Friday, December 30, 2011

7 Quick Takes: Gifts

Jennifer Fulwiler
Thanks to Jennifer Fulwiler, a fellow Texan, for hosting
7 Quick Takes Friday 

1  While fixing him a bedtime snack, my oldest, age 8, asked me what my favorite gift was this Christmas. While I pondered a bit, he chimed in with, "Friends and family were mine. Those are the best." You got that right, kiddo.

2  Another favorite: Ages ago I worked on a family ranch with range land and almond orchards. I mostly piddled in irrigation work, sucker snipping, trash patrol along the roads, and fencing. Well, the orchards are long past their expiration date. Some have already been replaced. The last one, it seems, is coming down this year. When I go home for a visit, the trees I walked and worked in will all be gone. But my sister sent me the coolest Christmas ornament, made of the heartwood of an almond tree that was felled in the wind and rain this year. So those orchards won't all be gone. I can visit them every year.

3  When not renovating the house, I have been playing in frosting. I graciously received a cake decorating kit to make up for November's spider cake decorating disaster

"Those sure are scary looking teeth, honey!" 
"Those are eyes." 
"That's even scarier." 
"You can stop now."
"Are there legs on this spider?"
The Miss Paula herself!
 4  Speaking of disasters, The New York Times is out trolling for Internet hits by disparaging Southern Cooking and Paula Deen. (Seriously, Paula Deen?) Let them eat their black eyed pea hummus on their side of the Mason Dixon. More chicken fried steak for the rest of us!

5  And speaking of Southern and Paula Deen, there is a tradition here in the South of eating black eyed peas on New Year's Day. It's supposed to bring you luck, but frankly, any day with black eyed peas on the menu is lucky. This is Miss Paula's recipe we'll be using.

Black-Eyed Pea Salad

  • Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 min
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients Add to grocery list

3/4 cup oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup diced green onions
1 large tomato, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves
3 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme and oregano leaves mixed



In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar and vinegar.
In a large bowl mix together the remaining ingredients. Pour dressing on top of salad and mix well.

6  It is so hard to believe that this year is over. It's also hard to believe we are still not in our house, but slowly and surely we are making progress. We put in some temporary stairs, so anyone who'd like to come by for a tour, call me!

7  Have a blessed and a safe New Year everyone!


  1. the pioneer woman website also has a recipe for a black-eyed pea soup.

  2. I searched and could not find it, Jen. Do you have the link handy?