Posted by: bree1972 | December 6, 2012

Girls Night Out, Aliens, Cornbread and . . . Pigs and a Cow 12/6/2012

Our December Girls Night Out (GNO) was Wednesday, and we had Christmas on our minds.  Most of us wore red, and one of us even found her old Santa hat to wear!  We were asked to bring a wrapped ornament and an unwrapped toy.  Those ornaments provided an hour of laughter and lots of “stealing”!

All 31 of us were given a number (1-31) and starting with #1, we chose a gift-wrapped package from the pool table. Like Marianne here, we showed off our prize for everyone to see. The next numbers could pick an "unknown" or "steal" the one someone else had already opened!  Of course, in this case you wanted to have a higher number since you'd have seen lots of ornaments by that time you would want to steal!  Once an ornament had been "stolen" twice, it couldn't be stolen again.  If your ornament got stolen, you could steal from someone else or open a new "unknown".  So much fun and lots of beautiful ornaments went home with the GNO Booger Bottom ladies!

All 31 of us were given a number (1-31) and starting with #1, we chose a gift-wrapped package from the pool table. Like Marianne here, we showed off our prize for everyone to see. The next numbers could pick an “unknown” or “steal” the one someone else had already opened! Of course, in this case you wanted to have a higher number since you’d have seen lots of ornaments by that time you would want to steal! Once an ornament had been “stolen” twice, it couldn’t be stolen again. If your ornament got stolen, you could steal from someone else or open a new “unknown”. So much fun and lots of beautiful ornaments went home with the GNO Booger Bottom ladies!

One of the ladies was charged with loading up all the toy and delivering them Thursday morning to our county Sheriff's department for the Toys for Tots program..

The toys were loaded up on Thursday morning and delivered to our county Sheriff’s department for the Toys for Tots program..

We ate pounds of homemade goodies,  told lots of funny stories, enjoyed the heck out of getting together, and - as usual - had a blast!

We ate pounds of homemade goodies, told lots of funny stories, enjoyed the heck out of getting together, and – as usual – had a blast!  (Did you notice who was wearing the Santa Hat?)

Help!  My Mouth Won’t Open!

So . . . . I went for my dental appointment to have my teeth cleaned on Monday, knowing full well they weren’t going to be able to clean them ’cause I couldn’t hold my mouth open wide enough.  I was right.  They immediately made an appointment for me with a TMJ specialist – I saw him on Wednesday.  For the bargain basement cost of ONLY $1575, he is going to make me a mouthpiece that I will wear at night for the rest of my life that “maybe” will “eventually” get my jaw unlocked and keep it that way (insurance doesn’t cover).  So, now . . .(if I ever start back with it) . . . . I will be wearing my sleep apnea elephant apparatus on my face and a mouthpiece like the NFL players wear over my teeth.  Poor Ted.  I’m expecting him to scream bloody murder when he wakes up at night and rolls over to find he’s in bed with an alien straight out of Star Wars.  I wonder if they make sexy flannel pj’s?  Would that help?

Lacy Cornbread

A recipe for Lacy Cornbread?  Ok – here’s my mom’s:  Dump some Arnett’s Cornmeal into a bowl, throw in some salt, then add enough water to make a watery batter.  Then fry it.

Ok, ok . . . not enough details.  For that I will insert my friend Lana’s recipe (Lana is the goddess of southern cooking and a dear, dear friend).  I have added a few of my “touches” in red (please forgive me, Lana):

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fine ground white cornmealBoth Lana and I say Arnett’s is the best, but it is hard to find except in south Georgia.  Lana, who lives way up north in Atlanta, buys it by the case when she comes home or bribes family and friends to bring some with them when they come to visit.  She says Hoover’s is almost as good, and you can order that on-line.  Regardless, get the most finely ground white cornmeal you can find.  This is KEY!
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water (your hottest tap water).  I did not know this!  I always just use cold tap water.  Interesting.
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Peanut oil.  I use Canola.

Instructions:

  1. Mix the cornmeal, water and salt with a wire whisk, making sure no lumps remain in the mixture.  Set aside for a few minutes.  I use my hands to mix this because it helps me decide when the batter is thin enough.  If batter is too thick, you won’t get the lacy edges.
  2. Heat a flat griddle or skillet over medium heat.  When the pan is hot, drizzle with one or two tablespoons of peanut oil. tilting the griddle so that the entire surface is coated with oil. I use a non-stick frying pan and add about 1/4 ” of oil.  Purists will tell you this recipe MUST be made in a cast iron skillet to do it right.  It IS wonderful that way, but I get no complaints from mine cooked in a Paula Dean frying pan.
  3. Ladle the batter by tablespoons onto the hot pan.  Do not crowd the pan.  I make bigger patties than Lana.  Maybe 3 tablespoons each.
  4. When the edges begin to brown, turn the cornbread with a spatula and cook the second side.  The cornbread cooks quickly, so watch to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  5. Remove the cooked cornbread to paper towels to drain.  Re-oil the skillet (if frying in a skillet, just keep using the same oil) and stir the batter in between each batch of cornbread.

Note:  You will not perfect this cornbread the first time unless you are a classically trained chef or just naturally a better cook than I am (which most everyone is).  After years of practice, I finally began to get it right about a decade ago.  Keep trying though cause even the “not perfect” pieces are yummy – crisp, crunchy, and finger-licking good (especially if you bathe each piece in butter).  Oh come on!  It’s the South!

Lana's Lacy Cornbread

Lana’s Lacy Cornbread.  Step by step instructions with photos can be found here: http://www.lanascooking.com/2011/10/14/lacy-cornbread

Pigs

On the way to my dental appointment on Monday, I called Dawn to chat for a few minutes.  We will discussing all the ways we could accomplish world peace if they’d just let us make all the decisions, when I suddenly interrupted with . . .

(insert really loud scream).  “Dawn!  I almost hit a pig!”

“A pig!  Where the heck are you?”

“On that back dirt road that cuts through the pig farm.  There must be a hole in the fence ’cause this pig is running down the road in front of me!”

I got off the phone and spent the next 60 seconds slowly following this maybe 35-lb piglet as he/she zig-zagged back and front in front of my vehicle.  I couldn’t pass it without risking a direct hit (although I have to admit to thinking briefly about fresh pork chops and bacon).   So I honked my horn, and it scurried through the hole in the fence it had come out of.

No camera that day, but today – on another trip back to Albany – I brought the camera along on the same dirt road.

On the way to the pig farm, I slammed on brakes so I could snap a pic of this black & white cow eating the leaves off this harvested cotton plants.

On the way to the pig farm, I slammed on brakes so I could snap a pic of this black & white cow eating the leaves off these harvested cotton plants.

Right around this curve was where the little porker ran out in front of me.

Right around this curve was where the little porker ran out in front of me.

The whole pic family was inside the fence today.  Not which one was in the road . . .

The whole pig family was inside the fence today. Now which one was in the road . . .

Oh yeah - you can't fool me by innocently grazing . . . just look at that mischievous eye!  You're the one!

Oh yeah – you can’t fool me by innocently grazing . . . just look at that mischievous eye! You’re the one!

Hope you’re all having a great week!  We’ve got a Christmas party this weekend, and I bet most of you do also!  See you back here soon!

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Responses

  1. lol cuteeeeeeee piggy!!!

    So it looks like lacy cornbread is similiar to pancakes, but cooked longer! I’m excited to try them! I’ll let ya know how they turn out.

    • Pancakes? You make pancakes with cornmeal?

  2. Adventure seeks YOU out!! : ) Even in the form of a squeelin’ pig!!

    • Susan – TELL me about it!

  3. Do they have chiropractors in the South? My daughter sees one for her TMJ. Followed you from your Mackinac blog because I enjoy your writing and photos!

    • Welcome “down home” Marlene, and Yes – we do have chiropractors. Will keep that in mind, although mine was caused by clenching my teeth at night, and if I get it “fixed”, the mouthpiece will keep me from clenching them in the future and undoing all that work.

  4. Gonna have to try that lacy cornbread recipe…thanks for sharing Brenda…although I’m sure I’m going to have ALOT of those not so perfect pieces. 😉 GNO…love the ornament exchange/steal/open a new one. What fun!
    I’m glad the little piggie got away and went back home although I think he was snickering at you in that last picture you took 🙂

    • Hilde – I think you’re right!

  5. Funny to see you’re having fun “Southern Style!” You certainly lead two very different lives, Brenda! Fun (but difficult!) to keep up with you! No snow up here.

    • That is funny, Mary Lou! Never thought about it like that, but they are quite different, aren’t they? Keeps life very interesting!

  6. I agree with Marlena about seeing either a chiropractor or a physical therapist or bodyworker of some kind. There has to be a reason that your TMJ is locked up. Doctors and dentists are probably not trained to think this way and just like to give pills or – in your case – a mouth piece. But, there must be a reason why.

    • Hi Tina. Please see my answer to Marlena below. The doctor I’m seeing is a TMJ specialist who took x-rays and decided treatment based on those :).

      • Oh, I see……I am just a trained massage and myofascial release therapist and know that many times there is something more that can be done than “regular” doctors think about.

        I couldn’t imagine having to sleep with a mouthpiece – I wish you the best of luck in solving the problem.

  7. I`ve got to make Lana`s Artichoke spread again; that dish was DELICIOUS. I could have eaten the whole dish last night, especially when I took it out of the oven.

  8. How sweet of you to pop in, I’ve just sat down with my cup of tea. It seems you’ve done a lotta living in the last few days! Southern comfort in the best of ways….Friends , Food, & Fun!

    Thank for a Sunday/holiday treat…mmmm Lacey Cornbread. So tasty with a side of honey butter. Maybe a bit of pork…the pictures are truly to much fun! Can’t wait…

    Hope your able to find relief of your TMJ and sleep apnea soon. Dillard’s & Macy’s had some pretty nighties…teehee! Warm ones. Hope this helps. Hope Ted and Bear and Maddie are doing well.

    My daughter saw the cow in the spent cotton field..wrinkled her nose and giggled. She figured the pig was just enjoying the simple pleasure of a walk..she made me giggle! Thanks again for sharing.

    Live ~ Love ~ Laugh
    Theresa

  9. Being your Alabama neighbor I say “welcome home!”. I had a similar situation a last week. I was driving along side a harvested cotton field when this mangy big o’cat ran in the road. I hit the breaks. Then we had a stand off. That was when I realized it was a bobcat. It stood there for a few minutes then it ran into the cotton field across the road. This cat looked rough. I happened to run into a sheriff deputy at the “the pig” while I was picking up groceries. I told him about what I had seen. He said they had been receiving many calls about this bobcat. I asked him what they would do with it if they caught the cat. With a wink he said it would depend on the outcome of the Bama Georgia game. If Bama wins the cat would be relocated elsewhere in Alabama if Georgia won the cat would be moved to Georgia. Happy to say Georgia did not recieve an extra bob cat. Roll Tide!

    • Oh my gosh, Cassie – that is a GREAT story! Go DAWGS!

  10. So glad you didn’t hit the pig and he ran back to his friends! Makes for a great story though… Sorry about your TMJ-I am a night time and stress related tooth clencher myself and was prescribed a bite splint like you describe. Luckily my insurance paid for it…unluckily my dog ate it!

    • Sounds like I need to change insurance companies, Annie.

  11. I don’t know about you but that poor cow was skin and bones…and so were those little piggies….wow…hope they get fed…..you know how I love animals…give Ted my love

  12. I’ve been out of town for a couple of days with limited internet access so I’m late responding, but…thanks a million for including my cornbread recipe! You’re so right, B, that it takes practice to get that one right, but once you do…it’s one of those recipes that you just crave over and over again.

    So sorry to hear about your TMJ problem. Sure hope they get that sorted out quickly for you.

    • Lana, forgot to mention that Marianne used your hot artichoke dip recipe to bring to GNO at the Bottom Wednesday night. It was a huge hit!

  13. I’m going to try that lacy cornbread recipe out for Christmas at my house this year – it sounds and looks delicious! I hope you can get your TMJ issues helped soon. Glad you didn’t end up with pork chops on the hood of your car either 🙂 Happy Sunday!!

  14. Take heart Brenda the mouth piece may help with the apnea. With proper jaw alignment your airway may stay open and “cross fingers” you may not need the cpap or they may be able to at least lower your pressures making it more bearable. Talk to your sleep doctor about it. 🙂

  15. Oh Bree, You southern ladies are a hoot. The comments alone would make a book. Yes, I would agree that you are a very different Bree, when you are home. Not better or worse, just different. Must be in your blood.
    Good luck with the TMJ. Who knows? Maybe the one thing will help the other thing. Don’t wear my mask, too loud and uncomfy, even though I should. My bad!

  16. I surely enjoyed the post. Have not made the lacy cornbread but am going to tonight.

    • Let me know how it comes out, Alice!


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