Cooking for the Hogbottoms

WOW!!!!  What happened while I was away?  My last post was November 4.  Since my stats haven’t been all that great, I just don’t check them like I used to check them.  So today when I got on here and did a quick check, it said my highest day was 408!!  Say what?!?!  That was on November 15, a Thursday.  Normally, it’s around 100.

So what happened?  I didn’t get Freshly Pressed.  Or if I did no one left any congratulatory messages on my email or post.  Was Momma’s soup so tasty looking that people all over the world were referred to my blog to look at the photos or try to get the recipe?  It’s crazy good!  I love love it!

And playing off the fact that just maybe it was the dandy soup that did it, here is the recipe in my Aunt Biddy’s handwriting:The Aunts' Soup Recipe

The Aunts' Soup Recipe 2This is just the BEST soup ever!!!

And since I’ve been cooking (my friend tells me I’m nesting) (will explain that another day), I had the Hogbottoms over for a book club breakfast this morning.  We ate heartily and discussed heartily which books we are going to read next year.  Below are the recipes from the breakfast.  They were all great!

Lemon Blueberry BreadThe last thing to do for this bread is make a glaze from confectioners’ sugar and 1 TBSP lemon juice.  Drizzle over cooled bread.

We had Sausage, Spinach and Swiss Strata which was also very tasty.Sausage, Spinach and Swiss Strata

I used 8 eggs instead of 4 eggs and 4 egg whites as well as some whole wheat bread.  The only spinach I had was fresh, so I cooked that and added what I thought was a 10-ounce package and added an extra bit of the turkey sausage as well.  I also topped the strata for the last ten minutes of baking time with halved cherry tomatoes as well as the Swiss cheese.  Turned out just right for a Christmas breakfast.

These Ham and Egg Breakfast Cups were a big hit… and so so easy to make:

Ham and Egg CupsLast but not least were the steel cut oats.  The easy method, and my only method, is 1/2 cup per 1 cup of water and stick in the microwave for a couple of minutes.  Deeelish!!  Pour some Savannah Bee Orange Blossom or Tupelo honey over it and double YUM!!

Add some bananas and red seedless grapes and orange slices along with milk, o.j., and coffee for the final touches.

And a good time was had by all… especially since the Hogbottoms did my dishes.  I love those gals!!

Will I EVER Be Freshly Pressed?

Life would be so delightful if I were organized.  My blog would always be up to date with new posts and pics and recipes and good advice or awesome web sites for you to get coupons and free stuff.  Then I would be Freshly Pressed!  I need to be freshly pressed… every day.

rumpled me

Instead my little personality gets up and looks around at its rumpled little self, deciding to just wear what it already has on because, well, the chaos makes actually “getting it together” overwhelming.  How on earth does one become Freshly Pressed/freshly pressed?

I gave birth to “my baby” back in January of 2011.  My little blog has crawled along, sometimes actually getting up and walking really fast, but never quite getting to the point of where I imagined it would be at the end of the year.  And that is all my fault.  My appetite was tremendously starving for what life and I had cooked up for me, and I heaped way too many projects on my plate (hey, I am a Gemini) this past year, 2011, as usual.  BUT… I actually reached those goals!! And I documented them through my darling, little blog as I went along.

JJ & Brenda 1997

The tenth anniversary of my husband’s death was the impetus for this upheaval, this craving for living, this hodgepodge menu in my blog posting.  For a decade I had been stagnant, too full of grief over the losses and tragedies and heartaches I had endured.  What better way to break back into life than cooking and sharing that food with friends and then sharing the whole experience through a blog?

diverse appetites

Though my goal changed from filling bellies with the magazine recipes I had been saving for years to feeding my readers with thoughts on various subjects, it has been a sharing together of not just my appetite for life, but some of yours as well.

Some of the goal dates came and went — contractors do that all the time — and were reached a little later than planned.  And, well, those recipes and awesome meals for all my old and new friends didn’t quite pan out (pun intended) although I did cook a couple of good meals and make some mighty fine mice for Christmas in December of 2010, the year I started my “revamp Brenda” recipe.  That recipe is still in the perfecting stage.  The important outcome of this past year, though, is my accomplishments!  In spite of needing a freshly pressed, got-it-all-together overhaul, I managed to do all this:


the baby grand!


revamping the wood floor

stained the fence and other outdoor wood.

new windows

began kitchen remodel.

cooked a couple of meals!

took girls to Disney

teaching piano

added a porch

taking girls on their first plane ride

There were other little projects that were completed in 2011 that were on my list of to-do things.

That’s a good, good feeling that I hope to continue into 2012!

In Need of the Pied Piper’s Flute

toddler blog

My little baby blog is quickly turning into a toddler.  It is just so cute!  I love this little thing.  Just your typical blog mommy, bragging on my little creation.  Loving the header shots, loving my witty widgets (those things on the right-hand side), and loving the whole blog experience from the give-aways to checking my stats every day (well, maybe every other day now).  It’s been a great outlet for my less-than-creative creativity and a success as in actually blogging when I said I was going to do just that.

Out of the hundreds, okay, maybe scores of ideas/goals/projects I start on a regular basis, this is one I can say I have accomplished just because I have actually blogged.  Notice I did not say blogged well or blogged anything interesting or even blogged useful information.  Actually, I am fairly certain my groupies (I just had to say that) or followers, those wonderful people who have clicked somewhere on my page and professed a desire to follow along with my blog via email or some kind of RSS such as Google or Yahoo may have done so on a whim and may have never come back for a second or third glance.  Please don’t tell me if that’s what you did!

But I want my little darling to get up and run.  I realize this will take some effort on my part (which I haven’t been exerting as of late), and I also think it will take a little magic (since I’m really not that interesting and have limited skills).

Pied Piper and his flute

So I’m looking for a flute, a proverbial flute, one like Mr. Piper had when all the children followed him.  Something fun and exciting and read-worthy.  Something that will make the Pressers at WordPress notice and put me on their Freshly Pressed page.  Hmmmm.

Love stories for February perhaps?  With pictures included?  Vacation in Southern Illinois with pics of places to stay and things to do?  Homes I’ve lived in before?  People I’ve dated?  People you’ve dated?

I’ll keep working on this Pied Piper plan.  In the meantime, keep holding my little blog’s hand while it toddles along.  We so appreciate it!

Blog Baby

One of my favorite blogs (which is now defunct due to some apparent nasty comments or emails to the blog author that upset her to the point of forfeiting her blog writing) (such a shame because she was really good, too) had a blog one day that put her on the Freshly Pressed page.  I will never make that page.  Not just because I don’t write well enough or am not quite interesting enough but because when they sent me the little popup question “Would you recommend Word Press?” I inadvertently put never instead of yes, of course.  Which I would by the way.  It’s very easy to maneuver around on; they give great tutorials, and have a great help page.  But in my haste, only reading a smidgeon of the question, which I am want to do quite frequently, I checked the wrong box.

So I know that is why I will never be Freshly Pressed.  It has absolutely nothing to do with my boring blog or my lack of good taste or my rambling, unfocused content.

Back to my original thought before that stinking rabbit came along that I had to chase.  Another thing I do quite often:  chase stinking rabbits.  That is why I can’t get anything accomplished in a timely manner, finished completely.  I go to another room… and there is a stinking rabbit!!  My life is exhausting.  Those stinking rabbits run in circles, you know, so I must run in circles as well.

On to the blog of one of my favorite bloggers:  she wrote about the fact that her blog is her baby.  I could so relate!  Although I am better now, I still come in and check to see if there are any comments, how many hits I’ve had that day, if I can change my blog’s little clothes (heading photo), or just talk to the little darling via a post.  It’s kind of neat having a blog baby (her title).

Mine will probably never grow up because I try to keep it short and sweet, although occasionally it throws a tantrum by way of Brenda the Blogger.   It’s just a little dose of a little something to give you a break in the day.  No big thinking here; just interacting… that is, if you comment.

So enjoy your evening or your day and give my little baby blog a bottle (comment).  Or not.

My Quest To Be Freshly Pressed

This will come as no surprise to bloggers on, but it may to all my BFFs and homeys.  I have this inane desire to be Freshly Pressed.

Freshly Pressed

It’s been over a month, and I’ve meandered around blog world quite a bit, hitting fairly often, just checking in for the little tidbits they give us to help us be better bloggers: get an interesting read out there, express ourselves, use the tools they hand out freely to our advantage.   I have found great bloggers; really funny, witty, heart-wrenching, insightful, informative, helpful, great people with great blog sites.  Which, of course, has the adverse effect of making me realize how un-all-those-things I am, and that I now want to be more like that.

blogger stories

Nothing at all what I had intended when I set a goal to have a blog.

my most favorite egg and cheese sandwich in the whole world recipe

My goal was to cook delicious food and take pictures of my delicious food on these really cool white plates while laughing and socializing with friends, old and new.  I was gonna be the town socialite; everybody wanting to come and sit a spell and chow down (in the refined verbiage of rural living).

Being the Gemini that I am,  that idea was replaced just about as soon as I thought it with the fact that, no, my appetite was bigger than food.  My blog would have to be about all my appetites (well, some I refuse to discuss on an open forum).…/gemini.htmlCached

Since I’ve discovered being Freshly Pressed, my whole take on my blog goal has escalated from “What am I going to talk about tonight?” to “How can I be interesting enough to have creases be Freshly Pressed?”  Click on one of those blogs, and one can see why they’re highlighted and held in high esteem, looking crisp and sharp, savvy and stylish.

me making a decision

Then there’s me.

Hmmmm.  The little country bumpkin looking for just the right words to draw the attention of the Pressers.

What are the key words?

Maybe I should focus more on just one subject instead of a gazillion.  Maybe my visual aids (I learned that in speech class) aren’t inspiring.  I’m too long-winded?  I sound like the nincompoop that I am?  They’re going to make me actually work to achieve it?  (insert Maynard G. Krebs “WORK?” from the old sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis)

I may just have to settle on being fresh… or pressed… for time, money, fame.

Pick me! Pick me!

My Most Favorite Egg Sandwich In The Whole World

2 eggs (mix with a fork in the pan) fried in a T. of unsalted butter, no salt, better flip once, maybe fold them over some to fit on the bread

2 slices whole wheat bread, butter lightly one side, lay one piece butter side down in the same pan after scooping up the eggs with a pancake turner, then plop the eggs onto the bread

1 slice of cheese, whatever cheese you like, parceled over the top of the eggs, then place the other piece of bread on that, once again lightly buttered

flip to melt the cheese until it’s gooey and oozing out the sides and the bread is all crispy.

serve with an ice-cold Coca-Cola over crushed ice