Monday, June 28, 2010

Southern Living Literally Take 1

A year of Southern Living Literally Take 1

The first issue arrived in April and had a scrumptious strawberry & orange marmalade tart gracing the front cover. I decided to make it for my Mom for mother’s day. Being the oldest of three daughters, I knew that if made her the edible cover of Southern Living and gave her both the tart and the magazine – I would score big on the daughter list. (If you have girls in bulk – it’s competition central often. Healthy competition. Good for the soul. Good for the mother getting gifts…)

There were so many firsts. Lessons from “Southern Living Literally Take 1”:

1- Make sure you use a large bowl when whipping heavy cream. It grows and gets really big really fast like some sort of mad science project. (Emphasis on the word mad please.) Switching bowls in the middle of your whipping might entice you to curse – which is neither lady like nor Southern proper. (Surely the Southern Living test kitchen ladies are not switching bowls and cursing mid tart prepping!)

2- Use little strawberries because they are dainty and pretty and they look like the cover! Do not purchase the berries that need their own zip code to exist. (Darn you Costco!) They look stupid – thus, the cursing may enter your mind again. Then you have to go to a Farmer’s Market and buy locally - like you should have done in the first place - because they have tiny-little-cutesy-cover worthy-berries.

3- Be realistic please. If you are going to make a fruit tart, try not to focus on the picture too much because it’s a magazine cover people! Surely I cannot make a magazine cover in my own kitchen. Trying such a feat may cause my self-worth on a Sunday afternoon to hang in the balance if I try to compete with paid professionals in commercial kitchens with tiny little strawberries that are just oh so cute…

4- Back to the whipping of the cream – whip it last second. Not last minute. I repeat last second. It falls. It leans. It drips in your fridge and has the consistency of Elmer’s glue when dried. You will hate it and it will hate you right back. So I beg of you (well – me really…) whip it last second for crying out loud!

5- On a bright note – the tart crust was doable, thick, golden brown right out of the oven and drama free. Exciting because when I read that I needed to knead it – I groaned.

Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of the tasty tart that I made because I did not know at the time that I would be blogging about this experience. Next cooking of the cover I will be camera ready. But all in all – it looked like a tart. A pretty tart to tell you the truth. It did not show a single sign of my struggle once complete.

My mother loved it. Told me she loved it. Ate it. Told me she loved it again. Ate it later and called me to tell me she loved it.

In conclusion, next time I, Elizabeth, will have 1. - a large whipping bowl, 2. - tiny berries, and 3. - a camera. Lessons learned and no long term damage. Success – tart style!

One cover down.

11 to go.

Southern Living Literally

Growing up I wore bonnets on Easter Sunday decorated with flowers cut fresh from the garden. I still own more sundresses and skirts than I do shorts. If you open either my mother’s refrigerator or mine, you will always find sweet iced tea (that I brewed in the sun) and fresh lemons.

It still shocks me that anyone serves BBQ sandwiches without coleslaw on them. I have owned my house less than a year and we’ve been busy planting hydrangeas, roses, and a magnolia is on the list. Gone with the Wind, Steel Magnolias, and Fried Green Tomatoes are all movies I have memorized simply love.

I love glitz, grits, barefoot summers, deviled eggs, hymns, country music, Papa’s homemade pickles, fireflies in mason jars, burning candles for all occasions, eating berries right off the bush, living on my front porch and waving at anyone and everyone who passes. And if fried green tomatoes or okra are on the menu - I am going to order them - Every. Single. Time.

You see, I was born in Florida and raised in southern Georgia, so I should have known - but I didn’t know all these things combined made me southern. To me, they were just part of life. And these things are very much a part of my family.

My Meme is a proper southern woman who makes amazing potato salad and my mother is at her happiest with sand between her toes and sweet tea in a nearby glass. My dad has perfected my Papa’s homemade pickles and owns a boat named – “Southern Ease” from a Jimmy Buffet song. (Think of speaking Chinese, Japanese, Southernese…got it?…) Meme thinks her grandbabies are absolutely “bootiful,” because you know – we just are.

So, in the last couple of years, I’ve really come to realize Southern culture and what a part of me it is. When my Papa passed away, I just wanted to hold on to him so badly in some way. So, I planted his favorite plants in my yard. And I hung up the walking sticks he made in the spare bedroom. And I fully intend on making pickles just like he did, though I’m not there - yet.

And while I was processing all of this, I got a magazine subscription in the mail from my Meme. Southern Living. Aha! That’s it! Stay tuned…

Monday, June 7, 2010

I miss you.

You had many names Charles Raymond Shelburne, Sr., Skeeter, - but you were my Papa. Growing up I remember playing in the pool where you would sweep me into the air and dangle my toes in the water. Your house had stairs to play on and round ice cubes for our drinks. The very first time I ever saw snow – I was holding your hand.

And I loved you so.

At night we’d snuggle on the couch and I’d watch your John Wayne movies because you’d watch my fairy tales. The next day we’d pick fresh, warm strawberries and even in the winter you had frozen ones to go with our rainbow sherbet that you never ran out of. In the summer we’d go out into the garden and eat tommy-toe tomatoes together until our bellies hurt.

And I loved you so.

You always smelled like Old Spice and peppermint. You would take me and my sisters anywhere we wanted to go on our special days. We’d even go to McDonald’s to order hotdogs – which they never once had – but you always acted surprised.

And I loved you so.

As a child, I marveled at your hats and your walking sticks from the woods; how big and strong your hands were; how the tip of your tongue would wiggle when you were really concentrating; how you could turn your basement into a greenhouse; how wonderful you were. Never once did you upset me. Never once were you cross with me.

And I loved you so.

When I was sixteen years old, you drove a bright, blue Jeep. I told you you were the coolest Papa ever. When I got married last year, you told me that “loving someone was easy to do, but loving them right – everyday no matter what – that was the hard part.” I told you that you made it look easy and that

I loved you so.

The first time I saw you in the nursing home your eyes looked tired. I kissed you on the cheek on you didn’t smell like Old Spice. I gave you a tommy toe tomato and you spit it out. You’d forgotten that you no longer had your bright, blue Jeep. But you held my hand and you told me that you loved me so.

I honestly don’t know just how to tell you goodbye or explain to anyone how very much I will miss my sweet Papa. But when I close my eyes and think of you up in heaven, I just know that when you bump into an angel and they ask you how you are doing, you will smile that handsome smile and say, “I’m fine as frog’s hair and twice as smooth.”

And they will love you so…

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dear Furkids...

Dear Furkids,

This is an apology letter from your human.  I wanted to let you know how sorry I am that Scott and I had to work late today.  So late in fact that I felt the need to rearrange the office to accommodate you.  I am sorry that we had to leave you for so long.

Secondly, thank you for making me aware of the insides of an expensive dog bed.  I must say that for the first time in  my life I realized just how much stuffing they fit into those things.  I didn't know that a small 2 foot by 2 foot dog bed could create the largest amount of blue fuzz known to man.  Thank you for making me so aware.

I also want to apologize to you in advance for not purchasing another dog bed.  I hope you understand why you must now sleep on the cold, hard wood floors.  You see, dog beds are expensive.  And beyond the money issue, they are apparently full of an insane amount of blue fuzz.  I am no longer willing to own one of those items.  I apologize for your inconvenience.

I am sorry that I expected you to be more like "Lassie".  Thank you for reminding me that you are more like "Marley".  I appreciate your honesty.  Next time we have an honest moment I would like to make a request.  Please leave out the blue fuzz!

Your human, Elizabeth

P.S.  Thank you for attempting to look guilty while I was the one who neglected to be home on time.  I appreciate your efforts.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Three sisters. Three last names.

Remember this post?

And now I give you my second fabulous excuse for not blogging:


Congratulations to Carrie Rae Shelburne Thornton!

Three Shelburne sisters.  Three last names.

Two states.  Two weddings.  Two husbands.

One year.  One fantastic family!  One camera full of sweet memories.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Oh sweet blog...I've neglected you so!

I have not been blogging.  It's my husband's fault.  Really.  It is.

You see he likes to lay around.  A LOT.  A whole lotta lot actually.  His job is fast paced and busy so when the evenings and weekends hit - he's quite the couch rock potato.

  And then there's this sweet warm husband just laying there.  And he's just laying there with a puppy or two and I'm just not gonna go anywhere near that icy cold and lonely computer room.

So, I've got excuses.  A lot of them too I just might add.

But I am here.  For the 5 readers or so that I have I am here.  I will update.  I promise I will.  So please quit calling me.  (Actually, you've texted, but it just doesn't whine like a call, so I thought I would take a creative liberty and just say that...ahem...)  And if you didn't call to complain that I am neglecting you and your reading time, I know you meant to.

So I'm back sweet blog.  And I have things to say  type!  Later though.  There's this husband.  And this comfy couch.  And a sweet puppy (or three.)

Actually, the dogs are not even allowed on the couch...My inner Martha Stewart and and my inner Caesar Milan are constantly at war with each other.   Is that even normal?!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

He makes me laugh

My husband was sent for dog food since we were out.  I am very particular about what my animals eat.  Remember this post?  So Scott knows exactly what to come home with.  Purina One Lamb & Rice Adult dog food.  For me, working with animals and's really easy to remember.

I realized today that Scott could not tell you what the dogs eat, but he can point at it.  He didn't know what the food was called, he simply knew what the bag looked like.  Or rather what the dog on the bag looks like.

"I just get the red bag of food with the 'African-American Lilly' on it."

What?  Oh!

Our Lilly:

Our chosen dog food:

Oh my crack me up!
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