Sunday, September 30, 2018

September Goodbye

Suddenly summer's work is over, and whatever trials there were are done with. My heart is light. No, I cannot lift wings and ride the air currents, and take perilous exciting journeys as the birds do. But I am standing in a new-minted world, summer folded away like a rose pressed in a book. I am a small piece of the universe, but I can step toward the new season knowing that the world begins all over again every morning.
                                                         Gladys Taber
                                              Stillmeadow Sampler

Thursday, September 27, 2018

I Miss These

I miss beautiful fall suits...

     I miss hats and gloves being de rigueur...

Most of all I miss big beautiful cars with all that leg room.

     I miss them.


Monday, September 17, 2018

Fallen Into Disgrace

And take biscuits--biscuits had fallen into disgrace right along with cake. Would anybody eat a biscuit anymore? No way, not on your life. Too fattening! Too much cholesterol! All that white flour! All that shortening! On and on, 'til you could keel over and croak. She'd been born in the wrong century.

Jan Karon's Esther Bolick in
In This Mountain

I share your pain, Esther. I thought about you while I was basting my buttermilk biscuits with more buttermilk before popping them into the oven. 

I know you did finally keel over and croak, Esther, many books later, but I blame that on all those orange marmalade cakes you baked over the years, not the much maligned biscuit. 

After all, my mama baked them her whole life and she's in her 90s now, and she basically used the same recipe I still use, found here.

Sometime I might write a post over on Dewena's Window about my two months of cooking from the pantry...

fridge and freezer...

supplemented with cornbread...

and gifts from our mini-garden...

and generous garden gifts from a brother-in-law...

(our 4th bag of fresh cut okra that gave us many dinners of fried okra...)

(and fried okra salad...)

(and Okra Creole)

And mighty good eating it all was, still...

When I finally was making up a grocery list this weekend, what did RH and I both crave?

Ham and Biscuits!

And was it ever good for Sunday dinner!

I figure that big ham will give us many suppers and breakfasts, with a ham bone left for another big pot of pinto beans. 

[yes, I like ham the color of red mahogany,

And there's leftover buttermilk so I'm thinking of James Beard's Buttermilk Basil Bread and maybe the sweet tea buttermilk pie that looks amazing on the current cover of Garden & Gun magazine.

Now I need to figure out what to do with odds and ends of things left in the pantry. What can I do with a can of condensed milk, a can of cherry pie filling, a box of cake flour, more sardines, and a jar of orzo?

I'll google it.

Friday, September 14, 2018

An Ordinary Day

Just east of Tennessee, these September days are far from ordinary. With friends and family living in the Carolinas and having to cope with Hurricane Florence I think about them all day long, even when I turn the television off.

Here in Middle Tennessee we're experiencing Longfellow's bright September morn so there's an unsettled feeling from it being so very normal here while on the Carolina coast it's far from ordinary. 

Is that why these ordinary September days seem such a gift?

Yesterday morning I went out to our garden to collect tomatoes and two kinds of peppers for the night's salad and a handful of parsley. 

BreeBree and James Mason went with me, the garden their playground, their favorite game hiding from mama's camera, not counting chasing chipmunks and gifting me with dead moles.

We came back inside and did all the ordinary things we usually do, no surprises, nothing that would normally be exciting. We just went about our business taking care of the house and each other.

I put chicken on to poach, the basis for tonight's chicken chili but some reserved for last night's supper of chicken sandwiches. 

I made the beds and put the washing machine and dishwasher through their paces and sat down to pay bills and then do some typing, the kids napping between trips outside to go potty. 

And so our day went.

RH came home and watered the garden and we sat down to supper and our next episode of West Wing on Netflix.

Chicken sandwiches with tomato slices and red bell pepper and the salad we have about every third night during the summer, of Ismail Merchant's chili tomato salad, recipe here, scallions added to his recipe.

Keeping us company was a little person our granddaughters left behind last weekend.

I'm hoping they will come back soon to collect her. 

The Gourmet cookbooks were a gift from my firstborn and the fennel green Le Creuset Dutch oven, a Mother's Day gift long ago from my children, is on the table to remind me to find out where I can send it to be repaired.

I turned it on one day and forgot to add the olive oil to sauté vegetables for soup and suddenly heard popping sounds, tiny flecks of enamel popping loose. 

We watched a beautiful sunset as we ate supper and watched a Christmas episode on West Wing.

Stripes of pink and blue sky grew more vivid while we ate.

It was just an ordinary day.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

September Dew

Dusk Dew. There is a quality to Autumn dew that cannot be found in the dew of Spring or Summer--it sharpens the nostrils, the way a dish of bloater paste on toast edges the appetite of a cold morning. Dusk is the time to enjoy it. In the valley the mist softly gathers and mauves steal across the farther hills. From the ground rise faint and penetrating fumes--the honey aroma of late Phlox, the spice of Yarrow foliage and of Helenium flowers from the near-by border, the saccharine fragrance of a late Clematis star, and overlying all these subtleties, the persistent, sweaty spice of wet soil and damp fallen leaves.

Richardson Wright
The Gardener's Bed-Book