Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

A Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year

December 31, 2016
All 4 of us

From all 14 of us and another on the way

Nothing could make me happier than to have all of our family together to celebrate any time of the year. They have all rallied around me during this year of unknown health issues. We still don’t know what 2017 will bring for my MDS treatment. December was all about Christmas, our family and togetherness.img_2200

For those who ask, I feel fine. The 27 days of isolation at MD Anderson did not show any instant improvement, but my oncologist is hopeful. I will see him again next week and we’ll know more.img_2536-002December 22, 2016 found all 14 of us in our home in Missouri City, Texas. We all are wearing crowns from the poppers we enjoy at our turkey dinner.img_2224It’s all hands on deck preparing for dinner. Julie helps me prepare the turkey, Troy is our tester and carver, Todd is the potato peeler and masher, and Tommy and Michelle prepare the green bean bundles, Madison helped me with the pies, Holly, Lindsey and Sydney got the table set and then Scott led the clean-up after dinner. Tyler and Ashton kept Thompson occupied while everyone else was busy.11gfccjufvcuhlzhql361nlcofhzzpolrjvz_c7csrtcxrnoq3i-wj4udce3gwlca74shnkezffvtaandhk1cgapwqeq30dmsrhhpjmjzg_pyy203jyihseljncqpo-7clrhr18w1043-h782-no-002My three grandsons. Tyler soon to turn 17, Ashton soon to turn 9, and Thompson is 18 months old. He is expecting a brother in early April 2017. We will then have 4 grandsons and 3 granddaughters. Oh, how blessed can we be?img_0886

And our granddaughters helping to make my mom’s Ginger Cookie recipe. They are Lindsey, 13 years old, Madison, 19 years old and Sydney 11 years old. They all love to cook and sew. Oh, lucky me.img_0896-002

With the exclusion of Tyler, here we all are in the new hammock Tommy bought me. We have always had a lot of fun in hammocks with our grandchildren. I’m not sure Thompson has caught on to the fun and thrills.img_2140-002

And here’s my man. I have loved him since I was in high school. What would I do without him with all the trips to MDA. He spends endless hours there with me waiting, waiting, waiting. Through thick and thin, sickness and health, we have been married for 50 years.img_2216

Our girls love him, too. Holly and Julie have been a great support to both of us during the last two years of cancer treatment.img_2177

And our older son, Todd, comes from Dallas often to be with us for hospital and doctor visits.

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Our younger son, Troy, and family come from Long Beach, California often to love and care for us.

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And even my only son-in-law visits me in the hospital and checks on how I’m doing. As I’ve said so often, “Family is the best.”image1-002

And it keeps growing. Tyler is Todd and Julie’s son, but he has always aspired to being as tall as his Uncle Troy. I think he has just about made it this year. He has passed his dad in height, but will he pass Troy in 2017? There’s so much to look forward to.

My wish to you is many happy days this coming year. Just look for those times. They are there even amongst the trying times. Happy New Year everyone. I love you all, Judyimg_4452

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Day 14 of 28 in Isolation

November 19, 2016

 

Yes, my isolation at MD Anderson Hospital is half over. Before I could enter my room I had to take a shower with a product that is used before surgery. Then I covered-up with a disposable robe, mask, head and shoe covering. Once I entered my isolation room I could throw away all the outer coverings and be in my normal clothes with slippers or non-skid socks. I haven’t left my room since.

I don’t have a shower or a flushable toilet in my room. Each day I bathe with warm, disposable moist cloths. I wash my hair in the sink. I feel clean. I have never cared for camping, but several people have told me it’s much like camping.img_3413

Family and friends are not allowed to enter my room unless they are on staff here at MD Anderson. I have had plenty of family and friends visit through a double paned window in the family room that connects to my room. I love their visits.

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Hi from me.

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Hello back from Holly.

For those who do not know my situation, here’s an explanation. In 2006 I was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS). This is cancer of the bone marrow and a precursor to Leukemia. To date I still am diagnosed with MDS.

Until March 2015, my MDS was not advanced enough to require treatment. I was under the infrequent care at MD Anderson, but my internist monitored my blood counts in between those visits. Bone marrow produces white blood cells which controls your immune system, red blood cells, which produces your oxygen, and platelets, which coagulates your blood and keeps you from bleeding internally as well as externally.

My first chemo treatment was part of a clinical trial taking Decitabine by tablet. After four months of treatment the drug  started working. Then I had seven months without transfusions. Unfortunately, we came to a dead-end. What a disappointment. It was back to frequent platelets transfusions again. Then I started a low dose of Decitabine given intravenously along with Promacta by tablet to try to raise my Platelet count. It didn’t work.

In the meantime we had an orientation at MD Anderson and Methodist Hospital for a stem cell transplant. A search went on to find a match for me for a stem cell donor. Several potential donors were found with a 10 out of 10 match. However, after two different bone marrow aspirations and a biopsy, it was determined I am not a candidate at this time for a transplant.

Instead I was put in the hospital in isolation to receive two different kinds of chemo that completely wiped out my bone marrow. So on Day 14 I have no bone marrow which means no immune system. Everyone who enters my room is covered from head to toe with disposable gown, head, and shoe coverings and a mask. I have to recognize people by their eyes, stature and voice.

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My nurses today. The nursing staff is kind and caring.

Amazingly, the first two weeks have not been bad. I am an introvert so I get my energy by being alone. I love being with people and out and about, but like a true introvert have to retreat to solitude to be energized again. I get plenty of people contact from 5 AM until 11 PM each day. Nurses, doctor, room service, vital sign taker, and housekeeping are in and out of my room all day long.

My room, #1272, is great. It’s one of two very large rooms with a double window on the twelfth floor . There is a stationary bike, lounge chair, desk chair with desk, a rocking chair, bedside table, and bed in my room. I have made it as much like home as possible.

I stay busy with Quilts, Inc. office work through deliveries and via the internet, crafting projects, watching “The Crown” on Netflix, FaceTime with my younger grandchildren, text messaging, journaling and all the hospital stuff. The time has gone by swiftly.

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Embroidery I finished while in isolation.

 

Mail delivery and visitors have been a highlight during the day. I love the cards and fun things that have been delivered to my room.

 

I receive platelets and/or blood transfusions almost daily now. I am attached to a pump by a PICC line in my arm 24/7 that administers the transfusions and constant fluids. It doesn’t hurt. I just go about my day and night with “Tagalong” always by my side.

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Tagalong

 

Today I missed a second A & M game in College Station with my husband. It made me a little weepy the first one I missed, but today my son-in-law came to visit during the game time.

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My husband at the A&M game without me.

 

 

Our daughter and our older son’s wife will decorate our house for Christmas before I get home on December 3. They have pictures to follow in each of the boxes for each vignette. If you go back to my blog post on December 2014, you’ll get a preview of how it will look. I do the same thing every year with only a few minor changes.

From Our House to Yours

From Our House to Yours

 

I look forward to all our family being together and celebrating Christmas on December 22. Here they are all gathered at our home the day before I came into the hospital. What a wonderful family. Troy, our younger son, comes from Long Beach, California again tomorrow for a visit. Todd, our older son, who lives in Dallas, will be back again on Tuesday.img_3355-002

As I’ve said so many times, “Family is the best!” My prayer is that this treatment will work and I can be in remission to spend time with them and you, too, my friends. Much love and good wishes to you and yours. God is good. Judy

 

 

 

 

Little Red Shoes

May 6, 2016

 

As a child, Christmas Eve in our house was the best day of the whole year. Santa delivered gifts to our home on this day. It seems like I received a doll every Christmas. I always loved dolls. Even when I was twelve years old I still had dreams of receiving a doll for Christmas.

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My Ballerina Doll and Me at 10 Years Old

My daddy worked on Christmas Eve day. He received his yearly bonus at the end of this work day. We couldn’t wait for him to get home so Santa would come, and we could open gifts. The tree was always loaded with gifts for our large family.

Daddy did his shopping for my mom on Christmas Eve, after he received his yearly bonus check. He also celebrated with a little Christmas cheer before he came home to his excited family. When Daddy finally arrived home, it was time to open gifts.

We all settled into a comfy place in the living room. Daddy sat on the floor next to the tree and would hand-out one gift at a time to one of our family members. He loved Christmas. We watched as each gift was opened. Each child tried to be patient and wait for the next time a gift was handed to him or her.

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Daddy and Little Brother Tom

The Christmas of 1955 was one that will stand-out in my memory for as long as I live. I dreamed of receiving a Madam Alexander doll named Cissy. I spotted her in Bruner’s Department store on a high shelf one Friday evening as my mom and dad shopped for groceries in a connecting store. My little brother and I would look at the toys in the department store, and Mom and Daddy joined us after they bought the weekly groceries.

Cissy

Cissy

I showed the doll to my mom and dad on a whim; never really expecting to find her under our Christmas tree. Cissy, released in 1955, was the first of the modern fashion dolls. What set Cissy apart as something new and different was her mature figure with high-heeled feet. She was an expensive doll at the time and certainly not in my parents’ budget.

Each Friday night through December my little brother and I would look at the toys in Bruner’s while my mom and dad did the weekly grocery shopping. The Friday before Christmas Eve, Cissy was no longer on the shelf. My heart sunk. Could it be possible my mom and dad bought her for me? I couldn’t allow myself to think of such extravagance.

Christmas Eve finally came. We all were waiting Daddy’s arrival home so we could open our Christmas gifts Santa left. As we settled around the tree, I noticed the pair of little red high heel shoes from Cissy hanging on the tree. I was beside myself with excitement. I couldn’t sit still.

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As the Little Red Shoes Hang on Our Tree Now.

Near the end of our gift opening, Daddy asked me what I was so excited about on the tree. He was grinning from ear to ear. I told him it was the pair of shoes belonging to Cissy. He looked at them and said there was a note that went along with them. Daddy had made a map I had to follow to find her in the house. One clue led to another until I finally came to the most glorious doll you will ever see. I think it was my happiest moment to date.

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My Christmas Doll and Me at 12 Years Old

I still have Cissy and her original hat. Somewhere along the way, after many years, I no longer had her shoes or dress. I thought about those shoes so often over the years and wished I had them. Amazingly, I came across another Cissy in an antique shop 12 years ago. She still had her original dress and shoes. However, she had dark hair rather than blond like my Cissy. She was in a locked, glass case with other vintage dolls. I looked at her shoes longingly as I had done many years ago when I was 12 years old.

I asked the shop owner if I could buy just her shoes. Silly me. She said no. I told her my story, but she still said no. I couldn’t leave the store without those shoes. So I bought the doll for many times more than my parents had paid for my original Cissy. The elastic on the shoes was stretched-out with age beyond anything that would stay on my doll. I put the dark-haired Cissy dress on my blond Cissy and some hand-made clothes on the recently purchased Cissy. The shoes I put aside.

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My Original Cissy and Dark Hair Cissy After Trading Clothes

When the following Christmas came around I showed the shoes to my oldest granddaughter, Madison, and told her the story. She was seven years old at the time. I told her I would hang the shoes on our family tree every Christmas from now on to remember such a happy time. I asked her if she would take-over the tradition when I was gone so the red shoes story would live on and the shoes would always grace a family Christmas tree.

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Madison and Me Christmas 2015

When my husband and I decorate for Christmas each year now, he leaves the little red shoes for me to hang on the tree in the area I remember them hanging on my family tree when I was twelve years old. Such happy memories of my father and our family return to me for a few quiet moments of my own. This is one of the best memories of my childhood. I will love this Christmas Eve story for the rest of my life.

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I always love our Christmas tree.

I wrote this memory to be included in a book that will come out this fall called Christmas Quilts, Christmas Memories. The book, compiled by Karey Bresenhan and Nancy Puentes, will be accompanied by a special exhibit of quilts featured in the book at International Quilt Festival in Houston this fall. The exhibit will also be seen at Festival in Chicago in 2017.FullSizeRender (003)

I hope you have a special memory today to make you smile. Love to you, Judy

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 24 Baked Turkey the Easy Way

February 27, 2016

For so many years of my married life we had Thanksgiving Dinner at my mom’s home and Christmas dinner at Tommy’s mom and dad’s home. So I rarely baked a turkey until our kids were grown and married.

Many friends told me, over the years, that it’s not hard to bake a turkey. I tried it a couple of times, in different ways, but it seemed like a lot of trouble to me. My assistant for more than 20 years at Quilts, Inc., Kim DeCoste, told me of an extremely, fail-proof easy way to bake a turkey.

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Kim Cheering Me On at a Silly Quilt Festival Luncheon

Now, I have no problem baking a turkey for Christmas Dinner. Troy has always been our turkey carver and Todd our mashed potato maker. I love having family in the kitchen with me. Makes me so happy.

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Troy Carving Turkey

You need

Turkey Roaster with lid

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Turkey Roaster Inherited from My Mother-in Law

Extra Wide Reynolds Wrap

Thawed turkey                    I choose a 23-25 lb. Butterball Turkey

Instructions

Line roaster with Reynolds Wrap long enough to wrap around the turkey and seal it. Use two sheets of wrap. Lay one down the length of the pan and the other on top of first wrap laid down the width of the pan.

Empty insides of turkey and wash inside. Pat dry with paper towel. Put pepper all over the turkey skin.

Place turkey in Reynolds Wrap lined pan. Pull all four sides of Reynolds Wrap around turkey two at a time. Wrap tightly. The turkey should not be exposed anywhere. You won’t open and peak at any time so the juices and steam stay inside.

Follow cooking time on packaging that came with turkey. We use a meat thermometer in the end to make sure the turkey is cooked. Troy has patience and won’t take the turkey out until it’s time. Instructions for this will be with the turkey.

The last 30 minutes of baking, peal back foil to brown skin.

This makes a nice moist turkey. I’ve been happy with it every time.

Next week will be the last of the Saturday recipes I will post for you from my family recipe book. After that, I will post a new “Play Date” tutorial for making something with a vintage glove for Mother’s Day. It makes me think of my mother.

Mom in her apartment

Mom a Few Years Before She Died in 2001

May you have happy memories today of people who have passed through your life and made a difference in who you are. Love and hugs, Judy

Merry Christmas, Dear Friends

December 25, 2015
family

Our Family Christmas Celebration on December 22

From left to right are as follows:

Julie, Todd, Tyler and Madison Murrah

Scott, Lindsey, Holly, and below her are Sydney and Ashton Huebner

Troy, Michelle, and Thompson Murrah

Judy and Tommy

What could be better than having all of our family together for a Christmas celebration. Troy, Michelle and Thompson came in from Long Beach a week before we celebrated Christmas in our home.

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Grammy and Thompson

I held Thompson every chance I got before the rest of our family arrived. Michelle and Troy are very generous with letting Thompson be held by everyone. If he was awake, we were playing with him, holding him, and enjoying his chatter, smiles, and laughter.

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Granddaughters in the Kitchen

Everyone, except Thompson, helped out in the kitchen. As my mom always said, “Many hands make light work.” All thirteen of us had a hand in preparing or cleaning-up. It seemed a little hectic at times, but I enjoy having everyone doing their part and being together.

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Requested Pies

We had the traditional turkey dinner topped off with the requested pies. Troy, Holly, and I like Chocolate Meringue. Julie, Todd and Tyler like Apple, and Lindsey requested Lemon Meringue pie. None of it went to waste. Ginger cookies and Sugar cookies are also a must. Troy took the last of the Ginger cookies when he left to go to the airport. He and Julie said they were the best batch I had ever made.

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Julie and Todd with Stockings

Even though we celebrate our Christmas a few days before December 25th, we still have our traditions. The first thing, after we hear Santa’s sleigh bells, is to see what’s in our stockings.

Thompson

Thompson’s First Christmas

It was so special to have Thompson with us for his first Christmas. I made his stocking as I have all the other thirteen. I spent one day enjoying every design element and stitch for our youngest grandchild. The block T is prevalent as we called him “Baby T” before he was born.

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Our Six Grandchildren

Nothing could make me happier than to have been blessed with these six grandchildren. Each one is so special. From left to right they are:

Lindsey Huebner, Madison Murrah, Tyler Murrah, Sydney Huebner, Thompson Murrah, and Ashton Huebner. They range in age from 18 years to 6 months. What a great bunch. After picture-taking time, it was time to open gifts under the tree.

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Annual Football Game Team

When our children were growing-up we celebrated Christmas Day at Tommy’s parents home. His sister and her husband and three children were there, too.  There was always a football game in their front yard no matter your age or your gender. We love tradition. So true to memory-making, a football game was organized in front of our house. Several of us were spectators as others cleaned-up the kitchen.

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Basketball Team

Since we have a basketball court in our back yard, there is always a game between Tyler and Troy. Each year I take a picture of them next to each other to watch Tyler grow. He would love to make it to over 6 feet tall, like his uncle. Ashton and Thompson joined the fun this year.

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Grammy and Grandchildren Tea Party

When Madison was a tiny girl we had many pretend tea parties. When she was three years old I bought a Spode Christmas Tree child’s tea set. That Christmas we had a real tea party to learn tea manners. When Tyler was about that same age, he wanted to join us because he liked the idea of sugar cubes in his tea. Since then each of the grandchildren have participated. Thompson joined us this year with a little help from his daddy. Besides tea, we have poppers and enjoy the crowns, trivia questions and Charades game inside.

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Star Wars Movie

Troy, Michelle, and Thompson left on December 23. The rest of the family stayed until Christmas Eve morning. After Troy and family left for the airport, the big kids wanted to play Laser Tag, go to dinner and then to the movies to see Star Wars. It was a great ending to another Christmas celebration.

Warm holiday wishes from my heart to yours with love, Judy

 

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 26 Hot Wassail

December 12, 2015

Yes, you’re correct. I’ve skipped several pages in your recipe book. Not to worry. I will return to Page 18, where we left off, next week. Page 26 is the last page in your book.

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Recipe Book Index

It was important to me that you have this Hot Wassail recipe for this Christmas season. I received it in 1982, from the wife of the man my husband replaced at First Victoria National Bank in Victoria. She served it to us in their home the first Christmas we were there. I’ve made it multiple times each Christmas since then. My only son-in-law, Scott, makes a joke about me offering Hot Wassail to everyone who comes to our home during the Christmas season. “Would you like some hot Wassail?”

wassail

Hot Wassail

Hot Wassail

Ingredients

1 gallon apple cider

1 quart ginger ale

1 eight oz. package of cinnamon candies

8 cinnamon sticks

6-8 whole cloves

ingredients

Ingredients

Instructions

Pour liquid into bottom of electric coffee maker. Combine remaining ingredients in the top basket.

Perk until ready.

Makes 30 cups.

Our older son’s wife of 20 years came from Dallas to help us decorate for Christmas the first week in December. What a life-saver. I knew Julie was a keeper for our son the first time I met her. I have always told Todd, “I would have picked her out for you, if that had been my decision.”

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Cheers Julie and Tommy

Our tree and house are all decorated. We had one large party last Saturday night in our home and will have a tiny dinner party on Monday evening this coming week. Then Wednesday, our younger son and his sweet wife and baby will arrive and be with us for a week. The stars will be brightly shining. Later, our daughter and our older son, will arrive with their families for us to celebrate our family Christmas on December 22. It will be our Merry Christmas celebration.

MERRY

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you and yours. May all your Christmas wishes come true. Love and hugs, Judy

The Winners of “My Favorite Christmas Recipe or Project” Contest

December 2, 2015

A few weeks ago, I asked you to send your favorite Christmas project and/or recipe to me for a Christmas contest. My little committee and I chose our favorites yesterday, but we were so busy decorating for Christmas, I didn’t sit down to let you know.

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Merry Christmas Decorating

I have sent the 24 Fat Quarters batches to the two winners, but I want to share their winning entries with you, my readers. You may want to try them. Now for the drum roll…

The Christmas project winner was submitted by Teresa Duggan. It’s a darling little gift bag. She and her friend, Ann, get together weekly to sew. Besides enjoying each other’s friendships, they create and have fun at the same time. I met once a month with a friend many years ago to create new projects. I looked forward to each get-together. Do you have a “create-with-me” buddy?

Teresa and Ann have made more than 30 of these little gift bags in which to put a small Christmas gift for friends and family. The bags measure 4″ X 4″ X 2″. What do you think they plan to put in these tiny bags?

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4″ X 4″ X 2″

They found the instructions on the “All People Quilt” website. Check-out http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/bags-pillows-gifts/bags-and-purses/tiny-treats for the instructions. The tiny treat bags on the website were made in Halloween fabrics, but certainly can be made in other fabrics for gifting on any occasion.

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Little Gift Bags

Our favorite recipe submitted was by Carol Luther. She wrote that this Custard Pecan Pie was her grandmother’s favorite. Her grandmother got the recipe when Carol’s mother was attending Mary Baylor College. On one of her grandmother’s visits to see Carol’s mother she received the recipe from a tea room there.

Ma’s Pecan Pie

Ingredients

1 cup granulated sugar

3 cups whole milk

3 eggs

1 cup pecans

1/2 cup flour

1 tsp. Vanilla

1 tbsp. butter

Instructions

Put milk in sturdy pot and scald.

I googled “scald” and basically it means heat until almost boiling. This was done many years ago before milk was pasteurized.

Separate eggs.

Cream sugar and beaten egg yolks. Add to milk. Stir constantly.

Slowly add 1/2 cup of flour. Continue stirring.

Cook until thick as summer butter. I don’t know what summer butter looks like, but I stirred constantly with a wire whisk until it started to thicken. I was happy with the results.

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Like Summer Butter

Add pecans, butter and vanilla. Pour into baked pie shell. Top with meringue and brown.

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Just Out of the Oven

I could hardly wait to taste it. My husband was cooking dinner when the pie was cool enough to cut. I must confess I had to try it before dinner. It is so yummy, but very different from the pecan pie recipe I gave you last week. Give it a try.

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Pecan Custard Pie

I loved all the recipes, but could only choose one for the Fat Quarter Bundle. There were several recipes submitted using cranberries. What could be more like Christmas than cranberries? I especially liked the recipe I received from Amy Cottrell. I’d like to share it with you, too.

She wrote:

My favorite recipe for Christmas is Cranberry Bread.  The original was from 1965.  I have made some changes.   This recipe is easy and awesome.

Cranberry Bread

INGREDIENTS:

2 Cups Flours

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 Cup Sugar

2 Tablespoons shortening

¾ Cup Orange Juice

1 Egg – beaten

1 Cup cranberries, raw, cut ½ Cup into pieces

1 orange rind zested

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 9x5x3 Loaf Pan

Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. (Flour, Baking Power, Baking Soda, Salt, Sugar)

Mix in shortening, juice, and egg.

Fold in cranberries.

Grease pan and pour in loaf pan until done

Bake at 350 for about 40-50 minutes. Bread is done when a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.

So there you have it. Two recipes and a little project. Let me know, if you try any of them. Thanks to all of you who took the time to enter my little contest. It was fun reading your entries. Hope you’ll play along again next time. Would love to hear from everyone.

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Happy Holiday Baking

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Judy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 17 Pecan Pie

November 28, 2015

My husband and I started our Thanksgiving dinner preparations at 6:30 AM on Thursday. We were ready to sit down to dinner at 1:30, shortly after our  daughter and her family arrived. As a friend of mine said, “You still have to prepare everything no matter if your group is large or small.” We were happy to have one of our families with us. It was extra nice to have Lindsey, Sydney, and Ashton stay with us for a couple of days when their mommy and daddy left after dinner.

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The Huebners with Grammy and Granddaddy

We served a Honey Baked Ham, Cheesy Potatoes, Green Bean Bundles, Jello Salad, and Sister Shubert rolls. We didn’t make the traditional turkey or pumpkin pie. I made Pecan Pie and Lemon Meringue Pie, which are more popular with this group.

Pecan Pie

My sister, Suzanne, comes for a treasured visit each summer, and we sew and cook. She usually brings a new recipe for us to try. She’s a great cook, and I love her Pecan Pie recipe. It’s so easy.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Ingredients

¾ cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup white Karo

2 eggs

2 tablespoons of butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup whole pecans

Instructions

Blend sugar and flour in a bowl. Add other ingredients one at a time, mixing with a spoon. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees. It should be done when a knife inserted comes out clean. Be careful not to over bake.

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie ready to serve

If you plan to enter my Christmas recipe and/or project contest, please note the deadline is December 1. I will post the winners that day. Two lucky winners will receive a pack of 24 Christmas fat quarters. Good luck.

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Stack of 24 Fat Quarters

Good luck with your Christmas shopping and decorating, too. All our Christmas lights went up and on today. I love Christmas lights.

From Our Home to Yours

From Our Home to Yours

Tomorrow, after church, we have a friend from the Quilts, Inc. office coming to help us with putting up decorations in our house. We have a group of 44 people from church coming for a sit-down dinner next Saturday. Should start off the Christmas season for us in a special way.

Make your week special. Hugs, Judy

 

A Prize Awaits You!

November 23, 2015

We are completing our trip to Long Beach today, and it will be full steam ahead tomorrow. I have an appointment at MD Anderson at 8 tomorrow morning, and then I’ll go to the Quilts, Inc. office for the remainder of the day.

We’ve had a great time with our son and his little family at Disneyland, the Long Beach Aquarium, and Rancho Los Alamitos and lots and lots of eating at great restaurants.

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Troy, Michelle, and Thompson Murrah

My thoughts are turning to Thanksgiving and then Christmas decorating to start next Monday. We have a big, sit-down dinner for 40 Sunday school members at our home on December 5. Our other son’s wife, Julie, is coming to help us decorate early next week.

Table Next to Sofa

Table Next to Sofa

I’m thinking of the contest challenge I gave you a week ago to send your best Christmas project or recipe. I’ve heard from a few of you. Some have sent their entry to my email address as they did not want it to show-up on my blog. If you’d like to use my email for your project or recipe, feel free to do so. My address is judym@quilts.com. Remember there’s a prize for our favorite. It’s a bundle of fat quarters for each category.

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Stack of 24 Fat Quarters

I hope to hear from a few more of you. The deadline is Tuesday, December 1.

Happy Holidays to all. Love and hugs, Judy

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 15 Meringue

November 14, 2015

The party’s over, but my studio is still suffering from the projects before and after Quilt Market and International Quilt Festival. I’m embarrassed to say that I just move things over or onto the floor or another table to make room to create.

studio

Messy Studio

The shows were full of color, classes, shopping, events, and friends. Whenever I could, I spent time in classes taught by Julie Craig from Wichita, Kansas, where she has a dreamy Attic Heirlooms Needlework Shop. She never stops coming up with new ideas using patchwork, trinkets, trims, buttons, and lace. I love all her classes. I had the opportunity to take her big “Crazy Tomato Pincushion” class. Students love Julie’s classes. Everything you need is provided in a kit. Often the machine sewing is done for you before class, so you can start creating immediately.

tomato

Crazy Tomato Pincushion

Maria Shell, from Alaska, taught for International Quilt Festival for the first time this fall. I enjoyed spending Saturday in her “Blogging for Beginners” class. She taught us a few tricks for streamlining our blogs or starting one. I enjoyed the interaction with group discussion and one-on-one consultation with Maria.

catalog

Class Catalog

My thoughts now are focusing on the holiday season. I put some new Christmas items in my etsy shop today including Christmas stockings. I hope you will take a look.

stockings

Stockings made from a Vintage Quilt

stockings

Red and Green Patchwork Stockings

It’s time to get out my boxes of Christmas fabrics, trims, and ephemeral to create more. My sister wants me to make stockings out of this crazy quilt vest. Should be fun to do.

vest

Crazy Quilt Vest

What will you be creating for the Christmas holidays? Will it be a special recipe or a new project?

For Thanksgiving and Christmas, I always make two or three pies. Everyone has their favorite. At least one of them will be topped with meringue using my mother’s recipe.

MeringueIMG_2065

People told my mom she should make pies to sell because she was a superb pie maker. It took me many tries before I could make a good. tall meringue. 

Ingredients

3 egg whites

¼ tsp. cream of tartar

½ cup sugar

Instructions

Separate egg whites from yolks. Let set out at room temperature while you make pie. Beat egg whites on high speed with heavy mixer and blade. Add cream of tartar once you have started mixing. When egg whites are just starting to get thick, slowly add sugar as whites are beating.

Continue beating until soft peaks form. Stop beater when you think meringue is ready, and lift with spatula. If peaks remain for a couple of seconds, then it is ready. It’s hard to over beat, but very easy to under beat the egg whites.IMG_2051

Spread on pie filling all the way out to crust with spatula. Lift meringue with spatula to form peaks.

Place on middle rack in pre-heated oven set to 350 degrees. Check after 10 minutes that it is lightly brown all over. If not, bake up to 15 minutes total.

Try making meringue for your cream pie. Your family will be so impressed with the magic you create for their Christmas dinner.

Christmas Table

Christmas Table set for 14

I have an idea. I think it would be fun to share your favorite holiday recipe or Christmas project with our friends on my blog. What do you think?

I’ve created two stacks of 24 fat quarters of Christmas fabric. I made them from a variety of some of my collectible Christmas fabrics. Some I couldn’t part with because I didn’t have enough to share. There were many that I had plenty of yardage and could share with you.

stack

Stack of 24 Fat Quarters

ready

Ready for a Creation

Send me your favorite holiday recipe or Christmas project. I will have a small committee to choose one of each as our favorites. The winners will receive one of the fat quarter bundles. If it’s OK with you, I will post the winners on my blog with reference to you. I’ll let you know the results on December 1, 2015.

Soon my husband and I will be going to Long Beach to see our younger son and his family. We haven’t seen our new grandson for two months. I know he has changed and grown so much. Can’t wait to kiss those fat cheeks and get all that sugar in his neck.

murrah

Thompson Murrah

We will go to Disneyland while we’re there. I can’t wait. I was 14 years old the first time I went to Disneyland. I loved it then and still do. The photo below is me in the hat holding my nephew Jimmy D. My sister, Joanie, is holding his brother, Timmy. They are now in their 50’s. My mom is in the center. Family get-togethers are the best.

disneyland

First Visit to Disneyland

Make plans for some family or friend time. What could be more special? Blessings and hugs to you all, Judy

 

 


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