Monday, May 26, 2014

| sunny skies + rhubarb pies. |


In the words of Katherine Mortimer, the heroine hailing from Elizabeth Prentiss' Stepping Heavenward“the weather is getting perfectly delicious.” Delicious: meaning that the balmy warmth we've been soaking up is so sweet that you feel like slurping it up with your tongue and expecting it to taste like nectar.Or maybe like rhubarb pie, I guess. Something deliciously sweet, sticky, and springy, if “spring-y” is a word.

While at the home of some of our dearest friends a couple Sundays ago, we were treated to one of the most delicious desserts we’ve enjoyed in a coon’s age. To borrow another of Daddy’s expressions.
 I’ve been vaguely familiar with rhubarb in the past, having tasted it occasionally in a pie or a cake, usually mixed with strawberries or some other ingredient that diluted the tang.

 I can’t remember another time when I actually enjoyed it on its own, and perhaps I’ve graduated to the purist stage that insists on devouring its favorite food unaltered by extras. 

We finally got around to fixing a pie of our own this past week, and while the recipe required an amount of sugar that made me fear for my waistline, I think my brothers must’ve been all right with it, for they promptly cleaned out half of it in twenty minutes.

And honestly, if you’re a family cook, that should mean success, shouldn’t it? There’ve been plenty of instances when I’ve tried to discourage my four brothers from being too unrestrained in their consumption of my cooking, but it’s to my shame, not theirs.

After all, that’s what it’s for.

So one of the kiddos let impatience have her imperfect work and nibbled a chunk of the crust off.

Excuse it.

*   *   *
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 cups rhubarb, cubed
1 pinch cinnamon
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 9 inch pastry crust

Roll out pie crust and fit it into a 9 inch pie plate.  Combine sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and cinnamon; add rhubarb and stir until combined. Pour into pie shell. Top with:

1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup flour
 Combine and sprinkle over rhubarb filling.
 Bake at 400 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes; cool for an hour before serving.

The sunshine beckons, and I must retreat. There’s a beautiful world waiting outside. Take a deep breath and thank God for it. That’s what I need to do, too. There’s not a gift He gave us to be taken for granted. 

Oh, and the local flora has at long last, exploded into bloom! Just stepping onto the front porch and taking a deep, long breath can fill one's head with visions of (well, not sugarplums) *sweet things* J

We finally got pictures for the album cover (when and if it happens to be completed, haha)  Thanks to our brothers for being willing photographers; even if Matthew was trying to drive us crazy the whole time. Sorry, brother dear; we all laughed about it afterwards, if I recall correctly.

 I guess the bottom pic proves that he accomplished his mission. (jk) Actually, we were just kinda havin' fun.:)


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

| these honeyed moments. |

God has poured so much milk and honey into my life that I hardly know where to begin scooping it up.

Just a few drops of it . . .

*the softened leather of well-worn cowboy boots

  *scribbling (ah, typing, oops) my daydreams into my laptop while the smell of rain floats through my bedroom window.

*going away for the weekend with awesome friends.

*playing a new song on my guitar

*the freckled noses, muddy boots, and infectious giggles of little boys. I hope my first baby is a little boy. I was thinking the other day—I think I'm going to jump in puddles with him. A few, anyway.
I’m virtually grown, yet each and every time I pass a puddle, the thing screams at me to dip my foot in it. 

Just to check how deep it is, ya know.Ten years ago, I would have dipped the whole of myself, not just the tip of my boot. Poor Mama.

*a brown-sugar coffee cake cappuccino. Keeping each sip miniature so that it will last longer.

*curling up with Growing Up Duggar on a raw afternoon.

*recording an album with friends.

*feeding a new baby calf with a bottle. Feeling the helpless youngster slap your knees with his fuzzy head and dribble warm milk into the hay. Realizing that he considers you his mama for the moment.

*my mama’s priceless hugs and boosting comments.

*the bracing smell of wood smoke.

*church potlucks

*seeing and hearing a baby laugh. And sleep. And lift her arms to be cuddled.
Beyond precious.

*feeling the love of my Savior on a day when I need it the most. Just the fact that He loves me when I fail Him so much is enough to make me want to fall at His feet. Truly, we love because He first loved us.

A portrait session with my sister a few weeks ago.

Um, not certain what thoughts sulked behind those eyes. Probably something akin to, “When is this gonna be done?”

 I love these guys!

What is putting a smile on your face today?