On my recent visit to Ohio to visit my childhood friend, Joy McRoberts Limbach, I found growing in her garden these beautiful red raspberries. Well, immediately I thought of how wonderful French custard would taste poured over and baked on top of her Ohio raspberries and the Georgia peaches I had brought with me. There is a special union when peaches and raspberries are put together. Try this for your next dessert. You won’t be disappointed, I promise.
(Oops! This was so good we almost didn’t get a picture!)
Several years ago I had a garage sale. I had moved from a house with a large kitchen and lots of cabinets to a house with a much smaller kitchen and fewer cabinets!! Sounds crazy but all the other amenities were perfect for us at the time and it came with a garage full of cabinets to put all my extra dishes and appliances in. This I did immediately with the help of my good friend, Dianne Corn. She was so patient as I cried when I realized just how small this new kitchen was. We carried load after load out to that garage till we could actually see the floor and counter when we finished.
I inherited from my mother, Anna Lee Brevard, the love of dishes, all colors and shapes. And I must add that I do use them. I like having theme dinners, and the dishes to go along with that are a must. I even have Italian dishes and French blue ones. And let’s not forget the Christmas dishes and the ones for Thanksgiving and Easter. I even use those candy basket bowls any chance I get, which I wrote about in an earlier blog, dated February 11, 2015. So you can see how excited I was to find at a salvage store these precious dishes that represented all the months of the year. The tea cups and saucers, which were so dainty, were perfect for the little tea parties I like to have with my granddaughters . These dishes had the month flower on each and were trimmed in gold with the name of the month on each one. There were enough to serve twelve quests, a good number for me. Any less and I would have to cut out too many people.
As time went on and I unpacked more things it became apparent that we needed to have a yard sale. My sweet Linda McKinnie Blake was living with me full time by now so she and another good friend, Bea Chadburn who worked for the same foster care agency I did, decided to help me get rid of all these extra things in the garage. Glasses and cups that didn’t match anything and odd plates and bowls that needed to go. Extra lids that went to nothing and old coffee pots we didn’t need anymore. Headboards that didn’t have all the right pieces. Well, at the end of the day the garage looked so much better and we didn’t even remember what all had been in there. A day well spent.
Till I noticed the box missing that held those sweet little month dishes. We looked everywhere. In the midst of our spirited selling frenzy, we had sold those dishes. Well, like anything not really worth crying over, I felt bad for a minute and let it go. It’s not like I don’t still have plenty of other dishes. Right?
As the year was turning into fall, Linda entered into her freshman year at the East Ridge High School and joined the ROTC program. She was a natural at this and loved the discipline they offered.
A new girl soon joined the group. She was from out of town and didn’t know anyone. Linda, having been in the foster care system for more years than she wanted to remember, immediately came to this girls rescue. She invited her over for dinner and to spend the night. She helped her make new friends and introduced her to the teachers and to the school secretary who always made special time for Linda. This girl’s father was in the Army and was gone a lot. So it wasn’t too long before Linda and I were invited to have dinner at their house and to have a mother and daughter shopping trip.
Linda and I arrived early so we could help with the meal and still have time for shopping. The girl’s mother was very nice and happy to meet us. They moved here from Texas and were anxious to get to know Chattanooga. Linda and I promised to be their guides and we were. This had been a hard move for them. Not only leaving their friends behind but moving into a much smaller house in not especially the best part of town.
They had everything ready for dinner except for setting the table. They announced that since we were the first company they had since arriving, they wanted to use their best dishes. As they handed us the plates to put around the table in their tiny kitchen, they proceeded to tell us about a yard sale they went to when they first arrived in town and how proud they were of these dishes. Linda and I just looked at each other without saying a word. We knew they were our lost dishes that weren’t meant to be sold, and to make very sure we looked for the little chip on the month of April and right there by the A on the left side was the missing piece! But we knew these dishes now had found a new home. People who loved and appreciated them as much as we did.
Isn’t it strange how life comes full circle sometimes? Even on the smallest of things like a set of twelve monthly dishes? Maybe Linda and I were the answer to their prayers of loneliness and these sweet little dishes made us all smile. We never told them this story.
They fixed us baked chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans. I don’t have her recipe for the chicken, so I will share Linda’s recipe.
A trip to Santa Barbara would never be complete for me without a trip to the magnificent Bacara Resort and Spa. The ride around the property on the open air golf cart alone is worth the trip. The cart rambles about the curved little roads and you can see the quaint rooms as you pass. Sometimes when the doors are open you can see all the white linens on the beds and the white whimsical curtains flowing with the breeze from the friendly ocean. It’s so inviting and someday I hope to spend the night or even a weekend. You see the beautiful ocean almost immediately as you round the first curve. We always stop at The Bistro Restaurant for lunch and eat outside to take in all the beauty there is to see and feel there. Maybe the mist from the ocean helps keep the bushes and Palm trees so lush. After lunch we return to main room which is so massive that even with the large heavy furniture you feel like a child in Alice In Wonderland. Everything is so big, the vases that hold the flowers and the large wooden bowls filled with perfect Granny Smith apples. We are encouraged to take an apple and we do!
Here are a couple of recipes I fixed with those scrumptious apples! This allows the wonderful experience of the day to continue for several more days as we eat and enjoy the things we’ve made from these apples.