from our kitchen

Almost any time is the perfect time—who needs an excuse—to bake some of Nana’s famous Chocolate Chip Cookies. 

Or, one of  Papa D’s perfect Apple Pies.

THE best apple pie

Another interesting pass time we always enjoy is clipping new recipes to try out later. The old tried and true favorites are the family’s everyday standbys though.

My collection of recipes is online HERE 

Why not take a minute and skim through it? Oh, and you’ll want to add it to your bookmarks so you don’t forget where we keep it.

While I’m at it, I’ll share some links to a few of my favorite kitchens

lots to look at, lots to eat!

 We love to surf for great FOOD LINKS when time permits. Mostly we stay too busy being busy to do much surfing. So. . . if you’ve got any really great ones to suggest, drop us an e-note and we’ll run on over and check it out. We might even add it to our own List.

spelled backwards
is desserts.

quick kitchen a b c’s

 Add a small amount of quick cooking oats or grated potato to a stew to thicken it.

 Bag apples, with green pears, peaches or tomatoes to help them ripen more quickly.

 Chicken soaked in buttermilk for 3-4 hours before cooking will be moist and tender.

 Don’t salt vegetables during cooking; it draws out liquid and they won’t cook evenly.

In matters of style, swim with the current;
in matters of principle, stand like a rock.

Thomas Jefferson

Auntie’s kitchen is, and has always been, for me, the heart of the home. Some of my fondest memories from childhood center around the kitchen at my Auntie’s. I can close my eyes and see it plainly. A smallish room with one large, south facing window. A big round oak table and chairs centered in front of the window. A huge silver and black “Majestic” cook stove heated the room… winter AND summer. Cabinetry was an assortment of free standing oak pieces that were both beautiful and convenient. I’ve always thought someday I would reproduce it for my own kitchen. The only draw back being it would cost a small fortune to acquire such works of art in a modern antique store.

There was an oil cloth on the table and the accumulation of clutter from daily life on the farm found its way there between meals. Laying the table for dinner, my job when I stayed with Auntie, usually included putting away various and sundry misplaced items first.

A dark green roller shade, behind crisp white curtains, was lowered to reduce the sun’s glare on the table during the day. Sometimes, even now, the act of lowering the sun screens in my porch takes me back through time to that room. (I chose dark forest green shades to cut the glare. No doubt as a subconscious return to Auntie’s kitchen)

The smell of freshly baked bread, the act of whipping cream, and the feel of using a certain paring knife all have the ability to transport my memory back to Auntie’s kitchen.

laundry room secrets

To remove wet stains from table linens – pour lemon juice through wet fabric and sprinkle with table salt. Place in the sun for a few hours. Rinse then hang in the sun to dry. In warm weather lay them out on the grass to dry. Chlorophyll in the grass will naturally brighten whites.

To remove set-in stains – soak them in a washing machine filled with warm water and one cup of non-chlorine whitener or stain remover (such as Biz), then was with a mild laundry soap. Rinse twice to remove any leftover detergent.

To have beautifully crisp linens for your table – iron using a small amount of liquid starch in a spray bottle filled with water.

To store linens – choose a well-ventilated closet. Bundles of fresh or dried lavender or sachets will keep them smelling lovely and repel moths.

Folding starched linens for storage weakens the fibers along the fold. Instead, roll them around sheets of acid free tissue and tie them with ribbon. An added benefit… no creases to iron or flatten before use.

It is a common misconception that white sheets and towels should be bleached first and fabric-softened later. Bleach weakens fibers and fabric softeners reduce absorbency.

Wash linens in warm, gentle cycles and remove them from the washing machine as soon as the final spin cycle stops.

Line dry if possible. If you must tumble dry linens, remove them as soon as they’re completely dry. The longer they tumble around in that dryer, the sooner you’ll have to replace them.

a well-stocked linen closet

  • Purchase the best quality, 100% cotton, bed linens you can afford. The higher the thread count the softer, more supple and longer-lasting they’ll be. An ample supply would be:
  • Two sheet sets per bed
  • Two pillowcases for each pillow
  • Winter blankets and comforters suitable to your climate for each bed
  • A lightweight summer blanket per bed
  • 100% cotton towels are most absorbant. An adequate supply:
  • Two wash clothes, four hand towels and two bath towels for each family member
  • Guest linens – all of the above, plus two fingertip towels per person

A Day Of Worry Is More Exhausting Than A Week Of Work!


Cook Book Weights & Measures

Danish Lutheran Ladies’ Aid – 1924
2 cups lard make 1 pound
2 cups butter make 1 pound
4 cups flour make 1 pound
4 cups coffee make 1 pound
2 cups granulated sugar make 1 pound
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar make 1 pound
2 cups brown sugar make 1 pound
3 cups chopped meat make 1 pound
2 cups rice make 1 pound
2 cups stale bread crumbs make 1 pound
10 shelled eggs make 1 pound
2 tablespoons butter make 1 ounce
4 tablespoons flour make 1 ounce
3 teaspoons make 1 tablespoon
4 tablespoons make 1/4 cup
2 cups make 1 pint

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends,
To appreciate beauty,
To find the best in others,
To leave the world a better place,
Whether by a healthy child, a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition.
To know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived,
This is to have succeeded.

_Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some things we’ve learned
sitting at Nana’s kitchen table:

 A word of advice: don’t give it!


It is better for things to go in one ear and out the other
than to go in one ear, get all mixed up,
and then slip out of the mouth.

There Is No Heavier Load
Than A Chip On The Shoulder


Always Take Time for 10 Things

1. take time to WORK – it is the price of success.
2. take time to THINK – it is the source of power.
3. take time to PLAY – it is the secret of youth.
4. take time to READ – it is the foundation of knowledge.
5. take time to WORSHIP – it is the highway of reverence
and washes the dust of earth from our eyes.
6. take time to HELP & ENJOY Friends – it is the source of happiness.
7. take time to LOVE – it is the one sacrament of life.
8. take time to DREAM – it hitches the soul to the stars.
9. take time to LAUGH – it is the singing that helps with life’s loads.
10. Take time to PLAN – it is the secret of being able
to have time to take time for the first nine things.


Try to please everyone, all the time.