Archive | July 2012

Apple Tart

Much like her mom, Mom could watch someone create an epicurean delight and then recreate it …. nearly the same, if not better. I know, I watched her do it many times.

A few weeks ago, I once again followed in Mom’s footsteps. I had seen an apple tart being created on the Food Network. How easy the presenter made  it look. I knew I could make it, so I quickly wrote down the ingredients and made a note of the baking temperature and time.

Apple Tart

preheat oven to 400 degrees
one pre-made puff pasty — thawed and placed on a parchment covered baking sheet
cinnamon, lightly sprinkled over puff pastry
two or three tart apples of your choice, depending on the size, peeled and thinly sliced, placed on the tart
a couple tablespoons of sugar sprinkled over the apples — adjust to your taste
another light sprinkle of cinnamon, if desired
two tablespoons butter cut into small cubes and dotted over the apples

bake in your preheated 400 degree oven for 40 minutes…. until apples are tender and pastry is golden brown

near the end of the baking time, spoon some apricot preserves into a sauce pan (about 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup), add a bit of water to thin, cook over a medium-low heat until bubbly

at the end of the cooking time, remove the tart from the oven and brush on the heated apricot preserves

cool a bit – slice – serve – enjoy

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What Me, a Trouble Maker???

I remember hearing my middle name quite a lot as a child. 🙂

Even an ‘enhanced’ name… Mom ‘enhanced’ both my first and middle names when I was in trouble…

I had heard my ‘enhanced’ name so much so that when I was in fourth grade I started writing the ‘enhanced’ name on my school papers. Mom saw the papers and asked me why I used that name. “That’s my name.” … “No, that’s what I call you when you are in trouble.” ….. ’nuff said.

My first and middle names consist of four letters each…. when I was in trouble with Mom and she wanted to emphasize that, she’d ‘enhance’ my names to six letters in the first name and seven letters in the middle name.

If the ‘enhanced’ name did not get my attention, she’d get it in another way. And, looking back, I had deserved the punishment. She was a fair disciplinarian and a great Mom. She wanted her children to know their boundaries and grow up to be good people.

Helen Blessings…

WOW……………. I totally got a “Helen” Blessing the other day.

I’d had another crappy day and another headache. Yes, I was at work… at a job where we’re short-handed and unfortunately at one of the two busiest times of the year… fiscal year end. I left for lunch to get away from the office and run an errand at Home Depot…along the way I saw a Swallowtail Butterfly…. aka Mom…. At Home Depot, I got the paint I wanted (NEEDED) and saw my friend’s husband Carl… Carl told me that Sue was in the Garden Center… so I went to surprise her and soak up some laughter and healing vibes…

AHHHHHHHHH, turned around my day…………….
all I have to say is..
“Thanks Mom!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Just had to share … I was so in need and I received.

You see, my Mom, Helen, loved butterflies, dearly loved them. So much so that they are a fond reminder of her gentle spirit. I think that she may have had them as a guardian… now, I do. My husband Jeff also sees them as a guardian spirit and counts them as “Helen blessings” too.

The first actual “Helen blessing” I remember experiencing was when I had taken one of my nieces over to the Oregon Coast. This was in summer, after Mom passed away in January 2003. We had stopped at a lighthouse to take a tour. While taking photos, out front, a butterfly – a swallowtail butterfly – followed us around. She even landed on the seed head of some tall grass, pausing just long enough for me to take a good photo. Then she floated away, yet never far from us. I had a calm feeling as if Mom was right there enjoying our day with us. I still get these feelings ….  a great calm …. such a peaceful feeling that all will be okay, things will get better. Mom is nearby not about to let anything bad happen. And thankfully, more often she’s just floating by to say “Hi” and enjoy some time with me.

Regardless of why, I am always happy to receive a “Helen blessing.”

This particular day, what felt like a lousy day, ended to be a good day… thanks to the “Helen blessing” and the opportunity for me to see my long-time friend Sue.

Mom always knew exactly what I needed and she still does. I know I was directed to Home Depot on that day and so was Sue…. seeing the “Helen blessing” on the way is proof enough.