Talking Turkey…

Libby’s Pumpkin Pie Recipe on vellum is painted by Scarlett in acrylic on paper dated 2016 in honor of Robyn

Thanksgiving! Good or bad? It all depends on the company you keep. As I mentioned before, my husband always went deer hunting Thanksgiving week. Many of you are thinking how sad. The man asked for one week out of the whole year to himself. How could I possibly begrudge him that? Sometimes I stayed home enjoying my solitude. Sometimes I traveled to spend the holiday with friends. I have spent Thanksgiving in many different places. The most unusual place was Tanzania. I was hunting big game but only with a camera. There was no turkey and the day passed with no fanfare.

We all have our traditions for the day. Dinner in my family was a fairly formal affair. We were all seated at the dining room table with the good china. The menu was turkey, dressing ( not stuffing ), gravy, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberry salad ( not the jellied glob from the can ), and rolls. Dessert was pumpkin pie with whipped cream. The television was not on. We spent the day being together and talking. After dark, we went for a drive to see the Christmas lights downtown. After Steve and I were married, we would go with his parents to a Christmas tree farm. We would search for the perfect tree, tag it, and come back at a later date to cut it down.

In Alabama, I was invited to spend Thanksgiving at my friend’s lake house.  The immediate family numbered 17. Add friends and in-laws and this was a crowd! People were everywhere, inside and out. There was no good china only paper plates. The turkeys were fried. Yes, turkeys plural. Usually 5 turkeys with the first one coming out of the fryer before noon. This one was to “ snack “ on. They had perfected the timing and they were very moist. I did miss the drippings to be used for gravy. The oddest thing to me about the menu was the macaroni and cheese. In my family, this was not a dish for a special occasion. They all loved it no matter what the day. The most shocking thing was no pumpkin pie. I was craving that pie. Surely it was here somewhere. Not a single one! Their favorites were a chocolate pudding dessert & banana pudding. There was a bonfire and a game of horseshoes in the yard after dinner. The important thing was the time together.

When Scarlett and I reconnected, it was Thanksgiving.  I am always thankful for her friendship. This year I am fortunate to be spending Thanksgiving with Scarlett and her husband. Plans have been made to dine out. Another new Thanksgiving experience in a new place. Ohhhh no! No leftovers. What to do? By the way, that year with no pumpkin pie, I came home and made my own. Knowing this story, Scarlett has promised to make a pumpkin pie, of which she hates but gets rave reviews every year from others…I can’t wait!

This is my grandmother’s cranberry salad. It is not a jello salad. It is a fruit salad with just enough gelatin to hold it together. If cranberry jello is not available, substitute raspberry. All fruit should be coarsely chopped.

2 boxes cranberry jello

1 cup boiling water

2 bags fresh cranberries

2 apples,a crisp apple such as McIntosh

2 oranges & zest

1 small can crushed pineapple

2 stalks celery

1 cup walnuts

1 ½ cup of sugar

Combine jello and boiling water in a bowl. Stir until dissolved. Refrigerate until thickened but not set. Place pineapple in a colander and press to drain. Zest oranges into bowl. Section and chop oranges in a food processor, add to bowl. Quarter apples and remove the core, chop in food processor and add to bowl. Chop cranberries, walnuts, and celery separately in food processor, add to bowl. Add sugar and pineapple to the bowl, stir to combine. Add the jello to the bowl, stir thoroughly to coat all fruit. Place in a 9×13 dish, cover, refrigerate overnight.

Leftovers? Probably not but, my friend used it as an ice cream topping.

Halloween served with Hallo-tini-slushes…

With the October air, crisp and filled with the scent of wood burning in the neighborhood fire pits. A plan was put into place for an adventurous couples’ dinner at Madlyn’s house. We would pre-celebrate Halloween in grand style, for a delightful surprise was in store for us.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by our host couple and presented our first liquor beverage, a “Hallow-tini” (the recipe is provided). We then were ushered into the dining room full of giant spiders on a cob web climbing down one of the walls, the centerpiece was a spooky looking spider web covered chandelier with black candle wax dripped down to the tablecloth where black and white menus were placed at each seat. The menu stated there would be 4 separate courses and a list of items was provided with instructions to choose 3 for each course. We were encouraged to fill in the blanks on the menu, put our name on it and turn it in to our hostess. The fun had just begun.

(The menu provided here below)

As you can see, the menu was quite creative and we would have no idea what we had ordered. We did not notice there were no place settings…no silverware, napkins, plate, and that would prove to make the event even more fun. Our selections came out one by one, and that is when this Halloween dinner had us howling like wolves in laughter. One husband had ordered a knife, a napkin and a bowl of soup, another guest was presented mashed potatoes, a sheet of tin foil and a can of Ready Whip, while another received a beautifully cooked medium rare pepper corned steak, a glass of water and a slice of lemon…no plate or utensil. We watched one by one receive their meals and then try to figure out they would eat them. Sure, it was easy to pick up a bowl of soup and slurp it from the vessel and certainly you have picked up a steak with your hands and eaten it like a caveman some time in your life, but the most ingenious was the gentleman who fashioned a spoon out of the tin foil to eat his mashed potatoes and then claim the Ready Whip as his dessert and squirted it directly into his mouth smackin’ the whole time.

Once we had finished that course, all and we mean ALL utensils, plates, napkin or whatever homemade silverware were removed, under great resistance, so we would have to start fresh with the next course. As more “Hallow-tinis” were served along with additional courses, the evening became more and more fun. Many of us started buying or trading items from each other so we could eat the delicious dinner. Our hostess let us get as creative as we wanted to get. When the toilet paper came out of the bathroom to be used as napkins, instead of the tablecloth, and the candles from the chandelier above were removed and carved into utensils with a concealed pocket knife, Madlyn congratulated us on our creativity…of course the “Hallo-tinis” helped inspire the fun.

As we enjoyed the food, the adult beverages and the company, we had to say goodnight to the majority of the guests that had children at home, but those of us who were free for the evening enjoyed telling Halloween stories by the light of the first fall fire and enjoyed some of the Brandy left from our earlier drinks.

Ghoulish Good Time Menu

The words after the dots are for the chef and servers only to see..do not let your company see the real items..print only the spooky part for them to choose 3 for each course..be sure their names are on them as you collect them back so you can serve each the items they have selected each course.

A Witch’s Broom……………………………spoon

Children Of The Corn……….corn on cob

Spot of Blood………..red wine

Sprinkles of Nute……………..salt

A Devil’s tail………..fork

scorched hearts……………pears in brandy sauce flaming

Drops of Bat Dung………chocolate drops

Crunchy Boo Balls……………meat balls in sauce

Wings of Fleas……….mashed potatoes

Bloody Blades…………green beans with roasted peppers

Hand-ker-chief……………..napkin

Pounded Palms & smears……………..rolls w/ butter

Dust……pepper

Ferns & Frogs….…salad

Black Tar……coffee

Scalded Cat on Planks……..a baked chicken dish

Blackened Zombie……..pepper steak

Scarlett from the early years…which one is she?

Hallo-tini Slushies

add 1 ½ ounces of Bourbon to each glass for more enjoyment.

½ cup fresh lime juice (3 limes)

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (2 lemons)

1/3 cup simple syrup

¾ cup frozen OJ thawed

½ cup frozen pineapple juice thawed

4 cups ice cubes all in a blender on high until mixture is smooth but slushy. Divide into 6 glasses top each with 1-2 oz of ginger ale and enjoy…you can garnish with a mint leaf or orange slice.

Robyn, our African adventurer, puts on her leopard skin and finds her animal friend in her earlier years.

Staying In Touch Over Shrimp & Grits…

With everyone still avoiding the dreaded COVID 19 & 20 variant, it is even more important to stay in touch with friends new and old. Robyn recently visited Scarlett in Kentucky to not only ease her mind concerning her husband’s health, but to get some much needed nurturing herself… as she is battling some foot issues. Seems all 3 of us needed some hugs and laughs to wash away the doldrums.

Since 2 out of the 3 were having trouble walking, they spent much of the time catching up, experimenting with acrylic and watercolor paints, binging and getting hooked on a few alternative TV series, cooking old favorites and enjoying a few adult beverages

 (recipes to follow). It was a great relaxing early fall week with the weather just perfect for sitting on the front porch and gathering with a few of the neighbors over a late night coffee.

They reminisced on their earlier years when life was not so hectic. They told stories from their pasts and had discussions on how to navigate aging, the good and bad aspects of this “I need attention” techy environment and how difficult it can be to stay optimistic with such a changing world. They sounded a lot like their parents! The banter between one another built a much needed camaraderie of those between 57 and 70 and they realized that they were not alone in their thoughts. It was a very helpful week and friendships were made stronger.

So reach out to a friend from the past or make a new friend of a neighbor. Sitting with them on the front porch in the cool fall night with a cup of coffee is a great way to not feel so alone with your thoughts considering what the future holds for you and yours. You will find you are grateful for the time you spent together. It can wash away all of that negative news we are bombarded with daily and bring the perspective of living day to day. After all there is the saying “I plan and God laughs”…something to be reminded of every now and then.

Robyn’s self portrait for stationary
Scarlett’s self portrait to be used for stationary

Shrimp & Grits

 Start with Stone Ground Grits from Midway, Kentucky’s Weisenberger Grits

 4 cups of water to 1 cup grits and bring to boil letting them cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

Reduce the heat to simmer adding ¼ cup butter and a full cup of whole milk or heavy cream and cook approx. 30 minutes stirring on and off.

Fry up ¼ cup of fresh country sausage or cubed country ham from Olde Delaney’s Country Store in Bardstown, Kentucky, with ½ cup beef broth and /1/4 cup white wine along with 2 Tbsp cocktail sauce and a good pinch of cracked black pepper.

Then add the shrimp from Bardstown’s Simply Seafood Market and cook on low until shrimp are opaque DO NOT OVERCOOK!

Fill bowls with grits place shrimp mixture on top and ladle in sauce and sprinkle a dash of Old Bay seasoning on top…ENJOY!

The Fall Table is set and ready for the bowls of Shrimp & Grits…

  

True Confessions

Robyn told Scarlett that she had a confession to make. She said,” I am a recipe collector and I have never made any of them. I think I should print a book titled, Recipes I Have Known & Loved but Never Made. “

Robyn says that this obsession started when she was quite young. The sweet tea & cornbread were stored in her head. The first recipe to come from a magazine was Frosty Strawberry Squares featured in the August 2020 story. Next came yeast rolls from home economics in school. A long distance relationship in high school yielded Snickerdoodles. These were lovingly baked & shipped as they were the guy’s favorite. At this point, Robyn started a binder.

Not everything made it to the binder. There are recipes from magazines, newspapers, & grocery stores. There are recipes scribbled on scraps of paper & the back of a checking account deposit slips. There was the subscription to Bon Appetit magazine started in 1976. All those issues from year after year. Not to mention the shelves of cookbooks from which not a single recipe has been used. Finally, Robyn gathered all these loose ends & stuffed them in a ziploc bag. Not ready to let them go just yet.

But then, something else happened. The INTERNET!! Soooo many recipes. So simple. Press a button & it magically goes to your printer. Can you imagine? She felt guilty for using so much paper. On a recent afternoon while waiting for cable repair & a conference call, Robyn gathered the pile of paper from atop her printer. She punched holes in it, sorted it into categories, & filled a 2 inch binder. She felt good. All those recipes corralled into one place. The master of her domain!

Lucky for you, Robyn is sharing a recipe she has made. When her Bardstown KY “besties” visited, it was strawberry season. So, she substituted strawberries in this recipe. You can tell by the hole punch that this one made it to the binder. The correct measurement for the berries is 12 ounces.

One More Confession

Among all the recipes on bits of paper, there is one that tugs on Robyn’s heart. Her grandmother’s pound cake. It was always Robyn’s favorite. Her grandmother made it from memory & did not have it written down. Robyn decided she needed to know how to make this delicious cake. She stood by her grandmother’s side as she mixed the cake writing down the ingredients & measurements. Robyn has never baked it. Why? She says she fears it will not be as good without her grandmother’s love. The memory is strong.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

An opportunity arrived for Scarlett to go back to Georgia and visit an old friend over the July 4th holiday. The location was Greensboro, GA just outside of Madison ( a historic part of GA where Sherman did not burn all of the antebellum homes on his way to Savannah). This area is full of lovely plantation homes lacking the plantation land as it goes for a premium for development both commercial and residential. But, don’t think for a minute that they lack beauty. Most being in historic areas, they have been kept up and shine with lovely gardens and curb appeal. The trip came with little internet, little cell phone service and no TV. What a great chance to unwind and take in the peace and quiet of a front porch on a farm away from the city lights and noise except for the occasional train in the distance.

Scarlett’s gal pal owns this shop and has been on This Old House and the Antiques Road Show many times as a historic home authority.It is located in Greensboro, GA (formerly in Savannah, GA).

We shelled beans, fed donkeys and cats, watched sunsets over a glass of wine, enjoyed a local jazz concert and had a few of her friends over for a country eatin’ July 4th BBQ of smoked ribs and turkey, beans with small potatoes, squash casserole, a fresh salad and a glazed pound cake with berries with fireworks in the background. The sunsets from the porch were awesome every night and every day brought the bluest of skies with puff clouds floating thru looking as if they were lit from within by the sun. It was heaven.

A beautiful Southern afternoon
A typical sunset from the front porch…ahhhhhhh!

A few times she called home to make sure the new garden she had planted was being watered and that those at home missed her, of which they did. Once home again, she ventured out to see what veggies may have started coming on when to her surprise there were zucchini, cucumbers, a few pole beans and patty pan squash as big as your head! No kidding they were as big as a dinner plate and there were 5 of them already. So, what do you do with squash that large? You make Squash pizza, you make squash stir fry and you make an old fashioned squash custard pie. There are two recipes below to try and see which you prefer.

Bring a little Southern country to your next dinner table. Turn off the TV put the phone up sit on a front porch and enjoy some pie. Take in the beauty around you and be grateful for the day…

As big as your head Patty Pans

Patty Pan Squash Pie Recipe:

2 cups of steamed and pureed squash

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk (half and half or cream if you prefer)

1/2 cup sugar with 1 Tbsp of flour mixed in

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp. salt

½ tsp ginger

1 9″ pie crust bottom only

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. (cool the squash first) Pour into the pie crust and sprinkle with a little cinnamon and or nutmeg if desired. Bake on middle rack of oven at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes. Insert a butter knife in the center, if it comes out clean it’s done.

Tastes like custard pie and is delicious warm or cool.

Another Patty Pan Squash custard pie

In Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375F

Find a deep-dish, 9-10″ wide pie plate and use a pre made pie crust shell

Filling Ingredients:

20 oz. patty pan squash (or other summer squash such as crookneck, or zucchini), peeled, seeded, and sliced

1/2 cup sugar, with 1 tsp flour mixed in

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

3 eggs

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup milk

Make the filling:

Check over the raw squash, ensuring that the fluffy portion in the center which contains the seeds is cut out.   Steam the squash until done.

Drain the squash thoroughly, then put the cooked slices on a couple of paper towels and flip once to remove any excess water.

Put the cooked squash in a food processor bowl with blade attached.  Process until very smooth puree (15 to 30 seconds). 

Add the sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.  Process until blended.  Then add the eggs and process until combined.  Finally, add the cream and milk, processing until blended.Ladle filling into the refrigerated crust. Bake at 375F for about an hour or until puffed, and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Ladle the mixture into the pastry shell and bake at 375 for an hour.
(If the edges are browning too much or too quickly, take a long strip of aluminum foil, fold in half, then fit it lightly around the crust.  You can also reduce the temp. to 350 and extend the time by 10 minutes if necessary. 

Robyn Beats it to Kentucky with Beet Ideas…

Roasted Beet, Cashew and Feta dip

Robyn is visiting Kentucky and Scarlett during the early part of June. On that trip she is going to try and convince Scarlett that beets are not only good for her but taste delicious..we will wait and see, as Scarlett hates beets of any kind..doesn’t even want to see them on a table. But she is willing to give this recipe a taste at least..stay tuned for her reaction.

Ingredients

1 cup cashews

One 12-ounce package roasted beets (6 to 8 small beets), plus their juices 

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus additional for garnish 

1 lemon, zest and juice 

1 mini cucumber, peeled and chopped 

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for garnish 

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper 

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Potato chips, homemade or store-bought, for serving, recipe follows

Directions

Place the cashews in a small bowl and add enough water to cover the nuts. Set aside until ready to make the dip, about 5 minutes.

Combine the drained cashews, beets, beet juice, dill, lemon zest and juice and cucumber in the carafe of a food processor. Pulse into a smooth paste, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the carafe as needed. While the machine is running, stream in the olive oil. Turn off the machine and season the dip with salt and pepper. Pulse until just combined and pour into a serving bowl. Garish with a drizzle of olive oil, chopped dill, and crumbled feta cheese. Serve with potato chips. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 week.

Stay tuned for Scarlett’s reaction photo…

Pie Oh My…

As a cook, is there one dish or technique that you just can’t  master? No matter how many times you try, it is always not quite right.  For Robyn, it is pie crust. It never turns out the way she would like.

Robyn’s mother was the star pie maker of her family. Any family get together would include a request for her pies. Especially popular was the graham cracker pie. Robyn has no problem with this one. Perfect crust and great meringue. It is that flour crust that alludes her. Her mother worked the mix by hand. She said she knew it was right by the way it felt. Sadly, Robyn’s mother died young and she never got to teach Robyn how it was supposed to feel. 

Another great woman entered Robyn’s life. Her mother-in-law soon took her under her wing. She knew a thing or two about pie crust. She once spent the whole day baking various pie crust recipes to find the best one for a custard pie. It did not get soggy. When she heard that Robyn had rolled out her first pie crust with a wine bottle ( A+ for ingenuity, right?), she made sure Robyn had a rolling pin. Add a new recipe that was sure to work and she was set. Still, Robyn could not conquer the crust. Over the years, many more recipes and techniques followed. Finally, Robyn decided that no more often than she made a pie, the store bought refrigerated crust was acceptable.

Robyn says she is forever grateful to the Mothers, Grandmothers, and female friends who answered her call for help. Whether it be cooking or life, all strong women who have and continue to decorate her life with love. And by the way, Happy Mother’s Day!

The favorite pie of Robyn’s husband was lemon meringue. Here is one with a twist and yes, a store bought crust.

Lemon Pie with Blueberry Meringue

Lemon Pie

One 9 inch pie crust ( store bought or homemade)

4  large egg yolks

1 ¼ cup of sugar, divided

1/3 cup cornstarch

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

½ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Blueberry Meringue

½ cup  freeze dried blueberries

1 ¾ cup sugar

6 large egg whites, room temperature

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

2/3 cup of water

Make the pie

Follow the directions on the pre-made crust package for a single crust pie. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

Whisk the egg yolks together in a medium bowl. Whisk in ½ cup of sugar.

In a medium pot, whisk together the cornstarch, salt, and remaining sugar. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and heat over medium heat, whisking constantly. Bring the mixture to a boil;  boil for 1 minute.

Gradually pour 1/3 of the cornstarch mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to combine. Return the yolk mixture to the pot ( pour in a slow,steady stream) whisking constantly.

Heat the mixture over medium heat stirring constantly until the mixture begins to bubble. Continue to cook once large bubbles appear on the surface for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Stir in the lemon juice and butter, mixing well to combine. Strain the mixture into the cooled pie crust and smooth into an even layer. Bake at 375 degrees F until the filling is just barely set ( it will still look a bit jiggly), 15-17 minutes. Cool to room temperature, then chill until firm, at least 1 hour.

Blueberry Meringue

In a blender or food processor, pulse the blueberries until they form a fine powder ( you should end up with about 2 tablespoons blueberry “powder”). Transfer to a medium pot and whisk in the sugar.

Add 2/3 cup of water to the pot and heat over medium heat.

Stir the mixture until it comes to a boil; once it boils, stop stirring. If any sugar crystals have washed up on the sides, brush them away using a pastry brush dipped in cool water. Boil the sugar syrup until it reads 230 degrees F on a candy thermometer.

Meanwhile, place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When the syrup reaches 230 degrees F, begin whipping the egg whites on medium-high speed. The goal is to have the egg whites at soft peaks when the sugar reaches 240 degrees F.

When the sugar mixture reaches 240 degrees F, slowly  pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites, continuing to whip, until it reaches medium peaks, 4-6 minutes more. Spoon the meringue on top of the cooled pie and swoosh with the back of a spoon into an even , centered mound. If desired, you can toast the meringue with a kitchen torch or under the broiler. It is safe to eat un-toasted and it will keep the meringue a prettier color.

Spring Fling…

 April brings the Easter Bunny, flowers and trees budding out, a last minute frost sometimes but the best thing is a renewal of HOPE. If we ever needed a renewal it would be this spring of 2021..right?

This story will put a smile on your face from the Thoroughbroad years. Back in Louisville in the late 80’s the girls celebrated the month with a “Spring Fling Luncheon” at Kristen’s house. We were greeted at the front door by a lovely artificial floral wreath in pastel colors. Once the door was opened we entered and were handed a libation or an orange blossom tea, you made your choice and walked into her living room. Kristen’s house was always a treat. She decorated for all holidays and with her artistic background it was always amazing. From furniture to fabrics to her original artwork it was just the place to be on this lovely sunny start to spring.

After catching up on everyone’s March activities, we were directed to the dining room for a delicious lunch. Main dish was a Chicken Ginny Rose whose recipe came from another friend of the gang…Cindy who was one of the best cooks any of us knew.(all recipes are below). It was accompanied with herb bread, a cucumber and rice salad and an asparagus with delicious vinaigrette. Everyone’s dishes deliberately did not match but all of the pastel colors and patterns played perfectly with her low bowl centerpiece of a gathering of eggs of all colors and greenery to nestle them in. Simply perfection…and that was before we ate our meal!

We got on the subject of golf, as Kristen’s husband was the GM of Valhalla and now would be the busiest time of year for her and her husband with golf outings, events, tournaments and general entertaining. That brought us to Robyn telling the gang that she and Scarlett were taking classes at one of the public courses to get some exercise and since both of their husbands played early every Sunday, they could probably go with them sometime.

Robyn was pretty good, Scarlett on the other hand, let’s just say she was still learning. The golf pro told all of the women in the first class that they should not let the men intimidate them and that they did not necessarily enjoy having women on the course. He said, “They will try and rush you, they think women play too slowly. In fact, they are the slow ones. They watch golf on TV and see what the pros do and try to mimic it. Now these pros are playing for big money so they will step up to hit, then step back, swing a number of times in the air to loosen up, play with their grip, then hit the ball. The men will want to do the same thing. It is hilarious so our ranger will yell at them saying this ain’t no Easter egg hunt you are not looking for a swing, hit the ball already.” With that said we felt at ease. So, the girls headed out to the first whole, then the second and on the third some men had caught up with them and yes you guessed it, they started rushing them, getting closer and closer until one of the men hit a ball into our group! A big no no so one of the older women who played very well yelled back. On to the next hole and they hit into us again. Now she was fired up and so she went over to their ball and hit into the woods…a very accurate shot. We thought they got the message. On the fifth whole there is a Porta-Potty and she had to go, as soon as the door shut and she dropped her shorts, one of the men hit a ball which landed right on top of the plastic roof of the potty. It made a huge noise and that door few open and she came out with her shorts and panties down around her ankles. She pulled her drawers up, jumped on the golf cart and drove straight up the hill to them and they scattered like rats. She drove around them like an Indian circling a wagon train until she had cussed each one of them out then headed to the Pro Shop to turn them in. We watched as the men scattered to another whole no where near us. We to this day honor that older woman for showing us we need to stick up for ourselves. Isn’t it funny that 30 years later we are still having to fight for the same consideration men have been given?

Asparagus Vinaigrette

2 lbs asparagus (6-8 spears per person)

Pick them with smooth skin and tight buds and ½” in diameter and 2/3” green.

Roast them on a baking sheet in the oven until slightly charred remove and let cool. Dressing: 4 Tbsp peanut oil, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp lemon juice,  ¾ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, 1 garlic clove minced, ½ tsp Dijon mustard, 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chives, tarragon, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, dill (rub if dry herbs between your hands as you add them.

Mash the salt, pepper and garlic together until a paste. Add mustard, herbs, vinegar, and lemon juice and blend well. Whisk in the oils and slowly cream. Makes ½ cup of mixture. Pour over the roasted asparagus and enjoy.

Herb Bread

Buy 2 loaves of a deli – style bread and cut a slice almost thru the loaves lengthwise. Mix spices in a softened butter and spread over the top and down into the sliced area. Place the loaves in aluminum foil each and bake at 400 for 10 minutes.

1 stick butter, 1 Tbsp Fresh parsley, ½ tsp of basil, dill weed, oregano, garlic salt. We used McCormick brand dried herbs.

Rice & Cucumber Salad

2 cups water

2 Tbsp vinegar

1 cup rice

1 cup diced cucumber

1 cup chopped green pepper

½ cup chopped green onion

2 chicken bouillon cubes

1 tsp celery seed

Pepper to taste

½ cup mayo

1 cup plain yogurt

Mix water, vinegar, chicken cubes, celery seed in saucepan and boil, add rice cover and simmer 15 min. Remove from heat pour into a colander and rinse quickly. Pour into bowl and add remaining ingredients mixing well and chill…it is better if made a day ahead.

Chicken Ginny Rose

5 oz apricot preserves

5 oz orange marmalade

1   8 oz bottle creamy Russian dressing

1 pkg dry onion soup mix

Mix all ingredients together and pour over 8-10 pieces of chicken and bake in 350 oven for approx. 40 minutes. Serve on a platter so everyone can pick their favorite piece of chicken…this will be a family and company favorite!

Corny Cocktail…

CORN WHISKEY SOUR to celebrate the first day of SPRING!
Makes a mess….but sooooo worth it!

So, Robyn sent Scarlett a pic of her adult libation at the end of the first day of spring 2021. Celebrating her second vaccination coming this next week and Scarlett and her husband surviving COVID and getting their first shots this week was worth the effort it took to make this delicious drink!

March being Irish Whiskey month..she chose Bullitt Bourbon (one of the gals fave Bourbons) instead of the whiskey since Scarlett lives in the Bourbon Capital of the World – Bardstown, KY, it is only Kentucky Bourbon used for adult beverages. Well, there is that exception for Tequila…Margaritas you know, oh and Gin for Gin & Tonics, oh and Vodka for Cosmos, oh and Rum for Dark & Stormies…you get the picture of what a girl wants on a late spring evening.

The recipe is below..however, you may want to make these changes as Robyn found them to make a better drink.

“Place corn & whiskey in blender & process to get juice. Pour in sieve over bowl, press with back of spoon to get all the juice.

I added the Bourbon because it wasn’t processing well. Perhaps summer local corn will be more juicy. Also I used simple syrup instead of agave.”

Strawberries..chocolate covered or not…

A few Valentine Stories to enjoy…

It is February and Thoroughbroad Scarlett waits until after Valentines to buy her chocolates and the next year’s goodies that will keep, like cards, and gifts to mail. She has done this religiously for years. But, the best way to not spend a lot of cash on that holiday is best performed by a couple she knows in Bardstown, KY. They meet for a quick Valentine’s Day at the local card shop and find the aisle with all of the loving and whimsical holiday cards. They each pick out a card that professes the true meaning of their hearts and one that is on the funny side, then they hand them to each other…get a big laugh and get a warm feeling each and then put them back on the shelf and leave…isn’t that funny. Then they meet at the local drug store with a vintage soda shop and get a malt or shake and watch the people shopping for loved ones through the big glass window facing the downtown street.

Scarlett’s husband tells of a story when they both had started dating. He went to a local florist to buy flowers and told the woman behind the counter he would like one each of their travel size hand cream, body lotion, travel size spray fragrance and a bar of soap that all matched or blended in floral scents. He had her make one bouquet of flowers and one box of the toiletries that matched in color and presentation. He was done in maybe 5 minutes..he said every man in the place was watching and listening and before he left they all had ordered the same thing…it was that famous line from when Harry Met Sally, ” I’ll have what HE is having.”

When Thoroughbroad Robyn was 9 years old, she received 2 Valentine surprises. First, she was given the task of decorating a box to hold the class valentines. This usually consisted of a cardboard box with lots of red hearts and white lace paper doilies. She delivered this news at home and her dad said he would help. He came up with a design. The generic cardboard box became a 3D heart shape box. A slot was placed at the top where the heart starts to curve to collect the valentines. A trap door was placed in the back to remove the valentines. He then constructed a stand that the point of the heart fit into. All of this was covered in glossy red wrapping paper. A cluster of white tissue paper flowers, Robyn did this part, was placed in the center of the heart. Robyn’s father delivered the box to the classroom. Needless to say, everyone was suitably impressed. Other teachers came to see this feat of engineering. Robyn was proud of her father.

Robyn’s second surprise came in the form of an admirer. She was presented with a card and small wrapped package. Inside the card was a sheet of paper. The young boy  had written all the words to the popular song Calendar Girl by Neil Sedaka. She was his Calendar Girl. The box was chocolate covered cherries. Robyn did not share this young boy’s feelings. She accepted the gifts graciously as she had been taught. She never told him that there was nothing she disliked more than chocolate covered cherries. Her parents were the happy recipients of the cherries.

And, then it was Christmas. The young boy was still crushing on Robyn. You guessed it. Another box of chocolate covered cherries. No more gifts arrived after that. He a victim of unrequited love. We have all been there. Robyn still doesn’t like chocolate covered cherries but she always remembers this young boy.

So to celebrate February in a unique style we have various strawberry recipes you can use throughout the month to extend that “LOVING FEELING” with a friend, a significant other or a loved one or two. See below…

Delicious Strawberry Bread with Strawberry Butter from our Thoroughbroad J.J.

J. J.’s Strawberry Bread

Ingredients: 1 cup flour, 1tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 Tbsp cinnamon, 2 cups sugar, 3 eggs beaten, 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 2 10oz pkgs of frozen sliced strawberries crushed, 1 1/4 cup chopped pecans, red food coloring is optional

Grease and flour 2 9×5 baking pans, sift flour, soda, salt, cinnamon and sugar together into a bowl. Beat eggs, oil and strawberries together. Add in the flour mixture, the nuts and a few drops of food color. Pour into pans and bake 55-60 min. at 350 until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let chill then serve with this Strawberry Butter

1 10 oz pkg of frozen strawberries thawed and crushed, 1 cup softened butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Combine all together and mix well, then form into a mold or rolled into ball shapes and store in fridge until ready to slice up the bread and serve with the room temp butter.

Strawberry-Banana Cheesecake Salad

Ingredients: 1 package cream cheese, softened, 16 oz of vanilla yogurt, 1 (8 oz) tub of cool whip, Thawed, 1 (3½ ounce) package cheesecake flavor instant pudding or pie filling mix, ½ bag of miniature marshmallows, 3 pints strawberries, sliced, 4 bananas, sliced, 1 container raspberries (optional)

Instructions: In a bowl, mix cream cheese, yogurt, pudding and cool whip until creamy. Stir in marshmallows. Fold in fruit.

Strawberry Cheesecake Salad from Thoroughbroad Scarlett

Strawberry Lemonade Muffins

2 ½ cups flour, 1 ¼ cups sugar divided, 1 8oz container of sour cream, ½ cup melted butter, 1 Tbsp lemon zest, and 2 large eggs lightly beaten, 1 ½ cups diced fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 400 and in large bowl combine flour  and 1 cup sugar then make a well and add the mixture of sour cream, butter, zest and eggs pour into well stir all the flour mix and wet mix until dry ingredients are moist. Gently fold the strawberries into the batter. Lightly grease a 12 cup muffin tin fill each opening with3/4 full and sprinkle remaining sugar on top of each muffin. Bake for 16-18 minutes. Cool in the pan then remove to wire rack. ENJOY!

Strawberry Lemonade Muffins from Thoroughbroad Robyn