The Kitchen

Here, in the USA, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving next week. It’s a holiday that is always on a Thursday about the third week into November.

It is meant to be a day of giving thanks and gathering with family and/or friends and eating the most delicious comfort/fall foods you can get your hands on.

Unlike Christmas season, Thanksgiving is simple. No gifts. Just fun and food.


Until I moved into this “temporary” house with the most annoying kitchen. I’ve lived several places with tiny kitchens. But this one is just annoying.

It’s cute and homey in some ways….. that is, until you start to prepare a meal or bake bread…. or prepare to make your favorite pies .

My rolling pin is longer than the width of the counter.

I could clear my counter space completely, but there is no where to put the things that normally live on the counter. The floor is good (keep dogs out while baking).

Then there’s the day when you decide to overcome your fear of applying icing in a one of those bag things with the tip to make pretty cake tops.

I did not know you had to twist the other end so icing comes out onto the cake and not all over the hand that squeezes the bag and then onto the counter and then the floor…. here doggies….

Frustration. But I will prevail! I will make those pies and those cornmeal crescent rolls and the sausage rolls and whatever! By golly! I will!

And someday soon, I hope, we will move into a house where you can dance in the kitchen and actually smile while you bake.

And then I will even invite friends over to partake of my creations.

Happy Thanksgiving……. Enjoy!

not mine but I have no doubt I can ace this just as well as this gal…..

Cate B

Baking Time!

When the weather was still warm a dear friend dropped off several large and perfect peaches! I set aside a couple for immediate eating pleasure and then peeled and sliced the rest for the freezer and future smoothies and a pie.

Pie day came. I made a single crust and mixed chopped peaches and a few red raspberries with sugar and cinnamon and touch of cardamom. I’ll let the images tell the rest…….

Enjoy! CATE B


This coming Thursday, in the USA, is Thanksgiving Day.  It represents the beginning of the Christmas season and a day to be thankful.

Most seem to celebrate by gathering with loved ones and feasting on a wonderful roasted (or fried or tofu-ed) turkey with stuffing and sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes and gravy and cranberry sauce and pies and rolls and………. whatever food you love.

Others celebrate by shopping for Christmas.  I did the major day after sale thing (aka Black Friday) only once.  I. Will. Never. Do. That. Again.

I’m not a great shopper.  That means that the task is not pleasant to me.  Online shopping is wonderful.

Back to Thanksgiving.  It is a time to be thankful. Well, it’s always time to be thankful. But this is the season that more people give thanks than normal.

Today I am thankful for my relationship with Jesus.  He is my best Friend and always good.

I am thankful for my Family, and that includes the Friends that have become my family also.  I have the best sons and daughters and grandkids a person could possibly ask for.  I am thankful for my husband – even though he broke my favorite mug – he is the best for me.

I am thankful for my health and for my future.  I am expecting mighty things to come to pass.

I am thankful for the one daughter I gave birth to and lost too early in life.  BUT – I truly am thankful to have been her mom and known her.  The memories I have are amazing.

Giving thanks, in general, brings smiles and peace to your heart.  It’s a good practice and I believe opens the windows and doors to a better life no matter what your circumstances.

May your mouths and hearts be full of thankfulness this season and always.  Give it a go!  You may be surprised how your perspective changes over time.



Cate B

Finding Hope

We are fast approaching the end of January, 2014.  Do you know what that means?  Spring is getting closer.  YES!  It has been quite a cold winter for most of the U.S.  Today, where I am, it is a balmy 43* as I type this, and I have no socks on.  Tomorrow’s high should be around 56*!  But Monday, well Monday – you just can’t trust that day.  Our high should be about 16* and a low of 3.  That is winter.

Winters like these tend to keep me indoors way too much for my liking.  In my last post, Winter Hopes, I mentioned winter being a reflective time.  A time to process and regroup, so to speak.  But for me, it is very easy to slip into hopelessness when I have cabin fever and life seems to be on hold.

I was in “The Burg” last week, as I am every week for my four day stay with the grand daughters.  I love that time with them and assisting my kids so they can attend University.  But we were getting punchy, the girls and I.  The two year old loves to go outside.  I was able to take her for a walk one day last week.  Just one!  The other days were so cold that it would have been dangerous to her skin to go out.  So, when my husband came to pick me up on Thursday, he wanted to go to a local town that we were curious about.  We knew it was small…….  Knob Noster, MO.  Here is a pic from downtown Knob Noster:

Downtown Knobnoster
Downtown Knob Noster

I’m not sure this business is even open.  That made me sad.  We did find a Tea Room that was full of collectibles at wonderful prices.  Little girls tea parties can be celebrated there also.  They serve lunch and tea and the woman who owned it is delightful and so friendly.  We will go back.  But we are not sure how tiny towns like this survive.  Whiteman Airforce base is nearby but the “larger” town of Warrensburg has more to offer.

From there we went to a Bakery/Bulk Foods shop that is usually closed when we have been in the area.  It was open and on the way home.  Let me tell you – just when I was feeling hopeless about my future and the weather, etc, this little gem of a place brought forth full sunshine and warmth.  Funny how the little things in life can change your whole outlook.  I love that.

We turned off the main highway and traveled the 2.8 miles to the shop.  Here is some of what we saw:


Then the treasure –

The Mixing Bowl
The Mixing Bowl

We walked into this small shop which is on the property with the family home and farm.  A bubble of hopeful joy met us in a tiny lady-like form of the friendliest Mennonite woman I have ever met.  She did all the baking and bundling of bulk food products.  And the cheeses!  You cannot beat the prices of the cheese she sells.

PIE! Amazing Pie!
What can I say?
What can I say? These taste fabulous!!!YES!


Ahhhh! You can’t beat the price – we take this daily and for the gallon it is unbeatable!


Vanilla Beans!
Vanilla Beans!
I did not buy this from our new friend ;)  But got it for VANILLA!!!
I did not buy this from our new friend 😉 But got it for VANILLA!!!
Vanilla should be ready in April!
Vanilla should be ready in April!

So, my point of this post is to say, I was going down into a hopeless state and just changing my environment and finding something so unexpected in the midst of stark winter surroundings, turned my whole outlook around.  I headed home upbeat and joyful with a couple of bags of goodies to boot!

THEN, my dogs, who missed me while I was away in The Burg, were so happy to see me that little George Bailey jumped up and accidentally ripped the bag containing the jams.  My Gooseberry Jam fell to the floor and broke.  I actually cried.  The dogs ran outside because they fear my crying and I cleaned it up and welcomed them back into the house with many hugs.  Little George was relieved.  No sense crying over spilt jam because I know where to by more. 😀

My friends, I hope you all have a hopeful winter and look with anticipation to spring coming.  Because it is a certainty that spring will come!


cate b









Black Friday

Next Friday is what we call Black Friday.  It is the day after our yearly Thanksgiving celebration where Americans gather to give thanks and eat a lot of food.  Schools do little skits about Pilgrims and Native Americans sharing foods, etc.  It also marks the beginning of the Christmas season to many.  Well, it use to.  When I was a kid we would spend Thanksgiving morning watching the Macy’s Thanksgivings Day parade live on TV and then football and a wonderful turkey dinner and pies for dessert and watch the original Miracle on 34th Street with Maureen O’Hara.  Love this holiday.

Then somewhere along the way Friday became the day of mega sales and shopping for Christmas and talk of stores being open Thanksgiving Day to get a head start on shopping.  I’m not a good shopper.  As a matter of fact I would rather do it online and even then I usually know what I want and am not swayed by sales gimmicks.  Once, my husband and I did a black Friday shopping trip.  I confess I didn’t even know about that day of sales and mania.  We were living in Southern California at the time and drove up to Anaheim to spend a few days with the in-laws for Thanksgiving.  I think we had two children at that time.  At Thanksgiving dinner we were told that we were going Christmas shopping the next day and grandma and grandpa were going to watch the kids and then they handed us a check.  We were very grateful for the financial assistance and the babysitting.

We got up the next day and headed to their bank to cash their check.  That took forever.  The line at the bank was ridiculous.  I doubted then that perhaps we shouldn’t do this.  We left and went shopping.  I can’t even remember if we bought anything.  The crowds were overwhelming.  I questioned whether this was even worth all this trouble.

Some people love it.  I have a relative that thrives on it – it’s a high for her.  It’s a downer for me.  It’s like flying from Philadelphia to Kansas City.  It’s a two, maybe two and a half hour flight one way.  To “save” money you can purchase the flight that is not direct.  It can take up to eight hours or more via Detroit, or Houston or lower Swabovia.  OR you can purchase the direct flight and be home for lunch and dinner the same day.  I say spend the extra.  It’s not that much more.  I enjoy living a life with the least amount of stress as possible.

Back to black Friday shopping.  Hats off to those of you who love it and can actually find bargains and things that you really wanted to give as gifts to someone.  But personally, if you are buying just for the sake of buying and for the sake of a great price and you didn’t really plan on purchasing that gift to begin with, then is it really worth it?  Convince me, please.  Give me your best case.  I’m open, sort of.

As for me, I will be enjoying a warm house next Friday.  I will be decorating for Christmas or crocheting or reading a good book.  I will also be eating left over turkey and pie and probably blogging about it.


cate b
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