Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Shop is Open!

Last week was a great week. I was sick, so it wasn't such a fun week, but I finally published the summer edition of the family newsletter, The Current. And then I did what seemed the impossible dream, I opened an Etsy shop! Here are a few items to give you a feel for the flavor of it. Take a look and let me know what you think. I have called it JewelofBayshore and will hope to put a link to it on the sidebar.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Jelly Doughnuts!

The Pres is off today, persevering on our front porch project. 
It was the perfect day to get up and make jelly doughnuts.

I have no idea where I got this recipe 20 years ago. Now that I remember how delicious they are I'll make them more often. But it takes almost 3 hours and makes about 20 doughnuts at a time, so it's not something for every day unless you've got a bigger family than ours. You want to share these with some special people.

After their second rising, they get deep fried for about 2 minutes.

After draining them on paper towels they get rolled in sugar.
 It is tempting to eat them just like this. 

But don't skip the jelly step.

 Even if, like me, you make a botch of the jelly part. It would be nice to have a pastry bag or an injector to get the jelly in without making a mess, but who minds a little bit of jelly on the sides?

Even Fidget, the notorious jelly-hater, liked the one I gave her with raspberry preserves in it. But her favorite one had honey inside instead. 

 Jelly Doughnuts
with apologies to whoever developed this delicious recipe. If I knew your name I'd put it here.
makes 14-18 

1 pkg yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1/3 cup room temperature butter
3 TB sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk, scalded
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/2 cups flour (it took me 3 1/2 cups so don't be alarmed if it takes you that much too)
jelly- I used Polaner All Fruit Raspberry seedless, Market Pantry Blackberry Seedless jam and Smucker's Orchard's Finest Northewest Triple Berry Preserves
frying oil

In a large bowl combine yeast, 1 tsp sugar and water. Let stand  until foamy, 5-10 minutes. In a small bowl combine butter, 3 TB sugar, salt and milk; cool to room temperature. Stir milk mix into yeast mix. Add eggs and 1 3/4 cup flour; beat vigorously. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough. Turn dough out and knead 8-10 minutes. Clean and grease bowl, place dough in bowl, and turn to grease all sides. Cover and let rise til double, about an hour. Place parchment paper on cookie sheets. Punch dough down, roll out to 1/2" thick. Cut dough with a floured 2 1/2" biscuit cutter. Place dough circles on the baking sheets. Cover and let rise til double, less than an hour this time. Fry risen circles of dough at 350 in a deep fryer approximately 2 minutes or until brown. Fry 5 at a time. Once drained onto paper towels, roll doughnuts in sugar. Then cut a deep slice in the doughnuts and fill with 2 tsp jelly. Enjoy!

For more inspiration visit the fabulous showcase of yeast breads and sweet goodies at Yeast Spotting's blog,  www.wildyeastblog.com

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Freedom to...

Sometimes there is not a whole lot going on here. Well, there is baking of course, and home schooling, and getting to karate on time. But what I am dwelling on at the moment isn't those things, it's Scripture, and my life's goal is to dwell on scripture all the time, what pastor Tim Keller calls the game of minutes; trying to think about the things of God as much of the day as possible.

God's word is so deep and richly fulfilling, I encourage you to read it today. Not all at once, :) but even a small portion can feed you for the entire day. My favorite verse from yesterday is Psalm 119:32 which says, "I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free." What a beautiful picture. Freedom! What could you do if your heart was set free?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Heroes for Today

photo from http://bostinno.streetwise.co

In the busy-ness of life we don't always feel there is time for the proper honoring a thing requires- a sacred thing; a sad memory; or a person's life or death. Today is one of those days, when we remember and yet the meals need planned, the school work needs to be directed and overseen, the karate katas need practiced. I like what Kari at Simplehomeschool posted this morning right here:

How to Homeschool Heroes

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble- Psalm 46:1.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Note to Alexis

Fidget made a new friend over the summer. She lives down the block and has been over frequently swimming and playing all kinds of fun yard games. Recently Fidget has had a burden for this little girl's soul. She has been praying about telling her about Jesus. The other day she couldn't wait to give Alexis a little note when she came to play. They went swimming, so I got to read the note, below. Later Fidget told me she'd written a devotional about Jesus' life for Alexis to read every night at bedtime.

Spelling notwithstanding, it humbles me that God would do so much in a girl this young; my girl, a kid I don't deserve. It is tempting to kick myself because I see how Fidget loves God, and I didn't become a Christian til I was 22. But it was all in God's plan. And now we are praying Alexis sees she is in God's plan too.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Shaker Pickles

We got some beautiful cucumbers at the farmers' market two Saturdays ago and made these bread and butter pickles. They sit out on the counter and are ready after a week. We had some of the most simple and delicious sandwiches imaginable last Sunday after church, with these pickles. The best part is that they are sliced much thinner than store-bought pickles. Thanks to Mumsy and sister in law Traci for sharing their recipe and wisdom.

Shaker Pickles

4 sliced onions
sliced cucumbers to fill a gallon jar
3 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups vinegar
1/3 cup salt
1 1/2 tsp powdered alum
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp mustard seed
1 1/2 tsp turmeric

Mix onions with cucumbers and place in gallon jar. Mix remaining ingredients well and pour over jar contents. Cover and shake vigorously. Shake once daily for 6 days, and they will be ready to eat on day 7. After they are ready you can put them in smaller jars and keep them in the refrigerator. You can also blanch carrots or cauliflower and add.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Friendship Cookies

What's better than cookies from a friend? The latest craze around here is making these delectable treats from the  King Arthur Flour website. My dear friend from grade school, Fidget's Auntie Moke, sent the recipe. If only she was here to make them with us. Here's the recipe for Cape Cod Soft Molasses Cookies from King Arthur. Fidget took some to Olympics camp this morning. Try them-you won't be sorry!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Summer Projects

I haven't been writing many letters lately and I miss it. 

The past few weeks, the Pres has been out of the country. That is prime time for writing letters. But I caught my sandal running up our brick front steps and fell, crushing my pinky, rendering my writing hand pretty useless. So my hand stayed wrapped most of the time and I sat around reading while Fidget was in a lovely camp called Latin Summer put on by these folks near Williamsburg.

In spite of the pile-up at my desk, we've had some encouraging progress around here. The Pres returned last week, was promoted on Fidget's 9th birthday, and then with Grandaddy's help he put up the porch ceiling boards. It was so lovely to have a week with the grand-folk. We got to do lots of celebrating. And then we put Grandaddy to work.

Those are the boards we've been sanding all summer and I was coating with 3 layers of polyurethane while the Pres was gone. Once we get a fresh coat of paint on everything else up front, I think the ceiling will really gleam. 

Because the porch has one stage complete we moved on to a sort of tree house for Fig. Yesterday we finished the platform and are going to think about what to do next.

Looks like Fig likes it already.


Here are some shots from the Pres' trip. He even got to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef! Lucky duck.

What a blessing to have a week of family time before he has to go back to work. As usual, math work is waiting for Fig. 
I think it may always be waiting for her. But for now, surf's up!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Cookies for Everyone!

Happy Sabbath Day! A day to worship, to relax, to work on a few porch ceiling boards, and often a day to fool around with a new recipe. My friend Delicioso just sent me these adorable chocolate dipped shortbread 'tea bag' cookies. Need I say more? Sure, they're for tea lovers, but really these cookies would cheer anyone. This has got to be on my next tea party menu! Thanks, dear friend! xoxo

tea bag cookies

And thanks to Emmaline Bride. The recipe is there. Go for it!

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Savoring these days. Fidget will soon be 9 and the Pres is always off on another trip. These are the golden moments.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Surf Days

I know I haven't made many posts lately but we're out in the yard and the shed, working on porch ceiling boards and swimming with Fidget. We've made such good progress that we've allowed ourselves some time off. What a blessing to live in a free country.  And God is so good to give us this time together as a family. These memories get us through the times apart. 

Surf's up!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sweet Daddy-O

For Father's Day I made the Pres these divine cookies. Homemade Nutter Butters! What better way to tell him we're nuts about him?

When we were first married and had almost no money, it was a big deal when he would get Nutter Butters from the grocery. We just didn't have a lot of money for extras like chips or cookies. God has blessed us so much in the following years. Not just monetarily, but with a relationship growing closer to Him and each other. 

Now that we have a bit more, we could buy cookies but don't, as I like to bake and generally keep sweet things coming out of the oven. I think it was worth it to try these, even though they are softer, the filling sweeter, than the packaged kind. They're better than the package, but as the Pres pointed out, they're sweet enough you can't just sit down and eat 30 in one sitting like you could with the package...Not that we would. :) Here's the recipe for Homemade Nutter Butters, thanks to Cookies and Cups blog

Notice I forgot to take photos once they were baked and made into sandwiches with the sweet confectioners sugar and peanut butter icing. We were too busy eating!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Surf Camp

This week Swee' Pea is in surf camp. It's been the perfect time, as school being still in session has kept the class small. It's just her and a 13-yr old boy that's his dad sitting between them). Lorenzo taught some basics before they ever got to get in the water.


Lorenzo gets the kids into  just the right spot to catch a wave.

The water is even more freezing than usual after winter held out so long. Fortunately the surf school has plenty of wet suits to borrow from. The kids were able to get right up on their first waves. Yesterday the waves were more of a challenge, being 'cumbly', as we were told- they broke up quickly so there weren't a lot of long rides. Today Lorenzo is teaching Fidget and friend how to get themselves to the right place to drop into the waves. After this, he says they won't need him anymore.Which is good because it's the last day, and now Fidget'll be set to teach us all she knows!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Pow- Wow

This weekend we went to the Nansemond Indian Pow-Wow. It was the first one we'd been to, and only knew of it because our black-belt friend Lauren invited us. Somehow it had come up in conversation that she and I are both part Indian. She doesn't know the tribe she's descended from because the Native American woman in her ancestry was wiped out of the family records sometime in the past, which I found very sad. I am part Seminole, but I don't know as much about that as I'd like. Yesterday was beautiful though, after church when we met Lauren.