Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Summer Kitchen Gifts

Once a long long time ago when I was married to my first husband and living in a small rental home in a nearby town my daddy came to bring me something, sat and chatted with me a minute and then went on. A few minutes later my telephone rang, and it was Mom. "What in the world are you thinking?" she immediately began the "helpful" conversation. It seems my dear dad (who never ever criticizes me---to my face) had gone on home and divulged some juicy news. I was sitting in a pretty messy house, boxes of this and that, tasks to do, laundry to fold, probably dusting and vacuuming, etc...--- But that wasn't the problem. I was PLAYING! I was making all kinds of little decoupage crafts that made my heart go pitty pat.... According to Mom, the domestic diva, one mustn't do knickknack "stuff" until all is clean.... I didn't believe her, but gradually through two marriages and a lot of veering off the course of my true self, I decided she was probably right about this one too. (My mom has a nasty habit of being right.) So, I put off all kinds of lovely capers until my "house was C.L.E.A.N.--- translation: never). Well, suddenly I've developed a penchant for my old self. I have started in the past few months to putter, despite the state of the house. It hasn't really made a bit of difference in the look of the house. It's still clean most/some of the time, but what is different are the little artsy craftsy projects that have started to emerge. Today's was a little kitchen gift for my mom. Today my daddy is 83 years old. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Dad! So along with his gifts I'm giving her a little something. I covered a cheese box with contact paper and ribbons and stuck in a special orange cinnamon tea I ordered from Gevalia. And the Summer Cookies are a favorite timesaver of mine, which I'll share because I've been so blessed, gifted, and inspired by all the bloggers who so unselfishly share their ideas and inspirations. This is the recipe: One cake mix, 1/2 c. oil, 2 eggs, anything else you might want to add. The variations are, as you might guess, as endless and varied as cake mixes, spices, joo joo's, and chips, nuts, coconut, pieces of banana chip, raisins, craisins and orange zest! yum).... I have made this probably a hundred or more times in the past few years. I have NEVER shared my recipe. I ordered my son to secrecy because it was soooooo easy. To make the jars, print out a tag with the recipe minus the mix and add-ons. Simply dump a cake mix, spices, chips in a jar. Add contact paper or lace, ribbons, a tag.... yep, it's that easy. I think I perfected that EASY button they're talking about on TV... I was having a big time until I couldn't find my real paper punch. I had to use the spare one I carry in my makeup bag. (I personally can't be without a paper punch.) I sent my son to the car to get it, made a proud and loud single punch and tucked the punch away. "You can't be serious! One punch?" he stammered. You see, I had a son. He doesn't get the aesthetics of a paper punch hole vs. an ink pen punched one.... or a tag, or roses, or any of this foo foo.... But on the brightest side of it all, he loves me, loves my cookies, and couldn't give a flip if my house is cluttered or not! Enjoy!

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