Foodie Friday, A Happy Homecoming & Q and A

Jerry is home safe and sound.  Still sleeping – very hard to change time  by 6 hours.  His flights were smooth and uneventful.  I have biscuit dough 1/2 done and ready for his breakfast or brunch whenever he wakes up.  I mix the fat/flour and put it in the freezer until ready to mix in the buttermilk and cut the biscuits.  I suspect we will spend the most of today just hanging out.  Lots of catching up to do even though we talk on the phone just about every day.  Not the same.  My heart goes out to all the military wives.  I don’t know how you do it.  I really don’t.  I guess we all just do what we have to do.  Some of us are just capable of more.

There is an older man in town that our family is close with.  His wife has been very ill and I called one day to check up on them and he said he was “just making it” – she was in physical rehab from a knee surgery and he went on to tell me they had never spent the night apart for 50 years of marriage and I could hear in his voice he was crying a little – trying very hard not to.  So I cried for him.  Then he had to have a stint put in his heart so they have really had some rough times.  But the way he talks about Mrs. C…well, we can only hope our husbands talk about us the same when we’ve been married 50 years.

So I think I will answer my own questions. That’s only fair, right?

Just out of curiosity, do your real life friends read your blog if you have one? I definitely have one, as you are there now!  Some of them do.  I don’t keep it a secret.

And if you have a blog, why do you? You know I don’t know how exactly to answer that even if it is my question.  I guess because I think I have something to say.  My husband would agree!  I know I talk too much for him.  He’s pretty quiet unless it’s something important.  Yet, he calls me every day from work, because he knows I need to talk to him.  Sweet huh?   But back to the blog: I love reading other people’s blogs.  I like to share stuff.

Are there things you will not talk about on your blog? Yes. A few things.  I try to keep it a real place yet not too much real personal stuff.  I will talk about my husband but you will never come here and find a rant about him.  For one thing, I don’t rant about him.  Nothing to rant about, really.  I don’t criticize him to anyone really.  Sometimes if the kids know we are cross with each other, I will say something like “You know your dad.  You know me.  All is cool…just a disagreement.”  Very rarely have I gone beyond that.  Even with closest friends.

I also don’t talk about my grown children much.  I might brag on them.  But you won’t find family problems here very often.  It would have to be something health related or not pertaining to another member of the family.  I did talk about an incident the girls had at work once and if the other people involved happened to find the post (very unlikely) they would think I had calmed down.  It wasn’t one of my better days and I certainly showed just how angry this Mama can get.  Don’t hurt one of my children. Ever.

I don’t talk religion.  Mostly because your religion is none of my business and mine is none of yours 😉  Plus, I think many of you might be shocked.  AND I don’t want to meet someone and the first thing they tell me is what church they go to or ask me what church I go to.  That is a real turn off for me.  Whatever belief system you claim, I think you would agree we are supposed to meet people as individuals and form our opinions and relationships from that.  I try to keep it real with people.  Sometimes that’s not a good thing for them.  Very few people in my real life know what I believe..

Politics~VERY little discussion of that here!  NOT a safe subject for me.  I am too opinionated and have too strong a feelings about politics to discuss them rationally.  Ask anyone of my close friends who I unload on on a regular basis.  THAT I can rant about.  The only time I even mentioned anything political, I spoke of the White House garden and how I liked Michelle Obama (as a public figure, I don’t actually KNOW her;)) and actually voted for Obama. You would have thought I kicked a kitten or something.  I got some nasty comments and a couple even told me they would NEVER read my blog again.  I pretty much told them to bite my big bum.  It is MY blog after all. It is not that I am ashamed of my political affiliations, I just don’t think this is the place for them.  But I think if you have read my blog very long, you might be able to guess I lean a little left.  Just a little 🙂

Do you find yourself being more cautious about what you say and how you say it? Yes, definitely.  My language is much more colorful in real life.  Surprised?  Not if you know me.  Come on people, they are just words.  And if you think it you might as well say it.  Having said that.  This is a public place and I use my public vocab here.  Well my personal has run all over my public at times….like someone doing something to one of my children.  I might not even know what I’ve said.

And I don’t talk about my husband’s  family. Period.  They have their own stories to tell. I will let them tell them if they choose.  I talk about my family.  I have a close relationship with my brother Butch and his family and if there is anything to tell that I am involved in I wouldn’t hesitate to tell it here.  Same rules apply about “airing the dirty laundry” – not cool. And as you know my other brother, Scott, passed on June 13 of this year and I will talk about him from time to time.  I think about him every day.  Just not anything I care to share yet.

Do you ever stop and think about what your life would be like if you had never been introduced to the world wide web?  WOW…yeah, I might get more work done, but what is the fun in that? I kind of divide tasks in my life (okay this may sound crazy so think about it before you judge me) into two categories.  1)Things only I can do.  2) Things I could hire done.  That is the order of importance. I love the webs.  LOVE ’em.  I am big fan of freedom of speech and the World Wide Web is a real test of that.  You can find anything out there.  And I have found some things accidentally!  And there are some things you can’t un-read or un-see but I still think it should be a place of free speech.  We are each responsible for what we ingest.  AND more than that we are responsible for our children’s well-being so we can’t just throw caution to the wind.  Pay attention!    Likely I am terribly naive –  I have led a fairly sheltered life.  So take that fact and temper my perspective with it.

Do you ever think about the people you wouldn’t have met, even if only online, if not for your computer? OH MY YES.  I have met some of the best (and worst) people.  There are all kinds out there.  And I have a wider view of the world than I ever would have had. I would really like to meet many of them in real life.  Some I have, with wonderful and not so wonderful results.  But that kind of thing happens in real life as well.  It’s very easy to form opinions about people and have expectations of them and then when you meet them, they aren’t what you expected.  That could be your perspective, it could be they only let you see part of them.  The part they wanted to share online.  You have to afford people that.  People do this in all situations.  If you work, aren’t you a different person at work than at home?  Well, same here.  There are very few people in my life that really know me.  All of me.  My thoughts on everything.  Some of my reservations are to protect myself, some to protect them!

I have tried to be honest with my answers.  I could have written more-I have lots of words in my head today! But, Jerry should be up soon and I will need to finish his first meal back home.  Here’s your recipe for today.  Enjoy!

Upside-Down Caramelized Apple Cake

To get a true reading of doneness, insert the wooden pick only halfway through the cake when testing.

1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 cup butter, softened and divided
2 teaspoons brandy
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups all-purpose baking mix
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring after 5 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 375°.

2. Toss apple slices with lemon juice, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon.

3. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over low heat. Remove from heat; stir in brandy. Sprinkle with brown sugar.

4. Sprinkle pecans over brown sugar mixture. Arrange apples in 2 concentric circles over pecans.

5. Beat 1/2 cup granulated sugar and remaining 1/4 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add milk, sour cream, and remaining 1 tsp. vanilla, beating just until blended.

6. Whisk together baking mix, nutmeg, and remaining 1/4 tsp. cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add nutmeg mixture to butter mixture, beating just until blended.

7. Beat egg whites in a large bowl at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter. Spread batter over apples in skillet.

8. Bake at 375° for 50 to 54 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted halfway into center of cake comes out clean. Cool in skillet on a wire rack 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of cake to loosen. Invert cake onto a serving plate, replacing any topping that sticks to skillet on cake.


Thoughtful Thursday Part Two-Woo Hoo :)

A much anticipated phone call woke me up 20 minutes ago.  Jerry is on the plan in Paris!  Tunisia is left behind and in a little while if all goes well he will begin his journey back across the big pond and eventually to this little green house some time late this evening.  That of course depends on a lot of different things and people so today will not only be filled with work but me checking his flight, oh say, 50 times maybe?! The work is welcome.  I always tell myself I am going to finish all my work before the day he comes home but maybe I don’t for a very good reason.  What would I do all day if all I had to do was sit and think about him being 30 thousand feet in the air for 12-13 hours?  I think it might be best to be busy.

I also woke up to two great emails from Amy Pennington.  The first being a note saying she was sorry we didn’t get together yesterday to get a little something done up for you all. No worries Amy! Wednesday was evidently wild all over the place!  Wow, what a great reason to be so busy ~ finishing up her second book due out in March 2011! How exciting!  I am going to put my name in now for two copies one for me and one to giveaway here.  The other email was really addressed to you happy peeps!


Now get over there and get that recipe!  Didn’t I tell you it would be wonderful! Woo Hoo!

See you happy folks on the flip side.  Remember to leave a comment to enter the drawing for Amy’s book.


Thoughtful Thursday Part One & (Leaving Tunisia on a Jet Plane)

Yesterday was a crazy day.  And consequently I didn’t have the opportunity to get with Amy P and get extra goodies for y’all.  But soon, I hope.  It will be wonderful no matter when it happens!  And because yesterday was so insanely busy, I have little time to give the blog this morning.  So much to do before I leave for the airport to pick up Jerry this evening.  All the excuses out of the way, I thought I would give you a little something to think about.  I have this list of things posted on my frig. They are certainly not comprehensive and I could likely think of 27 more that would be worthwhile but, for me, it was good list to start with.  I try to look at it often and remind myself of my own rules.  I also want you to know I fail miserably some days. Some days I do okay.  I think it’s that some days are just more challenging.


I also have some questions for you today.

  1. Just out of curiosity, do your real life friends read your blog if you have one?
  2. And if you have a blog, why do you?
  3. Are there things you will not talk about on your blog?
  4. Do you find yourself being more cautious about what you say and how you say it?
  5. Do you ever stop and think about what your life would be like if you had never been introduced to the world wide web?
  6. Do you ever think about the people you wouldn’t have met, even if only online, if not for your computer?

I will share my answers with you soon.  But I really do want to know what you think. So fess up!

In closing, don’t forget about the photo contest.  And enter to win the wonderful book Urban Pantry by Amy Pennington to be given away Sunday.

Happy Thursday to you all!