Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

"He grew up like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.

Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brough us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth."  Isaiah 53:2-7

Hoping you remember why your Good Friday is so good.  It may be Friday but Sunday's coming!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

White Gloves, Lace Hankies, & White Wicker Purses

Amid the horrific beauty of the Cross, the power of Christ's resurrection; amid the Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies, always at Easter creeps in the memory of my Mama's white gloves. As a young girl, growing up in the South, white gloves at Easter were as common as eggs in our baskets. Each Easter Sunday morning, my Mama would pull out new boxes of white gloves for my sisters and I to wear along with our new Easter dresses. I remember fingering the soft fabric of my Mama's gloves, running my fingers over the artful design and embroidery. I always loved holding Mama's hands when she wore her gloves. I wish ladies in the south still wore white gloves at Easter.
Ladies carried handkerchiefs at Easter too. My grandmother and Mama had beautiful lace handkerchiefs, often scalloped along the edges, or embroidered in white thread with beautiful scrolling designs. I wish ladies still carried white scalloped or embroidered hankies.

Along with our new Easter dresses and little white gloves, we always received a pretty little white wicker purse to carry on Easter Sunday morning. Mama would give each of us girls a small white hankie, often embroidered with small colorful flowers. In our purses we would carry our new hankies, and the quarters Daddy would give us for the Sunday School offering. Sometimes I would slip a few chocolate Easter eggs in my little white wicker purse. My new purse was also a good place to store my new white gloves should I be overcome with temptation to eat said chocolate eggs. This week I paid a visit to my parent's home. I rambled through my Mama's chest of drawers, gingerly fingering her old jewelry, thumbing through her old journals, and smiling at long ago cards made by the hands of her growing children. I stumbled upon her white gloves, and a small box of white scalloped handkerchiefs. This Sunday I'll carry a white scalloped hankie. It won't be carried in a little white wicker purse but instead in a grown up girl's new purse. Do I dare wear Mama's white gloves too?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pear Salad Memories

Isn't it funny how sometimes a memory, from way back in the back of your mind, perhaps a memory not thought about in years, will suddenly pop into your head totally unprovoked? Maybe you're just moseying along, thinking some mundane or routine thought, totally unrelated to the suprise visit from your memory.
This happened to me the other day. I believe I was dwelling on upcoming assignments for my students, engrossed in the subleties of business writing...and WHAM! Into the forefront of my thoughts charges the memory of my mama's pear salad. "Where did that come from?" I thought. I haven't thought about or even had Mama's pear salad in ages. I was taken aback by the sudden memory, and then the longing for a bite of that sweet pear yummy-ness.
I've never seen or found this version of pear salad outside of the South. I believe there was once a generation of women who, at one time or another, routinely served this pear salad on their table. It was a staple of Mama's spring and summer menus, and always served at Easter.
So, this year, for the first time in many years, I'll be serving it on our Easter table. I'm afraid this old fashioned, southern Pear Salad may be one of those dying recipes from our past. I'm determined to keep it remembered, as generations of the women of my family did. Its simple, its good, its southern.
Pear Salad
1 can of pear halves, drained. (Save the pear juice for something else.)
Mayonnaise (preferably Dukes or Blue Plate)
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Maraschino cherries (whole or half, I like halves)
Simply place the pear halves on a pretty plate. Add a dollop of mayo to the little pitted center of the pear. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar. Add the cherry on top.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Pondering

Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of His inheiritance?

You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.

You will again have compassion on us; and You will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

You will be true to Jacob, and show mercy to Abraham, as You pledged on oath to our fathers in the days long ago.

Micah 7:18-20

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A New Discovery

I love me some Pimento Cheese. But, I've never been able to stand the store bought versions. Thankfully my dear departed Aunt passed down a recipe to her sisters, my mother, and on to me. It was a heavenly blend of sharp cheddar, cream cheese, mayo, some secret spices and flavorings, and of course pimentos. Oh, once I did discover some made on site at a neat little family grocer in my town, and it came a very close second to Aunt Dottie's pimento cheese but I still often found myself whipping up batches of my own. friend Bella Michelle introduced me to this a few days ago....Good friend that she is, Miz Michelle knows my love of pimento cheese and low carb eating.

Palmetto Cheese? "Hmmmm....don't know this one, and besides its store bought." I said to myself, with doubt. But...on a whim yesterday, while in one of the large grocery store chains that were said on their website to carry Palmetto Cheese, I thought I would see if by chance they had it. They did! One container left of the original, one container left of jalapeno. "Which one?" I thought..."ok, I'll get both." Boy, am I glad I did! This stuff rocks! It comes the closest to tasting like my Aunt Dottie's pimento cheese than anything else I've ever tried. So yesterday, I had a scoop of original and a scoop of the jalapeno (and it has a KICK!) with a spinach salad for lunch. I decided today I would have it again for lunch...a scoop of each, a scoop of chicken salad, and a sliced tomato. What a bite of heaven for this low carb gal.

So, if you love good homemade pimento cheese, like I do...check out Palmetto Cheese. It's gooood. And, while you're at it, check out Bella Michelle's blog. She's an awesome writer, mom, and fine southern gal. I love her book reviews, recipes, and great outlook on life.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Southern Springtime

Mark Twain once said, "In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty six different kinds of weather inside of twenty four hours." Yesterday, it was 70 degrees at 10:30 a.m. By mid afternoon is was 83 degrees. We played at the lake, walked along the shoreline, rode the golf cart. We spent time resting on the dock, reading the latest gardening magazines. Last evening we grilled chicken outside on the grill. It was a wonderful Monday, the perfect way to start Spring Break. But by nightfall, it was stormy. Terrible storms that threaten to break the tree tops, bending periously in the wind. The kind of storm where lightening outside the window is enough to make one jump. The thunder boomed and the sounds of small twigs and debris could be heard hitting the house. This morning, its bright and sunny, but cold and breezy. It feels like winter is trying to make one final stand. One last hurrah to show us that she doesn't go out easily. This morning I said to God, "Ok, make up your mind already." I hope He smiled and wasn't offended that I would question His awesome power to orchestrate exactly what the earth needs to prepare for her spring beauty. I like to think he understands the longing of this southern girl's soul...for spring, warmth, new life, and always the return to my old places. "Look!" He says..."Here's what my power sends to you." Spring in the south is an awesome, ever changing landscape, just like life. Sometimes stormy, even terrifying storms...but always behind it comes the beauty, the blessings, the everpresent gifts of God. Always delightfully surprising.