Homeland Creamery: A smile in a cup…or cone.

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I got more than I beckoned for on Wednesday during a hunt for amazing Ice Cream…

1. I didn’t expect for Homeland Creamery to be decently close to us. I knew it was a beautiful ride through the Country, but never realized that it isn’t too far away for a regular visit.

2. I didn’t expect to meet such a nice lady inside the ice cream shop. Yvonne (I am hoping this is how she spells her name) was very helpful, and she made you feel very welcome. Come to find out, she lives very close to me. *smiles*

3. The Creamery had 16 flavors available! I certainly wasn’t expecting such a vast array. All of which looked appetizingly delicious! The refrigerators there were stocked with their milk, butter, and MORE ice cream!

I love this picture...not only can you see me...oops...you can see the reflection of the store, the products in the case, and other merchandise.

4. There were a lot other local products available as well. I purchased a Fresh Goat Cheese Chevre Herb Ball from Calico Cheese Company right down the road from my house. I had NO IDEA I had a cheese company right down the road! Field trip! I also purchased some Phillips Brothers Country Ham Hot Sausage. It was calling my name from the freezer case in the Ice Cream Shop!

5. The resident “pets” were just as friendly as Yvonne. We were herded by one pup, and three cats enjoyed our visit along with us. (When we sat at the picnic tables, one little cat hopped right up on Mom’s lap and laid down. *smiles*)

6. If you don’t go on the Creamery Tour, they still have a few animals in view that children could enjoy while eating their ice cream…furry rabbits, a couple of turkeys, a few hens, and of course the “pets” I mentioned earlier.

7. The picnic area was very nice and pleasant. I’ll admit it, I’m not a Country Girl. I can’t say a Dairy Farm would be my most favorite smell, but the amazing Ice Cream certainly made up for the smell I wasn’t accustomed to.

8. On to the ICE CREAM! I opted for the Chocolate Reeses and Peanut Butter in a cup. They were both phenomenal! So fresh, creamy, and packed full of flavor. I went with Mom, my Step-Dad, and Maw-Maw. All of which enjoyed their ice cream as much as I did…Maw-Maw splurged for a cone (good woman).

Bottom line…Go and visit Homeland Creamery! It was a pleasant surprise that also featured a lot of other local goods in their store. I would recommend taking the tour when you go though. You can see their website by clicking here to obtain more information on the tours. I didn’t see any cows on our trip, so the cows would be more visible on the tour I am sure.

Now, go have some ice cream from your local Creamery, and feel proud that you just supported your local economy!

A happy blue sky behind a happy ice cream cup

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Sexy vegetables…

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We’ve all had that snicker to ourselves, or out loud. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. You know…that overly long zucchini, the perfectly round pair of cantaloupes, the shapely gourd, the navel oranges, the succulent strawberries, the ever-so-slight curve to the cucumber with it’s ribbed outer skin.

Whether you’ve shared your chuckle with someone else, or not, you do know what I’m talking about. It’s ok to admit it. I see it as God giving us a little humor in his creations.

This all goes back to enjoying the beauty all around you. Whether you see the perverse humor in something, or the stunning awe of nature around you…just take time to enjoy it. I promise, you’ll have quite a few chuckles along the road of nature.

The produce section should have a warning sign above it that reads…”Danger, curves ahead.”  *smiles*

Are those silks I see on my corn???

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Update to my corn ventures!!!

As you may have read, I am attempting to grow three lonely stalks of corn. I’m in a subdivision people. I very well can’t plant an acre of corn. However, my three little ones are doing great! In fact, I see what I would assume (to the non-corn-growing-eye) are two ears of corn growing on one stalk!!!!!

I was so excited to find these! As you can probably tell by all of the exclamation marks. *smiles* Their silks are sticking out, and the stalk is thick.

So, to the man at the nursery that told me my “Honey N’ Pearl” corn probably wouldn’t produce because I only had three plants…Kiss my grits. This girl’s got ears a growin’!

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Apples for Strawberries

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There’s always those moments in life that you don’t want to repeat. Then there are the moments in life that you would repeat over and over again. This past Wednesday was one of those days. As you may have already realized, I went to pick Strawberries this past Wednesday. I don’t ever remember doing this growing up (although, Mom begs to differ on this one), and in reality found it quite enjoyable. Whether it was the fresh air, the beautiful scenery, the comfort of being on a farm, or just being with Mom, it was an awesome experience.

It began as we pulled into the dirt driveway of the Strawberry Farm. I chose a local place in my town, so I could support my local farms. We should all do this people! We got out of our car, approached the wood shed and with not many a word we were handed aluminum baskets to gather our Strawberries in. The direction given was to the left and as far back as we could make it down the dirt path. The trek began, and we decided to cut through the middle of the field – no worries, we weren’t trekking through plants, there were designated cross-over spots. Our feet wouldn’t land on one row until we were already looking ahead to the next row to pick on. So, onward we would go continuing to the next row and so forth. The Strawberries always seemed redder the further we went in. This went on for about 7 or 8 rows, until we decided that the next row would always look better, but we should stay where we are because this row was just as beautiful when you really took time to appreciate it – sound like life a bit???

The first Strawberry of our journey, picked by my wonderful Mom.

Back bending after back bending, strawberry after strawberry, filled quart after filled quart. Before too long we had picked 16 quarts. On a side note, we were trying to get done before these two older ladies to our right, but then we realized they were picking 32 quarts and were almost done once we got our 16 quarts done, so we had to concede. *smiles*

Mom and I made our way back across the rows, offering to help an elderly couple make it to the “next redder row” just as we had done. As we made the trek up the dirt path now to the cash register, we noticed there were so many other produce items they were growing here. There were greens galore, broccoli – confession, had never actually seen how broccoli grew, not sure I ever even had an idea how it did grow – tomatoes, lots of peppers, etc. This was truly a beautiful farm. We paid our money and were given flats to place our fresh-picked strawberries in. Mom purchased a cantaloupe and a beautiful head of cabbage for Maw-Maw, and we were on our way back to the car. The service was friendly, not over-bearing, and done with a smile. You really had the feeling like you belonged there.

This leads me to my title…Apples for Strawberries. The name of the farm was Apple Farm. The irony is absolute bliss. It’s here local, and comes highly recommended from The Onyx Plate. The best thing about this farm??? They don’t have a website…I love the simplicity.

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A juicy taste of things to come…

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Mom and I picked a wonderful bunch of strawberries
today. It was my first time, and it made it even sweeter to experience it with
Mom. The first thing she told me…. “Eat as many as you want in the field. It’s
just what you do.” *smiles*

This was just the beginning of my strawberry
adventures today. My day ended with fresh Strawberry Jam, and was filled with
beautiful pictures. Strawberry posts will be coming out in the next few days.
But, for now, I leave you with some beautiful shots of the field and the at home
work. Strawberry Love to you all!

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Easter, Farm-Fresh Eggs, and a Cow named Lucy

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As Easter approaches, I am easily reminded of Easter’s past.  The joy of the Easter dress shopping for church.  The excitement of wondering what the Easter Bunny was going to bring you on Easter morning.  The cravings for all of the chocolate you knew you were going to get your little paws on during the holiday.  The beauty of the dying of the Easter eggs – and the mess left behind on the counters that stains.  Last but not least…the humor of that ever-present blade of plastic grass left behind that you find a few months later under a piece of furniture.  Easter was always wonderful in my family, and I have an amazing mother to thank for all of the joyful memories.

I remember many Easters where Mom would put together an abundant basket for me…oh wait, correction…I remember many Easters where the Easter Bunny would deliver an abundant basket to me.  Usually it consisted of candy, a possible Barbie, but always a cute, lovable stuffed animal – the Easter Bunny knew I had a weakness for stuffed animals.  My  most memorable stuffed animal given to me on Easter was Amelia.  She is the largest teddy bear I have ever received  on Easter.  Soft and cuddly.  I still remember walking in to the den and seeing her sitting beside the Easter goodies.  It is no secret that I love stuffed animals, and Amelia sky-rocketed quickly towards the top of my list.  I’m older now, and Amelia is put away currently.  But, I still have her – ready for my future offspring to cuddle with as I did growing up.

But, this isn’t about what the Easter Bunny brought me…it’s about eggs!  It’s about the incredible, edible egg.  How it tastes so much better when it comes from the South and is sold to you by a Northern lady named Pat with a cow named Lucy.  Yes, she’s a transplant, but she could cook every one of us Southern ladies under the table.  One day, one day I tell you, I am going to explore Pat’s spice cabinet.  I imagine it to be one of those scenes where the Hallelujah Chorus begins to sing, and sunshine rays burst out of it as you throw open the doors.  That’s just my take on things at least.  *smiles*

Well, Pat decided to raise chickens this year, and buy a calf named Lucy.  Lucky for me, the chickens have finally begun laying to where she can sell them to others.  I bought a dozen yesterday, and I had my first egg this morning.  The shells are the color of a milky hot chocolate that reminds you of a comforting cup on a cold Winter’s day.   The egg was truly beautiful to the eyes, and delicious to the palate!  The yolk was a richer color, and it was a little more substantial in texture.  I prepared my favorite breakfast for myself this morning – egg and cheese sandwich – with these little brown gems.  I can only hope they continue to lay for Pat.  It won’t take the hub and I long to get through this dozen.

It was interesting how eating a local egg just made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  Like I was doing something good by supporting our local goods.  No, Pat’s not a business, but she is a friend.  A friend that I will support on her endeavor with her chickens, and her cow named Lucy.

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