11/15/2011

Guilford College Friends and Celebrating Life

On October 29th, a beautiful fall day in Durham, NC, friends and family gathered to celebrate the life of Dr. Thomas Orsagh.  Tom’s son, Rolf, is one of Rob’s dearest friends.  Rob and Rolf met at Guilford College became roommates and are kindred spirits. Rolf was a groomsman in our wedding and Rob was honored to be Rolf’s best man when he married Cynthia.  Along the way, I got the opportunity become friends with Tom and Polly, Rolf’s mother.  Tom was smart, funny, loving, patient, kind and gracious.  He was curious and loved life.  So, on that beautiful fall day a few weeks ago, it was fitting that our family go to honor our friend.
Rolf, Rob, Sibley, Fred and Sharon…the real Guilford College Graduates
Later on in the afternoon, friends gathered at Tom’s farm.  Rolf told us his dad had insisted that he throw a party with food and wine so that everyone could share stories and laughter.  Well, that’s exactly what happened plus something wonderful and unexpected.  Special friends from Guilford College plus others that were added along the way showed up.  We hugged, smiled, laughed…especially at Rob’s shaved head, and hugged some more. 
Katie, Paul, Rolf, Cynthia, Rob, Me, Fred, Sharon
We remembered events and stories of years ago…..well, actually one person would start the story, someone would say, “really, I don’t remember that” and then someone else would add in details.  IT WAS GREAT!  There were times when I would hear someone laugh, like Fred, and it seemed like we were back at Storybrook Farms having dinner.  His laugh has not changed a bit.  Katie and Paul would finish each other sentences and then there’s Sibley…witty, crazy and still the same.
Guilford men with their men – Awesome!
The strange, but really special thing was introducing our children to each other and TRYING to describe who was who and how we all knew each other.
Mason, Rolf, Henry, Creed, Rob, Hunter, Fred, John
Maybe the comment from Creed sums it up best….he said on the way home that night “WOW mom and dad, you and your friends started talking and laughing like you’d just left each other last weekend.”  It was like that and it felt so good.  Of course, I cried and Rob just nodded in agreement. 
We celebrated a life and renewed old friendships.  Thank you, Tom, you threw a great party.
Counting my blessings,
~Donya
10/21/2011

Homemade Gingerbread Cake

When I picked up my guy from school yesterday, we did the dance,
  • How was your day?
    • Great
  • What did you learn?
    • Not much
  • Really? I find that hard to believe…tell me about Math
    • well, we worked on …

Then, that PEARL OF WISDOM flowed from his mouth!

  • MOM!  Today at recess, the gang created the best game…
    • What, what???
  • Leaf Catching !  The wind was blowing and there were leaves falling all over.  We decided whoever could catch the most leaves in 30 seconds was the winner.  It was awesome and we had the best time.

Ahhh…nothing like a kid….curious, sweet and a lover of life.  They create, investigate, giggle and laugh.  This made me start thinking that maybe I should try “catching some leaves”, it might serve me well.  So, with that story and the cool weather, it was time for a little sweetness in the kitchen.  I looked in the pantry, sniffed around and decided on……Gingerbread Cake.  Mercy Day!….could you get any better than that dark, spicy, rich piece of joy? I don’t think so and neither did the boys.  Catching leaves and eating cake…life is good.

Old Fashioned Gingerbread Cake
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. butter – room temp
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon and ground ginger
  • 1/2 t. ground cloves
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 c. hot water
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9×9 baking pan.
    • Cream together sugar and butter.  Beat in egg and mix in molasses. 
    • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices.  Blend into the cream mixture.  Stir in hot water.  Mix well.  Pour into baking dish.
    • Bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted comes out clean.  Serve warm with fresh whipped cream.
10/18/2011

Easy Pickled Red Onions

This week, the weather is supposed to turn a little cooler so I thought I’d get out my slow cooker and fix something yummy.  So, it’s gonna be a little pig, pork butt that is, cooked low and slow.  I’ll give all the details on that lovin later but for now, I’m getting some of the “goodies” ready that go along side.

A Southern Soul | Pickled Onions

Pickled onions are perfect for pulled pork.  This recipe is from Bobby Flays cookbook, Burgers, Fries and Shakes.  They are great to add onto your pork sandwich or just have on the side.  Of course, you can use them as an addition to many other dishes.  When I make them, I add a little more sugar and let them marinate a little longer.

Pickled Red Onions
Pickled Red Onions
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 large red onions
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped oregano leaves
  • 2 whole Serrano chilies or jalapeño chilies, slit down the center (optional)
    • Add lime juice, vinegar, sugar and salt to mason jar or container.  Let stand for about 5 minutes so sugar can dissolve.
    • Add onions, oregano and chilies if using. Cover and refridgerate for 2 hours or up to 2 days.  Drain before use.  ***I used 1/2 of a jalapeño and the taste was perfect.
10/17/2011

Edible Haystacks and Happy Times

What a great weekend! Friday night football, The 5th Quarter for High School youth, and a Fall Retreat for Hunter.  The best part – a wonderful dinner with old friends.  The two families met when our sons were in the same kindergarten class.

Creed and Adam in Kindergarten….sniff, sniff.

Now, these boys are sophomores in High School!  What??  I am so thankful this friendship is still going strong.  We may have been separated for a while, but somethings are just meant to be.

Adam and Creed in High School….oh my!

Sweet Tracy made a wonderful Mexican meal and we finished up with an old standby…Haystacks!

Everything was gobbled up in short order, of course with 2 teenage boys in the house, and more memories were made.  We laughed, told stories, and loved on each other.  Thank you friends…you made our weekend really special.
Counting my blessings,
~Donya
Butterscotch Haystacks
  • 1 package of butterscotch chips
  • 1 can of Chinese noodles
  • 1/2 can of peanuts
    • Melt the chips following directions on back of package.  I use the microwave and it makes things really easy.
    • Mix together in a large bowl. 
    • Spoon 1 teaspoon full of mixture on to wax paper lined baking sheet.
    • Place in fridge to set.
  • TRY REALLY HARD not to eat half the mixture while spooning out on to the baking sheet – I know what I’m talking about on this one…just saying!