It’s that time again–National Humor Month–where we focus on the joy and therapeutic value of laughter. Not only is laughter the best medicine, it also reduces stress, creates endorphines (those “feel-good” hormones in our bodies) and is a great tool for classroom teachers.
Just a reminder: Tomorrow (Monday, 12/8) is the deadline for the photo caption contest (scroll down a bit for more info), so keep those clever posts coming in! Don’t let this opportunity to win one of the funniest animal joke books ever written pass you by (hmm…was that a bit over the top?).
Winner will be announced on Tuesday, Dec. 9.
Thanks for entering!
Wow–where did November go? I just realized that I haven’t posted anything for a few days now (let’s blame it on the tryptophan!).
Well, now that we’re into the holiday season, I’ve decided that it’s time for some outright silliness. So, I’m having a photo caption contest. Below, you’ll see a picture of my cat—well, sort of. Part of him, at least. I’m giving folks until Dec. 8 to send me a funny caption (please post your entries–yes, multiple entries are welcome–in the “comment” section below). The winner will receive a signed copy of “Pet Jokes That Will Make You Howl!” (makes for a great holiday gift!) So, put on those silly thinking caps and let’s see what you can come up with!
Oh–and I suppose that even though I ADORE my cats and have been known to fuss over them in ridiculous ways, I should say that no animals were harmed in the photographing process. In fact, my cat did this of his own accord. I just happened to grab the camera once I stopped laughing.
The CYBILS (Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Award) has added a new category to their list of contest genres: Easy Readers. Yea for easys!!! I love seeing easy readers added to the contest. I’ve always said it’s the most overlooked genre in children’s literature and this is another step in recognizing their significance. And guess what? I’m a judge for this year’s contest! Yowza! I’m so looking forward to reviewing the finalists and working with the other judges.
We have a winner! The winning contribution for the Best Blackberry Recipe came from writer Jean Ann Williams of Santa Maria, CA. Jean Ann’s recipe, On-Top-of-the-Stove Blackberry Cobbler, has been in her family for three generations and originated in Oregon, the birthplace of Blackberry Banquet. It’s one of those old-fashioned recipes that doesn’t require many ingredients or measuring because you suit it to your own taste.
Congratulations to Jean Ann and a huge thanks to all of the other entrants. It was fun baking, assembling and tasting the various recipes; and it truly was a difficult decision to make. In fact, I couldn’t decide alone—I ended up soliciting a “panel” of judges for their opinions. What was one judge’s comment on Jean’s winning entry? “It’s like blackberry pie in a cup!” So, without further ado, here is the winning recipe:
ON-TOP-OF-THE-STOVE BLACKBERRY COBBLER
By Jean Ann Williams
1. As many blackberries you managed to pick.
2. Sugar to taste and added in before dough strips.
3. Favorite pie dough recipe made with shortening or lard, not butter.
Prepare pie dough for either one or two crust pie, depending on how many berries.
Wash berries in a colander, careful not to squeeze berries and therefore losing juices. Dump into a pot, not filling more than 2/3 full. DO NOT ADD WATER! Simmer on low to medium heat. Stir occasionally. Add the sugar to taste.
Pull an apricot-sized ball of pie dough and roll thin on a cutting board. Cut long strips like for lattice weave about ¾ inches wide. Then, cut the lattice in half to accommodate layering into pot of berries.
Once berries juices flow and thicken and boil slightly, add first layer of dough strips. Let simmer for five minutes to set the dough, and then stir into berries. Repeat the rolling of dough and continue this until all dough is gone or you have enough dough to suit you in cobbler. After last layer of dough is stirred in, let simmer for five more minutes. Take off stove and let cool to warm in the pot or in bowls.
This cobbler is very tasty warm and with a side of ice cream. IF you have leftovers, refrigerate. Eating cold is another treat, but if you wish to reheat, then add a bit of water to stir into bottom of pan so as not to scorch.
I make this for at least twelve servings and use the double pie dough recipe (with maybe a little leftover). We’ve never measured our ingredients, except for the dough and it always comes out tasty. Did I say never add water when making? That is a sure way to lose some of your rich berry flavors. Enjoy! Our family has for three generations.
My own notes: (from Terry)
Because I’m one of those people who likes things in measurements, I’ll share the amounts I used:
four 6-oz. containers of berries (fresh berries are unavailable where I live)
½ cup sugar
Also, I kept a lid on the pot while it simmered to retain the heat and “bake” the piecrust pieces.
I served in custard cups with a choice of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for my judging team.
Just a friendly reminder that the deadline for my blackberry recipe contest is two weeks away. For all of the juicy details, click here.