Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Southern Living and Southern Secrets

When I received the latest issue of Southern Living last week, I was a bit disappointed with the cover. Too dark for a person who likes light and bright. I am glad I took a closer look because there were a number of things I really loved, some things I really disliked and some things I want to to take the time to contemplate.

I thought the article about Serenbe was very good. It make it look more like it was way out on the farm and I don't think it shows the true Chattahoochee Hill country, but it is nice to know that you can drive out there for lunch or dinner. I am sure it is a great place to live with wonderful restaurants and so many creative people. I love what they have built out of some country real estate, just south of Atlanta. (I plan to tour their organic gardens before too long.) It's a great place and worth a visit.

I liked the article on Muscadines. It cleared up the difference in Muscadine and Scuppernong grapes, gave some good history, explained about pruning and I enjoyed reading about the "Mother vine."

Perhaps my favorite thing was the recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Carrot Cake. They test their recipes so they always turn out as expected. We love both these cakes, so combining them is genius. I will be making this before long.

What I really disliked was the Grumpy Gardener. He is probably witty and obviously knows more than I do about gardening. I did like the advice about pansies that last through the winter. What I didn't like is the tone and attitude. I looked on the southernliving.com website and noticed he has a blog where he lays out his opinions pretty strongly. I was pretty offended to find that the gardener had to be politically correct while handing out snarky comments.

I really don't need that. I don't want to be slammed for my down to earth viewpoints while looking for good gardening advice. Who does? I want my gardening advice to be handed out with sugar rather than vinegar. I think I will stick to our NC Magazine's Thoughtful Gardener. Her beautiful flowers and prose make me feel very positive about working in my garden. Enough said!

Then there was the "The Secret to Being Southern: 25 tips for celebrating the soul of the south." Some of them I must say were right on, while some didn't exactly hit the mark for me, but at least I understood them. I will admit there are differences in regions of the south so that might account for some of the twenty-five. Since I have been a lifelong southerner, I do feel I have every right to comment on this feature with some authority.

Writing a charming thank you note was a winner for me. That is important. Another, Savor Savannah was a good one but you have to say Charleston and Savannah, in my opinion.

Of course they listed sweet tea. That was a no-brainer.

I liked "float a river" because I have always wanted to float the Chattahoochee but have never done it. I have gone rafting. I love rafting, but the Chattahoochee is only a few miles away. Tubing would be easier than rafting, too.

I will be pickling some okra this week, I hope.

I loved this one, "Pass along your garden's best." I can remember my mother visiting her neighbors and coming home with cutting from their gardens and returning the favor when they visited. That is something we should continue to do.

Apple pie? Yes. Cornmeal crust? No way.

Count your blessings? Always.


  1. This issue surprised me too - I enjoyed the feature on Serenbe. Small world, my son started working there part-time this summer and he sure loves it! He helps out at The Blue Eyed Daisy and at The Farmhouse. He is really impressed with the quality of the produce that is used. Serenbe is a beautiful concept and so nicely laid out. Thank you for sharing, have a great day, Joanie

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