My Grandmother’s Kitchen: Homemade Pancakes

I love the title for this month’s blog post. I had different relationships with both of my grandmothers. They each taught me so much in the precious time I had with them. After our family moved from the city, I used to spend a few weeks each summer with my Grandma Milem.

She lived in a cul-de-sac with other homes filled with folks much like herself; elderly, with grown children. There were very few kids my age living, or visiting in that semi-circle of homes; so I ended up spending a lot of time with Grandma and Grandpa. This is the place where I learned to sew, embroider, and watch Grandma cook. A favorite family memory: she loved to whistle while she worked.

There was always fresh produce on Grandma’s table. Tomatoes sliced on a plate, cucumbers bathed in vinegar, or swimming in sour cream with dill, and onion stalks with their greenery spilling out of the top of a glass of water. She taught my mother how to can the benefits from our garden, her bread and butter pickles were the best! We had jars and jars of corn, green beans and tomatoes. Grandma would take zucchini home and come back to visit with loaves of zucchini bread!

I have fond memories of holiday gatherings. Wonderful smells would fill the house. There were no store bought pies here, no sir. Everything was made by hand, and if you went home hungry it was your fault.

By the time I became a teenager, Grandpa had passed away and their home had been sold. Grandma called herself a vagabond; she lived from place to place. Mostly with her grown children in different parts of the country. She would visit us in southern California for a couple of months, she would then divide the rest of the year between Arizona, South Carolina, or Ohio.

In 1999, we were all called to my Uncle’s home in Ohio to say our good-byes. Hospice had advised that Grandma would be leaving us soon. A memory from that time, so precious to me  was when my Uncle’s home lost power, and there was no air conditioning. My cousins and I took newspaper and made fans. Then we went into the bedroom where Grandma rested and fanned her while singing hymns. If you listened real close you could hear her humming along.

When asking my cousins which recipe they remembered most from Grandma’s Kitchen our memories varied.  But we all think of her as a constant reminder of our childhood, and her great cooking abilities. I just found out recently that one of my cousins had  snagged her recipe box! Oh what a treasure! She then proceeded to send me a picture of all of those recipes. So, per her request, I am happily sharing Grandma Milem’s pancake recipe.

 

Grandma Milem’s Pancakes

1 Egg
1 1/4 cup Buttermilk or sour milk
1/2 cup of Baking soda
1 1/4 Cups of Flour
1 tsp. Sugar
2 Tbs. Soft shortening
1 1/2 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp. Salt

Mix the dry ingredients together well. The shortening should be soft like butter at room temperature. Add shortening, and  buttermilk; stir well. Let batter rest for a minute or two before pouring on hot griddle.

Click to Tweet: My Grandma’s Kitchen: Homemade Pancakes #holiday #memories .@InspiredPrompts

Cleaning and Organizing the Pinterest Way

By Jennifer Hallmark

What is better than a clean, organized home? I can’t think of much. I love the smell of a freshly laundered, dust-free, and everything-in-its-place house. But with six grandchildren who enjoy visiting Mamaw and Papaw and a full-time job writing, who has the time? Or the money to hire someone to scrub and scour?

Betty has already shared the way she schedules her cleaning. If you missed it, check it out here. But maybe you’re like me and can’t seem to follow a schedule when it comes to cleaning. I’ll start with a schedule but then notice that something (not on the list) needs to be done that day and I just have to clean that item. Then I’m off schedule. Again.

So, what’s a person to do?

Pinterest.

I’ve found so many great ideas and tips to first organize, then clean. So I thought I’d share some straight off my page and maybe they can help you create that clean and organized living space. https://www.pinterest.com/jenlhallmark989/cleaningorganizing-tips/

Organize

  1. Tips for Organizing Your Home for Spring Cleaning- This article takes your house, room by room, and shares good tips for putting it back in shape.
  2. 22 Things to Get Rid of Right Now-I loved this simple list.
  3. 20 Mind-Blowing Organization Ideas-Good all-around organizing tips.
  4. How to Organize Your Entire House: A Ten-Week Plan-For you planners, here it is, all written out.

Clean

  1. 3 Genius Hacks For Swiffers That Will Save You Money-I loved this one because, well, I love my Swiffer and it saved me money. 😊
  2. How to Wash Walls in 5 Easy Steps-Simple tips for that normally hard job.
  3. 20 of the Most Popular Cleaning Tricks on Pinterest-And here are twenty tricks all in one place.
  4. How To Clean Your Microwave In 3 Easy Steps-Am I the only one who looks in the microwave and can’t believe the mess? Here’s your answer.

Try out some of these ideas and tips and let me know what you think by leaving a comment. I’ve got to go now. I’m in the middle of organizing and cleaning the “toy” room I’m creating for the grandchildren. Now where are my rubber gloves?

Writing prompt: Needed: Money to

Click to tweet: I’ve found so many great ideas and tips to first organize, then clean.

Will You Find Treasure This Year?

By Tammy Trail

Spring is the time for new beginnings. The birds are out tweeting. Barnyard animals frolic through the grass with younger versions of themselves in the warm sunshine. Humans tend to frolic out of doors also. Yard work calls us into labor. We’ll wear shorts in 60-degree weather because we long for the warmth of spring days.

Cleaning takes on a new meaning in the Spring. Have you noticed any ” Yard Sale”  signs out yet? Not to worry, they’re coming. You can be sure that folks will be going through those closets soon and setting gently used merchandise in the “for sale” pile.

Most likely, there is a community of people in your town or city who love to yard sale. They will either have a sale of their own, or wake up early on a Saturday mornings and drive to them. That old saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is surely their motto.

Websites, blogs, and even Pinterest share lots of tips for setting up your own yard sale. Here are a few:

  1. Make your signs attractive and visible to the car passing by your yard. There are some cute ideas on Pinterest with catchy phrases and decorations.
  2. Prices should be easy to read. Putting them on the top of an item is better.
  3. Make sure you have enough cash to make change. Chances are everyone will want to pay with a $20 bill.
  4. Ask a friend or neighbor to help you. While you are distracted, someone could walk off with a potential sale. Another set of eyes can help discourage a thief.
  5. Selling cold beverages will add to your sales.

If you are an early riser on Saturday mornings and love to bargain, here are some tips for you as well.

  1. Wear comfortable shoes. You may need to park some distance away from the yard, or stand in line before taking your treasure home.
  2. Check the box before purchasing an item. There may be something entirely different inside when you get home.
  3. When buying something electrical, ask if you can plug it in to check it. If it takes batteries, make sure the battery compartment is not corroded.
  4. Never buy used car seats for babies or toddlers from a garage sale. Once they have been involved in an accident they are useless.
  5. Purchasing your items with smaller bills will make your seller smile. She or he won’t need to worry about making a lot of change.

My favorite garage/yard sale item was found by my parents. As a young girl, I had a portrait of Jesus hanging on my wall. I talked to him every night before I went to sleep. When I grew up and moved away, I left that picture behind. Through the years, I assumed my parents had gotten rid of it, or it was lost in a move from one house to another.

Last year, I went to visit my Mom to help her get ready for a yard sale. In a corner of her basement, behind a couple of boxes, I found my old friend. He is with me now in my home. One of these days, I will get my picture of Jesus re-framed and hung on the wall in my bedroom.

Click to tweet: Have you noticed any ” Yard Sale”  signs out yet?

Here’s a good prompt: Free puppies today.

Save

One Man’s Junk

antique

By Jennifer Hallmark

You’ve heard the expression, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure? Never has that been more true than today. Numerous reality and television programs have sprung up promoting these modern-day “treasure hunts.”

Programs like Antiques Roadshow have been around in the U.S. since 1997. Antique and sometimes junk enthusiasts bring in their treasure to be appraised. Some find their inherited item worth thousands while others discover there is only sentimental value to be found.

There are several reality shows along the lines of Storage Wars. When rent is not paid on a storage locker for three months in California, the contents can be sold by an auctioneer as a single lot of items in the form of a cash-only auction. Storage Wars follows several buyers as they purchase storage units and dig through the household items and clothes, hoping to find a safe full of money or antiques worth a mint.

My last example is American Pickers. The show follows antique and collectible pickers Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz as they travel primarily around the United States, buying (“picking”) various items either for resale, for clients, or occasionally their own personal collections.**

Once again, we follow people on their treasure hunt from the comfort of our living room. No stress and strain on our part, though we don’t get the treasure either.

Join in the fun! Name some television programs you watch that showcase treasure hunting in some form or fashion. Or maybe a fun thrift store or dig store you like to hunt through for your own treasure. Leave a comment and maybe we’ll join you in your treasure hunt…

**http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Pickers

Privy Treasure Hunters

Prompt CONTESTWhen I was younger, a lot younger, (so young that my memories are very faded) my mother took me, along with a Girl Scout Troop, hiking. I remember the excitement of finding arrow heads in the dirt. As vague as my memories are, I seem to recall how numerous they were. Years later, Grandma took me to a museum in Kansas City where a few live buffalo roamed among the teepees. I was absolutely fascinated with the artifacts on display.

I used to dig in the dirt with friends from the neighborhood. You might say that’s pretty typical for children, but we dug holes. Big holes. Our goal was to dig ourselves to China. But I couldn’t help thinking that somewhere along the way I’d come across some cool ancient artifact. Even at that young age, I knew the thrill of the hunt, even if it was only a small rock.

I guess my fascination with the past was pretty evident early on in my life. I think that is one thing that draws me to writing historical set romances. I love the research and I’d jump at the chance for hands on exploration. I should have been an archaeologist, but I’ll settle for writing.

As much as I love the idea of digging through the dirt to discover artifacts, I don’t find this particular past-time of interest.

IMG_4628Privy Diggers! Or uh, outhouse diggers. There are all kinds of people who travel the United States looking for old outhouse landmarks. I know, right? You’re probably curling your nose at this whole thing. I mean, seriously, what in the world would posses any one to dig around outhouses?

Well, mainly old bottles. Seems there weren’t many trash collectors back in the day so folks just up and tossed their garbage down the privy hole. According to this digger, Outhouse Diggers, outhouse digging could tell a lot about the people using the outhouse, from their health to their financial status. He also mentions that it’s a great chronological exploration. Some of the outhouses he’s dug up had a span of over fifty years. Bottles aren’t the only thing found on an outhouse dig, things like pistols, clay pipes, human remains. Yes, I said human remains. Hundreds of years old.

Now, things like the flintlock pistol, swords and whatnot are almost enough to make me want to join in on a dig, but bones… not so much.

You really should take the time to read the article. Oh, and here is this one http://www.19thcenturybottlediggers.com/  that actually shows images of things found. Check out the little clay pipes (scroll down the page). Really cool!

I’ve come across a lot of eccentric hobbyists, but this one so far takes the cake.

What think you? Would you go digging around for outhouse holes?

 

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