Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cornbread and Buttermilk Ice Cream

It is a old southern habit to mix your cornbread into a glass of thick creamy buttermilk.  I have always loved watching folks do this, but I never tried it.  I was not the biggest fan of buttermilk growing up.  I still have a bit of an aversion to the stuff plain, but I love what it adds to everything I use it in, like pancakes and biscuits.

One day, I was dreaming up southern ice cream flavors, and one I couldn't get out of my mind was Cornbread and Buttermilk Ice Cream!   

Yep!  I did it!  I went there! I also topped it with sorghum and cayenne.  So, you ask, how did it taste?

Well, It tasted great!  But, the texture of the cornbread was a bit of an issue for some people.  It was too much.  I thought it could have been a little soggier, but, this is how we learn! I have adjusted this recipe to make it better. 

So I started out with this Buttermilk Ice Cream base. 

Then I made my Momma's (really Granny's) Cornbread recipe.  In Momma's words:
Fry about 4 slices of bacon in a regular size iron skillet while preheating oven to 425 degrees.  Mix  a little less than 1 Cup of all-purpose flour, 1 full cup of good (stone ground if you can find it) yellow corn meal, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 egg and 1 cup (or more) of buttermilk.  Should be almost the consistency of cake batter.
When bacon is done, remove and eat. Pour bread batter into the hot bacon grease and put in the over for 20-30 minutes. 
If you already have bacon grease, put a couple of tablespoons of it into the iron skillet and put it in the oven to heat up with the oven.  Pour batter into the hot grease the same as above. 
  I have made this cornbread and realize that I really need closer to a cup and a half of buttermilk and I like my cornbread a little sweeter, so I generally add a bit of sugar, molasses, honey or sorghum.  Mom suggests adding jalapenos, or cheese, or cumin!  All delicious!
I poured the batter into the hot bacon grease!  This is how you make real cornbread!

Cornbread is done!  Mmmmmmm!

Ok, so back to the Ice Cream.  I put the bacon left over from making the cornbread in the ice cream before i chilled it.  I would not do that again! I would chop it up and use it as a topping.  

Also, I would add the crumbled cornbread to the ice cream custard, before chilling or freezing.  I added it to the ice cream after I froze it, thinking it would be good to retain the texture, but I think that was missing the point of the original concept.  

Another option would be to make the buttermilk Ice Cream and to serve a scoop on top of a hot sweet piece of cornbread.  


Buttermilk and Bacon

I added the cream, egg and sugar custard to the buttermilk and bacon. 

As I mentioned earlier, I topped the ice cream with a drizzle of sorghum, and a shake of cayenne.  

Since I made bacon and cornbread, it turned into an entire day of cooking.  I ended up fixing up some red beans and rice to go along with it all!!!!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Politics and Owning a Business

“He who stands for nothing will fall for anything.”
Alexander Hamilton

I had a conversation about the risk of being public and open about your political views and owning your own business.  I am not talking about being in peoples faces at work and starting conversations with your clients/customers, or posting signs and stuff at work.  I am talking about posting a sign in your front yard, or posting political views on your personal facebook.  He said he didn't want to choose sides because he was afraid to loose business.  I can sympathize with that fear, I felt a similar feeling when I (along with my dear friend Julie) made the Back Off My Babymaker shirts.  

First off, let me say that my friend has a pretty established business.  I just cant see people choosing to avoid him because they don't agree with him or patronize his business because of his beliefs.  Do people really care enough to do their research to find another comparable business?  With only 37% of the US eligible voters turning out for non-presidential elections and 56% during presidential elections... I really doubt most people will change their choice of doing business and their personal habits for the business owners personal political beliefs. 

The most important thing here is that if you are the best at what you do, people aren't going to leave your business because of your personal feelings.  This assumption comes from my intuition.  I tried to find articles about this subject, and I couldn't find anything off hand.  Well I did, it is from FOX news and I dont trust their intentions.  Here is the article.  It seems like they are trying to psych out the other team to me. 

Now I think if you bring your politics into your business the story is different.  

One of the most public examples of mixing politics and business in recent news has obviously been Chick-Fil-A and their stand against gay marriage.  So many people publicly boycotted the business.  But, I think it was the best publicity for Chick-Fil-A.  In the same time so many people stopped going(or said they would never go), the other side, the people and organizations against Chick-Fil-A started to flood their restaurants.  They drummed up so many new businesses, and even campaigns were serving their little nuggets at events.  It is now a symbol!  What more could that business want?  Mr. Cathy's business now stands for his beliefs. Although I completely disagree with him on his political view, his success at aligning his customer base with his beliefs and profiting because of that is enviable by most business owners.  

 I say: Stand up for what you believe in!

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.”
Jim Morrison

Friday, September 14, 2012

Respect and Cooperation!

Oh Bill Clinton!  I love to hear you speak.  If you haven't seen it yet, please watch it.  I know it is long, but it is important.

So, today's post isn't about Policy directly.  It is about respect and attitude.  I am picking up where I left off in yesterday's post, and continuing on the theme of who I want leading our country.

If you cant say something nice about them, don't say anything at all.  This is something that folks here in the south learn from an early age. That proverb has some real teeth to it.

I wish it would bite Fox News, which spews hate into people's minds and hearts.  I wish it would bite into Rush Limbaugh and his attacks, much of the time false, stretched, inflated and inflamed, on politicians and citizens alike.  Both of these outlets are working partially to push their views forward, but mostly for ratings, and it is sad, because these outlets are putting hate and fear into Americans minds.

I would like to share to links with you today.
 The first is very respectful, and I hope it reaches out to people of the christian faith.  

The second is a bit (maybe an understatement here) disrespectful, but it speaks to the fear and closed mindedness that Fox, Limbaugh, and a lot of the republican party is successfully spreading.

I want to be amongst people who respect the other side, who are willing shake hands at the end of the day, and who are not filled with so much hate and fear that they can only act on the defensive.  The Senate Republican Leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said " Our number one priority was not to put America back to work, it was to put the President out of work!"  WOW!  I cannot believe this.  It is similar to Rep.  Palazzo, of South Mississippi(4th Congressional District), who's entire campaign was "Fire Gene Taylor!"  These are two examples of spiteful defensiveness.

Congressmen McConnell and Palazzo (and anyone else who thinks along those lines): Your job is not to put people out of work, your job is to serve the country and put the United States FIRST! Put your States' best interest, who you are representing on the National Level, and both of which are struggling to join the rest of the country in Education, Health, and Economy, FIRST!  Put your citizens first!  Firing one politician should not be your goal. And have respect for the people on the other side of the aisle. You are not going to get anywhere at aiming your guns at someone's job!  You can only help this country move forward  by putting your nose to the grindstone and working things out.

Finally I am so happy to be a member of a party that embraces hope and looks to the future.  I am thankful that my party does not act on fear, or prejudices.  I am proud that the Democratic party thinks high enough of its constituents that it plays to the hopeful side of the mind instead of forcing us to fear the other half of the country as well as the rest of the world.

It is about RESPECT!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Oh to Be a Democrat! Voting, and Apologies

Oh, to be a Democrat, it is a proud thing for me.  Tonight my political energy was charged at a local fundraiser for the Democratic Party of Jackson County.  I am inspired to do more!    

From now until at least the election in November, I will be blogging on how I made my choice to identify with the Democratic Party, and how those choices have only been reinforced over the 12 years I have been voting.  To be honest, I don't clearly remember being so strongly oriented at the beginning of my voting life, but as I have grown older, as I have seen more of life, I have definitely grown clear and strong beliefs about what life in this amazing country is and how I think it can improve.  

I know that many of my friends and family disagree with my views.  Although I wish they thought the same way I do, I am so happy to live in a place where I can have friends and family who think differently and are vocal about it, and we can still remain friends and family after all is said and done.  I hope those friends and families take the time to read this, and feel free to respond with your thoughts and comments.  The internet is an open forum, lets use it and be proud to be Americans where we don't have to fear retribution from our government if we disagree. 

Tonight, I have two things to say.  

First and most important, REGISTER TO VOTE!  And do it now!  Democrat, Republican, Independent.... Just do it. If you don't know how visit this site.  If you are in Mississippi, here is the form.  Call 800-829-6786 to find out where to mail the form, or if you have any other questions.  If you need some help, I would be happy to do so.  If you need me to print it out, an envelope, a stamp, or someone to drop it in the mail box, let me know.  I will be happy to help. 

Second, and this is something that has been in the news a lot lately, and in the past.  The Obama administration has been getting some flack for its response, or supposed response to the attack on the embassy in Benghazi and the protests in Libya and Egypt.  I am not going to dispute what happened.  You can read the news, Here are some links for you about political outfall of this weeks atacks. :  Link 1Link 2.

 Throughout his term, Obama has been criticized for apologizing for the US's foreign policies and actions.  I am pretty sure that if I were taking office after President GW Bush, I would be apologizing as well.  I would also apologize for such hateful matter as the video that has been causing so much controversy in the Middle East.  (although, I am not sure that Obama has appologized.  I know that the Egyptian Embassy did, before the attacks took place.)  The person/people who made that hateful video condemning and lying about Islam and Muhammad are no better than the protesters and rioters.  It is this kind of hateful action that is not representative of the United States, and if it did come from the US, I would condemn the making and publishing of that material. Just a note -- Obama has condemned the attacks fully.  He is not taking the protesters side. 

So let me get to the point here.  I am glad that Obama can see fault in our country, and our citizens actions.  I am surprised that the Romney and Republican party has a hard time with this.  I am not sure why someone would run for President if they don't see the chance to make the country better, and to do that you have to admit fault or admit that the US is not perfect. This is a major reason I support Obama.  He can see the faults in this country and still adore it.  He can see how he can help lead this country to those changes, and I admire him, as well as the Democratic party for that! 

I am also glad that Obama has acted somewhat apologetically and humble about his position. As children, we learn that it is respectful to apologize for bad behavior, and I believe that it should be no different in foreign policy (or domestic policy for that matter).  If we don't respect other leaders, cultures, religions, countries etc, how can we expect them to respect us?  

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
― Ernest Hemingway

 Alright, I feel I can go on for hours about this.  I can also see that these posts are going to be long, and that I will try to break it up a little bit.  Good night! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Oh Monday, You Weren't So Bad

Monday began, as every day should but only some do, with a running of the dogs.  I got home and worked for a little while, then worked a little more, then worked a little more.  The day was pleasent and usual.  The evening however, I decided to play a little.  I painted like a child, and I learned a lot from it.  It was such a nice end of the day.  Oh, and I watched Jane Eyre too!
Here is what I painted: 

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Drawings available at Sarrah's Salon for Two Weeks

These drawings are available at Sarrah's Salon for the next two weeks. (9/4/12-9/18/12)  If you are not able to visit the salon, but would like to purchase one, please let me know. 

If you do not have my contact info please sign up on my mailing list, and in the "Anything Else" section let me know the drawing(s) you would like and the best way to reach you.

#1 - 4x6 - $40.00

#2 - 4x6 - $40.00

#3 - 4x6 - $40.00

#4 - 4x6 - $40.00

#5 - 4x6 - $40.00

#6 - 4x6 - $40.00

#7 - 4x6 - $40.00

#8 - 4x6 - $30.00

#9 - 4x6 - $30.00

#10 - 4x6 - $30.00

#11 - 4x6 - $30.00

#12 - 4x6 - $30.00

#13 - 4x6 - $30.00

 #14 - 5x7 Matted at 8x10 - $50.00

  #15 - 5x7 Matted at 8x10 - $60.00

Thank you for looking. 
Again, If you do not have my contact info please sign up on my mailing list, and in the "Anything Else" section let me know the drawing(s) you would like and the best way to reach you.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Watching Birds during Isaac

I really enjoyed braving the wind and the driving rain, and capturing what mother nature was giving us.

On Wednesday afternoon, a friend asked if I wanted to walk the beach with her.  We didn't get too far on our walk for all of the water in the streets.  I was able to get a video of a bunch of Least Terns, Forester's Terns and Storm Petrols feeding after a long few days battling the storm.  Here it is:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Isaac.. for now it is a waiting game.

My Miss-Adventure continues with my very first Hurricane!  Well, it is still Tropical Storm Isaac, but it is predicted to become a hurricane some time today! I have decided to stay, and ride it out.  My house is at a pretty high elevation, and seems pretty sturdy.  As of right now, it is windy, and a little dark out.  Not too bad.  It has been a touch misty since last night, but no rain yet.  My bicycle is inside, and my car is fueled up.  I (by that I mean James) have removed the dinosaur head from my front door, and I am enjoying the sound of the wind and a cup of coffee for the moment.  James brought over a generator, and we have plenty of water.

The front of my house without its mascot, a t rex head..... He is in side, taking cover from the storm.

Update:  9:30 AM
Here are some videos from this morning at front beach 

Getting Ice 

Update: 8/31/12 
Things are all good here in the Ugly Green House.  No damage was sustained, and I managed to rest up for what looks to be a busy few weeks coming up!  
Videos from the rest of the storm:  
Front Beach Ocean Springs, 8/30  8:00 am

East Beach Ocean Springs 8/29 5:00pm

Ugly Green House Ocean Springs 8/29 6:30 am

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mushroom Hunting

Sunday morning, my friends Earl and Hema took me mushroom hunting in the swamps.  I can't tell you where the mushrooms grow, because I am pretty sure that if I did, I would end up in a shallow grave for the hogs to find me (I didn't make that up).

The mushrooms we were searching for are called Chanterelles.  They are little golden mushrooms that are hiding on the floor of the woods.

I can't wait to make mushroom pasta!  Nothing but mushrooms, garlic, butter, and fresh pasta from the Ocean Springs Fresh market. 

There were tons of mushrooms growing in the swamp. Ones that will probably make you sick if you eat them, but that are beautiful to look at.  I took pictures of those too!   

Movie Night at the Ugly Green House

When I was house hunting a year ago, I couldn't help but notice the big flat wall standing tall above my fence in my neighbors yard.  Some would think of it as a little intrusive, and overwhelming.  I saw it as an opportunity!

I knew it would make a great movie screen!  A wonderful way to watch a movie with my friends.  This past weekend we watched the Hunger Games, a movie that is great for the big screen. 

We rigged up a platform for the projector and the dvd player, and hooked up the modern sound system!  Yep, this is how we do it here in Mississippi.  

What do our neighbors think?  Well, until this last weekend, I am not sure they even knew.  But, Sunday night, someone was out on their balcony, and probably couldn't help but notice that there were twenty people in chairs staring at their house, along with a big bright light.   They waved.  I think that means they approve! 

On past weekends, we watched Jaws and the very first Star Wars movie.  

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pine Lily Hunting

My friend Mary invited me on a special adventure, the search of the elusive Pine Lily!  We found them, many of them.   Oh what a special day I had! 

Above is where we found them.  A low lying shaded area next to the road!  They were so beautiful.
After finding the Pine Lilies, we headed to a bog in search of pitcher plants!  Below is what we found there.  

Pipe Wart
Pitcher Plant

Pitcher Plant Flower

 Pitcher Plant flower

 Pitcher Plants

Pitcher Plant Flower

A pitcher plant awaiting dinner.... they are carnivores you know.

White top sedge and a star gazer

Parrot head pitcher plants

a pitcher plant awaiting dinner!  

my pickings

 my flowers.... some from the fresh market, the rest from the woods!

my flowers.... some from the fresh market, the rest from the woods! 

my flowers.... some from the fresh market, the rest from the woods!