When my sister and I were in junior high and our mother was teaching school there, a terrible thing happened to one of her students. Her family lost everything in a home fire! Mom knew how hard it would be for a junior high student to change schools in the middle of the year so she arranged for her to move in with us. There was no money involved, just love. My sister and I were used to having extra people stay with us. It might be family members down on their luck, or grandparents who could no longer maintain their homes, or long distant friends who often came to visit. So a young girl moving in with us was a treat. She came from a family with eleven children, and you’d think to loose one for a little while would be a welcomed change. After all, that would be one less mouth to feed, a little less laundry to wash, and one less voice you’d hear arguing with siblings. But it was just the opposite! Even with all those other children around, she was missed terribly. It was the love of her parents that gave them the courage to allow her to stay with us for awhile so she could finish out the school year and start fresh in the fall at her new school. Mother and her teacher friends arranged for clothes to be given to her and, of course, my sister and I were more than happy to share our things as well. Her name was Darlene Adams, and with so many sisters and 2 older brothers, she knew exactly how to get along with all of us without any jealousy. She admired Mom so much and appreciated what she was doing for her that when Saturday’s came and we had our chores to do, she willingly joined in and made it so much fun. The time flew by. She was always laughing about something and had us laughing, too.
Since Darlene is one of my best followers and a dear friend, I wanted to share a couple of her recipes and her own memories with you.
Ella, one of my granddaughters, was so excited to see the Royal wedding of Harry and Meghan that she set her alarm for 4:00 a.m. so she wouldn’t miss any of the beginning preparations. The rest of us decided to video it and watch it while we had an English Tea lunch, complete with pimento cheese, egg salad, and cucumber and tomato sandwiches, crust off, of course. The lunch was capped with short bread cookies Heather, my daughter, made from a recipe she got from her Aunt LaDonna. Granddaughter Callie helped with moving a table in front of the TV. And fitting the occasion, she crowned it with a lace tablecloth and their best china. Ella prepared the Earl Gray tea which was left steeping in the pot as we donned our grandmother’s finest hats and turned on the recording of the wedding. Ella was just as excited to see it for the second time and was happy to narrate to us so we wouldn’t miss anything. Henry, my little grandson, slept through most of it but woke up at the last minute, just in time for tea and cookies. He was more interested in those beautiful horses pulling the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex than he was in the gorgeous wedding gown the Duchess wore.
When I’m making a meal I often plan to make extra to use for another dish. This quiche’ is an example. All of the ingredients came from meals fixed earlier in the week. The baked asparagus was this time chopped into small pieces and put on the bottom of my quiche’ dish along with left over chicken. I cut up a few small fresh tomatoes and topped with a couple handfuls of mozzarella cheese. I whipped six eggs with about a cup of half and half, salt and pepper and a little paprika. Poured on top of the rest of the ingredients and baked at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until the liquid in the middle closes up. You don’t want to over bake.
Since we happen to have a generous supply of eggs from our happy, healthy roaming chickens I’m always looking for more recipes using eggs. This morning I fixed baked eggs in muffin tins. First spray the muffin pan with your favorite oil, then line each tin with pepperoni or Canadian bacon or ham. Then break an egg into the pan and top with tomato slices and basil. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes. It’s that simple. You can add cheese if you like and other toppings. This can be fun to let your guests make their own too just the way they want it. We had it for breakfast with our coffee but brunch is good also.
Last Summer one of my Ohio friends, Joy Limbach, gave me these hot peppers from her garden. They are called Scotch Bonnet and hotter than blazes! It only takes one for a pot of chili and two if you’re very brave. I used as many as I could when I first got them and then put them in the freezer. I had forgotten about them until today. I was fixing pork chops for dinner and decided I’d put the peppers in the oil while I fried them. Just in case the freezer had taken away some of the heat I used three! Then I made gravy from the dripping to pour over the rice. These peppers should maybe come with a warning!! No heat had escaped during the freezing of these peppers. I had to open all the windows and doors, put on my glasses and if I had a gas mask I would have used it! But my family raved about the delicious chops!! This was a great way to use these peppers and I will do it again. Warning… DO NOT EAT THE COOKED PEPPERS!! Throw them away..🔥
After many years of raising two very energetic little boys my sister, Rose Carol, had a precious baby girl. She called her Alycia Marie. I’m not sure where the Alycia part came from but I know Marie came from our maternal grandmother, Dessa Marie Tracy. Alycia grew up not in the shadows of her older brothers but very independent and capable of doing whatever she set her mind to. Along with this strong personality though she has this sweet gentle feminine side that matches her mother. Even with her living in California and us living way on the other side of the country we have managed to be together almost every year and when we do it’s for a week or two or three….so we’re very lucky to know each other well. On my last trip west she had us come to her house where we shared a meal from one of her favorite chefs, Barefoot Contessa , called baked shrimp scampi. It was a perfect evening between the sounds of enjoying the meal and the laughter that is always present when our family finally gets together again and we catch each other up on all the happenings of our lives since we were together last.