I am sitting here in the breakfast room at the Mistletoe Bough typing to the sound of a million crickets looking for mates outside on this warm November evening.
It was a warm and breezy day with trees changing color and flowers still blooming.
4 days ago, as most of you know by now, I learned that I was being whisked away to visit my aunt in ‘Bamy as a birthday gift from my husband. I am staying in a large Victorian home, sleep in a big fat four poster bed in a large beautiful room with its own pinkalicious bathroom. This house was built around 1897 and renovated in the 90’s into the beautiful inn it is today. I came just in time to help her cater a wedding that is being held here this next Sunday. Even brought my own apron, just in case. (and while it might seem weird, my own ziplock bag of yeast. I would have brought flour, but it wouldn’t fit in the suitcase. And you know how yeast can be so pricey.)
The guests I met this morning were here for the big football game yesterday. I guess they take their football very seriously here. And they lost, for the first time in forever. But instead of trashing the rooms, they were quite perky and friendly this morning. They enjoyed fresh baked croissants, mini muffins, a fruit cup, juice and a potato sausage casserole that I am going to share with you. It really was delicious. Better than the recipe made it sound.
I have not gotten any good wide shots, but some close-ups from around the property and of the holiday regalia she already has up. We are finishing decorating some trees tomorrow. For today we got to visit with the guests, (one of whom loved to bake and talked sourdough with me) that were leaving this morning and then shopped till we dropped. I think I did drop. Especially after a huge lunch at Olive Garden involving pasta, creamy sauce, sun-dried tomatoes and bits of steak. At least I wish I could drop.
Instead I will share some more photos with you. Then I will share this breakfast recipe. Then I can drop.
Now you have been patient. Before I talk about the lost cemetery, I will share this recipe with you.
Sausage Hash-brown Bake:
you will need:
1 lb sausage, either cook and crumble some up or use sausage crumbles, all pre-cooked
1 2 lb bag frozen hash-browns, any kind, thawed (she thaws in fridge over night)
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz. onion dip, like what you use for potato chips, the stuff the kids fight for at the holidays.
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 bell pepper chopped (she actually skipped the pepper and used red onions instead)
1/4 cup red bell pepper chopped
1 cup grated cheese of your choice, divided (she uses a cheese blend, cheddar and jack)
1/4 cup butter
In a big saucepan, mix soup, dip, 3/4 cup of cheese, onions and peppers and the butter. Stir over medium heat until warm and the butter is melted.
In a large bowl mix potatoes with the cheese mixture. In a greased 9 x 13 pan put a layer of half of the potato cheese mixture, sprinkle the sausage over that then the rest of the potatoes over the sausage. Now sprinkle the reserved cheese over the top and cover with foil.
Put in a 350 oven for 45 minutes.
Remove foil and bake 15 more minutes.
Serves 8 happy people. While it is baking you can be blogging with me or doing your nails, or playing with your aunts doggy, Max.
And now for this…
First my aunt told me to come outside for some excitement. Then she had me sit in the back of the open truck, legs dangling, while hanging on to the trash bin. She drove down the hill/driveway while I hung on to the trash, screaming the whole way down so she could put it on the curb.
Later she told me she had something exciting to show me. I was a little hesitant this time.
“It can’t be as exciting as the whole trash can thing.”
“No, maybe not, but it’s very cool” .
We had been driving in the middle of no where, which is pretty much most of Alabama, when she pulls over. I see a little wooden something, a gazebo?, standing amongst the trees. She traipses in and I follow. There is an enclosed grave belonging to a child who died at the age of 3 back in the early 1900’s around 1905 we think. His name was Looas Davis. At another site there was a baby grave named Davis who was only 3 months old when she died. Scattered amongst the trees and grass and vines we found all kinds of grave markers, some no more than crumbled granite or marble. Some just little nubs of rock sticking up. It was sad and charming and made us wonder. The engravings were kind of amateur and I am betting there were more that we could not see anymore under the soil. Some little community here in the woods, where they buried their young. The graves were so small. If there were adults buried there, we did not see if. They might have been worn down.
After that we went on the lake house then onward and upward to shop so I could get new boots at Kohl’s at 30% off, yahoo! My feet are happy feet now.
How come it is 2 hours ahead here, so it should be only 6:40 to me, and yet I am exhausted.
Jet lag I bet.
More tomorrow with pictures of some of the Christmas decorations and some bread I am making.