Pick a Peck of Peppers, Miss Mom, Make Pepper Jelly, Miss Mom…

One of my favorite jellies to make was also one of Mom’s favorites…

Jalapeno Pepper Jelly!

Hot & Sweet Pepper Jelly...on a cracker

Hot & Sweet Pepper Jelly…on a cracker

If you’ve never had pepper jelly you are missing out on a quirky but tasty treat! The jelly pairs well with cream cheese and crackers. I had some Ritz crackers to enjoy my new batch of jelly on but my husband prefers this treat on Wheat Thins. For me…any cracker will do!

I have read that this jelly is an ‘Antebellum’, Southern treat! I can just picture those Southern Belles enjoying this spicy jelly on some fancy crackers! Pepper Jelly and Sweet Tea…yum huh! Mom loved both!

I had planned to make this jelly for a surprise gift for Mom this fall. Sadly…I lost my sweet little Mama this year in June. Making this jelly is just one way that I can honor her. Oh…this may seem a very small thing but I found some healing and great joy in the process. Okay…I had a small break down right there…onward…

One of Mom’s friends (and her manicurist) called Mom…‘Hot Little Mama’! She was…all that and more! My little Mama was “class n’ sass”!

 

Hot Pepper Jelly... for my 'Hot Little Mama'

Hot Pepper Jelly…
for my ‘Hot Little Mama’

I have made the green (Jalapeno Pepper Jelly) many times. The Spicy Red Pepper Jelly is a first for me. I LOVE it! If  you think you’d like to try your hand at making some pepper jelly….go to either link below for the recipes. The Jalapeno Pepper Jelly recipe was one given to us by one of my husband’s c0-workers, years ago. The Spicy Red Pepper Jelly recipe that I used is from Epicurious. Both recipes are very easy to make. One word of caution! When making the Jalapeno Pepper Jelly…use gloves! The burn on your fingers from the pepper oils will burn, relentlessly, for a very long time! I’ve learned! The red pepper jelly is easier in that regard because you just use dried pepper flakes.

Both are pretty…and pretty tasty!

Use these links to get to the recipes for Jalapeno Jelly and Spicy Red Pepper Jelly…

https://sites.google.com/site/recipesfromhomeandtherange/home/jalapenopepperjelly

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Spicy-Red-Pepper-Jelly-236699

 

This jelly and this post is for Mom! I know that she would want me to continue doing the things that I enjoy and all of the things that made her proud of me! I am returning to my blog after a very long break because Mom’s spirit and encouragement remain…always in my heart! She is still the light in the harbor…bringing me home on a churning sea. Weather a storm of sorrow, pray for the calm, call forth the joy in remembering her…all this I must do! And…make jelly!

To everything…

Excerpts of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8…

To everything there is a season,

and a time to every purpose under Heaven…

A time to weep and a time to laugh,

A time to mourn and a time to dance…

My Sweet Mama

My Sweet Little Mama

 Fern Bushong Christiansen

July 17,1933 – June 6,2014

I am thankful for a Season shared with this wonderful woman…my Sweet Little Mama!

‘Til we meet again…

at Jesus’ feet…

God Be With You…

‘Til we meet again…

Rest in His love Little Mama!

Vee

A Wreath for Mama

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Easy like Sunday morning….and Kentucky style french toast!

Kentucky Style French Toast

Kentucky Style French Toast

Sunday has always been my favorite day of the week!

When I was a young girl Dad and Mom helped each other make breakfast on Sunday. My brothers and sister and I scoured the Sunday Funnies while we waited for breakfast. We went to Church and then came home to the smell of Mom’s pot roast.  In my mind it has always been a day for worship and for family.  Even if I don’t go to Church…I feel gratitude and count my blessings. It’s a Sunday thing!

There is just something about Sunday! The words in the song, Easy, that Lionel Richie sings (easy like Sunday morning) strikes a chord with me.  Just hearing those words makes me feel like it is Sunday…or makes me long for Sunday! It reminds me of days spent with Dad and Mom, my kids and grandkids and those easy peaceful Sundays that I spend now with Poppy (my husband).

Sunday breakfast and dinner traditions remained a constant while raising my family. Even when some of the kids had grown and moved away from the nest, for many years Sunday dinner was still at Mom’s! empty nestGrowing and ‘grown’ children with their own families have busy lives. Sunday was generally the easiest day to get everyone together! I loved those days!

Now…my family lives ‘out West’ and Poppy and I are living in Kentucky.

Sunday is our day. We enjoy easy, peaceful Sunday mornings here in our empty nest and I enjoy making us a special breakfast.

Let me see if Poppy enjoyed it….

Kentucky Style French Toast

Kentucky Style French Toast

A bit like bread pudding.

A bit like bread pudding.

Didn't like it..one bit!

Didn’t like it..one bit!

Inspired by an item on a restaurant menu here in Kentucky, I created some Kentucky style french toast this morning. It is delicious! It’s texture and flavor remind me of bread pudding. A bit of bourbon is added to the egg and milk mixture. I made a bourbon butter sauce last weekend for my hummingbird cupcakes and had some leftover that I froze.  It made an outstanding syrup for the french toast.

The following link will take you to a printable version of the Bourbon Sauce…

https://sites.google.com/site/recipesfromhomeandtherange/vee-s-kentucky-bourbon-sauce

It was an ‘easy like Sunday morning’ breakfast!

I thought of my brother-in-law this morning. He makes french toast for his family every Sunday!

I think each of us must have a favorite day of the week and a favorite family tradition that goes along with it.

‘Til we meet again…

Wishing you a day that fills you with that …

‘Easy like Sunday morning’ feeling,

A day that is blessed simply….and simply blessed with

family and tradition!

Happy Trails!

snoopy

Vee

Honoring Mom, being a Mom and sharing the blessing…Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother's Day Bouquet

Mother’s Day Bouquet

My Mother has inspired me in so many ways. She has been a dedicated and devoted woman, Wife and Mother and I am thankful for her. I am also thankful for the blessings of Motherhood. I have been blessed with children and grandchildren that I adore…they are my life!

Each year, as this day draws near, I reflect on the journey and every thankful day and moment of having my Mother…and of being a Mother.

Blessed…I am!

One small inspiration for today….

My tiny Mamma is no bigger than a Hummingbird! (Well…kind of!)

I have been working on creating some new cake recipes and today my tiny Mamma inspired this one….

Hummingbird Cake, a Southern favorite!

Little Hummingbird Cakes

Little Hummingbird Cakes

My Mother is my Southern favorite! She has Southern roots and she is definitely a lady!

She has southern style…without the accent!

Little Hummingbird Mamma

Little Hummingbird Mamma

Little CakesThese little cakes are so tasty! I came up with a recipe…without the bananas! Who always has bananas…at just the right stage of ripeness? These are tasty…and still have banana flavor (not sharing the secret just yet). They are frosted with my new version of Pecan Praline Frosting…and I wish my Mamma was here to enjoy them. She is pleased that I made them for her anyway.

Wishing you a day full of gratitude for your Mother, Grandmother, Mother of your Children…all Mother’s!

May you appreciate these wonderful women in your life, today and always!

‘Til we meet again…

tell Mom you love her!

Wishing you a day that is blessed simply…

and simply blessed!

Vee

Love Blooms

Mamma Robin…and a lucky place for her nest!

Mamma tends her nest.

Mamma tends her nest.

I have not participated in a photo challenge in a while. This…I couldn’t resist! UP is the subject matter.

I opened the garage door one day last week and a small bunch of straw and debris fell on my head.When I looked up…this nest is what I discovered! We have been watching this Mamma Robin and her nest since then. We are hoping that all goes well for her and her little ones! This Mamma built her nest above the door of one of the barns here on the property. It is at the top of the rail that the barn door (aka the garage door) slides back and forth on. It is a very precarious place for her to be. We are being so careful and gentle when we do have to open the door. This poor Mamma gets so upset when we have to be anywhere near…taking care of the yard, walking the dogs or going in and out of the barn. Poor Mamma!

My thoughts…

Mamma’s Nest

 It happened one day…while we were away,

Mamma Robin built her nest.

I am concerned, little Mamma,

About your choice…

It seems unstable, fragile, subject to circumstance.

 With every uninvited movement, unsettling noise…

Mamma bird flees the nest.

Watching….

She frets…

At every thing that seems a threat!

But she returns and waits…

As do we!

 

How often we build our nest…

Home for our families, uncertain of the foundation,

Hopeful of the outcome; our parental mission…

We anticipate and desire only the best;

No matter…our surroundings, circumstantial things;

We pray for shelter, provision…

Courage and strength in our little ones’ wings,

A bright and promising future,

Fulfillment of their dreams.

 

As I watch Mamma Robin, ever near;

Always watching, protecting, she frets…

I think of my own worry, fear,

Wonder, regrets!

Did I do everything…

To give my children the best?

 

When every stick and straw has blown away…

Will they still remember the nest?

Will they remember comfort and shelter?

Will they remember my watchful eye?

Will they know that they were pushed gently…

 

To learn, on their own…how to fly?

Another view…

A Lucky Home!

A Lucky Home!

Perhaps this little Mamma Robin thought this had to be …

the luckiest place on earth!

It has to be…there is a horse shoe!

Until we meet again…

Wishing you good luck for YOUR home!

Happy Trails!

Vee

The Empty Nester's!

(The Empty Nester)

FUNERAL POTATOES (aka Nauvoo Potatoes)…and we call them ‘HAPPY POTATOES’!

Announcing the death of ‘funeral potatoes’….we now call them ‘happy tators’!

"Happy Tators"

“Happy Tators”

I have been absent for a while…at least not posting much here at Home and The Range. I was beginning to think my  job may be the death of me…I mean my blog! I truly miss this little blog when I’m away!  Home and The Range is my journal of the people, places and things that I love.

Speaking of people that I love…

I had opportunity, a couple of months ago, to spend time with some of my loved ones that live out West. It was a wonderful time! Three of my children (and my daughter’s fiance’) made the trip from Arizona to Utah to visit with me and all of our family there. There was much to celebrate! Dad just turned 83, Dustin (our hero…still battling through his Muscular Dystrophy) just turned 30, Waylon just turned 5, Darryl just turned 53 and one of my daughters is newly engaged.

A few highlights from Home…where family gathers!

And from the Range … some food that we love!

A grand meal shared with loved ones that included funeral potatoes!

"Happy Tators"

“Happy Tators”

This is a popular dish in Utah. I love these creamy, cheesy delicious potatoes! A few years ago my youngest daughter suggested we name this delicious dish ‘happy potatoes’ because funeral potatoes sounds a bit depressing. So we now call them ‘happy potatoes…or happy tators’!

They have been so named ‘funeral potatoes’ because they are often made for the dinner provided for a family following a funeral. The Relief Society in the LDS Church provides the comfort of a home cooked meal for family and close friends in attendance of a funeral. The name ‘Nauvoo Potatoes’ has to do with the history of the LDS Church and Nauvoo, Illinois.

My sister made the ‘happy potatoes’ for our get-together in Utah and I was reminded of how much I love them.  I made them when I got back home to Kentucky as part of our Easter meal. I’m bringing the West and Southwest…to The South!

The green onion adds to the unique flavor of this dish and the crunchy corn flake topping makes this recipe…tops!

There are a few versions of this dish on the internet but I LOVE this recipe that my sister and I use (she gave me the recipe several years ago).

If you would like to try the recipe that my sister and I use …select the following link:

https://sites.google.com/site/recipesfromhomeandtherange/-happy-tators

Until we meet again…

Wishing you the blessings of home, family…and maybe some ‘Happy Tators’.

Happy Trails!

Vee

Find joy in the journey

Snow and Yoberry (Yogurt Strawberry) Muffins…What a great Saturday!

We have had some very strange weather this winter in Kentucky! It has gone from cold to high 60’s, back to the teens, tornado weather and….finally….snow, beautiful snow!

A peaceful winter morning.

A peaceful winter morning.

We have waited for the snow since the last snow just after Christmas!  The snow we had then didn’t stay on the ground for long. Our weather has been crazy! After the tornado like weather last week we had snow flurries but nothing stuck to the ground. The snow flurries were fun though. The snow flakes were large feather-like flakes and the wind swirled them around in circles. I heard someone say that it looked like being in a snow globe! I thought that was a great way to describe it and I quite enjoyed watching the big flakes swirl around throughout the day…in the snow globe! I was overjoyed when the snow started up again and actually started sticking to the ground at about 12:00 a.m. on Friday morning. I want to take in every minute of it that I can. I went for a walk in my P.J.’s…at midnight!

P J's, snow boots (not tied)...and snow...yes...snow...at midnight!

P J’s, snow boots (not tied)…and snow…yes…snow…at midnight!

The snow was nearly all melted away by Friday night. What a wonderful surprise to wake up on Saturday morning to a soft falling snow…sticking to the ground!

I LOVE it!

Snow Love!

Snow Love!

OK…never mind where I got a little off balance…it’s still a heart! And…next time this old gal is going to make a snow angel!

I love the peace that the new snow brings. The sweet, peaceful calm is so welcome and so beautiful!

The quiet of nature.

The quiet of nature!

What a great Saturday morning…watching the snow…and baking some muffins!

Yo...berry muffins!

Yo…berry muffins!

I wrapped these fruit filled, tasty muffins in some wintery fun…

Wintery muffin liners.

Wintery muffin liners.

Poppy and I enjoyed the day…and the muffins!

The dogs enjoyed the snow too!

Poppy and Nella enjoy the morning walk in the snow!

Poppy and Nella enjoy the morning walk in the snow!

Poppy and Bear in the snow!

Poppy and Bear in the snow!

Pogo and Snow...he loves it!

 
Pogo and Snow…he loves it!

Until we meet again…

Wishing you peaceful, sweet moments to treasure…

with a day that is blessed simply…

and simply blessed!

Happy Trails!

Vee

Simple treasures.

Orange Poppyseed Cookies…for Poppy!

These cookies were my tribute and thank you…to my Viet Nam Vet husband (Poppy) on Veterans Day!

I call my husband Poppy….a nickname that evolved from Mom ‘N Pop. He calls me Mommy…I call him Poppy!

I also happen to love Poppies. Remember the Poppy field from The Wizard of Oz?

One of my all time favorite movies! A story of building character, belief, courage, strength, heart…

family…

and home!

I think our Veterans and active members of the Military exemplify those qualities! This Country that we call home would not be home…without their service.

The use of the poppy is a symbol of Veterans Day (Remembrance Day) and was derived from its symbolism in the poem “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red color an appropriate symbol for the blood spilt in the war and enduring spirit.

This year marked the first Veterans Day celebrated without a World War I Veteran. Poppy looked up some statistics and found that he is one of fewer than 168,000 off shore Viet Nam Vets! He served on an aircraft carrier…

The U.S.S Bennington.

Earlier this year Poppy’s brother (also a Viet Nam Vet) sent a postcard that Poppy had sent  from his ship, all those years ago…that his brother had saved. It was a proud moment!

I am proud to have many family members that have served and currently serve in the U.S. Military.

For our freedoms, for your courage…Veterans everywhere…THANK YOU!

About those cookies…

Poppy didn’t think he would like them….but he absolutely loved these cookies and couldn’t stop eating them! He has requested another batch…soon!

A little cookie that is big on flavor!

Here is the recipe:

https://sites.google.com/site/recipesfromhomeandtherange/orange-poppyseed-cookies

Give them a try!

Wishing you a day that is blessed simply

and simply blessed!

Until we meet again….

Happy Trails!

Vee

Orange Poppyseed Cookies for Poppy