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Big Mama, Sister, Brother and me

Big Mama, Sister, Brother and me

Big Mama and Papa Honeymoon photo

Big Mama and Papa Honeymoon photo

One of my favorite photos of Big Mama with Morgan

One of my favorite photos of Big Mama with Morgan

Mama, me, Brother & Big Mama - 1961

Mama, me, Brother & Big Mama – 1961

Big Mama, me, Mama, and Sister -early 90's

Big Mama, me, Mama, and Sister -early 90’s

Big Mama

Big Mama

NOTE:  I am repeating a post I made several years ago in honor of Big Mama’s birthday.  She was so special and I miss her every day. 

Anyone who has taken a crochet class (or almost any other type of class I teach) at The Studio has heard me talk about Big Mama and all that she taught me.

She was my maternal grandmother and a wonderful person who lived a good long life….almost 100 when she passed.  Today would have been her 110th birthday!  Everyone loved her.  Once I took some friends home to meet her and when they got back home to Kentucky they sent her a thank you note for the lovely lunch she made for us.  They didn’t know her name…only Big Mama.  So they mailed the envelope to “Big Mama, Offerman, Georgia”  and it was delivered without delay.  LOL

She taught me so many things….things I still use to this day and that I try to share as I teach.

I have written about Big Mama before to share some of her recipes…most recently when I made the Carrot Cake at Thanksgiving.  I also shared her recipe for Syrup Candy and talked about her in a Plum Jelly post.    I love her recipes and making anything that she used to make for us always brings back floods of memories.

Crocheting was the thing she taught me the most about.  She loved it and was almost always making something.  The amazing thing about her crochet was that she just kept patterns in her head.   When I would asked her to teach me to make a certain stitch or design she would just pick up a hook and start crocheting.  She would tell me what she was doing and I would write it down.  I think that is where I get my “making up” patterns from.  I think she would like that!

So today I am so grateful that I got to know all four of my grandparents and am especially blessed that Big Mama played such a big role in my life.  I wouldn’t be enjoying this creative life I am living with having known her.  Happy Birthday Big Mama!

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Easiest & Best Fudge Ever

20151223_070138-1For over 30 years I have used this recipe for fudge.  It is the easiest and the best.  I make it with and without nuts.  It’s great both ways.  Give it a try.

Easy Creme Fudge

3 cups sugar

3/4 cups margarine

2/3 cups evaporated milk

1 – 12 ounce package of chocolate chips (semi-sweet, milk chocolate or dark)

1 – 7 ounce jar marshmallow creme

1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring

1 cup chopped pecans

Combine sugar, margarine and milk in heavy 2 1/2 quart saucepan.  Bring to full rolling boil stirring constantly. Continue boiling for 5 minutes over medium heat or until candy thermometer reaches 234 degrees, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.  Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until melted.  Add vanilla and marshmallow creme. Stir until smooth and blended.  Stir in nuts.  Pour into a lightly greased 13″x9″ pan.  Cool at room temperature.  Cut into small squares.  Makes about 3 pounds.   Enjoy!

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Banana Bread

Kelly’s Banana Nut Bread

Sunday morning I made Banana Nut Bread for breakfast.  I often buy bananas and don’t eat them until they get soft and I don’t like them like that so I end up making bread.  I mentioned in previous posts that I grew up in a pecan orchard (read that and get those recipes here and here)  so we had LOTS of pecans to cook and bake with so I love them and still cook with them even though I don’t have the wonderful endless supply that I once did.  Here’s the recipe that I use for Banana Nut Bread. I like it because its moist but not too sweet. Enjoy!

Banana Nut Bread

2 cups self-rising flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 eggs, beaten

1 ½ cups mashed ripe bananas (about 5 medium or 2 large)

1 cup sugar

½ cup cooking oil OR melted butter

1 cup chopped pecans

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine dry ingredients (except pecans) and then mix in eggs, banana and oil or butter.  Mix well.  Fold in  pecans last.  Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan and bake for about 55 minutes for a large loaf pan or 40-45 minutes for a small loaf pan.  Cool for 10 minutes and then remove from pan.  A slice is perfect with a little butter!

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Mama's Chewy Nut Cookies

Mama’s Chewy Nut Cookies

I made these Chewy Nut Cookies for Open Studio yesterday.  This was one of my mom’s standby recipes especially for our snack when we came home from school.  We grew up on a farm in the middle of a big pecan orchard so we put lots of pecans in everything.  I love these and every time I make them I am reminded of her.  If you like pecans I hope you will give them a try.

MAMA’S CHEWY NUT COOKIES

2 1/8 cups light brown sugar, packed

1 stick butter

2 eggs

2 cups self-rising flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans

Melt butter.  Add sugar, flour, eggs, and vanilla.  Mix well.  Fold in nuts.  Pour into greased baking pan.   Bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 minute.  Center will seem like it’s not quite done.  Let it stand until cool and then cut into squares

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Big Mama, Sister, Brother and me

Big Mama, Sister, Brother and me

Big Mama and Papa Honeymoon photo

Big Mama and Papa Honeymoon photo

One of my favorite photos of Big Mama with Morgan

One of my favorite photos of Big Mama with Morgan

Mama, me, Brother & Big Mama - 1961

Mama, me, Brother & Big Mama – 1961

Big Mama, me, Mama, and Sister -early 90's

Big Mama, me, Mama, and Sister -early 90’s

Big Mama

Big Mama

Anyone who has taken a crochet class (or almost any other type of class I teach) at The Studio has heard me talk about Big Mama and all that she taught me.

She was my maternal grandmother and a wonderful person who lived a good long life….almost 100 when she passed.  Today would have been her 107th birthday!  Everyone loved her.  Once I took some friends home to meet her and when they got back home to Kentucky they sent her a thank you note for the lovely lunch she made for us.  They didn’t know her name…only Big Mama.  So they mailed the envelope to “Big Mama, Offerman, Georgia”  and it was delivered without delay.  LOL

She taught me so many things….things I still use to this day and that I try to share as I teach.

I have written about Big Mama before to share some of her recipes…most recently when I made the Carrot Cake at Thanksgiving.  I also shared her recipe for Syrup Candy and talked about her in a Plum Jelly post.    I love her recipes and making anything that she used to make for us always brings back floods of memories.

Crocheting was the thing she taught me the most about.  She loved it and was almost always making something.  The amazing thing about her crochet was that she just kept patterns in her head.   When I would asked her to teach me to make a certain stitch or design she would just pick up a hook and start crocheting.  She would tell me what she was doing and I would write it down.  She didn’t use patterns very often.  I think that is where I get my “making up” patterns from.  I think she would like that!

So today I am so grateful that I got to know all four of my grandparents and am especially blessed that Big Mama played such a big role in my life.  I wouldn’t be enjoying this creative life I am living with having known her.  Happy Birthday Big Mama!

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Ingredients for Carrot Cake

Ingredients for Carrot Cake

Batter should look like this

Batter should look like this

Big Mama's Carrot Cake

Big Mama’s Carrot Cake

Yesterday I made Big Mama’s Carrot Cake to take to Thanksgiving Dinner.  It was a hit!  It always is.

Big Mama made the best cakes and the recipes I have of hers have always been favorites.  Several people asked for the recipe so here it is.  When I make one to take to a gathering with lots of people I always make 1 1/2 times the recipe in order to have a large cake.  Enjoy.

Big Mama’s Layered Carrot Cake

2 cups sifted cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups cooking oil

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

2 cups finely grated carrots

Combine oil, sugar and eggs.  Beat well.  Add dry ingredients to this mixture.  Mix well and then add carrots.  Mix them in and then pour into 3 layer pans which have been greased and floured.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  (Be sure to watch them toward the end of the time as each oven bakes differently.)  Cool.

 Carrot Cake Nut Frosting

½ cup butter

1 8 oz. cream cheese

1 lb. powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ½ cup chopped pecans

Beat butter and cheese until fluffy.  Add sugar and vanilla.  Frost cake.  Sprinkle a few pecans on each layer with the majority on the top.

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Apple Cinnamon Bread

CAM06335I don’t know about you but I am always seeing these really good-looking recipes that friends share on Facebook or Pinterest.  I have tried a few and they are never as good as they look.  But I recently ran across this one that is AMAZING!  I have made it several times and it doesn’t last long.  It’s great for a breakfast bread or a dessert.  Hope you enjoy it too!  You can print the Apple Cinnamon Bread recipe at this link.

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