Shirley McMurtrie

Red Cabbage

Red cabbage is so pretty resting there in the produce counter next to its green cousin. I had never found a satisfying recipe for red cabbage until recently. The flavor is different from that of the green variety so it needs to be prepared differently. Try this.


It’s Medicare renewal time again. The season starts in October and ends December 7th. That is not soon enough for me. I am satisfied with my Humana HMO coverage. I don’t want to change, thank you. I refuse to be lured with “possible” savings. I might get $144 back on my Social Security monthly check, they say. One company even suggested I “might” save as much as $1,500 in a year. That’s less than $144 per month. I need to call right now, they insist. Poppycock!

Potato Crusted Quiche

This makes a tasty dish for lunch or meatless supper. To make this quiche extra special, cook and crumble 4 slices bacon, adding it to the egg mixture with the cheese and onions.


No need for a pastry crust with this one. Just stir it up and pop it in the oven. An hour later and lunch is ready. Now don't tell me you don't know what to do with zucchini. This recipe is quick and easy to stir up.

Old fashioned cake doughnuts

I love freshly made cake doughnuts. It's ok to frost them when you've had your fill before they go stale. Coffee and doughnuts go together. However, they are not something you make often. When you have all of the family in-house, stir up a batch and make an extra pot of coffee.

Eggplant casserole

We package up our ground beef in 1/2 pound freezer bags. Several of our favorite recipes only call for a half pound of ground beef. There is a good casserole for 1/2 pound ground chuck.. Of course, you have to like eggplant. I do.

Pickled Tongue

Here is an old-timey treat. Of course, back in the day when most farmers butchered a pig in the fall the tongue never went to waste. Today, you would be hard pressed to find a pork or beef tongue anywhere on the meat counter. The butcher would need to order it for you.

Blueberry pie

Blueberries are best made into a pie or as a sauce for dumplings. I use the frozen ones unless fresh are available. It is worth stirring up a batch of pie dough. I like to serve Blueberry Pie warm.

Slow cooker meat balls

This recipe is so easy. There is no time wasted preparing meatballs. Start this recipe early in the day before your company comes. You have enough to do. By the way, if you have grape jelly and canned apple juice, you can turn to around and use 1 cup grape jelly and 1 cup apple juice. Who says we can't be adaptable.

Peanut butter and jelly bars

As i have said before, bar cookies are the easiest and quickest cookie to make. Who doesn't like peanut butter and jelly? These bar cookies are great

3 cups plain flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup grape jelly

Milk 'n jello

If you have a sweet tooth, this recipe is for you. Use any flavor of jello you like. The kids will like it, too. This is a good way to get them to drink their milk.

Adoption in our house

I have three adopted children: Rick, Tom and Anne. This story is not about them. It is about my husband’s Aunt Orpha, his Uncle Bill’s wife. She was from northern Ohio and has been dead since the early eighties. I met her soon after I married.
Aunt Orpha was a sweetheart. She put up with Uncle Bill. I don’t remember if she had been married before, but I think she had. She was a favorite of mine. Uncle Bill and Aunt Orpha would come from Hillsdale, Michigan, to our house to watch TV.

Spanish rice

Years ago when i worked as a telephone operator in Angola, Indiana, i learned how to cook rice the South American way. A fellow operator had been married to a man from Venezuela. The main difference is how the rice is prepared. Her Spanish Rice had no meat. She just browned raw rice in a little oil and sauteed it a few minutes. Then she added canned tomatoes, onion and green pepper, cooking until the rice was tender. I understood this was the mainstay of poor folks' diet down there. Do i have you confused as to what is really Spanish Rice? It is whatever you want it to be. Try mine.