Monday, April 30, 2012

Saturday in Shelby

I was in Cleveland County over the weekend, and I spent a busy day in Shelby on Saturday.  There were lots of things to do.  My day in photos.

Book Sale at the Library.
Cleveland Memorial Library Book Sale.

European Classic Car Show.

Foothills Farmers Market in downtown Shelby, Court Square.
Fresh eggs.

Fresh vegetables.

My Chatfield neighbor, Pam's lavender.

Arts and crafts on the Square.
Wood art.

Carrousel Festival at the City Park.

The merry-go-round.
I was tired by the end of the afternoon.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Breakfast at Suppertime at The Shelby Cafe

The Shelby Cafe on South Lafayette Street is a Shelby, NC, icon, and it is known for its breakfasts which can be ordered all day.  It had been a long time since I had been there---probably when I was a college student many years ago---but my friend PJ, two of her grands and I ate there on Friday night. 
The Window of the Cafe.
Whenever I am in Shelby, I usually eat livermush in some form or fashion.  I knew the Shelby Cafe would have livermush.  I ordered the Mayor's Special Sandwich: eggs scrambled with livermush and cheese and wrapped in pita bread.  It was good.
The Mayor's Sandwich.

It was fun visiting this place again after all these years.  The memorabilia of bygone days make for a walk down memory lane.
Old coke cooler.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

High on Sugar

On Tuesday evening at the Raleigh Convention Center, students from Wake Tech's Culinary Program were showing off their cooking, baking, cake decorating and ice carving skills.  As part of the entrance fee to the event, one received coupons that could be exchanged for samples of the many different foods being prepared.  I was part of the large crowd that showed up to partake.
Large crowd at Convention Center.
Beautiful ice carvings.
There were mouth-watering displays of bread of all kinds. And not all the food being prepared were desserts.  I sampled the delicious white gazpacho served in shooters.
Creative display of breads.
White gazpacho served in shooters.
There were many beautifully decorated cakes and here is the one judges chose as the winner:
The blue ribbon cake.

For my samples I concentrated on the desserts.
Opera cakes.
Small chocolate chess pies.

Chocolate mousse.

I left with an appreciation of the talents of the students in the Wake Tech Culinary Program.  And a sugar high!

Friday, April 27, 2012

"The Holy Grail of Collards"

George's yellow-cabbage collards.
The Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market opened Wednesday at the City Plaza on Fayetteville Street, and yellow-cabbage collards were available for tasting and for purchase.  Bob Garner, a Southern food expert, explained that this variety of collards is more tender and sweeter than the ordinary green collards.  He described them as "the holy grail of collards".
George Wooten (left) and Bob Garner describing the collards.
This variety of collards is not grown by commercial farms, but by farmers in the Edgecombe County area of North Carolina.  The Pit, a restaurant in downtown Raleigh, includes these in their menu, and there were samples available from George Wooten at the Market.  I tried them, and they are delicious.  George also had some for sale, and I brought some home to cook.  I thought even Dan, who is not a fan of collards, might like these.
Collards cooking with a ham hock according to George's instructions.

So I cooked these last night. We had a real southern meal---collards and cornbread, and I even had some buttermilk.  I think maybe Dan does like these collards better than the dark green ones.
A real southern meal: collards, cornbread, 'maters, and buttermilk. 
 Why don't you go down to the City Plaza in Raleigh some Wednesday and get some of George's special collards?  I think you will like them.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Governor's Mansion Garden Tour

The Governor's Mansion, Raleigh, NC (Photo from Wikipedia website.)
On Saturday a tour of the gardens of the Executive Mansion was part of the Science Festival held in downtown Raleigh.  After the lecture on herbs at Logan's I dashed over to Blount Street and made a quick tour of the gardens.  Many of the plants were at their peak.  Let's have a peek.
Beautiful old oak tree.
Pretty in pink.
Bird feeders by Mary Jo Stephenson in the Victorian Garden.
The Rose Garden.

Artichokes in the Vegetable Garden.

Fig tree near Vegetable Garden.
A Clyde Jones critter in the children's play area.
In the spring Adult Garden Tours are on Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. through June 7, 2012.  Individuals and groups can contact Capital Area Visitor Services at 919-807-7950 or toll-free at 866-724-8687 to schedule a tour, preferably two weeks in advance.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Angus Barn's Chocolate Chess Pie

Image from the Angus Barn website.
A famous dessert from the Angus Barn is their chocolate chess pie. I made it recently. As you may know from some of my earlier posts, I'm trying chocolate recipes to decide what I'll take to the Chocolate Festival in Moore County.  This is a great pie, very rich, and it will satisfy your chocolate craving.
A really, really good chocolate chess pie.


    • 1 unbaked pie shell
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 2 (1 ounce) Bakers semi-sweet chocolate baking squares
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 dash salt


  1. Melt butter and chocolate
  2. Mix with other ingredients which have been blended together.
  3. Pour into pie crust,.
  4. Bake 35 minutes, at 350.
  5. Top with whipped cream.  (Except I didn't when I made it.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Herb Class at Logan's

Herb Class at Logan's Garden Shop
Logan's One Stop Garden Shop is one of my favorite places to buy plants and other items for the garden.  This past Saturday I attended a class on raising and using herbs.  We have had a nice rosemary plant for several years now where I can get fresh rosemary whenever I need it.  In the summers at Marble Mountain I usually grow several kinds of basil and chives.  But Terry Harper of Logan's introduced me to several new herbs in the class on Saturday.  She covered the ins and outs of growing herbs as well as how to use them in cooking. 
Good crowd to learn about growing herbs.
Terry Harper of Logan's is very knowledgeable about growing and using herbs.
Logan's is located in the space that formerly housed the Seaboard Railway station, and trains still pass by as one did during the lecture on Saturday. 
Train in background passing by during the class.
Logan's has a great selection of herbs.
Basil at Logan's
I hope everyone protected their basil because it was COLD last night.
I think I'll experiment with growing a few more herbs this summer.  If you're in Raleigh, you might want to check out Logan's One Stop Garden Shop.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Joe's Maple Syrup

We've had a wonderful visit with Joe and Alice Richardson from upstate New York over the weekend.  Joe was the graduate student who was with Dan at the time of the crocodile attack.  Joe retired from the faculty of Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania where he spent his career as a biologist after getting his PhD. at Duke University.  He and Alice were back in the Triangle where Alice was attending the 50th Reunion of her 1962 graduating class of Duke.

When Joe retired several years ago, he and Alice moved to a wonderful farm in Upstate New York.  They have gardened and raised chickens and for a couple of years Joe made maple syrup by tapping two or three of the maple trees on their property.  He brought us a jar of his homemade syrup while visiting this weekend.  It was really quite tasty, and I used some to glaze walnuts and pecans.
Joe and his homemade syrup.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Pincushion Flower

In Trader Joe's the other day I was choosing a bouquet of flowers (they have such a lovely selection and such reasonable prices) and looking for something coral/orange to use for an arrangement on the counter in our utility room---that's the accent color in that room.  The bouquet I chose had a very unusual flower and being a botanist I had to discover its identity.

I learned that it is a plant native to South Africa, and its common name is the pincushion flower. The botanical name is Leucospermum cordifolium. It certainly is an interesting flower and made for a nice arrangement.

It matched our accent colors in the room very nicely.
Painting in utility room.
Monkey in utility room.

I also found images where it was used in a bridesmaid's bouquet and in other unusual arrangements. 
Photo Credit: Hitched Weddings & Events
Photo Credit: The Knot
It's too bad the plant won't grow here, but I'll be on the lookout for this flower again.