A Summer Classic

When I think of summertime, there are a few things that always come to mind—mostly, because I grew up in the rural South.  But, there’s just nothing like the sound of cicadas singing in the trees on a warm summer evening, a night sky so dark that you can see the Milky Way and almost every constellation. And, of course, fresh tomatoes picked right out of the garden—sliced and enjoyed between two pieces of bread with a bit of butter, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper…the classic tomato sandwich. My first memories of this iconic Southern treat were made while visiting my grandma. As a child, I would spend a week with Grandma and Grandaddy Dooley every summer. Grandma was a Sunday School teacher for many years, and she taught Bible School during the week I visited. I still remember the experience so clearly: riding the church bus around curvy, back country roads to Mt. Zion Baptist Church; listening to Grandma tell us a Bible story about Jesus and making a special craft in her classroom; singing “This Little Light of Mine” during choir practice; and, running around the old church cemetery as the sun set chasing lightening bugs with the other children. Anyway, it was during one of my week long summertime visits that I encountered the tomato sandwich. Most everybody in this rural area had a garden, and Grandaddy Dooley took pride in his tomatoes.  So, there were plenty to […]

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A Summer Classic

When I think of summertime, there are a few things that always come to mind.  I guess this is partially because I grew up in the rural South.  But, there’s just nothing like the sound of cicadas singing in the trees on a warm summer evening, a night sky so dark that you can see the Milky Way and almost every constellation, especially the Big Dipper.  And, of course, fresh tomatoes picked right out of the garden, sliced, and enjoyed between two slices of bread with a bit of butter, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper—the classic tomato sandwich. My first memories of this iconic Southern treat were made while visiting Grandma Dooley. As a child, I lived nearby to both sets of grandparents, visiting with them often.  Every summer, I would spend a week with Grandma. She was a Sunday School teacher for many years and also taught Bible School.  While at Grandma’s, I attended Bible School with my cousin, Kim.  I still remember the experience so clearly:  riding the church bus around curvy, back country roads to Mt. Zion Baptist Church; listening to Grandma tell us a Bible story about Jesus and making a special craft in her classroom; singing “This Little Light of Mine” during choir practice; and running around the church cemetery with the other children—after having the customary refreshments of Oreo cookies and Kool-Aid.  But, I’ve gone off on a tangent. 😉 Anyway, it was during one […]

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Tuesday Tunes: Drops of Jupiter…And a Little Bit of Heaven

Fattoria della Talosa–Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Ornellaia–Super-Tuscan, Cordella–Montalcino   Last month, I spent a delightful week in Tuscany.  I wasn’t alone, though.  Melody, author of the blog, Meals With Mel accompanied me on this little adventure around Florence and the Tuscan countryside.  We had a fabulous time wandering around the beautiful city of Florence and marveling at the many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture—including the Duomo, a cathedral with a terracotta-tiled dome engineered by Brunelleschi and a bell tower by Giotto. We visited The Galleria dell’ Accademia which displays Michelangelo’s, “David” sculpture as well as the Uffizi Gallery which exhibits Botticelli’s, “The Birth of Venus.” Once in the countryside, we enjoyed lots of sunshine and blue skies while truffle hunting at a beautiful farm and vineyard called, Fattoria Santa Vittoria.  And, of course, we had some of the most beautiful wines in the world—mainly, but not entirely, comprised of the Sangiovese grape, an Italian red grape variety that derives its name from the Latin sanguis Jovis, “the blood of Jupiter.” For those of you who may not be familiar with the wines of central Italy, The Apennine Mountains, which run the length of the Italian Peninsula, dominant the wine regions of this area. Grapes are planted in the hills and valleys of this mountain range with altitude providing a moderating influence on the hot climate.  It’s also important to mention that the coastal areas on both sides of the country benefit […]

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Tuscan Landscape

“The Creator made Italy from designs by Michelangelo.” ~Mark Twain     “Tuscan Landscape,” 14 x 18 acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas by Tonya R. Hengerer   Farmguy and I celebrated our 20th anniversary in Tuscany this year, and I believe Mark Twain’s quote is spot on, because I took over 1000 photographs during our short time there.  Everywhere I […]

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One More Reason to Love Italy

In May, Scott and I celebrated our 20th anniversary in Tuscany, specifically Cortona and Florence.  We chose Italy, because it’s one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever visited, and the people are lovely and welcoming.  From the breathtaking views of the Tuscan countryside to the art, culture, and history of its towns and cities, Italy offers so much.  And, […]

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A Farmgirl in Firenze

  Farmguy and I are in Tuscany and having a lovely time.  So far, we’ve had a wonderful experience sightseeing, learning about the art and history of Florence, visiting museums, wine tasting, and just soaking up the beautiful sun and scenery.  From the Ponte Vecchio to baked pears in Barolo as well as Michelangelo’s David to Dolce & Gabbana, it’s truly been a treat.  So much of our enjoyment during this visit is due to our good fortune in learning about a fantastic tour company called, Sunny Tuscany.  These private tour guides certainly have made our time here memorable.  Many thanks to Amy, Monika, and Riccardo for their helpfulness, warmth, and attention to detail. Here are a few photos from our time in Florence.  I hope you enjoy!  More pictures and adventures to come. 🙂  

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