Monday, January 28, 2013

Orange Rolls from The Crumpet Tea Room

Can you keep a secret? I've got the recipe for the original Crumpet Tea Room's Orange Rolls and I just can't keep it to myself any longer! They foolishly put it in a cookbook called
"Crumpet Tea Room: A Unique Collection of Mealtime Treasures" along with several of their most requested recipes like their heavenly chicken salad... sharing!

Crumpet Tea Room Orange Rolls
2 1/2 c. hot tap water
1/2 c. melted shortening
2 c. flour
2 t. salt
1/2 c. powdered milk
1/2 c. sugar
3 heaping T. fast active dry yeast
6 c. flour
In large mixing bowl, add the first 3 ingredients. Mix for two minutes with dough hook beater. Add next 4 ingredients and continue to blend. Slowly add remaining flour until mixture is blended well and not sticky to the touch. Cover and let double in size. Punch down and roll dough out long and narrow to 1/4 inch thick. Spread thin layer of orange frosting over dough. Roll up and cut in 1 1/2 inch rolls. Place in greased pans. Let rise to top of pans and bake at 375 degrees for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 20 large rolls.

Orange Frosting
1 c. soft margarine
2 c. granulated sugar
1 orange
Cream margarine in mixing bowl until soft and smooth. Add sugar, juice from one orange and grated peel of orange. Blend well.

Crumpet Tea Room Chicken Salad
4 c. cooked chicken, shredded
1 1/2 c. celery, diced
1/2 c. sweet relish
4 eggs, hard boiled and diced
3/4 c. Miracle Whip (or enough to moisten mixture)
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Serve with tossed salad, fresh fruit or in a sliced croissant.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Over and Out!

I'm a terrible blogger and it happened about the time I started blogging! Up till then I had the time to come and read YOUR blogs instead of wondering what I'm gonna blog about. Jayme over at Tales from the Coop Keeper quit blogging this week. It took her all of one day to come to her senses, she just couldn't quit cold turkey!

So here I set feeling the same way, seriously thinking I have told you every last thing about my Grandmas and my favorite Aunts and what my cousins and I did when we were 8. It's been 4 years now and I've walked you through my Grandma's kitchen dozens of times. You've tagged along as I re-lived Christmases and reunions, sleep overs and camping trips. It seems that no matter where we grew up, we have memories stored in our hearts from those times. Maybe not exactly the same, but enough that we nod and smile when we read.

Blogging is so close to journaling, and that's the real catch right there. Those of us that need journaling to keep us focused are addicted. We blog to see the progress in our lives, we move backwards to refresh and forwards to grow. At least that's what it is for me. It keeps the crazies at bay, let's me type out a plan and just as easily erase it with a few strokes of the keys. It keeps my brain going toward the positive and inches out the bad stuff, 'cause that just doesn't look so good on these nice white pages! hee hee

In reality, life is nothing but a series of ups and downs and you can't erase the hard stuff. My Mom is now in Hospice, even those words are difficult to write. We have our plates full for the next few months helping my husband's parents to sell their home. So for now, I'll hush. I will be reading though, catching up on what YOU are doing and recharging my batteries... see you soon!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Southern Supper

Growing up, I didn't ever think of myself as being Southern. We were Midwesterners living in Missouri, the heartland. My Mother's staple meals were meatloaf, roast and yes, we ate a lot of Jello salads! When I'd visit my Grandma just 100 miles to the south, the table was always filled to capacity at mealtimes. In the middle of the table set an assortment of sweet and sour.. honey and sorghum, preserves and jellies, pickles and vinegar. Suppertime was a long, drawn out event that was prepared for and enjoyed. Long after the dishes were cleared, we'd set at the table and talk. I realize now that those conversations turned me into a Southerner. No matter where you go in the south, it's meat and three, plus a salad, rolls, dessert and sweet tea...

North Louisiana Dutch Oven Fried Chicken
A Celebration of the Flavors of the South
Devon O'Day
1 (2 to 3 pound) whole fryer, cut into pieces
Shortening or vegetable oil, to fill a cast-iron Dutch oven half full
  2 cups all purpose flour
 2 teaspoons salt, divided
 2 teaspoons pepper, divided
Rinse the chicken pieces and set aside. Heat the shortening or oil in the Dutch oven on high or to about 365 degrees. In a large bowl or brown paper bag, combine the flour, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the pepper. Use the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper to cover each piece of chicken before dredging in flour or shaking to coat in brown paper bag. (Note: Additional salt and pepper, or dry Cajun seasoning, can be used on chicken pieces prior to flouring if a more savory chicken is desired). Make sure each piece of chicken is completely covered in flour. Test the oil to make sure it is hot by dropping a pinch of flour in the skillet. If the flour begins to sizzle, the temperature is right. Gently add all the chicken to the Dutch oven and clamp the lid on, reducing the heat to medium high, which should look like a gentle rolling boil. Check the chicken after about 15 minutes, bringing the bottom pieces to the top, rotating the top pieces to the bottom. At about 25 minutes remove the lid, increase the hit and turn each piece until it becomes a dark golden brown and the juices run clear. Remove each piece with tongs or a large fork and place on a large plate covered with paper towels or brown paper to soak up any excess oil, before moving to a serving platter.

 Lawn Mower Salad
from All Recipes makes 6 servings 

 1/2 cup canola oil 
1/2 cup white sugar 
1/4 cup water 
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 
2 (3 ounce) packages chicken-flavored ramen noodles, crushed, seasoning packets reserved 
1 (12 ounce) package broccoli coleslaw mix 
1 bunch green onions, sliced 
1 cup roasted cashews 
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seed kernels 

Whisk canola oil, sugar, water, balsamic vinegar, and seasoning packets from ramen noodles in a bowl until thoroughly combined and sugar and seasoning packets have dissolved. Toss ramen noodles in a large salad bowl with broccoli slaw mix and green onions. Pour dressing over the salad and let stand 1/2 hour to 4 hours - shorter for crunchier noodles, longer for softer ones. Just before serving, toss salad again with cashews and sunflower seeds.

Doesn't this look like a great way to get your veges? Three kinds of cheeses and bacon, this is very close to my favorite potato casserole!
Grandma's Green Beans and Ham
1/2 cup chopped country ham (I like a good Arkansas ham like Petit Jean)
1 tablespoon oil
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 pounds fresh green beans, snapped
Brown the ham in the oil in a 3 quart saucepan. Then add the water, sugar, salt and bring to a boil. Add the beans and stir, then cover the pot and reduce the heat. Simmer covered for 25-30 minutes until beans are tender. Makes enough for 6 servings, 3 if they are green bean lovers!

Buttery Cooked Carrots
4 cups carrots, cut in 1/2" slices, or baby carrots
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter
3 1/2 cups water
Add all the ingredients to saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and turn heat to low, simmer until carrots are tender about 20-25 minutes.   

Frozen to golden delicious in less than 3 hours. Can you say easy?

 Six of One, Plus One of Another Cobbler
A Celebration of the Flavors of the South
Devon O'Day

1 stick butter
 1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup sugar, divided
1 large egg
1 cup evaporated milk
1 tablespoon vanilla or almond extract (almond is especially good with peach cobbler)
1 cup canned fruit, not drained (peaches, cherries, blueberries or blackberries)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in a 2 or 3 inch deep 9 inch square baking dish. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, all of the sugar except one tablespoon, the egg, milk and flavoring, blending well. Pour the mixture into the baking dish over the melted butter. Dump the fruit in the center  of the mixture and swirl it around the dish. (Don’t blend the fruit in entirely, but leave the “swirls” of fruit). Sprinkle the reserved teaspoon of sugar on top of the entire mix and bake for 30 minutes, or until the cobbler is golden on top.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Table for Two

When you first marry, you don't think much about the future. My mother in law said when she and Dad T first married, she had to wait until he got paid about two weeks later for her to join him at the air base in Salina, Kansas. They were married 66 years ago at the courthouse in Madison County Arkansas and for the most part they didn't have a plan. They just knew it was going to work!

You look into each other's eyes and not once are you worried about how you are going to pay your bills or where you will live. You just take a day at a time, then a month at a time and before you know it... 60 plus years have slipped by. The last few years have been the hardest, Dad's stroke changed everything. For the first time they needed help doing things. Fiercely independent, they are the lucky minority of seniors who manage well until they are almost 90.

It's not easy, but like everything else in their marriage, they have figured it out. Dad lives at the VA Nursing Home and Mom lives at Brookstone Assisted Living. Three times a week she goes to visit and his eyes sparkle when he sees her.

It's too early for Cupid to have had a hand in this romantic dinner that was planned as a surprise by nurses on the 5th floor, but only those with big 's can plan something this sweet! Complete with flowers and a miniature wedding cake, a table for two was set up in the library. Big smiles, a few tears, just like that first day 66 years ago when they both said "I do"... and meant it!

A big THANK YOU to the nurses at the Fayetteville Veterans Home for making this magic happen! 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friends of Friends

Have you heard about the changes coming at Facebook? It probably would have escaped me for days unless I'd seen Craig Kanalley's post announcing their "latest and greatest" Graph Search. The link was the live announcement at Facebook headquarters and when I clicked over, they were showing pictures and diagrams about the changes. I think that's probably the best way that I learn these day... pictures! So what is Graph Search?  It's a new way we can search Facebook's massive amount of photos, people, and connections that affect us. We keep our privacy settings, nothing is shared outside the circle that we set. Our friends, our family, the people who are in our lives that we want to keep in contact with. Nothing like a Web Search that leads to dozens of dead ends, Graph Search will use an advanced tagging system; finding our friends, our family, the people who are important to us...
I've shared a lot on this blog and Facebook. When I first joined in 2008 I didn't post a thing the whole year. I'd log on and look at pictures that our daughters would post of the GRANDS. They were in Texas and I missed seeing them.
They were growing up fast and the little time we did see them zipped by fast.

But Facebook was there to bridge the gap, pictures came every week. Better than mail, it came in living color and showed me what they were doing.

Precious pictures that make a Nana happy
It made it easier to be so far away.
The next year I started sharing where we were going...

fun things we did...

and the people that were important to me.

Family gatherings..

where we live...

and what really happens on Granny Mountain!
You came along on trips back home...
remembering family that served.
You went to car shows with me,

and even Mule Jumps!
By now you know the real me...

and just how important my family is to me.

You know that I like chocolate fried pies...

and who comes for visits to my door!
I share the silly...
and the serious.

My sad days...
and the happiest ones too!
The timeline was only the beginning...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Walnut Bread

It's a new year and I'm up for some new experiences. I want to stretch myself a little, think outside the box. Monday morning I pinned 2 recipes on Pinterest, one for Snickerdoodle Bread and one for Pumpkin Walnut Bread. When I went back to them later in the day, I realized they were both vegan, no eggs. That worked out great since I had used my last two at breakfast! Joy the Baker's recipe had walnuts, Bakeaholic Mama had Snickerdoodle streusel. Decisions, decisions, which one to make? Starting my "living on the edge" lifestyle had to begin right here. I left out the walnuts, used honey instead of maple syrup and opted for the streusel topping! This makes 2 big loaves, one to eat and one to share! To print the recipe, just click the title...
makes 2 loaves
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree, or just under two cups
1 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey (replace with maple syrup for vegan)
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, I doubled the butter to make it extra-good (replace with oil for vegan)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place a rack in the center of the oven.  Grease and flour two loaf pans and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.
In a medium bowl, carefully whisk together pumpkin puree, oil, honey and water.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and use a spatula to fold all of the ingredients together.  Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl well, incorporating all the dry ingredients.

Divide the dough between the two greased pans and sprinkle with the streusel topping.  Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from the oven.  Let rest in the pans for 15 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack. Delicious served warm with a smear of butter!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Blasts from the Past

Remember these? Percale sheets, smooth and silky... they came out of the dryer looking like they'd been freshly pressed. I never see percale sheets in the stores anymore. Wondering why did the trend go to 100% cotton that looks like a truck ran over it unless you do iron? We had these exact sheets, my oldest daughter nearly fell out of her computer chair laughing when she came across this post on Pinterest the other day! Psycho psychedelic daisies she called them... I loved the pink and yellow daisies, they were my favorite sheets. If I still had them I'd put them on the one double bed we have left and sleep in there in Hippie Heaven! 

I don't know what happened to them, I guess they wore out. It's only been 43 years since we married! That first apartment on Church Street in Fayetteville was so cOoL! We had avocado green shag carpet and burnt orange drapes. The only pictures I have of that apartment is our first Christmas tree, no people, just the tree. We had one of those little Kodak Instamatic cameras, the one with the cube flash on top but picture taking was way down my list of importance at that stage of my life! The furniture in this retro pic has the horrible Danish Modern that furnished our first place. Avocado green ruled the universe in 1970!

A few years later when we bought a house, we added a fireplace just like this. When it was on, it got so hot it became a fire hazard after about 15 minutes. So, basically, we didn't use it... it just looked cool. Shag carpet, yeah baby, and we had a carpet rake... did you have one of those?

I don't know where my burnt orange fondue set went, 

-or the melamine bowl that we used for popcorn.

I DO still have the dishes we started out with, a Noritake pattern called Sunnyside. It has yellow daisies and gold mums and always makes me feel hippy dippy happy! Guess what???? I just found more Sunnyside, you can never have enough... and a great site for treasures!

So, what have you hung onto that's now considered "vintage" (older than Methuselah)? Maybe a little contest to see who holds onto stuff the longest!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hope and Hard Work

A few days before Christmas I got in my closet and cleaned out clothes that don't fit, the ones that are  hopelessly out of style and the ones I shouldn't have bought in the first place. By the time I gathered up the shoes that lined the floor of my side of the closet, I had the back of my car full. That load was taken to the Benton County Thrift Shop, one of my favorite places to find treasures! Then last week, I started gathering up things in the garage that we don't use and filling up the car again. Saturday we dropped those things off at Salvation Army. Today I cleared out 2 closets of purses, I'm making a dent in the things I've been putting off. If you're like me, you probably have good intentions. I think about organizing the closet, cabinets or junk drawers but something always gets in the way. So while I'm in this New Year/Clean House mode I'm going to do a little every week, filling up my car and taking it to Goodwill so someone can get some use out of it. I can't imagine how much stuff we'd have accumulated if we hadn't been transferred so much. This is actually the longest we've ever lived in one house, since 2005. That will be 8 years in May. 

I love the feeling of clean and organized, always have and always will. I'm past the early years of OCD, where I lined up cans in the pantry and clothes in the closet by color. Now I'm lucky to be able to find the extra peanut butter because it's hidden under bags of noodles or rice. The closets are bulging, probably because we have two wardrobes in there... fat and fatter! We are Americans, who have plenty, and for that I'm grateful. Never a day without food or a roof over our heads. That's not to say we never had to pinch pennies. The early years were nothing but lean so now it's a habit and a lifestyle. I buy on sale, choosing off brands and we make do. Years of being careful, I can just hear my Dad's words..."The Poor House is just around the corner!" 

But there's a world of folks out there with big worries that face this New Year with trepidation. Paychecks that are lighter because of heavy taxes, someone has to pay for social security but it still hurts. There are hurricanes to pay for, budgets to balance and deficits to be met. All without falling over a cliff. Little by little, that's how we do it. I know it can be done, our parents went through the Great Depression and with hard work kept their farms and prospered. A little bit of hope and a lot of hard work, we can do it!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

"Free" Security System

Some of us have these...

...but almost ALL of us have THESE!

OK, this a a good one... the posts on Facebook that make the rounds. This one comes from a neighborhood watch coordinator. 

Simply put your car keys beside your bed at night. If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies. 

Try it out the next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away. Just think about it, it's a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain. It works if you park in your driveway or garage.

If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break into your house, odds are the burglar/rapist won't stick around. After a few seconds, all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won't want that. And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there. This is something that should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could save a life or a sexual abuse crime.

I am sending this to everyone I know because I think it's fantastic! Would also be useful for any emergency, such as a heart attack, where you can't reach a phone. For those of us with aging parents, tell them to carry their keys with them when they are outside doing lawn work. If they have a fall, they can activate the car alarm causing attention to their house!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Elvis Presley's Pound Cake, a Hunka-Hunka Burning Love!

Yesterday was Elvis' birthday and the many who adored him can't help but remember his beautiful voice and handsome face. Just a few years back... Jamestown residents couldn't believe their eyes,

...they actually were spellbound,


Because Elvis was in the building!


He serenaded the ladies...

He made their hearts go pitter~patter...

Time stood still... nurses stopped nursing, cooks stopped cooking!

They were carried back in time, back to 1950 when they used to hear Elvis on the radio. Favorite songs like Blue Suede Shoes and Jailhouse Rock.

Who would have ever dreamed he'd be here now so close, singing I Can't Help Falling in Love With You?

He kissed every hand...

He sang to each lady's heart...

He made them feel like kids again!

Memories brought back...

... just enjoying the day.

Some of us almost swooned...

Some danced again...

Love was definitely in the air!

These 3 gentlemen are in for a fun afternoon with a gaggle of gals who have hearts in their eyes!

Elvis gave his all, he wowed us!

We can thank this sweet little lady for having friends in high places...

It may have been a cold day in Arkansas... but Jamestown was on fire with a Hunka, Hunka Burning Love!

Rich and sweet, just like Elvis...

Elvis Presley's Pound Cake Serves 10
from Elvis World Jane and Michael Stern
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
3 cups cake flour, sifted, plus more for pans
3 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ tsp. kosher salt
7 eggs
1 cup heavy cream

Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two 9"x 5"x 2" loaf pans; set aside. Beat butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a bowl on medium-high speed of a hand mixer until pale and fluffy, about 6 minutes. Add eggs one at time, beating well after each, until smooth. Add flour and cream alternately, beginning and ending with flour, beating until smooth. Increase speed to high; beat batter until smooth and light, about 5 minutes. Divide batter between prepared pans, and smooth tops with a rubber spatula; bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a couple crumbs adhering to it, about 1 hour, 15 minutes. Let cool 30 minutes, and then unmold onto a cooling rack; let cool completely before slicing and serving. 
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