Sorry for the radio silence yesterday. It’s been a busy week!
To quickly catch y’all up (kind of), after our Cheese Making 101 Class at Sweet Grass Dairy, we met my parents in town. They were in Thomasville for the Plantation Wildlife Arts Festival, which they attend fairly religiously each year. Check out the key chain they picked up for me!
Just sayin’. In case Santa is reading this right now.
Mark Lexton totally counts as a Friday Find today, amiright?
Anyway, they were finished up there and were busy walking around town, checking out the shops. Wheat and I popped in to The Bookshelf to pick up a South West Georgia Living magazine, which I had discovered at The Bean earlier Saturday morning. I am really impressed with it and had never heard of it before! I highly recommend picking one up, if you’re local. Anyway, then we popped into Grassroots really quickly for Wheat to grab a cuppa joe. After walking around Toscoga Marketplace and A Different Drummer, we walked down to where else? The Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese Shop. Guess we hadn’t gotten our fill!
We had a happy hour drink and caught up on the day, then moseyed on back to Bainbridge.
Back at home, we cooked some fresh smoked and jalapeño cheese venison sausage from a deer Wheat killed a couple weeks ago. Wheat had it processed at Jones Meats, and GOSH that sausage was delicious!! But you know what they say: there are two things you never should see being made: laws and sausage. And although I have no pictures to show you of this sausage being made, I did try to take a couple pictures of the sausage before we cooked it, and let me tell you: there is no way to make that look appetizing or appropriate. So we’ll move on.
My dad had a friend turn an old gravel gate from the river into something to cook over a fire years and years (and years!) ago for our camp at Sweetwater. We never used it there really anymore, so he got his friend to cut it down and add handles to use over our fire pit! We hadn’t built a fire since last winter, so this was our first chance to use it. Wheat cooked the sausage over the fire pit, and it was perfect!
Before we left the house Saturday morning, I had brined some pork chops for us to have later that night. I’ve blogged about my pork chop brine before, so I won’t rehash the brine recipe here. But it makes a plain old pork chop SO juicy and awesome. I also whipped a stick of room temperature salted butter with some fresh chopped chives for topping the pork chops. Yum!
My mom brought the collards from home (we usually cook collards in big batches and freeze them in quart bags, which are perfect for just such an occasion), and chives were the theme of the evening, as while the sausage cooked, I made chive and lil moo cheese grits, inspired by this recipe on The Kitchn.
Instead of goat cheese, however, I used some Sweet Grass Dairy Lil Moo fresh cheese.
Chive & Lil Moo Cheese Grits Recipe
adapted from The Kitchn
– 2 cups milk (low fat or whole)
– 2 cups water
– 1 cup grits
– 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
– 1/4 teaspoon (a big pinch) freshly ground pepper
– 3 to 4 tablespoons minced chives
– half of a container of Lil Moo fresh cheese (can sub with half a cup (or more) goat cheese, cream cheese, ricotta, whatever cheese your heart desires)
Bring milk and water to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Be really careful, as it’s really easy to let milk boil over! Just as it starts bubbling, whisk in the grits in a slow but steady pour. Keep whisking until it starts to thicken, about 2 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and cover the pot. Simmer for 40 minutes or so, whisking the grits around every 5 minutes or so to keep them from forming a crispy layer on the bottom of the pan. Just before serving, mix in the chives, seasoning, and cheese. If they start to stiffen up or get cold before you can mix the cheese in, add a splash of water or milk and heat them back up. You can just keep them covered until everything else is ready to go, then mix in cheese and chives.
Or no chives, and cheddar cheese, or smoked gouda, or whatever you want to do with them. Toss some shrimp on the side and call it a day, if you must.
Always let your conscience be your guide.
No shrimp here though. We had the aforementioned pork chops, collards, and lil moo cheese grits. And all the plates were cleaned, and all the people were happy.
And on Sunday – the main reason my parents spent the night with us Saturday night – Wheat and my dad got up early and built a wood shed!
Of course, Babe has to christen it properly.
And the finished product is pretty great!
It also doubles as a great spot to hang the fire pit grill. :) It’s nothing fancy, but it sure is nice to have somewhere to put the firewood to keep it dry. It’s supposed to be an extra cold winter (so says my Daddy and the Farmer’s Almanac), so I’m awfully grateful for it!
In other news, I’m a week behind now, basically, but whatevs. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me! Anybody got any big plans this weekend? Wheat has big plans for duck hunting, and I have lots and lots of projects on the brain for while he’s out of the house. Oh, and making pie crusts ahead of time becauseholycowhowisitalreadyThanksgiving!?!?!
On the bright side, that means I’ll have a pie recipe to share with you, and a recipe, aka how to make, collard greens. Happy Almost Thanksgiving!
And don’t forget to head over to Pink Flamingo Style to check out her favorite things and a chance to enter the Bloggers’ Favorite Things giveaway! I wrapped my present yesterday, and can’t wait to ship it off to the winner! Stay tuned to find out the other bloggers’ favorite things (including mine)!