Tea Towel Memories

I have a drawer in the kitchen that houses my tea towels.  I call them tea towels because my grandmother referred to them in that way.  Her tea towels were a daily necessity in the kitchen. She never owned a dishwasher.  She was the dishwashing machine.

I have lovely and vibrant memories of my sweet, little grandmother wearing her handmade apron that tied around her neck and her waist. She’s wearing rubber gloves, protecting her hands from the extremely hot faucet water. She’s standing at the sink, washing the dishes and then placing them in the green plastic dish drainer.  She knew how to get the suds going for her washing cycle.  She had a double sink and she knew how to minimize the use of water when she was rinsing.  They were on well water and were ever vigilant about conserving their supply.  They truly wasted nothing, especially their precious water.  My grandfather completes my recollection, as I see him standing tall and strong by my petite grandmother.  I see the tea towel in his massive hands.  He’s wiping the dishes dry.  The cupboard doors are open to save time as he puts each dish away in its place.  Lots of dishes could need more than one tea towel. Not a problem.

Grandmother had lots of tea towels.  Her towels were all cotton, a thin cotton and they all looked the same.  There were however, a few that she hand embroidered with tiny purple violets. They were special.  After drying the dishes, the damp towels were hung on this nifty three-pronged hanger, so the towels would air dry.  Once dry, the towels became useful one more time before being washed by my grandmother in the hand wringer washing machine. Then she hung them out to dry on the clothes line.  It was a system that worked.

I think that my grandmother would like my tea towels, although they are quite different in look and in usage from hers.  Some remind me of our travels and some were gifts from family members, so each one is unique and finally, we use them to dry only the pots and pans that cannot be accommodated in the dishwasher.  I know Nannie would really appreciate that my husband prefers to dry, just like my grandfather.

I like my tea towels.  It’s a deja vu each time I open the tea towel drawer.

Visit:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/12/what-are-tea-towels_n_6135252.html to find out about “What the Heck are Tea Towels, Anyway?”

 

Fresh and French

We loved the outside cafes in Provence, France.  Each day we’d find ourselves in our favorite spots by early afternoon. It was so simple.

White or red, a blanc ou rouge. That was it. The vin du pay was just the ticket. We’d have a crusty baguette and fresh radishes served with a small bowl of rough sea salt. Radishes?  At first, this combination seemed strange.  We tried the lovely roots and fell in love with them. Perhaps it was the setting, but these radishes became a favorite while on our trip. Back home, when the radishes are in season, we enjoy eating them while sitting on our patio with blanc ou rouge. It’s simple at home, too. Just today, our lovely neighbor brought me a bunch of fresh radishes from our local farmer’s market. I told her my radish story and what she told me was amazing.Fresh Farmer's Market Radishes

In France, she says, they eat the little darlings with butter. I did not know that and you better believe we will be eating these fresh treats along with butter. Can’t wait.

Visit: http://gracelinks.org/3876/french-breakfast-radishes-with-sweet-butter-sea-salt-and-chives for this simply exquisite recipe.

One little word…..

Thankful SnapdragonsOne little word

One something that made your day

One little word

One kindness that kept the moment

One little word

              One special day, one little word becoming three

Intimate Yellow Snapdragon                         Happy Mother’s Day

                                                   pamela 5.7.16

Brodie here. A Golden Commentary and Contemplation 5

What’s happening out there?

Remember, I’m an observant golden retriever who is giving you food for thought. Consider these possible solutions for both parties….. the R group, if necessary, could be nominating their presidential runner at their coming convention through…rock, paper, scissors, shoot and the D group could use…red rover, red rover send it’s all ready been decided over?  Brodie the Golden RetrieverHey, these problem solving strategies have settled many battles, time and time again on thousands of elementary school playgrounds throughout the world.  I’m just saying… What is a lyin’ narcissist?  Is that someone who lays down in the bed at night and becomes dishonest, two-faced, deceitful and double-dealing while clicking selfies??…What is going on out there? OK…Superdelegates love themselves, doing exactly as they please…regular delegates do what the state peeps say and pledged delegates promise not to stay out past 11:00 pm on week nights…some of these delegates are bound with their hands tied behind their backs, and according to party rules, they cannot play “Pin the Tail on the Donkey or Elephant at the conventions…bummer.

Is a minimalist like someone who drank from that little blue-bottle in “Alice and Wonderland” and as a result became very tiny??…was that bottle blue???… great novel but…I’m confused…Prom people please be safe.  Dog hugs to all of my followers and those who like and say so 🙂

This is exhausting.  Remember, when you pay attention and listen, you usually get a treat.

Go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/12/opinion/campaign-stops/the-not-so-super-delegates.html to get information about the Superdelegates.

 

 

 

Brodie Here. Commentary and Contemplation 4… What’s happeing?

What’s happening out there?

I’m a confused golden retrieverBrodie commnetary…..when it’s over, it’s not over?  suspending… then another suspension, sounds suspicious to me..it’s not over..$27.00 checks are still “berning” through the mail. …Finally no more pachyderms permitted under the big top…no more elephant tricks finally!  Wanting peace for all elephants worldwide. …flipping Pennsylvania like a pancake soon???… (I love the great State of PA and flapjacks as well)… narcissistic policy disorder…Don’t know what that is but it sounds contagious.  What is the White House Daily Briefing?  Is that when reporters, correspondents and some select politicians gather in the Press Room and as soon as they are all assembled, windows are flung open so rafts of the hot air can escape? I truly don’t know.  Dressing up like a panda in public places is dangerous…unless it’s Halloween…be safe out there people …. I’m confused. 1209 North Orange Street in Wilmington, Delaware is brimming over with 285,00 businesses and firms, all of which are under the same roof?!  Are these penniless people who are seeking a shelter? How do these people co-exist with each other, living in such close quarters? I’m guessing that they all agree to jump through big gaps that are throughout this house and they always stay out of each others way. loophole..now what is that?.. A compound word? Somebody call a lawyer please… Garage Sales?… Is that when people get up early, especially during the summer months, get road coffee, then drive around looking for handmade signs and connecting with Tweets that advertise a garage for sale??? just the garage??? what about the house?……suspending and not conceding in the preliminary race for the presidency?…what ever happened to conceding…how about saying congratulations over the phone to the other candidates?..Can’t answer my question… then something is up…Pharmaceutical corporation liars still continuing with their pants on fire;…hug a dog, don’t hug a dog?dog hug..very interesting…pay attention and think on this because we are learning everyday…Coal Country, I love you West Virginia…stay away from those voter controller people…. The woman card?..playing the woman card?…is that like playing 52 pick-up with one of the queens missing?…Politicians continue playing this vacuous game.  I’m confused….a new type of driver’s license that detects the sex of the driver….cards will be utilized to gain entrance into the appropriate public bathroom?….I know?!… I don’t think so because the chip might change?  Do classes exist for politicians to learn how to “know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em…know when to run card tricks?…word of the day is “trick”…those political tricks with a whack-a-mole twist… keep cropping up…. The homeless deserve respect and need a safe space.  Are synonyms something you eat? I’m confused…. I think I had some of them the other day but they all tasted the same. Big horse race coming up…bet on the gray even if there isn’t one racing…they usually win.

What is going on out there?  This is exhausting.  Please be sure to breath, stay cool and most of all, ears up.

Support information provided regarding the departure of circus elephants, tax shelter in Delaware and hug a dog/don’t hug a dog:

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey/ Center for Elephant Conservation https://www.ringlingelephantcenter.com/

On-shore….Delaware serving as a tax haven/tax shelter for large corporations.. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/30/business/30delaware.html?_r=0

Hug or not to hug a dog…..http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/

 

My Honeysuckle Grove

There are days when I wish I were somewhere else, somewhere other than my usual place. You know, like being in a gondola in Venice or sitting in the natural spring baths in Iceland or maybe even Giant Stadium, catching the California sun-rays or perhaps back in New Orleans eating gumbo & listening to street jazz. But today, when Brodie, my golden retriever and I were walking through the woods behind our house in Virginia, I thought… this is exactly right for us. When I told myself that I was content with walking my dog and noticing nature at its spring best, I became mindful of my surroundings. I got into the moment, and into the Honeysuckle grove that surrounded us with sweet fragrance and lush green.

The bouquet of the honeysuckle blossoms wafted lightly in the air. I remembered back to when I was a little girl. I thought of my kind grandfather showing me how to suck the sweet nectar from the inside of a honeysuckle blossom. I could see his huge but gentle hands delicately sliding the stamen out of the body of the flower while dragging the delightful honey out to meet his tongue. There was an art to this and I was a good student. Granddaddy preferred the yellow blossoms, saying they were sweeter.  I agreed. He was right.

So in honor of our honeysuckle grove and in celebration of becoming mindful with little effort, we harvested some of the blossoms. The next day I remained content being exactly where I was, as I sipped my homemade Honeysuckle & Spearmint Iced Tea.  My liquid refreshment was a simple and sweet memory drink.

Honeysuckle and Spearmint Tea

Pick about 3 cups of honeysuckle blossoms
Sprigs of Spearmint

Pick fresh blossoms, removing all leaves and stems.
In a container with a lid, add the blossoms to about 3 cups of boiling water. Add a few spearmint leaves. Cover the container and steep for at least 6 hours in the refrigerator.
Strain the liquid through cheesecloth.  Enjoy over ice and with a sprig of spearmint.

Mindful Moments

Walk and think
Walk and dream
Walk and realize
The Honeysuckle memories
Pamelalucas 5/1/16

Let the beets be with you

From red to purple to yellow to orange to gold, the beet is a sturdy vegetable that has come into its own. Beets are popular. Beets are adored by foodies and seen on menus in down home cooking spots and found on the finest haute tables.

If the beets can be with you they will.

When I was a kid growing up in Virginia, this cool weather crop was seasonal at best and not what you would call popular. They made me frown. However, beets were easy to grow and a healthy, hardy vegetable to feed to a family. Beets were often served at our familial table.

Today, my family members remain divided. You either let the beets be with you or not. We like to joke about “Who’s going to eat that?” The very sight of a newly prepared version of these lovely roots is enough to clear some of them from the room, while the rest of us gobble up the beets as a treat.

Simple to prepare, here’s one of our favorite beet recipes:

Ingredients for roasted golden beets

Roasted Beets with Garlic & Rosemary
For 4 of us:
Number of beets to roast vary based on size of the beets
Garlic cloves cut in half
Rosemary sprigs (for roasting & for garnish)
Your favorite olive oil
Salt and pepper
Crumbled Feta Cheese or Goat Cheese

Cut the greens off and thoroughly wash the beets, leaving little stems. (The greens are enjoyable, but we do not partake of them.) Put the whole beets on a large piece of foil along with the garlic, rosemary sprigs, season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with olive oil. Top this with another piece of foil, sealing the edges. Place this sealed packet on a baking sheet/cookie sheet. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for about an hour or until just tender. Let cool for handling.

Peel and cut the beets into wedges. (I wear gloves to avoid staining my hands with the beet color.) Plate beets on a platter for a showy presentation, drizzle with olive oil, scatter with crumbles Feta or Goat Cheese, garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs and let the beets be with you.

beet final

For Golden Brodie

Beets look so strong
Beets look so healthy

Beets can be a favorite
Beets can be despised

Beets are luscious beauties in disguise
By pamelawlucas 4/28/16