete them?  Well, a phone call to the water company indicated a leak in our area, workmen were on the job repairing it, and water service would be restored at some point.  Two hours later, the water was running from the faucet again, and I proceeded with my all-important schedule.:-)

It was during this time that I began to really appreciate the fact that all we need to do to have clean water available is just to turn on the faucet!   Do you know how many people around the world are not able to have that luxury?  What does losing your access to water bring about for you?

I quickly decided that losing water service was far more serious than losing electrical power, though some of my kitchen activities would have been curtailed with a power outage!

We take for granted that the light will come on when we turn the switch, and that the water will come out when we turn on the faucet.  I often wonder about our ancestors.  You know, the ones who came to settle Jamestown, Williamsburg, or Plymouth for instance.  Would I be able to live as they did?  What about you?

Just some thoughts brought about by an inability to have that water "at my fingertips!"

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.


Monday, April 21, 2014

A special week....

Last week was a special week at our church.  In observance of  Holy Week (the week preceding Easter Sunday), there were brief services at midday the first three days.  Then, on Wednesday evening, a Seder meal was held.  This was the first such meal I had ever attended, and I found it to be very informative.

I don't understand why this is sideways!

A special Maundy Thursday service featured a reading of "The Women's Tale."  This was a new presentation at our church, although it has been done in many sites through the years. 

Good Friday presented another opportunity for a special church service, all leading up to a glorious Easter Sunday!

I did not visit any blogs on Sunday, so I must be checking in to see what has been going on with you. 

This is a new week, with a lot going on for many.  I hope today will be a good one for you. 

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

April 20, 2014 - Resurrection of the Lord, Easter Day

No other words are needed.

On this glorious Easter Sunday, the Mission Focus as listed in the UMW Prayer Calendar for 2014 is the MacDonnell United Methodist Children's Services in Houma, LA.

I send special Easter blessings to you on this Sunday.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Winding down....

Good Saturday to you!  I hope you have some special plans for this day.

Posts about our recent trip are winding down.  This one will have some "bits and pieces" of fun in Willliamsburg.

Leaving Colonial Williamsburg, we just had to take a detour to view Little Lamb and Mama.

You may know that Williamsburg, VA is the home of the College of William and Mary.  You can imagine how many other "places of interest" there may be.  We were on the search for a special one that Munchomom had read about.

And .....here it is!

How can anyone go wrong with chocolate?!?:-)

Some of the goodies inside to tempt us!

Of course, the homemade selections were so delectable, tempting, and exciting that I just forgot all about taking a picture!  We enjoyed a small pitcher of hot chocolate served with enough cute, small cups for all of us to have a taste!  We all shared a very generous serving of a luscious chocolate concoction!  It was too elegant to be referred to as a cake!  The staff was very accommodating, and we had a delightful time here.

Next, it was on to the Cheese Shop!  Of course, I have no pictures here, either.:-(  This was as exciting as other stop!  Before we left here, we were carrying along a cheese plate to be enjoyed back at the condo where we were staying.  The Munchkins loved sampling all the cheese.  As a matter of fact, so did I!:-)

We had a wonderful trip, though there is much more to see and do in the area.  Perhaps we will be able to return in the future. 

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Friday, April 18, 2014

This day....

On this day, Christians around the world are focused on the meaning of the cross.  All seemed dark and hopeless for those early followers when Christ was crucified.

Through the years, I have sung the following hymn many times.   Never was it more moving than when I sang in the college choir, under a superb director, many years ago.   Only the first verse is listed here.

                   "When I survey the wondrous cross

                           On which the Prince of Glory died,

                     My richest gain I count but loss,

                           And pour contempt on all my pride."

                                                                    - Isaac Watts, 1707

Have a blessed Good Friday!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.