Month: May 2014

Steakhouse ~ Brussels Sprouts

In a perfect world – I’d own a steakhouse. Well… that’s a load of crap. In a perfect world – I’d be perpetually 35, insanely physically fit, and never have to work another day in my life… not to mention riding through town on my lion while eating Walnut Turkish Delight out of a constantly refilling knapsack. So, it’s probably better that I just say in a different world… And this would be my steakhouse. I know.. it doesn’t look like much, yet. About a mile or so towards Dahlonega is this building. Not that it’s any great thing…. but I want it. It is a long abandoned service (slash) grocery (slash) convenience store located approximately on the spot of the original Buckhorn Tavern in the 1800’s. Back when HWY 52 used to be the old “Federal Highway”, and this was the main route to and from the west side of the state and up to Chattanooga. As far as I’ve been able to research, there aren’t any photos or sketches of how it appeared back then, …

Steakhouse ~ Red Spring Onions

  Looking at this year’s garden plan, I realized I had gotten a tad over-zealous with my onion planting. No one really needs 5 dozen red onion plants… especially when I’ve got 3 dozen Texas Sweet and another 4 dozen Late Season Yellows bedded in. I mean, I do like me some onions, but I’d never be able to utilize all the reds before they rotted… or stunk up the pantry… or both. So I’ve harvested them all as tender spring onions. Why, you ask? Because: 1). As a spring onion, they hold less water than the common white variety, which makes them a bit more meaty. 2). Less Water means they’ll hold up better on the grill and not disintegrate into a slimy pile. 3). They are less aggressive than white onions, and can be added to salads without the fear of onions taking the salad bowl hostage. 4). Red onions (even the immature ones) have up to 8 times the anti-oxidants as their paler cousins, making them an excellent choice for healthier eating. …

The Weekly Wildflower ~ Blue-eyed Grass

  Say hello to Sisyrinchium angustifolium or “Blue-eyed Grass, Lucerne” While not really a grass, Sisyrinchium is in the iris family, and is more closely related to Wood Flags or Wild Iris. Color-wise they can vary from white, to pale blue, to bluish purple to true blue…. depending on the variety. The Blue/Purple or Purple Montanum variety has a purple blemish on the stalks just below the bloom head, where the Eastern varieties are typically solid green. Blue-eyed grass gets it’s name from the slender grass-like leaves that clump out between rocks or on sunny hillsides. Easily transplanted, sisyrinchium can be found scattered across most of the Southeast where bird have deposited seeds in droppings. An excellent choice for rock gardens and sunny borders, Blue-eyed Grass reseeds easily, and spreads through seed distribution as well as rhizomes and tubers. Sun Exposure – Full Sun to Dappled Shade Flowers –  Medium Blue / Purple / White.  5 Petaled flowers with a yellow center ans stamen or eye Blooms – Late Spring/Early Summer Foliage – Herbaceous, Seasonal, Grass-like Care – Average Water Needs; Water …

Chicken Little ~ or, Cornish Game Hens

    Every once in a while little chickens made an appearance at the dinner table. We (the kids) felt fancy – primarily because we were eating chicken with a long, complicated name… and we got a whole bird… and we could pretend we were giants… That is, until dad saw us playing with our food and would pinch the bejeezus out of our sides… and make us eat our dinner sitting on the toilet…. good times… But when you get right down to it – there really isn’t anything fancy about a Rock Cornish Game Hen; the name is somewhat  of a misnomer. It’s just a tiny one pound hen. Grown in about 20 to 25 days, the “game hen” is a hybrid mix of a Cornish Game (just a name of a chicken) and a White Rock Chicken – both smaller chicken breeds. They’re bred for larger breasts and a better fat-to-meat ratio, giving you that full blown roasted hen feel, in a single serving package. I used to buy them a lot, …

A Little Face Painting

  After seven years, the cottage is finally starting to settle in and looks like it belongs here on the ridge. But, with age comes a certain amount of wear… and wrinkles… and fading. Jane’s wanted to paint the doors for some time now, but finding the exact color for something you’re going to look at every day isn’t easy.   You want something brighter, and inviting we looked a a multitude of blues, and purples, and creams – and lighter browns But none of those really did the trick. Then we found this! Glidden Pure Periwinkle and yes… it’s High Gloss! It’ll be making it’s way around the house this summer, going on all the exterior doors, the garden gates, and even the Potting Shed.             h

The Mayo Clinic

While theoretically a sauce, mayonnaise has become the mother of all condiments in the  States. A tomato sandwich just isn’t a sandwich without mayo, and a banana sammich – if you ain’t got the mayonnaise, just forget about it. It is the basis for thousands of sandwich spreads, it is the glue – the lubrication – and the binder for any well appointed thing between 2 slices of bread…. and I’m of the camp that “more is better.” Although, one of Jane’s first babysitters for us kids used to make ham sandwiches that squooched mayo out the sides when you tried to bite into it. I think there’s a happy place somewheres just short of that mark. Here’s the thing, I used to giggle when people said they made their own condiments. Making something that you can pick up off the shelf never really made all that much sense…. until 2 years ago. As you know, we’re currently living in prepared food hell, so anything that used to be a no-brainer now has dire consequences. …

The Weekly Wildflower – Rue Anemone

  Say hello to Rue Anemone, an early blooming perennial in the buttercup family. It is found in late March to early April in established woods with loamy soil. Typically growing on leafless clearings or on wooded slopes, the Rue Anemone prefers dappled light as opposed to full shade, and does not tolerate full sun. The plant becomes dormant and dies back in the summer, but returns each spring with new growth appearing  through the darkened dormant leaves. Common Name: Rue Anemone Type: Perennial Cultivation: Reseeds and transplants well in desirable conditions Bloom: White to pale pink Sun: Part shade Water: Medium Tolerates: Drought, Heavy Shade, Dry Soil  

Eggsentialism and the Souffle Omelette

  Growing up, my dad cooked breakfast most mornings. There were the run of the mill mornings with toasted biscuit halves and jam, or a big bowl of grits, or Cheese toast and bacon, or the dreaded pancakes. And, there was the rare morning of the odd bowl of cereal…. but those were  – like I said – rare. Most days he cooked… something. Every so often he would make this frittata for breakfast – Eggs, cheese, and whatever meats he had on hand…. although to be fair, he didn’t call it a frittata – he called it an oven omelette. Regardless of the name, the process is  pretty simple: Greased Heavy Iron Skillet – check! Pile o’eggs Beaten to a froth – check! Grated Cheese – check! Diced Meat – Check, Check, Check, check-y check! whisk everything together, pour into a heated skillet and bake it until brown, crusty, golden and bubbly. Sounds simple…right? I can’t do it… never have been able to. The crust never forms right, or it’s too greasy, or the cheese …

The Weekly Wildflower – Hawkweed ~ Rattlesnake Weed

Say hello to Hawkweed or Rattlesnake Weed. Known in many circles as an invasive weed because the plant does introduce toxins into the soil that will inhibit other types of plant growth. However, if you’re doing like we are, hawkweed can be used in natural wooded settings and mossy areas where you aren’t terribly concerned about grass growth. Unlike the “other” weed called rattlesnake, this plant does not produce the rattle shaped tubers, instead getting it’s name from the location where it’s found. As in – found in the same places you’d see a rattlesnake. There are over 700 species of Hawkweed, and resides in the same family as Asters, Sunflowers and Dandelions. Each plant produces a single type of flower – either orange or yellow with angular, rough edged petals (similar to a carnation.) The plant is easily spotted by the flat oval leaves that are somewhat hairy and are dark muted green with either burgundy or purple veins. Although hawkweed will invade grazing lands and grassy areas, in a naturalized setting competition with other …