I took a trip down memory lane . . .

. . . with a Martha Stewart and Erma Bombeck Christmas story

My mother and my sisters, Val and Pam loved reading Erma. Val was a big fan of Martha’s cookbook as well. In fact, Martha’s Cauliflower Gratin on Christmas Eve was a requirement!

The story begins with a letter from Martha to Erma. It is a hilarious piece of writing by Erma.

So in the Spirit of Christmas in honor of Genevieve, Valerie and Pam.

I give you, Martha Stewart’s letter to Erma Bombeck and Erma’s response to Martha.

Dear Erma,

This perfectly delightful note is being sent on paper I made myself to tell you what I have been up to.

Since it snowed last night, I got up early and made a sled with old barnwood and a glue gun. I hand painted it in gold leaf, got out my loom and made a blanket in peaches and mauves. 

Then, to make the sled complete, I made a white horse to pull it, from the DNA that I had sitting around in my craft room.

By then, it was time to start making the place mats and napkins for my 20 breakfast guests. I’m serving the old standard Stewart twelve-course breakfast, but I’ll let you in on a little secret — I didn’t have time to make the tables and chairs this morning, so I used the ones I had on hand. 


Before I moved the table into the dining room I decided to add just, a touch of the holidays. So . . . I repainted the room in pinks and stenciled gold stars on the ceiling.

While the homemade bread was rising, I took antique candle molds and made the dishes (exactly the same shade of pink) to use for breakfast. These were made from Hungarian clay, which you can get at almost any Hungarian craft store.

Well, I must run. I need to finish the hand-sewn buttonholes on the dress I’m wearing for breakfast.

I’ll get out the sled and drive this note to the post office as soon as the glue dries on the envelope I’ll be making. 
Hope my breakfast guests don’t stay too long. I have 40,000 cranberries to string with bay leaves before my speaking engagement at noon. It’s a good thing.

Love, Martha

P.S. When I made the ribbon for this typewriter, I used 1/8-inch gold gauze. I soaked the gauze in a mixture of white grapes and blackberries which I grew, picked, and crushed last week just for fun.

Erma’s Response

Dear Martha,

I’m writing this on the back of an old shopping list. Pay no attention to the coffee and jelly stains.

I’m 20 minutes late getting my daughter off for school, packing a lunch with one hand-on the phone with the dog pound, seems old Ruff needs bailing out again.

Burnt my arm on the curling iron when I was trying to make those cute curly fries, how DO they do that?

Still can’t find the scissors to cut out some snowflakes, tried using an old disposable razor . . . trashed the tablecloth.

Tried that cranberry thing; frozen cranberries mushed up after I defrosted them in the microwave. Oh, and don’t use Fruity Pebbles as a substitute in that Rice Krispies snowball recipe unless you like food that resembles puke!

Smoke alarm is going off, talk to ya later.

Love, Erma

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

In Search of Famiglia-The Road to Laurenzana

We took off on a Wednesday mid-morning. Bernalda to Laurenzana, about 80km. See map. Blue sky. Puffy white clouds. A little chilly.

Important Day!

Although I didn’t know what to expect, I figured it would be fun, as most of the people we’ve met have been friendly and helpful – now that I think of it,  it’s probably because I’ve been telling them my name is Giovanni.