Margaret Furlong Blog | Everyday Life & Porcelain Design Inspiration



Last Friday, my friend Galina and I went out to several u-pick farms east of Salem, OR. We picked blueberries and sweet cherries.

The golden cherries are Rainer and the dark ones Bing. We enjoyed eating the sweet, warm cherries right off the tree.

Last week, I hosted a small party for Maddie, my neighbor and a recent college graduate. We have been neighbors since she was a baby and now she’s home for the summer before leaving for Rwanda, Africa to do volunteer work in the medical field.

It was a sweet afternoon of celebration and friendship with lots of fresh summer food.

The weather was perfect – sunny and cool – one of those days from heaven! All the flowers were from the garden with the sweet peas always my favorite, so lovely to look at and perfuming the air!

I served the food in the garden room and then we had a leisurely lunch on the patio. I will share several of my recipes from this lunch in some following blog entries. We enjoyed Banana Cream Pudding for dessert and that recipe is in my July 21, 2011 entry.

Last Friday at lunchtime I visited Minto Growers Organic Farm and Produce stand on South River Road in Salem, OR. They not only have organic produce to buy and some u-pick (blueberries right now), but they are preparing and serving great food from a small trailer.

I ordered a raspberry shake, locally made sausage sandwich and a salad of butter lettuce, blue cheese dressing and roasted hazelnuts- see the photo of this one above. The food was delicious!

Is there anything better than right off the farm, especially when it’s organic and picked and prepared on the spot?   Of course you have to have the right cook too and they certainly do! Sally Miller is preparing the food for her daughter Elizabeth who is the organic farmer and owner of this sweet business!

Go to for more information.

I have served this dessert for the 4th of July and other special occasions for many years. It is a favorite of my daughters and her friends and also gets raves from my friends.

I usually tend to make food from simple and fresh ingredients, but this recipe has several processed ingredients that I would normally not use. Just taste this and you will see why I break my rules for this one. It is truly delicious; the ultimate comfort dessert!!

Banana Cream Pudding

1 14 oz. can of Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 ½ cups cold water

1 3 oz. package instant vanilla pudding mix

2 cups whipping cream, whipped

36 vanilla wafers

3 medium bananas sliced and covered with enough lemon juice to moisten each slice


  1. In a large mixing bowl combine condensed milk and water. Add pudding mix and beat until well blended. Chill for 5 minutes.
  2. Fold in whipped cream.
  3. Spoon 1 cup of pudding mixture into a 2 ½ quart serving bowl. Top with one layer of each the vanilla wafers and the bananas. Repeat layering ending up with the pudding mixture on top.
  4. Chill thoroughly.

Garnish as desired.

Serves 8 to 10

These Victorian shell ships were thoughtfully made many years ago. The sails and bodies were cut and shaped from polished shells, the holes drilled, the miniature uprights cut and finally all woven together with wires or heavy thread to build the sailboats. Surely these were made by men who once sailed the seas on real ships.

These sweet images of sail boats are now anchored on top of an old desk of mine at the beach house along with some wooden fishing boat models, several horn sailing schooners and some delightful sea birds.

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