The Gift of Poetry

2015 Books

From EVERDALE PUBLISHING

Poetry is always a good choice for gifts, don’t you think?

And since its almost time to start thinking about Christmas, I wanted to remind you that my chapbooks are available from Everdale Publishing through lulu.com.

The first is a compilation of my December poems for the seasons of Advent, Christmas and the winter solstice, Festival of Lessons and Carols. A perfect gift for friends and family. Or for when you have those quiet moments to reflect on this wonderful time of year.

The second book is Penelope to Her Husband, Poems of Myth and Fantasy, a retelling of myths, faerie tales, fables, with old and new characters that I hope will charm you.

These are available at lulu.com http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/kge

I hope you enjoy these little books!

A Journey of (re) creation- part 3 or so

http://www.tablerocklakehomesearch.com/listing/mlsid/392/propertyid/60063251/

We are selling our home.

It is the place we came to after leaving our wonderful ‘last really good shack’. A house brought to us by an angel and we have loved it for more than 14 years.

We built Mom’s apartment onto the den in 2005 and she lived happily with us for 11 years. It has been a joy and blessing to us.

Now it is time to move on. Find a new adventure. Re-create our lives once again.

So, if you know anyone who would love a great lakehouse on Table Rock Lake in southwest Missouri, I know just the place.

And, of course, I will keep you posted.

Thank you, my dear friends,
Kathleen

Christmas Traditions

Victorian Angels

the angel of Christmas Eve gift!, sequin studded stockings, and chalk figurines of wise men and stately camels

My sister in law called from Florida this morning
asking where the tradition of Christmas Eve gift comes from
and after consultation with Mom, decided it was the Allen side
that started it.
Now in our family, the tradition is whoever yells ‘Christmas Eve gift’ first
receives a present. So you lie in wait for people– I answer the phone
‘Christmas Eve gift’ all day, just in case. It can be a little disconcerting
for phone solicitors and people of short acquaintance
that don’t really know how odd we are.

And I explained to a friend about our traditional fruitcake
baked each year by my grandmother, then my mother
and now me. Not really the traditional fruitcake,
more pound cake with nuts and dates, with syrupy
sweet orange juice poured over the top.

And I make Christmas stockings for every newcomer in the family.
A tradition begun when we were children, our socks created
by my Dad’s first cousin and now continued for a third generation,
each hung by the chimney with care, with hopes of St Nicholas
and his eight tiny reindeer.

And our most cherished tradition is bringing out the family manger scene
of which I have custody. It is created from dime store chalk figures,
some still with the price tags from T.G.& Y. or Woolworths
and a cardboard stable with a little paper scene
glued on the back. There are the three wise men
one with a busted nose and their stately camel. The shepherds
with their two little sheep. A donkey or two to rest beside the manger.
An angel in pink, perched on the roof top that’s still covered in bits
of glued on straw. Kneeling Mary, dressed in blue, and stalwart Joseph
with his staff to stand watch over the tiny Baby looking up from the manger.

The Baby.

‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’ Luke 2:11-14

All our traditions begin with Him.

Christmas at the Black Horse

Christmas at the Black Horse 2013 2Christmas at the Black Horse 2013 1Christmas at the Black Horse 2013

Festive night filled with music-
the sound of guitar, mandolin
and drum
(pa rum pa pa pum)

Red Santa hats,
jingle bells and neon signs
brighten the early winter darkness.

Voices raised in laughter
and song-
on the first day of Christmas
my true love
sang to me
Wildfire
and a possum in a persimmon tree.

*** it was a wonderful night at the Black Horse for the Christmas open mic night. I read a couple of poems and we all sang my take on the Twelve Days of the Ozarks and our friends, old and new, made merry.
note: the photos are from 2013 and we miss those who have moved on to warmer climes especially Ally and Pete – love you guys!

Christmas Traditions – more Baking!

Christmas 2011

As I was driving to work this morning, listening to NPR, I heard the most delicious recipe for gingerbread from Nigella Lawson.
You can read the entire article here: Nigellas Tips For A Frugal Yet Festive Holiday http://www.npr.org/2011/12/12/143391781/nigellas-tips-for-a-frugal-yet-festive-holiday?sc=emaf
It just sounds so inviting – I can almost smell the ginger, cinnamon and cloves. And its an old fashioned kind of goodie. Reminds me of my grandmothers and their kitchens, filled with wonderful treats during the Christmas season.
Here is the recipe – I will let you know how it turns out!

Recipe: Sticky Gingerbread

Makes 20 squares

1 stick plus 3 tablespoons butter

3/4 cup dark corn syrup

3/4 cup molasses

2/3 cup packed soft dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons finely grated ginger

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in 2 teaspoons warm water

1 cup whole milk

2 eggs, beaten to mix

2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a roasting pan or ovenproof dish (approx. 12 x 8 x 2-inches) with aluminum foil or parchment paper (if using foil, grease it too).

In a saucepan, melt the butter over a lowish heat along with the sugar, syrup, molasses, fresh and ground gingers, cinnamon and cloves.

Take off the heat, and add the milk, eggs and dissolved baking soda in its water.

Measure the flour into a bowl and pour in the liquid ingredients, beating until well mixed. It will be a very liquid batter, so don’t worry. This is part of what makes it sticky later.

Pour it into the prepared pan and bake for 45-60 minutes until risen and firm on top. Try not to overcook, as it is nicer a little stickier, and anyway will carry on cooking as it cools.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the gingerbread cool in the pan before cutting into 20 squares, or however you wish to slice it.

Make ahead tip:

Make the gingerbread up to 2 weeks ahead, wrap loosely in parchment paper and store in an airtight container. Cut into squares as required.

Freeze ahead tip:

Make the gingerbread, wrap in parchment paper and a layer of aluminum foil then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for 3-4 hours and cut into squares.

Recipes reprinted from the book Nigella Christmas by Nigella Lawson. Copyright 2011 by Nigella Lawson. Published by Hyperion Books.

Christmas Traditions – Baking

Christmas eve 2014

I know that there are lots of jokes about fruitcakes this time of year. And I agree that some are pretty awful.
But this recipe has always been a favorite one in our house and even folks who do not like fruitcake love these little morsels. It will take time because it makes a lot of cookies – so a good time to write a few notes to friends or wrap some gifts while they bake. Have fun!

Christmas Fruitcake Cookies

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs

1 lb dates, cut into small pieces ( I use kitchen shears for this job – so much easier!)
1 lb fruitcake fruit, cut into small pieces ( you can use what you like – all candied cherries or a mixture of citron and cherries- just make sure that you have red, green and yellow fruit)
1 lb pecan pieces

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time until well blended. Sift dry ingredients and add to sugar mixture. Mix well.
Stir in dates, fruit and nuts until incorporated into dough. The dough will be very stiff.

Drop by small spoonfuls onto greased baking sheet.
Bake 10 minutes at 350 until golden.

These cookies are very pretty and make wonderful gifts. Enjoy!