"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Lo and behold, it's that time of year again. Apple pickin' time is nigh. In all the grocery stores, apples of all kinds spill out of the produce bins into our baskets. This year, my twenty year old Golden Delicious apple tree is just about kaput. It has been blown over by strong storm winds then stood back up and braced. Two major ice storms have laid it down again and again only this year, half of it died. I didn't have the heart to cut it down, but I did plant three new apple trees this fall. Truth be known, I rarely ever got to eat the apples as the squirrels and deer usually got most of them. Nevertheless, this post is about apple pie - and you have to use Granny Smith apples for the best apple pie. I have tried many other kinds, including different varieties together, but always go back to Granny's. I have run this recipe previously, so type it in the upper left hand corner for the recipe. I'd also like to give a shout out to Stark Brother's Nursery. I have purchased fruit trees and berry plants from them and their quality of plants are very good.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Grandma Merriott's Chicken and Dumplings

Just in case some of you missed this previous post, I wanted to run it again. You roll out your own dumplings and this makes the best chicken and dumplings. Great comfort food for the coming cold season. Simply type in chicken and dumplings in the upper left hand corner to search for the recipe.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


For all you pumpkin eaters out there, I give you a recipe old Peter would enjoy. It is a pumpkin pie riff with a topping. Yes you could use your own pumpkin. It is easy. All you have to do is slice it up and put it face down on a cookie sheet and bake till tender. Mash it up and viola! I love the texture the fresh pumpkin gives a pie filling and the lighter color too. This recipe will work wonderfully too. And, make sure and smother it with real whipped cream, not the oily stuff.
Pumpkin Dessert
16 oz. can pumpkin, 1 tsp. ginger
13 oz. can evap. milk, 1 tsp. cinnamon
4 eggs, 1/2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. salt, 1/2 c. sugar
Mix and pour into large cake pan (8x13 or9x13). Picture 2.
2 1/2 c. flour, 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. sugar, 1 tsp. salt
3/4 c. shortening, 1 cup pecans or walnuts
Mix with pastry cutter and sprinkle evenly over pumpkin mixture. Picture 3.
1/2 c. melted butter, 1/2 c. milk.
Stir together and spoon evenly over top of flour/streusel mixture. Be sure to completely cover entire top with the mixture. Picture 4. Bake 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Butta anyone? I finally found my source for raw dairy products; a small organic farm a couple of hours away. I am thrilled to have found their products in Tulsa. And so the process began.

Notice that I churned the butter in a food processor?

The liquid is buttermilk, a by-product of the butter making process. Yes, I used the buttermilk too, in the yeast rolls. It turns white in the frig, but is not thickened like the kind bought at the store. I think they add glues and/or gums to it.

After squeezing all the buttermilk out, you rinse the butter in water until the water runs clear.

I wish I could say that only superwomen or men are able to make butter. This process was surprisingly easy. Yes, it is superior to store bought butter and I plan on using old molds to form the butter for the holidays. This recipe made the standard sweet cream butter with a little sea salt added. The fun starts when you begin to culture the butter. One way in which you can influence the flavor, or culture, is by letting the cream ripen or sit out for days or a week. The flavor intensifies and I guess you could make different butters infinitum. I can't wait to try different methods. One of the earliest recipes for a savory butter is from 1615 when rosemary was added to butter. Even the flavor of the grasses and the time of year the cream is produced, is a factor in flavor. I also found out more about goat cream. The molecules in goat milk are smaller and therefore, the cream does not rise to the top like cow's cream. A separator has to be used to get goat cream, which makes the best butter. I hope I can find some. Also, pasteurized cream can be used to make butter, but won't taste like butter from raw cream.
PS ~ I am so tickled when I get new followers. So, Lynn and Joycee, I'm proud to meet ya!