house projects: nothing a little paint can't fix

In between flower shop dreams and resume tweaking and box unpacking, I've had some time for a little paint therapy. Even painting a big black box on an old door is a nice brain break from the to-do lists.

My parents found this headboard at an estate sale where it was kind of plain and an icky brown. I picked up an ornamental raw wood piece and attached it with wood glue to the top. Ignore the fact that it's the tiniest bit too big for the space. I loved it too much to let that bother me. D rigged up the base so that it'd be taller [love a man that can rig], and I painted it with a light french grey that I expected to be a little darker.

In the spirit of parental finds, my dad practically plundered [legally, that is] a house being torn down which their church had purchased. He handed down one of the many doors which I decided to turn into a kitchen chalkboard. Not terribly original - but definitely usable!

Three cheers for my parents and their awesome estate sale skills!


pimento cheese and courage

After a great estrogen-filled week [poor Pops] in North Louisiana, I am so happy to be back in SC with D. I can still taste all that rich summer food from mom's kitchen. And so can my thighs.

[The BEST] Classic and Easy Pimento Cheese
A Southern Living Recipe

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 4-oz. jar of diced pimento, drained
1 tsp. Worcestershire
1 tsp finely grated onion
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1 cup chopped pecans
1 8-oz. block extra sharp Cheddar, finely shredded
1 8-oz. block sharp Cheddar, coarsely shredded

Mix together mayo, pimento, Worcestershire, onion, and red pepper.

Toast pecans at 350 degrees in a single layer for 8-10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant. Stir halfway through.

Grate cheese. Add pecans and cheese to the mayo mixture. Stir until blended.

Eat on bread [especially grilled] or crackers or, my personal favorite, a fork. Oh - or between two fried green tomatoes.

After a two day trek, I hopped right back in the car, plugged an address into the Garim [per usual], and twisted through two hours worth of tight Lowcountry roads. I was in such of a hurry that I had no idea which direction I was driving, but the increase in palmetto trees on the side of the road kind of gave it away. I was the last one to find a seat in one of the classrooms of the unexpectedly small technical college and listened for two hours as a seasoned florists told us all of her tips and tricks in a thick Savannah accent. As she was talking about pricing your work, she said, "You can add $5 if you feelin' like you are worth more today." I love her already. She also said she was feeling "all puffed up" after finding out that I drove so far to attend the class. I can't wait to go back.

I've never really gone after much without a connection or what seemed like the proper training or some experience. The bottom line is that I want to be a florist, but I have none of the previously mentioned comforts - especially connections. So this is a brand new journey which could [but hopefully will not] end in a crash and burn. Or it could take a lot longer than planned. Or...it could be really good. I have hope that it'll be really good.


tomato pie

This pie crusted beauty was waiting for us on the kitchen island when we got into town with the two little ones. Fresh summer tomatoes, herbs, lots of cheese, and a pie crust - what more could you want? As much as I appreciate the countless websites full of thousands of recipes available by a click of a mouse, it's hard to beat a hand written recipe, creased and spotted with grease from years of use.

So, if you'd like, I'd be happy to write this out with and old fashion pen and stick it in the mail with an old fashion stamp simply for the sake of hand written recipes. 

From Grits and Groceries in Saylors Crossroads, SC [which was then passed to us from my sister's neighbor].

4 medium size ripe tomatoes
2 tsp. salt
1 cup [4 oz.] shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 refrigerated pie crusts

Slice tomatoes into 1/4 inch thick slices. Arrange tomato slices on several layers of paper towels over a wire wrack. Sprinkle with 2 tsp. salt; cover with more paper towels, pressing gently. Let salted tomatoes stand 1 hour, replacing paper towels on top and bottom after 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine cheese, mayonnaise, herbs, pepper, and onion in a medium bowl; stir well, and set aside. Roll pie crust into a 13-inch circle on a flat surface. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate; fold edges under and crimp. Firmly pat tomato slices dry with additional paper towels. Arrange tomato slices in pie crust; top with cheese mixture.

Bake at 350 on lowest over rack for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely. Makes 8 servings.

Now...you may have never had tomato pie, and it may not sound good to you when you read it. But I need you to go ahead and try it. Hurry! Summer tomatoes will be gone before you know it!

Other than food, we're being reminded that rope swings and kitchen table talks and indoor forts and baby rocking is good for the soul. I only wish my hard-working and hiking D was here [miss you!!!].


fort jackson to ruston

A pretend weekend on a Wednesday is just about the best mid-week gift there is. D and I made the most of those extra 24 hours with cooking lots of food [and eating lots of food]. I made my first peach cobbler which makes me feel as though I am a true Southern, Ruston girl.

With three ziplocks full of watermelon and several jars full of iced tea, we discovered that military bases are the places to go for a firework show. Not to mention the fifty cannon solute to each state during which we proudly hollered as they announced the Pelican State [and then discussed how we thought it should be called the Bayou State instead].

The next morning, I packed up and headed to Alabama to pick up these cuties...

The big sister and I made the trip to Mom's house where we're doing lots of baby-snuggling, genealogy-digging, and good-food-eating. And by good food I mean tomato pie, pimento cheese, and Texas sheet cake. More on all of that later [and by more I mean recipes].


...and grow vegetables in the dirt!

I'd first like to take a moment to thank the City of Columbia for the warm welcome. And by warm welcome I mean a record heat index of 115 degrees.

So, on Saturday, we did what any normal people would do: ran errands in a dark-colored car and worked in the yard.

But finishing my long-wished-for project was well worth braving the heat.

I do realize that herbs are not vegetables [right?], but I had to work in that line from my favorite movie. A sprig of rosemary to anyone who knows it! If you know the rest of the line, I'm pretty sure I went to Publix with potting soil on my dress. And my face. That should count as "ugly clothes."

Just in case you have planting plans too, this video from The Kitchn was incredibly helpful to this clueless gardener.

Come visit for some basil pesto, mint tea, and rosemary bread! After all, "...we're supposed to wear funny looking hats and ugly clothes and grow vegetables in the dirt."