Wednesday 7 September 2011

Up and down the garden path . . .

and down the garden path
the coloured steeples rise . . .

All astir with questioning bees
and wings of butterflies.

Stately stems, thickset with blooms
that soar above the hedge.

Towers of flowers . . .
a blaze of glory down the border edge.

Rosy red and butter yellow,
pink and snowy white.

Hollyhocks, just hollyhocks . . .
an ordinary sight.

But surely there's a question here
for those with eyes to read.

How did all this beauty spring
from one . . . small . . . pinch of seed?

Oh, I do so love Hollyhocks. I think of all the garden flowers, they are amongst my most favourite ones. Many years ago when I lived in a small town called Ralston, in South Eastern Alberta my home was surrounded by tons of them. Whomever had lived there before us had planted stacks of them . . . pretty pink ones and they were a delight to my eyes every year that we were there. It has always amazed me that such beautiful creations spring from something so non-descript and dusty looking as a seed. God is surely good to us.

Have you ever made a doll from your Hollyhocks? It's very easy and children love them! Making hollyhock dolls is an old-fashioned craft that's been enjoyed by children for many generations through the years. I can remember doing it myself as a child.

(Photo and instructions from

1. Select a fully opened hollyhock blossoms and turn it upside down to form the skirt.
2. Pinch out the pistil and stamens as needed.
3. Thread a toothpick through the flower with the blunt edge at the bottom. Thread on as many blossoms as you wish.
4. Choose another blossoms or flower bud for the doll's body. Leave about 1/4 inch at the top of the toothpick to secure the doll's head.
5. Once you've chosen a bud or seedpod to use for the doll's head, experiment with different colored flowers to create a fashionable hat.

It's Todd's birthday today. He is 73 years young. I will endeavor to spoil him as much as I can today! I always do. He spent so many years on his own, and it took us so long to find each other that I always try to make his Birthday as special as I can! I baked him a Cherry Almond Cake yesterday and I have the fruit soaking to make him a special fruitcake today. He does love a fruitcake. I'm not sure what I'll make him for supper yet, but it will be something that he likes for sure!

Todd loves pork chops. I don’t make them for him very often, but I treated him to these the other night. They're always so very tasty, moist and delicious! They do call pork the other white meat! If you don't have any chops you can always use chicken breasts instead.

*Chicken Fried Pork Chops*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

These delicious pork chops are cooked in the way that one would traditionally cook fried chicken, using many of the same spices. They come out tastily tender every time, just so long as you don’t overcook them!

1 lb. Pork chops
1 ½ cups plain flour
1 TBS garlic powder
½ TBS salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp seasoning salt
Buttermilk for soaking
Oil for frying
A good mango chutney for serving

Mix all the dry ingredients in a plastic bag. Soak the pork chops in some buttermilk for about 10 minutes, then give each one a good shake in the plastic bag to coat it well with the flour mixture.

Heat some cooking oil (enough to come up approximately half way up the side of the chops) on medium high heat until hot. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the pork chops and cook them for about four minutes on each side until golden brown. Drain well on paper towels before serving with your favourite chutney on the side.

In The English Kitchen today, a delicious Cherry Almond Cake, just in time for Todd's Birthday!

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