Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Saturday

We had a full weekend which is extremely rare for us. We like to stay loose and go with the flow on the weekends. It started Friday night when my cousin Brent wanted to meet us for drinks and it kept going from there.

On Saturday we had a cracklin' cookout in the small town where my grandparents lived. My cousin Billy started with a big iron pot and some vegetable oil. Then he threw in about 75 pounds of pig fat that he had pre-cut into small squares. There's a lot of stirring involved and at one point he took out the cracklin with a slotted spoon the size of Texas and spread it out on a table to cool. While that cooled he began cooking whole chickens, liver, and french fries in all that pig fat. Then he returned the cracklin' to the pot and cooked it again. Apparently, this is what gives it its crunchy goodness.
This is Billy on the left and my Uncle Jay on the right. They are very serious cooks.
Here they are discussing how long the food needs to boil in oil. Not healthy, but hey, it's once a year.
These are my 2nd cousins Eric, Brody and Tyler. Love these boys!

Eric, his dad and my favorite first cousin, Brent, and my other first cousin Michael, who is director of the
St. Vincent de Paul shelter in Baton Rouge. He is such a good and caring soul. Brent is too, he's just
a goofball sometimes. But we love that. :)

My godfather, Uncle Johnny and his pretty wife, Aunt Yvonne.
They were both very close to my mom and did a lot for her when I couldn't be here.
Afterwards we went out to Bluebonnet Swamp. The owlets have not made an appearance yet, so this is all I could come up with. Sorry for those of you squeamish about reptiles, but these are non-venomous and I'm shooting them from a safe distance.
Ribbon snake. See the skink in the lower right corner? He kept antagonizing the snake,
seemingly enjoying sneaking up on him.


Five-lined skink. I loved the texture on the tree trunk.

Investigating. He passed on the red globs--whatever they were.

I think this might've been mama skink. She was watching two little ones very closely.
After the swamp, we rented "The Big Year" starring Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, and Jack Black. If you're into birding at all you will really enjoy this film. Double D and I were laughing at ourselves and wondering how we got to be such bird nerds.

Whew, so Saturday was a big day. Sunday will be discussed in tomorrow's post, but will be much shorter in length.

37 comments:

cobie en bas van Es said...

zulke dagen moet je heerlijk van genieten.

Stewart M said...

Great pictures - although I can feel my arteries hardening just looking at the deep-fried food! (But I reckon it would have tasted rather fine!)

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Sounds like some delicious food! I love anything fried - though my body disagrees!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Bud loves cracklin's!!! In fact he tells me stories of taking a loaf a balogna [not the sliced packaged kind, but in a whole loaf] and cutting them up in thick chunks and tossing THEM into the deep fat fryer...I believe him when he tells me they were delicious. But, I've never had any such thing.

That snake...oh, that snake!!! Ewwww...run for cover.

And I told you yesterday I watched the movie online when you told me about it...I LOVED it!!

R. Mac Wheeler said...

So many of 'the cousins' moved all over the place. Michigan, Tennessee, Oregon, S.Carolina, Florida. And I don't get back to Texas much...so I enjoyed your family photos.

And of course, love every kind of critter.

Roan said...

In this mobile world, it's nice to see families getting together. Although I know it is harmless, that snake scares me! I too love the texture on the tree, and the skink!

EG CameraGirl said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend, Gail!

I saw The Big Year a couple of months ago and laughed myself silly. You know, there really are a few birders out there just like those depicted in the movie. ;))

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I'm not really a fried food person (except French fries). So it might be a little early in the day to think of cracklin and livers ;-)
I love your ribbon snake shots. Glad you had a fun weekend!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I'm not really a fried food person (except French fries). So it might be a little early in the day to think of cracklin and livers ;-)
I love your ribbon snake shots. Glad you had a fun weekend!

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

Bird nerds. I like that. Funny how the skink has coloring like the snake. Makes you wonder who the skink fears.

Shug said...

Making sweet memories with family...you can't beat these precious moments. I've never had cracklin, but I hear it's tasty. Good food and great fellowship with fun people sure makes life fun.
Hope you have a lot of sunshine today...it's cloudy here!
hugs..
shug

Debbie said...

are you kidding me!!! no pictures of the food!!!!

listen, the other pictures are GREAT...but i wanted to see the food ;)

Irma said...

Hi Gail,
Just one more comment, then I take a time out again.

Beautiful pictures of a nice day.
Greetings Irma

TexWisGirl said...

love the snake and skink shots! sweet family get-together! my folks used to cook cracklings. the smell permeated the entire house.

my mother used the cracklings instead of lard - she'd mix them into cookies. whenever she'd offer homemade cookies, we'd be leery about hitting one of those unexpected 'crunches' in it. :)

Kim Stevens said...

Oh what a wonderful post. Love seeing the family pics, and I love the shot of the oil (it has such a great movement to it) and of course you know I love the snake shots. Love that you captured the skink by the snake. Not sure if you know that I also blog at Focusing on Life, and we have a new monthly theme. Some of your nature shots would be great added to our flickr group. You can find the link to the post on mine today. :)

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

Sounds like a great family gathering with some interesting food! Sorry I don't like snakes.

Melissa said...

Great photos of your family get-together. Nicely done on the cracklin' cooking shot too!

Karen said...

A great family gathering! I don't think I could eat fried pig fat. What a pretty snake!

Beth @ E. Lizard Breath Speaks said...

i love the lizard. (i know they are skink) ... but considering they are related to me ... the are lizards. ( ;

glad the family got together. it has been a while for my huge-large family to get all together. we always say it is usually wedding & funerals that we all come together. why is that? we need to make time for just being together. we did it a lot more when my grandparents were still alive.

have a nice week. happy April 1st.

hootnonny said...

Family reunions are pleasant memories of my childhood. There would be BBQ goat and Brunswick Stew! And, BTW, I was raised on cracklin bread!

Kerry said...

Wow Gail! A cracklin' cookout! That's okay; I was just reading how saturated fat isn't all that bad for you. Celebrate the fact!
I think the skink was looking for a relative, just being friendly. After all the snake is wearing the same stripes.

June Caedmon said...

Nice to meet some of your family, Gail! What a lovely Saturday you had!

Brian King said...

Great family photos! Those are the ones you'll be glad you took. It's warmed up enough here that the snakes are showing up in the yard.

Hilary said...

What a great collection of images.

The oil almost looks like ice.

You have a fine looking family, Gail. Those boys are so handsome and Brody looks like he's full of mischief. What a cutie.

Snakes aren't my favourite creature but you sure took some fine shots. And that skink is might cute.

eileeninmd said...

The fried foods sound delicious, I wish I could eat them.. Wonderful shots of your family, I like the candid captures.The skinks are cool. Enjoy your week and happy April!

bailey-road.com said...

Looks like a fun family get-together. Never had cracklin's.
That ribbon snake is a beauty.

DeniseinVA said...

I wish I could have tasted some of that cracklin'. Makes my mouth water at the thought of it. Great photos, loved meeting some of your fine family and your other photos of the critters were their usual outstanding quality.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Hooray for family time and to end it with that beautiful nature walk and a funny and fun movie. sounds like a perfect day to me! You take great pictures of people.

Barbara Shallue said...

Sounds like an awesome weekend to me! I always wondered how cracklin's were made. Why have I never even heard of "The Big Year"? It has three of my favorite comedians in it!

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

My mother's side of the family cooked like that. Tastes good, but ooooh, the fat! :-) It's so fun to get together with cousins and aunts and uncles.

I am quite squeamish about snakes--actually, I'm scared to death. It's hard for me to look at the photos. But you did a good job in capturing them!

Ercotravels said...

Seems your uncle really cook delicious food.Ribbon snake is awesome...

Charlotte Wilson said...

Never heard of cooking meat in pig fat but maybe I have....bacon fat.
Looks like Y'all had a ball!

Linda R said...

Looks like everyone is having fun. You are so good with that camera girl. Love your shots.

Hugs~

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Wonderful family shots!! How fantastic to have your family close!! Lots of HAPPY people!

Helma said...

How very nice to meet some of your family Gail :-) And you were also delicious eating I read it. I am amazed at the large number of reptiles, but I think they are very nice to see.

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

Looks like a fun and fattening family get together. The shots of the snake and skinks are great. Such clarity and detail!

catskillblogger said...

I miss big family get togethers like that, we just don't get around to doing them anymore. Sad.