So yesterday was a doozy here in Northwest Georgia. Tornado warnings, torrential rain, and one F2 tornado touchdown an hour North of here. The rain caused rivers of mulch and mud to wash down our landscaping. I just looked out the window to see our Golden Retriever laying in a nice nest of it. That’s going to be fun when she comes inside! Ohh Belle.. I love you anyway.
It’s Sunday, and I wanted to make a nice big dinner for my family. My daughter suggested spaghetti and meatballs, and I found a wonderful recipe in Lidia Bastianich’s most recent cookbook, Lidia’s Favorite Recipes.
Since we were going Italian, I wanted to make something else from the book as an appetizer. Once I saw the arancini di roso (fried balls of risotto), that was it. I had always wanted to try making them but was too intimidated. It all came out fantastic. I am exhausted but it was worth it.
As I was cooking for almost three hours this afternoon, I listened to my favorite musical artist of all time, Luciano Pavarotti. He seemed especially fitting for an Italian Sunday dinner. His voice should be the eighth wonder of the world, and I wish he were still alive. I was lucky enough to see him perform in Chicago when I was much younger, and I will never forget it. While I had a poster of Pearl Jam in my freshman year dorm room, right next to it was Luciano’s poster. Here are two of my favorite performances of his in Rome.. buona notte!
My daughter has a betta fish. His name is Nemo. Nemo thinks I’m crazy since I just took a million pictures of him.
His iridescent blue tail flows like a silk evening gown.
His face and scales remind me of fish featured in ancient Japanese art.
My daughter loves Nemo. I bought him for her last May. I had warned her that fish don’t normally live very long. When my son was four he had a goldfish that lived a week. Determined to prove me wrong, my daughter made a chart and literally kept track of every day that Nemo lived for the first two months! Hopefully Nemo will live a very long life in fish years. Someone REALLY likes her fish.
My daughter is home sick today, and nothing cheers up my kids like homemade cookies. The favorite cookie recipe in our household is “Peanut Butter Blossoms.” My grandmother and my husband’s grandmother used to make them, and I found a recipe in a magazine years ago. We were almost out of the required Hershey’s Kisses (although I prefer them with chocolate stars, but they are so hard to find). So I used what we had, including some milk chocolates that were a Christmas gift. The cookies look a little odd with the different shapes on top, but they are still delicious. My children are having fun deciding which chocolate shape to choose each time they take a cookie. A tip for you, don’t use separated peanut butter with the oil floating on top. I tried that once since I thought it would be healthier, and the cookies did not turn out well. I find that regular old creamy Skippy peanut butter works the best. You could also make them with dark chocolate pieces of you prefer. Recipe to follow after the photo..
Peanut Butter Blossoms
48 chocolate kisses or pieces, 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened), 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar, 1 egg, 2 Tbs milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, granulated sugar for rolling
Heat oven to 375F degrees. Remove foil from chocolates if there is any. Beat butter and peanut butter until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla. Beat well. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually beat into the peanut butter mixture. Shape the dough into 1 inch balls (I use a small ice cream scoop). Roll in granulated sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 minutes or until lightly cracked on top. Remove from oven and with cookies still on the cookie sheets, immediately press a chocolate lightly into the center of each cookie. The cookie will crack more around the edges. Remove the cookies from the cookie sheets to cool on wire racks. Makes about 4 dozen cookies~
I bought some orange tulips yeterday to cheer myself up after a gloomy rainy week. Tulips say spring and sunshine to me. We haven’t seen the sun here in Atlanta since last Sunday, ironically enough. After all those days of rain and dark clouds, it was so great to see that blazing orb rising over the rooftops this morning. Although my daughter cried after she realized they wouldn’t have a “snow day” due to possible black ice last night. There wasn’t any ice where we live unfortunately for my bambinos. But hey, it’s Friday and it’s sunny, so no complaints allowed! Happy Friday and happy weekend!!
It’s a rainy gloomy Monday morning in Atlanta. The kind of morning where you just want to stay in your cozy bed and sleep in. Unfortunately I couldn’t do that and had to get my two munchkins off to school bright and early. But our Golden Retriever Belle is a lady of leisure, snuggling up with her stuffed cow..
Cherokee Nation, Civil War, cotton, covered bridge, dam, deportation, Georgia, hydropower, Indiana, Kentucky, land lottery, measles, plantations, Roswell, Roswell King, Roswell Mill, slavery, South, uniforms, Union, Vickery Creek
I don’t know what led me to the mill today. I had seen signs for the “Mill and Covered Bridge” since moving to the area.
The sound of rushing water, the musty scent in the air, and an eerie dampness encirled me. I did feel uneasy in this place.
I had no idea what happened there until researching the mill after I got home. Construction of the textile mill began in 1836 by Roswell King, a wealthy businessman and industrialist from Connecticut who settled in Georgia. He purchased land that had belonged to the Cherokee Nation from white land lottery winners. His slaves built the mill, and he was noted as being a brutal slave owner, much moreso than others. Hydropower from the adjacent Vickery Creek powered the mill, and they used cotton from nearby plantations. The mill was used to produce supplies for the Confederacy, including fabric for their gray uniforms.
The workers lived in dark cramped conditions, and a measles outbreak in 1847 left over half of them ill or dead. The mill was seized by the Union army in 1864. 400 women and girls who worked in the mill were arrested for treason, spent a week incarcerated in Marietta where other unspeakable things happened to them, then were shipped North with their children on trains to Kentucky and Indiana. Most of their husbands were fighting in the war, and they would never see them again. Those women and children were left to fend for themselves. Supposedly, many died from starvation or exposure until a mill was built in 1865 where they could work. Most never returned home to Georgia. The owners and stockholders of the textile mill had fled before the Union army approached Atlanta, leaving the workers behind. Something tells me the owners fared far better because the mill was in operation until 1975.
I understood what I felt at the mill today after reading about it’s dark past. I would love to go back another day to explore further. There are larger water falls from the dam that was blocked, hiking trails, and a monument to those who were deported. It’s amazing where killing some time in an afternoon can lead.
"L" train, Appalachian Mountains, Atlanta, bridge, car lights, Chicago, Chicago skyline, Christmas decorations, Christmas tree, city lights, Daley Center, expressway, falling snow, fog, forest preserve, Kentucky, Magnificent Mile, Michigan Avenue, Museum of Science & Industry Chicago, photography, road trip, Skyway, snow, stone, sunset, Superdawg, Tennessee, trees, Tribune Tower, Wrigley Building
We just returned from a road trip to visit my family in Chicago. Chicago will always be my home, wherever I happen to be living. The visits are never long enough and are always bittersweet. The drive from Atlanta to Chicago took us about ten hours, with a few short pit stops. The adrenaline began to flow as we approached the city on the Skyway at sunset. When that massive sparkling Chicago skyline came into view, I could feel the electricity and excitement of the city in my veins. Some of the photos are from my iphone, but most are from my new camera. You will find links to some of the places we visited after the photos..