Monday, July 25, 2011


We love fresh fruits and vegetables. At this time of year the peaches are ready from the local orchard. So here is my favorite all time Peach Cobbler recipe from Paula Deen.  It is wonderful with fresh home grown peaches.  Paula says it is good with canned peaches as well, but, I have never tried that.


4 cups peeled, sliced Peaches
2 cups Sugar, divided
1/2 cup Water
8 Tablespoons of Butter
1-1/2 cups "Self Rising Flour"
1-1/2 cups Milk
Cinnamon, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine Peaches, "1 cup Sugar", Water in saucepan and mix well.
Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Put butter in 3 qt. baking dish and place in oven to melt.
Mix remaining "1 cup Sugar", flour and milk slowly to prevent clumping.
Pour mixture over melted butter. Do not stir.
Spoon fruit over the top, gently pouring in syrup.
Sprinkle cinnamon on the top.
Batter will rise during baking.
Bake for 30-45 minutes.
Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Here is a great tip on the Self Rising flour which Paula says is the most important part of the recipe.  Most of us buy All Purpose flour, but you can take regular flour, add Baking Powder and Salt to make Self Rising for this one recipe.  Google it for the recipe.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Hi Friends,

Don't you just love baskets? I have a few good ones but lately, I have tried to expand my collection. My mother started collecting baskets many years ago.

At age 3, I was traveling with Mom and Dad out west. My mother bought a few baskets from the Navajo Tribe. The the next year we went to Canada and Mom picket up a few handmade baskets to her delight. And so it went, on and on. We travelled well into my later teenage years and it was a wonderful experience. Mom hangs her baskets from the beautiful old wooden beams in her kitchen. She also displays them on the old cupboard in the kitchen among her pottery she loves.

As for me, I just go to the antique shops, antique malls, etc. She has passed her love of baskets onto me and my sister. It is so catching, as you all know. If only I had the room for tons of baskets.

Here are some pictures of baskets I thought you would enjoy. If your interested in some handmade baskets, check out Pam's baskets. They are so nice. Her blogs are "basketsnprims" and "primitive basketcase". Click on my blog listing and it will take you to her site. Blessings to all my dear friends.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Herbs and Two Recipes

Herbs are great all year round. An herb garden is so fun and with very little effort you can spice up your dishes and make everyday eating or dieting more enjoyable. So here is my list of the most common herbs and their uses.

This year I am planting a huge pot on my deck for easy access and less traveling to the backyard.

Basil - Sweet
Leaves in all tomato dishes, green salads, stews, eggs, fish, vinegars, pesto.

Seeds flavor breads, cookies, applesauce, Mexican/Oriental dishes.

Chives - Perennial
Chop leaves in soups, salads, soft cheese, potatoes, omelettes.
Pink flowers attractive in June. Cut back for new growth.

Leaves (dill weed) on fish, salads, green beans, potatoes. Seeds for pickles. Sow seeds in place. May self-sow if some seeds are left.

Lemon Balm - Perennial
Leaves for tea, punch, fruit cups and garnish for fish.
Dried leaves in potpourri and sachets.

Sweet Marjoram - Perennial
Flavors eggs, soups, meats, stuffings, chicken.
Cut frequently to prevent blooming.

Oregano - Perennial
In Italian dishes, also beef, port and tomatoes.
Plant in full sun, sample leaf for taste.

Parsley - Biennial
Salads, soups, casseroles, omelettes and garnish.
Plain Italian Parsley best for flavor.

Rosemary - Perennial
Leaves on chicken, meats, soups, stuffings and tea.
Dried leaves used in sachets. Take indoors for winter.
Some types of Rosemary can winter outdoors - check your area and type of plant with local nursery.

Sage- Perennial
Cheese, sausage, stuffings, port and poultry.
Prune out woody stems as plant ages.

Spearmint - Perennial
Teas, fruit desserts, punch, sauces, lamb, peas, carrots.
Prefers a moist soil. Spreads rapidly. Plant in containers to control.

Tarragon - Perennial
Chicken, fish, port, in vinegar for salads.
Do not purchase seeds, purchase plants.

Thyme, English - Perennial
Meats, fish, carrots, peas, tomatoes.
Makes a nice edging in the garden. Some plant between stones or walkway pavers.

Lemon Thyme or Lemon Verbena Recipe

Lemon-Rosemary Butter
2 sticks butter-room temperature
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
1 tsp. fresh lemon thyme or lemon verbena finely chopped Combine-refrigerate May be wrapped and frozen. Nice on muffins, steamed vegetables, and tea breads.

Sweet Fennel
Leaf for fish, chowders, Italian cookery.

Florence Fennel
Bulb steamed as vegetable or fresh in salad.

Bronze Fennel - Perennial
Seed flavoring same as sweet Fennel, beautiful garnish.color in garden. Nursery plant for black swallowtail butterfly.

Lemon Verbena - Perennial Shrub
Teas, fruit salads, lemon drinks
Container plant.

Lemon Verbena Cheese Dip
12 servings

8 oz. cottage cheese
3 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (1 tsp. dried)
1 ½ Tbsp. chopped fresh chives (1 ½ tsp. dried)
2 tsp. fresh lemon thyme (2/3 tsp. dried)
2 tsp. chopped fresh lemon basil (2/3 tsp. dried)
Blend cottage cheese, add cream cheese and beat until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients, cover and Refrigerate several hours. Serve with crackers or fresh vegetables

Most herb plants like full sun and good well-drained soil. Enrich clay soil with well-rotted manure and compost - add sand to enhance drainage. Choose a location that offers at least 1/2 day of full sun. Morning sun is "kinder" than afternoon sun. If you plant your garden in an afternoon sun location, make sure the soil is in good health.

When planting a new plant, add water to the hole and then cover with soil. Water until established if there is little or no rainfall. Mulch only after plant is established and then sparingly. Some mulches are much too acidic. Most herbs like a neutral to mild alkaline soil. I never give my herbs plantfood.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

African Violets

I love African Violets. So many sizes and colors. The leaves are a story in themselves with curly edges and varigated colors. Lots of varieties that look so good in any color scheme. The blues are my favorite.

If your African violet is exhibiting brown spots on its leaves, it is a sign of a problem. In many cases, brown spots can simply signal a change is needed in the plant's care.

Over watering is a common cause of brown spots on your African violet plant. Also, if water accumulates on the leaves and direct sunlight hits it, it can burn in brown spots on the leaves. Water from the bottom.

If your tap water is heavily chlorinated or has a lot of fluoride in it, it can induce brown spots on your plant's leaves. Let water sit out over night for the chlorine to diminish before you water your African violet.

Using too much fertilizer can also bring out brown spots on your African Violets. It can cause your leaves to rot if you use too much, so if you notice spots, cease use until they clear up.

I use liquid African Violet food. I fill an old quart Ball jar with water and throw in 10 drops or whatever is called for. Top with pretty zinc lid and keep in the kitchen or sunroom out of sunlight, room temperature. If you keep plant food in the sun you will grow algae, thus having to pitch the batch. This prevents overwatering and overfertizing. Watering the plant from the jar is fun and this gives the right amount of food and water each time.

Always water from the bottom. I am a firm believer that watering from the bottom saves most plants. Its more of a pain, keeping a saucer handy, but, this gives the plant a chance to soak up whatever it needs. Thus, preventing overwatering and water on leaves. It prevents mold and other diseases too that can grow from "wet feet or leaves".

You can also buy specific African Violet pots which have the saucer on the bottom. I have one but never liked it since I had to water more than once.

My beautiful begonia is placed on a tray with pretty stones. Here I use an old pie plate and it fits great on my radiator. Fill with water every day or every other day. Since its on the radiator, not an ideal place, due to heat, this helps my plants get some humidity in the winter. This begonia has been blooming steadily since October. Never had that happen till I started watering from bottom. No yellow leaves, no brown leaves or wilting. I pick off the dead flowers often as close to the crown as possible - same as African Violets. Begonia's are just like African Violets in care. They are part of the same family.

I'm sure this light is perfect too, for these plants. This is a morning sun window. In the winter I keep the outside dormer shade up to let in more light and I will lower the dormer in the summer. Too hot for plants.
So the right combination of light, water and fertilizer is a must.

Basically, African Violets like morning sun or light. Water from bottom. I think they like to be a little pot bound to bloom. Sometimes I add fresh AV soil to top of pot. You can even cut a leaf off, dip in root tone, and fill a little dixie cup with AV soil, keep moist and start a new plant. In no time little baby leaves will grow and you'll have a fine collection or trade plant with friend.

Right now I am looking for a tiny miniature AV with a wick. They come in a plastic pot with bottom. Take off the bottom fill with water and plant will soak up thru the wick all it needs. Sometimes these come with a little suction cup to stick to kitchen window. So cute and dainty.

Remember one thing which I forgot to mention, DON'T LET YOUR PLANT SIT IN WATER. Check to make sure the plant absorbed the water. Once you get in a routine, it will all be so simple and you will be amazed.

Let me know how it goes. Have a great day and will talk about another plant soon. Spring is such a great time to start indoor flowers with your colonial decorating. I love living plants indoors.

Monday, February 28, 2011

White for Spring

I love decorating with touches of white in the spring. It always seems to brighten the room. I love the colonial/prim look, but sometimes you just need a lift. White also bring a lot of class to a room and gives it that special accent.

Think about using White Tulips, White Lilac, White Roses to name a few. A simple sprig is enough. For example, a sprig of White Tulips in an old crock with some green moss. A sprig of White Lilac in a white stoneware pitcher. You get the idea.

Now you can find beautiful silk flowers at Michaels or other places that are so realistic. Why wait till they come up in the garden? I also like to use Pussy Willows in the spring along with Forsythia.

Brighten up your home. Don't be afraid to add a little punch to your colonial primitive home.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


It's winter and I am so tired of the snow and ice. It seems like the sun rarely shines anymore and the sky is dark and gloomy.

But there is one thing that always picks me up, the colors of the Primrose flower. I love Primroses. Every year I buy a bunch to plant in our backyard gardens. Its so wonderful to see them come back each year and bring color to the garden.

It seems like they are the first to come up along with the Daffodils and other early spring flowers. They range in color from pink, blue, white, yellow, multicolored. Colors of the rainbow.

I love to keep them in the house too in a pretty antique clay pot. They prefer moist, but well-drained soil. They love partial shade. They like it cool, but not freezing temperatures. A perennial, they will return each year to bring more beauty and sunshine into your space.

We plant them around our trees and rock gardens. I love to see them peak up between the river rocks. We also plant them around our water garden barrel. I think they are part of the violet family, but we are so thankful for the beauty and delicate flowers.

So during this wintery weather, pick up a Primrose from your local grocery store. They seem to pop up there first and enjoy a bit of spring. Pot up a Primrose, place it on your kitchen counter and remember spring is coming.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Writing Letters

Does anyone write letters or notes anymore?

As you all probably know, I love to write. Whether it be short stories on my blog or personal notes to friends, I love to communicate. Its an art that doesn't happen much anymore on a personal level. We mainly communicate by phone, computer, email, chat. What happened to writing a personal handwritten note via mail?

A lovely card says a lot and can really brighten up someone's day. I love to send cards. I even have an old time stamp and wax to seal the envelope. What are a few stamps anyway? There are birthday cards, get well cards, thank you cards, blank cards and the list goes on.

Send a card or note today and put something good out into the world. Preserve the old way of communicating.

Post a comment and let me know your opinion. I'd love to hear it. Have a great day.