Posts are sneaky buggers – 655!!!!

A blogger friend of mine – Sirena Tales – reported doing her 500th post. Wow. I was just amazed. And me being me, decided to check how many posts I have done as.of.today – 655! Posts fly when you are having fun. Happy dance, happy dance, happy dance!!!

THANK YOU Every one of you, thank you. Your comments, sharing, kindness has been an inspiration to me. Truly. And I know there are some of you muttering about all the poetry I’ve been posting. Don’t worry, I’ll start posting other things – again. Along with the poetry.

You see, I wrote my first classic haiku when I was six. I wrote poetry all through high school and university. I wrote poetry afterwards…and then – stopped. I began writing poetry again soon after I left the hospital after surgery for cancer. And while the surgery, anesthesia, meds took away my taste for seafood, it gifted me back the inspiration to again write poetry. I hope I don’t write any stuffy, twisted, complicated stuff. I hope I write something that will touch you as much as my prose has done in the past. I’m a simple person and so enjoy life. Being a cancer survivor does that to you.

My love of falling snow, blue skies, cherry blossoms, still nights, falling stars, being in love – simple things that bring such joy. I want to share those with you. Poetry seems to be the best way to do that, sometimes.

Don’t worry though, the recipes, the stories, the smart aleck Southern woman will be once again sharing this blog with the poetic Southern woman.  BTW – this post makes 656 – woo hoo!!

Again my friends, THANK YOU. God bless you everyone.

View of Fuji - Hokusai

View of Fuji – Hokusai

Twofer Tuesday: Peach Extravaganza

 

It is peach season – Hooray!!!! Luscious globes in variegated shades of pink,red,coral..pass by a display of them and be seduced by the sweet and unique fragrance. First they catch your eye and then as you go closer, your fingers are teased by the velvet touch of them and then finally, that lifting to the nose and inhaling the sweet smell of summer.

Cobblers, pies, ice cream, sangria, parfaits, trifles, shortcakes, coffeecakes, bread, upside down cakes, grilled, salsa-ed or just eaten as they are, peaches are one of the most versatile of the summer fruits. The standard peach and its cousin, the white fleshed peach which tastes the way an exotic flower would taste, go all too quickly into our past, to be dreamed of during cold and grey winter days. Enjoy them while they are here – become a peach glutton.

Two recipes for you with peaches: Peaches and Cream Pie – a sweet silky southern belle of a dessert. Not quite crème brulee but dancing on the edge of it; the edges caramelize and add a different layer of flavor and texture. And – from Southern Living Magazine, Governor’s Mansion Sweet Summer Peach Tea. Cooling and refreshing. An excellent drink for brunches, prissy bridal or baby showers, afternoon tea, or just for serving to friends at a cookout as something totally different and delicious.

Try both of them and I think you will be on your way to being a true Peach Hedonist!

peaches-and-cream-pie

Peaches and Cream Pie
¾ c. granulated white sugar
½ c. all purpose flour
1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell
2 c. peeled and sliced fresh peaches or, frozen peaches, defrosted and room temperature
1 c. heavy cream
Good splash of vanilla added to the cream

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix sugar and flour together in bowl. Sprinkle about one-third into the bottom of the pie shell. Add peaches and sprinkle with remaining sugar and flour. Slowly pour heavy cream over fillings. Gently stir peaches to cover them completely with cream. Bake until peaches are tender and crust is golden – about 45 minutes. Let cool on rack until a bit warmer than room temperature. It will slice better.

Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lydia DeGaris Pursell

Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lydia DeGaris Pursell

Governor’s Mansion Summer Peach Tea Punch
3 family-size tea bags
2 cups loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1 (33.8-oz.) bottle peach nectar
1/2 (12-oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup Simple Sugar Syrup***
1 (1-liter) bottle ginger ale, chilled
1 (1-liter) bottle club soda, chilled
Garnish: fresh peach wedges

Preparation
Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan; add tea bags and mint leaves. Boil 1 minute; remove from heat. Cover and steep 10 minutes. Discard tea bags and mint. Pour into a 1-gal. container; add peach nectar, lemonade concentrate, and Simple Sugar Syrup. Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.
Pour chilled tea mixture into a punch bowl or pitcher. Stir in ginger ale and club soda just before serving. Garnish, if desired.

** Simple Sugar Syrup
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water

Bring sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and mixture is clear. Cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes) Syrup can be made in batches and when cooled, stored for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. I keep a batch of it all through the summer for quick drink preparation.

 

Best Li’l Cookin’ Show….

I was reminded, while on the trip to Florida, of one of the most unique, funny, and downright odd cookin’ shows ever – Cookin’ Cheap.  It was produced in Roanoke, VA on their public TV channel and aired from 1981-2002. The “cooks” were two local archetypical Southern mama’s boys.   Those of you from the South know what I am saying here. It was not haute cuisine but it was cookin’ and it was cheap.

Laban Johnson and Larry Bly were truly, truly….well, they just were. Antics o’plenty, asides that would make you spew your morning coffee if you were brave enough to drink while the show aired, questionable knife skills (did he really need that HUGE dull chef’s knife to peel that small onion?), strange concoctions from the viewers (potato bud chicken, bean pie, crabby potatoes, hamburger soup. Hi-waiian hotdogs, beer sprout soup, sandwiches al la leftovers), lots of stuff made with cream of something soup, and sugar – lots and lots of sugar (with this much sugar in it, you know it has to be good). Every Saturday, my roomie and I were there in front of the tube guffawing, applauding, appalled. Laban and Larry were amateurs, often struggling to open a box of cake mix. The food was often awful and often looked and sounded like glop.

What made this show so wonderful was the chemistry between these two friends.  One tall, the other one short. They bicker, giggle, josh, and…sometimes dress like old Southern ladies.  The Cook Sisters visited every week.  And what a strange trip they were. Tootsie Cook was Larry and based upon the old maid aunt that raised him.  Sister Cook was Laban and I swear, based on our next door neighbor when I was a kid, Mrs. Goldie.

What reminded me of these halcyon days was being served….Hamburger Soup one night for supper. I remember the boys liked it when they fixed it and years later, after having finally had it, I agree. It is cheap, easy, tasty, and comforting. I am posting a recipe for it and I hope you will hang around long enough to watch one of the few surving segments of this show posted at the end of this. This is the one where Laban wrestles with a pack of chicken thighs to produce the dreaded Potato Bud Chicken. Larry fixes a cobbler and talks about his Aunt Tootsie’s cobbler.

There are some segments, blessedly videotaped and preserved years ago, surviving on You Tube, Please, y’all, check them out. This is an easy way to go Visitin’ Cheap into the South.  Not perfect cookin’ but, Perfection belongs to God, not us, the Southern author Flannery O’Connor would have told you, her eyes boring holes in yours as she poured Coca-Cola in her coffee.

Hamburger Soup1 lb. ground beef
1 c. chopped onion
1 cup diced potato
1 c. sliced carrots
1 c. shredded cabbage (optional)
1 c. sliced celery
4 c. v-8 juice (I use store brand, low sodium)
¼ c. rice I use brown)
3 tsp salt
¼ tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups water
Cook ground beef and Onion until brown Drain fat. Add other ingredients. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer one hour.

Simple Sunday Supper: Creepy and Spicy

Oyakodon:  Creepy name, yummy dish.  Warm, simple, comforting, easy. The name means “mother and child” = chicken and egg; hence, the cannibalistic creepy part. My husband hates the name and calls it “chicken bowl stuff”.  Whatever. This is donburi (don) – served over a bowl of steamed rice dish. You can use dashi or chicken broth for the liquid. White or brown rice is also your choice. Excellent for lunch or a simple supper.  Warms your tummy.

Dessert is pumpkin custard. Sweet, spicy, seasonal. Pumpkin pie without the crust. Top with a nice dollop of whipped cream. Served warm or chilled, this is good stuff. A bit decadent and a fitting end to a simple supper. Go ahead and eat two. It will be our secret.

Oyakodon
1/2 cup Dashi or chicken broth
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp Sake
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Mirin
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
1 chicken breast (boneless, skinless), cut into bite size pieces
2 eggs
1 green onion, thinly sliced
steamed rice

Instructions
Add broth, sugar, Sake, soy sauce and Mirin in a pan. Heat until boiling. Add onion and cook for a minute at medium heat until tender. Add chicken pieces to the pan and cook until the meat is cooked through. Beat egg in a small bowl and pour over the chicken and onion. Cover and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until your eggs are cooked as you like them. Slide half of egg and chicken with half of sauce over rice in a bowl. Sprinkle with green onion.  Two servings.

Oyakodon

 

Pumpkin Custard
3 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed (not evaporated) milk
1 1/3 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Sweetened whipped cream
Ground cinnamon

Instructions
HEAT oven to 350°F. Whisk eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice until blended. Whisk in sweetened condensed milk, milk, vanilla and salt until blended.
Pour into 6 (6-ounce) custard cups. Place custard cups in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Place dish on oven rack in center of oven. Carefully pour boiling water into pan around custard cups to a depth of 1 1/4 inches. Bake 35 minutes or until centers are almost set. Remove custard cups from baking dish and cool on wire rack. Serve warm or cold. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon just before serving.  Makes 6.

IMG_1700[1]

Bowling Night Raspberry Bars

My mama was on a bowling team.  For some reason, the crew of them got into the habit of taking cookies and bar cookies with them to the bowling alley.  These were a quick fix and one of my favorites.  I liked bowling night! She’d leave two on a saucer for me. I’d read and nibble until bedtime.

RASPBERRY COOKIE BARS

CRUMB MIXTURE
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 egg
FILLING 3/4 cup seedless raspberry preserves**

Heat oven to 350°F. Line 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, extending foil over edges. Grease foil; set aside.

Combine all crumb mixture ingredients in large bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 2 cups crumb mixture; set aside. Press remaining crumb mixture on bottom of prepared baking pan. Spread preserves to within 1/2 inch of edge. Crumble reserved crumb mixture over preserves.

Bake 40-50 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely; cut into bars.  Makes 8 large or 16 smaller.

**You can use your favorite preserve flavor

raspberry-bars-photobucket[1]

A Splendiferous Galaxy of Awards…..Gratitude flows

 

You registered on WordPress.com 1 years ago!  Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!

 

Okay, this isn’t an award.  it is a computer generated notice.  They haven’t fresh pressed me so they don’t know I am doing good blogging.  .

HOWEVER (ahem)  it is all of you out there who have read my blog, liked, commented…..it is all of you out there in Blogland that share yourselves with others, that give us some of our best moments, that inspire us, make us weep, make us laugh and chortle with delight, inform us, influence us…….and in a large part, that “us” is me.  Yours truly……the very imperfect cherry blossom who strives to be the perfect cherry blossom.   When I started blogging, I wasn’t sure what to expect or where I was going.  Somehow, KanzenSakura has taken a life of her own and has skipped merrily along, sometimes with me, sometimes, apparently when successful, without.

A few weeks ago, a meteor shower of nominations lit my world.  Alas, pneumonia laid me low and so I am later that I wish to be at thanking those shining lights who nominated me.  Here is the amazing part:  no rules.  No link backs, no answering questions……just those precious souls saying, “Here is a garden of awards.  Pick yourself a bouquet.  I know you deserve them all but pick the ones that make your bouquet as special as you.”

So being a good (sometimes, more often than not, naughty) southern girl, I am doing as my mama taught me years ago.  “When folks are nice to you, say Thank You.  and oh yes, pass it along.”

Thank you to:

http://theseeker57.wordpress.com

http://transcendingbordersblog.wordpress.com

http://ajaytao2010.wordpress.com

I’m posting the awards I chose.  I am going to mentally go out to Oklahoma and wander around http://el34ax7.wordpress.com/  mom’s pasture and cogitate on this a bit.  I’m going to share.  I may even wander around the lovely land of http://davidemeron.com/ and his amazing sonnets, or scoot around Japan compliments of http://japankharma.wordpress.com/

But wherever I go in my thoughts, I’m going to share these awards in the same spirit as they were given.  I know some of the folks I choose will not accept and that is fine, just you all go visit their site anyway, okay?

Thank you all again.  Words in this case, are insufficient.  I send you all hugs from my heart.

 

So……here is the Splendiferous Bouquet of Awards – Yowzer Y’all…..

hug-award11[1] most-influential-blogger-e1364230844577[1] one-lovely-blog-award[1] rose-of-kindness-award[1] seed-of-light-award[1] shineon1[1] unique-leaves-award[1]

 

Versatile Blogger Award

versatileblogger111[1] 

This one actually came before the Best Moments Award.  I needed to think long and hard about the Most Versatile Blogger.  Sometimes my idea of things are waaaaay different from other’s.  Hence, probably some of you are thinking some of my choices for Best Moments are a bit odd.  Well, ODD is one of my middle names (along with Stubborn, Geeky, Lives in an Alternative Universe, A Bit Twisted -you catch my drift).

The same will be true of the Versatile Blogger Award.  But I am pleased with my choices.  I tried to choose new or bloggers who hadn’t racked up a bunch of awards already.  Please do check out the winners for both awards.  Find some new interests, different perspectives, cool stuff, funny stuff, inspirational stuff……maybe even a new friend or two.

THANK YOU to http://ajaytao2010.wordpress.com   for giving me this award.  His blog is worth checking out.  I like everything he chooses to share.  And the reason behind his choices I find typical of the way he is. Photographs, sayings, humor, inspiration, provocation of thought – all on his blog.  I am honored by his choosing me.

I told a friend about Versatile Blogger, and he says “Why, because you are a white southern woman writing about Japanese stuff?”  I said to him, “No, Dopey. it’s because I am a white southern woman writing about Japanese stuff, southern stuff, recipes, poetry, prose, Christian thoughts, and fun things.”

So that settles that.  My blog is a bit of a mish-mash of what is coming out of my head and heart at that moment.  I hope you will try some of the recipes – I’ve been on a Japanese jag for a bit so now it is time for me to go back to Southern.  Also, the poems aren’t the best in the world, but you may like some of them.  I thank all of you who read, like, follow my blog.  You all are the most versatile group of people I have ever met.  Keep your wonderful posts coming.  You are all special.

VBA Rules

If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.

  •  Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  •  Finally, tell 7 things about yourself
  1. 1.  I am part of a group of friends all born, in different years, on 11/16 within the timeframe of 5:00 am and 6:30 a.m.  I call this the 11/16 Society and have done various posts about it
  2. I love Blue Bell ice cream (hooray, finally in Virginia!) esp. the banana split, the banana pudding, and the peach cobbler.
  3. I’m afraid of spiders.  I think they are cool but I am afraid of them.
  4. My Japanese is really really bad and I thank you all for putting up with me.
  5. I’m not fond of chocolate
  6. I wrote my first poem when I was four:  Rain. Rain. Rain.  Ducks like rain.  Sometimes I do.  Sometimes I don’t. Rain. Rain. Rain.
  7. I like to ball room dance, especially standard tango and Viennese Waltz.

AND THE WINNERS ARE..in no special order…

 http://theverybesttop10.com/

http://matteringsofmind.wordpress.com/

http://serialoutlet.wordpress.com/

http://frugalfeeding.com/

http://team1million.wordpress.com/

http://cindyknoke.com/

http://nomadicpedestrian.wordpress.com/about/

http://biljanazovkic.wordpress.com/

http://ambitioninthecity.com/

http://mesayah.wordpress.com/

http://theevolutionofeloquence.wordpress.com/

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