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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 *   

Please join me at these inspiring sites...


  1. Judith, what a wonderful post! I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day. I greatly appreciate the sacrifices your family members are making for our continued freedom!!

    As you know, Alabama and Texas are so near and dear to my heart! I've seen horrible photos of the flooding. Please be safe!

  2. YUM YUM. Or in French, MIAM MIAM!

    I hope you enjoyed this! LOOKS GREAT! Anita

  3. Judith,
    I called my Father Daddy too. Today marks the first anniversary of his passing, he died on Memorial Day last year. It seemed the perfect day God took him home since he served in WWll. Like your words read with pride of your family members who served, my family also has, we loss my cousin in war. I see your pride in the Red, White and Blue and loved ones who have served.
    Your pie with the cut out stars looks so yummy. I love your decorating you did for Memorial Day, you always go the extra mile to post of substance and heartfelt issues.

  4. Judith, this is a great post! Your AL plate is a terrific find. Wish TX would come up with a patriotic design like this. Love seeing all you red, white, and blue. All of mine is currently packed in boxes. ;-)

  5. As an Alabama girl, I applaud your use of our patriotic license plate! Wonderful Memorial Day post and table setting~

  6. Wonderful post, love your daddy's photo. :D

    I also loved that super deliciously looking pie. What a great touch to cover it with stars!

  7. What a wonderful way to bring out the Red, White, and Blue for your Memorial Day gathering! I enjoyed reading about your daddy and other members of your family and their service to our country. Thank you for sharing.

    Stonewall Kitchen is a favorite of mine ....I will have to try your blueberry pie recipe.

  8. I LOVE this post!
    It's another example why you and I have such a wonderful connection!
    That pie is a work of art!
    God Bless you and those in your amazing family who bravely served!

  9. Thank you to all the men in your family that served.
    Your holiday table is so festive, I live very touch! Thanks for sharing the great pie filling recipe at Something to Talk About, I love easy :)

  10. Great post!!! My Dad served in the Navy in WWII , and the best friend I ever had was a cook in the Army in WWII and in the Korean War. Can you imagine being an Army cook and being allergic to potatoe peels......
    Thanks for this!
    Be blessed,

  11. My Dad and father-in-law both served in the Navy. My Grandad and my grandfather-in-law were both in the Army during WWII. My Grandad was shot in the neck during the War, but he survived. Fortunately, I do not have to memorialize him for that - but I, certainly, honor his service. My grandfather-in-law was a doctor in the War. As such, he saw a lot of death and our family remembers all those that were lost in service to our country and our world.

    I really like the way you decorated in a very country, "Americana" style for the holiday. The crock filled with Cokes is my favorite part: it looks cute and I am a Coca-Cola "junkie"! I am going to try for a similar look this upcoming Fourth of July. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Michelle from

  12. Beautiful post Judith!! Your table looked so pretty!


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