Southern Flavor

What a quintessentially Southern day full of Southern flavor! Annelise has been on Spring Break, so we joined our BFFs here, Jamie & her son, and her mom, visiting from our mutual hometown, for lunch at our local staple: The Cookie Shoppe. Annelise & I split a giant egg salad sandwich on their homemade, buttery soft sub rolls. The lady who runs TCS queried re: Annelise, "She's going to eat egg salad? I've got to see this." :-P I guess egg salad isn't huge with most kids, but it is with my girl! :-) She even went up front on her own after finishing to claim her peanut butter cookie prize.

After lunch, we headed over to Mark's Melon Patch. I have been dying for some good peach salsa - not one that just tastes like ketchup - and some local raw honey. I've been obsessing over local raw honey lately: my dear Liz shared her remedy for sore throats & coughs - crushed garlic (one clove per tsp local raw honey) served by the teaspoonful twice a day - and another friend shared that she takes a little local raw honey for her allergies, that it keeps her from blowing up like a blowfish from tree & plant pollen. None of us are having any throat/cough/allergy issues, but how can you deny the benefits of local raw foods? I also saw that Mark's has tomato preserves! I don't need any more, yet, (I stocked up in Charleston,) but that's the only other place I've ever found them!

(What do you do with tomato preserves? I've spread a little on my bread for grilled cheese - mmmm, salty sweet! Amazing on crackers or however you'd use pepper jelly. I also first fell in love with them at High Cotton, when I got an upscale ham & egg dish with tomato preserves.)

This afternoon, I checked on my plants on the back porch. I have a black thumb for EVERY-THING, except cherry tomatoes. And I'm giving cucumbers another try this year, b/c Will loves them so dearly. I actually hate gardening & plants - I never remember to water, and I don't weed. No interest whatsoever. But my 'maters are the one thing I actually *love* to grow every year. And after several years of pathetic northern "summers" (if you could even call them that!) I am THRILLED to get a good, early Southern start! I planted these two weekends ago, and they have already more than doubled in size. They look now like mine did in JULY in MI.

I then snapped this pic this afternoon in our shady side yard:
How beautiful! I was really missing the purple wisteria that faded over a week ago, but the azaleas are beginning to compensate. :-)

For supper tonight, I made my FAVORITE *healthier* faux-fried green tomatoes. Fried green tomatoes are one of my most fave things on earth, but I HATE grease, (a Southern sin? Perhaps...) so whenever I find a healthier version of traditional Southern staples, I get excited. I found this recipe in Southern Living two years ago, and it's become one of my most treasured. I didn't have any buttermilk, so I just thinned out some plain Greek yogurt with a little milk = perfect. I ate them ALL.

Dessert? OK, this one isn't exclusively Southern, but it was divine: I used our very last Sof’ella Sin-Free Fat Free all natural Brownie Mix to make brownies (again with the plain Greek yogurt! YAY!!!) in my mini muffin tins (we need portion control, people! ;-)) with two mini marshmallows stuck down on top. That experiment was AWESOME! They toasted to perfection in the 12 minutes of bake time.

And for one last bit of Southern ATL flavor - Top Chef All-Stars SPOILER ALERT: I adored BOTH Richard & Mike, along with the 2 fan faves, Carla & Fabio...but Blais had me at first bite years ago with Peach Taleggio Pizza...


  1. and once more we have found one of the VERY FEW things we are not exactly the same in. lol. as I love gardening. :) I love seeing things grow. that being said, I don't like things in my house, I forget to water just like you. but outside God takes care of that. and who cares if you weed all the time. ;)

  2. ok, i've never had peach salsa or tomato preserves... i feel the southern-ness in me slipping away! i have had fried green tomatoes and they are yummy. does that make up for it??? i've always wanted to try peach salsa but never gotten around to it. maybe one day! :-) congrats on the tomato and cucumber plants going well thus far! that is great!

  3. Well, you can't have *that* bad of a green thumb because you did teach me something new..."suckers" on your tomato plants!! I had no idea and I am so glad you showed me so all of my money wouldn't go down the drain! We do have Southern living at it's's beautiful here! I can't wait for all of us to go to the Melon Patch when Fall rolls around! Pumpkins galore!!!!! Yay.

  4. Amy C - YES! I love seeing things grow - real majesty! But I'm just so bad about things that need tending. And I think annuals are a total waste. :-P
    Amy P - You won't lose your Southerness!!! You are *ALMOST* out of there! And if you end up in NY or UT next instead of South, I will send you a box of peach salsa & tomato jam! I PROMISE!!!
    Jamie - I'm so honored I could teach ANYTHING about gardening at all! :-P Tomatoes are my singular talent. :-D


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