Southern Help for Single Gals

Submitted by Christi
Me being happy with my husband.

Me being happy with my husband.

Okay, I’m finally going to do it. I have said for years that I needed to write a book for single women on dating. After a nasty breakup (back in my dating days), I was really in a funk. A male friend of mine laid it on the line for me and gave me a “system” to dating that gave me back my confidence and helped every relationship I had with men from then on. This friend had been a football player so he kind of put it in football terms but that was okay because I like football and it made sense to me. I’m going to write about this system and hope that it will help others women with their dating relationships.

Actually, my best friend, Jay Richey, and I had kind of started on this book back in 2005. She was battling breast cancer at the time but we worked on it when we could. She lost her battle with breast cancer on Christmas day of 2005. I put the book idea away for a long time after her death. Now, I’m ready to write it and remember her and her great ideas. We actually had thought we could write a comedic book about our dating experiences and laughed and laughed talking about them.

If you are single or have single friends, keep watching. I’ll keep you posted.

Today’s Lagniappe: Travis Avenue Goulash
(from Travis Avenue Baptist Church Cookbook)

Note from the cookbook: Back in 1938 it was customary for the different Sunday school classes to take turns serving lunch to the WMU ladies on Tuesday. One Tuesday morning only two frightened young brides reported for kitchen duty but Mable Estes saved the day by furnishing Dorothy Sanderson and Jackie Meeks with the following recipe and showed us how it was made.

1 pkg. macaroni cooked and drained
1 lb. ground beef, fried
1 can tomatoes
1 lg. onion , diced
1 lb. diced cheese

Cook and drain macaroni. Add 1 pound browned ground beef. Add 1 can tomatoes and 1 large onion diced. let simmer. just before serving, add 1 pound diced cheese. With a salad, drink and dessert, it makes a very good meal.

Southern Mardi Gras Plans

Submitted by Christi


My neighbor and friend Darlene and I are planning a Mardi Gras party. We have formed our own Krewe. Since we are located in Arkansas we are the Royal Krewe of RazorBacchus. We are doing a toned-down version of the Cajun Courir where the revelers go from house to house begging for ingredients for the communal meal. We are just having everyone bring their favorite mardi gras dish and then we will secretly vote on the best. We have 3 different categories: Cajun, Creole and Southern.

I love planning parties and am really looking forward to this one. After the ice storm we need to celebrate! That is one thing I love about the South, our willingness to celebrate anything.

I’m reminded of a trip to New Orleans with my nephew’s lovely bride’s parents from New Jersey. After a couple of days in New Orleans they told us they now knew why the South lost the Civil War (also known as the War of Northern Aggression). It was because, from what they could see, we were too busy having a good time!

Celebrate today – after all, it is Friday-eve!

Today’s Lagniappe: Crab Balls
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen via Food Network
about 2 dozen
• Peanut oil, for frying
Tartar Sauce:
• 1 cup mayonnaise
• 1 white onion, chopped
• 1/2 cup dill pickle chips, chopped
• Fresh lemon juice
• Pinch House Seasoning, recipe follows
• Freshly ground black pepper
Crab Balls:
• 2 slices bread, crust removed and processed into crumbs
• 1/3 cup heavy cream
• 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
• 1 teaspoon House Seasoning, recipe follows
• 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
• 1 egg, beaten
• 1 pound lump crab meat, picked free of any shells
In a heavy, deep pot, preheat peanut oil to 365 degrees F.
For the tartar sauce, combine all ingredients into a food processor and blend to achieve desired chunkiness, adjust seasoning and chill until ready to use.
For the crab balls: In a large bowl, moisten bread crumbs with heavy cream. Mix in remaining ingredients. Shape into balls about the size of a walnut. Fry in oil until brown, about 5 minutes per batch. Serve Crab Balls while hot, with tartar sauce. Balls can also be made ahead of time and reheated.
House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Southern Daddy Comments

Submitted by Christi


I have enjoyed so much reading comments and emails about the Southern Daddy-isms post. It is amazing to me how many lives my Daddy’s life touched. I believe he touched so many lives because he cared about people. I remember when he was in the hospital before he died, telling me how it is important that people know you care about them.

I have taught etiquette classes about what fork to use and how to introduce people but I think that what Daddy said is probably the essence of grace and good manners – care about people. I continue to be amazed at how blessed I am to have the people in my life that I have and have had.

I think the caring aspect is what “Southern Hospitality” is all about. A smile and a wave to a stranger in passing, showing up with a casserole in times of trouble, making people feel welcome in our homes.

Here is a Southern challenge for you: show kindness to at least one stranger a day for one week.

Today’s Lagniappe:  My Favorite Banana Nut Bread

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
3 mashed bananas
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Cream sugar and butter, add eggs, beat well. Sift in flour, soda, cinnamon and cloves, beat well. Mix in bananas and nuts. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake 1 hour at 325 degrees.

Great with a hot cup of coffee!

Southern Ice – Post Mortem

Submitted by Christi

Some of the damage. More pictures will be posted later today.

More pictures at - Click on picture to view.

After 7 days without power I am amazed with small things. This is the longest I have ever been without power so if you have had this kind of experience, bear with me. We are so enjoying a warm room. Now, we had a couple of warm days and the house even got up to 54 degrees at one point. The nights are the worst. It gets dark around 6:00 p.m. and then what? We were going to bed around 8:30 and it was a chore to stay up until then. Life got really simple. It was just basically about staying warm.

The storm came in Monday night, January 26th. We had power part of the day on Tuesday then we were out. We heard a lot of cracking and then crashing of limbs. It was the only noise for a couple of days. Then we heard the hum of generators and the buzz of chain saws.

The upside of this is that we have gotten to know our neighbors better. We all pulled together and watched after each other. We stood in the street together talking and laughing. We had neighbors knocking on our door just to keep in touch and we did the same.

I often take my dog on walks and wave and talk to neighbors but not like I did this last week. When we ran into neighbors everybody wanted to know if you had power and how you were keeping warm and how you were able to eat. We shared stories and wishes for good luck. In that sense, I think it was worth it. I’ll say that now that it is over (except for the cleanup) but it was rough going. Around our house we are really hooked into technology. Getting our computers back on was kind of overwhelming after 7 days off.

Things I don’t really think about and didn’t know I’d miss:

  • Forecasts and temperature on command
  • Reading by lamplight
  • Warm rooms
  • Soft bed (we slept on the floor in front of the fire)
  • Food from the fridge
  • Light after dark
  • Email
  • Cell Service (ours was on and off)
  • Washer and Dryer (I don’t like to do laundry but I really like clean clothes)
  • Coffeepot with a timer (ready when you get out of bed)
  • TV
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Light in the bathroom when you get up in the middle of the night
  • The garage door opening
  • Dishwasher
  • Garbage disposal

You get the idea. So . . . now, on with life. And that is what it is really all about, isn’t it? We deal with the difficulties and then we move on. There are still many without power that we should all keep in our prayers.

Our neighbor's dog, Harley, keeping warm in his snazzy coat.

Our neighbor's dog, Harley, keeping warm in his snazzy coat.

Today’s Lagniappe: Barbeque Shrimp

  • 2 pounds butter (Yes, you read right. Two pounds. Eight sticks. Don’t whine. This feeds 8 – 10 people! DO NOT use margarine! Real butter only.)
  • 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning, to taste; OR
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper and 3 – 4 teaspoons black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 ounces good beer
  • 5 – 10 cloves garlic, finely minced (or as much as you like)
  • 1 medium onion, very finely minced
  • 3 ribs celery, very finely minced
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 5 pounds shrimp, heads and shells on

Melt a stick of the butter in a skillet. Saute the garlic, onions, celery, parsley, rosemary and seasoning blend for about 2 – 3 minutes

Melt the rest of the butter. Add the beer (drink the rest of the bottle). Add the sauteed stuff, Worcestershire and lemon juice.

Drown the shrimp in the seasoned butter, using as many baking dishes as you need. Make sure the shrimp are more or less submerged. If they’re not … melt more butter and add to the sauce. (Aah, what the hell … what’s another stick or two when you’re already up to these butterfat levels?) Bake in a 350 degree oven until the shrimp turn pink, about 15 minutes.

Serve in big bowls. Put in a handful of shrimp and ladle lots of the spicy butter sauce over it. Roll up your sleeves and wear a bib (DO NOT wear nice clothes when eating this!) Serve with plenty of French bread to sop up da sauce!

Try to avoid going to have your cholesterol and triglycerides taken for a few weeks afterward. Remember that this is a special treat. Don’t eat this all the time if you want to live. But hey, every now and again … LIVE!

Southern Ice – Power Off Day 7

Submitted by Christi

I’m at a friends house posting this just to let everyone know I haven’t disappeared. We are currently on day 7 of no power. Heaven help us. I have a lot of pictures that I will post when we have power on at home.