Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - Manure Spreader

manure spreader hickory ridge studio

manure spreader hickory ridge studio

manure spreader hickory ridge studio

manure spreader hickory ridge studio

manure spreader hickory ridge studio

manure spreader hickory ridge studio

It's hard to tell exactly what this piece of equipment is, but it's a manure spreader.  The farm this was photographed on was a dairy farm at one time and something like this would have been used quite often.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pablo Picasso

Friday, January 23, 2015

Foodie Fridays - Baked Italian Chicken


Have I got a chicken recipe for you.  

I know, I know.  Yet another chicken recipe.  But this one is good. 

I promise!

It's so good that the man that gave it to my husband thought it was good enough he printed a copy for everyone in the office and put it in their mail boxes at work.  

And it's simple.  

And delicious.  

And is even better the second or third day reheated.


The picture is mine from the other night, but the recipe is from the blog 
Bacon, Butter, Cheese & Garlic and you can click on the link to see the recipe in full.  

Let's just say there's onion and mushrooms saute'd in butter, artichoke hearts, and cheese involved and leave it at that.  It's good.  

Have a great weekend everyone and we'll see you next week!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Stories of the South - Tom Bevill Lock and Dam

stories of the south hickory ridge studio

Growing up no trip to Columbus was complete without a trip to the lock and dam.  It was fun to see the water running, what fish were being caught, maybe catch a boat going through the lock, and enjoy being outside.  

Moving to Noxubee County gave me the opportunity to be not very far from Pickensville, AL and the Tom Bevill Lock and Dam which is on the same waterway, the Tennessee-Tombigbee, as the Columbus Lock and Dam. 

What is the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway?  Named for the two rivers it connects the Ten-Tom, as called by the locals, connects the Tennessee River at Pickwick Lake to the Tombigbee River.  It is the largest water resource project ever built in the United States.  It is also the largest earth moving project in the world.  It moved 310 million cubic yards of soil and in comparison the Suez Canal moved 105, and the Panama canal moved 210 million cubic yards.  It is 234 miles long and connects the nation's midsection to the Gulf of Mexico.  It runs from north Mississippi down through west Alabama and ends at Demopolis , AL where it joins the Black Warrior River.  

It has been criticized in the past as government overspending.  I mean it only cost 2 billion dollars and was almost removed from the budget by newly elected President Jimmy Carter.  In later years it has finally received recognition as an example of government investment in infrastructure and long term economic benefit.  You can read more at  

Back to the Pickensville Lock....

Construction started March 1974 and was completed December 1979.  The dam impounds the 8300 acre Alliceville Lake and cost 45 million to build.   It is named in honor of Tom Bevill who chaired the congressional committee that approved the funding for construction.  Also located here is one of the waterway's most impressive and recognized signs, the Tenn-Tom visitor's center.  It is a replica of an antebellum plantation home and also dry docked there is the circa 1029 M.V. Montgomery a retired river paddle boat.  Both the home and ship are open to the public.  I didn't take pictures of them this day because they are on the other side of the lock from where I was! Another side trip for another day!

tom bevill lock and dam pickenville alabama hickory ridge studio
The hubby and a couple of his friends see what was biting that day

Happy Thursday my lovelies!  I hope you're having a great week and I have a wonderful chicken recipe to share with you tomorrow, see you then!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Foodie Fridays Repost Crunchy Baked Catfish

Happy Friday everyone!  The good Lord has heard our prayers and the sunshine is back out today!  Whooo HOOOO!  Today I thought I would look back in the archives and pull out a recipe to repost today, Crunchy Baked Catfish.  It's January and like everyone else I'm trying to get back into the swing of being healthy.  I even did yoga last night at 10:00 p.m.  Go me!  This was also featured on Mississippi Women Bloggers back in the day.  I'll also include a recipe for the homemade tartar sauce I served this with.  Have a great day everyone and find some time to enjoy the sunshine!

Crunchy Baked Catfish

2 eggs
½ cup nonfat buttermilk (you can make your own by using ½ cup of milk and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar and letting it sit for 5 to 10 minutes or until the milk gets thick and has a buttermilk consistency)
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cups crushed cornflakes
½ cup chopped pecans
1 Tablespoon melted butter or olive oil
1 lb of catfish fillets – about 4 pieces

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking pan with foil. Using either melted butter or olive oil brush the foil lined pan until lightly coated and set aside.
Blend buttermilk, eggs, mustard, oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish.

Either using a mini food processor or a plastic bag and a rolling pin crush the cornflakes into coarse crumbs. Using your food processor again, chop the pecans or simply use a cutting board and knife to cut into small pieces. Mix the cornflakes and pecans in a shallow dish.
Rinse your catfish fillets and pat dry on paper towels. Take each fillet and first dip in the buttermilk and egg mixture and then dredge in the cornflake and pecan mixture. Coat both sides well and you may have to press the mixture to the fish to get it to stick. Completely coat each side of the fish. Place each fillet on your baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Tartar Sauce
1/3 cup mayonnaise (can use light mayo)
2 Teaspoons lemon juice
1 Teaspoon sweet pickle relish
1/4 Teaspoon onion powder

Combine all ingredients well.  

Hope you enjoy!  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Stories of the South - Gulf Ordnance Plant Prairie, MS

I've been trying to decide on a tile to link together some of the tales I've been telling on the blog.  It finally hit me what I should call it, "Stories of the South."  This way I can tag all of them together and make it easier for people to find them.  Hopefully it will become a tab at the top of the page.  I am inordinately delighted about solving this little problem and bringing a little bit of cohesiveness to my writings.  It's the little things people, the little things.  So without further ado, let's talk about the Gulf Ordnance Plant in Prairie, Mississippi.  

Growing up I showed horses, as everyone probably knows by now if you've been reading this blog for any amount of time.  So with showing comes travel and I think I went to just about every riding arena indoor and outdoor in at least a 100 mile radius.  I was lucky to have a pretty nice pony, then a pretty nice horse, two indulgent parents, and cheap diesel.  One of my favorite places to run was at the Monroe County Riding Club area in Prairie, MS.  On the way to the pen you would ride through what was left of the little town.  There's not much there anymore and less today even than when I was a kid.  At least when I was younger the big, old, frame store buildings were still there but those had been town down when I rode through there in May of 2014.  The most notable thing about Prairie to me, is that in World War II it was the home of the Gulf Ordnance Plant.

The Plant in it's heyday.  Image from "And speaking of which..."

This was a plant that made ammunition and bombs and by the end of the war this facility had made one quarter of the ammunition that was used by the Allies.  The site was 6,720 acres and 551 acres were classified as explosive areas.  It was a city unto itself with a coal fired power plant burning 50 tons of coal every day.  They also had their own water pumping station.    

           Smoke stack from the coal fired power plant

The Gulf Ordnance Plant was built by Proctor and Gamble who already had a successful munitions plant in Milan, Tennessee.  Under direction from the Secretary of War, Henry L. Stinson and at no profit to the company construction began March 20, 1942.  

The plant opened November 1942 with grand fanfare from the community.  The local high school band even played.  Workers were bused in from the surrounding communities and some workers came from as far away as Alabama.  Many had moved from across the country and lived in dormitories on site.  It was literally a brand new city with a new permanent population.    

Shell of the bomb factory

The facility was state of the art for the time with blast proof fixtures and underground tunnels connecting the site so that work was completed secretly and safely.  Production ceased in 1945 and destruction of surplus ammunition continued into 1946.  The site continued to be used after the war including use as a trade training school and a facility to overhaul vehicles for the Korean conflict.  Eventually though most of the buildings were demolished due to asbestos.  There are several bunkers left in the surrounding countryside as well as one of the smoke stacks from the power plant, the shell of the three story bomb factory where liquid TNT was cooked and poured into warheads, and a few of the warehouses which are now used as local businesses.  

The most easily seen building is right on the highway and I believe is a telephone office?  Correct me if I'm wrong please.  

A good portion of the original site was sold back to local farmers and the remainder is split between the industrial park and Mississippi State University's experimental cattle ranch.  

 I've always been fascinated with the site and was happy to find information online about it.  Brent Coleman has a great website with black and white pictures from the plant during the production years.  He has also written a comprehensive book about the plant as well.  Please visit his site to see just how large the facility really was was.  There is also another entry on the blog "And speaking of which..." about the Gulf Ordnance Plant.  

Yes I am a big old history nerd.  This should be well established by now.    

It's amazing how times have changed.  A major corporation provided millions of dollars of product for a war effort, paid employees, built a multi-million dollar facility, and all at very little profit to the company.  A place that changed the lives of thousands and yet so little remains.  

Happy Thursday everyone!  It feels good to finally get a good long post out there. I hope you enjoyed.  Let me know if you see any errors and if you have anything to add please leave a comment.  Thanks as always for reading!