Thursday, April 30, 2009

bountiful memories

One of the things I cherish most about growing up in rural Texas is the memory of working in the garden and eating the bounty that resulted. I thought we were poor because our produce came from our pasture and our meat was raised in our “backyard” and sent to the butcher at the end of the summer! Now I realize how rich we were! And oh, how I would love today to be able to harvest fresh black eyed peas, tomatoes, squash, corn, and cucumbers - for those were my favorite. Also in summer there were cantaloupe and watermelon. I was certain I was the only kid in my “circle” who had watermelon without red flesh. And I’ll never forget the plum trees, peach trees and blackberry bushes and the abundance of fresh fruit they provided as well as the cobblers and jellies that were enjoyed as a result of that abundance. Our summer evenings were spent shucking corn and snapping and shelling beans and peas. Mornings and early evenings were for harvesting and during the day Momma would “put up” what we had picked by freezing or canning. Daddy made sure the garden had good rows and not many weeds, and was always ready with a hoe in the event a snake was found hiding among the corn!

I had a quality childhood and I’m glad I’m old enough to realize it.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Next Week's Menu

My family and I need to start eating healthier. I'm attempting to reduce the amount of carbs we eat and increase our fruit and veggie intake. I'm also cutting out Root Beers - my addiction! Here's our menu for next week. It's not perfect, but SO much better than normal!

Breakfast: boiled eggs and fruit
Lunch: Strawberry-Chicken Salad Pocket (100% whole grain pita)
Supper: Swedish Meatballs over cabbage, roasted asparagus, steamed carrots

Breakfast: 100% whole grain English muffin with peanut butter and blueberry spread
Lunch: California Burger
Supper: Baked Chicken breast, steamed broccoli, blackeyed peas

Breakfast: Egg Sandwich (100% whole grain english muffin)
Lunch: Chicken Mango Muffin (100% whole grain english muffin)
Supper: Baked Pork Chops, Baked Zucchini Chips, steamed cauliflower

Breakfast: Peanut Butter – Peach Smoothie
Lunch: low carb frozen tv dinner
Supper: Tilapia, steamed brown rice, sugar snap peas

Breakfast: Egg Sandwich
Lunch: Grilled Chicken and Avocado Salad at KATZ
Supper: Taco Salad

We will be at a concert all day Saturday and will eat sandwiches most likely. but NO Chips! Fresh veggies and fruit and water!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


You have ruined me for all other coffees

Even the acquisition of Sumatran, Guatamalan, and Rowandan coffee on my weekend shopping trip to Central Market cannot turn my mind away from you.

I’ve tried all three of them now, and they are good, but none compare to your bold bouquet, your rich caramel color, the bite at the back of my throat that says, “Ah, now you're drinking coffee, baby!”

Community New Orleans Blend – you will always be at the top of my list!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Central Market

On Saturday Virgil, Stephen and I loaded up and headed to the Central Market in Southlake.

We had a very special tour guide:

My niece, Cathy. (She's holding her niece (and my great-niece!!) Makenna.) Cathy is a foodie and a great cook, and bargain shopper. She got us coupons and pointed out all kinds of great deals.

A few of our favorite finds - all kinds of gourmet homemade sausages (English Bangers, Pork Kielbasa, Blueberry and Maple Sausage, Cherry and Pecan Chicken sausage...the list goes on) and hamburger patties for grilling. To make it even better - they were on sale for $2.99 lb!! And, Cathy, gave us a coupon for $10 off! (Cathy - we feasted on Wrangler burgers yesterday on the homemade hamburger buns!)

We also stocked up on a variety of coffees...Sumatran, Guatamalan, Rowandan...we've tried the Sumatran. YUMMY!

Oh, and Blackberries were on sale for $.99 a package. SO...I made blackberry cobbler.

Here's my recipe:

Blackberry Cobbler

1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
6 TBL. Cold butter
½ teas vanilla
¼ c boiling water
2 TBL. Cornstarch
½ c cold water
1 TBL lemon juice, fresh
3 ½ to 4 cups fresh blackberries, rinsed and drained

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix flour, ½ cup white sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until you get coarse crumbs. Drizzle vanilla over mixture. Stir in ¼ cup boiling water until mixture is just evenly moist.

In a saucepan, dissolve cornstarch in ¼ cup cold water. Mix in remain ¼ cup white sugar, and ½ cup brown sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and blackberries. Turn on heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Pour into 8X8 baking pan. Drop dough onto top of blackberry mixture by spoonfuls. Place the pan on a foil lined cookie sheet and cook for 25 minutes until golden brown.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

My SONshine!

Stephen doesn't feel well today. Feverish, persistent cough..just overall cruddy.

So I just wanted to let him know...Stephen, you are my SONshine! Feel better soon sweetie!

HUGS from Momma!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Granny called them Flags

The irises are blooming.

They are beautiful!

My Granny Roberts called them Flags.

I think that is the perfect description!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Camping Trip

You never know what will happen when you go camping for Easter. Two years ago we went to the Texas Hill Country for an Easter camping trip, and woke one morning to sleet, snow, and freezing temperatures. If you are familiar with this part of Texas, you know this is a rare occurence anytime of the year, much less in April!

This year we went to Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Oklahoma. This is a beautiful area with lots of hiking trails, a nature center, and great fishing. Saturday was a perfect day for camping. The weather was delicious. Virgil and I even took a drive in my in-laws Galaxy Convertible (wish I had a picture to show you!).

We took the kiddos (our son, Stephen, nephews - Cole and Sam, and niece, Megan) on a nature walk. I loved observing the different personalities of each of the children. Sam, who is three, was solely focused on the cacti that could found scattered about to the side of our trail. "Ewww, Cactus!" He yelled at each new sighting.

Megan, age 6, who is studying butterflies in her kindergarten class was thrilled to see a few samples along the trail. I quizzed her, "Megan, why do they have those big black circles on their wings?" "Those look like eyes to scare away predators, Aunt Amy!"

Stephen(age 11) found each and every animal track along the trail and enjoyed having all the kids observe them with him.

Cole (age 11) was determined to find the absolute best skipping rocks. He found 7 and was sweet and showed his sister, Megan, how to skip a couple of them.

All of this made the all night downpour, flooded tent, and packing up in the rain worth it!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday at Seafoodville

Seafoodville is a restaurant in Gainesville, TX. A converted service station with the best, most fresh fried shrimp around. The seating is all outdoors...well some of the seating is covered, but you're still outside. Seating - lawn chairs and lawn tables. There is loud, live music on Saturday nights. Its only competition the occasional train passing by. That's what we enjoyed tonight. A lovely spring evening in Texas, fresh gulf shrimp fried with a crispy coating with the most delicious spicy tartar sauce for dipping, icy cold drinks, and loud Texas music under the stars. I love being a small town girl!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

My neck is disappearing!

I used to have a neck. A lovely, graceful neck. I really, REALLY liked my neck. And's disappearing. My head seems to sit on my shoulders. Like a mocking, maniacal Jack-o-Lantern with a bubble above it stating hysterically, "I've eaten your neck!"