October 3, 2008: Making Friends and Preserving Friendships

How does one become friends with someone they have never seen, let alone never met? How can friendships form from simple correspondences with complete strangers? How can one common interest bring a lasting camaraderie?

Well, one way is to just join an on-line forum and/or write a blog.

In the past two months my life has been blessed and enriched with new found friends. There's Cynthia from Brambleberries in the Rain. Kristen, The Frugal Girl. Teresa, of Quack This, whom I met through a recipe group several years ago, and who remains my friend to this day. And then there are all my new friends from the Garden Web Forums, and especially from the Square Foot Gardening Forum, who are numerous (and I know I'll forget someone, so if I do please blame it on my age, not on my lack of love and respect for you); Angela, Carolyn, Laura, Medo, bettyinga, rjinga, docarwen, John, Ribbit, Dan, duhast, Mike in Paradise, Sinfonian, lissa, Cheryl aka gardengoodies, crystabel, reba.

Now, who did I forget?


Ah yes, I know who! My "bestest, funnest, funniest, goofiest garden buddy", Engineered Garden!

I've only seen one photo of EG, goofing off with Spongebob Squarepants! All I really know about him is that he is a very kind man, and one of the first to offer help when needed. You never know what EG is going to do next, so I wasn't terribly surprised when he "cybershared" his pear preserves with me, with a "Granny" sign and all.......

But nothing prepared me for what he did this week. He sent me a real jar of his pear preserves! What was even more unexpected was the box it came in. Only EG could come up with a "talking" box!

Be sure to click on the image to enlargen it, so you can read all that a jar of pear preserves might talk/sing about on a trip from Alabama to Washington!

Of course, such very special preserves deserve the best of homemade biscuits!

Biscuits Supreme

2 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2/3 cup milk

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cream of tartar and sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the shortening until the mixture looks like course crumbs. Add the milk all at once; stir quickly with a fork just until the dough follows the fork around the bowl. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead gently, 10-12 strokes. Pat or roll dough to 1/2” thickness and cut with a 2-1/2” floured biscuit cutter. Bake on an *ungreased (see note) baking sheet at 450ºF for 10-12 minutes.

*Note: I melt about 1/4 cup butter or margarine in the bottom of a 9”X13” baking pan. Dip one side of each biscuit in the melted butter, then turn it over, butter side up. Bake as directed. This gives the biscuits a delicious, golden, crispy exterior.

EG's Pear Preserves

Verb: Preserve. Keep or maintain in unaltered condition; cause to remain or last.

Thank you, EG, for "preserving" our friendship.


  1. Yay! I bet that little guy was tired from all of that traveling! Ha! Yeah...I had to doctor the box up a bit...you know me!


  2. This has got to be one of the funnest blog posts I have ever read thanks to you and EG! :)

    Isn't it amazing how the internet can bring us all together. It never ceases to amaze me how I can connect with so many different people just by turning on my computer. I am so glad we "bumped" into eachother on this BIG wide web. I like to consider you part of my cyberspace family. :)

    Oh, and I'm going to try your biscuit recipe this week! We are getting into the good baking weather now. ;)

  3. I'm glad I found you too, Cynthia. Your blog is the first one I read each day!

    It is getting cool enough to have the oven on in the mornings now, so maybe I'll get a bit of bread baking done. Enjoy the biscuits...it's the recipe I've used for many years, from an old "Good Housekeeping" or "Better Homes & Gardens" oookbook. Can't remember which, and my old dog-eared paperback edition is 1200 miles away in my Arizona kitchen!

  4. Aww, you are just too sweet!! I'm so glad to have met you too. :)

  5. Hey Granny,
    EG is my boss, and if you think he is funny in his blogs, you should work for him! :) He is a great guy and I am glad that he is my friend. If there is any "dirt" you need to know about him, just let me know!
    Take care,
    Jerry :)

  6. Yeah, EG is the coolest! I've had a great dialog going with him over email and he is nothing short of amazing! Oh how I wish I had him for a friend and neighbor. And you to share seeds and garden strolls Granny!

  7. Cynthia - I'm glad you liked it too! Yeah, me and granny cut up alot...lol

    Granny - them biscuits are looking good! I've been eating peanut butter and pear preserves sandwhiches here....

  8. Granny and EG - this is the best post ever -- I am so glad I have found new friends in the gardening world. I'm gonna try your biscuit recipe - you would think a southern girl could make a good biscuit - NOT! My Mom made wonderful biscuits but she never used a recipe and and she mixed them by hand. I have never been able to duplicate those biscuits.

  9. HA!!! Jerry! I might have to take you up on that. We need a little dirt on him, I think his head has grown about three sizes this week ;-)

  10. Sinfonian, you can come stroll through my garden anytime! And speaking of seeds, I just put jalapeno, red bell pepper and acorn squash seeds to dry. I was so careful when working with the jalapenos, even wore rubber gloves while I was seeding and chopping them. So what did I do? Went in and spread the seeds around with my bare hands, then later rubbed my nose and couldn't figure out why it burned so badly! DUH!

  11. EG, the puppies sure did like the biscuits, but they didn't get one bit of those preserves! Mr. H was happy to get biscuits & preserves for breakfast, though.

  12. bettyinga, I'm just glad you found us!

    Just make a well in the center of those dry ingredients, and pour the milk in the hole. Take your fingers and just begin stirring the dry ingredients in from the sides until all has been combined (you might need a bit more milk for this method). It's messy, but messy can be fun. Think mud pies!

  13. Granny - My Mom and Dad make biscuits without a recipe as well, and dangit!, they turn out perfect every single time! I don't understand it. Yes, Jerry is one of my employees, and he saw the box before I mailed it. And, yes....we have a pretty good time at work.....when we can. hee hee. His family was my first official visitors to see the freaky garden.... Oh! Jerry is also the one that showed me how to take the nice closeup pictures. I sure know how to hire them, don't I?

    Sinfonian - if you lived by me, we'd build all kinds of things.

    This was truly a great post, i'm glad you put it together granny.

  14. You know what, EG and bettyinga, I think they probably used self rising flour and just knew how much shortening and milk to add. I've never used self rising flour, but I think it's quite common in the South. And they probably made biscuits a lot more than we do, so the recipe was in their heads.

    I bake bread like that all winter, because we're 25 miles from the grocery store and can't just run into town for a loaf every time we need it. By about the third loaf I bake, I remember the recipe without looking for the rest of the season...then promptly forget it once I get back in WA and near a grocery store.

  15. You are right Granny! I only remember self-rising flour being used. Anyway, I made your biscuits tonight - Yum! They were delicious especially with a little apple butter. I don't think mine looked as pretty as yours in the picture but thet were still good. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us!

  16. You're welcome, bettyinga. I'm glad you enjoyed them, and I love apple butter!