Sorry- I haven’t been here lately.  I’m only here for a few minutes, now.

I have sciatica and my leg is aching something fierce!

I can’t sit for very long without great pain.

So I’ve been taking a quick look at facebook and my favorite blogs, but can’t manage to


I haven’t fallen off of my corner of the world- I’m just searching for

a comfortable position on the couch.

A Psalm of Praise

Psalm 34

Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelek, who drove him away, and he left.

1 I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory in the LORD;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt his name together.

4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.

8 Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the LORD, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12 Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the LORD delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.

21 Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The LORD will rescue his servants;
no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

It isn’t filled with ” praise the Lord-s” after every stanza.

It isn’t so much a description of God’s many attributes.

It isn’t a lesson in Israel’s history.

This psalm is a heartfelt song of thanks.

David wrote it in an acrostic form (each stanza starts with a

letter of the Hebrew alphabet) and each one seems to be said

with a sigh of relief at his narrow escape from Saul, King of  Israel,

who was intent on David’s death AND at then avoiding the

traps set for him by Abimilek’s advisors.

David, in verses 1-14:

extolls, glories and glorifies the Lord.

He seeks, looks, calls, tastes,and fears the Lord.

And he gathers, preaches, teaches,counsels and advises all

that will listen to learn from his experiences..

In verses 15 through 22, he shares the wonderful

life giving and saving witness of the Lord at work

in the lives of His children.

We learn that God’s eyes and ears are constantly alert

to those who love Him.  That He will protect and deliver

and rescue His servants.

This psalm is one big THANK YOU, LORD!

I like it.  I have been in a rough spot, in need of rescue

and the Lord did exactly that.

And this is the correct response.

I have also been in a tough place and the Lord held my

hand and walked me through it.

And this is the correct response.

I have also been alone and abandoned and afraid and the

Lord spoke to my heart and gave me strength.

And this is the correct response.

And I have been angry and resentful and wondering why

the Lord doesn’t rescue me.

And He has guided me through that, as well.

And the response to that is

Thank you, Lord.

in my kitchen- LOOKING UP!

I love these posts-

they are an opportunity to share:

-little stories about the origin of items

-the generosity of others

-cautionary tales about the use of some gadgets

-instructions on the use of odd or seldom used stuff.

Today I’d like to highlight the tops of my cupboards.





I am short.

The tops of cupboards is a place I very rarely venture.

I need a ladder to get there- and yet when I look up there I want

to see something other than a bare wall (with cobwebs).

And so, over the years, I have filled this space with bits of pieces

that mean something to me.


Some of these things I’ve picked up in antique stores, but more

have been gifts- some of them created especially for me.

And so, precious.


Here I have glass decanters and  vases that came from my mother’s

cache of stuff.  Nothing of great value- except that I grew up with

it and couldn’t bring myself to throw it out after her death.

The wooden platter is a part of my collection of treen- or handcrafted

wooden pieces.  The basket is a ceramic piece my mother made and

gave me.  And the cast iron rooster?  I liked his cocky look at a local

antique store.  Smile


The brass cup and bowl are from an antique store as well, but the

brass candlesticks that started my collection were from my mother-

to my sister- and on to me.  The wooden vase was made by my brother,

the vase came from my niece- a gift from her travels in Europe- and the

pitcher a gift from an old friend.  I love the look of lambs ears in grey and



These clay crocks are used most frequently from  the collection.

They hold coney sauce and baked beans- honey and herbed butters-

sometimes soups and dips.  I like crocks- they retain heat and are

homey and useful.


This cookie jar is a collectable that was given to me by an old friend.

I LIKE cows, and cookies, and collectibles, especially the McCoy ceramic

pieces.  The candlestick was a gift from my brother – the brass piece came

with a lovely arrangement of flowers, the pitcher was from a set that

included a syrup pitcher and a bag of pancake batter, and the last pitcher

was stained and glazed by my mom.

So – when I look up in my kitchen- I am greeted by the memories and

love of friends and family.  I am home.

Using lavender in baking. DO IT RIGHT!!!


I’ve been baking again.

Not in my test kitchen- here at home.

I MISS the double oven.

Miss the convection oven.

Miss the six burners on the gas range.

But- this is where I live- and no one is going to bake me

cookies, now are they?

Yesterday I made peanut butter cookies, and the last of

my grapeskin flour cookies.  Last night I also made some

lavender cookies, and I’m planning on making some

oatmeal cookies this evening.

Because, when I don’t make cookies, Frank goes out

and buys them.  And I don’t like most store bought cookies.

The lavender cookies turned out so good with the lavender

I harvested last year.  http://heidiannie.com/?p=2421

That link above has the recipe for the

cookies as well as the procedure for the lavender harvesting.


I dipped the sides of the sugar in colored sugar and then imprinted a small

star of color sugar in the center of the cookie.

This is the first time I used culinary lavender and I am so impressed  with the

flavor!  I have seen several cooking blogs that used lavender for a flavoring

and they just used dried lavender- not separating the blossom from the

calyx and I have had to move on quickly not to contradict their advice.

But I want to so badly- because I used to make the same mistake- and really

the lavender is overpowering and harsh.  Using only the dried flower, the fragrance

is still there, the flavor is subtle, and the cookie- DELICIOUS!

So, if someone tells you to just dry your lavender and use the dried part to infuse

sugar or to flavor cookies, smile gently, shake your head slightly and refer them

to me.  Because it makes that much of a difference.

Lavender’s blue,

dilly dilly.

Lavender’s green,

dilly dilly.

Process it right,

dilly dilly-

For the best cookies you’ve ever seen!

lavender and Aiden 008

Sobao Pasiego- sponge butter cake.


I got the recipe and idea from Arthur of Art is in the kitchen.  He makes the most

beautiful food I’ve EVER seen.  And I love the way he shares his pictures and recipes.

But when I tried to make these parchment paper boxes- it was a major failure.

His were all the same size- folded with a knowledge of origami and they were perfect.

Mine?  Well, I had to staple them to keep them together, they are all different sizes,

and I gave up after the third one looked worse than the first.


I have limited folding skills.


So I pulled out my small molds and pans and after deciding against the cat’s

tongue cookie and the madeleine’s ( although these taste like a large madeleine)

used the small loaf pans in a row.  I have NO idea what this pan is supposed to be used

for- I use it to make small loaves.  Not bread- fruitcake, Sobao Pasiego, banana bread, etc.


I lined the pans with parchment paper and baked them.

And then as soon as they cooled off a little- I promptly ate

two of them.

With a cup of tea.

I’ve been thinking about these for a long time, and just

decided to give them a joyous impromptu taste test !

THAT’S how I know they taste like madeleine’s!


I saved the cakes- in fact – I froze them, because otherwise I would

have eaten them too.

If you like buttery, lemony, slightly spongey and delicious- then you


These are not safe in my house.

Here’s my take on the recipe if you are interested.

Maybe these little cakes will be safe in your house.


I cup AP flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup melted butter

2 large eggs, separated

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 lemon rind, grated

1 tsp rum or anisette

a pinch of salt


Beat egg whites until firm.  Set aside.

Sift together flour,salt and baking powder.  Set aside.

In medium mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until

creamy looking and then add lemon rind and egg yolks.

Fold half of egg whites into the butter mixture, add rum,

and then fold in the flour mixture.  When mixed, add the

rest of the beaten egg whites and fold.

Fill whatever receptacle you decide to use about 2/3 full

and bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 8- 15 minutes,

or until golden brown.

Have I mentioned that these are delicious with a cup of tea?

or coffee?

or milk?

LISTEN to the voice of the LORD!

Psalm 29

A psalm of David.

1 Ascribe to the LORD, you heavenly beings,
   ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
   worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.

3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
   the God of glory thunders,
   the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.
4 The voice of the LORD is powerful;
   the voice of the LORD is majestic.
5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
   the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon leap like a calf,
   Sirion like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the LORD strikes
   with flashes of lightning.
8 The voice of the LORD shakes the desert;
   the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the LORD twists the oaks
   and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

10 The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;
   the LORD is enthroned as King forever.
11 The LORD gives strength to his people;
   the LORD blesses his people with peace.

The voice of the LORD is mentioned seven times in this

Psalm.  It is given as an evidence of His glory and strength-

and of the splendor of his holiness.  It speaks to His majesty and

His blessing of his people with strength and peace.

His voice is thunderous, powerful and majestic.

It breaks trees into pieces,shakes deserts and strikes with flashes

of lightening.

The voice of the LORD is a force in itself.

A mighty force beyond our reckoning.

It inspires us to honor and worship.

And yet, sometimes, when He wants us to really hear and understand,

He calls us by name in a still small voice.

1 Kings 19:11-13 (New International Version, ©2011)

11 The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”

   Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD

was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.

 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

   Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

We have come through some tumultuous times of late.

There is a cloud of radiation and fear and doubt hanging over our world

And, I think, many are paying attention in a way they haven’t before.

I don’t have any answers, but I do know one thing, for sure-

if you are hearing the voice of the LORD-

it will be clear and understandable.

But we need to be listening.

Baking: Bread and cake

This grape skin flour is so foreign to me.

Gluten free and cocoa brown and with little flavor.


So far I’m just not too impressed.

I made a harvest bread with it, yesterday.


It’s not bad- but is it good?

It’s all right.  Just not great.

I’m going to try hazelnut cookies with it and then I’ll let  you know

the final verdict.


I also made banana bread.

I HATE bananas- the texture and the smell- YUCK!

But my men keep buying and eating them despite my prejudiced

opinion and sometimes we have these black spotted things (shudder)

in my fruit bowl.  So I mashed them up and made a very nice tea cake.


You could call it banana bread, but it has such a nice light texture- that

I prefer calling it a tea cake.  Here’s the recipe.


1/2 cup margarine or butter, room temp.

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

3 TBS sour cream

3 bananas, over-ripe and mashed

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped nuts


Cream margarine and sugar.  Beat in eggs.

(If you want an extra light cake, divide eggs,

whip whites, add yolks to batter, fold in whites after all

ingredients have been added.)

Add sour cream and bananas.  Add dry ingredients, sifted.

Stir in nuts.

Grease and flour loaf pan

Pour in batter till 2/3 full.

Bake at 350 degrees F  for an hour.



And I made Sobao Pasiego- a sponge butter cake.

More about those later. Go here to see them done right!

Arthur writes one of my favorite food blogs- it is a delight

to see anything he makes- Art is in the kitchen, indeed!