28 August 2016


The last few weeks, I have offered you a long tale to read each weekend.  (Thank you to those who did read them.)  This summer I cut back on the blogging to just enjoy the Summer my way.  Today, I have some photos for you with links provided.   It has been quite a while since we talked food, so let's begin with that.  I made a few things this week which I found on blogs and which I think you would enjoy, too.  These three were all very easy, and I am all about easy this time of the year.  

Boy portion of Providence Chicken Mushroom casserole.
I used some chicken that Sweet Husband had smoked.  The dish has a sightly Southwestern flavor, with the green chilis and cumin, the amount of which I increased.  You could use another herb or spice if you want to.

Girl portion.

Providence Design is both a store and design firm, and they are based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Two sisters, so nice, publish a feature very now and then, called Sunday Supper.  You should check them out.
You need to go almost to the bottom of the linked post to get the recipe.
They are also fabulous Interior Designers, so you should check out their work if you do not know them.

The aroma while baking was divine!

Savory Apple Cheese puff pastry from Lavender & Lovage.
This is a UK food blog, and I often find some really good stuff on there.
Our puff pastry sheets in the States come in squares, but hers are round, and she cut them to make a ring.

I used both sheets, one on the bottom and one on the top.
Karen made several suggestions, and so I did add some crumbled bacon to the sliced Granny Smith apples and three cheeses (my cheeses were Creme Cheese, sharp cheddar and feta because that is what I had), since Sweet Husband thinks he can't eat without meat.  This is so easy and is definitely a keeper!

Then -- 

Small toasted squares from a Sprouts Ciabatta loaf.

Fig Crostini from Southern Living
I used feta cheese because that was what I had, mixed with a smidgen of mayo to hold it together.  I didn't have any thyme, so I left that out.  I drizzled over a bit of Jalepeno Honey that I found at the Farmer's Market.  Most excellent!
Our little fig tree made about a dozen big Brown Turkey Figs this year!  I hope next year we get many more -- they were really good.


Estate sale-ing wasn't quite as fruitful this week.  There were some interesting sales around, but when they are in dicey neighborhoods, or the gravel driveway is many miles long and you can only park at the bottom and walk up -- no thanks --  I don't care how good your stuff is!  We did visit one good sale on Friday, and I came away with these two items:
Papier Maché cachepot --
I plan to use this in the LR when I make the seasonal switcheroo.
Maybe some orchids in it?

Arthur Court pewter wine bottle coaster stamped 1995 on the back  -- $8.
A few years ago I found the napkin holder.  One more apiece and this could become a collection.  Uh-Oh.


The pantry still isn't completely organized, so I am not ready to unveil that just yet.  It's getting there, though.  I have started cleaning those nesting tables in short bursts, and soon I will start on the little breakfront/buffet you read about last week.  My goal is mid-October to be finished phasing in the cooler weather changes.  These tables are either seriously dirty or someone had used Old English on them repeatedly over the years because lots and lots of dark gunk is coming off.  Still...

The Friday sale also had a set of nesting tables, pretty little "Florentined" ones, but they were small in scale, priced at $150.  You will remember I scored mine for $50.  Also, I really like the heavily carved detail on mine much better.  I had looked for so long, and then on two consecutive weekends, I ran across two sets.  You just never know what you will find at these sales.  I am still kicking myself that I didn't grab the blue and white garden stool that is virtually identical to the one I have.  I like them in pairs.

As you know, I am not a fan of rushing the season with the decorating.  I don't do "themes" for the different seasons so much as I change the general feel of the rooms we use the most.  I have been doing this for many years, long before blogs, even when I didn't have much to work with back in the day.  Simple changes are slips, lamps or just the shades, candles, pillows, tabletop accessories  -- all of which help create a warmer or cooler feeling in your space depending on the season.  There is the time-honored tradition of taking up the wool rugs for Summer, too.   I actually used to change the curtains out, or just remove them altogether, in the Summer, but now I am too lazy.  Another easy seasonal change, if you have a space to store a few extras, is switching out small accent chairs, pictures and small side tables.   I have a chair fetish as you know, so I visit the Attic Boutique to get fresh ones a couple of times a year.   I think it makes a lot of difference in mood, and it certainly contributes to the enjoyment of the space.


Next, here are a few photos of some things I saw on Instagram, Pinterest or other blogs this week which caught my eye.   Do you screenshot things you like, too?  I usually only save the portion or object which interests me, not the whole photo.

Love the green and white lamps on the white console in this beach house.

Great fabric and paint from Designer's Guild.
I need to figure out where I could use this.

Cool range hood that someone made.  This doesn't look too hard.  Hmmmmmm...

It continues very hot here as it no doubt will for at least another month and a half, so I leave the gardening to Sweet Husband who tolerates the heat better than I do.  We finally finished up that Australian Horse Opera "McLeod's Daughters" -- all eight seasons of it.  The most popular show on Aussie TV and wonderful at first, it kind of limped along the last couple of seasons, so I was glad to drop the curtain on it although I was determined to finish what we started.  I am reading the newest book by Lianne Moriarty, TRULY MADLY GUILTY, and she never disappoints me.  

Old City Wall,

Finally, my son sends me photos from China, wonderful scenery from his travels and depictions of his new life there.  I am happy he is doing what he wants to do.  That is something we all want for our children, isn't it?  Soon I will share more of them.  
He is speaking here to a group of newspaper people  His translator is the lady in the blue dress to his right.

Meanwhile, let's wrap it up with this little funny he sent me yesterday:

21 August 2016


Estate Agent's photo


Usually it is Saturday before I get out to the sales, but there was one which said Friday only.  I left Sweet Husband mowing the front lawn, and I took off.  It was in a neighborhood which has sidewalks and many homes which display historical plaques by the front door.  I am not sure, but I think some friends of my parents lived in this area when I was a child, and we sometimes visited.   It seemed very familiar somehow.

One of quite a few etageres I saw at this sale.
It was a wreck.
I passed.

The streets are narrow, and some very inconsiderate boneheads had parked on both sides of the street.  That's a no-no at these sales, in case you didn't know.  Anyway, I U-turned around four times weaving my way along and backing up a few times to allow someone through.    Finally I parked a block away, then trudged up the sidewalk to the house, only to see about a million steps and no handrails.  I plodded back to the car, and relinquished the parking spot, and started all over.  Finally I parked about a half block away in the other direction.  I keep a cane in my car ever since I had the knee surgery because as you know, I still have another knee which needs replacing at some point.  I was thinking of all those brick steps.  Good thing I decided to use it because some of the bricks were loose.
detail of table top

When I reached the house, you couldn't "stir'em with a stick," as my sainted mother used to say.  I edged in sideways into a crush that turned out to be just the line to pay.  My eyes immediately fell upon the item I wanted (a bamboo/rattan plant stand) already parked behind the cash table -- so that was gone because it took me so blasted long to get parked.  I figured I had already gone to all that trouble just to get in there, so I gamely elbowed through to reconnoiter the the rest of the goods.  I promise I did not whack anyone with that cane (another maneuver my sainted mother was famous for), but it was a little tempting I have to admit.  I do believe there was stuff from more than one house or maybe even a shop, so packed was this little Tudor cottage.  There were some cool things, but more funky than good, if you get my drift, (an antique white wicker buffet with the most awful repair on a leg you can possibly imagine -- two angle brackets half-ass screwed on!).  I left my iPhone in the car, or I would show you some photos.  I did take a gander at two of several etageres, but they were both wrecked, having broken glass on a couple of the shelves.

Estate Agent's photo which sent me off on a wild goose chase

Back in my car, I pulled up estatesales.net and took a look to see if there were any other promising sales on Friday.  I found one and headed out -- and it was way, way, way out.  I made an offer which was accepted on a small-scale breakfront/hutch (for which I have been looking for a while) to paint and put in my kitchen in place of that little frenchy secretary which is going in the living room.   I told the agent I wanted to make an offer, but the piece did need a lot of work.  She countered with a lower offer than I made ($100) so I immediately accepted.  I did measure, I promise, and I truly THOUGHT it would fit in Sweet Husband's little Jeep when taken apart.  I told the lady I would be back soon because she said she always locks up and leaves at 2 p.m. sharp.  

You will probably not believe me if I describe what happened next, but here it is anyway.  I plugged in my home address into Google Maps since I was not going back in the same direction which took me there.   I got a little nervous when I turned off onto a very narrow country road which led back into a dense forrest, then into a very mountainous area.  Then another turn, onto a road even narrower and really dark because the forrest was even denser, and another one which was ONE-LANE, which took me across a one lane bridge.  

I should point out that there were really no houses, maybe only two, although every now and then there was a mailbox next to a narrow trail which led back into the deep woods, and the ever narrowing and badly half-paved road was full of hairpin turns and switchbacks.  Did I mention it was nearly dark in the deep woods?  It was what we in Alabama call a pig-trail!  The scenery was beautiful there is no denying that, but I was getting totally nervous because I was afraid I was going to wind up at some godforsaken dead-end, and something unspeakable would happen to me and no one would ever find me.  Poor Husband would be beside himself!  At one point, I had to move over off the road into a ditch to let a car pass, fortunately the only one I saw.  The mountain was straight up on my side and straight down on his.  Yes, a nerve-wracking little drive for a city girl.  

Finally, I emerged through the back side of a big horse farm onto Highway 119 about halfway between my area and Leeds, Alabama.  I breathed a great sigh of relief because then I knew exactly where I was.  After about fifteen minutes, I turned into my neighborhood, and I stifled the urge to  get out and kiss the entry sign.

Sweet Husband was thrilled naturally, when I told him we had to go pick up some furniture!   (not)  I decided to figure out better routes, however.  Turned out it was very easy using the Interstates, and we knew exactly where we were.  Why on earth Google Maps gave me that ungodly pig-trail route is beyond me.  I think I will stick to iMaps (the Apple Map App) from now on.  At least I will compare the two before setting off into the unknown.

About the time we were ready to leave, we had a sudden gully-washer.  (That's Alabama-ese for a heavy rainstorm.  Texas folks usually say a frog-strangler.)  This has happened every afternoon for over a week, and the sun comes out again after the drenching.   Not unusual this time of year, I might add.
leg detail

When we got back to the house outside of Irondale (remember the town in "Fried Green Tomatoes?"), we dismantled the buffet and hutch.  After placing it on the much used and Abstract Expressionist drop cloth (created by spray painting a bunch of things on it) which we used to drag it out of the house,  Sweet Husband turned to me and said, "In what universe did you think this thing was going to fit in the Jeep?"  I said, "In my defense I measured   --  twice!  There is plenty of room in the back of the Jeep --it's not my fault the opening is too small!!!"  So we dragged it back inside.

So we told the nice lady we would be back 'tomorrow' with another vehicle -- and she said the earlier the better.    "No worries," I told her.  "We'll be here."  Then we had another gullywasher on the way home with people flying by us on I-459 like we were standing still.  Idiots.

We took ourselves on over to Metro Truck Rental and Warehouse Storage, and signed up for a van.  The guy said the best deal was to go ahead and take it for 24 hours, so that's what we did.  It sat in the driveway overnight.


Bright and early we took off to the farmer's market down at Lee Branch.  I made a beeline for my favorite vendor from Oneonta and got a goodly amount of the things we like best:  the last of her sweet corn, rattlesnake pole beans, okra, tomatoes and peaches.  It is mocking me in the kitchen as I write:  "Fix me!"  (When I shucked the corn later, there was a worm in the prettiest ear, so I had to trash that one.  Boo-hiss!)

We hurried home, dropped off the produce, put on close-toe shoes, hopped in that big Metro Van and headed back to Irondale.  Upon arriving, we decided to walk the pieces onto the drop cloth and then cantilever them into the van.  First, Sweet Husband cut his hand removing the glass from one of the front panels.  He was bleeding everywhere, and the estate agent told him to go wash his hands so he did, but there was no soap nobody had any bandaids.  He wrapped it in toilet paper which immediately soaked through.  Later, as we were about to leave, I found some clean tissues in my bag along with the GermX I am never without, and we cleaned it up again with that.

two pillow forms still in the package from the sale with all the fabric

Then a very nice African-American gentlemen walked up behind me and said very softly, "I got this."  He helped Sweet Husband heave the thing into the van after he first removed the glass shelves which he carefully wrapped in some old towels from home we had thrown into the back of the van.  Then they got the buffet part, and lashed it to the sides of the van.  I darted around to my handbag in the passenger side of the cab, extracted a $20, and as he was walking away, I made to shake his hand.  He left with the bill.  "Thank you Ma'am," he said, not looking directly at me.  

The thing is now sitting in my garage, still in two parts.  The glass is thin and flimsy.  I will not be using the shelf inserts, and I haven't decided about the outer side pieces.  That mesh detail is also coming loose.  Only the center door actually opens.  I have my work cut out for me!

The sweet young couple next door offered to unload it, but we got it out of the van, no problem, and kind of walked it into the garage.  It needs a serious cleaning, a couple of small repairs, some wood inserts for the shelves where the glass was, and then it is going to get a serious paint job.  Probably about the end of September, we will play "Shake It Up, Baby!" and it will find it a new home in the kitchen.

The Imari demitasse and one of the remnants

We returned the rental van where we got socked with a $35 charge for a chip in the windshield.  I had asked the hubs if that was a bug or a chip on the windshield on the way home, and he said he didn't see it before.  We agreed we never saw anything hit the windshield.  So  -- my "bargain" hutch wound up costing the rental fee for the van plus a damage fee:  Total of $85.  Ka-ching....  Is it really a bargain now?  Maybe.

Home again, we had lunch, then off we went again, this time to two estate sales in Mountain Brook.  First stop, I didn't really think there was anything there for me, but I was wrong.  I found a little demitasse Imari cup and saucer to add to my collection right off the bat.  I kept seeing people with fabric.  I asked.  Sure enough, there was an ENTIRE ROOM of mostly decorator fabric down in the finished basement.  

I chose two remnants and one length on the bolt, plus two brand new pillow forms still in the package.  After paying for my purchases, we headed to the other sale.  

The other house looked like an old stone castle.  I couldn't believe it when I walked in and there was a huge sign which said "Everything Half Price" -- and I dashed around looking for the item I was sure would be long gone.  I found it!  Nesting tables!  I am pretty sure these are Italian or a pretty good imitation thereof, and there is definitely some age on these things.  
"detail of the Matisse fabric"

Now this is where I need some help from some of you who know more about these olden things than I do.  I am not really keen on the "peely-flaky" tops or the "ancient-age" look of the body.  There is no maker's mark, only a handwritten number on the underside.   I assume they are vintage, not antique.  The tables do have pretty cool carvings, but the off-white or whatever the paint was is very oxidized.  HELP!!!  I think I would like to kind of touch up the paint on the top, then repaint the apron and legs whiter.  Or I could use lime wax.  What do you think?  The set cost $50 at half, and so I assume it is not a terribly valuable thing that I would be screwing up if I make it look better with fresh paint.  

You probably can't tell in the photos, but they are oxidized to the point of being a dark dirty gold.  Otherwise, they are fine except for the flaked-off paint on the tops.  There is some gilding around the edges, and I think that could be improved, too. I would love your feedback on this!


14 August 2016


This weekend's estate sale find

Hard at work at his mistress's bidding!

If you have been reading for a while, you might remember that I have been teaching Sweet Husband to paint (walls and woodwork -- he has no artistic ability at all!).  He is getting much better at it, although he still gets a lot of paint in his hair, etc., while screwing up my perfectly good paintbrushes.  However, he is a perfectionist, and he will keep at it till the job looks perfect.  If only you could hire some pros with such drive!

pantry in progress

The last area to be painted in our house (before I decide to change all the colors and start all over, that is) was the pesky pantry, if you could call it that.  It was the last space painted that hideous yellow ochre color, also known here as "Baby Poop Yellow."   Located under the stairs in the area between the kitchen and dining room, it originally housed the water heater and no doubt the brooms and the vacuum before the previous homeowner decided to make herself a pantry out of it.  She relocated the water heater to the garage, and then she installed the ubiquitous crappy wire shelves that are found in all houses built since the 80s.  This is one thing she got half right:  I am happy the water heater is gone, but I hate the wire shelving.

For now that shelving will remain, but in the future, I may go into carpenter mode and change that, too, to heavy-duty honest wood shelves.  I suppose one positive thing about these wire shelf systems is that they allow the air to circulate.   However, they will not support tons of weight.  The previous homeowner had enough canned goods in there to tide her over through a couple of nuclear wars.  I buy very little that comes in a can, so I have had a lot of overflow cooking equipment in there, because I do have a lot of that.    The space was also packed tightly with brooms, mops, vacuums, rolling carts and my mixer cart.  We have installed racks on the inside of the pantry door, too.  The whole thing had reached critical mass, and something had to be done!

Thursday we cleaned it all out, and the living room and dining room looked like a cyclone had hit for a few days with piles everywhere.  I reorganized a lot of things while they were out where I could see them, and I decided that my fifty million cake pans could live in their red cloth baskets in the garage shelving.  I don't bake as many cakes as I used to, but I do need them sometimes, if not ALL the time.  

I knew I wanted my everyday table linens in this closet as well as my casseroles and baking dishes because they were always getting dusty in the laundry room shelves.  If you read me regularly, you already know that this house does not have a lot of storage for a hoarder pack-rat person such as myself.  I really miss those giant walk-in closets my last house had all over the place, not to mention the large basement.   So the Pyrex and Corning Ware, etc., also needed to go in this space.  

This space serves another function, too, although we have not been called upon to use it yet, and I hope we never do.  It is one of our two de facto storm shelters.  This house would not stand a chance, nor would we, in the face of an F5 tornado, but since we do not have a basement, it is the best we can do for storms of lesser magnitude.  The husband had a few years ago installed heavy locks which bolt down into the floor, although I can't remember what they are called, into this closet and another interior closet.  After Alabama got slammed with an F5 on April 27 about five years ago, we realized we had to have some kind of a game plan.    These two interior closets are all we have for defense against tornadoes if we are home.  This Spring there were some dire weather threats, and I called that government agency which is supposed to help the general population in times like these.  They told me there are no public shelters in our area!  About the only thing to do would be to hightail it out of here into an area which is not under a threat, I suppose.  Mercifully, we have not been faced with that so far.   Builders need their !@#$%^&*! heads examined for building houses in our area without a good solid basement!!!

But -- that is not what this post is about, so on we go.  The pantry and its ugly tile floor (like the kitchen floor) got drenched in white paint top to bottom, and I am still in the process of getting it reorganized.  It is now bright, light and fresh.  We still have that ugly-ass "boob light" installed by the previous homeowner, but it gets the job done. 

Next time, I will show you my genius reorganizing, but I am not quite finished yet.  This is Sunday, and even God rested on the seventh day.


Another little antique chair.

The other thing to tell you about this time is my estate sale finds.  I got some good deals this weekend, and my bid of $35 won on this little antique walnut chair!  Fortunately the fabric is in good shape and a good Fall color, so I am not about to pull out all those millions of upholstery nails.  There don't appear to be any staples in this thing.  

The foo dog seemed to be missing his other half, but I have plans to gold leaf him, so he will find a little spot all on his own.   The cute little scarecrow in a basket will not come out till Fall (which is a ways off, people, for all you who like to rush the season!), and the Oriental bowl found a home in our bedroom.  In true Thompson fashion, it will no doubt be full of junk in no time.

That's my exciting week, and on the agenda for this coming week will be making some pickled okra.  This Saturday's stop at the Farmer's Market yielded two baskets of beautiful okra, so most will get pickled.  The rest will be fried.  

We have had a good bit of rain off and on over the last week, but we so needed it.  It does cool things off a little bit for a little while, but then we are back to sweltering.  My commiserations to all you folks in the Dallas area -- those temps are miserable, I know.

This poor little wall-eyed scarecrow needed me!

08 August 2016


Summer in the Dining Room

Summer Foyer

Summertime is for being lazy.  That's my take on it, anyway, and I am living proof.  Farmer's Markets bursting with fresh fruits and vegetables; estate sales galore; juicy books to read while licking an ice cream cone; piles of magazines on all subjects to catch up on; concocting new summer clothes on my trusty sewing machine; binge-watching a new-to-me Australian family drama on Hulu (McLeod's Daughter's) -- all these things have kept me occupied during these days when the thermometer hits or tops 100 degrees.  I think whoever invented Central Air Conditioning should be canonized for Sainthood!

On the way to lunch on my birthday --
wearing That Dress!

I had a birthday last week, but it was kind of anti-climactic, since we usually start doing "special" things with the husband's birthday which is two weeks before mine.  At this point, I am just happy to be healthy and topside, so unless it is a milestone birthday, I don't get giddy about it anymore, just say thanks for having it.   I couldn't think of anything special I wanted this year, so I didn't ask for anything.  There are things I would change, if I could ask for something, for some old friends who have not had such an easy time of it, but I can't, although I can listen and offer empathy.     The highlight of my birthday was a phone call from a friend I hadn't spoken with in quite a while.

A little Prosecco with dessert for the birthday!

Weekends, we usually hit a few estate sales after an early run to the farmer's market, and I came away last weekend with four little white china Asian figures for a total of $8.  I don't think any of them are the good blanc de chine, but they are kind of cute don't you think?  The first pair are both oriented the same way, which seemed weird, so I separated them.  The guy on the left is pining for his lady love nearby on the right.



This pair went into sweet Husband's office area on top of the armoire.
I keep thinking I would like to paint this armoire a Chinese red.
What do you think?

In an unlikely sale this weekend, I stumbled onto a big silver coffee urn, labeled a samovar, although it is not exactly what I would call a samovar.  It is decorative, however, and I am working on getting some serious corrosion out of the inside and on the working parts.  I don't know that I will ever actually try to use it for coffee -- I guess it depends on whether or not I can get all the corrosion out.  I might just polish it up and look at it.
Grotesque corrosion inside

First I tried the soda/ aluminum foil remedy.
You would not believe the weird black color the foil turned!

Here just before pouring in the boiling water.
That got some of it, so next I tried Barkeepers Friend (inside only).
That got out a lot more, but not all, even after soaking it overnight.  
The after -- looks good, but it is still not usable.
I guess a visit to Bromberg's might be on my list.

In place.
I still haven't figured out the trick for shooting directly toward a bright window.
Anybody care to share the secret?

I have enjoyed several birthday lunches over the last couple of weeks, although the one on the actual day with Sweet Husband was kind of a bust.  It was 103 that day, and that may have had something to do with it.  Who wants to eat anyway when it's that hot?  A nice cocktail carefully mixed and enjoyed while lounging under the ceiling fan in my living/reading room makes the Good Ole Summertime bearable.  I have been experimenting with Rosé wines, St Germain liqueur, and various other libations to make some fun concoctions.

I am still searching for an affordable small etagere or book shelf for a little corner in the LR.  (Behind that wicker chair under the painting, in case you were wondering.)  Pier 1 sent me a "Birthday Card" proclaiming 20% off the entire purchase  for the month of August because I am wonderful and it is my birth month, so I found something I liked on their website, on clearance.  It said "Free Shipping" so I thought that might be pretty nice:  clearance price, free shipping and an extra 20% off.  I had trouble getting their site to apply the codes, and I was not seeing the price I had already worked out before starting the order.  So I called them, and they said, "Oh sorry, you can't apply more than one thing at a time!"  Did I mention there was also a $40 up-charge on the delivery which was NOT waived?  I said, "Well, that stinks, and this is false advertising!  Happy Birthday to me!"  Then I hung up.  I guess she thought I was rude, but after I had spent quite a long time looking, I thought I had found a nice deal which turned out to be only a flimflam.  The total would have been well over their so-called "Clearance" price in the end, probably over the original price as well.  I decided I could live a while longer without one.  Meanwhile, the piles of books on the floor grow...

Birthday Cards!

Believe it or not, the leaves are starting to drop from our trees!  And, oh, here's a shot of that valiant little peach tree in the front yard.  I think I shall name it Phoenix.   The husband says I should call it Geneva because every time we thought for sure she was dying, she perked up.  He has a point.

Another harbinger of Fall is my sneezing!  Anyone else experiencing early warning signs?

Speaking of coming back with a blast, look at this basil!  We harvested it once already, and I made pesto.  There was a huge amount, but I think I have only five one-quart bags of pesto in the freezer.  It takes a LOT of basil to make pesto.  In my fridge, I actually already had a jar from Costco, so I have been using that this summer rather than using up the homemade.   Anybody know how to freeze successfully just the basil, not make pesto of all of it?  
The crape myrtle

The mint pot is doing well, too, and the oregano has decided to become a ground cover, practically squeezing out the lavender.  The tomato plants we grew from seed have only made about six tomatoes all summer, although the plants are big and healthy.   That seed packet of asparagus has resulted in a nice healthy plant, but I read that it will be three years before there is any asparagus.  I probably won't hold my breath.


Produce from our local farmers has been fantastic this year.  My freezer is getting filled up rapidly, and I am looking forward to enjoying some of these things over the winter, too.  I got a humongous basket of nice peaches yesterday, and they threw in an extra basket for free of the white fleshed peaches.  We ate some of those for breakfast today.  I see a peach cobbler in the future!

My favorite thing summer produce-wise is probably pretty, fresh little pods of okra.  There is a recipe that looks easy in this month's Southern Living for pickled okra.  That is on the agenda for next week.  I am a Southern girl, and so, of course, I do love my fried okra.  It is dandy for gumbo and a few other dishes, too, but fried is best.  Add a big juicy red ripe tomato, and what more do you need?  It makes the hot summer worth it.

P.S.  I just noticed -- this is the 600th post on this blog?  I wonder how many total I would have had if I had saved the old blogs?  Hmmm -- that's a lot of time.  Anyone else experiencing hiccups with Blogger?


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Guest Blog by Brendan Davis December 11, 2016 Beijing, China Hello, dear readers and friends - virtual or otherwise - of my ...