Saturday, October 25, 2014

MY YARD MAN

was exceedingly busy all day, today!

Who can blame him?  The weather in these parts was custom-made for a yard man!  Sunny and warm! Autumn's finest!
 At 11:17 a.m. that Yard Man gave me a call.  "I need your help out here," he said.
"Sure!" I responded. And out of the house I went.
(It was great to be out)
"Hold onto this trunk, and pull it toward you," he instructed.  "I'm going to saw it off, right down here at the base."
He dropped to the ground with his saw.  "This is going to be tricky," he said.
video
(It was.)


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After that, he commenced to drag clippings and pile them on his fire.  He sawed, clipped, chopped, dragged, consulted with a neighbor man who happened to walk by. He cut limbs. (He took a break, and ate lunch on the porch.) He mowed.  He did all the work that earns him his title!

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He worked until the sun went down.
He's that kind of man!
It was that kind of day!

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

SO, YEAH


I happened to mention to a sister of mine that I needed a dessert to share with friends who happen to be of the vegan persuasion.  "I know just the thing!" she exclaimed.  "It's a cake I made last week!  It is incredibly easy, and really, really good! It's so moist.  No one would know it's vegan."  She kept on raving about it.

Well, of course I made the cake.
It was a trial run.  And, oh, it was so easy!  So good!  Moist, not a clue it was vegan, Reader Dear!  I hadn't even finished off the wedding-turned-birthday cake, and here I was--snacking on chocolate vegan cake too. Morning, noon, and night.

I tweaked the cake recipe. I gave it a new name.

Then, I baked another (to serve to the friends, you know).  I made two layers and spread raspberry jam between them.

"You need to cover it with whipped coconut milk!" my sister had instructed. "It's easy!  So easy! It looks fantastic, too, all fluffy like real whipped cream!"

Now, Dear Reader, I already told you I made the cake, and it was a success.  That story ended well.  In fact,  I've baked the cake two more times in the past two weeks.  (When I get on a roll, I'm on a roll! [Or, I suppose one could say, when I get on a cake, I'm on a roll]).   But, ahem, were I to tell you the saga of the whipped coconut milk topping, the title would be something like this:  Whipped Coconut Milk Debacle! (subtitled) How I Ran Through Four Cans of Coconut Milk and Ended Up with Three Additional Quarts of the Stuff Sitting in my Fridge!

Believe me, the tale would be too long and tedious.  (Though, I gave my sister a play-by-play account that spanned two days and ended with a voice-mail message on her phone saying,  "I'm so bummed! What'll I DO?!  I have no Plan B!")*

Veritable Piece-of-Cake Cake

1-1/4  C. flour 
1      C. sugar 
1/2    C. unsweetened cocoa powder 
1      tsp. baking soda 
1/2    tsp. salt 
 
Mix together well (don't have to use a beater, just stir it) 
 
Add liquid ingredients: 
1      C. almond milk 
1      tsp. vanilla extract 
1/3    C. vegetable oil 
1      tsp. distilled white or cider vinegar 
 
Once again, stir until well-blended.  Put in an 8 x 8 pan (or use a round pan)** 
 Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until knife comes out clean. 
Yum! 
 
 
The third time I made this cake, I coated it with peanut butter icing.  I put nasturtiums atop it (Do you know they are edible, Reader Dear?) and carted it off to a church potluck meal.  Everything about it was a resounding success!**








*Take my advice, Dear Maker of the Veritable Piece-of-Cake Cake. Reduce any grandiose ideas you may have of whipped coconut milk frosting (I'd stick with the peanut butter icing.  I wouldn't say it was a piece of cake to make, but it was pretty simple!)

**Though no one ate the flowers, so there's that.
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

IT'S BEEN EXACTLY

two weeks since I made the delightful discovery that left-over wedding cake can very effectively be recycled as birthday cake!

I wrote a whole entire post about it.
Then I deleted it.
Sort of like eating that cake.
I didn't mean to scarf down the whole entire thing so fast!
It just sort of happened.

Neither did I intend to hit the delete button.
It made that blog post disappear in a flash!

Argh.




...

Friday, October 10, 2014

MOVING ALONG

from wedding celebration
to birthday celebration!
(Reader Dear, I'm moving along in years!)
Happily, I got to enjoy some birthday hoopla with the very one who shares birthday milestones with me!
And, to boot, there were more close family members singing Happy Birthday and presenting Happy Birthday cupcakes and Happy Birthday balloons and eating a Happy Birthday breakfast and sharing Happy Birthday wishes with me and my twin than has ever been the case during all those..er...exceedingly many... years leading up to this one !  (Seating for nineteen at the breakfast cafe!)

We had to wait a while for tables, there were so many of us!
And we were spread around the restaurant.

But I got to sit right there and eat breakfast with three of my dear sibs!
("Do you remember this?" asked my older brother, when he'd presented his birthday gift to my twin.
"You made this for me a very long time ago!  It was a birthday present.  Now you're getting it back!")



I helped my twin blow out one candle (symbolic of many) on one cupcake (symbolic of a gigantic tiered confection, I believe)!


(In the birthday spirit, our other cupcake was gifted to another birthday-celebrating-person in the very same cafe, at the very same time!)

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......
Reader Dear, a few more birthday celebrations were squeezed in before cleaning up the rental house in Asheville, North Carolina, and finishing up the wedding weekend.


With my sis, there were drinks on the porch and shopping at Grove Point Inn (It's this big, historic inn sitting high on the side of a mountain, overlooking Asheville. [Word has it, it's where presidents stay when they're in town]).


The next-day-actual-birthday breakfast was the final hurrah at the rental house,
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before packing up and hitting the road.
 En route home, I could feel myself getting older
with every passing mile!

......

Thursday, October 9, 2014

COLLARD GREENS!

They were inadvertently omitted from the menu board, but there they were in the line-up of food, my favorite dish of the reception meal!*





















And, what do you know, Reader Dear--there were multiple Wedding Cakes, baked by a friend of the bride!
There was Wedding Dancing!
video   Even a Wedding Bonfire!
And then, at the very, very end of the wedding day festivities,
there was a Wedding After-Party.**
......
*Luella's Catering.
**Drinks and karaoke.
"It'll be really loud," the bride told me.
"I think your dad and I will go hang out with the ring bearers, back at the rental house." I said.***
......
***That's just what we did, Reader Dear. We carted along some left-over cake and left-over wine (collards all eaten up!) and we watched over the sleeping actors.  When next we saw the brand-new husband and brand-new wife, they were well on their way to Happily-Ever-After!



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

FROM THIS DAY FORWARD





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After greeting the newly-married couple, family and friends inspected the hairdo of the bride.  (Er, well, perhaps only one. "My mother used to wear her hair this way!" she exclaimed.

She took photos.)







There was, in fact, lots of photo-taking going on.





















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Both the bride and groom
and the guests posed (or not), visited, played lawn games, and ultimately joined the newly-wedded couple for the reception meal.


 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

IT'S BEFUDDLING, I KNOW,


I know it doesn't make a lick of sense to now show you the bride as she's preparing for her wedding!  Alas, however, that's just what I intend to do.
I have to show you how that lovely vintage gown involved some very fine workmanship (all those tiny, cloth-covered buttons!)
It involved some workmanship to get them buttoned, too, I mean to say!





Likewise, I feel I  must toss in this little bit regarding the bride and how she tossed a sixpence into her shoe just prior to
picking up the bridal bouquet I'd
crafted for her.
Then she set out on the
journey of a lifetime!









She exited the dressing room to meet the man who planned to set sail alongside her on this journey (and this man's mother [whom I was so pleased to meet, knowing that she and I would also be on this trip  [well, not on the very same ship, you know (but, yes, very close by)!])


The bride attended to a few more details.


......

And, now!  Now we will all move along to the ceremony, Reader Dear,
in a tidy and traditional way!








Any post to come will stick strictly to the post-ceremony story, I promise.  I do!

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Monday, October 6, 2014

BACKING UP EVER SO SLIGHTLY


in this wedding tale, Reader Dear, as I realize how swiftly I rushed  to the Main Event, and leaped right over the Pre-Wedding Details!


On Saturday, there was the  Pre-Wedding Picnic (following the pre-wedding gathering of flowers). The weather was cold and windy. There was plenty of good food to eat, but  most everyone in attendance  was wearing  a coat, and some even bundled up in blankets!





















Attending the picnic was at least one person who was mentally making deals with the Entity in Charge of Wind and Rain and Chilly Air, concerning what he might have up his sleeve for the following day!
......



Sunday, October 5, 2014

THE WEDDING CEREMONY

of Dark-haired Daughter and David:

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Owing in part to the sunny and informal nature of the event, there was no rehearsal.  Hence, how was the First Flower Girl to know that when her mission was accomplished, it wasn't in the plan for her to simply scamper back up the aisle to her mother?!
 
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Similarly, the Final Tiny Flower Boy had no idea his job was not to collect those scattered flowers others had, for some puzzling reason, strewn on the ground!

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When the Little Actor, acting as Official Ring Bearer, handed over the rings, the Small Actor, acting as Escort to Official Ring Bearer,  emptied his pockets. Just to make doubly certain, you know, that he didn't also have rings to deliver!

(Be assured, Viewer Dear, the unscripted version was, oh, so charming!)

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And, then, next down the aisle were the bride and groom!  (Ah, did I already use the word charming?!)

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When the sun kept on shining, and the band kept on playing, and the couple spoke their vows of love and devotion to one another, that Mother of the Bride cried sunny and unscripted tears of happiness!

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......
(Reader Dear, this story will go on...

Saturday, October 4, 2014

THIS GATHER-THE-FLOWERS-DAY

blog post not brought to you live from the field.




But brought to you, nonetheless, just  as cut, arranged and directed!

































The voila!
process
of
the
vibrant
blossoms
of the
gardens
turning into
none other
than
twenty-two
Mason-
jars-full
of
beautiful
wedding
flowers!




…...