The average “gifts for mom” list is not necessarily a good fit for a homeschool mom. Don’t get me wrong…I love perfume and scarves and expensive handbags just like the average girl, but if you really want the wow factor for this homeschool mom of five I have a better list. Maybe you can forward this post to your hubby or whoever is asking you that pressing question, “What do you want for Christmas?” I hope this list will inspire you to answer with every bit of the quirkiness that defines a homeschool mom.
The best recipes are the ones your mother made….the ones found on the family tree. The other day I was perusing a cookbook that my Granny authored, and I was struck by it’s prose and meditations. It tells a story, as do all good cookbooks. No fat grams, or calories, or nutrition facts…no, just good food made by hands and seasoned with the heart.
I love a good cookbook, but what I love more is knowing how to cook…I have a long line of matriarchs to thank for that…I think my husband and children join me in thanksgiving.
A good home cook can transform whatever is in the pantry into a feast, even if the ingredients are not the best money can buy. And resourcefulness and creativity are a home cook’s pleasure…what makes cooking fun. It is amazing what my mom could do with a whole chicken back when she did not have a whole lot of money to spend at the grocery store. We used to tease her and say that she could make four meals for five with one bird. Funny story, but when I really think about the wonderful meals my mother cooked when we were poor as church mice…well, I just stand in awe.
I made a pumpkin and buttermilk pie today. As I cooked these family recipes, I reflected on my Granny…now in a nursing home. She is a great cook…the best kind. Below is the cookbook’s dedication in her words,
…to Mama (Bertie Jayroe) for keeping the tradition of family meals and foods alive. Mother’s farsightedness and commitment created this multigenerational history of family eats. It contains a personal family tree from which nurturing and incredible resourcefulness is found in the skill of the kitchen and pantry…few women of today manage to create lunches and dinners from scratch every day, including desserts.
She (Mama) made the best chicken and dumplings. Her famous (from scratch) blackberry cobbler was the best there ever was. Daddy liked her cobbler the best of all. The berries were hand picked by Daddy from his blackberry patch in the orchard. Mama and Daddy raised there own chickens then. One was caught, killed, and plucked for the chicken and dumplings. All this required time, so my parents always rose early. As her children, we are very fortunate to have smelled, tasted, and eaten so well. But more so to have the values of a good home so deeply engraved. Again, thanks Mama.
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup oil
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 Tbls. brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tbls milk
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup water
- Take 2 Tbls. of the cake mix and mix with the cinnamon,brown sugar, and pecans; set aside.
- In large bowl, blend cake mix,sour cream,oil,water,eggs, and sugar.
- Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Pour 2/3 of batter into greased and floured bundt pan.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture in the center of this and spread remaining batter evenly over this.
- Bake at 375° for 45-55 minutes. Cool in pan for 25 minutes. Remove from pan.
- To make glaze; Blend powdered sugar and milk together to make a glaze. Drizzle over cake.
- 3 sticks butter (1½ cups)
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
- 6 eggs
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- zest of one lemon
- 3 cups sugar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- For the Lemon Buttermilk Glaze
- 1½ cups confectioner’s sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare bundt or tube pan by coating with shortening or butter and flouring light. Set aside.
- Let butter, cream cheese, and eggs come to room temperature.
- Cream together butter, cream cheese and sugar til fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add lemon juice and zest and combine well. Add flour and salt and vanilla.
- Mix until just well-combined but do not over mix.
- Pour into prepared bundt or tube pan.
- Bake until golden brown and skewer inserted into middle of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- As the cake is cooling, whisk together ingredients confectioner’s sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and buttermilk to make the glaze. Allow to sit until cake has fully cooled, then drizzle over top of lemon pound cake.
We made it! That’s what I keep thinking as I am cleaning out the fridge..all the leftover fasting dishes going to the scraps. (We have a septic system which means no garbage disposal.) I hope the neighborhood dogs like veggies in the scrap pile…hehe!
I emptied containers of bean salad, coleslaw, a bit of refried beans, orzo pasta with artichokes and capers, and I was doing pretty good until I came upon a container of hummus. The site of that evoked an emotional response. I am sick of hummus! And then a few minutes later I was half tempted to eat the last little bit for lunch. I guess in a way it’s hard for this to be over. So much of Lent revolves around the kitchen, and an Orthodox kitchen is truly a spiritual place. So much of the Christian faith is centered in the home.
And on that thought…
Lisa A shared a series of talks on her blog entitled The Good Wife: Five Lectures on the Christian Ideal.
The first lecture is free, and the remaining are only $10 for the complete download. Well worth the donation!
The Christian ideal of womanhood is beautiful. I have been thinking this week about brightening up my home, and then I saw this over at OCN…
BRIGHT WEEK- the week after Lent in which we continue to practice the spiritual values we gained over the last 40 days.
I thought, “What spiritual values did I gain over the last forty days?” What values must I practice to brighten our lives…our home? I can think of several.
I am standing in my kitchen cooking up a storm. The presents are all wrapped. Kiddos are watching Christmas movies and singing Christmas carols. The house smells amazing. We made it! We made it to Christmas Eve, and every year I am amazed.
After a lack luster first few weeks, I have found my Christmas spirit. The days of humbug made me appreciate traditions. When I was less than enthusiastic about the season I still had our family traditions to keep me from missing Christmas. And as we kept the traditions I slowly found my groove.
Mamas have this wonderful gift…we can make Christmas amazing for our families in the little things we do, in the smile we wear, in the tune we hum, in the giggles, and snuggles, and the sugary treats. A mom has this energy, and it is infectious. Food and festivities. I love serving up scrumptious dishes with a side of I love you.
Christmas is a time of hospitality for me. As I clean, shop, cook, wrap, and prepare I try to invite a spirit of comfort and warmth into our home. I have found that the warmth comes from my heart and not in orchestrating a perfect Christmas. I just love my family and friends.
Christ is coming, along with friends and family. We are family. May our homes and hearts make a place for the Savior, and may we welcome everyone with warmth and joy.
Christ is Born…Glorify Him!
I glory in His presence, He has brought tidings of great comfort and joy. Christ is in our midst He is and ever shall be.
Merry Christmas Everyone!