From My Carolina Home

Quilting, cooking, reading books, gardening, crafting, sewing, photography and more


Having Fun in Lexington, Kentucky

Last week, DH had to go to Lexington, Kentucky to do some work, so once again I packed a bag and tagged along.  I had a fun time shopping and sight seeing while he was working. Lexington says it is the horse capital of the world, with much in the town being about the horse. There are horse farms, a horse racing track, an entire park dedicated to horses and Man O’ War, and many of the streets are named for race winners or tracks.  I took over 300 pictures, and I promise I will not show them all to you, LOL!!  But today, come with me as I shop and eat, visit quilt shops and bookstores, and have fun in Lexington.


In some places in town, there are horse statues painted by local artists that were apparently part of an art project some time ago.   We do the same thing here with our bears every year. I only found four of these horses, but this one was the most compelling, did you see what was behind it in the picture above?

Painted Horse 10

Oh, yes, a Kentucky institution, Old Kentucky Bourbon Chocolates. Every last bit of this store was chocolate! The aroma of freshly worked chocolate hit you as you walked in, there was no way to leave without having some.

Ky Chocolates 2

A couple of free samples later, I decided on a large box of Bourbon Truffle Chocolates, and two little samplers. One of the samplers was Black Forest Truffles (bourbon, chocolate truffle with chopped cherries), and the other was Chocolate Covered Bourbon Cherries. I am carefully rationing these out, excuse me for a moment while I go nab one, my treat for today.

Chocolates bourbons

This horse was across the street from the chocolate shop. It was beautifully done, and I think was my favorite of the ones I found.

Painted Horse 11

Next on the west side route plan was this shop, Quilter’s Square.

Quilter's Square 1

Beautifully light inside, and huge! Owners Chana and Kayla were so friendly and helpful, I really enjoyed chatting with them.

Quilter's Square 4

They are doing the Row by Row too, and had a darling hot air balloon pattern. Although I can’t show it to you, you can see in these pictures how many projects they have going on, with samples above the fabric. Just stop by and get their kit if you are near the area.

Quilter's Square 3

They had fabric and more fabric!  So much choice!  I could have spent a lot longer just admiring all the displays and quilts.

Quilter's Square 2

While I was on the west side, I had to go to my favorite chain bookstore, Half Price Books. I was delighted to find two stores in Lexington, this was the smaller of the two.

Half Price Books Lexington 1

Yet it was stuffed as is usual for these stores.  The cookbook corner had the same amount of space as this one for crafting, sewing, quilting, gardening and more.  The clearance section was huge too, with lots of books at just $2.

Half Price Books Lexington 3

Dinner that night was at a local eatery called Saul Good, I had a flatbread pizza.

Saul Good pizza

DH had a tuna steak, and shared his asparagus with me.

Saul Good tuna

On the corner of the shopping center, this horse was standing watch.

Painted Horse 5

The next bit of shopping was on the east side, with Sew-A-Lot leading off the afternoon of fun.

Sew-A-Lot 1

I have to say, I had just as much fun chatting with Patti, Thomas and Kim. They were trying to get to their lunch but were willing to chat as long as I was there, and I just couldn’t leave, LOL!! Sorry for delaying your lunches, but I was just enjoying myself too much!!  There were a lot of goodies to see, patterns and fabric galore.

Sew-A-Lot 2

Their Row by Row pattern was inspired by one of their customers who uses a little red wagon to carry all her class supplies. It is a darling pattern, so stop over and get their kit if you are nearby this summer.

Sew-A-Lot 3

The east side’s Half Price Books was next on the list, and wow, what a pretty storefront with the arbor and flowers!!

Half Price Lexington flowers

This large store kept me entertained for over an hour as I perused the fiction for books on my to-get list, and then the non-fiction for what might be fun.

HalfPriceBooks 2

The last horse is the only one of the four with a plaque to show what it was all about, but it wasn’t dated. This one is in front of the TV station and is named Color Bars. It was bought at the art event and donated to the station.

Painted Horse 4

Dinner that evening was at Columbia Steak House. The original restaurant has been there since 1943. We went to one closer to the hotel that has been there for 17 years. It is locally owned, not a chain.

Columbia exterior

I usually look for one of a kind places like this when traveling. We have to resort to chain restaurants often enough on the road, so these are a treat. We started off with a shrimp appetizer as we were both hungry. I had skipped lunch to shop and sight-see.

Columbia shrimp

My dinner was a nicely grilled rib-eye with steamed broccoli.

Columbia steak

DH had a Kentucky staple, a Hot Brown. I was surprised to find out that this is not an open faced roast beef with brown gravy. Quite different!! It is sliced ham and turkey on a piece of bread, covered in a mornay-like sauce, topped with cheese and sliced tomato then broiled to melt and brown the cheese. Then it is topped with crispy bacon. Yum!!

Columbia hot brown

Inside the restaurant was again, all about the horse, with somewhat old fashioned decor and horse pictures on the stucco walls.  It was a bit dark, with stained wood beams on the ceiling and wood floors.

Columbia interior

They had several beautiful stained glass like art on the doors and windows.  Only by getting very close could you see that it was done with paint, still they were nicely done.

Columbia window

So, that was shopping and eating. In future posts, I’ll show you some of the other places I visited, including the Arboretum and Keeneland. We were not able to get to the Kentucky Horse Park where Man O’ War is memorialized as the greatest horse that ever raced. The tickets were $20 each plus $5 to park, and we just didn’t have the whole day to spend there to make that worthwhile. But, DH will have to go back later in the year, so we may try then.

Are you going to do a Row by Row quilt this year? Do you have patterns left over from last year like I do?


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Heirloom Tomatoes

One of the wonderful things about warmer weather is the appearance of lovely ripe heirloom tomatoes at my local produce stand.  It is on my way home from just about anywhere, so I can stop in easily to see if the tomatoes have come in yet.  She has fresh eggs and goat cheese too, so every visit will yield something yummy.  Recently, I got the first early pickin’s and made several salads and sandwiches with them.  Heirloom tomatoes just have more intense tomato flavor than the hybrids usually in the grocery store, bred for ease of shipping instead of taste.

Heirloom Tomatoes at From My Carolina Home

Heirloom tomatoes have a different look to the inside.  I can almost smell the fresh tomato aroma from this picture.  Heirloom tomatoes usually are not as pretty as the modern hybrids, but the flavor is just so much better.

Heirloom Tomatoes at From My Carolina Home

I’m sure many readers have made a caprese salad, using tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella like this one, and I like mine with multiple colors of heirlooms.  The purple ones aren’t in yet, but soon will be!

Heirloom Tomatoes at From My Carolina Home

Sometimes the tomatoes are so big that making a stack and then cutting it in half is enough to serve two.  Fresh mozzarella is placed between the layers, with fresh basil leaves from the garden.

Heirloom Tomatoes at From My Carolina Home

Heirlooms are also wonderful on a turkey sandwich. They are so good that sometimes it is yummy to just have a tomato sandwich, spread thick with real mayonnaise.

Heirloom Tomatoes at From My Carolina Home

I wanted to expand the stacked salad idea with something a bit different.  I had an avocado that was ready to be eaten, so I decided to use it.

Heirloom Tomatoes at From My Carolina Home

I sliced up an heirloom tomato and the avocado, and started on the cheese.

Heirloom Tomatoes at From My Carolina Home

Here is one of those great kitchen gadgets that is just the thing when you need it, a cheese slicer. I get mozzarella in blocks and slice it medium thick for salads.

Heirloom Tomatoes at From My Carolina Home

I just stacked the avocado slices with the tomato slices and the mozzarella.

Heirloom Tomatoes at From My Carolina Home

Then a second layer.

Heirloom Tomatoes at From My Carolina Home

This salad actually was already so moist with the tomato and the creamy avocado that it didn’t need any dressing.

Heirloom Tomatoes at From My Carolina Home

Just a sprinkle of bold smoked salt and some cracked black pepper finished it off. Yum!

Heirloom Tomatoes at From My Carolina Home

I made another one the next day to use another avocado, and this time made a Cranberry Vinaigrette for it, just for the extra flavor and sweetness.

Heirloom Tomatoes at From My Carolina Home

On another day, nothing better than a BLT with thick sliced, applewood smoked bacon and fresh heirlooms!

Heirloom Tomato and Bacon at From My Carolina Home

Topped with cracked black pepper, yum!

Heirloom Tomato and Bacon at From My Carolina Home

Add a generous layer of lettuce, on whole grain bread with sesame seeds, and those thick tomato slices make a filling sandwich that will keep me quilting all day.  No chips needed.

Heirloom Tomato and Bacon at From My Carolina Home

So good!  That wonderful tomato aroma as the tomatoes are sliced, bursting flavor in your mouth as you eat.  It is summer on a plate to me.  Are you a fan of heirloom tomatoes?  What do you like to do with them?



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Quick Trip to Chattanooga

Last week another opportunity came up to take a really fast trip with DH.  He had a small job to do in Chattanooga, driving over one day and back the next.  It was too good to pass up, so again I packed a bag and tagged along.  We drove over in the morning, and there is nothing like going over the high pass on I-40 in the morning light.  The mountains are just gorgeous green now!  There was a bit of overcast sky part of the way, but no rain.

Hwy I40 - 11

Hwy I40 - 16

Very little traffic for a good part of the way made for a relaxing drive.

Hwy I40 - 17

Arriving in Chattanooga just after lunchtime, I dropped him off, and went shopping all afternoon.  I started at an enormous bookstore called McKays.  You have to see it to believe it.

McKays Books Chattanooga 1

Reading and video are on the ground floor, audio cds and vinyl are on the second floor balcony that ran all the way around the building.

McKays Books Chattanooga 2

This is the hardback fiction aisle, it keep me occupied quite a while.  Then the cookbook aisle was calling.  I know I was there at least 2 hours!

McKays Books Chattanooga 5

The result of my browsing was a small haul, with an author signed, first American edition, hardback copy of the Jeffrey Archer book I was missing for just $7. All the other books ranged in price from 50 cents to $1.50. Yep, that little!  The cookbooks , Best of the Best, were just 50 cents each.  I plan to attempt making paper soon, and found a book on that subject as well. The other books have been on my hunt list for a long time, over 2 years for On Rue Tatin!  Finding treasure is exciting, but finding it at $1 was a special thrill.

McKays Books Chattanooga 7

The rest of the afternoon was spent in the thrift stores, but that wasn’t a fruitful venture.   The one I spent some time looking for was closed on the weekday that I was there.  Several more thrifts were visited but nothing spoke to me.  Back at the hotel, I asked the nice, and very helpful young man named Rhett at the front desk for a recommendation for dinner.  We were directed to Mount Vernon, a Chattanooga institution since 1955.  As luck would have it, it was only about 10 minutes away.

Mount Vernon Restaurant 9

Rhett had given us a coupon for a free appetizer of fried green tomatoes that came with a horseradish sauce.  Yum!!

Mount Vernon Restaurant 1

DH and I both had fish, mine was salmon with a lovely garlic and parsley butter.

Mount Vernon Restaurant 2

He had grilled haddock, and we both got the squash casserole.  I’ve been working on a squash casserole recipe at home, and I’ll be posting that soon.  I want to make it one more time to be sure I have it the way I want it.

Mount Vernon Restaurant 3

I liked the ambiance of the place, so inviting with low lamps and nice decorations in the lobby.

Mount Vernon Restaurant 7

So many times, older restaurants like this get stagnant and stale, but not this one.  The music was low, modern jazz.  It looked like it had been updated with soft colors in yellow and blue with off white trim, warm and elegant but not dated.

Mount Vernon Restaurant 6

Service was outstanding.  The menu was fresh and on trend with locally sourced food as much as possible.

Mount Vernon Restaurant 5

The next morning, while DH was working again, I drove up to Lookout Mountain and was surprised to learn that there are no lookouts. I am spoiled by the Blue Ridge Parkway with its many overlooks and free parking areas to take pictures of our magnificent views. But, the only way I found to get even an idea of the view was to park at a meter regulated space, and try to get a picture across a private garden of the valley beyond.

Lookout Mountain 2

It looked like a lovely space, but it was posted as private, and surrounded by fencing, with the entrances gated and locked.

Lookout Mountain 3

There are a few attractions to see, but they were really pricey and didn’t have views. I thought the underground caverns would be fun, along with seeing a very high waterfall that was in the caverns, but I wanted to do that with DH, not by myself. So, I went down to the Riverwalk.

Tennessee Riverwalk 5

It is a beautiful area, clean and nice for a long walk on the Tennessee River.

Tennessee Riverwalk 2

Heading back toward the area where I had parked, I spotted a blue heron on the walk.

Tennessee Riverwalk 6

Amazingly, he wasn’t afraid of me at all.

Tennessee Riverwalk 8

I asked him what his thoughts were this fine morning, but he didn’t care to share them.

Tennessee Riverwalk 9

Walking a bit further the other direction, there are bridges for cars and pedestrians, along with the lovely shoreline scenery.

Tennessee Riverwalk 11

I also visited a really wonderful quilt shop, I’ll show you that with the next Be My Neighbor block.  Picking up DH, we decided to have lunch before beginning the drive back home, spending barely a day in Chattanooga.  I am certain we need to go back again, there was a lot to do, and I want another meal at Mount Vernon.  On the way home, we stopped in Knoxville at the other McKays Used Bookstore, and yes I found a few more books, just as inexpensively too.  This was a really fast trip, but enjoyable with a nice bit of time to just talk while in the car.  I left my laptop at home, and just enjoyed the scenery and the time with my dear husband.

Have you made any quick trips like this?



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Myrtle Beach Foodie!

One of the best things about a beach vacation is eating seafood.  I love just about all of it, especially fresh catches of a local delicacy, expertly prepared with a new idea for flavor.  At one restaurant, I enjoyed a starter salad, with flavorful home grown tomatoes and creamy mozzarella, lightly dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette.  Yum!

Biminis 5

I particularly love oysters (Oysters!!), and the best I found all week were these marvelous tidbits.  They were fried to perfection, not greasy, and fresh! I dove into them so fast I almost forgot to take a pic, LOL.

Biminis 8

The restaurant, Bimini’s, was a hole in the wall with a thirty minute wait for a table in the northern part of the town.  Obviously a spot locals know well!  After dinner we went to their store next door and got a wall sign for DH’s garage, that says “No Bad Days” with the parrot logo, and a t-shirt for me with the parrot on the back.

Biminis 12

The oysters were great with a Blue Margarita, made with the usual ingredients topped with a splash of Blue Curacao.

Biminis 1

The hush puppies were light and crispy, well seasoned little treats.

Biminis 7

Our best meal of the week was at Sea Captain’s House.

Sea Captains House 10 sign

It was a charming place with a homey atmosphere in the lobby waiting area. I believe it was a large home converted to a restaurant. There were three dining areas, two on the upper level and one below on an enclosed porch.

Sea Captains House 9 lobby

We ate upstairs, with this beautiful view around sunset.

Sea Captains House 2 view

The small garden could also be seen from our table through the window.

Sea Captains House 5 view

DH had a fresh catch selection, a tuna filet with two interesting sauces – one a tropical salsa, and the other an orange habanero.

Sea Captains House 6 Tuna

I had the sea bass with lemon dill and basil cream sauces. The colorful squash side dish was perfectly cooked. I have some new ideas for home meals now too!

Sea Captains House 7 Sea Bass

I have these little side dipping dishes that have three compartments.  I used them in my Late Summer Cookout dinner.

Late Summer Cookout at From My Carolina Home

So what can I use with a homemade fish dinner?  Maybe the teriyaki again, and I think horseradish sauce goes with anything.  Cocktail and tartar sauces could be nice too.  I have an idea for a new sauce (inspired by this trip), but I will have to try it before I tell you all about it in case it isn’t as good as it sounds in my head, LOL!!!  Now, to find some fish or shrimp on sale to grill out!

Do you enjoy fresh seafood?

See these links for more about my Myrtle Beach adventure –

Beaches and Gardens of Myrtle Beach

Quilting Myrtle Beach

Thrift Store Shopping in Myrtle Beach

Visiting Brookgreen Gardens

Sharing with these link parties…

T Stands for Tuesday

Celebrate Your Story

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Saturday Sparks


Three Good Books

Three recently read books have really caught my attention, two fiction with culinary themes, and a non-fiction cookbook.  After doing the sewing/quilting book review series last September, I had a couple of marginal reads to one truly bad read (reviews are on Goodreads) interspersed with quick cozy mystery reads. Then I picked up Delicious by Ruth Reichl, her first fiction novel. I have thoroughly enjoyed her non-fiction books, both her autobiographic accounts Tender at the Bone of her early years, and especially Garlic and Sapphires – a tale of her years as an undercover restaurant reviewer.  I still have Comfort Me With Apples on the To-Be-Read pile.

Delicious is the story of a young woman named Billie, who takes a job at a food magazine. She quickly demonstrates her commitment to the challenges, and folds into the magazine family, only to have the it suddenly shut down. She is offered a position to maintain the hotline for recipe inquiries and complaints wanting the money back guarantee, remaining as the only employee in a deserted mansion in downtown New York. Finding a mystery in the magazines archive, she discovers a hidden room, and the letters of a young girl, Lulu, writing to the legendary James Beard. Through those letters, and an arcane filing system of organizing them, Billie learns about history, the history and challenges of food during the war years. Lulu’s courage battling her own heartache inspires Billie to confront her own tragic past.

Good Books Reviews at From My Carolina Home

This was a thoroughly enjoyable read with a different kind of story, one of the few times I’ll give a novel five stars on Goodreads. Ruth Reichl’s writing is superb, engaging interest quickly and making it difficult to put the book down. Her characters are well rounded and real, with raw emotion just beneath the surface apparent when the source of her main character’s anxiety about cooking is revealed. This is a must read for any fan of Ms, Reichl, any foodie, or anyone looking for a wonderfully different story.

The next book with a culinary theme was suggested by my book reading buddy, Kelly. We meet every couple of months to discuss a book we both read. This time was her turn to choose, and she picked A Place at the Table by Susan Rebecca White. The story is told from three different viewpoints. It begins with Alice, a young black girl living in 1929 Emancipation Township, North Carolina, subject to the plight of poor people and the persecution of her race. She escapes to New York, becoming the chef at a restaurant called Cafe Andres. Later she writes a cookbook with recipes from her time in the south. The story picks up in the 1981 with Bobby, a young gay man, escaping from his own persecution. He comes to New York, and apprentices at Cafe Andres, after Alice has left. He finds a home with Sebastian, and lives through the horror of AIDS. The third story begins in 1989, with Amelia coming to the city in the aftermath of her husband’s affair and subsequent divorce. She leaves her wealthy comfortable Connecticut home, only to find a connection with Alice that redefines who she really is.

Good Books Reviews at From My Carolina Home

This is a beautifully written novel about three different people with very different backgrounds, escaping their troubled lives to New York City. Throughout the novel there are references to comfort foods and experiments with new culinary ideas. This novel is so well written, with rich imagery and detail in the lives of the characters. The well developed storyline is written in a convergent style, and a twist at the end that I did not see coming.

The non-fiction book is At Elizabeth David’s Table, Classic Recipes and Timeless Kitchen Wisdom.  This is so much more than a cookbook. For the non-foodie reader, Elizabeth David is an icon in the culinary world.  Ms. David was a world traveler, living a bit of a wild life for her time in France, Italy and England, and one of the first food writers for magazines.  In 1950, her work A Book of Mediterranean Food was published, followed quickly by French Country Cooking in 1951.  Long before Gordon Ramsay, she became an superstar in England but was, and still is, virtually unknown in America.  At the time Julia Child was working on her book of French cooking in Paris, Elizabeth David had already published five works concentrating on the food of five different regions – the aforementioned Mediterranean and French volumes, along with a second book on French cooking concentrating on the Provincial region, English Summer cooking and an Italian cookbook from her time living in Italy in the early 1950s. Throughout her life, she continued to write for international magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and The Spectator, and published more cookbooks on English cookery.  She won many awards over her lifetime, including the Order of the British Empire, Commander of the Order of British Empire, and Fellow of the Royal Society of literature for her food writing.  All of her cookbooks remain in publication today.

Good Books Reviews at From My Carolina Home

At Elizabeth David’s Table is a collection of selected recipes from all of her published cookbooks, along with some of her writings, musings on food and her life in different countries as she lived.  Every course is included from starters and soups, eggs and pasta, rice and sides, meat, fish, poultry, sauces, sweets and bread.  Reading her articles transports the reader to rustic Italy, a summer day in Britain, the French countryside or the edge of the Mediterranean sea.  The forward to the volume was written by Ruth Reichl, a devotee of Elizabeth David.  It wouldn’t be hard to imagine that the revelations of Ms. David of the rationing and austerity of the war years was an inspiration for the Lulu letters of Delicious.

So, two new fiction books for you, dear readers, and one really special cookbook. If you are local, and would like to join the reading group, let me know. Kelly and I meet for lunch when we can, using the discussion guides online for questions. We would love to have at least two more in our little book club. We’ll take turns choosing books, hopefully to push us out of our normal reading genres.

What are you reading now?



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A Trip In The Mountain Countryside

Since DH sold his little British car, we haven’t had much of an opportunity to go with the group.  The car shows don’t want a modern car unless it is a Maserati or something equally expensive and rare.  Last month, we hosted an Australian Pursuit rally at a local park.  It was fun and I did get some pictures of the cars and us which you can see HERE if you like.  Members were given an easy route to follow for about a 35-40 minute drive and sent out at one minute intervals.  The finish line was hidden.  They then regrouped back at the park, and were sent out again in the reverse order of time finishing to run the same route in exactly the same time.  Finishing the second time faster than the first meant disqualification, and slower had points taken off.  Since no one knew their exact time, or where the timing ended, concentration on consistent speeds at the posted speed limits were crucial.  Everyone seemed to have a fun time on the drive, and afterwards we enjoyed a picnic lunch together.


We did go to the Heart of Brevard show over 4th of July weekend, but didn’t stay long and I didn’t get any pictures.  It has just been too frazzling hot to go hiking this year, and I really want to do that again soon.  Yesterday the club had a drive planned, and I didn’t want to miss this outing, a nice drive in the lush green hills near Black Mountain ending at an Amish store in Fairview.   DH couldn’t go this day because of work, so I was accompanied by my friend Bonnie who really needed to get her vintage Mustang out for a drive. Here it is next to Mitch’s gorgeous MGA.

Drive To Troyer's Amish Farm on From My Carolina Home

We met up as usual at a parking lot.

Drive To Troyer's Amish Farm on From My Carolina Home

Troyer’s is a popular drive destination, so lots of members showed up for this drive. The weather was a bit warm, but tolerable.

Drive To Troyer's Amish Farm on From My Carolina Home

This time I took my good camera to get some nice shots of the scenery as we drove. Summer in the mountains means lush green everywhere.

Drive To Troyer's Amish Farm on From My Carolina Home

Every corner turned shows more green. Did you know that looking at the color green will lower blood pressure?

Drive To Troyer's Amish Farm on From My Carolina Home

No wonder that I find these drives to be so relaxing, and mind clearing. I desperately needed that after this past week at work.

Drive To Troyer's Amish Farm on From My Carolina Home

Our destination was Troyer’s Amish Store.  We parked in the back and enjoyed the gardens first.

Drive To Troyer's Amish Farm on From My Carolina Home

We really enjoyed the live music with a bluegrass flavor. I should have asked their names but I got distracted by the huge sandwich I was served.

Drive To Troyer's Amish Farm on From My Carolina Home

“Come sit for a spell and relax” the swinging bench beckoned to me.  I had to walk past lovely wooden quilt racks for sale, along with other wood items.  One of these days I am going to bring one home with me, I think I can fill one with quilts easily by now!

Drive To Troyer's Amish Farm on From My Carolina Home

Now, which jam to get, blackberry or blueberry, or maybe plum, or apple or peach?  Those are pickles and chutneys on the left.

Drive To Troyer's Amish Farm on From My Carolina Home

Turn the corner and there is rice and pastas, just waiting to be dinner.  There are shelves and shelves of locally made spice blends and other foods, along with soaps and hand creams.

Drive To Troyer's Amish Farm on From My Carolina Home

Homemade bread is sold here too, the little round loaf on the right came home with me. The nice lady waiting on me offered to slice it, but I think it will be best in big hunks with sweet unsalted butter.

Drive To Troyer's Amish Farm on From My Carolina Home

From the Amish made cheeses, I selected my favorite – Amish Butter Cheese – and got several slices for that sourdough bread. I should have bought a couple of pounds of it, it is that good. Alas, I’ll just have to go back again for more, along with more of the wonderful turkey and roast beef, and more of their horseradish sauce.  They also have fresh milk and buttermilk from Happy Cow Creamery.

Drive To Troyer's Amish Farm on From My Carolina Home

Back outside to the gardens, lovely aren’t they?

Drive To Troyer's Amish Farm on From My Carolina Home

This little outbuilding has quilt designs on the side.

Drive To Troyer's Amish Farm on From My Carolina Home

This little storage barn has a wonderful mophead hydrangea growing beside it. The flowers are still green, and I’d love to know if they will turn pink or blue.

Drive To Troyer's Amish Farm on From My Carolina Home

You have to visit the girls too.

Drive To Troyer's Amish Farm on From My Carolina Home

Really fresh eggs anyone?

Drive To Troyer's Amish Farm on From My Carolina Home

One more shot of the cars at the farm.  The windmill is charming.

Drive To Troyer's Amish Farm on From My Carolina Home

There is another garden behind the store.  It reminds me of an English country garden, a bit unruly and full of flowers.

Drive To Troyer's Amish Farm on From My Carolina Home

More places to sit and drink in the beauty behind the store.

Drive To Troyer's Amish Farm on From My Carolina Home

If you are near Fairview, NC just southeast of Asheville, stop by and get some of their fresh meats, cheeses and eggs, wonderful jams, jellies and chutneys, breads, spices, pastas, snacks or anything they have! They sell handmade wooden items, and Amish furniture too. Visit them on the web at Troyer’s Amish Store.

Drive To Troyer's Amish Farm on From My Carolina Home

Do you have a country market near you?



Take Me Away Travel Link Party


Gift Ideas for Guys

Guys are really difficult to make gifts for as they don’t really go for most of the sewn and crafty items that we gals like to make.  I have yet to see any guy actually wear an apron while grilling, but most will be delighted with a gift of something for the grill.  Here are some of the hits I have given, starting with a seasoning mix for meats on the grill.

Seasoning Mixes Gifts for Guys | From My Carolina Home

Gather together some herbs and spices, combining them in a small wide mouth Ball jar for your grilling guy.  I’ll give you my recipe for the spice mix, but know that you can add and subtract as you like.  You can also fiddle with the amounts, if you like more garlic and less onion, go for it!

Seasoning Mixes Gifts for Guys | From My Carolina Home

If I have larger bits like peppercorns, I will use my mortar and pestle to grind them myself.

Seasoning Mixes Gifts for Guys | From My Carolina Home

Steak Seasoning Mix

2 tablespoons sea salt
2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder (or just chili powder)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Combine ingredients. Store in airtight container.
To use: sprinkle on meats before grilling, or mix into hamburger meat before grilling.

Seasoning Mixes Gifts for Guys | From My Carolina Home

In the download, the recipe for this Bold Smoked mix using black smoked salt is included.  To use just pinch some of the mix between your fingers and sprinkle over the meat.  Both these mixes work great on beef, pork and chicken.  In addition, it works nicely as a dry rub for smoking meats, and under barbeque sauce. Just put a label on the top and it is good to go.

Seasoning Mixes Gifts for Guys | From My Carolina Home

Yum, steak!  That’s my Garlic Zucchini on the side!

Steak done

Another idea is to combine some items from his favorite store in a creative container and you have a dynamite gift that the guy will really appreciate. Then fill it with guy stuff that he likely uses all the time, things that he will run out of and need more – batteries, tie wraps, shop towels, latex or nitrile gloves, hand cleaner, nail brush. A box of gloves can be wrapped separately and given with the caddy. This one has microfiber towels that DH says are good to have, hand cleaner, a hanging flashlight and tire cleaner.  DH has put plastic razor blades on his list for scraping gook off things without scratching surfaces.

Gifts For Guys ~ From My Carolina Home

For the gearhead guy, make up a car care caddy with his favorite car care products.  Go to the garage and find out what brands he likes.  DH says that most guys are a bit picky about which wax they want for the car.  But other things like dashboard conditioner and tire cleaners are pretty generic.  Sets of funnels are always useful too, as are cable ties in both white and black.

Gifts For Guys ~ From My Carolina Home

This is another one for the car guy, with car care products from Mothers and Meguiars, both brands DH likes.  The larger wells of this caddy from a restaurant to-go section can take the bigger size spray bottles.  With all of these, wrapping is easy with the clear bags made for baskets at the dollar store and a big bow.

Gifts For Guys ~ From My Carolina Home

For the gardener guy, garden gloves, specialty slow release fertilizer, inexpensive hand tools, seeds.  You are only limited by what you can think of, take any theme and find six things that fit that theme.  More ideas in the download.

Gifts For Guys ~ From My Carolina Home

If you are set on sewing something, make a banner for his garage or man cave.  You can find sheets and bedspreads with fun motifs on them like this one with The Stig – (a character on a British TV show about cars called Top Gear).

Stig 3

The head was on the pillow case, and the body on the bedspread.  I cut apart the pillow case and sewed it to the bedspread, adding a sleeve on the back to hang.  I have seen Tardis sheets for the Dr Who fan, Star Trek and Star Wars stuff for those fans, sports team sheets, whatever your guy is into probably has something you can turn into guy decor.

All my ideas and instructions are in my Craftsy store Gifts For Guys.  Learn how to craft a unique holder for his goodies, with lists of suggestions to fill it for every sportsman, gearhead, hobbist, handyman and grill lover in on your list. Recipes for seasoning mixes and fish fry mix are included with printable instructions for giving. These are always a huge hit with the guys in my life! I promise, the small price will be well worth it, and helps support my blog so I can bring you more free projects and ideas.

If you missed any of the Christmas in July posts over the last 9 days, be sure to go back see all the great ideas, and enter all the drawings for the giveaways.  The deadline for all is tomorrow, July 24th at noon Eastern Daylight Time in the USA.  (Drawings have been held, but more events are planned with giveaways to come).  I’d love to have you follow my blog to see all the ideas and tutorials coming up!

Do you have a DIY idea for a guy gift?




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