Tag Archives: bacon

Keeping Up With The Joneses – Jones’ Meats

I just wanted to let y’all know an article I wrote for Southern Forestry Realty here in Bainbridge is out!  We’ve been working on it for a while, and I think my dear readers will enjoy reading it.  It’s worth a trip to Climax, Georgia to visit Jones’ Meats!

Keeping Up With The Joneses

Keeping Up With The Joneses
A Southern Culture Feature Article 
Brought to you by Southern Forestry Realty (and me!)

Until Next Time

Bacon Wrapped Venison Backstrap

Today’s post is nothing revolutionary or anything, but we did create an impromptu recipe over the weekend that I thought I would share.  Since it’s deer season and all.  Oh, and have I mentioned it’s duck season here?

Wood duck feathers.  One of the prettiest things there are.Wood Duck Feathers | Oysters & Pearls

Wheat brought home one Gadwall and three Wood Ducks Saturday morning.  Wood Ducks & Gadwall Duck | Oysters & Pearls

And in a strange turn of events, we did not have any duck for supper.  We had deer instead.  The excitement in our weekend was cut short.  Nothing dire, but I’ll fill y’all in when and if it’s necessary.  Anyway, we had some backstrap from the freezer instead, and came up with this little recipe that turned out to be really tasty.

Bacon Wrapped Venison Backstrap | Oysters & Pearls

Bacon Wrapped Venison Backstrap

– one piece of venison backstrap
– enough pieces of bacon to cover it
– 1/4 cup soy sauce
– a few dashes of worchestershire sauce
– juice of one lemon
– salt & pepper

Lay bacon horizontally and layer the pieces, just overlapping them, until you have a glorious blanket of bacon long enough to wrap your venison backstrap up nice and cozy.  Set the backstrap in the center (perpendicular to the bacon slices).  Wrap the bacon around the backstrap and pin in place with toothpicks.

Marinate the entire meaty bundle of joy in the rest of the ingredients for at least 30 minutes, but longer if possible.  Grill until the center of the backstrap reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit for very rare (what the following pictures show), or 145 – 150 degrees for medium rare (would have been my preference).  Let rest five minutes covered in foil before slicing.

Bacon Wrapped Venison Backstrap  | Oysters & Pearls Grilled Bacon Wrapped Venison Backstrap | Oysters & Pearls Bacon Wrapped Venison Backstrap |  Oysters & Pearls

“Done-ness” was a point of debate in our household over the weekend… I would have preferred it to be more done, but the flavor was spot on.  I highly recommend this as an alternative to frying (how I grew up eating backstrap most often).  Although, fried is incredibly delicious, too.

We had it with some of the last of our Fall tomatoes and some fresh squash and onions.

Squash n Onions | Oysters & Pearls Sliced Fall Tomato, Squash and Onions | Oysters & Pearls

I don’t know that I consider this a recipe, but to make “squash and onions,” just melt half a stick of butter in a skillet and cook thinly sliced yellow summer squash with a thinly sliced Vidalia onion until both are soft and smell really great.  Salt and pepper to taste.  At least, this is how I make my squash and onions.

And because I can’t leave you with a terribly lit picture of tomato slices, here’s another pretty Wood Duck picture.

Wood Duck | Oysters & Pearls

I’ll be back tomorrow with (finally) Margarita FRIDAY!!

Until Next Time

Homemade Big Macs & Broccoli Slaw

Ya know how right before you do a lot of cooking for a big holiday, all you really want to eat or cook is really easy food?  Well, in the spirit of not making Thanksgiving food, I’m going to share with y’all what we ate this past week.

Last week I ran across this post on making homemade Big Macs over on Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers (Congratulations on the new baby, Natalie!) and our supper-fate was sealed.  I very, very rarely succumb to the temptation of fast food.  And before you say it, Zaxby’s isn’t “fast food.”  It’s “quick, casual dining.”  At least, that’s what former chicken-slinger Wheat tells me. ;)  But what could be so bad about a homemade Big Mac?

Homemade Big Macs  | Oysters & Pearls

Nothing.  Nothing at all.  They are delicious!  They are the anti-Thanksgiving food.

You can go the super easy route and use Thousand Island dressing as the Big Mac Special Sauce, or you can go all out and make it from “scratch.”  I chose the latter, naturally, and because I’m insane, I doubled the recipe.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me.  I swear I lived through the Great Depression in a former life because I always live in a state of fear that we might run out of food (hence my obsession with canning/pickling/jamming/jarring/freezing/makingfoodaheadoftime).  So of course, for a family of two, I would need to double the recipe for Big Mac Special Sauce.  Obvi.

I am a crazy person.

Homemade Big Mac Sauce | Oysters & Pearls Homemade Big Mac Sauce  | Oysters & Pearls

Big Mac Secret Sauce Recipe
via Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers


– 1/2  cup mayo (Duke’s, duh)
– 2 tablespoons French Dressing
– 4 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
– 1 tablespoon finely minced onion
– 1 teaspoon white vinegar
– 1 teaspoon sugar
– 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Mix it up and top yo burgers.

And speaking of burgers…

Homemade Big Macs | Oysters & Pearls

Patty your ground beef very thinly.  Wheat cooked ours on a flat top griddle, but the grill would have been just fine.  Top with a slice of American cheese while hot, then layer pickles, lettuce, tomato and Special Sauce on a sesame seed bun.  SO GOOD.

Homemade Big Mac Toppings | Oysters & Pearls

Side note: I cannot eat a McDonald’s hamburger or make one at home without laughing.  When we were really young, my little sister (who was very, very little at the time) used to think that the minced onions at McD’s were rice.  She would stone-cold order her Happy Meal hamburger “with no rice.”  I can still remember the looks on the cashier’s faces!  My mom would always have to explain what she meant, and usually my sister would argue that it indeed was RICE on that burger.  And Heaven forbid they mess it up and give her rice on her hamburger.   Still cracks me up just thinking about it!  So, be sure to mince your onions up very finely until they look like rice.  Because I like my McDonald’s hamburgers to have rice on them. ;)

Frying Homemade Potato Chips | Oysters & PearlsWheat insisted on having some sort of fried potato with our Big Macs, and I don’t guess I can blame him.  It is the American way.

So I used my new Cuisinart food processor (<– affiliate link!) to do work on a few potatoes and Wheat got busy frying them.

Homemade Fried Potato Chips | Oysters & Pearls Homemade Potato Chips | Oysters & Pearls

While he worked the grease, I threw together a super quick Carolina broccoli slaw so that there would be some semblance of a balanced meal here.

Carolina Broccoli Slaw Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

Carolina Broccoli Slaw
dressing via southerfood.about.com


– 1 cup sugar
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 2/3 cup vegetable oil
– 1 teaspoon dry mustard
– 1 teaspoon celery seed
– 1 cup cider vinegar
– 1 bag broccoli slaw
– 1/2 bag of shredded carrots


In a saucepan over medium heat, combine everything except the carrots and broccoli slaw and bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring, until sugar is dissolved; pour over vegetables and toss well. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.  You can use this dressing over any kind of slaw you’d like, and it’s awesome as a side or as a topper for a pulled pork sandwich.

Carolina Broccoli Slaw with Homemade Chips and Big Macs | Oysters & Pearls

We also had this slaw multiple times over the course of last week with BLTs.  It holds up really well since broccoli is pretty sturdy, which is great for quick week day meals.

BLT with Carolina Broccoli Slaw | Oysters & Pearls Carolina Broccoli Slaw | Oysters & Pearls

Homemade Potato Chips & Big Mac | Oysters & Pearls

And finally, beginning tonight I’ll be cooking up a storm and the craziness of the Holiday season will be upon us.  We will have friends staying with us, multiple holiday gatherings, and then making a trip to see my family on Saturday.  I can’t wait for it all to get started!  I’m making pumpkin and pecan pies, an experimental version of an eggnog pound cake (get ready, guinea pigs at my house tonight!), oyster dressing, and collard greens.

And to start a Thanksgiving debate: what will be on your table tomorrow?  “Stuffing” or “Dressing?”

Stuffing versus Dressing | Oysters & Pearls

Stuffing image from Kitchen Simplicity (http://kitchensimplicity.com/simplified-stuffing/) and Dressing image from Just A Pinch Recipes (http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/southern-style-cornbread-dressing.html)

I feel very passionately that Stuffing pales in comparison to Dressing, and that they are, in fact, two very different dishes, even if neither of them ever see the inside of a bird.  Many people claim it’s simply a difference in nomenclature, with it being called “stuffing” north of the Mason-Dixon and “dressing” below the line.  To me, “stuffing” involves hunks of bread and seasonings, while “dressing” is a much heavier dish made with crumbled cornbread (usually) that could masquerade as a casserole with a smoother texture.

And now that I’ve said “stuffing” a hundred times, it sounds super weird.  Like when you say “pajama” like 20 times and then it doesn’t even sound like a word anymore.  But that’s neither here nor there.

So, which is?  Stuffing or Dressing?  I’d love for you to weigh in on the debate about what will be on your plate!

And PS: head over to Aimee’s blog to see her Favorite Things and find out what she is adding to the Bloggers’ Favorite Things Giveaway!  Things are starting to get really exciting!

Happy Cooking!

Until Next Time