Nostalgia For Stories while Breaking Beans

In my youth, I considered breaking beans to be an enjoyable chore. I felt so grown up helping to break the beans for canning while spending time with my Mom. Now, I consider breaking beans an enjoyable nostalgic activity.
I watch documentaries while doing any sort of lengthy food prep like breaking beans. I some times wonder why it is that I prefer to watch a documentary instead of a regular movie.
Perhaps, it’s because when I was growing up and I’d help my Mom break beans, shuck corn, peel peaches or any one of many time consuming chores, she would tell stories that ran the gamut from silly to serious. The stories helped to pass the time and made the chore more enjoyable. I feel blessed and so very thankful to have these wonderful memories of my Mom.
A documentary is more personal than a movie, it’s like folks sitting around sharing stories of their experiences and thoughts. I suppose watching a documentary while breaking beans is my feeble way to relive a tiny bit of the special story telling moments from my youth.

Wishing you all many happy moments this week.

 

 


 

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Cheese Puffs, a Cautionary Tale – Flashback Friday

Sometime ago, I was cutting across our local department store trying to take the shortest route between the craft isle to the fishing isle where my husband was shopping. I was weaving in and out of isles I don’t usually frequent and as I darted through the party favor isle my eyes happened upon these wonderful little tongs.I had been searching for little tongs like this for years. It never occurred to me to check in the party stuff for them. There’s 6 of them for less than $2.00. I happily put them in my cart and bought them.These little tongs are perfect for cheese puffs, pickles, chips, marshmallows or most any little snacks.
I usually use a fork to eat cheese puffs with. I like the tongs much better.

As I was photographing the tongs to make a post about how handy they are, I remembered a fun post from my ex-blog about cheese puffs. I dug through my files, found the post and made a few edits. Since I don’t have that blog anymore and I have several New Blogging Buddies & Readers, I’m going to post it again.
It makes me smile to share this with you. I hope it gives you a bit of a smile too.
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Cheese Puffs, a Cautionary Tale

When my grandson was a little boy, he’d asked me many times, “Grandma, Why do you eat Cheese puffs with a fork? You’re the only person I know that eats cheese puffs with a fork.”
I’d tell him, “I don’t like to get the cheese crumbs under my fingernails.”
But for some reason, my explanation would get lost and again, the next time he had cheese puffs, even if I didn’t eat a one, we’d have the same conversation.I was thinking about cheese puffs and my grandson asking me over and over again about why I eat them with a fork. I remembered a fond childhood memory about a funny conversation I had with a special Uncle about cheese puffs. For a few minutes I mused if maybe it has something to do with my odd quirk of character of eating cheese puffs with a fork.

When I was a child, we had a big family. Chili was an affordable hearty food to feed many hungry mouths. Unfortunately, I was the only member of the family that couldn’t eat chili. It just didn’t agree with me. So, When Mom would make chili, she’d have my Dad take me to the local grocery store and buy me a can of chicken noodle soup and a bag of cheese puffs.
Also whenever I had a cold or tummy ache or other childhood ailment, cheese puffs and chicken noodle soup was a couple of foodies that would pull me through.I had a wonderful Uncle who was big as a mountain with a heart as big as the sky. He loved to tease us young’uns. He and my Aunt happened to be visiting once when Mom made up a huge batch of chili. Mom and my Aunt took me to the store and bought me my chicken noodle soup and cheese puffs.

That evening when everyone had finished their chili, I was still munching on my cheese puffs, I had learned to make them last since they were a rare treat.
My Uncle asked me why I was eating chicken noodle soup and cheese puffs instead of chili.
I told him that I couldn’t eat chili. I then offered him a cheese puff.
He said he would never eat a cheese puff because he didn’t trust them.
Then he told me an amusing story that has stuck with me my whole life.

My Uncle said when he was a little boy, he loved eating cheese puffs. Unfortunately, his hands would get cheese crumbs all over them and he’d need to wipe them a lot. He didn’t have a napkin handy and didn’t want to ruin his shirt or pants, so he’d wipe his hands off in his hair. And oh what glorious locks of hair he bragged he had as boy.
Sadly, one morning after he had eaten a bunch of cheese puffs the night before, he woke up and his hair had turned curly and yellow like cheese puffs and then it all fell out.
This, he explained, was why he was bald-headed even as a grown man because his hair never grew back. He refused to ever eat cheese puffs again. He warned me to be careful because it could happen to me too. Then he gave a hearty laugh and patted me on the head.

I remember giggling at his silly cheese puff story. Even though I knew he made the story up, I kept my hands washed and the cheese puff crumbs out of my hair just to be sure.

I wish my Uncle was still with us, I’m sure he would tell my Grandson the same amusing cautionary tale about eating cheese puffs. I’m so thankful that my Uncle took the time to make up a silly story to share a laugh with me.

~*~

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend filled with smiles and special moments.

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A Half Century of Garden Doll

Once upon a time circa the late 1800’s or the early 1900’s a family lived at a home-place snug in the southern countryside. Unfortunately, sometime in the early/mid part of the 1900’s, the homeplace burned and the family sold the land and moved away.

The ruins of the burned homeplace were cleared and the land went back to scrub and wilderness. After many years had passed, the new owner sold the land to my parents.

It was the mid-sixties. Our house didn’t set on the same spot where the original house had sat. The area where we think the house had burned was really flat. My folks cleared trees and underbrush and made a huge garden. There wasn’t any sign that a house had been there except for the bits of broken things that was unearthed from disking the soil and washed up by rains.

My Garden doll pieces collection started with my finding a little bisque doll leg. I was about 6 years old then and oh what a treasure it was. I’d never seen a bisque doll before.  I walked the garden as often as possible after that, especially after rains. Over the years, I found a couple of body pieces and I was sure that one day I’d find the head and rest of it.

I spent alot of time as a child walking the garden hoping to find any treasure that might have surfaced. Rocks mostly and broken bits of dinnerware was the usual, sometimes an old rusty piece of metal, but every now-and-then, something wonderful would surface. The coolest of the findings were the doll parts, a bottle, a coin and an old thimble. The doll parts have always been like my special little treasures. I never had the heart to throw them away. The funny thing is, that I kept the leg and body parts for decades. I even moved a half dozen times and I still hung on to the little box of broken dirt stained parts. Isn’t that strange?dpartsDuring the Summers of 2007 & 2008, my brother, who still lives at our family home place, found part of a doll face , a doll hand, 2 doll feet and miscellaneous other parts as well. My brother sent me the doll parts to add to the slowly growing doll parts collection. My brother became quite knowledgeable about the antique dolls after he found the doll face. He and I had many conversations about the doll parts and the antique methods of the body styles and makings of dolls. There were so many clever and creative ways that dolls were made and put together back then that there is no telling what any of the dolls originally looked like that our parts went too.

famdolI’ve wondered many times about the little girls that originally owned the dolls. I feel they must have been so sad and unhappy to lose their precious little playmates from the fire and moving away. At that time in the south, bought dolls were quite a special thing for country folks to have. I picture in my mind the little girls giving the dolls life, making them dance and sing; giggles and tea parties and sleeping snugly in their little arms. It must have been such good fun to share so many precious moments with the little bisque dolls.

The gardening days of our old home-place has passed for now. The doll parts collection ends with the ones I have. No more treasures will be found unless erosion uncovers them or a puppy-dog digs them up. I realize our garden doll will never hold any value for anyone except for the nostalgic and sentimental value I feel about it. It’s a fun heirloom and brings a bittersweet nostalgic smile to my heart. I’m happy to be the keeper of this treasure.

I occasionly search for info on any of the doll parts or the dolls they go to. I would love to hear any info that you may have and share with me about these parts or these old dolls?

Wishing you all happy treasure finds this week!

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Fine Feathered Banana

pml-2016This collage photo is compliments of my BFF.  This is her parakeet, Banana.
BFF grows herbs for Banana to keep him healthy and happy. Usually she’ll put the herbs in his cage, but the other day she had an idea to put him on a stand next to a basil plant. Oh what a jolly good time Banana had snacking on the plant.

Thank you BFF for sharing your collage of sweet little Banana, he’s is adorable.

Wishing you all a jolly good day.

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