Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dresser Facelift - Under $25

My daughter and I found this great little Thomasville dresser on Craigslist.  
Good quality, good bones, but abused...a serious dog chew on the base
trim, lots of scratches and scrapes, a missing drawer handle, etc.
At $15 it was still a bargain, plus we had spent weeks looking
for one just the right size for her room, and finally, this was it!
My husband did his part by using an air grinder to smooth down the dog chewed
area and then ground down the opposite end to match.  Well, "match" might
not be exactly right, but it was close enough!  After removing the
handles, some sanding, some primer, a bit of wood filler and
more sanding, it was ready for paint.  
Pure white was my daughter's choice, so I bought a good quality white paint and
gave it a couple of coats with a foam roller and foam brush.  She wanted a
clean, modern look, so I located the drawer pulls I had removed from my
kitchen renovation a few years ago (see, there's a reason I hoard :)
and scrubbed them up. They look like brand new - which really
speaks to the quality of things made 40 or more years ago.
Try to ignore the clutter on the floor and next to the dresser - that's another new
storage project for this room - to be unveiled soon!  I really like how the fresh
snow white of the dresser complements the cool gray shades of the
 floor (painted concrete) and walls.
This room has gone from peachy-country-romantic-girly to calm-modern-mature.
Perfect for my daughter's last year at home before graduating college and
riding off into the sunset with her prince. And still perfect for when that
room becomes our guest bedroom/my crafting space.

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Morels the Ozarks Way

Morel mushroom hunting has been a spring ritual here in the Ozarks for as long as I can remember, and certainly well before that.   As a kid I remember my grandpa taking me along with other relatives to wander the woods in search of them.  Mom would fry up a mess or two each spring, then that was it until the next year.  As an adult it has become an annual tradition for my family as well.  We wander the woods near the wet-weather creek on the back of our farm each year hoping to spy morels peeking out from under dead leaves littering the forest floor.  I always have to re-train my eyes to discern them from their surroundings - they are masters of camouflage!

Fortunately, most years we are able to enjoy a meal or two of these wonderful morsels.  This year is no exception!

They look like cone-shaped sponges don't they?  Not very appetizing from that point of view I suppose, unless of course you've grown up like me and think of them as a once-or-twice a year delicacy.

Our tradtional Morel Supper isn't healthy, so if you have an aversion to lots of carbs and fats - look away! This isn't the way we eat most of the time, but for this special treat, we make exceptions!

First thing I do when we return home with a 'mess' of freshly picked morels is rinse them thoroughly, then soak them overnight in salted water in the fridge.  They won't last long so I always cook them the following evening.  First, I rinse them again, pat them to absorb some of the water, and slice them into halves or thirds.
Next I coat the morels with flour and a bit of salt.  I let this sit while I cook all the other dishes for the meal - we want those morels freshly fried and hot!  Biscuits are first on the list - we like them drop style...
Next I fry up either bacon or sausage (tonight was bacon) and then use the drippings to make a pan of white gravy - heavy on the salt and pepper of course.
Time to fry the morels!  I heat a frying pan with small amount of oil on high and throw in the morels.  Best to cook 'em fast so they don't turn to mush...a little crisp is best.
Supper's ready!  Not heart-healthy at all - but oh, how happy are our taste buds and tummies :)

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