Pomegranate Babies

 My pomegranate bush in bloom with lovely orange flowers that remind me of fuchsias.

My pomegranate bush in bloom with lovely orange flowers that remind me of fuchsias.

Pomegranate Babies

I love pomegranates; so did my mother. She grew up in California, one of the places worldwide where the weather is conducive to growing pomegranates.

Pomegranates originated in Iran and have been cultivated for centuries in northern India and the Mediterranean. They are deciduous shrubs or small trees, growing between 16-25 feet tall. Good thing I have tall ceilings in my den!

I picked up a tiny pomegranate bush mid-spring, knowing I would have to make room for it inside over winter. I didn't know how beautiful the flowers are; they remind me of orange fuchsia blooms. 

At the beginning of September 2016, I found little pomegranate babies on one side of the bush.

 Pomegranates are growing on my potted pomegranate bush. I removed the one in the middle.

Pomegranates are growing on my potted pomegranate bush. I removed the one in the middle.

I removed the middle one to give the two pomegranates on each side room to grow. Will be interesting to see how big they will get.

 Here's the potted pomegranate bush, about 3 feet tall not counting the pot.

Here's the potted pomegranate bush, about 3 feet tall not counting the pot.

I cruised through several cookbooks, including the White House Cookbook, but didn't find many recipes that call for pomegranates.

North America, the pomegranate fruit is typically in season September through February. I use pomegranates in salads and as a fresh fruit desert.

How do you use pomegranates in your meals?

Charlotte

 

 

A Taste of Childhood

 Serenate de Amor bon bons are made in Vitoria, Espirito Santo, Brazil, where I grew up.

Serenate de Amor bon bons are made in Vitoria, Espirito Santo, Brazil, where I grew up.

A Taste of Childhood

As the summer 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, end, it's been interesting to see parts of a country where I grew up and how it has changed since those days.

One of the things that hasn't changed is a bon bon that was made in the island town where I grew up. The Garoto factory made this treat that is most similar to Kit Kat bar waffers, only each piece was individually wrapped. This treat also has cashew butter, similar to peanut butter.

These chocolate treats are not found just anywhere. A friend took me to a world food market in St. Louis several months ago, where to my delight I found a box of these childhood treats.

 Cashews were my childhood version of peanuts, we also enjoyed the cashew fruit as well.

Cashews were my childhood version of peanuts, we also enjoyed the cashew fruit as well.

We used to have these in the house, much as people today have single serving chocolates. They were given as treats to guests and left on bedside tables for visitors. Didn't think about it at the time but these are the taste of home to me, at least from my childhood.

I enjoyed the last piece in the box on the last night of the Summer 2016 Olympics. Seemed an appropriate way to mark the end of the two weeks of jumping, diving, running, cart-wheeling and reliving a part of my young days.

 Food can bring back many memories, even ones from a childhood.

Food can bring back many memories, even ones from a childhood.

Delicious memories!

What food brings back childhood memories for you?

Charlotte

A Gift of Fresh Eggs

 I found this carton of homegrown fresh eggs on my car seat earlier today. What a lovely gift!

I found this carton of homegrown fresh eggs on my car seat earlier today. What a lovely gift!

A Gift of Fresh Eggs

I was wrapping up a local beekeeping club meeting when I opened my car door to find this lovely carton full of homegrown fresh eggs on my seat. It was a gift from my nephew, a recent addition to our local beekeeping family who also started keeping chickens earlier this spring.

Take a closer look. None of those eggs are exactly alike, each one just a tad different shade than the next one.

We used to keep chickens when we grew up in Brasil. My job was to help settle in the baby chicks before they were released into the larger chicken pen. I have often thought about adding a few only my hillside, grass-less garden would be a bit of a management challenge.

Having friends who share, however, is a blessing. I don't care what anyone says, homegrown fresh eggs do taste better than store bought ones. Looking forward to cooking something special with them.

Thanks, Nathan, I am one happy Aunt!

Charlotte

My Spicy Easter Table Decor

 Doesn't this little salt and pepper tableau suggest "it's mine, it's ALL mine"?

Doesn't this little salt and pepper tableau suggest "it's mine, it's ALL mine"?

I was a guest speaker at a local garden club and was charmed by how the hostess easily brought an Easter theme to her table decor with her bunny salt and pepper shakers.

Browsing through a local resale shop, I found my own bunny-themed salt and pepper shaker set, a white rabbit with a yellow bow literally holding a carrot. When I first spotted the two, the rabbit seemed to be hiding the big carrot from me. I don't blame the rabbit, it was a very nice-looking carrot.

 The carrot easily comes away from the bunny paws but not for long!

The carrot easily comes away from the bunny paws but not for long!

I love both rabbits and carrots so the combination was perfect to add a little Easter theme to my kitchen. Cost $2.

Happy Easter!

Charlotte

Cat Face Latte

I love cats so it's not much a stretch to think I see cats everywhere.

Sometimes they are there. Two of my rescues were hiding when I first saw them, one showing only the tip of an injured paw sticking out from under a planter on my deck.

The other one used to hide under cars in the parking when I walked around our central park so he was always just a dark ghost. The morning I was the last car in the parking lot, I opened my car door to make sure he wasn't under my car. I got to see him quite clearly then, he jumped right in and settled in the passenger side.

As I was walking into a local cafe, The Giddy Goat Coffee Shop in Rolla, MO for a humane society meeting, I thought I saw a familiar shape on the wall. I had to go back later to make sure it truly was what I thought I saw. Suppose it's a latte?

What do you think, can we make something similar in hot chocolate with a marshmallow?

Charlotte

Choosing Decorative Tins

I can't remember exactly when I started to collect decorative tins but I have been using them for as long as I can remember.

Retail stores usually have them on sale mid-summer. Thrift stores also often offer a variety of new and pre-used tins that can be easily re-purposed.

When choosing tins, check that you can easily remove the lid. Also make sure there are no bumps or dents on sides, and no rust anywhere but especially on the inside.

I try to keep several tin sizes on hand, as well as simple tins without any decorations so they can be used for a number of occasions.

Tins are a great way to ship cookies so they don't break. You can also use tins to store cookies for school and office parties. If for some reason the tin is not returned, it's not much of a loss.

I have also inherited some nice tins from cookie exchanges. Once empty, I run them through the dishwasher and immediately remove to hand dry with muslin dish towels. That helps to prevent rusting and gives me a chance to think about how I can best use those tins again!

Charlotte

Refurbishing Mom's Cookbook

I grew up learning to cook from one of Betty Crocker's red and white checkered "picture" cookbooks, which explains why I am attracted to red and white cookbooks in general.

One day, when the spine started to break, I decided I needed to salvage the book full of memories and called C. Dickens, an old rare book store in Atlanta that had salvaged another family heirloom.

Through the Book Dispensary in Columbia, South Carolina, they rebuilt the well-loved book - even added a book-marking ribbon so I don't need to stuff it full of cards.

Two months later, the book was back, good as new!

Hello, old friend!

Charlotte