Category Archives: Family

Leefa Monica Wisner Hoag’s Banana Bread

This recipe is even older than Leefa, who was nearly 100 years old when she died; it was her mother’s and might date back to the mid 19th century. But from all accounts, Mary Jane was an unpleasant woman, so I’ll give the credit for this wonderful recipe to her daughter.

I’ve been making it since the 1970s and it has never failed me yet.

(Don’t be off-put by the buttermilk. I never have it on hand. If you don’t have any, make a substitute by adding about 1 T. vinegar to 1/2 c. whole milk (scant). Let it sit about 10 minutes until it clabbers. Do this first and it will be ready by the time you add it to the batter.)

Makes 2 loaves.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat together:

2 eggs

1/2 c. shortening (I use vegetable oil and it works just fine)

1 c. white sugar

1/2 c. brown sugar

After thoroughly creamed, add:

2 mashed bananas (no chunks, at all)

Then add remaining dry ingredients:

2 c. flour

1t. baking soda

1/4 t. salt

1 t. cinnamon

Add:

1/2 c. buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla

After thoroughly mixed, add:

1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts

Pour into 2 greased (Pammed) loaf pans.

Sprinkle tops lightly with sugar (and maybe cinnamon).

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes on the middle rack in the oven.

Check with a toothpick or a slim knife. If toothpick doesn’t come out clean, turn down the oven temperature about 25 degrees, rotate pan and check again in 10 minutes. Keep checking until done.

When done, run a knife around the edge of the loaf pan to loosen, then remove the bread and place it on a rack to cool.

~~~~~Notes~~~~~

*To make muffins instead of loaves, add a little extra flour for a stiffer batter.

*The recipe calls for shortening. Years ago, I used a stick of butter or margarine, but now only use vegetable (canola) oil. It works fine.

*The recipe calls for 1 c. white sugar & 1/2 c. brown sugar. Sometimes I use 1 1/2 c. brown sugar (because I like a darker, richer loaf); other times I put in 1 1/4 c. white sugar and a couple of tablespoons of dark unsulphured molasses (Grandma’s brand).

*Cut off all the bad (dark) spots on the bananas.

*Mash bananas thoroughly. Any chunks can result in unpleasant pinkish colored lumps in the finished bread.

*If you dislike really, really ripe (over-ripe) bananas, don’t use them. Your bread will adopt the same wine-y flavor. I never eat bananas after they get any dark spots, but I will bake with them. However, I won’t use black bananas. Baking doesn’t improve them.

*I usually use 2 bananas, but if they’re small, 3. However, more than that will make a heavy batter and it might be difficult to get it completely done in the middle.

*Sometimes I use cinnamon, sometimes nutmeg. If I’m out of nutmeg, a bit of allspice. If you really just want the flavor of the bananas, omit all the spices.

*Nuts improve everything. Pecans or English walnuts both work fine.

*Sprinkling sugar on the tops helps keep the crust from becoming gummy and sticky after it cools. It also gives it a nice texture. I’ve tried sugar on the top of one loaf and none on the other – the sugared loaf always gets eaten first.

*Muffins take a much shorter cooking time. Check them after 20 minutes.

*On high humidity days, I’ve had to increase the cooking time. Just keep checking every 10 minutes or so.

*Is great served plain, with butter or softened cream cheese.

Happy baking!

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Filed under Baking, Family, Food, Recipes

Curtis Lee Edens, Sr.


Curtis Lee Edens, Sr.
1943 – 2017

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A Better Gift from a Better You

When your family and friends gather around this Thanksgiving and Christmas, give a gift that is priceless and cannot be bought in any store: time spent with the loneliest person in the room. That’s usually the elderly, but it could be anyone.

Because when the tree has been taken down and the decorations are put away, the shine is off of the presents and you’ve forgotten what you got and what you gave, the gift of your time and attention will still be a warm memory to the recipient.

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Filed under Christmas, Doing the Right Thing, Family, Kindness, Thanksgiving

Noddy

    WYNKEN, BLYNKEN and NOD

by Eugene Field

Greg Sheila and Noddy February

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe,–
Sailed on a river of crystal light
Into a sea of dew.
“Where are you going, and what do you wish?”
The old moon asked the three.
“We have come to fish for the herring-fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we,”
Said Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.
Noddy kitten

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe;
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew;
The little stars were the herring-fish
That lived in the beautiful sea.
“Now cast your nets wherever you wish,–
Never afraid are we!”
So cried the stars to the fishermen three,
Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.
Noddy February III

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam,–
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home:
‘Twas all so pretty a sail, it seemed
As if it could not be;
And some folk thought ’twas a dream they’d dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea;
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

Noddy February

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one’s trundle-bed;
So shut your eyes while Mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:–
Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod. Joe and Noddy at the piano

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Filed under Cats, Family

Spider Spoiler

(A warning just in case anyone has a spider phobia.)

One of our sons is an artist and he’s been doing some metal work lately.

Since spiders aren’t on my phobia list, I think these fellas are kind of cute. He might not have intended that kind of description, but it’s a mother’s prerogative.

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Filed under Art, Autumn, Family, Welded

Fun with Dick and Jane, part III, Transportation

These pages are from the Basic Reader “Fun with Dick and Jane”, by William S. Gray and May Hill Arbuthnot. Illustrated by Eleanor Campbell and Keith Ward. Scott, Foresman and Company, 1946.

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Filed under 1946, Antiques/Vintage, Books, Children's, Ephemera, Family, Vintage Textbooks

Spring Update

Horsemint


So long since I last posted, but my husband has been very ill and my time has been taken up with those issues. He’s home from the hospital now and on the mend, so I plan to post a little more regularly.

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Filed under Family, Springtime, Texas

Letters to Keep


Every day when we open the mailbox, don’t we all hope to see an envelope with our name handwritten on the front?

I hope for it every time, but the actual occurrence is rare now that my mother is in heaven.

For many years, my mother wrote me a letter every Monday. At least that’s the day she mailed it; it always arrived here on Wednesday.

Mama was a letter writer. She stayed in contact with her lifelong friends and relatives chiefly by correspondence. Long distance phone calls were usually reserved for my siblings and me. For most of her life, long distance phone calls were a rarity, and were charged to one’s bill in 3 minute increments; veritable luxuries.

Until I was an adult, all calls except local ones were placed through an operator; either person-to-person (the most expensive type but the only way you were guaranteed that you wouldn’t be charged if your intended recipient wasn’t home) or station-to-station. The only times long distance calls were placed or received from our house was when there was important news (usually a death) or an impending visit. I remember one costing $2.47. Converting 1963 dollars to current values, that would be somewhere around $15.00. Even in these freewheeling days, I don’t make $15 phone calls.

We lived in the same city as my parents during the first year of our marriage, so of course, she didn’t send letters then, but I received many in the ensuing years, when we were farther apart.

I don’t know at what point I began saving them, but I’m glad I did, because just seeing one of those familiar envelopes in her handwriting makes me feel good. She had lovely penmanship and wrote chatty, friendly little missives even after macular degeneration made it difficult to write on the unlined paper she preferred.

My mother had many, many admirable qualities. One was taking the time to give of herself and making sure that a loved one had something personal in with their delivered mail.

Because isn’t that what a letter is?

A gift of our time.

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Filed under Ephemera, Family, Thrift

Nativity Music Box and Christmas Cards

Today I hope to make Christmas cookies and get the house tidied for some of the family to come for our traditional Christmas gathering tomorrow. (I say ‘some of the family’ because we won’t all be here. Sadly, I misread the visitation schedule and we had to return our grandsons to our ex-daughter-in-law on Monday. Never mind that she had them last Christmas and the last 2 Thanksgivings.)

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Pearl Harbor Day

Didn’t have the post ready for today, but here’s the link to a previous one I wrote about Pearl Harbor.

You don’t have to have been a visitor here very often to know that I have a great deal of admiration and gratitude to those serving in the U.S. military.

However, those who use their service to abuse other veterans don’t have my gratitude – just my contempt, at best.

Those who work for the Veteran’s Administration and use their passcodes to check up on the files of their enemies.

Or those who denigrate, debase and defame other veterans in court.

You know who you are.

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Filed under Family, Military