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Before Summer's End

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  • Sheryl Simons
    The Simple Life After a hot summer day, as the evening pleasantly cooled, Richard and I puttered around the yard. We ve been enjoying picking the corn as it
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 8, 2003
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      The Simple Life

      After a hot summer day, as the evening pleasantly cooled,
      Richard and I puttered around the yard. We've been enjoying picking
      the corn as it ripens, the tomatoes that ripen daily, faster than I
      can can them, and watering the fall crops of pumpkins, squash, and
      cabbages that grow larger each day. Richard was telling me about
      the Bald Eagle that sat on a tree branch in the field behind the
      house early this morning, along with several crows, who looked like
      midgets along side him.
      I told him about my day, a fun day spent with my cousin
      Dawn, who lives a couple hours away. We took a day and met in the
      middle and just wandered aimlessly through some downtown shops as we
      talked and caught up. A mini-retreat that was so nice.
      Dawn and I are both in the "empty nest" stage, learning
      how to live as people without children. Sometimes it feels like we
      are eagles soaring in the wind and other times we feel like we are
      missing a limb. Ah, well, such is life. We both are facing
      possible career changes and there are always family situations to
      discuss. We cleverly agreed that no family is without problems,
      unless, of course they are riding the river of denial. Ha. We even
      had a few laughs.
      Back at home, I decided that two of the nice orange pumpkins
      needed to picked before the deer started trampling them with their
      sharp hooves, to get to the sweet inside meat, as they did at our
      As I watered the remaining pumpkins, I pulled a few weeds.
      I thought of how much gardening is like raising children, with not
      nearly as much at stake, of course. We try to keep the weeds pulled
      from their lives, we water them, feed them, cover them when the
      nights get cold and try to point them in the right direction. We
      pray for them, and sometimes worry over them, we try to protect them
      without fencing them in, but, ultimately, they will grow in their
      own directions, all on their own. We'd like to think that if we do
      a good job, they will grow straight and tall, and produce fruit of
      their own. There are no guarantees in gardens, or children.
      One family I know they "date" their children. Starting at
      elementary age, Dad takes his daughters out occasionally, opening
      doors for them, using his best manners, and while enjoying time with
      them, he is also teaching them how to expect to be treated when the
      young men begin to wander into their lives.
      Mom takes her son to dinner, and teaching him how to treat a
      lady. All these lucky children will one day be better adults for
      their "dates" with mom or dad. What a respectful way to make your
      children feel loved and special. Such a simple idea, with such
      lasting results.

      * * *
      Find a purpose in life so big it will challenge every capacity to be
      at your best. ~~
      David O. McKay

      Self-respect is to the soul as oxygen is to the body. Deprive a
      person of oxygen, and you kill his body; deprive him of self-
      respect, and you kill his spirit. ~~Thomas S. Szasz

      * * *
      We had a picnic Sunday afternoon with some recipes that I
      have to share with you. My friend Deane bakes the BEST onion bread,
      and we practically had a riot over the delicious slices. Here is
      her onion bread recipe: She uses her bread machine to mix the
      bread, but makes it into two loaves before rising and baking the
      final time, baking in bread pans in her oven: (If mixing without a
      bread machine, add wet ingredients, yeast and then dry ingredients.
      Knead well.)

      Deanne Down's Onion Bread

      1 1/2 cups hot water 4 c bread flour
      2 T oil 1 pkg yeast
      1 t lemon juice 1/ 4 c sugar
      2 t salt
      2 T dry milk

      After 20 minutes add 1 c chopped onions (save a few sprinkles for
      the top) (if mixing by hand, add with flour). When finished rising,
      make loaves, brush with egg white, and sprinkle with reserved
      onions. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush
      with margarine or butter. For plain bread, omit onions.

      I experimented with some salsa this past week, boldly letting the
      neighbors be the judge of the result. I was trying to come up with
      something close to the bean and corn salsa from Meijers. After
      looking at many recipes, here is the recipe that I made up, and it
      wasn't bad! One person suggested he'd like it hotter, (add
      jalapenos) and one person said she liked the vinegar, but I thought
      next time I'd decrease the vinegar to 1 cup instead of two. It is a
      good sweet salsa, tho.

      Sheryl's Simple Salsa

      2 pecks tomatoes, peeled and chopped
      several onions and peppers chopped (peppers seeded)
      1/2 t grd. Cloves
      1 c. sugar
      1 1/2 T salt
      2 T celery salt
      2 t cinnamon
      1 t cumin
      2 c black beans
      corn cut from 2 lg ears
      1 (or 2) cups vinegar
      Simmer until thickened. Can. Makes about 7 pints.

      For a fun summer's end invite friends, neighbors, family (go to a
      park for a REALLY easy party), invite everyone to bring their own
      grill meat, and a favorite recipe to pass. Have a cider party.
      Have a party after dark to look at the stars, take the kids to a
      fall festival - what ever you decide to do - HAVE Some Simple FUN!

      Notes from our Readers:
      Aileen writes:
      Yes, a recipe exchange would be great! Also, gardening ideas. I
      don't have a garden yet as I live in an apartment but I would love
      to store ideas for the time when I do!


      How 'bout it? Maybe this week you want to send YOUR fav salsa
      recipe, or another fall favorite.

      Please do! I will post them under Files in the Recipe section!

      Thanks all! Send your favorite family activity, as well!

      Have a great week and.........

      Keeping it Simple,

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