Jackson’s Fun-Filled-Farm Birthday Party!

When your grandson wants to celebrate his 14th birthday with friends and an overnight party at the Morton Farm, you say YES! It was loud and fun and these guys rough-housed and ate a lot of food, and my “boy-mom” heart was filled to the brim. (Almost as full as 8 boys were after a double-batch of GranJan’s biscuits.) These pictures show eight great young men fueled by chocolate cake and the JOY of knowing it was the last day of school! Good times, great memories. Happy Birthday Jackson! Loved having your friends at the Farm!

Well, wiffle ball was great, now let’s find something else to do! Because nobody seemed interested in SLEEPING!

  • Luke
  • Nolen
  • Jackson
  • Lance
  • Dillon
  • George
  • Mason
  • Evan

No pool here at the Farm, so a “slip and slide” will just have to do. There was more sliding than slipping – and these guys are great!

Pizza for supper, chocolate cake for dessert, farm fresh blueberry pancakes, sausages, sausage gravy, and GranJan’s homemade biscuits for breakfast, followed with potato chips and Pop’s grilled hotdogs for lunch! Lots of good times around the table!

These guys can EAT! And GranJan loved cooking for them!

Battle Mat and Paddle Boat!

These guys consumed 24 Yoo-Hoo’s in less than 24 hours, and slept way less than they should have! But GranJan & Pop loved hosting you, and hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Happy 14th Birthday Jackson. We love you!

GRAN JAN & POP

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First Period Fun with Friends!

These young guys are all in first period together! Coach Nauss, I’m sure you will be sad to see them all leave for high school as they wrap up their last year of middle school! It has been fun for me to see them at baseball games. And of course, I am especially proud of my grandson Jackson! I enjoy watching him play! I hope to surprise them soon with a special dessert! Chocolate Cake or Caramel Cake? Which will they pick?

JACKSON! Of course you know you are my favorite! Love this picture of you!
NOLEN! How long were you able to stay on this bull? Quite impressive!
GEORGE! You are a great catcher! Come back to the farm and fish again soon!

LANCE! Great looking trophy! Keep up the good work!

EVAN! Which hat is your favorite?

DILLON! Great picture of a great pitcher!

GRAN JAN

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Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

This cake is so easy to make and comes together quickly with the use of a boxed cake mix! But the add-ins make it a favorite! Save this one – you won’t be dissapointed! (You may substitute the canola oil for vegetable or avocado oil if you prefer.)

I love the Baker’s Joy spray. Spray it like it’s your job! Lately I don’t spray my bundt pan until right before I add the batter. It never fails to release quickly.

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Gran Jan’s Caramel Cake

Oh the JOY of an old-fashioned Caramel Cake! I’ve made a lot of caramel cakes since my original post back in 2008. I basically wanted to bring this recipe “forward” on the blog, so here it is! This is a recipe I found in a “Georgia Farmer’s Market Bulletin” paper over 40 years ago. This icing takes the cake!

CAKE  [Makes 3 layers]
· 2 sticks of butter (room temperature)
· 3 cups of sugar 
· 6 eggs (room temperature)
· 3 cups White Lily all-purpose flour, sifted
· 1/8 tsp salt 
· 1/4 tsp baking soda 
· 1 c sour cream 
· 1 T. vanilla flavoring
1. Preheat oven to 350° & prepare 3 nine-inch round cake pans (I use Baker’s Joy spray).
2. Cream butter & sugar until fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
3. Add eggs one at a time, then blend after each egg is added. 
4. Whisk salt into flour and stir baking soda into sour cream.
5. Alternately add flour and sour cream to the batter. Mix after each addition, don’t overmix!
6. Stir in the vanilla flavoring.
7. Pour an even amount of the batter into prepared pans and bake 25-28 minutes. The batter is thick. Don’t overbake!
Now let the cake layers cool in pans for a few minutes; then turn out onto cake racks to cool completely. Do not attempt to ice until they are completely cool. Completely cool. Completely all the way cool!

CARAMEL ICING
2 sticks of butter (I use salted butter)
2 cups packed dark brown sugar (may use one light brown and one dark brown)
3/4 cup of evaporated milk (I used canned Carnation evaporated milk)
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring
4 cups powdered sugar

1. In large heavy saucepan, melt the 2 sticks of butter over medium heat.
2. Add the 2 cups of dark brown sugar to the melted butter and bring to a boil, stirring well. Reduce the heat and simmer the butter and brown sugar together for 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly.
3. Add 3/4 cup of evaporated milk to your butter/sugar mixture and return mixture back to a boil, stirring until blended, then remove from heat.
4. After removing pan from heat, stir in the vanilla flavoring.
5. Pour hot icing into a large mixing bowl and add the 4 cups of powdered sugar.
6. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat in the powdered sugar until the icing is smooth and fluffy. Keep mixing until all the powdered sugar is incorporated!

Timing is everything! The caramel icing will get stiffer as it cools, so ice your cake when the icing texture is just right, nice and creamy. If the icing gets too thick, splash in a bit more cream and stir again. If your icing is too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar. You’ll get the feel for the perfect texture and get the timing down with practice. I speak from experience!

Helpful Notes:
Put a dab of icing on the cake platter of your choice and put the first layer there to help secure it while you add the frosting. This icing recipe is generous! I use 1/2 cup of icing between the layers with plenty of icing available for the sides and top!
This is a good tip: I take a tall glass of warm water and dip my icing spatula in to smooth the icing around the sides of the cake. You can do this several times. Then I take a wet paper towel and clean up any drips of icing that may have fallen on the cake platter. Presentation is important, but once someone eats a piece of this cake, presentation won’t matter as much. Seriously.

I hope your family and friends enjoy this delicious, timeless, Southern caramel cake recipe!

Gran Jan

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Buttermilk Cornbread Recipe

It is the day before Thanksgiving and I am busy making cornbread dressing. Just hopping on here to share my cornbread recipe. It’s been a long time since I posted!

INGREDIENTS
2 cups White Lily Self-Rising Buttermilk Cornmeal
1 stick of melted butter (I use salted)
1 1/2 cups of whole buttermilk
1/4 cup of corn oil (or vegetable or olive oil)
1 beaten egg
Extra oil (I use 1/4 cup for 12″ skillet) for coating bottom & sides of skillet

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Pour extra oil (I use 1/4 Cup for 12″ skillet) into bottom of skillet and swirl around to coat sides. Slide into oven that is pre-heating, or heat oiled skillet on stovetop (my preference because you can see when the oil is “glistening” and ready for the cornbread batter!
  3. Mix wet ingredients: melted butter, buttermilk, corn oil, and beaten egg together with a whisk.
  4. Now add in the 2 cups of cornmeal and mix all together.
  5. Pour cornbread batter into hot skillet and slide into hot oven.
  6. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Turn hot cornbread out of skillet and enjoy a piece with some butter while it is still hot!

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Delicious Taco Soup!

We love this delicious soup, especially my husband Gary! It is easy to make and feeds a crowd, with at least 12 hearty bowls from each batch! I hope your family will enjoy it too. We seem to “eat by the weather” around our home, and this Taco Soup is delicious at the first hint of some crisp Fall weather and also on a cold winter’s day. Enjoy! (You may half this recipe easily!)

INGREDIENTS:
2 1/2 pounds of lean ground beef, browned
1 large onion, diced, saute in 1 tsp.of olive oil (I usually just put it in the microwave for 3 minutes with a splash of olive oil)
2 packages of Taco seasoning mix – your choice of flavor!
2 packages of Ranch dressing mix
4 cans of beans, do not drain! Choose from your favorites: kidney, pinto, black, great Northern
2 14.5 oz. cans of diced tomatoes, chili style is good to use if you like a little extra spice
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes & chilies
1 16 oz. package of frozen white corn or 2 cans of white corn (drained)
4 cups of water

  1. Brown beef and then sprinkle both the Taco & Ranch seasoning packages on the meat, stir well.
  2. Add the onion you have pre-cooked and stir in well with browned beef and seasonings. Simmer a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the 4 cans of beans, remember do not drain.
  4. Now pour in the 2 cans of tomatoes and the Rotel tomatoes/chiles. Stir well.
  5. Add the 16 oz. package of frozen white corn or the 2 cans of canned corn (drained).
  6. Add the 4 cups of water and simmer everything for 2 – 3 hours.

Delicious Toppings: Chili-Cheese Fritos, Plain Fritos, Tostitos, sour cream, diced jalepenos, grated cheese, diced avocados.

This soup freezes well too. I pour it into a gallon size freezer bag and then it will easily lay down flat in your freezer.

GRAN JAN

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Homemade Hummus

*Two 15 oz. cans of chickpeas (drain & save the liquid, called aquafaba)
*2/3 cup of drained chickpea liquid
*1/2 cup of tahini (ground sesame seed paste – I usually find it in the organic section)
*1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
*2 lemons, juiced
*1/2 tsp. of minced garlic (may use fresh)
*1 tsp. ground cumin
*1/2 tsp. salt
ADD-INS: roasted red peppers, pickled jalapeños, pine nuts, your choice!

  1. Add drained chickpeas and 2/3 cup of chickpea liquid to food processor and pulse for 10-15 seconds.
  2. Now add tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and salt.
  3. Pulse for 30 seconds – should be very creamy.
  4. May add more chickpea liquid to thin to desired consistency – but remember the hummus will “thicken” when chilled.
  5. Pulse in your favorite “add-in” at this point. We like roasted red pepper the best!
  6. Serve with veggies, pita chips, or your favorite snack cracker. (I love Fritos Scoops…)

I made this hummus back a couple of months ago to take to a family weekend with our sons, daughters-in-love, and grandchildren. Everyone loved it! I hope you do too!

Gran Jan

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