Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Blackberrycello... well that's what I am calling it. After picking berries Sunday morning I couldn't decide what to make with them. I didn't want to make a cobbler because Shaun and I never eat it all and it would just wind up going to the pigs. So I thought I would make a liqueur sort of concoction out of the berries which is what I did.

Feel free to try this yourself. Although I won't be able to give results for some time the berries are free in the woods right now so what the hell.

P.S. this is only part one to the recipe since I am kinda winging it. I will have another post in 40 days with the second step... K?


2 1/2 cups blackberries
3 cups vodka or 750 ml
lemon zest of 1 lemon

Put blackberries into a large glass jug.
Take your potato masher and squash the heck out of them. Next using your lemon zester, scrape the yellow off of the lemon. Try not to get any of the white pith... pith... pith is something you do behind a truck at a party... after dark of course. Not a fan of that word. Add the lemon zest to the mashed blackberries.

Pour in the vodka, put the lid on and give it a good shake to mix it up well. It doesn't really matter what kind of vodka you use. Cheap stuff, expensive stuff... it all gets you where you want to be. Just make sure it's 80 to 100 proof because this will probably be stored in the freezer.

Now comes the wait. Place your jug in a cool, dark place. Mine stays underneath our steps in the basement. Pretty much any time of the year you'll find something in a jar under there... fermenting... in a good way. Leave it there for lets say forty days. You can visit it from time to time and give it a little shake and a smooch if you want to. Then we'll go to step two.

I actually made mine on the 28th. So somewhere around August 6th or 7th I will post the second stage of our experiment. If your planning ahead you will need sugar, water and more vodka. So you (I) have time to save for the next bottle. Hey I'm the one with no job here!
I am thinking about trying a different recipe to see which one turns out the best so stay tuned.

Fried Southern Squash

They're coming in! The squash plants in our garden are starting to produce squash like nobody's business! Are boy are they gooood. Last week Shaun and I picked the first two squash from our garden. They were in the frying pan within thirty minutes! Although I froze squash to use all winter long we have been out for a couple of months. At the same time, if you're a squash lover, nothing can beat the taste of a freshly picked yellow beauty.

Here's my recipe for fried squash. It is based on just two squash because that's enough for a side dish for me and my hubby.

Southern Fried Squash

2 Squash
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 Tablespoon Butt Rub or whatever seasoning you prefer.. or not
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cups Canola Oil
1 Tablespoon butter

This is in the order of the process here. Slice squash, cutting off the two ends, into about 1/4 inch thick slices or a tad smaller. In a small bowl whisk egg and milk together. In another bowl blend flour, and seasonings together with a fork. Heat canola oil in a skillet on medium high heat.. that's about a six on my dial. Dip each slice into the egg/milk mixture then into the flour mixture flipping it in the flour several times to coat well. Sit each slice on a plate. Do this whilst your oil is heating up.
Test your oil for readiness by adding the butter to it. It should sizzle and melt pretty quick when ready. Place about seven slices of battered squash into the pan. You should be able to see the edge of the bottom beginning to brown slightly. When you do, carefully stick a fork in the edge and turn each one over to brown the other side. When both sides are lightly browned to perfection remove them to a paper towel covered plate. Continue with the rest of the squash.

I also bread okra this same way. Okras tend to pop more in the frying pan so turn the heat down. And also turn it down if it starts to smoke or brown too quickly.

It's golden goodness on a plate folks and a sure sign that summer is here!
P.S. If you've never heard of Butt Rub.. now you have. My family usually picks it up in Florida but I believe it's readliy available in Tennessee somewhere.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

It's about time!

I am so excited to pass on the news that this morning I went on my first blackberry picking adventure this year. I managed to pick about a quart and a half which isn't that much but at the same time well worth the trip. I found a sweet new honey hole at the back of our farm that I spent a good ten minutes picking at.

As I was on the Arctic Cat trolling about the edge of the woods I kept thinking of tips to pass on to others who may or may not have ever been blackberry picking before. Now I am not necessarily talking about tame blackberries that you pick at an orchard, just plain ole wild growing blackberries. The kind that you have to risk chiggers, weeds and poison ivy over. Those are the best and only kind for me.

Anyway, here are some tips for picking blackberries... wild on the farm, road side or where ever your good luck takes you.

  • Be sure to wear your rubbers. And by rubbers I mean footwear. I wear my rain boots because they are tall and thick and I am virtually invincible when I have them on. There is really no where I can't go and you need that to step on brush to get to the good stuff.
  • Long pants are a must. Duh... or else you're gonna get scratched and bleed from the thorns. I know it's hot but you just have to tough it out for chiggers sake!
  • Which brings me to bug spray. I literally have to buy the decent flowery smelling kind because during the summer I wear it like perfume. I am a mosquito magnet. Plus it helps to keep the ticks and chiggers away. Of course my husband is the chigger magnet in our household. I swanee he could get chigger bites in a swimming pool.
  • One gardening glove. I use this to pull and hold other branches back. You'll find that you wish you had one when the first thorn enters the back of your hand. You can wear one on each hand if you want to. Personally I like the dark stains around my cuticles and under my nails. Sort of like war paint.
  • I don't think I have to mention sunscreen. But I will mention a nice, decently sized straw hat. They help to keep you cool while protecting your face and neck from sun damage. I even have the Mister wearing one this year!
  • Containers. Now here's my tip. Take a few of these. Small ones like berry baskets to put berries in as you pick. Also I recommend taking about a 9x13 cake pan. Blackberries bruise very easily. Especially when you start piling them on top of each other. The little bit of weight will smash the ones on the bottom... not good.
  • Watch where you go. Remember that you are in somebody else's world. There are bird nests inside of briers and all sorts of other creatures that live there. So please just take the berries and leave everything else like you found it.
  • Look before you reach. I know it's tempting and I have done it too. You just reach right on in there after the big one. Twice today I reached and almost pulled back a bee. They are doing their jobs. Look first.
Remember to have fun. The best time of the day is in the morning because it's much more enjoyable than in the heat of the day.
P.S. I am predicting a drought for this summer

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hello Again

If you are all still there... I'm BBBAAACCCKKKKK! Wow... I haven't even looked at my blog in a month or more and although I haven't been working I sure have found myself busy! I've never been the type to just laze around it's just in all my busy-ness I haven't done any blogging. So get ready because up and coming are recipes, crafts and a whole lot of other mess to share with you... I just gotta upload some pics first. Hmmm. sounds like me.

I heard a statement on an Alice rerun yesterday and although I have watched the episodes a hundred times I never really heard her say this. When Flo was leaving the diner and going to work in Houston Alice said to her "you're setting up barriers so you don't have to make a decision." I think that's what I've been doing about a lot of things in my life. Setting up barriers so I won't have to deal with them... which is not the thing you should do. I have found myself since March making up excuses and thinking "no one wants to hear about that craft" or "they'll know I didn't make that recipe up myself." Who cares I say! I am going to share it with you no matter where I got it and how I made it.

Point made... I'm BBBBAAAACCCCKKKKK muah! I reckon I was here all along.. just behind the scenes.