As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this nearly six-acre tract of land, this farmhouse, this domain—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Sunday Snapshots: Crab Cakes Instead of Birthday Cake


 This weekend, we did not celebrate anyone's birthday! (What?) Having the birthday x 6 party last weekend made yesterday a "normal" Sunday, which we made into a simple summer seafood Sunday. 

Sound good? It certainly was! Daughter-in-law Sarah brought crab dip and corn-on-the-cob. Daughter Kristin brought potato salad and cole slaw. I made crab cakes. Yes, we had some good summer eating! (I enjoyed it all the more knowing that summer is winding down and that this brutal summer weather pattern is going to break this week. Whew!)

As we were preparing to eat, I realized that I, a life-long Maryland girl, had never shared my recipe for Maryland Crab Cakes! So I snatched one off the platter and took a quick picture while everyone was filling their plates.



MARYLAND CRAB CAKES

Ingredients:
1 pound crab meat
2 slices stale white bread, crusts removed
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 stick butter, softened


Directions:
Cut bread into small cubes.

Combine all ingredients except the crab; mix well.

Very gently fold in crab, trying to keep meat in larger pieces.

Shape into cakes.
(The number of cakes depends on the size. I usually make 6 from this recipe.)

Chill cakes at least one hour.

Fry in hot shortening until brown on both sides. OR broil until golden brown.
(I prefer to broil. I set the broiler on high, put the pan of cakes on the bottom oven rack, and watch closely! It usually takes about 10 to 12 minutes.)




I didn't take many pictures yesterday. I guess I was enjoying the laid back, non-party afternoon. But I did pick up my camera when some of the kids were teaching the others to play Miss Mary Mack! 

Maddie teaching Eve

Maddie and Alaine

Paul wanted to play too! :)

Kati and Maddie. Their hands are a blur!

Aunt Bekah teaching Nora

Somebody messed up the words!



If you had to choose: Crab cakes or birthday cake? 
(My answer is crab cakes!)


Thursday, August 18, 2016

And the Triple Birthday Party Grows...


Every August, we three celebrate our birthdays together with one "triple birthday" party. 

(I can't even remember when we started this tradition, but here are some of our past parties: 2011, 2012, 20132014, and 2015)

2016

But this year, the party grew...

and even though Ron had already had a BIG party



and even though Owen had celebrated his 10th birthday with a party at his house the day before,



we had decided that this year we'd celebrate ALL of the August birthdays together! 



So this year, these three gents joined the three ladies and we partied!



Because it fell right on the heels of Ron's party, and it was the day after Owen's party, and August is a busy month around here, we kept this one simple. (Sometimes, simple is best, don't you think?) Ron grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and we had some easy sides. 

I used some napkins that I have had in my stash (yes, I have a napkin stash) for several years. I love them, but hadn't had just the right occasion to use them. They are a design of folk artist Jane Wooster Scott and they are very summery and fun. 

The details don't show up well in this fuzzy photo, but you can get a better look here at Wooster Scott's site.



Of course, we had plenty of desserts. Nora (7) made brownies and I made a cheesecake per Ryan's request. And then there was the birthday cake. It was not simple. Mom made it and it was a show stopper! 





It was a grand time!


Birthday x 6! 




* Thanks to Kati for many of the photos!! 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Celebrating Sixty!



It was a milestone birthday 

and it has been a challenging year of illness and big changes

It seemed that there was much to celebrate, and so...

celebrate we did! 

Yes, Ron was turning sixty and we decided to throw a party. Kati thought it should be a surprise. I had my doubts that I could actually surprise someone I live with, but we gave it our best shot (it was even harder than I thought!), and it was a success! 

He was surprised! (Well, he was surprised until he turned into our street after a day out with his brother and brother-in-law and saw all the cars. But that still counts as a surprise, I think.)


While we waited for the birthday boy to arrive...
(Oops...I hadn't put the dill dip in the bowl when I took this pic.)

Surprise!!
photo by Bekah

photo by Pat*

Let's eat!
(I had lots of help with the meal. Thanks Mom, Kristin, Sarah, Eve, Gloria...and Kati and Bekah, of course!)




Baby Macie (7 months) reached out and grabbed the dinner roll right off her mama's plate! :)


photo by Pat

Papa with his ten grandchildren
"Children's children are the crown of old men." Proverbs 17:6

photo by Pat

We kept the guest list small. 
Well..."small" is a relative term when you consider we have 18 now in our immediate family. Plus our parents. And Ron is one of 8 siblings. And the brothers and sisters of our church fellowship are our family.
most photos by Pat

Ron with his mom and siblings
(One sister could not make it.)


photo by Pat




Kristin and her family
photo by Pat

Sweet cousins!


photo by Pat

Ryan's birthday was the day before the party, 
but he was working and we hadn't given him his present.

He is an entertaining gift-opener!
(The children LOVE it!)






Happy 60th birthday to the love of my life!
I can't believe we're as old as we are, but I thank God for every one of those 60 years!


But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the Lord's own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. They will declare, "The Lord is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in Him!"
Psalm 92:12-14




* Huge thanks to my sister-in-law Pat who took many of the people photos! It is difficult to be hostess and photographer (most of my own photos were taken before the party began...or after most people had left!). But Pat is warm and vivacious and moved easily through the group, recording the moments. Thanks, Pat!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Banana Split Pie




When the weather is as hot as it has been here, the last thing I want to do is heat up the oven to bake. So last weekend, I beat the heat and put together two of these pies for our Sunday afternoon gathering. 

There was no baking...




just a little prep time (although there is some waiting time)...



and it was refreshingly cool and yummy! 



BANANA SPLIT PIE

Line a prepared graham cracker crust with banana slices. (I used two bananas per pie.)




Get out your chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla ice cream...


...allow it to soften for a few minutes
(it won't take long because it's August!)...


...and randomly plop four scoops of each flavor into your crust.



Lay a piece of plastic wrap over your ice cream and smoosh it down a bit to fill in the spaces and make it even(ish) on top.
Put it in the freezer for a few hours.
(I left mine overnight, but a couple of hours should be sufficient.)


Put your camera away and forget to take any photos of the next steps.

Oh wait...that's what I did!
You can just proceed with whipping up a cup of heavy whipping cream (per pie) until stiff peaks form. Spread the cream on top of the ice cream layer.

Pretty up that pie with a drizzle of chocolate syrup and some chopped banana and strawberries.
I used half of a banana for each pie and some thawed frozen strawberries, but you could use more or less because you are the artist for your pie!

Put it back in the freezer until you're ready to serve!
I suppose you could serve it at this point, but I like the whipped cream to be frozen...and it's easier to slice that way too.


And that's it...an easy, cool, and yummy summer dessert!

Just be sure to invite lots of guests so you won't have to eat it all by yourself! :)

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