Gramma Ruthie’s Gingerbread with Cream Cheese Topping and Rich Lemon Sauce

This cake-like dessert is one that my mother-in-law often made for us at the holiday time. It is simple and delicious. You will want to eat it all. It’s on my menu for next week. Gingerbread1 cup sugar1/4 t. salt1 t. ginger1/2 t. cinnamon1/2 t. cloves1 c. oil1 c. molasses2 t. baking soda1 c. boiling […]

Ice Cubes and Christmas Trees – They Work For Me!

Ice Cubes FEAT

Let your toddler be the keeper of the tree this year. Feed your live Christmas trees with ice cubes! I distinctly remember the day in a college course when the instructor brought up the topic of holiday traditions. I don’t remember why we were discussing it. But, I do recall that day being one of […]

Great Boy Gifts


As the mother of four boys, I like to think of myself as a pseudo-expert on all things “boyish.” If we had stopped at four children, testosterone would be all I knew. And since my girlies are still so small, our lives are still very masculine around here. As a result, I know all about […]

Simplifying Christmas

DCF 1.0

I don’t know what’s come over me, but my heart’s just not into running around like a crazy woman this holiday season. I don’t know. Maybe it was this video. Or maybe this story. But, I just don’t want to rush around and shop this year. It’s not the Bing-Crosby-singing-Silver-Bells-while-shopping image that I used to […]

Home Ec 101: Planning a Big Dinner

May 1998 --- Fresh Peaches --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Many of today’s women don’t know the ins and outs of home making. Most schools no longer teach home economics. And if your own mother worked outside the home, chances are you may not have grown up with much teaching in the way of housekeeping and meal preparation. These are not obsolute skills, no matter […]

Christmas Planning: Make a Gift


This morning I started thinking about Christmas. And when I start thinking about Christmas, my mind automatically goes to gift-making. I’ve always enjoyed making gifts and for several years, I made ALL of our gifts to give to family and close friends. (Yes, some would call me a glutton for punishment.) But, I have always […]

TGIF: Decorating Cookies


One of the FishKids very, very, very, very favorite things to do at Christmas time is to decorate cookies. This is an inherited trait, I believe, because my siblings and I all loved the same thing. Part of it is due to my oh-so-clever-kindergarten-teacher-mother’s method. This idea is a keeper. So pay attention: Make up […]

Winner! Susan Branch Christmas From the Heart of the Home


Oh my goodness! Am I starving now that I’ve compiled our list of cookie recipes! Wow! You now have 24 different cookie recipes to try out before Christmas rolls around. What a great resource. Many of these recipes took me down Memory Lane. I remember making Christmas Wreaths and Snickerdoodles and Russian Tea Cakes when […]