Archive for February, 2010

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Start slow and taper off.

Yeah, I am still having motivation issues.  That’s pretty obvious I guess.  So instead of just ignoring all of you I will give you another recipe and give you a little heads up on a giveaway I will be posting in the next few days.  I “used to” do a giveaway when I felt down, unmotivated and blue.  Well after several months of being a nice shade of navy, I think it’s time to at least try.

Giveaway Hint: Think retro. That’s it for today.

Also a little peek at one of my “projects” I am working on:


Not ready to reveal any more just yet 😉

Now your recipe:


3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
3 cups white sugar
6 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F . Grease and flour bundt pan. Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar. Mix in the eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the lemon and the vanilla extracts. Gently mix in flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 90 minutes. Do not open oven door until after one hour. When cake begins to pull away from the side of the pan it is done. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday’s Recipe: Ice Box Pie

Thanks for stopping by.  I know, I know, where the heck have I been?  If you read previous posts, you know I have been in a bit of a funk lately.  I do see a light at the end of the tunnel and just hope it isn’t a train.  I thought I would try to get back into the swing of things by giving you a recipe for today.  This recipe is from NotQuiteJuneCleaver Bakes a Pie. I hope you enjoy it!

Ice Box Pie

I would bet my mom made no less than 500 of these pies in her lifetime. Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration. It also may be an understatement! It is TOO easy and it is so delicious. And rich. And fattening! You might wonder if it so easy why it took two pages to tell you about it. Well because, there’s a lot to tell! This pie brings back such fond memories for me. I could talk about it all day I imagine! The pie is simple enough, the memories…well lots of details!

Don’t think about what’s in commercial whipped topping, k? Just do it. Just make it. Eat it. Share it. Just don’t do it every day or even every week and you will be fine. Surely.

Your favorite graham cracker or cookie pie crust. Mom was a huge fan of the graham cracker crust so that is what she used.

You will need two rubber spatulas and a whisk for this recipe. You will know why in a minute.

One can Eagle Brand Condensed Milk ~ Mom had a very real aversion to other brands of condensed milk. Personally, I can’t tell the difference and have even used the dreaded store brand, with fine results. I just never told her I used it.

The juice of one fresh large lemon. Squeeze all you can out of the lemon. Get every drop. Just be sure to pick the seeds out!

One large tub of Cool Whip, thawed ~ again, never used another brand, though if
you want to that’s your decision. She would have been able to tell the difference though. I can promise you that!

In a bowl large enough to stir vigorously, pour the condensed milk, scraping out the can. Then lick the spatula and place it in the sink. You NEVER use a utensil after you have licked it! Now if you are brave, and your mom isn’t looking, you can swipe the lid to the Eagle Brand milk can and lick it. VERY carefully because if you cut your tongue, the cat will be out of the bag! If you licked as many lids as I did, you will also know you can very gently scrape your teeth on the lid to get that almost solid film of the sweet nectar of the gods! Now quickly put the lid in the trash before someone realizes what you have done!

Next pour the lemon juice into the bowl with the condensed milk and with your whisk beat it until you think your arm will fall off or until it has thickened. This was miraculous to me when I was a little girl. How could lemon juice turn Eagle Brand milk into something even better!? Take the second spatula and scrape all the Cool Whip into the bowl with your thickened Eagle Brand. Forego the licking of this spatula unless you have a third to use. Fold and fold and fold until well mixed. Add 1 1/2—2 cups of fruit of your choice and gently fold fruit in and then pour into graham cracker crust. Chill thoroughly. Enjoy!

Notes: You can use any fruit you like. Mom often made strawberry banana or blueberry. She always used frozen strawberries in the little box. Birds Eye brand I believe. She drained them and then cut one banana directly into the bowl of filling so it wouldn’t turn brown sitting around waiting to be added. I distinctly remember a blueberry/strawberry combo that was to die for.

I know for sure she used mandarin oranges more than once and even combined mandarin oranges, pineapple and coconut. Just about any fruit will work. It is fast and great for any gathering: Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter. I remember one Christmas Mom added maraschino cherries (drained), miniature marshmallows, toasted coconut and toasted pecans. That was one fine pie.

Thanks for indulging me. I love these little walks down memory lane. And nothing brings them back like food. Nothing.

Thanks for the memories Mama.

Maudie Allen Arledge Bellah

April 28, 1930 – October 8, 2007



What exactly is a rough patch?

Yeah, I don’t know either. Means different things to different people I suppose. I think I have been experiencing a little more than writer’s block but don’t really have a diagnosis (other than my own). I do this every so often. Part of it is the time of the year. I like my cozy warm house and looking out at the cold – but the lack of sunshine is hard on me.

There will be plenty of you out there who 1)either don’t believe in such things 2) have never been depressed or 3)are so depressed you are past the point of realizing it. And then there will be those that totally get what I am saying. I tell myself every year I am going to be productive inside while I have the opportunity. But that never seems to happen. When I feel like this I am hard to get along with, hard to handle and likely, hard to love. If only the people who it matters to would realize I am harder on myself than I am on them, that might help a little. But I doubt it.

I wish I had more of an explanation or apology for my absence but blogging is way down on my list of “Apologies That Need To Be Made”. Rest assured this too shall pass. But likely not until the weather improves ;).

I suppose I could stop being pissed at Mother Nature and latch onto my bootstraps but frankly, I don’t have it in me. Not today anyway.  Add the seasonal issue to the family stuff that has been going on for months now ~ it’s all taken it’s toll. I think most everyone besides the “injured party” has trouble understanding why it has been so hard on me. And has advised me on more than one occasion to just “stop letting it get to me”. Right. I will do just that. As soon as I figure out how to watch one of my children get their heart broken and not care. That may take a while. And everyone seems to know how they would handle either being the mother of that hurt child (even if the child is grown) or the child being hurt. Right. I would really worry about a person who could be wronged in the way my son has been and just go on about their business.

Some days I have wished Jerry could field some of the conversations but I also would have felt so bad about passing the buck and not being available when a conversation was needed. I “get” having to talk everything through 100 times. Analyzing things to the point of absurdity. Second guessing every little detail of every little situation. I am glad I could be patient with him most of the time because sadly, he inherited this from me, and  even though it meant taking much of my stress out on everyone else. Maybe someday they will forgive the infractions and understand a little more about why a person just needs someone who really loves them unconditionally to listen to them and  how that person can only listen to so much before they break down. God forbid it be under the same circumstances. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Oh, maybe I could think of at least one person whose heart I would not cry over being broken ;). But Karma is a bitch and what goes around, comes around. Honestly, there is a part of me that still feels pity for her. I don’t know why people do the things they do. Hell, I don’t know why I do the things I do. I suppose finally realizing, the hard way, that I am not perfect and make way more mistakes than I figure is the average, I try to not let myself get filled up with hate for someone who might just be damaged goods and cannot do any better. Or can’t find it in themselves to do better. Maybe that is more accurate. I know, because I say it often, you make choices every day. It is going to be a good day or a bad day? Am I going to do the easy thing or the right thing? Am I going to walk it off or lose it? Am I going hate this person or be indifferent? I am not about to tell you I can bring myself to love everyone. I can’t and frankly, don’t care to. But if I can get to the point where they don’t eat away at me, I am pretty happy with that.

I do have a little project or two in the works. But they are just in the planning stages. The early planning stages. When there is something to tell you will be the first to hear.

One very cool thing is in the works. Rachel and I will leave May 12 for ten glorious days in New England. May in New England….ahhhhh. It can’t come soon enough. We will be staying at The Inn on Park Street, with a short trip to Southampton, NY to visit a friend and her family  for a couple of days. This dear friend is taking us into NYC and we will be making the rounds to all THE spots – Rachel has a list. I just want to stand in Times Square and take it all in. The site, the sounds, the smells. And I want to eat a hot dog from a vendor. Other than that I look forward to visiting my friend and her family and seeing Rachel enjoy all the things she dreams of seeing. While in Vermont, who the heck knows? Get up every morning get in the car and start driving. No big agenda, just relax and see what Vermont has to offer. We do plan on swinging by the state capitol building, NECI, King Arthur Flour, Vermont Country Store and there are a few towns I would like to see – Bennington, Bellows Falls, Arlington, Woodstock – might try to find Tasha Tudor’s homeplace outside Marlboro. But nothing is set in stone except the trip to NY. Plane tickets are bought, Inn is reserved, friend is alerted (waving at you Julie) – just have to reserve a car. Oh and pack…got plenty of time for that.

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