Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bread for Assembly....

How are you faring during this stormy week?  I hope you are staying safe!

Months ago, when plans were being made for UMW Assembly, each Conference was requested to provide two loaves of bread common to their region.  I offered to provide one of the loaves and  immediately thought of cornbread or biscuits, both common for our Conference area.  However, if the bread would be intended for use during Communion, those two options would not work very well. 

Once again, Betty Crocker came to the rescue!  In my 1969 edition, I found a recipe to try!

2 packages active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
4 cups flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal, plus more for sprinkling on top of loaves
1/4 cup shortening
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
Soft butter
- Grease loaf pan, 9x5x3 inches or two pans measuring 8 1/2x4 1/2 x2 1/2-inches.
- In large mixer bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.  Add buttermilk, 2 1/2 cups of the flour, the shortening, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Blend 1/2 minute on low speed, scraping bowl constantly.  Beat 2 minutes medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally.  Stir in remaining flour and cornmeal. (Dough should remain soft and slightly sticky.)
- Turn dough onto well-floured board; knead 5 minutes or about 200 turns.  If making two loaves (this is what I did), divide dough in half.  Roll each half into rectangle.  Roll up, beginning at short side.  With side of hand, press each end to seal.  Fold ends under loaf.  Place seam side down in pan.  Bush loaf lightly with butter.  Let rise in warm place until double, about 1 hour.  (Dough in center should be about 2 inches above pan.)
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F.  Oven rack should be in lowest position or bread will brown too quickly.  (I had to cover the loaves with a sheet of aluminum foil draped over the top to keep them from browning too much before the bread was completely baked.)  Bake 30 to 35 minutes.  Remove from pan.  Brush loaf with butter; cool on wire rack.  Yield: two smaller loaves or one large loaf.

Loaf just out of the pan.

The Husband had a chance to try it!  

As there was someone else baking one loaf already, I was able to leave one behind for The Husband while I was gone.  I will definitely be baking this bread again! 

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

While in Louisville....

Happy Tuesday to you!  Have you been spared the storms that are passing through several areas during last night? 

The trip to attend United Methodist Women Assembly had been planned for a number of months.  Our Conference was able to obtain housing in the Galt House, a very nice hotel.  I attempted to take a couple of pictures that might show some of the exterior.

A covered walkway connecting two sections of the hotel.

We were in the building that was on the eastern end of the walkway.

This was not the only covered walkway.  There was another that allowed us to walk all the way to the Convention Center where we were meeting without ever going outside!

This is the center where we met.

This interesting horse was inside the center.

Of course, I was in Louisville on my birthday.  We had lunch at a place called Hillbilly Tea, and my birthday cake was a serving of bread pudding!

I split it three ways!

There is much more that is meaningful about the week-end.  This will continue to be part of my blog during this week.  I hope you will visit again.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Catching up....

Happy Monday to everyone!  How was your week-end?  Are you all caught up for a new week?

I have been away since last Thursday.  It was time for United Methodist Women Assembly, an event that occurs every four years.  Louisville, Kentucky was the host city this time.  Our Munchomom came to town and went, too.  It was a really special time to be able to have her along to experience this event.  I will be giving a few more details about this in the days ahead.  I hope you will return to see all about the week-end.

My computer time has been limited, so I've not been able to make my usual rounds.  Hopefully I will get back to that soon.  In the meantime, my "catching up" involves some laundry today!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday, April 27, 2014

From Isaiah 40:31, we have these words:

                                  "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;

                                       they shall mount up with wings as eagles;

                                               they shall run and not be weary;

                                       and they shall walk, and not faint."

The Mission Focus as listed in the Prayer Calendar for today is the North Rampart Community Center in New Orleans, LA.

May this day be one of blessings for you!

I also wish the best of birthday blessings to my husband today!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Nature's surprises....

Happy Saturday to you!  I hope your week-end has something special planned.

Earlier this week, The Husband and I went to spend some time with the Country Couple.  We went on a hike with them, and I saw several of nature's "surprises."

Zebra Swallowtail butterfly!

Wild turkeys at work!:-)

We also saw Trillium, but my picture just didn't show them well.:-(  Country Girl has much better photographic ability than I!  She has even been able to sell some of her wildflower photographs in the past!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Time to sing....

Yes, it is time to sing!  I don't mean to improvise a TGIF song, either.:-)  This is time for -

                                    "Happy Birthday to you!

                                        Happy Birthday to you!

                                     Happy Birthday to City Girl!

                                        Happy Birthday to you!"

City Girl when she was just hours old!

Do you suppose she wants me to tell her age here where everyone is able to see it?  Maybe not, so I will just say that she was the best birthday gift I could ever have received!  Yes!  She was born on my 33rd birthday!  I celebrate that 74th one today!  I've come a long way from this -

Old enough to sit alone.

We are moving through "birthday season" here.  The Husband follows us on Sunday!  Wonder who is going to be baking a cake!:-)

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


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.

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.

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.

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


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 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.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Duke of Gloucester Street....

Thursday is here!  Good morning to you! 

This  post will take you on a walk down Duke of Gloucester Street in Williamsburg.   There were several interesting stops along the way.

Gardens along the way.

More gardens.

Amazing horsedrawn carriage!

Actual riders in the carriage.

We ate lunch at Shields Tavern.

The British flag was displayed in front of the open shops.

Interesting information!  I'm staying away from this!

Another carriage showing Williamsburg life.

Our lunch at Shields Tavern was very enjoyable.  We were treated to a violinist while we ate.  Also, a "resident" gave us the news that there would be a reading of the Declaration of Independence in front of the Capitol Building in the early afternoon.  We were in the general area when this happened, and we enjoyed some fife and drum players following the reading.

We had a really good trip and are ready to return in order to explore more of the area.  Perhaps we will do that one day.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

On to Williamsburg....

Continuing with posts about our recent trip with Munchomom, Machoman, and the Munchkins, today we will visit Williamsburg.

Welcoming us to Colonial Williamsburg.

Colorful signs along the way.

Interpreters were readily visible.  This one spoke with us on the street in front of the Governor's Palace.

A closer view.

Orderly gardens.

Weapons on the wall inside the foyer.

More weapons.

The "meeting room" where plans were discussed and decisions were made.

The portrayal on the green in front of the Governor's Palace was of an incident regarding the theft of gun powder from the magazine in 1775.  There were other incidents that may have contributed to the decision of the Royal Governor to take his family and leave the Palace.  As we toured the building, our interpreter kept in character letting us know that it was a mystery where the Governor and his family had gone, though it was suspected they were on a boat in the James River. 

The following pictures will show other parts of the Palace.

The bedroom for the older girls in the family.

This bed was more than likely for the nanny.

This was the dressing room.

The baby's crib. 

Doesn't this room look elegant?

A cellist was on hand to perform.

This was the stove provided for heating the banquet hall.

Brr!  Perhaps that stove might be a good thing to have at this point!  Our "Dogwood Winter" has arrived, and we are having freeze warnings!   What is the weather like where you are?

There were other activities out and about in Williamsburg.  That will be the focus of the next post.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

One more time....

It sounds as though winter is going to make yet another appearance for many of us!  Hopefully there will not be any damage to things that may already be in bloom where you are. 

One more time let's return to Jamestown.  The Englishmen who came on the three ships had no fear of the Native Americans when they arrived.  Their greatest fear was the Spanish/pirates who were roaming the waters.  That was the major reason they constructed the fort - for protection from the Spanish.  It was several months later that they learned the Native Americans were not going to be friendly. 

Thatched roof on buildings inside the Fort.

Exterior of buildings.

A glimpse inside.

A bedroom.

Herbs hanging from the rafters.

Inside the Royal Governor's house.

Elegant sleeping quarters for the Royal Governor.

On display in the house.

This was the only house in the Fort that was more than one story. 

An interpreter in full costume.

Artillery in place for defending the Fort.  The first Fort that was built burned, so rebuilding was necessary.  The Native Americans knew their weapons were no competition for the weapons of the Englishmen, so they hid in the forest surrounding the fort, ambushing the men who would leave the fort to search for food.  That led to illness and death, so the number of the group that first came began to dwindle.  Captain Newport returned just in time.


Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.