Saturday, July 23, 2011
I am so missing my garden this year because I love those daily fresh vegetables. A long time ago, my husband told a group that I could take a salt shake and go sit in the middle of a garden and eat. Since we retired here 11 years ago, we have had wonderful gardens that allowed me to have my ripe tomatoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner and I guess that's what I miss most. We pretty well knew last year's garden would be our last because of my husband's deteriorating health. Three tomato plants in individual pots on my back deck are the only semblance to a garden that I have.
The first post here on carolynscanvas last year, "Hallelujah, Canning's Done", was also about our garden. I don't think all the canning equipment had even been put away. Canning is not one of my favorite things to do so I am always glad to get it over with. There is a big payoff through the winter, though.
A road side vegetable stand lured me in the other day. I was just going to get a tomato or two because I only had a couple of dollars with me and there they were-GREEN TOMATOES-really nice, big, round, firm green tomatoes. I hopped right back in the car to get home for more money before someone else got MY green tomatoes. My mouth was already watering for the supper I had just planned of fried green tomatoes with corn, cucumbers and ripe tomatoes from the stand.
Now fried green tomatoes is an acquired taste and we all acquired that taste from the great down home cooking of our Granny Crockett.
There are some rules that must to be adhered to for true Southern Fried-it must be done in an iron skillet and in bacon grease or lard. Green tomatoes are coated with cornmeal and the first ones of the season are always the best, the same for the season's first mess of green beans, the first corn on the cob, the first cucumbers, etc. My favorite tomatoes to cook, can, fry and eat fresh are Rutgers, ones that are so tart they almost turn my mouth inside out, yum.
Grandson, Travis, loves this green delicacy as well as anyone. He stands and eats the first skillet full as soon as they are cool enough and I have to keep frying and frying so the rest of us might get one or two but I love to see that boy eat.
This is my large iron chicken fryer that gets a lot of use for cooking and baking cornbread. That is another rule of Southern Comfort-really good cornbread must be baked or fried in an iron skillet.
Ambrosia, Silver Queen and Peaches & Cream are our favorites for corn to eat fresh and freeze. To fix corn-fill your pot with water, put on stove on high, go pick your corn, shuck the corn as you run back to the house and put corn into the boiling water immediately for about 5 minutes-tongue swallowing good!
Grandson, Joey and his wife, Andi, brought us some more red & green tomatoes along with a couple of squash yesterday.
Christina Cooks, on PBS, the other day was putting together an interesting concoction with vegetables over pasta. Now why I was watching a cooking show, I don't know, I am trying to unlearn so much cooking but was glad I didn't turn it off. Those squash Joey and Andi brought over were sauteed in butter with onions, adding a can of peas and Rotella tomatoes, then over some egg noodles-my own version of "Christina's" and very good. Maybe one day I will try her version also, like I said, it was very interesting with deep fried chick peas and a leafy green that I can't remember the name of.
Another craving at this time of year is- wilted lettuce. For this, fresh, crisp leaf lettuce is smothered with onions and doused with hot bacon grease. [How did someone think to pour hot grease over lettuce in the first place?] A necessity is either baked or fried cornbread with my wilted lettuce which I had last night. That was my supper. It is all I needed or wanted-wierd, huh? Just food I grew up with.
Even though it seems pinto beans with fried potatoes and cornbread were on the table almost every night when I was growing up, it is still my favorite meal. I still have the iron skillet that my grandmother baked that cornbread in every night. The handle is broken off. It sits in the stove drawer beside my big iron chicken fryer. Her flour sifter sits on the counter. As I've said before, I hope thoughts of me bring comfort to my grandchildren and now my great, grandchildren as thoughts of my Granny comfort me.
Not everything I cook is deep fried, I am going to try some crock pot deserts that I downloaded. They seem interesting and they include two of my favorite things-chocolate and peanut butter. I'll let you know how they turn out.
By the way, does anyone have any suggestion for a husband who tells everyone at a church dinner that he knows it is time for lunch or dinner when he hears the smoke alarms going off? Such a short memory, he forgets he had to eat cereal for a month for other such remarks.
God bless all of you
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Have I mentioned that I love making something out of nothing and especially so when it is almost free?
I found these cute, long sleeve t shirts for only a $1 each and bought several with the thought of turning them into dresses for great, granddaughter, Hannah.
When I saw school supplies already out last week, I knew it was time to get to Hannah's dresses and I kinda, sorta knew where the shirts were.
Stuck with the shirts were some jeans that I had cut off to add fabric for skirts and there were all these little jeans legs laying there so I began playing around with them and the dress that came from that mix is my favorite.
For Hannah's size 7-8 shirts, 2 pairs of the jeans legs go around the bottom. You may need more or less for the size you are working with. The ones I chose have a slight flare-just perfect for the skirt.
For the other dress, 2 panels were cut across the width of the fabric [42"-45"] in the length needed for the finished dress [mine were cut 12"]. Measure from the shoulder to the length desired, subtract the length of the shirt for the fabric needed. Sew the sides together, serge or hem the bottom of the skirt, gather to fit bottom of shirt and sew to bottom. Your dress is finished.
A flat felled seam, [used in jeans], was used to sew the jeans legs together for the skirt. The video shows how to sew the seam, just in case you need a refresher, and other tips.
These little dresses are really cute and fun to wear but best of all, they are very economical.
Since we are on the subject of children, I am including a recipe for playdough for you to make at home. I have made pounds and pounds of it since the ingredients are always available and again, very economical. My children, grandchildren, Sunday School and Bible School children have all enjoyed playing with the playdough. If you work with children's groups and haven't run across this recipe, here it is:
4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup table salt
1 1/2 cups water
Just mix all together until well blended, knead on a lightly floured board a few minutes and not sticky.
It can be free formed by little hands, cut with cookie cutters, let air dry or in a low oven. It can be painted. Food coloring can also be added as you are mixing.
Kids love it.
Enjoy and God bless you
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Yard saleing can be addictive as some of you well know. My friend, Mary, and I used to go quite frequently until my husband threatened to nominate me for the tv show, "Hoarders" because there was always something on our stops that I might need or could use or someone else could use and on and on. I have found some wonderful things and some great bargains along the way, though-collectible glassware, fabrics & trims, home decor.
However, I have wanted, for some time now, to start at the most southern end of the world's longest yard sale which starts in Covington, Ky. and ends somewhere in Alabama- around 600 miles-and head north along the yard sale's route 127. Simply a yard sale lovers dream. I've thought about going in a motor home with my other yard sale friends. If we had a motor home, we could pull over any time we wanted, have all our food and drinks with us and not have to depend on finding restaurants or restrooms.
I have tried my hand a couple of times with setting up along the "127 Yard Sale" with a trailer of stuff in northern Kentucky and done pretty well. I couldn't believe my eyes when we were bombarded before the 8 a.m. start time on Thursday morning.
They came in vans, trucks, motor homes, car loads full-pulling trailers. Oh, and tour busses for crying out loud.
There were television crews filming along the way. HGTV [Home & Garden TV] has featured the yard sale several times.
High end decorators comb the route looking for special pieces for their clients.
Being the chatty, curious person that I am, I asked where people had traveled from to attend and was told they were from almost every state and one even from England. They come from all over the world. This 600 mile yard sale is definitely an event.
When I go to the yard sale, my goal is to stop along the way and cruise quickly, hop back in the car to the next stop and keep going to cover as much territory as I can. I do ok until I reach M&T Country Collectibles just north of Owenton, Ky. Once I stop there, I just seem to stay because there is so much there including all kinds of collectibles, antiques, primitives, candles and lots of food and drinks. There are even old timey wood rockers on the front porch to sit a spell.
I always have my camera with me so here is a video of the shop with photos that I took of one of the yard sales.
If you like yard sales, you are going to love this one.
It is a yearly event on the 1st weekend of August so if you miss this year, maybe you can go next.
Have a great time, if you get to go, let me know if you find something fantastic