Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thrifty Finds

Since I live a little off the beaten path, I don't get to thrift stores very often.  Due to the high gas prices, when I do make a trip to town, I try to make the most of my trip.  Here are the deals I picked up recently.
I found these 2 pretty rose plates and a small clear platter for a $1 each.  I wish they had more of the plates, they are so pretty.
 The candlewick glass was from the Goodwill store.  There was only one but I have 8 more at home and at 59 cents, who can pass that up?  The pretty pink glasses are from the bargain/thrift store in my parent's hometown.  I usually visit my parents once a week.  They live in a nearby town that is small but they do have a new bargain/thrift store.  I try to stop in every week because inventory, especially the good stuff, tends to move fairly quickly through these types of establishments. The napkins in the second picture were also from this store.  They look brand new and were 25 cents each.  As an added bonus, they match some plates that I purchased there a while back.

Now for the best deals!  A neighbor down the road was cleaning out his barn and asked my son if he wanted some boxes of dishes that he was going to throw away.  Well, of course, he said YES!  He knows his mama well!  I was hoping for some old depression glass or something like that but it wasn't.  But, hey, I'll still take it! 

There was a pretty set of cream china with gold trim.  It was missing the cups, except one, but that's all right, I don't really use cups a lot anyway!  They are made by Fabreware.  I didn't even know Fabreware made dishes!

Then, there are the Corelle dishes.  I've never owned any Corelle before.  This is a set of four, white with green/white checkerboard effects. 

I'm started seeing visions of a tablescape for St. Patrick's Day!

There were also 4 wexford glasses, a small star of david bowl, 3 pretty pink wineglasses and a rose teapot.

Total amount spent:  $6.10  Can you believe it?  Love those bargains!!!

Linking to:

Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm

Inner Wheel's Annual Trash to Treasure Sale


The ultimate trash to treasure sale for our neck of the woods is scheduled to take place this weekend!  I am so excited, like a kid anticipating Christmas.  In past years, I have been able to find quite a few bargains. 

The year I started tablescaping I was able to purchase a set of dishes, several sets of flatware, napkins and lots of napkin rings.  One year, I purchased a set of aluminum candlelabras.
Last year, I found a beautiful silverplated chafing dish and several sets of rattan placemats. I remember the year my son found a cast iron tractor water sprinkler.  Can you imagine walking around this jam packed place lugging a cast iron tractor!  This is just a few of my finds.  This event is a family outing for us.  My husband even takes the morning off so he can go too. 

These are some of the pictures on their facebook page.  Love these chickens!  I hope their still there by the time I get in!  They said people start lining up at 4:30 in the morning.  Sounds like Black Friday, don't it?  Last year, I arrived around 7 and they had a long line but once the doors opened at 7:30 we got in fairly quickly.  The hardest part is carrying all your items around while you try to look for more!

Look at all the glassware!  There also lots of goodies on the floor under the tables. 

This is in the collectibles section.  I love the green glassware!  This is the only complaint I have about the sale.  The collectibles section is small and people are packed in there.  I'm always afraid I'll break something.
The silver is also in the collectibles section.  I purchased a covered chafing dish last year.

All the the items are donated to the Rotary Club all year long.  They hold the event in a large vacant department store.  It lasts for three days.  The funds that are raised are given to local charities.  So not only do we find great deals, we are helping the needy in the process!

Hopefully, I'll find some more great deals this year.  If so, I'll share them with you next week!  Happy Thrifiting!

Linking to:

Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style

Bunny Hop @ Bunny Jeans Decor and More  

Friday, February 24, 2012

Old Fashioned Buttermilk Pound Cake - For the Recipe Box




After posting about the 12 lb pound cake that was served at the Rosedown Plantation housewarming, I decided to make one myself.  Not a 12 pounder, though!  I used a recipe from the Martha White Southern Sampler Cookbook.  I have had this cookbook for years and every recipe that I have used has turned out delicious. 

Deeply rooted in history, the pound cake has been a staple at picnics, potlucks, and family gatherings.  It is a Southern tradition to be embraced and thoroughly enjoyed with ice cream, whipped topping, fruit topping, coffee, hot chocolate, a tall glass of milk, or by itself.  The name (Pound Cake) comes from the fact that the original pound cakes contained one pound each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. No leaveners were used other than the air whipped into the batter. In the days when many people couldn't read, this simple convention made it simple to remember recipes.

A cake made of 1 pound of each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour would have been very large and would have been able to serve multiple families. As years went by, the portions of the ingredients used were adjusted to make a smaller, lighter cake. However, the name of the cake stuck.

Old Fashioned Buttermilk Pound Cake

1/2 cup margarine or butter
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
5 eggs
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups Martha White All Purpose Flour, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325.  Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan.  Cream butter, shortening, and sugar together in mixing bowl until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.  Blend in vanilla.  Sift flour, salt, baking powder, and soda together, add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Mix well after each addition.  Spoon batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted one inch from edge comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes; turn out onto wire rack and cool completely.

Usually, a dessert at my house might last a day.  But the pound cake prevailed!  It lasted three!  If a pound cake is still too large for your family, consider other ways to prepare a dessert using the pound cake. 

Southern Living
The trifle, for example, would be an excellent choice.  The options with a trifle are limitless!  Different combinations of pudding, fruit, or even candy. I've made one before where I used red hots.  You use whatever your heart desires!
 
There is also that ole time favorite, strawberry shortcake. You could even try that with a new twist and grill it.  I have even read where the pound cake was sliced, dipped in french toast batter and fried in butter.  They suggested topping it off with butter pecan ice cream and caramel. How delicious!  Who cares how many calories are in there! 

This site has a new twist on the pound cake I never considered.  A milkshake!  It has roasted strawberries and pound cake mixed in.
For the recipe, click on the link above.

If you have any ideas you'd like to share, please share them by leaving a sweet comment!

Info obtained from:
http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/Cakes/PoundCake.htm

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Jungle Fever Tablescape


I'm out of town right now but wanted to link up an old tablescape.  I chose this one because leopard print tablescapes seemed to be googled a lot.  I hope you enjoy it!

Last year, I picked up this large piece of sheer animal print fabric at a yard sale for a buck. I didn't know what I was going to do with it but I liked it.  While considering this week's tablescape, I remembered a set of animal print salad plates that I purchased at a clearance sale for $4 and, then, I had a light bulb moment.  Why not use the two to create a tablescape?  So I did and this is what I came up with.


I started off by piling the fabric down the middle of the table.  Then I went "shopping" around my house for other items to go with it.  I used the elephant figurine and topped it with a floral arrangement that has a touch of red.  I used 2 small red votives and 2 antique brass candleholders with large red candles.  I found these candleholders at a yard sale years ago for $10 and they have become a favorite of mine.  Just about anything with a crystal prism catches my eye.


The place setting consists of rattan chargers (Walmart), gold rimmed plates (Noritake Richmond) and animal print salad plates that also have a touch of gold.  Both the wine and tea glasses are Mikasa The Ritz.  I first found the wine glasses at a yard sale for 25 cents each!  After I researched and found the pattern name, I purchased the tea glasses from ebay.  I used my gold flatware (garage sale).  In place of napkin rings, I inserted my monogrammed napkins between the dinner and salad plates.

 
I didn't think I would like the look of the casual rattan chargers with the gold trimmed china but I do!  It's has a casual elegance feel to it, which I love!

Happy Tablescaping and thanks for stopping by!

Linking up to:
Tablescape Thursday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Let's Dish @ Cuisine Kathleen

Bottle Trees for the Garden


1930's by Eudora Welty.  Taken for the Works Project Administration
Have you seen a tree with bottles and wondered what's the deal with that?  I've lived in Louisiana all my life and have seen a few and wondered the same thing.  When I saw one at a local plantation home that the hubby maintains, I just had to do a little research. It seems that bottle trees are pretty dominant in Louisiana gardens. 

Bottle trees are a Southern folk tradition with African roots.  Traditionally, live or dead crepe myrtle and cedar trees were decorated with bottles, often blue Milk of Magnesia ones.  The bottles were like a spirit catcher, intended to trap evil spirits and prevent them from entering the house. 


Bottle Tree at the St Francisville Inn, St Francisville, LA
According to ehow.com, most people believe the bottle tree began in the 9th century in Africa, but there is evidence that it actually began around A.D. 100. The idea of the bottle tree, however, was brought to America by African slaves.

When bottles are hung from the bottle tree and the wind blows, you can hear whistling. It was thought that the whistling was evil spirits crying out after they were trapped in the bottles. It was believed that the evil spirits became trapped at night, and then when the sun rose in the morning, the first light would kill the trapped spirits. Blue is the preferred color for the bottles because blue was thought to attract spirits and ghosts.

Today, the idea of protection has been replaced with a desire to decorate. Bottle trees are added to gardens to add a unique decoration. Although blue was the preferred color in days gone by, today bottle trees contain bottles of many different colors.

Now, I've never seen a wooden bottle tree.  I have seen a dead or live tree but mostly ones made of iron or rebar. By brother, made one for his wife last summer.  Isn't it nice?  I think I'll have to get one for my yard.

Another story is that the spirits are mesmerized by the light reflecting off the glass, they enter into the bottles only to be trapped for all eternity.  Either way, it makes for an interesting read.  Do you have a bottle tree?  I would love to hear how about it.

Linking to:

Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style

What's Is Wednesday @ Ivy and Elephants

Bunny Hop @ Bunny Jeans Decor and More    

Outdoor Wednesday @ A Southern Daydreamer

Inspiration Friday @ the picket fence   

Vintage Inspiration Friday @ Common Ground




Monday, February 20, 2012

Where do you feel God?

I received a Kindle Touch for my birthday and downloaded some free books.  A really great one that I wanted to share is "40 Unforgettable Dates with your Mate."  It is written by a Christian couple offering advice on how to improve your marriage.  The first date for the wives to initiate is to ask your husband where he feels closer to God? and then plan a date there. The book then gives some suggestions on topics of conversation for your date and so on.  One suggestion was to purchase a day by day devotional to do with your spouse, not necessarily together though.  Leave it in a central location, where each of you will see if and remember to read over the days scripture.  You are also to highlight any parts that really speak to you.  The author is trying to set it up where the husband is the spiritual leader in the home which is the way it should be.  Well, I thought "This is a good idea!"

No, I'm not saying my marriage is in trouble or anything like that.  I'm just saying there is always room for improvement in any situation.  And who doesn't want a loving and respectful marriage where good communication occurs?  I approached my husband and let him know I had a question to ask him and I told him this is not a trick question so don't go all crazy on me.  His answer?  It was exactly as I feared!  In the DEER STAND!
No, his doesn't look this bad!
Now, look here, I did hunt with my dad when I was a youngster but those days are over!  But I told myself, you have to do this!  I think God was listening in on my thoughts because my husband had already taken all his deer stands down since the season is over.  Tell me God doesn't answer prayers!  Just kidding! (well, kind of) 

So, I offered to go with him to my brother-in-law's camp for the day. No, it isn't a camp with such luxuries as electricity!  It's just a basic cabin in the woods close to a lake, close to the river.  Does that make sense?  I told him I would pack us a picnic lunch and we would make an afternoon of it.  He still doesn't know the reason why I brought it up but it'll be a good conversation for that day.

I do agree with my husband though.  I also feel closer to God in the great outdoors.  Especially on a beautiful day with a clear blue sky, listening to the birds chirping.  Hey, wait, that's what I'm hearing now.  Yes, I am sitting on my front porch looking and llistening to all God's creation.  God is truly AWESOME! 

Okay, let me back up a minute.  As I said, I do agree with my husband about the outdoors.  BUT I was thinking about sitting on a blanket beside a lake, watching the sunshine shimmering on the water, listening to the birds, looking for those early telltale signs of spring.....
NOT trying to climb up into a deer stand 20 or 30 feet off the GROUND! and the operative work here is TRYING!!  But God was looking out for me and now our date is set in a location that is lower to the ground.  I think my husband is a little excited about it, too.  It's been a long time since we have had such a, shall I say, rustic date.  When our children were young and money was very tight, we had a lot of little
picnics.  I miss those days and, you know, even though, New Year's Day has long passed, I think I'll set a resolution.  2012 is the year for picnics!

I just wanted to share this with you.  Maybe it'll cause some of you to pause for a second and ask yourself, "Where do I feel closer to God?"  If so, please share by leaving a comment.

Linking to:

Inspiration Friday @ at the picket fence

Happy President's Day - President John Tyler

John Tyler was the 10th President of the United States.  He was sworn in upon the death of President Harrison in 1841.  He was born in 1790, the year after George Washington was President.  President Tyler is credited with the first trade mission to China, and expanding U.S. borders to the west.

Julia Gardiner

John Tyler was the most prolific of all American President: he had 15 children and two wives. In 1813, Tyler married Letitia Christian, the daughter of a Virginia planter. They had eight children. She was an invalid when Tyler became president and made only one public appearance, at her daughter Elizabeth's marriage in 1842. Letitia Christian Tyler, the President's first wife, died in the White House in September, 1842. A few months later, Tyler began courting 23-year-old Julia Gardiner, a beautiful and wealthy New Yorker. When they were married in New York City on June 26, 1844, Tyler became the first president to be wed while in office. He was 30 years older than his bride. As FIRST LADY, the new Mrs. Tyler captivated Washington with the size and brilliance of her White House receptions.


Why am I talking about this particular President?  His grandson, yes I said GRANDSON, was interviewed on television on CBS's Sunday Morning.  How is this even possible that over 222 years later his grandson is still alive?  And get this, there is not one but TWO grandsons still alive.  Amazing!

John and Julia's fifth child was Lyon Gardiner, born 24 August 1853.  His father was 63.  Now Lyon also married twice.  The second time to a much younger woman.  At the age of 71, in 1924, he fathered a son, Lyon Gardiner, Jr.  In 1928, Harrison Ruffin Tyler was born. His father was 75 at this time.  Both men are alive today.

Sherwood Forest Plantation
Harrison Ruffin Tyler is age 84.  He and his wife live at Sherwood Forest Plantation.  John Tyler bought this 1,200-acre plantation  in 1842, when he was still serving as 10th president of the United States, and it was his retirement home from 1845 until his death  in 1862.  He expanded the original 1780 frame plantation house into one of the longest private residences in Virginia—300 feet long but only one room deep.  For over 150 years, Tyler descendants have continually occupied and privately maintained Sherwood Forest.
It is the only presidential home in America with this distinction.

Dining Room
By this time, Tyler had already expanded the original plantation house.  One and one-half story wings already existed on either side of the two and one-half-story main block.  He added a covered hyphen to connect the east wing with an existing kitchen and laundry and built a new balancing west wing containing an office and ballroom, reportedly designed by Tyler for dancing the Virginia reel.  The two wings created a long narrow house with a unified, symmetrical fa├žade.  The interior displays ornamental woodwork based on the pattern-book designs of Minard Lefever and fashionable Greek Revival details.

The other living grandson, Lyon, lives in Tennessee.  I obtained my information from the following sites:
http://www.sherwoodforest.org/; http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/presidents/john_tyler_sherwood_forest.html
and http://www.josephclan.com/tjblog/?p=1118

LINKING TO:

Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch

Masterpiece Monday @ Boogieboard Cottage 


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Throw Me Something Mister!

It's Mardi Gras time in Louisiana!  and with that in mind, I set this week's table.  I used the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green, and gold. These colors are said to have been chosen by Grand Duke Alexis Alexandrovitch Romanoff of Russia during a visit to New Orleans in 1872.  This doctrine was reaffirmed in 1892, when the Rex Parade theme "Symbolism of Colors" gave the colors their meanings, purple-justice, gold-power, and faith-green.


The decorative elements include a gold candlesticks and a traditional fleur-de-lis, in honor of the early French settlers who brought the celebration of Mardi Gras to Louisiana.  These items are accented with beads, doubloons and, of course, a Mardi Gras mask.

Since my cabinet, that houses my gold chargers, is currently blocked by my freezer, due to construction in my butler's pantry, I opted to encircle my gold rimmed plate (Noritake Richmond) with a Mardi Gras necklace.  Was that a run on sentence?  Oh well..  I used my gold flatware (garage sale) and a gold napkin accented with a slip of purple satin.  

The glasses are from Southern Living Home that I rescued from a house that was on the verge of being demolished.

Thank you for stopping by and please be sure to check out the other sites that I'm linking to:

Tablescape Thursday @ Between Naps on the Porch

Centerpiece Wednesday @ The Style Sisters

Table Top Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life



House Tour - Rosedown Plantation Part III

Welcome back to Rosedown Plantation.  This is the part three of a series of posts on the plantation.  In Part I, we toured the first floor of the Great House and Part II, the upper level.  Today we'll tour a few of the outbuildings along with a little touch of history.

Society in and around St. Francisville, at the time that Rosedown was constructed, was dominated by European, primarily British, settlers who became cotton planters on an enormous scale. Most of the 19th century cotton barons of all nationalities had requested and received their plantations through the Spanish government, the titles to which remained valid after the establishment of the United States government. The parents of Daniel and Martha (Barrow) Turnbull, the original owners of Rosedown, achieved high social status in West Feliciana through their immense cotton operations, and Daniel Turnbull himself was known before the Civil War as one of the richest men in the nation.  He did not obtain his land for Rosedown though a land grant.  He purchased in land in seven separate parcels.

Rosedown was a social center in the area, providing the background for a leisured, pleasant way of life.  Informal balls, sometimes apontaneous events, were favorite entertainments in the fall and spring.  Professional musicans were brought in from New Orleans and Natchez.
Detached Kitchen

Interior of Kitchen
A housewarming was held to celebrate completion of the Turnbull's new home.  Martha Turnbull made note of this party in her diary:

"We have 30 people at our first party & we had 6 chickens for Chicken Salad -- 2 Turkeys, 2 Ducks, 1 Ham, 1 Tongue, Roast Mutton, 2 Roast chickens, 1 Pig -- Henrietta took 12 dozen eggs and made a great deal of cake -- 6 eggs for Salad -- 16 pints for the Cream -- Jelly -- Blancmange -- 50 spoon fulls of Coffe given out and not the 3rd used -- 4 Decanters Wine -- 4 Decanders Brandy -- 8 bottles Champaign -- We had 6 lbs. Secrets and but little used -- 4 lbs. candy fruit -- 2 ornamental pound cake, 12 lbs. each -- 1 fruit cake, 10 lbs. -- 6 lbs. mixed cakes -- Macaronas lady fingers and 1 jar Grapes -- 24 Bananas -- 2 Hogshead Ice -- 6 Pine Apples -- I appears useless to make so much cake -- 2 Neuga Ornaments costs 74 dollars -- Musicians 60 dollars indeed to induce everything it cost 224$."

This was a LOT of food for 30 people.  But the question is what is "hogshead ice" or "Neuga Ornaments"?  I've googled it and still don't know and those pound cakes!  Wow, can you image a 12 pound cake!  I mean, sure maybe a wedding cake, but a pound cake!  And what about that 10 pound fruit cake?  Now, I did find "Blancmange." It is a sweet dessert commonly made with milk or cream and sugar thickened with gelatin, cornstarch or Irish moss, and often flavored with almonds.  That sure was some shindig they had!

Doctor's Office

Interior of Doctor's Office

One of the most difficult problems Daniel Turnbull faced on the plantation was caring for the health of his family and slaves.  James Daniel, age 7, son of Martha and Daniel, died from fever in 1843.  The following year, Daniel built an office for his plantation doctor.  Here the physician cared for the ills of some five hundred human beings.  The office is in the Greek Revival style.
Miss Nina's Wing

The couple had three children, William, Sarah and James Daniel. James Daniel passed away of yellow fever in 1843, at the age of 7. William married Caroline Butler, and had two children, William and Daniel. William drowned in a boating accident crossing "Old River" in 1856 at the age of 27. That left their daughter Sarah. She married James Bowman from the nearby Oakley Plantation. They moved into Rosedown and had ten children, eight girls and two boys. Martha and Daniel retired to a wing that he had added on in the back of the house in 1859 to accommodate Sarah and James' growing family.  Upon the death of Sarah, then James, the house was in the hands of the remaining four unmarried daughters.  They struggled to keep the property afloat.  In the 1920's they operated a nursery and  in the 1930's they opened the house for tours.  In 1952, after the death of her sister, Miss Nina moved into the wing where she had lived as a little girl with her grandmother.  For the rest of her life, she and Rosedown (house) were cared for by the granddaughter of one of Martha Turnbull's slaves.

Miss Nina, at age 87, died on June 30, 1955, leaving Rosedown to her nieces and nephews.  Upon her death, Rosedown was intact, with not a single mortgage or bill outstanding.

There are more outbuildings I would like to share but due to a mishap with my computer, Ive lost my pictures of Rosedown.  Next month, once the azaleas are in bloom, I will make another visit to Rosedown to take pictures of the spectacular gardens.  The garden is approx 27 acres with several fountains, gazebos, and a hothouse that I just love!

If anyone knows what hogshead ice or neuga ornaments are, please let me know.  Thanks for stopping by...

Linking to:

Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style

What's It Wednesday @ Ivy and Elephants

Outdoor Wednesday @ A Southern Daydreamer

The Bunny Hop @ Bunny Jeans Decor and More

Inspiration Friday @ the picket fence

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I want to thank all of the followers and visitors to my blog.  I can't believe that it has been only a little over a month since I started.  Of course, I am still learning and am excited about sharing future projects with you.

Wishing everyone a Blessed and Happy Valentine's Day!
 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Chair Makeover


This is a project that has been on my to do list since 2010.  Isn't that horrible?  I had purchased this chair from an auction for $15.  I loved the style of it.  For Christmas (2010), my mom gave me some pretty damask fabric to upholster it with.  It has been sitting in my office all this time.  Shameful!

This past weekend it was finally finished!  My handy dandy son did the work with the help of his lovely assistant (my daughter).  He removed the old fabric, using it as a pattern for the new fabric.  Using a staple gun, he put on the new fabric.  There were areas where the finish had worn off so he reapplied some stain.

I think they did a great job!  I am so blessed to have such great kids!

I'm putting in the the back corner of my living room for a little reading nook.  It will give that end of the room a touch of blue.  Now I'm on the look out for a floor lamp to go behind it, but in the meantime, a plant will have to do.

Linking to:

Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch

Masterpiece Monday @ Boogieboard Cottage

Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm

Show and Tell Friday @ Romantic Home


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Butter Beans and Cornbread - For the Recipe Box

To me the best cookbooks are the ones that contain recipes that have actually been used!  That's why, when I do purchase one, it is usually a church or organization cookbook.  These are the best. I used to collect cookbooks and had quite a stash but once I actually started cooking from them, I realized most of them were not that great.  Sure, there might be one or two good recipes if your're lucky.  So, my cookbook shelf has gone from overflowing to a select few.  The cookbooks that I have now get used! You can tell from the food stains on the pages!  Sometimes cookbooks overlook some of the simplest recipes.  I am holding at 39, I wish!, and have, in the past few years, learned how to make a good pot of butterbeans.  Now I'm not talking about some gourmet dish but just a country style, fresh from the garden, pot of butterbeans.  When I was first married all those years ago, I would buy frozen butterbeans and cook them according to the directions on the pack but they just tasted a little too bland.  A couple of years ago, I purchased a local church cookbook and, low and behold, there was a basic recipe for butterbeans, so easy yet so delicious!

4 cups fresh butter beans or 2 pkg frozen
2 tbsp cooking oil
2 tbsp flour
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of sugar

Make a light roux (not too brown).  Add water, then add butter beans and cook until done.  Add salt, pepper and sugar.

And, of course, who can eat butterbeans without a pan of cornbread?  No one from the South, that's for sure!  So using my trusty cast iron skillet, I made a pan of cornbread.  Baking it in a cast iron skillet just gives it that extra special touch.

1 cup white cornmeal
1/2 cup self rising flour
1 egg
enough milk to make it slightly soupy
1-2 tablespoons melted shortening

Mix the first four ingredients in a bowl.  Put the cast iron skillet over high heat, melting the shortening.  Pour the shortening into your cornmeal mixture,  stirring till mixed well.  In the meantime, leave that skillet on the burner over high heat until it starts to smoke a little.  Pour the mixture into the skillet.  Letting the skillet get real hot like this gives the cornbread a little crunch to the bottom.  Bake at 450 degrees or until done.  If the bottom is nice and brown but the top's not, put the broiler on for a few minutes but don't gone nowhere!  It'll burn quick!

Here's a good tip my mom told me.  If you don't have any eggs, you can subsitute a tablespoon of mayo.  It works!  I had to do this before and there was no difference in the taste of the finished product.

Do you have any of those simple, basic, yet often overlooked recipes? I'd love to hear from you!

Linking to:
Foody Friday @ Designs by Gollum

Masterpiece Monday @ Boogieboard Cottage

Saturday Nite Special @ Funky Junk Interiors

Show Us Your Side Dishes @ Kelly's Korner