Friday, April 29, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

Hello, and for your Friday you get a dog....

Sofi the Talking Schnauzer loves getting back to nature.  Here she is posing beside her favorite tree....

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Goodbye, Paul....

Said goodbye to one of my good friends last week.  Paul White had been my co-worker for about 12 or 13 years, and died much too early of liver cancer.  Paul was always smiling, always upbeat and happy.  He and I shared a wealth of conversations about Oklahoma and Native American history - we were both huge history buffs.

Paul had a ton of talents - he was our resident office decorator and paint-color-chooser.  He laughed a lot and drove way too slowly, which made him the butt of a lot of office jokes.  He also couldn't walk on ice or snow and had at least one broken bone to prove it.  Paul loved to eat and was always one of the first in line at our office lunches. He took a lot of heat for that, too, from the jokesters, and Paul loved all the attention and would just smile and smile.   Paul always reminded me that he was our office's Kickapoo-Seminole Indian, and we only had one.  Now we have none.

A few months ago, Paul gave me an antique Oklahoma home made quilt.  It was beautiful and full of that Oklahoma history that we love so much.  It was perfect.  Paul was a giver, never a taker.

Paul's funeral was a wonderful Native American ceremony, full of tradition and history, just as he would have wanted.  Although I may not have understood the beautiful chanted laments, I definitely felt the emotion.

The world is a much lonelier and less happy place today.  Goodbye, Paul - I'm sure you're up in Heaven right now, driving your little car really, really slow....

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

Hello....The beginning of another workweek - I need a vacation!!  Maybe a recipe will do the trick...

This blog features Lois Elaine Mueller's recipes every Monday. Lois' heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.

Today's recipe is for Chilled Rice Velvet dessert - I haven't personally tried this, but plan to in the near future - it sounds wonderful!  Again, this recipe is from the 1950's/1960's, when gelatin molds were uber-popular.  If you don't want to go retro and use a mold, you don't have to.

Lois Elaine's Chilled Rice Velvet:

1/4 of a banana
4 T. rice, uncooked
1/4 c. sugar
3 1/2 T. cherry gelatin
1 c. boiling water
1/2 c. boiling water
1 c. water
Cook rice in a cup of boiling water, salted, for about 25 minutes.  Blend banana, sugar, the 1 c. water and cooked rice for 3 minutes.  Dissolve gelatin in the 1/2 c. boiling water.  Add the dissolved gelatin to the banana mixture and chill.  Whip until light and fluffy, then pile into molds and chill.  Top with whipped cream.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

Happy Friday, all!  Here is a nervous dog for your enjoyment....

Max the Magnificent Hound hates tornado season in Oklahoma.  He has built his own shelter, and keeps his eye on the radar when twisters threaten.....Good idea, Max!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Survived Another Round Of Tornadoes!

Hello and happy peaceful Wednesday!

Last Thursday night Oklahoma was hit hard by about 25 tornadoes.  Southern Oklahoma suffered serious damage and at least two deaths in the small town of Tushka.  Tushka is about 20 miles east of my mother's house, and I sweated out several hours of watching the Oklahoma radar and talking occasionally to my mother on the phone.  Being two hours away from her town, I am at the mercy of our television meteorologists to know what's going on and when things are all clear. 

This is normal in the state of Oklahoma, and it seems to be happening more and more frequently in the states east and northeast of us as well.  Global climate changes are resulting in changes for all of us.  Extreme weather is becoming commonplace, but that doesn't make it any easier.

As I write this on Friday, the storms that blasted Oklahoma last night have moved through Arkansas, killing several, Mississippi, Alabama and are now menacing Georgia.  Not sure when this monster is finally going to run out of steam, but I hope it's soon.

Here is my plea - Don't live in constant fear of tornadoes, but give them a healthy respect if they are threatening.  As I told my mom last night, the odds of being hit by a tornado are very slim, but it definately does happen.  I have ridden out two major tornadoes in Moore, Oklahoma, one being the largest tornado ever recorded (May 3, 1999) and the other one I watched coming right at me from the top step of my storm shelter (May 9, 2003). Neither one directly hit my home, but both were killers and cut a huge swath out of my city of 50,000 people.  Both scared the dickens out of me, and I will never take a tornado lightly again.  I will confess to being nervous and edgy in April and May, to the point of dreading those two beautiful months now.  So don't be like me - the odds of losing your life, or even your home, in a natural disaster are low - don't let those fears control any part of your life!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

Hello....Another Spring Monday rolls around, and it's time for another Lois Elaine Mueller recipe!

This blog features Lois Elaine Mueller's recipes every Monday. Lois' heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.

How about a recipe for Popcorn Cake?  Yes, it really is a cake (sort of), and it really has popcorn.  It reminds me of jazzed-up Rice Crispy treats.  The kids will love it!

Lois Elaine's Popcorn Cake:
1 gallon of popped popcorn (about 2/3 c. before it's popped)
1 lb. M&M's
1 lb. Spanish peanuts
1 lb. marshmallows
1/2 c. cooking oil
1 stick of butter

Mix popcorn, M&M's and peanuts in a pan.  Melt, on low heat, the cooking oil, butter and marshmallows until it starts to bubble.  Mix this with the popcorn, M&M's and peanuts.  Butter your hands or use rubber gloves to mix everything together and spread the ingredients into a cake pan.  Cool and serve.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

Hello and TGIF!!

Here's Sofi the Talking Schnauzer again - Sofi says...."I love tall trees and fall leaves - I could just stand here and contemplate life forev....Wait, was that a squirrel????"

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It's Wild Onion Season!

Hello, hope you are having a wonderful Wednesday!

My wind-blown mother and I had wild onions for lunch when I visited her on Saturday.  We went down to the creek on her property where we had spotted them two weeks ago, she carried the pan, I carried the shovel, and we went home with a bunch of onions.

This is a time-honored tradition in our family - I remember family get-togethers when growing up that centered around wild onion season.  Someone (usually my mom and her sister), would drive to wherever the wild onions had been spotted and dig up enough to feed the family.  The onions would be transported to my grandparents' house, where the onions were cleaned, chopped and cooked, along with scrambled eggs, fried potatoes and my grandmother's great biscuits.

I wasn't crazy about wild onions back then (they were green, after all, and what kid likes green stuff?), but I've developed a taste for them, so long as they are scrambled up with eggs.  But I loved the family gatherings, and my grandmother's fried potatoes and biscuits!

If you are from Oklahoma and eat wild onions, it's a pretty sure bet that you have some Native American blood, since this is first and foremost a Native American dish and tradition.  Wild onions come into season in March and early April in Oklahoma, and are found near creeks and ditches, where water gathers.  A wild onion enthusiast can spot a clump of them from yards away.

I'm not sure if our wild onions are the same as the Tennessee/North Carolina ramps, but they may be...

Anyway, if you ever have a chance to chow down on some wild onions, scrambled eggs, fried potatoes and biscuits, don't pass it up - Even if you don't have Native American blood!

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

How about a stuffed cabbage today? 

This blog features Lois Elaine Mueller's recipes every Monday. Lois' heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.

There are lots of people with German names in Michigan, and most of them love cabbage.  Especially stuffed cabbage rolls.....

Lois Elaine's Stuffed Cabbage:

1 lb. raw hamburger meat
1/2 c. raw minute rice
1 small onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 large can tomato juice

Mix all ingredients except the tomato juice.  Steam 1 head of cabbage for 15 minutes and let cool.  Pull off the leaves and fill each leaf with the hamburger mixture.  Roll up the leaves and place in a roaster.  Pour the tomato juice over cabbage rolls.  Let simmer on top of the stove for 2 hours.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

Another Friday, another dog.  How about two dogs?

The 10 foot tall poodle from Poteau, Princess Leia, teams with her sidekick, Hans Solo, to patrol their neighborhood and keep it safe.  Here they are in action...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Have You Seen Enough Of Charlie Sheen?

Hello and happy Wednesday, everyone.

Yes, everyone likes to look at disasters.  Not the terrible, fatal disaster, but the human train wreck type of disaster.  The Charlie Sheen type of disaster.  Now we have this guy touring the country, sitting on a stool and ruminating about drugs, women and hard living, which he calls WINNING! 

I can't figure this one out.  Everything in me believes that Charlie Sheen is messed up - really messed up, but doesn't he seem like the happiest guy in the world? Has he found the secret to eternal happiness and joy?

But no one can get around the fact that Sheen gains much of his joy from doing things that are decidedly illegal.  You and I would lose our jobs if we did that sort of thing and happily admitted it to the press, and so I'm not about to defend the network's action against Sheen.  In fact, I will be most unhappy if he gets his job back....

Joyous, messed up, mentally ill or not, it's time that Charlie Sheen fold up his road show and spend a few years out of the public eye.  I think we've seen enough of this train wreck....

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

Hope you are having a terrific Monday!  Here's another Lois Elaine recipe to brighten up your day....

This blog features Lois Elaine Mueller's recipes every Monday. Lois' heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.

Today's recipe is Light Fruit Cake. 

If that doesn't take Boomers back to the sixties, nothing will!

Lois Elaine's Light Fruit Cake:

(Grease pans - makes 6 small cakes)
1 lb. dates
1 lb seedless raisins
1 lb. pecans, cut coarsely
1 lb. brazil nuts or walnut meats (cut up quite large)
3/4 lb. green pineapple
3/4 lb. candied cherries
1/2 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
3 eggs
2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 c. sour cream

Mix fruit and nuts in large bowl.  Cream butter and sugar and add eggs.  Beat thoroughly.  Add flour, baking soda and sour cream.  Mix well.  Add to fruit and then put by spoonfuls into pans.

Put pan of water on top rack of oven.  Bake at 275 degrees 40 or 50 minutes.  Cool cake in the pans before removing.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

What a great Friday!  And here's a great dog for your Friday Dog Blog....

Sofi the Talking Schnauzer says that sometimes you just need to pose and look pretty....