A Taste Of Yellow: Monthly Mingle For Barbara Harris

When I first started blogging, one of the first food blogging events that I participated in was A Taste Of Yellow, an annual cancer awareness blog event started by Barbara Harris.

Bloggers would cook or bake a yellow food and blog about the recipe and how cancer touched their lives.

The event had a yellow theme because it coincided with LiveStrong Day, a day that Lance Armstrong started to increase cancer awareness and focus on living.

Many people in my family have had cancer. Both sides. Some survived and some did not. Cancer is such a devastating disease and has taken away so many. Most people on the planet can probably think of someone that they know who has been impacted.

My mom is a 26 year breast cancer survivor and is always more than happy to talk to anyone who is diagnosed and struggling to find their way. She participates in the Relay For Life and always makes something positive out of her experience.

I will never forget the day that my mother told me that she had cancer. I was a senior in college and visiting home. She had a biopsy and was waiting for the results, so when she started the sentence by telling me not to worry, I knew it was bad news.

My knees buckled and I almost fainted. I was so scared. Through 1985 and 1986, my mom had a mastectomy and went through chemotherapy.

All four years of college, I had arranged my classes so that I would have Fridays off and could watch my soaps. Priorities! I was totally addicted to All My Children, One Life to Live ,and General Hospital.

Since I had that day off, my mom made her chemo appointments for Fridays and I'd bring her to the doctor's office for her treatment and bring her home. Fridays and Saturdays were pretty rough. I'd stay the weekend to help her out and she'd feel better by Sunday, so I could go back to school. She'd go back to work on Monday. It actually worked out that I had taken Fridays off. Priorities...

Around the same time, actress Ann Jillian was fighting breast cancer too. It wasn't talked about as much as it is now, so it was really quite brave of her to be so public about it. Even though I obviously didn't know Ann Jillian, she was a celebrity that I saw on TV; I looked to her for hope for my mother. Whenever I would see her talking about beating cancer and looking well, she gave me hope and strength. I prayed for her and my mother. Her willingness to open up probably helped many other people too.

I graduated from college in 1986 and felt so blessed that my mother was there to see me. She survived. I cannot imagine what it would have done to me and my family to lose her back then. I feel like every year with her since then is such a blessing. It might not have been.

When my mom and I talk about those days now, my mom tells me that she doesn't know how I did it. I tell her that I don't know how she did it. 

When I learned about A Taste Of Yellow, I was more than happy to join in. Barbara was so welcoming to everyone who participated.

As a new food blogger, it meant a lot. I started to understand the feeling of an online community. It was fun finding a yellow themed food, plus I could participate in a cause that I believed in.

Barbara battled cancer from June 2004. She fought a good fight and turned a negative into a positive with A Taste Of Yellow. She brought so many people together, helped to spread awareness and probably saved more than a few lives. Sadly Barbara died just a few weeks ago on June 29th. My heart goes out to her family.

As a tribute to Barbara, Jeanne of Cook Sister, Meeta of What's For Lunch Honey? and Gilli of So So Simple Food came up with the idea of one more Taste Of Yellow to celebrate Barbara. I thought it was a wonderful idea and decided to bake scones, which are one of my favorite things to bake. I'm sure Barbara would have approved.

The recipe is below, and in the spirit of cancer awareness, please talk to your family about cancer and health in general. Everyone. Parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles. It's amazing to me the reach of this blog, so I'm hoping that this post goes far and wide and maybe can help someone.

It's good to know what other family members are dealing with as a caring relative and to know what you might be at risk for. Then you can tell your doctor too. Ladies, please, please, please, have your annual mammograms. It could save your life. And now to the recipe.
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Lemon Marmalade Filled Walnut Scones
(makes about 8 scones) - Recipe adapted from Simply Scones

  • 6 T Smart Balance (butter or margarine)
  • 2/3 cup vanilla rice milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups flour
  • lemon marmalade (set aside for filling)

As I've mentioned before in my scone recipes, my method is not traditional, but it works for me. Set the oven at 400 degrees and put parchment paper on a cookie sheet.

Partially melt the Smart Balance. I use a large bowl that I can microwave, then add sugar and the rest of the ingredients, except for the marmalade.

Stir to combine between ingredients until you have dough. You may need to add about 1/4 cup more flour, so that the dough is easy to handle.

Divide the dough into two pieces and put them on the parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Cut each piece in half twice, so you 8 wedges. Use a knife to cut a slit on the top of each wedge, then widen it, so you can spoon some of the marmalade in it to fill the space.

Bake for about 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Eat. Enjoy!

*Updated 8/9/2012* Click here for a roundup of all the posts.

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Jeanne said…
What a beautiful post - and how wonderful that your mother has been a survivor for so long! My mom was seriously ill for a long time and I also wonder how she held down a job and coped with dialysis treatments 4 times a day for all those years. It makes you look at your own problems in an entirely different light. Thank you so much for joining in the Mingle this month with your delicious recipe and paying tribute to Barbara :)
Lisa Johnson said…
jeanne - Welcome! The serious illness of a loved one definitely puts life in a new perspective. Thank you so much for hosting this tribute for Barbara! : )
Anonymous said…
thanks for sharing your story about your mom. your scones look so good.
Lisa Johnson said…
paz - Thanks for the visit and sweet words. The scones were delicious. : )

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