Virginia Willis Blog

9/11 and the War of Terror

9/11 Virginia Willis

War of Terror

In 2010 when I initially wrote this post, I hadn’t written a word about my experiences on 9/11 and hardly ever spoke of it. I couldn’t watch reports on TV — and still can’t. I’ve tweaked and re-posted this piece every year since I wrote it. The photo of my sister above was shot mere days before 9/11. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 16 years. (more…)

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What’s in Season: Cucumber Fruit Salad

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 Cool as a Cucumber

Did you know that cucumbers are more than 90% water AND the phrase “cool as a cucumber” is a scientific fact! The inside temperature of a cucumber can be up to 20 degrees cooler than the outside air. I love cucumbers and will snack on them, especially during the summer. They are good and good for you! Cucumbers are low in calories and contain a good amount of water and soluble fiber, making them ideal for promoting hydration and aiding in weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight. They are available year round from “somewhere else” or grown in a hot house, but they are, like much other summer produce best at peak season. I love their crisp, juicy, and refreshing texture and grassy melon-like flavor. (more…)

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What’s in Season: Cantaloupe Creamsicle

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Summer Melon

Cantaloupe responds well to hot summer heat and is currently in high season across much of the US. Generally, this time of year we keep cantaloupe freshly cut and cubed in a container in the fridge. Cantaloupe is one of those fruits that is always found in the prepared foods case in the produce department — but it’s so often dull and pretty boring. However, in the heat of mid-August ripe cantaloupe is luscious with tangy juices. If we’re not eating it fresh, I will pop it into the blender to make a smoothie. I’ll often add yogurt, maybe a bit of mint and a handful of blueberries or so. The other day as I was making our breakfast smoothie it occurred to me that it would make a fantastic popsicle. (more…)

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What’s in Season: Summer Tomato Recipes

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Fresh from the Garden

A garden-ripe, fresh tomato is the absolute ultimate in summer produce. Out of season tomatoes are flavorless rock-hard orbs shipped from some other hemisphere. Out of season tomatoes are nothing if not pure disappointment. In season, tomatoes are bursting with flavor, juicy and luscious. Fresh tomatoes are only ever good in summer. There is nothing as wonderful as the full, rich, almost wine-like flavor of a vine ripe tomato. So, when it’s tomato season, I heartily endorse eating those glorious ripe ones as often as possible. (more…)

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Bushels of Peachy Keen Peach Recipes

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Georgia Grown

I grew up smack in the middle of peach country in South Georgia. When I was in high school, my spring breaks were dictated by picking season, as many of my classmates were the sons and daughters of farmers. I’ve bought peaches (and pecans) from my former neighbors at Pearson Farms, a fifth generation family farm, for nearly 20 years. Peaches are one of my favorite summer foods. To my mind, there’s simply nothing better than a perfectly ripe peach. The best way to eat a fresh one is standing over a sink letting the juices drip down your arm! However, peaches are great to cook with, too. This post includes a bushel basket of peachy keen recipes!  (more…)

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