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You know it’s my favorite post of the week, the Heirloom Recipe Series is back for another installment with Ashley Brooke Quinatana of Ashley Brooke Designs!

We’ve been tweeting for some time and even had a fun meet & greet at a past Gift Mart in Atlanta. She’s just lovely and I am thrilled to be partnering up {more to come, stay tuned!} And, hopefully you have already taken a moment to enter the fun giveaway she’s doing on the blog for her fabulous hand-illustrated lemon recipe & note cards!

I loved reading her yummy recipe below, and love that it comes from many generations back. And besides, as a true southerner, she had me at “buttermilk.” Enjoy!

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Heirloom Recipe Series with Ashley Brooke Quintana

This is my great grandmother’s (oh-so-yummy!) Buttermilk Candy recipe. I look forward to every Fall when the holidays start to roll around and I start smelling the buttermilk candy in the kitchen. Gosh, this stuff just smells amazing. My great grandma Ann used to make this and bring it to all our family gatherings in a beautiful tin, but now that she is 99, she’s earned her right to relax during the family baking season, and now my grandma Kay (who is featured in the old photo!) her daughter, is in charge of the buttermilk candy. It’s just one of those amazing feels-like-home recipes.  I hope you enjoy!

Buttermilk Candy:
Ingredients:
2C – Sugar
1C – Buttermilk
1/4C – Butter
1t – Baking Soda
2T – White Karo Syrup
1t – Vanilla
1C – Peanuts

Mix in a large kettle, sugar, buttermilk, butter, baking soda, and Karo syrup over medium heat. Stir  and check with a candy thermometer until the temperature reaches “soft ball” status.  Remove from heat and let cool. Then add in the vanilla and nuts. Then beat until its very stiff, like fudge.


Mix in a large kettle, sugar, buttermilk, butter, baking soda, and Karo syrup over medium heat. Stir  and check with a candy thermometer until the temperature reaches “soft ball” status.  Remove from heat and let cool. Then add in the vanilla and nuts. Then beat until its very stiff, like fudge.

The lovely Ashley Brooke Quintana of Ashley Brooke Designs is the owner & creative director behind the beautiful illustrations. She has a great enthusiasm, loves to learn and try new things, and is sweet as can be! Her passion for paper cannot be denied. Be sure to connect with her on her blog, twitter, facebook, instagram, and pinterest.

there are few things that remind me of the South more than a well-seasoned cast iron skillet. a staple in Southern kitchens for generations, the skillet has been a versatile vessel for sweet to savory dishes alike. i love the beauty of the deep black skillets, especially when well-worn. there is such a rustic and simplistic quality to their art form, allowing the food to truly be the hero.

i remember my mother using our big cast iron skillet for many dishes over the years, but an all-day pot roast with potatoes and carrots is the one that I most recall it being used for. followed by an encore of hash the very next day, of course.

what cast iron skillet recipe or memory is your favorite?

images via : savory sweet life / always with butter / martha stewart / honey & jam

So, I teased it in yesterday’s post, but to me suspenders are *no* laughing matter.

To say I’m obsessed is a bit extreme {though, spot on}. I have long adored the throwback style of suspenders, much like the comeback of a proper hat or the blazer, in my opinion suspenders should be holding up the trousers of men, women & children alike for years to come.

A child in suspenders – simply could not be cuter. A guy in suspenders – none more dashing could be found. A lady in suspenders – classic with a fabulous sense of pushing the style envelope towards the j.crew side of life.

I was fortunate that my darling husband and all of his best men agreed to wear them in our wedding {not sure I was budging on this point, but regardless …} and it made me smile the whole day long.

Somehow the most perfect combination of rugged and hard-working, paired with Southern gentleman.

And so, I will start my Fall search for the perfect pair. Perhaps a simple stripe, or a riding-style of leather suspenders might suit my fancy. But, if you’ve found the perfect pair, do share.

image love : kiddo suspenders {via pinterest} / my own wedding images {via heidi at our labor of love}

As you know, there is a sweet spot in my heart for things that are throwback and things that are Southern. When the two forces combine, I simply cannot help myself. I have long been fond of the Southern Proper brand, and now is no exception.

They have just launched their new “heritage collection” for the Fall season, so of course I took note. I adore the names of their lines and products and their clever play on the South – their “beaus collection” is an assortment of fabulous bow ties, and their “sweet tees” make you want to have a glass of your own.

The prints of Southern Proper could not be more tailor-made for the Southern gentleman, from duck boots to fishing flies to crops to man’s best friend. Straight from the field but fancy enough to sport just about anywhere. What print are you loving most from their collection?

The ladies behind this brand will knock your socks off. Dapper truly is the only way to describe this Southern style.

And, please do not even get me started on my obsession with suspenders. I will save that as a special treat for you tomorrow {swoon}.

Our wonderfully southern friend Ms. Lisa Porter joins us here this week for the Heirloom Recipes Series and I couldn’t be more happy to have her. Lisa has a delightful blog – The Lisa Porter Collection – that is filled to the brim with inspiration, beautiful things and creativity galore. I love scrolling thru her photos and writings as the bring about happy times. And her profile photo on Twitter will prove to anyone in doubt that she simply is the purest of Kentucky gals, oh how I adore the proper nature of hats!

I was delighted that Lisa agreed to join us here this week and know her & her family enjoyed a walk down memory lane while compiling this delicious post for you. She has been truly gracious to IceMilk Aprons over on her blog and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have her here to share with y’all. Enjoy!

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Heirloom Recipe Series with Lisa Porter.

Just think how remarkable it is that you can mix together flour, butter, sugar, and an egg, and make a memory that will last a lifetime!

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always had memories of cooking with my mother. Even now, preparing food together is a way for us to connect with each other and with the other wonderful cooks in our family. When I was very young, these values were subconsciously learned and absorbed day after day standing on a chair next to her at the kitchen counter. I was a curious one, carefully watching, and always asking why. I was not just learning how to cook, I was being with my mom and we were playing house!

When I was a teen returning home from high school, I would make my way across the courtyard between our house and the garage, through the French doors that led straight to the kitchen. Mom was always home when I arrived. Not in an apron with flour on her face, instead she was usually in her tennis skirt and sun visor and was contemplating whipping up something new from her favorite Junior League Cookbook!

Yes our schedules had changed but one thing remained the same, time together in the kitchen, Setting the table and lighting the candles was my job. Still playing house, and no we weren’t formal; we just had an antique chandelier from Mexico that she loved to light for dinner. That was the 70’s and Julia Child and Erma Bombeck had the final word!

These days, we still love to gather in the kitchen. It’s the heart the home and the food prepared there nourishes us both physically and emotionally. Food cures and consoles and fills a home with an aroma of warmth and love. Every time life get’s to complicated, I pull my family back to the dinner table, and we all end up happier at the end of the day.

In my kitchen, I have a bookcase full of cookbooks. Remember, I used to work for Chuck Williams. But honestly, I love to cook, my husband loves to cook, my daughter loves to cook, and my son, well, he is a growing boy and just loves to eat.

We all have our specialties but in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we seem to have let something far more important slip away, making memories by lovingly preparing and sharing old family recipes handed down through generations.

This all goes back to what I mentioned earlier, making memories, making food memories that remind us of a special person, place and time. When I started writing The Lisa Porter Collection two years ago, I knew that cooking and entertaining were topics that I wanted to discuss. When I discovered Ashley and Ice Milk Aprons, I was thrilled to find this adorable, energetic, entrepreneurial young woman who decided that if we were going to be cooking and entertaining in the kitchen we certainly deserved to look fresh, crisp, and stylish!

I love how Ashley also believes in keeping all of our food memories alive. She is inspiring whole new generations to find pleasure in preparing food that was lovingly prepared by generations before us. She inspired me to look past my newest cookbooks and unearth what I like to call my golden oldies. Handwritten recipes on stained index cards that remind me that caring hands were at work.

These handwritten recipes not only remind me of my southern heritage, they have given me the greatest way to teach my children that a home cooked meal shared with family and friends is truly what makes life rich!

I was thrilled when Ashley invited me to share two of my favorite homemade recipes here at Preserves! Four generations of my family have been making these traditional southern desserts. I hope you will enjoy them too!

The first recipe is for Apricot Cake.

This recipe was handwritten by my mother, and me, for her Aunt Elouise Stinson.This was Aunt Elouise’s favorite Apricot Cake from the Lubbock Women’s Club Cookbook in Lubbock, Texas.

She had it every year on her birthday. She made me my first Apricot Cake for my 2nd birthday. Growing up, it became my favorite too!

I was always very curious about Aunt Elouise. I remember sitting at her art deco dressing table and running my fingers across her hand cut crystal perfume bottles and monogrammed ivory brushes. She loved red lipstick, good jewelry, Tennessee Walkers, fur coats, and apricot cake! I loved her dearly.

This next recipe is for Brownies-beat by hand and was handwritten especially for me by my Aunt Martha Lee McCaleb shortly before I left for college.

She always said that using fresh ingredients and a little elbow grease was what made homemade the best! How did she ever find the time?

Aunt Martha Lee raised a set of twin boys plus one more making for three rambunctious sons. Here we all are in 1962, admiring a new litter of puppies in Granny’s front yard. Aunt Martha Lee in her stylish red & pink shift, Granny, Uncle Charles, the boys, and me on my mother’s knee.

Aunt Martha Lee was always so busy in the kitchen.  She was usually whipping up creamed tuna on toast and chicken pot pies. All for those hungry boys! I always waited till the coast was clear, then I would grab a kitchen chair and push it right up next to her at the counter. It was time to make brownies.  Little did I know we were making memories. Thank you Aunt Martha Lee. I love you.

Thank you again Ashley for inviting me to Preserves and including me in your Heirloom Recipes Series! I so appreciate you allowing me to share my two favorite deserts and go on about the amazing women for whom they are named. They taught me long ago that made from scratch means made with love and that the effort that goes into a homemade desert is always rewarded by the pleasure it brings.

xo Lisa

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Please do connect with Lisa over on her lovely blog, The Lisa Porter Collection or on Twitter @LisaPorterColle!

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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.

In my very humble opinion, there are few places in this world more delightful than Serenbe. Located just south of Atlanta, the community was build as an organic farm with green-space galore and the most whimsical little town you could ever imagine.

I am so delighted to share that IceMilk Aprons has partnered with our newest Gourmet Retailer, Harris & Clark – a “thoughtful grocery & food school” located in the heart of the Serenbe community. Founded by Anissa & James Harris, the duo aims to provide a nostalgic & local Southern fare of artisan products within their quaint market space.

From pear butter and pickled peaches, to Farmer D’s organic compost, fabulous loaves of crusty bread, the most beautiful local honey you’ve seen, farm fresh eggs & local cheeses, and of course – IceMilk Aprons. They have so many wonderful cooking school events that are hosted there at Harris & Clark, partnering with local folks to help bring some gourmet learnings & good times.

Spending the late afternoon with Anissa & James was such a wonderful experience and I’m thrilled to be a part of what they have created with their shop. Stay tuned for a special “Heirloom Travel” post on Serenbe, but in the meantime be sure to go out for a visit and explore all there is to love about this little place lost in time.

picture-1In honor of the Masters this week, here is a wonderful and time honored traditional recipe for Pimento Cheese.

Because of my passion for traditions and recipes, an obvious question I posed .. where does this tradition of serving pimento cheese sandwiches at the Masters come from anyways?

The answer is delightful. In true Southern fashion, families in the South generally had to eat what they grew on their own farms – fruits, vegetables, grains. At that, very few Southern farms made their own cheese, and when they did it was white cheese, like ricotta or mozzarella. Yellow cheese was a delicacy for Southerners, and thus generally reserved for the upper class or special occasions.

That being said, they took the precious yellow cheese, added mayonnaise (again, in true Southern fashion) and pimentos which were grown locally across the South to make the fine spread. The Masters, being the epitome of golf and of the elite, began the time-honored tradition of serving the pimento cheese sandwich – which is one of their most popular by far.

Do enjoy!

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