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Thursday, July 31, 2008

AIMEE'S WEDDING
This is the view we had from the wedding site. The San Juan Islands are on the horizon.
My daughter Cyndi and I made the cake. Yes, the top tier was psychedelic inside all that chocolate icing. And see the tiny pink doves at the base of the lower tier? They are the same ones I use on all the family wedding cakes and were on my on my wedding cake 53 years ago. Did I ever say that I am a lady of tradition? LOL

One of the bridesmaid's is holding the Brides little dog Tucson who is all prettied up for the occasion. She was in the wedding party too.

It is really hard to get everyone looking in the same direction at the same time. Hailee and Julia were junior bridesmaids and Madalyn and Victoria were flower girls. See how nicely Victoria is tossing the rose petals?
The Beautiful Bride, Aimee Breanne.


The handsome groom, Ross Raymond.


The Vows

The Kiss, and what a kiss!

Here the Junior Bridesmaids being escorted to the reception by Tyson, one of the Grooms men. Does he look happy about it? Hee-hee-hee. Isn't he handsome in his new black suit? I just want to add that the junior bridesmaids, flower girls and three of the grooms men are all my great grandchildren. Am I proud. You betcha!


The bride dancing with her daddy. This brought tears to my eyes. Remembering Aimee the little girl, and now the bride. They grow up so fast.


Victoria is out of her lovely white dress and cooling off with her bottle. It was a long day for the little ones. Come to think of it it was a long day for we great grandma's too. LOL

Waving goodbye. the bride and groom leave and the party's over. Now the cleanup....

I took over 350 pictures as did several others who brought cameras. This is not counting the paid photographer. Aimee and Ross will have over a thousand photos to look through.

I want to apologize for not visiting many blogs lately but as you can see I have been very busy. I haven't forgotten you and will return full time as soon as the next two weddings are done. Yep, two more coming this summer.

God bless all.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

UPDATE AND MORE PRAYER NEEDED

Please take time to pray for my friend Joan who lives in Canada. The Lord has healed her of Cancer but she has had a serious infection which I believe started at the drain site. This is one of the "BAD " infections we hear about. She has an IV giving her round the clock antibiotics, but according to the latest report, she is very tired, has no energy and is losing weight weekly. Her hemoglobin is down to 60 and she has had three blood transfusions.
We know the Lord healed her of the Cancer and He can also heal infections.
So come on everyone, lets pray together for Joan's total healing.
Thank you again for your faithfulness.
God bless


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Monday, July 21, 2008

THE MASTER'S TOUCH

Did you ever buy a plant that has no marker in it so even though you knew what kind of plant it was you had no idea what color it was? that's what I did with this Oriental Poppy. I was almost certain it would be the bright orange that we see so much of and even though Orange is not my favorite color I knew I would be happy with it.
The first year it grew but didn't bloom. This year as I was sitting on the lawn swing I noticed buds forming. I often talk to my Heavenly Father so as I sat there I said, "Lord I don't know what color this poppy is but I know that orange is most common and even though it isn't my favorite color I will leave it to you and if you want me to have an orange poppy then I thank you for it." About a week later when it opened it's salmon 'pink' petals, I felt Heavenly Father's love.

Here is my yellow begonia. It's new for me this year and it is HUGE!!!! See my dog Toodles standing beside the big flower pot? I planted two in this pot but the other, a pink didn't do well at all. It's now in it's own pot and I hope it will improve. It has a blossom developing. I'm excited to see what it looks like.
Here is the Begonia my sister gave me years ago. I could never get them to grow but she started this one then gave it to me. In the fall when it begins to die down I dig up the big bulb and wash it off and let it dry on the counter a few days then store in in my vegetable crisper drawer throughout the winter. In February I start again it in the house. It is also quite large and as you can see the blossom is wonderful. Begonias don't have a fragrance but in Heaven I bet they do.
Just look at the velvety purple of this petunia! And in the evening it's perfume is just fanastic. I used lots of compost and steer manure this year and my flowers are thanking me.
Well, we all have one sometimes. I call this little lady "Pansytude"

I hope you enjoyed seeing these lovely gifts as much as I do.

Thank you all again for your prayers for those listed in my pr4evious blog. No updates yet but I'll let you know when there is.

Also I want to remind you to check out BigDadGib's Christian Bloggers Online site. This is new and promises to be a wonderful blessing to Christians as well as glorifying to the Lord.

Love, hugs & prayers


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Friday, July 18, 2008

PRAYER REQUESTS
It seems that lately there have been several who need prayer. Today I am asking for prayer for my children's father, who has been diagnosed with cancer. It is in several places in his body. He doesn't know what treatment he will have yet, but I pray whatever it is, the Lord will be the director and ultimately the healer.
He is a believer and knows his healing is in the hands of 'The Man Upstairs" as he call's Him.
Also for my Granddaughter who is 28 years old and has two young children ages four and one.
She has been diagnosed with a blood clot in the artery in her leg that has totally blocked blood flow. She has had pain for a long time but her Doctor didn't take it seriously.
She will be seeing specialists out of town next week. I am praying for the Lord to protect her and that the clot can be removed without any problem and she won't ever have them again.
A third prayer request is for my daughter who is working hard to lose weight. She is listening to the Lord concerning this and has been fasting certain foods as He urges. I am so proud of this sweet child of God.
And I hope you are still remembering my friend John in Maryland. I haven't heard from him since he told me the cancer was back again, but am trusting our Heavenly Father is caring for him.
I am so thankful for all of you precious prayer warriors. And for the Internet that has brought us together. The Lord had a plan when he inspired this tool. It's up to us to use it for His glory.
God bless all and thank you.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

SOMETHING NEW AND THE CAKE SURPRISE!
Our friend BigDadGib has started what he calls
CHRISTIAN BLOGGERS ONLINE.
I am so excited about this because I can just imagine all the new Christian blog friends we will meet and also because we will have new opportunities to serve the Lord. The first 20 people to join will be charter members, so if this is something you might be interested in, go over and check it out.
Gil was a sweetie and put his CBO button in my side bar for me.
Pretty neat, isn't it?
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Ok, now for the cake surprise I told you about in my previous post.
I deliberately made the icing and decorations as white and pristine looking as possible and except for the little pink doves, there was no other color.
The reason was so that when they cut the cake they would see something much different than white.

The snowy white cake decorations were such a shocking contrast to what was inside!


Yep, I made psychedelic cake layers for the two top tiers and they absolutely loved it.
I'm sorry I didn't get a better picture. This is the area they cut to feed each other and since I cut the rest of the cake I didn't have time to take more photos.

I started doing psychedelic cakes way back in the 70's when a young mother asked for something colorful for her little girl's birthday cake. She got something similar to this and I've been doing them ever since.

Now you know, Mountain Mama invented something! LOL

REMEMBER TO CHECK OUT BIGDADGIB'S CBO!!!

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Monday, July 14, 2008

LETS MAKE A WEDDING CAKE


My grandson Luke and his wife were married last Spring instead of December as they planned, but we had to wait until now to have a reception. I wasn't aware that they didn't know I was going to make them a cake for the reception. My daughter helped me decorate it. Above is a rough sketch and some instructions which I changed a lot.
Making icing roses was a days work. It has been hot and decorator icing doesn't hold up well when it's too warm. I made fully opened roses, partly opened roses and tiny rose buds.
Just to be a poop, my oven decided to overheat, making our layers a deeper brown than I like for decorating, but lots of icing hid it well. LOL My range is over 20 years old, I think it's time for a new one.

Baking and decorating is really messy work. I have a dishwasher but most of the equipment has to be hand washed.
I don't have much counter space as you can see so there is a lot of moving and shifting things around. I have a big table and that helped a lot. I laughed when I saw the 1% milk and thought of all the sugar and fat that goes into a cake. I can't imagine that low fat milk made any difference at all!
Here is my youngest daughter Cyndi, icing one of the tiers for me. I taught a cake decorating class way back in the 80's and she was one of my students. When she lived in California she made many wedding cakes. I used to wish that she lived here so we could decorate together. Now she does live here, and only about 20 minutes from me. It's a dream come true and a prayer answered. Thank you Lord.
I am very thankful for her help.
Here it is, all iced. Now we have to wait for the icing to form a crust before we begin to decorate. This way, if we make mistakes it's easier to remove them.
Another tier drying.

Two down and one to go!!! I always begin to feel more relaxed when I have come this far. We have to be very careful not to get crumbs in the icing, so it keeps us on our toes.Cakes always have a hump in the center because the edges bake faster than the center does.

Wilton makes a saw for that purpose. It's really handy. I just saw the top off using the pan rim as a guide. You just have to be sure you put enough batter in the pan to bring it up to the top of the pan for this to work. There is also a frame you can use with the saw but I prefer to use the pan rim as a guide

In the above picture Cyndi has been tempted by the fragrance of hot cake.

The lower shell and the upper reverse shell have been added as well as the garland and roses. I always mark the front center with a toothpick.
Some leaves have been added in this picture. I did everything in white for a reason you will learn later in this post. (smile--giggle, I love surprises!)
Completed and ready for delivery and assembly. I have to admit, these next steps are the most nerve wracking of the entire procedure, and I won't be able to eat much until it's done because my tummy ties in knots.


Did I mention that Cake Decorating is really messy work?



I didn't take photos when we were loading the cake into my daughter's car. I was totally focused on what I was doing.



Thank God we made it to Luke's, where the reception was held, without any problems. As I mentioned in a previous post, he lives in the country on the Chance road. The setting was beautiful. The field was newly mowed so the fragrance of sweet dry hay filled the air. Two canopy's were set up on the lawn and several long tables for the food.

We had help carrying the cake and everything we needed down to the tables in the back yard where we set up and I did the final decorating and repaired broken stringwork.

Luke and his wife were surprised when they saw the cake and I got lots of hugs and thank you's but just seeing the look on their face made all the hard, messy work and back ache so worth it! I love thise kids.



All set up! Whoo-Hoo!!!!
The sun was in front of me when I took this picture so it doesn't show the decoration detail well but if you click to enlarge it you can see better..
However I do like how the sun plays with the grasses, field and trees in the background.

These little pink doves were on my wedding cake in 1955. I have used them on all of my children's wedding cakes and also the wedding cakes I have done for my grandchildren.
Here's the happy bride and groom with their cake. We had removed the canopy and turned the cake so the front was facing the sun so we could get some good pictures.
I am in the center and making an awful face because the Bride had just given me a BIG bite of wedding cake. Did I ever tell you that I HATE cake? Well, I do, and I didn't want to have my picture taken while I was chewing or spitting it out.


Oh-oh!!! I forgot to show you what the surprise was. I guess that will have to be my next post.
I don't know how to add a photo at the end of a completed post? is that possible?

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

baking bread

Last week we had some rain & cooler temp's so I baked bread. I always use the same recipe and triple it because it freezes well. Here in the first photo I am beginning to add flour to the scalded milk, salt, honey and shortening, while the yeast and warm water begin to work in the container on the left. The flour helps to cool the milk faster. Never add yeast to a hot sponge!
It's beginning to look like bread dough now. I used half whole wheat and half unbleached white flour. If I am making a dark bread I use other whole grains and molasses to sweeten the dough instead of honey. Baking bread is messy work, but oh-so worth it! The damp towel under the mixing bowl holds the stainless steel bowl in place and keeps it from marking up my white counter.
Now the kneading begins. Actually kneading is really good therapy. As you poke and punch and shove it around you are getting rid of some pent up emotions. Cheaper than a Shrink too~! Can you tell that I had a couple difficult marriages?
Once you've punched all the hot air out of him, just shape him into a nice little ball and rub some oil or shortening all over him and toss him back into the bowl.
The oil keeps the dough from forming a hard crust which is hard to work with and also won't let his little head grow big and fat like it should.

Put a clean towel over top to keep out any draft and set him in a warm place until he has doubled in size. Sometimes I don't get around to punching him down again until he is flopping over the sides of the pan. He doesn't seem to mind. After the second kneading he has to be oiled again, covered and left to rise a second time. Some people I know only let their dough rise once before forming loaves, but I find I get a lighter loaf by letting it rise twice before shaping the loaves. Besides, I get to knock the dickens out of it again.
Since my Ab's turned to flab's, this is how my my belly looks after all the mixing and kneading. I can just hear my grandma's say, "Beverly dear, where is your apron?"

More than doubled in size he's ready to get knocked flat again and shaped into loaves. See where I poked his sides to see if the indentations remained? That's how I test to know if it's is risen enough.
After the second rising I form the loaves and let them rise again. Then into a hot oven, 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. Over baking makes a dry bread. I test doneness by knocking on the top crust. If it sounds hollow, it's done.
Here they are, piping hot and so fragrant it's nearly intoxicating. I don't know of anything that smells so homey and delicious as homemade bread hot from the oven. Now we have to wait until it cools. NOT!
(the little loaf on the left is banana bread)

The only thing better than the smell of homemade bread hot from the oven is the flavor. It slices just fine with a serrated knife. But before we had them we used to tear a loaf to pieces and eat it.
Here's my reward. After all the therapeutic labor I get to butter and eat it.
The cook has to sample her fare you know. Now that's what I call some kind of good therapy!
Try it, you'll like it.
Ingredients
1 package active dry yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
2 cups scalded milk
2-4 tablespoons honey (according to taste)
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon shortening
3 cups whole wheat flour (I use Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour)
3-4 cups unbleached white flour.
I think the directions under the photo's are adequate.
Two things I have learned that make a dry, coarse loaf. Too much flour and over baking.
If you want a soft top crust, brush shortening or butter on when it's still hot. If you want a chewy top crust, spray it with water. If you want it crisp leave it alone.


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