Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Banjo's house

Larry and I decorated Banjo's doghouse today.  We glued wooden letters onto it spelling out things about Banjo (like LICK and the very first word he learned...POTTY.  Ha!), our names, our birthplaces, the towns we grew up in and every town Banjo has been to.  We even took seashells and spelled out JEKYLL.  I think it turned out so cute!

Larry wanted my new job on there, too.  F-15 VPP.  And John 3:16, of course, THE best verse in the Bible if you ask us!  Leesburg is all scrambled up because that's where we met and as Larry said, that's where I turned him all upside down.  Awwwww.  So there are a couple of letters in there that are upside down. :)

We like it!  We still need to work on the inside and I still want to paint little banjos on the outside.  And some peace signs, of course.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Cobbler

Today's Sunday Cake is brought to you by the mound of peaches in my kitchen.  I made SEVEN cobblers, one for us and six for neighbors.  Larry's been out this afternoon delivering them.  $18 for a box of peaches at Mr. Brown's place is gonna end up feeding a bunch of families, depending on what I decide to do with the 27 peaches we still have left.

My peach cobbler recipe is a combination of Paula Deen, my mama and me.  It's foolproof.  And you don't have to use Elberta peaches, Aimee!  :)

Larry peeled ALL those peaches for me.  Sweet thang.

4 cups peeled, sliced peaches
2 cups of sugar, divided
1/2 cup water
1 stick of butter
1 1/2 cups of Bisquick
1 1/2 cups of whole milk
Ground cinnamon and sugar, optional for the top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine peaches, 1 cup of sugar and the water in a saucepan and mix well.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes, until the peaches are good and soft.  Remove from the heat.

Put the butter in a baking dish and place in the oven to melt.

Mix remaining cup of sugar, Bisquick and milk slowly to prevent clumping.  Pour mixture over melted butter.  Do not stir.  Spoon the peaches on top, gently pouring in some of the syrup.  Sprinkle the top with ground cinnamon and sugar, if using.  The batter will rise to the top during baking.  Bake for 40 minutes.  

You can serve it with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream but seriously, this cobbler needs no garnishment.  It is delicious all by itself.

Paula's recipe calls for flour, my mama uses Bisquick.  So I use Bisquick.  I have a cinnamon sugar grinder that I use, too.  You can use just cinnamon if you want to or nothing on top at all.  I mean, it's that good.  Really.  Magic.  In yo' mouf.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Life's just peachy!

After spending the morning in fellowship with a couple of sweet families in our Family Promise program at church, Larry and I hit a couple of estate sales and yard sales.  At one estate sale, while I was in the kitchen finding Le Creuset pieces, Larry was out in the garage negotiating on an old Army footlocker.  They wanted $250 for the footlocker.  Larry talked to them for a few minutes and $25 later, we loaded that thing up on the truck!  We bought a footlocker last Saturday at a yard sale for $20, turned around and sold it on eBay to a guy in Australia for $149!  We couldn't believe it.  I hope this one does just as well!  I picked up a Le Creuset cast iron frying pan for $10 and a vintage Suzy's Zoo Christmas mug for $2.  And then it got hot as navy blue blazes so we decided we'd go on down to Montezuma to meet Mama and Daddy at Brown's Farm Market to get some of Georgia's famous Elberta peaches.  I seriously love these things, I wait all year for them and I keep bags of 'em in my freezer year-round so that I can make cobblers in the dead of winter.  They are sweet, they are juicy, they are pretty much God's gift to the state of Georgia.  And they are MINE come the end of July.  

 Here they are in all their velvety lusciousness

 Gorgeous zinnias!

 Beautiful zinnias just 10 cents a stem!

Since today was the first day of Elberta season and since everybody pretty much loses their dang minds when the Elbertas arrive, it was crowded.  Very crowded.  Like you-couldn't-hardly-turn-around-without-bumping-into-somebody crowded.  But that's all right when you're in Montezuma.  Whoever you bump into, you're probably kin to 'em anyway.  Or at least you know somebody kin to 'em. 

After we met up with Mama and Daddy, Larry went to get some peach ice cream while I grabbed peaches and purple hull peas and fresh brown eggs and peppers and we got out of there pretty quick.  As we were leaving, we ran into a Facebook friend we'd never met in real life and that was such a treat.  I know she reads my blog, so hey, Charlotte!  It was great seeing you today!

We went back to Mama and Daddy's house and Mama and I washed, picked and bagged the peas.  When I was a kid, summertime was the time to shell peas and snap beans on the front porch.  Nowadays, you usually buy 'em already shelled but you still have to pick the bad ones out.  Here are my sweet mama's hands bagging up my peas for me.  Don't y'all just love her beautiful ceramic Kohler sink??  I do!  I tease her about getting that sink AFTER I'd moved out.  I don't think I would have minded washing all those dishes if we'd had that sink.

We sat a while and visited and then came back home, bringing all that stuff we got at Mr. Brown's plus some Silver Queen corn Mama and Daddy picked up for us at Chase's Farm a couple of weeks ago.

My ladybug kitchen timer just went off.  You know what that means!  My cobbler is done.  :)  Summertime in Georgia --- a little peachy, a little corny and a whole lot of fun!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Another day in our life

Our yard salin' pretty much got rained out this morning so after we braved four or five, we headed up to Smiley's.  Larry checked on some military patches for his collection and I checked out DD Country Kitchen's little store.  They had all kinds of goodies!  I got a pound of blueberries (and I put some into some pancakes tonight for supper) and jars of pickled red cabbage, stewed tomatoes, spaghetti sauce and sweet corn.  We go to Smiley's in search of patches and old Pyrex and  sometimes we find something unexpected! Like my friend, Debbie, who we ran into today!  :)  We'd all gone to the same estate sale this weekend, too.  I picked up a bottle of super expensive Estee Lauder stuff for old lady eyes in a mixed bag of stuff for $3 and a handheld Shark vac for $5.  And I got the most adorable vintage handpainted serving tray at a church sale this morning.  I'll be adding it to my Etsy shop.

This past week was my first official week on my new job and we were busy, busy, busy getting our areas ready for the big inspection that's taking place next week.  I told 'em it'll be like a wedding.  The rehearsal is always total chaos but the wedding goes off without a hitch.  When it comes down to crunch time, folks are gonna do what they are supposed to do.  I think we'll do great on the inspection.  I love my new job.  I guess I've just gotten used to working in the heat because I nearly froze to death (....do you wanna build a snowman??) all week.  I actually had to step outside the office about a dozen times to warm up.  I'm sure I will get used to my new environment quick like and in a hurry when that humidity and heat return next week.  

We got a new Nikon camera last week and I set my Smiley's stuff on the counter and took a picture of it with the new camera.  I think it takes great pictures!  I can't wait to go on a trip!  We're talking about packing up a tent and a couple of sleeping bags and heading up to High Falls the first cool weekend we have.  I'm really looking forward to that.  And possibly another beach trip before the summer's gone.  This time down to Jacksonville to visit Larry's aunt and uncle.  

I bought a ceramic pumpkin and a Santa mug today, too.  It won't be long!

Monday, July 14, 2014

What's new

Several things are new around here.  

I have a brand new Etsy shopHeart Full Of Hippie is what I called it.  I've been collecting a few things here and there from estate sales that Larry and I go to every weekend so I thought I'd try my hand at vintage sales.  I only have a small number of things listed so far but I have a box full of dainty teacups and beautiful saucers from the 1960's in a box along with a stack of crisp, white, embroidered pillowcases that I picked up last weekend and a few little knick-knacky things.  I get absolutely giddy at the prospect of going to another estate sale.  I have really gotten addicted in the short time we've been doing this.  It is so much fun!!  And the treasures you can find in a house that's been lived in and loved in for 40 or 50 years are boundless.

We got a new king-sized bed and we love it.  We found this quilt for it and I think it's just beautiful.  I love the teal blue color, the stitching, the soft texture of it, just everything about it!  And it goes with pretty much all of my vintage sheets and pillowcases, too.  Like that matters anyway 'cause the more mismatched everything is, the mo' better I like it!  :)

And I got a new job!  I applied back in April for a position on the new VPP Steering Committee for F-15s, interviewed for it and got it!  I found out June 3rd that I had the job but I didn't want to say anything until I was sure it was a done deal.  Well, they moved the three of us to an office today and we officially started our new jobs as Steering Committee members.  They interviewed 74 people and selected nine base-wide and just three for F-15s.  I was one of the three they chose.  I found out later that my interview scored third highest out of all 74 that they interviewed!  I don't even remember what all I said!  My interview was in the afternoon, I went straight off the floor, in jeans and a t-shirt, my hair in a ponytail.  I just went in there and was myself and I guess that's all I needed to do.  Anyway, in case you don't know much about VPP, it's an OSHA-implemented program, their Voluntary Protection Program, that's designed to keep workers safe and healthy while on the job and at home, too.  A site (building) can receive recognition for being and maintaining Bronze, Silver or Gold standards, with Gold being the ultimate goal.  We have seven sites in Eagle Country (that's the F-15 world) that need to be Gold by the first of the year.  It'll be our job to get those buildings as safe, as clean and as healthy as they can possibly get and then help them maintain that standard.  I am really excited about the whole experience!  I'll be working in the VPP office for four months starting in September, where I'll train and work and learn all I can about VPP and hopefully be able to solve a few issues for my squadron and then in January, I'll go back to my office and put what I've learned to work.  I am so grateful for this opportunity and I thank God for it.  I feel like a kid two weeks before Christmas.  I can't wait to see what He has planned for me next!  

We ate at Panda Express (again!) tonight and these were fortunes from the two cookies I had.  :)

I love old stuff.  The guys at work told me I wasn't old last month when I turned 47, they said, "Miss Ginger, you're vintage!" (yeah, they know my obsession with old Pyrex, they see the stuff I post on Facebook and a few of 'em even read my blog.  Thanks, y'all!!  I love ya!) and the older something is, the more precious it is to me.  But I have to say new stuff can be pretty dang sweet, too.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

That's Life!

Larry and I picked up a vintage 1960 Life game today for $2 when we were out and about at estate sales this morning and we came home and played it over a bowl of pistachios.

I beat his butt all FIVE times!  And he had like six kids in his car!  :)  

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Pool time!

I finally got Banjo in his little pool this afternoon while Larry grilled us some burgers.  It was kinda like the ocean, once he got in there, he was okay with it.  Maybe next summer, he'll like it more.  I liked it!

 Me playin' my Banjo.  :)

 I caught Larry shakin' his booty

 Banjo patiently waiting for a bite

 Yummy cheeseburgers for supper!

Ahhhhh!!  Summertime!  In a doggy pool. :)

Friday, July 4, 2014

A Happy 4th!

We have had a wonderful 4th of July!!  We went to a few yard sales and an antique shop this morning (where I picked up a vintage 1960 Raggedy Ann book for $10!) then Larry grilled barbecue ribs and corn on the cob.  We sat outside on the deck and just had a feast!  I made potato salad, pickled cucumbers and homemade lemonade.  And we had the lemon cake for dessert (and here's a tip...use whole eggs if you make that cake.  The whites alone caused it to be a little dry.  Oh well.  We'll know next time!)  Then we took a long nap, watched Forrest Gump, lit a few fireworks of our own in the backyard and wrapped up the day watching A Capitol Fourth on GPTV.

Sunday Cake (on a Thursday!)

I made this week's Sunday Cake last night for our July 4th celebratin' and stuff.  I wanted something patriotic and I chose this lemon cake with lemon curd filling, butter cream icing with a raspberry blueberry flag!

4th of July Lemon Cake

3 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of butter at room temperature
1 1/3 cups milk
5 egg whites (but I recommend using the entire egg...whites only caused the cake to be a little dry)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9 inch can pans with nonstick spray.

Place the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixer bowl. With the mixer on low speed, blend well.  Add the butter and 1 cup of the milk and mix to blend. Raise the mixer speed to medium and beat until the batter is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.   In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites with the vanilla extract and the remaining 1/3 cup milk.   Add this to the batter in 2 or 3 additions, scraping down the bowl well and mixing only to incorporate. 
Bake for thirty minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Vanilla Butter Cream Icing

5 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3 sticks of butter at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Place the egg whites in the clean bowl and mix on low speed until foamy.  Sprinkle in 6 tablespoons of the sugar and beat on high speed to medium peaks (the whites should be smooth, full and shiny and the peaks should curl a little).

Combine the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and the corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium high heat, stirring briefly to dissolve the sugar. Continue to cook just until the mixture comes to a rolling boil.

Immediately remove the syrup from the heat, turn the mixer onto medium-high speed, and slowly pour the syrup down the side of the bowl in a steady stream, being very careful not to let the syrup hit the whisk.

Reduce the speed to medium and continue whisking until the whites are barely warm, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the butter 1 Tbs. at a time. Add the vanilla and continue beating until the frosting is smooth and creamy.

Lemon Curd Filling

2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped or grated lemon zest
3 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
3/4 cups lemon juice
8 tablespoons, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Fill a medium saucepan with about 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer. Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a food processor and pulse for about one minute. Combine the lemon sugar, eggs and egg yolks in a medium heatproof bowl such as a stainless steel mixing bowl and whisk together for 30 seconds. Place the bowl over the simmering water and immediately begin whisking and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon juice and continue to cook and stir with a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl, until the curd has thickened and reached a temperature of 160 degrees.

Rinse and dry the bowl of your food processor. Using a mesh strainer, strain the curd into the food processor bowl. Pulse the food processor while you add the butter a piece at a time, until the texture is homogenous. Transfer the curd to a container with a lid and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the lemon curd. Allow the curd to cool completely and then place the lid on your container and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours or up to one week.

Place the blueberries and raspberries on the top of the cake in a flag pattern, fill in with icing stripes, pipe the stars right over the blueberries. Garnish the bottom border with more fruit if you want. 

It's definitely a labor of love, that's for sure!  Happy 4th, y'all!!

Happy Birthday, America!

On the 238th anniversary of our nation's independence, her birthday, Larry and I came up with a few things that we are grateful to be able to enjoy in this country.  Sports, sweet tea, music, the freedom to worship the Lord that we love.  

Yeah, she has her problems but we wouldn't trade her for anything in the world.  She's in pretty good shape for the shape she's in.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

It's gone!

A few years ago, a guy moved in next door and he brought his monstrosity of an RV with him.  I have hated that thing every. single. day. since.

It blocked the sunshine on my flowers, it blocked our view of the street, it even blocked the toilet a time or two (okay, well, maybe not the toilet but you get the picture.  HATED.)

He turned out to be a pretty decent neighbor, quiet and friendly, and we never really saw that much of him.  He came over one night last week and told Larry he was going back home to West Virginia and we could get anything we wanted from his house.  Since our little house is already furnished to the max, we didn't get anything but a redwood picnic table and a weight set.  I set up a yard sale for him last Saturday, though, and listed it online and everything.  Since we were going to Atlanta, we really couldn't help him with the sale.  And he didn't sell anything.  :(

Anyway, he pulled out this morning!  I'm a little sad to see him go but I ain't sad AT ALL to see that RV go!!

Let's hope our next neighbor drives a Prius.