Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pumpkin Pals

In twelve hours, I am meeting my lunch group at a fun, new restaurant and we are going to exchange Pumpkin Pal gifts. Every October, we draw names and get a gift for our "Pumpkin Pal" that costs around $10 - $15. We get together for lunch and then exchange gifts. We joke that it's all about the gifts but in reality, it's an expression of friendship and a reminder of God's blessings.

For the past three years, I have been stuck on giving pumpkins. I've given a ceramic pumpkin, a pumpkin and leaf plate, and jack-o-lantern accessories. This year, I have gone in a totally different direction. I got my Pumpkin Pal a beautiful, rustic looking cross to hang on the wall, as well as an autumn dish towel.

Lunch is over now but it was really fun. I am excited to be the recipient of a pumpkin-scented candle and an autumn dish towel (great minds think alike)! We exchanged our sussies and briefly talked about several friends who are battling cancer. One friend had a lumpectomy last week and got great news that the margins were clear. She will not get ready to proceed with chemo and radiation. Another friend is battling cancer for the second time. She has recently been put on a morphine drip to keep her comfortable. Last weekend they moved her up to a floor in the hospital where the rooms are more like hotel rooms, so she could have football on the TV and could have her friends come visit. We learned of another friend who was just diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Anyone, and I mean ANYONE, who thinks that females are the weaker sex has GOT to be crazy! Each of these women are on a personal battlefield and are using strength, endurance and a resolve never to known to many men. God bless each of them.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

September Supper Club

John, Dudley

Genny, April, Jackie, Margaret

Sharon, Stuart, Bill

(Nick is hiding in the back behind John. Not pictured: Nikki & Chad)


Last night, we had our September Supper Club. This Supper Club has been together for about twenty five years. Together, we have been through the births of babies, the deaths of parents, moving to new houses, illnesses, the frustrations of our children's teen years, high school graduations and college choices. We never tire of gettting together. The reason this has worked so well for so long is that we make it a priority. There have been many times when we have had to forego attending something else just so we could get together with our Supper Club.

So how does it work? I know other Supper Clubs plan a calendar in advance. We don't. We try to get together monthly and someone always steps up to the plate and volunteers to have it at their house. The host and hostess prepare appetizers and beverages, and dessert. Everyone arrives at 7 P.M. and we visit for at least an hour. The host and hostess choose a restaurant and that's where we go. After dinner, we return to the hosts' home for dessert and coffee. Simple, and so much fun!

Ironically, just last night someone mentioned that the great thing about our group is that it doesn't matter how large or small, how plain or fancy, anyone's house's not about the house or the furniture, it's the people that MAKE it what it is. We are so blessed!

** A side note....before our meal we all play the thumbs-up game and the last one to put their thumbs up gets to pray. After April blessed our meal, our waiter commented that it's rare to see large groups of people praying in the restaurant, and that it was awesome. He said that he probably wouldn't be here if it wasn't for God. I don't know his story but I LOVE it when people aren't afraid or embarrassed to give God the glory!! You can BET I am hoping to get him for our waiter in the future!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tea Cup Topiaries

This afternoon, I was looking for some whimsical floral arrangements for a Tea I'm hosting next Spring. I happen to have my mother's collection of tea cups and saucers, which are now antiques, and I wanted to incorporate them into the fresh flower arrangements. Well, lo and behold, I found some adorable ideas.

If you have a great, whimsical floral suggestion, I'd love to hear from you. Please leave me a comment!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I am in a lunch group that meets once a month to celebrate the birthdays that fall in that particular month. Today we met in a lovely home and had a perfect summer lunch, complete with beautiful flowers as a centerpiece. (Notice in the photo how the flowers tie in with the china plates.)

chicken crepes
tossed salad loaded with goodies
mango salad

Michele’sGreen Salad:
Mixed avacados, cucumbers, red onion and butter lettuce
and top with your favorite dressing.

Laura’s Mango Salad (made by me):
2 (3 oz.) packages lemon Jello
1 (3 oz.) packages orange Jello
3 cups boiling water
1 (30 oz.) can or jar of mangos
1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese

Prepare Jello with the boiling water and juice from the mangos. Blend drained mangos and cream cheese in bender until smooth and creamy. Add Jello to mango mixture while it is still blending. Grease a 9 x 12 inch dish with spray shortening. Pour ingredients into lightly greased dish. Serve on salad greens. Serves 16.
(You can always add a dollop of mayonnaise or whipped cream on top, with a fresh raspberry.)

Terry’s Delicious Shrimp Crepes:
Make one recipe French pancakes (18 – 20).
3 eggs
3 very heaping Tbsp. flour
1 level tsp. salt
Beat eggs with a fork just enough to blend yolks and whites together. Add ½ cup milk. Then add flour and salt (not sifted). Stir in until quite smooth but do not try to get out all bumps. Add more milk until batter is about the thickness of coffee cream. Have heavy frying pan hot and put in about 1 Tbsp. of butter. Let this melt and lightly brown. Put in 2 – 3 Tbsp. of batter and quickly tip one side of pan and then the other so the batter spreads out thinly over pan. Fry about one minute and then put another piece of butter at edge of pancake then lift pancake with a spatula and turn upside down. Fry on that side for a minute until brown. While you have pancake on spatula tip pan with other hand so butter covers pan. You will have to keep adjusting flame so as not to burn the pancakes. Most of the time it can be quite hot. After each pancake put more butter in pan and proceed as for first one.

Boil 1/2 lb. shrimp; peel.

Make cream sauce:
4 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. flour
One dash of salt and pepper
2 cups light cream or part milk/part heavy cream
Add ¼ cup sherry. Reserve about ½ of sauce. Add chopped shrimp to other half. Fill each crepe with about 1 Tbsp. shrimp mixture. Top with remaining sour cream sauce, grated swiss cheese and toasted buttered almond slices. Heat in oven.

Terry’s Toasted Butter-Pecan Cake with Butter Frosting
(three 9-inch layers)

2 cups chopped pecans
¼ cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
4 eggs
3 cups flour
2 ½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Toast peanuts in ¼ butter in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Stir frequently. Set aside 2/3 cup of pecans for icing.

Cream sugar and 1 cup butter. Add eggs, beating well after each addition; sift flour, baking powder, and salt and add to creamed mixture alternatively with milk. Add vanilla and 1 1/3 cups toasted pecans. Stir well. Bake in three 9-inch pans at 350 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes. Cool before frosting.

Butter Frosting
1 stick butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
5 Tbsp. milk

Cream butter and powdered sugar together in the mixer. Add vanilla and small amounts of milk at a time, until spreadable.

Heard Around the Room:
One friend has a daughter getting married and is in the midst of exciting wedding plans. She is working on the guest list and finalizing food for the reception.

Another friend just had eye surgery for a detaching retina. If you don't think that's any big deal, check out the procedure on YouTube...... .

Another friend shared about her aging parents and their struggles and asked us to pray for a friend of many in the room who is battling cancer.

It wasn't just about the food today. It never is. Every friend there had something to share, a prayer request, a funny moment, excitement. These are the women, God willing, I hope to grow old with. These are the friends who support each other through trials and celebrate with each other through joys. We are blessed! I am blessed!