Shirley McMurtrie

Black Walnut Drops

Black Walnut Drops

Anyone who knows me knows of my taste for black walnuts. When my kids were small and money was tight, I would load the three youngest ones in the pickup. After a fall's hard freeze, we would head for my favorite walnut trees along country roads. Each child would have his or her own pail. “Pick 'em up as fast as you can,” I would yell.

Sometimes, neighbors took offense with our picking up the walnuts, even if the walnuts were out in the roadway. We did get run off occasionally, but it didn't take long to fill the pickup bed with the ones we could get.

Homemade Corn Salsa

Homemade Corn Salsa

I like corn salsa. It is best made in the summertime with fresh vegetables. Red tomatoes in the winter don't taste as good as tomatoes fresh from the garden. That goes for sweet corn, too. We like sweet corn freshly cut from the cob and fried with butter, salt and sugar. Oh well, that is another dish. For this salsa, canned whole kernel corn can be used as well. I learned to appreciate red onions while working at Arby's in Halls. I was introduced to jalapeno peppers when we moved to Tennessee. Before that, I only used the yellow hot banana peppers.

Hard Times

Like a lot of people, I was glued to the television watching the hurricane disaster that unfolded in the Carolinas. Those big beautiful homes on the beach have really taken a pounding. Of course, they have insurance and will rebuild. Not so, the poor folks that live inland. They probably don't have flood insurance. Some have no insurance at all and probably not a spare dollar in their pocket Those are the ones that I pray God helps.

Oatmeal Crisps

Oatmeal Crisps

This is a good cookie recipe for those who are gluten intolerant. It is a little tricky to make, but even at your first attempt if the cookies break up when you take them off the cookie sheet, they will still taste good. Add ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans for added flavor.

1963 Chevrolet Bel Air

1963 Chevrolet Bel Air

Everyone has a favorite car. Mine was the 1963 Chevrolet Bel Air. It was in 1970 when this treasure came into my life. It was four door, two tone pale green and pale yellow and covered with rust. I paid $200.00 for it. We only had a Ford F100 pickup at the time. I needed a car to drive to my new job at the school. Since I was a new bus driver, I could not take my bus home, so I needed transportation to and from the school.

Daffodil Cake

Daffodil Cake

I should have written about this cake back in the spring when daffodils were in bloom. It’s called “Daffodil Cake” because of its white and yellow color. But why can’t we call it a “Chrysanthemum Cake”? They are yellow, too. That would be in keeping with the Autumn season.

Have you ever heard of a Daffodil Cake? It is not an angel food cake. It has egg yolks in it. It’s not a chiffon cake either. It doesn’t have any oil. Nope. It’s in a class by itself.

Puffy Omelet and All

Puffy Omelet and All

How do you like your omelets? Mother never made one as I remember growing up. Eggs were either fried or hard-boiled. With no electricity or ways to keep food cold and a well stocked chicken coop, my family ate a lot of eggs. Mother never heard of omelets back in the day. Dad liked his eggs only one way, fried with the yolk soft and on buttered toast. Mother had no reason to fix eggs any other way.

Lemon Snaps

Lemon Snaps

When as a child you first learned to cook, what was the first recipe you tried? For me, it was cookies. It is hard to mess up a cookie recipe. Pies can be tricky and cakes have a multitude of things that can go wrong. Cookies are more forgiving. You might have had your mother squeeze the lemon for this recipe, but that would be the only hard part. Or for your first time making cookies, your mother could stir up the dough and then let you prepare the cookies for baking.

Crisp Molasses Cookies

Crisp Molasses Cookies

I like molasses. I remember when I was first married and living on the farm, Dad would sprinkle molasses on the milk cows' grain. They loved it. I was curious. The molasses was clean, so I tasted it. It had a better flavor than that you bought in the store back then or nowadays, for that matter. There was no reason not to use it, so I did. We ate a lot of gingerbread and molasses cookies until the molasses ran out. Of course, I didn't tell anybody where the molasses came from. Why bother? Nowadays, don't be concerned. I use Muddy Pond Sorghum when I can find it.

Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled Eggs

How do you like your eggs scrambled? There are several ways. If it is springtime and your chickens are laying like crazy, eggs will be on your menu often. If you are living on a limited budget, eggs can be stretched to feed your family. It's all up to you what you add to them. If you add a cup of medium white sauce, cream of mushroom soup or cream of chicken soup, the eggs will stretch further. Breakfast, lunch or supper, you have it covered.

6 eggs
1/2 cup water or milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
3 tablespoon butter or bacon drippings

Memories

Memories

Do you remember your favorite foods back when you were a small child? Of course, you do. In case you have forgotten, older family members will remind you from time to time, sometimes in a joking manner. I remember foods from my childhood.

Angel Biscuits

Angel Biscuits

Frozen biscuits are now available at most grocery stores. They are good, but I can make better. Freezing regular biscuit dough has never worked for me, but Angel Biscuits are another matter. My recipe makes a big batch, more than enough for breakfast. I like to freeze some of them for another day. We all know that hot biscuits often make the meal.

Hopping Bunny Rabbit

Hopping Bunny Rabbit

Are you looking for something different to serve at your next get-togther? Something that doesn't require taking out a loan on the car to afford? This is such a recipe. Everybody likes cheese. Everybody likes toast. Here you have it, a good party dish.

Put the pot of rabbit on the kitchen table. Add a pile of small plates, some paper napkins and long handled forks. Back in my drinking days I would have added cold beers, but today with my Christian lifestyle, it's iced tea for me. Enjoy.

Ninth Grade Psychology

Ninth Grade Psychology

Back in the 1980s I wanted to be a school teacher. That meant I needed a certain number of college credits. This was a problem as I saw it. I could have taken the college entrance exam without first completing my high school studies. But to get the best grades possible, I would need the background of those studies. I was rusty on how to write a term paper, for instance. I decided to complete high school first. That meant going to night school to earn the necessary credits.

Mothers Chili Sauce

Mother’s Chili Sauce

My mother made the best chili sauce. I use her recipe, but you know how it is, two cooks can use the same recipe and it won't taste quite the same. Maybe it's nostalgia working on me, but her chili sauce tasted so good.

I know chili sauce is a condiment, but I like it on mashed potatoes. I have eaten it that way since I was a kid. Place a good pile (I mean heapin’) of mashed potatoes on your plate. Slather it with gobs of butter. The bed is ready. Add a generous topping of homemade chili sauce and dig in! Mashed potatoes and chili sauce is good eatin'.

Cheesy Macaroni Taco Bake

Cheesy Macaroni Taco Bake

Every pantry has a package or two of macaroni and cheese dinner in there somewhere. It is the good beginning for a quick supper. I remember that when I worked (it hasn't been that long ago) I needed a quick dish for supper. If I had a pound of ground beef defrosting in the refrigerator and I could find a package of mac and cheese dinner, supper would soon be on the table.

Twenty-one Lessons

Twenty-one Lessons

Not everyone should take music lessons. There are some that have a hole in their bucket, like me. Mother thought it would be nice if one of her children learned how to play the Hawaiian guitar. Island music was popular back in the days before World War II. She picked the wrong kid, me.

Corn Relish

Corn Relish

Years ago when I had a big garden, I tried to “put up” as much as I could. It seemed that if I had a full cupboard of home canned fruit and veggies, the winter would go well. If my cupboard was meager, the winter usually meant hard times for my family. It happened often enough to warn me to be prepared.

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