About Me

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Florida, United States
Southern born, Southern reared. It's a quirky place and we are unique folk... These are my people and these are my stories.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday's Recipe of the week

Another recipe from Miss Betty's handwritten 1950s/60s recipe book!

Carrie's Three Hour Rolls


2 yeast cakes
3 T sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup shortening
Self Rising flout


Combine yeast cakes in a large bowl. Sprinkle sugar over yeast. Mix well. In a separate bowl mix the milk with the warm water and pour over the yeast. Sift in enough self rising flour to make a soft dough. Work in the shortening and knead well. Let stand 2 hours. Form into rolls and let rise 1 hour. Place rolls into a preheated, moderate oven of 400 degrees. Bake until golden!

My guess is that "Carrie" is Carrie Hicks, who was a "backyard" neighbor of my mother and father in the earliest years of their marriage. I loved this woman DEARLY! She was a delight to all who knew her! If I remember correctly, her grandchildren called her SIS ... and I often wrote about them in my 12-year-old diary, found recently. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday's Southern Style CHRISTMAS tunes!

Okay... you have to check this out. Not sure where this house is ... but it's a common site in the South during the holidays!

You'll have to trust me on this one...

Just click on the link...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday's Musings on All Things Southern

This little bird was quite the model. 
My mother adored Christmas. Every year, when I arrived "back home," I was greeted by holiday smells and sites. Pine-scented candles flickered just inside the door. The scent of holiday baking wafted from the kitchen while the wood-burning stove (where a fireplace once stood) added it's own flavor of pine cones popping and sizzling, filling the room in warmth, both physical and emotional.

As soon as hugs were over and suitcases were put in away, Mother ushered me into her living room. There, before the wide picture window, stood the tree. Brightly lit. Heavily decorated. Presents clustered around the base.

"See my little birds," she would say. "I got them all on the tree."

Mother loved "little birds." She had dozens for decorating (she and I shared a love for the red bird), especially for the Christmas tree. One year, during the holiday, I decided to take walk around the lake. I spied several birds, took pics, and then came home and showed Mother. She instantly wanted me to take her to where I'd seen the "little birds."

The bird who waited for Mother and me to return.
So I did. All but one had already "flown the nest." Like a child seeing snow for the first time, she marveled at the one who hadn't.

Mother kept all her holiday decorations in the attic. Each year after Thanksgiving, my brother would climb the stairs and--one by one--would then haul tradition back down. Mother spent the day watching Hallmark Holiday movies (she and I talked through them) and decorated.

Her last Christmas was "decor-less." In November my brother fell about 20 feet from a tree, broke his back, and wasn't climbing anything for a while. Mother bought a very tiny tree "up town," one that could sit atop the television. She said to me, "I didn't get to bring my decorations down but that's okay. My children are more important than my little birds."

What a precious thought. Hadn't Jesus once said something similar?

Then she added, "I'll bring everything down next year. Just gives me more to look forward to."

Of course, we had no way of knowing she would never place a little bird on the tree again. After our Christmas spent together, my brother climbed those stairs, brought down the boxes marked: CHRISTMAS and we began to divvy up "the last of it." My brother said he probably wouldn't decorate the way Mother did and I do, so I took the majority of the items.

Yesterday, I started placing little birds on my tree.

"See my little birds?" I could hear her say. "Aren't they pretty?"

Yes ma'am, they sure are.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Squash Casserole

I remember being a little girl, hating squash ... unless it was fried, that is. If it was fried, I'd eat it as fast as Mother could pull it out of the grease!

Then, we went to my Aunt Bettye's for Thanksgiving on year. She had Squash Casserole. I thought I wouldn't like it much, but Mother had taught us to always try what was put in front of us, especially when at the home of family and/or friends.

So, I took a bite and ... yum! It was marvelous! It soon became a favorite ... both as a child and as an adult.

You'll see why ... if you try ...

Squash Casserole

4 cups cooked mashed squash
2 cups broken Ritz crackers
1 cup scaled milk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 TBS grated onion
1/4 stick butter

Mix all ingredients and place in a buttered casserole. Bake at 375 degrees for one-half hour.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Southern Style Dressing

Ohhhhhhhhhh!!!!! I probably shouldn't be sharing this. If I do, EVERYONE gets to know how good REAL SOUTHERN DRESSING is ... and they'll be jealous and heartsick they haven't known all along.

Oh, well. It should be done. It must be done!

So, here it is:


A meal's worth of cornbread
4 slices toast
1 large onion, diced
4-5 stalks celery, diced
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
2 eggs
1 small can broth
salt and pepper to taste


Boil onion and celery about ten minutes (until tender), drain

Mark cornbread. Crumble, add crumbled toast. Add onion, celery, cream of chicken, eggs, broth, and seasonings.

Mix well.

Pour into baking pan

350 for one hour

[photo from TennZenn: Enlightenment, Southern Style blog]

Share your recipes or comment for that free book drawing!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Musings On All Things Southern

Mother's Sweet Potato Souffle

With Thanksgiving just days away, I thought I'd share a favorite recipe or two from the Southern kitchen of my mama. This will always be a favorite. Goodness, you can practically eat it as dessert it's so good!


3 cups cooked sweet potato
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup canned milk
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Combine, place in greased cooking dish

Ingredients for topping

1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup chopped nuts
1/3 cup butter (not melted)

Sprinkle on top of above mixture

Bake 1/2 hour at 350

Share your own sweet potato recipes with us and take a chance at winning the Potluck Club Cookbook, by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thursday's Musings About the Books

Daddy & Me, 1957
I'm working away on Book Three of the Cedar Key series. I'm calling this one Slow Moon Rising, but the pub house, Baker, may change that. I like the title. It fits. Maybe they'll think so too. Maybe not. Doesn't matter to me right now because what's important is getting the inside words done, not the outside title.

Daddy & Me, 1959
I love this story so far. I'm taking a look, first, at the dynamics of the relationships between Ross Claybourne (Kimberly's father) and his new wife, each of his daughters, and then ... well, I can't tell you what happens, but something does happen that makes each one of his girls re-exam their relationship to their dad.

Ami has misunderstood him. Heather has used him financially. Kimberly, when her marriage to Charlie was falling apart. And Jayme-Leigh during a health crisis. Each girl knew she could depend on Daddy. Now, Daddy needs to depend on them.

Daddy & Me, 1972
I keep thinking back to when my father first told me he had multiple myeloma. I thought of every wonderful thing he'd ever done and then I thought of every moment I'd been a stinker.

Daddy & Me, 2001
I was Daddy's girl all the way up to the end of his life. I didn't think twice about sitting in his lap, throwing my legs over the arms of his recliner, laying my head against his shoulder and together we'd rock ... we'd rock ... we'd rock ....

Daddy is buried in a cemetery next to an unmarked but owned grave. Every time I to "pay my respects" I stand on the opposite side of that particular plot of ground. Which I own. That will be my final resting place. Next to Daddy. Right where I've always loved to be.

What about you? Do you have a favorite Daddy story? Share it here, why don't you ... I'd love to read it!

Eva Marie

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday Southern Style Tunes

This Christmas, think about giving the SERVICES of your fellow Americans. If you know someone who likes to have manis and pedis, give a gift certificate. If you know someone who likes to eat at a particular restaurant, give a gift certificate to that restaurant. If you know someone who likes having their hair cut at a certain salon, or their lawn cut by a certain landscape team ... give their services. Stop giving everything "Made in China" for crying out loud. 

Here's a song that reminds me greatly of my roots. Love this song!

Photo Copyright: Eva Marie Everson

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Musings on All Things Southern

Have you ever sat under a magnolia tree?

There are several types of magnolia tree, but the ones I grew up around--the Southern Magnolia--are all thick in the trunk, with dark green, glossy leaves, and the most fragrant flower, some pink, some white. So massive can these beauties grow, one can sit under them as a child and pretend she is inside a great cathedral, or inside her own home. Or, if caught in a summer shower, one can rest under the tree and stay relatively dry.

The flower, which can grow to the size of a child's head, are not only marvelous for their fragrant offering to the outdoors, they bring the same to the inside of a house. I've clipped many a magnolia flower and allowed them to rest inside a bowl of water. A perfect centerpiece or decorative idea.

Magnolias are so prevalent in the South, streets are named after them. Festivals. Stores. Plantations.

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Charleston, South Carolina. I was a guest in the home of a childhood friend who lived in nearby (and equally beautiful and historic) Summersville, but made the short trip into the old Southern city several times in just a few days. One route--Ashley River Road/Hwy 61--afforded me with a remarkable view, not to mention a glimpse back to the past.

As the sun danced between the canopy of trees lining both sides of the road, I exclaimed, "Can you imagine taking this road in the days of horse and buggy? How absolutely romantic and inspiring it must have been!"

I was with fellow author Tim Owens at the time. Tim, who takes this trip most weekdays, said, "I love this route. This is my time with God. To think. To be quiet. Some people want to four-lane this road. I can only hope it doesn't happen."

Me, too.

But back to Magnolia Plantation. If you are ever in the Charleston area, I would like to recommend taking a few hours away from the old city to this grand remembrance of the Old South. I was only fortunate enough to drive past it several times and, quite honestly, this writer's mind went creative-crazy.

If, for whatever reason, you cannot make it to Charleston, enjoy the virtual tour here: http://www.magnoliaplantation.com/

(Photos from http://www.magnoliaplantation.com/)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday's Southern Style Tunes

Special spot with Larry Gatlin...
More serious fun...