Sorry, We're Closed.

This blog is essentially no more. Though I have left posts here, in most cases just for the sake of genealogy, there will be no more updates. Those posts I chose to move can now be found between two of my other blogs:

Southern Graves --

Stephlin's Mountain --

01 March 2014

Oatmeal for Lunch, with an Added Guilty Pleasure

I don't know for sure what brought it on, but I decided I wanted oatmeal for lunch today. Apple cinnamon oatmeal, to be specific. It's been my favorite since I was kid.

Have I mentioned the commitment I made to myself recently? I'm trying very hard to eat real food. Staying away from processed stuff is a monumental task (for me), and I'm taking it one day at a time. So even though I had some prepackaged dried apple and instant oat mixture staring at me from within the pantry, I turned the other way and walked right to my notebook computer (and Google).

Who would've thought (not me!) I had all the ingredients necessary to make some true apple cinnamon oatmeal? Even the apples! Yes, I'm growing.

Adapting from a wonderful recipe I found at Barefeet In The Kitchen, this is what I did:

Cored, peeled, and diced two small red apples. They were most likely Rome, but please don't pressure me. I added those sweet bits to a pot with some water (just shy of two cups) and one cup of oats. A 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg joined the party soon after. I let that come to a boil, then turned the knob down to a simmer and let that happen for a few minutes. After the apples got soft, I stirred in about 1/8 cup brown sugar.

Looks delicious, doesn't it? I'll bet you can tell there is something a little extra in the bowl, though (besides that pat of butter). Since I really like sweet oatmeal, I tried something a while ago -- I added some French vanilla creamer to it. Please don't judge! It is so good. And I had the stuff to make that, too, so it was meant to be.

Aimee at Shugary Sweets said all I needed was a 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk, a cup and a half of regular milk, and a couple splashes of vanilla...  She was so correct.

24 June 2013

Blueberry Butter and My First Attempt at Canning

Though sometimes my stage in life doesn't permit me to be zealous about it, I am hugely into preservation. I want to preserve the past, I want to preserve cemeteries, I want to preserve the earth, and I want to preserve food. ;-) Why not, right? I've actually been wanting to get into canning for a very long time. Kind of like the food blog thing -- years. Remember, though, I am so NOT into cooking the savory. I'm all about the sweet stuff. So butters, jams, jellies, and the like are right up my alley.

I've hesitated with these delectables in the past mainly because I thought it was time consuming and a little silly when there is just two people in the house. Even though both of those reasons are nonsense, I feel better about it when partnering the process with canning.

Since I've been doing a ton of reading on the subject, I've become mildly obsessed with the Food in Jars blog. And that is where I found my first recipe -- Slow Cooker Blueberry Butter. (That just sounds awesome, doesn't it?)

I was a little nervous about waste if I screwed something up, so I made a very small batch, beginning with 3 pints of pureed blueberries.

Marisa (at FiJ) wrote about leaving the blueberries in her slow cooker for five hours on low, then notching it up to high for the sixth. I have a 1.5 quart Crock Pot that has only one setting (supposedly low), and it worked just fine. I did have my butter in for a total of seven hours, though.

After five hours, I added the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg (just halving her recipe). I did zest a whole lemon like she put in her full batch.

I'm not sure I can express how delicious this stuff is. I thought the blueberries alone were pretty tasty, but the nutmeg and lemon are standouts that make it divine. I've had it with my toast every morning since.

How did I fair with the canning process, you ask? Very well, thank-you! I literally had only one pint jar to go with, but I got my experience. I have a Ball Canning Discovery kit that had been sitting in my pantry for at least a year. It comes with a basket that I used with my deepest pasta pot -- about seven inches. Right away I could tell that was pushing it in depth, but I pressed on with fingers crossed.

After processing for ten minutes, I set the jar on the table anticipating the "ping"! Twenty-four hours later I tested the seal. The lid was firm when pressed, no movement at all. And I could lift my jar by the lid alone without worry of it coming off and spilling my beautiful blueberry butter. Success!

22 June 2013

A Pig Pickin' Cake?

I hesitated in posting this since Paula's been in the news quite a bit lately (and not in a good way), but I still must credit her with the recipe. And a delicious one it is. I made it the day before Father's Day and took it to the next afternoon's festivities. I was pleasantly surprised that my grandfather, who rarely eats sweets, enjoyed two pieces. Why it's called Pig Pickin' I do not know. I do know it really is an easy, light, summery cake.

I'm still working from Paula Deen's The Lady & Sons, Too! publication. This recipe is on page 206.

Cake Ingredients:
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, with juice
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Icing Ingredients:
- 1 (16 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 (3.4 oz.) pkg instant vanilla pudding mix
- 2 (8 oz. ea) containers Cool Whip

The cake ingredients are mixed together and make 3 thin layers (8 inch). The icing is also a simple mix of the ingredients. I might leave the vanilla out next time. It added flavor, but in my opinion gave a slight heaviness to an otherwise very light tasting icing.

My one misstep was not putting enough icing between the layers. I worried, unnecessarily, about having enough icing altogether so I was a little thin there.

The cake is so good, it'll be gone before you know it.

Have a sweet day!

21 December 2011

The Jingle Bell Rock (Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories #21)

This was originally posted last year as part of Blog Caroling, but I think it fits nicely with the Holiday Music Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories prompt. Don't you? Good! Here it is again. :-)

When my brother was quite young, he and Grandpa Logue would team up to sing "Jingle Bell Rock." Grandpa would start with "Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell." Then he would point at my brother who would yell, "ROCK!" And, yes, that would continue over and over for some time during our visits. Though not a traditional carol, this is a Christmas song I often think of every year and invariably find myself singing.

05 December 2011

Death and Burial of Sallie Caroline Matson Lewis

Sallie Caroline Matson, my 3rd cousin, was a daughter of James Vardeman Matson and Mary Lincecum. I have two birth years for Sallie. According to her death certificate, Sallie was born 24 February 1855 in Texas. According to her tombstone, however, her year of birth was 1856. Either way, she was just a young teenager when she married Mr. H. M. Lewis in December 1870. Widowed a couple decades later, Sallie spent about half of her life in Hubbard, Hill County, Texas. That is where she died 14 December 1924, less than a week before what would have been the 54th anniversary of her marriage.

The cause of Sallie's death was listed as Euremia. According to, uremia loosely describes the illness accompanying kidney failure, "in particular the nitrogenous waste products associated with the failure of this organ...Early symptoms include anorexia and lethargy, and late symptoms can include decreased mental acuity and coma. Other symptoms include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, cold, bone pain, itch, shortness of breath, and seizures."

Sallie was laid to rest in Fairview Cemetery at Hubbard.

Sarah Matson Lewis
1856 - 1924

(FindAGrave Memorial #11231900) 
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