Thursday, January 26, 2012

I Can't Believe It's Not Spring

  It's nice to start with a clean slate. What is referred to by our local weather men as "the January thaw" came this year and with it a few bright shiny days and an opportunity to clean a little bit in the garden. By removing old plant material that would harbor future pests and diseases from the garden area, the battle to keep healthy  plants growing strong next season can be more readily won than if they were simply plowed under to lie dormant and rise up again once spring officially arrives.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dear Folks, Fine And Cold, Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Winter 1956-57, Love, Robert

Fort Jackson        
South Carolina

Dear Folks,

  Well it is the end of another week and everything is just fine and cold.
We are going out next week to the rifle range and stay all week.
We fired it one day last week and
that thing sure is a powerful weapon.                                
It's about like shooting a shotgun.
This week has been mighty cold. Monday
was the worst day. It was cold and
rainy. We stayed out all day
getting down into different rifle
positions and aiming them. The
rain formed icicles on my rifle.
Icicles hung off the barracks and
that's the first time I seen
them in a long time. I am
probably in the best condition I
have ever been in. Friday night
we went out on a night problem.
We didn't get back till about
10:30. We crawled under barbwire
walked over it and some tried to
fly over it. They exploded bombs
all during the night and fired a
machine gun which was
loaded with blanks. There is
hardly no time to write when
you come in because we have
to clean our rifles which is
full of South Carolina sand
and everything. Don't worry I
am looking after myself and
I hope to be out of the army
Mar 28, 1958 in good health.
I hope Earl takes care of
his car and tell him no matter
how much trouble he gets in there is
no bigger trouble than being in
the service. Take care of yourselves.


P.S. I am sending the letter from the University back, Send
the 5 dollars. I have not written
any checks yet.

Note: Earl was Uncle Robert's cousin and the University is The University of Alabama.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


  Lewis Grizzard, A Southern Man, once wrote that if you give a man homemade biscuits in the morning, he'll come home to you at night.

  We'll see.


1 c plain flour (light varieties are best)
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t baking powder
3 T butter or oil
1/2 c buttermilk (or 1 1/2 t vinegar or lemon juice with sweet milk added to equal 1/2 cup)

Pre-heat oven to 470 degrees F. Let all ingredients come to room temperature.

Lighty dust a plastic cutting board with flour to protect counter top and for ease of cleaning.

In a small bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder. Add butter and rub into flour mix with your hand or stir in oil with a fork till mixture is crumbly.

Add milk and stir until mixture is just moistened.

Scoop mixture out onto the floured cutting board and lightly dust with a little extra flour, just enough to keep mixture from sticking to your hands when patted down to about a 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thickness.

After patting down, pull up a little flour from the cutting board to the sides of the mixture.

Fold mixture half way over on itself and pat down again to the 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thickness. Add a little extra flour if mixture sticks to your hand.

Fold over again and lightly pat down again to the 1/2 to 3/4 inch thickness.

Dip biscuit cutter into flour and cut biscuits out one at a time flouring the biscuit cutter between each cut.  Fold mixture over and over and cut until there is only enough mixture left for a "patty cake" biscuit made with your hands. Place biscuits onto an cold oiled cast iron griddle with sides touching.

Bake at 470 degrees F for 12-15 minutes. Place a dollop of butter on each as they are removed from the oven and enjoy. Yield 6- 2 1/2 inch biscuits. Process takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. (Unbaked biscuits may be frozen on a baking sheet and removed to be stored in a freezer bag for baking later.)

~Choose organic or naturally grown ingredients for maximum nutrition.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

When Life Gives You Stumps, Make A Bottle Tree

  A garden is like life, never static, ever changing, ever growing. Sometimes when something gets in your way you just have to make something beautiful out of it. Like this stump for instance, I'm to scared of a chain saw to cut it down and to tired to dig it up. So with a little chipping away at the bark around the base of the tree the roots no longer are able to send up vital nutrients and eventually die. In the mean time we can enjoy the visual interest it creates in the garden and the added benefit of capturing evil spooks, or so the Appalachians believed.