Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Birds


As February nears a close, I am reminded of being sure the bluebird houses are clean and ready for the March homesteaders. So much snow blanketing our backyard makes for a difficult  hike up to the bluebird house on its cedar post beside the little meadow .  I spotted my first bluebird down the road at Howard’s farm yesterday.  A brilliant flash of bright blue wings caught my eye. Spring must be right around the corner…or in this case, right down the road. Continue Reading »

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Bread and Toast


When I asked for “Sour Rye with Seeds, please” at the bakery counter, the woman looked at me quizzically.  “Sour…rye?”

“Oh, that’s an old term from my childhood on Long Island– sour rye bread came from our neighborhood bakery.  It’s as if my grandmother had sent me up to Bell Blvd. for a loaf at the local bakery and those words came out,” I smiled. Continue Reading »

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Stacia’s Pot Roast


Stacia Kelley, one of my oldest and dearest friends, developed this delicious pot roast recipe.  Known throughout the town of Pine Bush, NY, Stacia’s cozy, little kitchen always smelled like “Something great’s cooking!  Stacia’s Polish-American background and love flavored her wonderful recipes.  She knew this was my favorite so she’d make it for me when I would visit.


5 lb. bottom round or rump

2 cans of beer and 2 cans of water

3 or 4 Tablespoons of barbecue sauce

salt and pepper to taste

1 onion and 4 cloves of garlic (chopped)

Ginger snap cookies

Saute the chopped onion and garlic in oil.  Brown the meat.  Add the other ingredients (but not the cookies yet).  Simmer on the stove for three to four hours until tender.  Remove the pot roast to a warm platter.  Make the gravy by whisking in 6 to 8 gingersnaps to thicken… and simmer.  Strain if you wish for a smoother gravy.  Enjoy!  Nastrovia (sp?)!!!

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Mary Ellen’s Jewish Coffee Cake


Here is a delicious coffee cake with an old-time flavor.  Back in the day when my girls were little, we would have “play groups” among our circle of friends.  MaryEllen made this recipe and I’ve loved it ever since.  What a tasty, comfort-food treat for mid-February…or anytime!


1/4 lb. butter (Cabots or Land o’ Lakes)

1 c. sugar

2 eggs (free-range from the farm, of course)

2 c. flour (King Arthur or Hecker’s)

1 teas. baking powder

1 teas. baking soda

1/4/ teas. salt

1 c. sour cream

1 teas. vanilla

1/2 c. or so of cinnamon sugar (to your taste)


All ingredients should be at room temperature. Grease and flour a tube pan; pre-heat the oven to 350. Cream the first three ingredients.  Sift the flour, baking soda and powder, and the salt together.  Add gradually to the creamed mixture, alternately with the sour cream and vanilla.  Spoon about a third of the batter into the tube pan.  Top with a layer of cinnamon sugar…then batter again, layer of cinnamon sugar, batter, and then cinnamon sugar on top.  Bake at 350 for 45 min. to one hour, depending on your oven. Remove from pan, cool on a wire rank, invert so that the crispy cinnamon sugar top layer faces up.  The aroma can only be beaten by the down home taste. Enjoy with a steaming cup of coffee, of course.

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Wintertime, but not winter blues


Funny, there is something in me that doesn’t want the winter to end despite yet another day of snow this mid-February day.  Now dusk, it’s cozy here in our office with the lamps casting an amber hue,  the space heater murmuring softly, Violet asleep and breathing deeply on the upholstered green chair beside me, Scott still working at his computer across the room. The brilliant red cardinal and his mate eat hungrily beneath the bird feeder, side by side, Scott said, because of the cold. In the adjoining kitchen homemade green pea soup bubbles on the stove.  Continue Reading »

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