About Blog Title...

As a child, it was one of my greatest delights to visit my grandparents in the spring when the whip-poor-wills began to call. Grandma and Grandpa lived in a remote valley of the Ozark Mountains where there were trees a plenty, and, seemingly, a whip-poor-will, or two, in each one.
My grandmother insisted that a whip-poor-will's call was not "whip-poor-will," but instead, "chip-butter-white-oak." I would listen really hard trying to hear it exactly as she said it was, but all I could hear was "whip-poor-will, whip-poor-will,..." But, I never let on to her.
I remember my grandpa watching and listening, with an amused look on his face, to one of these listening sessions. Shortly after that he began to call me, just for fun, "Chip Butter." It is a name I am proud to wear for I still love to hear that long, lonesome call on a warm summer's eve. And, sometimes, when I listen really, really hard, it seems I can hear quite clearly, "chip-butter-white-oak, chip-butter-white-oak..."

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A Day in March...

It will soon be time to walk along the creeks and spring headwaters in search of spearmint for a favorite springtime salad.

Apple-Spearmint Salad

Search creeks and spring headwaters for spearmint (it grows alongside watercress).

6 crisp red or yellow apples
Juice of 2 lemons
2 cups (packed) spearmint leaves, washed and drained
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup black walnuts or pecans, broken up
1/2 cup mayonnaise

1. Wash apples, core and cut into small pieces, but leave skins on.
2. Sprinkle lemon juice on apples (This enhances flavor and keeps the apples from turning dark.)
3. Tear or snip spearmint leaves into small bits.
4.  Toss apples with raisins, nuts, and spearmint.
5. Add mayonnaise and toss salad briskly.
6.  Place in a sparkling-clear glass bowl.

Serves eight.  (Note: This salad is quite delicious without the spearmint leaves when they aren't available.)                     

Billy Joe Tatum (1932-2012)
Author of Billy Joe Tatum's
Wild Foods Field Guide and Cookbook


  1. Beautiful photos captured between two seasons. I'm sure you'll find some of that wonderful spearmint for your salads. I love walnuts and pecans...maybe I'll this recipe a try.

    1. "Captured between two seasons." That's how that day seemed to me - caught between the two. I also love walnuts and pecans, but almost always use walnuts in this salad.

  2. The snow here is almost gone and the temp is 40 today. The melting snow has given the creek a surge. The skies are overcast with rain expected but I think spring may be on the way. Cappy and I are ready for our walks! I know spearmint, I'll have to try this salad, it sounds refreshingly good. Reminds me of the times my mom and I searched the woods for sassafras to dig & make tea! Look for an e-mail.

    1. I must try sassafras tea. I am sure there would be a recipe in Billy Joe's book...may need to order it. I am sure you and Cappy will enjoy those springtime walks along your creek. I take Nell on short walks now, for her steps are slow these days. I miss her dreadfully when I walk the long trail.

  3. I most definitely will try your salad, but I will use my peppermint. I LOVE mint. All summer long I break off a piece and put it in my water bottle before heading to work. Ahh, the taste of summer. I am so ready for spring. I started my tomatoes, cabbage and onions seeds yesterday. And just to have a little fresh stuff, I started some lettuce and radishes in a pot. Your creek looks wonderful to walk along. Nature is wonderful.

    1. I make this salad often, but with a few changes. I usually leave out the mint since hubby doesn't care for it. I also skip the lemon juice and add a couple of pinches of salt to water in which I soak the apple slices. I also prefer golden raisins. All of my kiddos and grandkiddos like this one. So glad gardening time is almost here!

  4. The last photo makes me think of the movie, "Cold Mountain". Very pretty!

    1. I have never watched "Cold Mountain." Where was it filmed? Did you notice the hay spike that accidently got in the photo?

  5. I think you should do a photography book on the seasonal beauty of where you live. There just doesn't seem to be a time of year when your place is not breath-taking.

  6. Your pictures are so good
    and the salad a little different
    from what I usually make
    Take care...