Welcome to the Playroom at 14 Peonystreet!

Why we call it the 'Playroom': the place whence objects pleasing to the eye are brought from the drawing board to reality, after much discussion with the ancestors.....

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving - Letters from the Past and Today


Letters from the Past
~
Dear Sarah:
You must think that I have forgotten you but
I am heartsick every time I think of owing you a letter. 
Am working just as hard as ever.  Work til seven every night and eat my supper at 8 '0'clock. 
 This is not very much time for any thing. 
Heard Claus and Mollie were out to see you. 
 They certainly don't bother any of us. 
 Never called on Irene yet or me. 
We have the phone they could easyle ring us up and let us know they would come. 
 It's hard to be poor and be looked down on
but they nednt be ashamed to call on Irene.  That's a cinch. 
Will surely write you later.  Best wishes to both of you from your loving sister,
Matilde
~
Letters from Today:
~
Dear Friends:
I pray you are all well and are able to celebrate the day will some good food and friends.
I pray all the little children in your care,
and even the ones
who have no one,
are blessed today.
~
I pray all the ones who are lonely,
old and young,
find a blessing in their heart,
a sign of hope
from the ONE who gives us
all the Great Hope.
~
I wish you Peace

XXOO
BB

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Why I Like Christy Jordan - Southern Plate - Cookbook Review

Christy Jordan
~
I like her because:  She's from Alabama; she has great family values; She has shared her family recipes! 
I am sure you will love this cookbook if you like Southern cooking and ease of preparation.
Christy believes that however your mother made it is the right way, so there's no arguement from her that only her recipes are the best.  (She's humble.)

Squash Casserole-- I eat this for breakfast!!

Her recipes are down to earth- she doesn't want you to go out and buy exotic ingredients.  Many times she will tell you to buy the cheapest brand.  (She's practical.)
She doesn't leave anything out of her recipes, but there is room for you to add your own touches.
EVERYTHING, AND I MEAN EVERYTHING, I've made from her cookbook tastes great.
Back cover of book.

This book has been out for a year now.  You can buy one at her website, but you can also find used ones in like new condition at several places.  I usually go to Bookfinder, or Amazon, but you can also go to Half.com.
Christy also has a website that has much more!!  Recipes and giveaways!!  And more stories about herself, family or what's going on in the world.
I thank her most for this recipe for Greens-- I've made this recipe several times and I think I've died and gone to heaven!  You can make it with Collards, Mustard or Turnip greens.   It's akin to Barbeque to me!!

I rate this cookbook a 10 - 10 - 10.   That equals 30!
Ease of use, lots of pictures, easy to find ingredients, interesting to read.  I think this would be a GREAT cookbook for a beginner cook.

XXOO, BB

Friday, November 18, 2011

Very Few Things Surprise Me Anymore..... But......

I must say, I'm to the age where not too many things surprise me anymore, however, I just have to comment on this Mini Whoopie Pie. 
~
First, let me say this:  I love Starbucks.  I have nothing against it.
But, when I ordered this Red Velvet Whoopie Pie off the drive-thru menu, I was kind of excited.  I guess I skipped the part that said, "Mini".
~
They nearly forgot to give it to me, and practically tossed me the sack it was in.  Hubby looked in the bag, and he asked, "Is that what they're calling a Whoopie Pie?  Is that the size they're supposed to give?"
~
I then glanced in the sack my self, and saw this Little Gem for myself.  They don't place any waxed paper around it before they toss it in the sack, like you would a doughnut, it's just laying there in the sack, so the "frosting" gets smashed on the inside of the sack.
~
I laughed!  Yes, this is what Starbucks calls their "Mini Red Velvet Whoopie Pie".
I must say I was surprised, for what I got for my money.
If you've never had a REAL whoopie pie, I guess you would think this little sample would suffice.  But not for Big Girls, like me!
Starbucks' pastry chefs have obviously never been to the Paula Deen School of Cooking!!
Just Four Little Bites
and it was gone.
Taste:  a little dry, but it did have that cocoa taste needed for Red Velvet.  The little smattering of cream cheese middle was fair.  I mere drop in the bucket of my stomach.  But this is still not what I want if I buy a Whoopie Pie in the south.
~
For  a REALLY GOOD Red Velvet Cake recipe, see Paula Deen's Recipe, and / or Bobby Flay's recipe!  (Click on their names to get to their recipes.)  You can make your own Whoopie Pies-- that'll keep you satisfied!
BTW-- real pies are approximately 2 1/2- 3 inches in diameter!
~
Bless Your Heart, Starbucks!  You tried!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Going with the Flow-- About Lydia

Have you ever started off with an idea, and it ended up somewhere else?
That's what happened with Lydia....
Here's the story:
~
Since I began making Peony, I've wanted to make a little witch doll.  I loved the book called
Little Witch  by Anna Bennett, which I read over and over in grade school.  The story is about Minix, who is a little girl, and a witch, who doesn't like her mother much- who is not really a kind witch at all.  Minix wants to be a kind witch.  At the time, I really wanted to believe in magic and wanted to fly.  I imagined flying over all the fields and houses on my way home from school, which seemd to take forever on the bus, our's being the third to last stop.  So I have an affinity for Minix and her ability to fly.
~
I began designing my "little witch" doll with a definite result in mind, and most of the time, this doesn't work out.  When it comes to new designs, sometimes you just have to GO WITH THE FLOW.
~
I tried to tease my little witch out, trial and error and experimentation and poking and prodding and redesigning and finally just gave up and said:
"I've got to let this one breathe life into it's own, whatever it wants to become."
~

In the process, two little sisters were "born", which aren't very pretty, aren't exactly like I wanted them to be, but here they are, and I will not destroy them.  That would be like having an abortion, and that, I cannot do.  Their little lights will shine on my shelf and remind me that sometimes, I am not in charge of creation, even the creation of my own little witch doll.


~
So in comes Lydia.  I only named her yesterday.  It means "noble one", and has a greek and germanic origin.  So what does the name Lydia have to do with a Mexican holiday?  I'm not sure, but the holiday is about honoring the dead in your family, and that is what I want to do. 

~
I am honoring my ancestors, whose graves I cannot visit, but I know where they are.  I also feel their presence in my "playroom", whenever I am creating something new.
~

So, thank you for Lydia. 
And thank you for her sisters.
~
Amen.

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