At the beginning of quarantine my Grandi sent this dress to me and requested that I do a photoshoot with Salem wearing it. It was her dress when she was seven years old. It's funny to me that Salem fits into it perfectly before she's even five (Salem is a big kid though.)
My Grandi was one of six kids- two girls and four boys. They lived on a farm and at times her dad worked three jobs to provide. She always tells me what a hard worker he was and how deeply he loved his family. But even with his hard work and multiple jobs, money was scarce and they rarely had new things. So everyone grew up respecting and caring for the things they did have, especially clothes.
Grandi remembers the "thrill of getting this new dress." She wore it strictly on Sunday or special occasions and remembers having black shoes with laces to go with it. Grandi talks about how special it made her feel to wear this dress. It's funny how some things remain the same through all generations and periods of time, like the way a special outfit makes you feel. Salem has certain dress up clothes or outfits that make her feel very special or grown up. Everyone is the same in those aspects. :) It's so special that I can tangibly see what that was for my grandma.
There's actually a photograph of me as a kid wearing this dress, but I have no idea where it is or who might have it. One of these days it will turn up in an old album or something and I'll include it on this post.
I love this picture because I adore Salem's freckles. I was always so freckly as a kid too.
I hope these photos are what my grandma had in mind. Because my Grandi means the actual world to me. I hope these photos of her great-granddaughter wearing her own childhood dress is what she'd envisioned and is something she can cherish for forever.
Since my last blog post a worldwide pandemic has erupted. We're halfway through week 3 of being quarantined to our homes and everyone is starting to get a bit stir crazy (even introverts like myself). People are doing all kinds of crazy shenanigans (like TikTok- insert eye roll emoji- ), including accepting challenges like this #nailedit challenge someone from church invited Jon and I to join in on.
We had to recreate this^ masterpiece, which was intimidating to say the least. I've never attempted fondant before, like ever. I also have a history of making my iced cupcakes look like the poop emoji, accidentally of course. But Greenlaws always enjoy a challenge. ;)
I acknowledge that a blog post as means of documentation is way extra, but doing Facebook Live or any kind of video is just too intimidating for this introvert.
The bottom layer is two stacked, round cakes with icing in between the layers. A friend told me that I could double the amount of icing if I used my mixer. I'll be honest, I was super shocked that it worked. But one tub of icing lasted frosting the bottom two cakes around the outsides/in between as well as between the top two layers.
So this contest was supposed to be for amateurs, but what the judges don't know is that Jon is my secret weapon. He's actually semi-profesh. He won a first place trophy with his dad for baking the tallest cake in first grade. (This was by accident though, and the cake was affectionately named "The Blob.")
Anyways, we made two more cakes and cut them smaller for the top layers. Stacked again with frosting. Our kids are gonna be in a sugar coma when they try a slice of this...
Let me just say, no amount of money can ever tempt me to use fondant again. No food bribes either- that includes tacos. This was so time consuming and hard. Thank goodness my husband thrived in his college pottery class and I happen to be a mom expert on Play-Dough. Same same, right?
At this step we realized we made a mistake. The fondant should've gone on the bottom layer as one whole piece before we frosting-glued the smaller layers on top. But it was too late because everything was already stuck together. Oops.
We had to cut a hole out of the center to slide it over a piece of the top layer. Improvising worked though.
Thankful my husband is a perfectionist when it comes to details because I was FED UP with this stuff. Just, nope.
I give 100% of that credit to my husband.
I am aware that my husband looks extremely unamused. I promise you, he was having a truckload of fun. He was just "in the zone". And this cake was taking its toll on us after a grueling two days of hard work. (We now look like 70 year olds.)
FOR THE FINAL PRODUCT...
These flowers are ALL my husband's handiwork.
Yes, I am aware that it appears as though our sweet bunny friend has leprosy on his belly. We love him anyways. No ostracizing in this house.
I know this is a way late post (like way late) but we visited Holland Farms back in October and I finally got around to editing the photos. I didn't want to rush around editing and posting photos simply to have a "fall thing" to post about around Halloween or Thanksgiving, so it's been fun to edit these over the past few months and reflect back on our fun memories.
My sweet daughter started a phase back in August where she would wear fake glasses. They're Harry Potter glasses, but she thought they were Mr. Potato Head glasses. Of course the glasses accompanied us to Holland Farms, as they do everywhere. In early December they got lost or left somewhere, and thankfully at Christmastime sweet Aunt Danielle ordered her another pair (plus two backups!) for Christmas. I love looking back at these photos with her play glasses, especially since Salem is convinced she needs them to help her see.
My handsome six year old has lost a couple more teeth since these photos were taken. It's so easy to forget how quickly kids change. A literal day can go by and big changes happen. Last week he came home from school and had pulled out a tooth that I didn't realize was even very wiggly. I love having pictures to remind me of all these seemingly insignificant changes that shape my kids a little differently each day.
The farm offered a variety of activities. Too many to do in one setting, actually. We could've easily spent a full day there (we only had a few hours the particular day we went) or even gone a couple of times and enjoyed it. There were also plenty of activities for all ages. It was far from boring, for sure.
The kids carefully picked their pumpkins, a task that took probably 30 minutes and lots and lots of discussion. I hope I always remember these little parts of their childhood. Lincoln wanted a huge pumpkin that was almost too big to carry, while Salem wanted a cute tiny one. But then they would change their minds and look for the opposite. It took a while, but they did finally discover their dream pumpkins.
Poor Lincoln dropped his pumpkin as he was carrying it back to the car. The pathway went right beside a pond and it was sort of a downward slope. His pumpkin rolled straight into the pond. There may have been a few tears shed for his perfect pumpkin, but I let him have mine. (All entries to the pumpkin patch come with a free pumpkin.) Oh well.
I think it's pretty rare (and amazing) that the farm doesn't charge any photographer's fees for professional sessions there. It's a beautiful location, albeit crowded, and it's quite generous of them to allow so many people to use their location as a backdrop for photo sessions.
For my midwest family and friends, ^here's a link to the website. Also, WHY is boiled peanuts a thing down here in the south? I just can't bring myself to try them...
But I noticed the website has recipes about how to cook them and they're available for purchase at the farm. It's one cultural thing about the panhandle that I haven't been able to figure out.
And my sweet husband. He insisted on taking my picture, which he usually doesn't or I won't let him. Looking back I'm really grateful that he took this picture even though I objected at the time. I'm always the one behind the camera, so there's minimal pictures of me. It was thoughtful of Jon especially since pictures mean a lot to me as a photographer. I really want to do better at getting photos of me with the kids and photos of just myself that way one day the kids can look back at them. I love looking at pictures of my parents and grandparents from the past. Those are actually some of my most treasured keepsakes.
Soo now in late January, everyone knows about our pumpkin patch experience. :P
I'm really hoping to do better at blogging in 2020 about our experiences everywhere. But I guess better late than never. :]
So I found a recipe online for homemade French bread but I tweaked it a bit and like my version better. Hence, the blog post. (Aside from my slightly varying version, I hate all the advertisements that make me scroll a ridiculous amount on the other one.) This recipe is super basic and a good option for anyone who is new to bread making or just looking for an easy peasy meal side. I'll post the original recipe at the bottom of my post.
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 ¼ cup warm water
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (and some extra for dusting)
Seasonings of your choice for toppings (here I used sea salt and poppy seeds)
Serves 8 // 139 calories per serving
Mix the yeast, sugar, and warm water together with a whisk. Let it stand for about 5 minutes; the sides will look slightly separated and there will be a bit of foam in it.
Add kosher salt and whisk some more. It will get really foamy now.
Next add the flour a little at a time while mixing with a spoon (I usually add the first cup, then the second cup, and then the last half cup.) It should mix together fairly easily, forming dough. Form the dough into a ball and flour the sides lightly. Leave it in the bowl and cover it with a towel. Let it rise for an hour and fifteen minutes.
Transfer the risen dough into a cast iron skillet. (I got a little too excited about my bread and forgot to snap a picture of my risen dough. Sorry haha.) Be careful not to pop or flatten it too much while transferring! Cover again and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
Use a brush to glaze some olive oil on the top of the dough. Sprinkle sea salt and poppy seeds on top of the dough. (You could use any seasonings or none at all. I've used sea salt and Italian herbs & seasoning as well. It's all reallllly yummy. Sometime I'm going to try Parmesan like the original article suggestion, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.) Put the skillet in the oven uncovered and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
I would love to know if anyone makes this and uses their own seasoning/topping combinations. I love basic bread- I make this recipe 1-2x a week at our house- but I'm always looking for a way to spruce it up. But for now, happy eating. :D
Original recipe: http://www.lifeasastrawberry.com/easy-crusty-french-bread/