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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sharing Christmas Traditions

On Christmas morning before anyone takes a peek into the stockings and before we sit down to a full scale southern-style breakfast there's a little matter about muffins that everyone in the household looks forward to.
It's a family tradition. It is the only day of the year we bake our sour cream muffins. There isn't another day as special and, even though its a simple-as-pie recipe, there isn't another muffin as special. Not to our family anyway.
The ingredients and preparations for the recipe are set out and ready to go on Christmas Eve. I usually wake up before anyone else to mix them up and pop them in the oven at just the right time so the adults and children wake to the heavenly smell of freshly baking muffins.
It's quite acceptable to eat them hot and plain. But the art to eating these muffins is to break them open with a knife or spoon and add a small dollup of your favorite jam or jelly. There are some men in the family who are known for popping the entire thing in their mouth at once. But it is highly recommended to savor each mini-muffin by slowing the process down to at least 2 or 3 small bites.
This year we broke tradition with our once a year muffin event at the insistent request of child #3. I admit it was a reasonable and valid request. It made sense to indulge him because the entire family was together for Thanksgiving week. We were all staying in the same coastal house on St. Simon's Beach. So on Thanksgiving morning this year I made sour cream muffins.
I maintian that everyone won't be quite as excited and the anticipation won't be as intense for muffins this Christmas morning. Afterall Thanksgiving wasn't that long ago. You see, if a thing is really extra special, it is extra special because it is treated with a certain sacredness. That's just the way it is with traditions.
Tradition: a long-established action or pattern of behavior in a community or group of people...
Sour Cream Muffins

1 stick of melted butter ( I use Land O Lakes Sweet Cream Salted)
1 8 oz. carton sour cream
1- 1/4 c sifted self rising flour (white lily preferred)
Stir sour cream and flour by hand
Pour in melted butter also stirring by hand
Fill ungreased mini muffin tins 2/3 full
Bake @ 450 degrees for 15 mins.

Another of our family traditions is one I started with my own children oh, so many years ago. Every season we made our own Christmas paper by painting or stenciling on craft paper. The other crafts we made were usually dictated by whatever craft I happened to be into at the time. Now that tradition has turned to a day spent with my grandchildren sometime during the Christmas season and we make Christmas crafts.

This past weekend the two older ones stayed the night with us. On Saturday we spent the morning with a table full of stationery papers, yarns, fabrics, stickers, scissors, and glue. I'm pretty sure I have as much fun as they do making crafts. You know how it is when you have children around and it gives one the excuse to play. Our oldest grandson just turned ten. He has become very interested in photographing landscapes lately. When he is here he always asks to use my camera. He took the photo of the poinsettia sitting on my back porch.

I hope you are filling your days with family Christmas activities and Christmas joy. It is only a week away...


  1. Wow Meems, that is the most simple recipe for muffins ever and they sound delicious. For us, Thanksgiving is the big family holiday too and many traditions are being made for that. My oldest grand is ten also, and getting him interested in photography is an excellent idea, thanks! I love the thought of you have the muffins ready for them when they get up on Christmas morning, wonderful!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your Christmas muffin recipe with us Meems. It is a special rite and should be held sacred. What fun you have with your family. Happy Christmas.

  3. What happy traditions, Meems! They truly are what set the holidays apart from any other days. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  4. So wonderful reading about your Christmas traditions Meems. The muffin sounds so good. And your grandson did a great job with the pointsettia shot.

    Have a great weekend!

  5. Meems,

    A wonderful tradition. Thank you for the muffin recipe. I love that grandchildren give you a chance to play again! I hadn't thought of it that way, but our sons aren't even married, so we'll have to wait awhile.

    Tell your grandson that his poinsettia photo is just perfect! (He's ready for his own camera)


  6. Your muffin recipe does sound easy, and I can tell from the ingredients they should be delicious--you can't go wrong with sour cream and butter:)

    Christmas traditions are so important in a family; my adult children still expect things to be a certain way at Christmas, and are disappointed if I change anything. Last year the grandchildren were over to make Christmas cookies with me. The younger ones had more icing and sprinkles than cookies, but oh, it was so much fun!
    Have a wonderful Christmas, Meems!

  7. Frances, The. Most. Simple. But oh, so, melt in your mouth. An owner of a B&B we frequented in GA many years back shared the recipe with me. It is a mom's (& Mimi's) joy to welcome the sleepy heads adorned in jammies with the smells of Christmas. Hope you are enjoying your day.

    Lisa, I'm happy to share the good things I've been blessed to have. I'll be thinking there could be some gardening friends around the world enjoying our sour cream muffins on the same Christmas morning.

    Nancy, I DO love it that the Christmas season is set apart. I'm enjoying these more than ever.

  8. Kanak, thank you. Grandson #1 has free use of my older camera when he comes to my house. This visit I let him use my newer one. I do love that he "sees" through the lens much the way I do. What a joy!

    Cameron, Grandchildren are the little wonders that keep my world hopping. So full of life and goodness and so freely spreading their love and joy. There's never a dull moment. I will tell my grandson and he will thank you for your compliment.

    Rose, Ahhh... sour cream and butter... so yummy!

    I have a couple of grown children who are the very same way. It is probably our fault right? But I don't mind. It makes me feel like the stuff we worked so hard to put in them when they were growing up "took". Now they are also creating traditions with their own families. Making cookies is fun, too. I know exactly what you mean... mine get very excited aobut eating the dough and the sprinkles.

  9. Those muffins look delish and so easy to make. Love that! Sounds like a wonderful tradition Meems. There is nothing like wonderful aromas to wake up to.

  10. I really enjoy reading about family traditions. Some are very simple and those are my favorites.

    Your grandson the photographer could print our some of his shots on plain paper and add those to his packages. That would make them special.

  11. First time visitor to your blog. WOW! Will you come to my house? JK. Merry Christmas and thanks for the ideas. One question: does the lemon/lime do well in full sun?

  12. okay so i think i might have a new tradition, lol.
    those sound good. we usually indulge in cinnamon buns as we wait for the big breakfast after all the whoopla of presents and stockings.
    those sweet little hands doing the craft, how precious. we have many things we like to do to make things feel cohesive around the holiday of christmas. your crafting looks like a lot of fun and letting them just explore the creative side is so wonderful. we haven't painted our paper in a few years but i need to do that again with the grands. isn't it wonderful when you get to see someone interested in the things you love. wonderful picture t took. i am sure you treasure all those moments with your little ones.

  13. What lovely Christmas traditions Meems! Your grandson is quite the talented photographer.

    The muffins sound delicious! We're doing brunch this Christmas to make the day easier on the kids, since they have so many stops to make.

    Right before I read your post, I'd been googling Christmas brunch menu ideas. I think I'll be adding your lovely muffins to our brunch menu. Thank you!

  14. Hi meems,

    We have always lived far away from our families and close friends have become part of our extended family. For the last many years we have Christmas Brunch at our house with a wonderful egg casserole that my husband makes...Your special family biscuits might be the icing on the breakfast cake this year!

    We haven't any grandchildren but when we do...I sure will be are an excellent role model!

    Have a wonderful weekend! Happiest Christmas.


  15. With a stick of butter and and 8 oz. of sour cream, how could the muffins not be rich and yummy?
    I love traditions....looking forward to starting some with my granddaughter, who is 3, and my grandson, who is due to enter this world in the spring.

  16. Meems, we make that recipe, too. I make it when I roast a chicken, which isn't that often. I never thought of making them at Christmas, but that's just perfect. I think I'll try them this year.

  17. Susie, Easy to make and delish is a good combination!

    Marnie, Thank you for the great idea. I have seen that done before but have not tried it myself. He would LOVE it!

  18. Gardenerwannabe: Aren't we all at some or another? If you wannabe then you CAN BE! Welcome. You don't want to put the lemon-lime in full sun. It really prefers and filtered sunlight. These plants are actually supposed to great indoors. I have some on the back porch sheltered by the screening and an overhang... some in pots and some in the ground sheltered by the oak trees. Hope that helps.

    Marmee, Your family would go for these muffins! Mr. T has been taking pictures since he was about 3 and doing a very good job along the way. When he uses his mom's super-duper DSL camera he is even more remarkable. Okay, so he's my grandson... I can go on and on about it right?
    I almost forgot that you guys used to paint paper 'back in the day' too. Thanks for reminding me... good memories.

    Linda, I really like a big brunch and when you have guests that need to get to several places it is a great idea. There are some really good breakfast casserole recipes that suit that purpose... hope you find just what you were looking for and I do think the muffins would blend well with any menu... only remember....they must be hot to fully appreciate. :-)

  19. Dear Gail, If you decide to try it do let me know. It is very simple and makes a nice addition to breakfast. We like to eat them first to get the full effect. :-) Of course then you tend to eat too many. With breakfast might curb that tendency a bit. I'm glad you have friends to enjoy Christmas with... it must be hard when family is so far away.

    Connie, Congratulations on your grandson coming right around the corner. So very exciting with the anticipation of another one on his way. Our youngest grandson is almost 3 and this Christmas all the Truth of the celebration is coming alive for him. So fun.

    Kim, you are the first person I've known who makes this recipe. Hmmmm... making them with dinner has never occurred to me. I'll have to try THAT.

  20. Beautiful!! I love how you change your header. It makes your blog so fresh!

  21. Dear Meems,
    It is a fantastic gift to your family to have traditions to pass down. Keeping these alive is a tribute to you! The muffins look to be delicious.
    Spending time with your Grandchildren sounds equally delicious! Looks as if you had lots of fun.
    May you and yours have a Happy Christmas.

  22. love your headers on both places. the personal touch of a christmas message makes them even more special. great pics for both.

  23. Pat, Thanks... I'm glad you like it.

    Sherry, Traditions are the treasured times that comfort us making the holidays even more special than they are already.

    Thanks for letting me know... it is a time for fun and festive things right?

  24. Meems, that is just beautiful. Traditions are so important. We must remember that. Your grandson is on his way to becoming a splendid photographer.~~Dee

  25. Lovely, Meems. Whether in the garden or home, you always create memories, one reason you have so many fans! BIG HUGS from a HUGE fan (enjoying your shared recipes). Loving thoughts for a blessed holiday.

  26. I'm a little late on posting but just wanted to stop by and tell you I am going to try those muffins for Christmas morning. Will let you know how they turn out. Thanks for the recipe

  27. I could feel the love you have for your family in this post. Awesome! I imagine those muffins will still be enjoyed, at least almost as much as they would have been without the Thanksgiving ones. :o)

    We'll be having soup with our own kids on Christmas Eve. My son makes gumbo, and I make oyster stew and whatever kind of soup strikes my fancy. My fil used to make oyster stew on Christmas eve, and that's how I got started doing that.

  28. Dee, It is important for a sense of security and comfort I think for the children and their children. They come to expect that we keep the things we started, too. My grandson seems to have a natural eye for the lens... I'll be his #1 encourager. :-)

    Joey, you are a dear to stop by to share such kind words. The thing about memories for the children is the way they give of their hearts so freely... it is all worth the effort it takes. And then I am so blessed along the way, too. Here's wishing a blessed and joy-filled Christmas to you and your family, Joey.

    Coach K, Never too late. So glad you spoke up. :-) I do hope you try the muffins... I promise they will be a big hit.

    Sue, I think you are on to something... the family will be happy to see those muffins again while they are drinking their morning coffee and waiting on the real deal breakfast. :-) Your soups sound fabulous too. I used to make chicken soup and cuban sandwiches every Christmas Eve for years... then we changed that tradition to taking the family out to dinner. It gives me a break and everyone looks forward to it... especially me. :-)

  29. As always, Sugar, it is a caaaaalming treat to visit you in yore lovely garden, Meems!

    Merry Christmas an' a blessed new year to all yore folks!


Have a blessed day,

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