Shug's four months old now!
Can you tell what he was for Halloween tonight!?
He's a "deviled" egg! His little cap has horns and his pants have a little tail...and his shirt has the yellow center to make him into a deviled egg!
We made several little visits before going to Leslie's - she gets lots & lots of trick-or-treaters!
Shug's four months old now!
I'm so excited - we're getting all our plans together for Halloween! Shug's costume is here (I really wanted to make it myself this year, but instead found someone to make it for him and is it ever *so* cute! I'll post pics of him in it on Wednesday), and we're going to get all dressed up and go trick-or-treating at different friends' homes, then be with Leslie to give out candy to the trick-or-treaters that come to us.
I've got this scarecrow out on our porch. I got the idea from one of the first Mary Engelbreit Home Companion magazines, and even though I can't draw, I was able to paint his face:
Just last month, I heard about a new program for people who want to donate their hair for a good cause - it's called 'Pantene Beautiful Lengths'. I've donated my hair twice before to Locks of Love but this time I decided to send my ponytail to Pantene instead.
Pantene sends donated ponytails to a company that puts at least six of them together to make a wig, then the wigs are made in different colors, textures, and lengths. They get sent to American Cancer Society wig banks and are distributed (free) to women undergoing cancer treatment. They've made 2000+ wigs so far. So nice!
There's a group for before & after pics on Flickr here.
Av took us and our friend Leslie to the beach this week as a little early birthday present for me! We had a great time and even spent the first afternoon in Pensacola to take Shug and Leslie to McGuire's for their first time, and to get some fish from Joe Patti's.
This is the fifth time we've stayed at The Beach Club. I had told Leslie about how beautiful all the condos had been, and this time we somehow got one that wasn't decorated anywhere as nice as the others - which is **really** weird, because it wasn't furnished like how it appears on their website for this particular unit, either (I don't know how to get the link, but if you look on their website for Doral #708, you'll see). I think Av is going to ask their office next week what was going on.
The skies were beautiful:
...and here are my two favorite boys!
Pictures from the last four condos we've had at The Beach Club are here: one, two, three, four.
In November of 2005, I posted about how I used fabric to change the look of a couple of bookcases. Since it's been a couple of years, I was thinking it would be nice to do it again -- and at just the right time, there was an article in...I think it was the last New Orleans Magazine but I might be wrong...about a shop on Magazine Street that carried this wonderful custom toile with scenes of New Orleans.
The shop is called Hazelnut, and one of the owners is Bryan Batt, who plays Salvatore Romano on the AMC show Mad Men (I love that show! And Damages on FX too. But they both just had their season finales and now there's nothing on tv until Lost. Well, except Curb and The Office. But anyway.).
So anyway, the New Orleans toile came in and it's just beautiful. Here are the bookshelves with the old fabric:
...and here they are with the New Orleans toile (it comes in different colors - I got the 'magnolia' shade because I just thought it would make that end of the room appear lighter):
...here it is, all done. I moved some different pieces in the room, just to keep things new, and I like the way it turned out. (BTW, I'm in the middle of decorating for Fall, so that's the Indian corn swag I made last year hanging in front of the fireplace):
Hazelnut is also selling their Pontchartrain Beach fabric online. I'm trying to think of something I'd like to make with it. It's just this wonderful Lily-Pulitzer-meets-New-Orleans kind of thing, with the fleur de lis, crawfish, magnolias, Mardi Gras beads, and the thing at the top left looks like maybe the cornstalk fence from the Cornstalk Hotel on Royal:
I got so many great emails about the post on Live Oak Cemetery in Selma -- lots and lots of interesting emails about those wonderful monuments and other places to see statuary like that (thank you!). Here are some pics from Oakwood Cemetery in Montgomery.
Just as we were driving in, we saw these ceramic chickens on a couple of monuments:
This section below with all the flowers has a monument that reads:
"Buried here are 78 officers and men of the Royal Air Force who lost their lives whilst training in Montgomery, Alabama during the Second World War. Nearly 1,000 men who died during that war or the First World War when serving with the forces of Britain or the other Commonwealth countries lie buried in cemeteries throughout the United States of America. Their graves and this cross of sacrifice which commemorates them are maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission".
This monument is made of metal - it's for someone who died of yellow fever in 1873:
The Confederate section:
Monument for Hiram Haines:
Governor William Calvin Oates:
His monument reads:
"Born in poverty, reared in adversity, without educational advantages, yet by honest individual effort he obtained a competency and the confidence of his fellow men. While fairly liberal to relatives and the worthy poor, a devoted Confederate soldier, he gave his right arm for The Cause. He accepted the result of the war without a murmur and in 1896-98 he was a Brigadier General of United States Volunteers in the war with Spain."
He was born in Pike county and practiced law in Abbeville. He was Captain in the 15th Alabama Infantry, then Colonel in the 48th. When it says that he "gave his right arm" - um, he actually did(!). It was shattered by a minie ball Petersburg in August 1864. He went on to become a legislator, congressman, and governor of the state from 1894-96.
I made this mayhaw glazed chicken last week and it was *so* good. Just wonderful. And sooo easy.
This is based on a recipe in the October 2004 issue of Martha Stewart Living for apricot-dijon-glazed chicken, but I thought I could make it my own by using a local fruit, like mayhaw jelly. I had a small jar of it in the pantry, so I gave it a try -- perfect. Mayhaws grow mostly in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana so it's in most grocery stores here, but if you live far away, there are places you can order it online and have it shipped. Of course, if you don't live here in the South, you probably have some other wonderful local fruit that would be good.
Oh! And I used some honey I bought from the Pond Store (601.888.4426) in Pond, Mississippi (about 15 minutes from Woodville). The very, very nicest lady, Liz Chaffin, runs it. The present store has been there since 1881. Inside the store she has a dollhouse that her uncle or cousin or ?? made for her, and here are some pictures of the interior:
Isn't it great!?
Okay...back to the chicken...
4 pieces chicken
1 small jar mayhaw jelly
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
Preheat the oven to 425*. Wash off chicken pieces, dry, and arrange them in a baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
In a small saucepan, bring the jelly, mustard, and honey to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about twenty minutes so it's thickened. Spoon this mixture over the chicken pieces, and place the baking dish in the oven.
Every ten minutes or so, baste the chicken with the juice from the bottom of the baking dish. The chicken should be cooked through at 30-35 minutes.
Kentuck was great this year!
One thing that was really nice was this little memorial to Jimmy Lee Sudduth - this is the tree that he would sit under each year and sell his paintings.
Some of the Gee's Bend quilters were there, and were doing demonstrations.
Y'all know I had to get a pic of Shug in front of a quilt! He loves riding around with daddy in his Baby Bjorn and being a little kangaroo!
This piece of pottery I thought was really special. It's done by Ned Berry (from Cataula, Georgia // 706.660.8226) and is called "I Got The World By The Tail Sitting On A Rainbow":
This is Yvonne Wells' tent. We got one of her quilts last year and Shug loves looking at it in his room.
I liked this silver chair Chris Clark did:
...and this one of Chris' is just beautiful:
The one thing we bought this year was one of Chris' quilts.
One of the most fun things there was Woody Jones (Decatur, Georgia // 404.377.5424) and his 'mechanical amusements'. He can be commissioned to do custom pieces, and one of the neatest ones there was one that he had done of a family and their house. Here is his Garden of Eden piece:
Kentuck is this weekend - it is *the* event I most look forward to each year - and it comes right before my birthday, so Av never has to wonder what to get me...we always find it there!
Chris Clark, Gee's Bend quilters, Yvonne Wells, Miller Family pottery, Jerry Brown, Natalie Chanin, Lonnie Holley, Charlie Lucas, Myrtice West, Bernice Sims, Holden McCurry, George Jones Jr., Glenn House Sr., Bethanne Hill, Yee Haw, and Amos Paul Kennedy Jr. will be there. And those are just my favorites!
Oh! And the Pine Hill Haints are playing from 2-3:30pm on Saturday! Love them.
If you go, please email and let me know what you bought and/or saw that was wonderful!
We stayed home Tuesday night and watched the APT documentary "Mr. Dial Has Something To Say" - it was **wonderful**. If you didn't catch it, the trailer is here, and the dvd and soundtrack can be ordered here.
Av emailed Celia (she is the director/producer) after we watched it to let her know that we enjoyed the film and that it gave a different impression of Bill Arnett (he's a...hmmm...hard to categorize him exactly, but most simply, he's a collector/promoter of Thornton Dial, Gee's Bend quilters, and some other self-taught artists) than other things we've seen/read/heard.
She wrote back that most of the quilters are on the side of the Arnetts. That is, Bill and his sons Matt and Paul, who work together (and also got sued by three of the quilters). We knew that most of the quilters were still behind the Arnetts, but what we didn't know is that on November 10th, there's going to be an Arnetts Appreciation Day in Gee's Bend.
In the film, Thornton Dial couldn't have been more complimentary to Bill Arnett for all the work he's done - and Bill Arnett really is shown in a different light...as someone who has been looking out for the artists' best interests, even to the detriment of his own health and financial well-being. Just a regular guy who got into something big honestly - not as some scheming, conniving dealer like he's been portrayed elsewhere.
So interesting. I've been trying to have a neutral outlook on the Arnetts even though so many bad things had been written, but this gave me a new (good) outlook. Hmmm... I can't wait to see what/if anything's going to be reported about the event on the 10th!
So many places have their own original sauces - around Decatur, it's white chicken sauce. In B'ham, it's John's slaw dressing. New Orleans has remoulade. In Mississippi, it's comeback sauce / comeback dressing.
The thing that John's slaw dressing and comeback sauce have in common is that they both started in the Greek restaurants of each city.
There are several different restaurants in B'ham (Niki's West, Niki's downtown, Fish Market, Costa's, Sarris, John's of course...) that you can go in and order "John's slaw" - and you'll get exactly the same thing.
Comeback sauce started in Jackson at the Rotisserie, and that family, the Dennery family, owns Dennery's. Several other restaurants in Jackson (Mayflower, Crechale's, Walker's, etc.) all serve comeback sauce.
This week, I made comeback sauce to serve with a couple of different things. This recipe makes about six cups, so depending on how many people you're serving, you may want to half it. There are *several* different recipes for comeback sauce (one is here) but I have one that I've made for us, and it's nice...and has a little heat to it, so it's really wonderful to serve with meatballs, as a dip, salad dressing...
1-1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 bottle sweet ginger chili (you could use 1-1/2 c. regular chile sauce instead)
1-1/2 cup olive oil
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup lemon juice
salt and pepper
First, I use my Braun hand mixer and make a puree of the onion and the garlic. Next, that and all the other ingredients go in the Kitchenaid.
It's one of those sauces that's better the next day, so if you can make it a day ahead of time, that's even better.