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Molly over at The Bumbles Blog has started on new Monday meme about movies. She is asking us list the movies that make us feel warm.
This is my list and my husband’s. I’ll let you figure out whose is whose.
1. Open Range
3. Dances With Wolves
4. Last of the Mohicans
6. Steel Magnolias
7. Pretty Woman
8. Definitely Maybe
9. P.S. I Love You
10. Any Agatha Christie move
If you want more movie ideas, check out The Bumbles.
Here’s what is on my list right now but, who knows, maybe Santa will add something new.
1. American Fried by CalvinTrillan. One of my favorite authors from when we lived in Kansas City and so did he. This book is about Calvin’s experiences in trying to find good, not ritzy food as he travels. I’m reading this for the Books About Food Challenge.
2. The 5 People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. This is an audiobook I found at the library. It’s read by the author which I find to be a lot more interesting. I feel like I’m hearing the story exactly as the author intended it to be read.
3. Plain Perfect by Beth Wiseman. This is the story of a twenty-something woman’s visit to her grandparents who are Amish. Her mother left home and raised her outside the Amish culture. She’s seeking more than a connection with her grandparents; she’s looking for peace. I’m reading this for the Christian Readers Challenge.
4. Carrot Cake Murder by Johanne Fluke. This is an audiobook I am going to start in the next day or two. It’s a murder mystery with some recipes thrown in. I’ve some how missed reading this author’s long list of cooking/murder mysteries but it looks like fun.
5. The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’m re-reading (last read in late 70′s) this old children’s classic in the dead of winter in California. I’m hoping it’s the only snow I have to experience this year. Actually, I’m cold as I’m reading about the snow blowing in through the cracks in their little shanty. I’m reading this book as part of the Reading Through the Decades Challenge ’09.
If you like to see reading lists of other people go to 5 Minutes For Books.
My goal in this blog is to share recipes that have become memorable for one reason or another. I especially like the old recipes from my childhood and early married life. The best ones have lasted all these years. This one is the first meal I made for my husband.
There’s nothing new or unusual about my beef stew. It’s just tasty, filling and fills the home with great smells – a true comfort food. I didn’t have a recipe for this. It was a dish my mom made and I’d helped her put it together many times. So what I’m about to tell you is approximate amounts. Here’s how it goes:
Start with the beef – about one to two pounds, depending on your budget and how many people you are feeding. Now that the kids are grown it’s usually a pound or less. You could go to the meat counter and pick up a package of beef stew meat or you could do some other things. I usually go to the sale or discount bin in the meat section. (Most stores have them.) See if they have some round steak or maybe a chuck roast. Lots of beef cuts will work in stew because you’re going to cook this long and slow. Then it will become very tender. I have also made this with hamburger or a mix of ground beef and ground turkey.
Now gather up the rest of the ingredients:
- 3 to 4 T. oil
- flour, 1/4 to 1/3 cup
- 1 t. salt, to taste
- 1 t. pepper, to taste
- 1/2 t. paprika
- 1 to 2 bay leaves
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into about 1 inch pieces
- 1 c. peas. (I usually use frozen)
This is truly an all American Christmas Carol. It comes from the black slaves who worked on plantations. No one knows who wrote the original words or the music. In the later part of the nineteenth century, a group at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee worked to save the old spirituals. A man at Fisk, named John W. Work Jr., also had a passion for preserving these old hymns. He wrote down the words that survived and then added a couple of verses. The song was then published in 1907.The Jubilee Singers from Fisk took the songs all over the world. Go Tell It On the Mountain has been performed by them since 1879.
I have several different recordings of this song but I especially love the ones that seem to be sung deep down from the singer’s soul. It helps me imagine the black slaves singing this with hope for the savior who would come and free them from their bondage.
Chorus sung after each verse:
Go tell it on the mountain, Over the hills and everywhere;
Go tell it on the mountain, That Jesus Christ is born!
While shepherds kept their watching O’er silent flocks by night,
Behold throught-out the heavens There shone a holy light.
The shepherds feared and trembled When lo! Above the earth
Rang out the angel chorus That hailed our Savior’s birth.
Down in a lowly manger The humble Christ was born,
And brought as God’s salvation That blessed Christmas morn.
*My reference for this piece is Then Sings My Soul Book 2 by Robert J. Morgan. I’ll be reviewing this book in the coming weeks.
The Twelve Ways of Christmas
by David Jeremiah
Published by Thomas Nelson, 2008
I found the nicest little book to use for Epiphany. I believe it’s actually meant for Christmas, but as I’ll explain, it’s going to be my Epiphany book.
It’s a small book with a big message. The author asks us to reflect on the true meaning and message of Christmas. He does this by focusing on twelve attributes or, as he calls them, twelve truths or ways of Christmas. The author points out that every year we try to make this the best Christmas ever. Then we become busy with gift shopping and/or gift making and gift wrapping and baking and special events and parties and traveling until we are exhausted. (That last sentence wasn’t from the book. It was from my own experience.) In the midst of our busyness something inside us calls us to pause, to reflect, to meditate: what is the central purpose of this holiday. Sometimes, some days, we are able to manage that. But –
Being realistic, I know that the busyness isn’t going to stop this year. It’s too late – Christmas is less than a week away – I still have a ton of stuff to do – ahhhh! OK, take a deep breath. For me, this is why we have Epiphany. I know, I know that historically that’s not true. But, for me, Epiphany is the time I can calm down and be silent. Starting on December 25th and ending January 5th, Epiphany gives me twelve days in which to seriously meditate on what it means to be a Christian and why Christmas is important.
This year I’m going to use this book, The Twelve Ways of Christmas, during Epiphany. There are twelve little chapters, one for each attribute or truth. The chapters are small – just enough for one day’s reading and meditation. The “ways” the author features are: Wonder, Sacrifice, Humility, Charity, Creativity, Simplicity, Affection, Reflection, Giving, Children, Music and Tradition. This little book will also fit well with journaling and leads into action plans; a great way to transition from old to new year and new beginnings.
So, this is what is going to work for me this year. I’d love to hear what you have planned. Happy Twelve Days of Christmas!
I’m going to add two more book challenges to my list. I know I shouldn’t go overboard but I can’t help it. It just seems like so much fun to have some different pathways to go with my reading. The first challenge sponsored by Reading Wise.
Christian Readers ’09
This challenge is to read as many books as the reader chooses between January 1 and April 30. They can be either fiction or nonfiction or a combination. Here are my picks:
1. Fascinating Stories of Forgotten Lives by Charles Swindoll
2. Home Another Way by Christa Parrish
3. Keep a Quiet Heart by Elizabeth Eliot
4. Plain Perfect by Beth Wiseman
Romance Reading Challenge
This one is not really a challenge. I read lots of romance novels. I’m joining this one because I want to see what others are reading. The challenge is to read five romance novels between January 1 and December 31, 2009. It’s being sponsored by the BookWorm. The real challenge for me will be to only read five! Just kidding, the rules do allow the reader to read more than five. I don’t know the exact five I’m going to read but you can be sure they will be by these, my favorite authors:
1. Nora Roberts
2. Sandra Brown
3. Susan Elizabeth Phillips
4. Karen Robards
5. Debbie MacComber
If you’d like to also join these challenges here’s where to go:
I hope you’ll join me.
I know there are a number of businesses who will arrange all sorts of beautiful flower arrangements for you. All you have to do is call one number and then it’s done. Because I’ve had some bad experiences with those services, I have my own system that works well for me.
When visiting loved ones in distant cities I take a couple of hours to scout out local flower shops. (I’m mentioning this a couple of weeks before the holidays so if you are traveling it will be on your mind.)
Ask your loved ones or their neighbors or friends for recommendations. Pay a visit and see what the place looks like. Introduce yourself and tell them what you want. I was reminded of this trick while visiting my mother. I have been calling a florist in her community for years. I stopped by to make a purchase and she remembered me – not in person but as a voice on the phone.
When my husband’s parents moved to a retirement village we saw some beautiful arrangements in the office there and also at their new church. We found out who the florist and paid them a visit. We took home the name and phone number and then, when we had a need for their services, we called them directly.
You can do this for more than flowers. Just think of the various gifts and services you’d like to arrange for your loved one, and then go do a little research. Take the phone numbers home with you and you are set. It works for me.
If you’d like other handy tips, visit Rocks In My Dryer.
American Pie: Slices of Life (and Pie) From America’s Back Roads
Pascale Le Draoulec
Published by Perennial, 2002
What began as a lark for the author and a friend, turned into a true quest, in this case, a quest for pie. Pascale Le Draoulec has three weeks to move from San Francisco to a new job in New York. She wants to see and meet “real America” and decides to drive the back roads to do it. But she needs a “peg” to draw her from town to town. As a food writer she picks pie. As she sees it, this vintage dessert is a typical example of something uniquely American.
Following suggestions from friends and others she meets along the way, she discovers unusual pies and interesting people. Pascale soon learns that “real” people are warm and welcoming when it comes to the subject of pie. Strangers, for the most part, are very willing to share their pie recipes, history of the pie, their own history, and slices of pie. Even people who are normally guarded, drop their hesitation and open up to share their pie memories. This book is filled with delightful stories of ordinary people.
Almost everyone the author meets has an opinion about the Best Pie Ever. The opinions vary from region to region. There is Shoofly Pie in Pennsylvania, Sweet Potato Pie in the south, Cherry Pie in Michigan, and so forth. A great plus is that pie bakers willingly share their secrets to a flaky crust or a fluffy meringues or a tart but sweet berry pie. If you are a pie baker or aspire to be one, there is plenty of help in this book – both practical and inspirational.
I’ve made lots of pies in my life but this book has pies I’ve never heard of: Olallieberry, Jefferson Davis, Funeral, Prune, Turtle, and Coffee Toffee Pie. There are recipes for more common pies such as banana cream, coconut cream, lemon meringue and lots of good fruit pies. Also you will find tips and recipes for making a variety of pie crusts. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have my pie crust recipe. One of these days I will share that with you. (Mine really is the best crust ever.)
The book is also a travel journal of sorts. There are references to some roads and highways along with good descriptions of the countryside. There is also a little bit of philosophy, lots of quotes about pie and some pie history. The author’s writing style is light and fun. She’s a master of the descriptive phrase which is very useful when writing about food, travel, and people.
My standard pie book has always been the Farm Journal’s Complete Pie Book (1965) with it’s 700 recipes. American Pie only has 35 to 40 pie recipes but is a lot more fun to read. After all, how many pie recipes does one need?
I read this book as part of the Books About Food Challenge. If you are interested, check the challenge here.