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A Place to Call Home!

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  • Sheryl Simons
    2-23 The Simple Life By Sheryl Simons My friends have very different homes. One has a log cabin with spectacular woodwork, another a home she helped build
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2009

      The Simple Life
      By Sheryl Simons

      My friends have very different homes. One has a log cabin
      with spectacular woodwork, another a home she helped build herself,
      with a lot of sweat equity. Another has a cute cottage in the woods
      surrounded by an incredible garden that reminds me of Hansel and
      Gretel's candy cottage, hidden in the woods. Other friends have all
      kinds of homes, all different. But each friend, man or woman, has
      made their home to reflect their personality. They have also tried
      to make their home the place they belong.
      At the end of the day, we all want to come home to peace,
      quiet, and a loving atmosphere. We all have different budgets, but
      we all do what we can with what we can afford. Some people fall in
      love with homes. It's not hard to do, sometimes. People fall in
      love with all sorts of things, cars, boats, even pets, or hobbies.
      But you really can tell when someone loves their home. They nurture
      it. They care for it lovingly. They think of ways to improve it.
      I remember as a teen when I worked at my first real job, the
      manager was a fanatic about cleanliness. Anytime we had a break, we
      were to be cleaning. I cleaned those big glass front doors zillions
      of times. She would not tolerate a fingerprint on those doors. A
      nice clean front door said "welcome" to our customers. I now measure
      restaurants by her standards. "Mrs. Turner would never tolerate
      those windows!" I say to myself.
      Sometimes our homes reflect our moods. Music might bounce
      from the walls when we are working or cleaning. News programs might
      be on during the time we make dinner. Windchimes sing a tune on a
      calm spring day, and jangle noisily during a storm.
      They used to say, "You are what you eat." But you are a lot
      of things. Even if you haven't settled into the home of your dreams,
      you can make your home the place you want to come home to. A friend
      made the cutest new curtains and it changed the whole look of her
      kitchen and dining room. It didn't cost $20., but she made it look
      so cute!
      Maybe you need to spend a day on the sewing machine, or a
      couple hours and make new curtains, just to get a new feel in your
      kitchen or bedroom.
      It's easy to take 2 sheets and sew them together to make a new quilt
      cover, or a throw for that well-used couch. Paint a wall, move your
      paintings around, change the furniture. What will you do that
      doesn't cost much, just to make your home a place you feel you belong.
      "When you learn to love and let yourself be loved, you come
      home to the hearth of your own spirit. You are warm and sheltered.
      You are completely at one in the house of your own longing and
      belonging." ~~John O'Donohue
      We don't all, not do we want to build the home of our
      dreams. We don't have to. We only have to make our home a place of
      love, peace and simplicity.
      * * *

      Key Lime Cake – a simple light cake to surprise the kids with
      after school.

      1 3/4 c Flour, 2 t Baking Powder, 1/2 t Salt
      6 T Margarine – soft,1 c Sugar, 2 Eggs - room temperature, beaten, 1
      T Lime Juice, 2/3 c Buttermilk, 1 1/2 t Lime Zest (optional)
      Lime Syrup: 1 c Powdered Sugar, 1/2 c Lime Juice -- preferably Key

      To make cake:
      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the inside of an 8 inch bundt or
      9 inch springform tube pan with cooking spray. Set aside. In a small
      bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt.

      In a large mixing bowl, beat margarine with electric beaters until
      blended. Gradually beat in eggs. Beat in lime zest and juice. Using a
      wooden spoon or rubber spatula, alternately stir in the dry
      ingredients and buttermilk into the egg mixture, beginning and
      ending with the dry ingredients.

      Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45 - 50 minutes,
      until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean and the
      cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Loosen
      edges and invert onto a wire rack set over a plate.

      To make the syrup:
      In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and lime juice. While
      cake is still warm, poke holes in it using a skewer or cake tester.
      Slowly spoon the lime syrup over the cake, spooning any
      juice that accumulates on the plate below over the cake.

      The cake can be prepared ahead and stored, covered, in the
      for up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving. Just
      before serving, sift a little powdered sugar over the cake.

      Simple Kitchen Tips:

      Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay
      fresh much longer and not mold!
      Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating.
      Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.
      Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef to help pull the
      grease away from the meat while cooking.
      Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of
      garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of

      Keeping it Simple,
      Sheryl Email: thesimple_life@...
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