Southern Kabobs

Submitted by Christi

One last entry from our trip to Vicksburg. While we were there, we were honored to stay with Richard and Susan Price. Susan was a classmate of my husbands at All Saints. Susan treated us to a lovely dinner while we were there of chicken kabobs, rice, home grown tomatoes with olive oil, basil and feta cheese and hot bread. This wonderful meal was completed with delicious strawberries over pound cake topped with whipped cream.

Here are the kabobs:

Chunks of chicken breasts that were sprinkeled with Grill Mates Hawaiian Seasoning and then threaded with pineapple, green bell peppers and onions then grilled. YUM!

Thanks Richard and Susan for a delicious and gracious meal at your home.

I am going to try a variation on this theme next week with pork tenderloin. I’ll let you know how that turns out!

I also made it to the farmer’s market this week and found these wild blackberries. What better to pair them with than Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice cream? See how the bowl is frosty?


I added a little sugar and let them set and then poured them over the ice cream.


Now that is some yummy summer goodness!

See a lot of other goodies over at Gollum’s, specifically Designs by Gollum

Today’s Lagniappe (pronounced lan-yap – lagniappe=something extra) Blackberry Freezer Jam

The lady I bought the blackberries from said she was going to be picking some more. Gotta use ’em somehow!

<3-1/4 cups prepared fruit (buy about 2 qt. fully ripe blackberries)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 box Pectin
1 cup light corn syrup
4-1/2 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl

RINSE clean plastic containers and lids with boiling water. Dry thoroughly.

MASH blackberries thoroughly, one layer at a time. (Press half of pulp through a sieve to remove some seeds, if desired.) Measure exactly 3-1/4 cups prepared fruit into large bowl. Stir in lemon juice.

STIR pectin into prepared fruit in bowl. Let stand 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Stir in corn syrup. Gradually add sugar, stirring until well blended. Stir an additional 3 minutes or until sugar is completely dissolved and no longer grainy. (A few sugar crystals may remain.)

FILL all containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; immediately cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or freeze extra containers up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator before using.

Southern Seashells

Submitted by Christi

Wow, this has been a busy week. I haven’t gotten around to everyone as I usually try to do. I’m hoping I’ll have more time Thursday and Friday.

In the meantime, I’m so grateful to my friend Darlene for helping me out on this weeks tablescape. Darlene and her husband Mike have a sailboat and they love sailing. Darlene has a lot of nautical decor and she kindly loaned me some of her treasures for this weeks table. Thanks Darlene!

Also, of course, thanks to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting Tablescape Thursday!

So, here we go!


A lighthouse, seaglass and a few other gems from Darlene’s collection take center stage on this table.

It turns out, I don’t have a tablecloth in the shade of blue I would have liked to use, so, I used this green.


White plates with seashell pink napkins and Darlene’s collection of seashells at each plate.



How about this guy and his delicious load?


A seagull on the rocks, some fish netting and sea glass bouy near the light house.


The top of the lighthouse holds a tea light.


Even the bird feeder got in on the nautical act!


Love the little boat going by. It is actually a napkin holder.


This menu definitely calls for seafood!



Meet you at the dock!

Today’s Lagniappe (lagniappe – pronounced lan-yap=something extra) Crab Dip

1 lb. lump crabmeat
1 package of cream cheese
Approximately 8 Tbsp. seafood cocktail sauce
Crackers (nice ones that won’t crumble easily)

Put the cream cheese block on a serving dish, Let it soften for a few minutes, flatten a bit. Pour the crabmeat over the cream cheese. Pour the cocktail sauce over the crabmeat. Provide crackers and knives for people to scoop the crabmeat, cream cheese & sauce onto crackers.

Southern Trip

Submitted by Christi

Today, I’m still sharing some of our quick weekend trip to Vicksburg, Mississippi. If you have been following along this week, you know that we were there to visit my husbands high school, All Saint’s Episcopal. The school opened in 1908 and closed in 2006. He was there to talk to other alumni about the upcoming celebration of the school and deconsecration of the alter in the chapel. The school has been leased by Americorp and the campus will be used as a training center.

Bratton Memorial Chapel

Bratton Memorial Chapel

I love the gothic arched doorway.

I love the gothic arched doorway.

Across from the chapel is the rectory where the headmaster lived. This is where the alums met and where we enjoyed that delicious shrimp remoulade for lunch.

Across from the chapel is the rectory where the headmaster lived. This is where the alums met and where we enjoyed that delicious shrimp remoulade for lunch.

This is Green Hall. It housed classrooms and resident students. My husband lived on the top floor.

This is Green Hall. It housed classrooms and resident students. My husband lived on the top floor.

Another view of Green Hall.

Another view of Green Hall. My husband tells me in his day this porch was lined with rocking chairs.


I’m sure all of the students who attended All Saint’s will really enjoy their reunion in November. It looks like it will be a wonderful celebration for all of them.


Join Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday!

Today’s Lagniappe (lagniappe=something extra): Scalloped Okra with Corn

The okra in my garden is starting to come in. My favorite way to eat okra is fried, but, here is a great recipe that is a little different.

  • 2 cups sliced fresh or frozen okra
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 can (11 to 15 ounces) whole kernel corn, or about 1 1/2 cups cooked corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs

Stir-fry okra in 2 tablespoons butter for 10 minutes. Place in baking dish alternating layers with drained corn. Make a white sauce by melting remaining butter in a saucepan over low heat and blending in flour. Milk should be added all at once, cooking quickly and stirring constantly. Cheese is stirred in until blended. Pour this mixture over vegetables. Melt remaining 1 or 2 tablespoons of butter and toss with bread crumbs. Sprinkle buttered crumbs over casserole. Bake at 350° for approximately 45 minutes, until the casserole is heated through and the crumbs are brown.

6 to 8 servings.

Southern Shrimp Remoulade

Submitted by Christi

As I mentioned last Friday, I went to Vicksburg, Mississippi this past weekend. My husband graduated high school at All Saint’s Episcopal School in Vicksburg. The school was founded in 1908 and closed in 2006. The school is planning a service and celebration this fall. My husband went to be a part of the planning. The planning meeting was held at the All Saint’s Rectory where the headmaster lived. One of the former headmasters was Father John Jenkins.

After the meeting, we were treated to a wonderful lunch prepared by Father Jenkins and his wife. It was a delicious Shrimp Remoulade.


It was served with cheese straws, cookies and, of course, iced tea. It was very good. It was served over a bed of lettuce, two slices of tomato and some sliced avacado. My remoulade sauce is a little spicier than Father Jenkins. His had dill in it as well.

This is my version of remoulade sauce which I have actually posted before as a lagniappe. Here it is a 2nd time around:

Use in amounts that suit your tastes

  • Zatarains creole mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Red chili sauce (not much)
  • Horseradish
  • Worcestershire sauce (a dash)
  • Garlic

Mix together. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Now, just boil some good Gulf shrimp with Zatarain’s crab boil and lemon. Place the cooled shrimp over lettuce, a couple of slices of home grown tomatoes, sliced avacado and then top with the remoulade sauce and you will have a delicious treat!

Today’s Lagniappe (lagniappe=something extra): Chef John Folse’s Shrimp Remoulade
Another version of the yummy stuff! This recipe has more ingredients but I have made it and it is delicious so I wanted to pass this along to you.

  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Creole mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce (Chef Folse likes Louisiana Gold, but Tabasco will do)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced green onions
  • 1/4 cup finely diced celery
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • 3 dozen 21-25 count boiled shrimp, peeled and deveined

In a mixing bowl, combine all of the above ingredients, whisking well to incorporate the seasonings. Once blended, cover and place in the refrigerator, preferably overnight. A minimum of four hours will be required for flavor to be developed. When ready, remove from refrigerator and adjust seasonings to taste. Place six shrimp on a leaf of romaine or other colored lettuce and spoon a generous serving of remoulade sauce on top of the shrimp. Do not sauce shrimp prior to service, as they will lose their firm texture. Serves 6.


It’s a four-for Tuesday! Join these great blogs for more recipes and great ideas.

Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More Tuesday

2nd Time Around with A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Southern Metamorphosis

Submitted by Christi

Sunday, my wonderful husband and I took a little drive. We enjoy driving out to the lakes or down to the rivers here in our little neck of the woods. We are always struck by the transformation of this house:


It went from this (see above). To this:



Isn’t that amazing. I’ll try to get more pics for future posts but it really  is wonderful what they did to this place. Before it was about to fall down. Now, what you have to know is that this place had to keep at least one wall in tact while remodeling/rebuilding. This is due to the fact that it is on septic. We won’t get into all the nasty details about that. Apparently, they moved the walls within several times before the final product. So glad this old gem was saved. It has a spectacular view of the lake from the back deck and, if for now other reason, it should be saved for that!

Today’s Lagniappe (lagniappe=something extra): Boat Dip:
If your going to live by the lake, you need to have a boat, or, at least, this boat dip!
1 pint sour cream
1 Cup Mayonnaise
1/3 Cup chopped green onion
2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning

Combine ingredients. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or more. Serve with cut-up fresh vegetables and potato chips.

Southern Retro

Submitted by Christi

Back in the late 80’s my little sister got married. Before her wedding, my Grandpa’s wife, Betty, hosted a beautiful bridesmaid luncheon in their home. Betty is a wonderful person and a most gracious hostess. For this luncheon, she served this unbelievably delicious chicken dish. Recently, I asked my sister if she still had the recipe. She told me she had made it many times and she sent it to me with her notes.


4 chicken breast, cooked and cut into small pieces (I usually use 5)
1 2oz. Jar pimientos
1 8 oz can sliced water chestnuts
½ cup slivered almonds
¼ tsp. Celery salt
dash of pepper
2 TBsp. Lemon juice
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup cream of chicken soup (or mushroom)
1 3 oz. Can onion rings

Mix chicken, pimientos, water chestnuts, almonds, celery salt, pepper, lemon juice, mayonnaise, and chicken soup. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with onion rings and bake for another 20 minutes. (Serves 4)

This is a really good recipe if you are cooking for a luncheon.

Here are some pics from the shower (remember, this was around 20 years ago!).

Here I am (on the left) with my little sis', Linda

Here I am (on the left) with my little sis

And here with both my sisters (from left to right: me, Linda and our big sis' Tammy)

And here with both my sisters (from left to right: me, Linda and our big sis' Tammy)

How do you love the big hair?!

Alright, I’m outa here. Headin’ to Vicksburg, Mississippi this weekend. My husband attended All Saint’s Episcopal School there and we are going to meet with some people about a reunion planned for the fall. Happy Weekend everyone!

Want to find some great recipes? Head on over to Foodie Friday with Designs by Gollum!


Today’s Lagniappe: Linda’s Holiday Chicken Salad
My sister, Linda also sent me the recipe for this casserole that she says is wonderful. Haven’t had a chance to make it yet, but, trust me, if she says it is good, it is!

Stew 4 chicken breast ( I usually do 5) reserve broth

Combine ½ cup melter butter
seasoning packet
2 Stove Top Stuffing mix ( I use wild rice)

Combine 2 cups sour cream
2 cans cream of chicken (or mushroom) soup
1 ½ cups broth

In 9 X 13 dish:
1. put layer of crumb mixture
2. chicken
3. liquid mixture
4. remaining crumbs
5. top with slivered almonds (don’t add until ready to cook, if your freezing)

Bake at 350 30 minutes

Southern Lunch

Submitted by Christi


Once again it’s Tablescape Thursday with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. Check out all the fun and pretty tables there!

My husband and I usually have our morning and evening meals together but lunch is often a do it yourself affair. Here is a placesetting for one, perfect for just sitting down to relax and read a good book and enjoy.


Florals, strips and dots! Three of my favorite things.



A closeup of the dots on the napkin.


And, the placemat.


The zinnias are from my garden.


The table is in front of my a couch in my living room. Actually, it is not a table but a small chest.

Now, what to have for lunch?

Today’s Lagniappe:  Ina Garten’s Shrimp Salad

  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 lemon cut into quarters
  • 4 pounds large shrimp in the shell (16 to 20 shrimp per pound)
  • 2 cups good mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white wine or white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons minced fresh dill
  • 1 cup minced red onion (1 onion)
  • 3 cups minced celery (6 stalks)

Bring 5 quarts of water, 3 tablespoons salt, and the lemon to a boil in a large saucepan. Add half the shrimp and reduce the heat to medium. Cook uncovered for only 3 minutes or until the shrimp are barely cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl of cold water. Bring the water back to a boil and repeat with the remaining shrimp. Let cool; then peel, and devein the shrimp.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, wine or vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and dill. Combine with the peeled shrimp. Add the red onion and celery and check the seasonings. Serve or cover and refrigerate for a few hours.

Southern Peace

Submitted by Christi

Sometimes we live in an anxious world. We live in a world with sickness, war, unemployment, bills, well, you get the picture. Sometimes it is just good to stop and see the beautiful world around us and be reminded of God’s blessings. Here are some of the  photos that I’ve taken that remind me that I am blessed.

This guy was eating the leaves of a tree. His horns are growing beautifully.

This guy was eating the leaves of a tree. His horns are growing beautifully.

Taking a snack to go.

Taking a snack to go.

A spider weaving a web.

A spider weaving a web.

Fog over the lake.

Fog over the lake.

Isn't he handsome?

Isn't he handsome?

Children playing.

Children playing.

A nice place to perch.

A nice place to perch.

The evening sky after a rainshower. I thought it looked like it was on fire.

The evening sky after a rainshower. I thought it looked like it was on fire.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understand, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Check out all the outdoor photos over at A Southern Daydreamer


Today’s Lagniappe: Cha Cha Chicken Salad

From an old Southern Living cookbook. I’m not a big fan of curry so I would leave that out, but, that’s just me 🙂

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple
2/3 cup orange-flavored sweetened dried cranberries
1 cup chopped roasted, salted almonds
Garnishes: fresh herbs, blackberries, raspberries, sliced peaches
1. Whisk together cream cheese and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in chicken, pineapple, and cranberries just until blended.

2. If desired, spoon mixture into a plastic wrap-lined 8-inch round cake pan; cover and chill at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Invert chicken salad onto a cake stand, and remove plastic wrap. Gently press chopped almonds onto sides of chicken salad. Garnish, if desired.

Southern Memories

Submitted by Christi


I was talking to my Mama about recipes that were handed down to her from her mother. Grandmother was a great home cook. Nothing complicated but a lot of goooood food. Grandmother knew how to stretch a dollar but still create flavorful meals.

Here are a couple of our favorites:

Hamburger Steak
Breaded and fried=down home goodness

Form ground beef (also known as hamburger meat) into thick patties. If you want to add chopped onion and Worcestershire sauce before you form the patties that is also good.

Mix together an egg and some milk in one bowl and put flour seasoned with salt and pepper in another bowl.  Dip the hamburger patties in the egg mixture and then the flour mixture.

Fry the breaded hamburger steaks in hot oil until done.

Grandaddy Potatoes
These were Grandaddy’s favorite potatoes. We always call them Grandaddy Potatoes.

Boil small potatoes (either red or small russet) in salted water. Serve the boiled potatoes whole. Serve with butter and sour cream. You can mash them with your fork at the table and add the butter and sour cream and salt and pepper. Simple and good.

Plum Dumplings
My mother tells me that when grandmother canned plums that she saved the juice from canning to make these plum dumplings. Just in case you don’t happen to be canning plums, you can use this recipe.

Make the dumpling batter:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup milk

Stir flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl. Cut butter into dry ingredients, using a pastry cutter or fork. Add milk to form dough. Set dumpling dough aside.

Prepare Plums:

1 lb of plums pitted and diced
1/2 cup sugar
spices to taste if you like (such as nutmeg or ginger)
2 cups water

Combine all of the above and bring to a boil. Drop dumpling mixture by tablespoons into the boiling plum mixture. Cover the pot and cook for 20 to 30 minutes.

Actually, grandmother rolled out her dumpling dough and cut it into squares. You could always do that if you like as well.

I love recipes that are passed down. My grandmother loved to cook for her family and I remember many happy times at her table. No, none of these recipes are fancy or complicated. They are just simple and good.

Today’s Lagniappe: How to pick out good plums
You have to have good plums for good plum dumplings. I would love to tell you how to can plums, but, haven’t done that yet. I’ll do some research and let you know!

If you want to purchase plums that are ripe and ready to eat, look for ones that yield to gentle pressure and that are slightly soft at their tip. While you can also purchase plums that are firm and ripen them at home, avoid those that are excessively hard as they will be immature and will probably not develop a good taste and texture profile. Good quality plums will feature a rich color and may still have a slight whitish “bloom,” reflecting that they have not been overhandled. They should also be free of punctures, bruises or any signs of decay. Plums are generally available in the marketplace from May through the early fall.

Plums that are not yet ripe can be left at room temperature. As this fruit tends to mature quickly, check on them in the next day or two to ensure that they do not become overripe. Once they are ripe, plums can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. While plums can be frozen, to ensure maximum taste remove their stone pits before placing them in the freezer.

For the most antioxidants, consume plums when fully ripened


It’s a four-for Tuesday! Join these great blogs for more recipes and great ideas.

Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More Tuesday

2nd Time Around with A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Southern Change

Submitted by Christi

Our weather this weekend has been unseasonably nice. We usually are dealing with sweltering heat at this time of year, but, it has been raining off and on and, then, this weekend was sunny and warm (not HOT!).

I have been thinking back, at how things have changed this year. In late January, this was the scene:


Now, it looks like this:

The tree that died is in the background of this picture with the Spode Blue Fitzhugh table.

The ice storm was difficult. Seven days without power. Loss of a so many trees. It was cold. We slept on the floor in front of the fireplace. Now it is green and lush and beautiful.

Life is like that a lot of times. Sometimes it just seem cold and bleak and other times it is warm and lush. I guess that is where faith comes in. When it is cold and things aren’t going well, you have to remember that the sun will shine again and life will be well again at some point. Hope all of you are feeling the sunshine. If not, remember, the sun will shine again in your life! As Scarlett said, “After all, tomorrow is another day!”


Visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday and Smiling Sally for Blue Mondays. You will find wonderful and talented women with fantastic posts!

Hope everyone has a wonderful week starting with a fantastic Monday!

Today’s Lagniappe: Honey Bun Coffee Cake

This is a great recipe for breakfast with friends!

Honey Bun Coffee Cake

1 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
4 large eggs
2/3 c. oil
8 oz. sour cream
1/4 c. water
1/3 c. sugar

Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour half the batter into a greased 9×13 baking pan.


1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. brown sugar

Sprinkle over batter. Pour the other half of the batter over this and swirl with a knife.

Bake at 350º for 35-40 minutes.

While baking, mix together:

2 c. powdered sugar
1 T. vanilla extract
4 T. milk (not skim)

Mix and drizzle all over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven – sprinkle with chopped pecans, almonds, etc., if you wish. Let cool in the pan.

Southern Garden Party

Submitted by Christi


Today, we’re going to a garden party with Susan at Savoring Time in the Kitchen!

I love this party because, as you know, I love gardens and gardening and eating outside and everything about a garden and a party! I’m so glad you came by. Everyone who visits here is a welcome guest and I am grateful for every one of you!

Here are some pics around my place this year:

We’ve had lots of visitors.

We've had robins.

We've had baby robins.


And baby bunnies

Some of our visitors have been on the fence.

Some of our visitors have been on the fence.

Lots of good food.

We've had lots of good food.

We have grown a garden.

We have grown a garden.

With lots of veggies

With lots of veggies

Some flowers

Some flowers

And some herbs

And some herbs

We've dined.

We've dined.

and dined

and dined

and dined some more.

and dined some more.

She who loves a garden is truly blessed.

Thanks for coming by my garden. You are welcome any time!


Today’s Lagniappe: Panzanella Salad
Bread in salad? Yum! I’ve posted this before, but, I’m posting it again for this party because it is a great way to enjoy some of your garden’s bounty!

* 6 cups day old Italian bread, torn into bite-size pieces
* 1/3 cup olive oil
* salt and pepper to taste
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
* 4 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
* 3/4 cup sliced red onion
* 10 basil leaves, shredded
* 1/2 cup pitted and halved green olives
* 1 cup fresh mozzarella, cut into bite-size pieces

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, toss bread with 1/3 cup olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Lay bread on a baking sheet, and toast in the preheated oven until golden, about 5 to 10 minutes; allow to cool slightly.
3. While the bread is in the oven, whisk together 1/4 cup of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Gently toss together the bread, tomatoes, onion, basil, olives, and mozzarella cheese. Toss with the vinaigrette and let stand for 20 minutes before serving.

Southern Smoke

Submitted by Christi

Here at our home we are always in pursuit of goodness. I’ve already told you about our pursuit of the perfect ribs. Today, I’ll tell you about our pursuit of the perfect pork tenderloin.


Once again, it’s Foodie Friday with Designs by Gollum!

Okay, so we’ve tried a few different things in our pursuit. Today, we are really getting close. Not perfect yet, but, we are getting close.


I marinated the tenderloin in a combination of:

hard apple cider
sliced onions
minced garlic
brown sugar
ground cloves
salt & pepper
bay leaves

After the tenderloin enjoyed this marinade for a few hours, we smoked it over apple wood in the smoker for a couple of hours. We used the marinade (which I brought to a boil inside) as a liquid in the middle rack of the smoker. Note for next time: Use that boiled and smoked marinade to make a glaze to use during the cooking process.


But, for now, that was some goooood eating! Added some of my Mama’s homemade pear relish and this was a definite keeper!


Today’s Lagniappe: Mama’s Pear Relish
It is fabulous!

16 -19  pears (fairly firm, not soft) cored and ground.
6 medium onions, ground
8 green peppers, ground
4 sweet red peppers, ground
6 cups vinegar (5% acidity)
6 cups sugar
3 Tbs. mustard seeds
2 Tbs. pickling salt
1 Tbs. ground tumeric
1 Tsp. ground allspice
1 Tsp cinnamon
1 Tsp. ginger

Let pears, onions and peppers stand in separate containers for 1 hour.  Pour boiling water  over each; drain very well.  Combine pears, onions, peppers, vinegar, sugar, and seasonings in a large kettle.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered, 30 minutes.
Pour hot mixture into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 in headspace.  Remove air bubbles; wipe jar rims.  Cover at once with metal lids and screw on bands.  Process in boiling-water bath 20 minutes.  Remove jars from hot water carefully and place on cloth to cool.  When the jars are cool enough to handle move to a cool place and let set for 1 month before opening.  Yield about 10 pints.

Southern Flashback

Submitted by Christi

Christi’s Note (7/16 @ 8:00 a.m.):  Apparently my hosting server was down last night. My apologies to anyone who tried to visit and was greeted by an error. So sorry!

My tablescape plans for today got rained out. I see our weather will be getting better soon though, so, I’ll be getting back outside for that “table” soon. In the meantime, for today, I’m taking a look back. Since I’ve been showing you pics of the garden this week, I went back and found the tablescape I posted while I was actually putting in the garden. There are even seed packets, still unopened, on the table! My how things have changed in my yard since then. Here is the flashback:

Working in the garden can really tire you out. I think I really need a nice place to take a break. This is my tablescape entry this week in Tablescape Thursday hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. Y’all stay tuned. There are robins building a nest on my porch and I’m taking pics of their progress that I’ll be posting.

A nice place to take a break.

A nice place to take a break.

A little lemonade.

A little lemonade.

A couple of cookies - gotta keep up my strenght!

A couple of cookies - gotta keep up my strength!

A couple of my favorite gardening books.

A couple of my favorite gardening books.

My garden gloves.

My garden gloves.

My garden trowel.

My garden trowel.

Some seeds.

Some seeds.

A watering can with flowers.

A watering can with flowers.

Hey, there's a bunny in my watering can!

Hey, there's a bunny in my watering can!

Everything I need.

Everything I need . . .

for a nice break from gardening!

for a nice break from gardening!

Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did! – Christi

Today’s Lagniappe: Garden Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Something light and easy to enjoy.

Use your favorite salad greens and veggies and dress them with this lovely mustard vinaigrette. Easy!

* 1½ cups salad oil
* ½ cup white wine vinegar
* 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
* 1½ tsp Kosher salt
* ½ tsp ground white pepper (or freshly ground black pepper)

1. Combine the mustard and vinegar in a glass or stainless steel bowl and whisk them together briefly.

2. Place the mustard-vinegar mixture along with the oil and seasonings in a blender and mix for about 10 seconds or until fully combined.

3. Serve right away, as the oil and vinegar will begin to separate as soon as you stop mixing.

Makes 1 pint of dressing.

A Southern Garden Grows

Submitted by Christi

I showed you some pictures earlier this week of how my garden has grown. Here is my garden now – a little closer look.

















Elephant Ear

These are just a few close up scenes from my garden.

It is Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer.


Today’s Lagniappe: Tomato Pie
Courtesy of Carol Shackleford Benson of El Dorado, Arkansas. Carol says, “With summer tomatoes and fresh basil from the garden, it is heavenly! I have already made several, and friends and family continue to ask for more!”

pie crust – I use Pillsbury in the dairy case
4 medium  tomatoes – mixing red and yellow makes the pie so pretty – I have also used halved cherry and grape tomatoes
Whole milk mozzarella cheese, sliced about ¼ “ thick
1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Thinly slice tomatoes and spread out on papers towels.  Salt them liberally and let them sit for about 15 minutes.  Place pie crust in 10-inch tart pan and poke holes with a fork.  Bake the pie crust for 12 minutes at 400 degrees or until lightly brown.  Remove the crust from the oven and cover the bottom of the crust with mozzarella slices.  Distribute basil leaves evenly over cheese.  Cover with tomato slices.  Sprinkle freshly ground black pepper over the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and bake 30 to 40 minutes at 400 degrees.  Let the pie rest about 30 minutes before slicing.  It is best at room temperature.
I have also made this on a pizza pan and just used thinner slices of cheese.

Southern Banana Pudding

Submitted by Christi

I love banana pudding. In an effort to be good, I don’t eat it often, but, when I do, it is a real treat.

My mama makes a fabulous banana pudding. Does anyone ever cook better than your mama?


I think you can’t go wrong when you use a good recipe. As luck has it, Nilla Wafers has a great recipe for banana pudding on their box.

3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Dash salt
3 eggs, separated
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
45 NILLA Wafers, divided
5 ripe bananas, sliced (about 3 1/2 cups), divided
Additional NILLA Wafers and banana slices, for garnish

1. Mix 1/2 cup sugar, flour and salt in top of double boiler. Blend in 3 egg yolks and milk. Cook, uncovered, over boiling water, stirring constantly for 10 to 12 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.

2. Reserve 10 wafers for garnish. Spread small amount of custard on bottom of 1 1/2-quart casserole; cover with a layer of wafers and a layer of sliced bananas. Pour about 1/3 of custard over bananas. Continue to layer wafers, bananas and custard to make a total of 3 layers of each, ending with custard.

3. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff but not dry. Spoon on top of pudding, spreading evenly to cover entire surface and sealing well to edges.

4. Bake at 350°F in top half of oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until browned. Cool slightly or refrigerate. Garnish with additional wafers and banana slices just before serving.

Makes 8 servings

If you don’t have great memories of this banana pudding, now would be a great time to start making them. My mama usually used whipped cream on top rather than meringue, but, you can do it either way.

Today’s Lagniappe:  Mama’s Marvelous Banana Cake
In case you missed it the last time I ran this great recipe that my mom makes here it is – the 2nd time around!

1 cup butter, softened
3 cups sugar
2 cups mashed bananas
4 eggs, beaten
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons bourbon or orange juice
1 cup chopped pecans
Banana-Nut Frosting

Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating well at medium speed of an electric mixer. Add bananas; mix until smooth stir in the eggs.

Combine flour and soda. Add to banana mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. mix after each addition. Stir in vanilla, bourbon, and pecans.

Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until a  pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Spread Banana-Nut Frosting between layers and on top of cake.

Banana-Nut Frosting

1/2 cup mashed banana
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 (16 oz.) package plus 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3-4 tablespoons milk
1 cup flaked coconut, toasted
2/3 cup finely chopped pecans

Combine banana and lemon juice; set mixture aside.

Cream softened butter at medium speed of an electric mixer; add powdered sugar and milk, mixing well. Add banana mixture, beating until fluffy. Stir in toasted coconut and chopped pecans.

And . . . one more banana recipe:

* ¼ cup (½ stick) butter
* 1 cup brown sugar
* ½ teaspoon cinnamon
* ¼ cup banana liqueur
* 4 bananas, cut in half
lengthwise, then halved
* ¼ cup dark rum
* 4 scoops vanilla ice cream

Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a flambé pan or skillet. Place the pan over low heat either on an alcohol burner or on top of the stove, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the banana liqueur, then place the bananas in the pan. When the banana sections soften and begin to brown, carefully add the rum. Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot, then tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum. When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place four pieces over each portion of ice cream. Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream and serve immediately.


It’s a four-for Tuesday! Join these great blogs for more recipes and great ideas.

Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More Tuesday

2nd Time Around with A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words