Wednesday, July 29, 2009

February 2009

Delta Dish
Volume 5 Issue 2

*** Random Thoughts

How is everybody? Surviving winter? Barely?

I think the secret is good books and a new coffee mug. That’s what works for me, anyway. That and playing.

I used to love to make stuff. I think most children do. Creating, coloring, making stuff. The school I attended was so small there were no art electives in high school. It didn’t occur to me to take any crafty things in college because…I have no idea. Too busy making plans for Thursday nights out, probably.

Here lately, I’ve been playing more; having a child around helps. Creating is so satisfying. I’d forgotten how much fun it is to make something, to create. Most people probably have supplies. I know I do – acrylic paint, brushes, stencils, rubber stamps, paper, fabric paint, ribbon, decoupage medium, thread – and on and on. Sometimes I want to get out this stuff and play with it and sometimes I take it all out, look at it and think, “Now what?” I’m not good enough to make something really good. Then I box it all back up, put it away, and do something practical and grownup.

With a child around, though, anything and everything becomes worthwhile and beautiful. What’s the word? Oh, yeah, FUN. Who cares if you wouldn’t hang it up and give it as gift? Who cares? Making it was a blast. That’s what matters most.


There’s a new feature on the blog. You can follow it! Just click “Follow This Blog” to sign up and you’ll be sent alerts when new posts are up.

*** Great Quotes

“The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” - Allan K. Chalmers

“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” – Pablo Picasso

*** Fun Food Idea

Is it just me or does everyone think of Red Velvet Cake in February? Love. It. My mother used to make a heart-shaped two-layer red velvet cake around Valentine’s Day. I believe this recipe was her mother's.

Red Velvet Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 8- or 9-inch cake pans.

3 tablespoons cocoa
2 (1-ounce) bottles red food coloring

Mix together and set aside.

Cream together:
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Add 3 whole eggs and the paste of cocoa and food coloring. Beat for 10 minutes.


1 cup buttermilk
2 1/4 cups cake flour that has been sifted three times with 1 teaspoon salt.

Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Add that to the mixture.

Whew. Pour all that in the prepared pans and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes.

Cool on wire racks for a few minutes before turning out to cool completely.


Cream together:
1 stick butter
8 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 cup granulated sugar

Add 3 tablespoons flour, one at a time. Add 2/3 cup sweet (whole) milk and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat with mixer for 12 minutes.

Enjoy and indulge; you've earned it.

Rosemary and Red Wine Tenderloin

*** Fun Idea Although Not Food

A couple of Valentine’s crafts:

(First buy up a bunch of cheap crayons.)

Remember sharpening crayons, sprinkling the shavings between and betwixt wax paper, and ironing it? I love that.

Chop more crayons and melt them together to form heart-shaped rainbow-swirled chunky crayons.

*** Pass It On
If there’s someone you think would enjoy this newsletter, please forward this issue in its entirety. You’re welcome to comment here with your email address to subscribe or send an email with "subscribe" in the subject line to kudzuuu at gmail dot com.

*** Hit the Highlights
Math and me – this is why successfully balancing a bank statement feels like a victory.

Turns out Moms do know best.

How one birthday can actually be two weeks.

Be the first in your neighborhood to know when fresh blog posts are up! Visit and click on “Follow This Blog” to the right, about midway down the page. You’ll be alerted when a new content is posted. It’s painless, fast, and totally no cost, of course.

*** Shameless Bid for Commerce

“Keetha DePriest Reed's "More Culinary Kudzu: Recollections and Recipes from Growing Up Southern" is part cookbook, part collection of wonderful essays on food, family and growing up Southern and altogether great fun… I would very highly recommend "More Culinary Kudzu" to anybody who enjoys good food and good writing as well as to anybody who wants to find out more about the South. As for me, I only have one question left - how do I get invited to one of their family reunions?” – review by

*** Recommended Reading

It depends on what you’re in the mood for. For mystery and intrigue, along with a bit of history, I recommend both “The Lace Reader” by Brunonia Barry and “The Savage Garden” by Mark Mills. Both excellent.

For an all-around great read, “I Capture the Castle” by Dodie Smith. It is wonderful.

The books I read last month, along with witty and insightful comments, are listed here.

*** Adorable Thing My Child Said

"What would a cross between a chicken and a teacher say?"


"Bak, bak, do your homework! Bak, bak, do your homework!"

*** Mississippi Writers Guild

The Mississippi Writers Guild sponsors writer workshops, conferences, writer retreats and reputable writing contests. Membership dues are only $40.00 per year. The Mississippi Writers Guild is a non-profit association of writers from all over the state and is a growing part of Mississippi’s literary art landscape.

*** Calendar of Events

Saturday, February 14th – St. Valentine’s Day

Tuesday, February 24th – Mardi Gras

One year ago this month, I first read “Lonesome Dove,” which is incredible and you should read it. Yes, you. Even if you don’t like Westerns or cowboys or historical fiction. It’s that good.

*** Reminders and Unsubscribe Info.

If you would like to unsubscribe from this newsletter, simply send an email with “unsubscribe” in the subject line to - we’ll miss you but won’t harass you about staying or coming back.

2009 © Pecan Street Press. All rights reserved.

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