Along cold winter has turned to spring at Stem Gallery.

The long cold winter is finally over. The smell of blooming trees and the earth being turned for our gardens is a welcoming breath of fresh air. Spring and Easter are late this year I am just starting to see my first tulips and daffodils, bleeding hearts are up and peonies are right around the corner.   Dance recitals, graduations, Mothers Day and Memorial Day will be here before I know it, so I dropped by Stem Gallery to see what they have to offer for the spring season and was once again excited at what I found.

 

Dancers like to present their fellow classmates with gifts after their recitals some give individually wrapped flowers.  I gave different flowers every year to my neighbor girl, gerberas, roses, gladiolas, or lilies she was ecstatic even when she didn’t know what some of them were.  She knows now though (her poor boyfriend).  For those who want to gift something that will last longer, I found some lovely bangle bracelets my nieces would love but when you see them you will want a pair for yourself, as I did.

In fact there were about 10 pieces of jewelry I found that would make a great gift to ME OOPS, I mean as gifts for my friends.  You really need to go in and see what I am talking about

Graduates are now entering their next right of passage with much exuberance with the thought of starting a new life.  What announces a new start better than a floral bouquet sitting on your buffet table as you and your guests celebrate?  I thought your flowers would look great in the green glass owl vases I found.

Owls represent wisdom and every parent trusts or should I say hopes their child has gained some after paying the bills for 4 years.

 

Mother’s Day rates right up there with Valentine’s Day and you know what happens when you forget Valentines; just imagine if you forget about Mother’s Day!  Planters of pansies have arrived with more on the way. At 89 my Mom still loves to cook and bake, I found Royal Standard Convertible Cooler Bags that will keep her casseroles warm when she takes them to friend’s homes.  For myself, I will purchase one of the larger thermo bags and another for a dear friend who goes camping every weekend.    I also thought the new clutch bags they are carrying would be perfect for a young mother (I just happen to have a couple in mind).

 

Kurtis came out of the back room and pointed me to the baby clothes corner.  He knows I love baby clothes.  And the new shipment that just came in is ADORABLE.  If you haven’t taken the time to check them out please do.  I wish my niece was still a baby; I would have put her in the satin yellow dress with lace over it.    Actually I wanted to put her in everything. And I loved the Iota Chic diaper bags.

 

Summer is a time for entertaining and one of the most fun items I thought  unique were the white paper plates sitting on the table, but they weren’t paper, they were plastic!!!!  I thought, “This is perfect for a picnic, eating by the pool, or just wanting something new for summer dining”They would make a fantastic gift for a new bride that likes to entertain.  For those who like to entertain, you can’t beat Beatrice Ball you can’t loose with her line of serving ware.They’re not only nice in appearance but they are practical, you can bake in them, freeze a food item in them, and pull them out of the freezer and directly into the oven. Can’t ask for more than that!!!!!

 

Easter is a joyous holiday to all Christians around the world.  We celebrate the rising of Our Lord Jesus Christ from his death for he died for our sins.  When I was growing up in my hometown my family, like many, celebrated with our own traditions.  My sisters and I had new Easter dresses and shoes every year; we dyed eggs for our baskets the Saturday before Easter Sunday.  Each of us kids were allowed three nests to make out of the cellophane grass that many of you who were born in the 50’s remember We then placed them all over the house. Now I can’t believe my folks found them all, but they did. In the morning we woke to the eggs we had dyed the day before, jelly beans, chocolate rabbits, and eggs in our nests.  We had the boiled eggs for breakfast, put on our new dresses and off to church.  Our church would be filled to the brim with Easter lilies and smelled heavenly with a huge white cross standing in front of the altar. All of the kids would be given flowers to decorate the cross.  To this day, I can still see that cross and it makes me smile.

After church our family would gather for dinner.  My Mom would fix a mean leg of lamb with mint jelly, new baby red potatoes in a white sauce, fresh peas, and salad.  But we all waited with baited breath for my Grandma’s HOT CROSS BUNS.  I promised the recipe for HOT CROSS BUNS in the last blog, so here it is:

Grandma Pete’s Hot Cross Buns

Traditionally these are served on Good Friday they are either filled with currants, raisins or candied fruit.  My family is not a fan of candied fruit much to my Grandma’s chagrin.

 

In a medium metal or ceramic bowl you will combine the following to make a sponge.  Let the sponge set covered in a warm place till it has doubled in size.

1-TB. Active dry yeast

2-C Warm water

2-tsp. of salt

1-TB. Sugar

2- All purpose flour.

After the sponge has doubled add the following to sponge.

1 ¼- C. Sugar

1- C. Warm Water

2-Eggs

2-C. Flour

1-C Currants or raisins, you can use regular raisins if your prefer.

You will find that you will have to add more flour.  Add flour till dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  I always say when the dough feels like a baby’s behind, it is ready.  Cover dough and set in a warm place till dough has doubled in size.

 

This dough is refrigerator dough.  By that I mean, you will be able to form the dough in any shape that you would prefer, refrigerate overnight and then proof and bake the next morning.  I form 2 oz. balls to make buns and put them in a well oiled cake pan.  I average a little over a dozen and a half with the above recipe.  If you choose to bake them off the next day, make sure you pull them out of the fridge at least 4 hours before baking.  It takes awhile for the dough to warm up and rise.  After the dough has doubled in size slash a cross on the top of them (not to deep) and bake in a 350 degree oven 45 to 60 minutes, if you have a convection oven 325 degrees and less time.  You want them to be golden brown.

 

After they have cooled make any icing out of powdered sugar and fill where the cross has been cut in the bun.

 

Wishing you and yours a Blessed Easter.