Monday, December 29, 2008

Is this trip really necessary?

Co-workers Christmas Travel adventure:

There but by the Grace of God, go I.

JK and hubby NK have two grown sons; one lives in Portland just off the 205 bypass and the other lives 40 miles from the coast near Chehalis, Washington. Even though the weather had been growing worse and worse i.e.; snow MORE snow, they decided to chance it because all that traffic would beat off the snow…maybe…

So they took off Tuesday afternoon, packed up the car with the dog in the crate and off they went. It was fairly clear sailing until they got to I5 near Roseburg and the snow was much worse than they had thought it might be. The weather conditions quickly reduced the travel speed to 30 mph. They got near Wilsonville and decided to slither off the freeway and ended up in a Shell station parking lot with lots of other cars in similar predicament. In the meantime it continued to snow until they had no visible guideposts by which to navigate. The Shell station had a bathroom and hot coffee. They dug out blankets and attempted to sleep but being pretty wired, sleep was fairly impossible. The radio advised chains. 205 was closed. Yipes! They did not have chains, so began calling around. Les Schwab had chains at a store about 4 miles back. So they got going early and floundered back to Les Schwab and stood in line for 2 hours waiting to purchase and have chains installed on their car. Great! Now they can head to Portland to son’s apartment. They called son to let them know they were on the way. Son told him his parking lot was snowed in, he might be able to hike out to the 205 on ramp and meet them there. No no, we have chains we will bust through and they did. Got loaded up with Portland son and headed up to Washington. People they talked to earlier told them that Washington was pretty clear, it only turned to sh*t when they crossed into Oregon. Okey dokey! They managed to follow a snow plow that was clearing up 205 and they got through and there was still lots of snow, very slow going at 20 mph with the chains. They got to Chehalis, more snow. Could barely make out off ramp signs. Missed the one they needed and put on hazard lights in order to carefully back up to the correct off ramp. Statie with lights and LOUDSPEAKER wanted to know WHAT THE #*$*% they thought they were doing! Demanded that they take off their chains by God he had a bolt cutter to take ‘em off if they couldn't’t wrestle them off by hand. Finally the cop let them back up and told them how to get to where they were going with chains and they needed them. By then, NK was pooped and Portland son took over driving. They literally crept the last 25 miles and Washington son had opened the middle bay of his humongous garage and they managed to gun it up the slope and slid into the garage. Phew!
They spent the next two or three days resting. JK went outside to check the snow depth in the back yard, fell in and couldn't’t get out. She was beached, two arms and a leg sunk in past daylight in the snow bank. Help! Helpity, Help HELP HELP!!! The son’s took pictures and hauled her out of the snow bank. Had to make special patch for the dog to go outside.

Trip back; managed to drive back without chains through Portland, dropped off Portland son, had lunch and took off. They got to Wilsonville and a fully loaded gasoline tanker had crashed and burned, the driver was killed, it was horrible. Took hours to get past Wilsonville. They got to all the freeway construction near Eugene, it was raining it was pitch black, couldn't’t see the highway markers at all. They turned on their Christmas Gift, a GPS and it told them, which turn, to take and got them through Roseburg and home about 10:30 pm last night. General consensus is “Lets NOT do that again!”

I commented that they were lucky they did not have to spend two days sleeping in an airport. At least the airport had bathrooms and was relatively warm was the response. Yeah……

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holly tree

Just took this picture of the very large holly tree in our backyard. You may have to click to embiggen to search for the few holly berries that remain. We have had a large flock of robins (Noisy,too) perch on the tree for a couple of weeks. I watched long enough to determine that yes, indeed,the robins were picking the berries, swallowing them whole, fertilizing and then going on to the next berry.
Perhaps someone from the birding community will weigh in to inform us the eating habits of robins and perhaps their Latin name. 'Kay?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Winner of the 2008 Christmas Card contest is........

The postman very kindly left an odd little envelope with the mail so I could dig up two thin dimes, envelope is now stuck in the outside of our mail box.

The winner is.....Team Ecland...very cute!

Runner up is Team Berglund from Letha. You may have to click to enlarge to appreciate the bas relief cut outs of the various depths of the Christmas Cookie. Very cute!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Breakfast in Coquille Christmas 2008

I put the ham in a 300 degree oven about 7 pm when I realized that the Top Chef Holiday Special was a RE-RUN from last year.

I also prepared the overnight sticky buns as follows:

Bag of frozen bread rolls
1 small package of butterscotch putting (cooked variety not instant(

Oil frozen bread rolls, sprinkle pudding mix over the top.
1/2 cup butter
2-3 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup pecans, if desired. ( I had walnuts on hand)

Pour over frozen rolls. Cover with tin foil. Let stand overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes. Cool ten minutes,turn over into plate.

I got up at 3 am to turn down to ham, rolls still had not risen, envisioned discarding in large trash bag...GAH!!

Got up a 7 am, took ham out of 170 degree oven, cranked oven up to 350.

Took tin foil off of rolls and BOY did they ever double in size! The top was over flowing the edge of the pan, the butter pats were going to slide off and burn, so I put two cookie sheets on the shelf below and put in the rolls to cook and hoped for the best. Stove promptly began smoking...a LOT! Husband took down the smoke alarm and hid it in a closet up stairs. He also opened the window in the sun room.
Again I envisioned discarding ruined sticky buns in a trash bag once they had cooled....GAH!!

Checked oven at 30 minutes and surprisingly enough the sticky buns looked done!
Turned off oven, closed window, replaced smoke alarm.

Turned out pretty good. Next time I highly recommend using HALF of the frozen rolls. Also the boned ham was very good. The stock pot in the back ground is processing the ham bone and other delicious bits for stock to be frozen and used later. Yummy! Envisioning taking HUMONGOUS Tupperware container to work filled with sticky buns.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Price of Gas, Cautionary Tales and Latkes

As you can see, gasoline price has jumped up just so we do not contribute to the low average nation wide,is what I'm thinking maybe?

Careful how you chew, husband was eating the next to last piece of blackberry pie and chomped down on a length of cane baked into the pie...on no you DI ent.

Them berries did not come from my bushes and I am always careful to pick with the tips of my fingers. I freeze the berries on a cookie sheet and when frozen, I inspect and dispose of extraneous bits.

Tonight I made Latkes in honor of Hanukkah, which fell on 12-21-08 this year. How can I relate a personal story about The Festival of Lights and the Solstice? Surprisingly both stories happened in Alaska,separated by time and geography (It's a big state).

When I was working in Barrow, we once had a Locums doctor come who was also a Rabbi. He wore the fedora and had the locks in front of his ears. He was a very nice man and a good doctor, I'm sure his mother was twice as proud. We asked him how he computed sundown being in Barrow and the sun did not rise above the horizon. He told us that his mentors had informed him that he could figure sundown in Anchorage. One day I wished him a Happy Hanukkah! and quick as a whistle he turned around and asked, "What do you call eight days of great sex?" Um, I don't know tell me... "Hanukkah Lewinsky".

In December 2005 I was working in Dillingham, Alaska. There was a horrible ice storm and the roads were so slick that my next door neighbor left where we lived and promptly slid across the road into the ditch. I started to leave for work and I heard this voice screech, "Don't go in to work, it's too slick!" Okay, I stayed home and decided to make fruit cake and decorate my Christmas tree. Eventually my neighbor had help slipping and sliding back across the road and came into my apartment for part of the morning. We could look out the window and see how many cars slid of the road. One car crept slowly into the front of my house. I poked my head out and asked if the lady wanted to come in and she did. We sat there and cut up dates and candied cherries etc to make fruit cake. Eventually the roads were cleared and she left. Got a small present from her a few days later, it was a Christmas tree decoration with the note "Happy Solstice" written on it.

There, took a while but I got there.

Oh and the Latke recipe? Dead easy: shred 3 large Russet potatoes,(wring water out of potatoes) chop 1 half onion, mix 2 eggs with 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup biscuit mix. Mix well, fry in mix of oil and butter 3 to 4 minutes each side. Keep warm on a cookie sheet in a 250 degree oven until done frying up the batches of cakes.
Serve warm with applesauce, dab of sour cream. Happy Hanukkah!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Down wif da gas prices and breakfast in Coquille

Er...the LAST price posted was 1.76 the same day the OPEC dropped oil production by 2%. Um, THIS price was just posted yesterday and I believe I saw a headline where the price for oil had dropped to 35 dollars per barrel, not the price OPEC had in mind at all. Tighten your seat belts,it's going to be a bumpy ride.

We decided to essay forth to break our fast at Fraziers. Yummy! I had the special One slice of French toast,two sausage links, one scrambled egg and a side of country hash browns( red potatoes, onion, green pepper). Husband had chicken fried steak, two eggs over hard, country hash browns and rye toast, OJ and coffee. Burp. We didn't have to cook, we didn't have to wash dishes and we didn't have to drive to Coos Bay.

Oh yes the trivia question was: "In 779 the Chinese printed a book entitled Cha'o Ching. What was this handbook all about?" I guessed cookbook. Nope.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Holy Moley it SNOWED in Coquille

You may have to click to enlarge to actually see the snow, we got about an inch then the sun came out and melted melted drip drip drip!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

OPEC and global warming

OPEC announced a cut in oil production and the Exxon station raised gas prices 18 cents per gallon.

It has gotten chilly here on the normally moist and humid Oregon coast. It dropped to 24 degrees last night and today when I got off work to go do a little shopping I took this picture of the fountain in front of the museum..look carefully...the water is frozen solid.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Medical update

For those members of my family whose email addresses bounced back:

Talked to Mom this evening. She has been complaining of shortness of breath in the last couple of months and she saw her FNP today who put her on oxygen. Her O2 sats were hovering near 90%, normal is 100% on room air. Norco will be supplying little green bottles. She has an appointment on the 31st, I am hoping her MD can give her a diagnosis.

12008 Bulwer Lytton Contest

The KGB agent known only as the Spider, milk solids oozing from his mouth and nose, surveyed the spreading wound in his abdomen caused by the crushing blow of the low but deadly hassock and begged of his attacker to explain why she gone to the trouble of feeding him tainted milk products before effecting his assassination with such an inferior object as this ottoman, only to hear in his dying moments an escaping Miss Muffet of the MI-5 whisper, "it is my whey."
David Potter
Nagoya, Japan

Winner: Vile Puns
Vowing revenge on his English teacher for making him memorize Wordsworth's "Intimations of Immortality," Warren decided to pour sugar in her gas tank, but he inadvertently grabbed a sugar substitute so it was actually Splenda in the gas.
Becky Mushko
Penhook, VA

The Jones family held their annual family reunion on Easter going through over six dozen spiral-cut, hickory-smoked hams and several bottles of a fine Australian shiraz, before Farmer Jones, the head of the family, took the leavings back to Manor Farm to slop Napoleon and his other champion hogs but the seventy-six ham bones fed the pig's tirade.
Michael L. VanBlaricum
Santa Barbara, CA

These were NOT the winners! I am amazed.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Late lunch at the Portside

We decided to go to Coos Bay for some last minute grocery and Christmas shopping and have luncheon at the Portside in Charleston. We puttered around and JUST as we got out of Freddy's, threw cash at the Bell ringer, it opened up and poured straight down. We had been warned about extreme weather coming and it got here, best stay out of elevation of 1500 feet or higher, twill snow, SNOW, SNOW.

Anyway toodled out to the Portside and found ourselves the only people willing to order lunch in this ghastly weather. We had the undivided attention of the waitress and the cooperation of the chef. Tim wanted steak, which was only offered on the dinner menu but yeah they would fire up the salamander and make him a well done piece of Grade A sirloin. They did not have exactly what I wanted either so I asked for halibut and scallops. They whipped up a special order for me. Delicious! Dessert was two spoons and an order of caramel flan.

Then we went home the "back way" over Seven Devils road to 101 and then to Coquille just in time for a post prandial nap. Life is good.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I filled up! and more cooking

I went shopping and decided to top off the tank, I pulled up, my jaw dropped, so had the prices....pretty soon they will be GIVING it away!

This is a rather murky picture of one of my prized possessions. It is a 1907 White House cook book. Grandma LaVann had one and I used a recipe from it to make custard using duck eggs. It was as smooth as silk, and rich and I HATE custard!
The duck eggs were a bonus, a great uncle just up the road had gifted the house with a dozen duck eggs. They didn't have Google then so I consulted the LaVann library.

I found this edition while shopping with my sister on a Seattle visit. She took me to one of the many Mom and Pop neighborhoods and we browsed a book store. I still have the receipt, I paid 25 bucks, plus tax for it! I was making North Slope money in those days.

I like to read some of the advice as well as the recipes for instance:

Facts Worth Knowing:

To Preserve Brooms: Dip them for a minute or two in a kettle of boiling suds once a week and they last much longer, making them tough and pliable. A carpet wears much longer swept with a broom cared for in this manner.

Cough syrup: Syrup of Squills four ounces, syrup of tolu four ounces; tincture of blood root one and one-half ounces, camphorated tincture of opium four ounces. Mix. Dose for an adult one teaspoon repeated every two to four hours or as often as necessary. (Holy MOLEY, must Google syrup of squills, syrup of tolu, and tincture of blood root)

and lastly


Don't sleep in a draught.
Don't go to bed with cold feet.
Don't stand over hot air registers.
Don't eat what you do not need, just to save it.
Don't try to get too cool too quickly after exercising.
Don't sleep in a room without ventilation of some kind.
Don't stuff a cold lest you should next be obliged to starve a fever.
Don't sit in a damp or chilly room without a fire.
Don't try to get along without flannel underclothing in winter.

Much to ponder....

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Odd little dream...

I woke this morning after having dreamt of being at an entertainment of some sort, I was in the way of someone who asked me to move. I moved to another spot. Then the surgeon at my facility asked me to thread a curved needle for him, so I had to scoot my glasses down my nose in order to focus on the needle and thread. He complimented my eye color.

Then the entertainment began and it was sort of grade school level stuff. I then seemed to be walking about my home town with a couple of friends and a small child. I was appointed to return the child to the entertainment facility and of course it turned into one of those looks familiar places but I'm lost kind of deals.


To dream of a doctor in a social atmosphere, foretells of good health and prosperity.

I'll take it!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

No change in gas prices and Retro's old cook book


Edited somewhat freely by Retro

This booklet is my Christmas gift to my friends and family. It is a project that I have been thinking about actually doing for some time but didn't because my computer was on the move so much and finally caught up with me this year. Hazzah! (Thanks again, Leo and Ellen!)(remember this was originally written in 1993 in Barrow, AK)

For some years now I have possessed Mom's original 8 x 10 tan plastic file box that contains most of her recipes plus others collected over the years. The following is a "cookbook" if you will, containing favorite family recipes and not so favorite. I will attempt to give credit where credit is due. If anyone remembers anything different feel free to make manual correction to your copy for posterity if nothing else. I will also make special notation of memories evoked by certain recipes and whether or not the dish was considered "childhood food abuse".

CAUTION: These are recipes that fed a large hungry family and may not bear close nutritional scrutiny by Registered Dietitians.




I do NOT know where this came from. It is a hand written recipe on scrap paper. The handwriting does not look familiar so here goes.

6 ounces orange juice
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/4 or 1/3 cup sugar
1 or 2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

blend ... yum!

NOTE: Due to the lack of detailed instructions advanced cooks will be comfortable dumping the ingredients into a blender and giving it a whirl. Novices may wish to call home for instructions.

ADDENDUM TO ORANGE JULIUS: The title reminds me of one time years ago when I was standing in line at an Orange Julius in Marin County, California when I discovered just why fat ladies wearing Muumuu's ( and no underwear as near as my shocked eyes could ascertain) should NEVER bend over to pick something up off the floor.



I believe I may have obtained this casually at coffee break while working at Walter Knox Memorial Hospital in Emmett, Idaho. It is a bulk recipe for large families.

10 1/2 cup dried milk
1 pound can Nestled Quik Chocolate
16 oz. jar Cremora
1 cup powdered sugar

TO MIX: Put two heaping tablespoons in a cup fill with hot water, mix well.

COMMENT: To my personal recollection I have never tried this recipe but it sounds good.



Boil 6 cups water with 4 cups sugar until clear, set aside to cool.

MIX TOGETHER: One 46 oz. can Pineapple juice
One 12 oz. can frozen Orange juice
4 or 5 bananas mashed or blended with 1/2 of the Orange juice

Add sugar syrup and mix well. Freeze over night.
To mix: In a large punch bowl, add 4 quarts 7-UP to mixture after thawing until mushy.

This is a delicious drink and worth the mess and effort!!



1 cup inexpensive whiskey, "Idaho Gold" is recommended
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup "Borden's" condensed milk or Eagle brand milk.
3 tbsp Hershey's chocolate (liquid topping)
1/2 to 1/2 tsp coconut extract.
1 egg (optional)

Combine ingredients, blend until mixed, do not over whip and store in attractive bottle.

COMMENT: I got this recipe from Kaye Brown, (WKMH lab tech) who in turn got it from Pat Carlson (WKMH business office clerk) who is funny about sharing her recipes (Noted 12-21-1989)

ADDENDUM: The taste is harsh. I recommend purchasing the cheaper Carolan's and pretending that it is Bailey's. Oh heck! Just go buy the Bailey's!!




I consider this recipe to belong to my grandmother, Nora Beatrice Lattimer Horn, who we grandchildren lovingly called "Little Grandma". One of my favorite memories are of her cooking this recipe in a two quart hammered aluminum Paul Revere cooking pot. She scraped out every morsel that she could find as part of the finished product but as the oldest grandchild in close attendance, I would usually get to lick the utensils and scrape the pot again for any left overs. Delicious!! (I DO hope that the aluminum causing Alzheimer's theory is in error!)

1 cup white sugar 1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup broken nut meats
1/4 cup cream 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup crushed pineapple

Cook sugar, cream and pineapple until a soft ball forms in cold water. Remove from fire, add butter and beat until creamy, add vanilla and nutmeats; drop by spoonfuls onto a buttered plate and cool.

ADDENDUM: My most lasting memory of eating Hawaiian Penuche was one Halloween years ago when we were allowed to go "Trick or Treating" in Emmett and the local neighbors living around my other grandmother, N.R.B., (whom we grandchildren naturally called "Big Grandma") mostly made home made treats, candied apples, popcorn balls and one of the treats was Hawaiian Penuche. What a wonderful taste.



On a cookie sheet, place soda crackers end-to-end covering the entire pan.

Bring to a boil; 1 cup of butter, 1 cup brown sugar, boil for two minutes.

Spoon onto crackers and spread evenly and bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and spread a small package of chocolate chips evenly over the crackers. Chopped walnuts may be added on top of the chocolate chips. The heat will melt the chocolate chips, then spread gently and allow to cool in the refrigerator. Break into pieces and serve.

COMMENT: This is quite good and minimally messy, and easy to make. Also it is not one of Mom's recipes. I picked this up while working at St. Alphonsus Hospital in Boise, Idaho from co-workers.



Hmmm, I have noticed that once again this recipe is not one of Mom's but part of the collection I have made over the years. Not too sure where this one came from but I used it a lot when Charlie was little. It is tart and sweet. Very good.

1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 & 2/3 tsp vinegar ( 5 tsp.)

Boil together until mixture spits and strings when dropped into ice water. Enough to cover 2-3 quarts of popped corn.



1/2 cup butter 1/4 cup milk
1 cup brown sugar 1 & 3/4 to 2 cups powdered sugar

Melt butter in saucepan, add brown sugar, and boil over low heat for two minutes stirring constantly. Stir in milk and bring to boil stirring constantly. Cool to Luke warm. Gradually add powdered sugar, beat until thick enough to spread. If it is too thick, add a bit of hot water.

COMMENT: This is one of Mom's original recipes and I do not remember exactly what kind of cake she put it on but the icing was memorable.



Combine: 2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light syrup
1/2 cup water

Cook over low heat to hard ball stage (275 degrees)
Beat 2 eggs and 1/8 tsp. C.T.* Beat egg whites and 1/8 tsp salt until stiff but still moist. Add syrup slowly and continue to beat, after thickening add 1 tsp * 1 cup nutmeats. Beat until will hold shape.

COMMENT: I have typed verbatim from the file card. I do not know what "C.T." (Cream of Tartar I think) I assume the 1 tsp ingredient is vanilla but I may be wrong. I am assuming the two eggs are separated, the yolks are added to the sugar, syrup water mixture and the whites are beaten separately and folded into the syrup later. Advanced cooks will be able to successfully interpret these directions, Novices should call home.

ADDENDUM: Divinity is tricky at best. Sometimes it cooks up nice and stiff, sometimes it becomes "spoon candy". I think the amount of humidity and weather have something to do with the process but don't know for sure.


I am listing the remaining candy recipes for your pleasure, there are too many to include in this edition and if anyone really, really wants one, give me a call; I will consider it my duty as Keeper of the Recipes to share these treats.

Brown sugar popcorn glaze Speedy Chocolate Fudge
Can't Fail 5 Minute Fudge Peanut Brittle
Refrigerator Fudge (Karo) Pink Icing (Red Jell-o)
Chocolate Frosting (Eagle Brand)




3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 cup pumpkin
2 eggs
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice

Mix together,bake in uncooked pie shell in 350 degree oven until toothpick pulls clean from the center. Makes one pie. Please feel free to double or triple ingredients for more pies! This recipe comes from Little Grandma's recipe book that came with her brand new wood cooking range (Home Comfort) purchased in very early 20th century.

COMMENT: I have eaten this pumpkin pie recipe for as long as I can remember sitting down to family Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners. It cooks up solidly enough so that when cool one can pick up a piece and eat out of ones hand. I have always considered this critical in pumpkin pie and have despised the two inch thick creamy pudding-like type of pumpkin pie that requires considerable plate ware and cutlery to consume safely. Also the spices are extremely important, do not mess with either substituting type or quantity. The recommended amounts of spice are perfect. You can tell if someone has been messing around with the recipe, the pie is either too dark or too light in color -- a dead give away. NEVER use ginger, ick! ick! ick!

HISTORICAL REMARKS: Instances of happily consuming this pumpkin pie recipe come to mind. The most memorable was one Thanksgiving when Mom and Dad and the rest of the family (except me, I was deemed to be mature enough to remain in Emmett to finish high school) moved to Susanville, California. Some family friends decided that I was missing the folks and kids too much over the holidays and since they had relatives to visit nearby they kindly offered to take me to Susanville. So we drove into town, I don't even have a clue as to how we found the house where they were living (I must have jotted down an address but knowing me I think we winged it and simply drove around the small town looking for the family car). Anyway, I knocked on the back door and surprised my mother out of several years of growth. We had a nice Thanksgiving. Which brings me back to the pumpkin pie. Richard and I were struggling over who was going to get a piece of remaining pumpkin pie and the entire pie wound up on the floor. We salvaged the pie and ate it anyway. It was delicious!!! I don't remember much about Susanville but it was a small enough town to get away with making a U-turn on Main Street in order to park.



4 eggs 1 tbsp water
1 1/2 cups sugar pinch salt
1 lemon

Beat yolks until thick, gradually add 3/4 cup sugar and then add grated lemon rind and juice of lemon. Cook in double boiler until thick. Fold into stiffly beaten egg whites to which 3/4 cup sugar has been added. Put into baked pie crust and brown in hot oven.

COMMENT: I have no memories of every having eaten or prepared this recipe. It sounds good, however.


The recipe comes from Wanda Beal with whom I worked at Walter Knox Memorial Hospital for over five years. She says the recipe comes from the Beals of Ola, Idaho and is the best rhubarb pie. The secret is cutting the rhubarb up in extremely fine slices.

2 cups finely cut rhubarb.

Over the rhubarb pour enough boiling water to cover the rhubarb. Let the rhubarb steam while mixing the rest of the recipe. This will allow the rhubarb to parboil yet be sufficiently crunchy to texture.

Mix: 1 cup sugar, 1 egg yolk, and 1 tbsp flour.

Drain all but about 3 tbsp water from the rhubarb.
Add sugar mixture to rhubarb as it cooks.
Pour into baked shell.
Cover with meringue using the white from the one egg beaten with 1/4 of the cup of sugar used to sweeten the rhubarb. You may have to use additional egg white to make enough meringue.
Bake meringue topped pie in a 350 degree oven until nicely browned (approximately fifteen minutes).

COMMENT: I have prepared this recipe. You may wish to parboil the rhubarb a bit longer than called for. Make plenty of meringue and don't overcook it like I did to the point of crunchiness.


from Margaret Lavann

4 cups flour 2 3/4 cups Crisco
1/2 tsp salt 1 tbsp sugar

Mix above and add:

1 egg 1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 cup water

Mix well and refrigerate 15 minutes then make up into use for pie crust. The recipe freezes well and bakes up very flaky and can be handled quite a long time before it gets tough.

COMMENT: I like this mix when I can't get my hands on my favorite commercially prepared mix that you simply warm to room temperature then gently unfold and plop in the pie pan. Hooray for some technology!!!




1 cup mayonnaise (Do NOT under ANY circumstances use anything else!! such as Miracle Whip, for instance)
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup warm water
3 tbsp cocoa (Unsweetened)
2 tsp soda
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

Beat ingredients together for five minutes, bake in good sized rectangular casserole dish, greased and floured for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Done when toothpick comes clean from the center of the cake.

COMMENT: This cake is moist and delicious. As a family we are accustomed to eating it without icing, a pat of butter on the top is delicious however. Some people I know are given to a sour cream icing but it really is a bit much flavor-wise. I have also discovered that this cake does not refrigerate well, it gets stiff and gummy, just leave it out in a cupboard at room it lasts that long.
Don't let the mayonnaise part put you off, you cannot taste the mayo it takes the place of the eggs and oil y'see and if you don't like it because it has mayo in, I pity your obviously blighted taste buds.

ASSOCIATED MEMORIES: I have eaten and prepared this cake many times. My earliest memory of eating this cake is somehow associated with when I was a Brownie scout for a brief period when we lived in Boise. Go figure.



1 cup cooked raisins -- use liquid from raisins to make 1 cup.
2 cups flour
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1 tsp soda
1/2 cup shortening
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice

COMMENT: There are no further directions on the file card. I assume the batter is mixed together, poured into a cookie sheet to a depth of 1 to 1/2 inches and baked in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until done.

Frost with powdered sugar frosting. Mix 1/2 box powdered sugar with 1 or 2 tbsp of water or to a fairly thin consistency for easy spreading. Cut into bars and serve.

FURTHER COMMENT: I remember first eating this cake as a child when Dad worked on the Hell's Canyon Dam project for Idaho Power. We were living in Daggett's Trailer park , some acreage carved out of a hillside along side a creek. I remember one time that Mom hung out some wash on the line and we all went in the car to go see something (I think T.K. Jensen was moving what seemed like the world's largest crane from one spot to another so we went to watch) Anyway by the time we got back a rainstorm had come up and when we got back home the wash was all collapsed into the colorful mud. Mom had some equally colorful phrases. The recipe has persisted well over the years being made up and taken to many country dances at Ola, etc. and on other occasions.

There was a neighbor lady who may or may not have given the recipe to Mom and who also (I think) taught me how to make bound button holes as I was in the midst of hand sewing some item or another for a doll of mine (I think).



1 cup Softasilk (A brand of flour , you may substitute at will)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 375 (Moderate) Grease a 15 x 10 1/2 inch jelly roll pan; line bottom with greased brown paper or aluminum foil.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Beat eggs until very thick and lemon colored. Gradually beat in sugar, blend in at low speed water and vanilla. Slowly mix in dry ingredients just until batter is smooth.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes. Turn upside down on a towel sprinkled with confectioner's sugar. Remove paper, trim off edges while hot, roll cake and towel from narrow end. Cool on wire rack, unroll, remove towel, spread with jelly of choice and reroll.

COMMENT: My most vivid memory of this particular cake was that it was difficult to fool around with (All the rolling and unrolling probably) and Mom tended to lose her temper in proportion to the number of hungry mouths waiting to eat the thing. It never lasted very long. A quite elegant dessert much under appreciated for Mom's effort to produce for our consumption.



Same recipe for pound cake only substitute for water:
1/4cup vodka, 1/4 cup Galiano, 3/4 cup orange juice.

I don't have a pound cake recipe among this collection so you are on your own.


1 1/4 cup sugar 1 tbsp butter 1 egg
1 can pie cherries 1/2 cup water 1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp soda dash salt 2 tsp cinnamon
Bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees F.


Cream 2/3 cups shortening with 1 1/2 cups sugar, dissolve 2 tsp soda in 1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce (or pineapple). Add 3 cups flour, which has been sifted once before measuring. 1 cups chopped dates, 1 cup nets & 1 tsp lemon extract. Mix together thoroughly, pour into a well greased loaf pan; bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes to one hour.



Cream together until fluffy: 2/3 cup shortening and 1 2/3 cup sugar.

Beat in 3 eggs. Sift together 2 2/3 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, and 1 tsp salt.

Stir in alternately; 1 cup milk and 1 tsp vanilla.

Fold in 1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. Bake layers 25 to 30 minutes @ 350 degrees F. Bake oblong 35 to 40 minutes.



Blend: 2 cups sugar, 1 stick butter or margarine, 2 or 3 eggs lightly beaten, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder.

Combine: 2 cups flour with the above.

Add: 1 cup sour cream, 1 tbsp vanilla.

Pour batter in heavy frying pan or 1/4 inch bundt pan greased and floured.

Topping: 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 stick butter, and 1/2 cup nuts. Sprinkle evening on top of batter. Bake at 350 degrees for exactly* 45 minutes.

*One second longer will produce a substance worthy of the name cement and hideously difficult to clean out of the frying and/or bundt pan.



3 cups chopped apples (about 6 big ones)
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix all of the above together and put in an 8 x 12 pan.

Mix Topping: 1 cup rolled oats regular or quick but not instant (Instant tends to be slimy). 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter (1 cube), 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 cup flour.

Mix topping to consistency of crumbs, sprinkle on the apple mixture. Bake 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees F. Any fresh fruit will work with this recipe.



2/3 cup sugar 1 egg
1/4 cup shortening 1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla 2 tsp baking powder

Cream shortening & sugar; add unbeaten egg, add flavoring. Beat thoroughly, Sift flour, measure and sift with salt and baking powder. Add alternately with milk to creamed shortening and sugar. Bake in moderate oven (375 degrees) for 35 minutes.

This can be used for upside down cake by covering bottom of pan with waxed paper. Cover with 2 tbsp melted butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, layer of slices of drained pineapple or other cooked fruit. Cover with cake batter. Bake in moderate oven (375) for 30 minutes.



1 1/2 cups sugar 2 cups flour
2 tsp soda pinch salt
2 eggs 1 tsp vanilla
1 cup nuts 1 cup fruit cocktail and juice

mix the above into smooth batter and pour into oblong 8 x 12 pan.
Sprinkle batter with 1/4 cup brown sugar. Bake in 350 degree oven until
done. 40-50 minutes.

TOPPING: To be poured on top of cake after it is baked ---
1/2 cup margarine 1/2 cup milk 3/4 cup sugar, boil together for two minutes and pour onto cooled cake. Allow topping to absorb overnight. This makes a lovely moist cake. I think I got this recipe while working at Fairchild Semiconductor from a Korean co-worker.



This is not one of Mom's recipes but one I begged from Leitha Fashauer many years ago. Her recipe is delicious and I accidentally discovered why I had hated most fruit cakes for many years... they all had citron in 'em!! Out with the citron and on with the cake.

Tony and Leitha Fashauer lived just up the road from Grandma LaVann in Mendocino County. They had a lovely place and grew huge gardens. My most favorite spot to visit was the chicken pen because the chickens kept scratching up the ground and it was easy to find Indian arrow heads there, I found several over quite a few visits. They were very fine folks to know.

2 cups flour 2 cups sugar 8 eggs lightly beaten
1 lb dates 1/2 lb green candied cherries
4 cups walnuts 1/2 lb red candied cherries
4 tsp vanilla 8 slices candied pineapple

Flour dates lightly, sift flour, and mix with sugar. Add beaten eggs and vanilla. Cut dates, pineapple and cherries in large pieces and mix with broken walnut meats. Add to flour and eggs. Line pans with greased brown paper and wax paper. Bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours for a large loaf, 1/2 for small loaf. When cool, brush with brandy and Contreau, and wrap well.

I have never brushed them with brandy or Contreau. This cooks up to a lovely solid slicing cake, it does not crumble into a disgusting gray mess like some fruit cakes I could mention. They make wonderful Christmas gifts.



Mix and set aside: one 8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/3 cup sugar, pinch of salt, one 6 oz pkg. chocolate chips.

Sift; 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 Bittersweet cup cocoa, 1 tsp soda, 1 cup sugar.

Add to dry ingredients; 1 cup water, 1/3 cup oil, 1 tbs vinegar, 1 tsp vanilla.

Spoon batter into muffin tins, drop cream cheese mixture in equal portions into each cup. Stir through 1 or 2 times, sprinkle with chopped nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

COMMENT: I think a former sister-in-law provided this recipe and it is delicious, but unfortunately the cupcakes themselves look like a seagull flew over and left presents. Just ignore how they look.



Mix and sift dry ingredients into a bowl.

1 1/4 cup sugar 2 2/3 cup sifted cake flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt.

Add 1/2 cup shortening 1 cup milk 3 tbsp caramelized syrup

Beat two minutes with mixer at medium speed. Add 2 large eggs, 1 tsp vanilla and beat 2 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees 25 to 35 minutes in a 9 x 12 pan.

Caramelized sugar syrup

Heat 1/2 cup sugar in heavy frying pan until melted. Continue heating until sugar begins to smoke. Add 1/2 cup boiling water all at once and cook to smooth thick syrup. (Be careful when you add the water so you don't get burned).

Burnt Sugar Icing

cook together 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbs caramelized syrup
2/3 cup evaporated milk or cream

cook to soft ball stage. Add 2 tbsp butter and 3/4 tsp vanilla and beat until creamy. Spread on cooled cake.

Comment: This recipe comes from Arlene Huber a fellow graduate from EHS and co-worker at WKMH for many years. She got the recipe from her mother, Viola Huber a retired nurse from WKMH. I have been too chicken to attempt this recipe because I know deep down in my heart that I will somehow make a burnt sacrifice out of this one. But it is a lovely cake recipe.


A marriage and the passage of time interrupted me. In the meantime Mom produced her own cook book for us kids as a Christmas project one year. Her book has more favorites and I would respectfully refer you to hers.


Every once in a while, Mom would cook fried calf brains and pretend it was potatoes. Never worked for me. It tasted exactly like fried nothing. Yick.

Liver and onions—another non favorite. I have discovered that genetically I am a non taster. You can get some litmus paper and put it in your mouth. If it is bitter you are a taster. If you taste nothing, you are a non taster and theoretically Liver should not taste offensive to you. So Mom’s liver and onions always smelled good but it was tough and required a steak knife to cut and there were never enough onions. I believe the best liver I ever had was one of the Deer hunting seasons at Grandma Lavann’s ranch. Some one had killed a young buck and we had fresh buck chops and liver for breakfast the next day. It was delicious. The liver was cooked rare in bacon drippings and I have never tasted anything better. But I also cheerfully acknowledge that eating in a semi camping situation gives one an appetite.

I may do more retro projects from Barrow, most of my Bush Diaries did not make it tothe computer age.

Merry Christmas and Alez Cuisine!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The price of gas and cooking pumpkins

Okay, gas continues to drop, 1.81 today. The tanker was there as I pulled in and I wondered if it delivered yet more low cost fuel or if things have bottomed out...unlike the economy.

Aren't these cute little pumpkins? I brought home a baking pumpkin about 8 inches across. I Googled a recipe; 2 chopped apples, 1 cup chopped walnuts, 1 cup raisins, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp cinnamon,1/4 tsp Allspice, 1 tsp lemon juice. Clean out pumpkin, mix ingredients, pour into pumpkin, cook with lid on for 2 hours in 350 degree oven.....sigh... The results were less than spectacular, it certainly SOUNDED good,but taste wise, meh. I tossed the whole thing. Next time I wanna cook pumpkin, I'll roast it, use a little brown sugar and butter and that's IT. Made the house smell good, the cats gave me the evil eye because they didn't get to so much as sniff at the dish.