Wednesday, December 22, 2010

ABC Christmas Scrapbook

Yet another item that holds fond childhood memories. My mother had one of these when I was little and I loved turning the pages and feeling all of the dimensional cards.
I think this is a great way to use and preserve the plethora of Christmas cards that don't seem to come flooding in like they used to now that we have so many modern conveniences like the internet.
Here is the rhyme that goes along with it..
A is for angels with halos so bright, whose carols were heard on that first Christmas night.
B is for baby the Christ child so dear, we celebrate Christmas his birthday each year.
C is for candles that so brightly shine, to give a warm welcome to your friends and mine.
D is for doorway with garlands of green, to make Christmas merry as far as they're seen.
E is for evergreen with fragrance most rare, so plentiful at Christmas their scent fills the air.
F is for fun the whole season long, from trimming the tree to singing a song.
G is for greetings, a merry "hello", with a heart full of love for people we know.
H is for holly with berries so red, we make into wreaths to hang overhead.
I is for Ice on snow covered hills, where sledding is fun along with the spills.
J is for jingle bells merrily ringing, to the whole world joy they are bringing.
K is fro Kris Kringle, so merrily he stands, he is called Santa in so many lands.
L is for lantern, I'm sure that its light helped Mary and Joseph on that first Christmas night.
M is for Mary, her heart full of love for her son, little Jesus, who came from above.
N is for noel, the angels did sing, to herald the birth of Jesus, our king.
O is for Ornaments, so shiny and bright, with lights on the tree that sparkle at night.
P is for packages, presents this way, all around the tree for our Christmas day.
Q is for quiet, Christmas eve night, with snow covered hills glistening so bright.
R is for red, a color so bright, we use it to decorate everything just right.
S is for shepherds who saw the first star, over Bethlehem's manger, and followed it far.
T is for trees we decorate with light, they wait for old Santa to come late at night.
U is for universe, the whole wide world, where Christmas brings joy to each girl and boy.
V is for Vixen, the lively reindeer, who always helps Santa deliver toys every year.
W is for Wisemen, who brought gifts so rare, and fell down and worshiped the Christ child there.
X is for X-mas, a short spelling for Christmas, but we like to spell it this way, "Merry Christmas"!
Y is for yule logs, whose bright sparks fly high and give a warm welcome to friends passing by.
Z is for zeal we show at this time, in giving to others and loving mankind.

Small scraps made into something beautiful.

My mother owns an old pieced crazy quilt that I have always loved. I decided to try to reproduce it. It took me over a year to finish. I really enjoyed piecing the quilt together. I have an old Singer featherweight machine from when I was a little girl and it works really well for piecing. The tedious part was all the hand sewing involved.
Here is the result. I have it hanging on my living room wall. I admire how people used to use every last bit of everything.
I am not much of a seamstress. I look up to those who are. As a matter of fact, I really dislike sewing. I am, however, grateful for the little old lady who lived down the road from us. Her name was Mrs. Johnson and she offered to teach children how to sew at no cost to them. One of my brothers and I took lessons from her once a week. She gave us an invaluable gift. I am indebted to her for her kindness. I remember making a bean bag frog, a baby blanket and a shirt. She would have been in her 90's and I was in the third or fourth grade. The brother of mine that took lessons from her was thrilled with the way the sewing machine worked. He loved pressing the foot down and sewing fast (like driving a car...well almost). Mrs. Johnson was constantly warning him not to run over his finger. She was a very patient woman.

Sweetly Divine!

The stockings are hung by the chimney with care....and all the candy is finally finished!
I have wanted to learn to make candy for a long time. I used to live by a little old lady that made the most delicious candy I had ever eaten. I begged her to share her recipes or teach me how to make it. She said it was difficult and took too long. I was set back but didn't give up on my desire to learn this art.
In the meantime, I searched for candy recipes but could only find the easy fudge, truffles and such. I didn't give up and five years ago I found a book that takes you step by step through the candy making process. I bought this book from a local store but I am hoping you can find it via the internet. It is fittingly titled Candymaking by Ruth A. Kendrick and Pauline H. Atkinson.
My favorite fondant is as follows but if you are going to try this I recommend reading about how to make fondant. There are a lot of recipes and tips on the internet. The thing I find most helpful is to boil water with the candy thermometer immersed for a few minutes to see what temperature water boils at the day you are going to make candy and then adjust your recipes accordingly.

4C. Sugar
1&1/3C. Cream
1/3C. White Karo Syrup
1/3 Square Butter
Dash of Salt
Combine everything in a heavy saucepan. Wash down the sides of your pan with a wet pastry brush to rid yourself of any sugar crystals.
Cook to 227 degrees on your candy thermometer.
Without scraping the pan, pour contents out on a cold surface (I use a marble slab). When it is cool to the touch begin beating until it looses its gloss and changes texture.
You can divide it up and work the flavor in with your hands or use three capfuls of flavoring per batch and add it after about fifteen minutes of beating. It should take about thirty minutes to beat it but I have made some that has taken close to an hour.

Good Enough to Eat

Gingerbread houses are a tradition at our house. There is a wonderful aroma that fills the room as the gingerbread is baking.
My kids used to love making these gingerbread houses. This year I made them each a house and my three teenage boys half-heartedly threw some candy on to make me happy. I am thinking they have outgrown this tradition. My daughter still had fun with it so maybe we will have to turn it into a mother/daughter activity.
The recipe is simple but I got it from a friend and I am not sure she would like me to post it.
One thing I will tell you is that I love using meringue powder rather than egg whites in my royal icing.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


When I have an abundance of tomatoes, I love to brew them all day with peppers, onions and spices....the result....thick flavorful salsa!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Jam session

Canning season brings me joy. This is pear jam, a favorite of almost all the men in my life.
I love putting away the "fruits" of my labors for later enjoyment when fresh is scarce. I just use the recipe on the instructions contained inside the box of pectin.
This is a really sweet jam and is good on crumpets.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fall Foliage

Fall is the perfect time to enjoy a scenic drive up a canyon.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Do something small every day to make your house a home.

Graphic taken from: Karen's Whimsy