Saturday, April 30, 2011

Farmhouse Diner: Epic Pork BBQ

I have a treat in store for you.

I've been busy in the kitchen the last couple days.

It's epic.

It's something I've been meaning to share with you for a long time now, and I finally getting around to it.

It's worth waiting for, you just never knew you were waiting for it.

Did you?

All I am sayin' is that you should avail yourself of the opportunity to buy a pork shoulder roast (or two) and prepare to be creatin' some pork BBQ that rivals Bubba's, or Piggy's or Famous Dave's, or...well, anybody's.

I thought long and hard about sharing this recipe.  I mean, I treasure it.  And, if I ever open my restaurant (someday) it's going to be a specialty.  

And this recipe fits right in to my red and white gingham dream of happy chatter, the smell of freshly-brewed coffee, a bell on the front door, and clanging plates and people saying: 

"Is.  That.  Ever.  Good."

But then, I remembered that someone was kind enough to share it with me.  So, freely I shall give.

But that's next week.

I just wanted you to get a gander at what it is you haven't known you were missing all of your life.

Is your mouth watering yet?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding: Blabbity, Blabbity

This is the best I can do... I know, so irreverent.

((Whispering behind our hands))

((You know, we are related to the Royal Family through the gardener:  illegitimately, of course.  We know this little secret, and I am quite sure that they do not.  Otherwise, the Royal Family would be all over us and would have been scrambling to invite us to the wedding.  After all, we look just as about as good in our hats as they do.))

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Creative Uses for Vintage Finds: Counter Top Compost Pail

In the category of Creative Uses for Vintage Finds, I bring you a solution. It's a problem I have solved that was an ugly annoying one for me.  You might have the same problem ... where to keep your peelings, coffee grinds, and other items useful in the compost bin or pile, until it's time to go dump them.  (I usually dump the pail each evening.)

I have and use this cute little porcelain pail.  It is perfect for the counter top--but ONLY until you walk up to it and can see inside...then it's just plain gross.


I didn't want to look at that all day.

I used a (very flat) saucer that just fit the opening, but alas, I needed a handle for the "lid".  There are rounded off saucers that will not work, so make sure the one you choose is as flat as can be.

I bought a little plain white porcelain knob to use as a handle.  They're priced most places between one and two dollars.  

Have you ever used Gorilla Glue?  I have, it's AWESOME!  

("Have you ever cleaned up after alpacas?  I have, it's AWESOME!" 
-- LOVE that Stanley Steemer commercial.)

Gorilla Glue is super strong and works on almost any material, and works well.  

I dabbed some on the center of the plate, and also onto the knob and bonded them together, then let it sit for several hours, before actually using the lid on the pail.

Works swell!

Two minutes, start to finish.

Now my little compost pail looks pretty put together and it hides all the eggshells, coffee grounds, and potato peelings that are so unsightly and no one wants to see.

It looks right at home in the farmhouse kitchen.  If you can find and put a pail and a small plate or a saucer together, this is as easy as pie!

What, you ask, are we using our compost for?  For our potato patch, we need lots of dirt to cover the root areas of our potatoes for a good crop.  

We recently bought one of those compost bins that sit up on legs.  It's round like a barrel that lays on its side, and when you add anything to it, you turn the barrel.  I will let you know if this works out well or not.  We haven't had it long enough to know yet what happens.  

But that's the reason for my little bucket!

**Jamie and her family are fine, but there is destruction all around them in Alabama.  Prayers--and help, are needed for the people in the south, over a hundred tornadoes just yesterday.  

Samaritan's Purse is accepting donations for the storm victims in the south today...go here if you'd like to help.  The damage is huge.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Restless Patriot Rant: Ugly Mothers

A self-respecting mother will make her child proud.

At the risk of sounding OLD (I'm only 49!) I want to rant about something that's been bugging me, today it's not about politics or popular culture icons, but it's about us.  

It's. About. Moms.

I have been noticing something the last few years, and it makes me really sad, disappointed.  I am not the type to think that whenever one steps outside the house, they should be fashionable and chic, fully made up and dressed formally-- but it makes me really wonder where our society is going when I see women (of all ages!) even with child(ren) in tow wearing the following:

  • Big, ugly tattoos everywhere (is that attractive?!)
  • Multiple piercings on the face and/or tongue
  • pink, purple, bright red, yellow or blue or ? hair
  • jeans that are way too small, too low
  • pajama pants or pajamas as an outfit
  • tops that leave NOTHING to the imagination (WHY do you think I want to see your boobs or your big fat rolls?!)
  • Sweat pants worn on a daily basis at schools!  

I have noticed this over time and wonder, where are we headed?  Usually, the children in tow of such women like this are less than pleasant to be around, too.  

I know we are less formal than our parents were, Donna Reed we are not.  But what's wrong with being clean, neat, presentable, wearing clothing that fits your body, and not revealing all the ugly parts of one's fat to the world?  

I am not beautiful, nor am I a fashion plate, I am not even halfway to chic, but I am clean and I present myself with some sense of pride to the world when I go to the mall, the grocery store and to run errands or to church--and at work when I had a job outside the home.  Unless it were a dire emergency, I would have at least mascara, some eyeliner and some lipstick on my face before I stepped into the outside world.

Never before has our population been given so MANY choices in clothing, hairstyles, makeup, and exercise and entertainment.  It's not expensive to look decent--or clean.  Never before have we accepted so much that looks slovenly and sloppy.

I love it when I see a nicely dressed, clean family, it leaves me with hope that we all don't go down the road of ANYTHING goes, and that we can teach our children that there are certain things or looks that you DON'T wear outside the home.  

(I am in no way criticizing the working man with dirt on his shoes, clothing or hands...working men are to be respected and admired and I do not mind seeing them ANYWHERE.)

Not long ago, I was watching the news and the subject was organic food, clothing, etc...and they interviewed a "slob" --she was just a mess--of a mother like I have been seeing out and about and she was talking about our food and what's in it, with BRIGHT PINK HAIR!  How messed up is that?!  (I am not sure, but I don't think PINK hair is very organic, do you?)

It is up to us, as mothers, to teach and model from childhood, the attitude that we need to respect ourselves AND OTHERS enough to be as clean and decent as we can be, when we go out into the world.  Is that too much to ask?

We have to be the teach what respecting ourselves means and what taking pride in our appearance means.  It's not what the movie stars show us, NO, so few of us can--or want to--achieve that.  

It's everyday values that comes with spending time and putting the energy into caring.

I want the world to be a good place for this little guy...

(There, I feel better now, this post has been gurgling 'round in my brain for quite some time now...Hope I didn't sound too codger-ish!!

I guess I really shouldn't just pick on women, the other day at the mall, I had to really talk myself out of going up to a young man to tell him his WHOLE BOTTOM was hanging out of his pants and I could see ALL of his boxers.  HOW does one walk around like that?!

This winter, at a basketball game, during halftime, there were kids from another school on the court shooting baskets, three of them young men with their hineys exposed in the same way.  My husband, bless his heart, is old-fashioned enough for this to make him really mad.  He cupped his hands, and yelled from the bleachers:  "Pull up your pants or get OFF THE COURT!!!"  They looked up at him, and surprised that someone would say anything, reached back and pulled up their pants.  I then yelled "THANK YOU!".

My son in law, who is former military,  if he is stopped at a light in his big huge work truck, and sees young men with their "pants on the ground" will yell out the window at these punks to pull up their STUPID PANTS....I give him credit for that.  He says that all young men should serve two years in the military once they leave school and there would be NONE of this once a kid has been in the military.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Atop a Mountain...

We took Levi to the top of Round Top Mountain in Huntsville, Alabama for an afternoon while we were there the first week of April.

Spring is a beautiful time to go, any season up there, really is beautiful.

This was the perfect outing for him, not too long, a beautiful day, and enough for him to see to keep his interest--of course, he loves being outside, so it was a delight.

Look around with me, and enjoy this tiny turn of the century village, and living museum...Burritt on the Mountain.

Of course, Levi loved the farm animals.  And we enjoyed showing him!  For a ten-month-old, he is very aware, alert, and curious.

Something about this place is so quiet, peaceful, and relaxing. 

Beautiful views, old buildings all around us, and animals and farm buildings to lend it all the feel of actually being in an old town.

(Check out those adorable little elbow dimples!)

Such a joy to walk around on a beautiful sunny spring day, and enjoy the mountain top views.  This mountain view allows us to look for miles:  Huntsville and beyond.

Out there in the haze we could see the Space and Rocket Center.

My beautiful daughter, her son....and the unborn baby, too!

(This tender moment stole my heart.)

The best part of going places with family....being TOGETHER!