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Saturday, 7 April 2018

"Busy as beavers" . . . and Bryan's Cherry-Oat Scones

 A letter to us from Bryan's mother when we were at Library School . . .



1 cup rolled oats
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ tsp salt
½ cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup softened butter
½ cup to 1 cup dried sour cherries (the more, the merrier)
1 ¼ cups buttermilk

·        Start oven preheating to 450 degrees.   (Your oven may only require 425 degrees)
·        Grease a baking sheet.
·        Put oats, both flours, salt, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda in food processor.  Give it a whirl to mix things up.
·        Add butter and process until the butter is mixed in.
·        Transfer all of it to a mixing bowl.
·        Stir in the cherries.
·        Stir in buttermilk.
·        Drop large scoops onto baking sheet.
·        Bake 15 minutes.  

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Remembering GEORGE on his birthday . . . and Oven-Barbecued Spareribs

One of the best things about getting together with family is talking about the old days.  One time, George told us a story about how he and Donald used to go trapping.  He said traps used to be very cheap.

I asked George how he and Donald learned how to trap.  He said mostly by trying but Dad knew a bit.  Dad told them never to break into a muskrat’s house with an axe; always use a spade.  Then you leave the trap inside and fill in the hole you made.  The muskrat is away swimming.  When he comes home, the trap is waiting.  

Once, they left the tractor on a neighbor’s yard when they went to check their traps.  They came back carrying over 300 muskrats but the tractor wouldn’t start.   Then they noticed that the wiring had been all changed.  The neighbor took an ax after Donnie over a muskrat house because he said it was on his property even though it was on the road allowance.  "And he buggered up the tractor.”

They had to carry the muskrats all the way home on foot.

George's daughter, Naomi, wrote:
I set this day aside for memories. As today or yesterday would've been his birthday. As you question why I would say today or yesterday of course with my dad there's always a story to go with it.
We would wish him happy birthday on the 27th and he would say no it's tomorrow. We wish him a happy birthday on the 28th and say no you missed it it was yesterday.
The story was told that when he was born Gido had to walk to town to register him and that he was celebrating the birth of his son and when he got to town he made a mistake on the day that he was born when he was registered.

Dad you will always be missed and your memories will always stay with me and that is something nobody can ever take from me.


Some people don't like spareribs that have been boiled and then barbecued, but the only way I don’t really love spareribs is if they’re covered with one of those sweet, red Barbecue sauces.  

Here’s a great recipe for piquant ribs :  I think George would have liked them.   


            Easy and delicious!

4 to 6 lbs spareribs
1 cup cold double-strength coffee
½ cup molasses
1 tbsp Worcester shire sauce
½ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup Dijon mustard
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder (not cayenne)

·        Preheat oven to 350.
·        Place spareribs on a rack in a roasting pan and bake 45 min.
·        Meanwhile, bring to a boil all the other ingredients in a saucepan.
·        Remove spareribs from oven and put into a 13x9 pan.
·        Pour sauce over top.

·        Bake 45 minutes.  Yum!

Thursday, 22 March 2018

FIRE AWAY! In Tennessee . . . and Peanut Butter Crunch Muffins

                                       Bouncing Birthday Party with little guys

Arcade and GoKarting Birthday Party with family culminating with  
a Predator Cake.

For a short Spring Break I planned a road trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  

A full day on the road took us to The Crowne Plaza Hotel at Greenville, South Carolina, the halfway point.

The next morning, Kepler and I explored the Greenville Children's Museum while Bryan and Nicole took in the art gallery and other sights of Greenville.   

                                             Kepler especially loved the groaning stomach and . . .

However, Greenville was as far south as we got.  We all agreed we had spent too much time in the car just getting there so we cancelled the Myrtle Beach Hotel and headed north.

We stopped for lunch in Asheville and had a GREAT pizza made with local mushrooms.   

Narrow  winding roads in the Smoky Mountains led us, none too soon, to Dolly Parton's DreamMore Resort Hotel outside of Pigeon Forge. 

 Although Dollywood was closed, we were able to go horseback riding.  "If anyone's brave enough to go riding in this weather," the ticket lady said as snowflakes drifted about , "we'll take you out." 

Bryan was the only one who had a pair of gloves so I got one and Nicole got one.  He bought a hand-warmer for himself.  My hero.

We rode single file for 45 minutes behind the guide.  One of Kepler's favorite games right now is with toy soldiers but I was still a bit nonplussed by his frequent shouts from up ahead of  "Fire away!"

Turned out that Bryan's horse was intermittently doing just that, LOL!

We had a tasty lunch at Paula Deen's in Pigeon Forge:  the collards were outstanding and we also enjoyed the fried chicken and fried catfish.

Just five years old, Kepler's favorite thing of all on this trip was the Laser Tag at Wonderworks!

Warming up in front of one of the hotel’s large gas fireplaces  

Next up was the zoo in Knoxville. 

Good to be home!


                 (Adapted from Esther Brody’s Peanut Butter Crunch Muffins)

1.      Grease well a jumbo tin to make 6 large muffins.
2.     Start preheat oven to 400.
3.     Prepare topping in a food processor and set aside.

3 tbsp peanut butter
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/8 tsp salt

4.      Prepare muffin batter:

2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ cup sugar
½ cup chocolate chips
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup melted butter

Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and chocolate chips in a large bowl.
Beat egg in a medium bowl.  Stir in milk and butter.
Stir wet ingredients into flour mixture.
Put in muffin pan and bake 20 minutes. 

Marvellous texture and Kepler enjoyed these!  . . . he's not easy to please LOL!

Thursday, 15 March 2018

A Sunday in DUBLIN, 2017 . . . and Collards Colcannon

The shuttle from our cruise ship took us to Merrion Square.  
A very helpful Irish girl told us the fastest way for us to get to St. Mary's Pro Cathedral in time for the 11:00 Mass was to walk.  

I had put St. Mary's on my MUST SEE list when I found it in an old list titled “The Best of Ireland”.   There are only 18 Irish churches on the list.   The clincher was when I read that the best time to go is at 11:00 on a Sunday because you get to hear 
the Palestrina Choir.

                                              Here's the General Post Office.

Go past the James Joyce Statue.

                              St. Mary's is the main Catholic cathedral in Dublin. 

                        The mass at 11:00 was in Latin.  What a beautiful experience!

We marveled at the beautifully illuminated and decorated books in
the Chester Beatty Library.

What’s this now?

Irish snack?  Pizza!

No one's complainin' . . . 

                                          It's all for me grog me jolly jolly grog!

We'll just make our own Irish food at home.


COLLARDS COLCANNON  (Okay, I made this up, but it's good!)

1 pound collards
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup water

1 ½ pounds potatoes
¼ cup milk
¼ tsp pepper
Salt to taste

*Cut out the stems from collards.  Cut collards into short ½ inch wide strips. 
*Heat 2 tbsp butter in Dutch oven.  Cook collards over medium heat for 5 minutes. 
*Add 1/3 cup water.  Reduce heat to low.  Cook 30 minutes covered.
*Boil potatoes in salted water.  Peel and mash (or put through ricer).
*Add potatoes to collards.  Stir with milk, pepper, and salt. 
*Turn into buttered casserole.

*To reheat for supper, cover casserole and put in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.