Life in the A-Frame

Life in the A-Frame

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sausage and broccoli cornbread

I love this one dish meal!  Of course you could serve it as a side dish but there's no need. And you can see it is appropriate to use a paper plate....

Sausage and broccoli cornbread

1 lb. bulk sausage
1 lb. frozen chopped broccoli
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 tbl baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
enough milk to moisten the mixture ( about a cup?) Sorry, I don't measure it.
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 pan. Brown the sausage. Take it off the heat and mix in the frozen broccoli to cool the sausage and soften the broccoli. In a bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Whisk to combine. Add the eggs, oil, and enough milk to make a pancake batter consistency. Add the sausage and broccoli. Stir and pour into the prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes until the top is golden brown. Put the grated cheese on top and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Cut into squares.

You can change this in many ways. Leftover vegetables or frozen spinach could replace the broccoli. You can leave out the sausage and just make broccoli cornbread. Last week, I used a little crumbled bacon instead. Add onions or peppers if you wish. The cheese is also great mixed in the batter before cooking.
This makes a good one-dish meal or is delicious with a salad, some soup or a bowl of beans. My mom always made this to take to the lake with us, and topped it with chili con queso. That is an odd picnic food I know! But everyone was always starving after swimming a few hours and this was a welcome meal.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pool update

We have our pool up and have used it several times, but we experienced a lot of extremes along the way.



Physical and Mental exhaustion

Night terror (yes that's a snake on our power cord)

Relief and jubilation.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dewberry bread pudding

Dewberries: native, wild blackberries

I mixed 4 eggs, 4 cups milk, 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 loaf of day old bread and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Then I added 2 cups of dewberries (that were freshly picked) and baked until the middle was set. Very delicious served with whipped cream or Cool Whip.

I made this in memory of my neighbor who passed away at the age of 84. She used to see me out walking or picking dewberries or tending the garden-and then she would yell at me and tell me not to get too hot. I used to bring her food regularly, pulling my two kids in a red wagon, and she would yell at me that I was going to hurt myself.

This recipe was her favorite because it was lightly sweet, not too sweet-and she loved dewberries and even let me pick the ones around her house. She's been gone a long time but she was my kid's adopted grandmother. Almazona. Her father helped build the church that is right across the road from me...1917. As a child, she once got in trouble because she let her little goat follow her to church. And he came right in...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Scenes from a Border town

We got to see my son in his new home on the Texas border. He is 3 miles from the Rio Grande, which means 3 miles from Mexico. 

Shopping downtown was fun.

Seeing the beautiful, historic buildings was interesting.
The landscaping was very different than what we have here in Central Texas. So pretty.
You can't get that close to the border without eating authentic Mexican food.
And you can't skip one of the prettiest, clearest lakes in Texas (also shared with Mexico).

We were able to see the entry point to Mexico from our car.

Our shopping trip resulted in 3 new pairs of shoes. I think I'll show them to you soon. And soon, we hope to return to see my son and continue exploring this unique area. John Wayne appeared in the movie "The Alamo" which was filmed in a nearby town and part of the "Lonesome Dove" set was on one of the huge ranches. I have lots of touring left to do.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

First crop of the year!

Some of my yellow summer squash were big enough to pick and I always celebrate the first squash or okra by frying it up for supper. So simple, and so delicious. Just cut the squash into thin circles, rinse with water, coat with cornmeal, salt and pepper. Then fry in hot oil until the cornmeal is very golden and crispy.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Our pool project update

We are declaring the area for the pool level now. You can see how massive the landscaping became. The timing was perfect though, because the pool kit arrived yesterday. When we get back from visiting my son, we will assemble the pool. I guess we will see how level the space actually is then.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Flowers-beauty for every situation

Easter Lilies for the church altar

Wild bluebonnets decorate my kitchen window

Cemetery serenity

Fragrant memorial

Angelic Paintbrushes for the piano

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Little house guest-Annie

This is Annie, as in "Little Orphan".

She's tiny but is still 10 pounds heavier than my dog Amos.
She's black, but you can't tell because she is lying in the brightest sun.
She's silky, but you can't tell because she's covered with burrs, sticks, mud and leaves.
She has an abundance of energy but she's winding down after hours of play.
She's well groomed, but not this weekend because she's staying with us.

Annie is a country girl this weekend, enjoying all the open air, pasture land and water. Annie's owner is visiting her daughter over the Mother's Day weekend and wanted Annie to stay here with us. Come Monday morning, Annie will get a good bath and some major grooming so our friend won't faint when she sees her dainty little dog.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pool Project Phase 2

Our neighbor brings in the second round of heavy equipment. This dozer allows him to more smoothly contour the area because it is so heavy. Mike is showing him the correct angle of the blade. I love his body language.

The next step is a load of sand which we will smooth out and level. The pool has been ordered, as is a salt water system. As soon as the ground is level, some cement blocks are leveled for the supports, and the ground is free of any lumps or rocks, the pool can go up.
Those 2x4 boards have levels on them and it seems to me that the hardest part of this whole project is leveling the area. The cement blocks should sit on the hard clay which has to be level. The soft liner of the pool should sit on a little sand, which has to be level. Moving the dirt is hard work, I have been trying to help. I'm better at being the assistant who anticipates which tools Mike needs next and then holding things for him, but I have done enough shoveling and raking to have a sore shoulder (I'm out of shape).

I guess I will just have to soak in the pool soon...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Book Club Update

is Betty Smith's semi autobiographical novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I hope someone will pick this book up at the library and join me. You won't regret it! And when you're done, watch the movie. I will.