Saturday, October 7, 2017

Goodbye.... for now!

Hello, everybody! Mary Jane here and this is goodbye... for now.
I'm eyeballs-deep in several series, we'll be traveling for a while, and, frankly, I think I've run out of recipes!
 So, I've decided to take a step back from the cafe until life is calmer.
I can't express how much I've enjoyed sharing recipes on Yankee Belle Cafe.
The charming successes...
                                                                    And the fails!
Like double chocolate pound cake with mint ganache. 
The pork roast with onions that I think I stole from Ruthy... Or was it Jan?
The never-fail  Biscotti recipe from a friend.
The lavender flan recipe from a magazine.
Oh,  how I made myself hungry looking at posts like this chocolate cream raspberry pie!
And then there were the photos of family life...
OH MY. All the pictures!
Butterfly hunting...
Cardboard armor...
Hilarious photo fails!
I love this one. Or maybe I just love the memory of the brown sugar pound cake with caramel glaze!
I might possibly have cried a little at this "banana phone" picture. All my babies did this. Now they're all too old to pretend to talk on the banana phone!
So many milestones. All the wonderful food, comments, conversations, memories...
 I've learned so much about cooking and family and faith in the cafe.
Our posts aren't just about food.  They're about all the moments in our lives, good and bad. (Our good things jar. We're in our fifth year and every Jan 1st we open them one by one to read the wonderful things that happened. I don't curate the collection. Anyone can write, or have someone else write, a note. Some of them are hilarious! )
They're about the history of our country...
...and the pioneers who made it what it is. The posts are about our yearning to carry on what was given to us.
The recipes aren't just desserts or dinner or snacks. They're family recipes that are really more about generations of love, than the food.
They're secret recipes passed from friend to friend.
Whether Mardi Gras King's Cake, Ash Wednesday, Easter,
Advent or Christmas, the posts echoed the church calendar in our houses.
The posts are about  new babies and beginnings and passing on the Good News in a community of faith.
There are more posts about books than I would have thought possible, dozens between the six of us! It's about work and persistence and perseverance and fellowship. We lift each other up, celebrate writing 'the end' and each contract or book release.
It's about pets, the cats and dogs that are members of our family.
Sleeping in silly positions...
 and laughter and growing up.
It's about learning to listen and work on new skills, trying new things, perhaps starting new traditions.
 About quiet moments of peace on a chilly day.
About noticing the beauty of a fluffy kitten, or a tender touch. The cuddles of sleeping babies, the warmth of a toddler's hand, the hug of a teenager.
These posts tracked five years of my family life, from having six kids under twelve, to having six readers in the house and three (almost four!) teenagers
 In our posts we bring our readers on our vacations, near and far. To conferences, on hikes, to churches and bookstores and restaurants.
Lakes and oceans and wheatfields.
I saw five years of vacation photos...
 and I felt a rush of gratitude for the freedom to travel and explore this beautiful country.
Freedom to stay in a fancy hotel, or in a yurt on the Oregon coast...
To eat a five star restaurant to catch our own food off the dock.
To see the old and the new.
To buy our food from a farmer's market, 
Or buy cactus shipped from far away. (It's grown on me...)
                                        To make ice cream from our own mulberry tree, 
To plant the trees we want, how we want, and spray whether we want to or not. (Our organic cherries.)
Or buy from a local farm that can decide whether to grow organically or not.
To tend a forty year old grapevine, and sell or eat the fruit as we wish!

 We're writers, but we're readers, too!
Whether we're in the mountains or at the shore.
 The posts celebrated my sweet tooth and how delightful it was when I met Mr. Latte.  And then foun a delicious copycat Starbucks gingerbread syrup.
 We invited our readers into our kitchens, whether sharing our decorations, renovations,
Furniture rescues...
vintage dishware...
 First steps!!
 We brought flowers...

And more flowers (and more and more flowers)! I never knew I posted so many flowers.
 Sleeping babies in funny hats.
 Preteens pretending to fall in love with "seaweeda" with the fabulous hair!
And oh, the kid pictures. So many moments of our daily lives.
Blowing bubbles instead of doing dishes.
Finding the world's biggest icicle.
Unhappy faces when their favorite pie pumpkin was sacrificed for pumpkin bread...
That recipe is here! Of course, there were recipes, too.

Can I just say how hungry I got while scrolling through recipes like these homemade calzones??

I smiled to see dear Edna in so many posts.
 She's still on my counter, supervising all the new arrivals and making sure their performance is up to par.
 But as much as life stays the same, it's still ever-changing. And so, we're off on our next adventure! I'll still pop in when I can because I'm sure I'll be missing the Yankee Belle Cafe community.
 All of our love and gratitude to Ruthy, Missy, Jan, Mindy and Cate! Until we see you again!


  1. Oh wow -- love the pictorial trip down memory lane. I can't believe it's been five years!!! The kid pics are the best!!! I'll miss your posts, but praying for your new adventures!

  2. What a beautiful trip down memory lane. Thank you for taking us on this fabulous journey. ❤

  3. Virginia, we'll miss you and your posts like crazy! But we wish you many blessings as you move through this next stage of life. We'll look forward to your visits!

    I've enjoyed watching your kids grow up (that photo with the sad faces at sacrificing pumpkins is one of my favs!) and will keep an eye out for fun photos on Facebook.

    We love you! Thank you for all you've added to our lives here at the Cafe.

    1. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to learn and grow in the cafe!!

      And that pumpkin picture STILL makes me laugh!

  4. MaryJane/Virginia, this is such an amazing walk down memory lane. Good thing I was snacking while I read it or I'd be starving right now. So many wonderful memories.

    We will miss your weekend posts, but I wish you well on your journeys - both literal and fictional - and hope you'll come back to share.

    Blessings on your way, my friend.

    And as the Irish are wont to say:

    May the road rise up to meet you.
    May the wind be always at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face;
    the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
    may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

    Or, my favorite way to pray it - as a song:

  5. I knew this was coming - but now it's here! I've loved your posts and watching your sweet children growing up. :)

    God be with you 'til we meet again!

  6. I finally got over here! Mary Jane, you have been such a wonderful breath of fresh air on the weekend circuit. You've taught me things about regional differences that I wouldn't have imagined because folks vary from coast to coast... I've learned so much, and I absolutely delighted in seeing these pics revisited! WONDERFUL!!!!

    We've watched your kids get bigger and my little ones all march off to Kindergarten...

    And we've welcomed babies and weddings from sea to shining sea!

    Best of love and wishes on your new adventures... May God bless you and yours with brilliant sun, cooling breezes and sweet knowledge!

  7. I'm often late reading the Cafe posts, but always read them and Lurk! I have loved seeing yours and seeing your kids grow. Best wishes in your new adventures and please post pics on Facebook! Blessings~~~