Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Herbs, Honey, Bread & Butter

I look forward to our Wednesday evening home group. This week it is our turn to bring snacks. I don't know why I ponder over what to bring. I'm sure whatever I bring, the people are so sweet that they will eat it anyway.

Last week during our Home Economics class, Sarah and I baked some homemade bread. This bread was by far the best we have ever baked. The recipe is a keeper for sure. We got the recipe while watching the video "Homestead Blessings: The Art of Bread Making".

So I decided to bake bread for our home group. Here's an excerpt of the video.

Here's how our bread turned out. Of course we melted butter on our :)
Also, I managed to find fresh herbs really cheap in my area. I decided to make herb butter to go with it. Since my husband has a little sweet tooth (which I always cater too), I decided to make some honey butter as well.

Herb Butter

Herb Butter is fairly simple to make. You use 1 stick of butter. 3 teaspoons of your favorite fresh herbs. I like to use 3 different herbs. I also add a tablespoon of shredded Parmesan cheese; it's optional. Mix it on high with a hand blender until well blended.

Honey Butter

Honey Butter is just 2 ingredients: 1 stick of butter and 1/4 cup of honey. We like the taste of clover honey, so that's what I use.

I love to put my butters in small canning jars.

As the weather starts to warm up, I'm reminded that nothing compares to bread baking in the oven. Soon, I won't be able to crank that oven on. I'm enjoying it now while there's still a cool breeze today. Someday, I look forward to my grandchildren enjoying my fresh baked breads that I made for their mother and father when they were younger.

Home-Baked Bread
by Sally Croft

"Nothing gives a household a greater sense of stability and common comfort than the aroma of cooking bread. Begin, if you like, with a loaf of whole wheat, which requires neither sifting nor kneading, and go on from there to more cunning triumphs."
-The Joy of Cooking

What is it she is not saying?
"Cunning triumphs". It rings
Of insinuation. Step into my kitchen,
I have prepared a cunning triumph
for you. 
Spices and herbs
sealed in this porcelain jar,
a treasure of my great-aunt
who sat up past midnight
in her Massachusetts bedroom
when the moon was dark. Come,
rest your feet. 
I'll make
you tea with honey and slices
of warm bread spread with peach butter,
still fresh with dew. The fragrance
is seductive? I hoped you would say that.
See how the heat rises
when the bread opens. 
Come, we'll eat together, the small flakes
have scarcely any flavor. What cunning
triumphs we can discover in my upstairs room
where peach trees breathe their sweetness
beside the open window and
sun lies like honey on the floor.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"Mommy Moment" Turned Into a "Mommy Meltdown"

If you happen to be at the local WalMart (yes I do shop there) last night I'm sure you saw that woman too. She was the one in the toy aisle crying her eyes out while hugging her son who towers ever her. The son, reassuring her that it was okay. The thirteen year old daughter wondering what is wrong with her mother; she's reached an all time high of flooded emotions.

I'm sure you're wondering what was wrong with her like the others who saw the drama unfold; and that woman saying over and over again, "He reminds me so much of you. Remember you used to love Woody too." I did not say anything negative about that woman. I related to her all to well. Why? That woman was me.

Here's what happened. My son (17, will be 18 in a few weeks), my daughter (13) and myself were at the local WalMart. We had a few hours to waste until it was time to pick my husband up from work. We took our time walking around the store. We laughed and told jokes as we strolled up and down each aisle.

Photographer: Kim Tortora
I love the feeling of being able to spend time with my children. I wanted to make this week extra special because this is my son's last Spring break at home. Then, there will only be one child left at home. My plans for this week included lots of junk food. Watching movies during the day while my husband was at work. I had this week planned to perfection. What I didn't plan for was this.....

While hanging out in the toy aisle, a father and his little son walked by. The little boy was no older than three years of age. He had a twenty dollar bill in his hand. His father following close behind as the little boy led him through the toy aisle. The little kept saying, "I have to find Woody."

It was at that moment that I looked at my son and said, "Remember you used to love Woody too." That is when it hit me. I started crying because I knew that in a matter of months, my son would be leaving to go and train to service our country.

He looked down at me and said, "It's okay mom. I'm gonna be okay."

I know he's gonna be okay. The problem is he grew up too fast. Where has time gone? It seems as if it was just yesterday that my husband and I were taking him down the toy aisle looking for a Woody for him.

It was at that moment when all the memories came to my mind and I didn't have a "Mommy Moment". I had a "Mommy Meltdown" and it wasn't a small meltdown either. So much has happened. So much is happening even right now. I wrote here about all the transitions taking place in our family.

I'm so glad my son is so compassionate. I love him so much. He brings so much joy into our lives. I still remember when he was a timid child who wouldn't dare confront anyone or anything. Now, he quickly stands for what he believes in. He's not ashamed to stand in front of a room full of peers and stick up for the unborn child. He's been labeled "The Born Diplomat" in speech and debate. He worked hard and recently went to state for speech and debate. He made us so proud.

I know that in height, he towers over my husband and I, but he will always be my baby.
I'm sure gonna miss him having fun with him when he leaves this summer.
I know he will proudly serve our country with the same passion that he serves our Lord. I'm so proud of him!

After I got myself together, my children and I walked by the seasonal items. There we saw a big bottle of bubbles. The tears started to well up again. I turned to my children and asked, "Remember when we used to play with bubbles? Wouldn't it be fun to play with bubbles again just for fun."

*Confession: I put the bubbles in the basket. After some time, I realized that I needed to put the bubbles back. So I did. That season in my life has passed. As hard as it seems to watch them grow up, they must grow up. As a mom, I can honestly say that my children have made me proud to be their mother. Each day I thank God for choosing me to mother these children here on earth. Mothers, cherish your children. Create memories to last a lifetime.