My younger sister, LaDonna

3436A92E-2148-4ED9-BFC1-924CDDDA50D0.jpegHer name was LaDonna, and she surely lived up to her name, which in Italian means “The Lady”. She went through life abiding by the rules. She didn’t break the speed limit or  eat food past its date. She worried way more than she should have about her three boys or as the announcement of her third son said “My Three Sons”. This is her fourth birthday she in heaven. How does a young woman who exercises, eats right and has everything to live for die so young? She never took drugs or smoked, like the saying goes, “life isn’t fair”.

Brown Sugar Pound Cake

While I was fixing dinner and sweetening my fresh carrots with brown sugar I noticed a recipe on the back of the brown sugar box. It looked simple so I made it. Not only was it the perfect dessert topped with fruit but the kitchen smelled like I had been burning a sugar scented candle.

Drink lots of water/Rosemary

You hear about adding lemons or limes to your water to add flavor so you’ll drink more. And mint leaves are good too. But have you heard of adding a fresh sprig of rosemary, either to your glass or to the pitcher? I’ve been reading lately how rosemary helps with memory too. I didn’t even like rosemary very well but it’s been growing on me lately. Maybe I will try it on chicken next👍

Pomegranates/Christmas fruit

Pomegranates are beautiful dark pink or red fruits. I’ve always thought they were hard to eat until this weekend when my friend Barbara Johnson showed me how to get into them. You can’t eat the outside skin but inside they are filled with these little seeds called arils. This is what you eat. Each aril surprisingly not only has fiber but vitamin D and C and potassium. You can eat them just as there are or add to your fruit salad or tossed salad or on top of your yogurt or cottage cheese. My sister, Rose Carol, tops her ice cream and sherbet with these seeds and the sweet and tart together make a perfect pair. So don’t be afraid. Go buy one and cut off each end then slice like you would a grapefruit. To think all these years I’ve only gotten to eaten them when my sister prepared them for me!

When you’re Seaside, Eat Shrimp

When you aren’t at home you make the best of what you can find where you are. I used blankets for table cloths and starfish for centerpieces. Found the freshest shrimp just down the road, only problem is we had to peel and devein them ourselves. But New Orleans style BBQ Shrimp is worth it.

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Melt the butter add all the spices then add the shrimp, heat 3 minutes with the lip on top. Stir everything and cook 3 more minutes until the shrimp is nice and pink. Serve with rice and crusty French bread to tip into the sauce.

Thanksgiving Day/Boiled peanuts

I must have lived in the south longer than I thought! We’re doing things very differently this year and having Thanksgiving at the beach. The family is on the beach with blankets and jackets but the sun is very warm. It’s the cold wind that keeps blowing and keeping everyone out of the water. But how relaxing! Everything is ready to put in the oven for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to be served tonight, but in the meantime I’m sitting on the porch enjoying these boiled peanuts. Just open the jar and heat. And to add a little class to the situation, I’m drinking wine instead of beer.

 

 

Fannie Farkles/not just any corn dog

87CDD5AF-88E9-47E8-8CED-EB12750EE229Back in the early seventies we were transferred from Lexington, Kentucky to Maryville, Tennessee. Since I grew up in Ohio and had never heard of the Smokies or Gatlinburg I was anxious to explore these mountains. Gatlinburg, the name alone has such a romantic sound to it and the city being nestled down between the mountains makes the whole city perfect for lovers. To our delight Maryville was only thirty minutes from there when you took the back roads through Townsend also known as the quiet side of the Smokies. We enjoyed hiking the trails, walking across the big rocks through the mountain streams and driving under the covered bridges. Having picnics in Cades Cove and watching wild life all around us was spectacular. Buffalo aren’t just on the range I found out! One of my favorite things to do was walk the streets of Gatlinburg where people were holding hands and eating bright red candy apples flavored with cinnamon. You could hear children laughing and dulcimers being played in the back ground. They have restaurants over looking the creeks and in the winter time you smell the fireplaces burning. Candy shops are on every corner and through the windows you can see them making it. You’ve never tasted such fresh fudge when it’s still warm.  But my favorite of all are the corn dogs! Fanny Farkle’s have foot long corn dogs dipped in their own homemade batter and fried in front of you. The best ever! And not just back then but now as well! Fannie Farkles is still in the same place right on the main drag. You must try it!

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