Archive | Handmade Holidays and Celebrations RSS feed for this section

under the snow, under the weather, under the covers

We are snowed in…or at least I am.  My van is currently stuck in our very long driveway about 1,000 feet away from our door.   Too much ice to make it move even one inch forward or backward.  I have no plans of going anywhere so I am letting it stay there until the ice melts on its own.  I don’t really mind the snow and ice much as long as I can watch from inside.  These days find us all under warm cozy blankets, doing most everything inside which includes all the boys running here and there,  wooden arrows with wool ball tips flying everywhere, wool and tennis balls going all over, skates, skooters and ride ons in our foot traffic areas.   I try to look the other way and not let it bother me too much, they have so much energy and have to use it up somehow.

This week also saw many of us feeling under the weather and so I pretty much missed the snow fun.  I only have a tiny cough left myself but Poppa must have known that I planned on spending time out in the snow and in no uncertain terms forbade me from going out to play as I had planned.  I was mostly disappointed about not getting to go out to the little creek so Ronnie went for a walk and brought me lots of pictures to look at.  It is starting to warm up slightly and the ice covered tree branches will stop looking like they are made of glass and jewels in a few days.  I think that is my favorite part of snow and cold weather, they really do look magical.

Me getting more sick is not a good idea on any day,  but this week is definitely not the time.  I have been playing Florence Nightingale around the clock to each new child that called to me, with a weird feeling in their throat, wanting a warm blanket and some tea.  I think we have mostly all gotten our turn except for the littlest ones and Veronica.  Some have lasted a day and then they were better and some have taken a few days longer.  Raw honey, salt water gargles, lots of essential oils, bone broth, and rest.  Everyone knows what to do and the biggest ingredient is love and care.

Amidst all of this I turned yet another year older.  Luckily only Poppa was feeling unwell on my birthday so I was able to stay in bed all day (as I love to do on my birthday) and dream a little,  knit a few rows on my shawl, get a glorious nap (could there be a better gift for a mama?), watch movies with the kids and eat some very wonderful meals all cooked and delivered to my bed.  Poppa brought me roses that actually smell like roses, so beautiful and pink which matched the hand painted watercolor birthday card that Veronica made for me.  It’s so beautiful and I love to see her talent grow as an artist.  Charlei gave me a very nice bottle of Moscato and it was a perfect evening.  I am so thankful for another year, for all the grays on my head (I have earned each and every one) for the lines in my face that show my age for I hold so many in my heart who didn’t get to live this long (boy am I sounding old huh?  but I have always felt this way about birthdays) and for all the people in my life whom I get to love and spend time with.  So very thankful.

Today I am working on setting up a new office area in my bedroom.  I am quite excited about it.   My bedroom is so large and I haven’t ever been able to find a way to set it up so that I really like it.   I think this will be a great way to use up some of the space.  My old office will now become Nick’s new bedroom and his bedroom will once again become the guest room (code word for where we keep everything we don’t know what to do with until guests arrive).

So much to do.  How is your weekend shaping up?


Comments { 5 }

hello 2018 plus our pie recipe

Farmish Momma apple pie

Waking up to a new year.  New Years are my favorite.  A new beginning and I do so love new beginnings.  In reality I suppose its just another day but to me it’s so much more.  It is one more year that God had given us to have life and live it.  To love each other and to do our best.   Truly if I am honest, waking up is always a gift to me.  I don’t take tomorrow for granted but waking up today is a big gift.  Another year, 2018, so amazing.  Poppa and I have seen so many new years together now and I can’t wait to see what this one brings.

It is said (or at least I think it is) that as you bring in the new year so shall the rest of the year go.  So, I am hereby declaring 2018 to be the year of the pie.  The pies must be full of love and eaten by friends and family for that is how we brought in the new year.

So much food, friends, music and of course wine (a riesling which I received from Charlei for Christmas to be exact) and a very late night ending in Nick, Erica, Veronica and I watching a movie until 3 AM.    We had all the usual accompaniments to honor my Dominican and Cuban heritage.  Poppa did a great job of locating a leg of pork so big that I had a hard time getting it into and out of the oven and I believe we will be eating pork all week.  Yuca fries with aioli, black beans and rice, tostones and so much music to wash it down with.  Though I am not home in Florida to celebrate with my family who dances until no one can dance anymore, I cranked the tunes and danced with anyone and everyone who cared to join me and sometimes by myself because that is who I am and where I come from and it wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t.  As the 12 o’clock hour neared, a wonton making party ensued in the kitchen and there were so good.

Of course there was pie.  Apple pie because its Poppas favorite and as mentioned in the title of this post, I will share the recipe.  If you don’t make pie crust because it sounds scary, I will include the easiest pie dough recipe you will ever love and there is no cutting of butter or lard involved (though I love that part but I remember thinking it was quite hard when I first learned to cook).

We had our customary (for us at least) 12 grapes at midnight, silly string fight, Olivia banged pots and pans together because Father Buckley told her that his family does this every year so I guess our family will now be doing it also and lots of celebrating.  If we are friends on Instagram you can see all of it in my stories from yesterday (if you don’t follow me at Instagram you can find me at and you can see all the daily happenings that don’t make it to this space.

So how did you ring in the New Year friend?  I sincerely hope that this year is full of love, beauty and goodness for you and thank you for being here with me in this space.

Farmish Pie Crust

Makes 2 crusts (one for the bottom and one for the top)

2 c all purpose, unbleached flour

1/3 c butter

1/3 c palm shortening

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

5 to 6 tbsp cold water

In a bowl, stir flour, sugar and salt.  Cut in butter and shortening until crumbly.  With a fork mix in the very cold water tablespoon by tablespoon (you may not need the 6th tbsp) until flour is moistened.  Squeeze into a ball and divide in half.  Shape into 2 balls, wrap 1 ball ( we use our beeswax wraps but you can use plastic wrap) and put in the refrigerator to chill.

Roll out other ball on a lightly floured surface.  Roll it out 3 inches larger than your pie pan and gently fold and pat into the pie plate.  Chill for 2 hours or longer before filling.


Farmish but easy pie crust dough

1/2 c palm shortening or lard

1 1/2 all purpose unbleached flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

Put shortening in a bowl, add 1/3 cup boiling water and stir until the shortening is melted.  Add flour, salt and baking powder.  Mix with a fork until blended.  Form dough into a ball.

Split into 2 balls, wrap 1 ball ( we use our beeswax wraps but you can use plastic wrap) and put in the refrigerator to chill.

Roll out other ball on a lightly floured surface.  Roll it out 3 inches larger than your pie pan and gently fold and pat into the pie plate.  Chill for 2 hours or longer before filling.

Farmish Momma’s apple pie filling (this is just a basic apple pie filling, nothing fancy but very yummy as good simple food should be)

6 cups apple slices, peeled and cored

1/2 c sugar

1/4 c brown sugar

1/4 c all purpose unbleached flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tbsp butter

1 tsp sugar

In a bowl, combine all ingredients except the apples, butter and sugar.  Add the apples and stir to mix.

Spoon into pie crust.  Put on crust top.  Brush crust with 1 tbsp melted butter.  Cover the edge with a pie protector or aluminum foil.  Bake at 400 f for 35 minutes.  Remove crust protector and bake another 10 or 15 minutes or until the crust is beautifully browned.


Comments { 5 }