Thursday, November 9, 2017

From My Cookbook to Yours: Seasoned Southern Style



"After years of trying new recipes with a long list of ingredients, seeking healthy alternatives to gluten and dairy, trying to eliminate preservatives and pesticides, I have decided to return to the food of my childhood. . .simple foods made from scratch (mostly) and of the freshest ingredients I can find. . .I think today's term for this way of thinking is 'eating clean'. . .I call it common sense. . ."
Come join me in my journey of revisiting tried but true recipes and methods of cooking from the local Delta community. . .Simply Good Food. . .SEASONED SOUTHERN STYLE. . .READ MORE. . .


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Simple Harvest Table Several Ways


"EAT YOUR HEART OUT, P. ALLEN SMITH"
Those were John's words when he walked through the breezeway porch and saw our Harvest Table. . .While I'm not even in the league of *Allen Smith. . .(John was just kidding around). . .I have to admit I have gotten more than a few tips from his website. . .His style mixes parts of the past with an eye for the present. . .I often do the same. . .

 

 
As I've stated again and again, Fall is my favorite time of the year. . .From the first frost on the pumpkins to the promise of a New Year, excitement stirs over and over as each holiday arrives. . .The days go by so quickly. . .the level of "busy" increases. . .and the hustle and bustle is in full force. . .


But it is also a time of feeling warm and cuddly by the fire. . .of gathering with family and friends. . .of remembering those who made our lives so special in past holidays.
For our Harvest Table, I decided to make it simple and all natural. . .just as the first Thanksgiving might have been. . .We have several occasions coming up in which we will utilize the table in different ways. . .

For a simple luncheon. . .


 For a magazine photo shoot. . .





For a candlelight dinner. . .









Some old jugs and redware, a vintage quilt, harvested gourds, dried grapevine, burlap, craft paper, a few candles and some dried berries. . .and I was done. . .making the table look welcoming and warm. . .Another plus is that it keeps holiday storage at a minimum. . .

 

I have pretty much decided to decorate for the holidays from this day on with natural and found materials. . .It just seems to set our home apart from the norm, while adding a spark of one's own personality and making it special for our family. . .I might add that it brings forth compliments from the Honey, too. . .He actually noticed this table. . .WOW. . .
Time now to move on to Christmas decor. . .Let's see. . .Maybe some wooden buckets and crates. . .more old crocks. . .pantry boxes. . .firkins. . .old barrels and kegs. . .limbs of cotton. . .evergreens. . .vines. . .small, potted trees. . .lots of candles. . .For sparkle, I'll bring the collection into this era with glass balls. . .strands of lights. . .modern fabrics. . .and. . .
Well. . .You'll just have to watch and see. . .
I will say this, though. . .it's Christmas decor that I'm totally excited about. . .
PLAIN AND SIMPLE. . .

 
  
PLEASE NOTE: There's a new tab above for SELECTED FALL POSTS.
Check it out. . .
I'll be adding tabs for WINTER, SPRING, AND SUMMER, too.
Whatever the Season, you will find INSPIRATION AT
THE COUNTRY FARM HOME

 
 
 *P. Allen Smith's Moss Mountain Farm is in Arkansas, 
where most of his TV shows are taped. 
Visit his website at: 


Friday, October 20, 2017

CROCK TOPS: Here's How


I love crocks. . .I have lots of them. . .They are a staple in this house. . .But, storing them poses a problem. . .and sometimes I need a top on one to hide what's inside. . .So John and I came up with several solutions to my dilemma. . .The first one is so simple I'm almost embarrassed to mention it. . .
For the smaller size crocks, round breadboards are fantastic. . .Left as they are, or sanded, painted or stained. . .Isn't the one on the left a beauty? . .I rarely see such an ornate board. .  .Love the patina. . .Most have been heavily used and they show it, although a little cleaning and sanding brings them back to life.
But then what do we do with the larger crocks? That was a puzzle for a while. . .Sure I could have bought wood boards at a lumber yard, but that was too 'new' for me. . .I wanted something that looked aged. . .Also wide boards are expensive. . .and I had lots of large crocks to cover. . .
Once I was on the look-out for round breadboards, I began bringing home large more modern cutting boards found at thrift stores, too. . .mostly for $1 or under. . .John uses them with his leather craft and I use them in the kitchen instead of my vintage ones. . .Over the last few years, they began stacking up. . .
One day I was gathering the cutting boards I didn't use when  cakes were ready to come out of the oven. . .The stack of cutting boards were on the cabinet top and in my way. . .I quickly picked them up and placed them on some crocks on the floor. . .Cakes came out and cooling on racks. . .All was well. . .Now back to what I was doing. . .What WAS I doing? . .Cutting boards. . .Yes. . .That led me to a light bulb moment. . .as I looked down and noticed that the boards covered the top of a large crock. . ."Oh, John Dear. . ."

All kidding aside. . .isn't this a simple solution?
And to think it was right there in front of me for a couple of years. . .



Now comes the fun part. . .After finishing the Crock Tops with whatever method you choose, try some embellishments. . .I'm for fast and easy, so I pulled out a stamp and permanent ink stamp pad. . .Took no time at all. . .


The possibilities for embellishing are endless. . .Try stamping a border on the outside edges. . .Stencil or paint graphics on the top. . .Make them your own creation. . .
The thickness of the cutting boards allows me to stack the crocks as high as I dare. . .I like to graduate the sizes as I stack in order to display the embellishments around the top edge. . .
I truly like our solution. . .and it's so economical. . .We cut four tops from three cutting boards, costing only $3 total. . .An Easy. . .Fast. . .Simple. . .project that adds so much to the open crocks. . .They  look amazing. . .
It's also a good excuse for thrifting. . . I'm always looking for that. . .aren't you?





Wednesday, October 11, 2017

1888 PRIMITIVE: Just In Time For Fall





IT'S TRUE. . .PATIENCE DOES PAY OFF

It was about this time last year when I spotted the 1888 handmade primitive pie safe at Vintage Market Antique Mall in Dexter, Missouri. . .Oh how I wanted it. . .My desire for primitives greatly increased while I was living in Virginia. . .Once we moved back to the farm, cabinets such as this we found few and far between. . .Most of the prim pieces I do have were acquired from other states--Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia. . .Our local area is a  relatively new settlement in American history. . .mostly populated in the early 20th century. . .It's hard to find these old pieces. . .The minute I spotted this one, my mouth was drooling. . .It contained all the elements of a folk piece that I love. . . handmade for the 'Misses'. . .somewhat of a Shaker influenced style. . .character. . .patina.








But. . .alas. . .I had absolutely no place to put it. . .at least not a year ago. . .and the price was pretty much out of my range for a piece that would be stored in a barn until I had a place for it. . .No telling how many more times we shopped at the Vintage Market in the next nine months. . .Each time I braced myself that my favorite cabinet just might be sold. . .I can't say I had any plans to buy it. . .only that I so enjoyed seeing it. . .running my hand over it. . .imagining the kitchen it must have stood in. . .and the lady who made the pies and cakes to put in it. . .Every time I shopped the mall, I would comment. . .'One day. . .'

My luck. . .and patience. . .held. . .





Spring and Summer this year has involved much work at the farm, culling out real 'junk'. . .moving in donations. . .doing inventory. . .I cleaned out three buildings of family items no longer needed and donated them to the church  'Rummage Sale' in August. . .It was quite a few tasks but feels good to get some organization. . .I also decided to change the tenant house from the hodge-podge of furniture and add some of our pieces from the house. . .With new open spaces left in our home,  I suddenly realized that I had a place for that Missouri pie safe. . .IF it was still available. . .We hadn't shopped there since the last of May. . .I hoped I wouldn't be disappointed but steadied myself just in case. . .








Truly to my surprise, it was still there. . .I couldn't remember exactly what the gentleman was asking for it. . .The tag was gone. . .so, I turned to the owner and asked, expecting the price to be high. . .He hesitated, as if he was weighing his words. . .'Oh, dear' I thought. . .This couldn't be good. . .When he finally spoke, you could have knocked me down with a feather. . .It was half of the original price, he said. . .I bought it at that very moment. . .It would be another trip to get it loaded onto John's truck. . .I wasn't taking any more chances. . .The cabinet was so heavy with solid wood that it would take four men to load and the same number of men once we got it home. . .Thank goodness for the Dildine farmhands who willingly showed up at 7:00 the next morning to unload it. . .John and I would never have gotten it off the truck. . .could not budge it.








The thing is, most people either love and appreciate primitives or they don't. . .I had to develop an eye for some of them myself. . .Wide plank boards. . .Layers of paint. . .One of a kind. . .Years and years of wear. . .Simplicity at its best. . .Now I treasure these pieces that are becoming very hard to find. . .I figure I'll be a 'Keeper of the Past' in this, too. . .I'm just an OLD SOUL. . .no getting around it.




If you're not a prim-loving person. . .that's alright. . .Makes life interesting. . .that we are not all the same. . .and that we can appreciate each other anyway. . .


It took a lot of time and patience to bring this 119 year old piece of history to our farmstead. . .Maybe that's how it was to be. . .so that this Old Soul would certainly enjoy and appreciate it even more. . .It's found a forever home. . .once more. . .







Saturday, September 30, 2017

Our Fall Color in Delta Crossroads Magazine


ONE OF FOUR PAGES

 Nancy Kemp, Editor of DELTA CROSSROADS MAGAZINE, has honored us again. . .
We're featured in the FALL ISSUE that just hit the stands. . .

There's some fantastic articles for you to enjoy. . .
whether you live in the DELTA or not. . .
 Features such as:
A HOME TOUR
FRONT PORCH BLUES
MEMPHIS QUILT ARTIST
FALL CHILDREN'S CRAFT
plus many MORE. . .

and I have a link for you to view the entire magazine FREE. . .
We all love FREE, don't we?





If you would like to read the original post:



AUTUMN is definitely in the air at the FARM. . .
HARVEST has begun. . .
and this FARMER'S DAUGHTER is enjoying every minute.
I have a couple of Fall posts to share with you soon. . .
once I finish with the special touches. 

SEE YOU THEN. . .
for FALL at:




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