Bridal Satin Memories

There’s “wedding” in the air!

With my parent’s 50th Anniversary Celebration coming up this week-end and my niece’s recent engagement – it seems like every family conversation involves weddings.

It’s making me a bit nostalgic. 🙂

But then spring always brings back memories – I starting dating Jan in the spring and he asked me to marry him a little over a year later.

When I heard about the super-romantical proposal my niece received – it made me wonder – how did Dad propose to Mom?

I remembered back to the afternoon when Jan proposed to me.

It was sweet.

It was simple.

It was Jan.

It was (and is) priceless.

But the proposal is just the beginning – then the wedding planning starts!

Fifty years ago my mom made her own wedding dress on her treadle sewing machine. She went on to make wedding dresses for all four of her daughters – me included.

Last week-end she cut into bridal satin once again as she started on my niece’s wedding dress.

I remember how exciting it was to see all that beautiful satin laying there – and knowing it was going to turn into the wedding dress I would wear down the aisle to marry the man of my dreams!

I’m sure my niece was as starry eyed as I – as she watched Mom lay out the material and pattern.

I know she was excited when she heard about the white Bible tradition!

When Mom got married she carried a small white Bible she received from her grandma. All of my sisters and I carried it with our bridal bouquets as well.  As soon as my niece heard the story – she was anxious to “carry” on the tradition.

I’m glad that in the midst of all this planning and excitement we have a weekend together to remember what all the fuss and preparations are about.

It’s about a man and a woman promising before God to love and honor each other till death do they part.

It’s not just about bridal satin and white Bibles – they are only the beginning – the celebration!

It’s really about the marriage.

The commitment.

My folks have kept it for 50 years.

Now that’s a tradition to pass on!

Bachelor Bars

Here’s a yummy classic from Nana and my youngest sister – who has spent time at Mom’s while her husband is traveling on business! Sure wish I was there too…

bachelor barsOur daughter was baking a cake and had some sweetened condensed milk left. Rather than put it in the refrigerator, where it would probably get lost & forgotten, she whipped up these Bachelor Bars. They are named because easy to make with few ingredients! They look & taste yummy enough to impress anyone! (She halved the recipe and put them in a 8″x 8″ pan.)

Bachelor Bars

(From Sandy’s Kitchen)

  • 1 packet graham crackers
  • 1 stick butter or margarine
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips

Melt the butter/margarine. Crush the graham crackers and put in bottom of 9”x13” pan. Pour melted butter/margarine over the crackers, mix and pat into bottom of pan. Pour milk over graham crackers. Pat coconut into the milk. Sprinkle chips over ingredients. Bake 350 ° for 20-25 minutes. Let cool. Bars will thicken as they cool. Cut & serve. Leftovers do freeze well.

Till next time!

Mixed Fruit Jam

My Mom (otherwise known as Nana) is my guest blogger today and once again shows us that creativity in the kitchen is the key to frugal living…

Mixed Fruit Jelly

Snow flakes are flying past our window, but melting as they touch the ground. Papa & I decide that today would be a good day to defrost the freezer.

To be honest, the reason we defrost is to be able to get reacquainted with the contents! All summer and fall we bring in produce, pack it in freezer bags and stack it in the freezer.

It is a gold mine that needs to be “dug” out occasionally.

Today we found a small bag of raspberries (the last picking before frost), a small bag of cherries that did not fit in the quart bag after last picking, a container of strawberries from a year ago, and another last of the season bag of rhubarb! On the counter was a basket of home-grown pears that are getting ripe.

Now what do we do with them? How about jam!

We followed the directions in our box of Surejell using an average amount of sugar listed for the fruits we had in the pan. Delicious!

I wonder if that’s why you have “mixed fruit” jelly on the restaurant table? Could it be the last little bit of all the flavors mixed together?

Until next time,


Crab Apple Jelly

Crab Apple Jelly

During a recent phone conversation, my Mom told me about the crab apple jelly she and dad had mixed up. She agreed to write it out and share it with us all. So here is my Mom (otherwise known as Nana) as a guest blogger:

We have tried for years to get a tree started to the west of our house for some cool shade. I’ve lost count of how many trees we’ve planted there!

Finally a crab apple tree lived more than a year! It has grown and produced fruit over the last few years, but never the size not the number that fill the branches this year!

Since the crab apple sits right outside our dining room window, it seemed to challenge us at every meal to do something with it’s fruit. Being the frugal people we are, we just couldn’t let it go to waste!

Papa and I had discussed the possibility of making some jelly with it, but he’s been busy with black walnuts and my list of in-house projects took priority- until this week. We looked at each other and said, “Let’s do it!”

Papa picked 3- 5 quart plastic buckets of crab apples while I surfed the web to find some information and recipes for crab apple jelly.

He suggested that we put some red-hot cinnamon candy in for a boost in flavor! (The grand kids can tell you that Papa likes to put red hot candies in lots of things- like the popcorn popper when making popcorn and adding them to pancakes!)

We decided that there was a reason for the name “crab”- definitely not sweet and almost bitter!

Was it frugal? With the cost of sugar, sure-jell and flats to seal the jars, I’m not sure. But the color is beautiful! And it tastes great! With all the sugar and the candies, it is delicious on bread, toast and crackers.

Prairie Crab Apple Jelly

Wash 3-4 gallons of crab apples. Remove stems (nail clippers work well) and blossom end. Discard any apples with blemishes.

No need to cut or core, just place the apples in a stock pot and barely cover with water.

Bring to a boil and 20-25 minutes until soft. (Too long will make them bitter.)

Pour through a fine strainer. In order to have clear jelly- DO NOT PRESS! Discard the apples.

Measure 7 cups of juice in and put in a deep pot (you will need room for it to boil.)

Add 9 cups of sugar and 1/2 cup of red hot cinnamon candies.

Stir constantly until you have a full rolling boil.

Add 1 box of sure-jell and continue to stir. Bring to a full rolling boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim foam from the top. (One recipe said that you could add 1 tablespoon of butter to the juice to eliminate the foaming.)

Pour into sterilized jars and seal.

Yield 13 cups of jelly.


Until next time,

Travels with Papa & Nana