Bangles, grits, and groundwork…..
April 30, 2012

I got my baby back this past week….I had missed her soooo much. Here she is arriving in the mail, from where I left her in Charleston.

Mommy, where are you???

So I immediately put her back to work….Twitter and Facebook, and blogging.

Good morning....got my tea, ready to go...

And I took a picture of this ’cause I thought it was pretty…I gathered up all my many  bracelets(actually there are more), and arranged them in a pretty antiqued bowl that had no other seeming use…now it has something to do.

Hmmm, who gets to go to work today?

Had some friends over for dinner Saturday night…did pan-fried catfish with remoulade sauce…amazing…and did creamy grits in the slow cooker. I had never tried this before, and it worked! Took about 2-ish hours.

And we started with oysters on the half shell…some Choptank sweets from Whole Foods….not inexpensive, but soooooo clean! These babies had been scrubbed…

Cleanest oysters in the world!! (and delicious)

So clean, that I took some of them and used them for other things…like salt, and vitamins!(Yes I washed them first!) But as Nate Berkus says, using designs from nature you can never go wrong.

Nature's salt cellar...

Planted a new succulent garden…I adore the way these look, all the different textures and shades of green. They just look to chic to me, especially when they fill in a little.

Pretty, oui?

And here’s the topiary I dragged home from a Charleston Piggly-Wiggly…I had to have it, and now it’s in its new pot, outside. It would have been sad if it had died after all that….

From a Charleston Piggly-Wiggly parking lot, to Maryland...

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Sex, Catfish and Videotapes…the weekend wrapup..
March 7, 2011

Just one box of two...full of movies...

Ok, that was a dirty, rotten come on…there’s nothing about sex until the very last paragraph. But there are catfish..and there are videotapes….so here we go.

See? Good movies!!

What the heck do I do with all the VHS movies that we collected back in the day? And not crap, either… classics, like To Kill a Mockingbird, My Fair Lady, Little Women, Father of the Bride, Miracle on 34th Street, The Piano, The Sound of Music, Gettysburg, Kung Fu Fighter(ok a little crap)….but for the most part, movies I’ve really loved. But all good things must come to an end, and that’s what happened to VHS. We’re all dvd now(how long until that goes the way of the dinosaur?). Anyway, if anyone out there would have use for these, I’d love not to add them to a landfill. Anyone? Anyone? Free to a good home. (And don’t say the library, they’ve already laughed me off the phone when I called to see if they wanted them.)

Panfried...so simple and delicious...

Made some fabulous catfish this weekend…and so quick. Let the filets marinate a little while in buttermilk, dredge in cornmeal and pan fry in a little olive oil. And what gave it a kick was couple of teaspoons of pimenton(Spanish smoked paprika-one of my new fav spices)added to the cornmeal….gave it a nice smokey taste.

Is anything better than cheese grits?

And what goes better with catfish than cheese grits…classic southern combo? Here’s how I do mine…First start with good stone ground grits if you can find them…yellow or white, doesn’t matter( and for heaven’s sake whatever you do, no quick or instant grits). Cook them in chicken broth, not water, and at the end, add some shredded cheddar cheese  and stir it until it melts( I actually used some pimento cheese I made a week ago, and it was great), and then while you’re getting everything together, pour some heavy cream over the top of the grits and let it sit for a few minutes. When you’re ready to serve, stir in the cream.

Roasted asparagus...ridiculously easy

And I roasted some asparagus to snuggle alongside…one of the best ways to prepare it, I think. Just coat the spears in olive, salt and pepper, after peeling the end of the stalks, and pop it in 400 degrees for about 20 minutes….no more. That’s it. 

Anson Mills coarse ground grits....

I’m now on a quest for a place that carries Anson Mills stone ground grits…this Charleston company offers heirloom corn, coarse ground grits that you should ideally soak overnight, but I haven’t located a local source yet. You can mail order, but I may just wait until I’m in Charleston in April(no, I can’t wait for that week to get here), and load up them and bring them home(you know how I love to fly and drive food all over the country). Famous chefs all over the country rave about Anson Mills grits….this is from their website about what they do “To date Anson Mills has provided grants to resuscitate roughly a dozen types of threatened antebellum mill corn, and has offered its research growers heirloom seed, seed selection expertise and management advice. Glenn works with thirty organic growers in six states.” No too shabby. Will let you know if I find a place locally. Ok, I’m just gonna say it…grits are sexy. 🙂

Now That’s a rock….ever tried on a $600,000 diamond ring?
September 24, 2010

Wow….now that’s an engagement ring….

It really was amazing,  just the overall glitter, and sparkle, and sheer hunkiness of the thing….a gorgeous 5 and half carat diamond solitaire….at Tiffany’s, of course. I’m  not at all sure how I ended up on the invitation list for a little soiree last night at Tiffany’s…I knew all of 2 people there….the rest, complete strangers. But whatever, sure, I’d love to go to a party, so…. my daughter and I trotted over the check out the new Tiffany’s in Towson . And yes, they were checking names at the door, so you couldn’t just wander in….please.

Tiffany's party goers...well dressed, of course..

The place is, as you would expect…lovely. All done in silver and Tiffany blue…I would have taken more pictures, but my daughter was quite embarrassed at my doing so…”Mom, stop it…you’re acting like Dad..no one else is taking pictures, and you’re making the sales people nervous.” I’m not really sure that last part is true…surely someone was snapping shots with cell phones….but I acquiesced to her need.

White wine AND jewelry? I'd love to...

We were gaping at the solitaires, and the one you see in the first pic in particular….a lovely woman came over and asked if we’d like to try it on.  My mouth was open to say, no…that’s ok…but my daughter beat me to it with a , “Yes, yes yes!!”  So in the end we both tried on a piece of jewelry that costs more than…my house… and our cars… and…. just about everything we own. Seriously, think about it….600 grand ON YOUR FINGER. That my friend, sets the rich apart from you and me. But Tiffany’s has something for almost every price range….you can get a key ring for about $50.

I’m heading off to Whole Foods right now…they have catfish on sale for $4.99 a pound today(someone who wears a big-ass diamond ring 1. doesn’t eat catfish and 2. doesn’t care if it’s on sale)…not sure what I’m doing with it…maybe a cornmeal-pecan coating and pan-fried?

Oh, and for those of you following my little war with SC Gamecocks fan Chris Dachille(if that’s his real name)….I had the IT guy here put the Auburn logo as his screen saver, and the fight song will play when he logs in….I mention it at the end of this blog, because I know Chris will NEVER read to the end of a blog about Tiffany’s jewelry! I hope he won’t see it until Monday…revenge is a dish best served cold. And thanks to all of you for your great ideas .

Anyway, it’s Friday…hope to see you at the Book Festival this weekend, and don’t forget Monday to bring your walking shoes to city hall (12:30) for a walk to the harbor with me and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake as a start to kick off Healthy City Days. Too much obesity, diabetes and heart disease in Baltimore…time to do something about it…join us!  Ne nice, don’t throw rocks, and come home safe…’cause we miss you!

Back from ‘bama….
June 17, 2008

I know, I know….no blogs for a while. I decided not to take my laptopwith me to Alabama last week on vaca….it’s heavy, didn’t wanna lug it around, lazy…you know the story. And here’s the thing. When you don’t write for a while…like when you don’t exercise or do any other habit that takes some effort, for a while…it gets easier not to do it. Especially when there’s no punishment involved for not doing so. Sure, you gain weight if you don’t exercise, so there is some retribution there, but if I don’t blog, really who cares? But I did get an email from a reader named Elaine, saying, “wha happen?”…and my daughter’s college roomate, whom I really don’t know…Heidi…said through my daughter, “Your Mom’s blog really needsto be updated”.  She is evidentally a dedicated reader. So, you two, and thanks to both of you, have gotten me back on track.

goats for sale-really.Though Heidi tried to give me a list of what not to write about. She said she wasn’t interested in hearing about my trip to ‘bama. Girl, girl girl!! Where else would you get to learn that there are goats for sale by the side of the road? Really, I passed by the sign several times, and finally saw the goats. Cute little critters, Heidi, very very cute.

And where else would see my favorite meal in Alabama? I’ll bet Heidi, that you have never had a plate of fried catfish…it’s one of my must have meals when I’m there. yummy-catfish!We go to a place called The Angler a few miles down the road in Cullman from the family lake house (that’s where I pass by the goats for sale sign, among others)….and while they have other fare, gumbo, grilled chicken salad, some pastas, etc….I alwaysget the whole catfish ( fillets are for sissies), with hushpuppies, natch, and greens and slaw. Some very fine eating, Heidi. sweet or unsweet?And iced tea of course. Pitchers of sweetened and unsweetened, though I forgot momentarily that when you order tea in ‘bama…..if you don’t specify unsweetened, they assume you want sweet tea. Important tip if you ever visit there, Heidi. You strike me as an “unsweetened” girl…so am I.

But there is more I have to tell you about my little trip to ‘bama…about a kind of genealogical search my sister and I were on…but more on that later. Go order a glass of iced tea, Heidi…it’ll do you good and help you too, as my Momma would say.