Saturday, July 24, 2010

Brothers and Birthdays

Ten reasons to celebrate the birthday of my younger brother with a cake baked by my daughter ~

1)  He never fails to remember mine.
2)  He leaves messages on my voice mail.
3)  He likes my cooking.
4)  His wife is nice to me ;-)
5)  His #1 son answered my email.
6)  His #2 son enjoyed a Summer Sunday with us.
7)  His daughter writes sweet thank-you notes.
8)  His #3 son's lacrosse game prompted this get-together.
9)  He remembered to share a book with me.
10)He shows his appreciation.

Here he is on the left, posing with DH.

Both fellas have July birthdays.

Brothers and Birthdays.....

Just go together.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Supper

Chicken Salad-stuffed Tomato
Fruit 'n Nut Bread
Fresh Pineapple Chunks

Pinot Grigio

Home-grown tomatoes are prized possessions in the South and I dont pretend that I can grow them.  I do, however, gladly receive them from friends and give them their place of honor at mealtime.

Just because we'd already enjoyed BLTs earlier this week did not mean that we couldnt have tomatoes once again. 

Tomatoes inspire not only new menus (chicken salad creation by DD#3), but also gastronomic verse in the style of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Here's some tomato love poetry which I copied from a 2006 Washington Post article.

 Sonnet #43, Kitchen Style.

How do I love thee, tomato? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and might
My palate can reach, when remembering out of sight
Your peak month of August, when you bear fruits of juicy Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most urgent need for a BLT, by sun or moon-light.
I love thee with abandon, as Venus might her Mars or Vulcan
I love thee purely, as surely as the summer wanes
I love thee with the passion of my appetite
Above all fruits, and with my childhood's eye of Georgia tomatoes
As if they were falling from the sky.
I love thee with a hunger I seemed to lose
With my lost innocence (and the icky mealy tomatoes of January)! I love thee with the smell,
Unlike no other in the garden, and your vine-ripened sweetness
That bring me smiles, tears, only at this time of year! -- and if the farmers choose
I shall but love thee better after many bowls of gazpacho.

What your favorite summer garden vegetable or fruit?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer Sunday

Watermelon Soup and Collard Green Pie were two of my contributions to the fellowship meal held after our morning service today. 

Practically speaking, I opened the refrigerator last night trying to decide what to prepare for the next day's meal.  I was determined to use what was already there ~ a very large watermelon from the family reunion and collards from last Sunday's dinner.

Recently we had enjoyed a perennial summer favorite, Gazpacho.  That cold vegetable soup together with the soaring summer temperatures inspired me to consider more cold options.
With only minor variations I followed the watermelon soup recipe found at Great Cold Soups. For example, instead of a Riesling, I used a homemade sweet white that I had on hand (a gift from a friend).  In turn that made me choose sparkling water where the recipe called for sparkling wine.  Then impulsively right before serving, I added some finely diced cucumber (not pictured) for contrast.

The collard green pie is crustless and made with seasoned greens, a combination of ricotta and cottage cheeses, eggs, butter, and flour.  The brown topping is crumbled homemade croutons.  I'm still working with this recipe which I'm trying to re-create from a teenage memory.  I think it needs less cheese and a puff pastry to be more in line with what I remember from my summer abroad.

Overall, it was lots of fun to share new food with old friends.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Let dogs delight to bark and bite,
For God hath made them so;
Let bears and lions growl and fight,
For 'tis their nature too.

But, children, you should never let
Your angry passions rise;

Your little hands were never made
To tear each other's eyes.

Isaac Watts
1674 - 1748
English poet, hymnwriter

Monday, July 05, 2010

My Hero

On the battlefield, when surrounded and cheered by pomp, excitement, and admiration of devoted comrades, and inspired by strains of martial music and the hope of future reward, it is comparatively easy to be a hero, to do heroic deeds.

But to uphold honor in ordinary circumstances, to be a hero in common life, that is a genuine achievement meriting our highest admiration.

Booker T. Washington
1856 – 1915