Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Daddy's Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

It's rhubarb season in Maine, with strawberries to follow soon. My Dad (aka "Daddy") loved strawberry rhubarb pie and we often substituted it for birthday cake on his June 15th birthday.  I can't even smell rhubarb pie without remembering Dad (a humble member of the "Greatest Generation" who survived the beaches of Normandy) and how much he enjoyed it.

We knew a pie was in our future when friends of ours, two sisters who have lived in our small Maine town their whole lives, surprised us with a big bag of fresh rhubarb last week. DH, who is the baker in our family, found some beautiful strawberries to add to sweeten the pie.

Here is a link to the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie recipe he uses. It's from the website Smitten Kitchen.

He likes this recipe because it uses tapioca to thicken the pie so that the juice doesn't run when you bake and serve it. This recipe also uses less sugar than previous recipes he's tried.

DH  usually uses refrigerated Pillsbury pie crusts. They worked perfectly.

The green of the rhubarb mixed with the bright red strawberries makes a delicious-looking pie filling.

Add the top crust . . .

Brush it with a little melted butter . . . 

And it's ready for the oven.

I only wish Dad was still here to enjoy it with us. 
Since we had enough rhubarb for two pies, DH gave the second pie to our sister-friends, Jo and Margaret (we lovingly call them "the Ladies"), who gave us the rhubarb.

I love the foods we look forward to every summer in Maine. 
We're enjoying rhubarb and and fiddlehead ferns now . . . 

How to cook fiidleheads

. . . and later will be able to make pies with sweet Maine blueberries.

Image result for maine blueberries

It's all good!

This post is linked to:
Wednesday DIY Link Party at To Grandma's House We Go
Talk of the Town at Knick of Time

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Let's Talk: Mammograms, Cancer & Abortion

Today I took my 43-year-old special needs daughter for her first Mammogram. I know that I was a lot more nervous than she was.
My daughter with mammographer Caroline and her helper Maggie.
"Mommy" went first to show her that it "didn't hurt".
And when it was her turn, my daughter was a trooper (as was the mammographer!).

We're both ready!
I bring this up as a gentle reminder to my all of my blog friends to be sure to stay up to date with your mammograms and wellness visits to your gyn. or primary care doctor.

"Nancy with the laughing face . . ."
Our family is BRCA2 positive so screenings for breast and ovarian cancer are very important for us.
We discovered our genetic mutation when we lost our sister, Nancy, to ovarian cancer.  This picture is difficult to look at but, having cancer is more than difficult.  I miss my sister every day.

Cheryl & Nancy
Please don't take a chance. Get screened for women's cancers and share any symptoms with your doctor, even if they seem silly. Nancy's symptoms mimicked menopause so she waited.  Then it was too late.  Here is Nancy's ovarian cancer story in her own words.

the bumper sticker on Nancy's VW
Please take a few minutes to read them

I try not to get political on this blog but I can't discuss women's health without mentioning the elephant in the room:  the attempts by a growing number of state legislatures to ban safe, legal abortion. 

Graduating from college in 1969, I grew up before Roe v. Wade.  I clearly remember horror stories of friends who became pregnant and had no options. If your family had money, you could fly to Europe for an abortion; if your family was poor or middle class, there was no safe option. Lives were ruined and families were torn apart.  Women can't get complacent. We simply CAN'T GO BACK THERE!

Image result for abortion

I was brought up Catholic. But I am firmly PRO-CHOICE. Who better to decide on such a private matter than a woman, her doctor, and, if she chooses, her clergy person? Certainly not a male politician who has never met her and does not know her medical, emotional and financial situation.
If my special needs daughter got pregnant it would literally kill her. Who should decide then?  Her family . . .  or her Congressman?  For me the choice is simple.

As a Mom, grandmother and retired teacher, this meme makes a lot of sense to me:

As women, we need to start talking - and  really listening - to our bodies, and to each other.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Kindness of Fellow Bloggers

This arrived in my email box earlier this week from a fellow blogger:
"Hi, Cheryl... Just wanted to check in to see if all is okay.  Haven't heard from you for a while and was a bit worried."

Receiving that message reminded me of two things:

1. I can't let my blog go when things get busy around here, and
2. The friends I've made through this blog over the years are the BEST!

Somehow, time seems to have sped up since we returned from our road trip last month. First there was Easter.

I have no idea why I felt compelled to make 23 Easter baskets, but I did. So no blogging that week! While going through the Easter stuff, I came upon this old photo of my sisters and I all dressed up for Easter 1954. Do you remember that we all wore "Spring coats", hats and gloves on Easter? And corsages, of course.

Andi, Nancy & Cheryl, Newington, CT,  Easter 1954
"The Stunning Smith Sisters"

The week after Easter, was spent with our grandchildren. They live in Brooklyn, NY and love to come to Maine. Our granddaughter wanted to "do crafts" so here's what we did together.

Do you remember weaving potholders as a kid? My sisters and I would weave them by the hour and then either give them as gifts or try to sell them to the neighbors for 25 cents each.  Happy memories. Our granddaughter picked it up quickly and made lots of potholders to take home!

After a week with kids (fun but exhausting!), we decided to take a quiet ride up the coast of Maine for a couple of days. just to get away.

We love the mid-Coast so that's where we headed, stopping to visit friends along the way.  Our Searsport friends have goats. The baby (above) is only 12 weeks old and so cute. When she cries for her mother, she sounds just like a human baby.

Our friends also own a campground. I've offered to help out the past few years ordering and organizing the campground store. The floor is freshly painted and it looks beautiful now - just very empty. So, I've been busy getting ideas from places like Pinterest and Etsy for things we need to order asap.

I love to make things, decorate, shop, and hit the flea markets so thinking of ideas for things to sell and unique ways to display them is actually fun for me. But it has been another distraction that's kept me from blogging.
While we were on out getaway, we stopped for our first fried clams of the season. So good! And, just for old time's sake, we shared a root beer float to go with them. Delicious! Sadly, my Weight Watchers meeting was the day after we got back. Those clams cost me two pounds that I have to get off this week but they were so worth it!

On the way home, we stopped at an antique shop we like. Being downsized I try not to buy much these days but I couldn't resist these four M.A. Hadley Berry plates. I've collected M.A. Hadley since I worked part-time at the Yankee Peddler Country Store in Connecticut when my kids were little. They sold her hand painted pottery and I coveted it. I couldn't afford even one piece then so now I can't help treating myself to it once in awhile.

When we got home, I found yet another reason to put off catching up on my blog: I decided to start digitizing the thousands of slides we had stored away from our college graduation through our children's early childhoods. Remember the boxes of Carousels that seemed so high-tech back in the day? Again, I have no idea what possessed me to do this now.

But I did find this neat little Kodak Scanza on Amazon. It converts Old 35mm, 126, 110, Super 8 & 8mm Negatives & Slides to JPEG Digital Files that are saved on an SD card. Since it costs 40-50 cents a slide to have this done professionally, I figured the purchase would be well worth it. When I finish (if ever!), I'll put all of the photos on thumb drives for my children and sisters. 

And in my spare time, I purchased three trees at the local nursery (that's another story) and set up the deck (finally - we've had NO Spring in New England this year!),

Having shared all that, I still feel bad that I've let this blog go for so long. But I also feel grateful to have such good blog friends, who, although we've never met in person, share their lives with me as I share mine with them. 

And who take the time to ask if I'm OK when I haven't posted in awhile. We may live across the country from one another and differ in more ways than we know, but we are friends. 

And that means the world to me!

This post is linked to:
Grandma's House Link Party # 138 at Chas' Crazy Creations

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Road Trip: Unpacking the Antiques

We arrived back home in Maine Sunday afternoon after an amazing month-long road trip through the Southern U.S.  We unpacked the things that had to be unpacked and then fell into bed at 7:00 p.m, exhausted from the long drive from Tennessee.

Imagine our surprise when we woke up to this.  On April 8th! This should NOT still be happening - even here in Maine. After a month of green grass and palm trees, this is a difficult adjustment!

It was fun to unpack the few antiques that I purchased "down South" though. This vintage pillow is my favorite. It was a bargain at the original price of $10.99 but was marked down to $8.00. Needless to say, I grabbed it. You can't see it in the photo. but there is vintage rick rack around the edges.

I've written quite a few blog posts about my long distance love affair with South Carolina and I have the perfect spot for this pillow. It will remind me of happy times in the low country every time I walk through the living room.

I also was lucky enough to find three Shawnee Pottery miniatures to add to my collection.

These tiny (<3")vases and pitchers were produced from 1937 through the 1940's and given away as premiums at stores and movie theaters. (Back in 2011, I wrote a post about my collection, with lots of photos, which you're welcome to revisit here.)

I can't resist these little replicas of the full size pottery pieces so popular in the 1930' and 40's.  Years ago I found the perfect wall case for them and love the touch of whimsy thy add to our kitchen.

Since we've downsized, I'm very careful not to give in to my love of old things too often these days. But, I did have to have this little oval serving dish.

When my Mom passed away in 2014, I inherited her large California Ivy platter. I love to use it because, when I do, it brings back happy memories of Mom serving meals on it when I was a child in the 1950's . The little oval platter I found on this trip will be a good compliment for the larger platter.

The Poppy Trail California Ivy pattern was introduced in 1946, the year my parents were married, and remained in production until 1984. I was excited to find another piece and at $4.50, it was a good

There were gorgeous old tobacco baskets at so many of the antique shops we visited down South. These were on the porch of an antique shop in Wears Valley Tennessee.  I love them and wished I could have thought of an excuse to buy them all!

But I bought a HUGE one when we were in South Carolina last year. You can read the story of how I finally got my tobacco basket to Maine here.

As you can see, I really don't have the wall space for two of them. It still killed me to leave such gorgeously aged ones back on that old porch in Tennessee though.

Here are a few of the antique shops we stopped at on our road trip. Especially in Tennessee, they were everywhere.

Here in Maine, many of our antique shops have closed so I was in my glory with so many to stop at.

I loved all of the 1930's green kitchen appliances and cookware displayed in this "kitchen".

And I especially loved antiquing in sunny 70 degree weather!
All of the flowering bushes were in bloom in the states we visited.

And now it's back to this . . . UGH!
It's way past time for winter to go away for good.
Until it does, I'll just have to close my eyes and pretend I'm back down South!

This post is linked to:
Homestyle Gathering #13 at Serving Up Southern
Flaunt It Friday #443 at Chic on a Shoestring
Farmhouse Friday 101 at The Painted Hinge
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