This and That

The week seemed to evaporate from the time we took grandson Nathaniel to the airport until the day John drove David to New York. A lot of laughs and a few photographs later, the house was totally quiet except for the dripping of faucets. We saw zero on the thermometer and thought keeping water moving through the pipes was a good idea. We did the same thing once before, so we don’t really know if the pipes would freeze or not. They are wrapped but hang down below the house where there is no heat whatsoever.

Sunrise –The sun rose every day, but I took a picture only one time. John and I saw the mountain looking north as the sun hit it. At the same time, the house we were approaching seemed to glow. Only when we turned to look behind us did we see the glory of the sky.

010317 Golden sunrise.JPG

Hush puppy — We discovered a new barbecue place near church the day before Nathaniel went home. He was so full he couldn’t finish his hush puppies, so he brought one home. As we drove toward the airport, he remembered he’d left it sitting on the counter. I assured him we’d take care of it. David had the idea of putting his hand in the picture as a measure of its size. He and I split it for a snack.

010317 Hushpuppy and David's hand.jpg

Barbecue — John’s cousin Pete and wife Debbi from Illinois came for a few days before going to a gathering of dulcimer players at Lake Junaluska. One of our meals was at Dickey’s, the closest barbecue place that is one of my favorites. I’m not sure how much my rating is influenced by the free soft ice cream to which you help yourself at the end of a meal.

010417 Pete Debbi David JC at Dickey's BBQ.JPG
Pete, Debbi, David, and John at Dickey’s Barbecue

Christmas Pudding — It doesn’t matter how I strive to make a tiny Christmas pudding, we always have leftovers. I begrudge it refrigerator space in January. Thankfully, Debbi and Pete were game for the ritual of flaming it and eating it with brandy hard sauce. Be forewarned: the next guests will probably be subjected to a repeat until the remaining little ones are gone. I know what I should do. I should make signs and put them on the two pudding containers that John loves them and will gladly give them a warm home.

010517 Debbi JC Pete Christmas pudding.JPG
Debbi, John, and Pete watch the flame on the pudding

Packing Box Labeled Miscellaneous — In making more room in the closet for David, John opened a box that purported to hold miscellaneous items. I wondered what was in the bottom when he brought out a tray of serving items – little spreading knives, silver sugar cube tongs, Norwegian knives, and various spoons. I had gone to bed when David brought a small stack of books to show me. Yes!!!! My long-lost cookbooks were there! I had mourned them for over two years, and there they were in all their faded glory. I knew I had packed them myself, because John wouldn’t have been near them. David snickered when I said, “I’d get up and hug them if I could make myself sit up.”

010717 Lost cookbooks reappear.JPG

Two of the books could have been replaced, but they wouldn’t have been the same. I had notes and comments scattered throughout, as well as a check mark in the index by each recipe I had tried. I considered four of them to be irreplaceable. Of historical significance, there was the sturdy ledger with recipes written in my grandmother’s spidery hand. (She was born in 1880.) There aren’t many entries, making me wonder if she had another book that we never found.

Snow We had about six to eight inches of snow, along with everyone else in the eastern US. I took one photo while the snow was still coming down.

010717 Balcony before clearing.JPG

Another picture was taken after the skies had cleared.

010717 Balcony post clearing.JPG

I went outside with David, because no child, even a 21-year-old, should have to sled alone. There was no way I would have used a sled, but I could stand in the back yard with him and the old oak tree.

010717 David sledding in our yard.JPG

About that time Shawn texted back that Logan (6) would come over. Things really got off the ground when I invited neighbor Joyce to join us. “Really?“ She wanted to know. I wrote, “Look out your back window.” She came, dragging a blue plastic sled. It was one of five that had been left under her house when she bought it. Logan said his run was better, so we trudged across the street where I caught a picture of three of the four generations in attendance. The temperature was in the single digits, so we didn’t last long and soon retreated to our kitchen for hot cocoa.

010717 Sledders Joyce David Logan.JPG
Neighbor Joyce, David, and Logan

There is one last photo with train cars on the porch. I figured the snow that had blown in was about in scale with the cars.

010717 Snow in scale.JPG

32 thoughts on “This and That

    1. Did you find a definition? It’s a fried ball of cornmeal dough. Supposedly, when old timers were frying fish, they’d cook a ball of the coating to throw to the dogs to make them quit begging for food. When I was growing up in Tennessee, we always had hush puppies with fried catfish. We found hush puppies are served with barbecue sandwiches in North Carolina. It doesn’t seem appropriate, but I love it.


    1. Thanks for visiting and commenting. I’m glad to know that trickling water was the thing to do. Have you any idea what temperature is the break point? Should you keep water running when it’s single digits or in the teens? I need to call on experience here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No expert, and many variables, but here in Chicago when zero or below ( and too often it goes) we drip..drip..drip. It’s just the two of us here in the house and we’re a bit more cautious than a family taking many a shower and other running water activities. But the best advise is not just the very cold but it’s duration. If in single digits for any sustainable ( say 18 to 24 hours) time I’d trickle or at least do laundry or the dishes late.

        Y’all stay warm.



  1. I have that very same meat cookbook, Anne. My mother gave it to me as a shower gift before we got married. Beautiful pictures. Lovely views! We got 5 1/2 inches of snow last night and the forecast is another inch or two yet. It’s -10 and going down to -25 and even colder by the end of this week. Finally, next week things will warm up over here. Brrrrr…….. where’s that hot chocolate? 🙂


    1. I’m not sure I’ve ever been where the temperatures were colder than -10. John is in NY tonight and was asking me what the week’s forecasts looked like. I was totally surprised to find that after tonight, we are supposed to be above freezing for a week. The hot chocolate is in my kitchen. I wish you could come down and have some with me. I treat it like some treat liquor — never drinking alone. Somehow hot chocolate is a special occasion drink for me, even though the packets or ingredients are always here. I’m sure I could become addicted quite easily.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So could I and wouldn’t it be fun to just fly right down there and have some hot chocolate with you. Well, it’s a nice thought anyways. Big hug, Anne. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Most of the hush puppies here are smaller than the one David and I shared. I think the danger of frozen pipes is over now. The forecast shows our temperatures above freezing for a full week! I’m beginning to suspect that we have the best combination of north/south weather here in the southern mountains.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Old cookbooks! I have a few that are really special. They have stains and notes. Many are from my early years of cooking and I have a good laugh at how I used to cook compared to how I cook now.


    1. I don’t know that I cook differently now. I’ll have to think about that. Did you make detailed notes? There is one thing I laugh at now. I kept index cards for dinner guests so that I didn’t serve them the same thing a second time. These days I cook what I feel like, usually not planning much ahead. If guests end up with the same thing several times, they’ll just think it’s my signature dish. For their sake, I hope it’s a good one.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I cook much differently now. No super fancy dishes that take a lot of time. No exotic one-dish ingredients cluttering up my cabinets. Much more healthy and vegetable friendly. I still use a crockpot occasionally but I rarely bake scratch cakes. I rarely bake cakes at all but when I do I have some great recipes that doctor up a box mix. I don’t worry about repeating meals although I do keep notes for larger scale entertaining. It’s mostly for quantities and what worked and didn’t work.


    2. I never did super fancy dishes. At least you did at one time! I did bake and decorate our children’s birthday cakes, but that is in the past. Pies and cookies are still in the present. Like you, I cook more vegetables now than before. I guess I have changed more than I thought.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Anne,
    I am glad you found those family treasures- I mean, the cook books. And the one with the notes from your grandmother. I cannot imagine a grandmother referring to a cookbook for her recipes. The ones I know or knew always carried them around in their head. She must have been very – is the word- ” advanced” for her time ?
    I am a very poor cook but love to watch cook shows on TV.
    Anne, your table, table cloth and table setting and the lighting are beautiful- with the Christmas tree in the background- a true post Christmas aura.
    Thanks for sharing !


    1. I laughed at the idea of my cookbooks being family treasures. I treasure them, but my children don’t cook! They would be of no use to them. You are right about most older women carrying recipes in their heads. Now that I think of it, Grandmother didn’t cook, at least not when I knew her. She had a cook who came in every day. Grandmother did a few things like salads, but she was not in the kitchen very much. My grandfather was retired when I was young. I remember my parents saying when he had his dental office, Grandmother was his receptionist. I would think it was fairly unusual for both husband and wife to work outside the home.

      Thank you for being a faithful reader, Susie.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I love reading your posts Anne- the pleasure is all mine, Anne. I learn a lot about ways in the US especially in the NC mountains, through your posts.
        Maybe the cookbooks can go to Nathaniel and his children.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Marcia. We are enjoying living in NC The flaming pudding was a bit of a surprise. The little molded dessert fell apart, so I put the pieces on a plate and flamed it. The rum went through the cracks, so the pudding was burning from the inside, as well as the outside. It had a rather toasty taste when we finally got the flame extinguished.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a glorious update! I’m sorry it was so cold, but I’m glad there was something to show for it! Your sunrise picture was amazing! What a glorious time in the mountains!


      1. Oh yes, and the moisture from that snow has got to be wonderful!

        I thought of you the other night. I needed to use the WiFi at McDonald’s and some older folks came in for a soda and conversation. 2 couples and a lady by herself. I noticed the conversation and wondered if they were practicing the good conversation etiquette you always write about. I smiled and thought of how you would incorporate this into one of your posts!!


Do you have a comment? I'd love to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s