Saturday, June 27, 2009

Great Grandma's Raisin Loaf

Grandma's Raisin Bread
This is the only recipe I have the belonged to my Father's Mother. My Bennion cousins talk about her great cooking but my older siblings didn't. They grew up with my grandma Wood and she was a most excellent cook. So the recipes I have are hers.
I found this little treasure when I was digging through a recipe file my mom was getting rid of. It is written in my mother's hand writing and she said she must have copied it when she first was married.
Raisin Loaf
Boil for 15 minutes:
1 1/4 pkg of raisins (I think a package was a pound)
2 cups sugar
3 1/2 Cup water
Add 1 Cup Shortening (I used butter or lard) while mixture is still hot.
When cool add:
3 eggs well beaten.
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 heaping sieve flour (you gotta love measurements like that - it is 5+ cups) (you can use white or wheat flour)
Bake 1 1/2 hours in a moderate oven 325 deg in loaf tins.
This loaf is very yummy (If you like cooked raisins). Even my husband, who hates quick breads like banana bread and zucchini bread, loved this bread.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sour Cream Lemon Pie

One of Bryan's favorite pies is Lemon Pie. (I never noticed before that I treat pie names like proper names. Aren't they?) Well I can't eat much Lemon pie because it has so much sugar in it, it makes me sick. It tastes great but is overwhelming, and I am not a fan of meringue. When I was little my brother worked for Marie Calender's and would bring home leftover pies all the time. I discovered that meringue was NOT whipped cream and that it was made from eggs and that grossed me out. I haven't liked it since.
This pie recipe is one that I picked up while living with my brother Joe and his wife Lee. It is a favorite of mine now. It is sweet and sour, lemony and creamy. It is just heaven on a plate I'm telling you!
Sour Cream Lemon PIe
Sour Cream Lemon Pie
1 Cup sugar
3 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp grated lemon rind
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1 Cup Sour Cream
1 9" baked pie shell (you can use regular pie crust or I bet it would be great with a graham cracker crust)
1 Cup Whipping cream
Combine, sugar, cornstarch, lemon rind, lemon juice, egg yolks, and milk in a heavy saucepan or double boiler. Cook over medium heat until thick. Stir in butter and cool mixture to room temp. Stir in the sour cream and pour into prepared pie shell. Cover with whipped cream and garnish with lemon twists. Store in the refrigerator.
Sorry there isn't a better picture. I snapped that quick before dinner the other day and there wasn't a scrap left to take pictures of when dinner was done.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sewing Room Makeover

I know it has been a few months since I promised to post monthly updates to my sewing room. Well..... I had some crazy busy sewing projects going on in there with birthdays, pattern design, ren fest sewing and quilt guild.

This past week my husband "decided" to help me with the sewing room.
You have already seen the before picture......

We have been redoing our side of the house (my mom lives on the other side in a gorgeous new home.) However, our budget died in January when my husband lost his job and we went for months trying to squeeze by on our savings until he got a job again. We we are almost in job land, (the postal service isn't the fastest at finalizing jobs). But our house still needs the changes and so we have had to rethink what we wanted to do. IE... the floors we have gone from considering hardwood to tile, to carpet to just painting the concrete and living the simple life. :o)
I grew up with the simple life and I am happy to have that in my blood and we are going back to it with our children. Life isn't all about getting gain and living in a magazine styled home. If you think about it your best memories aren't about money or possessions or furnishings, they are about family, love, and time spent enjoying simple things.
So I looked at my sewing room and thought about what I could do for less than $100 to improve the place. The flooring had to go. I had shag carpet put in there and the room used to be my children's bedroom. Well with 12 years of kids crawling, puking, dribbling food and who knows what else on it it was a little skanked out! Also the surface of the carpet had become like Velcro with all the years of washing and vacuuming. That does not make the best flooring for a sewing room. All the treads and scraps stuck to the carpet, NASTY! It was a vacuuming nightmare.
Paint 003
See what I mean?!? SKANKED!
So we decided to rip out the carpet and paint the concrete underneath. I had a painted floor in my room growing up and actually loved my simple country room.
So here is what we did.

Monday we emptied the room.
Paint 004

Paint 005

This is when we made a lovely discovery. Due to a very weathered backdoor we had water damage in the interior wall and now have Black mold damage in that room. We had to get that all cleaned up and sealed. Lucky for us it was a very tiny bit of damage.

Paint 006

Tuesday - Saturday I spent painting. The colors I picked were aqua, warm white and red. So with about $65 worth of paint, the room got a sweet makeover.

Paint 008
I am loving the closet. I want to put some of my selves in there (I know "Happy thought, selves in the closet". If you don't get that reference then you need to watch more Jane Austen.)

I was worried about the floor color. It is very bold but I love it. Red is my favorite color after all.
Paint 011

Interesting discovery, due to the placement of the closet, this room has marvelous acoustics and is really fun to sing in. My husband even noticed it. I used to sing all the time and haven't for a long time. He caught me singing in there as I painted and commented that it reminded him of when he met me 17 years ago. I worked in the deli/bakery of the grocery store he worked at and at night when I was cleaning the place up I used to sing all the time to make the work go faster for myself. He kinda liked hearing my voice across the store. He wanted to know who the new girl was that had the laugh that would float across the store to the meat shop where he worked. (We just celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary this week so those memories are kinda on the surface right now.) I wasn't like the other girls he had met. I guess he liked that. hee hee
Paint 013
All I have left to do now is put in the baseboard trim which I need to learn how to cut and my Friend Jill's husband is helping me trim out the window with a wide sill. I can't wait. It will be lovely and white.
It is amazing how exciting a new coat of paint make the simplest things.
Tomorrow I get to start the arduous task of sorting through the stuff that was in there and putting back what I want to keep.
I am teaching my oldest children how to weave some rugs and will let them use up the fabric I don't want to see come back into the room.

Oh I do need to put curtains up. Any Ideas?? I want something very vintage. It needs to keep the light out of my eyes. That room gets a lot of morning sun and I can only sew early in the morning before the kids get up or late at night after they go to bed.
I want the light to fill the room but not hit me right in the eyes.
And the rule is CHEAP FIX. I want something that isn't going to be really expensive. I don't ask for much do I? :o)
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