Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Southern Style Meal in Kings Mountain, NC

Dan and I were in Shelby recently visiting with friends and relatives, and on our return home we had planned to meet my good friend PJ (Peggy Jean and I have been friends since first grade) in Kings Mountain for lunch.  Our original plan was to meet at Hardee's, but PJ's son-in-law Darryl suggested a family restaurant, Mountain View, that had good food and a quieter place for a visit. 

Mountain View specializes in home-cooked Southern style cuisine.  There were several lunch specials and a wide variety of choices on the menu.  All were reasonably priced.

Darryl opted for the steak and gravy special, and he cleaned his plate with great satisfaction.
Steak and gravy, a lunch special.

Dan liked the fried catfish special a lot, and Dan is something of a connoisseur of seafood so it must have been good. 

PJ and I each had a vegetable plate.  My selection of turnip greens, mac n' cheese, and beets along with banana pudding (obviously not a vegetable but a choice item on the veggie plate menu) was nicely prepared and the portions were filling. I liked having banana pudding as a choice---the perfect dessert for a southern meal. And the sweet tea was perfect---not too sweet as is often the case.
My plate of turnip greens, mac and cheese, pickled beets and banana pudding.

 The basket of hot cornmeal muffins was a nice complement for all our selections.  (The serving was so ample that I had a few to bring home for an afternoon snack of cornbread and milk---yummy.)
Wonderful corn muffins.

It had been a while since I had seen PJ's grandchildren and my how they have grown!  It seems like yesterday they were just toddlers.
PJ's granddaughter Kristin.

PJ's grandson Wesley.

The restaurant is conveniently located just off Interstate 85 at  100 W King St.  I'm sure that Dan and I will be returning to this restaurant when we visit Cleveland County---the food is good, the service excellent and the prices quite reasonable---especially when we might be hankering for a truly southern style meal served with southern hospitality.
 Mountain View Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fifty Shades of Green in Budleigh

Beautiful yard in Budleigh.

There are many beautifully landscaped yards in our Budleigh neighborhood that I enjoy when I'm out walking Maggie.  We don't have an official Yard of the Month, but I'm personally choosing my "Yard of the Month" and it's a beauty over on Chester Road.  It is truly breathtaking. 
Hydrangeas and roses.
The bank of blue hydrangeas are just a little past their peak, but still quite nice.
A carpet of green.
Between and around the islands of shrubs and flowering plants is a carpet of grass.  And the white daises among the blue hydrangeas and red of the Japanese maple make for a nice color palette. 
Daisies, hydrangeas and Japanese maple.
Many shades of green.
There are many (okay maybe there aren't fifty) shades of green in the shrubbery from dark forest green to a light lime green. 
My selection for "Yard of the Month" in our neighborhood.

I'm heading out right now for a walk that will take me around the corner to Chester Road where I will once again enjoy this lovely landscape.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Perigee or Super Moon, June 23, 2013

Once long ago when I was temporarily teaching earth science, I remember we studied perigee and apogee of the moon.  Somehow those two terms stuck in my mind all these years, so when I saw that there was going to be a perigee moon, I knew just what that meant.  The moon is nearest the earth in its orbit and consequently appears brighter and larger than usual. 

I was fairly confident that I would not be able to get a good photo of this, because I never seem to be able to get an acceptable photo of the moon, so I've quit trying.  My niece Kelly has gotten some good ones.  One in particular I like very much where it looks like her son Andy is holding the moon.
Andy "holding" the moon. (Photo by Kelly Cabaniss Snellings.)
And another one of the full moon coming over the trees. 
Full moon rising. (Photo by Kelly Cabaniss Snellings.)
Super moon (Photo by Kelly Cabaniss Snellings.)

 I snagged some off the internet to share with you.
From the WRAL website (Photo AP Julio Cortez)
In Charlotte, NC (AP Photo Chuck Burton.)

It was rainy and cloudy, so I didn't even get to see the perigee moon. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Belated Father's Day Dinner at Watts Grocery

Watts Grocery in Durham, NC
Dan and I met Laura and Anthony in Durham for dinner last night to celebrate a late Father's Day.  Laura made a reservation for an early seating at Watts Grocery, the popular restaurant on Broad Street, because we wanted to beat the crowd.  We find the food here exceptional, but when it is crowded the noise is quite bothersome.

The food is always fresh and whenever possible local.  I had had a late lunch, so I chose a starter as my entree.  The waitress recommended the salad special of local heirloom tomatoes and fava beans served on top of their signature cornbread and garnished with fresh basil, goat cheese and a creamy vinaigrette dressing. The tomatoes tasted like "real" tomatoes (like homegrown tomatoes of my childhood) and the creamy dressing complemented the tomatoes and fava beans perfectly.  The salad was filling yet left room for dessert.  I always try to leave room for dessert.
Heirloom tomato and fava bean salad topped with fresh basil and goat cheese.

Dan and Anthony enjoyed grilled local yellow fin tuna with peas and mushrooms which they pronounced delicious.  Laura was pleased with her fish stew as well.  The presentation of all our selections was beautiful and the serving size just perfect.  

For dessert, Dan was a bit disappointed in the Sour Lime Sorbet which he found a little bit too sour and slightly bitter.  Anthony was happy with his cheesecake with blueberry sauce.  
Cheesecake with blueberry sauce. (Photo by Anthony Benson.)

I was intrigued with the Summer Berry Slump and asked the waitress what constituted a slump as opposed to say a cobbler, or a crisp, or a buckle.  She explained that the topping was more cake-like than the crust of a cobbler.  And the topping on this Slump practically melted in one's mouth.  I shared this dessert with Laura, and we both surmised there must be a lot of butter in the topping. Oh so good.  The berries were blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.  Buttermilk ice cream on top provided a slight tartness that was perfect with the sweetness of the cake and berries.  
Summer Berry Slump with Buttermilk Ice Cream. (Photo by Anthony Benson.)

Watts Grocery is best known for its brunches, apparently.  If their brunch is any better than our dinner, then I can't wait to give it a try.  We'll be back.Gadding About with Grandpat Research Triangle restaurants
Watts Grocery on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Surprise Non-Birthday, Birthday Party

Well, I'm certainly not counting!

I've been known to pull off a number of surprise birthday parties in the past, but this time the tables were turned on me, and boy was I surprised.  With the help of her daughters I had surprised my sister, Martha, with a party on her 70th birthday.
My sister Martha at her Surprise Birthday Party that I arranged.

But now Martha with the help of her daughters took the opportunity of my recent visit in Shelby to surprise me with an early birthday party (my birthday is actually in August).
I was definitely surprised. (Photo by Kelly Snellings).

Dan was surprised as well and enjoying it. (Photo by Martha Cabaniss)

My niece CeCe and her husband Louie had asked Dan and me to go to the Smoke on the Square with them for dinner on Monday night.  Smoke on the Square is a favorite place of mine, and Dan and I assumed the four of us were just out for a quiet dinner. When we walked in to be seated I noticed there seemed to be a group of folks in one room, and then when I got closer I saw my sister. and the "group" turned out to be my whole extended Cleveland County family (except Ally who was in Charlotte and had to work) including little Cason, the first great grand child in the family.
My sister Martha and brother-in-law Hal and me enjoying the party. (Photo by Laura Grigg.)

My niece CeCe with Cason. (Photo by Martha Cabaniss).
My niece Kelly with me. ( Photo by Laura Grigg.)
My niece, Leslie. (Photo by Martha Cabaniss)
Cute little Cason ready to eat. (Photo by Martha Cabaniss)

There were gifts and a birthday cake.
My birthday cake.

A photo of me at my first Easter with my mother and Aunt Betsey. What a nice gift. (Photo by Laura Grigg.)

This is the first surprise birthday I ever had and it was so much fun, and it was so good to see the whole family.  We don't get to Shelby often, and rarely do we get together with all the family and one time.

Thanks to all of my family.  I love you all !!!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream

Fresh Local Ice Cream on Glenwood Avenue.

Now that the weather is warming and it's almost summer, my attention turns to ice cream.  Oh who am I kidding, I love ice cream all season long.  There's no better place in Raleigh, NC to get ice cream than the Fresh Local Ice Cream Shop over on Glenwood Avenue.

Many different flavors.
They use local fresh dairy products.

This must be one of Raleigh's best kept secrets.  The Shop is in a little building that was formerly a bank in the Oak Park Shopping Center, and it is easily missed when cruising down Glenwood.  If you know where Taverna Agora, the Greek restaurant, is, Fresh Local is next door to the east.
Maple-walnut ice cream.

To my knowledge, this is the only place in Raleigh, that one can find maple-walnut ice cream.  I discovered this flavor many years ago in Nova Scotia.  There the flavor is readily available in cartons in Sobey's, but my favorite is down in Halifax at Cow's Ice Cream.  But in Raleigh, Fresh Local Ice Cream is my favorite place for any kind of ice cream, but especially maple-walnut.
They make ice cream cakes for special occasions.
They have fresh lemonade and strawberry lemonade too.

My friend, Marcia, and I have made a pact to limit the amount of sweets we eat in June---trying to lose a bit of weight---and ice cream is considered "a sweet".  Once a week, however, we have agreed that when we get together we will allow ourselves a trip over to Fresh Local Ice Cream, where I will surely have a maple-walnut ice cream milkshake.
Maple-walnut milkshake.

If you haven't discovered this little shop over on Glenwood, and if you like ice cream, you should hurry on over to Fresh Local Ice Cream.   You won't be disappointed.

 Fresh Local Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

Monday, June 10, 2013

Grandson Zach Graduates from Broughton High School

Zach with his Mom and Dad. (Dad graduated from Broughton too.)
It hardly seems possible, but my first grandson graduated from high school today.  It seems like just a bit ago that he was a toddler coming over to spend the night with GrandPat. 
Zach at age two.
Zach at eighteen.
 He's grown into a fine young man, and we are very proud of him.  He's cute as a button, smart, a fine athlete, but most of all he is a kind and thoughtful young man.  He'll be in college at NC State University so he won't be far away.  He will be staying in the dorm though, so we may not see him as much as we would like. 

Classmates Will and Zach will be roommates at NC State University in the fall.

Honors and service cords.
 I've thoroughly enjoyed the role of Grandmother to him and to his three younger siblings. 
Zach with his family and the Broughton High Bell Tower in the background.
We will have more graduations on the horizon.  The next in 2015, then 2018, then 2020. 
Zach with his girl friend, Claire.

Zach and GrandPat. 

Good luck Zach in whatever the future holds.  Love you.