Something For Everyone!

One of the interesting things about writing this blog is that my family wants to help. Maybe that’s because they frequently hear me say, “It’s Thursday again, and I don’t know what to write for my blog.” And so, they try to help, especially my husband who usually says,” write about our last trip.” And so, I did when I wrote about the Cardiff Giant. My daughter suggested that I give tips and hints on cooking, housekeeping, raising five kids, etc. But I really wasn’t sure I could recall many tips that were worthy of writing about. But here goes!! This post is a potpourri of subjects.Let’s start with potpourris! Have you tired

Roses, when dried, retain their color.

making your own? It’s simple enough to do, just dry every rose you receive, douse with your favorite scent, add some orris root, which preserves the fragrance, (this is easy to find) put in a jar and you’ll be amazed how those leaves retain the scent and their color. Making your own potpourri can get much more involved, but keep it simple. I have some jars from way back that I labeled with the ingredients and found the mixture is still delightful to smell.

At the grocery store, I recently asked where is the meat from animals not injected with hormones and antibiotics. I was told to look in the section under “organic.” I did, and found meat labeled,  “organic” and the only other descriptive words were, “grass fed.” Beef steaks were $22.99 per pound. What does our doctor think about this latest concern and the effect it might have on people? He thought little of the effect such meat could have on adults. His concern was for young children and the milk they drink. He recommends that parents buy only organic milk. The extra hormones in some milk could create early maturing in children.

I’m hoping that writing on a number of subjects, will bring more response from “shirlandyou” readers. Since we all have to eat, cooking is a subject that never wears out. I remember my son-in-law saying, “perfect spinach.” He loves spinach and I had prepared it a most simple way. Saute garlic in a pan, add fresh spinach for a few minutes, then sprinkle with lemon juice. Hmmm, it’s good.

When there were seven people in the house, I cooked a lot. In that gang were five males and they could really put the food down. I often relied on casseroles, like “Saturday’s Special,” better known as tuna casserole. “Hamburger Casserole” was another favorite. It was a good mix of hamburger, onions, macaroni and “mom’s home canned tomatoes.”  It was never as good with store-bought, canned tomatoes. For a quick supper, we never tired of home-canned peaches served with a cheese sandwich.

Now it’s different. I don’t home-can anymore and I seldom buy canned anything, except

Delicata Squash, it may look ordinary, but its  looks are very deceiving!

beans. By the way, I add brown sugar, catsup and mustard while heating great northern beans on the stove and that satisfies my gang. There’s no baking, no molasses, no onion, but it is good. I steam fresh vegetables, serve a meat or fish and a salad and that’s dinner. Delicata squash has recently made a big hit at our house.While shopping I would pass by that strange looking squash, the one that’s yellow with green stripes. Now I’m convinced that it is the best squash I’ve even eaten. Here’s how to prepare it. Cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, don’t

Not ordinary any more!

peel, cut in half inch, moon shaped slices, place on a metal pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Turn twice while baking.Bake 425 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes. That’s all! The results are fantastic, as it bakes, it caramelizes around the edges, oh and yes, you eat the skins.

“Honey Crisp” apples are our favorites. Of course, they cost more than other varieties.  I often core them, place a little brown sugar in the center, bake at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes and my husband says their as good as apple pie without all the calories that crust creates. If some of the brown sugar escapes to the bottom of the pan, spoon it on the apples before eating.

There’s nothing simpler than buying portabella mushrooms stuffed with bacon-flavored cheese. We love them and there’s no preparation needed. Oh, and here’s a tip my daughter says I should share. Once your peppers, onions, lettuce, any fresh vegetables have been cut, wrap them in paper towels, then refrigerate. Keeping them dry makes them last longer.

I was told, by my mother-in law, that I am great at ironing, with all the years of practice I’ve had, who wouldn’t be? I’m pretty good at raising flowers, I recently did some leather craft

Looks like fun, doesn’t it?

and get this one: my husband laughs because I faithfully grind all the kitchen scraps, such as grapefruit and orange peelings, melon skins, banana peels, strawberry stems, lettuce, any raw veggies in my Osterizer, before placing them in my compost. He says no one else would do that. I’m just following instructions (by the way, it is my first year at composting.) I’d love to hear from someone else who does that, so I can say, “see,” to-you-know-who!

It is Thursday and I have “shirlandyou” done early. That’s a good thing because I have been excited about watching the Ryan/Biden debate. I expect Ryan will win this one. I hope that he and his running mate wins the big race. Slowly you who follow “shirlandyou” are finding out more, and more about me. Now I’d like to hear about you. What are your tips on cooking, etc., your favorite quickie recipes, your strange behaviors like grinding compost ingredients. I’m waiting to hear from you!

17 thoughts on “Something For Everyone!

  1. Hello Shirley,
    I remember my mother making tuna casserole and my grandmother used to make the casserole with macaroni noodles, hamburg and tomatoes in it. They are both delicious. Have you ever cooked acorn squash? It is another good squash and it is simple to make. You can cook it in the microwave. We cut it in half, scoop out the midle, put a bit of butter in the center, add in brown sugar and microwave it until it is done/soft. Spaghetti squash is also very good, and you can substitute it for the noodles, when you make spaghettti!! You just poke lots of holes in it and boil it until it is very soft. Once it is done, cut it in half, remove the seeds and scoop out the cooked squash. Squash is always delicious, and my parrots also like to have a bit of it, when I make it. Does your Pedro like to eat squash? My parrots eat their veggies cooked and raw, but they each have their favorites (just like we do). I do like vegetables; and I like them so much that I think that I could easily become a vegetarian, if I ever decided to do make that change. I “Doctor up” baked beans, too. You mentioned adding in brown sugar, catsup and mustard….you should also try adding in liquid smoke. Liquid smoke gives them a different “smokey” taste and it can also be used to change the way that store bought BBQ Sauce tastes. Food always makes for an interesting subject, because we l neeed to eat. LOL With the cost of things continually going up, everyone is looking for simple and economical meals to prepare….so food, is a great subject to discuss. . The holidays are right around the corner. Maybe you could write a blog about Thanksgiving traditions and things that we cook for Thanksgiving and also what we are each thankful for. Thank you for another great blog!! 🙂

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    • Hi Colleen: Enjoyed so much your talk about food. I’m with you on the veggies, can’t get enough of them. I have used the Hickory Seasoning in my beans. I will look for the smoked. I suspect blog readers will be saving the recipes that come as a result of this blog. Thanks for the suggestions for future blogs.

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  2. We like spaghetti squash in this house – I cook it by cutting it in half and baking at 425 degrees cut side down in a pan of water for about an hour. Remove the seeds and discard, then remove the squash from the shell. Place in a greased baking dish. Sautee some onions in either butter or chicken broth (depending on whether you are going low fat or not!) until onions are soft. Pour over the squash. Top with grated cheese of your choice, bake at 350 degrees for 30 -45 min and enjoy. This can be prepared ahead and baked just before serving. A great side dish or vegetarian main dish to use during the fall season.

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  3. So much to comment on…when mom Ann came to us it was with zero cooking…housekeeping and child skills. She depended on neighbors and family for recipies…your hamburger casserole and tuna casserole sound like contributions. Shirl did an article for the paper on Ann…I’ll make a copy of it and send it to you. Mom learned everything about canning…freezing…cooking…baking…cleaning. She was the best…!!
    Brother George was the hunter…supplied us with deer…squirrel…rabbit…we would feast all winter long on fresh chemical/hormone free meat.
    I too process my scrapes…I also process the stale pretzels…crackers…bread…cookies and then add fat…honey…and peanut butter to make suet for the animals. Lots of other things came to mind but I’ll finish up for now…great blog…!!

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    • Hi Karen: Loved hearing about mom Ann. No worry about hormones when you use deer meat. Make your own suet? That a new one for me. I’m sure readers of shirlandyou will enjoy reading your comments, and who knows how many will begin making suet because you do.

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      • Made you a copy of the article from Country Impressions Jan. 24,1973…Country Cooking…I need your address…you can send me a private e-mail or private message through FB.

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  4. Enjoyed your blog today. Brings back so many memories of living in the country. All those wonderful home canned peaches! My Uncle Irvin Farver used to sell the peaches up at Prichard’s Corner. Seemed to me that everyone in Sweet Valley must have gotten their peaches from him.
    We didn’t eat many casserole type dishes though. My dad thought the only good meal was one of meat and potatoes, and mom insisted on a vegetable. Dad wouldn’t eat tomatoes. He was sure hey were poisonous. Too bad since our property was surrounded by tomato fields!!!
    Thanks for bringing back so many great memories, Shirley!

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    • What fun it was hearing from you Janis. I love reading your memories and how your Uncle sold peaches at Pritchards Corners. Burl’s dad raised some peaches, so we didn’t need to buy them. Nice treat! Funny, isn’t it how people get strange ideas about food, wonder if your dad got sick once from tomatoes? Just when I’m “whining” about readers responding, you come through. Thanks. I know Sweet Valley people will enjoy reading what you wrote.

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  5. I always loved “Saturday Special” and our boys did too! In fact, the neighbor boys used to find reasons to stay for dinner when they heard we were going to have it. Recently, Philip was talking with one of them and even as adults, they still rave about the Tuna Noodle Casserole. Who would have guessed that something that easy would be such a favorite!?

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    • “Saturday Special” is so good, and we don’t eat it anymore!! I’m sure you don’t either.So many has diet restrictions now or are staying away from canned soups and cheese, but the mushroom soup and lots of cheese it what made “Saturday Special, so delicious. Thanks for writing, Janine, and for giving the idea for this post.

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  6. Can you believe that we have never tried squash but it looks delicious. I am going to email you some very interesting tips. Love your blog

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    • Hi Connie: For someone who has never tried squash, the delicata is the perfect one to start with. I’m sure you will love it. After all my years of eating squash I finally got around to trying it and was surprised at how good it is. I love hearing from you Connie.

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      • After all these enticing recipes, I MUST get some squash !
        I do need to eat more veggies 🙂
        Love this Blog…Thanks again, Shirley

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