Monday, March 28, 2011

Women Who Run with Chickens

This is my beautiful cousin Julie. She visited Delta last night with her handsome son, Erik, and her equally handsome dad, my Uncle Reesie.

Julie is an Alabama Girl at heart, I think, though she lives in a very lovely part of Colorado now. We grew up running around the countryside here barefoot, and the red-clay roots run pretty deep.

While we enjoyed appetizers on the back porch, Julie tried her hand at feeding "the girls", and they were exceedingly happy to see her. Here she is with Nilla, our Aracauna hen.

She gave them an ancient chocolate cherry fudge cupcake for starters. That went over very well. After that, the velociraptor chickens and Chuck the Duck became more interested in cracked corn.

The hens will eat you alive if you let them. Chuck is a bit more placid. She does not ask for much; just a nice place to swim.

Diablo and Poseidon joined the fun.

It was terrific to spend time with family. Our daughter came home from school, and we went to explore some local scenery. Even though it was mighty foggy, it was still possible to see Turkey Heaven Mountain.

Another dear and wonderful friend joined us. Her name is Eime, and she's half-Japanese. In addition to being pretty and smart, she is very talented and artistic - I think she gets it from her mother, Takako, who sent me this exquisite bookmark.

Tak is seventy-six years old, and truly an inspiration to women everywhere. She can do traditional Japanese dance with grace and style, cook a catfish filet that is out of this world, and do origami like that.

Speaking of out-of-this-world food, here are a couple of ridiculously easy recipes we enjoyed last night. The first is a starter I learned from an old friend, Robin. I have served it a zillion times:

Goat Cheese and Sun Dried Tomato Appetizer

Buy a plain goat cheese log (not spiced with peppercorns, et cetera). Open a jar of sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil and tear or chop the tomatoes into small pieces. Pour this over the goat cheese log (use a fork to press the tomatoes artfully into the cheese). Sprinkle with pine nuts and dribble a bit more oil onto them. Chill and then serve at room temperature with a cheese knife and your favorite crackers.

Dump Cake

Embarrassingly simple, and great for any time of year: Buy one can of cherry pie filling and one of crushed pineapple in juice. Empty every single drop of this into a 13x9x2 pan; spread it around a bit with a wooden spoon to distribute the fruit. Sprinkle Duncan Hines Golden Butter Recipe Cake Mix evenly over that. Put small pats of butter all over the top (I prefer Unsalted Land o' Lakes). Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour (until bubbly and golden on top - you may need to add a teensy bit of melted butter to any dry spots near the end).

This smells and tastes delicious, guaranteed.

I wish I could mail Julie her very own chicken or two. They love her, and so do I.

Love from Delta.


  1. (Third try) What a beautiful remembrance of our visit! Your talent continues to astound me. You and Jay are such great hosts. And let's not forget those truly scrumptious burgers from a real charcoal fire. Your selection of friends is delightful, and sharing memories of old times priceless. Please, please, invite me again.
    Uncle Reese

  2. Thank you. I have a pretty good gene pool, and was lucky to emerge from the deep end.
    Come tomorrow evening. Seriously. Any time.
    I am glad you liked my friend selection. My friend would like to join the two of us for lunch sometime in the Anniston metropolitan area.
    Love you, Uncle Reese.

  3. Hey,
    You are a lovely hostess and Erik and I really enjoyed spending the evening with you and your super sweet family! I got a kick out of playing with the chickens, can't remember their names, just they like old cupcakes. I do love Alabama very much. I wish I could spend more time there. As a child it was always home. Every vaction Dad had we went home.
    Thank you for the summary of our visit. Only you could put it to words so well. Thanks for not showing me from behind in the pictures.
    Love you and Delta