Friday, June 22, 2012

Suthunuhs Love Their Cornbread

When it is hot summer weather, and all you want to eat is fresh vegetables from the garden, you gotta have cornbread!

Mr. Jolly likes his cornbread sweet.  I don't... might be something my Mama said about Yankees putting sugar in their cornbread mix.  I make cornbread muffins so we can both enjoy our cornbread the way we like it.  I use pink cups for mine and blue for Mr. Jolly.

If you spotted the ear of corn in the picture above, I cut the corn off  the cob and roast the kernels in a dry iron skillet until slightly  charred as if the corn had been grilled, and then folded into the coarse, yellow cornmeal.  I pour buttermilk in and mix lightly (mixture is still lumpy); add cheddar cheese, and fresh chopped jalapeno peppers; pour half of mixture in pink cups then add a little sugar for the Yankee muffins.  I don't measure anything I just eyeball the contents and look for a consistency (do not over mix)that is not too runny.

My favorite cornbread is baked in an iron skillet or cast iron cornstick pan and not in fancy cupcake wrappers.

To keep the cornbread from sticking I heat up the cast iron skillet with about a teaspoon of shortening and then throw in a tablespoon of plain cornmeal and then add my cornbread batter while it is sizzling.  This will make the crust of the cornbread crunchy.  Preheat your oven to 350°. Be sure to not overcook the cornbread, it will be all dry and crumbly inside.  Test the center of the cornbread with a wooden toothpick.  My most favorite, favorite cornbread is adding lip smacking cracklins to the batter.  Are you wondering what the heck are cracklins? Cracklins are not the same as pork rinds or pork skins you see in the grocery.  Fresh country cracklins are the hog skin with a layer of fat, then fried or smoked. 

So what's on for dinner tonight... cornbread, center cut ham steaks, spicy pinto beans(started with dried beans soaked over night)  tomatoes, and green scallions.  I could have done without the ham steaks, but Mr. Jolly thinks they will be perfect for this Suthunuh's dinner.  Ending the meal with grown-up frozen popsicles.  Home made lemonade, champagne, orange liqueur- cointreau poured into molds.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hunting for Junk and Treasures at Lucketts

Last weekend was a perfect time to drive to the Lucketts Annual Spring Market.

The Old Lucketts General Store and Design House scored an A+ on the execution of their Spring Market.  They had 170 antique dealers surrounding the stores on 15 acres, with excellent food vendors and live music.  The weather could not have been more perfect.  The collection of antiques, home accessories, funky clothing and cool junk to transform into your own museum piece would have made any junk hunter swoon.  Mr. Jolly even enjoyed going from tent to tent viewing all of the stuff.  Of course, he knew that he was safe from me dragging a big piece of furniture home, because we were in a two-seater car, and not in my old SUV that I can flip down all the seats and haul half a barn  home. 

Love the Handle on the Red Door

Built from Salvaged Finds

Reflection of a Shopper

Should Have Bought  These

Well, I can not believe that I went home empty handed from this wonderful event, but I have business cards and notes from some of the vendors that I really liked.  The Lucketts Store has a perfect wine bottle chandlier that I see as a birthday gift to myself. So it is not over yet! 

If you happen to be rambling around on a weekend, and you missed  the Spring Market you can still shop at the Lucketts Store in Leesburg, VA.  seven days a week.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Farm Fresh Eggs From Sunnybrook Farms

I had big plans yesterday to stop by two local farms to buy fresh eggs.  First, I forgot my country manners of calling first, and second,  I forgot to take my empty egg cartons.  Driving to my first destination on Snickersville Turnpike with my camera tucked neatly into my pocket for a possible impromptu photo of the chickens was foiled by  a yellow chain blocking their drive way.  I was so disappointed!  I had passed by their farm last Friday, and they had a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers for sale which I would have snapped up, but Mr. Jolly was behind the wheel with the vision of a large bucket of popcorn and a movie.  Stopping was not an option for him!  I was so ready to buy their fresh flowers, and fresh farm eggs.  I will  remember next week to call first!  I really wanted fresh eggs so I did a u-turn and headed back down Snickersville Turnpike --  my destination this time, a farm on St. Louis Road in Middleburg.  I have passed by this farm many times, and I always say to myself "I must stop here sometime!"  Having decided this spring that most of my food purchases will be made locally, and hopefully from my neighbors, I am on a quest.  My country definition  for neighbors means " If they are in Western Loudoun County...they are my neighbors." 

I arrive at my destination of Sunnybrook Farms and pull into the driveway. 

Another closed gate, but the Produce Cart is there.  YEA! 

Sunnybrook Produce Cart

Country Honor System

You don't see any eggs on the cart, because I snagged the last dozen of eggs available, and I had safely stowed them  in the front seat of my car.  Sunnybrook Farm also has hand spun yarn available at the Produce Cart, and other seasonal finds from their garden.  The yarn is spun from the raw wool from their very own sheep.  I definitely want a photo shoot with their Teletubby Cormo Sheep: Dipsy, LaLa and Po.  In February Lily, their Jacob Ewe gave birth to Lottie, who  thinks she is a dog.  Lottie hangs out in their house with the dogs, and at night sleeps on her dog bed next to their bed.  I have to see this sweet baby, named Lottie.    Hopefully I will catch Bridget, the owner of Sunnybrook Farm and she will introduce me to her lambs.  Here is a picture of my fresh eggs.

Fresh Eggs from Sunnybrook

Did you know that you don't have to refrigerate fresh farm eggs?  You can leave them out on your kitchen counter as long as they have not been refrigerated, and they have not have been washed.  In most countries other than the US, they never refrigerate their eggs.  Now, how would you like your eggs cooked for breakfast, Mr. Jolly?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Classic Cars on Main Street

Heading home on Saturday after lunch in Purcellville, I spotted a line-up of classic cars parked in the parking lot of Cardinal Bank on Main Street. Of course, I had to turn around and go back to look at the cars.  I have what could be called a suppressed addiction to old cars.  Mr. Jolly likes to refer to my addiction as "Brenda's used cars that don't run." Sitting in a circle under a large shade tree were the owners of these classic beauties.  They call themselves "CAM Jammers", a classic car club in Purcellville. They usually gather in the parking lot on Saturday afternoons to enjoy each others cars.

Purcellville CAM Jammers

I immediately walked upto one of the owners, Bill Krens and started to ask about his sleek Buick Skylark.

Bill Krens with his Skylark

Mr. Krens, a retired air traffic controller was happy to share his knowledge about his car.  The Skylark first appeared in limited production in 1953 and 1954. There were only 836 Skylarks manufactured in 1954 like his, and the unique chrome tailfins, containing the tail lights had never been seen before. The Skylark name vanished after 1954, only to reappear in 1961. This is such a classy looking car! Mr. Krens, an avid collector of old cars, said he has approximately 123 cars stored on his farm in Hillsboro.  Wow!  Talking to him was a treat, and he agreed I could call him up for a visit to see all of his cars.  Besides being a collector of cars he has his own airstrip on his farm for his planes. Can't wait to find a weekend to request a visit. Another passion of mine, airplanes.  Don't ask me why!

I think classic cars take us back to our childhood, and this car sitting in the parking lot brought back many memories of my parents' 1959 Pontiac.  I always thought the back fins on our car was so Jetson, and I loved our interior color of Sunset Glow with ivory.

1959 Pontiac Catalina

This car reminded me of my sister's high school boyfriend's red Chevy.  Remember drive-in movie theaters? This car was perfect for a summer night at the movies.

1960 Chevy Impala

I could go on and on about all of the cars, so I will end with one last photo of a newer car and his owner Alan Jackson. 

Alan W. Jackson with his Corvette

If you happen to be in Purcellville on a Saturday afternoon around 4 pm  and you love classic cars, stop by and visit the Cam Jammers.

Monday, May 7, 2012

After Lunch, Time for Some Shopping

Hopped across the street from having lunch at Market Burger to Purcellville Marketplace.  Their new storefront in the Old Samuel Case Building is deceptive of how big the building really is.  Their old location was twice as large, but the charm of exposed beams and old brick in their new location is charming, and works well with all of their old vintage display cases used through out the store.    I always head here when I need a last minute birthday gift, candles, or just something that reflects the country attitude.  I started chatting with Matt Totman to see how he likes the new location, and I wanted to make sure that everything was going well. I would be an unhappy camper if they moved from Purcellville.  It is the kind of store that you can wander around for hours, and of course buy things you don't need.    From my experience it takes at least 3-4 times around the store before you see everything.  I'm always methodical in covering every inch of a store.  This of course drives Mr. Jolly insane, so my methodical approach is reserved when he is not with me, and I am lucky to get one walk thru when he is with me.

Doesn't Look Like Much From the Outside, but

if you heed the sign in their window

This is what awaits you inside

You can have all of the assistance you want, or just be left alone as you wander around the store.  Matt and his crew know just the right amount of help to offer.

I know Christmas is not on anyone's mind right now, but they have a room that is always stuffed with Christopher Radko ornaments.  A little weakness of mine.   


Love, Love our neighborhood gift store!   My next purchase
a great wooden tray for the 4th of july

What I love about country stores, you walk in as a stranger and leave as a friend.  Thanks Matt for the candy!

Click on any picture to enlarge

Farm-to-Table Burger Joint in Purcellville

I've been wanting to try the new restaurant, Market Burger Fries & Shakes in Old Town Purcellville ever since it opened. The promise of fresh local and farm-to-table ingredients at a Burger joint was hard to pass up, and throw in an old fashioned malted milkshake made it easy to enticed Mr. Jolly  for a quick trip into Purcellville.  We have three towns to choose from Middleburg, Purcellville, and Roundhill, if we want to go out to eat and not drive 45 minutes or more.

Store Front on Main Street

It was a late lunch for us arriving after 2:30 pm, but Market Burger was doing a thriving business.  I must warn you they only take cash.  Thank goodness I had cash, because we were starving. Their hamburgers are made using local beef, buns, and produce.  They hand cut their fries and the milkshakes are made from scratch.   On their Blackboard they even tell you the current sources for what you are about to order.

Chili Burger (for Me), Bacon-Cheese Burger ( for Mr. Jolly) and Hand-cut Fries

Sorry,  we just could not wait for me to take pictures before we pounced on our lunch.  After 3 or 4 bites of my burger and many swigs of the chocolate shake, I was able to get back to the business of taking pictures.  If you notice, my chili burger had a healthy dose of fresh jalapeno peppers which added just the right amount of zip.  Our lunch for two was served on a single black tray lined with white paper. The milkshake was thick and rich.

If I had my wishes, the milkshake would not have been served in a Styrofoam container.  If I had my wishes, our lunch would not have cost a whopping $30 bucks.  A little pricey, considering this was two burgers, one order of fries, one milkshake, and one bottle of water.  I am totally committed to supporting local businesses and local sourced food, but I have to admit this was a pause for me for when and if  I stop in to order again.  Suggestions to myself---------------Place Take-out Order- double beef burger with complimentary toppings with fries for Mr. Jolly and single burger for me, skip the milkshake....   A more palatable price of $17.  I still can support this new restaurant by choosing more wisely from their menu.

If you would like to check out their menu go to their website by clicking here Market Burger Fries & Shakes




Saturday, April 28, 2012

Crazy as a Bessie Bug

Mr. Jolly popped his head into the kitchen to inquire about what I was cooking that smelled so good. I replied "nothing."  He looked at me as if I  was "crazy as a Bessie Bug."  This is a saying my mother always used when she thought things weren't just right.  I still don't know why a Bessie Bug is referenced, since I know what a Bessie Bug looks like.  I used to play  with them (maybe torture a little), when I was a kid, and they were kinda mean if you riled them.  Their pinchers were intimidating, and I know a Bessie Bug will fight with another Bessie Bug until death.  I guess that could be considered crazy,
if it was just a territory fight between bugs.

Getting back to Mr. Jolly's question what smelled so good, I grinned and was ready "to let the cat out of the bag." Another saying that I am fond of.  My wonderful smell was this

I'm cleaning my copper whatca-my-gig with Worcestershire Sauce

Makes a nasty job...EASY!  Just soak paper towels, or rags in the sauce on top of the container, and let it sit in your sink on a piece of wax paper.  The above picture was about 5 minutes with the sauce on it.  The copper had not been cleaned in several years.  So, since I was on a roll, I decided to clean up some small sliver spoons in  buttermilk. Since only the rims of the spoons had tarnished, I only needed for them to soak
for the afternoon.  Most of the time you should put your silverware in a glass container, and cover with buttermilk or sour milk and leave it over night.

Mr. Jolly saw that I was like a chemist in her lab, so he decided to head back down to our Studio to work
on a website for our company, and I headed for the bathrooms.  Armed with my favorite cleaning products,

I'm ready to tackle the ever present hard water ring in the commodes.  Pour the borax into the bowl and then the vinegar, and let it sit. My least favorite thing about our country home is we have iron water.  It will turn everything orange, but especially the commode.  Borax and vinegar  take scrubbing out of my vocabulary, and I all most feel like someone is cleaning my house for me.  Mix, pour, let it sit, and come back later and its clean! 

All of these old time cleaning supplies are certainly less toxic (EPA should give me a green star) and almost do all of the work for you. Just a little country wisdom ... and you should jump on these like a duck on a Junebug.  Just had to add one more Southern saying!

Monday, April 23, 2012

This is April, isn't it?


 Well,  I had the fireplace roaring this morning while I cooked breakfast for Mr. Jolly.  It was a very chilly 37 degrees, and the wind swooshing down from the Blue Ridge Mountains made me run for my hoodie, turtleneck and sweatpants.  I'm so glad these were not packed away.  Just hoping the weather does not bring a spring snow.  I am already planning a big pot of soup for dinner tonight!

Old Navy Hoodie

Lands' End Sweatpants

I am kinda feeling like my friend, Hillbilly Debutante when she is in her Preppy Mood sans the red cowboy boots.  If you have not visited the Hillbilly Debutante Blog, please do and check out her newest book, Hillbilly Debutante Cafe.

The author, Kathie Truitt, aka Hillbilly Debutante, takes you to her small hometown of El Dorado Springs, MO with  a cast of hometown characters reminiscent of Mayberry.  Oh, I almost forgot to mention that my dear friend dedicated her book to me.  Such an honor!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hello Cupcake

Today it is raining and chilly for April , so I have decided to make cupcakes instead of cleaning the house.  I have always hated making cupcakes, but they are loved by everyone now a days.  I found these little wrappers at Ikea, and they are really cute. Cute enough to inspire me to test my recipe. This is my first post, and my first in teaching myself to take pictures. I can not believe that's my shot!  My husband is great with taking pictures, and knows all the technical settings.  He just passed by the computer, and is muttering "Beginner's Luck", and a few other inaudible comments.   OOPS forgot to include another "beginner's luck" pic of my new cupcake baking tin.

I made two types of icing, cream cheese and coconut pecan for my chocolate cupcakes.  The new cupcake tin made the cupcakes look like mushrooms. I thought they were really ugly, but my hubby loved them.  I like the more traditional shape cupcake with the cream cheese icing.

I have been laughing each time I pass by these cupcakes on the kitchen counter.  Ugly, Ugly!

Now that's a cupcake!