This is one of Anna’s Sunday dinners. It is shish-k-bobs, Armenian rice, stir-fry vegetables right out of the green house, and the great homemade hot rolls. Today I am showing the recipe for the rolls, they are easy to make and always perfect. Whether we are eating at the river or at home, there is always hot bread. It makes every meal special. Debbie, Anna, Elizabeth, Stacy Mae and I have used this same recipe for as long as we have been cooking. Try it and then keep the recipe handy, you can keep yeast fresh in your refrigerator for months so you will always be ready. You can easily double or triple the recipe, sometimes Debbie ‘4 times it’~
We were always looking for simple subjects ZZ could paint when she came to visit. Desert scenes were simple enough, blue sky with one cloud, sandy ground with a few patches of scrub brush. Then we needed a subject, like a yucca plant or as in this case, a group of adobe houses connected with each other to make a small pueblo. Starting with a few ‘boxes’ and adding ladders to get to the upper levels, vigas~or wooden beams~ then doors and windows. Shadows were the fun part, they made the different rooms stand out from one another. ZZ painted several of these scenes when she was around 11 years old. Some she gave away, some she sold on e-bay and others she kept. (when you paint, pretty soon you have a lot of pictures). New Mexico is rich in ancient history and these kinds of pueblos are scattered throughout the state. These that she painted were made up, no real places, just remembering those we had seen.
One morning a few years ago, I heard interesting noises from across the road, not a chain saw, a weed eater, not a mower, but something better. I knew the sound of a circular saw and it was buzzing away. This went on all day and when I went for my walk I saw what was going on with my neighbors. In an oak grove in the back there was some framing going up the biggest tree and legs down to the ground. I could see Jim was building a real tree house for their girls. It was fun watching the progress. It took about a week and was perfect and wonderful. It had a nice sized room, a porch and real stairs with hand rails. I thought how lucky those two kids were, it is every child’s dream to have a tree house, a play house or a cave. I always look when I drive by, it is a mighty fine house and a fine daddy who built it~
This recipe for homemade corn tortillas is fast and easy. You mix the batter, pour it in a small 8″ skillet, much like making a crepe or pancake, and cook it in a minute. Repeat until you have used all the batter, It should make 12 nice size corn tortillas. You can roll up whatever you like inside, here I have grated cheese, cottage cheese, shredded lettuce,scrambled eggs and tomatoes. Everyone can build their own. When you cook a tortilla, you cook it twice, once to make it, then the second time to soft fry it in oil to cook it and make it a little crisp around the edges, it gives it a wonderful flavor. Since the batter has an egg in it, don’t heat it in the microwave or it will taste “fishy”. ( I sent this recipe to Elizabeth since she likes Mexican Food and there are no tortillas in Africa, and no masa flour to make them. They do have corn meal so she will be able to make enchiladas and tacos now).
Today I would like to wish my sweet little sister a Happy 79th birthday. One cold November night in 1937, my mother and daddy came home with this tiny bundle, a new baby sister. We had stayed with Grandmother and Granddad Christian for a couple of days and had no idea there was going to be this surprise. She was probably the first baby we had ever seen. She seemed to fit right in though. We have been friends for a lifetime. She has brought so much joy to our lives. Happy Birthday Nancy, I am glad you were born~
This is the recipe for the soft, creamy, chewy pecan pralines. It takes a little longer to make then than the sugary ones. I like all kinds of pralines so these are are worth it. You need a candy thermometer if you are going to have success every time. Wal Mart has them and they are not expensive. This is another one of Grandmother Montgomery’s candy recipes, she made a date loaf candy that was wonderful and something she called ‘fork candy’. She made pot of clear syrupy candy and poured it over pecans in a platter. Then the kids each got a fork to scoop it up and enjoy. Candy making isn’t just for Christmas time, you can make it all year and it might be even better when there aren’t so many sweets at once. Try this one, you will love it~
The year was 1965 on a trip to Mexico. Tres vaqueros mexicanos. They were proud men. It is hard to believe anyone could carve out a living on land like this, not much growing here except scrub brush and cactus. A little further down into the interior of Mexico, the lush beauty begins. Back in the years when we traveled there, we found the people to be genuinely fine in every way. They were hard workers and they took care of their families. On Sundays, everyone brought their children to town and it was like a celebration, there were parks everywhere, lots of fountains that were built to honor someone. It only cost a few centavos to have a day of fun. There was the music of Mariachi bands or maybe just one man with his homemade harp, ready to entertain. Even riding on a city bus, there was usually someone with a guitar singing his heart out. I am thankful that my family got to know Mexico back when it was such a wonderful country. It was like another world, and right in our own back door~
Here are some Mallard duck figurines I bought after I no longer had my real ducks. They are quite beautiful and realistic. I have had a love for ducks ever since I got two babies at a garage sale thirty five years ago. Stanley and Rose Olive lived with us for almost nine years. Later the kids had ducks when they were grown and married. There was Sarah Kate, Katy Mae and Algeritta, to name a few. No one knows how smart and loving these birds can be until they have them for pets. They are unbelievably beautiful. All they wanted was a puddle of water. We always remember them at Christmas time and how much fun they were when they got their special gift~a pint of earth worms~
Sarah Kate was a beautiful male mallard, he loved the pond with the fountain. It was fun to watch the ducks go upside down in the water to eat off the bottom. We had a wonderful time with all the ducks, what special little friends~
My first miniature shoe was the ‘I Do’ shoe, a little old timey wedding slipper. Nancy gave it to me for my birthday one year. I couldn’t put it down, it was absolutely adorable.
Then on another birthday here came the Raine Runner, this was during my jogging years and is a perfect replica of a running shoe. These shoes were all made by a company called Just the Right Shoe, they came in their own fancy box with only the shoe for the right foot.
Later a friend in Canada sent me the pretty little blue mule slipper. It was encrusted in pearls and looked like blue satin leather. I just like things that are little, all the shoes remind of those special days and happy times.
This is when the trouble started, I was washing turnip greens in my kitchen sinks but when I pulled the stopper, it would not drain. I tried the plumber’s friend but it was not doing anything. Next was the Drano, a quart of it but the water was not going anywhere. I ran an outside hose through the kitchen window and packed it tight in the drain with a towel, turned on the water out at the faucet to try and flush it out and all it did was spray the kitchen with the Drano water.
I knew I had to go and find the plug to the grease trap and dip it out. Any grease floats to the top and then another pipe at the bottom carries the grey water to the drain ditch. It is a nasty stinky job to dip out the top layer of grease and carry it to the pasture in the wheel barrel. This didn’t fix the problem so it must be that the drain ditch was stopped up. This ditch has a 4 inch PVC pipe with holes, where it soaks into the soil. This pipe was in shambles, it was jammed full of roots, some places it had collapsed.
I knew the whole drain ditch had to be cleaned out and not a job I wanted to do by myself. A friend brought two boys out to work. Ricky, Junior and I worked for 3 weeks digging. I had the City come and mark where the electric, gas, phone and water lines were buried. My utilities run all the way from town. The City marked the lines with red paint but as it turned out, it was ‘OFF by at least 10 feet’. First, the boys cut the phone line (it looked just like a root) so no phone or computer for 5 days. Then Ricky banged on the door and when I ran out, water was gushing 8 feet in the air. He had hit the water line. I got hold of Floyd to turn the water off at the meter a half mile away. So no water that day. When I saw that the orange pipe that carried the gas was right up next to the water pipe, I was thankful that we missed hitting it! I found the conduit that carried the electric line and showed it to the boys and told them if they hit it, it would kill them. No one died that day~
Concho Valley Plumbing came and told me how long and how deep the ditch needed to be dug. Three weeks of digging, another 4 days of hauling the rocks off.
This was the week I was celebrating my 83rd birthday.
When we found this bolder, that was it. The boys wanted to use a stick of dynamite (lots of laughs!) but this was the end of the road for this ditch.
The plumber told me this Bio Diffuser Arc would last for 30 or 40 years. It only took them half a day to put it in.
The deed is done. One of the hardest jobs I have ever had to do but the harder the job, the greater the reward. Tops came and emptied my septic tank and everything is working like a $$$$ dollars. I am thankful~ and no, I am not for hire!