Hi there, ya'll! I hope this post finds everyone enjoying the beautiful weather the Heavenly Father has shown us lately! My musings tonight don't have a single thing to do with cooking, cleaning, decorating, crafting, marriage, Matt, or wedding stuff. Lately I've been feeling a little overwhelmed by all the changes underway in my life. The house I've called home for the last four years has just been sold, Matt and I recently became the proud owners of our own home, and my mom and dad have decided to do a little remodeling in the house I've lived in since I was three. On top of that, I'm preparing to graduate from college, get married, and start graduate school. All of these things have transformed me from a happy go lucky girl into a weeping, emotionally unstable, hallmark commercial. So tonight, on my way to Saraland, Al from Tuscaloosa, I had a little rendevouz with my childhood. The route from T-town to Saraland happens to go right past the pot-hole patched road where my mama and papa lived for most of my life. About four years ago, they moved to be closer to my great grandmother and sold the farm where I remember spending weekends and summers growing up. Ya'll, I can't even begin to describe how perfect this house was. It was an old house with these big doors that had those door knobs that you could only open with these heavy metal skeleton keys. The front yard was full of trees and hydrangeas in every color. Even when it was 100 degrees outside, the front yard was cool from all the shade. It has this front porch that stretched all the way across the front and it had a swing on each end that was perfect for napping. The backyard was corn fields that stretched on until it met woods. Along with corn, my grandfather grew tomatoes, collards, okra, cabbage, peas, and beans. During the summers, we would eat a dinner made of fresh picked goods that I shelled, picked, or cleaned with my own two hands. We would play house, school, and store in the backyard for hours until we got hungry, mad at each other, or we had to use the bathroom. Then we would beat on the back door until my mama let us come in. Before we came in, though, we had to wash our feet in the five gallon bucket that mama kept filled with clean water and bar soap. When it rained, we would all go swing in the front porch swings or rock in rocking chairs on the front porch. Every Saturday mornings, we would watch cartoons and drink chocolate milk. Besides it being an incredible house, it was always abuzz with wildlife. I remember papa putting out hair from the barber shop to keep the deer from eating the vegetable garden. At night, we would take turns looking out the kitchen window at deer as they sniffed and poked around the yard. When I was a toddler, mama's neighbor had a pet deer, named Heather. The story goes that I walked right up to her and threw my arms around her collar-ed neck. Another time, I spotted a red fox slinking along behind the corn field. But my most favorite and magical thing about the house in Leroy, was the field across the road. In late February and early March, this field grew thousands of daffodils as far as the eye can see. My mama would take my cousins, Hayley and Hannah, and I to pick daffodils until we had so many in our arms that we left a daffodil path behind us a we tromped back to the house. Then we would dig out every vase my mama had and fill them up with daffodils and disperse them throughout the house. The house would smell like a spring breeze for days. So tonight on my way home, I stopped by to have a peek at the house I haven't laid eyes on for four years. When I pulled up in front of it, I teared up. It looked nothing and everything like the house I knew. The tree and hyndragea filled front yard was flat and bare. The scuppernong vines that lined the yard were gone. Strange vehicles filled the driveway. I pulled into the tire tracks in the field across the street to turn around. When I looked up, I saw the field full of daffodils in front of me. I turned off my car and got out. The sun had almost set and a breeze blew the smell of fresh grass and daffodils to me. The air there was always so clean and fresh and there weren't ever city lights to cloud the view of the stars. I picked as many daffodils as I could fit in the cup I dug out of the back seat. I took one more deep breath and decided that maybe I would just forget about the house the way it looked now and just remember it the way it was when I was little and how I hugged a deer and the hydrangeas that filled up the yard and most importantly, the field of daffodils.
I hope that ya'll enjoyed reading about my trip down memory lane and I encourage each of you to spend some time remembering the wondeful things about ya'lls past. Seeing the house where I spent one half of my childhood helped me remember that lots of things change but somethings don't. And that no matter what, I always always have my memories of my daffodil field. Ya'll, have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by!
My Daffodil Field
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Here is the recipe for Sloppy Jac's:
1. Put 1 1b. ground beef, 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped and seeded bell pepper, and 1 chopped clove of garlic into a nonstick skillet and cook, stirring frequently and breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, until beef is evenly browned. Carefully, drain the fat.
2. Stir in 1 tbsp mild mustard, 3/4 c. of ketchup, 1 tsp of white vinegar, and pinch each of chili powder and paprika. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
3. Divide mixture evenly among 4 hamburger buns and serve immediately.
For the beans, I just grabbed a big can of original baked beans. I diced up 1/2 an onion and 1/2 a bell pepper and sauted them in a pan for a few minutes. Then I added the baked beans and a spoon of each: ketchup, syrup, and brown sugar. Adding a few things to a simple can of beans makes them taste like homemade instead of outa the can :)
For the parfaits, I whipped up some lowfat instant vanilla pudding. I added a layer of crushed graham crackers, then some diced strawberries, then a layer of vanilla pudding. I repeated once more and finished up with a sprinkle of graham cracker crumbs on top.
This recipe turned out so delicous: both of my roommates gave it there seal of approval! I can't wait to whip this up one night and see what reaction I get from Matt. I suspect that he will greedily ask for seconds. So ya'll get in the kitchen and see what kinda trouble ya'll can get into! Thanks for stopping by and talk to ya'll again real soon!
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Last I poured the 1/2 the batter in a a pan, added the beef mixture, and poured the rest of the batter over the top. Bake for 1 hr. and Voila! Dinner is served!
Here's the recipe:
1. First, make the batter. Sift 1 cup of all purpose flour, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Make a well in the center and add 1 egg and 1/2 cup of milk. Stir together with a wooden spoon, then beat well with a whisk or mixer until smooth and full of bubbles. Stir (with wooden spoon) in another 3/4 cup of milk, cover the bowl, and let rest for 30 min.
2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine 1 lb. ground beef, 1/2 onion diced, 1 garlic clove diced, and 1 tbsp. parsley chopped. Salt and pepper to tast.
3. Heat oil in a shallow baking pan ( I used a rounder deeper dish and the cooking time was longer. I would recommend a 13x9 pan) until very hot, then remove pan from heat. Stir batter and pour half of it into the pan. Spread ground beef mixture on top, using a spatula, and pour remaining batter over it.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until batter is bubbling, then reduce the oven to 350 degrees and bake additional 30 minutes, until golden brown.
5. Garnish with parsley and cut into squares. Serve immediately.
I really enjoyed the final product! I might would add some cheese into the batter mixture! It was so fun to cook a real meal for myself! With a little practice over the next few months, I will be whipping up meals that will have Matt rushing home every night with his mouth watering! Later this week, I am making homemade sloppy joes!! Tune in for the recipe! Love ya'll!
Note: This recipe came from "1 ground beef, 100 meals" by Linda Doeser
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Ya'll, it has been far too long and for that I apologize. Starting back to school and getting used to my new work schedule and the run of things at my internship has been quite enough to thoroughly exhaust me. As we speak, I am sitting at the kitchen table, chin deep in psychology notes, eating peanut butter from the jar and using this wonderful blog as a tool of procrastination. So here's the update:
- I bought a dress!!! I mean this dress is seriously the most amazing piece of clothing to ever grace this body. I love it, I look like a incredibly svelte movie star in it, and my mom agreed that it was pretty much, all together, amazing so we bought it. It should be in at the end of May so I will let ya'll know then how it fits and what all will begin then!
- I also booked the photographer, the florist, the caterer, and the venue. I am officially getting married on August 6, 20ll at 6 p.m. at the Kirk House. Rosebud will be in charge of my beautiful flowers (green hydrangeas) and Full of Grace Catering will be in charge of the delicious fare ( A NACHO BAR!!!). All in all, things have really come together!
- Matt and I are house shopping! As soon as we find a place to call home, I will keeping ya'll in on every detail from painting to appliances to bed linens. Most of the houses in our price range need a little TLC so it should be interesting to see the transformation.