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Springfield, Missouri, United States
Being Southern is more than where I am from, it is who I am. I love the South with its great beauty and wonderful deep-south traditions. I am Bev Allen, a true Southern Belle;. I am married to the love of my life Rick Allen. We lived and raised our two children, Chris Allen and Teresa Mosley (married to Randy) in the Great Southern states. Family is important and my grandson Lane, our most precious treasure. We love God and people and devoted our lives in His service. This blog is to share a little of what I enjoy and experienced, a little Southern Joy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I Love the Fall Season!

My favorite season is Fall. A wonderful time to explore the Southern states is in the Fall. The splendor of color splashing over winding mountains, rolling foothills, and beach side walks are all great ways to enjoy the Fall season. You have the Arkansas Ozark Mountains, the Tennessee Smoky Mountains, Georgia Chattahoochee National Forest, Alabama Natchez Trace Parkway, so much to see and explore.  Let me show you just a bit....
To the left, my home state, Arkansas.

We lived for a time in Tennessee.....I have shared with you on a previous post my love of the Smoky Mountains, but another spot very beautiful is the Shenandoah Valley.



North Carolina!!

This is only a small taste of what beauty you can see.  Now it's time for a rocking chair, a warm cup of coffee, a shoulder wrap and sit back and enjoy the Fall Season.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sunday bonnets or Sunbonnets

Hats used to be THE FASHION statement in the South. Most ladies or girls would own what was called a Sunbonnet.
With the hot sun, and harsh weather conditions the sunbonnet was their do it all fashion accessory. Some of the early sunbonnet styles were made with casing in the brim of the sunbonnet, so that wooden slats could be inserted into it to hold the brim of the bonnet out to shield the face. These sunbonnets find their sweetness in their simplicity of style.  They are the most practical way to prevent sunburn on the cheeks and nose, shade eyes, and keep those "things" from getting in the hair while little girls play, explore, and help around the yard.  The bonnets are intended to play in, but many styles of the Sunbonnets were made, fancy versions for church and social occasions.

But a true picture of a Southern Belle was not just sunbonnets but the big floppy hats. It is said, women need occasions to wear hats and the confidence to wear them. When I was young, women wore a hat to church every Sunday. She had beautiful hats that matched her suits or dress. (And her "bag" always matched her shoes, too.) There were hats in any color and style you can imagine, and some that you can't.

Southern ladies don’t wear hats like they used too, but I love to sport one every now and then. I think they make a fashion statement.  Like I said earlier, you have to have confidence and true Southern gentleness to sport these beautiful hats. I can just see me wearing one of these beauties......

Friday, April 1, 2011

My Top Ten: Novels set in Great South (Top Five)

The Great Southern States has been the setting for many of great novels. 

Now for my final TOP FIVE.

5.  Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

Through the eyes of Henry Fleming, a young Civil War soldier, we see the fears of battle and the inexplicable courage that comes when soldiers unite in a wartime machine. he novel features a young recruit who overcomes initial fears and shame to become a hero on the battlefield.

4. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on black female, Celie’s life during the 1930s in the Southern United States, addressing the numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture.

3. Roots by Alex Haley
This outstanding novel tells the story of Kunta Kinte, an 18th-century African, captured as an adolescent and sold into slavery in the United States, and follows his life and the lives of his descendants in the U.S. down to Haley.

2. Forrest Gump by Winston Groom
Forrest Gump experiences adventures ranging from shrimp boating and ping pong championships to thinking about his childhood love. The Vietnam War and college football are all part of the story. Throughout his life, Gump views the world simply and truthfully. Throughout the course of the book, he really doesn't know what he wants to do in life. Author and narrator Groom uses intonations that capture Gump's personality. Gump is full of wisdom, but is considered an "idiot" because of his low IQ and disability. According to him, he "can think things pretty good", but when he tries "sayin or writin them, it kinda come out like Jello". He is also physically strong and falls into amazing adventures.

AND NOW........DRUM ROLLL.......

1. NORTH AND THE SOUTH by John Jakes
The saga tells the story of the enduring friendship between Orry Main of South Carolina and George Hazard of Pennsylvania, who become best friends while attending the United States Military Academy at West Point but later find themselves and their families on opposite sides of the war. The slave-owning Mains are rural gentleman planters while the big-city Hazards live by manufacturing and industry, their differences reflecting the divisions between North and South that eventually led to the Civil War.

My Top Ten: Novels set in Great South

The Great Southern States has been the setting for many of great novels.

Here is my favorite Top Ten Countdown List:

10.  A Painted House by John Grisham

Until that September of 1952, Luke Chandler had never kept a secret or told a single lie. But in the long, hot summer of his seventh year, two groups of migrant workers — and two very dangerous men — came through the Arkansas Delta to work the Chandler cotton farm. And suddenly mysteries are flooding Luke’s world.

9.  Adventures of Huckaberry Finn by Mark Twain
This novel is widely known as one of the first true "American Novels". Justice and honor is are explored and celebrated in this story about Huck's great adventures on the Mississippi River.

8. Cold Mountain by Charles Fraizer
This story of W.P. Innam, a wounded deserter from the Confederate army near the end of the Civil War who walks for months to return to Ada Monroe, the love of his life.

7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
      This is also listed among  "American Great Novels".  Based in a small town in Alabama in the 1930s, it is the setting for a 
outstanding novel of a child's brutal introduction to racial  prejudice and adult injustice.

6. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
 Set against the backdrop of Georgia during the Civil War, Mitchell’s massive  historical novel chronicles the tempestuous romance of Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sweet Vadalia Onions-America's Favorite Onion!!

I can remember one thing my Mom loved to eat more than anything else, it was a sweet Vadalia onion. She would eat them actually "RAW" yes, I said "RAW".  She would sliced them and eat it between two slices of bread like a sandwich and don't you know, as she sliced, a few bites where taken in the process. 
What is a Vadalia onion you ask?  It is a mild and sweet onion, sweet enough to eat like fruit. These onions were first grown in Vidalia, Georgia in the early 1930 by a farmer named Moses Coleman, that discovered by his surprise, the rich sulfur ground produced a rather sweet & mild onion instead of a hot ones.  So it being in Vidalia, Georgia, that is how this onion got it's name and they remains still to grow exclusively in Georgia. 
Along side many of the roads in some of the Southern states, you can see what we call, roadside stands. They are filled with fruit, peanuts, and bags of Vadalia onions. 30% 0f the distribution of Vadalia onions is done in these quaint roadside stands. A few times when my husband Rick would be driving in one of the great states, knowing my Mom loved these onions, he would buy a 10 bag and drive by the homeplace and surprise her with them.  If she wasn't at home, he would leave his special gift in the mailbox and "what a treat" for her. I have seen these stands as far south as Florida, Mississippi and Alabama.  
So these wonderful onions can be experienced many different ways, most common is of course, sliced and place on hamburgers or diced and placed on hot dogs. There are just awesome in potato salads, vegetable salads, or used to flavor many Southern dishes.  Let me share two of my favorites.

3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 large Vidalia Onion (chopped)
3 cups cooked new potatoes (diced)
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Sauté Vidalia Onions in butter. Add flour and blend. Add milk and salt. Cook until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Add cooked diced potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.


Several large sized Vidalia® Onions
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1.5 tsp baking flour
1 egg (separated)
3/4 cup of milk
1 tbsp of vegetable oil
Peanut oil for frying
Slice onions into rings. In 1 bowl, mix together flour, salt and baking powder. In another bowl, beat egg yolk, then
stir in milk and vegetable oil. Combine wet and dry ingredients, stir until smooth. In a third bowl, beat egg white until soft peaks form, then fold into egg-flour mixture, stirring until smooth. Dip onion rings into batter and deep fry.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Quiet Time and Porch Swings!

I am so glad you came by to sit a minute on the porch swing with me. Can I offer you a glass of lemonade or iced tea. Many of lovely Southern homes are build with wide open wrapping around porches with different varieties of porch swings. One of the South great mental painted pictures are gentle ladies and gents who courted, proposed then wed full of dreams of grand lives full of hope and wonder. 
At the end of day in the cool of the evening and all the chores are done, you could sit and swing on the porch swing. It was a special quiet time, listening to whippoorwills, smelling the sweets smell of the magnolia tree, or feeling the cool night breezes on your cheeks and blowing through your hair so gently. Oh the South has changed a bit, with new technology and busy lives. Yet, there are still today, several places in the South, that still have and cherish this bit of  Southern Charm. 
You know if I close my eyes I can just picture a sweet older couple, just sittin' in a front porch swing, swinging back and forth, still holding hands like they did when they were sixteen, talking and sharing the memories, of SITTING IN A PORCH SWING!