Category: Simple Pleasures

Strictly from the South – or Straight Outta Compton?

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This past weekend, we filmed a long-planned trial segment to see how we’d do with a baking episode.  My partner in crime creating, is my cousin Paula. She and I started baking together when we were quite young… somewhere around 9 and 10 years old.  And we usually conducted our joint baking ventures   when we were babysitting our  younger siblings  .  All us kids (8-12 of us) would be together in one house…either hers or mine… while our mothers were out shopping (or just enjoying themselves with a kid-free time).  We had already been cooking and baking at a young age with our mothers, so we were quite responsible and knew what to do unsupervised. (In the photo above, Paula is on the left, me on the right, and that’s her oldest brother between us. She and I were about 19 & 20.)

We mostly baked what we call ‘box cakes’… the Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines cake mixes.  It was always a 2 – layer cake, with frosting made from powdered sugar mixed with a little butter and milk, and tinted with food color.
We’d assemble that two layer cake with frosting and hold our breathes… to no avail.  That darn top layer would always split in half and slide off ! We started using toothpicks to keep it anchored, however that split top layer continually plagued us.
Those times of making  ’box cakes’  has been long gone for years now, and we each do all of our cake-baking now from scratch.  So we did enough footage for 2 episodes… I did a German Chocolate Cake, and she did a Coconut Pineapple Cake.

Oh, the title of this blog post?  We were both born in Mobile, Alabama. Our families are southern and our mothers’ taught us the Southern way of cooking. So Paula came up with the name for this fledgling cooking venture –Strictly from the South. Though we were both born and lived in the South in our young years, our families migrated to California to a little blue-collar city called Compton. Here is where we began and completed our k-12 education.  So we joke … are we indeed strictly from the South, or are we instead,.. Straight Outta Compton?

A Moment of Peace and Relaxation

Sitting on top of hill, feeling the breeze, watching the sunset, and waving as the trains roll by…

Christmas Moon Rise

full moon rising
Ah, the breathless wonder of a gorgeous full moon! Relishing the rare full moon of this Christmas season.
The last time there was a full moon on Christmas was in 1977, and the next one is slated for 2034.  Carpe diem!
This moon image above was taken on Christmas Eve, and I decided to do something different and film the rising of the moon Christmas night.

And so I did.  Staying close to home I went up the street and set up on a corner that gave me the best view possible from that location. This corner is on a road that joins two main streets (that are 4 miles apart), so it gets quite a bit of use.  So the flashes of light in the film are headlights of  passing vehicles.

Watching a moon rise from the warmth of the inside is quite a bit different from standing outside in the freezing cold…on a corner… in the dark. The 20 or so minutes it took for the moon to ascend seemed stretched beyond an hour. But I stuck it out, got my footage, and compressed the time so you can enjoy the moon rise in a mere 14 seconds.