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Susan
middle Tennessee
You are an extraordinary woman, how can you expect to live an ordinary life? ~Louisa May Alcott
Interests: when asked if the glass is half full or half empty, i always respond "my glass overflows!, " blending all my passions into a balanced and harmonious life of family-friends-furbabies-travel-photography-good food-and wordsmithing. Oh yeah, and I love Doris Day. The first words I ever strung together were, "By the light" as in "By the light of the Silvery Moon." Mom sang it to me when I was a baby.
Recent Activity
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To receive the Wet Paint Monthly Newsletter directly to your inbox, simply email susan@susanejones.com and request to be added to the list. Enjoy! The Joy of Painting with Susan ~ Art, Friends, Creativity, Learning Creativity, Inspiration, and Dead Air... Life is Art! I woke up Saturday morning to a beautiful,... Continue reading
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Kiffin Yates Rockwell (1892–1916) was an early aviator and the first American pilot to shoot down an enemy aircraft in World War I. On May 18, 1916, Rockwell attacked and shot down a German plane over the Alsace battlefield. For this action he was awarded the Medailee Militaire and the Croix de Guerre. He was from Newport, Tennessee. Photo Credit: Photographer unknown Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2019 at Charm of the Carolines
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To receive the Wet Paint Monthly Newsletter directly to your inbox, simply email susan@susanejones.com and request to be added to the list. Enjoy! The Joy of Painting with Susan ~ Art, Friends, Creativity, Learning Hello? Is that you spring? Once I read a poignant observation that spring, as a season,... Continue reading
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Happy Chinese New Year!! It's the Year of the Pig, representing carefree fun, good fortune and wealth. Don your red clothing and exclaim, "Gong Xi Fa Cai!" Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2019 at Charm of the Carolines
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One of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War and the beginning of the end for the Confederate Army, was the Battle of Franklin in my hometown of Franklin, Tennessee. Around 30,000 Union Soldiers, led by Major General John Schofield, were entrenched close to downtown near the Carter House. They arrived very early on the morning, around 4am, of November 30, 1864. Later that day, 33,000 Confederate Soldiers, led by Major General John Bell Hood, marched up the Columbia Highway towards Franklin around noon, angry the Union army passed them in Spring Hill while they slept. What commenced at 4pm was a five-hour battle that left 2,326 Union soldiers killed, wounded, missing, or captured and 6,262 Confederate soldiers killed, wounded, missing, or captured. Keep in mind the entire population of Franklin at the time was only 750. One member of the Union troops who survived the Battle of Franklin was... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2019 at Charm of the Carolines
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I've just spent the past week in Natchez, Mississippi, and just across the Mississippi River in Louisiana. If there is anything I've learned this week it's that the "South" is not one culture.... it's comprised of MANY diverse, delicious and colorful heritages and cultures. Just to list one thing I discovered was Mayhaw Jelly. Where has this been all my life?? The Mayhaw tree grows in moist soil found in southern wetlands and along creek and river banks. The berries ripen in April and May and are picked to make jelly. And since August 1, 2014, The Mayhaw is the official state fruit tree of Louisiana. To make Mayhaw jelly, you must pick the fruit and boil it in a large stock pot or dutch oven and then let it cool. Strain fruit pulp from the juice using a cheesecloth. Measure out 6 cups of Mayhaw juice and return to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2019 at Bewitchin' in the Kitchen
With my love for all things from the 1940s, here comes a recipe just in time for Thanksgiving.... Sausage & Prune Dressing reprinted from the November 2014 issue of Yankee Magazine. May have to try this one... Ingredients: 10 ounces pitted prunes, roughly chopped 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for pan 1-1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, casings removed 1-1/2 large onions, any type, diced 2 celery stalks, diced 3 large cloves garlic, minced 3 to 4 teaspoons kosher or sea salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 10 fresh sage leaves 4 cups chopped Swiss chard (from 1 bunch), large stems removed 1 pound two- or three-day-old crusty white bread, cut into 1-1/2-inch chunks (see "Note," above) 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock 1 large egg Instructions: Preheat your oven to 350° and set a rack to the middle position. Lightly oil a 9x13-inch baking dish... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2019 at Bewitchin' in the Kitchen
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The original plan for today was to decorate the house for Christmas and have family over this evening to go out to dinner and then attend the annual Christmas Parade in town. However, a cold front making it's way here from the Arctic changed all that. Cold wind and rain are making thier way to middle Tennessee, so the parade was postponed until next Monday. Today I'm staying in, addressing Christmas cards, and making "homemade" Spinach and Tortellini Soup. It really can't be called homemade because all of the ingredients are packaged and in the pantry and freezer, but I keep these ingredients on hand for days such as this when I want a hearty soup, but don't want to venture into the inclement weather to purchase fresh ingredients. Spinach and Tortellini Soup 3T olive Oil 1 Clove garlic, minced 1 small bag chopped onion and green and red bell... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2019 at Bewitchin' in the Kitchen
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What are your New Year's resolutions? Do you make them? My dad has the same one every year... not to eat chitlins. I've never known him to eat a chitlin, so I guess he's doing pretty good meeting his goals. I love new beginnings and make lists of things I want accomplish, places I want to visit, people I want to see, it can get a bit overwhelming. This year the goal is simple. Very simple. To eliminate simple sugars from my meals. Sugar causes inflammation and lately I've been experiencing inflammatory arthritis in my left pointer finger. Not a good situation for a painter. Thank goodness I'm not left-handed!! The first hurdle was to eliminate Coca-cola from my life. This was not simple. It's a daily struggle. I'm using a little Neuro-linguestic programming to convince myself it's toxic poison to stay away from it. The next hurdle was to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2019 at Bewitchin' in the Kitchen
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Not sure how your February is going, but the Siberian Express visited Tennessee. I just spent the past week iced in at home. What was predicted to be 6 inches of snow turned out to be ice, sleet, and snow on several days. The roads were treacherous. On some days the temperature were bitter cold, dipping below zero. Brrrr..... The kids were out of school all week. On some days my morning paper didn't arrive. On other days there was no mail delivery. Who else is ready for spring?? Today I needed to cook items in the fridge that have been here a week, and decided to make Milk Can Supper. It's said this recipe was created by cowboys who put whatever meat and veggies they had and put them in a Milk Can and placed it in the campfire, pouring beer over the top. Well, I don't have any... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2019 at Bewitchin' in the Kitchen
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Sometimes it just feels like there are not enough hours in the day. Between painting, gardening, animal rescue, cooking, socializing, church, and work, the responsibilities are endless. Today was just not one of those days. I've had too many of those days in a row and today I took the day off and painted for fun en plein air at Rippavilla Plantation. And now I'm at home making homemade Crumpets for dinner. In my mind when Julie Andrews was singing to the Van Trapp children about Tea with Jam and Bread, the bread she was referring to was Crumpets. For those of you who don't know, Crumpets are a little like English Muffins... round, porous and biscuit-like, both are griddle cakes and served mainly for breakfast, brunch or tea. But there is a difference. Crumpets are made with milk, and English Muffins are not. Crumpets are made with a stiff... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2019 at Bewitchin' in the Kitchen
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In this year's garden I've planted corn, sweet potatoes, okra, peppers, artichoke, watermelon, sunflower, zinnias, marigolds, and a variety of tomatoes and squashes. One squash in particular I've never grown before... patty pan squash. I haven't harvested any yet, but my sweet friends, the Burns', gave me a bag full of exotic squashes, zucchini's, cucumber, and one large, beautiful Patty Pan. I cleaned and boiled it. Split it in half, and removed the seeds and pulp. and removed the seeds and pulp. Added the pulp to a skillet cooking sausage, garlic, and onion. Cooked it until tender, added a few potato straws and stuffed it back into the hollowed out squash. Added a little Havarti cheese on top. And called it dinner. Delicious! Thank you Tonya for the gorgeous bag of veggies from your garden!!! Can't wait for the Patty Pan in my garden to come in, and will try... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2019 at Bewitchin' in the Kitchen
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Two of my favorite fragrances, white lilacs and tomato leaves. With all this Okra coming in, I'm on the search for great okra recipes. Luckily for me, Southern Living has already published twelve of the best Okra recipes they've found. I can't wait to try this one... Fried Pecan Okra Ingredients 1 cup pecans 1 1/2 cups Bisquick 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 2 (10-oz.) packages frozen whole okra, thawed - But I'll use fresh Okra from the garden Peanut oil Preparation 1. Place pecans in an even layer in a shallow pan and bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally. 2. Process pecans, Bisquick, salt and pepper in a food processor until pecans are finely ground. Place pecan mixture in a large bowl. Add okra, tossing to coat. Gently press pecan mixture into okra. 4. Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2019 at Bewitchin' in the Kitchen
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This recipe for Tavern Biscuits is from "The Virginia Housewife" by Mary Randolph, 1828. According to my friend Scott, the following recipe came from Andrew Jackson who preferred these biscuits with country ham spread. TAVERN BISCUITS 4 cups flour 1/2 tsp. nutmeg 1 cup butter 1 1/2 cup milk 1 cup sugar 1/2 tsp mace 1/4 cup Brandy (or more to taste) Sift together flour adn nutmeg. Add butter and mix until mealy. Add the remainder of ingredients. Knead into dough. Roll thin and cut with biscuit cutter. Bake at 450* until lightly brown. Biscuits continue cooking for about a minute after you remove them from the oven, so timing is essential for this recipe to bake at its best. Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2019 at Bewitchin' in the Kitchen
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It's time. When the mornings are cold and the afternoons are warm, it's time to pull up the garden, harvest any fruits, veggies and flowers that remain, and lay down manure to age over the winter. I plan to leave the figs on the tree to ripen, but everything else will be pulled up, and the ground covered over. One of my favorite crops is Butternut Squash. Soup made from this veggie is the best. But I even like it roasted, served over rice with a little melted butter on top. Yum! Tonight I tried a new recipe. It's "Paleo." Roasted Butternut Squash with Onions Ingredients: 2 medium butternut squash, lightly roasted, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes 2 red onions, cut into large wedges 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil Salt and pepper, to taste 3 tbsp cashew or almond butter 1 tbsp lemon juice 1-3 tbsp water... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2019 at Bewitchin' in the Kitchen
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I've been southern since the day I was born, but yesterday I heard about a traditional southern dish that I've never heard of before, and it got me curious. The first and most popular use of "Cooter Pie" came from the Urban Dictionary. An affectionate name said to someone jokingly with a southern, trucker like accent. Usually very loudly and followed typically by laughing and associated with boob slapping. Well, that was a first, too. Boob slapping. Really?? Apparently a "cooter" is a turtle. That is, in the south. The Urban Dictionary had many interesting definitions for this word that simply don't apply to this post. Turtles are hunted a variety of ways, including "noodling" which is a hunting style I was aware of, though I've never been cooter noodling. Once while frog gigging, one of the boys caught a turtle and cut off his head with plans for making... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2019 at Bewitchin' in the Kitchen
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I've been southern since the day I was born, but yesterday I heard about a traditional southern dish that I've never heard of before, and it got me curious. The first and most popular use of "Cooter Pie" came from the Urban Dictionary. An affectionate name said to someone jokingly with a southern, trucker like accent. Usually very loudly and followed typically by laughing and associated with boob slapping. Well, that was a first, too. Boob slapping. Really?? Apparently a "cooter" is a turtle. That is, in the south. The Urban Dictionary had many interesting definitions for this word that simply don't apply to this post. Turtles are hunted a variety of ways, including "noodling" which is a hunting style I was aware of, though I've never been cooter noodling. Once while frog gigging, one of the boys caught a turtle and cut off his head with plans for making... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2019 at Bewitchin' in the Kitchen
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So Annelle came through and shared her recipe with me for her grandmother's Boiled Custard. I had to try it, and will say I will never purchase pre-packaged Boiled Custard again. Homemade Boiled Custard is the BOMB!!! Here is Annelle's Recipe: But wouldn't you know I didn't have all the ingredients. So this is what I made... Susan's Boiled Custard 7 cups whole, organic milk 7 egg yolks 1 cup sugar 1 tsp almond meal 1 Tsp Vanilla In a big pot, pour in milk and turn heat on medium to heat the milk, but not let it boil. In a bowl whisk together egg yolks and sugar and set aside. When milk is hot, pour a little into the egg/sugar mixture and whisk to warm it up. Continue to add hot milk to warm up the mixture. When you are confident the eggs won't curdle, pour the mixture into... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2019 at Bewitchin' in the Kitchen
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One of my favorite restaurants in Columbia, Tennessee, is Square Market Cafe. And one of my favorite menu items is their Grilled Salmon Salad with Dill Dressing. I was lucky enough to get their Dill Dressing recipe and last night I made this dish at home with a few changes. The Square Market meal includes strips of grilled red bell pepper. For my version at home I substituted sauteed spring asparagus. Delish!!! And I've also modified the dill dressing. I make it to taste, so there is no real recipe to share, but this is how I make it: Equal amounts of Hellman's Mayonnaise and sour cream Capers Lemon juice Dried Dill Weed Fresh Pressed Garlic Salt & Pepper I mix it really good and serve on Grilled Salmon on a bed of fresh spring greens. Square Market adds a little bit of buttermilk and purees in a food processor.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2019 at Bewitchin' in the Kitchen
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I love vintage etiquette books and cookbooks. Recently I found a 1954 Westinghouse Cookbook which is a very special addition to my collection. My grandfather had a Westinghouse business in the 1950's and this book connects me to my father as a teenager and to my grandparents. In Vintage Cookbooks, I'm especially interested in recipes of dishes that appear "vintage." I found several in this book that I would like to try. For example, Creamed Chicken over Chinese Omelet. Doesn't that sound like a 1954 dish?? Chinese Omelet Ingredients: 1/2 cup uncooked rice 4 T butter 4 T flour 2 cups milk 3 eggs, separated 1/4 t paprika 1 1/4 t salt 1/8 t dry mustard 4 T grated cheese Preparation: Cook rice until tender. Rinse with cold water. In a separate pan, make a sauce with butter, flour, milk and cook until thickened. Beat egg yolks and add rice,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2019 at Bewitchin' in the Kitchen
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Awoke this morning to my first really Autumn day, beautiful sunny day but chilly and crisp. Decided to make my own version of Sausage and Lentil Soup for supper this evening, loosely based on Ina Garten's recipe from her book Barefoot in Paris. Ingredients 1 pound French green lentils, or in my case, a partially used bag of brown lentils in the pantry 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for serving 4 cups diced yellow onions or in my case, one bag frozen, diced white onion 4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (2 leeks), or in my case, one cleaned and chopped leek 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 large cloves), or a spoonful of minced garlic in a jar in the fridge 1 tablespoon kosher salt, or in my case, freshly ground sea salt 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2019 at Bewitchin' in the Kitchen
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I love Brussels Sprouts and keep them on hand in the freezer to pop in the oven to roast with carrots and onions and other veggies often. But occasionally I'll cook them on the cook-top, simmered with other delicious flavor combinations. Here is a favorite recipe that is savory and sweet. Brussels Sprouts Lardons Ingredients 2 tablespoons good olive oil 6 ounces bacon, 1/4-inch diced 1/2 white or yellow onion, diced 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half 3/4 teaspoon sea salt 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 3/4 cup dried, sweet fruit like golden raisins or diced prunes 1 3/4 cups Chicken stock or broth Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the bacon. Cook over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is golden brown and crisp, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the bacon to a plate lined with... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2019 at Bewitchin' in the Kitchen
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“The recipe for American cake looks something like this – one part technique and history from a homeland, one part available ingredients, and one part American spirit.” – Anne Byrn, American Cake Can't wait for my newest book to arrive. American Cake is the creation of Nashville-native Anne Byrn, most commonly known as the Cake Mix Doctor. It's part cookbook and part history book According to Ms. Byrn... Cakes have been my passion, obsession, and occupation. I have enjoyed a celebratory, eyes-wide-open life marked by cake, candles, and good times spent with family and friends. Which is why I wrote American Cake, to show how cake has always been part of the American story. I share the deep and real stories and authentic recipes behind our country’s classic – as well as lesser-known – cakes, from past to present. It was a sweet experience… to pardon the pun. And had... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2019 at Bewitchin' in the Kitchen
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Each time I find myself on the far west side of Nashville, I like to treat myself to a visit to McKay's used bookstore. It's a treasure trove full of books, audio books, DVDs, comic books and video games for sale as little as a nickle. On a recent visit, I found an adorable first edition cookbook filled not only with recipes, but adorable watercolor illustrations and pithy quotes. It's Autumn by Susan Branch. I would love to meet Ms Branch. I think we are kindred spirits, Sistahs! One of the recipes captured my fancy and even though I don't have a working oven at the moment (lightning strike), I had to make it. Out comes my precious, red "Easy Bake Oven" to make Indian Pudding. The hardest part of this recipe was adjusting ingredients to fit the pan that fits in the Easy Bake Oven, adjusting the bake time... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2019 at Bewitchin' in the Kitchen
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Yesterday I saw a segment of a news magazine program on the benefits of Turmeric. I've never cooked with Turmeric, but I'm always open to trying new things. Seems it can be added to just about any dish to spice it up. One thing it didn't warn against was how staining it is. Between painting and cooking with pomegranate and turmeric, I've ruined a brand-new shirt. So be warned, especially if you are naturally messy. Guilty. Spiced Pomegranate Rice Ingredients 4 Servings 2-3 tablespoons good olive oil 1 small onion, diced 1 garlic clove, peeled, crushed or equivalent minced 1 cup basmati rice 1 teaspoon ground turmeric 1½ cups chicken broth ½ cup pomegranate seeds 2-3 scallions, thinly sliced ¼ teaspoon Aleppo, Chili, or other red ground pepper or to taste Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Preparation Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2019 at Bewitchin' in the Kitchen