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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Stars Fell On Alabama...

Monday, May 25, 2015



on Texas,  
and on 


Wild Maine Blueberry Pie 



Celebrating Memorial Day calls for RED, WHITE, and BLUE 
flags, decorations, and food,
Memorial Day calls for remembering 
the patriotic
in our families. 


My daddy (not father, not dad, not pop, but daddy) 
served in the US  Navy on board ship during World War II. 
In fact, he was on one ship that was heavily damaged in a Pacific battle. 

After WWII, he was a Mess Sargeant in the US Army 
where he learned to cook.  
After being medically discharged from the Army, 
he worked as a civilian for the Army until he retired. 
In logistics, not cooking. 

He helped teach me how to cook using his Army cookbook. 
I also practiced fractions at the same time since 
the Army recipes were for 100-200 servings. 
We converted the quantities for recipes to serve our 
six family members. 

The star crust topped wild Maine blueberry pie does not require many cooking skills. 

Stonewall Kitchen Wild Maine Blueberry Pie Filling Directions: 
1.  Preheat oven to 425° 
2.  Fit bottom crust into an 8" or 9" pie pan 
I used a prepared refrigerator crust. 
3.  Pour one jar of Blueberry Pie Filling into the crust 
4.  Cover with the top crust; cut 4 slits in the top 
I used a metal star cookie cutter to cut stars for the top crust. 
5.  Bake for 15 minutes at 425° 
6.  Then reduce heat to 350° and bake an additional 35-40 minutes 

My kind of cooking.... easy, delicious, beautiful.

Years ago, Stonewall Kitchen sold Wild Maine Blueberries in canning jars. 
The contents label on the side said, "just blueberries." 
What an understatement. 
Wild Maine blueberries are packed with flavor that explodes in your mouth. 
Just blueberries in a canning jar are no longer available,
but the Wild Maine Blueberry Pie filling is.

What would have been a Memorial Day gathering on the outdoor deck
changed into a gathering around the indoor pine dining table.
We've had so much rain this year that we have already
surpassed the 2014 total annual rainfall (21.32") for north Texas.
So much rain makes taking photos hard,
but is just what we needed to break the 4-year drought
and to fill our lakes used for municipal water sources.

Stars and stripes on the table remind us of our family patriotic stars. 


My brother who was just younger than I was 
served in the US Air Force for over 10 years 
during peace times when NASA was sending men into space. 
After he was discharged from the military, 
he continued to work as a civilian contractor with the military 
and helped upgrade the Marshall Space Centers computer system. 
He received a commendation for his work, and 
he and his wife were VIP guests of NASA for a 
shuttle launch at Cape Canaveral. 


The long tall Texan served in the US Navy during the Vietnam War years. 
While he did not fight in the War and was stationed on the other side of the world, 
he did translate Hebrew, 12-hours-on, 12-hours-off, round the clock, 
during the 1973 Yom Kippur War between Israel and Egypt 
while stationed on Cyprus.

Cyprus is only about 125 miles off the closest Israel coast. 
I was with him on the island of Cyprus, but was too young to know to be terrified.
He was very calm and reassuring. 

Alabama & TEXAS 

My family has had multiple members diligently serve 
our country during war and peace. 
Uncles who fought in the Korean War, 
uncles who worked with nuclear bombs in the Air Force, 
an uncle who fought in Vietnam, and 
nephews who served in the Army, Air Force, and Navy 
during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. 

Currently, a female cousin works as a civilian 
for the Army, but, as part of her job, has slept in tents 
in the desert of Iraq while war battles raged just miles away.  
Another female cousin works for a civilian contractor for the Army 
and can dismantle and reassemble war helicopters to train troops.

I am grateful for, and proud of, the sacrifices each of them has made 
to keep our country safe and to secure our freedoms. 
Each one is a

* S * U * P * E * R * S * T * A * R *   

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