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~

                                                                                                               

 

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.

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.

Finally Got a Shop Smith

I borrowed a pick up truck to haul some furniture to New Mexico one year. It was a nice new Ford 150, navy blue and had a real phone that came with it. Feeling mighty good about then. I delivered my stuff and stayed for a few day to visit. Now the thing that always got me excited was they had a Shop Smith in their garage that had been turned into a work shop. There was a huge work bench, hand made out of fine wood, it even had a vice made out of wood. Beautiful piece of work.. The walls were lined with cabinets with dove tailed drawers, every size to hold anything from screws and bolts to measuring instruments of every kind made. Long drawers to store saws with rose wood handles. These people had a major hobby going on. I just dreamed of having something like the Shop Smith, it had every kind of big tool to build anything you could dream of. Nice thing was when you were finished with a project, you just rolled it over to  the wall of the garage out of the way.

this was not the actual Shop Smith, I borrowed a picture from the internet. I never did get a picture of the real one~

this was not the actual Shop Smith, I borrowed a picture from the internet. I never did  get a picture of mine.

The day before I was leaving for home, they told me they wanted me to have their Shop Smith. They were down sizing and knew I had always wanted one. They were not teasing me, it was mine! So for the next several hours we were loading it in the pickup, tying it down with all kinds of straps with ratchets and ropes, and the whole time I was getting a lecture about what I could and could NOT do. I had to promise never to use the lathe and heard about incidents where people had been killed while using one. Hook the heavy board up wrong and it could jump loose and cut your head off. ( I was thinking I could be extra careful and be able to use it OK.)  Anyway it was all finally loaded and after I went to bed I started to worry. I could not sleep and had a panic attack. It seemed like it was top heavy in the bed of the truck, there was a lot of weight up on top of those four legs. I was going to be driving through the Sandia Mountains, lots of dangerous curves and heavy traffic. There was just one thing I could think of and that was to try to unload it before anyone was up the next morning. Anything that I could lift, I had it on it’s way~ piece by piece back into the garage. Then I saw the PERSON standing there and he yelled at me, “Are you crazy, have you lost your mind completely?”  So this is the story of my wonderful Shop Smith that I hardly knew, it was mine and I did own it for a little over twelve hours.

Trip to Uganda

My favorite thing on the computer is Adobe Photoshop Elements, it is the miracle worker. It clones things in and takes things out of a picture or does a big job like  this picture. I cloned that great grand baby right into my arms (from a picture of Caroline holding her). So I do get to hold that sweet baby.

Gavreilla Joy and Grammy Rita, this is not real but thanks to Adobe, the next thing to it~

Gavreilla Joy and Grammy Rita, this is not real but thanks to Adobe, the next thing to it~

My family went to Uganda to see the newest member of our family while I stayed home and kept everyone’s places running. That included 40 pet chickens, two peacocks, an orchard, trapping varmints, and taking care of three dogs and two kitties. I came home every morning to take care of my place and that was a full time job.

The family, Elizabeth, John and Gavriella

The Oriokot family, Elizabeth, John and Gavriella

I got up at 3:00 AM each morning to see the latest pictures and videos streaming in live from Soroti, I even saw the video of the big celebration at the airport when they got to meet their new granddaughter. It was wonderful, I could sit and watch and cry and it was just me and the dogs, no one to interfere with my emotions. A happy time!

Grandparents ~seeing the baby for the first time

~seeing the baby for the first time

The happy moment

The happy moment

Right about here is when everything quit for me, the internet service went out in Christoval and I couldn’t re-connect the router because I didn’t have the ‘secret code’ so I was stuck there for three weeks, no internet, no TV and a phone that I didn’t know how to work. I didn’t get to see the rest of the pictures until much later. The nights were long~they did have a wedding at the vineyard and I could hear the boom boom boom music until 1:00 in the morning. Then there were several lightning storms that came through every few days. I caught several coons in the live trap and one fox.

Anna with baby cousins

Anna with baby cousins

Gavriella and her Granddaddy, I love this picture

Gavriella and her Granddaddy, I love this picture

This was Austin Albin’s third trip to Africa with them and his first time to hold a baby. He took most of the photographs and I am thankful for all the nice pictures. Praise the Lord for the great mission work they all do.

Austin, Godwin & Gavriella

Next trip will be my turn~

The Wonderful Jujubee

Every seed will sprout that is left on the ground

The leaves are a bright shiny green and almost look lacy. These three trees are over 40 years old and about 35 feet tall. Before I got them started, I noticed someone down the road had them in their back yard and they shared with me until mine were producing.  I found where they kept their leaf rake and would clean up the stuff on the ground before I left~

I grew up with Jujubees. The kids called them ‘chu chus’ and that was the name that stuck. Granddad Christian had an orchard in his yard and it was like the Garden of Eden. Every kind of tree you could imagine and vines with grapes and lots of berries. It was almost like he found a nursery  catalog and bought one of everything. The favorite of mine was the chu chu tree. It was easy to climb and I could even get up on the roof of the house from there. It produced fruit every year and lots of it. You could eat a sack full and not get sick.

whatever falls on the ground the deer eat, seed and all~

I can eat them when they are small and green, then they get sweeter as they get speckled. They  are ripe when they turn brown. That is when they are really sweet but they will only be at their best for a few days  after that.

Jujubees are small fruit and are crisp and sweet. They have a seed like a date except it is not split. It is one of the oldest trees and grows all over the world. It originated in Asia. A tree is easy to grow and produces fruit after about five years. They are hardy, they grow in almost all climates except for extreme cold. Seeds that drop on the ground sprout and make more trees so soon there is a thicket. Mine are in the yard and that is not a problem because the sprouts get mowed down with the grass.

The limbs are gnarled and rough. The younger trees have thorns`

The limbs are gnarled and rough. The younger trees have thorns. When I mow the grass and go under the tree, I grab a few and reward myself as I make another round. (I have a friend Becky who rewards herself with a can of cold beer when she mows~)

I have managed to have chu chu trees for most of my life, planting them wherever I lived. Now what to do with them except eat them fresh, they can be dried like a date and canned and all sorts of things people try but I think they are better for eating fresh.

nice

After a couple of days on the counter, they start to get soft and are not as good. Four or five days and they start to shrivel up like an old lady. I throw them back under the tree for the deer that night.

this is the size of the fruit

They can make a mess when they fall from the tree but the deer come in the yard at night and eat every single one, seed and all. They love them! I love the deer, there was a mother and a small fawn out there today enjoying the fruit.

This mother has been coming with her baby for several weeks. I put corn out for the deer and turkeys every day and then birdseed for the quail, doves and small birds.

This mother has been coming with her baby for several weeks. I put corn out for the deer and turkeys every day and then birdseed for the quail, doves and small birds. 

Thank you for clicking on my blog. It is fun when I see that someone from the Ukraine is following it, also Kenya and especially from San Angelo~

Texas Peach Orchard

In West Texas, a fruit tree does better on a hill than in the low spots. A  late frost in the spring, usually settles in the lower places and can kill many of the blooms ~

This is about a new peach orchard in Christoval, it is small, only 12 trees that they put in five years ago. (remember, 2011 was the year of one of Texas’ worst droughts, no rain at all, hard time to start this venture) There are two apples, two apricots and the rest are different varieties of peaches. Since it is on a rocky hill up there, dump truck loads of dirt had to be brought in, it is about two and a half feet in new dirt, and the whole orchard is 40×50 feet. The new dirt was fluffy with no rocks and digging the holes was easy. Everything had to be watered daily and every tree has survived except one apple tree is having a problem.  

this Loring peach was one of three that got ripe in June. It was the size of an orange, juicy,sweet and delicious~everyone got a taste

The first peach that year was from the Loring tree and got ripe in June. There were three peaches on that tree, simply delicious.
The Princess tree has lots of peaches which are going to ripen  in a couple more weeks. Anna thinned more than half of them out since the tree was young. It is a sweet white honey peach. Some of the trees were 3 year old bare root, some came in 5 gal buckets, and others were from seeds grown in buckets for 4 years. These seeds were from Granddad Jack’s original old Indian peach trees that he started in 1937, he was well known for his fine fruit trees. He would be happy to know the tradition is still going.  The Indian peach trees had quite a few peaches this year and they are wonderful.

the Princess is a sweet white honey peach, it is freestone. These trees can live for about 25 years, the apricots and apples live even longer.

This year is turning into a great year for the orchard, the first year the trees rest, the second they come alive and the third year they flourish. We call this Anna’s Orchard~They have had a bumper crop of apricots and the peach trees are loaded. The project this year is to improve the soil with compost.                               I have another batch of peach and apricot seeds sprouting in my refrigerator and will be moving them to small buckets to grow until next spring. I ended up giving away about 50 little trees last year. Those trees will have a little sample of fruit next spring so they can see what they have. The first year they bloom you thin out all the peaches except maybe three or four, it will stress the young tree too much if you leave more. After that, you just enjoy a good fruit crop every year~   I have started another bunch of seeds and they are cooling in the ice box. They should be sprouting right away and ready to put in the small pots. They will be ready to give away next spring. 

Wildlife in Delaware Mountains

Today I was working on the deck chair I wrote about a several days ago and didn’t have a blog planned for tomorrow. The chair is stained and ready to put back together. I am thankful I made pictures as I was taking it apart or there would be no way for me to remember where all the 48 pieces fit. I will be showing it on my blog soon.                   This evening  Earl Calhoun sent me pictures he took of some of the wild life from the ranch in Culberson County and I can share those with you. Earl is a nephew and has almost 50 thousand photographs on his computer that he has taken through the years, and they are all sorted, grouped together and updated often. I can’t imagine~

Young antelope

Young antelope

This is a javelina hog and her young one~

A  javelina hog and her baby~they are small hogs and usually run in groups.

An antelope mama and her young one.

An antelope mama and her young one. I like this picture,  you can see almost a hundred miles off in the distance. This is an unbelievable place. It will take your breath away.

This is another nephew, John McWhorter. He went on his first hunt on the ranch a few years ago. He was a pilot for Southwest Airlines and flew over the ranch many times and he finally went out to enjoy the real thing. It looks like it was a successful hunt~

John McWhorter enjoying his first hunt on the family ranch in Culbesron county

John McWhorter enjoying his first hunt on the family ranch in Culbesron county

Bingo Singers

Gig at the court house

Here are Dale, Leonard, Rita and Jim  singing at the court house square, our group changes often, just who ever is available and willing~for the past two years, Carmen Rodriquez has joined our group playing his bass guitar.

The Bingo Singers~this little group has been active for at least 26 years. It started at the nursing home when I was helping with the Bingo games. Willie Johnson was singing one day and I told her I had a guitar and brought it the next time and we were off and running. She knew every song there was, I  made copies of the lyrics for everyone and we sang for an hour before Bingo twice a week. We sang everything from old ‘he done her wrong songs to hymns’. Through the years we have had some great singers, some of the guys like Jack , George , Claudie , and Wally  to name a few, and volunteers  like Jim , James , Mary , Norma Lynn  and a group of women who love to sing . We’ve played a few gigs at socials on the court house lawn.

This gig was several years ago, always lots of fun. Our little mini group will be singing at Church on the Water at Clear Creek next Sunday. This is a yearly event at the Powell Ranch, a wonderful place to Prarise Our Lord~

This gig was several years ago, always lots of fun. Our little mini group will be singing at Church on the Water at Clear Creek next Sunday. This is a yearly event at the Powell Ranch, a wonderful place to Praise Our Lord~

A nice comment was, “you don’t mess around tuning guitars or warming up, you just get up and sing“.  It has been fun being a part of this sweet nursing home family, some of my best friends ever, it is nice having a good audience~We meet every Friday at 9:00 and sing our hearts out for an hour. Everyone is invited.

New Girl in Town

Here is Nancy leading the exercise class at the wellness center. She and Bob are into just about everything in town~

Here is Nancy leading the exercise class at the wellness center. She and Bob are into just about everything in town~

Mother used to can fruit cake. It had pineapple, maraschino cherries, raisins, some dried fruit and loaded down with lots of pecans. She cut pieces of wax paper which she lined the cans with after greasing and flouring them. In went the cake dough up about 2/3 rd full, sealed the cans and into the pressure cooker. That is all I remember. When we wanted fruit cake we only had to open both ends of the can, slide the cake out and cut it  in nice round slices. Delicious.

I canned things but didn’t know the time and temperature for fruit cake.I called Nancy Baumann, our new Schleicher County Home Demonstration Agent to find out if she had a canning recipe for cake. No, but she got in touch with A&M Extension Service and they sent her a whole packet of information. So that is when I met Nancy, she came to my door with the answers. There she was, so so young, so enthusiastic, all bubbly and happy and excited. She invited me to a demonstration she was having so she could meet with the ladies in town. There was a nice gathering of women who came, young and mostly old, (you know those who already knew everything). I sat between Ola Ruth and Mrs. Jeffery. Nancy starts out explaining basic rules of canning and equipment needed. She was holding a long thermometer and said it was very expensive but we could borrow it if we needed to. (she was being animated with it as she stressed her points).  Mrs Jeffery leaned over and said, “she’s gonna break it”  and that is exactly what happened, she hit the pan with it and it shattered. Mrs. Jeffery whispered to me, “see I told you!” Then for most of the next hour, everyone was telling her how they did things. Nancy was explaining how important it was to know how to can properly so you wouldn’t make anyone sick. Water bath was for things like tomatoes with their high acid content, and most everything else needed to be canned in a pressure cooker. Now Ola  Ruth ‘took over’  to tell how SHE canned her green beans. It called for 8 lbs of pressure so she weighed 8 lbs of bricks and put them in the oven, put the lids on the cans, put them in a pan of water and and after the right amount of time she set them in cold water to cool. The lids popped down and sealed but it was just a perfect recipe for killing someone. All l could think was poor Nancy, she had her work cut out for her. She stuck it out and worked at this job for years. She especially liked working with children in 4 H, teaching them to cook and sew.  Everyone loves Nancy. She married a great hometown guy named Bob (Elvis) Lester. Thank you Nancy!