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Friday, January 12, 2018


These beautiful flowers are known as Strawflowers. From the looks of them would you classify them as flowers or herbs?? It may be a hard decision but the truth is they are herbs. Strawflowers are easy to grow and are Native plants of Australia. The flowers will grow up over three feet tall. The big blooms come in a variety of colors including yellow, orange, red, rose, white and pink and are perfect for flower beds, vases, corsages, and / or bouquets. Strawflowers can also be dried out and kept for a very long time.

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

What Historical Event Took Place January 11th

Alabama would secede from the Union following an ordinance of secession. Alabama declared itself a "sovereign and Independent State" with a vote of 61 to 39. Alabama was not the first to secede from the Union but rather the 4th state. The date would be January 11, 1861. 

The state of Alabama seceding from the Union was part of the deep south secession. The seven states from the deep south were Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas. The reason was simple they were concerned that their way of life was being taken from them. Slavery was a large part of their life and it was being threatened by President Abe Lincoln. 

What was to follow would be known as the Civil War. An uncompromising difference between the free and slave states over the power of the national government to prohibit slavery. 

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How To Make Milk Gravy

Milk Gravy is something I was introduced to as a teen. I had an early job of taking care of an older man who desired a meal that included milk gravy. I knew my mother could make it but I had no idea where to begin. She told me over the phone how to make it and I will never forget how that delicious gravy tasted. After I started dating my husband (of 31 years, may I add) I would fall in love with milk gravy all over again. His grandmother would make up some of her famous buttermilk biscuits and make milk gravy to go along side. Oh my perhaps I fell in love with my husband because of his grandmothers cooking (only joking).

Milk Gravy is in deed a very easy gravy to make. Milk gravy is the base of many biscuit and gravy meals, chicken fried steak and country fried steak as well.

1/4 cup pan drippings (bacon drippings or sausage drippings)*
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk or heavy cream, room temperature
Salt and pepper to taste

*  You can use the drippings/grease from any meat - but bacon and sausage are the traditional ones used and preferred.

 Remove the bacon or sausage once it is cooked and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain. See that brown stuff in the bottom of your pan? That's going to be your gravy! Using the same frying pan that you cooked your bacon or sausage in, over medium-high heat, combine bacon or sausage dripping and flour; brown flour, stirring constantly with a whisk or fork. Gradually add the milk or cream, stirring constantly until all is added, and cook until the gravy is smooth and thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve the milk gravy hot over biscuits

recipe source here

Monday, January 8, 2018

Scottish Shortbread

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch

Cream sugar and butter together.
Sieve flour and cornstarch together / slowly add to creamed mix
Work in flour with hand. Do not add liquid. Mix will be stiff
Flatten into a shallow baking tin and prick all over with fork
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes til golden brown.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with sugar cut into slices
Cool 5 minutes, place on cooling rack.

Recipe Source: Alice Beattie, Cairndow resident, from Mother Recipes, published by Here We Are, available from

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How To Make Your Own Bath Milk

Bathing is something many take to relax and escape from stress. Too much bathing can be harsh on skin in winter time. Milk baths have been popular since the Roman era and can come in a variety of scents. Milk baths are good for dry skin as they dissolve the protein that holds together dead skin cells. 

Basic Bath Milk Recipe

1 1/2 cups powdered milk (soy milk powder works just fine for this, but you can also use dairy milk powder as well)
1/2 cup Epsom salts
Essential oil of your choice
1/2 cup flower petals (optional)
Food coloring to suit the essential oil and flower petals (optional)

Mix the powdered milk and Epsom salts together, and if desired, and add 2-3 drops of food coloring (if desired), mixing well so that the color is uniform. You can skip this step if you like, although there’s something sweet about having the hue match the scent—a few drops of red coloring will create a soft pink that’s ideal for grapefruit or rose scents, while orange is great for a tangerine-vanilla bath, light purple for lavender, and so forth.

After you’ve mixed the milk and salt together, add 5-8 drops of essential oil. If you’re creating a floral bath milk, you can mix in about 1/2 a cup of flower petals as well. Mix it all well, then decant into a pretty glass bottle or jar, and you’re done.

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Civil War Applesauce Cookies

The English, Scotch, and Dutch immigrants were the first to bring cookies to the United States. When it came time to fight the Civil War no matter what side you were on you enjoyed cookies if and when you could get them. This recipe for applesauce cookies is one that was a favorite.

2 ¼ cups sugar
1 1/3 cups shortening
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup applesauce
6 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt

Cream shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add applesauce and mix well. Add sifted dry ingredients and blend well.
Drop by heaping tablespoon on greased cookie sheets.
Flatten and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
The cookies do not brown.

recipe from civil war parlor

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Protect Your Skin

By now, your skin may be able to tell its winter. Winter has a way of changing our skin and not for the good. It can often wither under harsh elements of winter. Every year on January 8th is a time to share with others tips for winter skin relief.

With the temps of winter dropping and the heat of the home rising the amount of moisture in our skin can be zapped away. It is important to keep our skin hydrated through the winter. With the chill of winter the temptation to take long hot showers should be avoided. The heat will strip skin of natural oils and may cause inflammation as well. Skin cells can swell when dry and begin to crack.

Taking shorter lukewarm showers and using gentle cleansers are a few of the best ways to take care of winter skin. Harsh soaps can be bad on skin and when washing do not scrub. Allowing the soap and water to do the work of cleaning through lather will be much better for your skin. Remember to dry hands by patting skin with soft towel. Drying through rubbing will cause more irritation and inflammation. Using a cool mist humidifier will not only hydrates your skin at night.

Winter has harsher temps so be sure to dress in layers. The layer closest to your sin should be made of natural fiber such as flannel or cotton. Natural soft fabrics cause little to no irritation and also protect skin against cold weather. Top layers can be whatever you prefer.