Tuesday, June 30, 2009

House Wine of the South~Iced Tea!

June is National Iced Tea Month...did you know that? We should have been celebrating all month, but better late than never! Nothing tastes as good as a tall glass of tea, tinkling with ice cubes and a big slice of lemon. As a child of the South, sweet iced tea has always been part of my daily life. And when made correctly, it can be a wonderfully sweet and refreshing drink on a hot Summer day. Enjoy on the back porch, preferably in a rocking chair!

Classic Southern-Style Iced Tea
There are as many ways to brew iced tea as there are Southern grandmothers. I grew up on iced tea made by bringing a small amount of water to a slow boil and then pouring it over the tea bags to form a concentrate. More water was added to finish the process. I guess I'm biased toward this method, but it definitely does make good tea.
6 regular-size tea bags (You can use Orange Pekoe, Oolong, green tea, Lipton -- pick your favorite.)
2 cups boiling water
6 cups cold water
Granulated sugar or other sweetener to taste (optional)
1. In a glass measuring cup or ceramic teapot large enough to accommodate the boiling water, place the tea bags. Pour the boiling water over the tea bags. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes.
2. Remove the tea bags, being careful not to squeeze them (squeezing the bags will add bitterness)
3. Pour the concentrate into a two-quart pitcher and add the cold water. Sweeten, if desired. (Some Southerners put in as much as 1 1/2 cups of sugar)
4. Let cool, then chill and serve over ice.
Makes two quarts
*Tea will become cloudy if refrigerated while still warm. Add a little boiling water to clear up the cloudiness.

Blueberry-Lemon Iced Tea
1 (16-oz.) package frozen blueberries
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
4 cups water
3 family-size tea bags
3/4 cup sugar
Bring 1 (16-oz.) package frozen blueberries and 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, using back of a spoon to squeeze out juice. Discard solids. Wipe saucepan clean.Bring 4 cups water to a boil in same saucepan; add 3 family-size tea bags, and let stand 5 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags. Stir in 3/4 cup sugar and blueberry juice mixture. Pour into a pitcher; cover and chill 1 hour. Serve over ice.
Southern Living, JULY 2007

Peach Iced Tea
3 (11.5-ounce) cans peach nectar
2 quarts brewed tea1 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Stir together all ingredients; chill until ready to serve.
Curtis Aikens, Southern Living, AUGUST 2002

Mock Tea SangrĂ­a
1 (10-oz.) package frozen raspberries, thawed
1/3 cup sugar
1 family-size tea bag
2 cups red grape juice
1 lemon, sliced1 lime, sliced
1 (16-oz.) bottle orange soft drink, chilled
Process raspberries in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Pour puree through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a large container, discarding raspberry seeds. Bring sugar and 3 cups water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring often. Remove from heat; add tea bag. Cover and steep 5 minutes. Remove tea bag with a slotted spoon, squeezing gently; cool tea mixture slightly. Stir together raspberry puree, tea mixture, grape juice, and lemon and lime slices. Cover and chill 2 to 24 hours. Stir in orange soft drink, and serve immediately over ice.
Southern Living, DECEMBER 2008

Hibiscus Tea Punch
4 cups boiling water
8 Red Zinger or hibiscus tea bags
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 (25.4-ounce) bottle sparkling apple cider, chilled
Garnish: lemon wedges
Pour 4 cups boiling water over tea bags. Cover; steep 10 minutes. Discard tea bags. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Chill until ready to serve. Stir in sparkling cider, and serve over ice. Garnish, if desired.
Coastal Living, MAY 2003
Mint Julep Iced Tea
8 mint leaves
1 lemon, sliced
1 lime, sliced
1 cup bourbon
3 cups cold sweetened tea
Cubed or crushed ice
Combine first 3 ingredients in a 2-quart pitcher, pressing with spoon to crush mint. Stir in bourbon and tea. Add ice.
Coastal Living, MAY 2002

*One more little tidbit of knowledge I found on the Internet...The only tea grown in America is found about 20 miles south of Charleston on Wadmalaw Island at the Charleston Tea Plantation, now owned by Bigelow.
Printable Recipes

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Waste Not Want Not

Did your Mom used to say that to you too? I heard it a lot at my house, and my grandparents house too. They lived through the depression so that feeling of the “Poor House is Just Around the Corner” never left them.

I cleaned out my refrigerator this morning and as I threw away the last bits of green bean, outdated salad dressings and “what is that” I thought just how lucky I am. We have abundance…in our fridges…in our houses…in our lives. Not one salad dressing, I have eight, and that doesn’t even include the many types of marinade. Not one jelly, there were 3 plus a lemon curd that I have to have when I eat English muffins. Two kinds of butter, real and Smart Balance. Pickles and pickle relish, olive tapenade, sun dried tomato bits, bruschetta…so many bottles they completely fill the front shelves on the door. Why do I have so many? Since it’s only me, hubby and the dog, I don’t have a good reason. But every few days I go to the store and look for more stuff. My pantry is stocked like we are ready for a famine.

I think it’s my Mom’s fault. She was like this too, always buying “extra” when things were on sale. Peaches mostly. If you looked in her cupboard there were dozens of cans of peaches. The label said Cling Peaches, sliced or whole, in heavy syrup. Beautiful golden peaches that made you hungry even if you weren’t. We ate a lot of peach cobblers, peaches in Jell-O, peaches and cottage cheese…so it’s not like they went to waste. But who needs dozens of cans ahead? It’s wonderful to be an American and have the ability to buy whatever we want and lots of it. I think of people around the world who might be hungry at this very moment and I feel ashamed that we have so much.

As I cleaned out the fridge I filled the deer’s bowl (we give them our leftover cookies, bread and fruit along with their daily ration of shelled corn). Tonight they will munch on dried out carrots, stale Rice Krispie Treats and those flat pretzels that you buy at Sam’s Club that come in the humongous bag. We can never eat them all before they go stale, so why do I buy them?

It’s the American thing to do!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


The same day I had the Cyberspace Train Wreck last Friday, I received my new Pandigital One Touch Scanner in the mail. I ordered it after I saw it demonstrated on QVC. Idiot proof, it is wonderful! You can sit on the couch and scan picture after picture using the ac adapter. Then later when you want to download to the computer you just plug in the USB cord and poof...it goes straight into your computer! This opens a whole new world to me of pictures from long ago, and I mean LONG AGO. I have my Mom's pictures and her Mom's pictures, going back to the 1860's. I have organized those but strangely enough, I still had ours in a big box. It's been on my "To-Do-List" a long time. Please don't think I'm an awful Mom! I have albums too but there was this huge amount of pictures that I had never done anything with. When the girls come for visits, they dive into them and relive their childhoods.

I have used the scanner for a couple posts already so I thought, hey...this is a good time to get this box in order. I like order. I can't believe I've let these set so long. Cooking, cleaning, running errands, paying bills, taking care of kids and parents...lots of excuses why I haven't organized them but I'm motivated now!

I have the dining room table covered in pictures right now sorting and trying to remember when pictures were taken. I should have written on the backs, but I didn't so now I'm organizing by house, this was a way that I can remember years. Then when those piles are done I break them down into birthdays, holidays, births...then years. Next I'll fill the pages of the album with favorites from each year. When the album is filled I'll file the remaining in the photo box by year.
This is how Mom's pictures look. The album held 300 pictures and the box was sorted by year, 1946-1970...that was when we married and the pictures now go into our albums.
Don't they look nice?

Lead Hill Picnic, Boone County Arkansas July 4th, 1906.
My Grandparents' and their parents are in the picture.
I love my scanner!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

De~Kinked, Good As New!

It took a 21st-century recession to do what The Great Depression and the cold war could not, drive the historic Greenbrier Resort into bankruptcy. Perched in the mountains of West Virginia, it's the latest resort business to fall victim to the recession. The 721-room compound, a registered national landmark, proclaims that 26 presidents have visited and that it once had Sam Snead as its resident golf pro. It even hosted a once-secret 112,000-square-foot bunker, known as Project Greek Island, to be used by Congress in case of a nuclear assault.

We were privileged to stay at the Greenbrier on a company trip in 1994. From the moment you pull under the portico the elegance and history of the resort impress even those who have the means to travel well. I spent the whole trip soaking up the amenities and enjoying the luxuries that I had only seen in travel magazines. Hubby and I went on a historic tour of the area and one day we spent at the spa having Swedish massages. We finished with the Waterworks Hydrotherapy...this was an experience of a lifetime. You STAND in a maze of brass pipes that spray you in all directions, ending with directions to HOLD ON...then they spray your back with a firehose. I am not kidding. The pressure felt amazing and when we left the spa we were definately "de-kinked!"

Greenbrier's Massage Menu
Aromatherapy Massage~Combining the power of pure essential oils with a specialized, pressure point massage, these techniques work to target the nervous system, affecting every organ and structure of the body.

Mountain Hot Stone Massage~Heated, smooth basalt stones incorporated into this unique massage treatment facilitate the balancing of the energy centers in the body and encourage muscle relaxation.

Reflex Trio~This service begins with a tranquil mineral bath and continues in the treatment room where the focus is on the pressure points of the head, hands and feet. Warm stones are used to access reflex points to soothe corresponding areas of the body.

ReikiLight~Touch and non-touch techniques are applied to induce universal healing life force. Reiki will balance and harmonize your body’s energy, both emotionally and spiritually.

Sports Massage~Whether preparing muscles for a specific activity or addressing stress and tension from overuse, the active stretching and rigorous strokes used in this sports massage are a must.

Swedish Massage~Surrender to the luxury of a full-body massage customized to meet your needs. This massage is known for stimulating circulation, reducing stress and purifying the lymphatic system. Pregnancy massage available.

Traditional Thai Massage is an ancient form of therapeutic healing. It’s roots are in India from where it was brought to Thailand over 2000 years ago by Ayurvedic doctors and Buddhist monks. It combines acupressure, energy balancing, stretching and applies yoga exercises, as well as improving flexibility, relation and energy levels.

Ayurvedic Head Massage~Relieve stress and mental fatigue while improving circulation with this ancient healing modality. Including an application of frankincense designed to relieve stress, this head massage increases blood and oxygen supply.

Integrated Reflexology~The pressure points of the feet corresponding to specific areas of the body are stimulated for increased relaxation and circulation.

Waterworks Hydrotherapy~Utilizing The Greenbrier’s philosophy of water, relax in one of our three mineral baths. Service concludes with a cascading vertical body spray, designed to increase circulation and stimulate the body.

I had a wonderful massage this morning that was a Mother's Day gift from thoughtful Hubby. He treats me to these for Valentine's or Birthday gifts since he knows how much I love them!
Sonia Crow has been doing this for 11 years and was so skilled. The room was perfectly lit with low light, relaxing music played and you can hear the waterfall in the background. The table is well padded and comfortable enough to fall asleep during the massage but being the thrifty person I am, I stay awake and enjoy every moment!

The Health Benefits of Massage
* Massage calms the nervous system and promotes a sense of relaxation and well being.
* Massage reduces tension and anxiety.
* Massage improves blood circulation, which delivers oxygen and nutrients to the cells.
* Massage stimulates the lymphatic system, which carries away the body’s waste products.
* Massage prevents and relieve muscles cramps and spasms.
* Massage therapy can help with pain management in conditions such as arthritis, sciatica, muscle spasms.
Remind yourself of these health benefits if you start to feel guilty about getting massage!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cyberspace Train Wreck

I was involved in a cyberspace "Train Wreck" on Friday when I decided I would join the rest of the world and find a space online to park and share the many photos I have saved. Besides family pictures, I have saved hundreds of pictures for use on my blog. Back in February when I first started posting stories, I would post one or two...at the most three pictures. Now it's Katy-Bar-The-Door, The World is my Oyster, He-Who-Dies-With-The-Most-Pictures-Wins motto for me! So...I decided Picasa was a good place to put the 2,500 photos that my hard drive has been holding onto tightly. They were safe until I took them out for a walk to Picasa.

When you go into a site they ask for email and password, computer info and permissions...I read quickly so that I might have instant gratification. Also I need to start dinner so I am in a hurry! I truly amaze myself that I have figured out to do the things associated with the blog, at this point I am thinking I am pretty Internet Savvy, WRONG!

I'm in the site now and it asks "Do you want to transfer one picture or all?" In a hurry, I did all. Now delete the ones I don't want. Lots of pictures and one file in particular are duplicates of another file. In my little brain I said, "Already have these, delete." No warning at Picasa to bloggers that deleting files could affect your blog...at least not on the page that I looked at all of 2 seconds before deleting! Later on Friday night when I was checking comments on the blog, my pictures were gone. Text but no photos. Two weeks ago it was photos and no text. Odd how Blogland can pull the rug out from under you like that. I Googled the problem, pictures from blog gone forever when you delete the file. I still have them on my computers' hard drive but have you ever tried to remember what you posted to go along with text? Hey, I can't remember what I did yesterday so this was going to be a problem.

Saturday I was pretty down about the huge task of trying to recover when my husband said, "Why don't you just start fresh, GrannyMountain II?" Good advice and now I'll just fix the best posts at my leisure and go on posting a day at a time, just like I've been doing.

Life is like that, bumps in the road but you just figure out how to go over them, or around them!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Arkansas Travelers

My Dad loved to do things for people. When I was a little girl in the 1950’s you’d see hitchhikers often. Daddy never passed one, even though Mom would fuss. He’d say, “That was me years ago coming back from the war and I sure appreciated a ride home.” Many Christmas’ as we made the trip to Grandma’s in another state, the car packed with presents, we’d make room for a stranger who was making his way home. I don’t remember the names of any of those people, but they felt like a friend after riding with Daddy a few miles.

Every spring he would set up cold frames so that he could start his tomato plants early. In the cold months of February and March he’d go outside no matter the weather to check on the progress of the 200+ tomato seedlings. Now Daddy didn’t need that many, but he wanted to share those “Arkansas Travelers” that he considered the best! All summer long he’d weed, water and tend that garden so that the bounty could be put away for their winter use. But the abundance was the real joy of that garden, he loved to share with neighbors.
Years ago, Daddy built me a chicken coop after I mentioned I would love to have one. They were visiting and he made the trip to town, picked up the needed materials and hauled them on the top of his CAR to build me the coop that held 6 little hens. Those clucking, bug-eating, fresh-egg-laying hens gave me so much pleasure.

He was a hard working Daddy who worked a 6 day week but never failed to take us fishing and camping. He was a mechanic that loved to cook breakfast or make big pots of stew for his family. He never tired of telling stories of long ago, family stories of his Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, Cousins.
I see him when I am out on the lake, or digging in the garden. I see him when I see someone down on their luck needing a hand up. I see him when we gather for family meals and remember how much he delighted in us all being together. I see him in our Grandsons, growing up to be strong men who will carry on where Daddy left off.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Picassa Boo Boo

Lord Help me...I have deleted a picture album from Picassa's website that I THOUGHT was copies, only to find out it has taken away all my previous blog pictures. This happens to others and now it's my turn! I will be fixing and posting for the next month but please come back and visit for daily posts!

Joycee at GrannyMountain

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Thrill of the Hunt

I used to hit the garage sales when our daughters were little. I loved the "Thrill of the Hunt," it kind of worked me up into a fervored state when I would find something great! Funny, I don't think I've ever felt like that when I shop retail!Tuesday Morning Treasure Hunters always beat me to the punch. By the time I get around to going on Friday the good stuff is gone. I go home with 3 place mats and a pickle fork. Hey, it's called Tuesday Morning...I need to change my shopping habits!Some of you have earned Badges in Bargains, Honorary Degrees in Big Lot Finds, Thesaurus of Thrift. Many of my favorite blogs show finds from Goodwill, Flea Markets and Bargain Shopping. I am newly inspired this summer to hit these places for some of the goodies I see you all have found!

New to blogging, I stumbled upon Designs by Gollum around Easter. When you get past the fact that she, Michael Lee West, is a top selling author of 5 novels (Mermaids in the Basement her latest Best Seller), the glorious house and the amazing food...when I read her posts I was throttled to see she lists where she buys things for her Tablescapes... Big Lots, yes, Big Lots. There on that beautiful Easter table along with Limoges and Horchow chargers are white Gibson dinner plates that she and her husband found together at Big Lots. Other posts she talks about Publix day old flowers and Krogering for bakery items that she "dolls up" to fabulous desserts that you would think were done by a pastry chef. Just go over and read her blogs, sit down first though!

Mary at Little Red House just posted her 500th blog, can you imagine!?! She and her family live in her childhood home and it is lovely, filled to the brim with silver pieces! She admits she has a thing for old silver. The Red Spode transferware in the above picture is the result of a 6 month search... Mary tells the story, "A few years ago, my dear friend, Robin, was on a mission to visit every HomeGoods, TJMaxx and Marshalls in the northern half of New Jersey. Of course, I had to tag along. After all, what are friends for?My husband and I had just had our kitchen renovated, and had a dishwasher for the first time in our married lives. So I decided that we needed to get a set of good dishes that we could use in our red dining room, and that could go in the dishwasher. And I happen to have a thing for transferware. So I spent about six months gathering a set of reproduction Spode transferware. No two dishes are the same, and I love to look at all the different patterns." Now THAT is dedication!

Confessions of a Plate Addict, now doesn't that blog name tell you a little about retired French teacher Debbie!?! A visit to her blog is a trip to Paris; complete with music, flowers and wine. She participates in Mosaic Mondays, Outdoor and Wordless Wednesdays, Foodie Fridays...as well as taking us along on her trips to Bed and Breakfasts! I LOVE her Goodwill Hunting posts, she finds the most remarkable things for next to nothing. Debbie says she is a "serious Goodwill hunter" checking out the GW in new cities when she travels! Her friend Kathysue found the antique Nippon plate pictured above for...are you ready?...50 cents!! Wooooo hoooo!!!

Rhoda over at Southern Hospitality-Rhoda found the above armilary at a yardsale a couple years ago for $10. I didn't even know what an "armilary" was, now I want one. She is Master of the Antique Finding Club! Her posts include shopping trips to many wonderful antique stores and re-doing her finds into beautiful pieces you would be proud to have in your home. Unique and thrifty!

I could go on and on, there are so many amazing blogs that it makes my head spin. I am going to Recycle, Reduce and Reuse starting with Goodwill, flea markets and Big Lots!
Happy Hunting Bloggers!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

BBQ Chicken with Raspberry-Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Last Sunday Hubby was moved to barbeque something. I never turn down the chance to have a night off from cooking! We had went to see the new movie War Eagle, Arkansas in the afternoon. I did a post last week about the movie, it was filmed only a few miles from us. We recognized scenery from Berryville, Huntsville and the Cave Springs area as well. Not too many movies are made here, so we were anxious to see it.

The recipe calls for chicken legs but we split a small fryer. The timing was about the same, 50 minutes to 1 hour total. The internal temperature is the important thing with chicken, 180 degrees. I had made the Raspberry-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce earlier , so all he had to do was put it on the grill and smoke a cigar...which he did!

The recipe is from the NFL Gameday Cookbook by Ray Lampe, a.k.a. Dr. BBQ.
Barbequed Chicken Legs with Raspberry Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
12 drumsticks
2 tablespoons olive oil
your favorite barbecue rub
wood chips (cherry or hickory preferred) soaked in water for 1 hour
Raspberry-chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Prepare grill for cooking over direct medium heat. Rub the oil all over the chicken legs. Season with the rub. Drain the wood chips and put them on top of the hot coals, or in the appropriate place in your grill if you are using gas. Put the chicken on the grill and close the lid to smoke them for 10 minutes. Continue cooking and turning often but reclose the grill each time for 40 additional minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees. Brush the chicken with the sauce, flip and brush again 2 or 3 times until browned and to your liking. Serve additional sauce on the side.

Raspberry-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
3 canned chipotles in adobo sauce, drained
1 tablespoon of the adobo sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
pinch salt
Add chipotles to blender. Top of with remaining ingredients and puree 1 minute.
Makes about 2 cups

*Since it was my "day off," I stirred a little of the barbecue sauce into canned baked beans topping with a little bacon and popped them and a couple of potatoes into the oven to bake. Then I settled down in front of the computer and got caught up on my favorite blogs until dinner was ready!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Good News in the Mailbox!

I love getting mail and email. Not bills mind you or junk mail, good news that is just for me. Reminds me of my childhood when I'd see that familiar writing on the envelope and immediately knew it was a letter from Grandma or Aunt Joy.

Today my email brought back that wonderful feeling when Elsie over at My Yarn Tales sent this award. Isn't it nice to be thought of as "Creative!?!
"Thank you Elsie!

The rules with this award are to list 7 things you love. Link back to the person who gave you the award and then pass it along to 7 other Bloggers.

Here goes:

1. I love spending time with my family!

2.I love cookbooks and I have a 'wee bit' of an addiction in this area of my life...

3. I love gardening and adding new things to our yard each year.
4. I love feeling needed, it's a Mother thing!

5.I love reading cookbooks, see #2!
6. I love learning new things.

7. I love blogging!

Now the hard part...how to choose 7 Bloggers!
The Origin of White Spray Paint
My mother was a great proponent of white spray paint and its multiple uses and problem solving qualities in home decor. White spray paint has been an important part of our family's home toolbox for as long as I can remember. She sprayed everything and taught me to do so as well.
The fairy poet takes a sheet of moonbeam, silver white; her ink is dew from daisies sweet, her pen a point of light. ~Joyce Kilmer
Come on in, put on your comfy jammies, prop up your flip-flopped feet, sip your favorite frappe, and sit a spell. - - - His grace is new each morning.
A Merry Heart Doeth Good Like A Medicine
Proverbs 17:22
Loving life, each day at a time!

6.Pat at http://backporchmusings.blogspot.com
Lake of the Ozarks
"Now you all know that I take way too many flower photos, and it's really hard for me to choose just one favorite. But I have to say that the daisy is one of my favorites for very sentimental reasons. As many of you already know, our Little Red House is my childhood home. When I was little, it was surrounded on three sides by meadows, which were filled with daisies in late spring. One of my fondest memories is of picking armloads of daisies with my mother, to fill her many pitchers around the house. So they really speak to me of warm spring days, filled with sunlight and laughter."
Hop on over and give these blogs a visit!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sunday Morning Biscuits

When I was growing up, Sunday mornings always meant biscuits with honey. Homemade biscuits, of course. My mother was a biscuit maker, and her mother before her. It’s amazing how many memories are built around food. My parents were raised on farms and thought a big breakfast started the day right. Mom wouldn't have served us a cold bowl of cereal if she'd had two broken arms! Eggs and bacon were required so that your brain could function properly at school. The honey for our biscuits often came from hunting trips Dad made into the woods. He would come across a "bee tree," a hollow dead tree that the bees had claimed. He would go back later and smoke them out, then gather the honey in a pail to bring home. Mom put the honey in Ball canning jars. It was beautiful golden stuff, sticky sweet and perfect on a biscuit or drizzled across berries. We didn't have the word "Organic" or "Natural" in the 1950's,my parents called it real food. When something was good, they'd say, "Now that's the REAL thing!" I am tempted from time to time to buy healthier choices. You know what I'm talking about. The products that have something added or something removed. Real food but "tweaked" to make it better for us. It never tastes as good as the original product. Get the rolling pin out and make something delicious for breakfast this weekend. Someday, somebody’s gonna remember what you fixed for them~make it yummy!

Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House-Style Biscuits come from Paula Deen's cookbook
"The Lady & Sons, Too!"

To make these great biscuits you'll need:
2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons margarine
1/3 buttermilk
1/3 cup milk
*enough water to make the milks measure 3/4 cup
*I opted to just use Criso's Butter Flavored Shortening in place of adding the additional 2 tablespoons of margarine.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Sift the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl and make a well in the center.

Cut in the shortening and margarine until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.

Pour the buttermilk and milk into a measuring cup and *add enough water to make 3/4 cup.
Pour this into the dry ingredients. Mix lightly and quickly with your hands to form a dough moist enough to leave the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead by turning the dough away from you, pressing down with the palms of your hands, and pushing the dough away. Repeat 6-7 times. Work the dough into a large ball while kneading; keep your fingers dry by dipping them into dry flour frequently.

The recipe say to pinch off portions of dough, but I used Grandma's little rolling pin to make them extra~purty and placed them on a well-greased baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown on the top. You can give them a good brushing of melted butter before baking to add extra yummy~ness!

Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House-Style Biscuits
Yields about 16 Biscuits
2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons margarine
1/3 buttermilk
1/3 cup milk
*add enough water to make milks measure 3/4 cup
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Sift the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Cut in the shortening and margarine until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Pour the buttermilk and milk into a measuring cup and *add enough water to make 3/4 cup. Pour this into the dry ingredients. Mix lightly and quickly with your hands to form a dough moist enough to leave the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead by turning the dough away from you, pressing down with the palms of your hands, and pushing the dough away. Repeat 6-7 times. Work the dough into a large ball while kneading; keep your fingers dry by dipping them into dry flour frequently. Pinch off portions of dough and place them on a well-greased baking sheet. Press lightly to flatten the biscuits slightly. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown on the top.
*Recipe from The Lady & Sons , Too! Paula H. Deen

Sunday, June 14, 2009


As everyone knows, it is time to get ready for that all-important cooking technique - outdoor grilling! Great for those weekends at the lake and just around the house with family and friends and often connected with school and church activities.I have just found out there are several stores (not just in the South) where you can get a FREE Bar-B-Q Grill! In these hard economic times that is sure to excite everybody!You can get a free BBQ grill from any of the following stores:

Food Lion
Home Depot
Big Lots
Food Warehouse
Sam's Club
Trader Joe's
Whole Foods

I especially like the higher rack...which can be used for keeping things warm!

And look at those bread warmers, how handy is that?

Just make sure to get a metal one instead of the plastic variety if you have a choice...

the plastic ones don't do so well.

Happy Grilling and may this be a glorious week for you!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

War Eagle, Arkansas

I have blogged about War Eagle Mill in the past, but I'd like to tell you about a movie that was made in the community of War Eagle last year. The area lays along the War Eagle River, about 11 miles from where we live. The perfect setting for a movie, it is lush, green country and the river flows fast as it goes under the one lane extension bridge that was built in 1907. It's like a step back in time when you drive down Highway 12 to the small community of War Eagle.

The movie War Eagle, Arkansas written by Vincent Insalaco, stars Luke Grimes, Dan McCabe, Brian Dennehy, Mary Kay Place, Mare Winningham, James McDaniel, Lynsee Provence and is directed by Robert Milazzo. It has won several awards including the Charles B. Pierce Award for Best Arkansas Film in 2008.

Based on a true story War Eagle, Arkansas is about a young man’s choice of whether to leave his family and friends for a career in baseball or stay and redeem his struggling community. The story takes place over a few pivotal weeks in the summer after Enoch Cass’s senior year, and is set against the backdrop of Arkansas’ beautiful Ozark Mountains. Enoch Cass has two gifts; the first is baseball, and the second is the innate goodness he possesses as he holds his family, members of his community, and most of all, his friendship with Samuel “Wheels” Macon, together. However, Enoch’s Achilles heel is the fact that he has a debilitating stutter and can rarely manage a complete sentence.Wheels is Enoch’s best friend and has cerebral palsy. He has been confined to a wheelchair since early childhood, which is how long these two have been inseparable. Wheels’ spirit knows no bounds, and combined with Enoch’s inability to articulate, the two have relied on one another to make themselves one completely functional human being…though without each other, they are nothing. However, the story finds these two at the crossroads of childhood and independence, the moment where Enoch has to decide if he will put away the things of his youth to pursue his own interests, or remain shackled to his hometown and its people.Enoch’s domineering grandfather, Eugene “Pop” Cass wants nothing more than for his grandson to get a baseball scholarship to a major school and get out of the town he feels he himself was sentenced to forty years before after being forced to abandon his own minor league career. Enoch’s mother, Belle Cass, often comes into conflict with Pop over these issues, while Enoch also seeks counsel from Jack, an older African-American man he works with, as well as Wheels’ mother, Jessie.After Enoch performs well in the All-Star game, he is quickly seduced by the new-found attention he’s being given both by interested colleges and Abby, a girl Enoch has had a crush on for some time. As all this happens, Enoch’s friendship with Wheels becomes more and more distant and finally begins to dissolve. As the film reaches its dramatic climax, Enoch must choose between his best friend, a baseball career, his girlfriend, and the inherent love he feels for his community.War Eagle, Arkansas poses important questions that face all young people in rural America. The answers we find could touch us all.

*Movie cover and review courtesy of Downstream People Productions. For a clip of the movie click here

Look for it at the theaters and later when it comes out on DVD!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Picket Fences

I’ve been dreaming of adding a garden on the East side of our house since falling in love with Jain’s Iris gardens at Once In a Blue Moon Iris. Oh my, if you haven’t been to her blog, stop what you are doing right now and go look. It is Heaven on Earth! The work that she puts into that beautiful garden must be all-consuming, all for the beauty of the flowers. Her hillside location is similar to ours and back in the winter when I was still in the dreaming mode with garden magazines in hand, I told my husband we could do that too. He pointed out that we would have to carry heavy stones to make retaining walls (it’s very steep and slopes off sharply into a deep ravine), have loads and loads of dirt brought in and then there’s the fact that building the patios on the west side of the house nearly killed us! But when we sit on those patios with a glass of iced tea surrounded by deep shade, it's worth all of the hard work. That being said, he was right, we aren’t physically able to do Jain’s terraced gardens. So, on to “Plan B.”

I so love the cottage look of a picket fence with roses, perennials and vines. There’s something very welcoming about a white picket fence. It says “Nice people live here!”
All of the 1950 shows had picket fences; Leave it to Beaver, Hazel, Andy Griffith...maybe that's why I think a house isn't a home without one! We live in the country so our landscape is anything but manicured. It’s rough, rocky ground and everything we plant takes blood, sweat and tears to get in the ground! I could just envision roses or clematis vines climbing and spilling over the fence...blue delpheniums, daisies, and zinnias along the front of the fence!

It took two weekends and here’s the finished project. By the end of the summer the roses and plants should cover the fence and give us the look we want. I want to add a birdhouse or two, maybe on posts behind the fence. We'll add tulips and jonquils this fall for next spring. It's not an English Garden but hey, I live on a mountain in the Ozark Hills...it's as close as I'm gonna get!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Little Tykes Car

We just bought our Grandson Ewan the new Anniversary Edition of Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Car. Both of our older Grandsons had Little Tikes cars and loved them. What little boy doesn't like a toy that has wheels? For 30 years, this kid-powered ride-on has been a staple in homes. Kids love being behind the wheel while adults love that it never wears out. The Anniversary Edition has a friendly face on the front and a removable floor. Take the floor out and it allows kids to use foot-to-floor power. When the floor is in, little ones’ feet are protected while an adult can use the cut-in handle in back to push the car. Great idea! The higher seat back is more comfortable for kids and there are cup holders (can you believe that!) in the back for an over the road refreshment break. Moving, clicking ignition switch and open-and-close gas cap make it just like Mom and Dad's ride! The Cozy Coupe lasts through several kids...even adults, enjoy watching these funny videos from youtube.com


Nolan's Big Present

by Jillmaica


Sean's Little Tikes Anniversary Edition Cozy Coupe Car

by Little Tikes Company


Sean's 1st Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Car

by Little Tikes Company


Due to the credit crunch, Rach can't afford a proper car and is having to make do with a Little Tikes Cosy Coupe car instead - it's a wee bit small tho', she may need something a bit bigger!

by clairebax69


Men and their toys...

by vicvideo

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lazy Days of Summer

We had our first lazy day of Summer today! Hubby has taken the week off and we've been busy finishing the picket fence for my roses. We went to visit Mom this afternoon and then more errands. When we got home I went into the kitchen to fry us some fish for dinner. When I looked out on the deck, I saw this silly squirrel sunbathing on the rail! Doesn't he look comfortable?

After dinner we took a little boat ride up the lake, the scenery is breathtaking!
Sometimes we fish along these bluffs and have good luck catching bass.
We enjoy looking at all the nice homes and try to guess the square footage of some!
This one is perched on the side of the mountain like ours.
One positive thing, no back yard to mow!
I love this one, near the Highway 12 bridge. It's called Serenity Point!

The sun is setting and we are heading back up Prairie Creek Cove.
The best part of living at the lake is being able to do these little boat rides spur of the moment. Sometimes I pack our evening meal and we take it with us and fish until almost dark.
For us we think it's our little slice of Heaven!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie...

Let sleeping dogs lie, not new advice. Noted back as far at the early 14th-century, the French advised "N'esveillez pas lou chien qui dort," Wake not the sleeping dog. Or the wise words, "It is nought good a slepyng hound to wake," quoted in 1385 by Chaucer Troilus & Criseyde.
Heywoods's Dialogue of Proverbs 1546 says, "It is euill wakyng of a slepyng dog." And finally from 1824 Scott Regauntlet warned, "Take my advice, and speer as little about him as he does about you. Best to let sleeping dogs lie."

Man's Best Friend is also a great sleeping buddy! Anyone who has a dog can tell you what a great nap can be had with their warm little body snuggled next to you. The devotion of our pets to ask so little of us and give so much is surely a Divine plan.

My Hubby often says he wishes he could nap like our dog Ben. The all out, totally relaxed, not a care in the world nap. Ben has mastered it and is able to fall asleep in less than a minute no matter where in the house he might be. He is a creature of habit so I can tell you his "schedule." Mornings he ambles down the stairs after we have made coffee, started breakfast and got the paper. His little wicker bed upstairs must be very comfy because he just cannot make himself give it up until the smell of bacon reaches his nose! After a quick trip outside he comes back in, has a few bites of people breakfast. The first nap is on the loveseat, snuggled next to a pillow. Ben understands pillow...pillow is for head and to hide eyes from daylight. The second nap is under an East window that's sunny and warm. The third nap is usually in the study, since I am also a creature of habit and check my emails and post on my blog every morning. Every place he naps has toys strewn and rawhides for anytime he might be awake to chew.

I don't think this dog minds that the bed is a little bit too small, it's just right!

Their expressions when they are asleep are so cute!

Favorite toys are often slept with, kind of like kids huh??

Isn't it funny how they want to be so close to anything they associate with their owners?

Not a care in the World. No bills to pay, no job to interfere with naps!

Life is good!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...