Monthly Archives: July 2017

A backroads aventure…. clothesline

A backroads adventure…
clothes·line  ˈklōT͟Hzlīn/
{-noun- a strong, narrow rope, cord, wire, etc., usually stretched between two poles, posts or buildings on which clean laundry is hung to dry.}

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Beat the heat with this Green & Gold Okra Summer Salad! No cook’n here….

Well I don’t know about where you are, but here in Eastern North Carolina, we’re in the middle of a ridiculous heat wave…. too bad it can’t melt fat off our bodies like heat melts fat in my cast iron fry’n pan!  I saw this cute little what-cha-majig recently and just had to have it! I’m not one for dust collectors, but this one makes me giggle! And who doesn’t need more giggles in their life? My body has been doing a lot of “crying” this past week.  Not because of being OUT in the heat, but mostly from hearing the cha-ching of the AC running nearly non-$top INside!

Okra is every which way these days, so today, because there’s not much cooking going on, I wanted to share with y’all this okra salad I first made several years ago in a cooking class at Savory Spice Shop in Raleigh…. my toy store!  If’n you have a Savory near you and haven’t been there, and do any sort of cooking at any point in time…. I order you to GO THERE! (Check out their nationwide store locator.)  Even if your bought food just needs some spiff’n up, go there. When Bob and Cindy Jones opened their store years back, I high tailed it right on over there, and we’ve been buddies since day one.  I used to buy those “other” spices (that start with a P)…. but the assortment at Savory is IT. And you can purchase in tiny amounts, or by the boatload!  Lots of area chefs and competition (barbecue) cooks create their secrets from Savory. They are always bringing in new herbs and spices from around the globe… and new blends…. and I especially love all their salt free ones.… like I use in this salad.   They have lists of all sorts of their blends with no garlic, no onion, no this or that, etc. (See all that on the left margin of link.)  Something for all!

At my class, there were about 15 or so “Yankees.”  When I said the word “okra” I saw these blank stares across the board…. and might have heard a few signs of disgust. Bless their hearts, they didn’t grow up eating this mostly-southern green garden candy like we did….. and probably only saw it boiled and slimy… although we true Southerners do love it that way too… and fried, and roasted, and grilled…. and pickled!  As a matter of fact, my first okra memories were eating it that way…. slimy!  My Mama Hocutt would boil the hell out of it, drain it, and put in some butter… and me and Daddy Hocutt would pull those seeds out of the slimy pods through our teeth and then eat the pods…. together, me and him!  He died when I was 8, but I remember eating “stewed okra” as she called it, with him, like it was yesterday!

OK…. so back to the salad!  My salad is published in the current August issue of Carolina Country magazine... I had to tweak it a bit from my original version to make it more generic since not everybody across North Carolina that gets the magazine has access to a Savory (although there are 4 Savory’s in NC and you can also shop online!)…. nor my friend Paige’s Yah’s Best products and her Summer Mango Salsa I used in the class… available in lots of places across NC!  

Yah’s Best Summer Mango Salsa!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So here’s the generic recipe, with notes on how to make my original version…. with Savory’s Salt-Free Summit County Seasoning (one of my faves there) and Yah’s Summer Mango Salsa!  I do hope you will try it and come back to let me know what you think…. and one note, it’s best if you eat it shortly after making it…. especially if you don’t like the “slime” factor. It’s good overnight, but some of that starts showing up…. so without further blabbering…. here you go!

Green & Gold Okra Summer Salad @ WendysHomeEconomics.com

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Green & Gold Summer Okra Salad

We are all used to stewing and frying okra, but surprise your guests with this delightfully different way to enjoy a Southern summertime favorite... RAW... in a fresh salad!  You will find 2 versions below.... my original version created several years ago for a (non) cooking class and this newer more generic version for the magazine.... for folks who don't have access to Yah's Best Summer Mango Salsa and Summit County Spice Blend from Savory Spice Shop.  Make one or the other, or take parts and pieces from each to make your own version. Either way, it's just damn good.

Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • juice and zest 1 lime
  • 3 large mangos
  • 1 small sweet onion peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 cups white seedless grapes halved
  • 1-2 cups mild green and gold peppers seeded and sliced
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 quarts okra sliced in 1/2" pieces shortly before serving time
  • 1 large jalapeno optional
Instructions
  1. Combine vinegar, sugar, pepper, lime juice and zest. Whisk together and let stand while making salad.
  2. Combine mango, onion, grapes and sweet mild peppers. You can make the salad up to this point ahead of time and keep refrigerated several hours.
  3. When ready to serve, toss cilantro and fresh-sliced okra (in ½" pieces) into mango mixture. Stir well and garnish with jalapeno slices. 

Recipe Notes

If you would like to make my original version.... do this:

To the cut up okra, add in 1 pint carton of Yah's Best Summer Mango Salad and 1-2 tablespoons of Savory Spice Shop's Summit County Seasoning! That's it.... 
It's just fresh sweet and savory summer in your mouth!

Y’all keep cool wherever you are… and feed your fat some of this crispy salad so maybe it will stop cry’n!

***Happy 80th Birthday Krispy Kreme!***

One of North Carolina’s finest, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, is turning 80 today!  And THAT, my friends is cause for celebration.  Those of us lucky enough to have grown up with being fed KK’s in our high chairs are truly blessed.  And I’m certain, just better folk because of it.

Life gets better with Krispy Kreme KKroutons & KKrispy KKookies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So many memories of going to the KK on Person Street in Raleigh and swooning by the doughnut-making room window…. and years later, beckoning the call of the “Hot Doughnuts Now” sign aglow!  Even today, if passing by, I succumb to that sign!! My car just automatically “hangs a left” into the parking lot. And even though now there’s a drive-thru, I just must go inside…. for the full and complete experience ~ ok, so I just want to watch those morsels of heavenly round fried dough get slowly bathed in a shower of liquid sugar!! Oh lort, is there anything better on earth? If so, I’d just as soon not even know.

(Trivia…. Do you know what year that “Hot Doughnuts Now” sign made its debut?  Why that was in 1992!)

There’s even a “Hot Light App!”

My now ‘tween nephew Wyatt was raised “right” as they say… and in the south, that raise’n includes full indoctrination to Krispy Kremes from near’bout the time of birth. I suspect there are probably folks who detoured down Person St. over the years on their way home with their new baby… to celebrate!

Surely made some fond memories with my nephew Wyatt on Person Street… @ Krispy Kreme!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve got other Krispy Kreme Koncoctions to share, so stay tuned. But for now, without further ado, I bring to you…. my Krispy Kreme Birthday Sundae “Kake” ~ because who needs “cake” when you can have Krispy Kreme Kroutons, Krispy Kreme Krispy Kookies and Krumbles instead!  I’ve been making these things long as I can remember… (mostly just to nibble on) and decided as a birthday present to you, it was high time I passed along this quick little secret!

To make KK Kroutons, snip a few doughnuts with scissors and toast about 1-2 minutes in toaster oven until lightly browned.  Let sit for about 5 minutes to let cool and turn krispy! EAT ’em. Or, scatter on ice cream sundaes…. or crumble and scatter on ice cream, on milk shakes…. they’re pretty tasty with a sprinkling of good flaky salt too.
I find them rather tasty with crispy crunchy bacon with coffee in the morn. Put in the comments below what you’d do with them!?!

To make KK Krispy Kookies, just tear doughnuts into about 4 pieces. Roll flat and place pieces into preheated waffle iron. It’s hard to say exactly how long since those things all seem to have a mind of their own… just check after a minute and keep a close eye on ’em or they will burn.  Lay out on a plate or pan and let cool. They will crisp up once well cooled!  Great alongside ice cream… (you can use them to “dip” in your ice cream).  Also yummy with a dab of peanut butter or with your morning yogurt. Let your mind go wild…. or, just eat them as they are!

And a final note… Thank you, Mr. Vernon Rudolph, for bringing us this melt-in-your-mouth simply divine concoction. And thank you for an outstanding fundraising opportunity, that has bought band uniforms and air conditioners for schools, books for libraries… and paid for church needs too!  Gosh, it surely would be interesting to see a list of all the many things your doughnuts have helped to fund.

Now go make yourself one of these KKrispy treats…. because we all need to celebrate Krispy Kreme, right?

…gone to the dogs! Homemade “Frosty Pet nICE Cream” treats!

My sweet Chamblee’s resting place….

Four years ago today, my sweet Speagle Chamblee crossed the rainbow bridge.

As I sat here looking at our pictures in this heat wave, and having seen a friend post pictures on facebook last night of commercially sold pet “ice cream,” I came to realize I’d never posted this pet recipe here on my blog! 

On a last minute thought, I threw this together several years ago and entered it into the NC Sweet Potato Festival Contest “Miscellaneous” category where it won 2nd place!  (It seems the last minute recipes I “throw together” are the ones that do best in contests.) 

Frosty Pet “nICE Cream” Treats!

My sweet Chamblee was my guinea pig, and he did love my sweet potato “nIce Cream” treats. And guess what?  They are people friendly too.  So while making them for your fur babies, you can lick the bowl and spoon. This is a perfect recipe to get your kiddos involved in the kitchen. They will love these healthy snacks and feel so proud they made them for their furry best friends too.

Now being the North Carolina made foods evangelical that I am, y’all know I used NC made peanut butter (lots to choose from so use your favorite or quickly and easily make your own)…. and of course North Carolina Sweet Potatoes…. these grown just a few miles down the road!  

So without further ado…. I will leave you with a little bit of my stroll down memory lane today of Chamblee…. who was by my side for 15 years.  

My sweet Speagle Chamblee…. I miss him so.

And I think since I keep packets of baked sweet potato in my freezer (you DO do that don’t you?), in his memory, I will make my sweet little June Bug some today…. also a Speagle!  

 

My sweet Speagle girl June Bug… I love her so!

 

Y’all have a “nICE” week… stay cool, and treat your babies to some “nICE Cream” treats too!  A fun thing to do inside the air conditioning on a hotttt summer’s day.

 

 

 

 

 

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Homemade Frosty Pet “nICE Cream”
These freshly made treats are so much better for your doggie friends than the store bought versions and can be made with ingredients you probably already have on hand. My Speagle, Chamblee, loved these on hot summer days, or about any day for that matter. He’s in doggie heaven now and my new Speagle girlie June Bug loves them too! Exact measurements are not required, making them easy for children to make for their furry friends (and themselves too). Being a ‘local foods evangelist’ I always use NC commodities and products whenever possible. For this recipe, I used North Carolina sweet taters from a local farm, local Franklin Co. honey and peanut butter made in Eastern North Carolina!
Servings: 5 doggie treats
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • about 1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potato
  • about 1 cup nonfat yogurt SEE NOTES
  • about 1/2 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
  • 1 squirt honey adult dogs only
  • a few crumbled sweet potato chips, optional garnish
Instructions
  1. Throw everything into a small bowl and stir together until well mixed. Portion out into small custard cups; cover and freeze. Remove from freezer a few minutes before serving to soften.  
Recipe Notes

NOTE:  Chamblee l.o.v.e.d. spicy hot potato chips (and so does June Bug), so if I have some on hand, I sometimes crush a couple of chips and/or sweet potato chips on top of his nICE Cream... making him his own little nICE Cream Sundae!

BE SURE THE YOGURT YOU USE IS FREE OF SWEETENERS, NATURAL OR ARTIFICIAL!

***  There are many people foods that are not safe for your pets.  Before adding ingredients you might like in your nICE Cream to your pooch’s, be sure to look at safe pet food lists.  The last thing you want to do is harm your baby with a treat. 

Cheery Grilled Corn with Hoop Cheese & Bacon Dust

I know, I got you with BACON dust, right?  Well then let’s add Cheerwine to the party too!

Cheery Grilled Corn with Hoop Cheese & Bacon Dust

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bacon doth make everything more better, and on my “Cheer”y grilled corn is no exception.  We’ve all seen the “same old same old” grilled corn recipes…. usually Mexican in nature.  Well y’all know this southern gal is an evangelical when it comes to preaching that we should all cook and eat local.  And around here, it’s North Carolina goodies, but the same applies wherever your “local” might be.  Local and nekkid…. the way God gave it to us! 

So when it was decided I’d do something featuring sweet North Carolina corn for the July issue of Carolina Country magazine, my little brain went to spinning…. because I do love some grilled roasted toasty corn.  But I wanted to give it some good old North Carolina pizzazz, and when I opened my fridge and pantry to find my inspiration…. there it was, glistening in my face…. CHEERWINE!

We are the proud birthplace of Cheerwine here in North Carolina and all celebrating their 100th birthday this year with them. So a basting glaze with that was “it!”  

So then, I needed cheese.  I grew up loving hoop cheese. My mama, rest her soul, was no cook and made no bones about it. I can count on both hands (actually more like one) the cooking memories I have of her. But one of those that I vividly remember was the nights she would take out her well seasoned 10″ cast iron skillet (I’m sure my grandma gave her to be a 60’s housewife!) and melt hoop cheese daddy had brought home from the little family-owned downtown Zebulon grocery store up the street from First Federal Savings and Loan where he worked.  

That hunk of bright orange cheese, with its cherry red rind, would be wrapped in “freezer locker” paper. While mama’s canned biscuits were burning in the oven (she cooked everything on HIGH or 500…. no other settings were needed on our appliances!), she was melting that greasy gooey hoop cheese in that skillet.

I really don’t even recall having anything “on the side” with those cheese biscuits… and adding a side dish might have sent mama into culinary panic and running for the hills!  So cheese biscuits it was. A “Menia supper” in all its glory.

OK…. let’s hop off memory lane and get back to this corn thing!

I know hoop cheese crumbles nicely, so keeping with my local and southern recipe and ingredients, Ashe County Hoop Cheese would be the perfect cheese to crumble and throw on the hot corn off the grill.  I can pick that up at the Raleigh State Farmers’ Market, but if that’s not convenient for you, many grocery stores carry hoop cheese, and you’ll likely find it sold down the road in your local country store with saltine crackers…. if you are fortunate enough to live out in the country!  

But my corn needed one little something else.  And naturally, I concluded that should and must be…. B.A.C.O.N.!  Bacon Dust!  

So once I had all of this new concoction in my head, I could hardly wait to make it. With plans at the beach with the family that coming weekend for a mess of steamed crab legs, I knew testing my new recipe with that crowd that would be perfect, one of my gaggles of guinea pigs… and what’s better alongside crab legs than corn?

Well turns out my first trial run was perfect and didn’t need any tweaking. (A recipe developer loves it when that happens!)  Lips were smack’n and fingers were being licked…. and nothing was left but a big old pile of gnawed off corn cobs and demolished crab shells…. 

Remnants of happy time and happy bellies!

 So I’ll leave you at that… and wish you and yours a fun and safe and most blessed July 4th!  I do hope this week or sometime soon while corn is plentiful you will give this recipe a try. And if you do, come back and tell me what your crowd thunk about it!  I’m pretty darn sure you will be the hostess with the mostess and be crowned “best corn” winner. 
And while here, don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss more local goodie recipes to come!

 

And God Bless America!   Land that I love…

 

5 from 1 vote
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Cheery Grilled Corn with Hoop Cheese & Bacon Dust
To celebrate Cheerwine’s 100th Birthday in 2017, fire up the grill and cook your crowd this Southern version of roasted summer corn on the cob! It’s so good you’ll want to plan at least two ears per guest.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Grilling, North Carolina Goodies, Southern, Summer Food
Servings: 6
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Cheerwine® soft drink
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup stone ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 dozen ears of fresh corn shucked and cleaned
  • 1/2 pound hoop cheese crumbled
  • 12 ounce package bacon cooked and crumbled into "dust"
Instructions
  1. Heat gas or charcoal grill to high heat. While grill is getting hot, combine Cheerwine, molasses, mustard and butter in heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce to low boil and cook until sauce has reduced to about half, making a thickened glaze. Remove from heat and whisk in sage.
  2. Put corn onto hot grill, baste with glaze and cover. Turn every 1–2 minutes, basting as you turn, until charred in spots (about 8–10 minutes). Remove to platter and while hot, scatter with cheese crumbles and bacon dust. Drizzle with any remaining glaze. Serve immediately.