Friday, December 30, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Winter days forced me to spend my days indoors far from the wild prairie I so loved. More often than not I could be found gazing out a window daydreaming of being wild and free in the great big fields that made up the farm.
There is a big picture window in the front room of the farm house; beneath it a large stereo console. My little socked prairie feet carried me to the edge; on tip toes I peek over the top. There a magical woodland wonder waits for me.
My favorite of holiday decorations, a little woodland scene, sits atop a gold plated mirror. Little deer, fawns with their families, play gracefully amidst snow flocked evergreens of various tiny sizes. Angelic carolers all in a row sing heavenly just off to one side. Snow and light glowing from outside the window create playful shadows over the magical scene. I gaze in wonder at the beauty of it all.
When the season ends and the decorations are all put away, the little scene will go away; tucked in its boxes and carried down to the basement. Then I will sadly say goodby to the pretty woodland wonder...until next year.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
During the holidays, my family would leave the prairie- traveling south to visit grandparents from my father's side of the family. So different it was; no snow, now prairie winds, no farm chores to do. The rural south was quite a change from the white Christmas of my home.
There was always a jar on my grandparents' dining room table; something I had never seen before. Sticky and sweet filled with chunks and slivers- marmalade was their morning treat. Now we never had marmalade on the prairie farm and I was fascinated by it.
It has been years since the marmalade jar sat on their dining room table. This year my children and I decided to make some to recapture the memory of my 'southern holidays'.
for 3 pint jars you will need:
4 large oranges
3/4 cup water
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 cups sugar
Wash oranges; peel outer zest from orange being careful not to get the white pith. Section the oranges and chop the segments roughly reserving juices.
Cut the zest into slivers; place in heavy bottom pan with the water, lemon juice and baking soda. Cook, stirring occasionally. Once it comes to a boil, simmer ten minutes.
Add chopped orange segments, with juices, and cook twenty minutes. Pour mixture into a measuring cup..you need 3 cups. If you have too much, simply pour some off. If too little, add orange juice to make up the difference.
Return to the pan and add sugar. Bring to a boil over medium high heat; boil 20 minutes, stirring consistently. Test the marmalade: drop a spoonful on a plate..it should be thick and not spread too quickly.
If the marmalade is not ready, continue cooking, checking every ten minutes.
Spoon into pint jars and can using water bath method ten minutes.
Monday, December 26, 2011
Once upon a Christmas tree there was a delicate filet angel- beautifully handmade. Fine white crochet thread intricately worked with skilled hands form the long skirt, frilled bodice and lacy wings of a heavenly vision.
Silken floss is carefully stitched displaying delicate lashes; her mouth open wide to sing hymns of praise. Golden thread encircles her halo that sits just above her rows of loopy curls; all painstakingly made one stitch at a time.
Today as I worked to put away all the 'this-&-thats' of the recent gatherings, the ten inch lacy angel peeked at me from her perch atop my amour. Her vision reminded me of tall trees decorated with soft white lights and golden shining balls; of snowy tree skirts and brightly wrapped gifts. She reminded me that of all the things given and received, the most precious are the ones we have that are beautifully handmade.
Sunday, December 25, 2011
The story was read
After we climbed out of bed.
Stockings and gifts
Good food in each dish;
What more could we wish?
Now the fire is lit
And each hand holds a gift.
We traveled and returned
News from afar we have learned.
Now a break we have earned?
By the fire we snuggle
After gatherings we juggle.
Sipping warm cocoa with me
We all request a time to breathe.
Have a peaceful and restful day after!
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Luke 21And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
21And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
22And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
23(As it is written in the law of the LORD, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)
24And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
25And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
26And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
27And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
28Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
30For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
31Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
32A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
33And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.
34And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
35(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
36And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
37And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fasting and prayers night and day.
38And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
39And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
40And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
41Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.
42And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.
43And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.
44But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.
45And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
46And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
47And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
48And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
49And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?
50And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.
51And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
52And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
Ah, holiday baking again today..but with a different 'head chef' in the kitchen. This time we stirred up my grandmother's Christmas pie.
Creamy, crunchy chocolate filling chilled in a crumbly graham crust is topped with fresh whipped cream yielding a tempting and tasty treat just right for ending a delicious meal.
GRANDMA'S PRAIRIE CHRISTMAS PIE
In a heavy bottom sauce pan melt:
1/2 cup milk
pinch of salt
1 cup whipped cream
1 square unsweetened chocolate, grated
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pour into a nine inch graham crust and chill until set. Top with whipped cream and garnish with graham crumbs, pecan pieces or chocolate shavings.
Have a blessed and joyous Christmas Eve!