Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend!

We have had such a wonderful weekend!  Saturday, we met our friends, Mike and Brandy Nichols, up in Lilburn at Mike's parents' home and then we all jumped in our cars and went over to Lilburn City Park and had some nature and play time with the kids.  Mike and Brandy have three beautiful children and we so enjoyed our time spent with them.  Willow saw right through Larry's teasing and called him out on things when she knew he was not exactly telling the truth.  That was just so funny to me!
When we were all swinged and slided out at the playground, we walked across the street to Main Street Market for some popsicles.  King of Pops popsicles, actually, and I got a key lime pie one.  It was so delicious and cold and yummy and I told Larry when we got home that we're just gonna have to order a box this summer!  We also picked up some tomatoes, fresh zipper peas, some Fuji apples, a grapefruit and a block of Amish Vidalia onion cheese.

We left and drove over to the Little Five Points area for some Fox Bros barbecue and on the way, the March Against Monsanto protest was going on and that was pretty awesome to behold!  You'd never see anything like that here in Warner Robins.  We need to spend a little more time up at Little Five Points.  :)  I found out later that Saturday was actually a worldwide protest to try to raise public awareness of the absolute disaster that is Monsanto.  It's no accident that our babies are born with more birth defects now and we're getting more and more cancers.  It's the food we're eating and the styrofoam we're putting it in.  Monsanto has been at this for over 100 years.  Remember Saccarin?  Remember how nasty it tasted?  Like poison, right?  Right.  It was.  I'm glad we got to be a small part of that protest Saturday.  As a woman about to embark on a journey in fertility, I want to fight.  I want to stand up for my health and the health of my baby and not sit idly by, waiting for somebody else to speak for us.  

Okay, stepping down from that soapbox now.

Fox Bros was amazing!  The best pulled pork sandwich I've ever had and they have really, really good sweet tea, too.  That's important, that sweet tea.  :)  After lunch, we said our goodbyes (sniff) and then Larry and I went to Stone Mountain.  And we went to the top.  In the skylift.  OMG.

I do not like heights.
At the top of the rock! 

 Stone Mountain feetsies!

We had so much fun.  I am so proud of myself for getting in that skylift and going all the way to the top!  All 825 feet!!  But I will admit going up was a lot less scary than coming down was.  I think Larry told the conductor to stomp on the gas or something.  Ha!  The view up there was spectacular.  You can see all of Atlanta and sixty miles or so surrounding as well as the Appalachian Mountains.  Yep, I'm glad I did it. 

Today, we're relaxing at home.  Grilled some steaks, shish kabobs and corn on the cob and had deviled eggs and of course, buttermilk pie for dessert.  Later, we're going to play The Walking Dead on our new PlayStation. 

Life is so good.  :)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday Pie

After five months of Sundays, we've kinda gotten burned out on cakes so this week I made a pie. 

Sunday Pie!  A good old-fashioned southern buttermilk pie to show my roots and it is absolutely scrumptious! 

And half gone already.

There's not much more southern than a buttermilk pie and this one will have you wanting to slap your grandma, I promise!  You'll probably tell her to hush her mouth, too.  And then run when she goes to get her bedroom shoe.
    Here's how to make it!

    First off, you need a pie crust for a 9 inch pan
    a stick of butter, softened
    2 cups sugar
    3 tablespoons of flour
    3 eggs
    1 cup buttermilk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare pie pan with pie crust.
    Cream together butter and sugar.  Once creamy and slightly fluffy, add flour and eggs. 
    Mix well. You can use a hand mixer for this, or beat with a fork until fully combined and smooth.  Stir in buttermilk and vanilla extract. Mix until well blended. Pour into prepared pie crust.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350 degrees or until done. A toothpick inserted into the middle should come out cleanly. The pie will still be slightly jiggly after baking. Allow time to cool and set before serving, about an hour.

    If you want a glimpse of Southern life,
    Come close and walk with me;
    I'll tell you all the simple things,
    That you are sure to see.
    You'll see mockingbirds and bumblebees,
    Magnolia blossoms and dogwood trees,
    Caterpillars on the step,
    Wooden porches cleanly swept;
    Watermelons on the vine,
    Strong majestic Georgia pines;
    Rocking chairs and front yard swings,
    Junebugs flying on a string;
    Turnip greens and hot cornbread,
    Coleslaw and barbecue;
    Fried okra, fried corn, fried green tomatoes,
    Fried pies and pickles too.
    There's ice cold tea that's syrupy sweet,
    And cool, green grass beneath your feet;
    Catfish nipping in the lake,
    And fresh young boys on the make.
    You'll see all these things
    And much, much more,
    In a way of life that I adore.

    Southern Life (Patricia Neely-Dorsey)

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

    On the hunt

    Lately, I've developed an obsession with vintage Pyrex.  It all started with an innocent little Amish Butterprint that I got from Maw's house shortly after she passed away in 2011.  I got her cornbread pan, a Corning Country Festival Bluebird casserole dish and that sweet little Pyrex dish.  Since then I've been collecting pieces here and there.  I also lovelovelove FireKing coffee cups, too, and we've got seven of them now.  Lucky for me, The Big Peach in Byron is FULL of Pyrex, Corning and FireKing.

    Larry and I went today for an early birthday trip and I loaded up!  I've been able to find two more pieces to match Maw's Bluebirds there!  I got the second one today and I was so excited to find it!

    Larry also got me a rack for the kitchen to store them all on and I just love how they look there!  (Pay no attention to the green stuff in the small avocado green bowl, I made Larry some lime Jello in it and just sat it there for the picture!  Ha!)

    I just adore this stuff!  Nothing on the market out there today even comes close to the quality.  You can take 'em straight from oven to table to refrigerator.  And they're so pretty, too!

    I also got some vintage Tupperware today, too.  I absolutely detest plastic containers but I understand that for lunches and for the sake of being portable, you just about can't get away from them.  But I just don't want us to eat food microwaved in them so I thought why not get some old Tupperware to use instead?  Old Tupperware made in the 60's and 70's that didn't have all those chemicals in them?  I got several "leftover" style bowls, sandwich containers and serving bowls with lids.  Some were just $2 each!  

    So there it is!  My growing little Pyrex collection.  I think I'm gonna need another rack.  :)

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

    Patio pretties

    (I took these pictures and posted this blog with my new iPhone just to see if it would work.  Guess it did!)

    Here are a couple of flower pots I found when Larry and I went yard saling last weekend.  I love the bunny one!  I put a peppermint verbena in one and a succulent in the other.  

    We got a beautiful yellow tiger lily and a mater plant for the patio, too!  We're ready for summer!  Good thing, too, 'cause we've got a heat wave going!

    Monday, May 12, 2014

    In the dog house

    We've had Banjo three weeks today.  In those three weeks, he has made us laugh constantly and love completely.  We are pretty much head over heels over this sweet boy.

    But since he's only six months old, he has lots of energy.  And lots of tear-everything-to-pieces in him.  Since we're not crate people, for obvious reasons, we have opted to keep him on a very long chain in the backyard for when we both are not at home.

    He just cannot stay in the house when we're not at home.  Ami and Brian can testify to the amount of partying that goes on when he and Tabbie Hoffman are left alone for very long.  But, of course, Tabbie Hoffman is nowhere to be found when the cops show up.  

    Here are a few things Banjo has been up to lately.

    He dug up my Uncle J. B. amaryllis in the backyard that had not even come up in three years.  Yeah.

    He chewed the side off our neighbor's house.  Oh, but yes, he did. 

    He tore up his bed that cost almost as much as ours did and pulled all of the stuffing out of the center.  He also pulls this stuffing out and combines it with shredded puppy pads.  I told y'all.  It is Partay Central up in here.

    I feel sorry for him outside on a chain with nowhere to rest or get shelter and Larry had planned to build him a dog house anyway so that's what we (mostly Larry 'cause dang, it's hot) did today.

    I picked out the white shingles!  We're going to paint it blue and decorate it with, oh, I don't know, peace signs, maybe, and banjos.  :)

    I'm in charge of the inside decor.  I'm thinking a little something like this.  :)

    Sunday, May 4, 2014

    One man's junk...

    Larry and I went yard saling yesterday!  We were on a mission with a list and maps and times and everything!  We left about 7:30 and finished up around 5:00, going to thirteen yard sales and one estate sale, where I teared up more than once.  Beautiful two-story, five bedroom house sitting on eleven acres with a huge workshop and several outbuildings.  Even had an RV parked under a carport.  Walking through that house made me cry, especially the kitchen, where I was looking for a pound cake pan.  This was somebody's house, somebody's life, and it was just so sad to me that their kids had to sell everything, including the house and RV, just to "settle the estate".  It seemed so cold to me, so not right, yet I know it has to be done at some point when they both are gone.  Rowley was their name and she was a labor and delivery nurse.  Mrs. Rowley, I will take good care of your muffin pan and those pretty little bowls I took from your kitchen.

    We found one sale that had vintage sheets and pillowcases (my favorite!) and one sale that had this gorgeous afghan draped over a big screen TV with a $3 price tag on it!  Why hadn't somebody snatched this thing up already, I asked.  I sure did!!  And then I got some back story.  This afghan (that is big enough to fit the top of our queen-sized bed!) was made by a lady during her last few months of life.  She made this when she was dying.  Another tearjerker.  WHY wouldn't somebody in her family WANT IT??  Larry and I absolutely love it and it has a good home now.

    One lady had potted begonias at her sale!  She was going on vacation and didn't want her little plants to die so she put them in her sale.  And I adopted one!  In a heart-shaped flower pot.

    Here is one of the three pretty flower pots I found at another sale.

    When I was a little girl, I had a tea set almost exactly like this one!  Mine had a kitty on it and I have one surviving piece, the sugar bowl.  I was so happy to find this set!

    And how cool is this fish planter?

    Larry got a Black and Decker 10-inch miter saw that brand new would have cost over a hundred dollars for $10.  The guy wanted $22.  He got a US Navy wool blanket and another pin for his hat.  And he got an ab lounger for $5!  

    We hit one entire neighborhood that was having yard sales and we walked house to house.  That was so much fun!  And I found the most awesome thing at one of those sales!  Inside a freebie box (!), was a pink (!!) Robins Air Force Base 561st Maintenance Squadron t-shirt.  561st!  That's me!!  I couldn't believe it.  I'll be wearing it to work tomorrow.  :)

    We got lots of really great stuff.  Everything we got we loved and will use.  Stuff that was discarded, unwanted and unloved by somebody else.  Another person's treasure, right?

    Sunday Cake

    This week's Sunday cake was my very first pound cake!  My very first because when I want pound cake, I get my mama to make one.  Everybody from miles around knows there ain't nothing like Miss Alice's pound cake.  Her pound cakes were the wedding cakes for half the county, mine and Larry's included.  Larry has teased me that I'm so country, our wedding cake was cornbread.  Nope.  It was my mama's pound cake!

    Larry said he wanted a pound cake with pineapple cream cheese icing so that's what he got.

    I'm sure you all have great pound cake recipes but here's one to try!

    3 cups granulated sugar
    2 sticks softened butter
    3 cups flour
    (I've started using Swan's Down cake flour for my cakes and I can't believe the difference!)
    8 ounces heavy whipping cream
    6 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/3 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder

    Cream butter and sugar in a mixer.
    Add 1 egg at a time.
    Add flour and cream, alternating between the two.
    Add baking powder.
    Add salt.
    Add vanilla.

    Put in greased and floured “pound cake pan” (you know, the one with the funnel in the middle)
    Put in cold oven, middle rack.
    Bake at 350 degrees for an hour. 

    Now about that "pound cake pan", Larry and I went to a bunch of yard sales yesterday (13!  And an estate sale!) and my prime objective was to find a pound cake pan.  Not a Bundt pan, I've got one of those, but a pound cake pan.  Like this'n right heah.

    But I didn't find one.  The very last place we stopped had a pan very similar, just not as old, and when I saw it, I squealed like a little pig, only to find the funnel piece in the middle was missing.  Dang.  

    We had to go buy a new one.  Double dang.

    The cake turned out beautifully!  Golden brown, moist and sweet.  Perfect.

    This is the recipe for the icing:

    8 ounce cream cheese, softened
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 cup crushed pineapple with juice
    2 pounds powdered sugar

    Cream together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy.  Add the vanilla and pineapple and mix until well combined.  Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.  Store any remaining in the fridge. 

    But there won't be any remaining if you pile it on like I did!  :)