Friday, November 28, 2014

Kitty, South Carolina, And A Rail Or Two

As you likely know, we have a cat, Kitty, whose job it is to keep the house free of mice and she is very good at it.  On this day, she sat on a chessboard without moving a man and peered out the window as though she was looking for her next victim.  She is wearing her pretty winter coat.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Cabin In The Mountains – Final Day - Model RR

We awoke Sunday morning to a cold rainy day, instead of the snow I was hoping for but we had a good plan for part of the day.  We waited until late morning to eat and headed over to LaCosta MexicanRestaurant for lunch.  They are rated well on the web and it’s obvious the place is popular as it soon filled up with the after church crowd.  It’s located in a strip mall and decorated very tastefully.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Cabin In The Mountains – Day 3

The entrance road to Cumberland Mountain State Park crosses the man made dam and bridge which is pretty awesome as seen in these two shots from the web and our shot from the bridge as we headed out to lunch.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Cabin In The Mountains – Day 2

We began our first full day on the Cumberland Plateau by going to Sister’s Café in Crossville for brunch as it came highly recommended and it was my favorite kind of place – a hole-in-the-wall serving good home cooking to the locals.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Cabin In The Mountains

I really needed to get away from it all, so rather than make the RV trip south with two women and four dogs, I elected to book a cabin in Cumberland Mountains State Park for just Bev and I and we left Madison and the dogs in the hands of our house sitter.  As it turned out, this trip matched up with the arrival of the cold snap that moved into the area and the temperature dropped five degrees from the valley floor (where we live) as we went up on the Cumberland Plateau – the Cumberland mountains are the southern name for the same range called the Allegheny’s in the North and along with the Blue Ridge (and Smoky’s) to the east of the valley and some others in New England, they make up the Appalachian Mountains.  The state park lies just a few miles south of Crossville, TN along US-127.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Southern Breakfast & Sandwich Experiment

For those of you who know Bev is in Florida and may be worried about me surviving, fear not.

Two fresh-from-a-local-farm eggs, Benton’s country ham, and Bev’s homemade biscuits from the freezer.  After I took the shot, I split the biscuits, cut the tomato in half and added them and some country ham to get two delicious breakfast sandwiches sided with scrambled eggs.  It got the day started right and lasted me til supper – I just love breakfast.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thanks Vets

A Big Thank You To Veterans And Those Who Now Serve

The last sentence in our National Anthem includes the words “land of the free and the home of the brave!” 

But the American Hero’s Channel has been running an ad that says the “home of the free because of the brave.”  

These could be the most true words I have ever heard.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


Friday, November 7, 2014


In spite of a desire to eat more fish, my two favorite Colorado cooks keep putting up recipes that must be tried.  When I saw this dish on Lea Ann’s blog, “Cooking On The Ranch”, I thought it sounded very good and when she mentioned using smoked paprika, I decided I could just use smoked meat from the freezer and adapt it, similar to what I’d recently done with Heather’s Carne Advovada

This is a shortened version of Lea Ann’s recipe because I used already cooked pork barbecue, so I adapted the recipe to maintain the same basic ingredients, but made changes to the cooking process and amounts of liquids – I knew the pork had lots of flavor and liquid so I used less and only added it as needed.

Pork Stew with Paprika and SauerkrautAdapted from Cooking On The Ranch
1 tbsp.oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup sweet paprika
½ tsp cayenne
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (I used the garlic press)
4 small yellow bell peppers, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
½  750-ml bottle red wine (I used a nice merlot and poured out the leftover – yeah right)
2 pounds pulled pork BBQ
12 oz. sauerkraut, drained (I didn’t have the required 16 oz.)
2 cups water
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
2 bay leaves
2 red Cubanelle peppers
1 teaspoon black pepper
Cooked and buttered egg noodles, for serving
Sour Cream, for serving

1. Heat oil in a pot, add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until lightly caramelized, about 2 minutes. 
2. Add the paprikas and cayenne and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. 
3. Add the garlic, bell peppers and onions and cook for a few minutes until the onions begin to look translucent deglazing the pan as needed with the wine.
4. Add the pork, sauerkraut, water, marjoram, bay leaves, cubanelle peppers, salt and pepper.  
5. Bring to a hard simmer, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, and cook until everything is hot, about 30 minutes - taste and re-season as needed.

Since I only cooked it for about 45 minutes, I made it a couple of hours ahead of time, covered, and allowed the flavors to marry, then re-heated to serve.

I really liked the idea of serving it over buttered egg noodles and I just cooked them to package directions.

I mixed it all up together and it was delicious both for this meal, the next two leftover times, rolled up in a tortilla, and as a sandwich.  Definitely a keeper recipe - thanks Lea Ann.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


10/30/14 meal date

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Buckwheat Pancakes Ala Reona

Buckwheat is not wheat at all; it’s not even a grain, but rather the seed of a plant that has been mostly grown as a nitrogen providing cover crop and is related to rhubarb.  Here is a field of it in Bhutan and some drying seeds.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Fried Peppers

Pan fried sweet peppers are a pretty common Italian dish and Bev and I both love them on a sandwich – With peppers growing in the garden, I can’t believe we haven’t had one all summer.  Thin walled, elongated frying peppers, such as Cubanelle, work best as they fry up quicker.  Here is a shot from the web.