Though we lost her in 2005, I still celebrate February 3rd every year by using a certain china set…
…reliving fond memories full of unconditional love…
…and appreciating heirlooms that I treasure every day.
Happy Birthday, Mama Chris. You are so very missed.
It has always amazed me how a certain taste or the smell of something cooking in the kitchen can instantly bring back memories. Over the years, I have found that making my mother’s fried green tomatoes, German potato salad, and other favorite recipes are almost a way of visiting with her.
I’ll never forget the day I finally mastered Mama Chris‘ fried okra. Hers was never over-breaded or slimy. It almost had the texture of popcorn, was lightly salted, and had just a dusting of corn meal & flour. When I finally figured out her secret (cook it much longer than any recipe advises) and bit into that crunchy okra treat, I almost got a little teary. I hadn’t experienced this particular taste and texture in nearly a decade.
For my mom’s birthday this year, I decided to gather scanned photos of handwritten family recipes and have them copied onto a hand towel. Zazzle did a great job for a very reasonable price. I LOVE the finished product…such a nice reminder of countless meals and gatherings, enjoying dishes that only a loved one can make.
This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for simplicity. After a year of traveling and moving, I am so grateful that we decided to make this holiday all about relaxing. I’m only making a few favorite dishes with the rest being cooked by our local Whole Foods. The table is even set simplistically.
This year, we have no plans to go anywhere nor to have any visitors. Thursday is strictly a day of good food, good wine, and (hopefully) some decent football. I am all the more grateful for my home and my tiny family since I haven’t seen much of either this fall.
Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Another post of random things I’m loving this week:
1. If Georgia wins over GA Tech and Bama, we could have a repeat of the 1980 National Championship game against Notre Dame. Go Dawgs!
2. Great gift idea: scan handwritten family recipes, then have them printed onto a tea towel.
3. I just love this eBay seller that Entertaining Women recommended to me about a year ago – quality linen hemstitched napkins, placemats, & table runners for a fraction of what they usually retail. The picture below shows one of my placemats in “steel blue.” (I knew I should have ironed before I started taking pictures…)
4. Finally, I followed (as closely as possible – our grocer was fresh out of calves’ feet) Julia Child’s recipe for braised beef (AKA pot roast) earlier this week and it was DELICIOUS. Her cookbooks, along with my Williams-Sonoma series, continue to be favorites.
(Image from Amazon)
Hope you are having a lovely weekend!
Derby Day is always a little bittersweet for me, as the last conversation I ever had with my Grandfather Ross involved his giving me his mint julep recipe. I do like that it gives me an annual reason to toast him, however!
- the smoothest Kentucky bourbon you can find (I prefer Blanton’s)
- fresh mint leaves
- crushed ice
- Boil a desired amount of sugar into a pot of water, then cool in the refrigerator. (I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, so my sugar water is rather weak.)
- Crush half of the mint leaves and rub them in the inside of the glass (which is preferably a sterling julep cup). Discard the leaves.
- Combine the sugar water and bourbon to taste over crushed ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
Wishing everyone a safe and joyful Derby Day!
This weekend was so summery and wonderful that I found myself sifting through my jewelry box for forgotten spring-like gold pieces that I haven’t worn in ages.
I have already blogged before about how much I love wearing Mama Chris’ Movado watch. I also wear her amethyst ring given to me in high school, but not appreciated until very recently. Both of these pieces make me feel close to my grandmother, though I don’t have memories of her wearing either of these.
Saturday, however, I found my mother’s gold sanddollar charm, hung on a gold box chain from decades ago. I vividly recall her wearing this with her gold-rimmed Ray-Bans and a navy blue bandeau bikini.
I put it on and INSTANTLY…
…it was 1982 on St. Simon’s Island, GA…
…we were on Brad’s Hobie-cat…
…then on the beach listening to Dire Straits’ Communiqué album…
…reapplying our Bain de Soleil…
Last St. Patrick’s Day, I posted a picture of me in my Ross Hunting tartan, given to me by an aunt, and commented that I would love to someday get the Ross Dress tartan.
While I love the hunting, I’ve always wanted a straight pencil skirt in the more formal Ross Red. In fact, when my husband asked what I wanted for my birthday this year, it was the ONE thing I really wanted. I ordered the skirt from Linda Clifford, who did a great job!
I also loved seeing, instead of a size, a little tag that reads, “Made to Measure.” I’ve never had anything “bespoke” before and, I must admit, it’s the best fitting skirt I’ve ever owned.