monday meal madness: southern-style!

Southern Potluck, V

Happy Monday! We’re at the start of another gorgeous week here in the PNW. You?

Monday’s the day when I share what our dinners have been like around the Fresh Scratch Homestead in the last week. Hopefully you can be inspired!

We’ve had lots of fun events with both family and friends over the last week, so I only have two meals to share with you.

bratwurst & sweet potato friesThis meal is sort of courtesy of Costco. The bratwurst was a brand that I hadn’t seen there before, but of course now the wrapper is gone! Some help I am to you! It’s organic and free range and only had a few ingredients.

The organic sweet potato fries are in the freezer section and by a company called Russet House. They only had eight ingredients, all of which I have in my own kitchen. We have really gotten into the habit of making our own fries in the last couple of years, but I couldn’t resist trying these out. They’re delicious!

Southern Potluck, I Southern Potluck, II

My friend Marie began the summertime tradition of Tuesday Night Potlucks-on-the-Porch about three summers ago. She’d invite any combination of people over as a way to be sure she saw other people besides her own family over the summer. Back then, our two youngest kids {my Clementine and her Thomas – who are less than 3 weeks apart} were two, and it was hard to have dinner parties. Potlucks made it easy!

This summer we have finally taken a turn. We hosted Marie and Patrick’s family, along with Patrick’s brother Tony and his family. The theme was Southern, and no one disappointed! I made barbecued pulled pork, dessert, and some peach sangria, sweet tea, and lemonade. They filled in the rest: seven-layer salad, homemade mac and cheese, and some amazing cornbread. It was a feast!

Southern Potluck, III

The sangria had to be refreshed a few times. We were having just a leeeeetle bit of fun, to say the least.

Southern Potluck, IV Southern Potluck, V Southern Potluck, VI Southern Potluck, VIIMatt had just finished up our patio that day, though I didn’t take a good picture of it. The arbor and twinkly lights are all set, and the deck has been replaced by a small porch and a patio made of pathway crushed gravel. It’s divine! Now my brother just needs to paint the back of the house, and this four-years-in-the-making project will totally be complete. Ahhhh.

Southern Potluck, VIII Southern Potluck, IX Southern Potluck, XAnnabelle is growing up! She goes away to Girl Scout camp mid-week. She spent most of the time at the potluck with the adults, showing off her mad croquet skillz.

Southern Potluck, XII think Kyla, far left, really enjoyed my sangria the most. I have a whole series of hilarious photos of her playing croquet!

Southern Potluck, XIIMarie and I have been friends for a really long time! Thanks for starting this potluck tradition, Marie!

Southern Potluck, XIII Southern Potluck, XIV Southern Potluck, XV Southern Potluck, XVI Southern Potluck, XVIIDessert was a banana pudding. I don’t use Nilla Wafers, but make pound cake instead with a recipe from Mrs. Wilkes’ Boardinghouse Cookbook: Recipes and Recollections from Her Savannah Table.

Southern Potluck, XVIIILook who brought a Derby-style hat! Perfect.

What a great night, you guys! Or should I say y’all?!

Do you have any regular summer traditions like this?

Here’s a direct link to the cookbook I mentioned:


My 22nd Birthday

Happy Friday!

Friday’s the day when I share my week in Instagram photos with you. I can be found over on Insta as mrsfreshscratch.

It’s always funny – I think I don’t take that many photos each week, but then Friday arrives and, hey, whaddaya know?!

Heart Downtown Oly chalkboard Last Friday the girls and I headed down to my favorite downtown shop, Red Door. They were doing a fundraiser for Fred Hutch, a cancer research place in Seattle. Another reason to love Olympia!

We may have bought a few {!} scarves and some $2 Cremecicles….all for a great cause that is very dear to my heart. Thanks, Red Door! You make out downtown rad.

New Fridge Our fridge {which we hated} magically stopped freezing things in the freezer side, so we {cough-cough!} had to get this drop dead sexy one last weekend. It’s the fridge of my dreams if my dreams aren’t allowed a Subzero. And they’re not. It has a “deli drawer!”

Totally a bummer.

I used one of my niece’s favorite sayings, “Sorry, not sorry!”

New Fridge: Real ViewIn an effort to keep it real, though, I wanted to show you that we do have a ton of magnets just like real people! And they will likely migrate to the front!

But, for now, I want to see what it feels like to have a sleek fridge.

"Begin Again" movie poster

I wrote about “Begin Again” yesterday and all the reasons I loved it.

But I didn’t share with you that my niece took me for free! And my sister-in-law. Two aunties and the teenager, giving us perks from her first job.

My niece is having one of those summers that are just magical. Like some teenage movie from the 80′s, you know? The kind of summer you think about when you’re 37. I am thrilled for her and so glad she likes sharing the details with her aunties.

Hazelnut Brownies

My cousin Evie swears that these are the best brownies, and I must agree. They have a dollop of Nutella on each one! Here’s the recipe.

The bowl is so gorgeous, and it’s for sale at Red Door as soon as I return it!

My 22nd Birthday


Oh, man.

Callie, my sweet friend in the middle of the picture, texted this to me out of no where this week.

See the green ribbons in my hair? It was my 22nd birthday party. I don’t remember anything after midnight that night, just what I’ve been told. It’s all fun and games until someone has two shots of tequila in a row. After a free pitcher of green beer. PITCHER. All to herself. Because it’s St. Patty’s Day.

You get the general idea.

But this party that Shara threw me? Epic. I appear to be holding…a potato masher. She made me fried chicken and mashed potatoes! And there’s Scotty on the left. We’ve had tons of adventures over the years, and now he and his family are right down the road. My college self would’ve only dreamed of that!

Callie and I were roommates when we started teaching, and our oldest kids are one day apart. One day! Another thing my college self would’ve loved knowing.

Thanks for that walk down memory lane, Cal!

Girls with LiamAnd here are my cuties with their cousin Liam who is the cutest little guy that ever lived! My cousin Evie and her family are visiting from Honolulu, and we are soaking them up.

Speaking of, she and I are headed to Seattle’s Book Larder and to Molly Wizenberg’s bar Essex and pizza place Delancey tonight!!!!!!!!! I loved meeting Molly earlier this summer. I need to go pick an outfit.


Mrs. Fresh Scratch

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