Sunday, June 14, 2009

One Pair of Cowboy Boots in My Closet

My husband and I have separate closets, but if we didn't, that number would change from one to three...steel toe boots don't count as cowboy boots. I've had my cowboy boots for a long time. The only reason I have them is that a Texas gal from Big D needs to have a pair. I can't seem to part with them. Every year about this time, we have a family garage sale, but those boots always seem to end up back in the top of my closet.

This gal from Big D is definitely a city girl. I like having a shopping mall close by even though I'm not seen there's there if I need it. I like a grocery store just around the corner...I might be out of something...never been good at making substitutions. Schools within walking distance is a must...I hated walking to school or standing at the bus stop. Maybe, there really isn't any part of me that screams country, except for my cowboy boots that sit on a shelf at the top of my closet.

Now, I do like old things and some of them come straight from the country like my grandmother's butter churn...

an old metal nesting box...

and a milk can turned birdbath...

So maybe, "I'm a little bit country and a little bit whole lot rock and roll city...".

Last weekend, we spent a couple of days with my in-laws. They live on the outskirts of a small Texas town, population 77, in Blue Bell country. It is a quaint little town with several family owned dining establishments, gift and antique shops, as well as bed and breakfast lodging surrounding a town square with a mercantile (an all-you-really-need store) a short distance down the road.

I may be a city girl, but occasionally, the country is comfortable just like a well worn pair of cowboy boots. Life is a little slower and a walk through the trees to a secluded area where watermelon grow...

....does a body good.

My husband's parents have a garden that provides fresh vegetables for their dinner table. They enjoy the "fruits" of their labor and share them so graciously to anyone that pulls up a chair. Nothing fancy, but everything good! My mouth waters with the thoughts of her home cooking and freshly picked vegetables.

Out back my mother-in-law has chickens...

...and she gathers eggs every day.

I have never known anyone that has their own chickens much less gathers their own eggs. Remember, I am a city girl. Agnes fries fresh eggs in the morning and many times there are fresh boiled eggs on the table at other meals. They are wonderful! I eat more eggs in just a short visit than I probably eat in a month at home.

During our visit, my husband noticed that a blue bird had been coming in and out of a birdhouse along the fence row. My curiosity got the best of me so I took a walk up the road just to take a look inside finding several very blue eggs.

Early the next morning, my curiosity took me right back up that road only to jump in surprise as a blue bird came flying out just as I approached. I had been an intrusion and mama blue bird was protecting her home and new family. Only a few days after we returned home, our 11 year old niece and my new found texting pal, who had also been visiting my in-laws, sent me a picture of the baby blue birds, but I can't figure out how to post it.

Eggs...fried, scrambled, boiled, baked in a cake, or the beginning of new life.

Sunday Dinner recipes are full of the incredible, edible egg...

Egg and Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Crumble 8-10 slices of bread and place in bottom of a 9x13 pan/dish.
Cook and drain 2 lbs. of sausage.
Spread sausage over bread and cover with 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese.
Mix together 1 ½ cups of milk with 4 eggs.
Spread over bread, sausage, and cheese.
Cover and let stand over night in refrigerator.

In the morning, mix 1 can of cream of mushroom soup with ½ cup of milk.
Pour evenly over dish.
Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour.
Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese to finish.

Egg and Spinach Casserole

3 pkg. frozen chopped, thawed, well drained spinach
4 1/2 cup cottage cheese
3 cup grated cheddar cheese
9 egg
6 T. canola oil
1 tsp garlic salt
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tsp pepper

Stir together all ingredients. Pour into 9x13 greased pan. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes until brown/bubbly.

Age old question....which came first the chicken or the egg?...which came first, the city girl or the cowboy boots?

If the shoe fits, wear it well!