Honey, it’s Hot: Fun Things to Try

Sharing some “hot” ideas — things I’d like to try this spring, because why not round up the days to March 21 — the first day of spring.  Food, flowers, gardening, and travel — something for everyone!

I love spring.  To me, it’s a time of new beginnings.  Tender bulbs we planted in the fall are starting to pop their heads up in our garden. The phlox are blooming bright purple right now.  I missed my window of time to plant pansies like I usually do in the fall, and since it looks like we are going to skip winter all together here, I may just wait and plant my usual burst of color from zinnias.

If you’ve never tried to plant zinnias, give it a try this spring.  They are hearty, heat and drought tolerant and make the perfect cutting flowers.

I have been saving up photos to my gardening Pinterest board to show Mr. Bee for a spring project…a container vegetable/herb garden in a galvanized water trough.

Two things I like about this, is it’s higher up from the ground so it will be easier to access for watering, weeding and harvesting.  And, it will be up off the ground so our pets cannot get into it.  This DIY article from Apartment Therapy walks you through how to create your own.  I want to plant cooking herbs like rosemary, basil, thyme, parsley and cilantro.  And a few vegetables we enjoy like cucumbers, zucchini and peppers.  I wish I could grow tomatoes, but I leave that up to my farmer’s market because tomatoes are so persnickety.

Next, before it gets too hot outside I want to perfect a recipe for fried chicken.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Baked garlic cilantro fries

I eat fried chicken once about every 5 years, but it’s just so nostalgic like Sunday suppers after church.

And I want to host a party just so I can put hot french fries in a mason jar lined with parchment paper. Recipe here.

My grandmother used to make the best french fries when I would go and spend the weekend at her house.  She’d cut big steak fry slices from Idaho potatoes and toss them into a cast iron skillet of hot Crisco oil.  Once they were golden brown, she’d remove them to a paper towel lined pan and take her big, metal silver salt shaker and drench the fries in salt.  Add a side of ketchup and I was a happy camper.  She’d also pan-fry hamburger patties in Worcestershire sauce.  This is why I liked spending weekends at her house.

And, while we are on the subject of food, I can’t leave out something related to cake.  That was the other thing we always made at my grandmother’s house – a cake.  Grandmother wasn’t a baker.  She was more of an entree kinda cook.  So, my mother would always supply me with a box of cake mix and the add-ins.  When this story appeared on my Facebook timeline today, again courtesy of Country Living, it shared the simple trick to make boxed cake mix taste 1,000 times better. Butter. Replace the oil in the mix with almost the same amount of butter. I feel it is my duty to research this and report back this week.  Miss Bee is totally on board.

Next, if you want to plan a long weekend trip this spring, two fun places to try are Waco, Texas and Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

72 hours in Waco

This fun article from Country Living shares a 72-hour itinerary in Waco and includes “the nitty-gritty on the city, a mix of both editor picks and the requisite “Chip & Jo Were Here” attractions for true devotees.” It’s a great how-to including wine, coffee, antiquing, eating and site-seeing.  I have been to Waco many times, and have spent an evening with the Gaines (which you can read about here), but the itinerary is something I would really like to try.

Then, there’s Pawhuska, Oklahoma — the land of the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.  Again, Country Living shares the details on her fab new venture here.

The Mercantile is a 25,000 square foot space that includes a restaurant, retail store, deli, coffee bar and bakery.  The town only has 3,500 residents, yet sees 6,000 people A DAY to the town to get a taste of her great frontier.  Here are two snaps I found on Instagram…

My own cast iron skillet of sticky buns. Heaven.
You can never have too many bowls.

So, this is my “Honey, it’s Hot” list.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Let me know if there is something new you’d like to try and I will check it out. I’d love to hear your suggestions, too.

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