Saturday, November 27, 2010

Preserving Autumn Leaves

As the final leaves of Autumn make their way to the ground, I realize that this peaceful season has almost passed.  Winter and Christmas are right around the corner.   Marie had longed for  me to come and visit her in Ohio before the last of the leaves fell from the trees, and happily I was able to make it before that happened.  The leaves there are so huge and beautiful, and it is sad to see them disappear completely.  We decided to preserve them so that they might last.

While I was there we had fun doing a couple of projects involving paraffin.  I would have loved posting this project before Thanksgiving so you all might have been able to make some before Thanksgiving, but ran out of time.  There is still a tiny amount of November ahead of us, so I decided to go ahead and post this easy project anyway.  Marie was sweet enough to send me pictures, since I had not taken any on my camera.

A wonderful way to preserve Autumn leaves, is to dip them in paraffin.  The steps are as follows.  Find a
large coffee can or a double boiler, and place it in or over a pan of  water.  Place the paraffin blocks in the can or  double boiler.  Turn burner onto medium to medium high heat.  

Once Wax is melted into liquid, turn off heat. Next, take each leaf by the stem and dip into wax.  Pull out, let cool momentarily, and dip again.  You may repeat the dipping process several times if you like, depending on how thick of a coat of wax looks best to you. When done dipping, lay them on a piece of wax paper to dry.  They  come out so pretty.  Click here at   to see how lovely they looked on Marie's Thanksgiving table.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


It is a delightful, quiet  moment of the day as I finish preparing for our Thanksgiving feast.  Olga and Eddie and friends are in town working on a photography project.  Steve has gone to Denver to pick up Russell at the airport.  Grandma Jo will not arrive until later this afternoon.  Russell arrives at airport by 1:30 P.M., so they will not be back here until about 5:00; which means we will be eating later than we do traditionally.  Here I sit, my meal  almost ready, and a few free hours to blog; not a usual Thanksgiving Day occurrence, but a sweet and restful occupation for me to put my feet up.  I am thankful to my Lord for His bounty and His blessings in our life.  How wonderful to have a holiday to express these things as a family.  Our Puritan Fathers and Mothers Left us a wonderful legacy and example.

Each year at Thanksgiving and Christmas, among my favorite things, are planning my food and looking at all the favorite recipes.  They are in themselves a memory of years gone by.   The recipes from my Mother, Grandmother, Mother in law and friends, are treasures in themselves, and everyone in the family has strong feelings about which ones are their favorites, and ought to be served.  I  also love pulling out my Mom's silver, and my Grandmother's dishes.  I usually set the table first thing in the morning after I get the turkey in the oven, that way I can enjoy the process of table setting, which is my favorite part of the preparations.. and serves my creative cravings for the day.  If I wait until later in the day to set the table, I am usually too tired, and loose my enthusiasm.
This year I had the delight of including my friend Anne ( ) in my memory making, by wearing the apron she sent to me.

I was the only one at home, and couldn't get a picture of myself in the apron very easily, so here it is on the mannequin. 
 Isn't it so cute with those Scottish Sheep?
The sheep in their "Wellies".

Granny Florence's dishes and Mom's silver

 Place cards to direct everyone to their seat.

Blueberry Sour Cream Pie (a recipe of a friend of mine)

Cream Peach Pie (My Mother in Law's Recipe)

Look who just arrived home

Its been quite a few months since he has had some home cooking.

 Olga and Aseel (friend from school)

I think Eddie missed Russell more than he thought he would.

 Steve with his Mom (aka Grandma Jo)

Hope  all of you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.
Many Blessings to you all.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Week

Home again, home again jiggidy jig.  I am back home after a wonderful, wonderful visit.  I am already missing my precious girls, grandchildren and sons in law.   Sigh... It is really hard raising up your chickies and watching them all fly the coop.  I guess I never realized that they would.  Now what was I thinking?  Of course, that's what children do, but still I must have been in lala land, not figuring that out when I was younger.  I have always felt as if I tried to be a good sport about it all.... but gosh I sure miss having them close.  They are my best friends, and greatest blessing.  I just figured out that out of 7 children, all are in another State except the one who is only fourteen and still home... who would have figured?  Oh well, no sense moaning.  I praise the Lord for them, and for the delightful time I have going off to visit them; in that sense, those visits are wonderfully special and individual.  I can't quite get enough. Thank you so much girls for the wonderful, wonderful time.  You spoiled me and made me feel like a queen.   I loved it all; the garage sale adventures, the crafting and cooking, the beach, the talking and talking and talking, while drinking gallons of tea... and most of all you and those precious grandbabies.  Love you!

As you might have noticed, I am trying to give my  blog a makeover,  and have run into some problems getting an old template off so that I can work with the new template.  I started it while at Elizabeth's and couldn't solve it.... not wanting to sacrifice any more of our time together for that.  So I am officially under re-construction, and if any of you have any suggestions, please let me know.   One of my fears is that I might erase everything in the process.   I'm sure I will work it out with a little time spent, but as it is Thanksgiving week, I am running like a chicken with my head cut off to get everything done on time, so will have  to deal with it next week.

On another note, I just opened a  delightful package from Anne ( ) whose contents contained my Apron yeaaaaaa! which arrived while I was away.  She included a postcard, sweet note, and a lovely bookmark calendar of the Western Isles of Scotland.  What fun!  I love, love, love  my apron Anne.  The apron has the most adorable sheep wearing Wellington boots (Wellies),  with a  Scottish, tartan design.  It is so cute.  It reminds me of Anne's sheep (or I should say.. the Builder's big brother's sheep), and will be a reminder of my friends in Scotland.  I will be wearing it as I fix my Thanksgiving dinner this week.   I can't take a picture of it yet, because my camera is dead, and I cannot find the plug in charger for it... I am hoping I did not leave it at my Mom's when I visited her, because I haven't seen it since then, and have not been able to use my camera since the battery died.  I am sure it is around here somewhere... but if I can't find it, I will beg, or borrow one, and post it as soon as I am caught up with the Thanksgiving rush.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week everyone.
Much Love, Pam

Monday, November 8, 2010

Planes, Trains and Apron Swaps

I have a happy occurrence which I am delighted to share with you.  I am off tomorrow to visit my daughters.  I will be visiting Marie in Ohio for 6 days and Elizabeth in Florida for 6 days.  Hurray, Hurray.  It is my Christmas and Birthday combined.

I will arrive back home again just in time for Thanksgiving, and Russell and Olga and Olga's friend from College will begin to arrive, and we will frantically clean and cook until they are all here.

The girls are also going to give me some technical help so  I can start  an Etsy shop for my jewelry and such.  I am hoping to post, while I am there with them, but  I may not... it depends on if we can stop talking, drinking tea, kissing babies, taking walks, drinking cofffee, making and eating scones, chocolate pudding cakes, creme brulee, planning for babies, and decorating and knitting and crocheting projects, and sewing projects, and listening to some of our favorite inspiring people, and books and and and...  So if for some reason I don't get back  on for a couple of weeks, you'll know where I am.

The apron swap is coming along nicely... several of you have gotten your aprons already, and have even posted.  I have loved seeing what you have posted.  I will wrap up all the rest of us after Thanksgiving... we will probably all have received ours by then, and can post at that time.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.  May the Lord Bless you and keep you;
May He make His face to shine upon you and give you peace.
Much Love,

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Little Owl Bag

A while back, I found this delightful book called "The Perfect Handmade Bag" by Clare Youngs.  It is about making handbags with what you have on hand.  It has all kinds of handbags to make, and I am wanting to make several of them.  The one I liked the best, was this adorable owl bag.  I wanted to make them for my grandkids.  I thought they would make great book bags or sleep over at Grammy and Grampa's jammie bags.  I don't know if I will be able to post all the instructions  for this one, because I wasn't able to get  my pictures taken all the way through.  But, you can probably order the book from the library, and have alllll those instructions at your fingertips.

Clare's little owl bag is adorable

Here is my little owl in process.

I cut my bag to my own dimensions, because I wanted a bag that was larger than hers.  I used a fall  print (cotton blend) that I thought was pretty.  She used fleece, and I believe the fleece will hold itself up a little better.
At this point, you will want to cut your tree and sew it onto the front piece of the bag.  Cut two trees (one for top with hole, one for back piece).

  Cut out hole from front tree piece.

Right sides together, sew edge and bottom, but not angle.

Open angle and pin bottom to sides

Sew and turn.  You will want to do this twice, once also for the lining.  Be sure on your lining piece to leave  a two inch opening in the side so that you can sew your outer bag and inner bag together, and then 
turn them right side out through the two inch opening.

Cut and sew straps for handle: Cut desired length and width.  sew with right sides together.  Turn right side out by using a safety pin to fish through and pull right side round. Iron.  Pin on top of outer bag piece, then pin lining right sides together over straps.  sew two bags together around top.  Turn right side out through 2 inch opening.

Sew leaves, and sew onto bag.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pueblo Green Chili

Cooler days, always stir up our families' love for soups and chilies.  Around here, there is a recipe that can be found in almost every home with its own variation.  It is called "Green Chili" I have had "Green Chili" in New Mexico, and a few other places, but I do truly love "Pueblo Green Chili" the best.

We have made happy memories over the last 24 years, by picking our chilis every fall.  Even Russell, Olga and Eddie have adapted to, and seem to enjoy our little ritual,  though they are not really chili fans.  For some reason, we often went on Sundays after Church.  We would drive out to the farms,  pay for our chilis by the bushel, and take our bushel buckets to the field, where we would pick and fill our buckets and then bring them back in to be roasted.  Of course I might add; there was always the family argument..... well marital argument as to whether we should have more or less "hot" chilis than the year before.  My husband is a hot chili fan and I am a mild chili fan.  The victors seemed to change every year, but either way, it was a happy day.  While our chilis were roasting we would browse and purchase whatever other veggies we wanted.  Then we would take all home and have a green chili feast.
For this Green Chili Recipe click here or see below.

They look like this when you pick them.

Then they go into a roaster, where the skins are fire roasted.  If you don't have access to a roaster like this, you can always throw them on the barbecue grill, or under the broiler in the oven.  We have done it all three ways.  Be sure to get them good and black and proceed the same as you would like this.

They start out nice and green, then the fire hits them as they turn...

... and they start to roast;

 Until all the skins blister and become dark and almost black.

Bring them home in a large plastic bag, so they can steam as a lovely aroma fills the car.
At home, you slip the skins off and scrape the seeds out.

Put into foodsaver bags or ziplock bags.
Steve did all of these for me this time.  He's awesome.

Then mark the date and put into the freezer.

We even got some fire roasted tomatoes this year.  They go great in the Green Chili.

1 Beef or Pork Roast or chops or 2-3 cups Chicken meat : cubed in small cubes
1 medium onion
2 small cans diced tomatoes
chopped green chilis to taste 1/2 quart or more
2 cans chicken broth (14 - 16 oz each)
salt and pepper to taste
cornstarch or flour to thicken

Eat with
Cheddar Cheese
Sour Cream
Flour Tortillas
Pinto Beans or Refried Beans
Tortilla Chips

Brown meat in 1-2 tablespoons oil in large stock pot.  Add onions,  tomatoes,  chilis, broth, water and seasoning.  (I usually add enough water to create a nice soup... flexibility is the name of the game).  Simmer on low a couple of hours until meat is tender and broth is flavorful.  Thicken with cornstarch or flour.  This can also simmer in the crockpot for the day.

This is delicious as a soup, with cheddar cheese sprinkled on top, or over burritos, enchiladas, corn chips or pinto beans..... any which way you have its goooooood.

For an up-dated version of this recipe, click here.