Friday, November 30, 2012

Jambalya Recipe

I've made jambalaya a couple of times using Zatarain's, but have never made the real thing from the ground up.  This recipe looks like a good way to start, and you get to be fancy and make a roux.  I miss New Orleans just thinking about it.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Skillet Chicken Thighs With Mushroom, Onion and Garlic Sauce

The thigh has been my favorite piece of chicken meat since I was a little kid, and we go through a lot of them at our place.  Ezra Pound Cake has a recipe, courtesy of the blogger's sister, that sounds right up our alley.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bomb Threats Close Tennessee Courthouses, Including the Blount County Courthouse

The Blount County Courthouse and almost thirty other courthouses across Tennessee were evacuated today due to bomb threats.  The Blount County Justice Center, where I work, remained open inasmuch as the threat here was apparently only directed at the courthouse. 

I scanned online media coverage from around the state, and all three of Tennessee's Grand Divisions were affected, although East Tennessee had almost as many courthouse evacuations as Middle and West Tennessee combined according to the Associated Press.  The Tennessean reports that six Wal-Mart stores in Nashville were also the targets of threats.  At this point, no explosive devices have been found.

Last week courthouses in Oregon were targeted for bomb threats, and threats were made against courthouses in the states of Washington and Nebraska before that.


Baby Face Nelson

On this day in 1934 outlaw Baby Face Nelson died after a gun battle with FBI agents.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Hitting the Books

After school Sarah reads and then completes her homework, which usually consists of a spelling and vocabulary quiz.  In this picture she is writing a story.  The child has a creative streak.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday

It was a pretty dreary Black Friday here in Maryville, though we didn't get much in the way of rain.  Since we have so many fall birthdays in our family, we learned years ago that we have to begin our shopping for birthdays and Christmas in the summer.  We usually buy our first gifts for the holidays when we're at the beach in June or July, so we already have most of our Christmas gifts bought and wrapped.  We have a few items left to purchase, but no reason to fight crowds of shoppers the day after Thanksgiving.  We stayed put and enjoyed a quiet day, which is much more to my liking than standing in line at a department store.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

We had our Thanksgiving feast at Mom's house in Knoxville yesterday.  It was a beautiful day, and Sarah and Grace spent a lot of time playing in Mom's front yard.
Mom was happy to have all her kids and grandkids together for Thanksgiving.  She bought a fried turkey and made dressing, and Laura made cheese peas, a family favorite that we demanded that Grandmother Ogle serve at any such family feast.  It is basically green peas with melted Velveeta and pimientos.  We brought our cheesy potato casserole, and Sherry made a nice salad with feta, candied pecans and balsamic vinaigrette.

We got back to Maryville in the latter part of the afternoon and spent the rest of Thanksgiving Day thankfully relaxing.  I just put our turkey in the oven about a half hour ago, so it should be ready for the noon meal and thereafter conversion into Turkey Tetrazzini.

Deer Season!

My stepson Jake and his daddy went hunting last weekend, and Jake brought home a nine point buck, his first kill this season.  We just finished up last year's venison, and the season is young.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Americans All

The third-graders at Sarah's school staged a musical performance, Americans All, on Tuesday.  The performance celebrated American diversity, and Sarah danced in a Native American number.

She went and got herself some cheap sunglasses.

Happy Thanksgiving!

On October 3, 1789, at the American capitol of New York, President George Washington proclaimed Thursday, November 26, 1789, as a day of Thanksgiving.  It states, in part,

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

You can read the rest of the proclamation here.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Everett Hills Baptist Church

Everett Hills Baptist Church is right down the street from our house, and its stained glass windows were very pretty the other night as Wednesday services were ending.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bacon's Rebellion -- Jamestown Burns

This is another Bacon post, but not in the way you think.  On October 19, 1676, rebels against the colonial government of Virginia burned Jamestown during Bacon's Rebellion.  Pictured above is Nathaniel Bacon's Declaration of Grievances, an indictment of Virginia's colonial governor.  It reads a lot like a declaration drafted by another Virginian a century later. 

Bacon's movement began as an uprising of frontiersmen who did not believe the colonial government was sufficiently responsive in protecting them from Indian attacks and who took matters into their own hands.  This reminds me of the early history of my state, Tennessee, and the military activity of men like John Sevier, who had to rely upon themselves to fight Indians who attacked their settlements because calls for help from the government in the east went unanswered.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sarah's Birthday Party

We rented the pavilion near Sarah's school for her birthday party, which was yesterday.  She asked for a pinata, and Sherry found one in the shape of SpongeBob Squarepants.
Sarah selected a Shrek cake, and in this photograph she extinguishes her nine candles.

The pavilion has a grill, so I cooked hot dogs for the assembled guests.  There is also a playground nearby, and all of the kids enjoyed playing on it.

Here is Sarah surrounded by friends and loot. 

Happy Birthday Sarah, Leslie and Laura!

Today is Sarah's ninth birthday, a birthday she shares with my sisters Laura and Leslie and my former law partner.  Happy birthday to all!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Battle of Campbell's Station

On November 16, 1863, Union forces under Ambrose Burnside clashed with Confederate troops commanded by James Longstreet in the Battle of Campbell's Station outside Knoxville.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sarah & Molly

Sarah poses with Molly as the latter enjoys a nap in the sun.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Snipe Hunting Season!

When I was a kid, snipe hunting was akin to cow tipping, which is to say it was a way to make fun of the inexperienced in the woods or the countryside.  I can't say I tipped a cow, but I did teach one kid how to snipe hunt, an affair that requires salt, which you sprinkle on the tail of the snipe.  As the story goes, the salt paralyses the the beast briefly so that one can put it in a sack..

Later in life, I discovered that there are birds called snipes.  There is a hunting season for one species, Wilson's Snipe, which begins today in Tennessee, and it can be blasted with a gun.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Curiosity on Mars

This is a panorama of images taken by NASA's Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Columbia Flight Makes History

On November 12, 1981, space shuttle Columbia launched into space beginning space shuttle mission STS-2, which became the first time an orbital vehicle was lauched into space, returned to earth, and then lauched and returned again.  I was 17 and a senior in high school.  Columbia disintegrated during reentry into Earth's atmosphere on February 1, 2003, when I was 39.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans Day

In observance of Veterans Day I visited the grave of my friend, Barry, who died this time last year.  When I last visited the East Tennessee Veterans Cemetary, his headstone had not yet been erected.  His last resting place now has its marker.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Greenbelt Stroll

We had some books that needed to be returned to the library this morning, and Sarah suggested that we stroll around the Greenbelt Park after we had concluded our business at the library.  Good call!
The last time we walked the Greenbelt was in August, so this is the first time we've seen it since the work associated with the dredging of the lake was completed.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Loaded Tater Casserole

Sherry and I love our cheesy potato casserole, but this one looks pretty tempting.  I wonder why it never occurred to us to put bacon in ours.  At any rate, this looks like a good recipe to try out during the holidays.  (Via Nashville's Eat. Drink. Smile.)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Liljenquist Family of Civil War Photographs

My friend Craig, a Civil War buff like his dad, recently sent me an e-mail to make me aware of the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs, which is available online through the Library of Congress.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Battle of Tippecanoe

On November 7, 1811, Governor William Henry Harrison led United States troops against Indian (or, if you prefer, Native American) forces at the Battle of Tippecanoe.  Harrison, a Whig, later became President, and his campaign song, "Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too" became popular during the 1840 campaign against incumbent Martin Van Buren.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Joy of a Good Chicken Sandwich

I confess that I am a fiend for a chicken sandwich, and I am still in mourning over the closing of the last Smoky Mountain Market on Northshore Drive in West Knoxville.  I survived for a couple of years primarily on their rooster sandwich, and the rooster was a major part of the argument I used to convince my mother and sisters to return from North Carolina to Knoxville.  "When you get off the interstate at Papermill Drive and stop and get roosters at the Smoky Mountain Market, your lives will already be better."

I have been searching for what I deem to be the best chicken sandwich here in Blount County, and so far my favorite is the sandwich they serve at the deli at Kenjo #4 on East Alexander Parkway.  The delight pictured above, however, is a homemade Southern Fried Chicken BLT from Ezra Pound Cake, where you can find the recipe.  Yum!

Monday, November 5, 2012

South Carolina Barbecue Sauce

I was grown before I ever heard of South Carolina's mustard-based barbecue sauce, though I was raised on the Alabama-style sauce served at Buddy's Bar-B-Q here in East Tennessee.  I've been looking for a recipe for the South Carolina sauce, and found one I'll have to try.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fall Back

Daylight Savings Time ended overnight, and I set most of the clocks in the house back one hour yesterday afternoon.  I will change the batteries in our smoke detectors today.

As I intended, I was a homebody most of the day yesterday, although Sarah and I did go out for breakfast and groceries before Sherry woke up.  The girls enjoyed their play, which featured a legal secretary I know.  I had no idea she was an actress.  She is also involved in Sarah's production, so it will be fun for Sherry and Sarah to get to know her.  Nice lady.

While the girls were out, I actually got to see UT win a football game yesterday, though it was not an easy (or pretty) win.  When the quarterback hits you in the chest with the football, you're supposed to catch it.  Still, they pulled it out, and the Vol Nation rejoices.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

Ready for a Lazy Weekend

Although our camping trip last weekend was fun, it did not make for a restful weekend, and the rain added to the work even after we got home because I had to dry out, clean up and store all the camping gear that got dirty and wet, which was most of it.  I have some manual labor to do today at work, in the form of moving heavy docket books and other records, so I plan to spend this weekend relaxing around the house. 

Sherry traveled to Nashville last weekend, so she is looking forward to some quiet time as well, although she and Sarah have tickets to see the performance of Holey Rollers at the Clayton Center for the Arts on the Maryville College campus on Saturday.  The daughter of one of Sherry's friends at work has a part in the production, and Sherry thought it would be fun to take Sarah to see the show.  Sherry's friend's daughter has been Sarah's babysitter, and Sarah is going to be performing at the Clayton Center in December.  I think they will both enjoy the show as I will enjoy the sofa.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Iris Nebula

In honor of my home state's official flower, I give you the Iris Nebula, courtesy of NASA.