Sunday, December 30, 2012

Abundant Love

"To my Loving Wife"

This is a little note to tell you how much I love you.I know God blessed me with you from the beginning. My love has grown for you each year.I pray God will send you a special Joy to help you get through this Christmas without your mother. God is in control of all things in our lives.God has placed me to help you and love you.I could not have asked for a better gift from God. You are my sunshine and my love.I wish you a special Christmas. God made a wonderful person when He made you. He has given you a special way to help other people by teaching and showing them how to be better exposed to helping others through Christ. We often meet them when we go out. God will bless you for your caring and love to each one. Christ, you and our children make my Christmas. With Love Always.

The Lord has blessed my husband and I with 33 years of abiding love. This is what he wrote and placed in my stocking for Christmas morning.This tender message filled my heart during this first Christmas after losing my mother. It was also the passage in my life from 42 years of full-time nursing, most recently as an educator into the time of retirement. It takes a true man of God to have written these beautiful words to me.

Ephesians 5:33 "Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband." King James Version: The Open Bible.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Scenes - Memories- Different Views

How different the same scene can look when viewed on different days in different seasons. This tree is across from the end of the country lane from our house. The old fence posts fallen down remind me of a different time when the land was occupied by neighbors and the fence row stood even and tall. Down the hill behind the old oak tree was a real horse drawn syrup mill. As a child I ventured with my daddy to see the horse walk in a circle pulling on a large wooden stirrer in the syrup as it cooked. The syrup began as juice from sugar cane and ended as Ribbon Cane Syrup, often sold in a quart can.

Memories floating gently like leaves falling from a tree,
Sometimes remembered through the misty fog of time;
Golden like the straw in an old pasture,
New memories branching out green in the hope of Spring.
Written by Morninglory 12/7/2012

"It may be hard going forward, but it is worse going back." 
Charles H. Spurgeon

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Ma'Maw's Coconut Pie

When a cool snap comes south during late fall, I begin reminiscing about the food my mother and mother in law used to cook for family gatherings.My husband's all time favorite is Ma'Maw's Coconut Pie". I tried for years to make a pie just like his mother. Somehow mine always came out more like a chess pie rather than a custard. I even tried to slow cook the custard that I had prepared for my daughter when she was a baby and then add fresh grated coconut. Several years ago, my best friend brought us a splendid pie that was just like the pie my husband dreamed about. She wrote the recipe down and I had a winner. Oh my, did I make a mistake when I lost that recipe. I called my daughter to see if she had borrowed it and she said no, but she knew where I could find Ma'Maw's recipe. When my daughter had lived in Gulfport, Mississippi, she had participated in compilation of a church cookbook. She said that while in college when she spent a lot of time with her Ma'Maw, that she had written down her coconut pie recipe and it was now in the church cookbook. I made the pie and my husband smiled and smacked his lips in joy. Here is the recipe for you to enjoy.
Ma'Maw's Coconut Pie
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 T cornstarch
3 egg yolks (Save whites)
2 cups milk
1 dash salt
1 can coconut or 1 cup fresh shredded coconut
1 tsp vanilla
Mix sugar, flour, and cornstarch together. Stir in about one cup of milk into this mixture. Mix the other cup of milk into the egg yolks and stir into the mixture. Add dash of salt. Cook slowly over medium heat, stirring constantly until it becomes a smooth custard consistency. Add coconut and vanilla and blend until very smooth. Pour into a baked until brown pie crust.  Cover with meringue.

Ma'Maw's Meringue
Cream of tarter-One dash
3 egg whites
1/4 cup of sugar.
Whip egg whites and cream of tarter on high speed until peaks are formed. Slowly add a small amount of sugar at a time while still whipping on high. The meringue is ready when it is no longer gritty when a little is rubbed between finger and thumb. Seal the meringue to the entire crust edges so no filling leaks out. Cover the entire pie surface. 
Bake the pie at 350 degrees until the meringue is golden brown. Cool and serve unless someone you love digs into the pie before there is time for cooling. Enjoy!
"This is the day the Lord has made,
Let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24

Cast Iron Cooking

Sometime I just have to revert to my country heritage. My 91 year old daddy planted enough mustard greens to feed an army and they just keep producing.. He has been worried that they might go to waste even though he gives mustard greens to every person who comes to visit.Growing up in the depression era, he is not one to waste food of any kind.  He has given to all the neighbors and still the greens grow. I decided I would pick a 33 gallon bag full and cook them in my black cast iron dutch oven outside on the butane cooker. My husband and I picked mustard greens, pulled the stems out and torn the leaves into small pieces. About that time an elderly couple came to visit daddy. Of course they said yes when I offered them mustard greens. God blessed us with all those greens and sharing made us all happy.
"Everyone helped his neighbor,
And said to his brother,
Be of good courage."
Isaiah 41:6

We had not used the butane burner since last year and it did not work. My husband banged on it and determined that the line was filled with a dirt dauber clay plug. By the time he had the fire burning and the black pot on the blaze, I had bacon ready to sizzle until tender before adding a chopped onion. Once the onion sauteed, we added the fresh washed greens and covered with the lid for about 20 minutes on low heat. When we uncovered the greens they had begun to turn darker. I added a smoked ham hock and about a two quarts of water. We covered the greens and let them cook slowly for over an hour.

My uncle used to call all greens rabbit food and a friend of mine said I was eating grass. I know that southern cornbread served with fresh mustard greens smothered down in an iron dutch oven really make this country woman smile. Try it and you might like it.