Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 21, 2013


We traveled to Tennessee to visit family. It was a crazy, cold weekend itinerary involving football games and marching band competitions - and our talented son-in-law cooked up a batch of his infamously delicious gumbo! 

Here's what I learned from Wikipedia.  Gumbo is a dish that originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th Century.  Typically  it is a strong-flavored stock with meat or shellfish, a thickener, and seasoning vegetables.  It may also include the trio of celery, bell peppers and onion, know as the "holy trinity" in Cajun cuisine. 

Gumbo is often categorized by the type of thickener used: the African vegetable okra, the Choctaw spice file powder (dried and ground sassafras leaves), or roux,  the French base made of flour and fat. The dish likely derived its name from either the Bantu word for okra (ki ngombo) or the Choctaw word for filĂ© (kombo).  Creole gumbo contains shellfish.  Cajun gumbo varies but often has a dark roux with shellfish or fowl, but not together. Gumbo is traditionally served over rice.

 Danny added smoked sausages and diced chicken breast to the pan to brown.  

The next addition into the pot was two packaged of cut okra, partially thawed.

And a few bay leaves...
Garlic salt, basil, oregano onion... 
and two sliced jalapeno peppers.  

Danny gave the roux another stir.
...and then added it into the pot of gumbo ingredients.

And after an hour (or more if you want) simmering to blend the ingredients.  

We served the Gumbo over a bowl of steamed brown rice.  

Friday, November 1, 2013


We were invited to fly to Nashville to visit with Mike's daughter and family. 
It was also a chance to meet Danny's cousin Dena and Aunt Cathy, who share their home. 
Dena is a very sweet person whom I truly enjoyed getting to know better.  
She is caretaker to her Aunt Cathy. 
So caring and giving - makes you want to be a better person.

Naturally we spent a day visiting the Grand Ole Opry.  
Even if you aren't a country music fan you should still go visit.  
The history behind the scenes was very exciting.  
And since I am a fan of the show "Nashville" I really enjoyed the 'behind the scene' stories. 

Natchez Trace Bridge

We enjoyed a brunch at Loveless Cafe - famous for their biscuits.  There was an hour waiting time but we were able to pass the time wandering around the property and the many little shops.

Downtown Franklin, Tennessee

Durham Manor

Baxter found a cozy place to nap with Papa. 

We were also able to enjoy some time with granddaughter Mikayla.
Mikayla is ready for Halloween - they were inspired by the movie "Castaway"

Caleb is a inspirational musician. 
We also had an opportunity to see grandson Caleb march with the high school band at a football half time and then participate in a marching competition at Vanderbilt University. 

Thank you Tonya, Danny and family for a very special weekend.