November 22, 2013
The preparations for Thanksgiving have begun.
I have been to the grocery. The 12-pound, organic bird is thawing in the extra fridge in the storage room (can I just tell you I LOVE having an extra fridge?) A pot of chicken broth is cooling on the stove, preparatory to being set outside in the near-freezing temps for the evening, being that I am Not In The Notion of straining it and all that stuff tonight. A coconut cake is already on the carport cooling, that actually being for pot-luck at church Sunday and not for T’giving dinner, but I digress.
And my Big Kid took me out to dinner tonight. Blackened snapper over ginger rice. Yum.The frozen veggie soup I’d set out to thaw is back in the freezer. (And I’d even bought fontina cheese for grilled cheese sammiches to go with it.)
November 9, 2013
Or, phonetics are us. Because, these pear preserves? These are good to the point that Sweet, as in Sweet Baby Jesus, HAS to be two syllables.
Because, you see, these pear preserves are all tied up in who I am and where I grew up, not to mention they are Just Damn Fine with scrambled eggs and hot biscuits and some bacon.
When I was a kid, as regular readers may recall, we lived out in the country. Not on a farm, because it wasn’t big enough to be a farm, but on what, in the local vernacular, was a “place.” A “place” being a homestead out in the country with a few acres, enough for a big yard, a big garden, a truck patch, and maybe a few acres of pasture.
October 20, 2013
Dear Sweet Baby Jesus. Has it really been more than a month since I posted?
Well, yes. It has.
It was September 14, to be exact.
And what has gone on in my world since September 14? Plenty. I’ve babysat, both Amazing Grandchildren and the new business, which is going swimmingly, thank you very much. I’ve spent about three weeks total on the road (including all of last week, and fixin’ to be all of next week). I’ve moved Child A and Granddog 1 in with me, being that she just took a new job up here in Jonesboro. I’ve cheered the Cardinals on to a National League championship, and will commence work this week on boosting ‘em to another Series ring.
And I’ve cooked, a little bit. And now that it’s fall, I suspect I’ll be cooking a lot more.
September 14, 2013
Because, some days, you feel like chicken and dressing.
I dunno why. It’s not one of those things that gets high on my want-it list too often. But when it does, well, best go ahead and feed that need.
I had roasted a chicken yesterday, one of my JV Farms organic, tractor chickens (which is kinda-like free range but it isn’t, chickens raised in sizeable cages, with room to move, transferred to different locations in a pasture every other day, so they have fresh grass and bugs and such). I brought back four of ‘em, frozen, from my last trip to LA (Lower Arkansas), and will enjoy them along the way for the next two-three weeks, because I am done, I tell you, done, with those hormone-fortified, saline-injected, grocery store chickens.
September 9, 2013
If you’re a gardener, you are about this time of year in the South trying to decide what in the world to do with all the zucchini your plants started producing in May and Just….Won’t….Quit.
Zucchini are sort of the zombies of the veggie world. They just keep on proliferating. And on. And on. And on. Until you have tried zucchini in almost every form from sweet to savory, from baked to stir-fried, on the grill, in the oven, And yet there are more zucchini, looking reproachfully at you as you try to slink past the end of their row unnoticed.
Why won’t sweet corn bear for four full months like that?
In any event, when you’ve tried every zucchini recipe in your repertoire, here’s one you may not have tried, and one that’s well worth it. Consider, with me, the humble zucchini fritter.
Be aware if you make zucchini fritters that you will have to invite Child A to your house for a meal. That kid loves zucchini fritters more than God loves Baptists (in the immortal words of Sen. Dale Bumpers, “You know God loves the Baptists, because he made so many of ‘em!”), and she will go to the ends of the earth for them.
September 7, 2013
And sadness. Learned on Facebook today that Mrs. Mary Lloyd Young, one of the sweetest ladies in the world and one of the best cooks to ever wield a spoon, passed on at the ripe age of 89.
Two things I will forever associate with her: The Marion United Methodist Church annual pre-Thanksgiving tune-up Turkey Dinner, and her homemade rolls.
The turkey dinner is one of the two social events of the year in Marion, Arkansas, the other one being the Assembly of God Spaghetti Dinner. (Many of Marion’s sizeable Italian population go to the Assembly of God church, a story which has its roots in history and one I’ll tell you ‘n y’mama ‘n ‘em one day.) The menu never varied: Turkey, dressing (Oh, lord, such wonderful dressing!), cranberry relish, green beans, turnips. All the ladies of the church baked pies and cakes, so dessert was a big variety, and you learned to snag your favorite early.
And there were the rolls. Dear Sweet Baby Jesus, the rolls. Faintly sweet, soft as a cloud and about that light, big, puffy yeast rolls. I could eat them until I passed out from carb overload. Miss Mary Lloyd’s rolls.
September 6, 2013
What? Who, me? I never said roll WHAT.
What we’re rolling here, is beef. And sausage. And a really good dill pickle. And it’s going to wind up as something wonderful.
A few weeks ago, I went to Steinhauskeller in Hot Springs. New German restaurant, opened in the former home of a pretty abysmal German restaurant, and is having to overcome its predecessor’s reputation.
Undeservedly. Because, well, this place lays its predecessor in the shade, I tell you. It is astonishingly wonderful food, about which I have waxed wonderful before. And I went back a few nights ago. And it was still excellent.
August 21, 2013
Be patient, please. I actually have a post written, but have yet to d/l and edit the photos for it. Perhaps tomorrow.
The days have been full of unpacking, arranging, throwing away (why did I not throw more away before I moved the damn stuff?), organizing. Some cooking. Nothing you haven’t seen before (summer veggies and the like). Oh, and the minor details of starting a business, and there was a long weekend full of grandbabies in there, as well.
And I leave Saturday for a week on the road. There will be good food while I’m gone, I’m certain.
And one of these days, I’ll write about it!
August 15, 2013
…and mostly moved. I turned the stove on yesterday for the first time. It works.
There will be cooking this weekend, as we will be hosting babies at Chez Brockwell, yes we will. We sincerely hope we can get all the boxes unpacked before then. There are many fewer boxes than there were! There are pictures on the walls! Furniture has been moved for the final time! It’s almost a house!
You ‘n y’mama ‘n’em come on over and visit.
July 4, 2013
That moment…that moment when you decide you’re not going to grill the brats you thawed out, and instead you’re going to have blackberries and yogurt and granola, followed by microwave popcorn, for Independence Day dinner. Because You Can.
You ‘n y’mama ‘n ‘em have fun and be careful with the fireworks. It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.