Pumpkin Patch Fun (in Which Cliches Abound)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

 I got the kiddos in coordinating outfits (yuppie mom alert!), and braved the pumpkin patch at Oakes Farm Friday afternoon with some friends.  It was so much fun- I have to admit I was secretly hoping it would rain, being rather apprehensive about the prospect of handling both kids in that kind of situation on my own.  They were great, even though it was nap time.  I was thrilled.

Deeds was driving the big kids crazy- he had to be right in the middle of the action.
Total lack of cooperation for my photo op in the coordinating monogrammed shirts.  Thanks a lot, kids.

Country Ham Pate and Other Burning Questions

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ask and ye shall receive!

Taste of the South magazine calls this Deviled Ham.  That conjures mental images of Hawaii's favorite treat, good old SPAM.  That's what I get for my ever-expanding collection of 50's and 60's cookbooks- SPAM images.

I followed the recipe pretty much exactly.  It's delicious.  Especially with a diet coke and some triscuits. I'm wiping the crumbs off my keyboard as I speak.

We are all enjoying these crisp autumn afternoons so much.  Too bad that the dread Daylight Savings time is lurking just around the corner.  I'm scared of the dark when it arrives at five PM.

Here is the link to the Ebay store where I found my kilim runners.  I am pleased!

My soup bowls are from an amazing potter named Janet Harper (otherwise known as my mama! Ha! ). They are my favorite! Kate, feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you would like to see more of her work.  She is way behind the times (Mama!), and does not have a website.

Okay, I think that about covers it.

Clarification, Weekend Review, and a Fall Make-ahead Menu

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Firstly, I realized I need to clarify something re: the poop incident.  DH was not being malicious or even naughty when she smeared fecal matter on my face.  Shudder.  She was just trying to wake me up and show me that she had an incident.  I think the giggles were a nervous reaction to my horrified face.

We had people over for a casual supper and game watching Saturday for the Tennessee/Ole Miss game.  

 Herbed salami, fig spread, cornichons, French mustard, pickled okra, and homemade country ham pate. Along with crostini, crackers and cheese.  Yum.

Now, this menu is amazing, because it's all do-ahead.  I made everything Friday night, and was completely relaxed when people arrived- even with Dell Harper running around the "grown-up party".

 First up- Kale and Collards Salad from Southern Living last year.
 This salad got raves!  I left out the final bit of lemon juice that the recipe calls for, because I think it's too tart.  Also, I left out the radicchio because Kroger didn't have any.  The beauty of this salad is the ability to make a salad in advance.  And- you can eat the leftovers (which are pictured here- I forgot to take pictures at the party).

 Next up- Ina Garten's Beef Bourguignon:

Classic, upscale comfort food?  Of course a Barefoot Contessa recipe will hit the spot.  Make it the night before.  Simmer all day long.  Your house will smell divine.
 Pictured here are leftovers.  They were delicious as well.

I served the beef bourguignon over creamy stone ground grits (recipe here- cook for 15 minutes, not 75).  To eliminate any extra work, just serve both directly from the stove.  I had two big Dutch ovens full of grits and beef stew, and our guests served themselves.    I usually appreciate the function of my well-used Le Creuset dutch ovens, but parties are a lovely time to show off their good looks as well.

I doubled the beef recipe, and had a couple servings left over.  Judging by the bowls in the dishwasher, about 15 people ate supper.  It was a lovely, cozy and casual dinner- perfect for football and fall.  If only the game had been so satisfying. . .at least Georgia won.

 I got rugs for my kitchen!  Off Ebay.  I love them!  Now just need to get rug pads.

Leigh brought over donuts, and included a special one with sprinkles and chocolate icing.  She got to have it the next morning in return for staying in her bed during the grown-up party.

Okay, running out the door- take kiddos to school, volunteer garden cleanup, birthday lunch for friend, work, and take dinner to a friend.   This post is rife with typos I am sure, but I am going to post it regardless. Apologies!!