Dedicated to my Mom

After my Mom, Gloria, passed away in January 2012, I began a book project compiling recipes she had prepared and shared with my family and me.

Wow, so many memories wrapped up in food! I had not realized just how much cooking and serving food is associated with everyday family life and special family gatherings.

My Mom enjoyed gathering as many of us as she could in her small 1 bedroom apartment. The food she served us had no calories since it was all  made with love!

Gloria had a deep appreciation for entertaining and decorating. Her favorite decorating theme was Country Victorian. This style suited her caring, warm, lady like mannerism.

I used the title “Gloria’s Country Victorian Entertaining and Recipe Box” to honor her gift of hospitality and to recognize the effort she devoted to creating meals.

To enjoy some of the recipes, click on the image below to view the pdf verison

With Love and Blessings, Sara Marie Hantousch

New cook logo

Advertisements

How long does it take to make living space a home?

A living space takes YEARS to mold and bend into a "home"; especially one that is left unattended, unloved, and neglected. Time passes over, by, through and around a space that just sits. Odd really when you think about it, people may ‘live’ in a house [or any living space] yet it never becomes a ‘home’. We must add life, fingerprints, smells, creativity and MOST important…LOVE!!! [just like a marriage…we mold and embrace that relationship over years of adding ourselves to it].

Never mind the ‘things’ like: furniture, carpet or tile, stairs, pictures, walls, etc. They are inanimate objects…they are useless until one applies life, fingerprints, smells, creativity and LOVE to them.

If a space is left to just sit…then it dwindles a bit…it sags, it leaks, it chips, it fades away…then someone comes to dwell within it. Do they really ‘live’ in it? Do they notice the paint peeling off the windows or the fact that the stairs are rotting from years of neglect? Do they care enough to apply life, fingerprints, smells, creativity and love? Or is it just a place they blindly use to eat, take a shower and sleep in until they need to move on? We want it all ready, shiny and new!

Think of the possibilities and memories we have the privilege of creating within those ‘unfinished’ walls. The home you are creating is alive with possibilities to provide wholeness and health–and FUN! You will identify something that is missing and address it with…"hmmm…I wonder how WE can…"

Your efforts at creating ‘home’ will make a difference. Those differences will be largely immeasurable and intangible, and yet at times you will see, as if a curtain has been opened, positive influences of home that have your fingerprints all over them. Then you will breath that little sigh…’home’…of satisfaction which is gentle and deep.

Relaxing-Fireplace-ScreensaverIt takes time to nurture a space into a home. There is the ‘inside’, the personality, the atmosphere, the warmth, and the nternal support systems essential to the place we want to call home. But a home functioning at its best also prepares and motivates us to participate in the larger world and to welcome people into our homes. That brings us to the ‘outside’, how we can extend the shelter of home into a larger sphere. Building a home is like any worth while relationship…and the care and concern we put into them varies [A LOT].

Your home is an extension of your personality and it’s where you are most you. Don’t ever forget that IT IS ALSO where your husband is most himself and your children are most themselves; and likewise for anyone in their respective homes. This is a notion that literally hit me over the head…my husband has equal contribution as to applying life, fingerprints, smells, creativity and love to our home just as much as I do [I had always thought only the woman or wife cared about such things…oops…I was soooo wrong!!]. So sometimes those personalities play thumb wars…the key is how can ‘our’ home be home for ‘all’ of us? After all we all want a home base where we are accepted and rejuvenated. And no matter what the day has been like, "Now I’m all better, I am home!"

"Imagine yourself along with me sheltered within four walls that represent key concepts of home: One wall represents to us that home is a physical structure, and atmosphere; another holds the thought that home is also the relationships developing inside that structure. The final two walls encompass our need to cocoon, draw in, and be ourselves and our need to participate wholly beyond our walls and invite people to share the exeprience of what  we have within." ~quote by Mary Beth Lagerborg~

Once we understand the personality traits of those we live with, we can develop plans that take into consideration and respect the needs of all. What we do for each other entirely positive is that we share. That is the beauty of home…where you feel welcome. It conveys a thoughtfulness of comfort and a sense of the personality and character of the people who live within it. Beauty in our homes reflects our creative best…AND IT’S FOR OUR FAMILIES…not just our guests.

Bringing us to the "C" word…contentment. A precious and rare quality. It comes more easily than one might think if we search through our lives for all the things for which we are thankful. The blessing of a ‘true’ home is a responsibility, a stewardship. Plus, we appreciate and enjoy ‘our things’ more when we’re willing to share them with others.

My little sister, recently, was given a much different view of the ‘home’ we grew up in in Springfield, IL. In simple words, the home needed much TLC and many issues of which were rather embarrassing to us living there. Her dear friends of yesteryear saw our home filled with life and as though our home was some mansion!

I pray, and mostly for myself, that we enjoy the home that is ours right now without longing for a different home to be ours tomorrow. That we would cheerfully apply our hearts, life, fingerprints, smells, creativity and love to the dwelling [under any roof, be it a house, apartment, condo, RV, etc] that God has provided for us to care for and maintain.

Phew…I know you were not being ungrateful in anyway… just realizing the task that lies before you. I apologize for the length [and perhaps preaching] of the topic. It comes from my heart which lately has been filled with ungratefulness and a lack of understanding of these things.

Listening to how my sister’s friends remembered our old tattered home made me realize how ungrateful I truly have been. It hit a mark in my heart and soul. I was so
touched by their heartfelt appreciation of the memories they have…and in the end…that is priceless and what matters most…the life, fingerprints, smells, creativity and love of a home.

Yield, Trust, Obey

Romans 6:13

~Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God.~

1999616dq6d4pmef8 To yield anything means simply to give that thing to the care and keeping of another. To yield to ourselves to the Lord, therefore, is to give ourselves to Him, giving Him the entire possession and control of our whole being. It means to abandon ourselves, to take hands off of ourselves. The word consecration is often used to express this yielding, but I hardly think it is a good substitute. With many people, to consecrate themselves seems to convey the idea of doing something very self-sacrificing, and very good and grand; and it therefore admits of a subtle form of self-glorification. But “yielding” conveys a far more humbling idea; it implies helplessness and weakness, and the glorification of another rather than ourselves.

Yielding is not the idea of sacrifice, in the sense we usually give to that word, namely, as of a great cross taken up; but it is the sense of surrender, of abandonment, of giving up the control and keeping and use of ourselves unto the Lord. To yield to God means to belong to God, and to belong to God means to have all His infinite power and infinite love engaged on our side. Therefore, when I invite you to yield yourselves to Him, I am inviting you to avail yourselves of an inexpressible and most amazing privilege. ~by Hannah Whitall Smith~

borrowed from “A Gentle Spirit: Devotional Selections for Today’s Christian Woman”