Fall Friendly Taco Soup/

Even in Florida they have fall, well sort of anyway.  Grandma Thelma, as all the kids call  her if they are related or not, had a big crock pot full of this tasty taco soup when we all arrived from north Georgia. After driving nine hours the smell alone had the kids gathering around the table before she could even ask them to do so. All the toppings were sitting in bowls so each person to choose what they liked best or do like me and use them all! Try this and you won’t be disappointed. This recipe is good for you with all the beans and tomatoes. Leave the chips in their bowl if your watching your carbs. 🍁

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Seville/ flamenco dancing 

Less than 3 hours away from Merida is Seville, Spain, famous for its flamenco dancers and bull fighting. It’s filled with old buildings that ooze history and charm. It has beautiful cathedrals and museums. The Seville University is close to the train tracks and bus stops which give it easy access for students. As David, Rebecca and I searched for parking we quickly found out the “P” signs everywhere did not mean parking! Instead they are a rating for hostels, “P” meaning cheaper ones, where an “H” meant more expensive. Both are clean and governed by the government, so either is fine to stay in. Now, this was nice to know, but back to  finding parking. As we drove around and around David finally stopped right in the middle of one of the courtyards where a wedding was about to take place, got out, and talked with a policeman. Because David can speak and understand Spanish, he easily followed the directions. Turning right here and left there, our streets were getting more and more narrow with people  and bicycles still coming toward us. We felt like Chevy Chase in his famous “European Vacation” movie. Honestly, we were all getting so nervous at this point because as the cobblestone streets became more and more narrow we were worried we might have to back out!! Eventually we found a road to take us out and it didn’t matter how far away we had to walk, we weren’t going down that path again. Time for lunch and sangria!

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We didn’t go to the flamenco dancing show this time, but several years ago we did. It was fun to see them tell their stories in their bright colored attire, all with the loud sounds of their shoes hitting the wooden floors. I will come back again later this trip and enjoy an evening here with family. Seville is a marvelous city with many choices of restaurants and things to do. 💃

There’s even Starbucks on most corners. Of course we stopped in. Their iced coffee is very appropriate for the extreme heat here, too.

Sharing Merida, Spain

How did the Romans know how to build bridges to last so long?  From my understanding this is the oldest operational Roman Bridge in the world. As I stand here looking to the other side I see the town square where the Roman theater is and restaurants and shopping markets. Just a 10 minute walk. I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz as I stand here looking beyond. It’s lasted this long, it’s not going to crumble now! So here I go.

Oh, wait. There’s a Hostel right next to this bridge and it’s time here for sangria and tapas. I can already smell the potato omelettes cooking with hints of onion and peppers. I must try this now!

 

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And I have no idea what kind of tree this is or if it’s against the law to pick from it, but I will be finding out!

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Summer Sandwiches/Pineapple, English Cheese and Fried Green Tomato

Last summer when I went to my son-in-laws’ family reunion,  I was never so surprised to see pineapple sandwiches. The white bread is cut to match the pineapple rings, and of course, since it’s the South, you spread mayonnaise or salad dressing on the bread. Don’t knock it till you try it because I was delightfully surprised.

Then on a trip to England several years ago my husband and I found in all the travel stops what we thought was pimento cheese. But it was without the pimento, just shredded cheese and mayonnaise mixed, then topped with thinly sliced tomatoes and sometimes a little lettuce. I was keeping foster children at the time and when I made it for them, they loved it. A lot of kids don’t like pimento so this is perfect. I called it an English cheese sandwich.

Now this next sandwich is perfect if you have ADHD like I do. When the tomatoes start growing  and you don’t want to wait any longer for them to turn red, just pull them, slice them thin and lightly roll them in flour with a little salt. Fry and drain. Use a good bread so it won’t fall apart while you’re eating it. Add bacon and lettuce. A fried green tomato sandwich! I love this one too.

 

The thrill of Pumpkin Show goes on the whole month of October/Pumpkin pork sandwiches and pumpkin soup 

 Mother, Anna Lee Brevard, had lived in Circleville, Ohio since about 1950 and had seen the Pumpkin Show parades every year. She had helped many times with preparations like when the Girl Scouts and Brownie troops walked in the parades and she helped her children get ready. When I was Miss Circleville in 1966 she was instrumental in finding me a car from the Moats car dealership to ride on the front of during the parade.  She also helped any student who asked and many times put in hours when her church had a float in the parade. So it only seemed fitting when she was 80 and had never been in the parade herself to let her have this thrill. Mom was so willing to carry our dog, Chief Jack, in the pet parade. She said she couldn’t walk that far so we used a wheel chair from Hands For The Disabled, bless their hearts! And since some of Mom’s heritage is Indian it all seemed appropriate. We all dressed up as an Indian tribe and took turns pushing her. She waved to every student as she saw them and was extremely proud to be a part of the Circleville Pumpkin Show. She came in second place as I remember, to boot!

Here are a couple of her favorite Pumpkin Show recipes.

   This pumpkin soup is like a bisque. It’s so smooth and creamy and the delicate taste of pumpkin is perfect. Top with sour cream and add a touch of sherry if you dare. This recipe came from the page 51 from the Pumpkin Show cook book printed in 1975.

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Found a new recipe for Thanksgiving/Pumpkin Nut Casserole

 


This is so good you need to put it with your Thanksgiving recipes. I was just making it because I’m going through these cook books to find 31 different ones to make and what a treat! It’s delicious and simple. What more do you need at holidays when you’re fixing so many things. And it would freeze well, if you can keep it from your family long enough. It’s better than the picture and you could do this instead of the sweet potato casserole. The glaze is the best part and could be used on other recipes as well. These next two recipes have dates, which I love, but you could use raisins or both, if you’d prefer. Again they freeze well.

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I think the typed recipes straight from the book are so adorable too! 

 

OUR LITTLE FARM CAME WITH IT’s OWN CHICKENS / SO, LOTS OF EGG DISHES TO COOK

    When we were lucky enough to find this 3 acre plot of land for sale with the big house and room upstairs to make more rooms and another bath, we hardly noticed the chickens and chicken coop that came with it. Since we were planning on building and we were now the main caregivers for my precious mother, Mom started praying that if there was a house around available, we would find it before we dug the first hole!  Well as God works, our daughter-in-law found this house by accident, or not!! My son and his family were having problems in their little house so that’s why they were looking around. They had looked at several and we had too. Nothing was available in our price range or it was so far out we didn’t even want to look. We both looked at homes big and small, new and old and nothing was fitting either of our fancies. So this is why we decided to go back to the original idea of building. We had our lots paid off and the plans modified to suit our needs. We were ready to hire the builder when this came up on the computer.  We all thought, should we or not take the time, we’d seen so many already and nothing was right. Oh well one more house, it might be fun to see so off we went to meet the realtor.  We couldn’t believe our eyes! Every way we turned it was more perfect than the last. A big country kitchen with a long bar and six chairs, a sunken living room with a gas fireplace and door to a patio for grilling. Four full bathrooms and two half baths. It even had a hair salon Just off the kitchen where the owner had had her own business. Perfect for the granddaughters to pretend they had their own hair salon with the special sink and moveable chair. We’ve each had our turn with them washing and rolling our hair, even Papa. They didn’t charge us but were delighted when we all gave them tips!!

  The chickens are friendly and fun to watch. Since they are used  to the neighborhood they visit the goats and alpacas that live next door. The rooster keeps them in line and reminds them when evening comes with his impressive “cock-a–doodle-doo”. And probably the best part are the eggs we get each day. All colors of dark to very light brown and some even have speckles.

  

 When I moved to the South one of the foods I learned to love quickly was grits!! They serve it with breakfast with your eggs and bacon or sausage or in your eggs like the recipe above. Southerners also serve it with butter and sugar like a cereal. And for dinner its very pleasing to the pallet to have shrimp and grits with a little cheese on top! Oh, that’s another blog all by itself!! One of my favorite movie lines of all times is in “My Cousin Vinny” where  Joe Pesci, from New York, asks a cook in the south ” just what is a grit anyway”.  You need to watch this movie if you haven’t already.  HILARIOUS !!