Schlotzsky’s Type Sandwich

don’t take orders, make them and serve them, if someone doesn’t like the cucumbers, they can pull them out themselves~

This is a great sandwich. It looks complicated but is easy and fun to make. The bread recipe is the easiest of all yeast breads. You just need to go through the list of ingredients and have everything sliced, laid out and ready, then it goes together fast.  

these are 6 inch cast iron skillets, you can find them on the internet for under $10 each. They will last a lifetime~

Years ago, I bought a dozen 6″ cast iron skillets to bake these buns in and also for  my hamburger buns. I live 45 miles from the nearest real Schlotzsky’s place so this recipe works for me. It is a great meal even when you are having company. They will remember it~ 

these make a big sandwich, it is a full size meal~

you can cut them in quarters and serve as company snacks~

 Schlotzsky’s Buns  (copycat)
note: this is the easiest of all yeast breads to make!
1/2 c warm water
2 tsp sugar
2  1/4 tsp dry yeast (or one package)
1/4 tsp soda (dissolved in 2 tsp warm water)
3/4 c warm milk
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 c bread flour
2 T cornmeal
Stir together the warm water, sugar and yeast,
let sit for a few minutes.
In large bowl, combine dissolved soda, warm milk, salt
and one cup of the flour. Beat until smooth. Beat in the
yeast mixture and remaining flour, Batter will be sticky and
smooth.
Prepare six little 6″ skillets by spraying with Pam, then sprinkle
bottoms with cornmeal. Divide dough  between pans, it
will spread during rising time. Spray tops with Pam
and let rise for one hour. Again spray tops with Pam,
bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.
Split buns with knife when cool.
You can use two cake pans if you don’t have the 6″ pans
and after making the sandwiches, cut them into thirds
for 6 sandwiches.
Filling
mozzarella cheese, grated
cheddar cheese, grated
parmesan cheese, good sprinkle of it
mustard,
onion slices
tomatoes, sliced
cucumbers sliced thin
lettuce shredded
black olives, sliced in half
creamy garlic dressing, about like spreading mayonnaise on bun
salami  (it makes the sandwich~
2 slices of boiled or smoked ham for each sandwich
Assemble the sandwich~ 
1. spread garlic dressing on both halves of bun
2. sprinkle top bun with parmesan cheese
3. spread mustard and mozzarella on top bun
4. spread cheddar cheese on bottom bun
5. toast to melt cheeses
6. heat meats and place on buns, ham on bottom, salami on top
build with olives, tomatoes, lettuce, onions and cucumbers
Enjoy the Schlotzsky’s (copycat) Sandwich with a few chips~

Birthday Dinner

this is Debbie’s famous chicken noodle soup, it only needs crackers and a glass of iced tea to make a perfect meal~

he wanted a pie instead of a birthday cake this time. Debbie baked this one,  beautiful and absolutely delicious. While we enjoyed dessert, we remembered all the birthday cakes through the years, Aunt Tricia made most of them and came up with elaborate ones~

Today is my oldest son’s birthday, I will post this on my blog tomorrow. He was born in 1956 and what a thrill to remember all these wonderful years. We had his birthday dinner yesterday after church. Debbie made his favorite soup and a beautiful coconut cream pie. (she is the gourmet cook in our family) That was the menu he chose.                                   It took me 24 hours “to born the boy”. The afternoon before, I had taken my 2 mile exercise walk down Rabbit Road in my summer clothes, it was a hot fall day. Then the next day when he was born we had a famous West Texas blizzard blow in and for the next five days everything was frozen solid, tree limbs were breaking from the weight of the ice. I always remember that hard freeze on October 22 but most of all how wonderful it was to have that brand new baby boy.

this picture is when he was almost two, he was a happy baby and had lots of grandmothers~it is one of my favorite pictures~

Kenya East Africa

this is the road going toward Kitale, the elevation is 7,000 feet so even though it is close to the equator, it is cool and lush with vegetation. I am excited that I was able to go there last year.

I never knew much about Africa. I had it pictured as a country with a parched and dry landscape as far as you could see, and maybe one old gnarled, water starved tree with an elephant kicking up dust. In the last year, I have learned it is not that way at all. I have enjoyed seeing hundreds of pictures of Kenya with it’s lush and beautiful green countryside. It is on the equator but the elevation is 7,000 feet so it is cool, green and wet. There are small gardens everywhere with maize, tomatoes, greens and all kinds of fruits growing. The city of Kitale is in the eastern part of Kenya and has a golf course, modern hotels, large banks, supermarkets and then the unique market places on the streets that sell all kinds of produce. It is much like parts of Mexico.  My heart is over there with someone I love very much.

Beautiful Pyracantha

 

this plant has been trimmed to become a small tree, they can also be left as a bush. As with so many of the showy plants, they have lots of thorns~absolutely beautiful

The pyracantha bushes are covered in beautiful orange berries around town. The plants grow to 10 feet tall and are showy and beautiful. They tolerate heat and cold and even drought, in fact they like it dry and can live for many years.

in the spring they will be covered in beautiful fragrant white flowers. They liked to be pruned, that keeps them producing~

In the spring, they are covered in white blossoms and then the berries come on in later summer. Good food for the birds, they eat everything that falls on the ground. It is also a safe nesting place. The branches are a mass of thorns so they are considered a good barrier against predators. They bring lots of pretty color to the landscape with little effort. Now is a good time to plant them, start with a gallon size and it will grow into a nice plant in a hurry. This one I found in Tricia’s yard this afternoon and decided to show it off. She will be surprised to see it in tomorrow’s blog.

Buttermilk Pound Cake (Revised Version)

the lemon icing makes this cake extra tangy and special, it is an easy cake to make and is 12 or more servings~

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 today, 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~

                                                                                                               

 

Scarecrows

here she is in her last stages, she held up for years, guarding the garden and entertaining the deer

This is Miss Lilla, our scarecrow. She guarded our garden for many years, as you can see, she was just about finished. She had a sister Sarah who took care of the garden at the river. She faired much better, she went to the barn in the winter time. They were both life size dolls who wore size 8 clothes. Several times they got new outfits but the shoes held up for all those years. Miss Lilla’s arms would swing in the wind and when my neighbor drove down the road, she said she always waved back. It made me sad when I finally put them to rest, I felt like I was loosing an old friend. One of these days I will start over and make a new one, they were sculptured out of flesh colored sheer nylon fabric, with real wigs and stuffed with plastic bags filled with newspaper. It worked. The deer stayed out of the garden for a short time, until they caught on~

Deer, Turkeys and Quail

here are seven of the turkeys in the back yard yesterday. I keep corn and sunflower seeds out for them

all of the turkeys are hens, I don’t know why they stay together and the toms are seldom around, I have only seen a tom once or twice in all the years here~

It looks like the wild life is back in my yard again. I am happy! Yesterday there were ten turkeys eating the corn and making dust bowls in the dirt. They may be the same ones that were babies here in the spring. I love the turkeys, they don’t fly away in a panic if they see me, they just walk over the rock fence and out under the oak groves.

these were are few of a covey of about a dozen quail under the bird feeders this week. They move around a lot and it is not easy to get a good picture. They are darling~

The quail have been coming too, they eat the sunflower seeds under the bird feeders. They are such sweet birds, all fluffy and pretty and stay together in a covey. It is hard to understand how they survive since they have their nests on the ground, sitting ducks for snakes, cats and other varmints. Somehow they do.  

these are three young deer here this week. I keep a mineral block out for them and then always throw corn out every day. Everything likes the corn~

Then the deer have started coming back, there were three this week and several more last week. The great thing about wild life, you can enjoy them and if something happens to them, it is not like losing a pet, you can just believe they move on to another place and will come back later. It is always a thrill for me when I see them out in the back yard.

58 Years of Guitars

 

this is the Martin, acustic f-hole bow top guitar that I started with. It had steel strings that killed my fingers for a while

In 1953, after Dan and I were married, I missed having a piano but felt like that was too much to ask for. Our friend Raymond Schrank could play guitar so I told him I had thought about getting one but  wondered if I could ever learn. He said he could show me just two chords to start with and I could sing lots of songs with just those. The next week Dan and I were in San Angelo and went by the Houston-Clary Music Store and I picked out the prettiest guitar on the wall. It was an arch top f-hole acoustic. What a thrill! Later that day, Raymond showed me the two chords in the key of G. I could now play and sing ‘Down in the Valley’. (oh, and he told me there would have been  easier guitars to play, like the classical with nylon strings). In just short time I could play all the chords in the key of G. I bought a kaypo, it is clamp that fits on neck to squeeze the strings and change to any key while still using  the same fingering. I was in business. We used to stay at the river in the summer and Dan’s brother and his family were there, so at night I played the guitar and we sang. The song most requested was Marty Robbins’ ‘Devil Woman.  

this is the Yamaha classical guitar I bought at the pawn shop for $125. It is easy to play and sounds good, it has been my Bingo Singer guitar for 20 years

  Though the next 58 years I have had several guitars. Some from the pawn shop, that must be the first thing someone has to get rid of~my favorite one was an almost new Yamaha, someone had carved on the neck ‘True Love Is Forever’.

This guitar has a great sound but the fat bulge on the back gets in the way of my stomach~I almost sold it for $15 but the woman changed her mind~

Once Stacy and I were on our way to Albuquerque and saw a community garage sale in Lamesa . I saw a guitar with a case. We went back and I bought it for $25. We took turns playing it the rest of the way. I put it in a garage sale later, I didn’t need that many guitars. A woman kept looking at it, she thought her husband would like it, I finally told her she could have it for $15, and played it for her to help with the sale. She bought it, drove off and then I could hear her car backing up. She brought it back and said she decided not to get it after all. Just a few weeks ago I sole it for $35 so it is gone. When my granddaughter ZZ was 12 years old, I showed her how to play several chords that made made a pleasant tune, she learned it quickly. We named it ‘ZZ’s Ditty’. When I took her home to Albuquerque, I bought her a nice classical guitar and then she took lessons for several years. She learned the real way, it is exciting to listen to her play that beautiful music. 

this is my newest and first fine guitar, it is a Takamine and can be used with an amp system, it has a crisp, beautiful sound~

I love music, Dan loved music, he was a great audience. After every song, he would clap and yell, ‘Yee haw, more more!’  I didn’t even have to be good at it~;and one more thing, I did finally get my piano~

 

Dinner Rolls

this is a wonderful meal, the hot homemade rolls make it extra special

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’~

Hot Rolls
1/4 c warm water
1 pkg active yeast (not Rapid-Rise yeast)
2 T sugar
Mix together in small bowl and let sit a few minutes
1/2 c milk
2 T real butter
1 egg
1 tsp salt
2 c flour (scant)
Heat milk and butter, let cool to lukewarm warm and
add yeast mixture, egg and salt.
Stir in flour and beat for several minutes.
Cover and let rise for 30 minutes, then knead
it on floured board. (try to use as little flour as possible)
Put flour on your hands, pinch off golf ball size pieces of  dough
and lay on greased baking sheet, about an inch apart
Let rise again for about 30 minutes in warm place.
Bake for 15 minutes until slightly golden in preheated 375 degree oven.

Mexican Plowing with Oxen

fifty years ago, there were no modern machines for farming, everything was back breaking work, done the hard way.

In 1956, on a trip to Old Mexico, we were south of Saltillo where we got a picture of this man plowing with oxen. There were quite a few farms in this area. The field looked rocky but must have been good for growing a crop, the soil that had been turned up had deep rows. At least the fields were flat. On down in the interior toward Mexico City, there would be crops planted on the sides of the mountains, places dug out to form a little ledge with a rock to hold each plant so it wouldn’t slide off down the slope. It was lush and green, all they needed was something to hold the plant in place until it took root. The highway to Mexico City was miles and miles of narrow, winding roads with hairpin turns,  carved  out of the sides of mountains. It was scary and all I could think of was we were going to have to go over this road again on the way back home. Dan hired a driver for the trip back so it was much  better. This was an unbelievably beautiful part of Mexico. The people were kind and friendly.

Peach of the Day

 

Stacy is one of the funniest and sweetest of all, she gets it~

This morning I want to surprise my grandson who is away on a trip at the moment, here’s a picture of his sweet Stacy Mae. She is my wonderful and beautiful granddaughter. Have a nice day Mark, we are thinking of you, you are the peach today. Happy Birthday this month. The ultimate birthday party was the one Stacy surprised you with a few years ago, you were suspecting there would be some kind of ‘something’ in the works  and then you walked in to Miss Hatties and all your friends were there and your brothers and sisters had flown in from all parts of the country to surprise you, WOW, I get chills remembering the thrill. You have a mighty fine girl ~Grammy

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 at the Big Tree on the Joy’s Ranch and 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~