Once a flourishing garden/Now just a bed of dirt

My little brother grew up to love nature. When he was here everything grew to its potential, but a year ago today it all ended. I believe that the things you enjoy on earth will be even greater when you get to heaven. So when I open those golden gates I will see gardens as far as my eyes can see. He won’t have to use his wheel chair to tend to it either. One of his favorite things to make was fresh salsa. All he did was chop onions, peppers, tomatoes and a few hot peppers together and the juices would all blend together to make a perfect salsa. Add a little salt and pepper to bring out the flavor and squeeze a lemon or lime for taste and to help hold the colors. Some fresh celantro is good, if you like it. 

Aww, Fall…../ Peach cheesecake 


It may not be Pumpkin but it’s the right color. I live in the peach state and when they are ripe it’s time to eat them. This is a cheesecake made from a mix. I try to use as many fresh ingredients as possible when I do this so I added 4 tablespoons of butter to make it richer and topped it with fresh peaches. Then crumble extra graham crackers on top. You can serve it in dessert dishes too. Add some more whipped topping as you serve it. 🍑

A Farm Party/Surprise Wedding

IMG_1074This is a new one for me and I’m sure for a lot of us. Everyone was graciously invited to a Farm Party at the old Salt Works farm in Malden, West Virgina. This was known as “the salt making capital of the east” during the 1800’s. Today 7 generations later the family of William Dickinson is still carrying on the tradition of making the perfect salt any famous chef would be proud to use. The owners even give tours of the salt mines here in the Appalachian Mountians. So all of us were anxious to come to this farm party. The food offered went right along with the farm theme. There were long picnic tables and bales of hay to sit on for extra seats. The chicken was fried with tender care so not to burn. A whole pig was roasted, which was not my favorite thing, but I must admit it was delicious especially with the choices of sauces you could add. The caterers prepared roasted asparagus, roasted fresh tomatoes and squash. The alfresco pasta had enough cheese it tasted like a fancy macaroni and cheese and the spinach salad was served with all the right things in it to make your tongue dance for joy.  But the very best thing of all, I thought, was the fresh corn on the cob with a Parmesan butter and herb mix.  All of this came with corn bread muffins. People ate and fellowshiped with each other while the band played and sang country songs. It was a bit strange to see a photographer walking around taking lots of pictures though but then who doesn’t like pictures to post on Facebook immediately after any event. So the afternoon went on with kids playing dress up and (a few adults) from a big chest filled with hats and other attire and corn hole games went on all afternoon.  At the end of the day an announcement was made that the desserts were being served in another building very close and everyone would have to go over there. And the announcer pointed to where to go. Then he said “now on your way to the desserts you will have to pause for a few minutes to witness a short but very special wedding on the steps of the building.”  And there stood Rebecca McPhail and David Yaussy who had managed to sneak off and change clothes. A  sweet and happy ceremony was seen by all. ❤️

 

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I’m back in the South again 🎶 // 7 layer salad

What’s more southern than a seven layer salad? Use the whole head of iceburg lettuce on the bottom, 4-6 chopped boiled eggs and a few little green onions. Then you place 12 oz frozen green peas on top. Now you mix 1/4 c sugar with 1 cup mayonnaise and place on top the peas. The fancy shredded cheddar cheese goes next and covers the whole salad. Put crisp bacon on top of the cheese just before serving. And if you are like most people, you can never have too much bacon! Sometimes to change this recipe up you can always add celery or red pepper. It might depend on the size bowl you use. If you add more vegetables just add more mayonnaise to adjust. You can count on having a lot of mayo and cheese if you’re in the south!

Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

Joy McRoberts Limbach grew the hot peppers in her little Ohio garden. The big red tomato came from Judy Spicer’s tomato plant in Circleville. The garlic came from Evie Barnard in Kentucky and the okra came from Heather’s neighbor in Chickamauga, Georgia. The little tomatoes came from Heather’s tomato plants that grow well in the large whiskey barrels she has by her back porch. Put all these together then cut and cook the fresh vegetables in chicken broth and add all the rest of the ingredients and simmer for taste. Make it as hot as you like🌶. Serve over hot rice. This makes scrumptious Gumbo.

Don’t you just love small towns?/Oviedo,Florida

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On a recent visit to Oviedo, Florida to see my childhood friend, Thelma McFarland Taylor, we went into town. And what a fun little town is it. Beautiful feathered chickens of all colors run around everywhere. The reason I’ve been told is that when they tore down an old building that used to be a restaurant in which they used its own eggs it distroyed the little chicken coop too. Well, they all felt so bad that the leaders of the town allowed the chickens to remain as honorary citizens and the eggs they lay are in lieu of paying taxes, I guess. So roam they do. Oviedo has antique shops, second hand stores, tea rooms and even a Panera Bread. So our afternoon was full of shopping and eating. We came home with bright red dishes that were so cheap I couldn’t pass them up! Thelma and I neither one need more dishes, but how could we resist!! Well, we didnt!

Here is a recipe from one of the Tea Rooms there.

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PS. Maybe I shouldn’t have chosen the chicken soup off the menu but I’m sure they didn’t use any of the  chickens that walk around town!! 😳