Friday, November 23, 2012

Holiday Traditions 1

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We had 10 adults, 6 teenagers and 5 children aged 2 to 10 around various tables and seated on sofas for dinner.  It was a very good day!

The holidays of November and December are my favorites of the holidays.  I think it is partly due to the fact that we have more traditions built on Thanksgiving and Christmas than any other time of year.  They are also fun to decorate for and I LOVE to do that!

One tradition we have for these holidays is pecan pie.  When I was growing up there seemed to be pecan pie on the menu.  For family reunion , either Aunt Amy or Aunt Opal would bring a pecan pie and while many kids don't like nuts, I always have -- especially pecans!

My mother also made pecan pie for the holidays and they were always good.  Unfortunately, Mom was one of those "little of this and a bit of that" cooks so many recipes were never written down.  I never had her pecan pie recipe so had to find one of my own.  My friend, Betty who is from Kentucky provided the recipe I've used "forever".  She contributed the recipe to a church cookbook when we lived in the Milwaukee area where she still lives.  That was so long ago that the cook book was printed using a mimeograph - remember those?

Here is Betty's recipe for Kentucky Pecan Pie.

                        1 Cup White corn syrup                                   1/4 cup melted butter
                        1 Cup brown sugar                                           3 eggs, slightly beaten
                        1 teaspoon vanilla                                            1 heaping cup shelled pecan halves
                        1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine syrup, sugar, salt, butter, vanilla and mix well.  Add eggs.  Pour into 9:" unbaked pie shell.  Sprinkle pecans over all.  (You will notice I carefully place mine in radiating circles.  Some people just mix chopped pecans into the syrup mixture - your preference.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  When cool, top with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.
Though the original recipe says you can use margarine, I never, ever do.  Butter and the brown sugar make a wonderful almost caramel taste which many people have commented on when I've served this pie. 
This is what the pre-baked pie looks like.
And here it is again, all baked.
We have other traditions and I will be writing about those from time to time, as well.
What traditions do you have?  Food related or otherwise?  Which is your favorite tradition?  Ooh, as I wrote that, I realized I couldn't pick a favorite!  Maybe you will have trouble as well.
Do your traditions come from your own family traditions or did you create your own?  We have some of both.
Hope you try this pecan pie.  If you like pecan pie, I think you will LOVE this one.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Chasing Rainbows

Do you love surprises?  I do if they are good surprises.  Today I had one of those moments.

My studio is on the second floor so I have a birds eye view of the neighborhood.  The sky had suddenly turned dark and ominous looking which isn't all that common in our part of Arizona.  We are used to blue skies and sunshine.  I grabbed my camera and went outside to take some cloudy sky photos and this is what I saw --
I almost missed it.  I had the wrong lens on so only took a couple of shots before returning to change the lens.
When I came back out, I only caught glimpses of the ends.
From one part of the street I got this end.
The other end almost gone!
Just a bit remained as I looked across the street.
Sometimes behind these are wonderful surprises.
I'm glad I didn't miss the rainbow completely even if the clouds are amazingly beautiful!
Yesterday I took these photos of another kind of rainbow.
My sweet little two's and three's classes made this rainbow as part of our lessons on Noah and the Big Boat.
God's promises are the best!
*** On another note, life had been so busy lately that I totally missed my blogiversary! In November of 2010 I started this amazing journey blogging.  During that time I have met so many wonderful readers and bloggers that I feel very blessed.  You have stuck with me during my quirky schedule when I'm so busy I can't blog or create anything to blog about.  I love you all!  Thank you for all the sweet comments, questions and encouragement!