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As promised, I have an absolutely delicious post for you to devour! Looking for a fun little way to pack something healthy into our reunion dishes, Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder and I set out to make sweet little cakes with sneaky hidden veggies in them. (Now, I do realize that these foods were in no way ‘healthy’, but let’s not spoil the fun).
Allow me to introduce you to our two little friends…
This past Saturday was the T.J. “Bose” Tanner Reunion. As promised, I slaved away to deliver several late-night, back-breaking, made-from-scratch dishes. I was not alone in this home-cooked effort. I was pleasantly surprised to see tons of home cooked dishes and only a few store bought selections. Way to go Tanner Family! To give you all a little giggle, I took some pictures of Saturday’s culprits. (You know who you are, but we love you anyway.)
In true Southern fashion I made hand-rolled chicken and dumplins’. I have to say the broth turned out excellent this time around and I was even able to pick up a few extra dumplin’ makin’ tips from Mema. She taught me to roll the dumplins’ super thin. (I mean SUPER thin, they were almost transparent.) She told me Papa’s Aunt Ola Maude use to make them super thin and always placed them in the refrigerator to dry out even more. This yields a tougher dumplin’ that will hold together in the boiling broth.
The real taste test for these dumplins’ came when they were placed on the serving table of the reunion. Those people have seen some serious eatin’ and have tasted the best of the best. While eating, I heard Uncle Ralph, the eldest of Mema’s six siblings, ask “Who made the dumplins’?” I think he was quite surprised to find that such a young family cook packed so much flavor in one pot! (blush) He is married to one of best cooks in the family, so to have his nod of approval meant so much to me.
Another amazing young cook in our family is my 11-year-old sister, Kameryn. She made an adorable strawberry dessert that is sure to make anyone “smile”.
Of course we couldn’t bring something savory to the reunion with out dabbling in something sweet. Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder and I made two delicious desserts using somewhat unexpected ingredients. Stay tuned for more details…
1. a gathering of relatives, friends, or associates at regular intervals or after searation: a family reunion.
Stokesville Baptist Church, circa 1908
It’s that time of year again, the annual T.J. “Bose” Tanner Reunion. Each year the descendants of Bose Tanner gather at the Social Hall of the beautiful and quaint Stokesville Baptist Church in Axson, Georgia. I have many fond memories of attending these reunions as a child, but if one memory has to stand out it is the FOOD! There is one thing the Tanners love to do – eat! Bearing vegetables, casseroles, cakes, pies and fried chicken, the lovely Southern ladies would fill the center 30-foot long table with all kinds of delicious home-cooked dishes. There is no other place that has played host to that kind of serious cookin’.
Sadly, as many of these sweet ladies passed away, so did the depth of home cooked dishes. One year, dare I say, a bucket of KFC made its way in. Oh lawdy, bring out the smelling spices I think I’m gonna faint!
So many things have changed since the days of yesteryear. We are all far too busy and barely have time to slow down and eat, yet alone cook a homemade meal from scratch. I admit I am guilty of the occasional drive thru, so convenient, so quick. However, I am a strong believer that for at least one day of the year the modern ladies of the family should bring it back to the basics; honor the slow-paced, hard-boiled, hand-rolled, gently-seasoned, cooked-to-perfection lady roots of our family. In a way, a nod to their tremendous efforts.
I am sure I will still see cakes in plastic grocery store containers, frozen biscuits and even the occasional KFC bucket, but I am committed to delivering traditional, made with love, home cooked dishes. So push up your sleeves and bust out the aprons, it’s gonna be a long night!
This year Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder and I celebrated our first Valentine’s Day as Mr & Mrs. Wanting to make this year extra special, Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder had lots of fun surprises and sweet little touches planned for the weekend. He even special ordered SNOW for the occasion!
day 1: Friday
Grabbed a quick salad for dinner and had an impromptu snowball fight in the parking lot. Snow much fun! I definitely threw the most snow balls, but Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder wins for the best shot…right in the face! Ear, nose, eye and mouth. Frozen fingers; warm hearts.
day 2: Saturday
Waking up with the sun (No, this is not a common occurance), we bundled up and decided to explore the winter wonderland outside. We decided to make the 2-mile trek to the Waffle House for breakfast and take some pictures along the way. I know this sounds silly, but it is actually a great memory I have from my childhood. When it snowed one year, my Dad walked me and my little sister up to the Waffle House near our house. I always thought that was such a big deal. Now we will always have our own special memory of walking to the Waffle House on a quiet, snowy day.
Funny sidenote: I actually wiped out not 20 feet from our house. Teared up a little, but ended up laughing at how silly I must have looked!
Later that afternoon, a beautiful single red tulip on my nightstand. So sweet. We played 20 Questions in order for me to figure out where we were going for dinner. Once the restaurant was revealed, Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder told me each of their dishes are under 475 calories. I was skeptical, but have to say very pleasantly surprised. Our meal was absolutely wonderful. Using many fresh, seasonal ingredients, each dish had a burst of flavor and uniqueness about it. The restaurant is also known for their “Mini Indulgences“, which are shot size desserts of all varieties. We came back home after dinner to hang out before heading out to Whole World Theater (my little surprise for my Valentine). Like magic, an entire bouquet of red tulips had appeared on our coffee table. He’s a sneaky one.
Some of the best laughs we have had in a long time came from the hilarious Whole World Theater. It was a perfect compliment to our spontaneous, laughter-filled weekend.
day 3: Sunday
Who doesn’t like waking up to home-cooked breakfast? While snoozing on the couch watching the weather, my dearest valentine cooked the sweetest breakfast. I have told him before how much I loved the sweet little things my mom did for us as children, such as heart shaped pancakes for Valentine’s Day, green pancakes for St. Patty’s Day, etc. After refusing to let me help in the slightest (I didn’t put up much of a fight), he placed the most adorable plate of pancakes and bouquet of red roses in front of me. I could have just cried. He remembered my little stories of pink heart cakes and had made them especially for me.
Just when I thought the weekend’s surprises were over, Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder busted out champagne and strawberries after dinner. Not just any champagne I might add, it was the same champagne that we had on our wedding night. Melt.
With Valentine’s in the air, I thought this gave me an excuse to be a little mushy. Never did I imagine that I would end up with such a sweet, kind-hearted and selfless valentine as Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder. Designing a perfect match for me was no easy task, and some would argue quite impossible. But what ever happened along the way, it molded the most perfect person for me. (thump thump)
When I saw this idea featured on Design Sponge, I just knew it would be perfect for Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder. A small little gesture to let him know how much I appreciate all of the things he does for me. For working hard all day long, being a manly-man and taking on the tons of little projects around house and still finding time to let me know I am his #1.
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