Swanson Cream Starter

Saw what I thought would be a great shortcut for making creamed soups–Swanson Cream Starter–while shopping yesterday. I had planned on cream of broccoli soup for dinner tonight so I could try out my new gift, a Cuisinart immersion Blender. I could find no recipe at the Swanson website, but reading the packaging I thought it pretty simple–prepare your vegetable as for regular creamed soup. Then add the package of Cream Starter. That is what I did. What a big disappointment! The soup tasted very salty and had a strong after taste–more than should have been present.

Reading the label I had been so hopeful because there were no preservatives, and primarily wholesome foods. It was just a convenient package. I am generally pleased with Swanson products, but this certainly let me down. I will give it one more try, but I am not hopeful. Also, I was disappointed that there were very few recipes on the Swanson site utilizing this product. I would think they would have a lot of resources when rolling out a new product.

Tomorrow I am preparing a big Asian dinner and plan on using Swanson Hot and Sour Infused Broth to make Hot and Sour soup. It will be the first time using this product, also, so I am hoping it will not disappoint.


Job’s Daughters and Masonic Family

I see all the garbage on the History Channel about the “secret” organization of Masons. I”m sorry–it is obviously the best kept secret in the world since everybody knows it is evil. No one takes the time to actually learn about the groups associated with Masons–it is a large family. There are the Masonic Lodges whose members may become members of the Scottish Rite bodies, the York Rite bodies, Shriner‘s, Order of the Eastern Star, Courts of Amaranth. All of these groups have long histories of philanthropic work and service to our communities. Ladies with Masonic ties can belong to Order of the Eastern Star, Courts of Amaranth, Daughters of Nile, White Shrine. All of these orders have no religious requirement other than a belief in a Supreme Being (the exceptions are the higher levels of the York Rite which are Christian). Many of the ceremonies in some of the groups are based on Biblical precepts, but we recognize all holy books. There are members in the various organizations worldwide. So you ask about the youth.

There are three youth organizations recognized by Masons. For young men between the ages of 11 and 20 there is the Order of DeMolay. There is no Masonic tie required for membership. These young men learn leadership skills, how to serve their communities, and respect for womanhood. Many of them become leaders in their chosen fields and join the Masonic Lodges. There are two organizations for young women. The Order of Rainbow for Girls does not have a requirements of a Masonic tie for membership. These young ladies learn to be leaders, organizers, how to serve their communities, and skills that will serve them in many walks of life. Job’s Daughters International is for young women aged 10-20 with a provable Masonic relationship. It is based on the book of Job and the girls are taught organization, patience, service, and a love for all humanity. Oh, I forgot the most important aspect of these youth organizations–FUN!!! Rules are strict, but they all have fun and are credits to their communities.

If you have questions, or just want to know the reality of Masonic organizations, go to one of their open meetings–there are plenty throughout the year. Ask members what they do. There are certain aspects that we don’t share, but I have to tell you, almost everything can be found on the internet. We just don’t share the signs by which we recognize each other.

I love it when I hear a Mason speaking to man asking about the organization. It is a group of good men striving to be better husbands, fathers, sons, and men. As a woman who girl up as a Job’s Daughter and now active in the Order of the Eastern Star, and work with the local Job’s Daughters Bethel, my goal is these groups is to be a better wife, mother, grandmother, and woman. The teachings of these groups have helped me on that path and I am grateful the their impact on my life.