Trees of Transition

Planting seeds of hope throughout our world through sharing photography and thoughts on teaching, cooking, and life transitions.

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Picking Maryland Crab

We are visiting friends in Maryland right now, and they treated us is freshly boiled crab with bay spice. Here’s the process:

First cover the table with brown paper, and get the wooden hammers ready to whacking the claws:

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Rhubarb Time

Rhubarb’s tang makes me feel like it is fully spring. I whipped up this pie last week and have been enjoying it ever since! I used strawberry jam in place of fresh strawberries, and that worked out just fine.

Happy Monday!

-Mary Hope

Copyright 2017


Why You Should Eat the Top of Your Wedding Cake the Month After Your Wedding

Should you keep the top of your wedding cake until your first wedding anniversary? My opinion is a resounding, “No!” Do you want to enjoy the cake or have it taste like cardboard? The cake tastes great if you start eating it piece by piece after you get back from the honeymoon.


The top of our wedding cake stood grand at our wedding, and then the reception hall boxed it up, and we put it in my apartment freezer, so that when we came back from Hawaii and I had to pack up my apartment, we started eating the cake to sweeten the deal.

It took us a month to eat the cake–and we finished it just as I had to be out of the apartment. Eating the cake early made us feel sneaky, and it was FUN! Just do it.


~Mary Hope

Copyright 2017

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Hanna’s Fresh Cranberry Salad

Yesterday our Aunt Hanna hosted us and served this refreshing salad:
Hanna’s Fresh Cranberry Jello
1 bag fresh cranberries, chopped (you can use a blender, if desired)

2 oranges, peeled and chopped

2 apples, peeled and chopped

2 stalls celery, chopped

1 cup sugar
6 oz. Strawberry jello–

2 cups boiling water–stir and dissolve for 2 min.

2 cups ice cubes
Start by mixing up your jello with the boiling water for 2 minutes. Add the ice cubes; when it starts congealing, add it to this mixture:
Mix together the fruit and vegetables with the sugar.
Pour into 9″x13″ pan and chill until firm. Serve with turkey or whatever sounds good!
Serves 10-12 people. 

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Layered Lettuce Salad (A Hit at Potlucks!)


by Julia Burkholder (with a few edits by me)

1 medium head lettuce, torn

1 cup minced fresh parsley

4 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

1 package (10 oz.) frozen peace, thawed and patted dry

6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese

1 small red onion, chopped


1/2 cup. mayonnaise

1 1/2 cup. light sour cream

1 tsp. dried dill

3/4 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper


In a large glass bowl or a glass 9″x13″ pan, layer the lettuce, parsley, eggs, tomatoes, peas, bacon, cheese and onion in the order listed.

In a small bowl, combine the mayo, sour cream, and spices. Carefully spread on the top of the salad.

You can just serve it then, or you can cover and refrigerate it for a couple hours or overnight. Garnish with fresh dill or parsley, if desired.

Serves 12.

This is great for potlucks, and it is addicting!

~Mary Hope.


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Easy Pie Crust (I mean it!!) Grandma Jane’s Pie Crust

20150712-192256-69776167.jpgCrafting pie crust scares some people, and I can see why: If it fails, you have a crumbly mess on your hands. I’ve only made lard pie crust a couple of times, and the other dozens of times, I’ve used an easy, almost fail-safe recipe from my Grandma Jane.

Grandma Jane would make mincemeat pies and tarts (Bambury tarts) at Christmas time. She taught my Mom how to make this recipe, and my Mom taught me. Someday I hope to teach my future daughter how to make this recipe. For now, I can teach you!

Easy Pie Crust Recipe for a two-crust pie:

2 1/2 cups flour

2/3 cup oil

1/3 cup milk (it can be almond or regular)

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