Christmas Picture

The three of us on our way to church. Elizabeth was six years old.

The three of us on our way to church. Elizabeth was six years old.

 Another re-run from five years ago. I was packing my bags, getting ready to go half way around the world to spend Christmas with ZZ in Kenya. I was beyond happy! I never get tired of Christmas stories and remembering exciting times.

I bought this tree at Hobby Lobby and it was easy to put up and decorate, I was even able to get it back in the big box . I never imagined  I could settle for an artificial tree, I liked it though

I bought this tree at Hobby Lobby and it was easy to put up and decorate, I was even able to get it back in the big box . I never imagined I could settle for an artificial tree, I liked it though

Our family has almost always been able to be together for Christmas, it goes  on for  a week or more, some of it here and some in San Angelo. Our times together were always a special blessing for me and Dan. There was a lot of visiting, eating great meals and music. This picture is one someone took just as we were leaving for church one morning and I didn’t see it until everyone had gone home and later I had the film developed. Most of our pictures were on video and I enjoyed watching those and reliving the fun of our Christmas but this is the one I liked the most. ZZ stayed with us another week or two after the others went home, that is when we got down to serious fun. Then I would load her up with Little Sweet, Spook and Blue Boy and we would head out for New Mexico.

Thank you Lord Jesus for being in our lives. Merry Christmas to all~

Deviled Eggs

this is a popular dish at pot-lucks, usually several people bring them and everyone likes them. I make them to keep in the refrigerator to enjoy for several days. These today are from a dinner at Debbie’s not long ago.

Living in a small town in West Texas, we will use any excuse to have  get-togethers. The church is a big part of our lives and we like to have pot luck dinners often. Everything is homemade and delicious. There are always wonderful vegetables dishes, can you imagine five different kinds of squash dishes~beautiful salads, and always hot rolls. We usually have a smoked brisket from HEB and that is the only thing bought-and-brought, the rest of the meal is built around this. The dessert table will have everything from cherry cheese cake, to pies and cobblers, and cookies, everyone brings their favorite recipe. ( the Women of the Church published a cookbook a few years ago ‘Passed and Present 1903-2003′. First Presbyterian Church of Eldorado, Texas) The dinning tables are covered with linen cloths and there will be a beautiful centerpiece on each table. We make dinners for family funerals, or when the kids graduate from school, Thanksgiving and Christmas, then dinners for no special reason. There are big hamburger picnics at ‘Church on the Waters’ at Clear Creek on the Powell Ranch to end the summer. (sometime a baptism too) When it is announced that we are having a pot luck luncheon, I get my ire up, it is not a luncheon, it is a full fledged dinner. Eldorado has the finest cooks in the world, we celebrate every occasion with our very best. And as always “Thank You Lord for our church family”.

Today I have a simple recipe for deviled eggs, you will find them at every dinner. They are one of the most popular dishes.
Deviled Eggs
Hard boil 6 or 8 eggs. It is best to use eggs after you have had
them for a couple of weeks, too fresh eggs are hard to peel.
Cover eggs with cold water and bring to a good rolling boil, then 
put the lid on pan, turn off burner and let the eggs sit in the hot
water for about 15 minutes. Drain and cover with cold water to cool.
In the meantime, you can  chop  pickles and onions, mix in with
mayonnaise, mustard and seasoning.
2 T finely chopped sweet pickles
3 T chopped onions
4 T mayonnaise
2 T mustard
small pinch of celery seeds
pinch of salt
Crack eggs and remove shell, cut in halves (if you cut them slowly with a sharp knife, they won’t tear)
Mash the yolks on a plate with a fork until they are smooth.
Add everything together and load each egg with this stuffing. Be generous, even if you end up with a coupe of extra egg whites, it needs to be full and don’t smooth the tops.
You can sprinkle a tiny bit of paprika on top~

Camp Rock Fun

 

Suzy floating in the river with the boys

Today I have one of my favorite pictures. It was taken on  the Concho River north of Christoval, a place we called Camp Rock. Daddy  and I took our two boys there almost every summer, starting in 1963, the year we bought our little Airstream trailer. The pecan trees made a dense canopy over our side of the river, the bank sloped gradually so it was a good place for the kids to  swim, Roland had a nice diving board on the opposite side and everyone was welcome to use it. There was always a tree swing where you could sail off out to the middle of the river. Then there were the rapids, get on a tube and go on  a short and very fast ride that would take  your breath away. We had several dogs through the years. Big Spook was the smart one. He would hide  behind a tree and watch for the flies to get on his bone,  then go after them. He knew the difference between, bone, bowl and ball and would bring which ever one you sent him for.  Once when we were in the  row boat, we heard him howling and running through the plowed field like he had been hurt. Then we smelled the skunk. In just a few minutes he was in the river, swimming toward us to get in boat, (and shake off). The boys had their friends come up for camp outs. They had a big tent with nice beds, a night stand with a small TV, (they got to see the first landing on the moon). One night, I heard Paul calling, “I think there is a rattle snake in the tent”. I went to look and found a black widow spider under his bed but no snake.  In a few minutes he called  again and I told him there was no snake, to go back to sleep. Then some of the family who was camping nearby said they thought the heard a rattler. I found it this time under the night stand. We had several encounters with snakes through the years. Almost every afternoon there was a water moccasin that came slithering through the swimming hole. What a wonderful place though, the best summer time fun for two sweet little boys and their dogs. It is always there, waiting for the next family get together. 

WEB Site Launched!

Rita McWhorter

After years of thinking about it, I had finally decided to publish a Blog. I planed to share a little bit of what I had learned over a lifetime.

Hello, this was my first blog when I launched it January 13, 2012. I had been having a great time with Face Book when a son told me I should do a blog instead, that I “was too wordy”. I loved it, I checked the stat counter every day to see how many people clicked in. When the number hit 9, I was thrilled. (Then that same son told me that all the clicks came from my own computer where I had kept checking the stats several times a day). Anyway, I had so many good pictures to post and comments about them, I would get started at 4:00 in the morning, find a picture, write something about it and have it published by daylight. That was panic time. Then I started making several posts at a time so I could get ahead a few days and just have them automatically come up. It has been fun remembering things that happened a lifetime ago. One memory sparks another and on and on~

I just celebrated my 84 birthday six days ago, life is good, I have been blessed with sweet memories, and great things are coming up in the future. For the past few months I have taken a break from the blog, I had other things that needed my attention. Since then I have painted more and read more, and just started hosting the Bible study group on Friday nights at my house. We have a wonderful meal, then an hour of intense Bible study with Paul leading us in the Word and we enjoy a special  time with friends.

Number One Dog

she was my baby for almost 19 years, she was home with me longer than my children, it fills me up to think of her. What a precious little sweetheart~

This is one of my favorite pictures of my sweet little Spook. We found her abandoned on the road two miles from our house and brought her home to be ours for almost 19 years.  

Spook was always happy, she liked to go in the car and wherever I went, she went~she looks big but she was all fluff, she weighed about 16 lbs.

She was my baby, it makes me happy to think of her and all the wonderful times we had together. I would never leave her, if she couldn’t go, I wouldn’t go.  

I made her frilly collars and she liked dressing up. She had one for every occasion, she liked her hair bows too~

She was smart,  I would tell her to go get her card from Nancy, she would think a minute, go to the bedroom to her toy basket and get the birthday card in the red envelope and bring it to me. Then I would read it to her. I still have it with all her little teeth marks on it. I could tell her to go get her toothbrush, and off she would go and bring it to me and lie in my lap and let me brush her teeth. (that was also treat time)

Here she is in her trick or treat outfit. This picture was taken when she was a year old.

Once she backed the car into the street at the grocery store in Sonora. A woman came in the store and said, “your dog~she drive the car!”  If you have had a dog, you have known love~

Growing Fruit Trees From seeds

Beautiful Loring peaches from a tree that was started with a seed from a neighbors tree. They do not need to be grafted. The seedlings from peach, apricot and nectarine trees produce fruit same as the mother tree,  If some fruit is left on the ground, the next spring you will see little seedlings coming up. Those can also be replanted and will grow into nice trees.

Loring peaches  from Anna's orchard. She gathered these for me this morning. The tree is 6 years old and loaded~

Loring peaches from Anna’s orchard. She gathered these for me this morning. The tree is 6 years old and loaded~

Here are the apricot seeds that I sprouted two years ago. I ended up with about 60 trees which I gave away. Now I am starting another batch.

Using seeds from a native tree in your area to grow a peach or apricot tree. (no store bought fruit)

Using seeds from a native tree in your area to grow a peach or apricot tree. (no store bought fruit) All of the kernels resemble almonds~

1. Save seed from a good native tree,
2. Remove little kernel inside the outer hard seed with a hammer, don’t damage it.
3 Wrap kernels in a wet paper towel and put in refrigerator for 6 to 10 weeks, until a little root starts to pop out. (be very patient) This cooling period is necessary.

I liked to use plastic shower caps, those are easy and can be reused for later batches

I liked to use plastic shower caps, those are easy and can be reused for later batches

4. Plant kernels in small buckets filled with potting soil, cover with plastic bags. Set on a warm porch and check often to keep moist but not too wet. When green sprouts pop up, set in a place with morning and late afternoon sun.
5. After about 3 months or more transplant into gal. size buckets.
6. I keep them for a year before I give them away so they will have a good start. I still have Indian peach seeds that started from my daddy’s trees 50 years ago. I have Indian, Loring, Princess, and seeds from the FLDS orchard, chilling in the refrigerator. They will be ready to plant in another few weeks.

 

Some of the seedlings three days after they sprout. They grow fast.

Some of the seedlings three days after they sprout. They grow fast.

After they are about a foot tall, re-pot them into gallon size buckets. I like to keep them for about year in buckets, they are easier to take care of as they grow. When they are three feet tall, you can plant them in the ground. If you wait until December or January, they will be dormant and will have lost their leaves, that is a good time. Then in a few weeks when the weather warms up, they will put on new leaves and flourish.

When planting in the ground, dig a hole about t feet across and no deeper than the depth of the bucket. You want it at the same depth as it was planted in the bucket.

When planting in the ground, dig a hole about two feet across and no deeper than the depth of the bucket. You want it at the same depth as it was planted in the bucket.

Country Boy

Today I have a few pictures of one of our friends who spent a lot of time with our boys when they were growing up. One of the nicest things about having children is you sort of adopt their friends as your own and enjoy them, it is just an added bonus.

here is Matt at the place at  Huldale, the boys liked to trap varmints out there.

This is Matt Bumguardner, he was raised on a ranch with three brothers, they lost their mother at a young age, but they had a wonderful  daddy who raised them by himself and sent them all through college. They were fine boys, gifted and talented.

I asked him how he got his lip smashed, he said a headlight blew up in his face and cut it. That is the only time I remember anyone getting hurt~

Matt liked to fish and hunt, camp out, and build things

 We were closely connected to Matt. He knew how to fix things and make things, and  didn’t mind hard work. He liked fixing up old cars and pick ups, rebuilding motors getting them running. One day Daddy went to town and was gone for quite a while. I heard the fire whistle blow in town and wondered where the fire was. Then here came a truck down our road, towing Daddy’s completely burned Volkswagen. While he was going down  main street  the gas line came loose, and with a loud pop the car caught on fire. It looked like a total loss. Sometime later, Matt traded him out of it and completely restored it. When he was finished, it was probably the only Volkswagen anywhere that was painted in Texas A&M University’s  maroon and white. His kids will like seeing these pictures~

he was a cowboy, he also spent summers between college semesters , working in the oil fields, blowing air for Ingersal Rand

I always worried about the boys, they weren’t reckless but there were things out there that could hurt them. I heard some scary stories later on.

here is just one of the trucks he fixed up, he had several. Believe me, he needed those spare tires in the back~ 

the boys and Daddy in the Delaware Mountains, they spent lots of good times out there and always were happy to have Daddy come along ~

Baked Chicken Breasts

baked-chicken-breasts

Sunday Company Dinner

this recipe came from my friend Pat Pfluger, it makes a delicious company dinner

This is one of those really easy to make dinners. It is great with hot rolls and a fresh fruit salad. For my Sunday company dinner I serve it with Debbie’s green beans and a corn dish, dinner for eight, everyone enjoys it. ~in the oven when we leave for church, ready for the table when we get home~ Always a good anytime meal but makes a special dinner for company too, simply delicious~there will be take home plates for everyone~

Baked Chicken Breasts
8 or 10 chicken breasts
1 8 oz. can mushrooms
1 can mushroom soup
1 can Pet milk
1 8 oz. carton sour cream
1/4 c. sherry
paprika 
Split breast so they will be serving sizes
Lay chicken breasts in a large baking dish, mix all
other ingredients except paprika and spread over
chicken, then sprinkle top with paprika. Do not cover.
Bake at 350 for about 1 1/2 hours

Uganda

Bicycles (next to walking) are probably the most popular method of transportation in all of Africa and you see pictures of several people sharing a ride.This was a recent get together when lots of people came to study the scriptures and have a great meal of Ugali, greens, potatoes and goat meat stew.

I wonder how they know which bicycle is theirs.

I wonder how they know which bicycle is theirs.

Someone sent me pictures and here are a couple more  that I especially liked.

Some deep thinking~

Some deep thinking~

Four children with their ta ta.

Four children with their ta ta.

I am pretty well running out of new stuff for my blog so I have decided to just post something ever so often when things happen to write about. I appreciate all those of you who enjoy it and even check it out on a daily basis. Special thank you to my friends Al and Pat, Dan, Austin, Linda, Ann and Sharon. I even get a phone call early in the morning if I fail to get one up ((to be sure I am OK). You are welcome to go back to the older ones you haven’t seen. I started this over five years ago. Everyone should keep a journal of some kind. It makes you realize you have been living a busy life. That is good!  Check back often~

Buttermilk Pound Cake (Revised Version)

September 20, 1953, a big day

September 20, 1953, a big day

Yesterday would have been my 64th wedding anniversary.  Here is a picture from that day. I had planned to run a picture of my Lemon Pound Cake but couldn’t find it so found this instead. Dan and I were married at 9:00 that morning in my Grandmother Christians’ beautiful front room, with 50 guests celebrating with us. Everyone was alive back then and now there are just a hand full left. Happy day, in just a little while we were off to a honeymoon in New Orleans. These were fun and exciting times. I loved that sweet boy~

Now for the recipe, I wish I had made this cake yesterday, then I could have been enjoying a slice with my coffee right now. Maybe I will have it ready tomorrow morning.

I like a pound cake because you can slice it, pick it up and eat it, or you can have it with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk. It isn’t sticky, you don’t need a napkin or a fork. But of course you can sit down and eat it quite properly if you like. The slices can be wrapped and frozen and ready for drop in company. Real pound cake is made with real butter. I like the little bit of lemon icing on it too.  Pound Cake must be good, it is in every recipe book, and has been handed down for generations from good cooks~   Note! Since I first placed this on my blog, I had a failure on one cake so this recipe has been changed slightly. After testing, it turned out very nice~

   Buttermilk Pound Cake

1 c ~soft butter (2 sticks)
2 c sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 c flour
1 c buttermilk
1/2 tsp soda
Cream butter and sugar together
Add eggs, one at at time, beating well
Add vanilla
Stir soda into the cup of buttermilk
Add flour alternately with buttermilk,
batter should be smooth.
Grease bottom of tube pan, (not sides)
Bake one hour and 15 minutes at 325 degrees, test with toothpick,
it sould come out clean when pushed into center of cake
Cool for 10 minutes, then run knife around the
sides to turn cake loose, Shake pan to loosen
cake, then remove to plate.
Lemon Icing
Mix grated lemon rind, juice from one lemon and
1 1/2 c powdered sugar. If icing is too stiff, add a
few drops of water. Drizzle over warm cake~, use only
this amount of icing, don’t overdo it~

                                                                                                               

 

Shish-K-Bobs

this is a picture of the meat and vegetables strung on a skewer, ready for the broiler. If you crowd them a little, they will stay put when your turn them and not roll over, don’t over cook, you want them tender~

A few days ago, I put Pinto Beans on my blog and for less that $10, there were enough beans and tortillas, cantaloupe and iced tea for 6 people. (some left for the freezer too) Today I want to show you my Shish-K-Bobs. This is a great company dinner. I served them with Armenian rice, cantaloupe, homemade French bread, and for dessert, I made a cherry cobbler with ice cream. My kids come for church and dinner on Sundays, so there were five of us~My grocery bill for  this meal  was $66. (gulp) It takes sirloin steak, lamb, red and green bell peppers, mushrooms, and a few other things. Give yourself plenty of time, it takes some preparation. You can cut up the meat, vegetables, and the cantaloupe the day before, and have all of this in the refrigerator.

I got the skewers 50 years ago, If you don’t have any, go buy them. You will want at least 10. This recipe makes enough for dinner and left overs, I always cook enough so that everyone takes a plate home for supper

 It makes a wonderful meal and is something everyone looks forward to. I call this my Greek Dinner. Anyway, I hope you will try it some time if you have an unexpected windfall~

The nutty flavor of the wine , the curry and the grated onion,makes this something you will remember. The vegetables stay crisp and the lamb and steak are tender from having been marinaded for hours..

Shish-K-Bobs

 2 to 3 lbs sirloin steak
1 lb lamb chops
6 slices thick sliced bacon
2 pkg mushrooms
3 green bell peppers
2 red pimento peppers
6 Roma tomatoes, quartered (or 20 cherry tomatoes)
2 onions, cut in quarters and separated
cut loin and lamb into 1 1/2 inch  cubes
cut vegetables  in nice size chunks
Marinade
1 large grated onion
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup Canola oil
Place meat in large bowl, cover with marinade and refrigerate 12 hours or overnight, stirring several times. String meat, mushrooms and vegetables on skewers, in the same order on each one until everything is used. Drizzle any marinade left in the bowl over the shish-k-bobs. Broil in oven, 4 inches from burner. Turn after 5 minutes, then turn twice more until all sides are cooked, watch carefully and don’t over cook then. Place skewers on platter, scrape up juices left in pan,  heat and serve it in a small pitcher.
Armenian Rice
 4 cups rice
1 stick real butter
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1 1/2 tsp salt
8 cups hot chicken broth with about 1/4 cup of white wine. 
In 4 qt pan, brown rice in butter with salt and celery seeds, stir constantly until rice starts to brown,  add heated chicken broth, (careful, it will spatter when you put it in the hot rice) put tight lid on and leave for 20 to 25 minutes on med heat.

Fried Okra Salad

Here is my blog from over a year ago. I just wonder how many have actually tried this recipe for Fried Okra Salad. I am giving you another chance. It is absolutely one of the best dishes in the world. Easy too, it is OK to get frozen Okra that has been already breaded and ready to fry. It cooks up in a few minutes so cut up the onions and tomatoes first so they will be ready when the okra is done. I still go for the pork chops, mashed potatoes and gravy for a wonderful meal. I like thin cut pork chops with the ‘bone in’, they are done in a few minutes and tender and crisp.

something special about the crunchy okra, fresh tomatoes and onions. All time favorite!

This may be your favorite once you try it. My mother got this recipe at least 75 years ago from Beulah Kerr. It has been a family favorite for four generations. Simply delicious! It is especially good with summer time meals~pork chops, mashed potatoes, fresh green beans and  pickled beets~

Crunchy Fried Okra Salad  

1 pkg. sliced frozen okra   ( Or buy frozen cut okra that has been breaded, then you can put it right  in the skillet still frozen and eliminate the next two steps. Just as good either way.)
1 ½ c. flour (more if needed)
½ tsp salt
1 large tomato, chopped
½ c. chopped onion

Thaw sliced okra in warm water,
pour water off, then toss in plastic bag with
flour and salt mixture. Coat well. (okra should
be stuck together in clumps) You DON’T need to do this step if you use the cut and breaded frozen okra! I am making it really easy for you.
Heat about two inches of oil in skillet, med. hot
Fry half the okra at a time. (add more oil if
necessary on second batch). Use large slotted spoon to turn okra and cook on all sides until light golden and crisp, watch carefully so it won’t burn.
Drain on lots of paper towels, get that grease out! When ready to serve, toss okra with the chopped tomatoes and onions. Salt to taste.