Monday, March 28, 2011

Being neighborly has its rewards

Yesterday afternoon, my son, Stephen, informed me that our next door neighbor was doing some major pruning on his rose bushes. I admire his roses every time I see them. I sent Stephen next door to see if our neighbor had any plans for the roses that had fallen by the wayside. Stephen returned with the hoped for answer that I was welcome to them.  As I gathered them up, it gave me an opportunity to visit a little not only with this neighbor, but  the neighbor next to him which I have never had a real opportunity to visit. I couldn't believe that my neighbor didn't want these beautiful flowers. His response was, "What do I need them for,  I'm a man !"(he's single)  I also was able to learn some of his secrets for how he has grown his roses, although his answer surprised me.  His advice?  "Just keep them chopped down.  I don't feed them or anything." I had just baked a strawberry cake that afternoon and asked my neighbors if they would like some.  They were only too happy to have some homemade cake and I was thrilled to have the flowers.

I had plans for those flowers.  A different neighbor has been confined to bed rest for several months due to a high risk pregnancy.  I know how bored you can become in that situation and I was so happy to be able to bring her a splash of the outdoor beauty and color.  I let her know from where the roses came; she in turn sent her thanks back to him for the beautiful flowers, so this really helped our little street to have a small sense of community.

The next person I intend to bless with these beautiful flowers is an elderly person from my Sunday school class who fell and will be in a rehab facility for quite awhile.

So, ladies, I encourage you to get to know your neighbors this week.  Remember, we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

St. Patrick's Day dinner 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fresh Strawberry Cake

The recipe

1 box white cake mix
1 small box strawberry Jello
4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
3 TBS all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, chopped

1 box (16 oz) powdered (confectioners) sugar
1/2 cup strawberries, chopped
1 stick butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9x13 inch cake pan. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients for cake and pour into prepared cake pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes and cool completely before icing the cake.

For icing, mix ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth and fluffy, do not over beat. Place cake on a platter and frost. Garnish with fresh strawberries. Cover and store in a cool place.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Crawfish Etouffee'

2 1/2 -3  pounds crawfish
2-3 stalks celery-chopped
2 cloves garlic-chopped
can of cream of mushroom soup
can of cream of celery soup
1/2-1 can of Rotel tomatoes (at least medium spicy)
stick of butter

Saute onions, celery, and garlic; add soups (add some water to thin it out a little). Simmer for half an hour or so and then, add crawfish.  Cook until crawfish is hot.  Serve over rice.


Lenten idea for children

The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and continues until Easter Sunday.  It last for 40 days to remind us of the 40 days that Jesus was tested in the desert.  Many people try to give up something during this time such as soft drinks or desserts.  With the money that is saved, a donation could me made to a worthy charity or to support missions.

One cute idea to help young children to think of others as a way to show their love for God ,is to have a "good deeds" jar.  Each time the child does a kind loving deed for someone, they get to add a bean to the jar. (to make it more colorful, you could dye lima beans purple, the traditional color of Lent).  The children continue to do nice things for others for 40 days.  When they wake up on Easter morning, their beans are gone and they discover their jar is full of jelly beans. (keep this as a secret so it is a surprise)

Fantasy Finger Paint

1 package unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 cups boiling water
food coloring or poster paint

Soak gelatin in 1/4 cup of cold water

In a saucepan, mix cornstarch with 3/4 cup cold water to form a smooth paste.  Pour boiling water slowly over cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly.  Cook over medium heat until mixture boils and clears.  Remove from heat.

Stir in gelatin .  Cool and divide into separate small containers (with lids).  Add color.  Refrigerate after use.

Incredible Edible Dough

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup honey
2 cups powdered milk

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Add more milk powder to make a more workable dough if needed.

Play Clay

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 tsp. cream of tarter
1 cup water
1 tsp vegetable oil
few drops food coloring (optional)

Mix all ingredients adding food  coloring last.  Stir over medium heat until it holds together.
Remove from pan and when cool, knead until blended smooth.  Place in plastic bag to store.