Georgia Grown

It’s summer in the Peach State and that means fresh, sweet, juicy Georgia peaches.

Peach season always reminds me of my Dad. After he retired from the Air Force in the 1970’s, he and my Mom moved to a farm in middle Georgia. In addition to their summer garden they had a small peach and apple orchard. When the peaches were ripe Dad would call and we would drive the 200 miles to their house to pick some peaches. I can still remember the sweetness of the peach and the sticky juice running down my hands as I stood in the orchard eating a peach that moments before still been had on the tree.

These days I have to be content with buying peaches at a local produce stand. On a recent road trip we stopped at James and the Giant Peach Stand in Ellabell for some fresh Georgia peaches. As soon as we arrived at home I tasted one and them and then made a fresh peach cobbler for dessert. Another night I blended up some Peach Daiquiris.

20180708Peaches-(3)
Georgia Peaches from Ellabell, Georgia

Another Georgia summer treat is the Vidalia Onion. The Vidalia Onion was named the Official State Vegetable of Georgia in 1990. They cannot be sold until the Georgia Ag Commissioner chooses a Pack date, usually in April. The season continues through August of each year. These sweet onions are only grown in a few South Georgia counties.  Tomato and Vidalia onion pie is one of my favorite summer side dishes.

20180714Vidalia-Onions-(3)
Vidalia Onions

 

It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato – Lewis Grizard

The best tomatoes in the world are home grown tomatoes. If you grow your own, you know what I’m talking about. I’ve never been successful growing slicing tomatoes so I buy “Davis Killer Tomatoes” from my favorite produce stand, Davis Produce in Savannah. On a sweltering summer day there is nothing better for lunch than a tomato sandwich. Sliced bread (traditionally white bread but these days I use multi-grain or wheat), mayonnaise (preferably Dukes), and sliced tomatoes with salt and pepper. That’s it! Deliciousness!

20180717Lunch-(3)
Tomato Sandwich

A favorite southern summer snack is boiled peanuts.  I love sitting around the table with friends and family, a cold drink and a bowl of boiled Georgia peanuts.

20180708Peaches-(10)
Boiled Peanuts

Georgia is known for other produce the rest of the year. Did you know that the state of Georgia is one of the top blueberry producing states in the country? I look forward every spring to blueberry season. As soon as they were ready this year I bought a flat from a friend’s sister who owns an organic blueberry farm.

20180502Blueberries-(4)
Georgia grown blueberries

Are you hungry yet for some Georgia goodness? I’ve never shared a recipe on my blog before but here is my favorite cobbler recipe.

Easy Fruit Cobbler

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (use real butter)
  • 1 cup self rising flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 – 5 peeled and sliced peaches or 1 container blueberries + 1 TB sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Place the fruit in a bowl and mix with the 1 TB sugar. Set aside.

Put the butter in a 9×9 inch square baking pan (I use metal but a glass pan will work). Place the pan in the oven to melt butter.

While butter is melting, in another bowl mix the flour, sugar, and milk. Batter will be thin and milky.

When butter is melted, remove from oven and pour in the batter. Spoon fruit over batter. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if desired.

Many thanks to Ingrid’s Wandering Wednesday photo prompt – food for the inspiration for this post. I take lousy food photos and have been wanting an excuse to practice.

June in the Butterfly Garden

My butterfly garden is full of colorful blooms and the butterflies are starting to take notice.

20180620Butterfly-(11)
Butterfly on Mexican Sunflower
20180605Garden-(3)
Monarch on Milkweed
20180607Garden-(2)
Zinnias
20180620Butterfly-(16)
Mexican Sunflower
20180619Creek-(2)
Purple Coneflower
20180619Creek-(1)
Black Eyed Susan

The birds continue to come by daily.

20180604Bunting-in-rocks-(9)
Male Painted Bunting
20180603Garden-(17)-Tufted-Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse
20180613Garden-(3)
Ruby Throated Hummingbird
20180612Cardinal-(7)
The cardinals search for dropped seeds on the ground beneath the bird feeder

Happy Summer!

Linked to Ingrid’s Wandering Wednesday – Flowers

Wandering Wednesday – Water

I have lived within a few miles of the Atlantic Ocean for most of my life. A dock connects our back yard to a tidal creek.

At low tide, there’s just a trickle of water in the creek.

20180619Creek-(6)
Georgia Tidal Creek at low tide

During the low tide, wading birds walk along the creek bed searching for food.

Roseate Spoonbill in Georgia salt water tidal creek
Roseate Spoonbill
Tri Colored Heron finds a snack in a Georgia creek
Tri Colored Heron finds a snack in a Georgia creek
Juvenile Little Blue Heron
Searching for a treat in the tidal creek

When the tide is high, it’s a different world.

20180615Creek-(2)
When the tide is high enough, we can hop in the boat and go for a ride

At the mouth of the creek we enter a river and explore the coastal waters.

20180503Boat-Ride-(1)
Boat ride in Georgia waters near Tybee Island
20160603Boat-Ride-(8)
Uninhabited Georgia Barrier Island only reachable by boat

And during the summer, when the tide is just right, we can catch fresh blue crabs for supper.

Nothing better than catching, cooking, and eating Georgia Blue Crabs
Nothing better than catching, cooking, and eating Georgia Blue Crabs

This post was inspired by  Ingrid’s Wandering Wednesday.

 

 

Mosley’s Wiregrass Junction

When was the last time you were driving down the interstate in the state of Georgia and saw a camel or a buffalo?

The first time we saw a buffalo from the interstate as we were traveling east on I-16 towards home we knew we were going to have to stop. Ever since then Moseley’s Wiregrass Junction has become a favorite stopping place when we are traveling along that route.

Usually we just watch the animals from the parking lot but the last time we were there we opted to pay the $2 per person fee to see them up close. We also bought a bag of animal food before going through the gate to see animals.

20180529Animal-Exit-(1)
Mosley’s Wiregrass Junction just off I-16 at exit 98
20180529Animal-Exit-(41)
Camel at the Animal Exit
20180529Animal-Exit-(8)
Tortoise
20180529Animal-Exit-(19)
Emu at the Animal Exit
20180529Animal-Exit-(44)
Black Swan
20180529Animal-Exit-(85)
Peacock
20180529Animal-Exit-(99)
Peacock Feathers
20180529Animal-Exit-(66)
The goats weren’t shy
20180529Animal-Exit-(62)
Feed Me!
20180529Animal-Exit-(91)
Goats waiting for a handout

Next time we may opt for an additional $8 to take a tour of the farm where their zebra, buffalo, cows, pigs and other animals live.

Mosley’s Wiregrass Junction Animal Exit Farm is located on Georgia Interstate 16 at exit 98 in Aline.

You can connect with them on their Facebook page at https://facebook.com/wiregrassjunction57

 

 

My favorite place on Earth

I’ve had many people ask about my favorite place and the answer is always the same.

There is no place else on earth I love more than my little peace of paradise here in coastal Georgia. This is where our children grew up and where Henry and I are growing old together. I have the best friends and neighbors anyone could ask for and there is beauty every where I look.

Sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean
Sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean
20170210Moon-Rise-at-North-Beach-(58)
Full moon rising over the Atlantic Ocean
Sunset in Coastal Georgia
Sunset over the Salt Marsh
Salt Marsh of Coastal Georgia
Salt Marsh of Coastal Georgia

Want to go to an uninhabited barrier island? A boat or kayak will get you there.

20170514Boat-Ride-(9)
Boat ride on one of the many creeks
Uninhabited Georgia Barrier Island
Uninhabited Georgia Barrier Island
We had the island all to ourselves
We often are the only people on one of the uninhabited barrier islands

Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins are a common sight in the waters.

Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin near Tybee Island, Georgia
Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin near Tybee Island, Georgia

Let’s not forget the birds.

Roseate Spoonbill fishing in Georgia tidal creek
Roseate Spoonbill fishing in Georgia tidal creek
20151005Osprey-(133)
Osprey
20160125Great-Egret-Plumage
Great Egret
20151022Juvenile-Ibis-(1)
Juvenile Ibis
20110925Birds-(104)
Wood Stork and Egret
Male Painted Bunting
Male Painted Bunting

Whether you cook it at home or eat out at one of the many great restaurants nearby, there’s nothing better than eating fresh caught seafood.

Fresh Georgia Blue Crabs Caught, Cooked, Cleaned and eaten on Halloween, 2015
Fresh Georgia Blue Crabs straight from the creek to the pot.

I love to travel and always enjoy our wanderings. Every trip ends the same way. I know I am almost home when I start smelling the salt marsh and seeing the creeks and marsh as we drive the last few miles.

No matter where you may roam, the best part is coming home – anonymous