My greatgrandfather’s basket/Fruit tarts


I never knew my great grandfather, Daniel Thomas Eye, very well, but I remember he was a gentle, kind man that enjoyed making baskets. He had a small one room cabin down by the creek where he could put the little oak trees he gathered while walking in the woods and allow the constant water to run over them to make them soft enough to work with. As a kid I loved seeing all his baskets and the cabin even had a bed and coffee pot for him to use whenever he wanted. Now he had a room in his daughter’s house that was just up the hill but when he got busy he could always sleep in his cabin if he wanted to.  As a child his cabin looked like a big doll house to me and my sister. We loved being down there and the creek provided hours of fun too. The water was cool and a perfect place to be on hot summer days. When growing up we got to spend a lot of time in West Virginia with our relatives on our mom’s side. They all seemed to be so good at what they set out to do. Whether it be baking or canning or farming or in this case basket weaving, they would take pride in their work and soon became professionals at it. Since my mother, Anna Lee Tracy Brevard, was Pap Eye’s first grandchild and I was his first great granddaughter, he made me the smallest basket he ever made. I’ve kept it with joy and then my daughter, Heather Atkinson, used it in her wedding to hold the rose pedals her little flower girl sprinkled as she walked down the aisle. So down through the generations we are still using these beautiful baskets made with perfection.




Note: Steve Spicer from Circleville, Ohio has made these baskets for years and won many art contests for his expert craftmenship.

California/ Blueberry Muffins

I love baking in Alycia’s kitchen. The view from her window is spectacular and since you don’t have to worry about flying bugs she leaves the glass double doors open. She lives up high in the hills of Santa Barbara and you can see all the way to the ocean. The wind is almost always blowing and yet the sun is warm. Since I had hidden some of these delicious blueberries we picked at the blueberry farm I had enough left to make blueberry muffins with pecans this morning.


Outside Santa Barbara//Blueberries

Besides eating all you want of these luscious blueberries we were able to bring enough home to make this wonderful blueberry buckle recipe from a grandmother of one of Alycia’s friends. I love recipes passed down through the generations. As you can tell from the picture Heather and her younger kids and I are visiting my sister and her family again in Southern California for our yearly reunion.image

Hopland,California/Baked Strawberry Short Cake

imageMy sister spent Memorial Day weekend in Hopland, California and what a wonderful place to be. It’s located about two hours north of San Francisco off US Rt 101. It’s a small town of barely 800 people, but surrounded by beautiful vineyards and wine tasting venues. When I was there a few years ago we walked down to the closest winery and found it to be much more than a store to buy or taste wine. The manager took us on a tour of the whole area  where they grow vegetables and fruits, and since it was the end of the season he allowed us, including all the grandchildren, to pick to their hearts content. We went back to the casitas and immediately baked in olive oil the freshest asparagus to the delight of everyone! This time of year Doug Tomlinson’s, my nephew, gardens are full of various kinds of lettuce and herbs.

imageHe plants in large pots and wine barrels which he should have no problem finding considering where this is! So while the family picked and gathered fresh strawberries and cherries, I came up with a baked strawberry shortcake in which to use these tasty treats. Use a lot of berries or cherries in this recipe. For me the more fruit, the better!img_5300image


Now isn’t this the perfect ending to a perfect day? Let’s eat dessert!🍓🍓

Note: Thanks to Rose Tomlinson for the photos.