Archive for September, 2012

Recipe for Success

Ever had a project that took awhile to complete?

Two years ago I bought a new three ring book that was designed to hold 4 by 6 inch recipe cards, two to a page.  Many years ago I bought a photo album with flip pages measuring 3 X 5 inches.  I put it in a napkin holder that Jim made in seventh grade shop class and clipped the pages with a clothes pins to hold the pages up when I was using it.  It was a flip up recipe holder.  After carefully recopying my favorite recipes on cards with a black Flair pen, it worked rather well.  However, that was about 30 years ago.  It was well used and, by now, pretty ragged.  Time to update the recipes and their presentation.

So — yesterday was glorious!  An early fall day with the sun shining and low humidity and a gentle breeze tinkling the wind chimes.  It was a perfect day to spend on the screened porch.  Besides, the house cleaning crew was coming . . .

I gathered up my mess from the TV tray in the living room and moved my base of operations (as my husband, the former first sergeant, calls it) out to the table on the porch.  By afternoon I had recipes and pages organized.  Then I remembered my mother’s recipe box which I retrieved from a bookshelf where it had sat for 8 years since we cleared out Christine’s house who had all of mother’s stuff.

Wow!  What a trip down memory lane.  I found recipes from both Grandmother Washburn and Grandmother Hubble in their handwriting.  Into the book they went.  Mother had also used recipe cards that I had given her.  Her name was printed on the top line.

Two recipes that Mother had passed on were Snowballs, a butter cookie with chopped pecans rolled in powdered sugar.  And Cream Cheese Cookies.  Both are real family favorites and I make them every Christmas.  Once my next door neighbor called, wanting that recipe.  She had been very ill and it hit me — she really wants the cookies and is too polite to ask.  I quickly took her a plate with instructions to hide them from the rest of the family!  In fact, these cookies were so popular at Christmas time at Dale’s work place that arguments ensued if piggish people ate more than their fair share.  I digress.

One recipe was for Baked Chop Suey Casserole.  In the 1950s, we, who lived in a small town in southern Illinois, thought it was quite an exotic dish.  In those days the nearest Chinese restaurant was probably in Chicago.  I can’t wait to fix it.  I’m sure no self respecting Asian would ever think this dish was even remotely authentic, but heck, what did we know?

Another was for Green Noodle Casserole.  It was such a hit that Mother made it for company.  Once, in the 1960s, before we had children, Dale and I went to Lincoln to help Mom and Dad with a dinner party.  Dale was the bartender and I was the kitchen maid.  Mother sat up a buffet with this dish, a green salad, dinner rolls and her Cream Cheese Pie and her best china and silver.  What a lovely party!  I learned that day that simple foods are okay for a special occasion.  They can be made ahead of time.  You have more fun and so do your guests.


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In a recent email from my friend, Connie, from south central Nebraska told me about a bad accident between a semi and a school bus near her home.  She mentioned the school bus was from Blue Hill and since I couldn’t quite remember where it was  on the map exactly, I googled the information to find out more.  There were several stories which told me where it was and therefore I could picture it in my mind.

Unfortunately, I read the comments after one of the stories.  Now I remember why I usually avoid those.

One comment was by a female from Omaha who “assumed” this was a rural area where the accident took place.   Really?  She must have lived in Omaha for all of 5 minutes.  She doesn’t know that 98% of Nebraska is rural??  Yikes.

Another extolled how dangerous semi-trailor trucks were and recommended that all goods be delivered by train, that we ban trucks.  What?  Was she (another female) serious?  She wasn’t kidding?  A reply was to ask her if her grocery store was located right next to a train track.  Was she going to the train station to shop?  Good grief, she obviously knows nothing about how goods and services get delivered to us.

How lame can some people be?    These dummies live among us.  And half of them are female.  Sometimes I do despair.

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