Saturday, January 22, 2011

Christiansen Comments, Hinds County Gazette January 20 2011

Monday January 17 2011

It is drizzling rain this morning…it drizzled much of the day yesterday too. Drizzling rain is preferable to sleet and ice for sure…Lately there have not many days full sunshine…… it is grey and gloomy.

You all, just Soon as the holidays have passed and the tree is down…. I am eager for Spring to arrive…. my friends and acquaintances keep reminding me of how stifling hot and miserable Mississippi summers can be.

So of late Brain has had me contemplating the misery of sweltering summers verses the misery of gloomy winters…comparing them…. I have come to only one conclusion so far…..That being; no matter how hot it gets in June, July and August, I do not ever remember wanting to stay in the bed all day, curled up with my cats.

In the Summer I am out of bed at the crack of dawn… I may not accomplish any more on a scorching summer’s day, then I do on a bleak winter’s day. But I am up and dressed….and maybe all I end up doing is….going to the front porch, cold drink in hand , sitting down in the swing, and watching the grass grow…or helplessly watching the grass wither….but I am up and involved in the day.

Through the window behind me I see the Japanese magnolia budding…this time next month they will be blooming…. and then, perhaps, my winter melancholy will begin to slip away.

On a less whiney subject.

Lindsay Noble called last Friday after reading the Gazette and explained to me how Blue use to make her tamales…He said, Blue began her tamale making by boiling a whole hog’s head…and while the hog head was in the pot cooking, she went out to the barn, to gather up the corn husks to wrap the tamales in….. Well, I did not beg for that recipe…it sounded a bit like real work.

The tamale cooking has garnered up a good many comments…but nothing like the Ambrosia episode…you may or may not remember how out done the sweet, genteel ladies of the South became when I put gelatin in my ambrosia to tighten up the juices. Well, some of those very same ladies, when I filled a punch bowl halfway with ambrosia, (orange segments, coconuts and cherries) and poured 2 bottles of champagne over it and called it “punch”…. They had no objections or complaints to that adulterated ambrosia recipe …..there was nothing but, grins and lip smacking all around…

The sun is up, but not out….I am still in my pajamas ….the cats are asleep, in my not yet made bed.

         Call if you need me...I will be with them......

Monday, January 17, 2011

"Christiansen Comments" for Hinds County Gazette January 13 2011

Before day break....Monday Morning January 10 2011

The back steps are covered with sleet and ice….over the weekend we here in mid Mississippi experienced a rare, winter, weather event…sleet, freezing rain and snow.

Now then, let me ask you this, does it seem to you, that these “rare” weather events are not as rare as they once were? We came to Mississippi in 1979 I do not remember snow and ice as frequently in the 80s and 90.…. Maybe is it just me and my unreliable memory.

The weather folks began warning us early on in the week that this weather “event” was very likely to occur…But as their prophecies are not always accurate….So I did not hurry out to prepare.

But by late Friday, early Saturday morning the weather folks warning were in earnest. I got to thinking the weather people can’t be wrong every time. So I was up and out of here by 5:15 AM Saturday morning, first I filled up the truck with gas, then went on to the grocery store.   I was in the Kroger Store before 6 am.

Actually I didn’t really need anything at the store, but the news people were insisting we  stock up… I was already stocked up…But I went anyway. It took more then one trip up and down each and every isle to do it, but finally I managed to gather up enough stuff to spend $88. Then I came home made the biggest batch of chili you ever saw…got my laundry all done….and finished vacuuming. I was sooooooooo ready, I had even stopped and got a bit of real money. John could never understand, way I never had any cash, or gas in my vehicle

Now that the sun is up…I do not see any damage…not even any broken branches.

But still and all, I will not be going out today…it was my mother contention that old people had no business out side when it was below freezing….while it was or after a freezing rain, sleet or snow. If you did, she thought you were asking for a broken bone .

If God allows the loved ones that went before us, to look down and check on us…John and mother should be happy to know, their words of wisdom were not wasted …I did listen….and am now taking their advise very seriously.

I am still on my quest to make the very best tamales.   And I did make 2 new tamale recipes last week, , the dough covering the tamale filling… I am satisfied I have found the right formula for it….But the filling, I believe could use a bit of fine-tuning . However, Charles Davis, who quite possibly has had a taste of every tamale recipe I have tried so far…. has declared Daughter Angela wrong , Charles says, “they do not need a sauce”.

Ginger Kilby told me she recently found a recipe for tamales, that was sent to her sometime back, from a lady up in the delta ….I am waiting for Ginger to run up on that recipe again…when she does, she has promised to send it to me….I want to try it for sure, the Mississippi Delta is famous not only for the blues but also for their tamales….

Love to all

Call if you need me

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hinds County Gazette, January 6 2011, Christiansen's Comments

Happy New Year!!

                  Here in the South, Black eyed peas and howl jowls, served with cornbread is the accepted menu for New Years.

How were your holidays?

This will be short today, even though the Christmas tree is down and back up to the attic ….and the decorations are packed and placed in the old foot locker at the foot of the bed, in the back bedroom…my house is not yet straight. My Christmas tree is artificial, but I use real greenery on the mantles , so there are evergreen needles stuck in rugs, all over the house and holly berries rolling around the floors. …so must get to vacuuming.

                                                             Foot Locker
                      Painted white because it was Daughter Angela's toy box.

And I have some gift cards that are burning a hole in my pocket…soon as I get up from here I am headed to out buy some lumber!

Oh! Yeah…let me tell you about my grand tamale adventure! Remember? I was making Tamales to give to my walking buddies for Christmas…..I tried different recipes and sent them around to assorted folks to critique …..the judgments were mixed , nobody declared them awful, some said they were not spicy enough, one thought they needed a bit more salt…..My pew mate, at the Edwards Presbyterian Church Maria, who is from Mexico originally, was very impressed , and she said her husband loved them….My friend Isla said they were the best she ever had eaten! Daughter Angela how ever was less impressed…she thought they needed a sauce, but she did give me an A for effort.

I like making tamales…after I got started …I couldn‘t get stopped….I made hundreds of them…gave lots and lots of them away…But Still had dozens in the freezer so the day after Christmas I had a few folks in to eat up the last of them.

We sometimes pine for an old fashion Christmas…but this year I realized an old fashion, non commercial Christmas is still to be had. And I did not have to go far to find it. St. Mary’s Episcopal in Bolton held two events, December 12, was lessons and Carols, Dorothy Brasfield, played the organ for the choir from Vicksburg’s Trinity Episcopal, it was wonderful…not a big choir but they sounded huge!.

Then on the 21 of December at St. Mary’s, the Holy Eucharist was celebrated, and the Chimneyville Readers Theater presented Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory adapted and narrated by James Anderson of the greater Bolton area. What a treat that was!!!! I am not alone in hoping these will become annual Christmas events at St. Mary’s.

Santa Claus once again came to Edwards to Jo Gayle’s house… 20 or 25 children came to have breakfast with him.

There was a community candle light Christmas service at the Edwards United Methodist Church.

                              Community Candle Light service at the Edwards Methodist Church
On the 18th , at St. marks in Raymond, the Raymond Methodist choirs, adult and Joy, performed The Gift…once again not a big choir but the acoustics in these old churches just a few can put out the volume….sounds like many more then you see for sure. The Edwards Presbyterian Children’s Choir went caroling the 18th. The 19th I was at Campbell Swamp for carol singing and covered dish dinner at Gordon Cottons….I look forward to this every year…mostly we sing with out instrument accompaniment….this year we did have a keyboard …but it was uncooperative at times…we just went right on singing loud and out of tune.

Garrett, my big, 6 foot tall ,21 year old, grandson build a gingerbread house, to entertain, my little friend, six month old, Whittaker. Whit was tickled by the whole thing. Whit was so tickled Garrett…. it tickle Garrett.
 And the sight of the two of them tickled me…… And that my friends will always be my favorite memory from the Christmas of 2010.

                    Whit, kicking with glee.. Garrett's hands and a bit of his mustache and beard.

Love to all

Whittaker is the son of CJ and Angie Zadrozny…..and the grandson of Lewis and Kay Montgomery

Friday, January 7, 2011

Nell Mixon has passed

                                                        Nell Mixon

Nellie C. Nixon
Clarion Ledger obituary
Nellie Nixon, age 86 went to be with the Lord on January 6, 2011.

She was born June 17,1924 in Hushpuckena, Bolivar County MS.

Visitation will be held Tuesday from 11:00 to 1:00 with services at 1:00 at Wright & Ferguson Funeral Home in Raymond, MS.

She was well loved by friends & family. She worked at Suffolk County National Bank in Riverhead N.Y.; First National Bank of Jackson, Westway Farms of Edwards and retired from Bancorp South of Vicksburg.

She is survived by daughter, Joyce (Thomas) Blindenhofer; grandaughters, Lisa Blindenhofer,Jenny (Donnie) Perry; great-grandchildren, Eric and Christian Perry of Myrtle Beach S.C., daughter,Pam (Arnie) Bridges; grandsons, Dustin & Brandon Bridges; great-granddaughter, Alexis Marie Bridges,all of Florence,MS.; sisters, Dorothy Gordon of Riggs Manor in Raymond MS; Frances Alston of Houston TX; sister-in-law, Helen Alston of Marks, MS; nieces, Cheryl Green, Linda Gatlin and Paula Hill.