Thursday, November 9, 2017

From My Cookbook to Yours: Seasoned Southern Style



"After years of trying new recipes with a long list of ingredients, seeking healthy alternatives to gluten and dairy, trying to eliminate preservatives and pesticides, I have decided to return to the food of my childhood. . .simple foods made from scratch (mostly) and of the freshest ingredients I can find. . .I think today's term for this way of thinking is 'eating clean'. . .I call it common sense. . ."
Come join me in my journey of revisiting tried but true recipes and methods of cooking from the local Delta community. . .Simply Good Food. . .SEASONED SOUTHERN STYLE. . .READ MORE. . .


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Simple Harvest Table Several Ways


"EAT YOUR HEART OUT, P. ALLEN SMITH"
Those were John's words when he walked through the breezeway porch and saw our Harvest Table. . .While I'm not even in the league of *Allen Smith. . .(John was just kidding around). . .I have to admit I have gotten more than a few tips from his website. . .His style mixes parts of the past with an eye for the present. . .I often do the same. . .

 

 
As I've stated again and again, Fall is my favorite time of the year. . .From the first frost on the pumpkins to the promise of a New Year, excitement stirs over and over as each holiday arrives. . .The days go by so quickly. . .the level of "busy" increases. . .and the hustle and bustle is in full force. . .


But it is also a time of feeling warm and cuddly by the fire. . .of gathering with family and friends. . .of remembering those who made our lives so special in past holidays.
For our Harvest Table, I decided to make it simple and all natural. . .just as the first Thanksgiving might have been. . .We have several occasions coming up in which we will utilize the table in different ways. . .

For a simple luncheon. . .


 For a magazine photo shoot. . .





For a candlelight dinner. . .









Some old jugs and redware, a vintage quilt, harvested gourds, dried grapevine, burlap, craft paper, a few candles and some dried berries. . .and I was done. . .making the table look welcoming and warm. . .Another plus is that it keeps holiday storage at a minimum. . .

 

I have pretty much decided to decorate for the holidays from this day on with natural and found materials. . .It just seems to set our home apart from the norm, while adding a spark of one's own personality and making it special for our family. . .I might add that it brings forth compliments from the Honey, too. . .He actually noticed this table. . .WOW. . .
Time now to move on to Christmas decor. . .Let's see. . .Maybe some wooden buckets and crates. . .more old crocks. . .pantry boxes. . .firkins. . .old barrels and kegs. . .limbs of cotton. . .evergreens. . .vines. . .small, potted trees. . .lots of candles. . .For sparkle, I'll bring the collection into this era with glass balls. . .strands of lights. . .modern fabrics. . .and. . .
Well. . .You'll just have to watch and see. . .
I will say this, though. . .it's Christmas decor that I'm totally excited about. . .
PLAIN AND SIMPLE. . .

 
  
PLEASE NOTE: There's a new tab above for SELECTED FALL POSTS.
Check it out. . .
I'll be adding tabs for WINTER, SPRING, AND SUMMER, too.
Whatever the Season, you will find INSPIRATION AT
THE COUNTRY FARM HOME

 
 
 *P. Allen Smith's Moss Mountain Farm is in Arkansas, 
where most of his TV shows are taped. 
Visit his website at: 


Friday, October 20, 2017

CROCK TOPS: Here's How


I love crocks. . .I have lots of them. . .They are a staple in this house. . .But, storing them poses a problem. . .and sometimes I need a top on one to hide what's inside. . .So John and I came up with several solutions to my dilemma. . .The first one is so simple I'm almost embarrassed to mention it. . .
For the smaller size crocks, round breadboards are fantastic. . .Left as they are, or sanded, painted or stained. . .Isn't the one on the left a beauty? . .I rarely see such an ornate board. .  .Love the patina. . .Most have been heavily used and they show it, although a little cleaning and sanding brings them back to life.
But then what do we do with the larger crocks? That was a puzzle for a while. . .Sure I could have bought wood boards at a lumber yard, but that was too 'new' for me. . .I wanted something that looked aged. . .Also wide boards are expensive. . .and I had lots of large crocks to cover. . .
Once I was on the look-out for round breadboards, I began bringing home large more modern cutting boards found at thrift stores, too. . .mostly for $1 or under. . .John uses them with his leather craft and I use them in the kitchen instead of my vintage ones. . .Over the last few years, they began stacking up. . .
One day I was gathering the cutting boards I didn't use when  cakes were ready to come out of the oven. . .The stack of cutting boards were on the cabinet top and in my way. . .I quickly picked them up and placed them on some crocks on the floor. . .Cakes came out and cooling on racks. . .All was well. . .Now back to what I was doing. . .What WAS I doing? . .Cutting boards. . .Yes. . .That led me to a light bulb moment. . .as I looked down and noticed that the boards covered the top of a large crock. . ."Oh, John Dear. . ."

All kidding aside. . .isn't this a simple solution?
And to think it was right there in front of me for a couple of years. . .



Now comes the fun part. . .After finishing the Crock Tops with whatever method you choose, try some embellishments. . .I'm for fast and easy, so I pulled out a stamp and permanent ink stamp pad. . .Took no time at all. . .


The possibilities for embellishing are endless. . .Try stamping a border on the outside edges. . .Stencil or paint graphics on the top. . .Make them your own creation. . .
The thickness of the cutting boards allows me to stack the crocks as high as I dare. . .I like to graduate the sizes as I stack in order to display the embellishments around the top edge. . .
I truly like our solution. . .and it's so economical. . .We cut four tops from three cutting boards, costing only $3 total. . .An Easy. . .Fast. . .Simple. . .project that adds so much to the open crocks. . .They  look amazing. . .
It's also a good excuse for thrifting. . . I'm always looking for that. . .aren't you?





Wednesday, October 11, 2017

1888 PRIMITIVE: Just In Time For Fall





IT'S TRUE. . .PATIENCE DOES PAY OFF

It was about this time last year when I spotted the 1888 handmade primitive pie safe at Vintage Market Antique Mall in Dexter, Missouri. . .Oh how I wanted it. . .My desire for primitives greatly increased while I was living in Virginia. . .Once we moved back to the farm, cabinets such as this we found few and far between. . .Most of the prim pieces I do have were acquired from other states--Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia. . .Our local area is a  relatively new settlement in American history. . .mostly populated in the early 20th century. . .It's hard to find these old pieces. . .The minute I spotted this one, my mouth was drooling. . .It contained all the elements of a folk piece that I love. . . handmade for the 'Misses'. . .somewhat of a Shaker influenced style. . .character. . .patina.








But. . .alas. . .I had absolutely no place to put it. . .at least not a year ago. . .and the price was pretty much out of my range for a piece that would be stored in a barn until I had a place for it. . .No telling how many more times we shopped at the Vintage Market in the next nine months. . .Each time I braced myself that my favorite cabinet just might be sold. . .I can't say I had any plans to buy it. . .only that I so enjoyed seeing it. . .running my hand over it. . .imagining the kitchen it must have stood in. . .and the lady who made the pies and cakes to put in it. . .Every time I shopped the mall, I would comment. . .'One day. . .'

My luck. . .and patience. . .held. . .





Spring and Summer this year has involved much work at the farm, culling out real 'junk'. . .moving in donations. . .doing inventory. . .I cleaned out three buildings of family items no longer needed and donated them to the church  'Rummage Sale' in August. . .It was quite a few tasks but feels good to get some organization. . .I also decided to change the tenant house from the hodge-podge of furniture and add some of our pieces from the house. . .With new open spaces left in our home,  I suddenly realized that I had a place for that Missouri pie safe. . .IF it was still available. . .We hadn't shopped there since the last of May. . .I hoped I wouldn't be disappointed but steadied myself just in case. . .








Truly to my surprise, it was still there. . .I couldn't remember exactly what the gentleman was asking for it. . .The tag was gone. . .so, I turned to the owner and asked, expecting the price to be high. . .He hesitated, as if he was weighing his words. . .'Oh, dear' I thought. . .This couldn't be good. . .When he finally spoke, you could have knocked me down with a feather. . .It was half of the original price, he said. . .I bought it at that very moment. . .It would be another trip to get it loaded onto John's truck. . .I wasn't taking any more chances. . .The cabinet was so heavy with solid wood that it would take four men to load and the same number of men once we got it home. . .Thank goodness for the Dildine farmhands who willingly showed up at 7:00 the next morning to unload it. . .John and I would never have gotten it off the truck. . .could not budge it.








The thing is, most people either love and appreciate primitives or they don't. . .I had to develop an eye for some of them myself. . .Wide plank boards. . .Layers of paint. . .One of a kind. . .Years and years of wear. . .Simplicity at its best. . .Now I treasure these pieces that are becoming very hard to find. . .I figure I'll be a 'Keeper of the Past' in this, too. . .I'm just an OLD SOUL. . .no getting around it.




If you're not a prim-loving person. . .that's alright. . .Makes life interesting. . .that we are not all the same. . .and that we can appreciate each other anyway. . .


It took a lot of time and patience to bring this 119 year old piece of history to our farmstead. . .Maybe that's how it was to be. . .so that this Old Soul would certainly enjoy and appreciate it even more. . .It's found a forever home. . .once more. . .







Saturday, September 30, 2017

Our Fall Color in Delta Crossroads Magazine


ONE OF FOUR PAGES

 Nancy Kemp, Editor of DELTA CROSSROADS MAGAZINE, has honored us again. . .
We're featured in the FALL ISSUE that just hit the stands. . .

There's some fantastic articles for you to enjoy. . .
whether you live in the DELTA or not. . .
 Features such as:
A HOME TOUR
FRONT PORCH BLUES
MEMPHIS QUILT ARTIST
FALL CHILDREN'S CRAFT
plus many MORE. . .

and I have a link for you to view the entire magazine FREE. . .
We all love FREE, don't we?





If you would like to read the original post:



AUTUMN is definitely in the air at the FARM. . .
HARVEST has begun. . .
and this FARMER'S DAUGHTER is enjoying every minute.
I have a couple of Fall posts to share with you soon. . .
once I finish with the special touches. 

SEE YOU THEN. . .
for FALL at:




Monday, September 25, 2017

Daddy Sent Me A Gift of Love



"Every exit has an entry for something else. . ."

A few days ago, Boo and I cuddled on the couch. . .him in my lap, taking a bath and washing away all the smells of a vet's office. . .where his job in research for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals keeps him away for weeks at a time. . .

In between his purring and grooming, he'd stop long enough to give me kisses. . .lots of kisses. . .not unusual for my Boo. . .but. . .on that day, there seemed to be more than usual and with greater intensity. . .

I began to tell him how much I loved him. . .stroking him under his chin like he loves. . .The purring became louder as he finally settled into my lap. . .Then we began to talk. . .well, I talked. . .Boo purred.

Did he remember how he was the one who picked me that day at the animal shelter? How he became such a huge part of my life and saved me from severe depression and feeling the loss of my Dad so deeply? How he became like velcro to me, attune to my every mood, always doting over me like an old Mother Hen? How he wouldn't leave me when I was sick and scratched at the bedroom door until I allowed him in to play doctor. . .to curl up and give me his prescription of purrs and kisses?

I like to think Daddy gave me the gift of Boo. . .I didn't realize it until about a year after Boo came to live with us. . .I knew this cuddling, loving feline had been a God-send for me. . .It took me a year to figure out that Boo could have been a Daddy-send, too. . .

You see. . .Daddy loved me dearly. . .He clung to life much longer than anyone expected so that we could spend more time together. . .I felt his constant presence long after he'd gone to his heavenly home. . .I think as he looked down upon me, he could see I was hurting. . .that I was in trouble. . .and he guided me to the animal shelter that October day in 2006. . .Boo was given the task of watching over me. . .healing my broken heart. . .making me laugh. . .encouraging me to love again. . .That tiny little furry ball of energy took his assignment seriously. . .becoming my constant companion. . . 

Someone recently asked me if I believed in angels. . .Of course I believe in them. . .in Heaven and on Earth. . .with two legs or four. . .I believe even more so since I met Boo. . .And here's just one of many reasons why. . .I realized that Boo was born on September 25, 2006, one year from the day my Dad passed away. . .Coincidence? . .I think not. . .A gift of LOVE. . .a reminder to continue to LOVE. . .

Today is our Boo's birthday. . .In spite of his constant battle with Addison's disease, he has turned 11 years old. . .He has now outlived thousands of other animals in the Pfizer Research program. . .They never expected him to live this long. . .but that's Boo. . .never living up to doctor's expectations. . .only surpassing them. . .He is truly one of a kind. . .


So HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BOO. . .
You're our LITTLEST ANGEL. . .
and always will be. . .


Thank you for allowing me to tell Boo's story again. . .
Many ask throughout the year about his health and miss him appearing in our posts.
Boo has had a challenging year. . .The photos I used are from the past. . .
One of the trial medications they administered to him
caused him to lose 80% of his beautiful coat of fur. . .
It's growing back now. . .
but he still has to stay more days at Dr. Cato's Clinic than he is able to be home. . .
Yet, he continues to surprise everyone with each flare of Addison's. . .
fighting through it and coming back when it seems all the odds are against him.

I also like to tell his story each year for Addison Disease awareness. . .
Not only in animals. . .but in humans, too. . .
Addisons is showing up more and more throughout the world.
Pfizer is making progress in new medication. . .
because of Boo and all of the other Addison 'volunteers'.
The first human research is now taking place in Sweden,
based on the results of this research.

For More about Boo and his fight against Addison's Disease: 






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