Saturday, December 31, 2016

Aprons for the Smallest Cooks

Aprons - a Touch of Whimsy.
Just finishing adding the buttons to the latest aprons -- Check them out at Greenfroggifts on Etsy.  
Take a look here!













1 each of designs #1 - #2 - #3
Child's aprons approximately 18 in. x 22 in.
#1 - Fish with pocket and ruffle version: Fish motif, gold wave background. Adjustable neck - three buttons purple, green, and yellow. String ties can be tied in front or back. Pocket. Pleated ruffle at the bottom of the apron body.
Apron is double fabric - fish motif on the front, gold with orange wave on the reverse and as accent.
#2 - Gold fish pocket and full pocket of porthole blue fabric. Pocket same as background. Adjustable neck - with buttons. String ties can be tied in front or back.
Apron is double fabric - tumbling fish motif on the front, porthole fish fabric on the reverse and as a pocket with gold accent.
#3 - Porthole Fish in ocean apron with full pocket with fish in ocean motif across the bottom of the apron (tumbling fish motif fabric is also the apron backing).  White trim.




Do you have a book package that you'd like to order -- suggest something special just for you...  Visit Greenfroggifts on Etsy for the latest choices. 
Order cookie cutters, aprons, and baker's cloths from Green Frog Gifts -- unique gifts -- many $10.00 or under.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Pecans - a little history, and a couple of recipes

When I published Authors in the Kitchen: Recipes, Stories and More (Libraries Unlimited) I included a recipe shared with me by author and illustrator Bob Barner.  It's the best recipe for pecan pie that I have made.
As part of the book I also researched a little history of the pecan.  Here is that research - and the pecan pie recipe along with a recipe for the best candied pecans.

From page 22 - Authors in the Kitchen
Pecans are the only tree nuts native to North America, and they are particularly plentiful in the Southern states. Pecans were a major source of food for Native Americans as far back as the 1500s. Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew pecan trees in their gardens.  In 1919, the pecan tree was named the state tree of Texas. The production of pecans is a major industry in the southeastern United States.  Eighty percent of thew world's pecans are produced in the United States.  Georgia is the leading pecan-producing state in the country, with nearly 55 million pounds of fresh pecans harvested in the fall of  2003.  Okmulgee, Georgia, holds the world record for the largest pecan pie, pecan cookie, and pecan brownie. Albany, Georgia, is the site of the annual National Pecan Festival.  As many as 600,000 pecan trees are growing in Albany—sometimes called the Pecan Capital of the United States.  Because of modern-day grafting techniques there are now more than a thousand varieties of pecans.

Bob Barner's mom has a pecan tree in her backyard, and Bob says. "Today she bakes [pecan] pies with the nuts from her own tree. Not only is the tree home to numerous squirrels, magpies, and a family of robins, but it also produces delicious pecans."

Bob's mother's pecan pie recipe

And this recipe is adapted from my friend Don Krotz's candied pecan recipe:






Sunday, April 17, 2016

Cedar Rapids, Iowa's Hidden Treasure

We have museums, parks, and fine restaurants.  We have sport complexes, and a whole area of town devoted to the Czech heritage.  But nestled in a corner of the NE section of Cedar Rapids is a hidden treasure -- the Noelridge Greenhouse.  Placed in a corner of Noelridge Park the greenhouse supplies plants for the outdoor plantings.  It's a treasure that should not be missed.
Tours are available year round and there is a permanent display of large tropical plants housed there. 

Noelridge Garden and Craft Show
Each year the Noelridge Greenhouse has an open house and flower show (Cedar Rapids, Iowa).   The event is always held on Easter Saturday.  There are plants galore, and several crafts persons come with their art/crafts.  Orchids, handmade cards, honey, and other items.  A year or so ago,  I wanted to find a piece of jewelry made by my friend Jennifer Rotole.   Didn't take me long to spot this necklace and earrings.  The piece is crafted from 1920s vintage buttons and wire.  Jennifer changed out the chain to make it the 30 inches I needed/wanted.  And I was a very happy customer.

Put this event on your list for a quick Mother's Day visit.  A perfect time to get flowers, a piece of jewelry, or other craft items.  The event usually is open 10-5 p.m.

Noelridge Park Greenhouse is one of the city's hidden treasures—a treasure hidden in plain site.  Most communities have a hidden treasure.  Share yours.
 ~~~


Do you have a book package that you'd like to order -- suggest something special just for you...  Visit Greenfroggifts on Etsy for the latest choices. 
Order cookie cutters, aprons, and baker's cloths from Green Frog Gifts -- unique gifts -- many $10.00 or under.




Thursday, March 10, 2016

Another Reason to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Herbert Hoover gained his greatest achievements
as a humanitarian - his efforts touched many including
Eric Sonneman who arrived in the USA as an immigrant on
St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 1939.
In the fall of 2014, I wrote of Herbert Hoover and his humanitarian work and his  Iowa Connection in a blog post at Iowaconnections.com.  In researching information for that blog post I came across information about an immigrant, Eric Sonneman, who had benefited from Hoover's relief efforts.  In e-correspondence with his daughter Toby Sonneman, the author of a fascinating history of the lemon, Lemon: A Global History, I was directed to an essay about her father and St. Patrick's day that appeared in The Scroll: Tablet Magazine on the News.  It seems Eric Sonneman's arrival in the United States as a Jewish immigrant from Germany, coincided with St. Patrick's day
1939. 

 Sonneman family's favorite holiday.  Besides leprechauns, four-leafed clovers, and pots of gold under the rainbow I think Eric Sonneman had the right idea.  St. Patrick's day is a very good day to welcome immigrants to America.  On this coming St. Patrick's day, and all the days that follow, please do something to welcome a new arrival in the United States.  A simple hello, a plate of warm cookies, a hour or two tutoring in a local center, ... do whatever you can to make someone else feel welcome and treasured in our abundant land of opportunity.

His daughter, Toby,  is a writer and has written anecdotes involving her father.  In this specific essay Toby Sonneman shares her father's (and the family's) reason that St. Patrick's day is the family's favorite holiday.

Write and let us know what YOU did to welcome a new immigrant to the USA.  And if you have a favorite holiday we'd like to hear about that too.

 Resources:

McElmeel, Sharron (1 September 2014).  Herbert Hoover - Native Iowan: A President from IOWA.  Iowa History: Bits and Pieces.  (WEB) http://iowahistory.blogspot.com/2014/09/herbert-hoover-native-iowan.html

Soneman, Toby.  (2014) www.tobysonneman.com.

Sonneman, Toby.  (14 March 2014).  Why St. Patrick's Day Is My Jewish Family's Favorite Holiday.  The Scroll: Tablet Magazine on the News.  (WEB) http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/166071/why-st-patricks-day-is-my-jewish-familys-favorite-holiday
~ ~ ~

Do you have a book package that you'd like to order -- suggest something special just for you...  Visit Greenfroggifts on Etsy for the latest choices. 
Order cookie cutters, aprons, and baker's cloths from Green Frog Gifts -- unique gifts -- many $10.00 or under.