Friday, May 29, 2009

A story with a lesson for us all....

A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Target. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence. It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout.
We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Target. We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.
The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in 'Mom let's run through the rain,' she said. 'What?' Mom asked. 'Let's run through the rain!' she repeated. 'No, honey, we'll wait until it slows down a bit,' Mom replied.This young child waited about another minute and repeated: 'Mom, let's run through the rain.' 'We'll get soaked if we do,' Mom said. 'No, we won't, Mom ... That's not what you said this morning,' the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom's arm."This morning, when did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?"
'Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, 'If God can get us through this, he can get us through anything!'The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn't hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes. Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child's life. A time, when innocent trust can be nurture so that it will bloom into faith.
'Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If GOD let's us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing,' Mom said.Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked. But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars. And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.
Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories...So, don't forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories everyday. To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.

Cherry Pie Time

We have a tart cherry tree in our yard. The cherries are red, ripe and luscious, albeit TART! This recipe is DELICIOUS! If you don't have tart cherries, use sweet dark cherries and reduce the amt of sugar in the cherry filling.

Fresh Cherry Cobbler
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 cups pitted tart cherries
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar (original recipe 1 tablespoon, being a good Southerner, I increased it to 1/3 cup)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400degrees. Combine sugar, cornstarch, cherries and almond extract in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Continue to boil and stir for 1 minute.

Pour fruit mixture into a 2-qt ungreased baking pan. Place in oven while preparing topping.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large mixing bowl. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles large peas. Stir in milk and mix just until soft dough forms. Drop dough onto cherries in about 6 or 8 dollops. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm with (of course, homemade) vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lets cook something good today....

Yummy with grilled steak!

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 pints grape tomatoes
6 green onions, sliced (or 1 Vidalia onion, chopped)
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped (Do NOT use dried basil!)

Add olive oil to a large skillet. Place over medium heat. Add garlic, tomatoes, onions, and cook until tomato skins burst. Remove from heat and add red wine vinegar, salt & pepper, parsley and basil. Toss and serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Saturday Morning Beach Time

Saturday Morning Beach Time

Neon green, sunflower yellow, azure blue umbrellas flapping gently in the morning breeze

Children squealing with glee as the waves tickle their toes

Scent of coconut floating on the breeze from tanned young bodies sprawling on the sand

Gulls swooping over the water searching for brunch

Sun sparkling across the water and dancing to shore on the crest of waves

Waves rolling gently then crashing to shore drowning out conversation

Perfectly satisfied with this place in time, I sit, staring mindlessly at the unfolding scene as the morning stretches lazily into afternoon.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Picnic Salad

Orzo with Garbanzo Beans, Red Onion and Basil
Here’s another one of those great serve-at-room temperature recipes. It’s actually meant to sit around. Orzo looks like rice, but its pasta. Feel free to substitute rice, if that’s what you have on hand.

4 cups chicken broth or water
1 ½ cups orzo
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
¾ cup chopped red onion
½ cup chopped fresh basil
¾ cup Red Wine Vinaigrette
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring the broth (or water) to a boil in a large, heavy bottom pan over high heat. Add orzo. Cover and partially cook, stirring frequently, until the orzo is tender but still firm to the bite, about 7 minutes. Drain the orzo in a strainer. Transfer orzo to a large, wide bowl and toss until the orzo cools slightly. Set aside to cool completely.

Toss the orzo with the beans, tomatoes, onion, basil and enough vinaigrette to coat; you may not need the entire ¾ cup. Season the salad with salt and pepper, and serve at room temperature. Yield: 6 servings.

Red Wine Vinaigrette
½ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Mix vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper in a blender. With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil. Season the vinaigrette with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Yield: 1 ¾ cups.

Happy Memorial Day

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Beach Fun!

What a great location! On Sat afternoon we were at the finish line for a race of about 16 catamarans! Sitting on our 2nd floor balcony, we had a front row seat! It was a site to see!!!

On Fri nite we experienced the annual "Beach Bum Parade" through Tybee Island. Hundreds of locals lined both sides of the main drag armed with water canons and 55 gal drums of water! As we drove by (on our way to find seafood for our 1st dinner), they shot us repeatedly! Guess 2 " little old ladies" in a red convertible VW embellished with daisy decals was a fair target! Thankfully, the girls at check-in cautioned us to put the top up for the evening!!!! Lynda would NOT have been amused with a water logged interior!!! As we settled in for a nice dinner, the actual "parade" started with "floats" set on flat bed trucks and more water canons... shooting back at the crowed along the street... in the end everyone was wet - except us!!

We had a great 3 days at the beach despite less than perfect weather, ate our fill of fresh seafood and even indulged in a frozen drink - sadly, without umbrellas (the drinks, not us!)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

We're headed to Tybee Island

My "girlfriend", Lynda, and I are going on a "Thelma & Louise" trip to Tybee Island, GA. We promise not to murder anyone (unless necessary) and definitely will not commit suicide. However, we ARE traveling in her convertible VW bug, Daisy Mae. Our intent is to laugh a lot at nothing, eat as much seafood as we can hold and have a great time! See you next week

Double Chocolate Brownie Recipe

Double Chocolate Brownies

4 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
¾ cup butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup coarsely chopped Georgia pecans
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli are best!)

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine chocolate and margarine in a large glass mixing bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes or until butter melts. Stir until chocolate melts completely. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Spoon batter into a greased 13x9-inch baking pan. Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan. Cut into squares. Yield: 24 squares.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Prayer for Brian and his family

Lord, I don’t know why we always think we can do things on our own. Please empty me of myself and fill me with You. You alone have the key to solving all the situations that arise in my life. Help me to remember to come to You first. Amen.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Charlie, The Crazy Cardinal

The cardinal is the state bird of NC. Charlie, the crazy cardinal lives with us. At 6:30am EVERY DAY he flies at top speed into the large window in the living room (imagine a very loud THWACK). Like a cartoon character, he slides to the deck, then does it over and over and over again! He looks dishelved and worn, far from the regal photo seen here!
The first few times were amusing. The first few months were entertaining. At year two and counting he is not amusing, attractive nor funny. He's just annoying! He gets at it earlier every day and continues until I get out of bed and turn on lights. We've tried flashing the camera in his face - just made him more tenacious. We've tried shooing him away - he goes to another window. We can't shoot him - he's the state bird! We thought he was hungry - now he has a "wife" and I'm certain soon to have "baby Charlies". Lets hope he doesn't teach them his tricks. Meanwhile, Murphy, the Schnauzer, and I are up everyday at the crack of the cardinal on the window!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

May your day be filled with warm moments, soft kisses and bear hugs from those you love!