Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cruising Along!

My little boys and big boys have spent hours
building and creating Lego projects,
from bulldozers, to excavators,
from chair lifts to escalators...
It goes on and on.
What else do you do on Sunday's?

Their latest project was a Cruise Ship!
If you look carefully you will recognize that it's not
the Celebrity, Carnival, Norwegian,
Holland American or Crystal Cruise Lines...
but this is the Disney Cruise Line,
with all the fun water slides and amenities that
brings the world alive in the minds of young and old.
We've been dreaming about this for years with our extended family.
Grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren,
ranging from the ages of 3-90 will be enjoying
a wonderful week filled with festivities.

This morning we are boarding with Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
If you take a close peak inside you will see us all waving goodbye.

We'll see you later.



Monday, April 25, 2011

Splashes of Easter Color

A real highlight was to be able to feel the pages,
touch the BOOK and even smell a hint of dill.

Can I help, but be so happy to share the book with Papa?

Of course, I'm proud to share this with my sister and my
wonderful sister in laws.. who gave high accolades,
and were totally surprised and blown away.

My brother said,
"At least it looks contemporary."

I tried something new with cheese cloth and sieves.
Thank You Ellen for sharing your wonderful recipe with me.
Everyone questioned me as I assembled this new dish,

"What's this?"

Bricks and all, laying on top of the spread.
That's how you squeeze the liquid out of the farmer's cheese.

The outcome?
Seenery Paska Spread, made many years ago by my Grandmother.
which tastes and schmecks gut on Paska.

Fingers picking at the fresh turkey...for Sunday lunch.
That's called family participation.

The older boy took on a competitive edge.
"How could it be that his younger brother found more eggs?"

Last but not least, I think I look like a colorful bunny myself.
A great weekend filled with family festivities.



Sunday, April 24, 2011

He Has Risen

There is Hope!
Can you imagine the fear that lay before Jesus
as he was praying in the garden of Gethsemane?
He knew his doom....

But the resurrection gives us new HOPE!
With this kind of eternal Hope,
we do not need to let fear control our actions nor our lives.

Easter is about new life,
purchased by Jesus for all who would call upon his name.
And this new life plays itself out in very practical ways.
When a friend betrays you, there can be love instead of bitterness.
When your child disappoints you, there can be forgiveness instead of distance.
When an addiction ravages your soul, there can be hope instead of despair.
And when the phone rings with bad news, there can be peace instead of fear.
This new life is available because Jesus is no longer in the box.

Take time to check out the claims of Jesus of the Bible.
Are you still running from him or have you been turned off by
a stale religious experience from your past?
Jesus is the answer...he's worth another look.
He is about Death, Life & HOPE!

Hoping you can all share in the real message of the
Resurrection!



Friday, April 22, 2011

The Cross!

" People say the cross is a sign of how much man is worth. That's not true. The cross is a sign of how depraved we really are, that it took the death of God's own Son. The only thing that could save a people like us was the death of God's own son under the wrath of His own Father paying the price, rising again from the dead. Powerful to say this is the Gospel of Jesus." Paul Washer. A quote from Living to tell the Story. Internet photo.

As you feel the timber of the cross and trace the braid of the crown and finger the point of the spike - pause and listen. Perchance you will hear him whisper:

"I did it just for you."



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

TA-DA!

My youngest grandson ran up the gravel pile...
"TA-DA" he exclaims.

And that's exactly how I feel today.
TA-DA!!!

I was at work.

I made sure Lovella had all my phone numbers ready.

While on my lunch break...

my cell rings....

"The Books are in...The Truck is Here!"

were the words I heard, from a very excited voice in the background.

I closed down the office quickly and stepped out.
We've been waiting for this day!

This long awaited day had arrived.
We were actually holding the books in our hands.

We found the books on the pallet in the docking center...
and started packing the SUV!

And off we went to make our first deliveries.
Now comes the fun stuff.
Stay tuned.


Monday, April 18, 2011

We Came In All Sorts, Shapes & Sizes!

An evening to remember.
We came together at Lepp's Farms to be reminded of generations,
young and old...
all sorts, shapes and sizes.
We smiled, we nodded and we laughed.
There was no doubt that we understood each other well.

First we shopped for our foods.
I think this could become the norm for me.
They presented their farm fresh produce with pride,
and better yet, you could see, smell and taste the freshness.

In no short order we were preparing our foods.
Green Bean Soup, Zweiback and Paska
Five of us worked the kitchen till the wee hours of the night.

Prior to the opening, nerves and estrogen saturated the country market.
Finally, it was 7:00 pm.
We WERE ON!

Lovella gracefully demonstrated her famous Paska
that was handed down from her grandmother.
This is the recipe that brought us gals together at MGCC.

Ellen demonstrated her creative artwork,
by showing us how to make her famous cheese spread,
known as Seerney Spread.
After I tasted it, I realized that my grandmother had made
the very same spread many years ago.
Guess what I will be making this Easter?
Thanks Ellen for that special block of cheese.

You could hear the audience oooh and aaah... over this artwork.
The letters X and B symbolize that "Christ is Risen"

Judy was teaching the younger generation to shape Zweiback.
"How do you pinch it off?" they asked her.
We smiled, as we drove home that night discussing at length,
the procedure of actually pinching those little buns?
We still do not have an answer, except that it takes practice.

Bev demonstrated how to make Green Bean Soup,
suggesting that the secret ingredient is Summer Savory,
which you can probably only find in your Grandma's freezer.
I just finished off the last bowl for Sunday lunch.

All our recipes yielded enough for all our guests to sample,
AND MORE!

You know who really stole the show?
Charlotte introduced us to her daughter and Oma!
Let me tell you..
This Oma knows how to make Zweiback...both hands spinning at once.
She was not the least bit concerned about the size or shape...
she just pounded them out, laughed out loud with the rest of us
and said...

"And dis big von is for der Opa!"

And plunked it on the pan.

So there you go, it doesn't always have to be perfect...
When there's no food left at the end of the day,
then you know your baking was a success.

Remember most of us will be cooking for the rest of our lives.
You may as well enjoy it!



Friday, April 15, 2011

Dough Everywhere!


I finally came home..
with dough still rising in my car.
Other's left the dough in Lepp's ovens,
waiting to be baked and eaten by some willing helpers.

You've got it!
It's near midnight, meanwhile my kitchen continued to be busy.

I barely got them out of the oven,
and I heard the words from the upstairs bedroom.

"Can you bring up some more Paska?"

I kept running up and down the stairs,
listening to these words...

"It's never tasted better in the middle of the night."

I dream't Paska and Zweiback all night.
More on Monday...
Have a great weekend.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Punching down the Time!

The Time Has Come!
This gal has never made Zweiback by scratch...
so I've been practicing...
I'm still thinking..."Let the machine punch it out."
Some of you may be asking what are Zweiback?
Some refer to them as Double Deckers.

This coming Thursday, April 14th
we are demonstrating at Cooking Class at Lepp's Farm.
So I've been practicing.
Oh by the way...it's too late, the class is already sold out.


I'm following Lovella's instruction step by step.
Oh, by the way...this will be the recipe in the new
MGCC cookbook, to arrived shortly,
at some of our local merchants.

Some cut the butter into the flour...
others just melt the butter in the milk.
There are so many different ways to do things.
Some people use potato water, instead of mashed potato flakes.
Which is the right way? or which is the right method?
Well for this day..we will follow the recipe to a tee.

Some use the bent index finger, in other words the knuckle.
You force the knuckle down,
right through both top and bottom buns to seal them.

Others can use two index fingers at once.
Make sure that the dough is the size of a walnut..not a baseball.
I know which method works best for me.
My fingers got so tired, that finally I cheated.

I finally just pinched off the dough and made ordinary buns.
Much quicker and easier on my hands.


But I'm still learning and having fun smiling at all the dimples.
It's similar to some other textures that I've noticed lately.

As you can see...they are not perfect.
They look like they are laying over and reaching out for support.

The end result?
They taste wonderful...they look great,
and who's method?
Well it goes back to the old saying...
A bit of this, a pinch of that and Bingo...you have Zweiback.

By the way, this group of women cooking and baking are the best!
No matter what we do or say, we always rise up again.

I was just warned that I might be on deck for Paska!
Oh, I better go practice.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Is it OK to Drop In?

Years back, when I was very young...
I remember people always dropping in at my parents home.
And I loved it, because most times I could get out of my chores.
If my grandparents came over...I was ecstatic,
because I did not have to do dishes or help my mom in the kitchen.

The other day...I stopped by at my grandson's and I heard the familiar words.

"Not till your room is cleaned up."

I stopped and paused...had a soft word with his father.
Quietly I snuck into his room and quickly cleaned it up.

Later that day, when he came bounding in...
going straight to his room,
he opened the door...and became ecstatic.
His arms draped around me and I could feel his genuine hug of appreciation.
His words echoed through the house.
"Thank-you Thank-you Oma for cleaning my room."
Oh, yes, my boy...I remember those days.

Today I had a day to run errands galore.
The whole time I thought....
I need to drop something off, but will she be home?
Should I phone or just drop in?
Then I started thinking way back to an experience...
when I dropped in and was turned away...in no uncertain terms.
Today my time line was awkward...
so I went with the flow...
I took the risk and dropped in!

Thank-you Lovella, for the time of day and hospitality.
We've been waiting so long for the sun to shine,
And it didn't take long and we had coffee outside,
just enjoying a quick friendly visit.

It was fun to share a recipe with her.
A while back I posted an Amish Friendship Loaf,
and her comment was.
"I want one right now!"
So I thought this was an opportune time.

"It's so worth revisiting this long lost art of dropping by."

It looks like we have the sun for only one day.
I'll be outside and remember all those tools on my last post?
They are still standing there.
Drop by, I'll gladly give you one and a coffee in the other hand.



Monday, April 4, 2011

Waiting

I brought out my two lawn chairs.
The ones that provide for us a quick fix to have a coffee break,
while doing our outside gardening.
Remember there's always coffee brewing in our shop.

I brought my wooden potting plants to the shop.
They need a new coat of paint.
But first they have to dry.

This compost pile has been waiting to be moved since February.
The tractor has come and gone.
It's too wet.

I spent a few hours trying to turn over the soil in my garden box.
The potatoes will have to wait...
As you can see...it's to wet.

The daffodils are drooping their blooms...
They are waiting for the sun.

These tulips are waiting...
So that I can see them blooming brightly from my kitchen window.

We had one sunny day last week...
I brought out my garden tools.
I thought I would leave them outside...
in hopes that the sun would shine.

And it did...for a few hours,
just long enough to run outside and witness the blue skies.

Notice the fresh snow blowing on Mount Cheam?
Further down the range...you can seethe low snow levels.

We're all waiting...to see what our sovereign God orchestrates.