July 30, 2016

Grammy Camp 2016 Antics

Corn Husk Dolls
Annual Grammy Camp was a success, once again!  Granddaughter Ava and I tried new activities, made new crafts, cooked and ate what we cooked, and laughed more than we have ever laughed before.  That's the best part of Grammy Camp, after all. Here are some pics from the good times we shared! 
Painting Secret Pebbles

Jewelry Making   
Fine Dining

Painting Mailboxes

Painting More Secret Pebbles

 Contortions on the Beach in the Name of Physical Fitness

Cooking No Bake Cookies

History Class at Fort Clinch

Chemistry AKA Salad Dressing

Book Marks from Paint Chips
Science Experiment - Growing Crystals and It Worked!

Music Appreciation on the Spam Canjo

Drawing Class - Subject is Abby, the Singing Chihuahua

P.S. Our only activity "fail" was making our own lip gloss from a kit.  Well, in a pinch, maybe it wasn't a complete fail.  I mean, if your lips were so parched they were cracked, the lumpy wax bits, which didn't melt, might offer just enough grease to sooth any blisters.  Nah.  It was a fail. But it was still fun. 

July 20, 2016

Novel Music Heard At Last

Paolo Alontti, male player in Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow, set in 1889, is a world famous conductor.  The music, Mosquito Waltz, on the cover of this novel, represents his part in the story. I found this music in an old book called Music for the Pump Organ, which I found in my husband's grandmother's wind-up Victrola. 

It so happens, we have our very own antique pump organ.  Now, while I can pick out a tune or two, so long as there is only one sharp or one flat in a piece, my keyboard skills are lacking, and, thereby, I had never heard Mosquito Waltz played.  When I discovered my new friend, Linda Plumlee Riley, played the piano, I asked her if she would give it a try.  Click on the picture above of Velvet Undertow, my dear friends, and listen to  Mosquito Waltz, as you would have heard it in 1889, played on the instrument for which it may have been written. Thank you, Linda.


July 12, 2016

Spicy Roast Beef and Goodbye Lie Trilogy Excerpt

Spicy Roast Beef
Do you know which female
character from The Goodbye Lie series is the subject of the excerpt below? If only she had tried the recipe which follows for Spicy Roast Beef at her dinner party...

 The Goodbye Lie Series Excerpt:

     Grammy's gift was a quart of her meat flavoring. "It's our family secret, _____. Here's the recipe. Memorize it, then burn it. Promise?"
     "Yes, ma'am. I promise."
     Peeper was not to be out done, "I saved the best fer last. It's a bottle a my very own special furniture polish."
     "The way Peep experiments out back in the little house," Michael explained to Trip, "it's no small miracle she hasn't blown us all up. Isn't that the stuff you make from turpentine, alcohol, and ether, Peep?"
     "Yup, but you forget the balsam fir and linseed oil, Michael. That's how come I'm the chemist and you're the architect." 
     The laughter had been strained and everyone had been uncomfortable. The cozy glow from the candles helped hide the chipped dishes and patched linens that came furnished with the house, and no adult noticed or, at least, mentioned the shortcomings of her table. Leave it to her brother to have asked, "How come you use all these cracked plates, ____, when you have a whole hope chest full of brand new dishes and stuff?" Everyone else had been too polite to inquire.
     She'd quickly answered, "I'll bring my chest over as soon as my cooking warrants the beauty of the china." The ladies had made a sincere attempt to reassure her that the meal was delicious. She would have believed them, too, had she not tasted her own food. The salad was gritty with sand, the deviled eggs were runny from the honey and too salty, the butter beans in the stew were hard, and the chocolate frosting was so thin, the cake showed through. ____ saw her mother throw several sharp looks at Jack Patrick each time he'd tried a new course and then opened his mouth to comment. She imagined the lecture the poor boy must have received about how to behave at his sister's house right before they'd left Dunnigan Manor...

Jane Marie writes:
My church friend, Kris Mandrick, brought this wonderful "stringy" beef roast to a pot luck.  I loved it.  I mean loved it!  She was sweet enough to let me share it with you.  It's made in the slow cooker with ingredients you probably have on hand.  It makes some rich gravy, is moist, is good for Sunday dinner or sandwiches and freezes well, if there are any leftovers.  Thank you, Kris. -JMM

Spicy Roast Beef
You'll need:

2-3 pound beef roast 
Lightly salt (optional) and pepper all sides.
Sprinkle with minced/powdered garlic or garlic pepper.  Put in crock.

Mix in separate bowl: 
1/4 cup soy sauce (I used lite.)
2 Tbl balsamic vinegar
2 Tbl A1 Sauce or Worcestershire sauce (I used Worcestershire.)
2 tsp yellow mustard, liquid or dry (I used liquid.)
Make several shallow slits in top of roast and pour mixture over roast. Let cook in crock 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.

P.S.  This recipe will also be listed in the Recipes link at the top of this page.