It is finally summer time. It seems that when I remember my childhood on the farm, it was always summer. This photo of Barney and me was taken at the front of the house that is now Big Mill B&B. That wonderful old plant is called Spirea, my mom also called it Bridal Veil. I love old, heritage plants. Of course, I have a gardenia bush, Mother called it Cape Jasmine. I just planted a Virginia sweet spire and two hydrangeas – our mothers and grandmothers shared plants - I am rooting a lace cap hydrangea for two of my guests. My mother used to get wax myrtle, ferns and wild azaleas from the woods.
Bodie Island Lighthouse
I just took a day trip to the Bodie Island Lighthouse – it has a new paint job and a face lift and it’s just 93 miles from Big Mill. It is pronounced Body; folklore says it got the name because of all the bodies washed up on the shore. But it “ain’t so.”
I climbed to the top and looked down at the Outer Banks, not totally unlike the view that the old lighthouse keepers would have seen. Did you know that before it was electrified, it was powered with lard?
While you are there be sure to eat at Sam and Omie’s – great food, good prices and the locals eat there.
This pretty party punch is a crowd pleaser on hot summer evenings.
(This recipe is adapted from one given to me by Laura Newton of R&L Catering)
• 1 lemon, sliced (an orange may be substituted for the lemon)
• 2 liter bottle of lemon lime soda, use half for ice ring and reserve remainder for punch
• 1 large watermelon, chilled
• 1 6-ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate
• 3/4 cup sugar or to taste
Slice the lemon and arrange in a circular tube type pan that will act as ice mold with one liter of the lemon-lime soda. Freeze.
Cut watermelon into halves. Scoop out pulp and place in blender, ignoring the seeds.
Blend for several seconds on medium speed. Strain through fine sieve colander, squeezing out juice.
Place watermelon juice in large container with lid. Add orange juice concentrate and sugar and stir until sugar and orange juice are dissolved. Chill until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, pour punch into clear glass or plastic punch bowl. Add the lemon-lime soda and stir. Place ice ring in the punch bowl.
Serving Suggestions: This is a gorgeous red punch, so be sure to serve it in a clear glass or plastic container.
Guy Livesay of Livesay Photography took this great photo of the Town Crier sitting on one of my tomato cages.
Hear Ye, Hear Ye – Accolates for Big Mill
This is a good year for awards!
We received the Trip Advisor Green Leaders Award for being an eco-friendly inn and the NC Green Travel Award for being earth-friendly. And we just received the Trip Advisor 2013 Certificate of Excellence, thanks to our guest reviews.
Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park, Scotland Neck, Tuesday-Sunday info
Fossil Museum, Aurora, Monday-Saturday info
Historic Hope Plantation, Windsor, open every day info
Estuarium, Washington, open Tuesday-Saturday info
Late Model Stock Car Race, East Carolina Motor Speedway, Robersonville,info
Main Event & Double Run Farm Futurity, Senator Bob Martin Ag Center, Williamston info
Late Model Stock, Street Stock, Mini Stock & U-Car Race, East Carolina Motor Speedway, Robersonville,info
July 13 & 14
Feathered Horse Classic, Senator Bob Martin Ag Center, Williamston info
Carolina Paint Horse Club Dog Daze Show, Senator Bob Martin Ag Center, Williamston info
Music in the Streets, downtown Washington info
Genealogy Fair “Where did our people go?” Historic Hope Plantation, Windsor, info
July 27 Late Model Stock, Street Stock, Mini Stock & U-Car Race, East Carolina Motor Speedway, Robersonville,info