August 28, 2018

Miss Ella's Cinnamon and Sugar Diamonds -Goodbye Lie Diaries

 A Fernandina Favorite

Late 1880s
Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

Miss Ella writes: My mother, the children call her Grammy, has made these sweeties for our family as far back as I can recall. She trims her pie crusts and with those delicate scraps, she creates baked cinnamon and sugar diamonds that are gobbled up before they have a chance to cool!  I make them for Mama these days. Now that my girls,
*Miss Ella Dunnigan
Breelan, Carolena and Marie, are young women, they, too, are learning this simple recipe. By the way, I will often make extra pie dough just so there are sufficient diamonds for all.

     You'll need the following. Oh, Jane Marie, if you would be so kind as to translate my recipe into your modern times. While the ingredients are the same, your baking oven is more accurate than mine. Thank you, ma'am.

Present Day
Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida

Jane Marie writes:  I am happy to write out the recipe instructions.  By the way, my mother, Marie, used to bake these same treats and have them waiting for her children when we came home from school!  What a wonderful memory for all of us. Don't you love how recipes are passed down through the generations? Thank you for reminding me about them Miss Ella. I will make some this very night.

You'll need:
  • fresh pie dough or refrigerated pie dough, already made (What a time saver this is, Miss Ella, and it's nearly as good as homemade. This is one store-bought item I purchase.) 
  • butter or your favorite butter-substitute used for baking
  • cinnamon
  • sugar      
Roll out the dough on a floured surface.  Spread a goodly amount of butter on half.  Sprinkle the butter with cinnamon and plenty of sugar.  Fold the other half of dough over the cinnamon and sugar mix, pressing  and sealing the edges so the melted insides won't leak out.  Poke a couple of times with a fork, but only the top layer of dough.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Cut into diamonds or triangles and serve warm. A pizza cutter works well to do this. Enjoy! 

*Miss Ella is the Dunnigan matriarch. Known for her culinary talents, she is responsible for approving all foods served on the ships of the family's Aqua Verde Passenger Line, commencing 1883 and continuing to the present day. This is all part of The Goodbye Lie Series. The first three novels are set in Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida in the late1880s, and are available in e-book and paperback. 

August 21, 2018

An Almost True Trivia Story

    Hubby Bruce and I went to a local restaurant and stayed for the weekly trivia game.  We’d heard about it and, heck, you can win free food.  Since we like their pizza, why not have an extra large, thin crust, double cheese with mushrooms on half and pepperoni and green pepper on the other half, on them?  Oh, may I mention we are pretty good at trivia?  It’s been a while since we’ve played Trivial Pursuit, a game from the 1980s, but when we did, we beat the socks off our kids. 

Once the rules were explained, mainly no cell phones allowed with which to google the answers and no shouting them out, we chose a name for our two-person team.  Being the well-educated sophisticates we are, we cleverly decided upon Team Malcolm.  (In case you don’t know, Malcolm is our last name.)

We began.  The first question: How many days are in a fortnight?  I jumped on that one, writing down the number 14.  Correct, of course.  Then I got one about the Joint Chiefs of Staff right and Bruce got Pulp Fiction. It went downhill, at lightning speed, from there. 

After ten minutes, we were doing so poorly that when they asked five questions about television theme songs from the '90s, I hollered, “We didn’t even own a TV back then!”  Not true, but I was hoping for a little sympathy at our wretched showing.  When none was forthcoming, we left at half-time having learned a couple of lessons.  #1.  Just because I beat a radio DJ out of a pizza twenty-one years ago by stumping him with Bruce’s question:  What was Li’l Abner’s legitimate day job?  Answer:  He was a mattress tester for the Stunned Ox Mattress Factory.  Yes, just because I won that one, doesn’t mean we know quite everything.  #2.  Never assign your real last name to your team because Amelia Island, Florida, where we live, is a small place and word of any humiliation spreads quickly.  Examples of such: So far this morning, the mailman asked me if I know what color the sky is and a store clerk asked how many toes are on a human being’s left foot.  While I’m pretty sure the sky is blue, I’m thinking the toe thing might be a trick question.  Is that with our without webs and do webbed toes count as one or two toes?  Hmm.  I’m still thinking this one over …

(Reprinted from 2014 and written by Jane Marie Malcolm because she found it and thought it was still cute. Remember, she's the funniest person she knows.) 

August 14, 2018

Grammy Camp Photography

Grand-daughter Ava seems to have an "eye" for picture taking, and she loves it. Here are a few she snapped around Stately Martha Manor, formerly known as Stately Malcolm Manor. That was until friends of our Martha Bear, stuffed spokesbear and model for this blog, hung a new sign on our residence,
Martha Bear, 
spokesbear and model
naming it in her honor. Since we all love Martha Bear, hubby Bruce and I think it is a fine thing so to do. Wonderful job, Ava!


August 7, 2018

Grammy Camp - Beach Wreath - Plus Goodbye Lie Diaries - Peeper

     This easy creation was inspired by the cover of our *Amelia Islander Magazine. I recycled this grapevine wreath or you can buy one inexpensively, find some shells on the beach, in that glass vase on your hutch or online. A little paint and glue and you can start creating! Instructions are below:

Beach Wreath

You'll Need:
grapevine wreath (the fuller, the better looking, I think)
white spray paint
aqua paint
glitter (optional)
pearls (optional)
old jewelry (optional)
ribbon for hanging if needed

     On a protected surface, I put newspaper on the garage floor, lightly spray your grapevine wreath with white paint, so it looks white-washed. Let dry.
     While drying, paint only some of your seashells with the aqua using a brush. Let dry. Leave several shells natural.
     Arrange the shells on the wreath in a pleasing pattern, remembering odd numbers of groupings, look best to the eye. I used three to a grouping.
     Glue and add trim.
     Hang proudly or give as a pretty gift!
                    Enjoy, Jane Marie - present day 
The Goodbye Lie Diaries
Late 1880s
Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

Peeper writes: Boy howdie! If that ain't a perty thing, I don't know what is. With all the littles, that's how I've taken ta callin' the grandchildren - Yes, with all the littles a-runnin' wild around Dunnigan Manor, this sure would keep 'em busy. We will first gather wild grapevine ta make our wreaths. We can hang 'em on the front rail of the
Miss Ella
house. Miss Ella would like that. She loves them littles almost, almost as much as I do!

*Amelia Islander

August 2, 2018

Grammy Camp - Paintbrush Dolls

Granddaughter Ava's Bride Doll
     A big part of our annual Grammy Camp is all about creating. Last year, we made dolls from perfume bottles. This year we made these fabulous dolls from paintbrushes. They are fashioned with odd trinkets from my lifetime collection of stuff in my craft boxes.  Here is how we made ours:

You'll need:

Paintbrush from the Dollar Store
Paint of your choice to cover the brush handle and bristles, optional
Grammy's Irish Doll
Face - large(about 1") clear glass button-rounds-trace a circle on paper, draw a face and glue it to the back of the glass button with clear glue
Trim - glitter, ribbon, flowers, buttons, shells, rick-rack, fabric etc. 

Simple or fancy, make your paintbrush doll as a gift, as an ornament, door hanger, wall art, etc.  Remember, no two will be alike and it's relaxing me time or time with the kids, plus it's just pure fun!