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Showing posts from June, 2017

Mama Kat Thursday: The Failed Egg Roll

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The Mama Kat blog writing prompt today is the word, "Fried." When I think of frying, I recall our first effort at making egg rolls back when I was a kid, around 1973. We did experimental cooking sometimes, trying out new things. We'd never made egg rolls before. I don't even know who's idea it was. But we got the stuff, made the filling and diligently rolled it up in egg-roll wrappers. Mother used her pasta-pot for the oil. It was a twin pan set with an inner-pan that was a colander, that could be lifted out easily for draining pasta.  Perfect for lowering an egg-roll in and out of hot oil! Actually, deep frying anything was practically unheard of in my family. It was considered too dangerous.  So several inches of hot cooking oil in a pasta pot was a rare adventure, but we were all old enough to be around it safely. We lowered our first egg-roll into the hot oil and it started frying, then---abruptly, it burst open in the middle, spilling filling

Garden Pic Wednesday: Red Hardy Hibiscus!

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The 3 days of steady, light rain we had from Tropical Storm Cindy polished off my tomatoes & decimated the Bell Peppers.  The only things that really appreciated all that wet was the grass and the Bush Squash! I picked up some new Bell Peppers and a new Tomato this morning. I'll be putting them in the bed that runs along the South side of our house where I have blackberries & hybrid day lilies. There's plenty of room and it's a bit higher ground. I often use the area as my "back up" garden plot! Today's Garden Pic's: Hardy Hibiscus & Chinese Stonecrop Sedum! Hardy Red Hibiscus : This beauty is 7 feet tall! It is unique, though. Usually they limit themselves to 4 or 5 feet. So it puts on a grand show every summer! Chinese Stonecrop This is a kind of Sedum (sedum tetractinum). It is the most fantastic stuff! Resilient, easy to transplant, grows anywhere and in anything! It blooms pretty yellow flowers in spring, so it l

Good Eating Monday: Creamy Dill Pickle Potato Salad!

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Another "Summer of Potato Salad" recipe from Pinterest that I tried out this week: Creamy Dill Pickle Potato Salad! It's a winner! My Sunday night crowd really liked it! It's a creamy, mildly dill pickle-flavored Mayo dressing over baby potatoes! They're only request was they'd like more boiled eggs in it! The recipe only calls for two boiled eggs cut into wedges as more of a garnish, so adding one or two more boiled eggs coarsely chopped might be a good addition! The baby potatoes I used were a "Medley" of colors: red, purple & gold, so the darker colored baby potatoes made the photo look a bit darker. (My sister has made this Potato Salad twice in July already and she and my Mother love it!) Creamy Dill Pickle Potato Salad Ingredients: Dressing:  1/2 cup Mayo 1 Tablespoon buttermilk (or just plain milk works fine) 1 Tablespoons dill pickle juice Salt & Pepper to Taste Salad 24 - 28 ounces baby potatoes, do not p

Friday Finds: Myakka River State Park!

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Today's state park "find" is the Myakka River State Park , which is near Sarasota, Florida. "Myakka" is what the Seminole called the river, which means "unknown."  The region around the river is what is called "a dry prairie," which is flat, open expanses of low shrubs and grasses as well as wet-lands.  Perfect for cattle, so it was used for grazing from the 1850's into the 1930's. (Florida was and is still a beef state, if you didn't know with 15,000 beef producers today.) The land was purchased in 1910 by a business woman named Bertha Palmer, who died in 1918.  In the 1930's, during the Great Depression, over 17,000 acres was of the Palmer estate was purchased by the government to develop the Myakka River State Park as part of the Civilian Conversaton Corps program, instituted by President Franklin Roosevelt, that provided gainful employment for millions of young men.   Myakka is one of 8 Florida State Parks dev

Mama Kat Thursday: Throwback Thursday:

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The Mama Kat blog prompt this week was to revisit something I was writing about in June last year: I was participating as a guest blogger for a series called, "Between the Lines : Women Bloggers Over the Age of 50." An blogger acquaintance on Google+ invited me and many other women to be guest bloggers the series. I was initially told it would just be about how I got into blogging and would involve answering a few questions. I imagined I'd just be answering a survey, then she's put my answers together and post it on her blog with a back-link to mine. It wasn't like that at all. It involved me posting on my blog all her weekly lists of hyper-links of everyone else's guest posts she was hosting on her blog.  It felt it incredibly complicated to manage every week, though I stuck it out most of the way through. I did enjoy writing my guest post about how I got into blogging, which you can visit here, if you missed it the first time: Between the Lines Cho

Garden Pic Wednesday: Happy Day Lily!

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After 3 days of rain from a tropical storm, the sun is finally out! The rain garden has been full of water---maybe some of the Rain Lilies will be prompted to bloom this week! So much water, though---I don't know if all the veggies will survive. My Curly Parsley has become a nursery for Black Swallowtail caterpillars. There were quite a few, but caterpillars have a high mortality rate because they're a food source many insect predators: wasps, spiders, various bugs.  Originally there were nine. This morning there were three; now there is only one who is nearly full size. The good news is that leaves plenty of Parsley is still available for another round! Today's Garden Pic is one of my cheerful yellow & burgundy Day Lilies from my front bed.

Good Eating Monday: Steak & Potato Nachos

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This recipe is a Pinterest recipe from my "Food Ideas" board that I tried out:  Steak & Potato Nachos! It was good tasting. We liked it and since Hubby is a steak & potatoes guy, it was a great way to give him something he liked as well as give myself something new to try. However---Nachos are normally something arranged either over chips or eaten with chips. This recipe has replaced chips with real potatoes and didn't say in the directions how to serve it. It's kind of heavy, too and not very "scoop-able." So, I just winged it by plopping servings onto a plate. We ate it with a fork along with some whole-grain taco shells I had on hand. It's pretty much a meal and not really a crowd appetizer. The recipe only makes about  4 servings, but it is a great leftover that's better the next day. I did diverge from the recipe, which calls for baking & boiling, to have Hubby cook the steak and potatoes on the grill, then I arranged

Garden Pic Wednesday: Around the Garden

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Today's Garden Pics are shots from around my Garden: From the Front Yard: This corner garden in front is looking just about perfect this year!  My plan when I planted it was for it to form natural screenbetween us and the neighbor's house, so it's a collection of tall and short plantings: Pampas grass, a skypencil shrub and an 8 foot Hardy Hibiscus form the back row and, in front, a bunch of 4 O'Clocks, a pot with Red Saliva and a dwarf Nadine shrub. This shot was about 6 p.m. on a cloudy day, so all the 4 O'clocks are open!  That one light pink one is about 40 inches tall! Unusual. The Back Yard Veggie Garden: You can see a summer bush squash, Bell Peppers and one of the tomatoes. That front squash is called  a bush squash"Enterprise," and makes a straight-neck yellow squash. Directly behind it is a bush Zucchini called "Spineless Beauty."   Not in view is a second tomato and Amy Melon vines in the corner beyond the bush

Good Eating Monday: Lemon Rosemary & Sun-dried Tomato Potato Salad

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In my "Summer of Potato Salad," here's is another Pinterest recipe try: Lemon Rosemary & Sundried Tomato Potato Salad! The appeal of this recipe was it called for fresh Rosemary & Parsley, both of which I have an abundance, so it was a chance to use my fresh herbs plus try a new recipe. I rate this potato salad recipe as "just okay."  It's a little too lemony for me. I think just using the zest would be enough. Making as directed, I found it necessary to add a tad of sweetness to cut the sour. The sun-dried tomatoes were probably the best part, but being mixed into the dressing made them really clumpy.  I recommend adding the herbs & chopped dried tomatoes directly to the chilled cut-up potatoes, then lightly stirring in, then adding the dressing afterwards. (photo is my own salad) Lemon Rosemary & Sundried Tomato Potato Salad Ingredients: 3 lbs of potatoes (about 6 or 7 medium red or gold) 1 Tablespoon salt 1/4 cup fi

Friday Finds: Suwanee River State Park!

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I've often seen the sign for Suwanee River State Park on I-10 on our way to the junction with I-75 South. It's located about halfway between Tallahassee and Jacksonville off of I-10. The land along the river was acquired for a park in 1936 and it opened in 1951. The Suwanee River Park has a long history. Andrew Jackson lead American forces through that area, looking for Indian strongholds in 1818. The region was also occupied by Confederate troops during the Civil War who built earthworks to protect their supply train. The Suwanee River & Lime Sink Run Meet Unique Park Features Include: *Long mounds of earthworks built during the Civil War by Confederate troops still visible. * Florida's oldest cemetery, which is all that remains of Columbus, a town established in 1841 that once thrived on riverboat traffic. * An original stagecoach trail, once a thoroughfare to Pensacola. * A paddle wheel shaft left behind by a 19th century steamboat. * Sawmil

Mama Kat Thursday: Some Days....

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There are some days when this quote is wholly appropriate.  A good number of years ago we had a young Air Force guy in our Bible Study group. He was about 22 and during the Bible at the Airman Center on base, I'd often see him suddenly shift from sitting upright on his stool to hanging over the top of the stool on his belly and turning the stool top in a circle with his feet. This was partly to keep himself awake.  After a long day on the job he just found it too hard sitting still. There was one time, though, when he was at our house on a Sunday evening for the Bible study and he didn't have work for an excuse. Right in the middle of my turn to share, he suddenly threw his hands up in the air and slid down in his chair, practically sliding out of it, so his head and shoulders were on the seat---pretty much like a 5 year old. And right in the middle of me speaking. Was I that boring? I was totally incensed.  That's when I put "my hat on" and in my sternest

Garden Pick Wednesday: Louisiana Iris!

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It was lightly cool and cloudy here in Northwest Florida today and I was able to get some things done. The 4 O'clocks our front needed staking and tying to keep them upright. One 4 O'clock is 3 feet tall with a very thick stem. I don't know whether it came up from a very mature tuber-root or just ambitious.  The Hardy Hibiscus in the same area needed tying to their stake--they're approaching 7 feet tall. I edged a bed on the north corner, removing grass and transplanting it to bare areas. (It's St. Augustine/Centipede type grass.) And staked and tied up the Bell Peppers, which are getting heavy with peppers and harvested 2 Zucchini. Today's Garden Pic is from earlier this spring: Louisiana Iris! This one's name is "Black Gamecock."  It's classed as black, but "black," iris are all really very dark, dark purple and how dark is greatly effected by soil ph.   Mine are just dark purple. Louisiana Iris grow well in

Good Eating Monday: Dill & Feta Red Potato Salad

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I'm making this the "Summer Of Potato Salad" and I'll be trying a series of new Potato Salad recipes I've found on Pintertest as I seek several new fresh ways for making this well known picnic side-dish! The reason is, I only know one method (classic Mayo-mustard) and I really need a new repartee of ideas---all cold types. I have a few young adults who come over on Sunday's for Bible Study to try them out on and they're actually excited to be part of the taste-testing, including 2 or 3 Air Force Academy cadets, who are in the area for a few weeks of "real life" Air Force experience. So this weeks try was "Dill & Feta Red Potato Salad." It was DELICIOUS! My taste-testers gobbled it down and gave it two-thumbs up! It's a keeper! No peeling and no Mayo;  dressing is an olive oil/red wine vinegar combo seasoned with garlic & Dill. (Photo is my own) Dill & Feta Red Potato Salad Ingredients 6 medium r

Friday Finds: Inspiring News!

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I don't know about you, but I'm sick of seeing nothing but bad news on the news media. So, I went looking for something better and found The Good News Network  that features nothing but positive and inspiring news stories! So, for Friday Find's today, I'm going to feature a few highlights from one of those inspiring stories:   8 Stories of Cops Being Absolutely Awesome in 2015!  (To see all the stories and read the details, visit the link above.) Police officers see a man in a wheelchair trying to mow his lawn, stop and mow it for him! ***** Police officer finds homeless family sleeping in car in city park and puts them up in a motel! ***** Police officer made a 6-year old Autistic Boy's  dream come true! ***** Police Officer stops at girl's lemonade stand and finds out she's trying to earn money for an iPad, since her family is financially struggling, and surprises her with a special gift! ***** I especially

Mama Kat Thursday: Best Job I Ever Had

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I've had many jobs over the course of my life, but my all time favorite was working at the Bolling Air Force Base Arts and Crafts Center in 1984, shortly after Hubby and I were married. It included  wood-working shop, ceramics shop, framing shop, a large from for art & craft classes and a small art supply store for brushes, paints, canvas, etc. Each of these areas also offered classes so, for a small fee, you could learn how to build something with wood, frame your own art, learn to paint in oil or watercolor and pour and paint your own ceramic pieces.  Joint Anacostia-Bolling Arts & Crafts Center (2017) I saw in the base paper a job opening at the Center and applied and was hired to manage and build-up the Craft side of the Center.  The Art Director wanted more classes offered, so my job was to find and hire instructors for a variety of art & craft classes as well as teach classes myself.  We had a friend, an Air Force officer, who did stained glass for a