Join Virginia on the porch swingwhile she tells us a story or two.
My father's hometown was Jonesborough, TN, which is the oldest town in the state of Tennessee. Jonesborough is also the home of the International Storytelling Center. Each October, the town hosts the National Storytelling Festival, a world-renowned event which celebrates storytelling at its most magical http://www.storytellingcenter.net/festival/ .
|Virginia's storytelling hat|
1-1/2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch
1-1/2 cups water
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
1 Tbsp. grated lemon peel
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 pastry shell (9 inches), baked
3 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar
In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in water. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 additional minutes. Gradually stir in 1 cup of hot filling to egg yolks; return to saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in butter, lemon juice, lime juice, and peel. Pour hot filling into pastry shell. For meringue, beat egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar in a bowl at medium speed until soft peaks form. Add sugar gradually, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high until stiff and glossy. Immediately spread over pie, sealing edges to pastry. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until meringue is golden. Cool. Store in refrigerator.
|Granny Tate's home. Where's the skillet?|
“HONEY, YOU'LL LOVE THIS COFFEE CAKE!”
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup honey
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 stick chilled butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 cup chopped walnuts
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. For the cake: Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add brown sugar and honey and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Blend in vanilla and sour cream. With a rubber spatula, fold in flour and baking powder until completely blended. Generously butter a cast iron skillet and spread the batter evenly in the pan. For the topping: Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and chilled butter with your fingers until well blended. Sprinkle evenly over the cake batter. Sprinkle with walnuts over the top. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 35 – 40 minutes. Serve warm.
|Freed White Tail Deer|
The love of my life was tall, wiry, and quick with wit, temper, and laughter. His voice was raspy and he had a goofy laugh. He had dark golden blonde hair, and the most beautiful green eyes ever! His outward bravado was matched only by the size of his heart. For me, an inner core of compassion is essential in a man. They may fuss, cuss, rant and rave, and act like spoiled little boys, but those big hearts are there when it counts. Here in the mountains of VA, hunting is a way of life (not mine) and also a necessity to thin the deer population. My guy loved the outdoors, and he was raised in a family of hunters. However, he once told me that he freed a deer which he found trapped in barbed wired. He determined that the animal was not badly injured, just caught, so he cut him free. He would hunt animals on their own turf, but he could never kill one for sport that was trapped. Sometimes the men who seem to be the most easily defined turn out to be the ones with the most layers. If they are good guys, then it is very much worth your time to work through those layers to the heart of gold found inside.
BEAUTIFULLY BASIC BEEF STEW
SAVORY WILD RICE CASSEROLE
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
4 slices bacon, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup dried cranberries or golden raisins
seasoned salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Place rice, water and salt in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer; cook 45 minutes or until tender. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Simmer for 5 additional minutes. Drain any liquid. While rice is cooking, fry bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet and drain on paper towels. In bacon grease skillet, saute onion, celery and mushrooms until tender. Add rice, cranberries or raisins, seasoned salt, and pepper. Heat through. Place cooked rice mixture in a 2-qt. buttered casserole. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes. Delicious with Cornish Game Hens, Roast Chicken or Roast Turkey.
BEEF AND CABBAGE SOUP
1/2 head medium cabbage, rough-chopped
1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (32 ounce) carton beef broth
1/2 tsp garlic powder
several bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Brown ground beef and drain. In a large stock pot, combine remaining ingredients and add ground beef. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and cover, simmering for one hour or until vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaves before serving.
A lot of myths and tall tales started with a little nugget of truth and embellished it until it became a legend. Paranormal fiction is intriguing because it takes our fascination with fearsome things to a whole new level! Many of us have had unexplainable “supernatural” events in our lives, which leaves the door open for our imaginations. I have lived in the same house for over 30 years. My mother and I owned the house together. She passed away several years ago. I have had many paranormal experiences in my home, both before and after my mother passed away. The first experience was to glance over at a living room window late one night and see the "Scream" face looking in! I rushed to the door and turned on the front porch light, and not a "soul" was about! Another time, on Halloween night, I heard distinct footsteps on the wooden floor of the upstairs hallway. My mother and I were both downstairs and no other "human" was in the house. One night, I went upstairs to my room without turning on the stairway light. When I got to the doorway of my room, a large misty shape moved from the area of the doorway and went across the room and out the window. One bright Sunday morning, I had overslept, which is a rare occurrence. A voice from the doorway of my room said: "Are you getting up?" I looked over through sleep-filled eyes and saw the blurred image of a large friendly blonde woman dressed in red and royal blue. I answered, and then realized it wasn't my mother! The "woman" was twice the size of my mother (who was actually downstairs in the kitchen).
Since my mother passed away, I have noticed unusual scents in the house. I have smelled my grandfather's pipe tobacco, my grandmother's lily of the valley, and my mother's fingernail polish remover. All of these people are deceased, and none of those items are in the house! The time that I was the most afraid was when I came home to find my house almost in a vacuum state. There seemed to be no air, no sound, and no smell of any kind in the house. My cats were in hiding. I don't know what had been in the house, but it had some kind of mojo!
MIDNIGHT MADNESS CAKE
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp. instant coffee powder dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs and coffee water mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into a well greased 12 cup bundt pan. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cake thoroughly in pan at least an hour and a half before inverting onto a plate If desired, dust the cake with powdered sugar.