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* Good Old Fashioned Pancakes *


I ran across this recipe online, when I realized I didn’t have my trusted store brand box of pancake mix on hand. The recipe called for seven ingredients, and I happened to have all of them on hand. I was extra excited because just the night before I had made home-made syrup and suddenly I was taken back in time to “Little House on the Prairie” days. Awe, the small joys of life. 

Here are the ingredients:
  1. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 tablespoon white sugar
  5. 1 1/4 cups milk
  6. 1 egg
  7. 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  8. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
Here are the directions for making pancakes:

1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg, vanilla and melted butter; mix until smooth.
2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Helpful Tips
 
  • After mixing up all the ingredients I realized that it was a tad too thick, so I added more milk. 
  • Also, I think it would help cutting back on the baking powder to 2 teaspoons to lesson the thickness. 
  • I prefer less salt in my baking, and after tasting test I would recommend using 3/4 teaspoons salt  
  • Beat your egg, add the melted butter and beat lightly until blended. Then lightly beat in your milk (careful not to over beat your egg). Add to your dry mixture. Your result is a fluffy, delicious, good old fashion pancake. 

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” 
 ―  Julia Child  

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How to Make Pancake Syrup from Scratch


Is there a memory or smell from the past that comes to mind, that takes you right back to that very time, and makes you feel good all over? The smell of bacon cooking and hot pancakes early in the morning does that to me. With five small mouths to feed we had to find ways to make our money stretch. And there were times we would run out of certain items. One of those items was syrup. When that happened I would just get the ingredients out of the cupboard and make my own. It’s simple, easy and inexpensive. 

Here are the ingredients:

1 cup water
2 cups of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of Mapleine
Old empty syrup bottle

Here are the directions for making syrup at home:

Using a medium-sized saucepan, add 1 cup of water and two cups of sugar. The stove top should be set to medium. As the water heats up and the sugar dissolves, add 1/2 teaspoon of Mapleine. Mapleine is an imitation maple flavor that is sold in a small brown bottle next to the spice section in your grocery store. Stir occasionally as you let the syrup simmer for five to ten minutes. From my experience, the longer you let it simmer, and the more sugar you add, the thicker the syrup will become. When it has cooled you can either use it immediately, or place it in a container in the refrigerator over night. I like to make my syrup the evening before I’m going to use it. It seems that as it sits over night, it thickens better and does not absorb into your pancakes as quickly.

I really like the taste of store bought syrups, but I like saving money more. Plus, I like knowing what I’m eating.

Helpful Tips

The more sugar you use, the thicker your syrup will become.

This recipe can be easily doubled or even tripled.

You don’t have to worry about what’s inside.

Making your own syrup saves money.Image

Tomorrow is Going to be a Wonderful Day


Today was a very productive day.My husband and I went over to our daughters home to help clear out what use to be a storage room. But now had become an extra bedroom. See my grand daughter is driving here all the way from Florida. Hoping to better her young life by finding a better paying job. Florida can be a beautiful place to visit. But finding a good paying job is hard to find. I can’t wait to see her. I’ve missed her so much. I feel like running over to my daughters home right this very minute. Because it’s around the time she’s suppose to arrive. But it’s getting late, and I need to wake up at 4:30 am and take my sissy to the Mayo Hospital for surgery.

Tomorrow is going to be a wonderful day! I finally get to hold my Brittany in my arms again. ~ ❤ ~ ❤ ~

My Son the Artist


 

Portrait of Esther Huff  – By Randall Huff (My Son)

 

My Son

Randall Huff 

This post isn’t just any ordinary post. It’s near and dear to my heart, because it’s about a very talented young man, my son. I can’t wait to share with you all his talents. I am bursting at the seams and have butterflies in my stomach. 

Even as a small boy, I realized he had natural abilities. Whether it was drawing, making money or sports. it all came naturally. Drawing is one of his strongest points. When he was about four years old, I noticed he wasn’t drawing the typical circle with one or more lines in order to represent a human figure, which typically start out looking like “tadpoles” and then gradually become head-feet. His pictures looked similar to the average child at his age, except his pictures of human figures had ears, nose, and hair. Now, when it came to the concept of space, he was the normal four-year old (this continued until he was four and a half). He started to become more aware of the world around him, and any objects in his environment. I started to notice that the objects in his drawings weren’t organized on the page as you would expect. His typically appeared to “float.” 

 

I was still a young mother not familiar with children’s spatial organization. That came a few years later when I started working at a Child Development Center/ Preschool. I decided to take some classes in Early Childhood Development to help me become a better teacher and to aid in my own children’s development. I still had a lot to learn about how the small mind works. With all the hands-on and book smarts in early childhood development, I learned to have an eye in  early childhood development in art. I wish I would have known back then, what I know now. One of  things I learned about  creative development is that you  don’t tell a child his pictures are wrong or out of place.  When it came to my own son placing objects  like houses and trees in the air, I knew it was better for him to discover they do not float in the air on his own. Children need to discover this themselves. This helps bring out their creative development. If we interfere, it can stifel their creative development. Through the years his pictures developed into skillful master pieces. The one that stands out the most to me is the one I posted in the beginning of this post. It’s a portrait of me. I feel so honored.  Then I was blown away by the second picture which was a self-portrait of his own face. How incrediable is that?

I don’t know if it was me allowing him to develop his own creativity or this  talent was already there and just needed twinking.  But he went on to college and majored in Art. He was on the deans list throughout his college years. Several of his oil paintings and pencil drawing were on display in the gallery at the college he attended.  

I am so proud of the young man he has become. When he feels the passion running through his blood, he acts on it. Each piece becomes a work of art.

I once asked him, “Why don’t you do this as a full time job?” He replied, “Then it would become more of a job and I wouldn’t have any passion for it anymore.”

I thought about it. that makes sense. How creative can we be if it’s no longer fun, just a job?

 

I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say ‘he feels deeply, he feels tenderly.’

What Does Valentine’s Day Mean to You?


Larry & Esther Huff – Dec 1973 to Feb 2010

What does Valentine’s Day mean to me?

I just love Valentine’s Day. It’s one of my favorite holidays! It’s a day to show how much you love your special some one (loves ones); how much they mean to you.

I personally don’t think Valentine’s Day is just for couples. I include showing my children and grand children how important and loved they are too. Now when it comes to my husband, this other person comes out of me. I get all mushy, giggly and very romantic-minded, like I’m 16 again. I know that must sound so silly, but that’s what happens to me each Valentine’s Day. I can’t wait to wake up & see how the day will go. What does he have in store for us, this special day?

The thing is, he’s rarely been the romantic type of man. If we have plans out, it’s because I have preplanned our day. See, I learned a long time ago, that if I want something to happen, I’d have to make sure it did. Please!! Don’t mistake this for whining or complaining. It’s quite the contrary. My point is, I know somewhere in that brain of his, he had passing thoughts like, “I could take her to dinner, buy her some flowers or should I buy her a gift?” But for my husband to put that thought in action, well let’s just say, it rarely goes any further than a thought. So instead of me getting all down and walking around sulking, I just make the plans and arrangements. This way we both get something from this. I get to go out with the most wonderful, loving husband, and he gets to believe it was his idea. It works for us!

This Valentine’s Day would turn out to be different. My sweet husband put his thoughts into action. He held me in his arms and said, “I love you!” Those words meant more to me than he’ll ever know. Because when he looked into my eyes and held me so close, I felt his love for me. He made me feel like 16 all over again. Then he did one more thing that stole my heart. He had bought me 20 ruby red roses. Let me explain why this is was so special. You see, I can count on one hand how many times my sweet husband has bought me roses, in 36 years. Four times. Today became five. I know if he made this much of an effort, I truely feel loved! By the way, I still have the first rose he ever gave me. It’s pressed between two pages of our wedding album. Today I get to add one more rose to the collection.

Valentine Gift

On Valentine’s Day,
I’m thinking about
the special ways
you have made my life better,
the little things,
the not-so-little things…
your kindness,
the way you always listen
and pay attention to me.
You make my world
brighter and richer.
You’re a gift to me,
and I thank you
for being you.

Valentine’s Day means to me, SHOWING those “you” love how much you love them.

What does Valentine’s Day mean to you?