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The Welcome Home  Good Things & Recipes

August 18, 2004

Dear Sisters~

It’s such a blessing to be able to share with you the different things the LORD allows each week.  We continually seek Him and His will for our home, our work, our children, schooling, this ministry and a host of other things.  You’re likely doing the same as you are looking to the coming autumn season.  What a True and faithful God we serve.  He is so merciful to us all: our Redeemer and our Provider.  What a beautiful time of year this is!  But what a time of change and busyness also!  For our family, it’s a time of outdoor clean-up.  As final gardening efforts are made, the garden looks pitiful at best!   However, there are still sweet summer times ahead!

The Summer Garden

I was weeding the garden earlier and decided to come in and write a bit until the sun is a bit more to the west.   Just a bit ago I watered the all the roses which are looking just lovely this year!  I hope to dry lots of them for wreaths we have in our home.  I try to remove old dried flowers from wreaths and arrangements and replace them with new dried flowers every couple of years. It’s very very simple to dry flowers: just cut and bring them in and tied together, they’re hung upside down for a month or so to dry and then they can be used in wreath, arrangements or other craft projects.  Flowers can also be pressed between parchment and pages of phone books or other heavy books.  I’d suggest not using books whose value is high---there are chances of mildew from time to time that might spoil your pages.  Not every petal comes out looking attractive, however, pansies and some wild flowers really do dry beautifully!  Hydrangeas are one flower you *don’t* bring in and hang upside down.  I bring them in at the end of the season and stand them in vases with an inch or so of water.  When the water is gone then the hydrangea is practically dried---retaining a nice full head of blossoms that you can snip and use in little clusters or leave whole and keep a bunch in a vase for the wintertime.

Some weeks the recipes sent to you are recipes our daughter Kathryn makes in our home for family and friends.  Below are a couple of her newest recipes.  The Maple Leaf Dream cookies are so tasty that several asked for her recipe when they tasted them!

It’s time for canning and freezing and drying fruits and vegetables.  We really like freezing fruits and vegetables for wintertime, but we also can fruits and jams in order to save space.  Canning is so very very simple but some women are intimidated by the process and yet, really, there’s nothing to it!  You’d be surprised how easy it is to can delicious fruits for your family!  It’s inexpensive too *if* you get the fruit at great pieces or for *free!*  Tomorrow my friend and also my daughter-in-law will be coming over and they’ll see how easy it is to can peaches.  Freezing them is another method of preservation, too.  We tend to like these for serving on top of vanilla ice cream and on waffles in the wintertime.  We make freezer jam of our strawberries and raspberries and I make cooked jam and syrup with peaches.  So… that’s a bit of what’s going on here in our kitchen this week.


First, though, I want to share a couple of easy summertime ideas with you.  Each summer my husband brings home watermelon a few times a week. Really!   He loves watermelon and loves for the children to have it for cool desserts on hot days!   I shared with you in another letter how we like to bring cold watermelon in an ice-chest in the van when we are traveling a long distance on hot days.  We just stop at a park and cut up the watermelon and the icy cold fruit quenches their thirst and serves as a great snack!  We just pack the knife in a towel in the ice-chest and use the wet towel for clean-up when we’re all done and then rewrap and replace the knife for safety back in the ice-chest.

I have a little draw-string cloth picnic bag under one of the front seats and in it I have paper plates, napkins, plastic-ware, paper cups and gallon and snack zip-lock baggies and baby-wipes.  This way, we can stop anywhere and have what we need on hand and it sure takes the hassle out of “serving” on road-trips.   I refill the picnic bag when we return home so it’s ready for the next time.  I do the same with our van’s first-aid kit and another bin of “survival” stuff. whenever we’ve been traveling.  This is very time-efficient and might help you in an unforeseen “problem” or situation.

I will try to remember to post on a page at our website some lists of things we like to have on hand or in containers in the van for (potential) traveling needs.

If you regularly shop weekly or monthly, then a regular shopping list might help you remember what you need each time you shop.  If you make up a “master list” of all the things your family always uses, then you can just circle that item or make a number needed by each item when you prepare your shopping trip.  Just set up your categories and then fill them in from memory or (better) by actually looking in your fridge and in your cabinets/pantry.  If you save this “master list” to a file on your computer, then you’ll be able to update it or just print it out each time you plan to go shopping.  Little things like this will take some time initially, but will really save you time in the long run.  Plus, being a bit more thorough in your planning will save you much time and money in fewer trips to the store and fewer items forgotten when you do shop! ;-)

More Good things… Recipes!

Maple Leaf  Dream Cookies

1 cup Butter, softened
cup Whipping Cream
tsp. Maple Extract
2 cups All-purpose Flour
2 T. Sugar 

cup Butter, softened
1 cup Powdered Sugar
tsp. Maple Extract
3 or 4 tsp. Milk

In large bowl, combine 1 cup butter, whipping cream and 1/2 teaspoon maple extract; blend well.  Stir in flour until well mixed.  Divide dough in half; shape each half into flattened disk.  Wrap each in plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 hour for easier handling. 

Heat oven to 375.  On lightly floured surface, roll half of dough at a time to 1/8-inch thickness.  Keep remaining half of dough refrigerated.  Cut dough with 2-inch maple-leaf cookie cutter.  Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookies sheets.  Sprinkle generously with sugar.  With fork, prick each cookie 3 or 4 times. 

Bake at 375 for 7 to 10 minutes or until slightly puffed and edges are light golden brown.  Cool 1 minute; transfer from cookie sheets to cooling racks.  Leave on racks until completely cooled. 

In small bowl, blend all filling ingredients, adding enough milk for desired spreading consistency; whip until smooth.  Spread a small amount of filling between two cooled cookies.  Because I use a larger maple leaf cutter, this recipe makes about 20 sandwich cookies.  A smaller leaf cutter might yield double this number.

Cookie dough must remain refrigerated if it is to be firm enough for rolling and cutting; keep unused dough refrigerated. 

MAKE-AHEAD TIP: Bake the cookies and prepare the filling up to two days in advance.  Transfer the cookies to a cookie tin and store at room temperature. Cover the filling and refrigerate it.  Bring the filling to room temperature and assemble the sandwiches just before serving.

For dinner J this week, Kathryn made Dutch Babies and served them with our Strawberry Freezer Jam and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.  Since we just got several cases of peaches, we’ll make the next batch with a chopped peach topping.  So here’s a recipe for this yummy breakfast (or dinner!).

Dutch Babies
Serves 4-6

   1/3 cup butter
   5 eggs
   1 cup milk
   1 cup all-purpose flour

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.  Put butter into 13 x 9 and place in oven until sizzling, but do not allow to burn.   Put eggs in blender and blend for one minute.  Slowly add milk and flour and whip for 30 seconds at high speed.  Pour mixture into the sizzling butter.  Bake for about 18 - 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden.   

Immediately sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve with any kind of jam or jelly, syrup of any kind, fresh fruit compote, yogurt or sour cream. The possibilities are endless; use your imagination.

Our daugher-in-law Tara made a beautiful birthday cake for our grandson’s third birthday.  She saw the recipe in a Martha Stewart magazine.  It was so beautiful and was both delicious and refreshing!  You can see a picture of the cake and the recipe here: marthastewart

Well, that’s it for this week!  I hope you’re doing well and that the LORD is caring for everything that concerns you---blessing you and your home with His loving presence!

Until next time, may God bless you & keep you and help you in your home.
With love, pamela @--;-----------------

  2004 pamela spurling          The Welcome Home       A Christian Home

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