Is this Heaven? No, it’s Leesburg

…or as nephew Dylan says, “I’m living the dream!”

A trip to Shealy’s is always a treat.

Chomping down on Shealy's fried chicken
Even smart phones can't compete with Shealy's fried chicken

Ahh, contentment.

After a feast at Shealy's BBQ
The table is bare after a feast at Shealy's
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He is Risen!

Easter Sunday 2011, the flowering cross outside Riverland Hills Baptist Church after the 9 a.m. service.

Flowering Cross

After church I cooked Easter lunch for Mom and Dad. The menu featured veggies from my first spring weekly share from my coop – Pinckney’s Produce. We had:

Spring Onion Soup
Spinach Salad with Mandarin Oranges

Baked Ham Slices

Cabbage-Celery-Cucumber Salad
Broccoli-Grape-Bacon Salad
Crispy Turnip “Fries”

Rolls with Butter

Angel Food Cake * Fresh Strawberries * Whipped Cream

Happy Easter, everyone.

More good luck for the New Year

This past Saturday I was making banana bread for my drop-in guests. I’d already cracked one egg yolk into the bowl when I cracked the second egg yolk in – and it had a double yolk. That’s supposed to be good luck. (Or depending on which Web site you use for quick and dirty research, bad luck. Six of one, half-dozen of another.)

Double-yolked egg
Yolking it up (yuk, yuk)

Yes, those are just two eggs in that bowl – but three yolks.

Resolutions for the New Year

Each year everyone thinks about what they’d like to do differently for the new year. Most (98.9%)* of those resolutions involve health, diet, losing weight, etc. This year in our Adult Bible Fellowship class (Sunday School for all you traditionalists) the guest teacher even asked us if we had any resolutions.

One guy said his resolution was to not make any resolutions. He had too much trouble keeping them.

That’s a copout, I wanted to say. But I didn’t want to start something in class so Continue reading “Resolutions for the New Year”

To Do list

A day off and I am spending it getting ready for a drop-in on Saturday, as well as doing many tasks on my to-do list:

  1. Donate old computer monitor to the Oliver Gospel Mission for their Christian Life Development Program.
  2. Take tablecloth to dry cleaners.
  3. Rehearse speech for Toastmasters meeting at noon.
  4. Prepare introduction for Toastmasters speech.
  5. Make up final shopping list for party and then shop.
  6. Wash car later in the day or tomorrow … we’re going to have weather in the 50s! And then Saturday it should be in the 60s for New Year’s Day!
  7. Later – tidy up closet and set aside clothes for donations (take those to Goodwill.)
  8. Make batch of chocolate chip cookies.
  9. Oh, and today I have a Weight Watchers meeting at 6:30 p.m. ….

I need to be in the car on my way by 10 a.m. … better get a move on.

Cookie Time!

Today I turned the kitchen into a factory to make Christmas gifts.

Sunbeam Mixmaster
I inherited my vintage mixer, a Sunbeam Mixmaster, from my Grandmother Shuler.

I just realized that I made cookies for gifts one year before I even had a mixer. I have no idea how I managed to mix up the dough for 60 dozen cookies that year (yes, that’s right, I made 60 dozen. Baked for days.) I was much younger then.

I just took these right out of the oven. Yum!

Cookies right out of the oven
Behold the deliciousness

After they cool a couple of minutes in the pan you have to let the cookies cool completely on the rack so the bottoms get nice and crisp.

Cookies cooling on the rack
Wire cooling rack by Pampered Chef. Plus my other kitchen essentials - favorite cookbooks and crockpot.

After five dozen cookies I decided to stop and see the latest Harry Potter movie. Very good!

Five dozen cookies
Five dozen cookies later, I'm halfway through today's baking session.

Now I’m ready to play Santa’s helper! My friend and next-door neighbor Kim got the first bag.  She sampled them all for you. Her eyes rolled back into her head when she took that first bite. Then she groaned. I think that’s good.

Cookies wrapped in gift bag
Cookies = Love

So, all you lucky cookie recipients – you have a great present coming to you!

Scenes at a Dinner Party

Last night’s dinner party was a success!

Menu:

  • Chicken chili
  • Ratatouille
  • Braised Butternut Squash with Indian spices
  • Cream Biscuits
  • Lemon Curd Mousse served as a pie in a gingersnap crumb crust
  • Watermelon (light dessert option)

Guests

  • Mom and Dad
  • My neighbor Mary Alice
  • My friend Jill

The timing was just great for a celebration. Originally it was planned for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 9. But as the USC-Alabama game kept going, I called everybody and said don’t even think about coming over until the game is done!

I don’t think they were planning on leaving their TVs anyway until it was over.

We all celebrated, except Jill. She’s an Alabama fan. Bless her heart.

Oddly enough she came over early, with five minutes left in the game. “I  just couldn’t watch it any more,” she said.

The dinner was the first time I’d had guests over to try out the new dining room table. Please note the beautiful tablecloth and cloth napkins.

 

Dining room table
The table is set - hey, there's Mom! Sorry so fuzzy - the camera wanted to look at Mom.

 

We started with a chicken, bean and hominy chili. Hominy is good – it’s where we get grits.

 

Chicken chili
Seven hours in a slow cooker and voila, chicken chili

 

Then we added the butternut squash and ratatouille to our plates. You can see the butternut squash in the photo below. Never got a shot of the ratatouille. The only sad note was the biscuits. Turns out you can’t use double-acting baking powder that is several years old.  Doesn’t work. Nope. Ah, well. Actually, they were tasty, just not fluffy. Sigh.

The piece de resistance was the pie – a Lemon Curd Mousse heaped in a cookie crumb crust made of gingersnaps. Nine tablespoons of butter went into the crust. Two cups of cream went into the pie. Lord, have mercy.

 

The table
The groaning board: butternut squash, unfortunate biscuits, delicious lemon curd mousse pie

 

I sent what was left of the pie home with Dad. It was evil and could not stay in my house.

By the end of the evening my feet were killing me and my back hurt – I’d been standing all day making goodies.  Next time I don’t think I’ll try to make every dish from scratch. But for the first event, it was a success.