Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Simple Pleasures: A Green Cornfield

We have "corn-front" property.
For this season.

We are not the farmers, but we sure do enjoy this crop...this might be the fourth time in twenty years that we're going to be completely surrounded by corn.





Corn to the south.
Corn to the north.
Corn to the east.
Corn to the west.

It's beautiful!

And we love it.

The contrast of the rich green against the blue the best.

Ain't nothin' like corn all 'rowed up'!  

This corn is a little behind in height because it got planted so late in the season.  (Lots and lots of rain.)

The cornfields are like my ocean.  I can watch as it changes, from a new green, to a mature green.  I can see the sunset fall on the horizon of the corn, lighting up the tops of the waving crop in its glow.

The corn changes like the ocean.


It's new young green vibrance.

When it tosses and the straw-colored tips appear.

When it grows ears, and matures.

When it dries out and is ready to go to the grain bin, then is when it is a beautiful backdrop to our life, with its pungent and beautiful smell that I associate with the smell of fall and of harvest.

What surrounds you this year?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Shadow Shots: In the Summertime...

Since Jamie and Levi have been home, her daddy and I have been sleeping upstairs and we let her have the Master with the bathroom.  

She is six months along now, and it's too much for her to be trudging up and down those steep farmhouse steps several times each night.

So, I've been waking up in a different bedroom, our old room upstairs under the old silver maple tree, and the largest window in the room faces east.   

It's nice to have the sun awaken you, and lay in the bed and watch from the bed, the shadows from the waving maple branches move on the ceiling and walls...the movement and the sound of the rustling branches, well, it's  just mesmerizing.

The summer sun is higher in the sky at 7:30 on a summer morning than it is on a winter morning, so I shot some shadows for you this morning, quickly, before they went away.  

Shadows are something that is a normally only reserved as a subject for my restless winter camera trigger finger, and is something new for summer light....I kind of like it.

When I went downstairs to make coffee, I saw even more shadows, and though they're a little more mellow they're still pretty.

(I kind of enjoy coming downstairs to make coffee.)

(Are you a picture tucker?  I have noticed something about myself recently, I tuck small pictures everywhere!)

I hope you have a pleasant summer morning as well, with a nice cuppa somethin' and some beautiful light bouncing around your eastern windows to savor and enjoy, too.


And, I've been meaning to ask, what do you call your parents?  A bunch of us "kids" were together on Sunday and it occurred to me that all adults might not call their mothers "mama" like my family.  We all range in ages from mid-thirties to almost sixty.

My kids call me mom or ma....mama was when they were little and somehow they transitioned it to MOM themselves at some point.

One of my friends calls her mother "mum" which sounds English, but they're not!  My mom called her mother "mum" because her mother was from an English family, first generation.

But when I grew up it was Mama, Daddy was daddy, and we never transitioned calling them anything else.  But, when I speak to any others except my siblings of them, it's "my mom" or "my dad"....weird, huh?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Moore! Of Mooresville, Alabama

Mooresville, Alabama, post office.
Circa 1840

These are the original mailboxes, and are still in use today and some have been used by the same families for several generations.

The town post office, which I'd shown earlier this spring, but I got inside this time, we were in town during business hours!  

I can tell you this:  it's tiny (and adorable), the inside of the post office is so tiny, you can hardly take pictures in there!

The postmistress was a friendly and informative gal, who really appreciates her job in the oldest functioning post office around.  We bought some postcards of old line drawings of the post office and other historical buildings in the town.

After visiting and signing the guest registry, we strolled through the town's streets we'd missed walking earlier this year.

Won't you come along for a gander at some more of the beautiful old homes?

I appreciate that the folks that live in this tiny town care enough to keep maintaining the buildings and keeping them so beautiful for us to look at.

This is "Stagecoach Inn and Tavern", dating back before 1825.  This building was a necessity when Mooresville was linked to a road from Huntsville.

Notice the trim on this front porch at the top just under the eaves.  It's gorgeous!  The trim is called "sawtooth".  

And there's an old hitching post out front...

What you notice most about this and other old neighborhoods:  no cookie cutter houses!

In a hundred years, will anyone be wandering the streets of modern developments where each house is uniform in size, and boring and all the same, and be exclaiming about their beauty?

I doubt it!

This town, and especially this church were seen in the 1995 movie "Tom and Huck"...

Thanks for walking along today, I hope you enjoyed yet another visit to this quaint, historic little town in the state of Alabama.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Happy Things: A Sweet Gift...

My sister Mary, of Pine Hollow Lodge, sent me a package a couple weeks back, and in it was the sweetest little gift she stitched up and I just had to show my bloggy friends.

It's a little cloth bag she made for my mixer accessories, to keep them safe and keep them together when they're in the kitchen drawer.  

It's sewn out of the sweetest kitchen border print fabric--so perfect for the job--isn't it?  Have you ever seen anything so adorable?

This sweet thang is so cute, I don't want to hide it in a drawer!  

Thanks so much, Mary!

And this was in the envelope, too, how cute is that?!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Beef Brisket: My Way

Is THIS making your mouth water?  Brisket is delicious, and I'm not talking corned beef, I'm talking a savory marinated brisket that's better than steak!

I first had this in a restaurant about ten years ago, and I fell in love, and hoped someday, to be able to make it just as well as I'd tasted that day.

This recipe has seen me reach that goal made so long ago.

This would be wonderful served with slaw, baked sweet potato, or garlic mashed potatoes, with corn muffins.

I had tried the recipe posted a few years back by Pioneer Woman--it's the one in her cookbook, and it's good, but it's way more than I could take in the salt department--and I modified her recipe to make it our own, and to serve our tastes and my husband and sons rave about this whenever we enjoy it for a special holiday or birthday.

I serve it with several kinds of bbq sauce:  including a mayo-based sauce that has a heavy vinegar influence.  YUM!

If necessary, ask the butcher in your local grocery store to get you one that is ten pounds, which is what this recipe is configured for.  If you have to, take a five pounder and halve the recipe.  

I truly hope you have success with it, remember the longer it mariates, the better, but usually marinate no more that the maximum time called for the in the recipe.

1-10 lb. beef brisket

2 cans Campbell's beef consomme'

1 c. Teriyaki sauce

1/2 c. lemon juice

five cloves garlic or the equivalent of jarred minced garlic

2 T. hickory smoke flavor

Mix together in foil pan, or if you have an enamelware roaster in the right size, I actually prefer that as it adds a better finish to the meat. Add meat to the liquid fat side up, ladle liquid over brisket and marinate from 25-48 hours.  When ready, bake at 300 degrees for at least 7 hours, or about 40 minutes per pound, until FORK TENDER in all areas.

When you remove from oven allow to sit for a little bit, and then, slice straight across the top of the brisket, just under the fat that was on top, to remove all that, don't worry about taking a bit of the meat with it, this is necessary.  

Once the fat has been removed from the top of the brisket, using a sharp knife, slice meat against the grain and serve with au jus.

Please let me know how you like it if you try it!

To store to serve leftover or to freeze, leave meat in au jus, does just fine to freeze and re-serve.

Oh, and it's Flag Day, and I hope yours is a'flyin'!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Time With My Papa...

Papas are good for the simple kind of fun...


Like helping me splash in puddles after a summer rain...

And for making manly artwork on the driveway...

and for giving me for rides in my first little car he and Nana got me for my first birthday after he put it together...

Papa just plain LOVES me.

Papas are strong and no matter how tired they are after work...

They like helping you walk through the soft, still damp grass as the sun sets.

And he even let me play in the dirt!!

And for showing you the beautiful and good things that grow up from the ground...

And toting you back to the house, because it's almost supper time, and you just can't make it to the back door on your own.

Papas are just good like that.