Blogging Friends

After four years, this will be my last entry written as My Southern Heart.  I hope you will follow me as I begin a new journey and a NEW blog.  Thank you, dear readers, for your friendships which stretched across the continents.   

You see the wing of that jet below?  I will be on one such jet on Saturday morning leaving Portland, Oregon, and the grandeur of the Pacific Northwest for the last time.  Headed for another beautiful part of this country – the MIDWEST!  I love the prairie…with the spun gold rolling grasses as far as the eye can see and the breathtaking sunsets.  Oh, and did I mention corn?!  By supper time Saturday, I’ll be getting kisses from four grandkids and a Hungarian Vizla!

Blessings to each of you!

Dianne

I will, in time, be closing down this blog – it’s all about saving four years worth of my work AND finding the time! In the meantime, I’m hearing from many of you who are still enjoying past posts and recipes.

My new blog is entitled Sweet Journey Home and I would love it if you’d follow me over there!  

 Comments are closed for this one…

 Photo above by Penny Allen Glenn. Copyright 2012. Used with permission. All rights reserved by Penny Allen Glenn.

Part of the fun of making “blogging friends” all over the world is sharing recipes. My friend Pam, the “Georgia Farm Woman”, shared this wonderful recipe on her blog the other day.  Of course, she lives in Georgia where the state produces over 130 MILLION pounds of sweet Georgia peaches every year!  How I miss being able to get Georgia peaches here!  Oregon is well known for producing delicious blueberries and scrumptious cranberries, but there is no rival to Georgia peaches!  I decided to give this recipe a try in my cast iron skillet just as Pam did and it worked great.  I love cooking in cast iron…reminds me of growing up in Tennessee and Mama’s wonderful cooking.

Peach Upside Down Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peaches (you can use 1 cup of FRESH or 1 small can).  Drain peaches and save the juice.  If using fresh peaches, mix with about 1/2 cup sugar and let set until you have juice from the peaches.

1/3 cup butter

1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional and I didn’t have any)

1/2 cup brown sugar

Melt butter in 10″ iron skillet (either on top of stove or in oven).  Add brown sugar.  Spread out in skillet.  Add chopped pecans (optional).  Spread peaches evenly over brown sugar mixture.

2 eggs

2/3 cup granulated (regular) sugar

6 Tablespoons of reserved juice from peaches

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup of SELF-RISING flour

In mixing bowl:  beat eggs for 3-4 minutes.  Gradually add 2/3 cup white sugar to eggs.  Add the 6 tablespoons of the reserved peach juice and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Mix well.  Add 1 cup of self-rising flour and mix well.

Pour mixture over peaches.

Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes.  Invert onto plate.  (Couldn’t find my large round platter, so we just scooped it out).

Especially good while still warm from the oven.

Thanks for the recipe, Pam!

 

If you love fresh starts and new beginnings (I do), then you should love today of all days…for it is now 1-1-’11.  It doesn’t get any newer than that.  If I could, I’d give each of you a bouquet of newly sharpened #2 pencils and a brand new journal in which to record all those new year’s hopes and dreams…and maybe even a few resolutions.

As snowflakes fell late last night, I listened to the sound of the fireworks in the valley below and thought about this past year.  2010 brought blessings, challenges and answers to prayer for which I am thankful.  2010 also meant saying goodbye for the last time, on this earth, to several loved ones.  I will miss them all, but especially Bobbie, my children’s paternal grandmother.  This year reminded me, once again, to cherish each moment we have together for life turns on a dime.

This was our year to spend Christmas in the Pacific Northwest and the macho logger tree farmer and I spent a sweet Christmas with his older daughter and her precious family.  Mason is getting to be a “big boy”, and I think, he remembers us now.  I love to see him playing and laughing on the floor with his Grandpa.  At the Christmas eve service at their church, we sang the wonderful old Christmas carols and some fun new ones.  There were “light sticks” for each of us in the large church and when the lights were turned out toward the end of the service, we all waved our “candles” laughing and singing.

Grandpa and Mason playing. Grandpa is still wearing his “crown” from the Irish Christmas crackers at Christmas dinner!

A couple of days after Christmas, we all drove up to the sea port town of Anacortes, Washington.  I definitely want to go back when the weather is warmer!  From there, we can take the ferry to the San Juan Islands.  We looked around several of the antique stores there and would definitely like to return for some serious shopping in the Spring during the tulip festival.

My daughter and her family and my older son and his family were able to spend some time together over the Christmas holidays.  I love the photograph she sent me!  The only thing wrong with this photograph is Grandmom isn’t in the middle of them!  My older son and his family are now home after seven years on the mission field in Peru.  I’m thankful for the time they had there and the lives they touched in their medical mission work, but I confess the mother and grandmother in me is glad they are home!  I hope to plan a trip to the Midwest to have time with all of them soon.

Happy New Year, dear friends! 

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

May the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you.

May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
and give you peace.

(Numbers 6: 24-26)

Just in case you think you’ve opened the door to the wrong room, you haven’t.  I’m playing with designs, backgrounds, colors and maybe a new look here.  I like “the last two miles home” photo header below, but I think I’m  ready for a change.  You know – like rearranging the living room.  I’m not sure what I think just yet about this design.  What do you think?

The last two miles home…up the mountain.

I was in need of some “comfort food” tonight.  We’ve been watching the complete “Christy” series on DVD for the past few nights,  and it has brought back memories of my Southern home.  So, for dessert tonight, I made one of the dishes Mama used to make when I was growing up…baked egg custard, with a sprinkling of nutmeg.  They’re baked in little ramkins placed in a baking dish and surrounded by hot water to protect the custard.  A little sweet, smooth and just the perfect taste of home tonight.

We have finished the original Christy series starring Kellie Martin and have started on the three follow-up sequels.   Very few of the original stars are in these…not even Kellie Martin.  Evidently, she was asked but turned it down.  I have to admit the follow up movies don’t compare to the original series…they don’t come close.  Very disappointing.  The series was based on the book, Christy, by Catherine Marshall.  I read the book when I was pregnant with my daughter, almost 41 years ago, and I loved it.

I suppose part of being a writer and an artist is that I tend to daydream at times.  Granted, I know most of my daydreams will, most likely, never come true.  Some could…in time.  There is one that I wish would definitely come true:  I want to spend at least a month in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.  And, yes, I know a month wouldn’t be anywhere near long enough.

For years, I’ve read literature set in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.  One of my favorite authors is Rosamunde Pilcher.  She was born in Cornwall and lived in Scotland.  She retired from writing in 2000.  I’ve read everything she has written.  I love her description of the village life…the scenery…the characters.  I’ve loved all of her books.  Many of them have been turned into movies.

My husband’s son-in-law was born and grew up in Ireland.  He has since become an American citizen, but still has the wonderful Irish lilt when he speaks.  I hope he never loses it.  He introduced me to the very best TEA in the world.  It’s Lyon’s tea.  He’s always happy when they come to visit and he finds Lyon’s tea in the cupboard.  It’s blended in Ireland where they love tea and drink about five cups a day on the average.  Is it really the best?  I think so.  The only problem is you have to order it from Ireland.  I usually order from Amazon or TeaDog.  I know, it’s more expensive and you have to pay shipping, but it’s so good.  My Irish son by marriage also introduced me to the idea of a wonderful convenience:  the electric tea kettle!  I’ve seen this very same appliance in many pictures of kitchens in some of my favorite English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh blogs!  (I found my tea kettle at a kitchen store in an outlet mall in Portland for about $35.)

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My Southern Heart...the Stories blog is about my life growing up in the South in the fifties and sixties. It was an amazing time...a time of falling in love, getting married, having a family. A time of history in the making, political unrest, rock and roll. Come along on my life's journey. It's a chronological story, so be sure to start at the beginning. It will make a whole lot more sense that way. Check out: My Southern Heart...the Stories