Monday, November 9, 2015

A Seasonal Greeting From Us at Ramshackled Treasures

Yes, we know we are a good looking bunch ;)

The Thanksgiving and Christmas season is fast approaching! At Ramshackled Treasures, we are excited for the many surprises and wonderful moments these holidays will bring. Today, our vendors are sharing one of their very favorite Thanksgiving/Christmas traditions, memories or recipes for your enjoyment! 


My Christmas tradition memories are of food! The tastes of old German cookies made with spices we never use--like anise and cloves--spread out over old linens, on old dishes in candlelight. They always looked more amazing than they tasted! There was one dessert, one triumph of texture & taste that has never been replaced in my memories: cranberry pudding. This cake is steamed in cans instead of baked. It is full of cranberries, raisins and surrounded by a moist molasses bread. It is served sliced thin and covered in a buttery sugar cream sauce. It was the food we waited for all day. The tradition that brought smiles and giggles as grandpa licked his we could too.


When I was a kid, both my mom's side of the family and my dad's side of the family came to our house on Christmas Eve.  It was a casual evening, potluck-style and always a lot of fun!  That left Christmas day wide open for my immediate family to stay home together, just us. 

Today, my husband, kids and I attend church during the afternoon on Christmas Eve and then we head home to host the same family my parents always did. This, again, leaves Christmas day wide open for my immediate family to stay home together, just us. We have added a layer to the tradition...we gift our kids new PJs every year and they open them them on Christmas Eve.  I always launder them and have them ready to wear.  The kids sleep in them that night and wear them all day on Christmas day--aka PJ day.


As a nostalgic person, there is something so cozy and cheerful about the holidays that make me feel like a giddy little kid again! I love driving down a snowy country road with carols blasting on the radio, decorating the tree, and burning my favorite "Mulled Cider" scented candles ALL day. (Of course, we can't have a Christmas without busting out the classics: "It's a Wonderful Life" and "A Christmas Story".)

But the best nostalgia of the season, for me personally, is the reflection of Christ's coming to Earth as a baby because he wanted to have relationship with us! It's a truly humbling thought. 

In recent years, our family has simplified gift giving--gifting something either handmade or under $10. We find a lot of joy out of buy something for a family in a 3rd world country: a goat, a pair of rabbits, chickens etc. This year we are going to to pool our money together and buy a dairy cow! My only wish is that we could all be "flies on the wall" when the family receives their Christmas cow! Moo-ey Christmas! 


Thanksgiving is one of our family's favorite holidays, especially my husband.  He calls it "the holiday without pressure".  We typically do not have traditional Thanksgiving foods and instead pick an ethnic menu.  One year at my mom's we had lasagna, Caesar salad, cheese bread and stuffed manicotti. Another time, we roasted a prime rib and boiled crab legs. This year, we are going with an Asian theme of dumplings, stir fry, fried rice, maybe pad Thai and an Asian-inspired salad.  It is fun to be non-traditional as we all try to think of something yummy to add to the menu.  But most importantly we look forward to the time we get to spend together with dear, wonderful people.

On a side note this year all cell phones and electronics will be silenced for the day.   


Since my family has grown up and out of the house, the holidays are much more quiet and 
lackluster, but my heart keeps Christmas Alive all year long with a 5 foot "Deb created Charlie Brown Christmas Tree" which is only adorned by one decoration a very green frog....named Kermit! And this tree stays up 365 days a year. Christmas Spirit with a twist! Merry Christmas Everyone and a wonderful 2016!


Grandma Verna's Laeva Recipe

1 qt. milk
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
1 TBSP salt
1 tsp. to 1 Tbsp ground cardamon
3 package yeast dissolved in warm water
3-4 eggs well beaten
15 cups of flour
cinnamon and sugar

Scald milk; add next four ingredients and let cool to lukewarm. Add dissolved yeast and eggs. Add flour to make a soft dough. Knead and let rise to double in bulk. Dump out on board, cut into quarters and then cover and let rest for 10 minute. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Washed raisins may be sprinkled on if desired. Roll up like a jelly roll and sealing edge.Place on a greased cookie sheet. Cut top with scissors at a diagonal, about 1 inch thick, pull slice to the left, cut next slice diagonally and pull to the right. Keep overlapping the slices repeatedly. Lightly press the dough to make a the slices adhere to one another. Let rise in warm place until double, about 40-60 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly brown 35-40 minutes. 


Every year, I cut fresh pine and pull down the grape vines from my beloved woods and create wreaths and garland with nothing but dried wild growth gathered in my trusty, rusty wagon. Its always in place before the first snowfall, so it's garnish is delicately placed by natures finest touch.

I began my journey with this shop a number of years ago creating “Frame Your Dangles” jewelry frames. It was my first venture into the retail business. I consider myself extremely lucky to have been invited to join such a talented group with an owner whose vision, staging expertise and energy has created a business that has grown well outside of the small town it resides.

My jewelry frames came from a desire to get my jumbled mess of necklaces and French hung earrings out of the box and into a place where I could easily find them and also enjoy their beauty within a frame. I try to create frames that will enhance the wall it will finally call home and hope that it will become a focal point as well.

I also have tapped into my artistic side and begun creating items of interest for strictly wall d├ęcor. I find interest in cast off items that can create a picture or an inspirational word and so you will occasionally find a “Salvage Word” or a presentation of “Junk Art” at Ramschackled treasures. I’ve used drift wood, rusty old springs and other cast off items that would not be of use to anyone and re-used them to create something new that will last forever. It’s my hope to express and display the beauty that worn forgotten items can become.


At every family gathering we always have "Frankman Dip" which is amazingly easy to make and delicious with chips. 

Frankman Dip Recipe

Add 2 blocks of cream cheese
1 small jar of Cheese Wiz
Garlic Salt to taste 
Mix with a hand blender

My son would put it on everything if I allowed him to.


Our tradition for our family over the years has been to read the Gospel of Luke and then each of the kids would take turns lighting a candle with me during the part when the angel would appear to the shepherds. Now that they are grown up with children of their own, each of our grandchildren take turns lighting the candle with me. 

Our traditional Christmas meal has been to make fondue--but sometimes we've just ordered Greek food from Dino's Gyros. I decorate three trees: one is a three-dimensional steel tree, it's very minimalistic. The second tree contains all the decorations that my kids and grandkids have created over the years. My last tree is the "pretty tree" that matches everything in my living room--it's an antique white.


Making Christmas cookies has been a yearly tradition. One particular year, my daughter, Stacey, was having a terrible time keeping track of the hand towel she was using to wipe her hands as needed while cooking. Everyone was helping her keep track of it and, at times, made for laughter. Stacey was throwing it over her shoulder, leaving it on the counter, table wherever. 

As a sewer I had this idea in the middle of the night as to what could I do to make it easier for my daughter to keep track of her towel while cooking or baking. I came up with the design of the apron I now make for the store. With a towel attached to the apron that is a pocket and also has the towel attached sewn to the apron.


As a child we are asked "what do you want to be when you grow up?" I'd answer: firefighter, veterinarian, professional athlete...but I really never knew. I would have this picture in my head with a husband, home, dog and a family. I knew deep down I always wanted to me a Mom. I had no clue what I wanted to do beyond that. I couldn't answer "I want to me a Mom" that was just silly, I always thought I had to be something other then a Mom.

I went to college, earned my 4 year business degree, worked various jobs but still, I didn't know what I wanted to be when I "grew up". I was married 2 years after college, moved here to Minnesota, and we were pregnant just over a month after we were married and bought a house. After our 1st child was born, I quit my job to be a stay at home mother. 

Now, married 11 years, we have 4 children, and I am still "just" a Mom.  And you know what?  It's the best job ever!  As the holidays season is upon us, I am thankful and blessed to have a healthy family, a roof over our heads and my husband who works so hard to support us all. I look forward to our family get togethers, the love, laughter, memories we share and the memories we will be making. 

Happy Holidays!


When my children were young, my husband and I tried to figure out a way to not make Christmas so much about the gifts but about celebrating the birth of Jesus.  So we started a family tradition that each of our children would receive 3 gifts just like Jesus and included – “a read it” wrapped in green paper, “a wear it” wrapped in red paper and “a play it” wrapped in gold. Over the years we have gotten a little creative with the themes.

Stacey's Ginger Snaps with Pumpkin Dip Recipe 

3/4 c. shortening
1/4 c. molasses
1 c sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
2 c. flour
Mix.  Roll in balls.  Coat balls in sugar.  Bake 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

2 c. powdered sugar
8 oz. cream cheese. softened
1 – 16 oz. can pumpkin
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger

In a bowl, combine sugar and cream cheese, beating well. Add remaining ingredients.  Store in the refrigerator.  To serve, place in a small pumpkin that has been hallowed out.  Serve with the ginger Snaps.

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