Friday, July 30, 2010

My last hurrah

Today marks my last Friday before the new school year begins. The chiclets and I go back to school next week....yes, seriously. So, what better way to mark this event than to send the chiclets to their Grandmother's house for the day and invite my good friend, Southern Fried Momma, over for some girl gossip, pool floating, and snacks.

Unfortunately for me our pool float totally deflated. Thus, I was relegated to resting upon Toot's mystery animal float. It did the job.

Six hours were spent hooting, hollering, laughing, eating, swatting sweat bees, and fending off hungry dogs. A certain Jack Russell did run off with our cheese ball after we went inside for a break. I think she had been planning her theft for quite a while.

So, I leave my grimy pool flip flops behind to start another school year. Anyone else out there going back to school this early?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's not just hot, it's hawt

The temperatures here in Smalltownland have been boiling as of late. It has become unpleasant just to go outside and relax.

The dogs have taken to staying indoors as well. They go outside for a brief business moment and then they are right back inside. Who can blame them? Even the insects have taken to staying indoors. I found this Katydid resting on my cookbooks. Apparently, I need to dust them.

The heat is even taking a tole on the wildflowers.

I will say that the butterflies seem to be enjoying the weather. We have had an abundance of them on the farm this season.

How hot is it in your neck of the woods?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My new favorite cookbook

I have to admit, I am rather a, "cookbook whore". If I see a cookbook that interests me, then I think I have to have it. It doesn't necessarily matter what the subject matter is, I enjoy most ethnic foods and American cuisine. I first came upon this Cajun/Creole cookbook in the fabulous city of Nashville during spring break. I passed it up, rather unwisely. While on my annual summer trip to The Bab's and Mr. B's house I, once again, spotted it in a bookstore. I knew I had to have it.

Chef John D. Folse has comprised a book that encompasses the Cajun and Creole Cuisine of New Orleans. At a staggering 807 pages, it is not for the faint of heart. It is, however, for the person who is interested in everything that comprises the famous city and its diversified beginnings.

Chef Folse leaves no stone unturned in his quest to educate the reader on all topics concerning his regional fare. It covers all topics from the early history of New Orleans to a list of noteworthy restaurants and manufacturers that will give you the best of New Orleans. I can't even begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading this cookbook. Oh, and I have actually cooked a few recipes already. And, they were edible.

The following recipe I made on a whim, and my family ate it and actually LIKED it. Yes, I was surprised. It includes all of those summer staples such as zucchini, yellow squash, and peppers. My children even ate this, it is that good.

Marinated Zucchini and Summer Squash Salad

3 medium zucchini, shredded (I julienned these.)
3 medium summer squash, shredded (I julienned these as well.)
1 small Bermuda onion, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
2tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
1/3 cup salad oil
1/3 up red wine vinegar
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper

In a large mixing bowl, combine squash, onions, bell peppers, garlic and relish. In a separate mixing bowl, combine oil, vinegar, basil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Whisk until well blended. Pour marinade evenly over vegetables, cover and refrigerate overnight. Before serving, toss salad and drain excess liquid.


Friday, July 23, 2010

A little Shakespeare

How shall we beguile the lazy time, if not with some delight?
William Shakespeare

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bear with me while I adjust this blog

Please be patient while some design changes take place here for the next few days. The Cutest Blog on the Block notified me that my template would be discontinued, thus things will be looking a bit different. Most everything will stay the same and possibly a couple of new things will be added.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A water witch is in my midst

Our old house is....well, old. Over one hundred years old to be exact. It actually underwent a total renovation in the 1980's, but even that was quite a while ago. Thus, we come upon the odd repair quite frequently. Here is Secret Agent Man. He is quite the, "do it yourselfer", and hates to call the repair man for assistance. Now, that has it good points and bad points. This past weekend we had some sweltering heat and Secret Agent Man decided to dig up the yard and repair some pipes. Seriously.

He found the small leak that he was looking for quite easily, but then was searching for more plumbing work. He kept digging and digging and could not find it. Then, he decided to bring out the big guns, namely my coat hangers.


I realize some you of reading this post will not agree with the actions that I have documented. However, I did witness them myself and have witnessed this type of behavior from my spouse before. Brownies I didn't hang out long enough to become a Girl Scout.

Secret Agent Man went into the house and picked out a couple of sturdy coat hangers. Not the flimsy white ones, I might add. Then he formed them into dowsing rods and went to work.

For real.

He did find the exact location of the next area he needed to dig and then gave me the coat hangers......uhhhh...., "dowsing rods", and told me to give it a try. It did not work for me, not at all. Our son, The Deerslayer, gave it a try and it did not work for him. Secret Agent Man told us we were not, "doing it right". Apparently, his father taught him how to do this and he has one paternal uncle who can also dowse for water.

Our daughter has not tried this, but since she looks much like her father, it is possible she has inherited the, "dowsing gene". If you would like to know more about dowsing or the history of it, you can do so here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A few of my favorite things

Peeling paint and the fact that it happens to be on an antiques store....even better.

A colorful main street that is still functional.

Welcoming flowers on an old brick wall.

A barber pole advertising a barber shop. A true American classic.

An old building undergoing restoration.

What are some of your favorite things?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Honey Bun Cake

This recipe is a favorite of my crew, although I don't make it very often. If you like honey buns, then you will surely appreciate this cake. Let's get started, shall we?

You will need the following:

1 yellow cake mix
2/3 cup oil
8 oz. sour cream
4 eggs
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar

Mix together the cake mix, oil, sour cream, and eggs. Blend well and pour 1/2 of the mixture into a greased 9x13" pan. Then mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Pour the sugar mixture over the batter. Top this with the remaining batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. While the cake is still warm punch holes in the cake with a fork. Mix together the glaze and pour over the cake.

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Allow the cake to cool before you cut it. I did not do this before this picture was taken.

However, it was still delicious.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

On the road again, and again, and again....

Our summer seems to be going by in the blink of an eye. We have been busy traveling here and there lately and although it has been a little crazy, it has been a good experience. The chiclets and I rallied and drove to Florida for our annual visit with The Babs and Mr. B, otherwise known as Nana and Papa. They live on the gulf coast and while we were there the beaches were open for business. But, the crowds were not what they have been in the past. The chiclets typically swim in a bay area in my parents neighborhood. Thus far, it has been unaffected by the oil spill. It is a great area with a lot of kids and a pier that is perfect for jumping off of.

This summer marked an important milestone in the life of Toots. She was finally old enough, and tall enough, to drive a go-cart by herself. It took a little more concentration than she might have thought.

We had a great visit, but we were all glad to get back home. After several hours of driving on the interstate I was glad to see my favorite cause of a Smalltownland traffic jam.

After arriving back at the farmette, I had the unpleasant task of unpacking the Suburban. A strange smell kept emanating from the back of the vehicle. Hmmmmm......

Yes, that is a crab claw that my kids had dropped in the beach bag. I am sure they were hoping to save it for.......well, forever I am sure.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Congrats to The Deerslayer!

This past week has been a bit of a whirlwind of activity. We set out on Monday for our annual pilgrimage to Berea, KY. This is where The Deerslayer's state trap shooting match is held every year. Teams from all over the state converge for a week of competitions. Young, old, and all ages in between, compete in their categories. Teams compete, as well as individuals.

This year Smalltownland did not have quite enough young people for their own trap team. Thus, our team merged with a neighboring team and this brought together a talented group of young men. Their team, The Smoking Guns, place third, statewide, in their division this year.

We couldn't be more proud and looking forward to a bright future with this team!