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’~
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~
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~
1 C WHITE CORN SYRUP
1 C BROWN SUGAR
1/3 tsp SALT
1/3 C MELTED BUTTER
1 tsp VANILLA
2 CUPS PECANS (toast in microwave for 2 minutes, stirring twice)
Mix syrup, sugar, salt, butter, and vanilla.
Add slightly beaten eggs. Pour into 9 in. unbaked pie
shell. Sprinkle pecans on top. Bake at 350 for
1 hour. Watch carefully the last 20 minutes. You can lay a piece of foil over the top during the last 15 minutes so the crust doesn’t brown. It should be golden.
1 ½ c flour
1 tsp salt
½ c shortning
Mix flour and salt, cut in shortning with pastry blender
Slowly add a few teaspoons of cool water while stirring to make a ball of dough that is firm and not sticky. Don’t over work it, the less you fool with it, the more tender it will be.
Roll it out thin on floured wax paper,( put a few drops of water under the paper so it won’t slip and slide). Now carefully fold it around the rolling pin and place it in the pie pan. Cut excess crust off around edge, leaving 1/2 in. overhang, which you can tuck under and make a pretty fluted edge.
I wanted to show our Thanksgiving dinner from a few years ago. There were just the four of us since everyone else was out of pocket. It was a great meal at Tricia’s in her sun room. The weather was beautiful, the food was delicious and the company was great. We had ham, smoked turkey from Anna’s smoker, dressing, cranberry salad, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, steamed broccoli from the green house, hot rolls, pecan pie and ice cream. It is my favorite of all meals.
Afterwards, Tricia showed Anna how to make roses for decorating cakes. We had a wonderful day. I hope all of you have a great Thanksgiving too.
Here are seven of Anna’s first pet chickies. When they got them eight years ago, they were one day old. They put them in a kiddy swimming pool in the garage with a screen wire around it to make a cage. This was their brooder for several weeks with a heat light to keep them cozy. I made a play house from a small box, with windows and doors, and they liked it. There was a chickie head sticking out of every window. When they outgrew it, they just stood on top. They all have names, Miss Lilla, Ellie Mae, Honey, Ivy June, and the Three Girls. When they were bigger they moved to the chickie coop condo. Anna had it built and it has six laying boxes, roosts, even two insulated windows. It has a screened porch attached, made of hail screen covering the bottom, walls and top to make it snake and varmint proof. They roam around outside until evening, then go to bed on their own. Someone printed a production sheet with grafts and charts and hung it in the chickie house so they would know what was expected of them. They have done great, their eggs are too big to fit in an egg carton, each chickie lays a certain kind of egg, a certain color, a distinctive shape.When I drive up, they come running down the road to meet me, their wings spread out, looking like fat little airplanes, not being able to get airborne. When we are working in the yard or the pasture, they are right there singing and talking. They are just the most wonderful pets. There were about 40 new chickies to add to these who are older now. Also there is a new chicken condo which is a larger coop. They will live their whole lives there, and their only purpose is to enjoy themselves and lay a few eggs. Chickie Town is sweet place. Who knew!
We found this pretty little Mexican girl selling bread at a market in Guadalajara, Mexico. Dan took her picture, bought all of her bread and a few weeks later when we came home, I put her on canvas. This was in the summer of 1966. Since then, she has held a special place in the study over his desk. Dan could speak Spanish well, and liked to visit with people. (I understood enough of the language to know when someone told me how pretty and clean my little boys were). We traveled in a tiny 17′ Airstream trailer, I will have more stories about that later. One of the nicest things I can think of is when we bought the trailer, I finally had my playhouse. Always a good bed, good bathroom and a wonderful meal. I go out in that little trailer often just to smell the nice smells and remember those wonderful times with my family.
I was visiting with a friend before church started and we were talking about Christmas gifts that our husbands had given us in the past. She said once hers gave her a Concho pearl on a gold chain, it looked just like a big old tooth. She did not like it! Her little boy told her that when they went to buy it, “we got that one because it was cheaper than the other ones”. I could hardly stop laughing all through church. I have received gifts I didn’t like also. Dan would find something from the Army Surplus Store, like asbestos fire proof gloves to protect my hands ( and up to my elbows) when I was cooking on the barbeque. Once it was a full set of silver dinnerware in a really ugly pattern. I finally told him I didn’t want gifts, I would rather buy what I needed. He did surprise me with a Singer 10 Overlock 5 spool serger one time. I had never seen one before and I don’t know how he came up with the idea, but it was an absolute dream gift. I sewed a lot and don’t know how I ever got along without it. One other time, he was in a coin shop in Midland and found something he thought I would want since I liked little things. It was a 7″ tall miniature Singer Sewing Machine with a crank and it could really sew a chain stitch. I was so surprised and happy, I don’t think I laid down for a week. The sales slip is still in the box, it was a birthday gift in 1988. Two wins in 57 years~that must be a record~
When I was growing up, there were lots of horned toads, those I knew about were mostly around San Angelo where my grandparents lived. The soil was sandy and I could always find them in their yard. There were lots of red ant beds and that was their favorite meal. I liked them, you could hold them in your hand and they didn’t sting or bite or try to run away, they stayed still and let you pet them. We called them horned toads or horney toads, but they are actually a kind of lizard. They lay their eggs in a hole in the sand and the babies dig themselves out when they hatch.
I looked it up online and there was this site that had a big old ugly goat standing up on a box being milked with a milking machine. There was an old lady (that would be me) holding her while the old man (which I don’t have) was explaining how the machine worked. He got kicked a few times. He talked about the importance of cleanliness. He carefully washed her bag and went on talking while she relieved herself and promptly sat in it. He never noticed but I did! The machine cost a bunch of money but she did produce two pints a day. No, I didn’t need a milk goat.