25 September 2013

Let's Eat Grandma!

Yes, its National Punctuation Day!  Let's celebrate one of our favorite books, Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss. 

Few writer's can make a subject like punctuation this entertaining...


The "web" is "literally" filled with gross punctuation errors some of them quite funny.

Sometime; even lowly "punctuation" wont help u.

And sometime's it can SAVE YOU FROM VERY AWKWARD situations.

ITS a dangerous world out there, so please use semi-colon's wisely.  And if your feeling the need, do correct this post.

23 September 2013

Faux Risotto

I love breakfast, provided it is served at 4 pm.  Not eating in the morning and then working through till the late afternoon, is not a good thing.   The other day, I got home late in the afternoon.  I was not up for cooking and it was one of those days where there was nothing in the house.

In the refrigerator, I had bits of this and that and dragged it out.   The was about a cup of cooked rice from Sunday's chicken and rice.  The was a small container of cooked squash leftover from the gigantic pot of squash that hadn't fit into freezer bags.  There was a thumb-sized piece of grana padano.  All together, I thought, it bore a striking resemblance to a risotto.

I mixed the rice and the squash and cooked it till it was steamy.  Then I finished it like a risotto, adding a dollop of half-and-half and a bit of grated cheese.  I had a sliver of cheese left that I grated on top.

It looked like risotto.  It tasted like risotto.  It took about 5 minutes.  I would be willing to bet that there are only a handful of discerning diners who would have known he difference.  I am thinking of trying it out on a larger scale.

21 September 2013

I Can Has Cheezeburger?

There is a lot to worry about these days. Shootings. Government shutdowns. Mass shooting. The debt ceiling. Random shootings. And on and on.

So what have we been worrying about? We worry that people think cats are illiterate. We blame it on this one gray cat. It is his fault and we are holding him personally responsible.

We are willing to admit that "I can has cheezeburger?" is more funny than "May I have a cheese burger, please?" But enough already.

Now there seems to be a pervasive opinion that cats have some sort of patois that would make them sound illiterate with a vaguely Eastern European/Jamaican accent.

We don't know about these cats, but the cats who live here watch a lot of television, especially news. We think our cats would sound more like Anderson Cooper than Vlad the Inhaler's dumber brother.

They also watch an incredible amount of programming from the BBC and PBS, so if they did develop an accent, it would be British or Scottish.

While he might be cute, he appears to be stupid. At least this kitteh kitten seems to have manners.

If our cats did start talking and adding text to their photos, rest assured that would know the difference between "can" and "may." You CAN jump on the counter and eat the chicken, but you MAY not.

They would be well versed in "PLEASE" and "THANK YOU."
They would never use "DIS" and "DAT" unless they became jazz musicians in New Orleans or the spokescat for Zatarain's. They might say, "Hey, did you see Anderson Cooper DIS that cat that looks just like him?"
So please, if you love your cat, let him use spell check. Looking cute is really enough.


17 September 2013

Tuesday Tunes

I love Stephen Foster.  I can't help myself.  I have over thirty covers of Hard Times Come Again, No More, probably one of the saddest songs of all times.  I have the complete recordings of Stephen Foster as sung by Nelson Eddy.  I have a rendition of Beautiful Dreamer from a Canon commercial, as well as a rendition of Oh, Susanna by the Bulgarian Women's Choir.

Doo-dah! was one of my favorite biographies.

So it is no surprise that I am always on the look-out for new recordings of Foster's music.  Which brings us to today's recommendation.

Nathan Edwards has produced a lovely collection of Stephen Foster tunes.  Recognizable Foster, but thoroughly modern with a guitar and simple vocals.   It is a very beautiful collection.  Better than Nelson Eddy.  Check it out at Bandcamp.

13 September 2013

Please Welcome our New Chickens

As you might recall, Doe Run Farm's chicken population was decimated by a rabid raccoon earlier in the year.  The few chickens that were left did a yeoman's job of trying to keep up production by laying most every day.  Still, they needed reinforcements. 

Here are some of the new flock getting used to their environment.

12 September 2013


I decided to make kimchi.  The Korean condiment is everywhere, so I thought why not.  I was bolstered by a recipe I read in Edward Lee's Smoke and Pickles.  Lee is a New Yorker of Korean descent who has become one of the South's leading culinary lights.  He does a uniquely American blend of Southern cooking with Korean influence.  So I was drawn to a recipe he had in the book for a kimchi made of Brussels sprouts and green tomatoes. 

In my pursuit of kimchi, I read at least 1000 recipes and no two were alike!  I ordered several forms of gochujang a Korean spice necessary for kimchi; both flake and paste form.  I bought the expensive Red Boat fish sauce, favored by hipsters. 

I didn't have sweet, sticky, whatever rice flour.  Several recipes said substitute regular flour, but some folks said it made the kimchi "floury", and some recipes said make your own rice porridge with regular rice, and still others said don't bother, so I didn't.   One recipe said add an apple, and I liked that idea. I had a small wedge of cabbage, so I added that.

Teddy helped with the Brussels sprouts.  Generally, one does not have to worry about cats and cole vegetables, but for some reason, Teddy loves them.  This summer I left a bowl of coleslaw on the counter, never thinking I should quickly sequester it away.  I walked back in to find Teddy on the counter in the slaw.  Trick was standing on her hind legs begging Teddy.  He took a big mouthful and dropped it to the floor, where he and Trick happily devoured everything but a single shred of onion.  So I should have known cutting Brussels spouts would cause a commotion.

I added the green tomatoes and the bit of cabbage.  Mixed it all together and let it sit.  To keep the kimchi submerged in the jar, I filled a Ziplock bag with water and used it as the weight.  Then I let the jar sit.  Of course, every recipe gave different directions for how long to let it ferment and long to leave it in the fridge and how long before you should eat it.   Mine sat out about 36 hours and has been in the fridge for several days.  We are thinking that Friday we will break out the jar and taste test.  We will not be leaving on the counter!

09 September 2013

The Waning Garden

Our waning garden has actually been better than our summer garden.  Much was lost during our Noah-like 40 days and nights of rain.

A late batch of Lemon Squash was a welcome site.

While there have been just a handful of blackberries, they have been the size of my thumb.

06 September 2013

There she is...Miss Alabama

 It is that time of the year, dear readers when you will find yourself faced with a good deal of football news.  To ease you into this, our first "football" post will actually be a fashion post as we have a very early bye week this Saturday.

Billy Reid recently conveyed the startling fact that Alabama has the third most members of the Council for Fashion Designers of America after New York and Los Angele.  Who knew.  Not to mention we have a slew of pageants.   The big one being Miss Alabama.

This year, Miss Alabama is Chandler Champion.   ( A brief aside in the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction vein.  If you were in a beginning writing class and you named your beauty queen Chandler Champion, your instructor would have you change it.)

Champion is headed to the Miss America Pageant where there will be an event called "Show Us Your Shoes."  This is kind of a throwback to the old days where each contestant wore a dress representing their state so you had corn stalk dresses and Mount Rushmore hats.  Clearly, the producers of Project Runway were big Miss America fans.

Since Champion has been at the University of Alabama during its reign as National Football Champions, it only seems right that she commemorate this feat with a big old Roll Tide dress.  Designed by Ann Northington, it is a jumpsuit with a fitted bodice and pants.   There is a full houndstooth oversized float with the Alabama Football National Championship emblem in the center. The float is designed to "hang from the back of the car in the parade."  The front panels of the float feature the ever present, "Roll Tide."

The very snarky Washington Post wrote of the dress, "Anna Wintour weeps."    Really, well ask yourself this -- Did the North London Collegiate School ever with the National Football Championship, Anna? But I digress...

As for the shoes in the Show Us Your Shoes event.  You didn't really think they would be simple, black ballet slippers.   Great use of that Belk's accessory wall.

The tiny hat pin, brooch is a homage to coach Nick Saban's favorite hat.  There is not really a good place on the jumpsuit to pin it, so she is taking it for good luck, I guess.

I am thinking this dress just might start a trend toward houndstooth as the new favorite prom dress material.  And what girl hasn't dreamt of wearing a dress that would hang from the back of the car. 

05 September 2013

Why I Love Martha Stewart

I admit it, I love Martha Stewart.  Granted, I don't have to spend any time with her and I don't have to work for her, so I have the ability to love her from afar.  Her blog post today is the perfect example.

Ask yourself, if you had this cute little house sitting on your property, what would you use it for?  A studio?  A guest house?  A quiet little get away?   Mrs. Stewart uses it to store her baskets.  It's her "Basket House."   Now ask yourself, how many baskets do you need to own BEFORE they get their own house?

I have a little building on my property that I wanted to make my Canning House, as I have tons of canning jars, but the cost was bit prohibitive, so my canning jars are living in the house with me.  But I must admit I love the idea of my possessions having their own houses.

Not only do I approve of baskets having their own abode, I love the idea of cleaning said house and using it as a photo op.  The post features a total of 43 photos of the Basket House cleaning, featuring the housekeeper doing the actual cleaning.  There's a scary job, Martha Stewart's Housekeeper.  

I do worry that without her daily television show, Mrs. Stewart might have too much time on her hands.  Rest assured she will think of something to do, and she will do it better than you!

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