Non-Alcoholic Bananas Foster Sauce

Tonight I made bananas foster sauce, with NO alcohol, nor with the rum extract. I just can’t stand the taste of alcohol in my food. (I don’t drink, either, neither did my dad)
After browsing several recipes, I saw that all of them have 4 of the same basic ingredients, so I got out my
saucepan, a banana from Walmart, and the other ingredients.

Before that, I wondered, “What’s the difference between caramel sauce, and non-alkie bananas foster sauce, besides the banana?”
But, I digress.

I made the sauce, using
real salted butter, and plenty of it     

2 tablespoons to caramelize the bananas, and 2 or 3 for the sauce
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon or so of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon or so of regular iodized table salt
a banana, sliced
2 tablespoons of whole milk

First, cut the banana in slices, then melt a couple of tablespoons of
butter and a teaspoon of dark brown sugar in the saucepan. Cook the banana slices, flipping them over once. Pour them onto a plate, and set aside.

Next, start melting a couple of tablespoons more of butter in the saucepan, dump the
brown sugar (3/4 cup packed), cinnamon, about a half teaspoon, and salt (about a half a teaspoon)
and stir that over medium high heat, adding the milk. Stir, stir, stir, until it’s bubbly but not boiling.
Add the bananas, and stir a little while longer, maybe a minute or so, then take it all off the burner.
My banana slices kind of melted, or something, but that added a lot of flavor to the sauce!

Here’s the sauce, using my recipe!


Let it cool a bit, then dip your spoon in, and taste it. Share it with your husband, or a family
member who appreciates this yummy stuff.
I’m telling you, this recipe is DELICIOUS!!

I think I might serve this either over a slice of toast, or an

ice cream sandwich,

or just eat it out of a little bowl.
Let’s be real about sugary sauces, and why we make them, ok?

Here are some of the recipes I looked at, to make my own:
https://shop.mybluprint.com/cooking/article/easy-bananas-foster/

https://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/easy-bananas-foster-11474

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Craft Night with Mrs. Nancy

I love doing crafts, and today (tonight) I’m going to show you how to make little flower pots.  Give them to a friend, display them on your desk at work, or give them to your mother on Mother’s Day, or her birthday!

Here’s how to make little clay pots look beautiful:

Supplies: 

A single can of Play-Doh, a bottle of matte acrylic quick drying acrylic paint,

a pair of wire cutters, some artificial flowers, SMALL, some scissors,  a sponge/foam

paint brush, and some tiny clay pots, or terra-cotta clay pots.  I mean, tiny.  Like, 3.5 inch

opening at the top.

Step One:  paint the pots, give them about 2 coats.

Step Two:  push some play doh into the bottom of the pot, after the paint has dried, of course

Step Three:  Cut the flowers to various heights, and use the extra leaves too, in your arrangement.

Step Four:  push the flower stems down into the play-doh, and use something to push the flower pretty

far down, to secure it into the playdoh.

Step Five:  take pictures and show me what you made!

My mini-flower arrangements: 

I made 2: 

Also, one of my brothers made me a Weed Vase, so I put the leftover lavender flowers into that, and

attached a butterfly I kept from a flower arrangement a neighbor sent me.  Isn’t that pretty cute?

Where Lilacs Still Bloom, by Jane Kirkpatrick~book review

It is my opinion that Jane Kirkpatrick must be a woman with a very high I.Q. After reading some of her books, I believe she finds writing as an outlet for the restlessness that comes with being highly intelligent.
That being said, Mrs. Kirkpatrick has written a book that is about several people whose lives intersect
at some point, because of the dedication of Hulda Klager towards her lilacs, and her persistence in finding new, stronger varieties of lilacs.

It’s a pity some people might pass this book up, because they’ll miss learning about a German immigrant to America, who had a God-given talent for scientific gardening, and more than that, being a horticulturist, even though she never went past the 8th grade! Where Lilacs Still Bloom offers an abundance of hope, confidence, good life lessons, and a heart-warming look into the family and friends of this non-degreed greenskeeper and plant researcher.
This is a Christian historical fiction book, based on the true story and life of Hulda Klager.


The story starts in 1889, when Hulda was pregnant with their fourth child, and they’re getting ready to move to a farm.
You get to know her, and her husband Frank, who live on a farm in Washington state. She learns, from her dad, about grafting apple shoots onto saplings, and from that, she finds she can actually “invent” a better variety of apple, on that will peel more easily and taste more tart. You meet their children, and the other children who, by God’s wisdom, come to work and live on her farm, and learn about cross-pollination, soil management, and a host of other important details attached to Hulda’s life’s work. 

I can’t say enough good about this book! It’s easy to read, very interesting and full of facts, and written in such a way as to encourage readers to perhaps learn a bit more about the propagation of flowers, or discover and visit arboretums in the USA. There’s plenty of information to get you going, if you’re the least bit curious about learning more. I got really excited about it when Hulda successfully hybridized a new variety of lilac, and when she talked to famous authors such as Luther Burbank, who was a renowned hybridizer at the time.

One more thing, The Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens are now a national historic site!

The Lilac Gardens are located off I-5 exit 21, 30 minutes north of Portland, Oregon or 2.5 hours south of Seattle, Washington at 115 South Pekin Road, Woodland, Washington 98674. (Our mailing address is PO Box 828). The Gardens are open to the public most days of the year from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., with a $3.00 gate fee payable at the gate ($5 during lilac days, children 12 and under free) If you’d like to contact them, here are some
email addresses I got from their website: Contact the Lilac Gardens
HKLGTours@gmail.com Schedule bus/large group tours during Lilac Days
WoodlandLilacGardens@gmail.com Lilac Gardens publicity
HKLGPresident@gmail.com President, Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens Society
HKLGMembership@gmail.com Membership, Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens Society
HKLGGiftShop@gmail.com Gift Shop – open during Lilac Days only
HKLGHistoricHome@gmail.com Hulda’s home – open during Lilac Days only

Get a copy of Where Lilacs Still Bloom, and have a lovely time of reading about this nurturing and dedicated housewife who became famous just from cultivating her own flowers.

Thank you, Jane, for writing this book.  (no more whining from me! LOL)

Romans 10:9-13;  John 3:16-21

Bead Crafts Do It Yourself

I’ve been making bracelets with beads, and using a neat tool called the Wrap It Loom:

My daughter loves the bracelets, and I’m learning something fun and useful.  To make a bracelet, I use 1mm leather cord, and 8 mm beads, round and smooth.  I also use Nymo thread, and big-eye needles to make the whole thing run smoothly.  For the macrame bracelets, I used 1mm waxed linen thread or cord, and some beads I got off of a thrift store necklace, or I used 6/0 seed beads, toho brand, and decorative buttons from Beadaholique.  There are several places online to buy supplies, so happy hunting!!

Some bracelets I’ve made: 

If you want to make some for yourself, here’s a good tutorial:

Pom Flips!

My daughter wears flip flops all the time, and she LOVES the beach!  I decided to make her a fun pair of flip flops, using her favorite colors for the pom poms, and she likes the look.  This was very easy.  Just purchase a pair of flip flops from any shoe department, and then start making pompoms.  When you gather the pompom into a ball, make sure the yarn you’re using for the tie is long enough to tie securely around the straps and toe post.  For extra fun and flair, I added a couple of jingle bells to the pompoms.  Here are the tools I used, and the finished shoes:

Clover pom pom maker, jingle bells, scissors

I made 5 medium-sized pompoms for each flipflop,  in her favorite colors, tied them on the shoes,

and here they are!

If you look closely, you can see the little jingle bell there.

Happy Crafting!

 

 

 

Learning to Weave on a Loom

I’ve never woven before, nor used this kind of tabletop loom, but today was LEARNING DAY.

After watching hours of instructional videos, rewinding the tutorials, and pausing while I did the step in person, I’ve learned the very basic parts of the skill of weaving.  Here are some photos of my first attempts.  Think of me as someone who has learned their alphabet, but has no idea how to read words yet.    🙂

The heddle is in the up position,

which is the first thing to do.  Put the shuttle through: 

Then put it in the down position, which kind of criss-crosses the yarn:  and put the shuttle through again, and then “beat” the threads down, which is using the rigid heddle to scrunch them up to make a woven cloth.  Granted, my “cloth” is a mess right now, but remember, I only know the alphabet, not the words.  All that will come later.  Rather like learning a foreign language.

Here’s the yarn wound around the back bar, using strips of cardboard to keep the strands

separated.  God willing, more weaving for me,  tomorrow.  God please give me skill in weaving!

Exodus 35:35 |

View whole chapter | See verse in context Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work.

 

Early Spring Gardening

Today I planted some Echinacea seeds from Ferry Morse, in a 70 pellet Jiffy Seed Starter tray I got from Lowe’s.  The tray is super easy to use, just pour water in the empty spaces on each side, and let the pellets plump up.  Then, you might need to tear back some of the netting, to plant each seed, but after that, set the tray outdoors for sun, and keep the pellets watered.

These seeds should sprout in about 10-12 days.  Hoping.

I’m hoping to get all of these plants into the ground this week, and get the garden weeded and mulched.  Here in the South it’s spring, and pollen time, and time to plant your gardens.  Flowers for the garden:

Athena Sun Euryops

Archangel Angelonia

Silky Deep Red Milkweed

Belleza Dark Pink Gaura

Pentas

Dianthus and Dusty Miller

 

 

Assembling my Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom

After shopping, browsing, reading, and watching videos about tabletop looms, I finally decided on getting an Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom, and I found a great deal on Etsy.  The sellers I found on Etsy are from Mielke’s Fiber Arts:

https://www.etsy.com/search?q=mielke%20fiber%20arts&ref=auto1&as_prefix=mielke%20f

I think they do just about everything fiber related!!  Weaving, yarn, roving, wool, felting, naalbinding, braiding, dyeing, spinning, knitting, lacemaking, hackles, heddles, rugmaking,  and more!

https://www.facebook.com/MielkesFiberArts/

Amy is soooo nice and friendly, and very helpful. THANKS SO MUCH AMY!

My Ashford Rigid Heddle 32 inch tabletop loom arrived yesterday, unassembled, and, when I pulled the parts out of the box, here’s how it looked Everything nicely wrapped and secure:  

Next,I laid all the pieces and parts out, and went through the checklist, making sure my dear husband would have all he needed.  I gathered a couple of tools from the tool drawer:  a hammer, and Phillips head screwdriver.

Everything on the checklist was there, and as you might have noticed,  one of my dogs was keeping me company.

SO!  I bought the Ashford Heddle Loom from Mielke’s Fiber Arts store in Wisconsin:  https://www.mielkesfiberarts.com/

Now for your visual tutorial. Here’s how hubby so graciously put it together, taking time off from his day off.  (You can use these photos to help you get your loom together, along with their instructions, if you’d like)

Here’s where you may download instructions:assembly instructions for rigid heddle loom – ashford handicrafts

 Step one:  attach the reed support blocks to the sides: Step two:  Tap the clicker pins into the holes on the right loom side:

Step three: Attach the “pawls” so the clicker pin fits into it:

Next, attach the front and back rails to the left side with the screws they provide:

Step 5, place the cogs onto the ends of the rollers, and secure with washers and screws provided:

Step six, slap the handles HARD, onto the holes in the cogs.  I mean it, you really have to hit that hard, to get it

to fit snugly onto the pegs:

Next, connect the warp sticks to the roller with the warp stick ties.  I did one of these, and it was difficult, until I covered my fingers with cloth, to be able to push the arrow head through the small holes in the ties and the roller.

Put the rigid heddle reed into the rest position of the reed support blocks, and play around with changing it’s positions: Down at Rest

Finally, assemble the warping peg and clamps: Clamps and the warping peg.

Of course, see if it clamps onto your table: Yup!  It does.  🙂

Now, read the booklet that they also include in the shipping box, which is titled:

Learn to Weave on the Rigid Heddle:

Then, go here and watch Ashford’s excellent tutorials.  If you need to get the video to slow down, remember to click the “settings” button on the video’s lower right-hand screen, and click 0.5, or 0.75.  It helps to see what she’s doing in slow motion, if you’re a COMPLETE BEGINNER like I am!!

www.ashford.co.nz   Go to their website and watch other tutorials if you need to, just look under tutorials.

Here is a great video by Ashford about how to weave.  I’ve watched it 2x already.

Happy Weaving!  I hope you enjoyed this post, and that it either inspired you to try weaving, or it helped you assemble YOUR rigid heddle loom.  Please let me know!

Don’t forget to say hi to Amy at Mielke’s Fiber Arts!