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!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Recipes for Pound Cake and Shrimp Scampi!

One of our most loyal Dyer Consequences fans from Massachusetts sent me an email today wondering if I were going to post the recipes for Uncle Ed Bunn's Pound Cake and Jason's Shrimp Scampi. Photos of these two dishes are on the post below called "Sara Comes for Dinner."

We are delighted to share these delicious recipes with you!

Uncle Ed's Pound Cake comes from my uncle on my mother's side who, if he were still alive, would be nearly 100 years old. I got the recipe from him after eating some of his pound cake at his house many years ago. He told me that this was his mother's recipe, so who knows how old it actually is. For years, Uncle Ed made his living from a goat dairy on what is now a very busy thoroughfare in Decatur, Georgia. When we visited his family when I was a child, we always had goat milk to drink and got to play with the goats down in the barn.

Uncle Ed's Pound Cake

3 stick butter, soft
3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. butter flavoring
6 eggs
3 c. flour
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 small carton sour cream

Cream butter with sugar until fluffy. Beat well. Add lemon extract, vanilla, almond extract, and butter flavoring. Add eggs, beating well after each addition. Add flour, soda, and salt. Then add sour cream, alternating with the flour. Grease and flour a tube cake pan. Pour in batter. Cook at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until cake tests done.

Jason's Shrimp Scampi is his specialty and always a family favorite. I think he got the original recipe from a Southern Living cookbook, but he has modified it somewhat to better suit our tastes. Coincidentally, this is the first dish he prepared for Sara when they were just starting to go together several years ago.

Jason's Shrimp Scampi

2 lb. unpeeled extra large fresh shrimp, 21-25 count
1/2 c. chopped onions
4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. dry white wine
1 c. lemon juice
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Peel and devein shrimp. Saute onions and garlic in butter until onions are tender. Reduce heat to low; add shrimp. Cook, stirring frequently, 3-5 minutes. Remove shrimp with slotter spoon to a serving dish; keep warm. Add remaining ingredients to butter mixture; simmer 2 minutes. Add shrimp to butter mixture. Serve over angel hair pasta or rice. Serves 4 generously.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Sara Comes Over for Dinner - One Week Down, Five To Go!

Last night marked the end of the first week that Jason has been in Italy for his 6-week study abroad program, so we marked the occasion with Sara and a nice dinner and conversation.

The menu included Jason's signature shrimp scampi, made from wild-caught fresh shrimp from Whole Foods, plus a tossed salad, steamed asparagus, and Uncle Ed Bunn's pound cake with fresh strawberries on the side. The first meal Jason ever cooked for Sara was shrimp scampi, so we thought this was a fitting main dish for the evening. Plus it's just so, so good, even though it was a big splurge for us.

While Jason is away, we would like to have an Italian or mediterranean themed dinner each week, if possible. I'm thinking of panini sandwiches with a Greek salad and baklava for dessert next time.

After dinner, the dogs took center stage, as usual, and did their favorite dog things to get attention.

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Jason Leaves for Rome! Rome, as in Italy - not Rome, Georgia!

From Athens, Georgia to Rome, Italy! After months and months of preparations, checking and double-checking, the day has finally come for Jay to fly to Rome, Italy for a summer abroad program in the classics department.

He is taking 4 classes (12 hours) instead of the usual 3, and that way he can fulfill the requirements for his triple major in Latin, Classical Studies and English.

The group of 30 students and two professors, Dr. James C. Anderson and Dr. Mario Erasmo, will be based in Rome at the Hotel Ercoli, but they will be going on excursions to Naples, Pompeii, Ravenna, and other sites of historical, archaeological or artistic significance in and around Rome. Classes will be held on site and also in the hotel. Jason also plans on attending a mass performed by his and our favorite pope of the recent era, Pope Benedict XVI.

The only snag was his foot, which he injured somehow the last month of the semester, and which just did not get better or even heal very much by the last day of finals. So he went to an orthopedic surgeon in Roswell, who found nothing seriously wrong, no breaks or serious tears, just an angry and inflamed tendon or ligament. The doctor gave him a large, and entirely weird, fiberglass boot to wear virtually all day every day, to give the foot time to heal. Jason felt relief from the moment he put on the boot, because it took the pressure off of the injured part of the foot, and shifted the weight to his shin.

Finally, by flight day, the foot was significantly better, but we insisted he pack the boot just to be on the safe side. Those European cobblestones can be tough on the feet! Especially when the students will be walking, climbing and standing on stone, rock and concrete just about the entire day.

For those of you who may wonder about the photos below, the reason Jason is not doing much in the way of carrying or lifting his suitcase is because we insisted he not strain his foot. Especially since he didn't want to wear his orthopedic boot on the plane (of course not!).

Here are a few photos of his departure. Please forgive the abundance of photos for what most would consider a rather routine flight departure. It's a Mom Thing.

Here is the tentative class schedule for the trip:

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Baby Towhee Falls from Nest!

The other day I noticed a female towhee in a shrub in our back yard, not so unusual, but she seemed to be feeding a baby that was also in the shrub. Crisis! The baby had either fallen from the nest or failed a flying lesson. Either way, he was stuck out of the nest and in danger from those wretched, despicable cats that have killed so many of our baby birds over the years.

But no need to worry. The mother bird, after flying around, and sizing up the situation, hopped on the ground next to the shrub. I noticed the baby bird was watching her intently, and as soon as she was on the ground, he hopped down too and they hopped off together under the fence and up into some more shrubs.

I lost track of them at this point, but feel confident they moved from shrub to tree to tree until they made their way back to the nest. Thankfully, I have seen no bird feathers scattered about the yard, the dreaded, telltale sign that those wretched, despicable cats have killed yet again.

Ordinarily, you wouldn't notice anything special or unusual about this photo. But on closer examination, see photo below, you will see a baby bird clinging to the branches of a boxwood shrub. His mother is in the tree beside it.

Here are two photos of the baby towhee in the shrub.

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We Have Bluebirds This Year!

Some years we see bluebirds and some years we don't. Some years we see them, but they don't nest in our bluebird house. Some years they nest in our bluebird house, but those wretched, despicable neighborhood cats stage a terror attack and kill them during the night by way of the fence and trees. Some years we (and they!) are lucky and they nest and survive and raise their families in our bluebird house!

This is one of the good years! This year, bluebirds have nested in our bluebird house and successfully raised their young to maturity! And we have so enjoyed seeing them all over the back yard. Just the sight of them will raise your spirits, and for them to have escaped those wretched, despicable neighborhood cats is simply wonderful.

If you look closely in the next photos, you will see the little head of a bluebird in the house, just waiting for a chance to fly out, once I move away to a safe distance.

Below that photo are just some random ones I have taken of bluebirds sitting on their favorite branch on their favorite tree. Not the best photos, of course, but I was not able to get very close to them to get the shots I would have liked, and I don't have a telephoto lens on my camera.

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Two Brothers Barbeque in Ball Ground, Georgia!

One of our favorite places for BBQ is Two Brothers BBQ in Ball Ground, Georgia.

Jerry and Elsie went there with their friends Kathleen and Morgan many years ago, and when we were in Ball Ground for a family reunion just a few years ago, Jerry recommended it again. We went there, and everyone had a really good BBQ meal. The food was outstanding, the atmosphere was good, and the staff was just the way they should be. Sweet tea refills were abundant.

Just the other day, when Jerry and I dropped off Mei-Ling at our vet in Alpharetta to get a second opinion on her knee, they had to work her in, so we had a little time on our hands, and drove up to Ball Ground to check things out and to see what had changed since we were last there. Hint: not much.

But it was getting to be lunch time, so naturally we headed for the nearest BBQ, which happened to be Two Brothers BBQ. We had very good BBQ plates and sandwiches there, and afterwards took a closer look at the antiques and old farm equipment they have all through the restaurant.

Here are a few photos of the outside of the restaurant, just an old ramshackle building with just a few parking places in front.

Here is my typical meal there, a BBQ plate with pulled pork, baked beans, slaw and Texas toast, and sweet tea. Jerry opted for a BBQ pork sandwich with cole slaw and a Dr. Pepper.

This photo shows Jerry with a jar for storing moonshine whiskey, and right beside him is an actual whiskey still!

This odd piece of farm equipment is actually a corn sheller! You put the ear of corn (dried) down the shaft and turn the big wheel on the left and it removes the kernals of corn right off of the cob. Amazing, and such a time saver in the days before such things were automated.

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Update on Ball Ground, Georgia, a Year After Oscar Robertson Passed Away

And the big news is ... nothing has changed in Ball Ground. Except for the fact that Oscar Robertson no longer parks his truck on the side of the street downtown and sits and sits and watches and watches all the comings and going of metropolitan Ball Ground.

The rock shops are still there, they are still locked, and the only sign of change is in the back of them, where some merchandise has been removed and some has been organized.

What a shame, because Ball Ground has the potential to become a very nice little town, especially since north Georgia is booming and real estate along with it. And it does have one of our favorite BBQ destinations too!

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