Tuesday, April 5, 2011

National Blame Someone Else Day

National Blame Someone Else Day is SUPPOSED to be the first Friday the 13th of each year. Imagine my shock when I received a message on my wall (from my son) claiming that it is today! Someone has obviously made a mistake – but NOT ME! I am just reporting the facts. It will become obvious that I am not responsible for any of the following happenings

Forgotten/unfinished tasks:

1. Make my bed this morning

2. Get dressed

3. Comb my hair

4. Schedule a dentist’s appointment

5. Sign check sent to Keith

6. Knitted afghan I started in 1970.

Responsible Party

1. Dean –he wanted his lunch made this morning, and once I leave the room, I don’t go back.

2. President Obama – he wants us to conserve energy, and so I’m going to line dry my clothes as soon as my back stops hurting long enough for me to carry the laundry basket outside!

3. Leprechaun activity – they hid my comb and my brush, too!

4. This is without a doubt my dentist nephew Kevin’s fault! He failed to send me a reassuring post in regards to flossing which resulted in an increase in my level of dentophobia (aka PTSD)

5. Oprah Winfrey set the date for her final show, and announced it on the air while I was in the process of writing the check. Stunned beyond sensibility, I numbly placed the check in the envelope and mailed it.

6. Grandma Kellogg taught me to crochet first, then to knit, so I prefer crocheting! The afghan has accompanied me for the last 44 years. It was for my mother. She died in 2004, though – so that kind of took away the incentive to finish it!

Obviously, I am not responsible for any of these events.

There is one thing to consider about assigning blame. Blame assignments only last for 1 day. It's not my fault! Congress passed it as a rider to their Conservation of Energy bill.


Breakfast cobbler

4 medium-sized apples, peeled and sliced
1/4 C. honey
1 t. cinnamon
2 T. butter, melted
2 C. granola cereal

Spray inside of Crock-Pot with nonstick spray. Place apples in slow cooker and mix in remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low 7-9 hours, or overnight.

Don’t blame me if it’s too late for breakfast this morning – after all, this is not my fault! You could have started it last night.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog's Day

My quest for the elusive jackalope has taken up most of my time for the past 14 months. I have searched over hill and dale, across rivers and streams seeking positive proof of its existence. I started this morning as I do every morning -- gazing out of the front window, scanning the fields. My heart started beating rapidly when I saw nostrils, then beady little eyes peek out of a den by the alfalfa fields. Would it be that simple? Would my quest be brought to a triumphant conclusion in my own front yard? .... I know you’re waiting as anxiously as I.....No, a careful examination revealed it was “rodentia” nostrils! Curses, foiled again!

What kind of a crazy rodent would stick it’s head out of it’s burrow into 5 degree temperatures?

Only one answer is possible... since it is Groundhogs Day, I witnessed the appearance of a self-appointed weatherman!

Around the fifth century ( at the beginning of the Dark Ages) European Celts believed that bears and groundhogs had "supernatural" powers. Well, at least they had those powers on 2 special days that were half-way between the December|Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Folklore from Germany and France indicates that when the groundhogs and bears came out of their winter dens too early, they were frightened by their shadows and retreated back inside for four to six weeks. I happen to know for a fact that it had nothing to do with “supernatural” powers. The truth is, that when those groundhogs came out of their holes after hibernating all winter and walked into the bright cold sunshine, they had massive migraines hit (triggered by the bright light). So they scurried back to their burrows for an Exedrin Migraine and were knocked out for six more weeks. On the other hand, when they came out of the burrow and saw cloudy skies, it meant that they could stay outside and frolic migraine-free. Winter was nearly over and spring was coming! Yeah!

A group of people suffering from seasonal depression in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania decided that they needed an excuse for a party. You know, music, good food, etc. So on February 2, 1887, what Punxutawnians claim to be the first official Ground Hog’s Day reading was given by Punxsutawney Phil the "seer of seers and prognosticator of prognosticators." The legendary first trip to Gobbler's Knob was made the following year, and each year since. Residents of Reading, Pennsylvania claim that they celebrated the first US Groundhog's Day on Feb. 4, 1841. Groundhogs across the country have attempted to make their own forecasts, but members of the “Inner Circle” (you know the group of Phil's friends in Top Hats and Tuxedos), claim that they have the only “true” prognosticator” --all others are only groundhog weathermen.

Unlike previous years, Phil was taken from his nice, comfortable home in the town library which he shares with his wife Phyllis this morning. Yes, he was taken out into the cold Pennsylvania morning where he failed to see his shadow! People watching the event expected to see him flinch from the light, then go pale, then see his eyebrows tense (all sure signs of a groundhog migraine) but it didn’t happen! It's official, this cold winter is coming to an early end! Spring is coming. Yes, I can start planning my forays into jackalope territory! This will be the year, I just know it! Now that it’s official, let’s join the party with good music and food!


Since groundhogs are known for poking out of holes, fill your table with food with holes in it, like donuts, bagels, and Swiss cheese. If this recipe doesn’t hit the spot, I can always send you my recipe for Ground Hog Stew!

Idaho Spudnuts

Cook 1 lb. Idaho russet potatoes, peeled and quartered. Drain, reserving ½ cup of the water. Cool to 110 degrees. Mash potatoes well.

2 packages yeast
11/2 c. warm milk (110 degrees)
½ c. vegetable oil
½ c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. salt
7 ½ c. flour

In large bowl:

Dissolve yeast in reserved cooking water. Add mashed potatoes, milk, oil, sugar, eggs and salt. Add enough flour to make soft dough. place in greased bowl, turn to grease top. Cover and let rise until doubled (about an hour). Punch down, let rise until doubled again (about 25 minutes). Roll out on floured surface to ½ inch thickness. Cut with floured cutter

oil (for frying)

Heat oil to 375 degrees. Fry until golden brown.

1/3 c. water
4 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla

Dip warm doughnuts in glaze. Cool on wire racks.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Welcome to Christmas

I'm going to post gift ideas and recipes, as well as other fun things each day until Christmas. Check back often for decorating tips, recipes, and other fun stuff!

Chocolate spoons - In a microwave safe bowl, melt 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips and 3/4 c. milk chocolate chips. Stir until well blended. Dip a plastic spoon into the chocolate, or fill the bowl of the spoon with chocolate, then set spoon on wax paper and refrigerate until firm. Place two or three spoons in a mug (from the Dollar store) along with two or three packets of hot cocoa mix. Wrap in plastic and tie with a ribbon.

A plate of cookies with a tag attached reading "Wishing you a wonderful Christmas, from your "crummy" neighbors.

Time Alone -- Offer to take care of the kids, answer the phone, and deal with any emergencies that crop up in order to give the recipient time to enjoy whatever they want or to catch up with their own to-do list.



Place small groups of cinnamon sticks with decorative ribbon tied around them all over your home. Potpourri is quite expensive for a full and delightful scent. Cheat this year and enjoy a scent straight from Mother Nature.


Christmas Card Puzzles
Gather 10-20 (depending on the size of the group) cards and cut each one into 3 or 4 pieces, using straight lines. Mix the pieces, then lay them out on a flat surface. Take turns one at a time to see how many matches you can make in a given period of time, or have a giant free-for all with everyone trying to make matches at the same time. You could even play pairs and have one grab the pieces while the other puts them together. It’s all up to you. Store the cards in a shoebox for next time.



Apple Muffins
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 egg
4 cup vegetable oil or butter, melted
1 cup sweet-tart medium to large apple, cored, peeled and chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 12-cup muffin tin or use paper liners. With a wire whisk combine first set of ingredients. In another bowl, combine wet ingredients. Add chopped apple and wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir only until moistened. Spoon into prepared muffin pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until tested done with tester.

Fudge is a holiday favorite throughout the south–some version are creamy and others are granular. This recipe makes a deliciously dense, grainy fudge.
2 c. fine granulated sugar 1/4 t. salt
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped 1 t. butter (unsalted)
2/3 c. heavy cream 1/3 c. finely chopped candies orange peel
Butter an 8-inch square glass baking dish. In a heavy 2-quart saucepan combine sugar, chocolate,
cream, and salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and
chocolate is melted. Cook mixture, without stirring until a candy thermometer registers 238EF.
Remove pan from heat and add butter and orange peel, swirling pan without stirring. Cool fudge 5
minutes and beat with a wooden spoon until it just begins to lose its gloss (do not overbeat or fudge
will seize). Pour fudge immediately into baking dish and cool 15 minutes, or until it begins to
harden. Cut fudge into 1-inch squares and cool completely. Makes about 1 lb.

1 c. butter or margarine 1 c. light corn syrup
2 1/4 c packed brown sugar 1 15-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
dash salt 1 t. vanilla
Melt butter in heavy 3-quart saucepan. Add sugar and salt. Stir thoroughly. Stir in corn syrup. Mix well. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. Cook and stir over MEDIUM heat to firm ball stage (245 EF), approx. 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Pour into buttered 9 x 9 x 2-inch pan. Cool and cut into squares. (I use parchment paper rather than buttering the pan. It makes it a little easier to remove from the pan.)

1/2 c. low fat Kraft Grated Parmesan
1 envelope Italian Salad Dressing mix
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 t. garlic powder

Mix cheese, garlic & dressing mix. Moisten chicken w/water, coat w/cheese mixture. Place in shallow baking dish. Bake 400 for 20-25 min.

makes 10 servings
2 ½ c pineapple juice 2 tbsp lemon juice
2 ½ c orange juice 16 oz ginger ale
2 ½ c grape juice
Combine fruit juices. Gently add ginger ale and serve immediately.

1 c. butter, softened
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 c. mashed ripe banana
4 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t baking soda
3/4 t salt
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 c. flaked coconut

Beat butter w/ electric mixer until light & fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar until light. Add eggs, beat well. Stir in banana. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt. Add to butter mixture, mixing just until smooth. Fold in pineapple & coconut. Spoon batter into 2 greased & floured 9 x 5 loaf pans. Bake preheated 350 oven until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 60-70 min.

makes 2 servings
¾ c cold milk 3 drops almond extract
¾ c chilled peaches ½ c vanilla ice cream
¼ t salt
Blend milk, peaches, salt & almond extract until smooth. Add ice cream and blend until smooth.

Monday, September 21, 2009

World Gratitude Day

Happy World Gratitude Day!

In 1965, a group of people (from both western and eastern countries) gathered together for Thanksgiving dinner in Hawaii. This group of people, including citizens from over 40 countries, pledged to hold “Gratitude Gatherings” in their home countries the following Sept 21. It became an annual event and was eventually recognized and set aside by the United Nations as World Gratitude Day. It’s a day to recognize the great things that people do. Take the time to think of things you’re most grateful for, and to thank those involved.

Here’s a list of 10 things I’m grateful for:

10. Sunshine. I’m grateful that the sun came up this morning. It would be a dismal day without it! (Thank, you God)

9. That it didn’t snow last night.
Snow, ice and I don’t get along really well, so every morning that I wake up, check to make sure the sun is shining and don’t see snow, I’m grateful. (Thank you, God, again, for keeping snow out of September)

8. Oboes
Sergei Prokofiev, in 1936, cast the oboe in the role of the “duck” in Peter and The Wolf. Apparently, he thought that the oboe sounded like a duck would sound if it were a songbird. The oboe has been much maligned over the years, but where would we be without it? Imagine Moody Blues without the oboe - they just wouldn’t sound the same. So thanks, oboe (and Ray Thomas - flautist and oboeist for MB) , for carrying on, even when people think you squawk like a duck. :)

7. Thumbs
I sprained my thumb last week. Have you ever tried using a curling iron with a sprained thumb? It doesn’t work, so I’m grateful for thumbs. Don’t know quite how to say thanks – maybe rub it with some lotion? We’ll see. Oh, I almost forgot. Thank you, Heavenly Father for giving us thumbs

6. Bony knees
My husband has the boniest knees in the world. They’re so bony that they’re cute. They work perfect, they bend and straighten just like they’re supposed to and they don’t grind or even catch. So thanks, bony knees – maybe I’ll tickle you tonight.

5. Kermit the Frog
How many of you have listened to “It’s Not Easy Being Green” lately? I have. I’m about the most ordinary person that you will ever meet, and Kermit addresses this situation, “It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things. And people tend to pass you over 'cause you're not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water-or stars in the sky.” Kermit gives dignity to being ordinary as he says, “I am green and it'll do fine...and I think it's what I want to be.” Thanks, Jim Henson. I wish you were still here.
Link to “It’s Not easy being Green” www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbCI68eSNsA

4. Giggles
Where would the world be without giggles? I am so grateful for all of the giggles my kids have given me – all 10 of them. How many children? Ten...that’s right...5 through childbirth and 5 through marriage to my biological children. I’m grateful for all the giggles from: broken eggs, missed buses, frozen car doors, school programs, imitating the monkeys at zoos, dinners that have dissolved into gigglefests, and even church meetings when our entire bench was shaking from poorly restrained giggles. Where would the world be without them? Here’s a giggle song for you www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDo8WHpA5jc&feature=PlayList&p=6A8CA147AE0D0FF7&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=35
Thanks, Shannon, Jon, Rachel, Francis, Nathan, Jennifer, Keith, Emma, Gina and Darrell, and thank you, God, for allowing me the privilege of being their Mom.

3. Grandchildren
I wanted to be a grandma from the time I was very young. My Mom had grandchildren older than me, and she enjoyed them so much. I wanted to start out being a grandma! I thought that would be the neatest thing in the whole world. I just couldn’t wait. Well, it took a little longer than I expected, but I am now the grandmother of the two cutest, smartest, most intelligent grandchildren who have ever walked the planet. If you need to verify that, just aske Dean and he will tell you.
Rackelfratz! I tried to put in pictures of them, but it’s not working! Rats! Anyhow, Thank you, Rachel and Francis, for making my childhood dreams come true. **If anyone can tell me how to add pictures, you’ll make my top ten list for sure!!!

2. Dean
Uh-oh, the waterworks are starting already..as a word of advice, you’d better grab a kleenex and wipe off your monitor! Thanks, Dean for standing beside me and allowing me to stand beside you for 35 years!

1. Life
Every night I thank God for the day He has given me and ask Him for one more. Every morning, I thank Him for the blessing of a new day and the chance to use it for good. The greatest gift we can give Him is gratitude, and the best way to express it is by reaching out and lifting those around us. Thank you, Heavenly Father.

So tonight, get together with your friends or family and take a minute to express your gratitude for life, love, giggles, whatever you like be it big or small. :)


(I’m also grateful for fun, easy recipes)

1 – 8 oz. package of vegetable cream cheese spread
16 – Wonton Wrappers
Oil for Frying
1 – Jar of Sweet and Sour sauce for dipping

1. Heat oil in a deep-fat fryer or pour into a deep skillet on high temperature. Vegetable oil or peanut oil works best.
2. While oil is heating, lay out as many wrappers as you plan to use.
3. Have a small bowl of water nearby to wet your fingers in.
4. Put a small dab of cream cheese in one corner of each wrapper, about 1/2” from the edges. Use about 1 tsp.
5. Using your fingers, wet the two edges nearest the cream cheese, then fold the other half down and seal the edges, making a triangle shape.
6. Seal the edges tightly, but try to leave small gaps at the corners so the triangles will not expand so much that they burst.
7. Drop several wontons into oil at a time. Turn over when the edges start to brown and cook for another minute or two.
8. Set on paper towels to drain, then serve hot with sweet-and-sour sauce.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day

The logic of having Labor Day on the first Monday in September has always escaped me. I know for an absolute fact that Labor Day should be celebrated on Jan 6th, Feb 15th, March 31st, July 21st, or July 26th. It’s just got to be one of THOSE Days. I know. I’ve experienced it.

Historians have missed the whole point of Labor Day. They tell you that it all started with the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th and 19th centuries. America needed people to run its factories and machines, and millions answered the call. They came from the farms to the cities in search of the American dream. You know, a horse in every stable and ice in every box–that kind of thing. They wanted security and a stable income. What many of them got however was l2 to 14 hour shifts working in sometimes dangerous conditions with poor pay and little chance of advancement. As individuals, they could not influence companies to improve working conditions, so they began to form labor organizations who would bargain for all employees.

As the importance of those every day workers came to be recognized, the idea of a day honoring them was suggested around 1880 by Peter J. McGuire, founder of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City by the Knights of Labor with a picnic. (Yes! What a great idea)

By 1894, 23 states had Labor Day legislation on their books and the Federal Government declared the first Monday in September to be a day set aside to honor the labors and contributions of the American worker.

Today Labor Day is primarily celebrated as the last holiday of the summer. It’s the final long weekend, a chance to take the boat out, have a barbecue, go water skiing, empty your last bottle of sun screen, make some homemade ice cream, or even enjoy some backpacking. In some areas there are parades and speeches as well.

As for myself, well, none of my children or granchildren are home to celebrate Labor Day (....maybe they’ll call....maybe they’ll send an e-mail...maybe they’ll comment on my blog) after all, I worked hard to get them here. Dean is at work, so I’m going to relax and watch a movie.

Some Labor Day movie suggestions are:

The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Bound For Glory (1976)
Norma Rae (1979)
The China Syndrome (1979)
Nine to Five (1980)
The Pursuit of Happiness (2006)

Raspberry Orange Ice Cream
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
juice from one large orange
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup half-and-half cream
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Place the raspberries in a blender; cover and process on medium-high speed until chopped. Combine all ingredients in the cylinder of an ice cream freezer. Stir in sugar is dissolved. Freeze according to manufacturer's directions.


Frozen Cherry Yogurt
5 cups fresh or frozen dark, sweet cherries, pitted and thawed
10 cups plain yogurt
2 1/2 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar melted honey
2 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Puree half of the cherries in blender. Set aside remaining whole cherries. Combine pureed cherries with yogurt, whipping cream, honey and vanilla. Freeze as directed. Remove DASHER and stir in reserved whole cherries before ripening.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

July 4th

My earliest memory of the 4th of July is of sitting in the stadium in Boise, ID just prior to the fireworks, watching the retirement of a flag. The history was told of the flag and it was reverently, respectfully placed in a container and burnt. I looked at my father’s face, and saw tears running down his cheeks. I cried, too. I cry today when I hear, “The Ragged Old Flag.” Please take the time to watch www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6vwXbQZvJo&feature=related
Also check out www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZBTyTWOZCM&feature=related

On the night of April 18, 1775, Joseph Warren (physician, soldier and statesman) told William Dawes and Paul Revere that the King's troops were about to embark in boats from Boston bound for Cambridge and the road to Lexington and Concord. Warren suggested that the most likely objective later that night would be the capture of Samuel Adams and John Hancock. Revere and Dawes were sent out to warn them and to alert colonial militias in nearby towns.

My mother encouraged me as a child, to memorize Longfellow’s poem,


Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five:
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year...

For many years I (like many other Americans) thought that he was the only one who rode. In 1896, (yeah, that WAS before I was born!) Helen F Moore penned the following lines

Tis all very well for the children to hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere;
But why should my name be quite forgot,
Who rode as boldly and well, God wot?
Why should I ask? The reason is clear—
My name was Dawes and his was Revere.

Anyhow, back to that night, Dawes covered the southern land route by horseback across Boston Neck and over the Great Bridge to Lexington. Revere first gave instructions to send a signal to Charlestown and then he traveled the northern water route. He crossed the Charles River by rowboat, slipping past the British warship HMS Somerset. Crossings were banned at that hour, but Revere safely landed in Charlestown and rode to Lexington, avoiding a British patrol and later warning almost every house along the route. The warned men and the Charlestown colonists dispatched additional riders to the North Bridge. Ralph Waldo Emerson described the first shot fired by the Patriots at the North Bridge as the "shot heard 'round the world". It was fired April 19, 1775.

Even after that battle, however, many Americans still hoped for reconciliation with the British government, not independence. Over a year later, in June of 1776, Richard Henry Lee introduced a resolution in the Continental Congress (based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) that "these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States…."

The Continental Congress then appointed a committee led by Thomas Jefferson to draft a so-called declaration of independence in case Lee's resolution were adopted, and on July 2, 1776, Congress voted to adopt Lee's resolution.

The Declaration’s first words are:

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them..."

The Founding Fathers, a group of rebels that were sick of English rule by proxy (especially the whole issue of taxation without representation, which was the basis of the Boston Tea Party rebellion) were willing to risk death by hanging for sedition and formally adopted and put their names on the document for all of the world to see. They signed and in so doing said “ciao” to Great Britain.

Samuel Eliot Morrison, American historian (1887-1976) said, ''If the American Revolution had produced nothing but the Declaration of Independence, it would have been worthwhile.'' -

Here is a list of historic events taking place on July 4th.:

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted and signed the Declaration of Independence.

In 1802, the United States Military Academy officially opened at West Point, N.Y.

In 1826, 50 years to the day after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, former presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died.

In 1831, the fifth president of the United States, James Monroe, died in New York City.

In 1872, the 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, was born in Plymouth, Vt.

In 1919, Jack Dempsey won the world heavyweight boxing title by defeating Jess Willard in Toledo, Ohio.

In 1939, baseball's ''Iron Horse,'' Lou Gehrig, said farewell to his fans at New York's Yankee Stadium.

In 1959, America's 49-star flag, honoring Alaskan statehood, was officially unfurled.

In 1960, America's 50-star flag, honoring Hawaiian statehood, was officially unfurled.

In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act, which went into effect the following year.

In 1976, Israeli commandos raided Entebbe airport in Uganda, rescuing almost all of the passengers and crew of an Air France jetliner seized by pro-Palestinian hijackers.

Five years ago: A 20-ton slab of granite, inscribed to honor ''the enduring spirit of freedom,'' was laid at the World Trade Center site as the cornerstone of the Freedom Tower skyscraper that will replace the destroyed twin towers.

The final verse of Longfellow’s Poem reads:

So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm, --
A cry of defiance, and not of fear, --
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo forevermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beat of that steed,
And the midnight-message of Paul Revere.

Let us never forget that he/they shared a message of warning, against an enemy that was coming. Let us keep our country, our lands and our freedoms safe and secure.



Frozen Raspberry yogurt

1 quart fresh or thawed frozen raspberries
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
1 quart plain yogurt
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice or ½ c. orange concetrate
1 T light corn syrup

Combine the raspberries, sugar, and water. Heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly. In a food processor, puree until smooth. Scrape into a large bowl and stir in the yogury, corn syrup, and orange juice. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until cold. Pour the yogurt into the canister of a ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. Transfer the frozen yogurt to a covered container and freeze until it is firm enough to scoop, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Tribute

General Order No. 11

“The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.”

Dated 5 May 1868
General John A. Logan

1n 1868, the first Decoration Day (Memorial Day) celebration was held at Arlington National Cemetery where 5,000 people decorated the graves of 20,000 Civil War Veterans (both from the Confederacy and the Union) buried therein. This celebration was inspired by services held in a few small towns across the country honoring soldiers who fell in the 3 years following the Civil war.

In recognition of the sacrifice of those fallen Civil War soldiers, communities across the country began to hold their own ceremonies. The Northern States celebrated the holiday May 30th, while the Southern states celebrated Confederate Memorial Day during January, April or June, depending on which state you lived in. Confederate Memorial Day is still celebrated in many southern states. Following WWI, Decoration Day changed from honoring only Civil War veterans to a day honoring soldiers who fell in all wars.

In 1915, Moina Michaels wrote the following short poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

She came up with the idea of wearing red poppies on Memorial Day and sold them to her friends, family and associates, donating the money to servicemen in need. She wanted to make a difference in the lives of veterans and their families. In 1922, the VFW became the first organization to sell poppies to aid disabled veterans. In 1948, the Post Office honored Moina Michaels by issuing a postage stamp in her honor.

My earliest memory of Memorial Day is of donning our poppies and cutting the flowers in our yard. My family would then go to a nearby cemetery and find the graves of veteran’s that were undecorated. We would split up the flowers between them so that every grave would be decorated. It was very important to my father (WWII US Navy Veteran) to honor his friend’s and fellow soldiers.

In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May, creating a three-day weekend. It seems that the observance of Memorial Day has been lost since that time and it has become just another holiday week-end. The graves of our veterans are neglected and left undecorated. In our busy lives, it seems a shame that we cannot take a few minutes on one day a year to honor those who died for the freedoms we now enjoy. I have to admit that I have not gone to the cemetery or taken flowers this year, but I did make arrangements for my father’s grave to be decorated. I need to remember next year, and never forget the price paid for the freedoms we all enjoy.


Red, White and Blueberry Pie
found at: http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Red--White-and-Blueberry-Pie

* 4 squares (1 ounce each) white baking chocolate
* 8 whole fresh strawberries, halved lengthwise
* 1 reduced-fat graham cracker crust (8 inches)
* 3/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries
* 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese, cubed
* 3/4 cup Domino® or C&H® Pure Cane Powdered Sugar
* 3/4 cup cold fat-free milk
* 1 package (3.3 ounces) instant white chocolate pudding mix
* 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
* 1 cup reduced-fat whipped topping

In a microwave, melt white chocolate; stir until smooth. Dip the halved strawberries halfway in chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Place cut side down on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until set. Spread the remaining melted chocolate over the bottom and sides of crust. Arrange sliced strawberries in crust.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Gradually add milk. Beat in pudding mix on low speed for 2 minutes or until thickened; spread evenly over sliced strawberries.
Place blueberries in center of pie. Arrange dipped strawberries around the edge. Pipe whipped topping between the strawberries and blueberries. Chill until serving. Yield: 8 servings.