Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Brunch Favors and Zinnia Love

Is there another flower that speaks summer more than a zinnia? I always loved the rows of zinnias and marigolds we planted in our garden when I was a little girl. Somehow, the bed of strawberries was nice, and it was coated with straw... but it spelled "work." The green beans, as I recall, were a boon to our home. I love green beans, and I don't mind snapping them or picking them on the "first pick" round. I dreaded the second pick job, where we got only a few stragglers and had a few hullies, the beans usually dotted with rust... The canning, however, was always exciting. I got to load the jars, salt them, and wipe off the mouths before Mom carefully placed the lids and rings... Then the huge pressure canner with its inherent danger and hisses. Mom's worried checking came next. She dreaded a big explosion as much as I was super-charged by the idea of one. Thank goodness, a catastrophe never happened in our kitchen----- although the pressure meter shot off the top of our cooker once when Mom was cooking her famous pot roast for Daddy. In our garden were tomatoes, which I adored because we could take whole, ruby "maters," (and the salt shaker) out on the picnic bench and eat them whole... Dad's favorite crop, the sweet corn, tickled hot and scary on my face, and sometimes we had those big corn worms leering out of the top of the ears at me. I hated the corn! I loved freezing corn, though. I loved to plunge the hot ears into first and second soak ice water baths. I loved eating the planks of cold corn that Mom cut off the cob. I loved scooping the corn into the bags.... But the worms and the silking still ruined the experience of growing our own sweet corn. I always saved some of the few peas we grew and froze for the first snow. I enjoy "popping peas, and freezing them for later. I still cook peas for the first snow, even though they come from Schwann's. BUT the flower rows were my favorite.... frivolous, for no reason other than decoration. True wealth was taking the scissors out to our garden and cutting a bouquet for our table. I miss that.
Growing up, I loved it that this was our iced tea pitcher. I can remember when blue stoneware was at such a premium by many (I still adore it), our guests ranted and raved about Mom's pitcher. "How can you stand to use this? What if we drop it?" Mom always replied that she loved to use her pretty things. Now the filled pitcher is way too heavy for her to handle, so we use it more for decoration. She and Daddy proudly wrapped this pitcher's twin for my Christmas surprise about ten or so years ago. They had found it at an antique shop... and probably paid for it, too!!!! I was always kind of relieved to have a backup for this pitcher. I love it... I love it with zinnias or with roses... or even with bills tucked inside it!

Bevier Homecoming begins officially tomorrow, and today there was a bunch of people who decided to go to Ugo's. We have met here and there on the day before Homecoming for brunch for many years. I usually try to make favors, and these were my contribution this year. The envelopes are made from the pages of a large print dictionary I rescued from the trash at school.... and of course, I zipped out the trains in honor of our locomotive. Yep, the cricut did them.. each guest found a package of hot cocoa mix inside....
Have a great week.


Becky K. said...

Those favors are so very cute.

I am featuring my Mom's zinnias on tomorrow's Outdoor Wednesday post.
They are so colorful and fun.

Becky K.

Lisa said...

Zinnia's are the prettiest summer flower, so bright, big and they last a long time. Grandpa used to grow rows and rows of them. Have fun at the Homecoming, not sure if I'll make it or not. Thinking of you...