"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

Thursday, December 31, 2009


Isn't that the cutest kitchen towel? Here is a recipe for Hoppin' John that is a little different. If you remember, I had to fight the deer last summer for the few bags of blackeyed peas they left behind. I've saved them for just this moment. I did hear that you also had to have collard greens with them, so I had to run out and buy some. I'll just layer them in with the other ingredients. Type in Hoppin' John in upper left corner for the recipe. They are sure to bring good luck in the new year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I came home from a Christmas party the weekend before Christmas and found that Sister, the ornery half of Emmy and Sister, was paralyzed. I died. Freaked out of my head. I rushed her to an emergency animal hospital in Tulsa. Given meds for a ruptured disc and told surgery would probably be impending after the weekend, I took her home and watched for the signs of a worsening condition. The next afternoon, the signs were there and I took her back and was told to rush her to the Oklahoma Veterinary School for emergency surgery in Stillwater, OK. I have told you before I never cry, but I cried rivers over Sister. My dogs are like my kids; I feel the way about animals that normal people feel about other people. I don't know why. I'm just hardwired that way. When we arrived on a Saturday eve, they examined her, told us surgery had a 90% chance for recovery, and it would cost $3500. Can you imagine what other people do in that situation? Well, just go ahead and kill her then. Impossible. She was whisked into the CT scanner and surgery. After 5 days in ICU I got to take her home.
She is shuffling around now and I was told that for 3-4 weeks, I'd basically have to keep her on a leash (she's never had one on) even seated next to me on the couch, and/or crated. She also has never been crated and howls. No playing, running, jumping, etc. Nothing. I have to watch her every move. This has taken 10 years off my life, I'm sure of it.
Did I mention that I am babysitting my son's uber energetic Pokey, whom drives Sister nuts?
And, I'll never wish for a white Christmas again. Ever. We had a blizzard Christmas eve. I drove through it to Tulsa with a truckload of gifts, food, dogs and crates, {everything but the kitchen sink}. My little dogs wouldn't go out in the snow. It was nearly deeper than they were tall. Even after my husband shoveled a path, they held their duties, refusing to go.

Sister got her staples removed and has finally settled with the idea of being on a leash; isn't acting like a tiny bucking bronco and/or biting it. Mind you, all of this on top of putting on the annual Christmas show... I'll need at least a year to get over it all.
PS ~ The surgeon said Sister needs another surgery in the spring. An ablation of all the discs in her back with a laser to keep this from happening again. I'll do anything at this point to not go through the disc thing again. I love you Sister. And that is all from atop my soapbox at the piss and moan club.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Do confectionery decorations remind you of when you were young? They do me and though they are basically tasteless, it wouldn't be Christmas without them. I'll not bore you with the encyclopedic history of the dragee - just a few facts I gleaned. Though dragee is from the french, the Greek term is tragemata, meaning sweet treats and they date back centuries. Who knew? The classic form are Jordan almonds. Throwing out these sweet treats at special occasions and weddings meant to ensure happiness, good luck, prosperity and fertility. Multi-colored paper confetti is now usually the replacement.
Silver dragees have long been used for pastry decorations. Gold, copper, rainbow and pearlescent colors are now available. The USDA says the silver dragee is inedible. Early in the 20th century, they contained mercury though they don't now. They were even banned for sale for a time.
What to do with them? Well, decorate iced sugar cookies for the holidays. Type in sugar cookie in the upper left hand corner for my recipe. I used to sell these at a tea room and have had many compliments. They are really good and great for the holidays as you gather together or gift your friends. And, you can make and ice them ahead of time. They freeze wonderfully.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I've been away for the holidays though it seems not everyone has. I won't ever be able to read all the posts that you have written. Me, I got nada. I am still not over 3 days of cooking and cleaning while a two years old hangs on my legs with her arms up, "I hold you Nonna. Hold you."
And did I mention fighting the crowds after Thanksgiving on Fri. and Sat? Okay, I won't mention it. Okay. Here are two gourds I grew and inlaid turquoise into them. I have done many; some have been sold at various stores in Tulsa and at the Gilcrease Museum, also in Tulsa. Most of the turquoise inlay gourds have been western-themed. I also drew and burned birds and animals on them which sold well. Also oil painted a few. After I had done just about everything I could do to a gourd, I tired of making them. It really galled me to have to sell wholesale to the stores and retail outlets. Haven't tried ebay, etsy, etc. So this is what I post today. Nada lot, but something anyway.