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With Easter right around the corner, this week we will #southernchat about Easter Traditions, a topic suggested in one of our earlier chats.  Everyone has their own special traditions for Easter – from family to eggs to baskets. Some of my favorite Easter style pieces are oh-so-Southern-inpsired, keeping it classic but still spring fresh. Seersucker, straw, pastels, stripes and floral scents help set the stage for an Easter gathering you’ll never forget.

Easter Style

My own traditions growing up were family events that brought us closer together. My grandmother always put together special Easter egg hunts at her house, leaving little clues in each egg that led to the next.  After the last egg, the next clue helped us to find our Easter baskets which were filled to the brim with treats.  The wooden baskets we found were handcrafted by my parents and painted in soft spring colors, mine with a bunny and my sisters with a chick on it.  They went perfectly with the Easter dresses my sister and I would wear as we made our way to Easter brunch at my grandmother’s country club.

Liza Graves Style BlueprintThis week, we have a special guest, Liza Graves, co-founder of styleblueprint.com.  I very much related to the Easter memories that Liza had to share.

I grew up honoring Lent, with a grandmother and all of her sisters who gave up liquor each spring for 40 days and then got quite tipsy at the annual Easter party, held at my grandmother’s on a 3-acre lot on the river in the second oldest house in town. It was THE party to be invited to. Ham biscuits, coconut cake and sparkling punch, spiked and served out of a punch bowl, were always mainstays on the buffet table. Sometimes my grandmother & her sisters would get a little tipsy, get into arguments and storm off to their respective homes, all within one block of one another – just in time for the caterer to leave and everyone to proclaim that it was the best party yet.

I do think that everyone has funny Easter traditions, but the big Easter Egg Hunt at a friend or neighbor’s house, lent, smocked dresses, ham biscuits, coconut cake and family spats that end in hugs are something that most southern families have in common!

I love Liza’s spin on Easter, and I can’t wait to hear all about your Easter traditions, too! I hope you can join in the fun.

 #southernchat

#southernchat: Easter Traditions (Monday 3/25/13 9:00PM est)

Q1: What Easter Traditions do you & your family have?

Q2: When you think of Easter, what elements come to mind?

Q3: What are some of your favorite southern foods on the Easter table?

Q4: What are the perfect pieces for a classic Easter outfit?

Q5: What southern goodies will you be filling the Easter baskets with this year?

Kayce Hughes LogoGiveaway!

Special thanks to Liza for coordinating this week’s giveaway – a $50 gift certificate from our friends at Kayce Hughes! With stores in Nashville, Chattanooga, and now, Atlanta, what better place to outfit your whole family for the Easter holiday than here. Just join in the chat by using the #southernchat hashtag sometime from 9:00-10:00pm est on 3/25/13 and you’ll be automatically entered to win.

Easter Style: Rachel Zoe Straw Hat, ASOS Cork Clutch, NARS blush, Happ & Stahns Eau de Parfum, J.Crew Seersucker Dress, Gucci Necklace, Butter London Polish, Sperry Wedges.

southern bow ties 1

southern bow ties

A southern staple for gentlemen everywhere, the bow tie is now back in vogue for the masses. With so many styles, from prints to plaids, this classic neckwear piece is really making a statement for those confident enough to rock it. And, there are some companies jumping in to ensure the bow tie tradition remains alive and thriving for us all to enjoy, each one giving their own personal twist. We’re celebrating the bow tie this week, join  @heirloomed on Twitter on Monday at 9:00 PM est for #southernchat all about bow ties!

southernchat

#southernchat: bow ties (Monday, 1/21/13, 9:00 pm est)

Q1: Bow ties are back, but never left the wardrobe of the truly southern gentleman. What’s the best thing about a bow tie?

Q2:  There are some great companies making bow ties today. Who are some of your favorites?

Q3: Prints, plaids, solids & stripes. What is your bow tie style preference?

Q4: Who are some of your favorite bow tie wearers out there?

Q5: Proper bow tie etiquette is important! What are your favorite occasions for wearing a bow tie?

{ If you’re interested in sponsoring the bow tie chat, or to learn more about #southernchat, to be a guest or host another giveaway, click here to learn more!}

Bow ties: From top, left to right: Southern Proper, Otis James, Collared Greens, Dogwood Black, State Traditions, Southern Proper, The Tie Bar, Social Primer for Brooks Brothers, Vineyard Vines.

Bradley's Country Store

Bradley's Country Store

One of my favorite hometown traditions is visiting Bradley’s Country Store, in my hometown of Tallahassee, Florida. I have fond memories of this quaint little store, surrounded by mighty live oaks. We visited so many times growing up to stock up on their famous smoked sausage, especially during the holidays, and now the Mr. loves going when we visit for the very same reason.

While home for the holidays this trip, we visited Bradley’s, all decked out for Christmas – and brought our little guy for his very first visit, continuing the family tradition. Note the fresh bundles of collard greens stacked behind us as we sit on the front porch rocking chair for a photo.

Bradley's front porch

Do you have a country store that you love to visit?

Today is a special day for me, as it is every year – the celebration of my Grandmother’s birthday.

My grandmother, Cele, was born in 1912 and would have turned 100 years old today. She led such an interesting life and was the matriarch of our family without doubt. She loved to entertain, bake, host and could sew up a storm like you wouldn’t believe. She was the original entrepreneur of our family, having a host of professions – from working in a dental lab to having her own luxury line of ties.  Though she has been gone for several years now, her memory lives on today through our family, and also through IceMilk Aprons. She was the inspiration for the company and collection as it is today, and the business wouldn’t exist today without her help, love and support.

And so today is a day for celebration! I proudly carry on the tradition that was started back in 2008 – our One-Day Sale at IceMilk Aprons! Simply enter “HAPPY100” in the promo code during checkout at www.icemilkaprons.com at any point today (11/12/12) to take 20% off your entire order.

I do hope you will join in the celebration, and get a head start on your holiday shopping!

As the first official day of summer fast approaches and kids are out of school, families everywhere are preparing for summer vacations. Whether you’re off to a cozy cabin in the mountains or a quaint cottage at the beach, you’re not only embarking on a great vacation but creating a tradition with your family.

I was so thrilled when I caught the tail end of an interview with Ricky Lauren, wife of the fashion-fabulous Ralph Lauren, who has just come out with a special new book – The Hamptons: Food, Family, and History. There are few brands as all-American as the iconic Ralph Lauren, and this book exudes the same tradition and classic influence.

During the interview, Ricky talked about how special their Hampton’s home has been to their family, as a gathering place for them, their friends and their children’s friends. It has been a place that has kept them close, with food and special memories at the heart of it all.

The book takes a look into the kitchen, a collection of family photos and stories and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

Yesterday, I celebrated 2 years of marriage to my amazing husband.

We had the most wonderful wedding weekend I could ever have imagined and I love reliving the day by looking at photos and watching our wedding video. I will have to share photos with you all soon … since it’s been two years and all …

I always wanted to follow the “traditional” anniversary gift list of gifting rules. Year 1 – paper. Does a card count? Year 2 – cotton. I’ll have to get creative. But, as you know I live for tradition so don’t let me fool you into thinking we don’t have a tradition each year.

I am lucky enough to have been passed down china from my grandmother and great grandmother, so needless to say this was not something we registered for. This did give us the opportunity to register for one of my most favorite things of all – Match Pewter. Oh, the patina is to die for and there is really nothing I love more than a good serving piece.

My husband-to-be gifted me a gorgeous platter as a wedding day gift and from that day forward we vowed to spend the rest of our lives together, and to continue our collection. We love to entertain with family & friends and these make a great, memorable addition to the party.

Year 1 – fork + spoon.

Year 2 – a gravy boat.

What piece will we celebrate with next year? I’m open to your thoughts – but might have my mind set already …

Mark your calendar folks! IceMilk Aprons is so excited to have the joy and privilege of joining Gena Neely Knox for her cookbook signing at one of our favorite places, Urban Cottage!  Mrs. Knox is kicking off her summer cookbook tour for Southern My Way Saturday, April 23 from 1pm-4pm and we could not be more thrilled to be joining her.

In case you’ve been missing out on the greatness that Gena Knox has created, let us fill you in!  A homemade salsa company turned catering business, creating beautiful landscape architecture on the Georgia coast and starting one of the fastest growing, nationally ranked private companies, Fire and Flavor, with her husband.  Oh and she just wrote her second cookbook, Southern My Way!  Gena’s passion for food, the South, homegrown gardens and family traditions is evident in everything she has created.

Here at IceMilk Aprons we love that her cooking influences come from generations before her, the same traditions she had as a young girl are carried on today, and that she is still trying to master her grandmother’s caramel cake!  If you are in the Atlanta area Saturday the 23rd, please stop by and visit.  Also, check out www.genaknox.com for more information about her book tour and for delicious recipes!  If you would like all the details for the event or would like to RSVP via Facebook please click here.

I am so excited to have the absolutely queen of preserves with us this week for the Heirloom Recipe Series – Mrs. Cathy Barrow of Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen. Now you all know how much I adore preserves, and Cathy has been recognized by NPR and The Today Show and will soon be featured in the food52 cookbook! I hope you’ll take a moment to get just a glimpse inside of Cathy’s kitchen!

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Heirloom Recipe Series with Cathy Barrow.

My mother’s been gone five years now, but each Thanksgiving she sits on my shoulder and guides me through the rituals.

So many of the foods on my table were foods she made year after year. We didn’t ask for a change in the menu – no one wanted anything to change at all. We looked forward to the appetizers – chopped liver on celery stalks (“There will be plenty of bread later.”)

The table was piled high with creamed onions, green beans with almonds, sausage and apple stuffing, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce and of course, that big beautiful bronzed bird.

Desserts were plentiful, but always included pies: apple for my brother, pumpkin for my Dad, and mincemeat for Mom and me.

Since there were only four of us, and food enough for ten, we were thrilled to start a new tradition when Mom and Dad bought a little weekend house in the Berkshires. By that time, my brother David was married with two kids. I was a career girl, working in Pittsburgh. We would gather in Hartford for Thanksgiving dinner then caravan to the country the next day.

Like us, many of the neighbors had spent their Thanksgivings at home and driven up to the mountains for the weekend. The neighbors – Gail and Dusty – also had plenty of leftovers to share, but were curious to see what others were eating for the holiday. Everyone had leftovers. And that’s how The Dead Poultry Society was born.

Every year, the Friday after Thanksgiving, for years and years, we gathered with a dozen or more neighbors to sample their family’s Thanksgiving favorites. There was an amazing pear relish from Gail. Another had scalloped potatoes that I still dream about, studded with truffles.

But rising above all these treats was the day-after-Thanksgiving sandwich my mother concocted. I’ll be making it again this year, because there’s just nothing like the sweet, salty, savory goodness of this sandwich. It’s definitely a little naughty – highly caloric – but just this one day? It’s a necessity.

Day-After-Thanksgiving Sandwich

Roast turkey
Cranberry Sauce
Chopped liver
Leftover stuffing
Mayonaisse
Challah

YUM.

And this really isn’t possible without classic chopped liver, just the way my grandmother used to make it.


Chopped Chicken Liver

6 eggs, hard boiled and peeled
1 lb. yellow skinned onions, minced fine
3 oz chicken fat (schmaltz) or unsalted butter
1 T grapeseed oil
1/2 lb. livers from pastured free range chickens
2 T cognac

Chop the eggs very fine using an mezzaluna or food processor. They should be fluffy. Put in a large bowl and set aside.
In a large heavy saute pan, heat half the butter with the oil. Add the onions and saute slowly until richly browned but not burned.
Salt and pepper generously while they cook.
In the meantime, rinse and clean the livers well, removing connective sinew.
When the onions have finished cooking, put them in the bowl with the eggs.
Heat 3 oz of schmaltz or butter in the onion pan and saute the livers until no pink remains. Do not brown or crisp. Salt and pepper generously.
Remove the livers from the pan and deglaze with the cognac.
Put the livers in your food processor or a bowl.
Pour the deglazing liquid and goodies from the bottom of the pan into the egg/onion mixture.
Chop the livers with a mezzaluna. If you use your food processor, pulse off and on to chop, not liquify.
Gently fold the livers into the onion/egg mixture.
Test and correct for seasoning. The flavor blooms after chilling, so make this in advance and season carefully.
Pack in ramekins or other serving dishes. Keep dishes small – about 4 oz. and make sure to freeze whatever will not be used within two days.

All images courtesy of Cathy Barrow

Be sure to also connect with Cathy Barrow over on her website, Twitter (@mrswheelbarrow) and on her Facebook Page!

 

 

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Part of our Heirloom Recipes Series, featuring foodies, chefs, artisans, Southerners & fabulous folks willing to share their stories, recipes and photos in an effort to help preserve and share these family recipes for generations to come.

In true fashion of preserving, there a few things closer to true tradition in the South than a good hunt.

As you probably know by now, I’m not quite what you’d call a hunter – but I can appreciate the Southern sport for what it is. A tradition that has long brought family & friends together in the field, for me a hunt brings about a sense of proper attire, hours spent leisurely talking & laughing, and at the end of it all, a feast fit for kings.

While I’ve been hunting before, this was my very first dove hunt. I enjoyed my day in the sunshine & boots, and while I didn’t actually shoot any birds, I did shoot a few photos on one of the most beautiful summers-end days I can recall.

Join us in celebrating our annual 1-day sale at IceMilk Apron – this Thursday, November 12 and receive 25% off your order by entering code: thankful at checkout!

We are thrilled to carry on this tradition for another year as a birthday celebration in memory of the late inspiration and original seamstress for IceMilk Aprons – better known as Grandma!

This year the celebration gets a little sweeter – you could be entered to win an IceMilk Apron of your very own! There are a few ways you can be entered to win:

  • Facebook – share our 1-day promotion in your status to all your friends & family and then write on our Facebook Page wall sharing one thing you are thankful for.
  • Twitter – simply RT our promotion (be sure to mention @icemilkaprons so we know!)
  • Blog – share our promotion or feature one of our aprons on your blog, you can email us with the link and we’ll share with all of our friends too!

Now is the perfect time to buy your IceMilk Aprons and get a headstart on your holiday shopping. Making a perfect hostess gift for holiday parties, great to have in time for Thanksgiving cooking with family & friends, as well as December holiday baking!

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heirloomed Blog may contain paid advertisements, sponsored posts and/or affiliate links at times. I will disclose when a post is sponsored and if a brand has provided product as a gift by marking it {c/o} within the post. These opportunities will allow me to do even more of what I love here on the blog. I will only post about things I truly love and enjoy, and appreciate the opportunity to share these things with you.