I was asked by the Relief Society president of our ward to create 125 invitations to announce the Relief Society’s birthday celebration. She prefaced the favor with, “I’m so sorry Aimee, but we have no budget for invitations.” That always presents a “fun” challenge and an expectation to rely more on the labor end rather than compensating with expensive materials. My 8 year old daughter and I hand stamped 16 separate images on to the 125 invites. Hmmmm, do the math…that’s 2000 stampings. I got out my trusty Bernina sewing machine and stitched the top and bottom of the text to the cardstock. I wanted it to look like the old time cut ornaments from the newspaper presses. It didn’t quite have that exact look, but it was cheap and fun. I figured out they cost $12.00, we won’t talk about the labor though.
Note: The Relief Society is one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the world. All women 18 years of age and older, as well as women younger than 18 who are married or are single mothers, are welcomed into the sisterhood of Relief Society. There are approximately 6 million sisters in Relief Society. Since its organization on March 17, 1842, by the Prophet Joseph Smith, Relief Society has spread throughout the world into nearly 170 countries. Joseph Smith was quoted regarding the organization’s purpose, “Relief Society, whose object is the relief of the poor, the destitute, the widow and the orphan, and for the exercise of all benevolent purposes. . . .[W]e feel convinced that with their concentrated efforts, the condition of the suffering poor, of the stranger and the fatherless will be ameliorated.”
There will be bunnies too.
And many other “egg”-cellent treasures.
I’ll be creating for the next 2 weeks, hope you’ll come to my Easter Market. Send me an e-mail with your contact information and I’ll get you the details. Mark April 14-15th on your calendar! Watch for more photographs of all the spring curiosities I’ll have available for purchase.
“There is no fireside like your own fireside.” – Old Irish Proverb
We have a tradition around here, you know I’m part Irish (along with over 40 million other Americans), from me-grandmother’s side of course? But today, we all turn a little Irish. At our home on March 17th, Larry the Leprechaun comes to flip furniture upside down, turn milk green, leave sweet treasures of Lucky Charms and gold to enjoy, and shares swatches of green for the wearin’. This small little exercise of looking for their treasures reminds me, and someday hopefully them, that while they may search for the end of the rainbow elsewehere, they will always find the pot of gold in their own backyard.
So host a little ceilidh (pronounced kali) tonight, and dance a little jig with friends and family around your fire while listening to Celtic music. But don’t make corned beef and cabbage if you want to dine with a traditional Irish meal, that is an American-Irish invention. Whip up a dish of Colcannon and Irish Soda Bread with lots of butter smeared on top.
Mrs. Sharp’s Colcannon:
1 lb new potatoes, peeled
4 leeks, chopped (or green onions)
1 small cabbage, chopped
Milk, just enough to moisten potatoes
3 TBL heavy cream
2 ounces butter (1/2 stick), softened
1 tsp ground thyme
salt and pepper
Bring a pot of water to boil and cook potatoes until tender Slowly saute the chopped leeks and chopped cabbage separately until soft and limp (but not brown).
Mash potatoes with a hand masher, then add the leeks and milk and mash together until smooth. Next mash in the cabbage, adding the heavy cream, buter, and thyme; blend well until smooth and fluffy. Season with salt and pepper. Put this mixture into an ovenproof dish and place under broiler to brown.
If the colcannon is prepared up to the point of browning ahead of time, reheat covered with foil in a 350 degree oven for a half hour. Uncover and brown under broiler.
Mrs. Sharp’s Favorite Irish Soda Bread:
4 C white flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbl sugar
1 1/2 C sour milk (not buttermilk or milk and vinegar, just simply leave out overnight)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift dry ingredients together. Make a well in the center. Add sour milk and stir together with a wooden spoon. The dough should be thick but not too wet. Turn dough onto a floured surface and form with hands into a round loaf. Place the loaf into a cast-iron frying pan or heavy round casserole dish that has been greased with butter. Score the top in the form of a cross with a wet knife. Bake for 40 minutes. Bread should cool for an hour before serving.
Today’s recipes, proverbs and facts were taken from Sarah Ban Breathnach’s “Mrs. Sharp’s Traditions – Reviving Victorian Family Celebrations of Comfort & Joy”
Thank you Sarah!
I thought so.
I hosted a dinner last night for a group of women. When I began the staging yesterday morning, I still didn’t know if I should keep up my Valentine decor or if I should move on to Easter, but we haven’t had St. Patrick’s yet…do we really do St. Patrick’s though? Easter is just so far away this year. It is a ridiculous dilemma to even openly admit I struggled with making a final decision. I finally pulled out the Easter boxes, but as I unwrapped the little curiosities, it just felt too premature when I came to the faux chocolate bunnies and feathered yellow chicks. But yet celebrating with Spring felt so much more encouraging than living one more dreary day of winter’s end. I settled with the Spring theme, but decided to leave the bunnies and chicks out of it. They were fine with it.
Of course we were on a strict budget, think church function. I wanted so desperately to go buy flats of wheatgrass, fresh pussy willow, rhinunculus, tulips, gerberas and lisianthus for long clear troughs I had as containers. But it was all dreaming in my head, and I quickly came to my senses and became resourceful. I went to Costco and spent $8.99 on a gardeners bunch of white tulips. I re-purposed the mini pink carnations from Nanette’s birthday brunch (it’s amazing how long those things will last) and gathered dead curly willow branches from a neighbor’s backyard. Then I followed a trail of glitter down to the basement and waved my magic wand to find handpainted and glittered butterflies, birds, and paper flowers from last spring’s Art Market. I also gathered moss, fake greenery spheres and pussy willows, and silk lilies of the valley to really give it the natural forest setting. Oh my goodness, I was giddy over the results. At night, I lit tealights in clear glass votive cups and placed all throughout the organic display. The flickering glows scattered around almost felt like little fireflies dancing around our faces.
Wish I had thought to photograph the desserts served. Lemon tartlets garnished with whipped cream and a blueberry, chocolate mousse in dark chocolate cups with red raspberries, a flower and butterfly cookie and a fresh strawberry. All my favorite desserts in one sitting, yessssssss.