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Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

This particular manilla envelope I grabbed addressed to my grandmother from Florida’s Department of Natural Resources was stuffed full of newspaper clippings. I had no idea what was in it, but if someone took the time to cut them out and keep them all these years, they might be important. I needed to peek.

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I visited my dad this weekend on the farm where I grew up. My grandmother’s house droops in shambles, full of mouse poop, a former shadow of itself on the now deserted farm. Empty and haunting, I remembered movement and the smell of constant meals wafting from her stove, served on the grey table  at precisely noon and 6:00 p.m. as she stood against the counter and watched us eat. The most disheartening scene– the bird feeder she’d had installed with a flat wood table right outside her window so she could watch the colorful birds gobble the breadcrumbs she spread out two times each day. Empty, without one bread crumb, the bird feeder shown an eerie bright white. Even the wind chimes that blew consistently throughout the day beneath that same tree played music no more. I searched for them, but they were gone.

You can spot the bird feeder through the window on the left.

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We had all these lovely pears off the tree in the backyard, but they took forever to ripen. We did eat a few here and there, and they tasted fine, but I had to find something to make with them. I didn’t want to waste them!

Matt suggested, “How about pear butter? I love apple butter. It can’t be that different.” I’d never tried making anything like that before, because I usually don’t eat it.

I looked through recipes online and Chickens in the Road‘s author Suzanne McMinn entertained with a heartwarming story about how she made pear butter in a 100-year-old farmhouse with an elderly woman named Georgia. I love that name. Though I didn’t use her recipe, the pictures of her pears looked just like mine, so I knew I was on the right track. I made it a little hard on myself because I had to make the pear sauce BEFORE I even attempted to make the pear butter, but it was my first time, so I decided to give myself a break. Next time, I’ll stick with Chickens in the Road’s pear butter recipe. Hold on to your britches! This one takes a while, but the crock pot does everything for you but core and peel the pears.

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“My mom makes it like this.”
“Well, my mom makes it like this.”
“Yeah, but your mom hates to cook and my mom doesn’t.”
Hmm….who won that argument?

We always make things the way my mom made them because I’m the one in the kitchen making it! I posted how my mom makes a roast on the Roast, carrots and potatoes post a few posts back. But Matt said to me the other day, “But don’t you like how my mom makes roast? It’s just as easy as you mom’s version.”

And it is. It also isn’t quite as rich, and I think my mom would love it. So, I’m not telling either mom I’m putting this up, and let’s see which mom catches it first! 🙂

End result

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Michelle and I posted this on our Cook Me A Story page a while back. It was the first thing I ever showed her how to cook in the slow cooker and the one that hooked her.

Great for back yard barbeques/potlucks! Kids LOVE it, and it’s fun for them to make because teaspoons fit perfectly in little hands. My niece made it last time she was visiting. Matt looked at me and said, “Mmmm, this is good Jennifer!” My niece piped in, “I made it!” 🙂

In celebration of summer and weekend get-togethers, I thought I’d post it on this site too. It’s my Matthew’s fav-o-rite crock pot meal as well as my little niece.

End result of yumminess.

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I’m a “meat and potatoes” girl myself. I’ve heard that line from my mother my entire life. In high school, I experimented with soufflés and quiches. No one in the house ate my food, mostly because it wasn’t meat and potatoes. Frustrated and heart-broken, I remember tossing entire freezer-burnt concoctions in the trash.

18 years later, my family is much more open-minded. They always eat my new concoctions and love them. Or at least, they tell me they do! They’d better if they’re in my house, right? (joking!)

But I try to make things they will like, and things they are comfortable with. After all, you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.

So, here’s mama’s receipe for roast, carrots and potatoes. It’s what this girl grew up eating, and one of my husband’s favorite meals.

Roast bigger than 2 to 3 pounds won't cook through in 6 hours....

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My aunt Pat asked if it was possible to make cake in the crock pot. I looked it up and honey, it’s been done! I would never have thought…..
I chose the cake I like most–carrot and found a “low-fat” recipe on food.com  by Purdy Good Cook. I looked around the kitchen and said, “Let’s do it!”

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