The flowers around our homestead are bursting with a profusion of color. The wild roses down by the stream are in full bloom, and when old Mother Westwind and her Merry Little Breezes pass by, the fragrance is carried all the way up to the house.
When I stand at the kitchen window and wash my dishes, I can look out and see flowers in bloom all along the thorny branches of the blackberry bush. Those tiny, white blossoms will soon turn into deep purple, sweet berries that I will make into cobblers and ice cream, come July.
When I go out to feed the chickens in the evening, I pass by a honeysuckle vine that grows around an old persimmon tree. The vine has started to bloom now and even though I am a grown woman, I must stop and pick a blossom, pull the stamen out from the bottom and taste the sweet nectar.
Honeysuckle will always remind me of my mother. I remember the first time I tasted the sweetness that the flower holds. I couldn’t have been more than two years old, and my mother was barely 21 when she showed me that mysterious treat. I remember the taste on my tongue and her gentle smile at my surprised reaction.
Mother’s day is coming up this weekend. I always made a big deal of Mother’s day for my mother, because she was so good to my brother and me. (It took getting married and leaving home to realize that.) She was raised in an extremely difficult situation, but she and my father never let that show through in our upbringing.
We lost my sweet, kind and gentle mother six years ago to pancreatic cancer, two days after her 56th birthday. For several years afterward, I was terribly sad on Mother’s day because she was gone. What a fool I was, for I am a mother and have three beautiful reasons to celebrate the day. Sometimes we get so busy mourning what we have lost that we forget to be grateful for what we have. Thankfully, I saw the light and no longer feel sad.
For many years, we took my mother to the Walker Sister’s cabin in the Smokies on Mother’s day and had a picnic. We would take along a blanket and fried chicken with all the fixings. It was a great way to spend an afternoon. I will do that with my family this Sunday. We will be bringing some homemade cookies too because after all, it’s not a picnic without something sweet.
Here is a recipe for a great traveling cookie that I make with good old fashioned lard. Yes, I said lard. Everything old is new again, and lard is in that camp. Store bought lard is okay, but if you can find someone who raises pigs and renders their fat, you will have yourself a super delicious treat! I have found the best lard at The Naked Pig in Oakboro.
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup Naked Pig lard
¾ cup sugar
1 TBS Powdered *Real Lemon Brand Powdered Flavoring*
2 cups self-rising flour.
Cream together first five ingredients then add flour. Roll into 1 inch balls and bake at 350 for 8 minutes.
Be sure to stop by and see me at the Locust Farmer’s Market on Thursday, May 5th from 11-4. I’ll have all sorts of goods for sale. Jams, Jellies, Handcrafted Soap, Herbal Salves, Homemade Bread and I might just have some of these Lemon Cookies.
That’s the news from the homestead, see you next week!
Throughout the summer our local Ace Hardware store is offering quite a few classes that center around the home. Gardening, herbs and soil preperation are on the agenda as well as the ones listed on the flyer that I am going to teach.
Click on the Local Classes link in the Navigation Bar, right under the website banner or here to learn more.
Hope to see you there!