Somewhere between summer and winter

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Every tree and shrub here in the panhandle of Florida is as green as Kermit. Are the leaves beginning to turn where you live?

Having lived most of my life in the mountains of north Alabama, I get homesick when September rolls out the red carpet for autumn. Here fall isn’t announced by changing leaves but by a change in the air.

Take a deep breath. You know what autumn smells like. You know what I’m talkin’ ‘bout. There’s briskness in every breeze with just a hint of colder weather sure to come.

As the season changes, so do our cravings for food. No more summer barbecues until next Memorial Day (thank goodness). It’s time for chili and soup and stew. My family has always been huge lovers of anything with a rich broth that provides sopping juice.

I only cook for my husband and myself these days, but I often prepare a big meal at the beginning of the week, and we graze on it until we’re ready for something new. Usually by day three any leftovers become remakes. Leftover roast and veggies become beef stew. Leftover soups may end up in the blender to become a coulis for the next meat dish later in the week.  Continue reading

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Darn Good Gravy & Green Thumbs

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Hey there, and welcome to my blog. Thanks for stopping by.

I grew up in the South where gravy accompanied nearly every meal (I shudder to think of life without gravy.) I’ll be sharing good recipes from time to time, many that prefer to swim in gravy.

I garden. Not as much as I used to, but as long as I live I’ll have something blooming in a pot. Have you seen a fruit cocktail shrimp plant (justicia brandegeana)?

shrimp-plant

I’ve only had this plant for two years. My good neighbor, Grace Howard, brought one home from the Florida Seafood Festival (they have crafts and vendors from all over each year). I was fascinated, having never seen or even heard of a fruit cocktail shrimp plant. I took off like Lindy’s goose to get me one. It was the last day of the festival and the plant man had only a few plants left. None of them were what I was looking for. I plead my poor-me story on how desperately I would love to have one of these rare beauties. He remembered that he had a start (the little thing was only a few inches high with no blooms) in his truck. So, $8.00 later, I hurried home to repot the plant, and within no time I had a healthy, bushy bunch of leaves.  Continue reading