Saturday, December 25, 2010

It screams like a woman.....

I think the last time I was so frightened that I was almost sick to my stomach was when I was told that my husband had cancer. This week, that same feeling returned, but for a different reason.

In 1973, when my grandmother passed away, her property was divided among her eight children. Our house sits on a part of the land that my father inherited. As a young girl, my favorite spot (other than my grandmother's front porch) was a little grassy area beside the branch that ran behind her fields. The branch, narrow enough to step across in most places, and barely deep enough to wet one's toes, flowed into Cohay (Okahay) Creek.

I had heard Granny tell about the panthers and bobcats that roamed up and down the branch, in the Spring and Fall. In late Fall, when the weather began to cool, it wasn't unusual to hear the cats as they moved from one area to another. The bobcats had a roar like a large, angry cat. The panther, on the other hand, sounded like a woman screaming - but the loudest, eeriest scream.  Granny often told the story about "Aunt Charity and the Panther". Aunt Charity, my grandfather's elderly aunt, lived across the branch. When Aunt Charity was coming for a visit, she would walk through the woods, and when she got to the branch, she would let out a yell. Granny would send one of my uncles, who were probably in their teens, to help Aunt Charity across the branch. There were no phones, so I'm not sure if the visit was always prearranged, or if Granny just knew about when to listen! On one such day in late Fall, Granny heard Aunt Charity yell, so as she usually did, she sent one of the boys running to help her across. He had been gone only a few minutes, when she heard another yell. Granny quickly realized that the first yell, to which her son was running, was actually the panther that roamed up and down the branch.

Granny sent another son, running toward Aunt Charity, while yelling his brother's name. Fortunately, the first son had also heard the second scream, and realized the dire situation. Both boys got to Aunt Charity and got her across the branch and all got safely home. I can still envision my grandmother pacing back and forth across the back porch, until everyone was safe and sound.

In the late fall, my brother and I have sat on my porch and heard the bobcat as it wandered through the woods, along the banks of the branch, and then up Cohay.  Never have we experienced the screams of the panther, and after this week, I hope to never hear them again.

The weather forecast, at 10:00 p.m. had predicted one of the coldest nights of the season. Bob had mentioned, earlier in the week, that the vents that allowed for ventilation under the house, needed to be closed.  Because of his cancer and weakened condition, he had begun to be unable to do many of the things he'd always done. I knew the vents hadn't been closed.

I put my coat on over my pajamas and slipped on my shoes, before heading out the door to close the vents. Rather than crowding between the deck and the back of the house, I walked up onto the deck, intending to reach over to close the vent. I hadn't thought about turning on outside lights - after all, I could see perfectly well with the light that shone from the window. I walked up onto the deck, none too quietly, and got down on my knees to bend over and close the vent. Just as I bent down, just around the corner of the house, over my left shoulder I heard the loudest, eeriest "scream" that I've ever heard. I knew it HAD to be the panther, and it HAD to have come up into my yard .....out of the woods.

I'm at the age, once I'm down on my knees, it takes awhile to get up and moving. Not that night! I'm not sure how I got up and I really don't recall coming down off the deck. I only remember getting inside the house and feeling as if I was going to be sick. At that moment, I knew exactly how my grandmother had felt, all those years ago.

I haven't heard that noise since, but I do know......it sounded like a woman screaming.  Was it giving me a warning? Would it have come up onto the deck, to find me?  I don't know, but I do know that any "outside chores" will be done in the daylight hours!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Walker Siblings - 1973

By order of age: Horace, Howard, Hilma, Alice, C. L., Virginia, Dorothy
This photo, of seven of the eight children of Casie and Annie Gibson Walker, was taken on the day of their mother's funeral, in 1973.

Absent, from the photo, is Ray. He should have been standing between Hilma and Alice but had been in a nursing home since 1970.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Old Garage.....July 26, 2010

The old house, the house of my grandparents,and in later years, my parents, sits quietly in our yard. It has been on this property for many years; maybe I should say that our house sits in its yard. Our house stands where the old garage, of my grandparents, stood. In my mind's eye, it was a huge old building - but, in fact, it was wide enough for only one old vehicle. I was young, so I don't remember much, but I remember that it was an unpainted building with a dirt floor. I remember the old school bus, with the yellow body removed, that sat inside.


In those days, the school buses were owned by the ones that drove them. My grandfather, and at least one of my uncles, drove the bus over roads that were practically impassable in the winter, or after a rain. The bus was also used for the family's transportation. My grandfather died when I was 9 years old, so I have scant memories of him. I do remember one summer when I must have been about 5 years of age, coming to their house. Grandpa and Granny took me, in the old bus with the yellow body removed, to the creek to wade.  I remember bouncing along between them, on the hard seat, hair blowing in the wind. I thought it was so neat to ride in a vehicle that had no top.

The old garage, the old bus, and my grandparents have long been gone - but the memories remain still.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Looking at the World through David’s eyes - July 22, 2010

This is a true story about a wonderful, giving young man in the foothills of the Middle Appalachians of Virginia.

As I parked out front of the office on that beautiful crisp winter morning, for some reason I briefly thought of David. I smiled to myself as I thought about what our first conversation on this morning would be. During each visit, David would come in and discuss what type of rental car I had rented that trip.

David was the son of the owner of the company. He performed light jobs; picking up and delivering the mail, picking up supplies, etc. Aged 33, he had been on three different organ transplant lists for 2 years. Both kidneys were diseased, and he’d received his first transplant at age 17. That transplant was successful for almost ten years. The second transplant followed shortly, but failed after only two years. The result was that David had no functioning kidneys and was on home dialysis each night of his life.

David was special because he didn’t expect people to treat him differently just because of his illness. He had a ready smile and a slow wit that made you like him, instantly. In the summer, he shared the roses from his backyard garden with the ladies in the office – and I was always included if I was lucky enough to be there.

This trip was to be different. I learned, with great sadness, that David had been laid to rest just days before my arrival. His tired, diseased body could no longer fight the infection, and he hadn’t been lucky enough to receive another transplant.

In that rural area of Virginia where neighbors are neighbors and everyone knew everyone – David’s funeral was one of the largest they had ever seen. Over 2,600 people gathered to say their final goodbyes to this young man who had made such an impression on their lives because of his spirit, his determination, and his genuine love of people and of life. In the small town, tears came to the eyes of the clerk in the grocery store who vowed how much she would miss him. His death had brought great sadness. I couldn’t help but wonder if he realized the joy that he had brought to so many – he had left a void that would be hard to fill.

It was said that, although he was only 33, his body was like that of an 80 year old man. David had felt the pain of rejection in attempting to, once again, find a kidney, and to the surprise of his family, he had donated the only good part of his body that was left; his eyes.

Perhaps the person, or people, who were lucky enough to receive David’s eyes, will be able to see the world as he saw it. Somewhere, someone is seeing again because of David, and hopefully those eyes are smiling, because the young man who once saw through them always smiled.

Remembering Granny ....at Watermelon time...July 22, 2010

This time of year, when the watermelons are ripe and sweet, I think of Granny. In the summer, there would be piles of the striped Charleston Grays under the old oak tree in her backyard. An old wire spool, from Southern Pine, sat under the tree and was a great substitute for a picnic table. The melon would be placed on the table, and if a knife wasn't handy, Granny would "bust" the melon by slamming it on the table. She would "forbid" us from eating anything but the sweet meat of the hearts. We'd stand around the old spool, sometimes eating with forks, and sometimes biting into the slices of melon as the sweet juice dripped down our chins.

The branches of that same old oak tree, shaded and sheltered the shellers of the many bushels of peas and butterbeans, each summer. Granny didn't have gardens, she had fields. In the summer, her dinner table was full of fresh vegetables; and in the winter, it was full of vegetables that had been canned and preserved.

It never seemed to bother anyone that we ate the same things; okra, butterbeans, peas, green beans, fried corn, or corn-on-the-cob, tomatoes, cucumbers, and cornbread, over and over. At mealtime, not only was the table full but so was the guest list. Everyone knew that her door was always open and everyone welcome. Not only was she Granny to us, she was also Granny or Aunt Annie to many, whether or not they were related.

In 1973 a part of my world died, when she passed away - and 30 years later, the old oak tree died. The watermelons are just as sweet as they were so many years ago.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Squash Casserole - with cornbread dressing

2 cups diced yellow squash
2 cups crumbled cornbread
1/2 cup margarine, melted (I use butter)
2 teaspoons dried sage (adjust to taste)
1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 egg, beaten
1 large onion, chopped - minced onion flakes will also work
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup milk

Directions
1.Wash and cut squash into small slices.
2.Put squash into saucepan and cover with water. Cover and cook over medium heat, until squash is tender.
2.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
3.In a bowl, mix the squash, cornbread, butter, sage, cream of chicken soup, beaten egg, onion, salt and pepper, and milk. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
4.Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Home Remedies.....April 28, 2010

Did you know that drinking two glasses of Gatorade can relieve headache pain almost immediately-without the unpleasant side effects caused by traditional pain relievers?

Did you know that Colgate Toothpaste makes an excellent salve for burns?

Before you head to the drugstore for a high-priced inhaler filled with mysterious chemicals, try chewing on a couple of curiously strong Altoids peppermints. They'll clear up your stuffed nose.

Achy muscles from a bout of the flu? Mix 1 tablespoon horseradish in 1 cup of olive oil. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, then apply it as a massage oil for instant relief for aching muscles.

Sore throat? Just mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1/4 cup of honey and take 1 tablespoon six times a day. The vinegar kills the bacteria.

Cure urinary tract infections with Alka-Seltzer. Just dissolve two tablets in a glass of water and drink it at the onset of the symptoms. Alka-Seltzer begins eliminating urinary tract infections almost instantly-even though the product was never advertised for this use.

Honey remedy for skin blemishes... cover the blemish with a dab of honey and place a Band-Aid over it. Honey kills the bacteria, keeps the skin sterile, and speeds healing. Works overnight.

Listerine therapy for toenail fungus: Get rid of unsightly toenail fungus by soaking your toes in Listerine Mouthwash. The powerful antiseptic leaves your toenails looking healthy again.

Easy eyeglass protection... to prevent the screws in eyeglasses from loosening, apply a small drop of Maybelline Crystal Clear Nail Polish to the threads of the screws before tightening them.

Cleaning liquid that doubles as bug killer... if menacing bees, wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets get in your home and you can't find the insecticide, try a spray of Formula 409. Insects drop to the ground instantly.

Smart splinter remover: Just pour a drop of Elmer's Glue-All over the splinter, let dry, and peel the dried glue off the skin. The splinter sticks to the dried glue.

Hunt's Tomato Paste boil cure... cover the boil with Hunt's Tomato Paste as a compress. The acids from the tomatoes soothe the pain and bring the boil to a head.

Balm for broken blisters... to disinfect a broken blister, dab on a few drops of Listerine, a powerful antiseptic.

Vinegar to heal bruises... soak a cotton ball in white vinegar and apply it to the bruise for 1 hour. The vinegar reduces the blueness and speeds up the healing process.

Quaker Oats for fast pain relief... it's not for breakfast any more! Mix 2 cups of Quaker Oats and 1 cup of water in a bowl and warm in the microwave for 1 minute, cool slightly, and apply the mixture to your hands for soothing relief from arthritis pain.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Duct Tape, A Broken Dryer Vent Hose, and Me..... April 26, 2010

At this house, all maintenance (malfunctions, something breaks, etc.) is done by Mr. Maintenance, otherwise known as my honey/hubby. This afternoon, it all started when I dropped something behind the dryer, in the laundry room. I had to move the upright freezer to get to the little plastic lid (shoulda' left it there.) In so doing, I began to see dryer lint all over the floor and wall behind my appliances. (Could I just shove everything back into place and forget I'd seen this mess?) There, in full view, was the culprit; the dryer vent hose was broken, and the lint was coming inside rather than going out the vent.

I went to the shop and told Mr. Maintenance my story. He turned, without a word, and went into his store room, and returned with a roll of duct tape which he handed to me. I took it, and said "I'm probably going to need help." His response was "You can do this!" Who was this man that had invaded my honey's body? It sure looked like him, but the Bob Gorrell that I knew would never trust me to fix anything! That was HIS job.

After thoroughly cleaning floor, walls, and the back of every appliance; it was now time to be Miss Fix-It. Dryer vent hose in three pieces in one hand, and duct tape in the other - I was ready. After taping, struggling, uttering a few choice words, and a "Dear God, why did you let me get into this?", I got it together. Now, was the time to attach one end to the dryer and the other end to the vent. Right then, I knew why God had made me a woman instead of a man. I wasn't coordinated enough to put stuff together if it didn't consist of flour, sugar and eggs!

Finally, either the Good Lord felt sorry for me or I held my tongue just right; because suddenly it all fit back together! Very carefully, I moved everything back into place. I knew, from now on the dryer couldn't be moved, or duct tape and I would become fast friends. When I suggested to Mr. Maintenance that the dryer should not be moved, he said "You've been moving the dryer?" Right then, I knew I had earned the title of "One who broke dryer vent hose."

One thing for sure; the man either has fever, or he's been smelling too many paint fumes. What else would have given him the idea that I could fix anything? Tell you what; I'm just going to put a bucket under that leak under the kitchen sink, and I'm keeping my mouth shut!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Delta Memories.........

Our trip to Greenville this weekend brought back memories from my "growing up years" .....farmers, on tractors with discs trailing behind them, were stirring up the dust, as they readied their fields for another season. In some places, early planted corn had already begun to break through the dirt. The rows of freshly turned black soil stretched, it seemed, to eternity. The black dirt, termed "gumbo" because it sticks to your shoes when wet, has a smell like no other when it's freshly plowed. Even dirt can smell fresh and clean when it's newly dug, in the Spring.

In the fall, I love the rows and rows of white cotton - ready for the pickers. In years gone by, those pickers were human with cotton sacks dragging behind them .....and their hands were often scratched and bloody from the pricks of the cotton bolls.

As they bent low, over the stalks of cotton, they had their own rhythm about them as they grabbed each fluffy white ball and thrust it into their sack. If one stood quietly, you could hear them singing or chanting as they pulled the cotton from the stalk. They often sang their own music, but how wonderful to hear the strains of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" as they worked the rows. Their singing seemed to help keep them at a steady pace even as they worked in the sweltering heat of the Delta summer sun.

Once full, the sacks were weighed, the poundage recorded, and the cotton dumped into a trailer sitting at the end of the long rows. The pickers were paid, by the pound, at the end of each week. Today, people wouldn't work for the pittance they made. In today's world, they've been replaced by automation, and the rows and rows of worker shanties, at the end of the plantation rows, have been replaced by memories.....

Memories from the pages in the "Memory Book in my Mind".......

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dumplings ....the easy way!!

3 or 4 chicken breast
4 cans of refrigerator biscuits
2 cans Swanson Chicken Broth
Flour
Salt and Pepper

(1) Fill dutch oven 1/2 full of water, add chicken, salt, and pepper
(2) Boil chicken until done
(3) Remove chicken from the pot, reserving the chicken stock (broth created from boiling the chicken)
(4) Debone chicken and cut into bite size pieces
(5) Add one can of Swanson Chicken broth to the chicken stock
(6) Bring to a boil
(7) Sprinkle flour onto a cutting board
(8) Open can of biscuits, dust each biscuit with flour and roll thin with a rolling pin.
(9) Cut biscuits into strips and then into small bite sized pieces (each biscuit should make about 12 - 15 pieces)
(10) Drop pieces of biscuits into boiling chicken broth.
(11) Continually stir gently to prevent sticking and reduce heat to medium.
(12) Salt and pepper to taste
(13) When all the biscuits have been added to the broth, add chicken
(14) Turn heat to low and cook for 10 - 15 minutes longer
(15) "Taste test" for doneness - don't overcook or dumplings will become tough.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Grandpa and Granny Walker (C. L. and Annie Catherine Gibson Walker)
and four of the eight children:

L to R: Horace Lamar, (my dad), Hilma Jane, Howard I., and Thomas Ray

This picture might have been taken in 1918
or 1919. My dad appears to be about 9 or 10,
and he was born in 1909.

Smelly Feet

If you're plagued with "smelly feet" you can do one of the following:

(1) Soak your feet in Vodka (seriously)
(2) Soak your feet in Apple Cider Vinegar
(3) Brew some strong tea and soak

      Family members gathered on the steps of Granny's old house on Fellowship Road - April, 2003.
      Front Row L to R: Sydney Gary, Emma Nicholson, Jordan Gary
      Second Row L to R: Jimmy Nicholson, Pat Nicholson, Robbie Gorrell Gary, Tianni
      Nicholson Rowley holding 4 month old  Matthew, Aunt Mary Walker, Sue Hodge (sitting on
      porch)
      Third Row L to R: Patricia Walker Ashley, Sarah Walker Gorrell, Morgan Nicholson
      Fourth Row L to R: Aunt Lovell Boyd Walker, Aunt Virginia Walker Kelly, Peggy Hodge Owens
      Back Row L to R: Chris Gary, Bob Gorrell, Johnny Walker, Howard Nicholson (d),
      Adam Nicholson (hidden), James Walker Hodge, Amanda Boykin, Wanda Owens
      Boykin, Keith Walker                                                       
     
   

Jimmy, before the Guest House .....March 15, 2010

This morning, memories of Jimmy in his "better days" flood my mind. Those were days when he wasn't fighting cancer, when he could carry on an intelligent conversation, when he talked of golf or "grocery shopping".

These days, his family grapples with the fact that he will soon have to be in a facility where his care can be managed 24/7. This decision, although necessary, hasn't been an easy one for Pat and Tianni.

These are the days when he shouldn't be left alone and when hospice nurses have become a part of the weekly routine. Days when we're glad that we have memories stored, in the pages, in the 'Memory Book of our Minds'.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

In happier times, the cousins and few remaining aunts gathered on the front porch steps of Granny's old house for a photo.

Howard and his family had stopped by, on their way back home to Iowa, from a Spring Break trip to Florida. Just months earlier, he had been diagnosed with Colon Cancer with a grim prognosis.

So many memories of this house, and the people who lived and visited there, are stored in the minds of the people gathered on these steps.



Front Row L to R: Aunt Ginny, Aunt Lovell, Aunt Mary
Middle Row L to R: Howard (d), Patricia, Sarah and Jimmy
Back Row L to R: Johnny, Peggy, Keith and James Walker

Rum Balls

1 1/4 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp Cocoa powder
2 Tbsp Light Corn Syrup (Karo)
1/4 cup rum or bourbon

(1) Mix vanilla wafers, pecans, powdered sugar and cocoa powder
(2) Add Karo syrup and rum and mix well
(3) Chill in refrigerator
(4) Shape into 1 inch balls
(5) Roll in powdered sugar

No baking required.
Store in airtight container and enjoy!

John's Crock Pot Pork Chops and Potato Casserole

4 boneless pork chops
4 medium size potatoes
1 can Cream of Potato Soup
1 soup can of milk
1 soup can of water
Small onion, chopped
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
Salt and Pepper
Flour
Cooking Oil (I use Olive Oil)

Cover bottom of skillet with cooking oil and heat.

(1) Season chops with salt and pepper
(2) Cut pork chops into bite sized pieces
(3) Dredge cut chops in flour
(4) Saute chopped onion in heated oil and brown chops, lightly
(5) Drain browned chops and onions
(6) Peel and cut potatoes into bite sized pieces
(7) Put chops and potatoes into crock pot
(8) Mix potato soup with milk and water
(9) Pour soup mix over chops and potatoes
(10) Cook on low for 8 hours

Just prior to serving, remove crock pot lid and sprinkle cheddar cheese over top. As soon as the cheese melts, you're ready to eat.

Variation:
Add one can of drained whole kernel corn to the casserole.

Pineapple and Lime Jello Salad

1 small box Jello (I use Sugar Free)
1 1/4 cup boiling water
1 - 8 oz pkg cream cheese - softened
2 Tbsp Mayonnaise
1 cup Cool Whip
1 small can crushed pineapple - drained
1/4 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries

(1) Pour boiling water over jello and stir until dissolved
(2) Put into refrigerator and chill until it begins to set up. (This can also be put into freezer so that it can begin to chill quickly, then moved to fridge until it sets.)
(3) Mix together cream cheese, mayonnaise and Cool Whip
(4) After jello begins to set, add pineapple, nuts and cherries
(5) Fold cream cheese mixture into jello.

Pour into pretty bowl and store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Pineapple Lime Jello Salad

1 large can crushed pineapple - undrained (no sugar added)
2 Tbsp sugar (I use Splenda)
1/8 tsp. salt
1 - 3 oz. pkg Lime Jello (I use Sugar Free)
1 - 8 oz. pkg Cream Cheese

(1) Mix pineapple, sugar and salt in saucepan
(2) Heat to boiling
(3) Stir in jello and mix well
(4) Add cream cheese and stir until dissolved

Pour into dish and refrigerate until set.

Variations:

Add 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese after mixture begins to set.
Add some chopped maraschino cherries for color.

Banana Bread

1/2 cup butter - softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 bananas - mashed
2 eggs - beaten
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour (I use self-rising)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup chopped nuts - optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray 9" x 5" loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray

(1) Cream butter and sugar
(2) Add beaten eggs, vanilla and buttermilk
(3) Add flour to mixture
(4) Stir in mashed bananas
(5) Add nuts if desired

Pour into pan and bake for 1 1/4 hours (glass loaf baking dish only requires 1 hour). Test with toothpick to determine if done.

Cool on wire baking rack.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This cake is very moist. The secret is to move it directly to the freezer, for 45 minutes, from the oven. If using a glass baking dish, I advise putting the dish on a cookie sheet to avoid breakage.

1 1/2 cups of ripe bananas - mashed
2 tsp. lemon juice
3 cups flour (I use self-rising)
3/4 cups butter, softened
2 cups sugar (I use Splenda)
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups buttermilk


Frosting:
1/2 cup butter - softened
1 - 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese - softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 275 degrees (temperature is low - but it works well!)
Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan or dish with non-stick spray.

(1) Mash bananas and mix with lemon juice.
(2) Cream butter and sugar.
(3) Beat eggs with whisk, and add vanilla
(4) Add eggs and vanilla to butter and sugar mixture.
(5) Add buttermilk
(6) Slowly, add flour to above mixture, and mix well.
(7) Add mashed bananas.

Pour cake into pan and bake at 275 for 1 hour. Test with toothpick to determine if the cake is done. Remove from oven and immediately put into freezer for 45 minutes. If baking in a glass baking dish, put the hot dish on a cookie sheet before putting into the freezer.

Frosting:  Cream softened butter and softened cream cheese, add vanilla. Slowly add powdered sugar to the butter and cream cheese mixture. Continue beating with mixer.

When the cake has cooled, frost with the cream cheese frosting. Sprinkle chopped pecans or walnuts over the cake, if desired.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Cake

 This photo won 2nd place in a photo contest for recipe presentation.


1 Pkg Spice Cake Mix
1 cup Pumpkin Pie filling
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding (I use sugar free)
1/2 c. oil
3 eggs
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. water
1/2 c. nuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
 
(1) Beat eggs, add oil, water, and Pumpkin
(2) Mix Cake mix, vanilla pudding and cinnamon
(3) Combine dry ingredients with liquid - mix well
(4) Add nuts
 
Pour into bundt pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Bake for 40 - 45 minutes. Test for doneness with toothpick. Cool on wire rack.
 
Sprinkle with powdered sugar after the cake is cool.
 
Can also be frosted with cream cheese frosting.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Boiling Perfect Eggs - the sure and easy way!!

In saucepan, cover eggs with cold water.Add 1 Tbsp salt. Bring to boil, cover and boil for one (1) minute, covered. Do not remove lid. Remove from heat, and let stand for 15 minutes. Eggs will be perfect.

Canned Green Beans that taste like fresh from the garden...

I use the No Salt Cut Green Beans and prefer Del Monte, but any brand will do. Put a colander in your sink, open can and dump the beans into the colander so that the juice drains out. Rinse, thoroughly, with cold water - turning the beans, under the water, with your hands.

Put washed beans into saucepan, cover with cold water, season to taste. We prefer about 1 Tbsp. of salt to two cans of beans, 1 - 2 Tbsp. of Onion Flakes and Olive Oil. Bring to rolling boil and cook for about 30 minutes - turn on low and cook for 30 - 45 minutes.
Tastes like fresh green beans right out of the garden!!