Rivertown Butcher Shop, You never "sausage" a place.

Randy Pearson, owner.
With a motto of "you never 'sausage' a place, Randy Pearson presents a unique outlook and twist to the butcher's profession!! A veteran of the Marine Corp. he brings a tough work ethic and tireless high standards to his place of business.

Mobile Smoker
MAs you pull up outside the front door the customised smoker he invented greets you. As often as not it is fired up and he will have all manner of meat sizzling away slowly as the grey smoke waifs up to your nostrils teasing you with what he has cooking.

Big Green Egg
Flanking the other side of his front door is a "Big Green Egg" he also cooks on and it too may very well be fired up with some tasty treat. Randy sells prepared to order BBQ and smoked dishes for his lucky clientele and will also cater.

Deli Case
As you enter you can't help but notice the long deli counter that flanks the left side of the store with the featured BOAR'S HEAD meats and cheeses. I have often commented that I suspect nicotine is injected into the Arostica  Chicken and Tavern Ham which explains why they are habit be forewarned!! Not to mention the Dill Havarti and Pepper Havarti!!! OH MY GOSH!!!

Fresh Seafood
Fresh seafood is another specialty. His deliveries are several times a week which insures his fresh is really fresh. Many times I have ordered a 5 pound case of trout and picked them up as the truck pulled away from the curb. Imagine my surprise one day upon opening a fresh box of trout to have been greeted by a fish with a note fastened to him pleading, "please don't eat me"!!!! That Randy, we all howled. I can also attest to wonderful copper river salmon, grouper, walleye, and oysters, as well as shrimp and many other seafood items I have seen but not yet tried.

Seafood Case
The chickens are free range and always fresh and plump. He features custom tenderized and marinaded boneless skinless chicken breasts as well as a large selection of stuffed chicken breasts that are prepared and ready to cook.

Prime and Choice Steaks and Roasts
There are always choice and prime steaks displayed and they are custom cut to your specifications. Beef is ground while you wait from selected cuts to be made into regular ground beef, ground round, and ground sirloin. May times whole sections of beef, a whole beef tenderloin for example, are run at special sale pricing and are then cut for you to your specifications at no additional charge. Freezer wrap is also available.

Sausages Made In-House
Randy has another claim to fame and that is his sausage making. He daily features a long case of his custom made sausages and I can tell you first hand they are out of this world. You can also order specialty items like his turkey brats which are low calorie and you will not even believe they are not pork!!

Collection of Wheaties Boxes Overlook the Shop.
I also want to mention that Diane, Mrs. Randy Pearson also can often be seen working from behind the register or the meat counter. She is a ray of Carolina sunshine and genuine charm and adds warmth and grace anytime you are fortunate enough to speak with her. You will recognise her as her smile lights up the place!! It is a for real family business as Randy's father as well as their sons and daughter in law may also be who is waiting on you from behind the counter.

My last note of interest is to all of you out there who admire unique collections. The Pearson's have on display a Wheaties box collection, Bobble head collection, various pork paraphernalia, like a flying pig, not to mention sports stuff and things I have yet to figure out......

Located at 7766 Fruitwood Lane in Newburgh, In. 47630. Telephone 1- 812-853-9808.


Heaven in a Pickle Jar, Fresh Pack Pickles.

Heaven in a Pickle Jar.
Very odd things make me happy and pickle recipes are one of them. I have always loved pickles and I have collected pickle recipes for ages. The last two years I have gotten and/or improvised fresh pack pickles and they are just super. Nowhere near the mess and great results. You just make them as you need them or make a lot as long as you keep them refrigerated. I have never had a problem with spoilage.

This recipe was adapted from one given to me by a very special lady. Over in Henderson, Ky. she is known as the Herb Lady, Mickey Theines. She first told me about them and said they were "Heaven in a Jar." They are wonderful. If you are one of the many who have a fresh herb garden going, this recipe is for you as it calls for fresh herbs. If not there are probably herb plants at the local garden center marked down to nothing so I would try that before resorting to dried herbs.

Yield 1 quart Heavenly Pickles:

2 C. white vinegar
1/2 C. salt
6 C. water

Heat all together to dissolve.

2 stems of rosemary
3 stems of tarragon
4-6 medium cucumbers cut into spears

Pack washed cucumbers cut into spears along with the rinsed and dried herbs into clean and sterile jars. Cover with the cooled brine and screw on cap tightly. Keep refrigerated until eaten.

Store excess brine in a clean jar in the refrigerator for the next batch. It won't be long as they are truly a "Heavenly" pickle.


Moo Shu Pork

Moo Shu Pork
Chris, my oldest son cooked dinner for me on a resent visit. I loved it so I asked if he minded sharing a photo and his version of the recipe. Happily he humored me and here it is. Quick, easy, and delicious!!

He adapted his recipe from a Food Network Magazine Cookbook titled Great Easy Meals. 

3 T. Hoisin sauce plus more for serving
3 T. rice vinegar
2 cloves of garlic minced
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
2 lbs. lean pork chops trimmed of the fat and cut into thin strips
2-3 T. peanut oil
4 oz. shiitake mushrooms stemmed and sliced
16 oz. Cole slaw mix or shredded cabbage and carrots
1 bunch green onions sliced
12-14 bib lettuce leaves washed and dried

Whisk Hoisin sauce, vinegar, garlic,and 1/2 t. each of salt and pepper in a large bowl, add the pork and marinade for at least 10 minutes or up to overnight. 

Heat wok and add 1 T. oil. Using tongs remove the pork from the marinade (save the marinade to add in later) and stir fry in the hot oil for about 4 minutes until browned. Transfer the pork to a plate. Add 3-4 T. water to the wok and stir to make the juices, pour over the meat on the plate and set aside for now.

Add the remaining oil to the wok and stir fry the mushrooms for 2 minutes. Add the slaw mixture and stir until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the pork, the reserved marinade, and the green onions, then stir fry another 2 minutes. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed. Wrap in the prepared bib lettuce leaves and eat from your fingers!! Serve with additional Hoisin sauce and garnish with additional green onions if desired. Serves 4.

This is not only a tasty meal, it is a fun meal.


Frosted Sugar Cookies

Grandma thinks these
look as good as they taste!!
I was looking for a cookie that takes sprinkles as I am going to take them to some children I know would enjoy them!! I read a blog called annies-eats and saw this cookie recipe and could not resist. Everything I have ever tried from her blog we have liked so off I went and was not disappointed!! She adapted the recipe from Hostess with the Mostess and have adapted from her.

These make about 2 dozen large soft cookies as she gave it but I made them smaller and got 4 dozen still large cookies.


Freeze Butter Wrappers

Frozen butter wrappers
quickly thaw in warm hands.
 My Granddaughters learned early on that Grandma doesn't like to waste things if she can help it!!

Pimento Cheese

Freshly made Pimento Cheese with Saltine Crackers.
We, like most of the country, are having a heat wave and I am not wanting to turn on the oven or cook or eat anything heavy. It is really time for "summer fare", tall cool drinks, veggies and dip, salads, sandwiches, and cheese and crackers.

Mom's Fridge Pickles

I am a really big Sara Foster fan and came across this recipe on her website one day for a not too sweet, spicy, and crunchy refrigerator pickle. I had to try it!! It makes one quart and I have adapted it to my liking, as so often we do.....

3/4 C. white vinegar
1/4 C. water
1/4 C. sugar
1 T. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
6 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
1/2 t. red pepper flakes crushed
1 t. dill seed
1/4 t. celery seed
3-4 small pickling cukes peeled with strips and sliced into 1/8th inch rounds
1 small white onion sliced into rounds

Combine everything except the cukes and onions in a clean quart jar and shake it well until the sugar is dissolved.

 Layer the cukes and onions using the handle of a wooden spoon then press them tightly into the jar.

Screw the lid on tightly and shake well again. Refrigerate at least 4 hours shaking occasionally to keep mixed. Will keep at least a month in the refrigerator.

Billy Graham's Prayer for Our Nation

Some say it is fiction but my Mother sent this along to me last week and I thought it was beautiful, inspired, and profound. I have told a lot of people about it and shared my thoughts and hopes about it as well as Governor Perry's Day of Prayer on August 6th. I think it is well worth repeating. Reverend Graham is now 93 years old and this may be his prayer for our nation.  If it is fiction it is still a message worth hearing

"Heavenly Father, we come before You today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem. We have abused power and called it politics. We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and Set us free. Amen!


With the Lord's help, may this prayer sweep our nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called "One nation under God!'


Herb Wreath

It seems I am still enjoying sitting out of doors even though it is terribly hot. All of the lovely big trees shade the back of the house and the rocking chairs are welcoming as Molly tears through the door and I follow with way less razz ma tazz!!
We have had so many vines being drug up to the patio by both Oreo and Molly that I rather aimlessly began messing with them the other day and have since put together 4 wreaths. Well, maybe 3 1/2. One is only a start hanging across the corner of the chair.
My favorite by far is the smallest a little herb wreath..... I love the smells of the thyme, rosemary, chamomile, and sweet basil all together. I think if I go out tomorrow I may find an unscented pillar candle and use it for the candle ring.
I just started winding it all together and tucking here and twisting there. Not much to it and I really do like it a lot. It is a relaxing thing to do in the shade in the "dog days of summer."


Stuffed Bell Peppers with Mushrooms and Basil

There are so many "good for you" items it seems fun to try to use them together with the things I have made for many years for a new twist. My example is Asian mushrooms of any kind. There are compounds in these mushrooms that are thought to aid in clarity of the mind and the strengthening of memory. Since I am not getting any younger I decided last week to use more of them and to use them every week. We like mushrooms and I have used all kinds in the past so this is just an easy change that might be helpful.
Since Mom made stuffed peppers last time I was home I have wanted them again so thought I would add the mushrooms and use fresh basil from my crop along with the sweet onions I bought at the Farmers Market on Saturday.

Yesterday I visited my friendly RIVERTOWN BUTCHERSHOP and got a few pounds of fresh ground chuck so I seem ready to go on this.


4 large green bell peppers
1 medium onion
1 large clove of garlic
2 T. chopped fresh basil or 1 T. dry
8 Oz. cooked whole wheat macaroni
1 pound ground chuck
2 cans favorite tomato sauce
6-8 oz. fresh mushrooms sliced
8 Oz. shredded cheese of your choice
Rinse the peppers and cut out the stem. Cut the peppers in half and remove the core and veins. Blanch in boiling water for 5 minutes and shock in ice to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside to dry.
Butter glass baking dish. HELPFUL HINT: Save butter wrappers in the deep freeze section of the refrigerator and use them when a recipe calls for a buttered dish. Just toss when done, no muss no fuss, no messy hands or aerosol can.
Dice onion, mushrooms, and garlic then shred the basil and set aside. Brown the ground chuck and set a kettle of salted water to boil for the macaroni.
Place the pepper halves in the buttered baking dish. Depending on the size and depth of the vessel you can make a single layer or use half the peppers now and make a second layer later after filling the bottoms.

Add the onions and garlic to the beef about half way through the browning of the meat. Cook until browned and add the tomato sauce and basil and mushrooms and turn to a simmer and cover the pan.
By now the water should be boiling so cook the macaroni about one minute less than the package directions call for. Drain and add to the meat mixture and stir well to combine. Taste and correct the seasonings.

Spoon the filling into the peppers. If you are using a double layer add the next layer and fill again with the rest of the meat.
Cover well with the shredded cheese. You can cover and refrigerate until time to bake or bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes. Tent with foil if needed to keep the cheese from over browning. Remove from the oven and let it set for about 10-15 minutes before serving.

Serves 4 generously.


Triple Berry Pie with Sweet Cream

Fresh pie of strawberries, red raspberries, and blueberries topped with sweetened whipped cream.
If ever there were a list of summer mealtime delights my family would I feel sure include strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, black raspberry, red raspberry and every other berry pies. Long has this been a loved pie at our house.

I remember my late father's favorite pie was called an Amber pie and it was a cream pie made from the juices of crushed black raspberries. 

At any rate I have the need to use up these fresh berries (strawberries, red raspberries, and blueberries) and I have a great recipe from my dear friend Natalie Hite who got this from her Mother in Kendalville, Indiana.  I also have on hand a frozen pie pastry from the last batch of crust I made up so I am ready to go.

These dry beans are stored and used over again to blind bake pie shells.
First thing is to get the pastry out and let it thaw. Next I am going to find my can of dried beans I use for blind baking a pie crust. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Rinse and drain the berries and remove the stems. Set them aside to drain and dry a bit.

Docked and baked pie shell.
After rolling the crust and placing it in a deep dish glass pie shell I "dock" the crust which is to prick it all over with the tines of a fork. Next I tear a sheet of parchment paper and place it across the unbaked pie crust and empty the beans into the center until filled. 

Bake in the center of the oven 25 minutes. Then remove the beans with a big spoon into a heat proof dish and take off the parchment paper. Return to the oven for 7-10 minutes until lightly browned.

Set aside to cool.

I used a deep dish plate because I want a big deep pie to use up a lot of fruit.

6 C. assorted berries

Glaze: I doubled the recipe to make a large pie but didn't need quite all of it.

2 C. sugar
2 C. water
6 T. cornstarch
4 T. white Karo syrup
pinch of salt
6 T. red jello

1 pt. whipping cream
3-4 T. sugar

Stir together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium sized heavy bottomed pan and add the water, Add the corn syrup and stir together well over medium high heat to a full rolling boil. 

Strawberry glaze made from my on hand ingredients.
Remove from the heat and stir in red flavored jello of your choice until all is dissolved. Since I had a lot of strawberry that was the flavor I selected. 

Let this cool.

Assorted berries piled high.
Place enough of the cooled glaze mixture in the bottom of the pie shell to coat it well. Arrange the berries in an attractive manner, heaping them upon themselves. Using a ladle cover the berries well with the glaze trying to cover each and every berry. Set in the refrigerator until serving time.

Looks good enough to eat and it is!!
Pour the heavy whipping cream into a deep bowl and add half of the sugar. Whip with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Taste and adjust sugar if needed. Chill until serving time. Then place a dollop atop each slice of pie and stand back for the ahhhh's.


Freshly made Chicken Salad with Tomatoes from my Garden, what a great lunch plate.

Fresh made chicken salad and homegrown tomatoes make a great summer plate.
It isn't often I find leftover fried chicken in my refrigerator but for some reason there it was. Normally we eat cold chicken as well as freshly cooked. Not one to miss an opportunity I thought I'd slip all the skin and breading off and put together a dish of chicken salad.

Here is how it came together:

6 pieces fried chicken, breasts and thighs crust and skin removed and pulled from the bones, diced
2 stalks celery cleaned and diced
4-6 sweet pickles diced
4 eggs hard cooked and diced
salt and pepper
2-3 T. sweet pickle juice
1/2 to 3/4 C. Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip, whichever you prefer

Combine all ingredients together and taste. Adjust any of the last 3 ingredients to taste. Chill and serve on a lettuce leaf with sliced red ripe tomato.

Just another dime stretching dish in these uncertain times!!


Bacon Wrapped Smoked Chicken Thighs

Grilled smoked boneless bacon wrapped chicken thighs.
We really have gotten to like the boneless skinless chicken thighs. They have a lot more flavor and moisture than the white meat generally does.

These were cooked over indirect heat using charcoal on a Weber grill. They were great. Brian generally does the grilling and said he cooked these for about 8 or 9 minutes per side but it will vary depending on the grill heat and amount of charcoal you are using.

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
6 slices of country or platter bacon
House seasoning ( 1 part garlic powder, 1 part ground black pepper, to 4 parts kosher salt )
6 skewers soaked in water

wood chips ( cherry, hickory etc.)

Combine the water and chips as well as the water and skewers about 20-30 minutes prior to beginning the recipe.

Prepare the grill by starting the charcoal in a chimmney type starter.   Then placing the hot coals on either side of the grill leaving the center without. 

Open the thighs and season them with the house mix or with seasoning of your liking.

Thread the bacon under one end of the open side of meat. Coming through the opposite side of the flesh push the skewer to go through the chicken and catch the bacon. Then guide the skewer into the opposite side of the chicken first catching the other end of the bacon so all is secured.

Place the wet wood chips in the bottom of the grill with the white hot coals.  Put the cooking rack in place making sure it is secure.  This will be the smoke for the meat being cooked.

Place the prepared chicken on the rack and cover the grill with it's cover.   Cook over the hot coals until bacon and chicken are done.  Remove to a plate and cover with foil or a lid and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving to recapture it's juices. 

Great served with fresh green beans cooked with new potatoes and carrots. A meal fit for a king or your average country boy!!


Newburgh's Farmers" Market getting Better.

Giant Sweet Onions, Radishes, and English Cucumbers.
Saturday I made my second trek to the Newburgh Farmers' Market and am happy to say I see improvement since the first one. These were more vendors with more goods to sell. 

Fresh Picked Green Beans.
I specifically was looking for green beans and green peppers and found both as well as many other common garden items that are still scarce as it is still a bit early given the weather we have experienced.

This honey is made less than a mile down the road from my house!!
Many other non gardens are available too. There is fresh honey from at least two vendors and you know what they say. Buy local honey. Also there is a great booth of home made soap, creams, and other concoctions. I saw artwork, homemade dog treats, baskets, popcorn, and baked goods, as well as Stonewall Farm wonderful organic meats.

It is open 8 to 12 noon every Saturday morning right down on the river Caty Corner from the Edgewater Grill.

They have gone to great pains to make sure visitors are "herded" like cattle as is the norm these days. The entrance is to the side, facing east so the further you park towards the library the further you will have to walk to and from carrying your armloads of treasure. I suggest bringing large tote bags if you plan to shop to make it a bit easier because that part is not the concern of the sponsors, Historic Newburgh who obviously have done the "traffic control."

If I sound unkind it is not my intent.  I just find it irritating in any setting to be "herded".  Hummm.
Does this mean I have issues??  Probably.

Molly has a houseguest, Oreo comes to play!!

Front left is Molly and right rear is Oreo.
I have sometimes thought and so had Brian about having two dogs rather than one. We spoke seriously in the last year of Suzie's life but didn't think it fair to move a new dog in on her at that stage of her life.

For a few days we have a four legged house guest!! Oreo, a Brittany/Beagle mix is visiting and we are getting a taste of what it would be like. They are getting along great. A little too much energy sometimes but I am managing that.

It is working well to let them into the backyard and keep them there in the mornings. It isn't overly warm yet. There is tons of shade, and a fish pond with running water to gulp or frolic in!!

By the time I let them back in the house they are settled down from running and chasing after the squirrels, who I must say make light of them.

They like to be in the same room and lay around until one or the other of them hears something outside....then they race down the stairway, through the family room and out the door.  KABOOM.
That is the drill.


Lemon Tea by Chris

Gosh, Tea and lemon has always gone well together but this particular ratio is just about the most refreshing thing ever!!
While visiting our son's home north of Indianapolis I tasted this beverage. I couldn't believe how simply he had put it together.
For a gallon of beverage steep only 5 or 6 one portion black tea bags in 2-3 cups of freshly boiled water for about 15 minutes. Juice one whole fresh lemon and add to a one gallon pitcher. Thoroughly wash a second fresh lemon and slice it very thinly adding the slices to the pitcher.
Strain the tea you have steeped into the pitcher and fill with fresh water (we use filtered), stir to combine and enjoy poured over ice.
I didn't even add sugar as the result is mild and refreshing without being sour or bitter. Although you would be fine to sweeten it as desired with sugar or honey.


Doughnut Muffins

Doughnut Muffins
Yummy!! That is all I have to say about these wonderful Doughnut Muffins!! Brian has asked about doughnuts twice recently so I thought I would give these a spin.

If you like the cake doughnuts that taste of nutmeg and vanilla sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar these are for you.

They are NOT the heavy dry muffins you might imagine but rather a tall light cake doughnut like treat.
I came across the recipe at the King Arthur Flour site and this is my adaptation. It is a "do again"!!

The Batter:

1/4 C. soft butter
1/4 C. canola oil
1/2 C. sugar
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1 to 1 1/4 t. freshly ground nutmeg, to taste
3/4 t. salt
1 t. Tahitian vanilla
2 2/3 C. all purpose flour
1 C. milk


3 T. melted butter
3 T. cinnamon sugar

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. and grease muffin tin. You may line with paper and then spray with non-stick spray. 

Using a medium sized bowl cream the butter and oil and add the sugars, mixing until smooth.
Add the eggs, beating to combine.

Stir in the baking powder, soda, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla.

Stir in the flour alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with flour making sure everything is well combined.

Spoon the batter evenly to make 12 muffins. Fill the cups nearly full.

Bake 17 minutes until tester inserted into the middle come out clean.

Hot from the oven.
Remove the pan from the oven and cool a few minutes. As they are cooking melt the butter for the topping. 

Applying the Cinnamon Sugar Topping.
Use a pastry brush and paint each muffin top with butter generously then dip it into the cinnamon sugar mixture until well coated.

Serve warm, or cool. Store in an airtight container for a day or two at room temperature.

Yield 12 big muffins.

Molly at Home

Molly was boarded for a few days recently and boy was she glad to get home!!!!
She is too much of a puppy yet to be trusted so I'm very limited as to how long I have confidence in leaving her alone!!

At any rate after she checked out her backyard and the fish pond she looked for Brian throughout the house.
She greeted him happily at the gate when he came home!!
All is well.