Mrs. Willie’s Old Rolling Pin


I ran across Mrs. Willie’s old rolling pin as I was digging through my lost and found drawer. That is what I call that particular drawer because it is home to items we seldom use. There is stuff in that drawer that I haven’t looked at for years. Yeah, I’m not the most organized or neatest person in the world. Anyway…yesterday the lost and found drawer offered Mrs. Willie’s rolling pin along with an idea. I can’t take the credit for the idea because I have seen something like it on a TV commercial. The funny thing is when I was describing it to my husband the only thing I could remember to call it was ‘pin roller thingy’. That in itself is a statement to these modern times. Does anybody still use a rolling pin? You do?? Well, I’m not that good in the kitchen so my biscuit and pie crust making abilities are limited. If I can buy them instead of make them, I will. I used to try to make biscuits. My ex-husband used to throw them outside for the dog and then laugh when even the dog wouldn’t eat them. Did I mention EX-husband?

Ok, moving on.

My husband (NOT the ex) was raised by the most wonderful southern woman, in fact, the epitome of southern gentility with more home-maker talents that I could ever hope to have. She had her family spoiled to the nth degree with her domestic prowess. The love of my life told me his daddy always said they “didn’t have much, but they did have a roof over their head, clean sheets, and a bite to eat”. If you knew that family, you would most certainly understand that was a compliment of the highest degree.

When I tell you Mrs. Willie was a good cook, I’m saying she was a goooood cook. She had old-timey recipes like tomato gravy, gumbo, jambalaya, syrup cake, meatball stew, rice dressing, chicken gravy, wilted lettuce, mustard greens, and yes, biscuits and pies. Of course, in Louisiana, just about everything is eaten over rice. I remember her red beans and rice, her white beans (commonly known as navy beans) with ham hocks and the best cornbread I’ve ever tasted. Needless to say, her rolling pin was used often and with the love of a woman who’s focus in life was to 1) serve God and 2) serve her family. She was also very head strong, but that’s another story.

Back to the (brilliant) idea. I couldn’t see leaving the poor rolling pin in the lost and found drawer forever. Even though I don’t use it, and pretty much never will, I thought why not put it to good use? I took great pains to relay to the love of my life what I wanted to do to the rolling pin.

He was aghast and thought it a great sacrilege. Well, of course he would, we were talking about destroying his saintly mother’s rolling pin, her very own symbol of womanhood. At this point I must tell you that his mother and I had one thing in common – strong-headedness. Once I explained to my dear that using it as a towel rack was waaaay better than leaving it in the lost and found drawer, he caved. Poor thing. He mumbled something about his grandmother and his granddaughter while he set up the saw. Then it happened. He created an art work that I will cherish and enjoy forever! After he brushed away the tears -I mean sawdust- he saw the light and declared that using Mrs. Willie’s rolling pin for a kitchen towel hanger was a grand idea. He likes it, he likes it! It no longer languishes in a drawer where no one at all can appreciate it’s beauty and remember it’s history and the loving hands that worked it for years. I love it, and better yet, my darling husband loves it too.

Tell me, how do you like it?

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He cut it in half and then put a 30 degree edge on it to angle it in an upward position.

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If you want to do this project, be sure to pick a rolling pin that is solid and doesn’t have rotating handles. The type that rolls around will have a metal rod in them and that could wreck your saw if you’re not careful!

TA DA!

TA DA!

For the record, my husband spoils me much like his mother spoiled him. Trust me, he is spoiled. But so am I. He does 95% of the cooking and it is obvious who he learned that from. And he does things for me that he usually has to think twice about. Like cutting up a piece of his childhood. He did it just for me. It was a sacrifice. Does that remind you about anyone? Can you think of another who made a sacrifice he didn’t really want to?

Good grief, now I’m comparing Jesus Christ to a rolling pin! But it’s all about the sacrifice. Jesus stepped forward and made the ultimate sacrifice for people he loved. You. Me. He asked His Father to take the cup from Him, but that wasn’t the way it was supposed to happen. God’s design was that His Son would have to make a sacrifice for all of our lost souls, to offer a new beginning, a new life.

There are times in life when we all have to make a sacrifice we don’t want to make, but we do it for those we love. Kind of like cutting your mama’s old rolling pin in half. My love didn’t want to, but he did it because he loves me. It is no longer useless, as it was in the lost and found drawer. It has a new use, a new beginning of service that symbolizes a strong familial love. I’m the lucky one who gets to lay eyes on that every day! And I thank him for the sacrifice he made for me.

Above all, and with my whole heart, I thank God for the sacrifice He made. I have a new beginning, a new life, precious love. I am so spoiled, er, I mean blessed!

pray for peace

Folks, won’t you do me a favor and bless the world by praying for peace?

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Eating Colors


Some times I surprise myself. If any of you follow facebook, no doubt you have seen a gazillion recipes and tips that will make your life easier. I copy and paste about a billion of the those that make my mouth water. The other day I saw a clip of a man putting together salads for a week’s worth of lunches. He packed glass quart jars with all kinds of amazing stuff and stuck them in the refrigerator. “Easy peezy,” he said. All weekend I thought about jars full of lunch. So last night I did a market run and came home with all that you see in the photo below.

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I don’t work away from home but I love the idea of having a meal premade and ready to consume, preferably in large amounts. I am a foodie only in the sense that I like to eat. I don’t like preparation, I don’t like cooking, and most of all, I don’t like to plan menus. I do love it when someone else does the cooking. I really love it when a meal prepared by someone other than myself is beautifully presented. And don’t forget comfort food. Apparently I must need a lot of comforting because I love comfort food. We live in Louisiana, so comfort food here is anything with rice and gravy, potatoes, fried anything and sweets. I could live (and die) with any kind of deliciously sweet, preferably gooey, delectably chocolate or cinnamon desert. My favorite good group is cookie. Mr. Pete said I have well earned the title of cookie monster. I love them. And because I love deserts and comfort food, I expand, not only my worldly knowledge of good food, but also in girth. Therefore, it is my curse to discipline myself to occasionally diet, as in cut back, eat right, eliminate my favorite food group. It’s hard, but necessary. So when the salad-in-a-jar fellow came along, I thought ‘I can do this. I’ll eat better. Mr. Pete will eat better. It’ll be good.’ I said those things to myself even knowing how badly I hate to fix salads. Putting together several at one time sounded like a great idea which in turn takes the pressure off making sure I eat right. I’ve read that a diet full of fresh, colorful, uncooked fruits and vegetables can ward off inflammation, problem digestion, aid in healing, and make your skin glow. I’m in.

This morning I was determined to make salad-in-a-jar come hell or high water. I gritted my teeth and struggled into preparation mode. I had to clean, chop, and decide what foods would be palatable when paired together. I pulled all my bowls out of the cabinets and began to fill them with chopped veggies and fruits so assembling the salads would be easier than trying to make one at a time. See how my mind works? It ain’t pretty. As I worked, a rhythm began to develop. I don’t know, it was something about rocking the big knife on the cutting board as I chopped the crisp veggies. I’m sure the knife has a name but I don’t know what it is. Anyway, I made friends with it and together we put on quite a show. Food flew. But I got it done and, I must say, with a certain level of satisfaction. Maybe this thing called food prep isn’t so bad after all.

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Next up, assemblage. Salad-in-a-jar guy said to put the ‘wet’ stuff on the bottom of the jar, ie; dressing, tomatoes, etc., then follow with fresh what ever you want, saving the leafy greens for last. He said jam it in there till you can’t get any more in. That sounded easy and guess what? It was. My first combination started with pineapple. I bought a package of individual servings of pineapple chunks packed in 100% juice and used that instead of fresh pineapple because I didn’t want the hassle of … well … you know. It was easier with the pre-packed stuff. And I figured the juice would make a great dressing. On top of that I packed in sliced carrot, cauliflower, and so on until I got the jar about 2/3 full. Then I stuffed greens to the top and screwed the lid on. Keep in mind I am making two identical jars, one for Mr. Pete and one for me. Other combinations included salsa for the dressing, tomatoes, sweet peppers, avacado, broccoli, peaches, and leafy greens. I did not include any cooked meat, boiled eggs or onions in any of the salads like the salad-in-a-jar guy did, nor did I add seasonings other than fresh parsley. I’m kind of funny that way. I prefer to add it just before eating and I keep cooked chopped chicken and beef in the freezer for that purpose. I chose not to cut up the grape tomatoes because they would give off to much juice that way and I wanted to keep the ingredients as dry as I could so the salad would stay fresh longer. And I only used parmasean cheese and sparingly at that.

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I paired pickled beets with red cabbage, celery and carrots. I made a cole slaw dressing and topped it with green cabbage, dried cranberries, raisins, carrots, celery and romaine lettuce. I topped every jar with a tablespoon or two of sunflower seeds. One tip: you can eat the salad straight out of the jar if you use the wide-mouth kind. Just turn the jar over before you open it so that the dressing will coat everything first. Another dressing I used was extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar.

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I can’t even tell you some of the combinations of every salad I made, but I can tell you this – they were beautiful. The colors! Looking at the salad jars makes me hungry. It’s like salivating over a box of crayons.

By the time I made up TEN jars of salads, I had used nearly all of the fresh veggies and fruit with the exception of green cabbage, red cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, radishes, spinach, parsley, and pickled beets. I spent no small amount on all of this food, so I wanted to be sure not to waste even one little piece. I cooked the green cabbage with a little crispy fried bacon and put it in the refrigerator. Tomorrow I will stew a couple of potatoes with some Andouille sausage and bake a cornbread to serve with the cooked cabbage. Although I won’t eat it, my husband will be happy. Then I cooked the spinach and put it in the freezer. The broccoli and cauliflower too. As for the red cabbage, I boiled it in the juice from the pickled beets. Yum. It is going in the refrigerator to use later for garnishing, probably with roasted pork. I chopped up the parsley and am drying it. Mr. Pete likes to cook with parsley so he will be pleased. And the radishes? Well, they are still sitting in the bowl. I don’t know what to do with them. This bunch is particularly sharp and the one I ate gave me heartburn. Dang it, I hate that.

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I used some of the left overs for my lunch today.

So there you are. That took several hours and I am tired now. Despite the fact that today started off a painful one in terms of FMS, I accomplished quite a bit and I’m satisfied. I wish I would have gotten the floors done before I started another tangent, but on the other hand, if I had maybe I wouldn’t have done the salads. Oh well. The great thing is we have a week’s worth of salad lunches all made up and pretty enough to eat. I am sure my body will thank me. I don’t know if this will be a weekly jaunt or not but it was fun today.

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Finally, Ladies and Gentlemen, please please please pray for world peace and for impoverished people everywhere. I know very well that there are tons of people who don’t have the opportunity to eat food as wonderful as that which I have shown in this post. I urge you to pray, and if you can, put some action behind your prayers in any way you can to help others.

God bless you.