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~

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

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~

                                                                                                               

 

Far Far Away

I get new pictures almost every day and it makes me happy. This is one of my favorites, a picture from Soroti Uganda. These two sweet girls are actually sitting in a mud hut with no running water or electricity. They and their family were visiting a young friend who built it and lives there on his $30 monthly income.

Two of my special  somebodies~

Two of my special somebodies~

I ran this picture through Adobe Photoshop and will use for my screen saver. Good morning to my sweet ones~ ZZ, John and the lovely Miss Gavriella.

Pasta Dumplings Lasagna

this is a 20 minute meal, you only use two pans and a big spoon. I like lasagna but it takes a lot of time, this one is every bit as delicious. It is enough for six people and left overs~

I have a little secret about taking pictures of food for the blog. One recipe doesn’t always make a table full, it might seem a little skimpy so like on the lasagna, I turned a cereal bowl upside down in the bottom of the pot and poured the dumplings on top of that, then it makes it look like it is a heaping pot full. If the bread basket doesn’t look full, I put a wad of paper towels under the napkins and pile the bread on top. If I am going to show pictures of the food, I want it to look as generous as it really is.

This is a recipe ZZ sent me from Kenya. This morning I am going to make a batch of it for the freezer, it is absolutely wonderful. (one plate for me and 7 plates for the freezer). It makes a lot. It is easy to make and takes about 20 minutes.

Pasta Dumplings Lasagna
12. oz. package of pasta dumplings or bowtie pasta
1 lb very lean ground meat
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 T olive oil
1 large carton cottage cheese, put in strainer and run water
over it to get milky stuff off, drain
8 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 can med. black olives drained
Put the pasta in 10 cups of boiling water and 1 tsp salt, cook just until tender~ drain.
Brown meat, seasoning, garlic powder, salt and olive oil in wok or big
pan until done, about 10 minutes.
Pour spaghetti sauce on meat, get it hot then add cottage cheese,
mozzarella cheese, cooked pasta, and olives. Stir carefully with
big spoon until mixed and heated through.
Serve with sliced cucumbers or a vegetable salad.

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.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

coffee and cookies or milk and cookies, either way, chocolate chip cookies are one of the all time favorites, easy to make and pure pleasure to eat~

Chocolate Chip Cookies are easy to make and most people love them. I borrowed this recipe from Elizabeth’s cooking site   ‘My Home Cooking’  check it out, some great recipes, and lots of detailed instructions. She built it as a school project 10 years ago when she was fifteen and it has been running ever since. This is a simpler version of her cookies but the results are the same. Homemade cookies are great to take on a trip,  then all you need is to find a Starbucks~)

                                       Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 c Crisco shortening
1 stick real butter
1 1/4 c white sugar
1 14 c brown sugar
1 T vanilla
2 eggs
4 c flour
2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
12 oz.pkg semisweet chocolate chips 
1 c toasted pecans, chopped coarsely*
Cream Crisco, butter and sugars together, beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, and eggs and beat again until completely mixed. In another bowl, combine flour, soda and salt until well mixed. Mixing at low speed, add the flour a few tablespoons at a time to the cookie dough, stopping several times to scrape down sides of bowl. Now you can add the chocolate chips and toasted pecans and stir well. (if you freeze the chocolate chips first, they will hold together in the cookies and won’t turn the cookie a brown color)
Using an ice cream scoop or table spoon, place dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet with room between  and bake in 350 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then remove with spatula onto a wire rack and cool completely. *to toast pecans, place on paper plate, microwave one minute, stir and microwave another 30 seconds, watch that they don’t scorch~

Deck Chair Finished

I was able to save the name I painted on it when it was new.

I was able to save the name I painted on it when it was new.

One month ago I showed a project I was working on and have completed the job. It seems like it was a lot longer than a month but that was 30 blogs ago so that is a long time. This chair was one that Dan & Debbie called the Schatzie Kay chair because their little dog claimed it for her own. The legs finally rotted from sitting outside for  25 years and it either had to be restored or thrown away. old leg

Bad legs, ready to be sent to Dan's Shop Smith

Bad legs, ready to be sent to Dan’s Shop Smith for copying duplicates in new wood

All striped and sanded, waiting for the new legs~

All striped and sanded, waiting for the new legs~

All finished and smooth as silk.  Deck chairs have solid brass screws and hinges so those have stayed like new.

Finished and smooth as silk. The  chair  has solid brass screws and fittings so those have stayed like new. To find if fittings are brass plated or solid brass, try a magnet test, if it sticks to the piece it is solid brass.

This was the second time I restored it. The bottoms of the legs get wet and the water wicks up into the wood, the rest of the wood is fine but wet legs rot. Dan copied the old legs perfectly, cutting and matching everything down to the last screw hole. Now it is like a new chair. This time I bought some epoxy after reading about it on the internet. It is like putty, two parts mixed together and put on the bottom of the legs. It dried in two days and should take care of the water problem. I also put gliders on the bottom to hold the leg up off the patio. This was a good project, I like working with wood and I like to save things.

 

Cast aluminum chairs were nice ones but the finish developed a problem.

Cast aluminum chairs were nice ones but the factory  finish developed a problem.

The patio chairs were good ones and comfortable. However the finish on them had started cracking and chipping off.. Debbie sanded them down to the bare cast aluminum, ready for primer and then deep hunter green paint. These pieces  all sat in my garage for a couple of weeks after I finished them and I was growing attached. They came and got them today and sent the pictures. I am going to be looking for another project that is fun to do. This was one of those.