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Thursday, 17 December 2015

SEASON'S GREETINGS, Part 2: . . . and Citrus Salad

My cousin Gerald and his wife, Val  

Gerald and Val in Kauai (2014)

My cousin Pat and her husband, Ron

I don’t go into Facebook on a regular basis so I’m missing lots of wonderful Extended Family photos, but maybe next year.  For now, I want to just say hello to all my relatives.   


From ELEANOR and BRYAN (down South)


Our bodies absorb only 2 to 20 % of iron from beans, cereals, and leafy greens.”

Recommended:  pair them with Vitamin C rich foods:   tomatoes, peppers, or citrus fruits and juices

And I just found this wonderful way to do just that!

Citrus Fruit & Lettuce Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing  (4)
     from People Magazine, Aug. 5, 2013

1 orange  or ½ Ruby Red grapefruit :  peeled, sliced, and cut in sections
1 avocado (optional)
Toasted sliced almonds

Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup oil
1 tsp liquid honey
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

1 tbsp poppy seeds (optional)


Thank you for sharing these pictures on Facebook:

My niece, Naomi

my grandniece, DJ, and her fiancé, Chris

my nephew Nick and his fiancĂ©e, Kacy

my grandniece, Madison

Lisa, my niece, and her husband, Josef

Stuart, my nephew, and his children, Taia and Chase, at Disneyland
my grandnephew, Chase
my grandniece,Taia

Doug, my nephew, Sherri, his wife, and their children; Faith, Mathew, and Tommy

my cousin Marilyn and her husband, Bill

cousins Jimmy, Vern, aunt Nellie, Pat

 cousin Oksana

cousin Serge

Serg's wife, Daniela

Serg and Daniela's son, Andrew, and Aunt Marion

my nephew, Lorne, and his bride, Shannon

Nathan, Donald's older grandson

Justin, Donald's younger grandson  



ITALIAN BREAD:  Perfect for serving with mussels!

            From SOUTHERN LIVING: 1982 annual recipes, p.297
7/8 cup boiling water
1 ½ tsp butter
1 ½ tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 pkg yeast
2 cups flour (approx.)
1 tbsp cornmeal
Vegetable oil
1 egg white
1 tbsp water

·        Add butter to boiling water.  Let cool.
·        Combine sugar, salt, yeast, and 1 cup flour in a large mixing bowl. 
·        Beat in butter and water at low speed with electric mixer or whisk for 3 minutes.
·        Mix in one-half cup flour.  Turn out on floured counter. 
·        Knead in enough more flour to make a soft, elastic dough.
·        Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. 
·        Grease a cookie sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal.
·        Roll dough out into a 15x10 inch rectangle. 
·        Roll up like a jellyroll, starting at wide edge and pinch edges.
·        Place dough seam side down on cookie sheet.  Turn under ends and pinch.
·        Brush with oil.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours.  (Yes, I was surprised by this too.  It’s convenient, though.  You can leave it and not worry about it until you’re ready to bake just before dinner.)
·        Remove bread from fridge, uncover, and let stand 10 minutes.
·        Preheat oven to 400.
·        Cut several diagonal slashes, about ¾ inch deep, in top of loaf.
·        Bake for 20 minutes.
·        Whisk together egg white and water.
·        Bake 5 more minutes.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Xhristos Razhdaiyaktsya from MARY STADNYK . . . and Ukrainian COLESLAW


            Based on UKRAINIAN CUISINE published in Kiev, 1975:  the recipe in the book is called “Cabbage, Tomato, and Carrot Salad”.

500 gr cabbage
150 gr carrots
100 gr green onions
3 tbsp oil
4 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp sugar (book calls for 1 ½ tbsp.)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper   (Pepper not called for in the book)
280 gr tomatoes

·        Grate cabbage finely.  (Mom always did this for coleslaw, too.)
·        Place in skillet.  Add salt & vinegar and heat just until you see steam rising.  Do not overcook.
·        Turn cabbage out immediately into a salad bowl.
·        Chop onions finely.
·        Grate carrots.  (I did them coarsely.  Mom would have done them finely.)
·        Add onions and carrots to salad bowl along with oil, sugar, and pepper.
·        Stir and taste for seasoning.
·        Top with sliced tomatoes.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Wumpa in the days of yore . . . and Asian-Flavored HEADCHEESE

Happy Birthday, Wumpa!  We're all looking forward to seeing you soon.

A fantastically solid appetizer, or dinner, for a solidly fantastic guy!


            Based on a recipe in THE GOOD COOK, PORK.  Time-Life, 1980.

4 fresh pork hocks
2 ½ cups water
½ cup white vinegar
1 bay leaf
6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp coarse sea salt
½ tsp peppercorns

2 tbsp Teriyaki sauce

·        Stir water, vinegar, bay leaf, garlic, brown sugar, and peppercorns in a Dutch oven.   
·        Add pork hocks.  Bring to a boil over high heat. 
·        Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for one and a half hours.  Turn the pork hocks over now and then.
·        Stir in the soy sauce and simmer for 30 more minutes.

*Reheat for 30 minutes and serve two of the pork hocks for supper with baked potatoes and a salad.   

*Cut up the remaining 2 pork hocks.  Discard bay leaf and peppercorns and then pour liquid over the meat.   Put in fridge and the next day it will be jellied solid.  Fantastic!  

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

CREATURES in LAREDO . . . and an OKRA appetizer


                                     Kepler keeps some strange friends. . . 

and meets stranger ones . . . 

Dung Beetle:  just the name is intriguing, right?  Nicole pointed one out to me and it was so much fun to watch it trundling its marble of dung across a path.  Suddenly, the ball hit a large pebble and stopped.  The beetle strained, but without success.  It released the ball and went around to check the obstruction; then reset itself.  It takes an upside down position!  Its head is down low and its back legs embrace the top of the ball.  It steered its dung ball to the side and away it went again.  

Toad in the Hole:  After Nicole told us about the big toad Kepler found   in the backyard I was really hoping to see it . . . and I did!  
The tiniest little flies crawl about over its eyes . . . I wonder if the pesky things eventually get . . . what they deserve.

Cockroach: I saw lots of these at the house Nicole rented for a while.  No point being squeamish – but the woman sitting next to me on the plane down said she was much happier living in Alaska after seeing a few of them.

Horned Toad:  Nicole spotted one once, but I haven’t been as lucky.  It’s not actually a toad in spite of it’s popular name – it’s a lizard.

Fire Ants:  The imported Texas Fire Ant is considered “the worst of all the varieties.  It stings repeatedly and the bites blister and hurt a lot.  There are two mounds along the route Maybelle and I follow daily.  They hunker down during the night and early morning, but get really active and march off in a long line when it gets sunny. 

Marilyn remarked that at least there aren’t snakes
which reminded me of the harmless blind snakes I’ve seen around the house

and inside it.

Nicole also told me that she came home from a holiday and found the house invaded by geckos which she shooed out with a broom.

Nicole just saw an armadillo crossing the road . . . 

and small deer and javelinas roam about the university. 


Preheat oven to 425. 
Put okra on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast for 20 minutes.

Serve with DIP:
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp plain yogurt
1 tsp sambal oelek (spicy Asian sauce)
½ tsp sesame seeds
Salt to taste

Thank you, Nicole, for creating this wonderful appetizer!