03 April 2014

Cantaloupe Honey Jam

I know I really should post some genealogy, but I can't resist sharing my latest deliciousness -- Cantaloupe.  Jam.  I told you! Deliciousness.

I found it at Martine Holston's blog, and she cited Food in Jars. I know I've written of Marisa's blog here before.

The ingredients are cantaloupe, sugar, vanilla bean (I used my homemade pure vanilla extract), fresh lemon zest and juice, and liquid pectin. All combine to make a sweetness I never could have imagined.



My guy said it's like fruit infused honey. Oh. So. Yummy.

I do recommend using pure vanilla, though. I can't imagine the taste being remotely as good with imitation.

I'm glad I now have cantaloupe jam in my cupboard! (Simply process in a water bath for ten minutes.) Again, the recipe can be found at Martine's blog or in Marisa's book. Both are linked above.  Try it and tell me what you think!

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.

29 January 2014

Me & Grandma (a Wordless Wednesday Revisited)

No more frustration, No more anxiety,
No more pain.

Betty Sue Campbell Lincecum
(1934-2014)

09 January 2014

Blueberry Banana Cake Donuts

They weren't the prettiest blueberries I've ever seen. And it's certainly not blueberry season. But I've wanted to give this recipe a try for months, so I went for it.

It all started with a recipe for Blueberry Cherry Baked Donuts I found over at the Taste and Tell blog. She posted it back in 2012, and I pinned it months ago. Fast forward to Christmas 2013, and Mom gives me a gift card to Bed, Bath, & Beyond (woo hoo!). A few days ago, I used a portion of it on a new donut pan. The only thing I had to do today was take my 16 month old boy to the vet, so why not take my new pan for a spin afterwards?


I decided to do just blueberry donuts early on, but at the last minute chose to throw an overripe banana in the mix. The batter might have ended up a bit thick, but the donuts are moist and tender with a hint of banana flavor in addition to the blueberry freshness, so I call it a win.

The first lesson I learned with my new donut pan, is be careful not to overfill. My first attempt could have passed for mini bundt cakes. ;-)



My second batch was much more donut-like:


I was so anxious to try them, I didn't wait for them to cool to add glaze. I just slapped some homemade cream cheese icing on one and took a bite!

YUM!

I did eventually get to the glaze, though, and that made them even better. Just feast your eyes on these blueberry beauties:


If you've stuck with me this far (thank-you!), I'll bet you'd like the recipe. Don't let the calendar month scare you! Give them a go, and let me know what you think.

Blueberry Banana Cake Donuts

Adapted from Deborah's Blueberry Cherry Baked Donuts at Taste & Tell blog.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup honey flavored Greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 mashed ripe banana (the riper, the better)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat donut pan with non-stick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, yogurt, eggs, vanilla, melted butter, vegetable oil, and banana. Stir in flour mixture. Fold in blueberries.
  4. Fill donut pan about 2/3 full. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes. Use the toothpick test to be sure they're done. Turn out of pan and cool completely on wire rack.
  5. Whisk together 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, and 3 - 4 tbsp milk for glaze. Top donuts when cool and return to wire rack to dry.

Yield: 18 donuts

21 July 2013

Sallie Lincecum's Widow Pension Saga

What a difference ten years makes when applying for a widow's pension...I guess.

Sallie (Kirksey) Lincecum was the wife of Brazos D. Lincecum, married 26 October 1871 in Caldwell County, Texas. They are also my second cousins, 6x removed.

Sallie's signature, 1917.
Brazos enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1862, when he was just 19 years old. He was a soldier in Company K, 36th Texas Infantry. And, at the time of his death in 1913, Brazos was living in a Confederate Home in Austin, Texas. So why was Sallie's application for a widow's pension rejected when she applied in 1917?

Well, one of the first notations I saw that might be a problem was this: "Husband of applicant died at the Confederate Home at Austin. Applicant has not preserved any records."

Nonetheless, Caldwell County Judge J. T. Ellis attempted to get information on Sallie's behalf by a letter to the Commissioner of Pensions:
I am enclosing the application of Mrs. Sallie Lincecum for a Confederate pension; she is very old and feeble and is unable to give definite information as to the command in which her husband served; It is a well known fact however in this county, that B D Lincecum was a Confederate Veteran and that he died at the Home in Austin in April, 1913...
The commissioner did request information from the war department and received notice that Brazos B. (aka Brazos D.) was indeed a member of the company K, 36 Regt, TX Cav, CSA, but that he was listed as deserted on the roll for Feb 1864. It was noted, however, that he was on the roll for January 1865 with no specific information regarding presence or absence. All that prompted the rejection of Sallie's application:
Dear Madam --
I have your application for a pension but am compelled to reject same as the war records at Washington show that B. D. Lincecum Deserted Feb. 2, 1864.
Sallie's signature, 1927.
Fast forward ten years. Sallie again applies for a widow's pension. This time attorney Henry Fielder appeals on her behalf with nothing more than a "Dear Sir: Enclosed application of Mrs. Sallie Lincecum for pension as widow of Confederate soldier."

This time the war department fails to mention B. D.'s desertion: "The records show that B. D. Lincecum, pvt., Co. K, 36th. Tex. Inf., C.S.A., enlisted Feb. 28, 1862, at San Antonio, Tex., and on muster roll for Jan. and Feb. 1865, (last on file) his presence or absence is not stated." -- Lo and behold, Sallie gets her pension. Unfortunately, she died January 1929. Instead of getting the pension for a likely deserved twelve years, she got it for less than two.

The relationship between Sally and B. D. is a murky one. I have yet to find them in the 1900 census, which I would desperately love to see. Are they together? Maybe an odd question to ask, but I have my reasons. In 1910 (before B. D.'s death in 1913) Sallie is living with her brother, listed as widowed. And on her husband's death certificate (about sixteen years before Sallie's death), B. D. is listed as a widower. Furthermore, though they both rest in Caldwell County, Texas, Brazos and Sallie are in different cemeteries.

Maybe I'm making something out of nothing.
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