Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Dee!

We celebrated Dee Dee's big 3-0 birthday this past weekend with a nice dinner on Friday night. The menu was Waldorf salad, stuffed chicken breasts with herbed pasta and ice cream cake. Yum!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tate County Pickles

I've never made pickles before but after a William-Sonoma demonstration, I couldn't wait to try it. I used four cucumbers, 1 large red bell pepper and one onion -- all from the farmer's market in Senatobia. These need to sit and "mellow" for two weeks so we haven't tried them yet, but the ones I tried at the cooking demonstration were excellent!

Start by cutting up fresh cucumbers, red bell pepper and onion. Or use any vegetable you have on hand like okra or asparagus.

To make the pickling spice, combine 1 cinnamon stick, 2 dried bay leaves, 2 whole cloves, 2 T mustard seeds, 2 T whole coriander seeds, 1 T mixed peppercorns, 2 t allspice, 2 t dill seeds and 1 t red pepper flakes. This can be stored in an airtight container for up to a year.

Over medium-high heat combine 3 cups distilled white vinegar and 2 T kosher salt (I used sea salt). Add 3 cups water and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt. In each jar, place 1 T pickling spices, 1 T dill deeds and 4 dill sprigs. Layer the cucumber and other vegetables in jars. Pack them to avoid large gaps. Fill the jars with vinegar mixture to within 3/4 inch of the rims.

* I did not process my pickles and just plan on storing them in the fridge but if you wanted them to have a year-long shelf life you would use hot, sterilized one-pint canning jars and their lids. After filling jars, process sealed jars in a large deep pot and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring the water to a bowl, cover the pot and boil the jars for 7 minutes, keeping them submerged. Using tongs, transfer to a towel-lined surface to cool.

Let the jars stand undisturbed for 24 hours and then set aside for two weeks to allow flavors to develop. Store in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Wedding in the Big D

This weekend we celebrated my cousin Kristina's wedding in Dallas and it was wonderful in every single way. It was so great to be a part of their special day and the whole weekend was full of family, food and fun!

James is from Florida - he bought his first pair of cowboy boots for the rehearsal dinner on Friday night and then someone tossed him a cowboy hat for their first dance. He seems to have embraced all things Texas - including treating us all to great ribs at Spring Creek Barbecue on Friday.

The Anderson side: Jean Ann, Aunt Bonnye, Frank, Signy, Papa Carrel, Mama Jean, Aunt Kay, James, Kristina, Uncle Rob, Jennifer, me, Aunt Chris, Uncle Mark, Cally, Sam and Josh. This was our first time to get together since Cally and Sam's wedding in March!

The cake was amazing with alternating layers of white and chocolate layers with chocolate mousse. It was divine. The reception overlooked the Dallas skyline - beautiful!

Mom and Dad cut it up on the dance floor.

So did Aunt Chris and Uncle Mark.

It was an extra special weekend for MJ and PC - they married on Labor Day weekend 64 years ago!

None of his siblings - or anyone else for that matter - matched Uncle Rob's dancing. We were even more blown away by his robot moves to Usher than we were a few years ago in his womanless beauty pageant skills at the family reunion talent show. Apparently they teach lots of life skills at West Point.