Tag Archives: Pumpkins

Weddings, Honey Bees, and Pumpkins, Oh My!

Good morning!  I hope everyone got their taxes filed on time and no one is running around like a chicken with their head cut off this morning. :)

Per usual, I’m posting my weekend recap a day late because we didn’t get home until late Sunday night.  It was a jam-packed weekend, but there were some relaxing times, too.

Friday when we picked up our CSA box at Harvest Moon, I also picked up some fresh okra to restock the pantry with my spicy pickled okra.  I went to the grocery store Saturday morning and  grabbed some jalapeño peppers and got to work.  The secret to non-slimy pickled okra is soaking the fresh okra in ice water for at least an hour before pickling!

I also had another little project going on Saturday, but that’s a subject of another post!  Saturday evening we celebrate the nuptials of our sweet friend Rebecca and her handsome groom, Chase!  The wedding was gorgeous, as was the stunning bride. :)

I especially loved the table full of macarons!

Not sure where they got them from around here, but they were delicious!  And have fully reinspired me to get the hang of making them.  I tried a couple of times, back before I was blogging, with the French method, and they were not quite successful.  I will be trying them again (when I get some free time) and will be using the Italian meringue method instead.  That’s neither here nor there, but I just thought you should know.  Don’t be surprised when they show up on O&P!

We had a blast, and wish Rebecca and Chase all the love and happiness in the world!

Sunday Wheat went turkey hunting again and I had a leisurely morning of coffee and watching CBS Sunday Morning before Church.  Afterwards, we hit up Zaxby’s on our way to Bristol.  We visited The Bee House to pick up some supplies, and checked on our little ladies.  They’ve been busy!  But first, lemme take a selfie.

Disclaimer: I hate this song.  But it does crack me up, and I fully support making fun of selfies, even as I post one of myself.

I have since retired bee suits, gloves, and long sleeves.  Wearing my Masters tee shirt for Masters Sunday, natch.  I still wear the veil, because it’s really distracting when the bees bump into your face.

They had built honeycomb across multiple frames that we had to break up, which spilled copious amounts of honey down into the bottom of the hive.  Felt bad, but we tasted it, and ’twas good.

They had this cleaned up in 30 minutes, at the most.  It’s pretty amazing how tidy they keep their hive.

We added another deep box on top to give them room, and a queen excluder between the boxes to keep Queen Beeyonce in the bottom box.  The ensures that the eggs/brood/larvae will stay in the bottom box, and the top box will remain straight up honey.  Hopefully they move upstairs and start filling it up with tupelo honey!

After the bees, Wheat helped me plant a whole bunch’a pumpkins in the field.  I planted Seminole pumpkins, white Cindarella pumpkins, sugar pumpkins, and some decorative gourds. We will see what happens!

And then, we watched the end of the final round of the Masters.  From our Bubba to the green jacket winner, we are so glad Bubba Watson won!

Happy Tuesday, y’all!

Until Next Time

Weekend Recap, Maggie’s Tomato Soup, & Goats

So, it’s like, already Tuesday.

Oops.

I just couldn’t get my act together to get a post ready for Monday, for no other reason except that I was just too busy.  In a good way.

Just a warning, this post is all. over. the. place.

Friday we did our usual.  Went to happy hour at the country club, and then ate supper at our friend Lance’s restaurant (Bonnie Blue’s) with Wheat’s parents.

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Yep, that’s my father-in-law, just clowning around with some of the kids at happy hour.  I challenge any of you to beat him in a headstand contest.  To my knowledge, it’s never been done.

Saturday we did the opposite of sleeping in.  Wheat had me up and out of the house by 8:00 a.m. (he’s not human).  We rode out to the farm with quite the agenda.

Check Wheat’s birthday present (aka his new game camera).

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I took that picture in the bottom near Wheat’s camera.  It’s so pretty down there.

And my personal favorite picture from his camera:

Deer Peekaboo | Oysters & Pearls

Peekaboo!

Then we checked my pumpkin patch and picked 9 more pumpkins!  Stopped at Harvest Moon and purchased another pumpkin and gave Marla one of mine.  Developed my dream of being a pumpkin farmer.

Pulled some peanuts, then boiled some peanuts.

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Then had an awesome BBQ at Maggie and Greg’s house.  I didn’t take any pictures because I was too busy stuffing my face, but suffice it to say that I’ll be anxiously awaiting her recipe posts.  She made a shaved brussel sprout slaw that made a self-proclaimed brussel sprout hater clean his plate (cough, Wheat, cough).  You should check out her new blog and anxiously await them with me.

And speaking of Maggie, I spent my post-Church Sunday afternoon baking (recipes coming soon!) and making the Cream of Tomato Soup recipe she posted last week, which she adapted from Deb at the Smitten Kitchen, who nabbed it from America’s Test Kitchen cookbook.  We didn’t eat it Sunday night, but we did eat it for lunch yesterday.  And will again today.  And tomorrow.

Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic for Tomato Soup | Oysters & Pearls

Here it is, reposted verbatim, for convenience (but check out her post for step-by-step pictures), and a couple of things I learned in the process:

Maggie’s Cream of Tomato Soup Recipe

Cream of Tomato Soup, from thesmintzes.wordpress.com
(Adapted from Smittenkitchen.com)

2 cans San Marzano whole tomatoes
1.5 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 clove garlic
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
Pinch allspice
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Pour the cans of tomatoes out over a colander set on top of a bowl, so that the juices catch in the bowl. Crush the whole tomatoes with your hands, then spread them in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the brown sugar atop the tomatoes on the baking sheet. Slice the whole clove of garlic horizontally and place both halves cut side up on the baking sheet. Roast the tomatoes and garlic for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the butter over medium heat until foamy. Stir in the tomato paste and allspice and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Gradually add the chicken stock, whisking constantly, then add the roasted tomatoes and reserved tomato juices. Cover, increase heat to medium, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 10 minutes.

Transfer the tomatoes and other solids, along with the roasted garlic cloves, into a blender and purée until smooth. Return to the saucepan, then add the heavy cream and stir well to incorporate. Heat over low until hot, about 3 minutes. Add salt to taste (I never need any).

Smitten Kitchen Tomato Soup & Frico'ed Grilled Cheese | Oysters & Pearls

SO GOOD!  Some things I learned whilst making this soup: 1) When you go to squeezing those tomatoes, WATCH OUT.  They have a tendency to explode in your hands and make a tomato-mess all over you and your counter; and 2) an immersion blender makes the blending process a lot easier.  I want to hug mine every time I use it.  Just stick it in the pot when you’re done cooking and blend away.

And because Deb at the Smitten Kitchen is amazing, I also made her frico grilled cheese sandwiches to go along with this delicious soup yesterday for lunch.  Because what is tomato soup without grilled cheese?

Nothing. It’s nothing.

All this really means is that I throw some freshly grated cheddar cheese down on a cast iron skillet, then build a grilled cheese on top, then pick it all up when the cheese is nice and crispy and frico’ed, and put some more cheese under there, then flip the whole thing over.  Butter on the outside, cheese (and a little sriracha for me) on the inside.  Simple and classic grilled cheese & tomato soup.  With a twist.

Smitten Kitchen Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese | Oysters & Pearls

And finally, in honor of my hometown’s Goat Day on October 19, which I will be missing this year due to my dear friend Sara’s wedding (yayitsalmosthere!!), I’m celebrating from afar this week by using my phenomenal goat napkins from Anthropologie.

Goat Napkin from Anthropologie | Oysters & Pearls

I’ll try to work them into posts all week.  Because I’m a huge nerd, and also because I’m a former brochure covergirl for Goat Day.

It was my dream to share the brochure I was on the cover of with you all today.  But alas, my mom couldn’t find it.  However, she did find two excellent pictures of me with goats.

Natalie & Goat | Oysters & Pearls

Natalie & Billy Goat | Oysters & Pearls copy

Yes, goats and I go way back.  All things Goat will be taking place at Sam Atkins Park in Blountstown, Florida, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Central) on Saturday, October 19th.  There’s even a Pioneer Settlement, with a real blacksmith and shop, tons of food, reenactments, and lots more.  For further details, here’s {an article} by my very own cousin, Kristy!

Promote the Goat, y’all.

Until Next Time