a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I LOVE to read and have enjoyed these. . .

“The Hiding Place,” the true story of Corrie Ten Boom, a courageous Christian woman who became a militant heroine of the anti-Nazi underground. “Here is a book aglow with the glory of God and the courage of a quiet Christian spinster whose life was transformed by it. . . at the risk of her, and her sister’s, own lives—it was His strength that sustained them through times of profound horror. .  . a story of Christ’s message and the courageous woman who listened and lived to pass it along---with joy and triumph.” I feel this is a story you will never forget—nor should you.

“Twinkie, Deconstructed” by Steve Ettlinger, an interesting and easy read --- “a fascinating exploration into the curious world of packaged foods. . . takes us from phosphate mines in Idaho to cornfields in Iowa, from gypsum mines in Oklahoma to oil fields in China, to demystify some of American’s most common processed food ingredients—where they came from, how they are made, how they are used—and why. Beginning at the source (hint: the ingredients are often more closely linked to rocks and petroleum than any of the four food groups), Ettlinger reveals how each Twinkie ingredient goes through the process of being crushed, baked, fermented, refined, and /or reacted into a totally unrecognizable goo or powder with a strange name—all for the sake of creating a simple snack cake.”

If this makes you want to boycott commercial Twinkies but still crave them, go to your search engine and type in “twinkie recipe.”  There are several. The filling I use is from my recipe for Ho Ho cake — a copy cat of another multi- (mostly unnecessary) ingredient snack cake.    

Ho-Ho Filling
1 cup milk
3 T cornstarch
1 cup sugar
½ cup margarine (1 cube)
½ cup shortening
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Combine milk and cornstarch and cook until creamy, stirring constantly. In separate bowl, beat sugar, margarine, shortening, salt and vanilla until creamy. Combine the two mixtures, beating  until fluffy.

"Food Rules: An eater's manual" by Michael Pollan is a tiny book that adds a little wit to its wisdom with suggestions such as "don't eat anything your great grandma wouldn't eat, avoid foods containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry, and avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce." + 61 more ways to healthier eating.

For nice, clean, relaxing fiction I like Rosamunde Pilcher' s books, especially her short stories, because I can make time to take time to read a short piece. When I get into a good novel I have a very hard time putting it down until it is finished and that can play havoc with life.  Dave can read a book in bits and pieces over time. When he goes to the store with me he will head to the book section and read while I shop.  How he can remember where he left off a week or two before I don't understand. And I don't understand how he can even stand, let alone enjoy, doing that. If he has a few spare minutes he reads something ---- anything!  I  claim he would read the phone book if there was nothing else.  When I have that same couple of minutes  I am usually content to space off or dose off.

P.S. As I was writing this section the thought came to me that taking time to read was like taking time to smell the roses----and then I glanced over at the cover of The Blue Bedroom.  I have read it, moved it and loaned it, several times over the years and have never really noticed the cover before. I know it doesn't mean anything but it was fun to "discover" the roses just as I was making the connection. Thanks go to Mary, my long-ago boss for introducing me to Rosamund Pilcher. Mary is the same Mary that reappeared in my life a few weeks ago, at the exact time I needed help in starting this blog.

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