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Lard has making a come back!  Well, isnt that interesting!

Isn’t this a beautiful picture:

homemadelard

Photograph of homemade lard by Peter G Werner/Wikipedia.

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I am going to cover a lot of subjects this morning so hang on to your hats! I have a lot of irons in the fire at the moment and I would like to drag you all down with me!!

Shout Out #1: Rachel over at Neat Things.  You have to take a look at the cake she made for a going away party.  WOWZERS! That’s my girl! Her paternal grandmother (the best cake decorator in the world) would be so proud of her.  I have often wished she could have lived to see how her granddaughters followed in her footsteps. Hint:

cake

International Overall Day: is coming together.  I doubt very seriously (VERY seriously) if we can get any sort of proclamation but who cares?  I am however working on contacting companies that sell overalls to donate gift certificates so that we might have a GRAND giveaway sometime in the future.  In the meantime if you wear overalls, love overalls, love someone who wears overalls, join the fun. Leave a comment or email me and we will start a flickr group soon.  Sound like fun? And here is your picture of the day:

onthephoneThis is Rachel on the phone with my mom about a month before Ben was born.  She had been folding baby clothes and getting things ready for Ben’s birth.  I wish you could see the stacks of baby shirts and diapers on the bed with her.  She has always been quite the little organizer.

Friday Baking with NotQuiteJuneCleaver: Will begin again this coming Friday June 5th.  I told you it wouldn’t be long!  If you plan on participating please let me know.  I will make a post specifically pertaining to this event tomorrow (Thursday) with all the new and improved rules and regulations and then on Friday you will find the recipe for the week’s challenge.  Hint: if you don’t have berries of some sort, plan on getting some 🙂 And YES, there will be prizes involved!

homebakingbook

Next Holiday: Fourth of July and all the great food that brings!  The last week of this month (June) I will devote to recipes, menus and decorating ideas for the 4th.  For all my friends who live outside the US, bear with us…this is a big deal around these parts!

libertybell

Cookbook Update: Well, the first agent I approached with my idea(s) passed so that’s not great news.  However, I believe all things in their own time.  In the meantime while I am waiting on a real deal, I am going forward with self publishing my little series of cookbooklets.  Pies will be first and hopefully within 6-8 weeks I will have them in my etsy shop for sale. But don’t hold me to that date  ’cause I tend to over estimate what can be done in a 24 hour period.  But I am finishing it.  It is to the proofing stage…so that is progress.

piebookgraphic

Crafty: One of our all time favorite librarians is leaving our local library for bigger and better things.  We will miss her.  Today is her going away party (the cake Rachel made is for that party).  I made her a Housewarming Basket for her new home.

basket

(Isn’t that the cutest broom handle you ever saw???)

This is a little part of the note (the pink paper tied with rickrack) I wrote her explaining the components of the basket…thought you might like the info in case you ever had occasion for such a gift.

First of all the broom.  And what a pretty broom it is!  My granny taught me that you NEVER take an old broom in to a new home.  You are supposed to start your new life with a clean sweep!  So now you can!  In  the basket you will find two cloth bags that will do just fine to take to the grocery when you need just a couple of things or to keep your potatoes and onions fresh.  They are sturdy and should last a long time.  Inside those bags are flour, hoping you will always have food and friends to share it with.  Salt so you will always have spice in your life!  Honey to remind you of the sweetness of life and friends, both new and old.  Olive oil for good health all the days of your life.  A wooden cutting board representing stability, peace and harmony in your new home and candles so you will always have light.  The apron is just because.  Just because I wasn’t sure you had one, and if you do…well now you have two! The lavender plant is on of my favorite plants.  I thought you might like it too.  She will need lots of sunshine so you will want to put her outdoors at your new home.  The soap and rag are for your new kitchen sink.  Enjoy the gifts.  You will be missed!

What could I have possibly left out of this post?  If you have gotten this far…THANK YOU!  Oh I suppose I could give you a recipe, that should be about enough.  This is from the Pie booklet…

Yogurt Pie with Granola Crust

1 1/2 c. granola (reserve 1/4 c.)
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. margarine
1/4 c. honey
8 oz. cream cheese
1 c. lo-fat yogurt
2 tsp. vanilla
fresh fruit (optional)

If granola is very coarse, grind to medium-fine in blender, doing 1/2 cup at a time. Blend granola, brown sugar and margarine. Press onto sides and bottom of 9-inch pie plates. Chill well before using. Soften cream cheese to room
temperature. Beat until fluffy with electric mixer or wooden spoon. Blend in yogurt. Beat in honey and vanilla. Turn into pie shell, spreading evenly. Chill overnight. Before serving, top with fresh fruit (strawberries, bananas or your favorite). Sprinkle reserved granola crumbs on top. Cut and serve.

HAVE A LOVELY WEDNESAY!

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I am working with fellow overall enthusiast Bibfessor to proclaim a day (date to be announced) specifically promoting and acknowledging the comfort appreciating and uniqueness of overall wearers everywhere…the WORLD OVER! Here are a few pictures to whet your appetite!

museum 008

(Don’t you love the two country bumpkins standing in front of the museum of fine arts in their overalls? You can tell I wear mine OFTEN!  They used to be dark blue!)

SJ(Ma and Pa 😉 )

susan07(way back in 2007)

I have TONS more pictures I will be sharing with you…here is the latest.

n1558315783_62889_3588(I like to dress them up with a crisp white turtleneck and a little lipstick!)

Best I can figure I got my first pair of overalls in 1973…so I have been wearing them for 36 years!

Not the same pair of course.


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If you recall, several weeks ago I announced a little something I am starting here on my blog.

fridaybaking

This FUN will begin on Friday May 1st. Which just also happens to be Rachel’s birthday and we will likely be baking something yummy! I will tell you more about it as we go but for now…how about signing up? I will conduct this very cool blog activity in much the same way Kelly is doing her Blue Ribbon Mondays. Which is VERY VERY cool!! And seriously, if you have not stopped by Kelly’s blog and signed up for her Blue Ribbon Mondays…get your happy self over there!

Just sign up below and more instructions and such will follow over the next week as I work out the kinks and will have some buttons and such for you to use to link us all together. Oh yeah and you know there will be prizes. Baking related prizes…now that IS cool huh? For now all you really need to know is:

  1. It is going to be fun!
  2. You know you want to participate
  3. It involves recipes and baking and prizes
  4. That’s enough isn’t it???

Anywho, leave me your name and let me know you are up for the challenge. Oh, I didnt mention it would be a challenge did I??? Oh well it will. I will give you a recipe on Friday(beginning May 1) and by the next Friday you have to have made it and posted about it on your blog WITH PHOTOS. There will be several ways to get your name in the now extraordinarily famous mason jar for the drawing to be held each Saturday for the week’s participants. Each Friday one challenge will end and another will begin. Doesn’t this sound AMAZING???

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Paul Wilson and his wife Tina. Tina is a lovely friend I met online and WOW do they have a lot going on!

I just got this LOVELY canvas print:

farmgirl

Isnt she BEAUTIFUL??? I promptly framed her and she hangs in my studio! Yeah, I used the word “studio” to describe my creative space…I like that word. Anywho back to Paul & Tina.

After 15 years in a corporate job with security, benefits and vacation time Paul quit his job in 2007 to pursue freelance design and to sell products independently. His wall graphics took off and in 2008 he was featured in MaryJanesFarm and Romantic Country. His designs run from simple cartoony subjects appropriate for nurseries and kid’s rooms to photo realistic butterflies and beetles. While the wall graphics are the main product he currently sells in his Etsy shop he also does custom work and helps other crafters by producing full color vinyl show banners for them.

His personal business site: www.wilsongraphics.net

AND…let me just say you also need to mosey over to Small Town Living

smalltownlivingfebmar09_coverthumb

Who are The Wilsons and how did they end up producing Small Town Living?

Paul and Tina with three children live in the panhandle of Florida. Early in 2006 they were talking to some family members who were planning to move to Thomasville, GA. Their plans were driven in part by a desire to get away from the congestion and sprawl in their own town. On a whim Paul & Tina drove up to Thomasville for a weekend and fell in love with what they found. People were friendly, open and made them feel welcome where ever they went. At one point, lost, they stopped and asked a woman sweeping her porch for directions. She told them how to get to the street they were looking for and when she heard they were considering moving to her community she told them they would love it. Her friendliness and warmth were one of the many pleasant memories they still have of that visit.

Once back home they began to talk more about also moving to the area to be closer to family and to get away from the rampant development they were seeing in their community. There were a lot of things they had to consider, where to work, where to live, would they buy a new home? a historic home? land outside of town? They spent hours researching all these topics. Tina had been raised in a rural community and let it be known that if they got a place with a bit of land she would like to own a few animals and grow a few things – Her farm girl was starting to wake up again after living in the city for 15 years.

Small Town Living was born from the interests the Wilsons have in living in a smaller rural community and from Paul’s love of publication design. They share the information they find with you and resources we all can enjoy using. For the time being they going to continue releasing the magazine in a digital format, but they are looking forward to the day that the first print issue rolls off the press. This topic resonates with many people who want things to move a little slower and simpler, who want to call some small town somewhere….Home.

I asked them to tell me in their own words what Small Town Living is all about and here is what they said:

We started Small Town Living in 2006, inspired by a visit we made to a small rural community to see family. The warmth and friendliness of the people we met were something we had found missing in our own larger community. When we returned home we talked at length and decided that it was time to relocate. We also decided to create a publication centered around the values and ideals that seemed to personify “small town living”.

Small towns have been in decline for years. Many Main Streets sit empty and desolate, replaced by Big Box Marts and shopping malls. The individual character of family shop keepers have given way to homogenized cookie cutter business plans and smiley faces. When you walk in the front door of these huge chains you always know what you’ll see, no surprises. While we have convenience and predictability we’ve lost a rich history and character that independent shops brought to our communities.

It seems like small towns speak more of self reliance as well. Gardens grew rich and lush, chickens wandered free in backyards, and fresh food was just outside the kitchen door. Instead we get veggies three weeks old, shipped from hundreds of miles away. We never meet our growers and have no idea the care given to our food along the way.

So Small Town Living is going to be about revitalizing the simple important things that were lost in our rush for bigger and better. We’ll tell you how to garden, keep chickens in your back yard, mend clothes, fix your own broken fences ,and rebuild community.

We hope you’ll stay with us for the long haul as we grow and develop. Each story is brought to you by someone who wants to add their ingredient to the “soup”, and together we’ll make this publication into something we hope will enrich you, your family and your community.


I have been getting this beautiful publication since the first one and I can tell you I am certain you will love Small Town Living!

www.stliving.net
www.smalltownliving.ning.com

Oh and Tina has her own etsy shoppe you will want to visit!

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As many of you know, if you are enjoying your AOCD (Apron Obsession Compulsion Delight) as much as I am, Stampington just released (apron*ology). One hundred and forty-four pages (plus covers) devoted to aprons – of every description!  Well lo! and behold! I ended up with two copies of this treasure! So, what can I do but offer one up – well with a OOAK NotQuiteJuneCleaver apron of course.  Duh.

What I LOVE about Stampington magazines is they are really not magazines.  They are workshops that come to you! In fact they even have a magazine called Somerset Workshop.  I won’t tell you how many of their magazines I have because, well, that’s a little personal isn’t it??? Nosey!

Anywho, here’s a pic of the lovely cover of (apron*ology) —

cvr_apr0209_lg1

OHHHH and did I mention that our very own beloved EllenAnne Geisel! Author of The Apron Book and The Kitchen Linens Book…oh and of course the pocket book Apronisms is featured!! A lovely spread!  You can go here and take a peek if you cannot wait for the magazine.

Here the skinny: To be entered in this giveaway, leave me a comment.  Tell me about your very favorite apron.  Even it it isn’t yours.  Even if it is an apron you saw someone else wearing.  Share your apron story. And if you would mention this giveaway on your blog that would be extra sweet of you.  The button is below.

If your name is drawn from my very special mason jar, you will receive one copy of (apron*ology) magazine and a OOAK NotQuiteJuneCleaver Apron.

The deadline for entering this giveaway is the morning of  February 23rd.  I will draw the winner at noon CST  February 23 and as soon as I get that lucky person’s address info, I will send the package right out to you!

And I suppose you might be interested in the apron that will be given away too…well…here’s a little hint:

hint1

That’s all I have to say about it for now!  Good luck to everyone.  Tell your friends, and if you want to link to this post here is a cute little button for you to swipe and post!

chickbutton

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tyee

Sounds intriguing.  VERY.  See I might have hinted at the fact, in previous posts, that I need a new focus.  Seriously.  I know, I know, I have cookbooks in the future but you see that is not actual work.  Its brainwork.  But outside of standing on my feet to test recipes there is very little real energy spent.  I am not one to exercise, persay.  In fact I have a membership to a gym that I havent stepped foot in for oh…maybe…6 months.  And when I did it was sporatic and without any heart whatsoever. But this little email alert caught my attention.  I subscribe to a newsletter from TreehuggerI admit many times I dont read any of it and why I started reading it this morning I dont really know.  It might have been the lead-in headline “Vandals in Paris”.  That caught my eye.  But the next article really caught my eye! Forget the 100 Mile Diet, Try the 100 Yard Diet: Grow your own bread! So I clicked through and really loved what I read. The author claims a 100 by 109 foot plantation, roughly the size of a suburban lawn, could produce 120 pounds of wheat per season, thus giving a family 2 loaves of bread a week for a year. Now that’s information I need.  We have roughly 3 acres of yard to mow.  So this article will be passed along to Husband who just might find it more appetizing that the chicken house I have been practically begging for.  Actually, I think we are real close to reaching a compromise about the chicken house.  He even showed me last week where we might put one.  I tried not to get too excited.  But inside I was jumping for joy!  Here chicky, chicky, chicks!

istock_000005923945xsmall

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