Thursday, July 29, 2010

Finally...a junk shop stop!

A good road trip is as much about the trip as the destination. Stopping for quirky little places along the way only add to the experience. I am so glad we stopped at this one. The proprietor, Neal Smith, was just delightful. Several buildings were packed full of treasures but I was drawn to all the piles outside. Especially his collection of antique iron beds set up in the yard and leaning against multiple trees. If you're ever in the area be sure to stop and see him. He's 8 miles north of Ellijay, Georgia on highway 515. Tip...make sure you take cash...I forgot that part.

Below are photos of my new favorite thing to eat...fried green tomatoes! Our dear friends from La Belle, Florida are vacationing with us. Lucky for us every member of the Luckey family is extremely talented in the kitchen. I had a private cooking class right here on vacation as they taught me the ins and outs of frying up a batch of these babies. We sliced up 20 tomatoes total and ate them all. The kids were standing by the stove waiting for them to come out of the frying pan because couldn't cook them fast enough! I think we'll have to head back to the farm stand today for another bucket of these little green gems. As one of the kids so aptly put it, "they are a little piece of heaven in a hot and crispy, green circle".....oh my, so true!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Georgia (& Canada) on my mind

(((Hitting a junk store in Georgia today...stay tuned for a post and pictures and make sure you read to the end of this post for an exciting announcement!)))
Summer vacation...the stuff we dream about in the depths of winter and reminisce on, well, forever. Some of the most treasured times of my youth are of summer trips and excursions. My parents, brother, aunts & uncles, cousins and sometimes a grandparent or two would load up the car and travel to a lake on the Magnetewan River in Ontario, Canada almost every summer. Miles and miles of glacial formed shores, lined with white birch trees and fragrant white pines, were our playground for a couple of weeks.
This week my family (along with another family, ten of us total) are on our summer vacation in the mountains of northwest Georgia. Now you know why I have been absent from the blogging scene. So much of the scenery reminds me of those treasured times from some 30 years ago. The glacial boulders, the rushing waters, the sunlight filtering through the forest canopy. But nothing takes me back quicker than the fragrance of the hemlocks. Especially when the air is full and heavy just before or after an afternoon storm on the mountain (which is a spectacular thing).
But this post isn't about that. It's about food, glorious food! This year we broke the drive up into two days so that we would have some time for sight seeing. There are a multitude of historic sights to visit between here and Ohio and I was determined to squeeze 10 or 12 of them into the schedule. In an animated voice (I was excited!) I shared this with my teens and husband while I scoured the internet for forts, caves, underground railroad stops, and battle fields to see on the way. I finished with "of course every antique store, flea market or yard sale will provide even more opportunities to stretch our legs". I looked up from my computer screen to see all four of them with glazed over eyes and facial expressions emitting great pain and suffering. I think at least one of the young-uns (I'm in Georgia folks...gotta go with the vernacular) asking my husband if we could take two cars, I'm pretty sure I heard him mumble "absolutely". Obviously, my passions are not their passions. Just as my parents' passion for Williamsburg was not my passion at age 13, much as I appreciate it now.

Since this is our 19 year old's last few weeks before basic training...I decided to let my 'value of life experiences' lecture fall by the wayside and ponder on what HE would want to do. My wise Aunt Glenna's pearl of wisdom suddenly rang into my ears, "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach first" and all our children LOVE extremely, good food. Next thought that popped in to my head...GUY FIERI and Diner's Drive-Ins and Dives will unglaze those eyes!So I closed the browser window for the battle at Camp Wildcat (and mentally marked it for another trip) and logged onto to the Food Network. A Google search brought me to Flavor Town USA, a website that lists Guy's stops by state. With another browser opened up next to this one I could compare maps of his stops and our route. After visiting websites and reviewing menus it was decided we would stop in Bellevue, Kentucky Friday night and dine at Virgil's Cafe.
Right inside the door is a glass vitrine with this little sign inside
And so we dined...on food, glorious food. Starting with fried green tomatoes, zucchini, mozzarella, frog legs with jalapeno cheddar hush puppies, and Pinot
Grigio aioli, and shrimp and tomato bisque. The kids all had sugar cane cola as we're not far enough south yet for sweet tea.
The starters were followed up by a Cubano sandwich(roast pork, mustard, pickles, ham, and swiss), shrimp creole with cheddar cheese grits and fried shoestring sweet potatoes, Étouffée (chicken, homemade andouille sausage, dirty rice, and garlic bread), and Huevos Rancheros (fresh corn tortillas, black beans, cumin, green chili and cilantro rice, cheddar cheese, 3 eggs over easy, covered in rancheros sauce and Pico de Gallo). The food was wonderful (I'm no food critic, in my mind, everything tastes better when someone else makes it, but we liked the appetizers better than the entrees) however, sitting and sharing the evening with our three glorious children was an even better life experience than any site marked by a historical marker could have provided.
photo circa 1999
(((((for those of you that read this far....just a few more posts until my 200th which will deserve another giveaway!! Remember last years? Become a follower today so you don't miss out!!)))))

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Time for a midweek break. . .

It's so very hot and steamy here this week. A tall, cool glass of something fresh and fruity is quite refreshing at the end of the day. Try this zesty confection this week. Perfect for sipping with friends as the summer sun slips behind the trees casting early evening shadows around your yard. For some added tropical ambiance play some beach guitar music and light some tiki torches...enjoy this mid-week break!

* Half of an organic lime, cut into 4 pieces
* Four 1/2-inch cubes organic pineapple
* 4 organic sugar cubes
* 1 ounce freshly squeezed organic lime juice
* 1 ounce organic agave nectar
* 1 large organic egg white (see Note)
* 2 ounces cachaça
* 1 spiky organic pineapple leaf (optional)

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the lime, pineapple, and sugar cubes until the mixture has an even consistency. In a separate small shaker, combine the lime juice, agave nectar, and egg white to make the espuma. "Dry shake" (shake without ice) until the mixture is thickly frothy, about 30 seconds. Add ice cubes to the muddled mixture and pour in the cachaça. Shake vigorously, then pour the mixture, unstrained, into a tall glass. Top with the espuma and garnish with the pineapple leaf, if using.

Note: Make sure your egg whites are very fresh, and do not serve this drink to the elderly or anyone with a compromised immune system.

* from:
Organic, Shaken and Stirred
Hip Highballs, Modern Martinis,
and Other Totally Green Cocktails
* by Paul Abercrombie

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"The Chicken has Landed"

What's that? Look! Peek through the holly hocks!
It's a ride for our damsel in distress (a.k.a. our chicken house soon-to-be Clementine Cottage).
First, he tugged, then he pulled, then out she came.
And down the hill she went.
First step, up on one level of cinder blocks.
Second step, up on three levels of cinder block, make sure to stack it right or it gets wobbly!
Third step, up on to FOUR levels of cinder block. Hope thats high enough...she's listing on that one corner!
Ok, let's see now, will the trailer fit under her? YES!
She looks comfy and ready for a road trip doesn't she? A few straps, chains, flags and wide load signs (sorry dear but you are) and we'll be all set for the 4 mile trip.
Here she she going to make that corner? Don't slip into the ditch!
No way that would happen with Mr. Dave Lamme in charge! Welcome to your new home Miss Clementine!
I think someone is excited!!
Into the backyard now...
And there she is! This will be her forever home, saved from being razed. See the 4 white squares in the grass? She'll be planted right there, next to our bee boxes. We have big plans for Miss Clementine. Starting with power washing, bleaching, power washing again, then sealing, then the fun stuff! Maybe a pair of old French doors on the front, pea gravel pathway all the way around, European baby tub brimming with flowers, limestone steps across the front, a pair of antique Kramer urns on each front corner, a French watering trough turned into a pond with a fountain.....chandeliers inside, oh we just can't wait to get started!! I know just where to find all these goodies...urban farmhouse!! This is a dream come true...our own little garden folly. Rest assured we'll share pictures as we go. Do you have a garden folly? Please leave us your comments and give us some more inspiration. We would love to hear from you.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Can you do a whole room with one roll of wallpaper?

I can! Initially I wanted to try Deb Dusenberry's (of Curious Sofa) water staining trick (you will have to scroll down to 3/15/07 to see it) but I gave up after multiple attempts. She was even good enough to give me some pointers via email. I am totally a visual learner though and I don't think I can sway her into coming here for a personal training session.
This is my only "before picture" as I wasn't really thinking I would post this. So forgive me of the pine and Christmas touches.
Here is the "after". I just can't commit to a whole room of paper (especially since I only have 2 rolls of this vintage find). I'm too distracted by "shiny things" and often side tracked in the middle of redoing a room to commit to paper. But ragged bits here and if years and years had passed since this paper was though the walls could tell stories of others who graced this cottage before us.

I still may have to try the water staining one more time as I think it needs some depth. You know what they say, the 27th time is a charm! Deb...headed to Ohio anytime soon? Odie and Bear would love to have Pearl visit!