Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Carolyn Westbrook: Live from the Plantation...Southern Beans and those southern roots!

 Hey Y'all. We were talking the other day about what we ate growing up, and I was saying that everyday my grandmother would have a pot of beans on the stove. In the summertime, it was all about beans and cornbread and all of the vegetables that come out of the garden. There was always sliced tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers, and fried okra or sometimes fried green tomatoes or sometimes she would fry soft potatoes and okra and onion together. Sometimes there was meat and sometimes it was all about the vegis, but it was always good. She also like to sautee yellow squash and tomatoes and onion together..Yummm! Makes me hungry just thinkin about it. Joe grew up the same way, as I am sure most of you southerners did and so we still like us some beans and cornbread and green onion.

The weather has been amazing here lately, that it is almost confusing. We are used to 110 degrees in August and this morning it was in the 60's. I never remember this in August...ever. So, we are enjoying it and thought I would whip up a pot of beans. We added some bacon, and a few diced tomatoes with some onion, and ooohhhh was it good. We always soak our beans overnight. I remember my grandmother pouring the dry beans out on the counter and going over them for little rocks that might have gotten in the mix, then she would rinse them and soak them overnight.My grandmother always used a cast iron skillet for biscuits or cornbread. You mix up your cornbread mix and get your cast iron skillet hot on the stove with some melted butter sizzling, and then dump in the mix, so it sort of frys it for a minute and then put it in the oven. It comes out kind of crunchy on the bottom and moist everywhere else...cannot beat it. For those that like it spicy, you can add in a can of cream of corn, a handful of cheddar cheese and some chopped jalepenos, and you got yourself some delicious jalepeno corn bread. There is nothing like a good 'ol southern meal of cornbread and beans with whatever vegis that are in the house. Y'all better get you some!
xo Carolyn
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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Carolyn Westbrook: Live from the Plantation.

 Hey y'all! Hope everyone is enduring this long, hot, summer. Here in Texas, it has been a scorcher, but trying to think of all the things that I love about summer. The basil and mint are still flourshing and we always try and keep some in the kitchen for flavoring tea or sauces. We have a big pitcher of iced tea on hand at all times. I love to dress up a glass with a slice of lime or orange with a fresh sprig of mint if so refreshing. I had this Asiatic Pheasant pedestal in the panty, and thought how pretty it would look in the kitchen. Just like anyone else, we have supplies, like the dishwashing soap that can look unsightly sitting on the cabinet, so I came up with this solution. I took a vintage vinegar dispenser and filled it with the dishwashing soap, and put it together on the plateau with a nail brush, which we always use when we come in from working outside. An antique sugar bowl in matching Asiatic Pheasant design is filled with fresh mint and basil. I think it all came together beautifully and really helps us have the things we need at hand.

Always good to bring a little outside in and great to go out into the yard and get little snip-its for beautiful little bouquets around the house. I love to use the vintage bottles with the skinny necks for single blooms. Lavender and Rosemary are great to make your house smell and look pretty.
Little snips of Rosemary with a Zinnia bloom or a Shasta daisy are quick pick-me-ups.
Now-a-days I try and get out early to do the watering and cut my blooms or late in the evening, when it finally starts to cool a bit, I love sitting out on the front porch and listen to the locusts and the frogs across the road in the pond. Hope yall will make some little summer bouquets yourself.

xo Carolyn
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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Carolyn Westbrook: Live from the Plantation!

 Victoria made me this wonderful breakfast and brought it up to the bedroom. Amazing! Looked like a professional breakfast. Had to show yall. Alex is waitressing, so she came home at 1am with a bundle of flowers and a card, and woke me up to tell me Happy Birthday, Nick came in this morning with a card that he made. Really funny for a 16-year-old. A great start to a b-day to remember.

You dont even mind getting older for this...well maybe.

Hope all of yall are enjoying the summer!

xo Carolyn
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