Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy Birthday, Pepsi!

11 years ago today, Pepsi VIII was born and, a little over two years later, she became our dogter when we adopted her.

Pepsi is a loving little doggy and definitely the calmer of our two. She always looks slightly sad--I think her life before us was not the best and she carries those memories with her. She is a snorer, has a gimp and cannot stand when Savannah is getting attention and she is not. And we love her totes.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

More Garden Porn! And Cooking Porn! It's Just Porn, Porn, Porn!

Ha. Ok, maybe that title was a wee bit over the top, but I have to admit, this whole porn revelation is slightly hilarious and one of the most titillating things to happen to Bunny in a while. And that? Shows you how lame-o my life really is. Just in case you didn't already know. Now, onto the daily porn.

Garden Porn: Now THAT is what I'm talking about! All these luscious tomatoes were picked just this morning from Jardin de Bunny. That big one in the back is an heirloom--German Queen.

Cooking Porn: Dinner from last night--roasted pork loin (cooked in oven with wine, fresh herbs and onion and served with a side of grainy mustard and fig preserves), mashed sweet potatoes and slaw. Yummy.

Well, the hubs is off today and we are trying to decide what kind of trouble we might can get into, so I will be back later, hopefully with some more porn. ;) Love, B.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hump Day Holla: The Porn Edition

Peeps, remember how I mentioned that all of a sudden my unique visitors for BGR had surged? Yeah, well I checked my analytics last night, and visitors were up to 67. Wowza!, I thought. Then, I decided to dig a little deeper.

For those of you who are not familiar with blogging, you can sign up for a tool called analytics which allows you to see how many visitors and visits your blog has, along with all kinds of other information such as where people are geographically visiting from, what key words they used to arrive at your blog, if they were "referred" from another blog, etc. I, mean, just all KINDS of information, some of which I don't even care about or remotely understand.

Anyhoodle, I was flipping through some of the information and I see that I have had visitors from Turkey! Japan! Estonia! (yeah, I didn't know where it was either) South Africa! Ireland! Russia! Wowza-Wowza! BGR is international!

Then, I started thinking, "Why are all these people from around the globe interested in BGR?" So, I started digging a little deeper to found out how they found me.

Next, I chose "keywords"--what were people searching who arrived at BGR? "Mature porn." Oh, my! "Mature porn in the garden." My, oh, my! "Mature garden porn." Mercy!

Yes, my gentle readers. Apparently, my garden porn posts are causing quite a sensation across the World Wide Web. The post from July 11 (XXX Garden Porn (For Mature BGR Fans Only) was especially popular, pulling almost 20 visitors!

Well. Indeed. I bet those folks were surprised when they arrived at BGR to find only photos of begonias and hydrangeas rather than sordid goings-on underneath the bushes.

Of course, as I relayed this tale to a friend last night, he said maybe I should start putting the word "porn" in every post title since it seems to drive traffic to BGR. Genius! Of course, those folks seeking lewdness would not be loyal readers, as all of you are. But, in an experiment of sorts, I may try that for a week, just to see how many hits I receive.

On another note, who knew there was a market for true garden porn?? Maybe that is what Bunny's next profession should be--garden pornographer! I know a few photographers. Anyone want to volunteer to be models? ;)

Well, I am off to cook dinner and such. Be good, or be good at it! B.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In Which I Cook Up Some More Shizz (And Lose a Fingertip)

Peeps, remember how I told you that whenever I wind up going back to work, it was going to kick my ass, H.A.R.D.? Well, yeah, I got a taste of that today when I rose before the sun, drove to the ATL, back home, then over to Athens-y area. And I. AM. TIRED. Very tired. But, still, I am here, giving you the best of the Bun.

Yesterday evening, I decided to cook up a different dinner. Last week, they had catfish on sale at the Publix, so I bought me up some and decided to cook it up--a summer fish fry!

So, I dipped the pieces in a little EVOO, encrusted them with panko, then put a little EVOO in a skillet and set them to cookin.' In the meantime, I had some squash that needed attention.

I decided to make squash patties, so I grated up some squash and onion, then added sour cream and flour. Oh, and a chunk of my finger. For flavor. (Thanks, Williams-Sonoma, for making extra-sharp graters! And I am sure ER docs across the country thank you, as well.).

Then, I dolloped the mix in a pan drizzled lightly with EVOO and attempted to cook them up. I say attempted because the end result was not so great.

Yeah, the patties were droopy, not crisp, probably because I did not deep fry them in oil as the recipe stated (I was TRYING to make them lighter!). I think the taste was great, but next time, I would just mix it all up, add an egg, and dump it in a casserole and bake. I think that would have been better. The other side was just fresh cukes and 'maters in ranch dressing. Next time, I will stick with slaw and roasted taters with the catfish. Oh, well. See, even the Bun is not 100% fabulous all the time.

Tonight, I didn't feel like cooking shizz, but I couldn't very well NOT cook with all the food in the house AND since we've already been out twice this week. So, I made one of the standbys: Big Salad.

Damn, that looks pretty, don't it? It was as tasty as it was pretty, I promise. I kept it simple--romaine, tomatoes, warmed beef and grilled onions with a vinaigrette of blue cheese, white balsamic and EVOO. Better than anything we could have paid for out. Before dinner, I sipped on a glass of this:

Yes, it's the goat farm again. Those of you who have been with Bunny a while will remember I tried this company's Pinot Noir, which I thought was aw-ight. This rose evoked similar feelings--not bad at all, but nothing to tingle my taste buds.

Other than that, I am just listening to melancholy Annie Lennox tunes because that's how I feel like rollin' today. Loneliness is one of my faves:

Is a place that I know well
It's the distance between us
And the space inside ourselves
Is the chattering in your head
It's the call of the living
And the race from life to death
And I know
And I know
What you feel

And I've got a longin'
That's hard to find
Won't give me no peace of mind
Something that I've lived with all along
Days and weeks and months and years
Filling in the time, my dear
Tryin' to find the place where I belong

Don't call the shrink, peeps, or start worrying about me, 'kay?? I just admire her ability as a great songwriter. Anyhoodle, I am off to start heading toward bed, possibly another glass of wine and, hopefully, some reading if I can stay awake long enough. XO, B.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday Musings

Oy. This week is off to a quiet start. Last week was pretty quiet, too. I suppose people are trying to cram in last minute vacations and other such things before school starts back. Casa Bunny is quiet, as well, but my mind is always a whirlwind of activity, so here's a random sampling:
  • The marathon gardening session Saturday put an end to my latest pair of gardening gloves. I usually buy cheapo cotton gloves at Tar-jay or Wally World, and, inevitably, they shrink when washed and then the fingertips wind up unraveling. I can go through 2 or 3 pair a year. However, in some seriously fortunate timing, a friend emailed me a post about Ethel Gloves on Friday. Saturday evening I picked me up a pair at the local Lowe's:
Though the website lists the gloves for $20, I purchased them at Lowe's for $12! Hellz yes! And after wearing them only one morning, I can tell you they are going to be worth every stinking penny. The gloves are made for the ladies, and tailored as such. The material is a 4-way stretch so they cling to your hand, the wrist has sturdy elastic, and the fingertips and palms are reinforced with a lightweight sueded fabric. I think I may be in loves. Sigh.
  • I decided yesterday it was time to pull myself up by my bootstraps and make some mojo happen, right or wrong. First on the agenda, get back on the fitness bandwagon. I am sure it would be no surprise after seeing how Bunny cooks to find out that I am an "ample" woman. And while I have never been--nor will never be--a petite little thing, at the same time, I feel better when I am active and eating well. My maladies are controlled, I sleep better, my stress is lower. So I dragged my dimpled arse out of bed this a.m. to exercise, and I started watching what I put in my piehole more closely. But don't fear, fellow foodies (oh! the alliteration!)--that is not to say I won't still be sampling beers and wines and cooking fabulous dishes, but I will be more moderate in my consumption. At least, that's the plan.
  • I have been reading like a fiend, and managed to cram two more books in before I started The Time Traveler's Wife last night. One book was Confessions of a Prep School Mommy Handler by my beloved Wade (Rouse). Yes, I am still deeply infatuated with Mr. Rouse, and, Lordy, that man knows how to pull ALL Bunny's strings--I was crying one minute and snorting with laughter the next. I cannot WAIT to get his latest book (which, apparently, is on the slowest media mail route EVER) and, when I am done, I will write a review of all three books for my friend E.'s book blog (if she will allow me). I know. I am tingling with anticipation, too!
  • I am currently completely infatuated with the song Use Somebody by Kings of Leon. Yes, I know I am late on jumping on this train, and, yes, I know the song is terribly overplayed right now (I rarely listen to the radio and yet every time I am near one, it is on!), however, there is something so painfully haunting about that song that just gets under my skin.
  • MOTHER-'EFFIN ANTS have taken over my kitchen! This invasion marks the 3rd or 4th one since we have lived in our house. They don't bother me too much--at least it's not roaches--but BY GOD, the sons-of-bitches clamored up on one of my white peaches this morning and were chowing down. OH, HELL NO! Now it's war! Don't fuck with the Bunny's produce. Esp. the peaches. Word.
So, that's all for today. I am off to try to work on some work. Have a good one! B.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Celebration Sunday

Well, peeps, I cannot believe we are here at another end to a weekend. Today was cleaning day at Casa Bunny, including purging the freezer and fridge. Oy. I found some things that were growing penicillin and some others so encrusted with ice, I couldn't identify them.

You would think being a foodie, I would keep better track of my edibles, but alas, that is my downfall. I am constantly buying some new spread, sauce or other item, and then they just all get crammed on top of each other in the fridge/freezer/cabinets. I told my hubs we could probably eat out of the cupboards and fridge for a good month without repeats. Actually, I am trying to cull through and start rotating some things out which may make for some interesting meals upcoming.

This evening, we met with the fams to celebrate my niece's b-day. K. turned 6 earlier this week. I remember when my bro and sis-in-law brought her home from Russia at 18 months--she had big dark circles under her eyes, rocked to soothe herself and didn't speak. Now she is a sassy, vibrant little girl.

With the most beautiful blue eyes. And I love her new short bob--such a big girl haircut. She also lost her first front tooth this week--it was a big week for her!

M. lost his SECOND front tooth this week, so his grin is dramatically gap-toothed. Bless his heart, he could hardly bite into his food tonight! I know he looks the tiniest bit deranged in this photo, but in the other option, he had a big chunk of food stuck in his teeth (that he has left).

D., K.'s older bro, loves to sit in the most contorted positions. Take a look at this. Oy. If only Bunny was still that limber.

A. trying to keep from laughing. I told him he just looked constipated, which, of course, he thought was hilarious. He is developing the best little personality. Smart as a whip, that one.

Trying to get a good photo of these four is like herding cats. This one actually isn't too bad, except they are looking at someone else...

And the first step on the downhill slide to Sillyland.....

And now we have fully arrived! Goobers. I love them totes though. What a great age they all are right now--just the right amount of silly and fun.

I hope you all had a great weekend! Be back soon! Love, B.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Petered Out

Peeps. I am petered out. The hubs and I worked in the yard almost 6 hours today, and the temps have been brutal. We gots lots done--weeded a bunch of stuff, grass cut, repotted some things, worked the veggie garden--but we finally called it a day and came into the cool.

In addition to the heat, I endured a sting, a fiercely bleeding cut and some thorny scratches. On the plus side, I lost 5 pounds in sweat and my farmer tan is back to its deep, dark savageness. I also harvested some more tomatoes, which are picking up the pace quite a bit, thank goodness.

In other news, I made yet another bread salad last night, but this time, I went sans recipe--culinary commando, if you may. Rather than mixing it all together, I decided to do something different.

First, I cubed the rosemary foccacia I purchased at the Farmer's Market. I tossed it with a little EVOO and single layered it on a cookie sheet.

Next, I toasted it until it was goldeny good. Can I just tell you how much I am in love with bread salads? So easy, no cooking, no heating up the kitchen (really, 5 minutes or less under the broiler is IT!). Perfect summer meal.

While the bread was toasting, I went out and harvested some basil, then cubed up some fresh mozzarella, sliced up some salami and sliced some roma tomatoes. I decided not to do cukes because of the soup (see below) but you could also add olives, red onion, roasted peppers, roasted eggplant, provolone instead of mozzarella....whatever your favorites are.

I layered the salad on a plate: bread, then tomatoes, then cheese, then salami, then basil. Topped it all with freshly ground black pepper, $10 salt and a dressing of EVOO and red wine vinegar. A deconstructed bread salad. The good thing about this option is we were able to keep the bread without it getting soggy and have a repeat today for lunch. I am not a big 'ol fan of soggy bread, so this way works for my texture buds.

And can I just tell you about the Cucumber Soup from the Farmer's Market? Mercy, it was slap-your-mama good! I have been searching on the Internet for a recipe that sounds similar to the ingredient's list. Lord knows I have enough freakin' cukes to make gallons! I am not a huge fan of cold soups, but this was refreshing. It has buttermilk in it rather than sour cream or yogurt, and some nice chunks of cuke for texture. In all, it was a perfect summer meal.

Well, I am off to rest for a while. The hubs had offered to take me out to dinner, but that would mean having to dress nicely and put on makeup so I am torn....but I have a feeling once I sit down to read, I won't feel much like getting up. That's what being old and working all day in the yard will do to you. Yo. Later, peeps! Bunch

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Food Fest

Whazz up, dudes? Yesterday, I decided to take a jaunt down to the ATL to the Dekalb Farmer's Market. I have had a jones to go since I read someone's blog about it last week (thanks, Little Miss SS!) AND I am planning to try my hand at making some refrigerator pickles this weekend and needed some spices, so off I went, on my merry way, a solitary road trip.

First, I think I need me one of these. A cheery, orangy-red convertible VW. I am just sure having one of these would keep your disposition sunny all the time.

I know I am a big foodie dork, but I have to admit I feel a little rush every time I see this sign and think about the delightful things I hope to find inside. It's like foodie heaven. For some strange reason, they don't allow photos inside (there is a huge sign posted to this effect, right beside the huge "absolutely no concealed weapons" sign--WTF?), but let's say I spent more than I should, but I got lots for my money.

Like all these delicious veggies--carrots (which I plan to cut up and freeze), lemons (maybe fresh lemonade!), limes (a key lime pie is in our future), tomatoes (bread salad tonight), sweet potatoes (to roast later this week with pork), white peaches (maybe a small cobbler?).....

.....mushrooms (spaghetti this week!), eggplant (I am not giving up and have another recipe to try!), cabbage (mmm, slaw with the sweet taters and pork!), zucchini and yellow squash. I also bought a big 'ol watermelon.

And spices for pickling.....tumeric ($.71!), celery seed ($.60!) and mustard seed ($.60!). Really, again, the spices are RIDICULOUSLY cheap!

I also bought olive oils, some good mustard (paninis! vinaigrettes!) and fig preserves (I am thinking pork sandwiches later in the week with fig spread and goat cheese).

Italian bread (for last night), foccocia (for bread salad tonight) and strawberry danish (weekend morning "special" breakfast).

For dinner last night, I bought mushroom ravioli and tomato & sage cream sauce. The DFM has all kinds of freshly made pastas and sauces and I have been wanting to try them for a while.

The raviolis were shaped like little mushrooms. Cute!

I served with a salad on the side (walnuts and dried cherries) and the sauce with parm cheese on top. It was good, not great--I didn't get a lot of sage from the sauce or tons of flavor from the ravioli. I think adding some shredded fresh sage would have helped the sauce. Note for next time.

I also decided to try my hand last night at recreating the Tomato Montrachet appetizer from Brick Store Pub (remember, I went there in June? It was the day M.J. died. Between his death and that awesome beer, I will remember it fo'eva. Yes, I see what is wrong with that. I am just sayin'.). The dish is described as "our own spicy tomato sauce with chunks of fresh chevre & crusty bread for sopping." So, I assembled the above for my trial.

I poured enough sauce in my tiny Le Creuset casserole to cover the bottom, sprinkled the sauce liberally with feta, then poured some more sauce on top. I placed in the oven for about 10-15 minutes on 400--just 'til the cheese is melty and the sauce bubbly. Served it with the Italian loaf from DFM for sopping.

Y'all. This was SO GOOD. Very, very similar to what we had at Brick Store. And SO EASY. But messy. Messy to eat and messy to cook (see my splattered little dish!). But, really, aren't the messiest dished the yummiest?? Try this. You won't regret it. And you can just make a little at the time, if there are just two of you, like me and the hubs.

For tonight, I bought the cucumber soup which I am serving with bread salad and, for appetizer, white bean dip (basically white bean hummus). Looking forward to dinner, that's all I can say!

Other than my trip, yesterday was pretty quiet. I bathed the girls last night, much to Savannah's deep chagrin, and she attacked the hair dryer and tried to bite me. Fun times. I am thinking no more bathing at home. It is just beyond our capabilities now with her old and cranky like she is. Or we are going to have to investigate severe sedation. Sigh.

Anyhoodle, lots going on the weekend--the hubs is off and we are gonna be all domestic-y and such. Have a great Friday! XO, B.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thoughts for Thursday

Let's just jump right in, today, ok peeps?
  • Mercy, I didn't know what a firestorm of paranoia I would create with that last post's rant on cleanliness! First, in case you think differently, Bunny is NOT so stupid as to post comments pointed directly toward her obviously tender-hearted readers. The people mentioned in said post are folks twice or thrice removed from B., and certainly none of the readers I personally know. That would be mean. I am not (usually) purposefully mean.
  • While watching So You Think You Can Dance last night (Shut's the only decent thing on TV until the Real Housewives of Atlanta starts next week. Word.), I saw the commercial for the movie based on The Time Traveler's Wife. Holy crap! Why didn't someone TELL ME?? I mean, I knew there was a movie, but I did not know it's opening Aug. 12! I have to read the book before I can see the movie. And, it's like, 500+ pages long. Yes, I do. I am anal that way. I always try to read the book before I see the movie. The sad thing is, I've had the book for about four years, but it's been in my TBR stack. Sigh. Guess what just got bumped up the list?
  • Last night, I tried my hand at cooking lentils. For the first time ever. Yeah. It was interesting, to say the least. I had bought some at the Dekalb Farmer's Market MONTHS ago, but have been too intimidated to try cooking them.
Then, I thought, "WTF? They were $1.78! If I mess them up, it's not a huge dealo." So, the Internets said to cook them for 20 minutes. Um. That didn't work. They were a sludgy mess. Round 1 went in the trash. Round 2 I cooked for 10 minutes. Better, but they still fell apart when I mixed things into them. Maybe they are supposed to do that??? If anyone has successful lentil cooking experience, drop me a line. Please.

Anyhoodle, I mixed in feta, fresh basil, fresh tomatoes, a little $10 salt and pepper, and they were quite tasty, if a little mushy. Sorta like mashed lentils. But the hubs really liked them, so all is well.
  • Speaking of fresh tomatoes, I FINALLY harvested some from the garden yesterday.
Woot! I mean, they're small, but I'll take 'em. Today, I went and got the spices I am gonna need to make refrigerator pickles this weekend so I can use up my continually growing pile of cukes.
  • Oh, peeps. I made the BEST chicken last night. And I am going to share my secrets with you for making it. I was a piss-poor chicken cooker (dry and overcooked yet still pink somehow) until I came to a realization: thinned chicken cooks more evenly and quickly. Brilliant, right? So, this is the way I cook all my chicken now:
First, butterfly the breasts. I do this with kitchen shears and it is tres easy. Next, take a good METAL meat mallet, and pound the hell out of the chicken until it is pretty much even thickness. As this point, you can grill it plain, marinate it, dredge it in flour for a soft coating (say, for chicken piccata), OR, hold onto your panties!, do what I did last night: dip the chicken in a little egg, then coat it with panko crumbs!

Place the panko-crusted chicken in a hot pan with a little olive oil and "fry."

Flip the chicken. Mmmm. The golden goodness. Gaze at it. At this point, I decided to get a little crazy, and sprinkled the chicken lightly with ground red pepper. Lightly, I say.

I served the chicken with the lentil salad and carrots, and it was SO good! Crunchy yet moist, and the red pepper gave it a subtle kick. LOVES!
  • Note on carrots: About a month ago, I had some carrots starting to sprout roots (seriously) so I decided to see if I could salvage them. I cut them into sticks, blanched them in boiling water, then split them among bags to freeze. Worked like a charm! I took out a bag yesterday, let them thaw, then tossed the carrots with a little butter in a skillet. Perfect! If you want the more detailed way I did this, please let me know.
  • This wine? Is Fab.u.lous. Scrumptious. Roll over your tongue tingling.
A friend suggested it, and we found it at the DFM. It's a great price point (around $12) and so, so good. Seriously. Go buy some. Now. In fact, I think I am going to have me a glass right now. So, that said, have a great night and be good! Later, B.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Review Debut

Check out my review of My Life in France on my friend Elisabeth's blog.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cookin' & Cleanin'

Dudes. I am exhausted. Yes, I know it is only Tuesday, but I have not slept very well the past several nights. No, I am not sure why. The hubs is convinced we need a new mattre$$. I don't disagree, but I think my problem may be too much befuddle in the brain. Or hormones. Or befuddle in the brain because of hormones.

Anyhoodle, I know I haven't been all that good about posting cooking photos this summer but, again, I am more inspired to cook in colder temps. But, to make my foodie friends happy, here are some repeats I have recently made:

I made this Big Salad with Steak Sunday night. I mixed arugula and romaine, added fresh cukes and diced yellow pepper (my fave to eat raw because of its mild flavor) and tossed the salad with a vinaigrette made of blue cheese, ranch, olive olive and white balsamic vinegar--sort of a blue ranch vinaigrette. Topped the salad with this:

I bought a bag of this steak--and a chicken one--at Sam's. It was a value and is great tasting. Perfect for salads and quesadillas. And speaking of quesadillas.....

Last night, I made chicken quesadillas with the chicken fajita strips, pepper jack cheese, spinach and orange bell pepper, topped with all the goodies and served with black beans and mango couscous. That couscous has been lingering in the back of the cupboard for a while, so I thought "What the Hell!" BTW, notice that my goodies are the colors of the Mexican flag!

On the reading front, yesterday I finished My Life in France by Julia Child. I was reading it so I could go see Julie & Julia when it comes out (backgrounder, of sorts). It was a great read, and really has me itchin' to hop the first plane to France, then go buy Mastering the Art of French Cooking when I return.

I really did not know what to expect from the book, but it was a wonderful overview of the French lifestyle, esp. their gastronomy, and I was encouraged to learn that Julia Child did not start cooking until her late 30s (she married at 35, moved to France at 37) and did not start writing Mastering the Art until well into her 40s. Julia, having not done her most important work until later in life, gives me hope that my best is yet to come, as well. Fo' shizzle.

On a totally unrelated topic, but one that has come up with some frequency recently, please allow me a short rant of sorts on cleanliness. In the past week, I have had the same conversation with two different folks about people's homes and cleaning. More specifically, how some people can stand live in total and utter filth.

Now, while B. is not a neat freak, my house is always clean. The difference, you ask? Well, sometimes, clothes may be piled on the bed, or the newspapers may stack up for a few days in the corner, or the kitchen counter may have a few more bags or boxes sitting on it, but, by God, you will NEVER have to leave my house to use the bathroom (true story from a friend who had to go to a gas station to pee when visiting a relative).

Some stories I have heard shock me. Black rings in the toilet. Indescribable things ON the toilet seat. Chewing gum stuck on hardwoods (five pieces!). Half-eaten food all over. The inability to walk across the floor because of strewn, dirty clothes. Pet hair on every touchable surface. No shittin'. What I don't understand is why anyone would want to live--or, better yet, let their children live--in that kind of filth. That? Is just plain nastiness.

We didn't have much growing up, but, by God, it was clean. And you don't have to clean all the time to keep a clean house. You just have to maintain. We (the hubs helps) do deep cleaning (dust, mop, etc.) every 3 weeks. On alternate weeks, I do "maintenance" cleaning (clean counters, toilets, vacuum, etc.). And I use a lot of Febreeze. And Bath & Body Works Wallflowers. Because no one will EVER smell "animal "in my house. Yo.

I, mean, really, it's not that hard. Not fun, yes, but def not hard. Any monkey can scrub a toilet. And the Dollar Store sells cleaning supplies. Trust me. I know. I will step off the soapbox now. And go wipe down the counters.

Well, I am off--lots to do this evening. See you later, taters! Bunch

Monday, July 20, 2009

'Maters on Monday

Blah. That's sorta the way I feel today. Dispirited. I had such a good weekend, so maybe reliving part of it here will help snap me back a little. For example, yesterday, the hubs and I went with another couple to a local heirloom tomato festival. It was an inexpensive adventure, the weather was pretty and we had nothing else planned, so it was all good.

The festival was held at Glen Ella Springs in Habersham County, Ga. The Inn looks much like it did in 1875 when it was built, first to be a homestead and later an inn. Glen Ella is located in the middle of the woods, out a long dirt/gravel road, in a lovely clearing.

The hubs in front of an old barn. I love old barns.

And old tractors. Anything rusty/worn, I am all there.

The best thing about the festival was the long tasting table of about 40 varieties of heirlooms tomatoes. They were all labeled and a full-size version of the tomato was present, and the Inn provided pencils and paper to write down your favorites. I saw and tasted many tomatoes I had never heard of in all shapes, sizes and colors. I made notes for next year's veggie garden.

And the food. Mercy. The food.

Fresh tomato sandwiches on soft bread. The hubs got the BLT, me the plain tomato and we split each so we could taste both. Ah. Heaven. For our sandwiches, we stepped out from traditional mayo and chose a wonderful basil aioli spread that really accented the tomato.

Other treats: Fresh homemade salsa (served with homemade chips; it really tasted more like a tomato relish than a salsa--not a lot of heat/spice), the divine tomato tartlets and glistening fried green tomatoes with remoulade sauce.

The tomato tartlets were exceptional--def our fave and we went back for seconds. In fact, they sold out of the tartlets in the first two hours of the festival. Brimming with cheese, mayo and fresh herbs, they were a delicacy to be savored. And the fresh lemonade, which I did not photograph, was wonderful--just the right balance of sweet and tart.

Local artists playing bluegrass music--the perfect melodious backdrop for a country 'mater festival.

The ground/gardens at Glen Ella are exceptionally lovely and well-planned. I took a ton of photos, but will only share a few. Here, a lovely path leading to a "gazebo" of bare branches.

A beautiful arbor surrounded by lovely plantings and draped in climbing roses. I know I am using the word "lovely" quite a lot, but it was all very quaint, charming and...just lovely.

Another old building with a tin roof and old tools mounted to the front.

The hubs at the wishing well. We didn't throw in a penny, but we did make a wish. I hope that wasn't bad luck.

Tree people. I think these may be indigenous to the South, but tree people are wonderful folky creations. I think this one was my favorite--he looks a little goofy. Check out the bowtie.

I liked the lips on this one. She's a looker, alright. Smooches!

Our "fans" (self air-conditioning, though we didn't need them because the weather was perfect--sunny and 80ish) and cheese biscuits, which we purchased and were made by the pastry chef for the Inn's gourmet-level restaurant. I served these up last night with a big salad and they were YUM.MEE. Like giant cheese wafers/straws with a little kick of heat.

Well, I've gots to run. Lots to accomplish today and I will have to try extra hard to motivate myself. Hope you all have a wonderful week until we meet back here again. XO, Bun.