Picnic'N for the Cross County Arts Council, Wynne

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Here's a ticket for Saturday's fundraiser for the Cross County Arts Council.  Tickets are $20 each which will get you dinner and a wine tasting.  All proceeds go to our school programs and scholarships.  Support the arts and the community and show up Saturday, rain or shine.  It starts at 5:30 at Sharp's Florist/John Streeter and ends up downtown at 4 close locations.  There will be a drawing at 7:45 pm for various artwork that has been donated.  The drawing is at the Witcher building where you can top the night off with dessert and coffee. Better pack that umbrella just in case! :)
You can get your tickets from any of the board members,
the chamber or at the door!

Italian-American Meat Sauce, Birdeye

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

This is a sauce that I absolutely love, I'm modifying it to fit what I have.  This recipe is from Lidia Matticchio Bastianich's cookbook, Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen.  It's one of my favorite cookbooks, right up there with Fresh.  This recipe is a cousin of her Bolognese sauce which is to die for.  This one is made with white wine and the Bolognese has red wine, carrots and celery.  They are similar but since Chloe requested last night for some pasta sauce with meat, this one is more 6th grader style, at least I think.  We've had both and I'll have to report if this one goes over well tonight.  I've added photos, as usual, of the garden, Chloe and everything else and fosters.  Have I said spay/neuter today?  It's such a great way to contribute to your community.

Italian-American Meat Sauce, page 144

Two 35 oz. cans Italian Plum tomatoes (I used 2 cans of crushed tomatoes)
1/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions diced (2 cups)
6-8 gloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
5-6 pork neck bones (I skipped this)
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
4 bay leaves
1-1/2 t. Italian or Greek oregano (I used fresh)
3/4 C. white wine
1/3 c. tomato paste
3-4 C. hot water ( I used 3 cups and is a must)

Pass the tomatoes and their liquid through a food mill fitted with a fine disc and set aside (You can skip this if you use crushed tomatoes). Heat the olive oil in a heavy 5 quart pot over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden about 8 minutes.  Make room in the center of the pot, dump in the garlic and cook stirring until the garlic is lightly browned about 2 minutes.  Add the pork bones and cook, lightly brown on all sides about 5 minutes (Skip obviously).  Add the ground beef and pork and season with salt.  Cook until the meat changes color and the water it gives of is boiled away, about 10 minutes.  Continue cooking until the meat is browned, about 5 minutes.  (I drain here but she doesn't) Add the bay leaves, oregano and wine.  Bring to a boil and cook, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the pot until the wine is almost completed evaporated.  Pour in the tomatoes and paste and stir until it is dissolved.  Season lightly with salt.  Bring to a boil and adjust the heat to a lively simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring often, until the sauce takes on a deep, brick red color, 2-3 hours.  Add the hot water 1/2 cup at a time, as necessary to maintain the level of liquid for the length of the time the sauces cooks.  Skim off any fat floating on top and adjust the seasoning.  The sauce can be prepared entirely in advance and refrigerated for up to 5 days and frozen for 3 months.
We had the West Birdeye cousins Sunday morning

Harmon has a ton of baby rabbits..
I think they are mini lops

Here is Tripod...the best momma
cat ever...She's keeping all 4 fat,
sassy and clean.  You can't beat that!

I got this photo via PAWS of Marion...Look at how Teddy's
grown...those are long legs making themselves at home
Ahh...I love the smell of cooking
garlic and onions
Okay people, these precious little guys are so sweet...
Chloe's named them Milo, Millie and Sketcher....they're about
4 weeks now...they'll be ready in 2 weeks then you'll have to
sign a contract that you'll bring them back in 2 months for
spay/neuter at no charge with a rabies vaccine.  Just kidding
about the contract but unless I know you, I'll need your
date of birth, social security number and your mother's maiden
name to let you keep one...a hand shake won't do.  Spay/neuter people!
The cucumbers are coming up..
Joy and I need several bushels
this July to pickle them...I hope these
make it...last year mine burnt up and
some kinda bug ate my squash
If you wanna rabbit, just lemme know!

If you could just smell that....deliciousness I tell ya!

Tripod and her kittens up for adoption, Birdeye

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

We've had this sweet, sweet momma cat now for 2 weeks nursing her 4 babies via the PAWS from Marion.  They've placed so many of Chloe and I's dogs that I absolutely couldn't say no to a nursing momma cat and babies, even though I'm highly allergic to cats.  Chloe named the momma Tripod because of her bum leg.  She's the best mother cat.ever.I.mean.ever.  If you need a loving kitten that's going to be a great mouser, lemme know.  They're sweet as pie.  Last time we fostered cats, Julie spayed and did a rabies vaccine at no charge.  They're to die for, all sweetness...a...ah...chooooo!  :)
They're about 3 weeks old...what a great momma cat...they
just opened their eyes...aren't they just precious???

Garden Update and more stuff, Birdeye

This was our cycling crew Saturday, Chloe took the photo
New BBC riders Jerry & Melissa Harvey, Joy, Kyle (with his
hands up) Beth, Stan, me, Jackie, Johnny and Beverly
Edwards, Cecelia, Kara, Martin, Lisa and Chuck Blanton
We rode about 25 miles and it was a lot of fun

I picked up Friday, this is after a Sonic trip at the park
Whit loves their BLT with mayonnaise, cracks me up, Stella
and Chloe
Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Well today was just beautiful wasn't it?  I spent 5 hours in the yard today finishing up in the vegetable garden.  It is always a labor of love but for the first time EVER, I had the soil and compost I needed, covers for the beds and plenty of seeds and for some crazy reason, a lot of patience.  I am usually in such a hurry because I have such a list to conquer that I get all mad at all the work.  But I started a week ago, then worked again on Saturday and finished up today.  In other words, pacing yourself goes a long way.  I've added some extra photos of Chloe and cousins Whit and Stella for extra fun.  I hope for being able to get on top of the pests and plant eating bugs earlier this year because I have big plans for fruit this year.  Bigger than ever before and I cannot really say why.  I've got my Seven Dust stocked and my Roundup.  Just sayin.

I'm looking forward to spending time with Ben and Mary Margaret this weekend (they're facing a rough surgery in a little while), catching up with the Spidell's in Colorado (she is facing chemo and reconstruction) and Stephanie from home (AJ's rejecting her kidney).  Yes, heavy stuff but these friends are really on my mind and on my prayer list.  (I wish I could figure out Blogger when I add photos...)

I had to take a photo of the bed I have that has 3/4
strawberries in it...I usually can pick in late June but I haven't
gotten a ton of berries at one time, usually a few to just eat
in your hand right off the vine.  I'll have to continue to
rely on the Augusta/McCrory strawberries

5 of my 7 beds...Yes because of Jackie and Chloe's dog,
the Gumball-a-nator and other fosters who I will not name,
dig up all my work (and the fact that you all have seen
what the chickens do in my garden) this year I decided to
cover them with chicken wire for the first time.  I will
have to report back if it works....

Look at the telephone pole, there's one of the
girls roosting in the dirt taking a dust bath,
thankfully there and not in one of my beds...
I planted this bed with three rows of potatoes and two rows
of squash.....Come on sun, rain and patience....

Looky there....that asparagus really wanted
some sun...

This is a bed I planted 5 hills of cucumbers so Joy and I
can do some pickling this summer.  I am forever grateful
that she shared some extra jars of our last summers effort!
I have only one pint left, they were so darn great!
More park fun....
We had 13 kids during Children's Church Sunday with
the wonderful Rev. Anne Hagler from Memphis

Oregano, Rosemary and Mint, Birdeye

One of 2 large oregano bushes..I have lots!

Seeds I started today


I have an entire raised box of Mint....don't buy mint for
your Greek recipes or a Mint Julep...call me
Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I'm creating this post so I can let my friends and followers know that I have a TON of fresh oregano, rosemary and mint in my garden.  I've started cilantro, dill and parsley too so I'll let you know if I can multiply and share too.  But please, my friends, do not ever buy mint, rosemary or oregano because I have so much in my garden.  When you can get produce or herbs locally it saves the Earth and your wallet and send me a message or text and I will get you a plastic bag full of the herbs of choice.  Give me a days notice and I'll leave it at the clinic in the refrigerator.  Happy Spring ya'll!

Trail Riding in Birdeye

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Chloe with Pudge, she's a mare and 18 and a gentle giant

The beauty of being with Tyler is that he's a teacher from
start to finish, helping Chloe with her reins and stopping etc.

Here we are at the Johnston house on the corner.  This was
taken after many a galloping freaking out scenarios.  But
I'm proud that Chloe stayed confident!

Yep, that's my cell phone in my running strap on my arm..
just in case...you knew I'd take my phone!  You never know!
I rode Otis another gentle giant that looks like Spirit from
the animated film.

Tyler taught Chloe how to totally avoid traffic and respect
it while on horseback...

Teacher Tyler and Chloe

This is Blue...He's 9 and absolutely beautiful.  He was totally
strutting and kicking up dust while we went by his pen.
He's the most beautiful animal!

Tyler took us around the barns near the Birdeye Store then
in front of Beth and Stan's soon to be home, then along
Bob Stacy's land to the gravel pit.  Here we are going up
the trail.  It was a great experience for Chloe because we
had to go up and down hills.  She also had to turn Pudge
 around several times as she got spooked from time to time
with all the brush on either side of us.  When I say spooked,
I don't mean rearing and taking off, I mean backing up and
making Chloe spooked.  Tyler continued teaching her how
to control the horse with her reins and legs.  He's a great,
patient teacher.
Sunday, April 14, 2013

A giant shout out to Tyler who took Chloe and I on a 2 hour trail ride today even after being thrown from his horse at a horse show last night in Southaven, Miss.  He said he'd rather stay active than lay around with his concussion.  Yes, that's what I said, "what in the world are you doing on a horse after a fall that could have killed him and his best horse?"  Anyway, his horse will have to go to the specialized veterinarian in Missouri tomorrow, he did something to his shank, and it doesn't sound good at all.  We were sorry about that.  So sweet horse teacher Tyler took us on a ride around Birdeye and we absolutely loved it.  Thank you TYLER!! I've left comments on the photos!

Chicken with Red Sesame Sauce, Birdeye

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Well I've just let the yard go to the dump, so to speak.  I finally had a day uninterrupted to knock it out and I tried.  I should be embarrassed by the things that I let get in my way on my day off, a day that started at 5:30 a.m!!!  After knocking out my Wednesday list, I found this recipe in, you know, one of my favorite cookbooks from Terry Conlan, Lean Star Cuisine.  It's delicious, I tell ya.  I've added some recent photos for added flair.  Spay/neuter people.
Kara and I get our sesame seeds in bulk...this is only 1/2 c.

Holy smokes...the sauce is fabulous-ness

The Teddy on his last night in Birdeye

The only fun photo is this of putting the
Ancho Chile in hot water...this little guy is
the key in the sauce I'm just saying.

We're keeping Wynnie and Layla for Jimmy and Beth who
welcomed Shaver Pogue Huff, 8 lbs. 3 oz. on Sunday...Wynnie
is such the dominant dog...she's a bossy buffer
(look at Winnie Bob's weeping cherry tree, it's beautiful!!)

And W.B.'s daffodils...I'll have fresh flowers for at least another
week...I'm so spoiled and really lucky.

Aren't they just awesome?

My cabbage, broccoli and romaine before I weeded

What a lovely surprise...the asparagus is
coming up and was an excellent side with
tonight's chicken...put a little olive oil on them
with salt and pepper and cook on a cookie
sheet in the oven on 350 for 8 minutes or so.

Here's Layla...that lady has a hair cut like "Foxy Brown"
that's her nickname when she stays with us...look at my
big ole foot!

Chicken with Red Sesame Sauce, page 197 Lean Star Cuisine

"Ancho chiles are dried poblono peppers that are often used in commercial chili powders.  They are available in the produce section or Mexican food section of grocery or health food stores."

1/2 C. sesame seeds (see below the preparation)
1 chile ancho, toasted, seeded, soaked in hot water
1 t. cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
5 peppercorns
1 T. Vegetable oil (I used grape seed oil)
1 clove garlic (I used 2 )
1/2 C. tomato puree (I skipped this and used twice the diced tomatoes)
1/2 C. tomato diced tomatoes (I used a whole 16 oz. can)
1/2 bottle chili sauce
2 C. chicken stock (I did 1-1/2 cups chicken broth)
1/2 t. salt
1 T. vinegar (I used cider vinegar)
1 t. sugar
8-4 oz chicken  breasts (I used 6 tenderloins instead to help the fat content)
Vegetable cooking spray

Toast the sesame seeds until golden in a dry skillet over medium neat. Puree in a blender, then saute briefly in oil (which I didn't do, dang it).

Blend the acho chile, spices and garlic with a little of the chicken stock in a blender and add to the sesame mixture and cook, stirring for 5 minutes.

Puree the diced tomatoes and add the pureed chile sauce.  Add remaining chicken stock until sauce is the desire consistency.**

Saute the chicken breast with vegetable spray in a non-stick skillet and brown both sides lightly.  Add sauce and simmer for 5 minutes and serve with sauce and a sprinkling of sesame seeds for garnish. (**Now since I skipped the puree and used all of the stock and didn't do all of the chicken breasts for this small crew, I had a runny sauce but lemme tell you it was SO GREAT!!! In fact, I had one tenderloin left over and the sauce I love so much I'll have to use it in some Italian way.  I also SERVED THIS WITH Baked sweet potatoes and wild rice ladies....just sayin!)
Here's the transport from Citgo in Forrest City...it took the
Teddy-a-nator to his forever home in New Hampshire.
I'm so thankful to PAWS of Marion for finding a home.
Rescue groups are wonderful....And in exchange, we are
fostering a mother cat and 4 kittens from PAWS right now...
they are super duper sweet kittens, the mother is named
Tripod cause she has a bum front leg...she's the best momma
cat ever.I.mean.ever.  I'll foster kittens as long as I have that
breast feeding momma, just sayin!
Here's Teddy today in Forrest City when I
took him to the Citgo for transport....he's 

He's the cutest darn dog we've fostered from
Birdeye yet...Teddy rocks it!
Chloe's "things I want to be..."
Notice that Chloe has a "key" of her
favorites and what to fall back on...
she's also the worst speller in all of
Cross County...we gotta work on it.
I love to spell and I think I'm good at
it, Jackie's a terrible speller.  The 3-5th
things are a "person who studies diabetes,
person who studies cancer, person who
studies humans"...I love this child.

Dr. Calico was so proud after dinner laying out like this...
Yield 8 servings, if you do that much, (246 calories, 5 gr. fat)

Easter 2013

Monday, April 1, 2013

Yippee!  The Teddy-a-nator is going to New Hampshire
next week....Chloe took this Saturday of him

I cannot believe I only got a handful of photos from
Easter!  It was probably because we had lunch for 31
people after church

Chloe loves photography...

Here's the crew....August, Trevor, Chloe, Stella, Whit
Eli and Austin...this is during the egg toss where everyone
got a water gun and they had a ball running around the yard

When we got the place put up and packed up, Chloe
took Biscuit for a spin...

He loves to ride in this apparatus...

Some of Winnie Bob's daffodils that I used for a table

Me and Beth Huff...She's due April 8 but claims it'll be late
April!  Surely not!!

The Easter Bunny brought Biscuit some treats too...

August found Chloe's Easter
basket during lunch....I love his
bow tie

Here's Jim and Jimmie Barham, Bonnie Sue, Beth, Kara
Martin and Jimmy

Whit brought over some volunteer Turnips to sell and Chloe
had the idea to use her wipe boards to try and sell them
as cars went by...who knows what all the drivers thought!

The Tulip tree on the west side of the house

King Biscuit...photo by Chloe

Gumball, it's a love/hate relationship that I have with him...

Dr. Calico tolerated Chloe dressing him...he actually wore
this dress most of the night

Chloe's self portrait with her beloved dogs
Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter ya'll!  We had a great time today even though Chloe announced that her basket was boring....what?  But church was a ball, we took Julia Shepherd with us and the service was excellent, we had Dr. Rev. Bill Branch who is such a delight.  Then we had the whole crew over for lunch and it was a great time.  It rained during church but then it was a nice afternoon, the kids played most of the afternoon outside.  Lunch was great, everyone brought things and people lingered until 4 pm.  We had a good laugh when Bob and Polly were leaving and Jeanie offered her the ham bone.  For those that know me, I love a ham bone. Not to gnaw on it but to put it in the freezer to season Navy Beans.  And Polly took the one from Christmas lunch so I felt like I was next in line for the ham bone...I kinda looked down and pouted when Polly was THRILLED and needless to say excited about getting Jeanie's ham bone....well thankfully Polly gave it to me (thank GOD)...she did mention that she got the last one.  And she did. I was more than happy to take it.

It was a great time socializing with family and having Bill and Liz there and their friends from Houston.

I'm looking forward to a couple more weeks of daffodils and then getting my zinnia's in the flower bed.  Happy Spring ya'll!
Chloe took this one to DRIVE ME NUTS!  She knows it
makes me a nervous wreck when she climbs up a tree...
See how far she is up there taking a photo of Gumball.
I think we'll be having a talk tonight....