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Doughnuts

In this bleakest of months with a gray drizzle outside, with the mellowness of Thanksgiving and the clamor of Christmas gone, my mood turns to the feathery softness of doughnuts. So I gather my ingredients: flour, salt, yeast, eggs, sugar, a bit of shortening, water, flavorings, and the most important – Heather, Adam, and Les, and always the memory of the most accomplished doughnut maker, Najgy, my mother.

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Colors of Christmas

By: Barbara Crady Whitley

Clear reds, fir and pine greens are the revered colors of Christmas. I like to add the luminous yellows of pineapple. They all await me in the form of candied red & green cherries and cubes of candied pineapple as I prepare to indulge in one of my favorite traditions: making Najgy’s fruitcake. Even though fruitcake generally is regarded with disdain, this is one you’ll want to enjoy.

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Givings of the Heart

Waking to the heady, enticing aroma of roasting meat is something I imagine even the cave-people of old delighted in.  Equally so is knowing that my mother often rose long before her family to begin the process of preparing the  turkey – placing it into a brine solution for several hours before actually beginning the roasting time period.  This step allowed her enough rich, fat-laden broth to make the cornbread dressing that we all enjoyed.

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Sweater Time

There are few people who love summer weather more than I.  However, the summer of 2015 seems to have somewhat changed my perspective and I found myself longing for that first early crispy cool morning when I need a light wrap around my shoulders.  Some seasons ago my daughter, Heather, handed-me-up what has become my favorite sweater – softly cabled, waist-length, light weight, with one oversized button at just the right spot.  It was love at first sight and wearing.

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Mmmmmcc ‘n’ Cheese

On the cook top across the kitchen, the slightly salted water has come to a rapid boil.  I add a bit of olive oil and pour in the entire 16 oz. box of old-fashioned, plain-Jane elbow macaroni.  I bring the water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions – just slightly less to an al-dente stage.  I want  it to be firm because it will continue cooking somewhat when I add the other ingredients for the most comfortable of the comfort foods – macaroni and cheese.  Who doesn’t love it?  After all, this dish does have it all; creaminess as well as toothsomeness, texture, saltiness, the bite of the cheese, and aroma!  Ahh!

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“Sun”-Days; School Days

With the first tinge of coolness in the air and the slanting of pre-autumnal sun comes the panic in a parent’s heart. She knows that school will soon be in session and lunch boxes will need to be prepared

It’s easy enough to do the evening before; but when a family arrives home late in the day after ball games, soccer practice, or cheer-leading, that’s easier said than done.

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Corn and Les

By: Barbara Crady Whitley

July – heat waves shimmering from a black-top highway along a country lane, sweet aromas of honeysuckle and yellow roses, hollyhocks dropping after a summer shower!

Sweat drips (yes, sweat, not perspiration!) from my husband’s brow as he lights the charcoal for the easiest holiday (and meal) of the year.  No frantic preparation, no gifts to agonize over, no huge feasts to juggle along with endless, but delightful, parties.

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From Father to Daddy

By: Barbara Crady Whitley

It has been said that any male can father a child, but it takes a special man to become a daddy.  In the Crady household, there was never any question as to whom my Daddy was: he was the one who would swing me, as a little girl, high on his shoulder when he arrived home from a long day at his sawmill job.  He always smelled like freshly cut wood, never like one would think after long hours outside in the sun.  In the autumn, I remember his raking up big piles of leaves for me and my four brothers to play in.  We thought that doing that was the end result, not-withstanding it was necessary for a tidy yard.

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