Climbing the Beanstalk: Texas Red Beans and Cornbread

Climbing the Beanstalk: Texas Red Beans and Cornbread

Climbing the Beanstalk: Texas Red Beans and Cornbread

There are certain foods that inspire debate.  New York is certain it makes the only ‘real’ pizza.  New England thinks its Clam Chowder is the only legit version.  I’m not going to enter into the whole BBQ debate! Heck, Americans can’t even agree on how to spell that one.  (Although, we all know Texas BBQ is the grand-patriarch of smoked brisket!)

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Climbing the Beanstalk: Cooking Dried Beans 101

Climbing the Beanstalk: Cooking Dried Beans 101

I mentioned before that Red Beans and Cornbread is more than just a staple meal in Texas.  It’s comfort food, but it’s also a clear indicator of a family’s finances.  If there’s ham in the beans, the family is sitting pretty.  If the ham is replaced with bacon, things are tight but manageable.  If there isn’t any bacon and we’re really broke, we add a little saved bacon grease for flavor.  If there’s no meat and no saved fat, those are ‘naked beans’.  Naked beans mean we’re worried about keeping the lights on and the bellies full.  We have eaten

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Fridays at the Funny Farm: The Definition of Futility

Fridays at the Funny Farm: The Definition of Futility

Bear with me, I’m going to be nerdy for just a second.  I promise it’s relevant later. Ralph Waldo Emerson has been quoted as saying metaphysics is “a blind man, in a dark room, chasing a black cat which isn’t there.”  For today’s post, allow me to go with the spirit of the quote, rather than the letter.  I say that’s the definition of futility.  After all, I think the futility of metaphysics was Emerson’s point. …I became the definition of futility! We have rabbits.  More specifically, we have a breeding trio of rabbits.  I like rabbits.  They are quiet,

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We Turned a Closet Into a Restful Retreat (and built a Desk)

We Turned a Closet Into a Restful Retreat (and built a Desk)

Flowers, Fairies, Tea Cups, and hiding in the closet

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Filling the Pantry: Worth the Effort

Filling the Pantry: Worth the Effort

  There are a few unfortunate facts I’ve had to face in life.  Facts like: I’m never going to be a size 2. I missed my chance to become a concert pianist, Olympic gymnast, or extreme climber. I’m never going to be a famous mezzo-soprano. If you have a farm, you have dirt. Typically, it’s in the form of mud tracked through the kitchen. Rosie the Robot is never going to move in and do all my housework. Until the day I shuffle off this mortal coil, my left knee and right shoulder are going to be better barometers than

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Fridays At the Funny Farm: The Oolie Goolie Swamp Affair

Fridays At the Funny Farm: The Oolie Goolie Swamp Affair

“Mama, I have your next Friday Funny!” Grace and I had a chat the other day about this week’s Fridays At the Funny Farm post.  She asked what I had planned.  I said, I’d considered either The Great Rabbit Roundup or Lambs: Tag You’re It.  She was afraid we’d eventually run out of hijinks.  I figure with three kids and a farm full of animals, we have a never ending supply.  After our chat, I went to bed.  (I’m a night nurse and a day sleeper.) When I woke, she greeted me at the foot of the stairs.  With barely

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Easter with Big Kids: Scavenging for Fun!

Easter with Big Kids: Scavenging for Fun!

Our Tradition Transitioned! We’re a family that loves tradition.  We read A Christmas Carol every Christmas Eve, just before unwrapping our new pj’s.  We eat with the same friends, (the kind that are really family), at the same restaurant every Halloween.  We cook exactly the same meal each Thanksgiving.  My kids all received their first pocket knives for their eleventh birthdays.  My daughter’s ears were pierced on her seventh birthday.  And, all my kids came home from the hospital in one of two (boy or girl) outfits made by their great-great-grandmothers.  All because it’s tradition! The kids tend to take

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Filling the Pantry: Time

Filling the Pantry: Time

If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing I’d like to do…Is save every morning for a pancake breakfast (preferably about noon)! My Millennial co-workers are fond of saying, “Adulting is a thing”.  Some of my friends dislike and/or don’t know how to cook.  For them, “Cooking is a thing”.  I like to cook, and I love to eat.  I enjoy having silly conversations around the dinner table.  However, life tends to intrude.  Even those of us who enjoy puttering in the kitchen have crazy schedules, crazy days, and days we just don’t want to bother. Unless

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Fridays at the Funny Farm: The King of the Jackasses

Fridays at the Funny Farm: The King of the Jackasses

…we bought a jackass in disguise! Each time I feed Finnbar, I sing a parody of Elvis Presley’s “Devil in Disguise”.  It goes something like this:

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Filling the Pantry: With Quality

Filling the Pantry: With Quality

As a book lover who homeschools, I’ve been shoving favorite authors at my kids since the cradle.  They had a steady diet of Wilder, Burnett, Dahl, Nesbit… I have to stop, or this will begin to look like a required reading list.  I wasn’t trying to control my kids or push them.  I just wanted to share my amazing childhood adventures!  I wanted them to experience the magic of those stories.  The magic that still lives in my imagination half a lifetime later. Somewhere around age eight, my oldest son staged a literary rebellion.  He decided I was depriving him

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