Friday, May 18, 2012

Reading is fundamental!

I've never been much of a reader.

Early memories of my mother often include toting her newest book around.  I remember mom,  sitting on the couch, a  leg maybe tucked beneath her,  deep in the plot of the book, not hearing any of the clamor surrounding her.   Eventually she would  take a break to settle a discussion (almost surely heated) amongst some of her brood, or to gather herself another cup of tea,  or a cigarette,  before gliding back into a story that ultimately transported her to places she would not likely visit,  and being entertained  by the smutty lives of the adulterating characters.   She and my Aunt Eleanor (her only sister) would visit one another, share family stories, talk politics ( she was always humored to hear her sister and brother on a local talk show setting the host straight) and discuss recent reads.    Invariably, she would come home, brown paper bag in tow, with the latest books Aunt Ellie had finished.  I never really understood the attraction. Reading in my world consisted of compulsory educational materials I did my best to comprehend.  More often than not,  I would read the same sentences  over and over before deciding it just wasn't going to sink in.  I'd tell myself that reading was just not "me", the best that could hold my interest was Teen magazine or Life, quick and done!

Fast forward into my early thirties, mom suffers her first aneurysm, which by the grace of God she survived.....barely.  The battle scar, her eye was swollen shut, it would stay like that for months. It forever changed her ability to read with the effortless enjoyment she had known all her life.  I remember asking her about this and she said it was sad, but a small price to pay for what ended up giving her another 5 years of life.  The second aneurysm was not so kind.

Our eldest daughter is surely her grandmother's clone in the realm of reading.  Amanda is a voracious reader.  I notice it now more than ever.  When she's home, and has long since kissed us goodnight, I stroll past her room on the way to my own, see the evidence of a bedside lamp still on.  When I peek in, she is either passed out smacking her lips together in response to the creaking noise of the door, or peering over the book or Kindle, with an engaged smile, and then right back to where ever she was this night. Our daughter Jenelle is a reader as well, not to the extent of her eldest sibling, but a reader no less!  Kristen, I'm afraid, is her mother's daughter......but the news is good Kristen, there is hope!

Lately, and that means in the last few years, I seem to have developed an interest in reading.  Now I'm certainly not trying to pretend that I hold a candle to the afore mentioned afficionados, but I seem to have a few books a month in my possession.  I'm totally enjoying something I would  never have considered being a part of "me".  ( I've been running from Vampires, hey we're  Transylvanian Romanians, what would you think? I've also lived in the post -apocolyptic  world of Katniss Everdeen) . I haven't tried any really deep or scandalous reads, just taking suggestions as they come, but I'm open.  If you feel like offering a  suggestion  ........I'm listening!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Midwest Summer

There was a time this past winter when the first snow fell, and I stood by the window in our back yard admiring the naked limbs of the trees lined with the prettiest snowfall. For a month or so it kind of made me feel warm and fuzzy to add another layer of clothing, walk outside and grab the neighbor's dogs for trounce through the snow. We took that walk regularly, it made me more tolerant of the winter which I struggle to endure each year.

February of each year finds me online looking at travel deals to warm destinations, somewith Bahama Mamas and Beaches. I find I spend and inordinate amount of time doing this. Sooner or later some rationale wins out and I'm pressing the BOOK NOW button. It could be a rental property that needs attention, a trade show that must be attended a friend or relative who really needs my presence, or a vacation spot I must see ...... you name it and I've probably rationalized it.

In the midst of a REALLY LONG WINTER this past year I said out loud, "I will not complain about the heat this summer!" "I mean it". So here I sit, In the depths of August, and all I can say is...Whew, what a nice hot summer. No, I'm not complaining, I love summer. I love getting up and sitting on the deck drinking my coffee listening to the birds and other critters. I love to watch my 94 year old father get on his John Deere and mow 90 acres of land which is his salvation. He talks about how beautiful his property looks (and it does) in the proudest fashion possible. He gives credit to the good Lord, who he says, is the most beautiful painter. It could however, also be his undoing, since he seems to have an argument with every tree limb out there and they are winning the war against his ever thinning skin! (Note to self, make Dr. appt. tomorrow for his most recent war wound)

Ahh, summer in the Midwest. Warm, humid, green, really green, driving to the lake, visiting wineries, seeing neighbors you weren't sure lived there anymore, grilling, swimming and just sitting....yeah, I'll take it for as long as I can get it!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Okay, soooo we went to a wedding in Texas! Pretty cool, no cookie table, and you would know how I feel about that if you happen to have read my Post on cookie tables. I was disappointed....I survived by eating the very tasty cake that was served however. (Each and every flavor) Wedding traditions are so different in different areas. We here in NE Ohio think we have to serve a 3 course meal with crazy amounts of desserts or we're just not doing our part. Other parts of the country are finger foods and a cake. I enjoy going to weddings in other areas and seeing the different traditions and enjoying all of them.

Texas is big and I think everything really IS big in Texas. Someone who I sat next to on the flight to Dallas said she grew up there and we giggled when she said "You can drive a REALLY long time and STILL be in Texas." We didn't get to experience as much of the state as I would like to have, in fact darn little, but that will be another trip.

Going from 80 degree temps in Dallas, to 14 Degrees when we flew into Colorado to stay with our daughter( she attended the wedding as well) was just not fair! How do you pack one suitcase for all those temperatures? Easter was spent at a cool Tapas Restaurant in Denver. Dinner was excellent. Somehow the altitude really gets to me initially. Takes a few days to get past it. So we spent the night and Headed to Breckenridge.

All in all it was an awesome trip, great to see a lot of friends and family. Revisit a really cool mountain town, soak in the hot springs in Glenwood Springs, Co. and drive through the scenery on the way to Glenwood.......breathtaking....really! I would do that again in a minute.

Lots of the stores and restaurants I sell biscotti to were low and I jumped right into work. Now I'm preparing for Mother's Day gifting.....the website looks awesome and we have an attractive, well priced product featured for it....postcards are going out next week.

Have a great week!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Back to the world of the living! What a crazy December and January! Biscotti was definitely a big gift item because I sure didn't get to take my head out of the oven for long. Now I've experience some hot flashes in my day, but this was like a wave of heat that left me begging for the ice pack! I thought January was going to be slow with all the new found diet commitments, but nope, still lots of biscotti cravings going around.

To all that helped in any fashion to make Mary C's Holiday Season such a success......a big THANK YOU! The website was successful, some glitches need addressed and some lessons will be taken from the season, but I couldn't have asked for more support and positive comments than we received. It was enough to make for a proud business owner!! How awesome our customers were, many ordering multiple times.

I am currently in Nevada attending a huge gift show to make sure all your future gift giving is as appealing to the eyes as it is to the taste buds. Make sure to check the Mary C's Biscotti website out in the next few weeks for updates!

Now on to other interesting things. Did you read the post about the cookie table? How coincidental that the New York Times did an article on the cookie table craze in our area right after my post....pretty cool. The idea came from my daughter's boyfriend who is an awesome writer. (I know, I should get some pointers) He attended some weddings in our neck of the woods and thought it was a really interesting tradition. I thought why not share a little of this with the world? Obviously someone else thought it was noteworthy as well! Take a minute to read it as well as the NY times article .

I hope you enjoyed today's post, I am going to make a great effort to blog on a weekly basis, I hope you'll join me to keep up with Mary C's Biscotti and my thoughts about things in general. Reply to me, I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Who doesn't know what a cookie table is????

I recently had the pleasure to go to my cousin's youngest son's wedding. We had been talking about it for a few months.The planning was considered quick by today's standards......just months. A lot of our conversation centered around a tradition in our area , of having a cookie table.

Now we're not talking a cute little table with a few iced cut out cookies shaped like wedding bells . We're talking several tables that could easily put a diabetic (or non diabetic) into sugar shock and no one would be the wiser that those 100 cookies were missing. The headlines in the paper read, "Local grocers are clamoring for suppliers to get chocolate kisses, 10x sugar and eggs replenished fast!" (Okay that's a bit of an exaggeration- You get the idea)

When my nephew got married a year ago September, my sister in law went to work getting the cookie table together. Worrying that there wouldn't be enough cookies she baked like a wild woman and we all contributed many of the family favorites to the cause until there was no doubt there would be enough for all! What an amazing site it was, forget the beautiful decorations of the hall, the cookie tables were the draw! While guests enjoyed the festivities and the wonderful food, many were heading off to make sure they secured their favorite selections. Bags were supplied for the guests to take home cookies as well!

Thinking back on these occasions and knowing that it is something that I look forward to, I can't help but wonder how this awesome tradition started. However it happened, I think it is great fun and something everyone in our area looks forward to when they attend a wedding. Whenever we attend a wedding in another part of the country we appreciate their traditions but a little pang (low sugar I think) reminds us of what is missing, our chance to splurge on a major diet buster for the evening.

Well off I go to bake for this holiday season! Lots of biscotti on order......seasonal favorites like gingerbread, pumpkin and cranberry pistachio!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkin rolls and Thanksgiving

How are are you "home gamers"? Okay, I just got done watching Jim Cramer....I confess. There's a reason it's called Mad Money.....he's a wild thing! I love him regardless. One day I'll buy the right stock and actually make some money.....hehe, I'm not holding my breath!!

All this fall color and leaves have gotten me thinking about Thanksgiving and more holidays to come. I went through my mother's recipe file and came across the traditional Pumpkin Roll recipe scrolled on a piece of a small yellow legal pad. The writing has faded along with the frequency with which we enjoy homemade pumpkin roll. I always loved her recipe. (I was sure her ingredients must have been so much better than everyone else! ) Well just in time for Thanksgiving I think I'll post her recipe, maybe it will inspire me to revisit that time! Enjoy!

Mom’s Pumpkin Roll recipe

Beat 3 eggs on high speed of mixer. (5min) Gradually beat 1 Cup sugar, stir in 2/3 C. pumpkin, 1 tea lemon juice

Stir together ¾ C. flour, 1 tea. Baking powder and 2 tea. Cinnamon, 1 tea ginger, 1/2 tea nutmeg and ½ tea. Salt. Fold this into pumpkin mix.

Spread in greased 15 x 10x1. Top with 1 C. finely chopped walnuts. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Turn out on towel, sprinkled with powdered sugar. (Don’t totally let cool before you turn it out) Start at narrow end of towel and roll.

Totally cool roll. Fill and refrigerate.


1 C. powdered sugar two 3 oz pkgs of philly cream cheese
4 T. butter or oleo
½ tea. Vanilla

Beat smooth and spread over cake roll. Reroll with filling and refrigerate

Friday, October 23, 2009

Food (and more) for thought

Just another day in paradise! Just watched a really crazy and I might add goofy movie! It was set in Mexico so that may inspire a chipotle biscotti! We'll think about that.

So...Bill Gates is getting involved in technology to prevent hurricanes.....well I like Colbert's reply...."Don't, whatever you do let Bill Gates get involved in the thing for sure, it will freeze" Not exactly the quote, but I thought it was pretty humorous!

Now regarding the Global Climate Change.....and yes I saw this on 20/20...we should worry more about methane (yep, I mean cows) than driving a prius and then eating beef! Something to ponder I say! Well I've supplied enough food for thought for today.....more another day....