Shirley McMurtrie

Making Biscuits

We have had no company since the pandemic begin last spring, that is until Jackie came to spend a week with us. Jackie is married to Anne's brother Brian. They live in Albion, Michigan. She quarantined in place before coming to Tennessee to visit us.

One of the highlights of her visit was our biscuit making project. Jackie can make a decent biscuit. I made biscuits the day after she arrived. She loved them and wanted to know how I made them.


Fried corn cut fresh from the cob is great, but this recipe is prettier and just as tasty. Try it.

4 cups very fresh corn, cut from the cobs
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup chopped red peppers
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup, butter, melted
Salt and pepper to taste

Floating Island

Now this is really an old timey dessert. I remember first making it when I was a 15 year old cook and housekeeper during World War II. (I was too young to get a job in a factory.) The lady of the house taught me to make it. It takes a while to make but is worth it. You should have everything in your pantry.

Fried Red Cabbage

I don't usually cook with red cabbage, but every once in a while a head of red cabbage looks so good. This is the only recipe that I have found that meets my taste test. Oh yes, I like a few strands of red cabbage in coleslaw sometimes, but this is my favorite way with the red.

Bride's Punch

Most everything at a wedding is white, even the punch. There is no alcohol in this one. It doesn't need it. The ginger ale gives it the tang. Make more as needed. It's not expensive to do. For the ice ring, remember to boil the water first, then cool it. The process works better if you do.


I have been watching the Turner Classic Movie channel quite a bit lately. I found a mystery series based in the 1920s that piqued my interest in that era. The Great War was over. Veterans were trying to adapt to civilian life. Gone were the hobble skirts and ostrich- feathered ladies hats. It sort of reminds me of the aftermath of World War ll. We were in a time of transition then, too.

Country Style Potato Sausage Casserole

Bulk pork sausage is one my favorite "go-to" meats for supper. It's cheap to buy and stores well in the freezer. No worries about getting freezer burnt. It comes well wrapped from the store.
I remember when I was a housewife with small children at home. It seemed that my husband's paycheck had a hard time covering enough groceries to last until the next paycheck, but I always had potatoes and onions. Bulk pork sausage from the freezer was the basis for a number of meals.

Chicken Pot Pie

Here is an easy version of chicken pot pie. The hard work of cooking the chicken, preparing the veggies and making the sauce and biscuits is all done for you. It does take a while to bake, but you can be doing other things while it does. Nothing beats finding an easy entree for supper.

Ramen Beef and Noodles

When I was working as a caregiver, one of my clients ate ramen noodles almost every day for lunch. I was to make it with half the water, all the seasoning packet, then fish out the noodles and toss the rest. Not me. I rather gussy up the mixture and make a real meal out of it.

Potatoes with Canned Luncheon Meat

Have you noticed the canned luncheon meat on the grocery shelf, next to the Spam? It resides there because it really is the same as Spam, just in a plain wrapper and cheaper. Use whichever one you like. I personally think the Spam tastes better. This simple recipe is delicious. It doesn't look like much as you stir it together, but you are in for a surprise. It tastes great.

Zucchini Rice Pilaf

There are so many ways to fix rice. Almost as many as there are for potatoes. Here is an opportunity to use some of those zucchini lounging in your fridge. It's a great dish to do in the wintertime as well. Buy one zucchini at Food City and get cooking.

How It Used to Be

I recently watched an old silent movie on Turner Classic Movies. It brought back memories. It reminded me of the photographs of my dad and mother when they were dating back in the 1920s. My, how styles have changed.


Commercials. That is often a dirty word when I am watching a program on television.
It seems that when the story becomes really interesting and has me “hooked,” there marches in a whole train of commercials. I have counted as many as a dozen, one right after another. It hasn't always been that way.

Black Walnut Pie

I grew up where black walnuts were the thing, not pecans. I didn't have to buy them. They grew all over the farm, especially down the lane to the pasture. Here, we had several black walnut trees on our 1 2/3 acres.
I remember the first time I gathered 'em, dried 'em and placed the precious nuts in grocery bags. They were placed to cure on a high shelf in our little barn. Later, the following winter, I reached up to retrieve a bag of walnuts to take to the house and crack.