Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Lilac and Shortbread Heaven



Yesterday was my first day back at the local farmer's market. In my neck of the woods, there is little in the way of fresh local produce this time of year. In lieu of that, everyone seemed to have made fresh bread. Unfortunately, I like homemade bread more than I like cookies, and that's saying a lot. I was reminded of when I was very young and we would tire of those homemade cookies Mother made, delicious though they were, and yearn for some that were store-bought. We would often stop at the Corner Store after church, and once in a blue moon we were allowed to buy them. My preferred store-bought cookie? Pecan shortbread. I would fondle that package and look at my mother longingly until she gave in. Heaven was not to be found in the Great Hereafter, as the Sunday School teacher wanted me to believe. I knew where heaven was and it was inside that package of shortbread. Which takes me back to the Friday farmer's market.




There's a gal who makes all organic homemade bread with listed ingredients such as peace and healing. Yesterday I bought Early Riser, next week she promises Old World, which is, according to the neighbors, other-worldly. But, here's the kicker: she had homemade Scottish shortbread made with her Scottish grandmother's recipe who also taught her how to make it. Three ingredients: flour, sugar and butter. And, perhaps a fourth: a grandmother's love. Needless to say, I brought a package home, clenched in my fist much like that little girl who longed to have a package of shortbread heaven in her hands all those millenia ago. Don't tell anybody, but I just ate two, and I'm waiting for my Early Riser toast to pop up as I write this.






If a man ever wants to find his way into my heart, he should show up with homemade bread and a jar of blackberry jam. If he made both in his own kitchen, he would probably gain entrance to more than my heart. But, I'm surrounded by lilacs on this rainy Sunday morning and the scent is intoxicating, so...








Note: blogger has been trying for some time to choke me out of this old template I love, so they will not allow me to enlarge my pictures any further and the whole thing is shrinking. I have tried to compensate, to no avail, "no longer applicable to this template." So, I shall be changing templates soon. As the Chinese have been fond of saying for some time now."There's nothing permanent but change." 

Addendum: I have made the change. It is a work in progress. I welcome feedback regarding font size, color and such. Hope this is appealing to all of you. Onward and Upward...

All photos were taken this morning, in the rain, here at Lonewolf.

Be sure to visit my micropoetry blog: 
teresaevangelinespoetry.blogspot.com
It also mentions lilacs...


45 comments:

  1. Isn't Blogger a trial? I have switched over to the Old Reader so when they get rid of the Reader I won't even notice. I love your blog design and hope you find something to your liking. Pecan shortbread cookies were my downfall when I was a teenager. I think I overate them along with ice cream, because now they don't even tempt me. But some like you found at the market? I would try one or two just to be sure. :-)

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    1. It will be similar, but I'm very concerned with what it will do to the formatting on older posts... :( We shall see...

      This shortbread is divine... ;)

      I love hearing from you DJan. Your wonderful energy is palpable all the way from Washington state to here. Thank you!

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    2. Email me about your problems with Blogger. I love both you and Blogger. Maybe I can help keep you two together. I'm with DJan: like your pages the way they are!

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  2. MMMM shortbread with fresh berries is a favorite.The sweetened cookie version is also a first pick.

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    1. These are heavenly, indeed. Speaking of heaven, welcome back from Hawaii!

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  3. Lovely post. Your lilac hedge is far superior to the one here. I like the recipes you mention, especially the novel additions, I might copy that.

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    1. Cait, I'm so glad you've visited. It's nice to see you again... I'm so enjoying your beautiful blog with such tantalizing images and words. Peace and healing should be ingredients in everything we make...

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  4. I have a rather large area needing either trees or bushes...after this post, went out and bought lilac bushes. Thank you!!!

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    1. I'm so happy to hear that. You will not be sorry. They grow fairly fast and make a beautiful, full green hedge when finished blooming. And oh that smell... nothing like it in the whole universe.

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  5. I love Lorna Doone shortbread. When I was in England, I found Cadbury chocolate-covered shortbread cookies that were to die for. I haven't been able to find them in this country.
    Are Pecan Sandies the cookies you craved? I remember buying them often back in the 70's. They went fast with four kids!

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    1. Pecan Sandies! Yes, yes, yes! That's them! Thank you! I couldn't drag that up this morning from the mist...

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    2. Chocolate covered shortbread... oh lord does that sound good...

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  6. Isn't it interesting how some of the best things in life are simple, flour, sugar, butter... with love. Maybe church and food go together, I remember shop bought cream buns that we used to buy after church back in the early 1980s. In a nice way they were a bit like communion, "Do this in remembrance of Me", as the experience of eating them always made us think of the good friends we had who first introduced us to the cream bun habit.
    Ha,Ha.. I think there will be men reading your blog who will be have been encouraged to develop a great interest in baking bread and making jam in their kitchens!! I can claim to have made both, but regret that there is a great deal of water between our countries, and blackberries are not in season here for another 10 more months!
    The lilacs are beautiful. Your garden looks the sort that would be lovely to wander around in a dream like state, just smelling flowers, and enjoying the moment. I can also imagine running round and round like a child!

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    1. Hi Peter! Yes, it is in life's simplicity that great beauty and even truth may be found. That's certainly been my experience. I love the notion of having communion with cream buns, pecan shortbread, or any other bits of sweetness. Yes, those words from the Last Supper speak directly to that so beautifully.
      Yes, the ocean does present an impediment it seems... :)) But, thank you so much for the sweet thought! We have about a month to go before the blackberries start to show their faces...
      I had such fun traipsing around barefoot in the rain taking photos and visiting with my lilacs. They are great listeners and have responded rather nicely to my encouragement. It's a banner year for lilacs! With all the apple and plum blossoms last week, I feel as though I'm living in the Garden of Eden.
      Thank you so very much for your gracious comments. They are always deeply appreciated.

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  7. Your lilacs, and their surroundings, are just beautiful! Ours here, as the weather dried up and the heat has gone up, are just about gone.

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    1. They are just reaching their peak and are profuse this year, so many gradations of color....

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  8. I love it when the farmer's markets start up. There's always so much to see and smell! :)
    I hope you are having a wonderful June Teresa!
    xo Catherine

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    1. Catherine, It's lovely to hear from you. I've been terribly out of touch with some of my blogging friends and so I will be round first thing in the morning to see what you've been up to. Thanks so much for visiting me.

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  9. No cookie tops shortbread and no bloom tops the smell of lilacs and of course, homemade bread certainly is my favorite food. Running over here with blackberry jams and jelly.

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    1. Hi Sissy! Thanks for the offer of jam! :) So glad you visited and hope all is well in Tennessee...

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  10. omg those lilacs, mesmerizing. and I love shortbread and homemade bread, if only I could still eat them. One of my favorite breads is Swedish rye bread with fennel and anise seed and molasses.

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  11. Again, Teresa, you have "channeled" me, for here I sit, a cup of tea and two little squares of shortbread I made late last week for my grandnephew and my granddaughter, who, for the very first time, helped me make them. Life is grand!

    I wish I had a dime (well, these days a dollar) for everyone who has asked me to make these or for the recipe. Same ingredients as your little gems, with a little vanilla added, given to me by a lady named Dorcas; a preacher's kid and Scot to boot. Maybe I'll have just one more . . .

    Your lilacs are breathtaking.

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    1. Penny, we so seem to exist on the same channel, indeed... love it... Dorcas certainly is a name for a preacher's daughter... love that Bible story.

      Vanilla certainly wouldn't hinder the taste at all... :))

      Thank you so much!

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  12. Wonderful photos of the lilacs. They always smell so good!

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    1. Thank you, Kate! Yes, they are such a wonderful scent.

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  13. Hello Teresa.I'm so fascinated by your photos of the lilacs. I love lilacs, who don't? and I love the scent of lilacs - and especially after a rainy shower on a summer's evening. It is so romantic.
    It is very irritating that you are forced to change your template. I hope you'll find some template which is just as fine as the one you've had.

    What is shortbread? If I google the pictures of shortbread then I'll see both cookies and other cakes. The recipe sounds a little like our Danish "mørdejg",
    (soft dough), but the translation of this Danish thing is called "shortcrust pastry". I would like the shortbread with pecan. I buy a "Pecan Danish" each Saturday. I think I have told you before Teresa!

    What a beautiful garden you have.
    Wruff-greetings to Buddy.
    Grethe ´)

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    1. Grethe! I'm so happy to hear from you! I hope all is well in Denmark and you've found the perfect new living space. Other than a small patch of woods, I am truly surrounded on all sides of my property by lilacs. Astonishingly beautiful. shortbread sounds like shortcrust pastry. May be the same. I have to say, a pecan Danish sounds delightful, too! Yummy! What a nice Saturday treat.

      Thank you so much, Grethe. Buddy sends his greetings and a big smile. He's a happy dog and I sure love him... Hugs to you, dear friend...

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    1. I'm so glad! Now that I've made the change, I'm quite pleased with it...

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  15. Your lilacs are beautiful! I love the scent and you are right...it is intoxicating.
    Love shortbread cookies. Have never had homemade, always buy the Keebler brand : )

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    1. Thank you, Cat! Any kind of shortbread will do, but this was my first homemade and it is divine!

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  16. So glad you have a nearby farmer's market. This past Saturday an Amish family had the booth next to ours and they were selling wonderful homemade breads, cookies and chips. Cherie makes delicious granola, using organic ingredients and honey from our farm. She has the ingredients on the package and I think she should start adding love, peace, joy and the like as well. :)

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    1. Bill, I think that's a great idea and so very fitting... :)

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  17. Heaven could indeed consist of lilacs and shortbread. Especially those gorgeous dark lilacs after a rain, and fresh home-made shortbread. I think I'll take a little nap now and dream about both of them.

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    1. Hi Nancy! Yes! it seems like a good combo to me... I hope you had a good nap...

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  18. Who would have thought that shortbread and lilacs could co-exist in one post! It works perfectly, I say. One of my grandmothers was Scottish (McDonald) and she made the best shortbread using those three ingredients. All mixed by hand.
    She did not own a stand mixer. I have made shortbread using her recipe but I can't come close to her baking skills. She also made what she called German biscuits. It was a sandwich cookie using the shortbread recipe with a bit more sugar. After they were baked she would spread blackberry jam on one side and make a sandwich cookie, then the top would be spread with a butter/powdered sugar icing. OMG they were so good.

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    1. Hi Steven, I knew you'd see the perfect connection... Oh, lordy, does that cookie sounds good... melt in your mouth good... My mom used to make a powdered sugar frosting and put it between two graham crackers, it was what we had on hand sometimes... country life is the good life...

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  19. Everything on your blog looks just fine. I've been sitting here trying to recall the scent of lilacs. I almost can "get" it, but not quite. I do miss them, although the jasmine and wisteria help out as they can.

    Pecan Sandies. Sure enough, I knew exactly what you were talking about. My Dad loved them, and I did, too. Mom used to make a butterscotch pie, crushing the Sandies and using them as a crust. Such wonderful memories.

    Our farmers' markets are a little thin just now, as the heat has begun to do its work on the early crops. But the peaches, blackberries and blueberries are in, and sweet corn. I haven't found any vine ripened tomatoes yet - that's the holy grail of farmers' market fare!

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    1. Thanks, Linda. You have some fine replacement scents there... :)

      That butterscotch pie sounds heavenly. If I were to make such a thing, I fear the worst... eating an entire pie would not be impossible, maybe not in one sitting, but...

      No berries yet, but that will soon change ... I'm looking forward to picking raspberries and having them with my Greek yogurt for breakfast ... summertime at its best...

      Holy Grail, indeed. Those tomatoes are so hard to come by.

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  20. How can anyone not like a lady whose heart is open to home made bread and a jar of blackberry jam????!!!

    A true sign of character and appreciation for what is important!

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    1. Your words really make me happy on this slightly off-kilter morning ... As the years go by, I know more and more what really matters, what is truly important... bread and jam are right up there.. :)

      Thank you so much, Bill.

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