Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sisters & Snow Drops

Yesterday, Shirley, my "BFFSG" (Best Friend From Seventh Grade) hosted me and my 2 sisters for lunch.  She moved from Seattle back to Oregon several months ago and my sisters and I have adopted her as our 4th sister.  She made bean soup and pumpkin corn bread - it was DEEEEliscious!  My little sister Denise brought a salad and big sister Roberta brought fried potatoes.  
As I was admiring Shirley's decor I was surprised to see a painting done by me using Octopus ink - I'd given it to her for a Christmas gift in 1978 - and she finally framed it for their new home!  :-)  It only took her 35 years to get it framed.. LOL!  It was fun to see it again.  It's a photo of a covered bridge that was near my Mom's home in Scio, Oregon years ago.  Every time we'd visit, we'd pass this gorgeous bridge.
This is the pumpkin corn bread that Shirley made - omg, it's so good!  I will put both recipes for the soup and the bread at the end of this post. 
Shirley and her husband John, collect depression glass.  I coveted this Vaseline glass butter dish, the top says "Butter Cover" and the bottom says "Bottom".  :-) 
They have this great lighted display cabinet filled with glass and pottery treasures.   
Her newest acquisition is the amethyst glass vase, which I fell in love with.  It's gorgeous.  She collects violin vases as her mother had one.   
Ready to dine, this is Shirley at the head of the table and sister Roberta - or "Berta".   
Little sister, Denise. 
Everything was outstanding, we had such a nice lunch, thank you, Shirley! 
Shirley shared a jar of home made canned peaches that her brother's other half made - over some vanilla Haagen Dazs ice cream for dessert.  YUM! 
 Shirley also framed a card I painted for her in Sumi Ink - gold fish & seaweed.
We chatted away the afternoon in their living room, I love my sisters!  We just went to town today and I got some lab work done for my yearly doctors visit - then went to lunch at Red Lobster -- boy were we hungry as it was a fasting blood draw.  When we got home I noticed that the Snow Drops are in bloom!  Wow, our first flowers of Spring - in bloom in February!!  I do believe we might have an Early Spring - yay!
My Portland Women's Forum meeting is tomorrow - they are going to have a cake after lunch with the names of all the living Presidents (of the forum) - my name will be on there.  I served as President for 3 years.  How is your week going?  I want to thank those of you who take the time to leave a comment for me, I really appreciate it.  I also want to welcome those of you who are new to my blog.  Nice to meet you!!  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Shirley's Beans:

1 15-16oz can each of kidney, butter, garbanzo and back eye peas (I like black beans instead) or any other bean you like.  Drained.
1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1 onion
1 to 2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 32 oz container of broth.  I use vegetable, chicken or beef depending on the meat choice.  I also add more liquid in the form of broth or water as needed if the liquid is being boiled away.
1 to 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon chili powder or more if needed
1/4 cup red wine
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion and garlic, brown the meat, add all the other ingredients, cover and simmer for 60 minutes

Sweet Potato or Pumpkin Cornbread:  Gluten Free

3 large eggs
1/2 cup extra light olive oil, vegetable oil or grape seed oil (I used grape seed oil and really liked it)
3/4 cup sweet potato or pumpkin puree
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup organic stone ground cornmeal
1 cup Pamela's Ultimate baking mix - (or your own flour mix with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and a good pinch of sea salt added)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (I've also used the prepared pumpkin pie mix in a can, so I didn't have to use the list of spices in the recipe)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease the bottom of a 8-inch cake pan and dust it with cornmeal.

In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs until foamy; add the oil; whisk again to combine.  Add in the sweet potato or pumpkin puree and mix well.  Add the light brown sugar, and vanilla extract, and mix to combine.

In a separate mixing bowl whisk together the dry ingredients:  cornmeal, gluten-free flour mix, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice blend, and sea salt.

Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, add the dry ingredients into the wet; and stir by hand just enough to make a smooth batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.

Bake on a center rack in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes or so, until the cornbread is firm to the touch and golden.  

Cool the cornbread in the pan - on a wire rack - for ten minutes.  Remove from the pan and continue to cool.

Serve slightly warm with a dab of your favorite butter or buttery spread.


  1. The soup recipe is something I will be trying. A perfect winter recipe. LOVE the glassware she collects!

  2. Thanks for another good visit, Teresa. I am sitting here smiling at you as I type.

    I'm so glad you enjoyed another good 'sisters' visit! I loved seeing more of your art work: paintings and photos. The close up photo of the glass with the rooster is especially stunning to me.

    I am going to copy off the recipes! Yummy looking [and gluten free]!

    Your snow drops are lovely and I just read a really neat post Sophie wrote about snow drops that you might enjoy reading as well.


  3. Oh, my! What a nice lunch..I'm making that pumpkin cornbread as soon as I can! Thanks for sharing

  4. Oh I just noticed please explain flor mix I want to get it right...thanks again...

    1. This is the answer to your question from my friend who gave me the recipe.

      If they are using their own flour mix (just regular flour or their own gluten free flour mix) they must put the baking soda, baking powder and salt in the recipe.

      If they're using the Pamela's mix all they have to add is the baking powder and salt.

      So they can make it with regular wheat or white flour or make a gluten free mix of their own or Pamela's. The gluten intolerant people know whether they put those ingredients in their flour mix or not.

  5. I'd say you have had some really nice lunches lately. Everything looks so lovely at Shirley's house, including the yummy food. So glad you had a lovely time. Do you get to eat the piece of cake with your name on it?
    Hugs to you,

  6. What a wonderful lunch and to be able to spend it with sisters! Shirley's house is lovely and I love the depression glass. Have a wonderful rest of the week.


  7. I'm fascinated by that pumpkin corn bread - it looks nice. I don't think we have that kind of thing here - unless its known as something else. Looks like you had a lovely meal with your sisters and friend. Teresa, you have such talent - your art work is fantastic - isn't it great that your friend has framed something you painted so long ago. She's a lucky lady. xoxox

  8. Thanks for the recipes! I'm for sure going to try the pumpkin cornbread. It sounds and looks yummy! I envy you with your snow drops blooming. Our snow drops are the kind that pile up into large snow banks not pretty spring flowers! I like yours better!!!

  9. Glad you had such pleasant time with your sisters! Shirley's house look same cozy and neat as yours :) I loved the meals on our plate, gorgeous! Theta depression glass container is nice, I find colored glass quite beautiful.
    Have a lovely day!

  10. And yea!!! You are so talented - your paintings are very nice! Loved that gold fish in Japanese style :)

  11. Teresa, that painting is wonderful! What a treasure for her to have! I loved the covered bridges when I was in Oregon!!!
    Fun post!!!
    xo Kris

  12. Mmmmmmm! Your lunch looks delicious and the company even more so. I think I'll be trying that pumpkin cornbread recipe soon. I baked bread today, (plain white) and it was really yummy. I enjoy baking and hubby likes eating it!

    I love that lavender vase, my favorite color you know! :-). You are indeed a woman if many talents. Such stunning paintings.


  13. Hi Teresa, It looks like you are having a great week. I am going to make that soup and cornbread tonight for supper. It looks so good. Your artwork is amazing too. I love all the different things you make. So talented. XOXO Kashi.

  14. You always have the nicest lunches Teresa! I don't think I have ever tried pumpkin cornbread....but this looks REALLY good. I think I might try this one! Thanks for sharing your recipe! Oh, and I must tell you, If I haven't are very talented....your art work is beautiful. I can't draw anything but my mom and older sister can....your work reminds me of some of the things my mother draws. Really love the bridge, I think I was 10 years old when you drew that....very very nice! Take pictures of the cake at your meeting tomorrow....what a "sweet" honor...I would love to see it!

  15. Hello Teresa so enjoyed your post. Your lunch looked delicious. Your paintings are so lovely. Such pretty glassware as well. Love and hugs Anne x

  16. Looks like a wonderful day! I noticed the addition of mustard to the soup. That's an interesting idea. I add it to cheese sauce, but never to soup. That would add some nice flavor.

    Lovely artwork and her glass is nice too.

  17. Oh dear. I made the mistake of reading this at lunch time...not smart. I wanted to crawl through the screen to get to that lunch!

    Love your artwork! Such a talented lady!

  18. What a yummy looking lunch! Yum-O. That pumpkin cornbread sounds good. Would like to try that some day. You've had a busy week!

  19. You have had a nice couple of days! How wonderful to be so close to your sisters and still be in touch with a friend from so long ago. I loved seeing your artwork, you are very talented. And you and your sisters all look a lot alike! Your lunch looks delicious, thank you for sharing the recipes!

  20. Well, I don't think I knew that you are blessed with the painting capability too! Good grief woman! You are oh so talented!! The bridge is gorgeous, but that can just feel its movement! All the food looks divine. I'm fascinated by the gluten free cornbread since I'm a Paleo lifestyle girl and have been since last August! No flours, sugars or processed foods and 40 pounds later...I'm seeing results. I have more to go. Question is, do I want my mind to taste cornbread and start thinking about it again? Abstinence might just be safer. So many trigger foods in my life! Great post, Teresa, loved it.


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