7.29.2014

When You Marry an Artist

When married to a wonderful creative artist, ya never know what ya gonna get.  For example, years ago I mentioned, "How 'bout us makin' our own Christmas cards" to her and now we have years of our fun family settings set to Christmas cards. If you aint seen them just look down through the archives of this, our blog, dated around Christmas-time and you will see what I mean. With this in mind it shoulda not surprised me when after casually mentioning that the fridge was getting rusty and we would soon hafta paint it, that this amazing creation began to appear. (To get the whole shot, I had to open the fridge door)
Now I am looking around for what else to mention that needs painting.:-)

Volunteer Squash

In our compost pile out back, from time to time, we find what Peggy and I call "volunteers".  As we toss out our usual "nanner" peels, egg shells, coffee grounds, cucumber peelings, and mounds of citrus rinds, etc., occasionally, raw seeds wind up being planted by accident in the rich, worm-filled pile of loam that the compost has turned into, and which we then use for our different gardening projects.  This year in the Spring, I replenished the soil in our grape arbor with several buckets of the rich compost soil, and a few weeks later while I  was weeding, I noticed something growing there amongst the grapes vines, that did not look like grape vines, but still, it looked like it might be a "keeper".  I consulted Peg and we agreed to let this grow awhile and see what it was gonna do.  Well, I kinda forgot about it and it grew up mostly hidden from view in the thick of the lush grape leaves and vines, started climbing up, over and down the front of our arbor, and began looking rather 'squashy'.  Sadly, before the small green striped squashes could get big as your thumb, the birds would "snick" them off, leaving nothing but bare vine.  Finally, one escaped the birdie 'wrath', and matured into a big beautiful Butternut squash.
 I watched it grow and ripen till I couldn't stand it any longer and picked it this morning.
Truly a Gift from the Lord, this squash is destined for a grateful supper, soon.  In the meantime, another "volunteer" is vining away over in the compost pile.  I have been moving it out of my way, as I mow the lawn, and am trying to train it to run toward the fence instead of 'trah-lah-lah-ing" merrily through the yard as it has been doing.  Since there are no flowers as of yet, we are wondering what this young upstart volunteer will bring to our table.  Mercifully, we are hoping it won't be more cucumbers 'cause we have a cabinet full of Peggy's bread-and-butter pickles, not to mention our bellies are full of cucumbers, as are those of our friends and neighbors as well. The other day I carried a grocery sack packed "chocka-blok", bursting outa the seams with cucumbers to one of the neighbors, since their cars were both in the driveway. We thought it kinda strange that they didn't answer the door this time. It might be our imagination, but we think it might be because they are tired of us foisting sackfuls of cukes onto them and evah body else on the street.  We are, and apparently everybody else is downright "cuked out" and so now we can't find anymore volunteers who will take any more of them off our hands. And now we'll just have to wait to see what this next patch is gonna spring on us this Summer. 


6.13.2014

Tiger Lily

Just a quick little post to show you one of my true joys of summer.  This was one of my father's favorite flowers and I couldn't believe when as a surprise  my beloved wife found some truly beautiful ones, online.  Much to my amazement they continue to come up year after year and thrill me with their appearance.   My die hard LSU fan, neighbors like them too.
GO TIGERSSS!!!!!

5.26.2014

Our Yum Yum Tree May 2014

A "Yum Yum" tree is a variety of nectarine which is a non-fuzzypeach. Our little tree is loaded this year and they certainly live up to their name.
 They are almost as fun to pick as they are to eat. They all look the same and these two in the picture aren't quite ripe. Several gimes a day we go out and fondle the fruit to see which ones are soft, giving in to a gentle pinch. Those that meet the "pinch test" get picked and usually eaten right on the spot. A little advice, though: if you ever find yourself lucky enough to pluck a ripe yum yum, be sure to lean forward before  you bite into one or it will drip down your chin and onto your shirt.    
And....YES! They are every bit as sweet and "juicylicious as they look.

5.25.2014

Saturday Brisket

AT 07:15 this morning I fired up the charcoal chimney.
At 08:00 I took a "briskey " I had seasoned the night before with Crystal Hot Sauce, our own Cajun seasoning, and some Worcestershire sauce then parked it on the cool side of the pit.
The asparagus ferns slowly went from silver to green as the dew dried, and I picked several handfuls of strawberries for breakfast.

Here's the brisket after 1 hour

  Friend Sam showed up we went on a beer run and sat under the patio shooting the breeze and maybe drank a bit much.  The brisket did a good job of cooking itself  and we put some corn and Sam's home grown onions on the pit to keep the brisket company.
You may notice that the small end got sampled a few times;  you an' I both know ya gotta "check it" and we don't believe in those fancy digital, geeky probes or nothing.  Sampling is more fun anyways.  Well, as these things usually go, I forgot to take a picture of a plate, like usual, and by the time Peggy got home that night both me and the Brisket were pretty well done.  It did get a nice smoke ring.
It was moist and tender and wonderful.  Peggy came home late from a road trip to Florida and brought home a new member of our family, more about that later."



4.30.2014

How Our Garden Grows 4-30-14

Being the last day of  April, I figure it's high time for a garden update.  We have been busy, and I won't go into details here but our little garden is still growing.  I'll start with the salad box.
Our 4x4 foot salad box is planted in a loose leaf salad mix that even though we eat salad almost every day we can't keep up with it.  We have begun clean harvesting it in order to move and replant the box garden.  This was our very first garden box 12 years ago.  We have decided to relocate it to make room for other projects.  One of the fun things about our yard is that we constantly change things.  The new box will be 4x6 and relocated.  We will let yall know how that goes when it goes.
The asparagus ferns are going great and they are truly beautiful when all silver and jeweled in the morning dew.  We pick 3 or 4 spears a day and they are either munched raw right out in the yard or get diced and added to our salads.
 Next comes the strawberry patch and its also bearing well.  We pick a double hand full of berries every day which is perfect for us.  We wait to pick them til fully ripe and amazing, and pass by several times a day snacking on their progress.
In our main garden which is 12x4 ft we planted 9 foot of it with 36 contender bush beans.  Back in mid February when we put the beans in the ground, everyone including us knew it was way too early to be planting.  We had to cover them up several times to protect them from frost and somehow we got very lucky.  We did lose our early planted cucumbers to frost but we replanted, and though they are still small and only now reaching the trellis we have for them, they are not late. 
I just finished picking the third batch of our bush beans and this is the bumper crop.  We plan to get 2 maybe 3 more pickings over the coming week then they get pulled up to make room for okra.  This pan is destined for the freezer for future feasts.
We have already gifted a neighbor with a big pan of plum cobbler and plan to get plum busy picking this weekend.
 Our yum yum tree smells peachy-licous and the nectarine type fruit are swelling and ripening currently ping pong ball sized 
 Sadly, the birdies seem to have made off with all our little pawpaw fruit while it was still very small.  There are very few remaining and we are truly disappointed.  Next year yall remind us to put birdie netting on them and maybe we will have fruit to show ya. This year we will be lucky to get 1 or 2.  That's gardening for you.  You need little disappointments like that to make your successes seem  all the sweeter.  

4.20.2014

Happy Easter Yall

I have always wanted a big "Professor " Easter bunny.  Not only is he a big ole bunny he is sporting a book and as ya know by now I am an avid reader.

I must confess though, I was a little disappointed when I discovered the professor didn't quite measure up to the promise of his packaging.
 The not so big professor sure is cute though with his eyes down cast to his chocolaty book.  It didn't take me long to bob the lil fella's ears.
As the professor continues to grow shorter it is Peggy and my prayer that you have a safe, happy and most blessed Resurrection Day.  Below is a post Peggy wrote years ago inspired through prayer.  Take a minute to read it and reflect on the beautiful sentiment there in contained.

3.20.2014

ANOTHER Blog by Cappy and Pegody?


   We've been mulling over the idea of making another Blog for just cooking, restaurant reviews, and things pertaining just to food. If you know us at all, by now you know we just 'up' and do a lot of things. Well...one day, Cappy just decided "dis is da day", so he did it. He created another Blog for our family and friends, if you'd like to peruse it, called, "The Round Robin's Cajun Cooking Blog". Since our last name is Robin, and the "round"...well, it should be rather obvious as to why we chose that part of the title, or it chose us.

   This "Cappy and Pegody's  World" blog is for our adventures, like fishing or tall tales, stories, family occasions, as usual. All the food stuff, or most of it, will be packed onto the Round Robins, just like in real life. (pegody rolls her eyes). 
   We look forward to hearing from you, on this blog or on the new "The Round Robin's Cajun Cooking Blog". We are open to opinions, comments, or encouragement of our videos, posts or anything you might want to say. C'mon, don't be shy. 
   We'll also take prayers on our new endeavor with the food blog, because as Cappy is thinking up more wonderful Cajun dishes to make and video, he's telling me we need to diet and lose weight; now how is that going to work? After a time, an even newer blog entitled, The Even Rounder Robin's Cajun Cooking Blogggg?
 :-) Anyhow, the link to the new one:  http://theroundrobincajuncountrycooking.blogspot.com/     

3.10.2014

March Square Foot Garden Report

This morning dawned clear and beautiful with the yard full of bird song.  Peg and I grabbed our coffee cups and headed out to one of our favorite spots; our wrought-iron chairs in the grape arbor.  As we looked through the luscious pink Yum-Yum (nectarine) flowers at the beautiful clear blue sky, we figured it was a good time to give this week's garden report.
The garden boxes are doing well,
and the yard is greening up nicely.
When I cut the grass I left a few patches of clovers to help attract the bees.  The plan seems to be working cause the Yum-Yum tree was buzzing when we walked past it.
Looking down the row of boxes the closest one is our salad box.
This loose leaf mix is wonderful and we have been picking enough for us to make huge salads, 4 or 5 times a week for 2 weeks now.
The next box is our asparagus patch.  It is off to a slow start like usual, however if ya look close
you can see a nice fat one just pushing up.
Next is the strawberry patch and although it has been flowering a lot no berries yet. 
In our 4' x 12' garden box we have bush beans for the Spring and they are all up but 3, and growing nicely.  On the far end, the green onions are beginning to spread and do their thing, and just in time cuz we are getting low in the freezer from last Fall's crop.  Bad thing about planting early is: frost got our cucumber plants that we planted on each end of the box.  We will replant them this week and hopefully we will see
them in next months report.
The Japanese aka Loquat plums are swelling and both trees are loaded, so it looks like a good year for them.  I have already had several inquiries about them from my wine-making friends.
Last, but far from least to report, is the budding of our fig tree.  It is the son of our last tree, that was wiped out by a hurricane.  It is finally getting big enough for us to have enough figs for a pie or something.  Time will tell.

 As we walked back to the house we were making plans of picking as many grapefruit as we can off our loaded-to-the gills tree. We squeeze them to make the sweetest, brightest juice. A lot of folks from around here say they don't like grapefruit, but we have a theory about why they don't. It is in the late Fall is when the citrus harvest begins, so along with lemons, limes, and oranges, they pick their grapefruit, too. We've learned that the grapefruit need more time to ripen to develop  their sweetness because they are so much larger. Here it is nearly March and this is when our grapefruits are at their peak. The folks who don't like grapefruit say that what they don't like is the sourness and bitterness. Well, that's because they've tried them when they were also trying the sweet oranges. That was too early.  To our credit, we have persuaded a few of our neighbors to at least give 'em another try. So, along with the grapefruit we plan on picking this afternoon to juice, we also have to bag some to bring to our friends who are now turned on to them...and they want the bags to be big...and loaded. We don't mind; there's plenty to go around. God has certainly Blest our yard, so we can in turn, bless others. Aint that how it's s'posed to work?   


2.26.2014

Cappy's Cajun/Italian Lemon Ice For Grown Ups

With so much lemon juice "burning a hole" in our freezer, Cappy keeps coming up with different ways to "spend it". The lemon jelly was great, lemon squares were wonderful, lemon zest candy disappeared quickly, and we gave friends bottles of the juice. I forgot to mention the jars of hot lemon pepper jelly that melts in your mouth if it's sitting atop a little cream cheese, which is then also sitting prettily atop a cracker. Brave souls try this hot pepper lemon jelly straight up and end up in tears. If they are persuaded to try it again, using the cream cheese and crackers route, they end up guzzling the whole jar and beg for another jar to take home. If they try it with the cheese and crackers at first blush, the end results are still the same. We've lost a lot of good jars of jelly that way.
I see I have gotten off topic again. So. Back to the lemon juice that is sitting in the freezer.  I use it on everything from salad dressings to marinades, and so does Cappy, and thus, here we sit with gallons of it in the freezer, and it's laden with all sorts of wonderful possibilities.
    Now, Cappy has heard me saying over and over again how much I love Italian Ice, and he's heard me whining that I can't find Italian Ice in most stores without wheat in it (Why wheat, of all things, in icy anything??) I've thought about freezing lemonade in ice cube trays, then whizzing the cubes in the blender, to make a fake lemon Italian Ice concoction, but never got around to it, seeing it was just for me, and thus, not a priority on my...uh...priority list.
    Since, as I mentioned, Cappy has heard me go on and on, time and time again about my missing my lemon Italian Ice, he got an inspiration. To quote the Grinch,"...he got an idea. An awful idea. The 'Cappy' got a wonderful *awful* idea!"  He went to making his version of ...well, he called it Cajun Ice...or...Cajun sherbet...or..."something like that".  Then, seeing that scheme worked and I ate the whole thing...hence the, *awful* part of the "wonderful awful" idea, he came up with another hideous twist for his delicious icy brew with me in mind. The Southern Snowball. You see, I'm already hooked on these. My friend, Louise got me hooked on 'em, and I've gotten my own Yankee victims hooked on them as well. It's hard to find a really good snowball down here in the south, but when you find the good ones, they become part of any excuse to find yourself back in that neighborhood, no matter how far away it is, and often. Not to be confused with the snow cones they sell up north, because those northern snow cones are like tiny pieces of hail, packed into paper cones, drizzled with blue or red, all-but-flavorless thick sugar water. To the uninformed, they may pass as refreshing on a hot Summer day. The vendor who would dare try passing these weak specimens off to customers down here in the South, would most likely have a pack of dogs sic'd on 'em and they'd be run "plum outa town". They can't hold a candle to the snowballs that they have down here. (Not that anyone would want to, or should hold a candle to a snowball anywhere, anyhow. Why would they?)
   Dang, I ran off the road, into the ditch and down across the field again as far as what I was trying to say, didn't I? Okay. Southern Snowballs. Wonderful shaved ice, flavored with the most delectable pungent tastes imaginable. And Cappy knows I love 'em. They might start out like Italian Ice, but then after the lemon or whatever flavor has been added, they add condensed milk or ice cream or both (loaded). They serve it in cups. Big cups, which they call "small" in most places and "medium" takes about an hour for me to finish. I've never imposed on my liver, adrenals or whatever regulates sugar/insulin, by trying the large size. The several  bouts of brain freeze brought on by trying to consume the small cup is enough for me. But...they are FABULOUS! And this is what my evil Cajun kitchen genius had in mind this time around. With all that being said, I will now let Cappy, via this latest little video do the rest of the talking. Your link:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQny4Bi04eo&list=UUe6CkaSkPG0EXROyp-xQkjw&feature=c4-overview