Road Trip US90, the MS Coast

A friend and I both needed a break so, a road trip was in order. We drove south and then along US Hwy90 and stopped in many of the cities that dot the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I have not been on the coast since I was a teenager. We’ve all done that Ship Island trip… a right of passage, dontcha know? I had remembered Biloxi, Gulf Port, Bay St. Louis as kind of run down and parts of the coast seedy. My impression as a teenager, now mind. Keep reading, please. A revitalization of the coast has happened since Hurricane Katrina. The Mississippi Gulf Coast is alive and well and open! The architecture of the old homes and new residences is spectacular. The updated boardwalk is inviting and kept very well.

Here are recommendations:

White Pillars. 1696 Beach Blvd, Biloxi

Here’s a view of their brunch menu.
Shrimp Avocado Toast
Shrimp and Grits – so good
Flourless Chocolate Torte and a French 75

White Pillars sources practically everything they serve locally and their wait staff is knowledgeable and friendly. One of my new favorites is the coffee at White Pillars. They filled our cups with a beautiful blend from Coast Roast Coffee and Tea. We asked where they were located and made a beeline to get some. Here’s the address: Coast Roast 2510 16th Street, Gulfport. They will grind your beans, while you wait. Great service.

In Bay St Louis, we found eats at The Mockingbird Cafe. A very friendly, casual place with good food. Address: 110 2nd St, Bay St. Louis

For shopping, try The Shops at Century Hall. If you have a corner in your home that needs cozying up or a gift, this is the place. I bought a little white unicorn made of tin. Address:

112 2nd St., Bay St. Louis

Detail of the mural painted by Anderson on the walls of the community center, adjacent to the museum

The fourth town we visited was Ocean Springs. Home to the Walter Anderson Museum, this revamped downtown is filled with boutiques and art galleries. Address for the museum:

510 Washington Ave, Ocean Springs

Here are two shops we recommend:

The Pink Rooster 622 Washington Ave, Ocean Springs

I found lovely, vintage looking table linens and my friend found handmade jewelry. Local artists’ works filled the old house turned gallery/shop

The Candy Cottage 702 Washington Ave, Ocean Springs

Let them put together a sweet gift box, filled with homemade chocolates, pralines or other old fashioned confections. I spent the week looking for salt water taffy and found it there. The best I’ve ever had.

My haul from the drive along US Hwy 90

Traveling Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

Use the Linen Napkins

I did wake up in time for breakfast this morning. A fried blindfolded egg (my Daddy taught me), with mayhaw jelly on an #Bay’sEnglishMuffin, a side of bacon, yogurt with a chopped banana and a cup of #CommunityCoffee. Notice the pretty linen napkin and #FireKing dishes. The journal front says to write your story. To do that well we need to slow down a bit. Saturday mornings are my favorite time for that. So, use the lovely dishes. Go to the linen cupboard and get out a pretty napkin. Slow down when you can. Lord knows life will speed up soon enough.
Blessings for a quiet Saturday.
https://www.instagram.com/p/CEeZ4bLBrli7RNW6t8EpDTrq4V1MHOv0jm0XIM0/?igshid=67rnucfggj9g

Saturday breakfast

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Cue the Sad Music

Earlier in the year I put up mayhaws in quart size freezer bags, for later jelly making. Today, I thought, would be the day to fill the jelly cupboard. Well…

I have been extremely tired, TIRED all week. It’s Saturday and the bed was really comfortable. Marigold needed to go out at 6 this morning, but I went back to bed. Just A few minutes more of sleep, I told myself. Didn’t get up till a quarter to 9. I never sleep that late. Guess I needed the extra rest.

The usual big farmhouse breakfast was skipped this morning. Marigold missed her Saturday bacon.

Anyway, I gathered supplies to make the jelly, placed the berries in the Dutch oven to cook down. Being tired, I had trouble staying focused. Multitasking is usually my strong suit, but I got distracted and the berries burned, stuck to the pot burned. Cue the sad music.

Cue the sad music.

Sad for a minute, all was not lost. Juice in the freezer was put in a freshly cleaned Dutch oven and I started over. And now my jelly cupboard runneth over.

Restful blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

Pepper Jelly and Easy Oatmeal Cookies

It has been a busy day in the Exile’s Kitchen. Fresh bell peppers were cored, blanched, shocked and placed in freezer bags for future meals.

Jalapeno peppers were made into jars of pepper jelly.

A simple recipe, here is what I did:

Finely chop 1 small red bell pepper. In a blender, puree 1 cup jalapeno peppers that have been seeded and deveined. Place both kinds of peppers in an 8 quart pot. Over medium high heat, add 1 1/2 cups white vinegar. Bring this to a boil and add a box of Sure-Jell. Stir in, gradually, 6 cups of white sugar and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Return mixture to a boil and add a few drops of pink food coloring, if you wish. Ladle into hot sterilized jars, seal with lids and waterbath process for 5 minutes. Remove from canner and wait for sound of the lids sealing. That delightful, happy pop is so satifying. I taste tested with a potato chip in place of cracker.

Next in the recipe line up was Easy oatmeal Cookies. This recipe makes a bunch, sure to fill up your favorite cookie jar.

Preheat oven to 350° and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a big mixer bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup lard, 1 egg and 1/2cup brown sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Add 1 yellow cake mix, 2 cups quick oats, 1/4 cup of dried craisins, raisins, salted sunflower seeds and pecans. Incorporate well. Using a cookie scoop, drop onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Using a small glass dipped into granulated sugar, gently press each cookie. These cookies spread a little, so don’t crowd them. Bake until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet, then move to a rack to finish cool.

Kitchen Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

A Weekend in August

I haven’t written about Marigold in a while. She made three years in late March. An easy going bloodhound, she’s a good companion in all ways but one: riding in the car. She enjoys the car ride, but alerts everyone on the streets that she’s out for a ride. Saturday afternoon was no exception. Big barks, happy whimpers, nose smudges on the windows; she fills the back seat.

Just before getting to a crossroads, I saw a long white hearse, followed by a big white van. Oh no, I thought. A funeral procession, followed by many cars with their lights on. Now, in our part of the world, it is a courtesy to pull onto the shoulder of the road, as the funeral passes. So, our progress to our destination was delayed. Marigold doesn’t like to wait. Here was her reaction.

Impatient Marigold.
Yes, lots of dog hair in my car.
And no, I am not the best videographer.

Here is something I am good at.

Bread pudding Bread Pudding the Best Way to Recycle

Blessings for a great August from the Exile’s Kitchen.

Continue reading A Weekend in August

Sum, Sum, Sum, Summa, Summa, Summatime

It is very satisfying to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Flower gathering this morning netted buckets of flowers. After lunch; a banana split made with homemade mayhaw ice cream. Oh, my word! https://www.instagram.com/p/CCgoLbnBYbsz3ggIILZeXTki0lE4a2IOws1uU80/?igshid=15glrnwfpkdhc

No churn ice cream taken up to the top level, with mayhaw syrup swirled in. Last week was blueberry homemade ice cream, this week mayhaw. Such a pretty pink. The berry taste of mayhaw makes this ice cream a delightful change from your ordinary chocolate or vanilla. Follow the recipe for my No-churn Ice Cream from Try These Two Together, using a simple syrup made with the juice of mayhaws and sugar.

Continue reading Sum, Sum, Sum, Summa, Summa, Summatime

Easy Pickings

Homemade blueberry ice cream and choco chip cookie bar. Yum! Happy 4th of July!🇺🇸 https://www.instagram.com/p/CCO7rf3B5UR30v6Z7n6JKMKdv0cMVBOuT8r2v00/?igshid=6n1r36ax29k2

After picking two gallons of blueberries the conventional way, staining figures purple, sweat covering our brows and running between shoulder blades, a brilliant thought entered our collective heads.

“Don’t they have machines in commercial blueberry fields to shake the berries off?” my middle son asked.

“Yes, I believe they do,” I answered. “How ’bout you go in the house and get a sheet and we’ll spread it under the bushes and shake them by hand.”

Eureka! Plump purple berries bounced to the tarps; it worked like a charm. Of course, there were sticks to clear from the gathering of berries, but still a good method for berry picking.

For our Independence Day celebration, my no-churn ice cream recipe got a new flavor. I mixed about a cup of fresh blueberries, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup water and cooked that down into a syrup. Cooled a little bit, the blueberry syrup was swirled into the whipped cream and sweetened condensed milk. Here’s my recipe No-churn Ice Cream

Fourth of July Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

Working smarter, not harder.

Continue reading Easy Pickings

It’s Friday

Good morning, sunshine. It is Friday, y’all. https://www.instagram.com/p/CBVX6XPBWmBQZ-9v9eNbU69lXsYgZIXLj5rN1o0/?igshid=1etlmevt6q62t

I can’t not talk about the weather. It takes hold of everyday life and changes my plans. A tropical storm started out on one side of the country Amanda, crossed the Ucitan and became Cristobol, bringing with it rain and high winds.

The storm knocked down most of my flower patch. Roots are exposed. Plants, still living, are growing crooked. The stems travel along the ground, but the bloom at the end turns upward, trying to face the sun. I will endeavor this weekend to righten the storms battering. Wooden stakes, jute twine, hammer and elbow grease should do the trick.

This is a picture of what our nation is going through. We are battered by a storm whose name keeps changing. We’re knocked down. Running low. But at the end, we need to look upward.

Blessings for a safe weekend from the Exile’s Kitchen.