Friday, November 30, 2012

Red & Black

Its a big game for my Dawgs tomorrow.
The SEC championship game.
And, if we can beat Alabama...
We head to the National Championship!

As a little girl,
my daddy made sure to raise me as a Georgia Bulldawg fan.
He took me to games,
"between the hedges."
I remember one game specifically.
I must have been about 12 years old.
It was cold, it was windy, it was rainy...
but we yelled and screamed,
and cheered on our Dawgs.
Today, I'm blessed
that my 85 year old daddy and I still love
watching the Dawgs together.
Daddy doesn't make it to the games anymore.
But he never misses a Saturday the Dawgs are on TV.
My daddy gets all the credit for making me the
football fanatic I am today. 
My absolute favorite part of Fall...Football.
But most especially college football.
Even more...SEC football.
But the beloved Georgia Bulldawgs.
I sure hope we win tomorrow.
It would be a special special day for my Daddy...
and for all the Bulldawg Nation.
Our hopes are high.
Our excitement is over the moon.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Day

One of the things I'm always hoping for,
on Thanksgiving Day,
is beautiful weather.
In Georgia, every so often on Thanksgiving,
we're blessed with a warm and sunny day.
When that happens,
I like to throw open the back door,
and set up a table on the deck.
Our deck is off our dining room,
so its easy to just extend the dining area
I'm really hoping for a nice 70 degree day this year.
I already have a tablescape of sorts,
on the dining table.
But, if by chance I can also set up a table outside,
look at these gorgeous tablescapes I found on Google....

I love the natural elements.

And, the green glassware reminds me of my Granny.

I'll have about 15 people at my house on Thanksgiving Day,
so to extend the dining room to the outside would be perfect.

I have a lot to be thankful for this year.
Its been a challenging year at times,
with a wedding, the loss of a sweet family pet,
several major and unexpected home repairs,
and at this very moment...two days before Thanksgiving...
new flooring being installed over a majority of our house.
But, I'm thankful for those new, badly needed floors.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Today, in 1863

November 19, 1863,
President Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous two minute speech
the Gettysburg Address,
dedicating the National Cemetary at the battlefield
of Gettysburg.
There were actually five copies of Lincoln's speech.
Contrary to legend, Lincoln wrote his speech a day or so before the address,
while still in Washington DC.
He revised it later,before the cemetary dedication,
while staying at the home of a local attorney,
David Wills.
Later he penned three more copies of his address,
to autograph and provide to acquaintances.
Interestingly, in several of the later copies,
Lincoln removed the name of God,
where he had originally penned it,
near the end of the speech,
when referring to "this nation under God..."
However, historians tell us that there were many accounts
stating Lincoln did indeed use the name of God
when delivering the address.
One hundred and forty nine years ago today....
To me, one of the most profound lines in the address is:

"The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here."

Little did we know....
Thousands of children, like myself, would memorize this famous 272 word speech,
long remembering what was said there on that Dedication Day.

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.
It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."

Info gathered from the National Park Service.

This photo, taken at Gettysburg is one of only few rare known photos of President Lincoln.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fall Weather and Chicken Perloo

As much as I love Summer, I have to admit, I love Fall too. Something about the cooler temperatures, football games, wood smoke, and the mountains painted with brilliant colors makes me feel all cozy inside. Ultimately it leads me to comfort foods.

I grew up spending weeks in the spring and summer traveling between Athens, Savannah, and Gainesville. Having family in all those areas, I was priviledged, blessed really, to an exposure of different regional foods. My paternal grandmother exposed me to all things Athens and central and southern Georgia. My maternal grandmother and great grandmother exposed me to Coastal Georgia and Lowcountry foods. My mom and aunts taught me early on of those wonderful dishes coming out of the farmlands and foothills of North Georgia.

But... when I want a simple, one pot, warm and cozy comfort food, I remember Great Granny's Chicken Perloo. Perloo is a lowcountry dish, made of basics...rice, chicken, pork, savory seasonings. Perloo is actually the gullah pronounciation of the word "pilau," a dish that originated with the people of the gullah nation. The folks north of Savannah and Charleston probably use the "proper" pronounciation, Chicken Pilau. But I prefer the old term my Granny and Mama used, "perloo." Another spelling is "perlo." Recipes for Chicken Perloo are as varied as the pronounciation. Some are simple, like my family's. Others are all gussied up with herbs, olive oil, mushrooms and peppers. I like mine simple. Here's the recipe as I remember it from my Mama, Granny, and Great Granny.

1 fryer chicken, cut up
4 - 5 cups water
Salt, pepper, chicken boullion cubes or poultry seasoning
1 lb. country ham, or thick bacon (later my mom started using polish sausage as a substitute)
1 - 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large or 2 small onions, chopped
1 - 2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups white rice
(Optional - 1 chopped tomato, chopped bell pepper)

Place chicken in a large dutch oven, or soup pan as my mama would say, cover with the water, season well with salt, pepper, a couple of chicken boullion cubes or poultry seasoning. Bring to a simmer and cook chicken 20-30 minutes until done .
Remove chicken from broth, saving the broth, and set chicken aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, skin and debone, and shred or cut up chicken. Add the chicken back to the broth.
In a large fry pan, heat the tablespoon or two of vegetable oil. Add cubed country ham or bacon and cook until crispy. Remove pork from the pan and add the chopped onion and celery, adding a bit more oil if needed to prevent veggies from sticking. Cook veggies until tender and translucent. Add pork and veggies to the broth and chicken. Bring to a boil.
When broth begins to boil, add the rice. Stir well. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer slowly until rice is cooked and water is absorbed. Stir occasionally and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper if desired.

Final thoughts....
** Many recipes will call for pouring the broth into another container and setting aside. Use the same dutch oven or soup pan to brown the pork and saute the onion and celery. Then, pouring the broth back over the veggies. My family always cooked the pork and sauted the veggies in a large fry pan, then deglazed with a bit of broth, adding it all back to the broth.
** Sometimes Mama or Granny would add chopped tomato to the mix after everything was combined back into the broth. Sometimes they even added chopped green pepper to the onion and celery.
** Polish sausage is a nice hearty substitute for ham or bacon. In fact, I prefer it. If you use polish sausage, you'll want to slice in about quarter inch rounds.

Chicken Perloo ~~ takes me back to Savannah and my island everytime.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My One & Only Political Post

Its the day after...
in the words of a friend....

"Whether or not your sociopath won or lost, be kind to your neighbors today, buy from local businesses, tip well, manage your health, and don't be a jackass. You know.... things that will actually change the world." JE

Stay calm, and move on.  Cheers.