Thursday, December 16, 2010

PULLZ on Etsy

Sweet Vintage!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Slow Cooked Dry Rub Pork Ribs

First off, you may have noticed (or at least I hope you did) that I've been absent for a while. That's because we had the biggest antique show of our year, followed by our annual fall Monster Yard Sale, followed by colds and strep and finally a much needed week long vacation at the beach. Glory! Now, it's time for eBay and Etsy. Anyways, I'm glad to be back.

Every once in a while I just have to have some ribs...good ribs, but alas there is no place to buy ribs where I live, let alone yummy ones. So yesterday I thought I would tackle some myself. I called my sister to get her recipe but it involves BBQ sauce and my husband will not touch it. Come to think of it, that is one of only two things I know of that he doesn't like. No BBQ sauce and no avocado. I know....he's crazy, but I digress. Back to the ribs!

I decided to make up my own dry rub for the ribs. And I just winged it here. I'm sure there are better rubs out there but here is mine.

Slushy's Dry Rub

1 Tbsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Lawry's Seasoning Salt
1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp Onion Salt
1 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Brown Sugar

I followed Robyn's recipe for cooking the ribs minus the BBQ sauce steps and added some time to it. I like my ribs well done. I also added a cup of apple juice and a cup of water to the bottom of my roasting pan. Not sure if it made any difference of not, but it smelled good!

Cut your ribs into singles or doubles (I use singles)
Arrange on roasting pan and bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
Keep pouring off the grease off.
Lower the temperature to 250 degrees and bake for 2 hours. Enjoy.

And we did enjoy them. They didn't last long at all!

Happy day! It's good to be back!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dried Pineapple & Cherry Flowers

Let's just say that my husband and I are really getting into our food dehydrator this year! We've dried apples and bananas and applesauce roll ups. Yesterday I decided to try pineapple and cherry flowers. Even though I dried the pineapple rings and cherries on paper towels it still took forever for the flowers to dry. I wasn't sure the cherries would stay in the center of the rings, but eventually the pineapple dried enough to hold them. Just look at them! Gorgeous! And perfect for Bud's lunch box.

Happy day!


Friday, September 10, 2010

Savoury Broccoli Cakes - A blog worth sharing....

My husband and I sell antiques and vintage wares for a living. I was just signing in to check our Etsy shops and ran across this amazing guest blog by Ele of kitchenist, with a recipe worth sharing! What a cool way to pack in some broccoli! Once you visit this blog you will be hooked! FYI...clicking on blog will take you to The Storque, Etsy's Handmade Blog where you will find the recipe at the bottom of the page. Clicking on kitchenist will take you directly to Ele's blog.

Now, as a side note, we are finally finished with the Hillsville Antique and Gun Show! Hooray! Now we are exhausted and still have one more event next weekend...our annual fall Monster Yard Sale. Once that is over, we will have a little vacation. From now until the second week of October I may not have very many posts. But I will try my best to have something of interest for your, something like this recipe for Savoury Broccoli Cakes! Maybe even some recipes of my own.

So, happy daylight, while it still lasts.


Sunday, September 5, 2010


Okay, so this is what I have my sites on now. Just look at this pile of crap. Sorry for the grainy cell phone picture. Believe it or not, this house is for sale! Yes, for sale! And this is just a tiny little part of the mess piled up around the place. The man who formerly lived there was a hoarder and this pile in the carport is only a small portion of what came out of the house. There is more inside that I have not seen and a barn in the back that is full. It's just like those cartoon closets that are packed full of junk. You pull one piece out and it all spills out. You open the door to this barn and your face is about 6 inches from a 12 foot wall of tightly packed junk. There is no telling what is in there. We offered to clean out the entire house, carport, yard and barn for the contents. That way the family could sell the house and the poor old man who lived there could have some money to pay for his care facility. But alas, the siblings are at odds. Or maybe their father isn't really in a nursing home, but trapped beneath a pile of rubbish in this very carport. Maybe someday we can clean it up, for his sake, for the neighbors' sakes. I mean really, can you imagine living next to this?

Happy holiday, people! And remember, just donate it.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Stuffed Biscuit Cups

This year I volunteered to pack a lunch for my little nine year old brother-in-law, Bud. He cannot stand school lunches except on days they serve pizza or chicken nuggets. That means that there are only about 6 days a month he wants to eat cafeteria food. This is my first time packing a lunch for a child and I wanted to avoid the typical boring bologna sandwich. That being said, Bud is not exactly open minded when it comes to food. He has been raised in a home with a single father who does not cook. So his meals have mostly consisted of canned ravioli, frozen pizza bites, chicken nuggets and frozen kids meals with junk food added liberally.

Luckily, Bud will try anything I cook myself, including all of the foods he dislikes: rice, mushrooms and beans. Still, my biggest challenge will be the fact that Bud does not live with us. That means transporting the lunches and snacks. In addition, I have to make it easy enough for Bud to pack his own lunch in his trusty new lunch box each day.

Now, back to the food! In trying to think of things Bud will like that will also taste yummy cold, I came up with a simple solution: Stuffed Biscuit Cups. I went digging through my mom's old recipes and pulled out BarB Cups, a simple biscuit filled with something like a sloppy joe mixture. I decided instead to make my fillings from what I had on hand to make ahead three lunches this week, all in one whammy. Here are my fillings: 1) Turkey and Cheddar; 2) Mozzarella and Mini Turkey Pepperoni with Parmesan and Italian seasonings; 3) Chocolate Chip with Strawberry Preserves.

I used large canned flaky biscuits and pressed each biscuit down into an unlined muffin tin to make my cups. Then I filled each cup with my choice of toppings. I baked them according to the directions on the biscuits, 12-14 minutes. I baked them the entire 14 minutes to make sure they were done inside. My husband and I sampled them and they are wonderful! I can't wait to try more fillings! Next will be apples and cinnamon!!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Taco Stew

Tonight I took a walk down memory lane and made my mom's Taco Stew. She served this often when I was growing up and it is still one of my favorites. Give it a try. You will not be disappointed!

Taco Stew

3 cans pinto beans
3 cups cubed cooked potatoes
1 large can corn
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, diced
2 pkg. Taco Seasoning
4-8 ounce cans tomato sauce

Brown ground beef and onions and drain. Add everything else and simmer 1-2 hours. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and serve with tortilla chips!

Happy day!

Friday, August 27, 2010


You may have watched that new show on Spike TV. It follows a group of scrappers in Brooklyn, NY as they hunt down and haul off scrap metal of all shapes and sizes. That show really gets on my nerves but if nothing else is on I watch anyway, jealous of all the trash and treasures they haul off.

You see, I haul scrap, or at least I locate it for my father-in-law. He is retired military and loves to tear things apart for scrap. It keeps him busy and generates extra money to care for his son. For me it's the thrill of the hunt. I get a mad rush finding something on the side of the road or on craigslist or through one of my ads. Yes, I place ads on craigslist and, and sometimes I actually get paid to haul of crap for people. My husband and I do what we can to make a buck and we are in no way above hauling a bunch of garbage off.

Say we get $100 to haul off a big pile of junk. It might take a couple of hours to load it, but all the while we are sorting it into donate/sell, scrap, dump. We don't like dumping things into a landfill, so we scrap, donate and sell what we can. And if it costs $15 to dump the pure trash, that's not too bad. Here is a shot of my latest haul. I'm so proud!
You can imagine that not much of this stuff will fit into my Toyota Matrix, though you might be surprised at what I can get in there. Usually I have to call my hubby to come with the Ford F350, which he is happy to do. But I would kill for one of those junker little pickup trucks, the kind with multi-colored paint and massive rust patches. So if you see one cheap, let me know. Free is better!

Happy day!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Slushy and Jill Went up the Hill to Fetch a Grilled Cheese Sandwich - Part I

When I was growing up, grilled cheese sandwiches were a staple. I still love them just as much today cut into little triangles! But I don't just eat the classic grilled cheese; I attack from all angles.

This weekend we are visiting my sister Jill in Fuquay-Varina, NC. She has her own take on a grilled cheese that straight rocks! I've documented it here and in an upcoming post, I will share one of my own versions of the grilled cheese.

This is Jill and she's busy shredding all of her cheese: aged cheddar, smoked Gouda, Edam, fresh Mozzarella and creamy Gorgonzola. She always shreds or tears her cheese so that it will melt better. It is best to shred your cheese when it is really cold, fresh out of the refrigerator. It helps to pop your fresh Mozzarella into the freezer for about 10 minutes before you shred it.

Now, pay attention because this is key to having a fully melted and super yummy grilled cheese. After you shred your cheese, let it rest on the cutting board. Your cheese should be room temperature when you begin to assemble your sandwich.

Another important element to a fantastic grilled cheese is to use a superb bread. We prefer whole grain breads, like this loaf of extra seedy whole wheat bread I picked up at the Elkin Farmers Market.

Jill uses a grill pan to maker her grilled cheese sandwiches but any pan will do. Non stick is best to make sure that your sandwich does not stick. My mom always made hers on a cast iron skillet, which is equally wonderful, unless you have the glass cook top stove.

Next, (not pictured) Jill pours a little olive oil in the pan and sprinkles some Italian seasonings (basil, oregano, cracked pepper) on the oil. On that mixture she places her first slice of bread, which she tops with all the cheeses. On top of the cheese goes the second slice of bread.

After your sandwich is fully assembled, cover it with a flat lid. If you don't have a good lid, use a plate. 

Flip your sandwich and be sure to pour more olive oil and Italian seasonings. You will want to grill both sides a couple of minutes and then repeat. Check to make sure your bread is not getting too dark. Just look at the lovely golden color after the first flip.

Now, behold the gooey, extra yummy cheese melting out the side of this sandwich. To die for!

To accompany our superb grilled cheese sandwiches, Jill made us antipasto: salami, prosciutto, turkey, olives, pickled vegetables and more cheese! Yum!

And now for the finished product served on our Grandmother Matlock's Blue Willow china.....drum roll....Jill's grilled cheese with her home grown blueberries, jewel tomatoes and antipasto. Delish! Don't you want to reach in your computer screen and grab it?

So, what do you think about Jill's grilled cheese? Do you have a special recipe or tip for making grilled cheese? If so, please share them in a comment. Thanks for stopping by. And be sure to keep an eye out for a post about my version of a grilled cheese.


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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Not Quite A Bento

Okay, let me begin by saying that this is not quite a bento. I would call it a bentoesque snack tray and admittedly, it is in no way as lovely or artistic as the bentos or snack trays I have been looking at the past couple of weeks. I made it for my Guinea pig husband last night. Not exactly a masculine meal, but he loved it and suggested I take a picture. So here it is, my first documented bentoesque snack. Homemade cinnamon applesauce, fresh figs, marinated cucumbers, carrot sticks, jewel tomatoes, zucchini sticks, ranch dressing, whole wheat crackers, cheese triangle, ham roll ups, cheddar sheep, and banana and Nutella mini sandwiches.

Not so bento and not so pretty, but I'm proud all the same.

Happy day, peeps!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Elkin Farmers Market

Every Saturday I visit the Elkin Farmers Market for all sorts of amazing home grown, local and organic produce, plants, baked goods, even soap, and believe me, it never disappoints. I highly recommend planning a trip some Saturday to partake in the goodness. And while you are in town, visit some of the local vineyards and historic downtown Elkin for antiques, books and art. The Elkin Farmers Market is located in the parking lot at the corner of Bridge Street and Market Street. Vendors sell their wares from 9am-12pm.

Look at the amazing assortment of produce! Vendor Yer Vang grows fruits and vegetables native to North Carolina as well as Laos, which makes for an interesting display.

Those prickly things at the bottom right hand corner are cucumbers! I haven't tried them yet, but I plan to next weekend! How cool are they?
And you can find more than just produce at the market. Just have a look at the beautiful pottery by Georgie Stone. Doesn't it look like there are little fish swimming on the inside of the pitcher? Lovely!
Here are Eli's new obsession....little colorful tomatoes grown by Poke Berry Farms. They have a name but to me they look like little jewels. When Eli sees them he screams, "More!" In addition to these tomatoes, they also sell herbs and plants. I got my birthday spider plant here.
I am no stranger to these breads. Since weaning myself from buying only the yummy cheese bread, I have sampled the Extra Seedy Whole Wheat and the Raisin Breads. Superb! But I have to say that (so far) the cheese bread is my favorite.
Now, blueberry lovers, here are by far the best and sweetest blueberries you will EVER taste. I don't know what variety of berry these are, but they are like little sugar pearls.They are so sweet that I bought a container after picking 5 gallons myself. Eli loves them. You can purchase these from Ed and Cathy Powell of Blueberries at Cabin Trail. And I wouldn't pass up Cathy's blueberry muffins.  
Anyone that knows me knows that I am obsessed with handmade soaps. In fact, I have a huge stash in a basket in our bathroom cabinet. As soon as I have pared down a few bars, I plan on buying a nice fragrant bar from Carmen Lee O'Dell of Made By Willing Hands. In addition to bath soaps, she carries shaving mugs, soap holders and the like.
And if you are in the market for some beautiful plants, Kevin Campbell has a wide variety to choose from. I just love the ornamental pepper plants he carries. And this fall we may plant a raspberry plant. Kevin writes a blog called Foothill Plant Treasures. Check it out sometime for information about regional foliage.
Enjoy music while your browse the booths. Here is The Couch Family playing Bluegrass Gospel music.
And last but certainly not least, Beaver Creek Farms has some wonderful potatoes and squash.
And here is Yer Vang amidst her fabulous produce! Does she look proud or what?
Farewell for now, friends. Hope to see you at the Elkin Farmers Market this weekend.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


bento boxImage by miheco via Flickr
Recently I have come across an amazing blog! And if you have small children or simply a penchant for dainty and interesting containers, I suggest you visit Bentobloggy.

Since I was a little girl I have been making myself neat plates of finger foods and little cut up sandwiches with a wine glass of Cheerwine or Ginger Ale along side. And I cannot even put into words my love of Hello Kitty stuff. So imagine my surprise at discovering the sweet little bentos Emily creates on Bentobloggy! Amzaing little snippets of food packed into adorable, even chic, containers! Oh joy!

Needless to say, I have been scouring my cabinets and the Internet for these cute little bento boxes and all of the food picks and cut outs. And in the spirit of bentos, I made myself a bentoesque meal Friday night. Sorry, no picture, but I promise to take one of the next little bentoesque meal I make for myself. On my son's little divided tray I served myself carrot sticks, celery sticks, mini cheese triangles, beef roll ups and whole wheat crackers. What a treat! Believe me, I'll be doing this again. And I have a Guinea pig in my 9 year old brother-in-law. He will be sampling my trial bentos before school.

Still I have no bento of my own as of yet. But I have entered the Bentobloggy bento-giveaway in hopes of scoring my very first. Of course, while you are checking out that amazing blog, you should enter the giveaway yourself.

Happy day, friends!

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Two Weeks

Claw Foot TubImage by AnnieGreenSprings via Flickr
Two Weeks

My husband was gone two weeks,
before his father tracked him
down, dragged him back to me,
afro crowned with lint, cheeks
sunken. I ran him a bath, scrubbed
his body, his head, picked the lint out,
the way he picked at the carpet
when he thought I wasn’t looking.

Published in the Summer 2006 issue of r.kv.r.y quarterly literary journal

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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Out with the Neighbors; In with the Jelly

This year we lost some great neighbors to this horrific economy. They are self-employed and had to give up their home this May. We couldn't have asked for better neighbors, and it turns out that we couldn't have asked for better grapes! They left behind a beloved scuperdine vine that we've been watching since they moved out. We expected the grapes to come in in late August, but they ripened early this year, as most things around here have. Thank God there have been no takers on the house yet! Otherwise, we may have missed out on some massive bounty. We decided to pick the entire vine and make our first ever scuperdine jelly this week.

Since my father-in-law is selling antiques for us this week in Crossville, TN at the World's Longest Yard Sale, my brother-in-law Bud has come to stay with us. Bud just turned 9 years old. He helped us pick the grapes.

Keep in mind that we are newbies at this whole jelly making process. We decided to harvest the grapes at 7pm Wednesday evening and it took about an hour to cut the grapes off this one vine. Everyone chipped in, even Eli, until we had to pull him off the grapes. He started eating them out of the bucket...seeds.
I was surprised at the amount of grapes that were on the vine--8 gallons--and at just how heavy they were! Bud was even having a hard time holding them up.
Here is what we were left with after stemming and cleaning the grapes, three big bowls (courtesy of Eli) full.
Like I said, we are novices. By this point it is somewhere around 9pm and we have not washed or sterilized any bottles, lids or rings. Uh....crap! So we bust out the trusty cooker and this is what the bottom looks like: Doesn't it look just like a smiley face? This was my clue to stay positive, the sign that our jelly would rock!
Finally we get all the blasted jars sterilized and moved to cooling racks next to the stove. This might be an excellent place to mention how now more than ever I truly appreciate the convenience of a well thought out, modern kitchen. Ours, while cute, is not one of them. We live in an older house with a stand alone stove and no dishwasher. Love it! But it's not the easiest to work in.
Now, onto the grapes, which we boiled in two massive doses. It seemed like it took forever for them to boil! By this point it is probably 11:30. This is just a guess because by this point in the evening I had already begun to wonder why I chose to begin making jelly so late.
After we boiled all the grapes we ran them through a sieve. I was too tired at this point to remember to take a picture of the sieve. I'm sure you understand. After crushing the grapes in the sieve, we poured the juice through double ply cheese cloth to remove any extra pulp. By this time, it's early Thursday morning and it seemed as though the juice would NEVER strain through the cloth!
Here is my trusty blue funnel through which I poured the yummy goodness of scuperdine jelly. Yes, the pictures of the jelly cooking in the pot are also missing because it was just too early and the jelly was way too hot to mess around with. Anyway, just look at the jelly shimmering in the jar! Ignore the gooey mess on the stove top.
At 3am we finally finished up the jelly. I say finished, but we had only cooked half of the juice we rendered. The next day we made the second half. And on Friday we finished up the final 5 pint batch. Here is our massive bounty. And now is time to give Mr. Daddy Man props for his marvelous design.
So we survived our first jelly making experience and I must tell you that our jelly straight rocks! And I would spend about 3 full paragraphs blabbing on and on about it, but we are in the middle of making blueberry jam as I type this. But I did promise you I'd post this and I'm already a day late. So, farewell for now, friends; blueberry jam to come.