Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Carolina Inn

This summer is flying by for me and my family. In just a few weeks we will dropping our oldest off at college. Wow! Time goes by way too fast. Last week Catie and I spent a few days in Chapel Hill for orientation. The two days of sessions were long and boring. There was a lot of information packed into a short amount of time and my brain was on overload. Has anyone else ever experienced this? Fortunately, I decided to splurge and spend my nights in the historic Carolina Inn instead of the dorms. The inn was built in 1924 and is located on the university campus. I couldn't have made a better decision.

From every angle the inn is beautiful.

Dinner on this porch would be wonderful, wouldn't it?

The landscape was so pretty here and all over the campus.

I can only imagine how beautiful this lobby must have been in 1924.

The walls of the hallways were lined with historical pictures and information. One could walk and look for days and never have time to read it all.

The huge hall lined with windows was one of my favorite spots.

I just loved the benches tucked in between the trees.

There was beauty to be seen at every turn.

Of course there was only one thing that mattered after a long day of sitting and listening...


You thought I was going to say the beds, didn't you?

Another bonus of this trip was getting to meet a fellow blogger, Richella. Her blog, Imparting Grace, is one of my favorites. She is every bit as gracious as I expected her to be. I felt as though I had known her for a long time. Isn't it nice to know that behind all of these blogs are wonderful people that we can also call friends? I would encourage each of you to meet face to face with your virtual friends if the opportunity ever arises. You won't be disappointed.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Corn is probably one of my favorite summer vegetables. Getting to sink my teeth into that first sweet ear of corn is certainly on my list of summer pleasures. The childhood memories of shucking corn with my mom, dad and grandpa are sweeter than the corn itself. When I was a little girl I was amazed at how three tiny corn kernels dropped into a little hole could turn into a plant much taller than me in less than a summer. I was even more amazed at how that plant could produce ears of corn so neatly wrapped up and protected by green, leafy shucks. Now that I am all grown up...I still stand in awe of this beautiful miracle. I guess some things never change!

There is only one thing I can think of that I don't particularly like about this summer treat. Once it is ready to be picked you have to work fast. It doesn't produce a little at the time. It all seems to be ready at once and you can't eat it all at one time...or at least I wouldn't recommend it. This is why I have spent the day consumed with corn.

After getting started at seven this morning shucking corn with my brother, niece, and dad (in humidity so thick a knife couldn't cut it); I then had to silk and wash it. Later, after taking a quick shower to cool off, I spent the rest of the morning freezing it to use in the wonderful soups and stews that will warm us in the winter.

It is really easy to freeze, so I thought I would share my method for those of you who may end up with more corn than you care to consume at once.

No, I am not getting paid by ziplock (although I would love some compensation if any of you know someone who works for the company). I do love the ease of closure with this particular brand, however.

After all of the shucking, silking, and washing blanch the corn in boiling water for four minutes.

Then, quickly remove each ear and place in cold water to stop the cooking process.

After the cold water bath, I place each ear on a clean kitchen towel to allow some of the water to drain. Then, I just cut the kernels off of the ear with a knife and scrape each ear to release all of the juices.

After all of the kernels have been cut from the ears of corn, I simply use a large spoon or scoop to fill the freezer bags with corn. I always lay the bag flat and try to get out as much of the air as possible. After I seal the bag, I place them in the freezer making sure they are flat. You want to freeze them that way to be able to stack them and conserve space. After years of watching my mom, I think I may have learned a thing or two....maybe.

When there isn't enough corn to completely fill the last freezer bag, just do what I do...add some butter or olive oil, salt and pepper, and cook a little longer for a little midday treat!