Monday, November 24, 2014



Today I found myself heating up the oven, making a quick pan of yeast rolls with a few crushed pecans at the bottom of half of them as a sweet surprise.
Then I put on a simple meatloaf with a scattering of whole onions in the shell and then a few white potatoes to bake.

As this all bakes and the smell of it penetrates throughout the house thanks also in part to the natural sage dried and added for flavor, it begins to smell a little like the holidays.

I can be busy somewhere else, doing something else. I have always had to do things like that. Nowadays they call it multi-tasking or something like that.

I not only like the idea, I have always embraced it without knowing it.

So this week, I have my new cookbook out on amazon, and I am in a baking mood and don't know when this will stop for now and I can go on to something else.

Meanwhile, the kitchen will smell good, my writing with have the love of cooking and baking mixed liberally in it and I look forward to the holidays which enhance this desire to cook and bake. Happy Holidays to All!

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Great Depression Cooking Lessons and Now



There was a time which these canning jars date back from, when there was a war, in fact a World War going on. If you look closely at the picture, you will see vintage screw on earrings of planes which were flown during World War II.

These earrings were a gift from a pilot to his wife in a parting present and a reminder of his love and also of his duty to his country. He would be flying one of these planes into battle.
How hard that moment of parting surely was for the both of them. She would stay busy herself because times were hard before that war and hard during that war. So she would do everything she could herself for their children as well as herself.
Many women went to work, but also there were gardens planted, some would call these “Victory Gardens.” These gardens were a big help during food rationing and shortages.
Another thing which was done in the home was canning and preserving. It just was such a part of life then, and many people continue these wise and money saving ways today, when they can.
It was a time, definitely, when everyone worked hard, had severe stress, and had to make do with very little sometimes.
  I have written several books which I hope people have found useful because the books reflect lessons I learned and practices I continue even today.
This month, November 22, I have a new cookbook out – Hard Times Frugal Desserts; A Back to Basics Cookbook.

This is the last I have about The Great Depression Cooking. This book is obviously about making dessert, from pies, to cakes, and everything in between. I just thought it would be a good addition to the cookbooks which I have written which have gone before it.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Memories during the Holidays . . .


It is hard for me to decorate, much less appreciate the changing of the seasons,
I have somehow forgotten all of my reasons.

One could say, “Hey, it is because of all that grief, many loved ones from that year has now past,
Their empty seats and silent voices testify to all good things just don’t last.

I can’t go on, without that special smile, the confidence and the joy they brought,
All of this and more,
Somehow life ends and then someone shuts an irreversible door,

So what is left?
The fall leaves fell without them,
And the rains came and the people walked by,
But everything seemed a little different,
They meant so much to daily life and daily life must go on,
But the Holidays, what of them?

So there are empty places, and everything seems suddenly tedious and dull, without them.

I always thought they meant so much, but the depth of it, won’t settle down, it just gets deeper.

Nonetheless, it is coming, that is for sure, the Holiday Splendor, we used to share,
Why should I care?

Something in me didn’t know,
Loss would be so totally devastating until it was clutching at my heart
And wouldn’t let go,
I am writing this,
Maybe others know,
How to go on into the Holidays,
When their heart is frozen with snow.

Saturday, November 1, 2014



I watched The Vampire Diaries Thursday night –
This is what I think about it:

The Vampire Diaries displays a fast paced story of excellence

I watched The Vampire Diaries show October 30 and found it a bounty of intrigue. The action has moved from just at the edge of Mystic Falls where the supernatural haven has been for some time. This is a Whitmore College festivities night for Elena and her friends and she has planned a night of fun for all of them. She wants a change from the heartache which has been a part of all of their lives for some time now.  Unfortunately, Damon and Bonnie have no part in her Earthly plans for fun since they are still caught in some kind of limbo after death experience.
Elena can be pretty persuasive as she urges everyone to join her party as she valiantly tries to carry on.
Elena is just sort of numb, made so by the talent of a friend. He seeks to make her forget her intense and very passionate love of Damon and she is hypnotized or compelled to forget her true relationship with Damon and this intense love, it has been a real effort for her, and finally she was able to do this.
 Because of this, she seems to have a new romance in her life, a totally opposite type of guy than Damon. For one thing he is NOT a vampire and rather than drink people’s blood, he is studying to be a doctor and wants to save lives. In this new phase of her life, Elena wants to become a doctor also and finds this hero aspect of her new attractive single male intriguing.
Meanwhile Damon and Bonnie are trying to get back into life, something they feel they can do, if Bonnie’s magic will return full strength. An unsavory character has shown up in their strange setting and he offers to help them with his own knowledge, but seems to be bent on actually causing them terrible pain. They have a sense of urgency since the spell must coincide with the Gemini Constellation enlightenment leading to a portal between the strange world they are in, and the real Earthly world they want to return to. It also includes a disk which Bonnie can hold in her hand while doing the spell utilizing this magic tool.
But after all, it is Halloween, and Elena invites her friends from Whitmore College to a Corn Maze Party. Among these is the guy she has kissed since Damon’s death, not many months in the past, and she only remembers Damon as a rather awful person who has nothing to his credit. Their celebration is interrupted by a terrible car crash, and many bloody injured people. When Elena secretly helps one of them with her own Vampire blood, this is obviously going to bring problems later on.
Meanwhile, Stefan has had problems breaking with the past, but in some ways has tried. He did have a girl friend, but in an earlier episode, Enzo killed her. Stefan immediately got revenge, but Enzo rather than killing her, had turned the girl. Now Stefan, trying to cope with many serious issues at once, asks Caroline to help the girl learn a thing or two about being a vampire. Caroline is not totally willing to do this, but agrees to try, only to have the new vampire wrench her neck and escape. The new vampire has found she likes her new powers and is very thirsty. She is a problem for sure now!
Meanwhile, Damon and Bonnie worked to return to their normal lives. Bonnie has realized her grandmother might have sent them to this place as an alternative to letting them totally die. This would be a place they could stay for a while, and then Bonnie would be able to take them back to their own lives. Now Kai, the very evil man trapped with them, promises he knows the spell for Bonnie to use, but once again he shows he is just up to no good, for he shoots Bonnie with a crossbow wounding her severely. She in one last bid for good left in her weakening body throws the magic and ornate piece in her hand to Damon and says the magic he needs. So she has sacrificed totally for his escape leaving her to deal with the angry and deadly Kai who would be more than angry at this turn of events.

As for Damon he returns to his own Earthly reality arriving in the family crypt. There he finds his loyal brother Stefan grieving for his lost family. Stefan can not believe his own eyes, so he touches his brother softly. IT begins again, all of it, their long life together, their journey not yet done, their awareness of the compelling strength of their combined destiny.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014




I was totally freaked out this week watching The Vampire Diaries when Elena walked over to an older type rope swing during a swimming party which she had initiated, and swung out and did a flip into the water and jumped. She is always a surprisingly complex person and I did not see this coming.
Meanwhile, Damon and Bonnie are stuck on the other side of life, which is growing more and more curious to them as well as the audience for this season’s The Vampire Diaries television show. It would seem that things stay much the same, although they are in an empty town, Mystic Falls, and very much alone together, and judging by the friction between them, they are both very much anxious to escape all of this forced confinement. They become disturbed though, when they find signs of someone else being there!
 They were right to not trust any of this, since almost immediately when Damon discovered a man who has hidden from them for some time, now violently attacks Damon in a set up for a kill, with liquor bottles laced with a toxic poison which he manages to cover Damon with.
Bonnie, frustrated and afraid, finds her magic returning just in time, but the new stranger is a complex person in his own right. They don’t know whether or not to trust his complicated story meant to gain their trust which he had brutally lost.
Meanwhile Elena in efforts to overcome a constant state of total grief over the loss of Damon has asked a powerful friend to help her forget all of her memories of loving Damon. This could be working, since she has the swimming party and seems to be enjoying it as she finds interest in a man, Liam, and is actually drawn into a brief kiss with the man she has invited to be a possible future love interest for her friend, Caroline.
 But Caroline’s grief for Stefan is severe and could be helped or hindered when Stefan arrives on the scene. He is caught up with revenge and wants Enzo to pay for the murder of Stefan’s present love interest. Things take a violent turn then, and one is suddenly aware that these are Vampires; they have the instinct and the power they have earned the hard way, by walking on the wild side of the Vampire life.
So suddenly, it is serious and deadly, intriguing and begins to weave its dark and mysterious way into the shadows of this world.
To me this week’s show could be described with one word, “Passion.” It is an incredible thing to see these characters come alive in this way, and it does show their passion, longing to be normal, dedicated to their friends, wanting to “live” life to the fullest, and they are thoroughly dedicated to this purpose in this show.

-- Review of The Vampire Diaries Series Show by Anna Patterson

Friday, October 10, 2014



Was that Damon making pancakes with “smiley faces” on it for Bonnie in the Season Opener? It turns out; it is basically all he can cook. But the next week showed off some of his brother Stefan’s chef skills and there were many other eye opening moments of surprise when I anxiously turned in to the first shows of the season of The Vampire Diaries.
 On the second week of the new season things began to get rather deep and very scary as a descendant of the Mystic Falls Founding Fathers shows a violent side which was very  déjà vu of earlier woes these people brought to the Vampires of this small fictional town in Virginia.
The Vampires are separated actually, with Damon and Bonnie lost in a place beyond their own death and the people who love them and would do anything to get them back are caught between trying to go on with some kind of life, and doing everything in their power to bring the two back.
This world the two are stuck in has layers of mystery which they are instantly caught up in. Meanwhile, Elena goes through the most turmoil it would seem in ways and finally in desperation enlists the help of a former teacher, Alaric, in hopes of banishing the tie of memories which holds her to Damon forever. To do this, Alaric helps her seek back to poignant moments in the relationship of Damon and Elena, and she does this with rare and beautiful glimpses of the past dating back to her own high school days.
Meanwhile life is not the same in Mystic Falls; in fact the vampires are kept out by a witches spell. Caroline has dropped out of college and Elena announced her plans to become a doctor. But first things first, with Damon and Bonnie on everybody’s mind, Caroline and Enzo decide to go and seek Stefan only to find him with a new girl friend, a new home, a new job (as a mechanic), and yet, they all are driven to find the whereabouts of Damon and Bonnie. In his own violent and unique way, Enzo tries to reinforce his desire to make Stefan miserable if he doesn’t try to find his brother.
I enjoyed the first two episodes of this season’s The Vampire Diaries because it captured some of the familiar threads of the past shows and promised a new slant of intrigue and adventure and even the Vampire power and magic which the cast of The Vampire Diaries can weave into quite an interesting tale.
 -- Review of The Vampire Diaries Series Opener Shows by Anna Patterson