Thursday, May 26, 2011

Portrait Painting in Progress

New portrait in progress.  Two dogs sitting with their owner.  Well, so far, I am NOT pleased.  Darn it.  Not sure if the background made the color on the lady look different or what, but it is looking different.  On a good note, the doggies are so cute.  Makes me want a Yorkshire Terrier.  I Fiddle dee dee.  Not sure what to do next.  Guess I will just stare at it and see if anything comes to me.  Can I say crap, snot, snot buggers, Shystola, Crapola?

On another note, sitting here watching Anderson Cooper interview the Governor of Missouri and seems like the people in Joplin are really getting the run around.  Seems like people aren't getting any answers on their missing love ones.  So sad.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Love My Kindle

I got a Kindle several years ago and I love it.  We were going on vacation and instead of taking a suitcase full of books to read, I downloaded books onto my Kindle and WaLah!  I was set for the trip.  I think that today, if you are in Europe, you can download from there.  You can make notes, highlight a word if you don;t know what it means, and it will bring up the definition.  I have to get my Mother-in-Law a Kindle as she is an avid reader.  She gets books from the library in the "big print".  With Kindle, you can increase the font size to whatever makes you happy. Just my Kindle and books are alot cheaper when you download on your Kindle.  Some books are free.  I usually pay about $8 or $9 for a book.  Sure beats paying $20+ for a book.  Although, books like "The Help"...well, that is a different story.  I had to have a hard copy because I simply love the book and wanted it signed by Kathryn Stockett.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Carol's Mom's Chocolate Gravy

Does anyone have a recipe for chocolate gravy?  My friend and cousin Carol's Mom made the best chocolate gravy.  I would spend the night with Carol and wake to the smell of hot biscuits and that faint, sweet smell of chocolate gravy. Neither my Mom nor my Memma made chocolate gravy.  They always made red-eye gravy or gravy that we called thickening gravy (go figure).  So, to have Ruth's chocolate gravy was such a treat.  Ruth, Carol's Mom, was so much like my Memma when it came to cooking.  Ruth and Memma's pots never ran empty.  They could feed an army.  Ruth was the sweetest lady and to put up with me and Carol..well, she was the jewel of the nile. And, I think she rather enjoyed having the two of us around, because once after I was grown, I stopped by to see her and she said, "I would give anything to have you and Carol spend the night here again.  To have you both together, like in the old days."  What a sweet thing to say.  You know, I never called her anything but Ruth---not Ms. Ruth or Ms. Latham...just Ruth.

To Ruth's chocolate gravy and to a terrific lady!  If I could go back in time, I would want to spend time with Ruth and my Memma.

Chocolate Gravy from Paula Deen
  • 1/3 stick butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 2 cups whole milk
Heat butter in a cast iron skillet over low heat. Mix in sugar, flour and cocoa. Slowly pour 1 cup of milk into the skillet and whisk well to remove lumps. Whisk in remaining milk, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick, being careful not to scorch. Serve hot over biscuits.

 Chocolate gravy
3/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of flour
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups of milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of butter

Mix together in a pot the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon (can sift if it’s too lumpy). Add the milk and while stirring cook on medium heat until it thickens. Stir in the vanilla and butter and serve immediately with biscuits.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Peonies in a Cobalt Blue Vase

Okay, I have to get back to painting.  Thought I would share this painting. See if you like.  I have a new project that I need to get started ---- a portrait of a lady and her two doggies.  Got to get to work.

Homemade Biscuits Anyone?

When I was growing up, Memma made homemade biscuits every morning for breakfast.  We had never even heard of canned biscuits.  Granddaddy would have had a duck fit if Memma had put a canned biscuit on the breakfast table.  I can just see her now, that apron on, bent over a bowl of flour, her hands working that dough.  She rolled that dough out with a rolling pin and cut the biscuits out with her biscuit cutter.  I mean to tell you, those were good biscuits.  I am going to get her biscuit cutter the next time I go home.

Biscuit Recipe

2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup butter taken right from the refrigerator - cut into small slices
1 cup whole buttermilk

Preheat over to 450 degrees.  Grease a cooking sheet.
Place flour in a medium bowl, cut in butter with a pastry blender or take your hands and mix it in.  Slowly add buttermilk, stirring with a fork until combined.  Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead 2 to 3 times until dough is smooth.  Pat dough to 1/4- inch thickness, fold dough in half so dough measures 1/2- inch thickness.  Using a 3-inch cutter or a drinking glass, cut out dough.  Place biscuits on prepared baking sheet and brush with melted butter.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
I seem to recall that Memma probably used lard to make her biscuits instead of butter.

My sister and I used to take one of Memma's biscuits, slice in half, put a slice of butter on it, and then a dollop of sugar.  Oh yeah!  We did.

Pimento Cheese Sandwiches / Panini's

How about a pimento cheese grilled sandwich or a panini?  My Memma always made pimento cheese from scratch.  I use a Paula Deen recipe, but of course, like everything else, I add my own touch.  I will give you both versions.

Paula's Pimento Cheese

3/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayo
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (sharp)
2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
1 4 oz jar pimentos, drained
2 Tablespoons chopped pickled jalapenos
1/4 tsp salt
In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and mayo, stirring well.  Add cheddar, white cheddar cheese, pimento, pickled jalapeno, salt, stirring until combined.
Spread 1/2 cup of cheese mixture on bread slice.  Top with bread slice.  Heat panini press, spray with cooking spray, place sandwich on panini press and cook until golden brown (2 to 3 minutes).

Brenda's Pimento Cheese
Add a chunk of Velvetta cheese ---a cup --to the above mixture and I also add pepper.

You can also use this as an appetizer and spread on crackers.

My Daughter, Holly's Pimento Cheese - Really Simple

Go to Publix, find the Pimento Cheese spread in a container in the dairy says "hot" on it.  Buy a couple of these, take home, empty into a pretty serving dish, and say, "look what I made."  It is really good!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Milking a Cow - Nope, Can't do it!

Memma and I used to go down to the barn everyday to milk old Bessie.  Memma would drag up the milk stool and sit down.  She gave Bessie her "cow food" to take her attention away from the milking.  Old Bessie would chew on the corn or whatever Memma fed her and ever once in a while, Bessie would turn her head around and look at Memma.  A  couple of times, Memma let me try my hand at milking.  No matter how hard I squeezed those udders, I could not get a drop to come out.  Memma held those teets at an angle and squeezed.  She always hit the milk bucket.  Sometimes, she aimed the "teet" towards one of the cats.  Once, Memma let me sit on the milk stool and I squeezed for dear life.  Nothing.  The only thing that I got was a slap in the face from old Bessie's tail as she flapped it around and smacked me good.  I think maybe I was squeezing a bit to hard. 
We would take the milk bucket to the house and Memma would strain it.  I remember not really liking cow milk because I just didn't know what old Bessie ate when she was out in the pasture.  And, if she ate wild, green onions, it was Katie bar the door!

So, who out there can milk a cow?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Marie's Payday Bars

I got this recipe from my Aunt Marie.  They are good and easy to make.

18 oz cocktail peanuts (dry roasted)
10 oz. bag of peanut butter chips
1 can eagle brand milk
10 oz bag of miniature marshmallows
4 tablespoons margarine. 

Pour 1/2 of the peanuts in 9" X 12" pan.  Melt margarine, peanut butter chips, pour eagle brand milk into mixture.  Take off of the stove.  Pour  in marshmallows - stir.  Pour over peanuts.  Wet hands and press down, spread remaining peanuts on top and press down again.  Cut into squares.


My friend, India and I drove from Atlanta to Geraldine, Alabama on Wednesday to drop off canned goods, cleaning supplies, toiletries, pampers, blankets, back packs and Lord only knows what we had, but one thing for sure, I could not see out of the back window of the SUV.  We were loaded down.  What a good feeling.  So many people actually went out and bought supplies.  My daughter's neighborhood gave tons of stuff.  What a good feeling to see how people come together to help others in time of need.  Those ladies in Geraldine were so nice and are working very hard for Sand Mountain.

Of course, I couldn't go to Alabama without driving down that mountain to Scottsboro and on to Larkinsville to see my family.  I told my Mother and my Aunts that I might not have time to see them as this was a day trip.  But, I made it and boy was I glad.  They had lunch ready and since the day was cloudy and cool, they had homemade vegetable soup waiting on us.  Yes, hot, soup, cornbread fresh from the over and guess what else?  A peach cobbler.  Yes M'am, a homemade peach cobbler.   I love my family.  They are the jewels of the nile!  They also had made some cookies.  Yummy!

Wonton Sausage and Cheese Delights

I love anything with sausage and cheese.  Sprinkle in some green onions and my mouth waters.  I made a batch of these and everyone love them.  I might add that I made some substitutions to the original recipe.  I used 1 pkg of Jimmy Dean sausage instead of 1/4 pound of bulk hot Italian sausage.

1 pkg Jimmy Dean sausage (hot or mild)

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 bundle finely chopped green onions (I also use most of the blade)

40 wonton wrappers

Brown sausage in skillet, separating meat.  Drain.  Combine sausage, cheese and onion in medium bowl.  Spoon 1 round teaspoon sausage mixture near corner of wonton wrapper.  Brush opposite corner with water.  Fold over corner, roll up jelly roll style.  Moisten ends with water and roll up overlapping ends slightly.  Moisten with water to seal.  Repeat with remaining wonton wrappers.  Heat oil in heavy 3 quart sauce pan over   medium heat to about 365 degrees.  Fry wontons, a few at a time, about 1 1/2 minutes or until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  You can serve with salsa; however, we did not.  We just popped them into our mouths, they were so good. 

Also, you can add finely chopped red/green peppers as well.

Salsa That Will Put Hair on Your Chest or Peter's Salsa

This the recipe that our friend Peter made.  It is great.  This will keep for about 10 days.  You can store this in jars.  Makes a nice gift along with a bag of dipping chips (Scoops).

2 large cans diced tomatoes

3/4 whole onion diced (you know that you can buy this already chopped at the grocery store)

1 bunch of cilantro - Peter keeps this frozen - easier to chop

4 jalapenos (boil)

1 habaneo (boil)

Salt and garlic powder

Put all of this into a blender or food with Scoops - dipping chips


A friend made a big batch of salsa a couple of weekends ago.  It was good, but a little on the hot side as he used hot peppers that he brought with him from Texas.

So, I created my own version without the hot peppers. 

1 can whole tomatoes, undrained

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped green onions

2 cloves, minced

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (if keep cilantro frozen, it makes it easier to chop)

Combine tomatoes and oil in blender or food processer, process until chopped.  Pour into 1 quart saucepan and stir in green onions and garlic.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Cook for about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Home Cleaning Solutions Right from your Cabinet

Home cleaning solutions - I found this article on the internet and thought that these tips were worth a try.  I have seen this before and have tried some of them.

Baking Soda An all-purpose cleaner, baking soda is useful for a variety of cleaning conundrums:

Odor-lifting: Sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom of your garbage bin, or put a jar in your fridge to keep odors away.

Cleaning: Polish silver with one part baking soda, three parts water. Also sprinkle on a rag with warm water to scrub a surface.

Stain Lifting: Pre-treat grease stains by sprinkling baking soda on them directly after the stain occurs. Sprinkle baking soda in the washing machine before you put the load in to increase the chance of getting the stain out.

White Vinegar Its acidity makes it great for removing stains, adding some shine to your windows or glassware and even as a bleach. In the bathroom, vinegar will remove grime around your faucets and tiles. Keep ants away by spraying vinegar along windowsills and doorways. Soaking clothes that smell of smoke in a tub of hot water mixed with a cup of vinegar will get the smell right out.

Lemon Juice Acidic and fragrant, lemon juice can be used to break up soap scum and hard water deposits. Cut up a lemon and rub it along your faucets and hardware to clean away grime. Mix lemon juice with olive oil to create a wood-polishing solution. Throw your lemon rinds in the disposal to clean it out at the end of the day.

Olive Oil Olive oil is great for polishing all kinds of surfaces, including wood, lacquer, stainless steel and brass.

Worcestershire Sauce Do you have any scratches in your wood furniture? Try wiping it down with some good ole’ Worcestershire Sauce before you bring it in for an expensive repair. It might do the trick!

White Bread Bread can absorb oil and stains, so use it to rub out marks on the wall, wallpaper, carpets and artwork.

Club Soda Another all-purpose cleaner, club soda can lift stains and clean countertops. It also works to remove rust stains.

Ketchup Put on a rag and polish copper or brass. Let it sit for a minute and then remove.

Salt Spill something on your counter or stovetop? Pour some salt on the spill immediately; it will absorb the liquid and prevent it from sticking to the surface. The same applies for red wine stains to clothing or tablecloths and napkins.  I am going to try this on a pair of slacks that I spilled red wine on..see if it works.

Corn Starch Sprinkle corn starch onto stovetop or microwave grease stains and let it sit for a few minutes to absorb the grease. Then wipe the stain away. It can also be used to clean your carpets: Mix one part baking soda with two parts corn starch and sprinkle on the carpet before vacuuming.  I bet you could also add something that smells really fresh to this mixture ---like Lavender.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Macaroni Salad - YUMMY

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

2/3 cup dry whole-wheat fusilli
2/3 cup dry regular fusilli
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
2 medium carrots, grated
1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
3 scallions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

185 calories for ¾ cup

Brenda’s Macaroni Salad ---I am improvising based on what I saw YOU KNOW WHO Prepare
Box elbow macraroni – cook per package directions
Vadalia onion, diced
Celery – 1 ½ cups celery diced
2 small Greek Yogurt containers
¼ cup mayo (light)
1 TBSP mustard  (Dijon)
Mix the onion, celery, yogurt and mayo together – shake several drops of vinegar- wine vinegar will do fine, salt and pepper to taste
Mix with the macaroni
Also, if you desire, you can dice a carrot or two and throw in as well as maybe ¼ green and red pepper…all depends on your taste….
I think that will just about do it…

Friday, May 13, 2011

Last Night at Chateau Marmont - Lauren Weisberger

This is a book not to take too seriously, but is a fun summer fling read.

Hey, if you are reading these blogs comment on the books if you have read them.

My Name is Mary Sutter

This book is set during the Civil War and is about a young girl who struggles with the times to be a doctor.  Lot of interesting things about the war in this book. 

Someone Knows my Name

This books is rich in historical facts although it is a work of fiction, a lot of the books is based on facts.  This will melt your heart.  Loved this book.  The story is about a slave that is brought over to America, but actually starts with her capture.  I learned a lot from reading this book.

I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg

That Fannie Flagg sure knows how to write a good novel.  This is funny and a great summer read.  She is definitely a talented story teller.

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

This book was recommended by my son's girl-friend.  WOW, I don't know what to say about this book but that it is a page turner and I could not put it down.  If you think you were a bad parent, read this and it will make you feel pretty darned good about your parenting skills.  Truly remarkable book.

Fireworks over Toccoa

This is such a beautiful story and for those of you in Georgia, yes this is Toccoa, Georgia.  This was recommended by my daughter-in-law and she never misses a beat with her book recommendations.  This story is ...well it is romantic and historical, too.  A bit of Lake Lanier for you! 

Sarah's Key

Get ready to cry.  This story bounces around between past and present  and I am going to tell you, this book will haunt you.  It is about the Holocaust and is heartwarming, but tragic.  I don't want to give the story away, but it is a great read.

90 Minutes in Heaven

I loved this book about a Baptist minister, Don Piper, who is driving home from a minister's conference,  and collides with a semi-truck that crosses into his lane. He is pronounced dead at the scene. For the next 90 minutes, Piper experiences heaven and is greeted in heaven by a lot of people that seemingly has made a difference in his ilfe.  He describes hearing beautiful music throughout his experience and being greeted by various people who have played a spiritual role in his life.

Heaven is for Real

This is another story of a child's journey to heaven.  It is very touching.  I do not want to give anything away about the book, but it is a great book.  However, I think I liked "The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven" a lot better.

The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven by Kevin Malarkey

I read this incredible story about a boy who was in a terrible car accident with his father.  This book is about his journey to recover and his tale of going to be with Jesus and coming back.  You can also follow is recovery process because there is a website with postings about his hospital stay and how he continues to struggle to do this day.  It is a remarkable book and I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dekalb County Needs - Please Help if you Can

I received this list from Phyllis

Ider Rescue Squad
Contact Number: 256-632-2805

Baking soda in the small boxes
Lysol spray
Laundry detergent
2 cycle oil
Bar oil
Super glue
Clothes pins
Clothes line
Large print bibles
30 Gallon trash cans
Comforters all sizes
Sheets all sizes
First Aid Supplies
Sleeping Bags
Camping supplies
Coleman lanterns
Propane Stoves
Small Propane bottles
Portable Grills
Leather Gloves
Sun Screen
Bug Spray
Lawn Chairs
Can openers
Half gallons of milk.
Canned foods
Baby formula
Canned drinks
Basic Baby Necessities
Deodorant Shampoo
Breakfast Supplies

Lots of people still living in tents in the Ider area, hot meals being served 3 times a day here at the Ider Rescue Squad,  the Catersville Fire Station, and at East Brow Church. Coleman lanterns are nice for the people in tents and bug spray too.

Ider Fire Department
Contact number is 256-657-4184 may ask for Michael Flynn (Mayor), Barbara Pillery (Clerk) or Ray Williamson (Fire Chief)

Medical Supplies
Baby Items
Hand Sanitizer

DeKalb County Animal Hospital
They are accepting the following donations at the clinic behind the old Western Sizzlin building

Dog Food—dry is best
Cat Food—dry is best
Food and water bowls
Dog houses
Flea control

DISTRIBUITION CNTR is Dover Mills(Pisgah)

Battery powered lanterns
Pull ups
Canned goods
Candles/candle holders
Manual Can Openers

Geraldine Area

Cleaning Supplies desperately needed

Henagar Baptist Church 
Call Debbie at City of Henagar 256-657-6282

first aid kit and supplies
can food
sleeping bags
cleaning supplies
laundry detergent
fabric softener

Catersville, GA Fire Dept

camping supplies
Coleman stoves
lighter fluid
small tents
first-aid kits and supplies
sleeping bags

solar kits
canned food
cleaning supplies
Clorox wipes

Chestnut Grove Baptist Church
on Highway 117 in Ider

Baby bottle liners
Large diapers
Dust masks

Heart of Sand Mtn Disaster Relief Center 
Sabrina Ledbetter Burns256-572-8936 or Maria Jay 256-506-5568
Old Gym beside the school
Open Monday thru Saturday 8 am to 6 pm
Cleaning Supplies
Basic Household Items

corn meal

plastic utensils
thick garbage bags
safety glasses
manual can openers
men's hygiene items
paper towels
paper plates
toilet paper

Dog Food
Feminine Products
First aid supplies
Adult diapers
Plastic totes with lid
Canned Tuna
Canned Chicken
Work gloves
Razors Soap
Any kind of furniture

Wills Valley Church
Non-perishable food
Baby necessities
Feminine products

Mt. Olive Baptist Church
Blake Community
Paper Towels
First Aid Supplies
Plastic forks/spoons/etc
Hand Sanitizer

Fyffe Church of God
Non-perishable food
Pre packaged foods
Take out plates
Plastic forks/spoons/etc.
Fyffe Senior Center
Baby Wipes

Rainsville Church of God
Drop off at Orchard Lanes Bowling Alley Rainsville
EMA numbers are 256-845-8569 or 256-997-8569

Totes with lids
Work Gloves
Baby Wipes
Adult Diapers
Paper Towels
Cleaning Supplies
Paper Plates
Plastic utensils

City of Rainsville
Drop Off Location: Section City Hall 

New underwear
Socks (all sizes)
Personal hygiene items

Comfort Packages
I think these would be wonderful to be able to just hand a single bag to someone who would love to just pick up a book and have a nice read to take their minds off the situation at hand. Only if for a short moment.
Items include:
A small pillow
Individual sized lotions
Feminine products

Ider Community Center
Adult Diapers
Bed pads for elderly
Children’s Drinks
Children’s comfort items
Corn meal
Plastic utensils
Thick garbage bags
Safety Glasses
Manual Can Openers
Batteries all sizes
Men's hygiene items
Feminine products
Items for those in need available here!
Sand Mountain-Bryant/Higdon/Flat Rock Areas--Ebenezer Baptist Church, Higdon Holiness Church, Higdon Baptist Church, and Flat Rock Ruritan are all set up to help those in need...if you can't transport, let us know and we will do everything we can to get it to you.
Henagar Baptist
Andrea Wilson

Items Available for those in need
Clean Up Kits
Other Items

If you would like to have an announcement run on Channel 21 in Fort Payne concerning any kind of Relief Effort please send me a email and I will get it aired. I have multiple videos on my WOLW fb page containing info about several relief efforts.

Rainsville Fire Hall
Is serving food if anyone wants to eat. They serve 3 meals a day.
Broadway Baptist Church
They have diapers, food, clothing, new shoes & other essential items available to anyone who needs them.   For food, diapers and essential items go to the fellowship hall in the new building (at the back of the church). For clothing and shoes, go to the Hope House which is behind the old Rainsville Funeral Home.
Serving hot meals from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. and from 5-7 p.m. They have a drive through pickup for food. Volunteers over 16 are needed.. Volunteers should be on hand by 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Another group of volunteers is needed from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Ider Baptist Ministry Center
has clothes, food, household items, diapers and other baby items, tools for anyone in need. We are located in the old daycare building across from Ider Baptist Church on Dogwood Drive.

Red Cross
The Red Cross has added fixed feeding sites at
Henagar School
Chestnut Grove Baptist Church in Ider
Ider Rescue Squad
Beulah Baptist Church in Lakeview
Fyffe Church of God in Fyffe
Church of Nazarene in Cartersville
Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Trenton, Ga.
Orchard Lanes
Anyone wanting to volunteer time and efforts toward disaster cleanup may report to the southwest corner of the parking lot at Orchard Lanes on Highway 75 north in Rainsville. That command center has moved from the Rainsville Fire Hall. Anyone needing help cleaning up debris may call 256-638-1421 on Monday, May 9th.

Rainsville Church of God
 If you need help call 256-601-1120.

Fyffe Church of God
Tony Thomas pastor 256-623-2440 or 205-415-0270

If you need food, water, ice and other supplies.
To donate items go by or call.
Serving Lunch 11:30 to 12:30
Serving Supper 4 pm to 6 pm

Heart of Sand Mountain Disaster Relief
Geraldine Alabama (located in old Geraldine High School Gym, beside school, in front of football stadium)
Please do NOT contact school, contact #'s are Maria @ 256-506-5568 or Sabrina @ 256-572-8936
Fully stocked with disaster relief supplies.

Ider Rescue Squad
They have laptops with internet service and printers until May 13th.
May charge cell phones while they are at the Rescue Squad.

Flat Rock Community Club
Susan Strickland 256-657-8598
Salvation Army is set up here until May 13th.
Canteen will be open as long as needed.

Mt. Olive Baptist Church
Blake Community

Has food, diapers, water & ice.

Phylliss Payne, RDA