Saturday, July 18, 2009

My Sweet Folks


Going home is always such a treat. I just love my parents and they have always, always been my rock and are to this day. Mom still cooks up a storm and last weekend was no exception. She whipped up this meal of fresh veggies for our lunch last Friday and man, oh man, was it good. Fresh tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, along with green beans, potatoes and dumplings, sauteed squash and that dish in the middle is fried eggplant. She uses Panko Japanese breadcrumbs for those and it is delish! I came home with a pile of veggies myself and cooked it up this week. I still can’t fix my veggies quite like my mama does though! She's had years of practice.


Mom taking out the cornbread from the cast iron skillet. She can make some mean buttermilk cornbread.


Mom sent us home with some of her homemade pepper sauce. The best on turnip and collard greens, which Peter hopes to grow at our house this year.


This is the house I grew up in from the time I was 16. We lived in the house next door to this one originally (a 3 bedroom brick ranch) and then my dad built this house when I was a teenager. The cabinets are painted blue and my mom still has plenty of blue and mauve around. She is NOT into decorating, so I have no idea how my sister and I got so much into it, but we did. She cares not a whit about keeping up with trends, much less with the Jones's. They live a simple and frugal life and that’s no doubt why they are so blessed with good health. It is not a fancy house at all, very basic, but it’s home to them and they have no desire to move anywhere else. Many a fabulous meal has been cooked in this tiny kitchen over the years.


As I mentioned, we celebrated my day’s 82nd birthday over at my sisters. I forgot to take a pic of the food, which was pork chops with side dishes (got too excited and dove right into the food), but I did take a pic of the pound cake I made. Here are my parents sitting on the deck enjoying the good weather we had that day. It wasn’t too humid for a change. Buster’s getting some attention from my dad. Buster is a lap dog.


I made this pound cake again (only this time I substituted cream cheese for the cream), a good Paula Deen recipe. My mom made a churn of homemade peach ice cream and we all pigged out.


I sliced up fresh peaches to go with it and it was absolutely a perfect summer treat. We grew up making homemade ice cream with a hand-cranked churn (I always sat on it to keep it from moving) and I have some very fond memories of eating that homemade ice cream, usually vanilla.


(me, Beverly, and my sister, Renee)

This is Beverly, an old friend of our family, and we invited her and her hubby over for our celebration. It was great to see her again. You see, we go way back with her big, extended family in Marietta, since her daddy and mama were one of the original families in the church when we moved to Marietta in 1963, the summer before I would turn 7. My dad became the pastor of the small church that he led for 27 years and her parents and mine have remained close over the years.

There are 7 siblings in her family, so they are a big bunch and here’s a fun little tidbit for you. She’s Travis Tritt’s aunt. Yes, the grammy-award winning country singer. Travis’s mother and Beverly are sisters and we know all of their extended family. Precious people. Travis grew up in my dad’s church as a little fellow, singing and playing his guitar in church. He had such a great talent, but we didn’t dream he would make it as far as he did, but he certainly did make the big time in country music. We’ve stayed in touch with this wonderful family over the years and after Beverly’s parents both passed away in the last 5 years, her daddy just in the past couple of months, my dad officiated the funerals for both of them, as well as Travis’s own father, who also passed away very recently. A finer family you will never find and it was great to catch up with her and hear about the rest of the family. The last time I saw Travis was over 4 years ago at his grandmother’s funeral and he was just as friendly as he’s always been, hugging each of us and catching us up on all he’s been up to since he became a country star. We have fond memories of Travis growing up as a small boy singing in church.

In fact, he wrote a song later on during his career called Bible Belt, which was written about a scandalous time in our little church involving a sordid affair with some youth leaders, when Travis was in the youth group choir which was traveling and singing that summer. It all came to a head during that trip while they were in fact, in Alabama at a church on a Sunday morning and the incident left an indelible mark on all of those young people, I'm sure. When the song came out and we heard it for the first time, we had to laugh all those years later at how awful the whole thing was at the time. That was just one incident that my dad had to deal with as a Pastor. Ahhh, the life of a Pastor is not easy. I was away at college during that time and my mom filled me in on the phone of all the goings-on.


Now, here’s something I’m going to put on here that I’ve never done before. My mom likes to keep busy during the winter months and has always done some sort of needlework. She got this set of 7 dish or hand towels out when we were home recently and showed me what she had been working on over the winter. These are all angels, all hand stitched by my sweet mama on a white cotton pique dish towel. She just does it for fun and had never thought about selling any of these, but she really didn’t want to keep them, so I told her I would put them on my blog to see if anyone would like to buy them.


I figured a fair price would be $42 for the set of 7 towels and I’ll even offer free shipping. So, if you are interested in buying these towels, please let me know by leaving a comment OR by emailing me. The first person to let me know will get them. That’s $6 each.


She did a great job with them. Neither me nor my sister or niece really collect linens like this, so none of us wanted to particularly keep them, so I hope one of you would like them for your collection. Especially if you love angels.


Thanks for going home with me!

See you Sunday afternoon for Thrifty Treasures.

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Wagonwife Designs said...

I loved the story of your family and the wonderful food prepared.
Nothing like home cooking.
Although I now live in Upstate NY, my father's family is from Oklahoma. He is one of 6 boys.Love the Southern Food and remember making homemade ice cream with a machine we cranked by hand.
Ahhhh... the Memories.
Happy birthday to your Dad!

Terri and Bob said...

Such a sweet story. I am interested in the towels if you haven't sold them already! Do you do paypal?

Anonymous said...


Rhoda, your parents are just so precious!!!! And the tea towels are just wonderful!

Thanks for sharing!

P.S. Pass the eggplant and squash, please...LOL!

Carol said...


What a great post. I feel like I got to know you a lot better.

I have never, I mean never, had homemade ice cream. Sounds like a must. Your parents look wonderful and all the food your mom cooked looked delicious. I might check out your pound cake recipe if I have time.

Love the tea towels. I might have gone for them if your second commenter didn't. My friend, Barb, loves angels.

Blessings to you.

P.S. That was quite the story about Travis Tritt

Sandra said...

Can I go home with you next time? :)

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Thanks for letting us tag along, Rhoda! The food looks just heavenly - I could go for your pound cake and the peach ice cream. I also love fried eggplant, but since going gluten free have not had it in several months. My Mom always made it for me and I always wound up bringing some home. I have to experiment with corn flake crumbs to see if I can make it taste just as good.

Frugal Fine Living said...

Rhoda, I really enjoyed your blog post today. I can see you have been blessed with two wonderful parents!

The food looks wonderful, especially that peach ice cream! There was a couple at the church we attended before we moved here who were originally from Georgia. They'd always have a big BBQ on the 4th of July. They'd get out two of those hand-cranked ice cream makers, and we'd make two big batches. My favorite was the peach.


Happy@Home said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post, Rhoda. The meal your mom served sounds heavenly to me. I don't think it gets any better than homegrown veggies from the garden and your dessert looks wonderful too. I also enjoyed hearing about how you know Travis Tritt. Very interesting.

Your mom did a beautiful job on her hand towels. I have never seen them with angels before. If your previous commenter changes her mind, I would be interested in purchasing them.

Fantastic post. Thanks for sharing it!!

Mrs. Trixi said...

Rhoda this is the kind of simple lifestyle that I hope I am creating for my own family. Your family is preacious and thank you so much for sharing them with us.

Marsha's Mpressions said...

Happy Happy Times! You are very blessed to have healthy parents to enjoy. I wish them many more active years. Now, pass the peaches, please.

Cindy said...

What a lovely post! I love people like your folks, the frugal unpretentious ones. How very nice. What a blessing they are to you.

Marie said...

OH! My! That food looked sooooo good. I know you enjoyed it and the fellowship of being together. Your mom did a great job on the towels.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Rhoda, your parents are so precious, and I always love to "go home" with you. Thank you for taking us. Oh, what a blessing to have Godly parents! And I didn't think their kitchen was small. Apparently it works well because your mother is able to turn out some of the best food EVER. Those veggies, that cornbread AND homemade peach ice cream looked delicious. SO did your cake!

Happy Happy Birthday to your sweet father, and wooohoooo to your mother for her lovely towels she made. Since I don't cook, it seems a bit pointless to buy those adorable dish towels, but I think they are the cutest things ever! Love the fact that they are handmade, and I think that's more than a fair price on seven of them!

Love to you...


Sheila :-)

P.S. Interesting story about Travis Twit, and his aunt (and all of you) are some mighty pretty ladies! "Hi" to Buster, too! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Rhoda,
Thanks for taking us along on your visit home. Your dear parents remind me very much of my own. My Mom turned 83 y.o. just a week ago. Dad went home to our Saviour just this past March but I was blessed to have him in my life for so long, he would have been 96 y.o. this coming October. My parents also lived a frugal lifestyle but this is how their generation lived. There are many lessons to be learned from them.

Your Mom's handiwork is lovely. Those towels have a definite vintage look about them. Best wishes to your Dad on his 82nd b/day. TFS! Sheila

mah said...

Hello Rhoda!!! Love southern food!! Love your family!! Love the dish towels!! LOVE LOVE it all! Have your mom do some with rabbits, I need about six of them! Thanks for a great start to my weekend. Love Mary Ann

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

I liked this post a lot, Rhoda! It was nice to get a peek into your life. Your parents are just adorable, and I love that they live a simple life. :)

Stephanie said...

It is always so wonderful to go home! thank you for sharing your precious family with us.

Debra from Bungalow said...

It's easy to see why you love your folks so much! You are blessed with such fine parents and beautiful memories. The food is so down home and yummy looking. You could never get that at a restaurant.

Next time to see them, tell them they are loved in blogland too.

Bonita said...

I always like it when you visit your parents because you post pictures of the most awesome food and somehow I always happen to be hungry when I see them. Excuse the drool. But how do you all stay so fit and trim eating all that delectable stuff???

I'm so glad to hear your mom isn't a decorator and she's lived a long fruitful life anyway. It gives me hope. By the way, I think her kitchen is adorable and she even has a dish drainer like me. Now I know I'd like that woman!

Love those beautiful towels! She has quite a gift there.

Thanks for the Travis Tritt Trivia (say that tongue twister ten times in a row- ha ha). I knew nothing about him, but he sounds like a great guy. Your dad sounds like a great guy too to handle that scandal.

I'm off to gorge now. I think I want something sweet with peaches and ice cream on it. Wonder where I got that craving???

NicNacManiac said...

There is nothing like goin home. It's amazing that MOM can always prepare a feast in the blink of an eye. Your family sounds precious and it's great to visit the old homestead, always brings back good memories!!

Have a fabulous weekend!
Hugs, Nerina :)

Gwen said...

I have never had fried eggplant and that looks sooo good.

My mom isn't such a great cook and she likes to experiment on us when we go there. So I try to stay away during meal times:)

mary'smom said...

Those dishtowels are beautiful! My grandmother used to make those types of towels...If I had the extra money right now, I would love to have them.

Runner Mom said...

Hey, Rhoda! This post was precious! Your Mama looks so much like my mother-in-law! I did a double take!!Those towels are lovely! What a fun weekend! THanks for sharing it with us! My Hubby's dad is a retired minister, so we've heard stories as well!! Never a dull moment in the Bible Belt!!!

I plan on checking out your pound cake recipe!! That's my favorite dessert!

I will be back to link up with you again on Sunday! I DID run this morning and yard sale at the same time!!!


Jessica said...

first YUM!
second, do you happen to know of a way to create/make an inexpensive built in for a side of your fireplace???


Anonymous said...

OMG I WANT YOUR MOM!!!! What a wonderful feast! Your parents are just awesome and I know you are very very close to them. My folks have been gone for years and I sure do miss them!

Sugar's Mommy said...

Oh, girl! That food looks so good. Love me some Southern cooking.

Carmen said...

This is a great post. Your mom and dad are too cute! The food your mom prepared looks DELICIOUS! The towels are precious too. I have no patience for stuff like that. Very cool that you know Travis Tritt. What a funny story about the scandal too. Amazing how things like that stick with you.

Ashford Chase HOA, Inc. said...

Sweet post, but what do you mean your mom didn't care about decorating? Look at that kitchen. It is totally decorated. Not new of course, but totally decorated just the same.

Terri said...

What a sweet, wonderful post, Rhoda. Treasure those moments with both parents cause one day they'll end. I lost my dad in January of 2008. My parents had been married 65 years and my mom is still lost without him. I miss him dearly, not a day goes by that I don't think of him.

grannyann said...

My grandmother used to do some similar sewing. Enjoyed the tour and the food looks fantastic.

Linda C said...

Thanks for taking us along on your visit with your sweet family! Your parents are just precious- and the pictures of your mom on the porch- she just looks like a sweet pastor's wife- just like ours was when I was growing up:)

What an interesting story about your favorite foods- yum!- everything looks wonderful! -- and your connection with country fame! Wow!
That is so cool!

Have a great weekend:)

Linda C

nanc said...

The pictures and descriptions of your mother's cooking look and sound delicious. Isn't it amazing how she can whip up all that food without a 'show' kitchen. I have friends with unbelievable kitchens who wouldn't even attempt any homemade cooking. i just found your blog recently and find it so interesting.

Sue said...

Yummm... the food looked good, as did your parents! Thanks for sharing the fact that you value your family and their way of life. So often, people look beyond where they came from. See ya Sunday afternoon!
:-) Sue

KayEllen said...

wonderful post and family time:)

Darling towels!!!

Have a safe trip home,

imjacobsmom said...

This was a fun read! Thanks for the trip back home, your meals look and sounded devine! You have the cutest parents. I think you are my brush with fame - growing up with Travis Tritt and all. ~ Robyn

Blondie's Journal said...


You made me get that warm, fuzzy feeling when I go to visit my dad (he is 82 also) and am in my childhood home. It seems nothing chages there. But I always have that special feeling, like a small part of myself is still there.

And, oh my, all that food. I am getting a great idea of what you Southerner's like to cook up. And it is diffent than us in the Midwest. I would love to serve a veggie lunch like that and I think I will!!

Love the towels!! I am a little late to make a bid for them though..
Have a great day, dear friend!

And hey, would you mind passing along your mother's recipe for buttermilk cornbread. It looks marvelous and my cornbread always turns out dry!


Shauna said...

What a sweet post. The food looks really good! Thanks for sharing!

Sandra said...

Aw, what a fun time you had with your family. I feel nothing but hominess (is that a word? hee hee) at your parent's house. So much love.

marmielu said...

This was such a nice post to read. Thanks so much for sharing your family with us.
Mary Lou

Joan@anythinggoeshere said...

I always work on my Monday post for your party over the weekend and then make sure my link works. This gives me the added fun of seeing what you're up to. Do you parents want to adopt me. They look and seem like the nicest people and your mom can cook up one great meal and is crafty too. What a treat for a Saturday afternoon.

Tammie said...

I think this may well have been one of my favorite post of all yours. Your sweet momma can sure whip up a mean meal! Gosh, I need some fried okra, fried squash, heck just something fresh from a garden and FRIED. I miss my very southern grandparents some thing awful... wish I could cook like they did! Thanks for sharing!

Rona's Home Page said...

Ah, I so wanted to join you for lunch.
Thank you for including the photos ~ I'm so hungry.

Nicole @ BugaBoos said...

Your parents are precious, loved reading this! That food looks soooo good, I love love love veggies and fresh ones, even better! We have a little doggy named Buster too, and my dad is a pastor, so cool! Looks like you had such a wonderful time! Thanks for Sharing!

Southern Savvy said...

That veggie meal looks so good!! I'm hungry for fresh garden veggies now. But, I'll have to wait - things are backwards here in S. FL. We don't grow veggies this time of year and Farmer's Market shuts down after Mother's Day. Weird huh?

the undomesticated wife said...

Your parents are too cute for words! I bet Buster is one spoiled dog! :)

Becky said...

Your mom's cooking made me so hungry. My hubby's favorite is fried eggplant and I use to have a special meal that we call the feast of all that the garden offered us. It was my children's favorite meal ever.
But I never learned to make cornbread in a skillet. Your momma must share that recipe with all of her new found friends that just may show up for dinner.
God bless your dad and many blessing to your family as they celebrate him.

Anonymous said...

So enjoyed this post! Your parents are my kind of people!! And it sounds like the Lord certainly has blessed them.

Homemade Ice Cream- you are making me drool! Back home we would make homemade ice cream anytime we got together and when we would go camping we would bring along our hand cranks- of course you have to eat it all as there are no freezers the way we camp!!! Miss those times!


mamamagnolia said...

What a delicious meal and wonderful visit to your home. I have very similar memories of my parents and grandparents homes. Enjoy reading your blog.

D said...

Thanks for the great post. That looks like some good eating for sure. I haven't had homemade ice cream in so long.

midnight macaroons said...

You have the most adorable parents. Your mom sure knows how to cook. Look at all that wonderful food! It makes me hungry!!!

Rhoda, would you give me some advice? I'm looking for a nice tan wall color. What color/paint brand would you recommend? Something light not dark.

Kari (GrannySkywalker) said...

That table of food reminded me of dinner at my grandma's house. As did the "porch sitting" afterwards. I have great memories of the whole family sitting in rocking chairs or on the front steps of grandma and grandpa's front porch in Selma, Alabama. Nothing like a southern evening after a dinner of fine southern food. :)


Hafford Family 5 said...

Love your blog! Love you! Really loved this post, so missing my Granny's meals! We are still trying to keep some traditions going strong, though, like the homemade ice cream! Check this out if you have time!

Angie Seaman said...

Oh my goodness are killing me with all of that food girl. Potatoes, dumplings, etc.??? Oh yes, some of my favs! What a feast! Where is my invite? Ha ha! Hope you guys had a great time. It sure looks like you did. Isn't Mom always great about hitting the spot with homecooked meals? My Mom is the same way. It's amazing how "home" always feels so comforting even all these years later, isn't it?

Keep sharing sista'! I love all of the pictures. Definitely keep them coming!

Hugs, Angie

Rachel said...

I love this post...but it makes me I'm young enough to be your child, so my grandparents are/would be your parents' age....and while they cooked/lived that way, only one of them is still with us...and she is mostly blind, mostly deaf, and unable to do any of the gardening and work she loved so much. She isn't even allowed to cook anymore, because she forgets things are on the stove.

So I have to try and cook like that for my children, to carry on the tradition (my mom doesn't--she's a box/can 'girl'). Thanks for the pictures (and get the recipes and such from your mom! Those of us who are "generationally challenged" need all of the help we can get! :-)

It doesn't hurt that I grew up in Marietta ('74-'95). Makes me want to cry some more, lol. I miss 'home'...and I probably know what church your daddy pastored/where it was/is...

Thank you SO much for sharing this. Even though it makes me sad/nostalgic, we need that. And it is so good to see that folks like your parents are still around, living, working, the way that they always have.

Oh--and I LOOOOVE the towels! Did she design them herself, or use a pattern? If it was a pattern, can you find out where she got it, cause I'd like to make some myself...

Jen - Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

Oh, you know I just love this post. PRECIOUS Family time! I've been gone for TEN days...ugh. Forgive me when I link up to my chalkboard post from last week. No yard sale-ing on the trip. So sad. :)

Ashley @ AshleysBusy said...

hi Rhoda, that dinner looks delicious!! I just made fried green tomatoes last night, from all the veggies that my dad brought over. I fry my eggplant with panko every time I make eggplant parm, it is so extremely yummy.

Loved reading about your family. And about the mauve, totally reminds me of my Mamaw. :)

Blushing hostess said...

Lovely, it is heart and belly warming, no?

A Life In Focus Photography said...

oh my gosh I am starving!!!! that food loved familiar and delicious. thanks for sharing.

midnight macaroons said...

Thanks,Rhoda! I truly appreciate the advice on the wall colors. I'm going to run by Lowe's this afternoon. You've been a big help and I'll be sure to let you know how it turns out and what color I decided on. Have a super week!!!

Seeker said...

Hi Sweet Rhoda!

You know, people in my generation would do so well to look, listen and pattern themselves after those with the wisdom, frugality and practicality of your parents...we might not be in such an economic mess if we did so! Thanks for sharing a peek into their lives.

{you look so much like your mama}

sodizzymomof 5 said...

That's some good southern cookin'!!!! I know you enjoyed every bite! Thanks for sharing with us!

Beverly said...

Rhoda, I always enjoy your posts about your family. Your parents are lovely.

The dinner looks delish, and you must tell me what potatoes and dumplings are. Of course, if it is two separate dishes, I know, but if it is one, I would love to know what it is.

Your mother's towels are so pretty. I know the person that gets them will treasure them.

We had a scandal in our church when I was about eleven. The preacher was having an affair with the wife of one of the deacons. I remember feeling so disillusioned when the two families split up and left our church. I was young and naive.

Elizabeth said...

I found your website from Thrifty Decor Chicks and I'm so glad I did! I feel so connected with you due to your connections in Alabama and Georgia. I'm a Georgia gal, born and raised and we had wonderful veggie meals in the summer just like you pictured. I also loved your blog about the Alabama theater! I attended Samford in Birmingham and our sorority had a party there once. Simply breathtaking!!

Ashley said...

Your parents are as cute as can be!! What a great post. Thanks for Sharing!

Bill said...

Hi Rhoda,
Your posts are always informative and entertaining, but this one is very, very special. Your parents sound like wonderful, salt-of-the-earth people. They'd have to be to raise such a special daughter ... one does so much, and means to much, to SO MANY people.

Thank you for all that you do!


~Violet~ said...

your post actually has made me cry!
I can hardly type this...not bad crying, just wonderful memory father passed away 3 years ago..and he always pastored little country churches, and my mom always cooked those kind of good, fresh meals. I miss him! and sitting on the ice cream freezer was always my job!

I hate so bad my kids won't have these kind of memories from me..this makes me want to slow down and make sure they will have some good things to remember, not just all the busy-ness that we think is important.

Thanks for sharing your wonderful parents with us..give them a hug from me & maybe I'll stop crying in a bit...I love this post!

The Speckledpup said...

Bro Merrit, another uncle of Travis, is in my fun to connect