Talents and hobbies are for sharing

Everyone has different hobbies, likes and talents and ways of passing their time. I am sure things I like and enjoy are different from things you like and enjoy, which is a natural thing. I have a large variety of hobbies and things I like to do. The hobbies are painting, drawing, photography, quilting, sewing, fishing, hiking, reading and gardening to name just a few.

My personal hobbies are cooking, baking, cross stitching, decorating Christmas Trees and just decorating in general, reading recipes, judging cooking contests and cooking events.

I enjoy each one of the hobbies in a different way. In my next life I would like to be given the talent and enjoyment of drawing and painting. My No. 1 hobby is baking (difficult and challenging recipes, however) and looking forward to the finish product. Too many people they try to avoid sweets but to me life would be boring without sweets on the table and sharing them with friends. LOL

No. 2 is cooking. I can be in the kitchen all day and not complain that I am tired when I am busy cooking. No. 3, I really enjoy reading recipes and if you do not believe me ask my husband how many times I have fallen asleep reading a cookbook and he takes the book from my lap.

We have a friend on the island of Mykonos, Greece, who is among the top religious icon painters in Greece. He has a small shop where he paints icons of all religious scenes and people including Jesus, the Last Supper, the disciples, the Crucifixion and any religious painting you would like. He paints the figures on olive wood and a mixture of egg shell and gold dust with each painting, taking several months to complete. His workmanship is unbelievable and all the detailing so perfect that when it is finished the faces look like they are ready to talk to you.

Over the years we have had him paint special icons of Jesus for our three children and also one for each of our eight grandchildren.

People from all over the world order icons of every size and shape he has painted. He also holds classes on the technique of icon painting.

He is blessed with a fantastic talent and also shares it with others who are interested in becoming a painter of religious people and happenings.

Another excellent portrait painter in our area is Connie Cullum of Vienna who has painted hundreds of portraits including ones for each of our three children who turn out to look exactly like they look in real life a tremendous talent.

Many of you probably remember Dr. George Gevas who not only delivered over 10,000 babies but prided himself with gardening. He took great pride and interest in especially raising veggies. His specialties were zucchini, tomatoes and egg plants and distributing them to many of his friends. This was his hobby and way of relaxing and enjoyment and I always looked forward to seeing him with his straw hat with a basket of items knocking at our door.

Till next week


Green Tomato Relish


6 green peppers, chopped

1 hot pepper chopped

12 green tomatoes chopped

6 onions chopped

1/2 cup of salt

3 cups of sugar

1 quart vinegar

1 tablespoon turmeric

1/4 box whole mixed pickling spice

Soak peppers, tomatoes, onions and salt overnight in water to cover. Drain and wash off. In a pot place sugar, vinegar, turmeric and spices tied in cheesecloth. Bring to a boil, add the drained vegetables, return to a boil, spoon into jars and seal. Yields 6 pints.


Red Pepper Relish


24 sweet red peppers, ground (reserve juice)

7 medium onions, chopped fine (reserve juice)

3 cups of white vinegar

3 cups of sugar

2 tablespoons of salt

2 tablespoons of mustard seed

Drain some, but not all, of the juice from the peppers. Combine peppers, onions with juice and all other ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Seal at once in jars. Process in boiling water bath for 20 minutes. Excellent with meats or vegetables, especially good on cream cheese as an appetizer served with crackers wields 2 quarts.


Tarragon Pickles


8 pounds of whole cucumbers

salt water

1/3 gallon of vinegar (5 1/3 cups)

2 tablespoons alum

4 pounds of sugar

2 tablespoons whole mixed pickling spice

1 (12 ounce) bottle tarragon vinegar.

Wash cucumbers and place in salt water (2 cups salt per gallon of water) for 10 days. Remove scum as it accumulates on the top. Pour off saw water. Wash cucumbers and place in cold water for 3 days. Drain cucumbers. Mix vinegar, alum and cucumbers and let stand in mixture for 3 days. Slice pickles thin. In a wide mouth gallon jar, alternate layers of pickles and sugar until all are used. Add pickling spice. Pour terragon vinegar all over. Stir mixture occasionally for several hours, until sugar is dissolved. Pack in jars and cover. Sealing is unnecessary. Yields 1 gallon.


Minnie Porter’s chicken and dumplings.

4 tablespoons lard or shortening

1 and 1/2 cups of sifted flour

1 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of baking soda

Pinch of sugar

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 egg beaten

1 fryer, cut in pieces

2 cups of water

2 cups of chicken stock (preferably unsalted)

2 tablespoons of butter

1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt (if stock is salted use less)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 to 1 cup of milk

To make dumplings, cut lard into the flour, salt, soda and sugar; make a well in the flour mixture and add buttermilk and eggs. Make as for biscuits. Roll into a ball and place in freezer while chicken is cooking. Place chicken pieces into a 3 or 4 quart saucepan with the water, stock, butter, salt and pepper. Simmer (do not boil) for 30 to 40 minutes or until tender. Remove chicken pieces. Skin and debone. Roll out dumplings as for pie crust, using ample flower on the board and rolling pin as the dough is sticky. Cut pastry into 1 inch squares and bring stock to a boil. Dropped dumplings and stalk slowly enough to keep stock boiling, stirring constantly to avoid sticking. Place chicken on top when all the dumplings are and, and pour the milk over all. Bring stock back to a boil place top on sauce Pan and turn heat down to a fast simmer. Do not remove lid or dumplings will be tough. After 20 minutes remove top and add more milk if dry. Salt and pepper to taste and serve at once. Dish may be reheated by pouring a little hot milk in the bottom of a casserole, adding the chicken and dumplings, covering with foil and placing in the oven at 350 degrees until warmed. Serve 6.


Chicken Jambalaya


1 chopped onion

1 chopped green pepper

2 cloves garlic (minced)

2 tablespoon salad oil

1 cup diced cooked ham

12 small pork sausage links sliced

1 cup diced cooked chicken

2 (16 ounce) cans of tomato

1 cup raw rice

1 and 1/2 cups of chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Saute onion, green pepper and garlic in hot oil skillet, stirring frequently until tender. Stir in meats and cook for 5 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients and place in the greased casserole dish. Covered dish and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Serves 8.


Emma’s Cabbage Relish


4 pounds of hard white cabbage (chopped fine)

12 medium onions (chopped fine)

8 medium green peppers (chopped fine)

2 courts white vinegar

2 and 1/2 tablespoons salt

3 tablespoons of celery seed

4 tablespoon of turmeric

3 tablespoons dried mustard

4 cups of sugar

1 cup of flour

1 cup Wesson oil

Combine all ingredients, except flour and oil and bring to a boil. Immediately add the flour, which had been dissolved in a small amount of water. Stir in well. Remove from heat and add the oil. Mix. Fill jars and seal. Yields about 6 pints.


Pickled Pole Beans


30 to 40 fresh young Kentucky wonder Pole Beans

Red pepper cloves


Fresh heads dill weed

Cider vinegar



Sterilize pint jars and tops and vertical pack beans. To each pint add 1/2 teaspoon red pepper, 1 or 2 cloves of garlic and a 1 head of fresh dill. For each pint bring to a boil a solution of 1/2 cup of cider vinegar, 1/2 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of salt. Fill the jars of beans with the boiling solution and seal at once, preferably in boiling water. Bath for 5 minutes. Do not open for at least 3 weeks. Serve as an hors d’ oeuvre or condiment.


Pear Relish


12 pounds of hard pears (about 40) peeled, cored and quartered

2 pounds of onions (peeled and quartered)

4 green peppers (seeded and quartered)

5 cups of white vinegar

4 cups sugar

2 and 1/2 tablespoons of salt

2 tablespoons whole mixed pickling spice

2 tablespoons turmeric

Run pears, onions and peppers through a food grinder. Drain off all liquid. Combine vinegar, sugar, salt, turmeric and pickling spice and boil for 10 minutes. Add pears, onions and peppers. Boil 15 minutes. Spoon into hot jars and quickly seal. This is very good with meats or vegetables. Yields 8 to 9 pints.


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