Monday, July 25, 2011

Yes, We are "real" people!!

Meet Debbie!
Debbie, I tried to steal your photo on your blog. Smart lady, it wouldn't copy.

Debbie is a beautiful and talented lady and I treasure her friendship. Debbie is the first of my wonderful blogger friends with whom I have met. She has so many skills and talents I only hope I can do justice.
So that I won't sound like her agent or biographer I will scatter her many ventures and adventures throughout.

During our conversations we discovered that she lived within fifteen miles of my daughter Kim. With that a plan was hatched. We would meet this July when I visited my daughter. She was sweet enough to drive to Kim's small town. We met at a little sandwich shop on the square called the BUZZ. My daughter Kim came along with me and Debbie's daughter Nicki was with her. We had a great time and felt like old friends.
Nicki, Debbie, me and Kim

Please excuse the quality of the photos. I didn't seem to have any good ones. I was passing the camera to anyone who walked by. Debbie, hopefully you got some good ones and can share them with us. I, however, am going to show you some of the goofy ones!
We couldn't get the open eyes thing going. On the previous shot my eyes were closed and Kim said "Mom open your eyes"
Debbie still has that beautiful smile and I am impersonating a prune. Did a pretty good job, huh!

Debbie opening some "Savannah" gifts!

This awesome lady is the Executive Director of Carbondale, Illinois Convention and Tourism Bureau.
She has been active in this industry for over thirty years.
Such a lovely pair
Would you believe this lady has more than, much more than, sixty-six set of dishes.  I am fainting about this time. Of course there are accessories and serving pieces that compliment each set. I am still on the floor. We won't discuss where she stores it all.
I love this lady. Being in her presence makes you smile.
Debbie has written numerous cookbooks. You can see
and purchase these on her blog. Here

She gifted these to me. I can't wait to try some of the recipes.
This book has some of the best local lore and history you would ever find about a region.
It is like reading a history book but eating between each chapter.
These are great seasonal books.

Debbie has owned and operated a restaurant and catering business. She is an event planner and has hosted many theme dinner parties. One featured "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" and another on "The Titanic".  I would have loved to be at either one of those galas.

The four of us enjoyed visiting and getting to know one another over iced tea.  All being southerners, we had a major discussion regarding "Iced Tea". The conclusion? In the south, there are only two types of iced tea. "Iced Tea" and "Unsweetened Iced Tea". The recent use of the term is NOT old south. "Sweet Iced Tea" is superfluous as "Iced Tea" is "Sweet Iced Tea " in the south. I am so glad I got that out. 

This discussion is and was absolutely a non event for anyone but us. However, we were in agreement, just saying!

I can't wait for our next visit. I hope we can have more time to discover her beloved Southern Illinois. I may even have a personal docent on the "Shawnee Hills Wine Tour".

Please hop over and visit this talented lady and browse her fun blog. I can guarantee, you will be inspired Here.

Debbie, I am so glad I got to meet and get "REAL" hugs from you and Nicki. I can't wait until next time!

I am linking to the following parties. Thanks for hosting.
Blue Monday
Metamorphosis Monday

Brag Monday

Motivate Me Monday

Masterpiece Monday

Amaze Me Monday

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New Harmony

During our recent, five state. road trip we spent an afternoon in beautiful New Harmony, Indiana.
As far as I know this bridge over the Wabash River is the only way into town.
New Harmony is a small historical town with less than 1000 residents. 
New Harmony, formerly named Harmony, was founded by the Harmony Society, headed by German immigrantGeorge Rapp (actually Johann Georg Rapp) in 1814. This was the second of three towns built by the pietist,communal German religious group, known as Harmonists, Harmonites or Rappites; they settled in Indiana after leaving Harmony, PennsylvaniaContinue reading here.
New Harmony is a peaceful little town frequented by groups and individuals seeking a peaceful environment in which to relax, study, worship or perhaps just to contemplate our world. 

A major anchor of the community is the "roofless church". This is a walled, grassy, well manicured area that is used for worship and community gatherings.

On the 4th of July residents and visitors watch fireworks from this area. The area overflows.  Spectators arrive walking or by patriotically decorated golf carts. A glorious celebration is had by all.

New Harmony is also the site of the early headquarters of the U.S. Geological Survey and provided the earliest geological and natural science collections for the beginnings of the Smithsonian Institute. Continue reading here.
I have visited New Harmony on several occasions. I always find it hard to leave. It is a wonderful walking town. Beautiful gardens, water features and interesting  little shops, with work from local artists, are around each corner. There is a museum, library, gallery and a theater. 
The Beautiful Hosta Garden

Soothing Fountains

This is the back side of the fountain above
Thought provoking Labyrinth

Shops and Theatre

Summer Theatre
Former residence turned inn
Boxwood Maze

A maze is impossible to photograph from the ground, so I am showing you heads moving through the maze. I wish I could have gotten a bird's eye view.
We had a relaxing visit at New Harmony,
 in harmony, with God, man and earth.

We leave the same way we entered this beautiful area
 and head for southern Illinois, 
the last of our five state trek.
I hope you enjoyed visiting New Harmony
with me and I wish you a harmonious day.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


We just visited the "GIRLS"
My two awesome Daughters.

It was sweltering in Savannah. 
It was time to "get outta town".

When the "GIRLS" and I visit one another, there is always an exchange of goodies. Often it is dinnerware, curtains, furniture. This time a slot machine and a piece of Belleek went to one, French lace curtains and a vintage lace tablecloth to another. 

Oh, I always get my share! Remember the turquoise chaise Here! This time I brought back a new/vintage set of dishes. Look for those in a tablescape.
I also brought back a couple of pieces of furniture. 

In the midst of all of this mayhem we attended "Aunt Annabel"s 100th Birthday Party" on the Fourth of July. She has always been a real firecracker. Read about that Here!

I was able to post from the road several times. Here and

Just letting you know we are back!! I will be posting more about our trip and the thrifty finds this coming week. I will be posting about my meeting with an actual 
"Blogger Friend". Virtual became reality. 

I am linking up with:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

French Fried Eggplant

A Family Favorite!
If your family doesn't like this!
Serve them this!

A year or so ago, my teenage grandson wouldn't even try eggplant. His mom and I served him FF Eggplant and he didn't even know he was eating eggplant. Now it is one of the dishes I have to prepare when I am visiting him or vice versa.

Peel and slice into Julienne or regular french fry sizes.
I used three different types of eggplant. Regular (purple) striped and white. We mixed them to see if we could discern the different tastes. The white is milder but we couldn't tell a difference with the striped. We liked the slightly stronger and unique taste.

I normally cut julienne style but my daughter likes the thicker cut. 
This batch was sorta mixed.
Once cut, soak in cold for water about 10 minutes.
Drain and lightly dry with paper towels.

Place flour and seasonings in a gallon size, plastic zip bag. Place small batches in plastic bag, shake to coat and set aside.

I like to finish this step earlier and place in the fridge to allow coating to adhere (this prevents excess flour from collecting in the bottom of the frypan). This also makes the cooking process go faster as there is a crowd gathered to eat as you are serving up.

 Cook, small batches, in two inches of canola oil on medium to high heat until golden brown (usually about three to four minutes). A deep cast iron is skillet is best.


Best if eaten immediately. Can be served as an appetizer or a side dish. We are usually eating the batches as they  come off the stove. 
You have a unique, satisfying treat for the taste buds that will have your guests asking for more. Smaller cuts are crispier and of course larger cuts are a little meatier with a soft center. 

Two or three medium sized eggplant
2/3 cup all purpose flour
Seasonings to taste:
Pepper, red pepper, italian seasonings, garlic powder.  Occasionally I use a small bit of old bay seafood seasoning (Savannahians love that taste). I salt after cooking.
I believe you can use your favorite combination of seasonings for a special treat.
Follow instructions as above.

I have joined Whistle Stop Cafe for a blog hop. I am not sure how it works but I am attempting this

I am joining these parties, please link back to them for more fun.

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