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Calico Salad – A Great Choice For Labor Day Weekend

I have to be honest and say I am not quite as excited about fresh summer vegetables in September as I am in June.  I think Mr. D and I have eaten tomatoes just about every way that is possible.  As I have mentioned before, we are experiencing a drought this summer and extreme heat.  Yesterday a local TV station shared the news that we have had 68 days of 90 plus degrees this year.  That is extreme for us but I will say we have still been able to enjoy some wonderful fresh vegetables.

The recipe I am sharing with you today doesn’t use that many fresh vegetables but I have eaten this before at a homecoming at a local church and absolutely loved it.  If you need a covered dish for a cookout or picnic this coming weekend, I think this would be a great choice.  It would be a unique choice here in the foothills of North Carolina and you wouldn’t have to peel all those potatoes for potato salad.

This recipe is from the cookbook Savor the Spirit – Heritage Recipes Passed Down Through the Years – The Alabama Society United Daughters of 1812.

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I do like to use fresh ingredients and most of the time during the week, we cook very simply eating a meat, vegetable and starch.  However, for the last three weeks Mr. D and I took on the project of painting our master bedroom.  I will just say this cook reverted back to her crockpot and those easy chicken or beef recipes that included that gloppy old canned cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup.  It was so wonderful to have our meal ready after working on the room for so long.

I plan to share pictures with you when I complete the decorating.  That is my favorite part of any painting project.  Thanks for stopping by and Happy Labor Day everyone.

Nectarine Ice Cream – A Great Summer Treat

Until a few years ago, I did not realize that nectarines were grown in the South.  I honestly thought all of them came from California.  This year at our farmers market I only saw them one time. I bought some and they were really good.  I think the drought we have been experiencing may have had an effect on the crop locally.

It was my plan to make this nectarine ice cream over the weekend so I had to go to the grocery store and buy California nectarines.  They were juicy, sweet and delicious.  I usually make this ice cream every summer in our table top ice cream maker.  It makes just enough for me and Mr. D.  I have varied the ingredients when I have made it and have included the different options in the recipe. If you use the 2% milk and half and half, it makes the ice cream the consistency of ice milk purchased at the supermarket.

Here is a picture of our nectarine ice cream:

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If you don’t have nectarines available, I think peaches would be a great substitute for them.

Nectarine Ice Cream

2 cups whole milk or 2% milk

3/4 cup sugar or an equivalent amount of Splenda sweetener

1 1/2 cups mashed fresh nectarines (peeled)

1/ 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 and 1/2 cups of half and half or whipping cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

In a small saucepan, heat the milk to 175 degrees; stir in sugar until dissolved.  Cool quickly by placing pan in a bowl of ice water; stir for 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine peeled and masked nectarines with lemon juice and blend.

In a large bowl, combine the milk mixture, half and half or whipping cream, extracts and salt;  add the nectarine mixture and stir.

Add the mixture to your ice cream maker and process for about 30 minutes.  Transfer to a freezer container and freeze for about 2 to 4 hours.

I know freezing it before you eat it does make the texture better however we just have to eat a small amount as we remove it from the ice cream maker and before freezing it.  I think that is the joy of making ice cream at home.

As Labor Day weekend is approaching quickly, I think this would be a great choice for any holiday event.  Yum!!

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Savoring Summer Days – Memphis Bourbon Marinated Ribs

Children in our area started school on Monday and I know lots of people said, YIPPEE!!  I feel very fortunate that the school year doesn’t effect our schedule anymore.  I do remember those days of going to school and sending our daughter to school.  I know your priorities and activities during the school year effect your daily schedules.

I looked at the calendar and summer does not officially end until September 23 so I can relish in the final wonderful days of summer.  It has been extremely hot here in North Carolina this summer and it has annoyed me at times. However, as much as I love autumn, I am not in a rush to welcome it.  I think our stores have tried to get us in the mood much to early.  I was in A.C. Moore’s the other day to buy some ribbon and realized they have their Christmas ribbon out for sale.  Sorry, I just can’t think of Christmas when the temperature is hovering around 90 degrees outside.

As this summer passes, one of my fondest memories will be my visit to Memphis, Tennessee.  I have wanted to go there for such a long time and I was not disappointed.  As I savor those wonderful memories I want to share a Memphis recipe with you.  It is from my Gracious Goodness, The Taste of Memphis cookbook.  It was published by the Memphis Symphony League and is from the collection of recipes of Ellen and Richard Dixon.

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As Mr. D is really into grilling right now, he got quite excited when I told him about this recipe and was ready to go out and buy the bourbon whiskey. I do think we will be grilling ribs soon.  As I read this recipe, the taste of the barbecue I ate on Beale Street came to mind.  I do believe the richness of their barbecue sauce came from bourbon and I think there is only one way to find out and that is to make the above sauce.

I hope you are savoring your end of summer days and have wonderful memories made throughout this summer of 2015.  Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday Dinner Is Alive and Well In The South – Pot Roast or Fried Chicken?

Growing up in the South, I remember how families would go to Sunday services and then have a special lunch together.  It was known as Sunday dinner even though it was the meal served at lunch time.  Families had all types of traditions for the meal.  Many families had fried chicken every Sunday and others would have pot roast or stew beef.  In the summertime, that meal could be served outside and become a picnic.  I really thought the tradition had gone away until our church decided to change the service time of the later Sunday morning service.  Boy that didn’t go over well and many families were upset as they always went to service and then ate lunch together.  I will say that many families now go out together to a favorite restaurant for their Sunday “Dinner.”

As Mr. D and I were traveling home from Morehead City in July, we stopped in Kinston for some wonderful barbecue.  We realized we were coming close to the 12 Noon Sunday Dinner time but didn’t think much about it.  I will tell you that Kinston is in the farmland of eastern North Carolina.  I was astounded at the families that gathered at King’s Barbecue for lunch.  There were tables with 15 or so family members at the table and they did not all arrive at the same time.  That made me think that King’s might have been a great central location to come together.  Or they could just agree with me that King’s has some wonderful barbecue and eating it every Sunday wouldn’t be so bad.

Thinking of the Sunday Dinner tradition, I wanted to share a couple of recipes with you. The first one for pot roast is one I have shared on this blog previously but I think it would be a great choice for Sunday dinner.  It is fairly easy to make and is ready when you return home from Sunday Services or a busy workday.

Crockpot Pot Roast

One beef roast ( sirloin tip, chuck roast, it is really your choice,)  The weight can be from 3 to 6 pounds and actually depends upon the size of your crockpot and family)

one can of condensed tomato soup

1 bay leaf  (remove bay leaf before serving)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3/4 cup of water

Peeled potatoes 1 to 2 pounds cubed

peeled carrots  1 pound sliced ( I used the fingerling carrots and just cut them in half diagonally)

onion – one sliced

Determine the size of crockpot needed ( I have one of the crockpots that has 3 sizes to select from)  I normally use my 2 or 4 quart pot depending upon the size of my meat.

Spray the crockpot with cooking spray.  Add the roast, bay leaf, tomato soup, water, salt and pepper.  Cook according to your crockpot directions.  I placed my ingredients in my pot at 8 am and it was ready for lunch at noon. When I came home from church I checked the liquid and did not need to add any.  However, it would be a good idea to check and make sure you have enough gravy for the vegetables when you add them.

During the last 30 minutes of cooking time I add the carrots, potatoes and onion.  I have prepared the vegetables by microwaving them for about 5 to 7 minutes per vegetable.  I do microwave the carrots, onions and potatoes individually in 1/2 cup of water.  I drain them and add them to the roast. I pour the gravy over the vegetables and let them cook for the 30 minutes.

Mr. D’s Mother made fried chicken every Sunday for lunch even though she never attended Sunday Services. The recipe I am sharing with you for Southern Fried Chicken comes from James Villas the Glory of Southern Cooking.  His recipe for perfect Southern fried chicken is the way I saw my Mother, Granny and Dale’s Mother prepare their chicken so he could be right that it is perfect.  You can tell by his introduction how passionate James is about the preparation of Southern Fried Chicken.

southern fried chicken

I think it is a wonderful tradition to be together as a family and share a meal.  I also know many Southern women that have worked and planned to make sure the tradition continued.  I do believe the idea of Jello congealed salad or broccoli casserole must have been created by a Southern lady for a Southern Sunday Dinner.

Mr. D and I usually eat Sunday Dinner every Sunday at home.  First of all, the restaurants are very crowded at lunch time and second, I have been preparing Sunday Dinner for us for almost 45 years.  It has become a Southern tradition in our home for sure.

Thanks for stopping by.

Something Old: Granny’s Peach Pie Something New: Peach Salsa

At our local farmers market peaches are everywhere.  As dry as the weather has been in our area, they have been delicious.  Today I want to share two recipes for peaches that I have shared on this blog before.  The old one is my Granny’s peach pie recipe.  I can remember how wonderful Granny’s house smelled when she baked and she did enjoy baking.  I think this pie is relatively easy to make and so good with fresh peaches.

Granny’s Peach Cobbler

2 and 1/2 cups fresh or canned peach slices

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons all purpose flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons shortening

1/3 cup milk

Place peach slices in bottom of one quart casserole.  Mix brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of the flour, and salt;  pour over peaches.  Sift together other dry ingredients; cut in the shortening.  Add milk to make soft dough and drop by teaspoonful over peaches.  Bake in a hot oven   (425 degrees) for 30 to 35 minutes.

The second recipe would be a newer way to use fresh peaches by making peach salsa.  I can’t imagine my Granny ever making it but I will say she was very open to trying new products and ideas.  In fact, the first pizza I ever ate was at my Grannys and even though it was Chef Boyardee I thought it was wonderful.  I made this salsa last weekend and it is easy to make if you don’t mind peeling and chopping.  It does deteriorate very quickly so you must consume it quickly and that isn’t hard to do.  I served it with tortilla scooper chips.

Peach Salsa

1 pound peaches, chopped (  I peeled my peaches even though that isn’t specified in the recipe)

1 small vine ripened tomato, chopped

3-4 green onions, chopped, including part of the green

2 tablespoons pickled jalapenos, chopped

1 and 1/2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate.  Can be kept for 3 days in a tighly covered container.  I served my salsa with tortilla chips and corn chips and it was really tasty with just enough heat to be tasty but not overpowering.

I still have a few things I want to make while summer vegetables are available.  This weekend I will make tomato and okra succotash and I still have a couple of other things in mind that I want to try.  Quality fresh okra is coming into season here in North Carolina and who knows I might try a fried okra recipe again as I have never mastered it in the past.

I hope you are enjoying fresh peaches and can prepare something delicious with them.  If you don’t want to take the time to try either one of these recipes, there is nothing better than grilled peaches drizzled with a little honey.  Yum and thanks for stopping by.

Grilled Brats, Pepper and Onions and Fried Corn

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Mr. D and I have been very busy over the last month or so.  Of course, we were having fun times and enjoyed ourselves.  However, this past weekend was a very pleasant stay at home weekend for us and we decided to fire up the grill on Saturday night.  Earlier in the week we had talked about how we have never cooked or eaten brats at home.  I know that may seem unusual if you live in another part of the country but brats aren’t really a Southern thing.  I decided we would have them on Saturday night and I would make fresh corn to go with them.  We purchased corn and fresh green peppers at the farmers market on Saturday morning.  I decided I would just make old fashioned Southern fried corn.  You know I have to live up to my Southern reputation of frying just about anything.

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Here is how I made the corn:

Fried Corn

3 ears of fresh corn

1/2 teaspoon of bacon grease

3 tablespoons of butter

salt and pepper to taste.

I cut the corn off the cob and scraped the cob for all the corn juices.  I used a medium size frying pan and melted the bacon grease (I keep a small container of bacon grease in the fridge) over medium heat. I added the corn to the bacon grease and when it was heated throughout I added the butter.  I let the corn cook over medium heat for about seven minutes.  I removed the corn from the heat and seasoned with salt and pepper. The small amount of bacon grease did enhance the flavor of the corn.

Mr. D grilled the brats and also grilled the pepper and onions in his grilling pan.  He seasoned the peppers and onions with olive oil and salt and pepper.  He really did enjoy firing up the grill and preparing his portion of our meal.

We liked the brats and will probably have them again.  Of course, we loved the fresh corn, peppers and onion. It was a very easy meal to prepare and so tasty.

As the children will soon be returning to school, isn’t it great to savor the last days of Summer?  Thanks for stopping by.

 

Elvis, Graceland and Me

Initially when Mr. D and I started to plan a summer trip, we thought of Nashville and then I reminded him that Graceland isn’t in Nashville but it is in Memphis.  I have been an Elvis fan since I was nine years old.  Calculating it now that would be 59 years.  I really did not know what to expect before our tour began.  People told me not to expect too much and that is true as far as the size of Graceland compared to the “Star” estates of today. It is decorated in the 50’s, 60’s styles but that didn’t bother me at all.  I just enjoyed being there.

I could just go on and on about the visit but I am going to share some of my favorite pictures from the tour.  I was not disappointed and for me it was a celebration of Elvis life. I thought I would shed a tear at the grave site.  I did not because as we had already toured his home and I felt very thankful that we had an Elvis if only for a short life.

 

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Front Entrance to Graceland

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View of Elvis Presley Boulevard from the front entrance of Graceland

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View of the meditation garden where Elvis, his daddy, mother and grandmother are buried.

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Elvis gravesite located behind the main house in the Graceland Estate

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One of the many displays of awards that Elvis received during his lifetime.

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The swimming pool behind the main house.

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View of the main house from the back yard.

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Pasture behind the house where Lisa Marie and the family still have horses.

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Jungle room with green shag carpet on the floor and ceiling. This room was made into a recording studio for Elvis last album.

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This is another view of the jungle room and the red area is a decorative water feature.

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The pool room with fabric wallpaper on the ceiling.

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This is another view of the wallpaper in the pool room and it really looks like pleated curtain material.

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A view of the kitchen which is surprisingly small.

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The Dining Room and I think it was my favorite room in the house.

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The design of the house is a traditional colonial type floor plan. The upstairs area was off limits.

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A View of the Living Room including the White Sofa and the Baby Grand Piano that can be seen through the doorway.

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Mr. D loved the car museum and this was his favorite car that belonged to Elvis. It was the last car he drove through the gates of Graceland before passing away in August, 1977.

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More information on the Stutz Blackhawk that was one of Elvis’ favorite cars.

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The media room with many TV’s. I wonder how many big screened HDTV’s Elvis would own if he was alive today.

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This bedroom was the room of Elvis Mother and Daddy, Vernon and Gladys.

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Elvis sat at this piano and sang gospel songs with friends on the night of August 16, 1977. He went upstairs to bed and passed away.

We had been in Memphis for a day when we toured Graceland and I had seen signs that advertised Graceland as the place where Elvis lives.  That creeped me out a little until I visited Graceland.  So for three hours on a Sunday afternoon I did feel I was in a place where Elvis seemed so real and I could share so many memories of growing up with him.  I think Graceland was where he probably enjoyed just being Elvis, a Southern boy that made it big.

One other thing that just amazed me about the tour was how quiet and attentive everyone was.  You are given an ipad and hear John Stamos guiding you through the tour but you also hear Elvis, Lisa Marie, Priscilla and his music.  It is presented well and I don’t think I will ever forget the peacefulness and quietness as we visited the meditation garden, Elvis resting place.  I can’t believe he has been gone for 38 years as of this coming Sunday.

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful experience with me and I really wish you could have been there with me.

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