Monday, July 30, 2012

Pass The Turkey and Sunscreen

I cooked a turkey yesterday.  Yes, a whole turkey.  I was getting tired of the same old thing and as I browsed the grocery store to find something new and interesting, I thought, "HEY! TURKEY! It's not just for Thanksgiving!"

So I brought it home, thawed it in the frig., and roasted it. 

When I explained to Hubs that we were having turkey for dinner and that I decided it was perfectly okay to have it for more than just Thanksgiving, he said, "YAY! Thanksgiving!"

That's when I put on the brakes and said, "Whoa, whoa, whoa! We're just having turkey and regular vegetables, not the rest of it."

"No dressing?  No cranberry?  No sweet potatoes?" he said.

"Nope.  Just green beans, carrots, and mac n' cheese," I told him, "If you have all that other stuff all the time then it isn't special on Thanksgiving."

Which was partly truly but mostly a lie.  The real reason I only cook all of that once a year is because it takes me nearly TWO WHOLE DAYS. 

I make my own corn bread, let it dry out a bit, then mix up the dressing, etc.  I also make my own cranberry sauce, which is actually pretty easy, but don't tell anyone. I usually make three pies, which use store bought crust, but the ingredients are all homemade. The sweet potatoes come from a can, but my souffle takes two cans, which means I have to use the can opener twice.  Hello, sharp edges! (Not really, we have one of those safety can openers after Hubs' unfortunate thumb injury, but go with me here. Thanksgiving is a lot of work and dangerous.)

The turkey turned out pretty good.  I bought a Publix turkey which I must say was not as good as Butterball, but you aren't here to read my turkey reviews, are you? (Snoozeville.)  Check back next week when I review instant rice brands.

On Saturday we went to the beach and collected shells.  It had rained that day and rain storms always precede good shelling.  We were lucky enough to have a green flag, which means the waters are calm.  Our beaches have a flag system alerting swimmers about the surf conditions.  Rarely do we have a green flag, so we were excited to see it.  Daughter and I managed to find a lot of shells, which we always declare "Jackpot!"  My favorites are the olives. and the kitten paws.  (I'm no expert. We have shell books at home.)

I am hoping to squeeze in some more beach days.  With school quickly approaching on the calendar, I am trying to use all of our time wisely, which is why I've spent the last hour browsing the Internet and watching HGTV. 

As for today, it will be spent deciding what to do with all this leftover turkey.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Random List of Coffee, Sports, and Genius Desserts

It has been a bit busy at our house, so today's post is going to have to be in list form.  I do love the list form.  It's always there for me in a pinch, just like tacos for dinner (which we just had, by the way.)

1.  My husband and daughter love soccer.  I don't love or hate it, but I still don't understand it.  For example, how can they not have regulation sized fields? Can you imagine?  You train and train to run one length or width of the field and then show up for a game and the field is much larger.  It's like training for a 5k and showing up to a 7k race.  I don't get it.

2.  The running has nearly come to a halt this summer, but I am getting back into it.  I need to form a school year routine AND a summer routine. The school year routine involved me taking Daughter to school in my running clothes and returning home to immediately grabbing my ipod and running out the door.  The summer routine involves me waking up pretty much whenever I want and staying in my housecoat until I notice it is nearly lunch time. 

3.  This list form is really just short paragraphs so far.

4.  My Keurig is misbehaving.  I used too much Florida tap water and now the minerals are interfering with that pleasant coffee mug I love each morning.  I have descaled and descaled and it is still not working right.  I may end up having to buy a new one.  Anyone know of a sale?

5.  I just made Mary B's biscuits for Daughter.  The first two were ruint because I was online and not paying attention.  The second two made it out of the oven in time and are currently slathered in pumpkin and apple butters.  (If you haven't tried pumpkin butter, you don't know what you are missing.  It's like a little taste of Thanksgiving any time of the year.)

6.  I am really tired of struggling to find good books for Daughter.  They are either fun, light, and of little literary quality or full of dark material and written well. 

7.  Has anyone seen the little post-it notes that have sarcastic themes?  I found some at the book store.  My favorite one is "Paper Email." Think about it.
The one I have currently by our phone in the kitchen is labeled "Complaint" and is in the format of a message pad with boxes to check for who is at fault, what the desired outcome is, and who is the complainant.
If you haven't seen them, they are hysterical.  If I were on the ball and not on my summer routine, I'd leave you a link here to see them. 

8.  I will leave this little list with two words which make my summer routine worthwhile- 

Peach milkshake!  (Thank you, Chick-Fil-A!  You rock!)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The next step is the Cotton Candy Machine at Golden Corral.

This new blogger format has been an adjustment, and by adjustment, I mean it has grated on my last nerve.

I don't do well with change. Just now I was sitting here trying to figure out how to write a new post, thinking "Where does it say new post?" and then realized that the little symbol with the pencil is what I need to click, which makes perfect sense, because, you know, pencil equals writing.

That may in fact be the worst structured sentence known to man, but cut me some slack, people. I am stressed.

If you don't have a Blogger blog, you have no idea what I'm talking about because you are able to live in this perfect world where you don't have to search for virtual pencils and you can just get on the Internet and enjoy life.

But, for the rest of us, it isn't all fairies and rainbows.

Hubs knows I hate change. I remember when we first got a mouse and he was trying to help me use it. I couldn't get used to the eye-hand coordination and every time I would move the mouse, it would move the little hand way over from one side of the screen to the other.

 I got so frustrated and declared, "I HATE these things! Why can't they just let me do things the way I used to?" 

And, Hubs, in his incredible patience, just kept showing me how to point and click and open this window and the other until I learned to survive.  Either he does, in fact, have the patience of Job, or he has learned to completely tune me out.

I'm sure you didn't stop by to learn about my neuroses, so I will move on.

This morning I went for my annual physical.  It was all routine and the like, but my doctor is starting to check things he never would have while I was in my 20's or even 30's.  He asked me how my heart is feeling, looked over my blood pressure numbers, and reviewed what labs I need.  He also checked my carotid arteries which are apparently working just fine even though my cognitive abilities while trying to navigate Blogger are foggy at best.

We are starting to discuss things we never did before, too. We launched into a discussion about cholesterol, things like heart attacks and liver damage and how this thing and the other happens to you after menopause. 

Hello! I am still listening to my Janet Jackson mix tape. 

Actually, I am nowhere near menopause, but the fact that it comes up in conversation now is something I never thought would happen when I was in my 20's. What ever happened to the important things in life like Bonnie Bell lip gloss and the latest episode of Seinfeld?

(And, I am hoping my cholesterol will be fine, even after all that pimento cheese in Charleston.)

Would you like me to go back to my neuroses?

This post is all over the place.

After Granny left the doctor's office, I went to lunch with Hubs.  We had Thai food because it is our favorite restaurant and now that we are old, we love to be in a rut.

I spent the rest of the afternoon with Daughter dropping off clothes at the dry cleaners and making a run to Dollar General where we purchased peanut butter and beef stew for the church food pantry and some dish detergent.

When we checked out, the cashier commented about how expensive peanut butter is getting and that she just paid over five dollars for a large jar of Jiff. I agreed and we chatted about how we should both become peanut farmers.

This is what old people do.

Right after they complain about the Internet,  discuss their ailments, share everything they ate that day, and list every item they bought at The Dollar General.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Well, let me pack some pimento cheese sandwiches and I'm ready to go.

Hubs and I just returned from a mini-vacation to one of my most favoritest (yes, it can be a word) places on God's green Earth- Charleston. 

I first fell in love with Charleston, South Carolina on our honeymoon over 18 years ago and I have always wanted to return.  Honestly, I would just plop myself there on the battery and live if they would let me. But since most of the homes along the water are umpteen dozen million dollars, I'd have to pitch a tent and I don't think Charleston is the type of town that takes too kindly to occupiers.  (Plus, as a side note, I hate camping.)

The entire vacation began with Daughter's plans to visit her grandparents in North Augusta.  It made no sense to drive her to their house, then drive another 8 hours back to Florida, just to make the exact same drive days later.  So Hubs and I  decided to take a look at the map and pick somewhere fairly closeby to visit. 

WHATDOYAKNOW?  I found Charleston! 

I am forever grateful to my mother for teaching me how to read a map at age seven.  To her credit, it was less of an educational moment and more of a keeping of her sanity.  Every time we drove to my grandparents' house I would ask the age-old question, "How much farther??!!"  So, she taught me how to read a map and count the towns on our route. Yes, I could get you clear across South Georgia, even with alternate routes (as long as I didn't nod off and lose count. If that happened, you could end up on Jekyll Island.)

Let me tell y'all something about Charleston.  It is PURTY.  Pretty would be the proper term, but it just doesn't do it justice.  The homes are gorgeous, the parks are beautiful, and the people are some of the nicest and genuinely cordial I've ever met.  We stayed at a quaint inn.  They are abundant, along with sweet bed and breakfasts. If you ever do get to visit, I recommend spending the extra budget and staying in one of them. It adds so much to the experience when you get to spend some time in these historical homes.

And the food? OH MY WORD. We found shrimp and grits on every menu.  They don't serve Jim Dandy grits, y'all. No, these are real grits.  The kind they sell in little bags at roadside stands and markets with words like "Stone Ground" on the side.  Hubs had shrimp and grits for dinner one night and I had a huge bowl of cheese grits at the Farmer's Market that will make you slap your mama.

(May I just say that my pantry is full of Jim Dandy grits and they are a respectable choice in my home, but when I can get some good stone ground ones, you know I enjoy them.)

There's something else I learned about Charlestonians. 

They love their pimento cheese. 

It was on everything. 

Pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes, pimento cheese on filet mignon, and pimento cheese sandwiches, of course.  I mean, I love pimento cheese, but I have never seen it served in so many ways. After three days, I finally gave in to the pimento cheese craze and decided to have it on my hamburger.  Y'all know what? The folks of Charleston are onto something. It was delicious.  I will never look at a pimento cheese recipe the same way again.  It may, in fact, be my new condiment.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was walking along the Waterfront Park. They have porch swings along the water where you can rest and watch the boats come and go.  The hostess at the inn recommended it as a way to cool off at the end of the day and I'm glad she shared it with us. 

I am starting to feel like this is sounding like a travel blog, but y'all, Charleston is really one of my most favoritest places on God's green Earth.

Now if I could just win umpteen million dollars or learn to live in a tent...

Here are a few of our favs from our recent trip-

Charleston Waterfront Park
Amen Street Raw Bar and Grill (oysters and fresh seafood)
Poe's Tavern (Yummy beach burgers for lunch. Try the pimento cheese)
Farmer's Market (local farmers, artisans and delicious food vendors)
The Market (local vendors all in one spot)
Belgian Gelato (try it "Belgian style" with Belgian chocolate and whipped cream. HEAVEN.)
Sullivan's Island (quiet beach with locals and lovely homes, no condos)
The Battery (take a drive or ride your bike)
Charleston Tea Plantation (the only one in the country)

Also, check out Fort Sumter, USS Yorktown, and Drake Hall.  We visited all of them on our honeymoon many moons ago and they all are rich in history. There are tons of historical homes as well.