Welcome to The Dyer Consequences Blog

We are a Christian family in the Deep South, & we love to cook & we love to eat. We are interested in the classics, Latin, ancient history, Byzantine art, technology/geek matters, politics, government, & current events. Mostly we are focused on faith, family, freedom & food. Read our riveting & occasionally amusing posts, admire our outstanding photos, browse timeless archives, leave a comment, & bookmark the site. Come back often!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Just Opened! A New Harry's Farmer's Market / Whole Foods Market Near Us!

SwedisFinally, after more than a year of on-and-off construction, the new Harry's Farmer's Market/Whole Foods Market has opened! The crowds were so large, we had to park in an adjacent shopping area and cross through some wild traffic to reach the market. But after all that, we had so much fun! The store is laid out in a creative way, and has a BBQ station, a coffee roasting station, tons of sushi, very fresh fruits and vegetables from all over the world, the freshest fish and seafood you can imagine, cheeses from everywhere, an immense salad bar, plus a bar where you can order meals that are prepared fresh for you right there in the store.

I had come with three items on my list: Swedish farmer's cheese in the large wheel shape, scotch bonnet hot sauce, and westphalian or black forest ham. They had none of these, and I was disappointed, because these items are not exotic at all. They had no ham or deli meat that contained preservatives, like sodium nitrite, so the deli section was tiny. We searched the whole store for scotch bonnet hot sauce, expecting to find it somewhere, because I had called the company that makes it and they said Harry's was one of their customers that stocked it. They lie! And finally, I have been trying to buy the Swedish farmer's cheese in the wheel shape, uncut, in the round, forever. I check at each Harry's I go to, and frequently ask the management about it, and then when they do have it, they have cut it into small pieces, and then weighing each small piece for separate sale. I have begged them to sell the whole cheeses, but to no avail. I thought this market would be different, but no.

The good news is that I did find our favorite Swedish crispbread in the large, round shapes. We used to be able to buy it at Harry's, but I think we were the only ones to buy it, and it was dropped from the store's stock. We find the round crispbread to be much more fresh and flavorful than the smaller, rectangular types, like Wasa, Kavli and Ry-Crisp. So I was happy about this find, but unhappy that I couldn't buy the cheese or the ham I wanted to put on it. I think the Whole Foods stores go overboard on their political correctness.

The photos below give you an idea of what a beautiful market this is. And it is so close to us, right next to the Publix we usually go to. I think we will be visiting our new Harry's on a regular basis now.

Our favorite Swedish round crispbread! They also had Finnish round crispbread, but I chose the Swedish because it has been our favorite for so many years.

Here is the coffee station, with a coffee roaster of the superior Sivitz fluidized bed design, and lots of freshly roasted coffee beans to choose from.

A closer look at the coffee roaster.

BBQ too! Pork, chicken, pastrami, brisket, and all the side dishes!

A beautiful cheese area, but no Swedish farmer's cheese.

A view of the fruits and vegetables available here.

Another angle to show the vast selection of fresh produce.

All kinds of fresh fish, some in the display cases, and some whole fish in ice too.

And Matt found a marvelous selection of sushi here.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Hearts 'A Bustin' Devoured by Deer!

After taking the time and effort to root my Hearts 'a Bustin's in pots on my patio, and getting them to grow for the whole season and finally just recently getting them to bloom or bust open with those gorgeous bright red blooms, after all that, I transplanted them in my wildflower garden in an area of part sun and part shade. Since they had completed their life cycle for the year, I wanted them to settle into their new home in the wild, go dormant for the fall and winter, and come back in the spring for a new life.

But, to my dismay, these prize shrubs that I had nurtured for a year had only been in the woods for a day two before being nibbled on and basically devoured by the neighborhood deer. We saw a doe and two fawns in the back, but didn't see them munching on the HABs. It's been a few days now, and no more damage, so maybe that will be all that happens for the season.

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Good Southern Cookin'!

I re-discovered my old cast-iron cookware, and decided to start cooking with it again. It had to be seriously re-seasoned to protect from rust, so I looked on the Lodge website, and it said to coat it with shortening or other cooking oil, heat it for one hour at 350 degrees, then let it cool in the oven.

Well, I did that part, but it was still sticky, drippy and not at all seasoned the way it should. Checked some other cooking websites, and it turns out that, as I suspected, 350 was not hot enough to season it well. So I turned the oven up to 450, put the cornbread pans back in, heated them for about two hours, let them cool in the oven overnight, and the next morning they had a perfect shiny black coating.

Now to start cooking with them! I started with the cactus pan, and the photo above shows what it looked like after being properly seasoned. Shiny, black seal on the inside of the pan.

Here's the cornbread in the hot pans, ready to cook.

Nicely browned, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, with a little bit of a gritty texture. Perfect southern cornbread!

And here is a nice southern dinner, a small burger with toppings and pickle, no bun this time, cole slaw with red onion, white navy beans and southern cornbread!

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On a Walk in the Woods, Sadie Discovers Mr. Turtle!

Yesterday afternoon, I took the dogs for a hike in the woods, starting at the chapel, heading down the trail to the moonshine still, then coming out way over on the road that leads back to the main road.

Just as we were getting on our way down the trail, Sadie stopped and started staring intensely at a tree on the side of the trail, and sniffing in that direction too. This was different from the way she stops and smells every bush and clump of grass, so I stopped to investigate. And what she had spotted was a large, nicely marked box turtle walking serenely through the woods, at least until we came along!

Sadie studied him intently for a minute, then got a little scared, and backed away from Mr. Turtle, who kept on walking to wherever he was going, and we continued on our way too.

Nice hike, tired out the dogs enough to calm them for the evening, fresh air, cooler temperatures for all of us. A good day!

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A Nice, Quiet and Fun Labor Day Dinner with Jerry!

We don't usually do much for Labor Day except catch up on work around the house, but Dan and I stopped off at Harry's Farmer's Market on the way back from the Jack Russell Trials. We found some really fresh-looking wild-caught flounder, corn on the cob, organic raspberries and all of sudden we had a wonderful menu planned for the holiday!

Here are just a few photos from the dinner, starting with Jerry and Mei-Ling coming out of their home, followed by photos of Jerry and Matt at dinner, then a few photos of the fried flounder, fresh corn, cole slaw, raspberries and pecan pralines. Yummy, all!

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Hearts 'A Bustin' Have Finally Busted Open!

After all the watching and waiting, my Hearts 'A Bustin' has finally busted wide open! Take a look at these photos! Aren't they gorgeous?

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An Inspirational Day Down at Emory Hospital with Jerry!

Dyer Family and Friends Cookbook with 500 Favorite Recipes, from Our House to Yours!

One day last week, Jerry and I went down to Emory Hospital for his routine 6-month check-up with Dr. McGorisk. Jerry also needed to have Dr. McGorisk look at his swollen ankles and calves, since they have become uncomfortable and could be a potential health concern. He is such a good doctor and never leaves a stone unturned with regard to Jerry's cardiac situation.

Plus, he had the wonderful news that his wife of only a few years was going to have a baby, their first, in October! Jerry was thrilled to hear this news, as was I, and Jerry offered his best wishes for an easy delivery. We think Dr. McGorisk is about 38-40 years old, but looks twelve, and he told Jerry his wife was thirty. I remember when he told Jerry he was getting married for the first time a few years ago, and we were surprised that he had been a bachelor for so long, but then med school is tough on the social life.

Dr. McGorisk agreed that this ankle-swelling should be addressed, and sent Jerry (and me) to the lab for blood work and to the echocardiography lab for an imaging session of his heart. So we ended up going to three different offices on three different floors in the Emory Hospital professional building. And in three different waiting rooms, filled with other people waiting for their appointments and lab work.

I had brought my basket of Dyer Family cookbooks to sell, just like I always do when we go to Emory.

At our first stop in the Cardiology Department where Dr. McGorisk has his office, I stopped by the front desk to see the receptionist there. Reshunda is her name, and every time I am there with the cookbooks, she takes one to look at, and then gives it back to me when she goes to lunch. Never buys it, mind you, but enjoys passing the time at the front desk looking at our favorite recipes. So today, I went to her desk and handed her a cookbook to look at, just like always, and we had a laugh about how she always looks but never buys, and I said that was OK, no big deal, I was glad she enjoyed it that much.

But this day was different! She said she didn't have any money with her that day, but she would send me a check through the mail. I told her not to bother with that, but just take the cookbook now and then send me a check later, and that would save postage to ship the cookbook to her. I told her I trusted her, and not to worry about it. Well, do you know that she got her checkbook and wrote me a check right then and there! I was floored, but so glad to make a sale. I only have about 200 more cookbooks to sell, so let me know if anyone needs one!

Next, we went down to the lab to have Jerry's blood drawn. The waiting room was very crowded, but we were able to sit together when a man there moved over a seat to make two seats together. I had my cookbook basket in my lap, and there is a little sign on it that says "Cookbooks For Sale."

Pretty soon, a woman in a wheel chair rolled over to look at the cookbooks, and her situation was sad, since she had some neurological disease of some sort, and could not speak very well and seemed to have trouble with coordination too. Cerebral palsy, maybe, or a stroke, I'm not sure. But not a good thing to have. I think she was from Austell. Nonetheless, her mind and spirit were so strong, and she was a delight to talk to and such an inspiration to us all. She had every reason to feel sorry for herself, but did not, and she did not think of herself as a victim either, entitled to special priveliges or consideration. A wonderful young woman who loved people and life.

She said she would like to buy a cookbook, but she would have to send a check later because it took her so long to write a check properly. I told her to take the cookbook now, I trusted her to send a check later, and that would save on postage. She was happy with this news, and took the cookbook with her into the lab, and that was that. Off she went to her appointment.

Or so I thought. On my left side, there was seated a young man who turned to me and gave me the money for her cookbook, and said that she had been such a blessing to him, just to talk with her and enjoy her company and see her joy of life, that he wanted to do this for her. I thanked him, and agreed with him that she was an inspiration for us all, and then gave him a cookbook! I said that I was afraid she would send her check and I would have two payments for one cookbook, and I wanted to give him one, just in case.

That was fine with him and we started to chat. He was from Calhoun and was there at Emory with his father who was going on the list for a heart transplant, and had to have lab work done in preparation for the procedure, which hopefully would come soon enough to save his life. The dad had had a heart attack, several stents and angioplasties, several bypasses, and still only had about 20% of his heart funtioning. This is bad news. I asked how old his father was, and the fellow told me fifty-two. Fifty-two, I thought, that's way younger than I am! So young to have such a critical situation! Then, I told the fellow that we would keep his dad and the family in our prayers, and would hope for a speedy and complete recovery for his dad. If you would like to add him to your prayer list, the name is Jerry Davis (dad) and Jeff Davis (son) from Calhoun, Georgia. Very nice family.

After Jerry had his blood drawn, we were off to the echocardiography lab on another floor, for his final appointment of the day. As he was signing in at the desk, I was just standing there with my basket of cookbooks, and a woman from way across the room rushed over, all excited about cookbooks! And would you believe, she said she wanted to buy one of mine! She said her church had just finished doing a cookbook and she and her husband had flown out to Kansas to deliver the final manuscript in person. Their cookbook would have 1,000 recipes! I said I wanted one of hers as soon as they came out! We had a nice time talking cookbooks, and I learned they were from Fayetteville. She gave me her card and her name is Robertine Mitchely. Her card says that she has a paper arts and photography business. I have her email address, so I will be in touch with her about cookbooks!

So Jerry finished up with his cardiac imaging test, we packed up and went back home! We had a wonderful visit together, and we both had wonderful visits with wonderful people down at Emory Hospital. A great day!

If anyone would like to order the Dyer Family and Friends Cookbook, please click on this link: http://www.dyer-consequences.com/cookbook.html