Saturday, October 22, 2011

How to Get White Marks off Dark Wood

This REALLY works!  It so works!  I couldn't believe it, but my curiosity got me.  It all started when someone in my home (who shall remain nameless), ME, put a serving plate on the table.  I did not pay too much attention to the fact that the potholder was a bit damp.  Well, it left a white ghost mark on my dining table.  I about died!

Well, I had once heard that ash, yes...ash from your grill will get rid of the mark.  So, I marched out to the barbecue grill (got some nicely charred ash) and brought it in.  I shook the ash onto the spot and rubbed it in with a soft cloth.  Sure enough...the mark disappeared.  I topped it off with a little olive oil because olive oil is good for everything, ya'll! 

I am happy, the kids are happy, the whole world is now happy because my table is restored! 


Friday, October 21, 2011

Found our Happy at the 2011 South Carolina State Fair

We made the treck from Bluffton, SC to Columbia, SC to attend the 2001 South Carolina State Fair.  We had a big time!  There was so much to see, quite a bit to do (even if you did not go on the rides), and a lot to eat.  Our "What Not To Miss" highlights are:

The K-9 In Flight Frisbee Dogs:  I don't have any pics to share because my camera was not cooperating.....and the dogs were moving so fast.  It was a blast to watch them do their tricks.  Best of all, they were all adopted from animal shelters.  So, I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks.

The Pig Races:  The pigs were so adorable!  And they raced to finish line to attain the OREO cookie

The Livestock shows:  We attended the day of the cattle, fowl, and bunnies.  Who knew there were so many different types? of all, it wasn't smelly....very clean : )

Good eats:  There was alot to eat...but, Ill warn's pricey.  A bottle of water may go $3, an italian sausage was $8, and a Fried Dough/Elephant Ear was at least $5.  My advice, get a snack to share and do what we out somewhere else.

The Flower Pavilion had a FANTASTIC sand sculpture (my picture does not represent the magnitude of the scale of this wonder). 

The commercial booths had some highlights.  A local beekeeper was on hand selling his honey....i cannot say enough about it.  It was so wonderful.  Not to sweet and not to thick.  Just perfect.  you can actually eat it off the spoon.  Pond Hollow Honey, from Timmonsville, SC was the name.  You need to stop by for a taste.

And, then there was the local dairy who was sampling their creamy Vanilla Milk.  Oh my!  It was like drinking vanilla ice cream.  Shumpert Milk and Ice Cream was worth a stop. 

In the last building, was the best buy (most frugal) place to get a treat.  They were selling chocolate chip cookies and a carton of milk for $1.50.  We stopped there too. 

And, last but not least.  The Elephant Ride!  Well worth $5 to see the smile on your child's face!  Located next to the petting zoo. 

There was a mega amount of rides.  The best way to go was to buy the all you can ride pass for $25.

I mentioned we ate off site.  Glad we did.  We went to Pawley's Front Porch Burgers located in Five Points section of the University of South Carolina campus area.  It was well worth the $9.95 per burger.  We first heard about when Guy Fieri featured it on Diner's Drive' In's, and Dives a few weeks ago.  My burger was topped with Pimento Cheese, Red Onion, Lettuce, Bacon.  It came with a side of Red Hot Onion Rings.  It was wonderful!  The burger was seasoned with a special blend of seasoning...i tasted Worcestershire and Black Pepper.  Mine was served on a sesame seed roll.  My son had the Washout Burger which was a hot and spicy burger.  His came on a homemade Pretzel roll!  Delicious.  Our friends had burgers as well and we all rolled out very happy campers.  I highly recommend it.

Pimento Cheese Burger with Red Hot Onion Rings (some Sweet Tater Fries I took from my friends plate in exchange for some of the rings, and a pickle!  Ooooohey!

All in all, it was a great day!  Can't wait to venture out again next year. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rare Wood Stork visits me everyday!

I LOVE my new yard!  I can't say enough about what a lovely location it is.  We downsized and purchased a lovely cape-cod which sits lagoon side in our community.  It is very, very peaceful. As I am writing this, the windows are open and the Carolina breeze is wafting through my room.  The smell of cedar and a southern Fall abounds.  Where my computer desk sits, I have a view of the lagoon; and many times, I have a front row seat to nature.   I enjoy sitting and looking out my window.  Apparently, my two cats do to; and I usually have to toss them off the window sill so I can actually take a peak as well. 

Geena in her window 
Sometimes, I watch turtles; other times, deer, and alligators.  I enjoy the bluebirds, ibises, and wrens.  Then, this ugly bird comes through.  Everyday, at the same time!  My beautiful view turns not so beautiful.  At first glance, I see a very tall birds which marches across my lawn and heads toward the lagoon.  It is very graceful.  At first, from far away, you may think "wow, that is certainly a lovely bird...."....NOT!  It has a face only a mother could love.  A lovely body, like a flamingo; and then, ugliness. It looks like a supermodel with Jimmy Durante's face.  

 I looked up this walking contradiction and found it to be a Wood Stork.  Wood Storks were almost extinct a few years ago and are from Florida.  However, the bird that once only had 11 breeding pairs in South Carolina a few years ago are making a comeback.  I am honored to have it making this comeback in my yard.....who knew? 

So, welcome my large friend!  May you enjoy it here. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Southern Take on Northern Cake - Apple Harvest Cake

I Love This is so moist and delicious.  I saw it on this month's cover of Southern Living but I tweeked it a little to make it easier to make.  I dont care for many different bowls and if I can dump everything, I do.  So, here it goes:

Cream Cheese Filling:

1 8oz. brick of Reduced Fat Cream Cheese (never, ever non fat)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 Tbs. flour
1 1/2  tsp. vanilla

Apple Cake Batter:
1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. all spice (or, 1 tsp. nutmeg and 1 tsp. allspice)
3 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup appleasauce
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups peeled and finely chopped apples (gala, or grannies - or mixed)

Praline Frosting
1/2 cup light brown sugard
1/4 cup butter
3 TBS. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

To prepare the filling.  Beat the first three ingredients at medium speed.  Add egg, flour, and vanilla and beat until blended.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, toast your pecans.  Just put them on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 7-8 minutes.  Make sure you dont burn them...they catch very easy. 

In a BIG bowl, stir flour and your next seven ingredients.  Next throw in everything else with your apples being last.  Mix well. 

Spoon 1/2 of your apple batter into a bundt pan (well greased).  Place your cream cheese mixture over the apple batter.  Swirl with a paring knife (lightly).  Spoon remaining batter over the cream cheese. 

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.  Cook cake for about an hour before you try to pop it out.  Make sure it is thoroughly cooled before adding frosting.

For the frosting:  Bring your butter, sugar, and milk to a boil over medium heat and whisking alot.  Boil one minute. Remove from heat and add vanilla and powdered sugar until smooth.  Stir gently for 3-5 minutes and let cool till it begins to thicken.  Pour over cooled cake.  Enjoy!  And make copies of this recipe because everyone is going to ask for it : )

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mushrooms Popping Up All Over the Place!

Well, it rained a bit yesterday....first all day rain I've seen in a while.  Reminded me very much of a normal day in New York.  I even had the sinus headache to go with it.  But, today I ventured outside.  The rain stopped, the birds were singing, and I went outside.  I was surprised to find mushrooms...lots of them...colonies of them.  The mushrooms were not there the day before yesterday....but today, they were standing fast as if they had always been there. 

I thought about them a minute.  They looked so cute.  But, I remembered that I had been taught that although they may be cute on the outside, they may be filled with a deadly poison.  I immediately thought of the "root of bitterness."  My KJV says " Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God' least any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;" Heb 12:15.  Those mushrooms made me aware that bitterness can "spring up" suddenly, from out of nowhere if the seed/spore is there.  It may be unseen, but it may be there waiting to take root.  So, I did a inventory of my spirit, cleaned it out through prayer and scripture reading, and moved on with the day.  Now, I think I'll get the lawnmower out to get rid of the little buggers.