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Travels in the South

Oh friends!  What a week it has been.  With mom recuperating from her car accident, we have all been trying to be nice to her.  After one doctors appointment last week, mom was craving some comfort food.  Nothing screams southern comfort more than this picture, right?  For those that don’t recognize that awesome glory, let me break it down for you.

Those two delightfully brown looking pieces on that plate, that would be boneless fried chicken.  You see chicken of any kind is like one of mom’s fall to foods when she is feeling really icky.  And personally I think these past couples of weeks qualified for just that.

Mom ordered the chicken with green beans, a side salad and white gravy on the side.  What was the gravy for?  Of course to dip that wonderful chicken into before eating it.  You’ve never done that before?  You are so hidden from southern comforts.  You must try it.

So you see mom didn’t do too bad but she sure felt better afterwards. ❤

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2017 in Travels Around the World

 

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Travels in the South

 Welcome my friends to another week of Travels in the South. This past weekend, daddy was craving his favorite – pizza.  It doesn’t matter what kind or where, daddy loves all kinds and doesn’t discriminate – snorts.  Mom/dad went shopping this past weekend a couple of towns over from the Hotel Thompson.  After a long day of spending money and daddy lugging all the bags (like a perfect southern gentleman), both were ravished.

So mom saw this darling little pizza shop and thought she would bless daddy cause you know his hard work of (A) pulling out the credit card often this date and (B) lugging said packages everywhere.  Let me start by saying that this is *not* a meal that mom/dad would splurge in often because of their new way of eating; however, today was a special date night of sorts.

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Mom/dad started with buttered garlic knots.  Now there were more buttered garlic knots in the bowl but someone conveniently forgot to take a picture before diving head first into that wonderful dish.  Not that I’m pointing hooves mom but it’s so hard to train humans.  Those two humans of mine acted like they had never eaten before and the next thing you knew – the dish was empty except for buttery/garlic goodness on the bottom of the bowl.

And of course, mom wouldn’t give that bowl up for all of the money in the world.  She told dad they would keep it.  Why?  So they could swipe their pizza crust up all in that concoction.  Yep, it was that good.

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Now for the main star.  The pizza.  Not just any pizza.  Dad said it was probably the best pizza he has ever had – and that is saying a lot!  Look at all of that cheesy goodness.

This is called the white pizza (one of mom’s favorite pizzas to order anywhere).  It has a blend of ricotta, mozzarella, provolone, parmesan cheese and minced garlic.  Then they sprinkle MORE fresh parmesan cheese on top before bringing it to the table.

Can you see the cheese dripping everywhere?  Okay, maybe this picture of dad eating slice shows you how cheesy and wonderful this pizza was.

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2017 in Travels Around the World

 

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Shopping Around the World

 This month we are highlighting items that you are known for.   This is easy.  Mom is *known* for her cornbread.  Here in the south, cornbread is an important side to any meal.  And some of you friends have asked how mom does her cornbread.  So without further ado, here it goes 🙂 – take it away mom!

 

The ingredients to my cornbread are very simple.  In the south, you will find several different versions of cornbread – some with sugar, some with corn, some with jalapenos – the list goes on.  You can make it anything you want in a cornbread.  We often serve cornbread with chili, soups or good old Sunday dinner.  This is a recipe that I tweaked from my family that is so simple.  Here is what you will need:

Two large eggs ($0.26); three strips of bacon ($1.00); a cup of milk ($0.40); a cup of cornmeal ($0.40); and melted butter ($0.20) = total $2.26

AND if you have one (being in the south we have several in different sizes), you need a small iron skillet.

Turn on your over to 350 degrees to preheat.  Take the 3 strips of bacon and cut them in small pieces (sometimes we use more – depends on who you are making it for).  Put your iron skillet on the stove on medium and fry the bacon.  Once the bacon is done, remove the bacon to the side and put in your butter.  Let all of this melt together – the butter and the bacon grease.  Trust me, you will love the taste of this when the cornbread is finished.

Now, take your milk and eggs and mix them together.  Slowly merge together the flour with salt/pepper and add the cooked crumbled up bacon.  The batter is going to be in a thick consistency – that is what you are looking for.  Now, take your batter and pour it into your HOT skillet.  You should hear a sizzle.  That is the sound you want to hear.  Once the batter is in your HOT skillet, place your skillet in the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes.

At 30 minutes, take your skillet out and your cornbread should pop right out of your skillet into a plate.  Serve slathered in butter or crumble up in your soups/chili.  The inside will be moist and hot.  And while you are eating, you will enjoy the buttery bacon taste.  Please try one and let me know what you think.

Here in the south, we even take a cold glass of buttermilk and crumble our cornbread in it for a meal.


 
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Posted by on October 26, 2016 in Bacon, Shopping Around the World

 

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Travels in the South

Hello friends.  I hope that you have been enjoying our Travels in the South edition.  Today, we continue our adventures with Fozziemom and Fozziedad who visited all the way from Australia. Today, I want to focus on a restaurant that everyone went to on their way back home from Tybee Island.  Also this is a restaurant that Jean and Bill visited while they were visiting as well.

It’s a place that my mom has been going to since she she was small child.  She actually introduced my dad to it and it’s a great feel at home kind of place.

This restaurant is called Buckner’s Family Restaurant and has wonderful vegetables (for our vegetarians) and the best fried chicken you will ever wrap your lips around – just sayin’ so says mom – snorts.  Which brings me to the chicken in the picture – his name is Elmer and he’s a pretty cool dude.  His tall – really tall and his sign says do not touch… Personally I think too many people in the past have wanted to get up close and personal to him to have their pictures taken if you know what I mean.

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Now you see the cool thing about this place is all of the tables are round.  Okay I can see you going okay and what’s a big deal about that.  Well you see in the middle of the round table, they have the biggest movable section – a giant lazy Susan if you will.  The workers will come to your table with all of these bowls containing wonderful delights – creamed corn, green beans, beats, cole slaw , lima beans, rolls, chicken, barbeque pork, peach cobbler – just to name a few.  And as you eat and things run out, you just ask for refills and the servers gladly fill everything back up.  So you have a buffet without having to get up and down all of the time.  You sit and the staff bring YOU the food.  Cool huh?

Now you have to remember that everyone stopped here on the way home from Tybee Island.  They were tired, exhausted if you will, and at the point of just being silly.  The moms didn’t even have make up on.  So, I’m tell you that in preparation for this final picture.  A picture to show you (A) how tired they looked and (B) how silly they were being trying to get a picture with Elmer.  So here you go my friends – the moms in their bare necessities.

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2016 in Travels Around the World

 

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Shopping Around the World

 This month we are posting anything we want to share that you cook, prepare, fix or throw together at your crib.  It can be anything.  So knowing this, we want to share something that we absolutely love here at the Hotel Thompson.  You here a lot of flack about one of the ingredients but to be a true southerner, you love it.  And since some of the ingredients are shall we say  pig related – this is Bacon’s mom taking over the posting today.

For those cool mornings or nights that you don’t feel like cooking much – we fix a big pot of southern cheese and sausage grits.  Yep, you heard it – grits.  Grits are a southern love.  They are made from ground hominy.  And in this picture, we went to our local Waffle House one night for dinner.

Grits are very cheap here.  You can buy a 2 pound bag at most markets for around $3.00 – and trust me, they go a long ways (probably less than $0.50 a meal).  Now here at the Hotel Thompson, we put about three cups of water in a pot and put it on the stove medium high.  Season with salt and add one cup of grits.  You are going to let the water boil and the grits cook for about 20-30 minutes.  Make sure that you stir occasionally – grits will stick and expand.

While the grits are cooking, go ahead and fry up some sausages in a pan.  I make sausage patties and cook them on a skillet beside my grits so I’m constantly watching.  I buy a pack of 12 sausages and cook them for the entire week.  One pack is $4.00 – we use about 6 patties with the grits.

When your grits are about done, add 1/2 stick of butter (around $0.30), more salt to taste and black pepper.  Now add grated cheddar cheese (we buy blocks and rate our own (around $0.50) to your grits and stir everything together to melt the cheese.  Your sausage should just about be done.  Cut the sausage up into bite size pieces and add to your grits, stir everything together and there you go – a southern delight for sure!

And the bottom price with everything – around $3.50

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2016 in Bacon, Shopping Around the World

 

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Fried What?!

 You have got to be kidding me.  Those were the exact words I told mom and dad this past weekend when I saw this picture.  Are you asking yourself what is this fried delicacy here in the south?  Before you get to licking your lips too quickly, remember me?  You know the cute little piggy that blogs okay.

This southern delicacy is – are you ready – fried bacon… literally.  Fried Bacon.  I’ll give you a minute to wrap your mind around that.  Now quit looking at me like that.  I’m not that type of bacon… you know food.  Snorts.  I’m the cute wiggly my tail and blog kind of pig.

Now have you ever had this?  Of course you know my dad jumped right in and started stuffing his mouth with it.  He says that it was pig heaven.  Rolls my piggy eyes.  Yep that would be my daddy.  The monster.  Snorts with piggy laughter.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2016 in Bacon

 

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Travels in the South

Hello sweet friends.  Today we are continuing our Travels in the South series with our great friends Bill and Jean who are the parents of Shoko and Kali from Canadian Cats.

The first week we posted, we posted of their arrival and eating at a local seafood restaurant.  You can read about that here.  The second week, we posted about a fantastic restaurant we all went to called Fogo de Chao.  You can read about that here.

This week, we are going to talk about a tour that we took of a place called Stately Oaks.  Stately Oaks is a historical Antebellum home located in Jonesboro, Georgia and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  It was originally constructed in 1839 by Mr. Whitmill Allen who sold his home to Robert McCord in 1858 and then moved to Tyler, Texas.

It is located in Jonesboro, Georgia.  Does that sound familiar to you?  Jonesboro is the very city where Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind had to pay the taxes on Tara. Even though Tara only existed in Margaret Mitchell’s imagination, she placed Tara in Clayton County where she had visited relatives who lived on a large plantation south of Jonesboro. Many of the stories she heard as a child are in the movie.

Now, Stately Oaks is open for tours and on this day (mom, Jean and Bill) decided to tour the home.  The down side of the tour was we could not pictures of the inside of the home which was a real bummer.  The start of the tour starts off on a CD and you listen to the history of the home while in the bottom level.  Then the tour moves you into the sitting room, the dining room and the entertainment room.  Then the tour moves to the upper levels of the home.

 There are some items to point out which is interesting to know.  Back during this time, tea was expensive and kept in a locked box with only the woman of the home having the key.  Sugar was kept in cones and was brown, not the normal white sugar we are more accustomed to today.

Also,  celery was a sign of money in the southern days.  There was actual celery jars – kind of like the one in this picture – that were put on dinner tables to show the status of wealth in the family.  Can you imagine that?  It makes you want to go out, buy some celery and put in a jar on your table doesn’t it?  Who knew this could be a sign of wealth… especially in today’s market at what $0.99 cents a bundle – LOL.

They also didn’t season meats when they cooked them.  They had little individual salt bowls at every table setting.  The mistress of the home would pass around the big cluster of salt and individuals would put some in their salt bowls to season their meats.  Brings new meaning to, “Can you pass me the salt”.

One of the things we all fell in love with was the courting candle.  I think it would be a blast to have one of these today.  Jean bought one and trust me – mom is going back to get one as well.  You see how they are made in the picture?  The father could lower or high the amount of candle that would be burned during the courtship of their daughter.  Once the candle burned to that desired place, the man that was courting the young lady had to leave for the night.  What a concept huh?  Such an easy and simple method to watch over a courtship.  Of course, mom says she would use hers to show daddy actually how much time he had to be silly for a given amount of time.  That’s my mom – snorts!

Now let’s talk about the upstairs of the home.  The day that they went on the tour it was a little hot outside so you can imagine the inside of the home.  Mom started getting the vapors downstairs and had to sit out a bit for some of the tour.  Now, once mom was feeling a bit better, she ventured up the stairs as well.

 Stairs in southern homes are steep.  You see the average woman was around 4’11” and the average man was like around 5’7″ – not very tall for the likes of these days.  And the stairs go straight up it seems with not much railing.  Can you imagine as a woman in full attire (hoop skirt, bodice squeezing the heck out of you, tiny shoes, etc.) walking up stairs?  In fact, at the top of these stairs, there was usually a chaise or chair of some sort for the women.  Because believe it or not, sometimes they would pass out from the shear heat of exhaustion.  Well, that was almost like my mom.  She made it up the stairs, started having a hard time breathing and had to rush back downstairs and out of the door before she was hit with the vapors once again in a bad way.  Don’t ask.

One thing that mom did notice upstairs in a glassed case was mourning tear jar.  When the woman of the home was going through mourning, she would collect her tears in a jar.  Once it was full, she would then close the top for her mourning.  Forever, she would have the tears of her sorrow that she cried for her loved one.

Now the kitchen of this home had been redone more modern and we didn’t get to see any of that.  But then again, the kitchen of the home back in the day really wasn’t a ‘kitchen’.  It was more of a warming room.  You see food was prepared in a ‘shack’ behind the home.  This shack would host a fireplace, a table to prepare food and you can imagine the heat from the summer or the cold from the winter creeping in through the boards of the walls.  The food was then brought into the home to the warming kitchen and stayed there until the woman of the home motioned for it to be served at the dinner table.

So much wonderful history was learned this day about the ways of the south.  Can you imagine doing some of these things and living like this today?  I hope you join us next week my friends as we continue our series of Travels in the South.

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2016 in Travels Around the World

 

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