Wednesday, September 1, 2010


We spent almost all of yesterday outside, save for the couple of hours for her nap. We blew lots of bubbles, exhausting two wands and starting on the third, plus emptying a pint bottle of the bubblestuff in the flat pan with the big wand shaped like those rug-beaters Andy Hardy used to beat the family’s rugs out on the line for Spring Cleaning.

We whizzed countless small pebbles toward the big bell with my Mothers’ Day slingshot, cheering “YaaaaaY!” as we heard the PING of the hit. Our shoes got thoroughly sogged as we watered the hostas and petunias and the outdoor ferns and philodendrons---those things have taken off and GROWN!

I did a little writing whilst she napped, getting so into the RACE story that I could feel the tension and excitement, and I swear, that hot sun on the back of my neck.

And after the nap, we went back out, visiting with our dear Neighbor for a while in the shade of her porch, and taking a tour to admire all the shiny clean leaves and the much-brighter aspect of all those flowers nourished by their morning drink

And so, when Chris arrived home, all I had to show for supper preparations was a pan of chicken wings, brined in a salt/sugar ice water pan. My intentions are always SO good, and then as the day winds down, my cooking gumption grows thin. And I HAD been out of the kitchen for a bit---we ate at Our Girl’s birthday dinner on Friday, the hotel picnic on Saturday, and stopped at Jonathan Byrd’s on the way home Sunday.

Then Monday night they all took me out for my birthday, so it was practically a week since I’d put pan to fire. After everyone had gone their way and it was just us two, I headed for the fridge and cupboards and freezer, in search of WHAT QUICK GOES WITH FRIED CHICKEN?

(According to Chris, if you START with Fried Chicken, you can put ANYTHING else on the table. Or Nothing).

As the chicken sizzled,

I came up with a bag of frozen peas, to put into nests of mashed potatoes---the instant kind, but quite the most delicious ones we’ve ever tried---they come two little packs in a box---Betty Crocker Homestyle Butter ones. Just a little milk and water in the microwave to boiling, a quick stir, and they have that true burst of REAL potato on your tongue. Peas---microwave, ditto, under two thicknesses of Saran tightly over the bowl, a little sugar and seasalt stirred into the frozen peas.

This one's an Internet picture, just for demo---we didn't have gravy.
AHA!! A big can of pear halves in the fridge, put two to each little bowl, a teensy dab of mayo in the pear-divot, and a good finger-pinch of Kraft finely-grated Extra Sharp atop.

Internet photo---much fancier than ours, and we like the proportions of mayo/cheese inverted.
Two big red tomatoes peeled and cut up into a bowl for him, and that was it, take it or leave it, in thirty minutes.

I stuck the bowls of potatoes and peas back in the microwave to stay warm, dished up the chicken to cool for a minute, then got a quick shower and fresh clothes. As we sat down (collapsed is more like it) in our chairs and turned on a TIVO of Antiques Roadshow, it hit me:
We were having the perfect Sunday Dinner in the South.


Justabeachkat said...

Oh, I'm so hungry now. It all looks good to me. My Mom always made pear salad like that and it's still a favorite of mine.


Southern Lady said...

It just doesn't get any better than fried chicken, Rachel, and what a lovely supper you put together to go with it. I'm going to buy some of those Betty Crocker potatoes tomorrow at Krogers and make them for Avery Grace this weekend. Thank you for sharing them!

Your day with your little one sounds like a perfect day. She's a blessed little girl to have her "Ganjin" so close.

Bev said...

Happy Birthday Rachel!!!

Southern Lady said...

Rachel, I didn't realize Monday was your birthday. I'm sure it was a happy one, but I wish I had known so I could have wished you a happy day. I hope you got lots of birthday hugs and kisses from your little one and from your "big ones," too!

Tonja said...

I didn't know it was your birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

I'm going to the grocery store today and I have those potatoes on my list!!! Thanks

racheld said...

Oh, what a flurry of Good Wishes greeting me today. I just got up---I walked out of our room then the clock was chiming, and had to step around the corner to see if it sang nine or noon.

It read ELEVEN, and I must have been "dead to the world" as the saying goes. It's been a busy couple of weeks, and today's little chores will be to right all the put-aways and the neatenings I've neglected by our long forays outdoors. Better now than then---you can't delay a little one's excitement and curiousity.

Thank you ALLLL, dear ones---you're blessings on Birthdays and EVERY DAY!

Denise :) said...

Mashed potatoes and green peas are my favorite combo!! Yum, yum, YUM! :)

Keetha said...

You are *so* right - the perfect Sunday dinner!

I hope you had a wonderful birthday!

sparrowgrass said...

I am sorry I missed your birthday, too--hope you had a good one!!

Your dinner sounds great--much better than the stuff I have been (not) cooking lately. I did make some veggie soup last night, but it was a little heavy on the barley.

I love bubbles myself--for a cheaper alternative to store bought, mix 2 tablespoons of Dawn and a tablespoon of corn syrup with a cup and a half of water. Stir it gently and for best results, make it the night before you want to use it.

The corn syrup helps the bubbles last--it absorbs water from the air.

(Dawn comes in concentrated and regular--this recipe is for regular. Use less soap if you have the concentrated kind.)

racheld said...


Thank you---thank you ALLLL.

And Sparrow---I think this may come in mighty handy---we're all on a Bubble Spree right now, and even the dozens from the Dollar Tree use up fast.

Thank you---I'll try it---we've always got Dawn in the house. But no Karo right now---would it be TOO redneck to try it with sorghum?

I must get my silly self to work.

Jeanne said...

Hello Rachel, I have missed a few days of visiting but I sat here in my much needed leisure, enjoying all that I missed. I wasn't sure what the exact date of your birthday was. Happy belated birthday dear Rachel.

Your day sounds wonderful and tiring. Playing can wear you out if it is with a child. They love your constant attention. Bubbles are always great fun.

Your dinner sounds good to me. I too use instant mashed potatoes in a pinch. I use Idahoan and they are very good. They have several different kinds. Not the ones in a box. These come in packages of foil like paper. We like to make pears a salad the same way. It all sounds and looks so good.

I just made two loaf pans and one bundt pan of an Amish cake recipe. You use a starter and it takes 10 days to get to baking day. I forgot my starter was ready and so I baked the batter tonight late. Sigh. I think it is done, so I'm going to say goodnight.

Hugs, Jeanne

Maggie McArthur said...

Happy, happy birthday!! (That's a perfect Sunday dinner in the North,West and East too!)

Kouign Aman said...

happy birthday! (belated).
And may the entire year to come be happy too.

racheld said...


So many lovely greetings and wishes, and I'm so thankful for every ONE of them (and you).

It's been a busy, slow, tiring, exhilarating, restful week. Our group is coming to supper---totally unplanned, but when they called this a.m. to let Our Girl sing to us, Chris suggested hamburgers, and that's what we're doing.

He's cutting twenty ears of gorgeous yellow field corn right now, to make his famous creamed corn. I'll pat out the patties, and cut the onion, tomato and lettuce, and that's my contribution.

Thank you all for the good wishes, and for the kind comments all year.