Baking a Whole Ham for Easter.

This year we are having two meals featuring everybody here's favorite, ham.  Saturday evening we will have a ham supper then Easter Sunday a brunch with ham, cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs, OJ, and coffee.  I am trying to make this easier on myself by planning it this way.

Today I baked the ham.  It is beautiful.  It is a 16 pound, fully cooked bone in ham with the shank trimmed off and frozen to use sometime later for seasoning.  After baking, I like to let it fully cool then slice it and wrap securely. Tomorrow and Sunday I only have to heat it up!  The grunt work is done.

Ingredients for a Whole Baked and Glazed Ham:

1 16-18 pound ham
3 C. light brown sugar
1 can soda pop, NOT diet
2/3 C. coarse ground mustard
3 T. cider vinegar
1/2 t. black pepper
whole cloves

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Trim excess fat from the ham leaving a thin layer.  Score the fat to form 1/8 " thick slashes in a 1 1/2" diamond pattern and insert a whole clove in the center of each diamond.

Place the ham on a rack in a roasting pan and bake for half of the total time.  Figure 15 minutes per pound.  My ham was 16 pounds so the total time was 4 hours.  I roasted for two before glazing.

Meanwhile mix the remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil.  Simmer about 20-30 minutes until slightly thickened.  After half the roasting time has elapsed brush on the glaze and return to the oven.  Add layers of glaze about every 20 minutes until the baking time is complete.  Remove from the oven.

Let sit covered at least 30 minutes before carving.

I am so organized today I am scaring myself!! I colored the eggs first thing this morning and set them out on baking racks to cool.  Next I preheated the oven to 300 degrees F. and went to the butcher's to pick up the ham.  When I got home everything was ready to go.  Have a Blessed Easter everyone!


Easy Easter Menu with My Helpful Hints.

Getting Ready for Easter?
I like so many others am planning our Easter Menu.   This morning I have settled on the sides and desserts having already ordered an Easter Ham.  Our youngest son Joel is crazy about ham so this is his favorite meal.

I ordered a whole OSAGE* ham from Rivertown Butcher shop for Friday pick up.  Randy the owner is cutting the shank off and freezer wrapping it per my request and I will freeze it for later use.  The ham will be baked for 15 minutes per pound at 325 degrees F.  Then I like to let it get very cool, (room temp. or chilled) and slice into serving pieces.  Next I wrap and store to be heated up at serving time.  The ham will be baked and sliced on Friday.  This makes the day of our dinner WAY easier plus the oven is free for other things besides a big roasting pan!

Easter Menu:

Sliced and Glazed Baked Ham   (Bake and slice Friday)
Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese   (Cook macaroni a day ahead and store in plastic bag in refrigerator day before and assemble and cook day of dinner.)
Asparagus Bundles   (Assemble day before without dressing.  Dress and bake day of dinner.)
Broccoli Salad   (Prepare the day before but wait to add the dressing until just before serving.)
Deviled Eggs   (Prepare day you are serving and refrigerate.)
Fruit Platter  (Prepare ahead and assemble at serving time.)
Hot Rolls 
Apple Pie & Cherry Pie, A La Mode   (Bake pies the night before serving, make pastry ahead and have ready in the refrigerator to roll out.)  (I am using my Home Canned Apple Pie Filling.)

We will have an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids, young and old after dinner.  Have a Happy Easter everyone!

See the fabric in the bottom of the light colored basket?  It has flattened since last Easter but will be perfect after laundering and re-stuffing!
Oh Yes!  I have a helpful hint for any of you who like me HATE EASTER GRASS.  Several years ago I purchased fabric with Easter pints and use this in the bottom of the baskets.  I wash it each year and tumble dry.  Next I stuff the bottoms of the baskets with old plastic grocery sacks and tuck the fabric around them to make fluffy and puffy nests.  Then I fill with eggs and candy.  Works great, reuse them every year, and no mess!

My best friend suggests an Easter Basket scavenger hunt with hints for each recipient to follow on their Easter Trail to treasure.  I may just try it this year.  Sounds like fun!

*OSAGE hams are an Indiana processed ham from up around Bloomington, Indiana.

PS:  If you would like to look at my recipe assortment for any of these dishes just type in what you are looking for in the lower right column and  browse by clicking "older" at the bottom of each selection page. 


Fresh Fruit Salad in Orange Vanilla Sauce

Fresh strawberries, blueberries, and grapes laced with a sauce of orange and vanilla.
This salad is adapted from one I saw Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman on Food TV,  make the other morning.  I am not sure I recollect her proportions but these worked just great for us plus I had everything I used on hand.  It is both beautiful and nutritious .  Full of anti-oxidants and just dripping with delicious!

Ingredients for Fresh Fruit Salad in Orange Vanilla Sauce:

4 C. washed and quartered strawberries
2 C. washed and halved red grapes
2 C. washed and halved green grapes
1 C. rinsed blueberries
1 orange
1 vanilla bean ( or substitute 1/2 t. vanilla extract)
1 C. sugar
1 C. water

Wash and zest the orange.  Then, squeeze the juice from the orange into a small saucepan.  Add the zest, water, sugar, and the seeds obtained by splitting the vanilla bean and running a teaspoon down its opened length to collect them.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Let it simmer 15-20 minutes, then turn off and let cool.

Meanwhile combine the fruits and set aside.  When the sauce is cooled pour over the fruit salad and stir well.  Cover, chill,  and let steep in the sauce as it just get better as it sits.  Stir once or twice before serving.  Yield 8 servings.

Aunt Betty's Better Than Anything Cake, an Indiana Recipe

Butter Toffee and Caramel, My Oh My!
My husband's Aunt Betty has sent me another winning recipe.  This one combines a box cake with caramel ice cream topping, sweetened condensed milk, whipped topping, and Heath candy bars. Sounds absolutely sinful doesn't it?  It has a lot going for it, quick, easy, delicious!  You do need to make it ahead and let it remain covered in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours before serving.  I view anything you make ahead as a big plus!  It gets better as it sits!

Ingredients for Better Than Anything Cake:

1 cake mix. yellow or chocolate (I use Duncan Hinds Yellow Butter Cake Mix.)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 jar caramel ice cream topping
1 small container whipped topping
1 t. vanilla
2 large Heath candy bars crushed

Bake the cake as directed on the package in a 9" x 13" pan.  Allow to cool completely.

Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the cake.
Pour the condensed milk over the cake. Pour the caramel topping over the cake.  Add the vanilla to the whipped topping and stir well. Spread the whipped topping evenly over the caramel. Sprinkle the crushed candy bars over the whipped topping. Cover well with wrap or a tightly fitting lid and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving.

You may want to hide this in the back to keep your family and friends out of it until you are ready to serve!


Chicken & Dressing Casserole, Quick 'n Easy Comfort Food

Slivered water chestnuts add a "just right" crunch to this chicken and dressing dish plus a little sprinkle of cheese makes everything just right!
What a week, and I can't tell you or even think why.....but I don't feel like I've gotten much done! There was my first "senior physical" and all of the tests that go with that.  Guess that ate up a couple of days.  The weather was cold. gloomy, and windy too.  That made for me looking for a fast comfort meal.  I had noticed a recipe in "Maturity Journal" a local old folks magazine.  I adapted what I can recall and came up with this quick one dish comfort meal.  Pair with a lettuce salad and fresh baked brownies for a complete Friday night comfort feast.  

Ingredients for Quick Chicken & Dressing Casserole:

1 box chicken stove top stuffing
1 can sliced water chestnuts
4 T. soft butter
1 1/2 C. hot tap water
1 undiluted cream of chicken soup
3 C. boned cooked diced chicken, skin removed
1 jar chicken gravy
1/2 C. shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter an eight inch square casserole dish and set aside.

Spread the cream of chicken soup evenly in the bottom of the prepared dish.  Drain the water chestnuts and slice the slices into 3 or 4 strips each, about the size of slivered almonds.  Place the stuffing mix in a medium bowl and add the butter, water, and chestnuts.  Stir well to combine and set aside while you distribute the chicken evenly across the cream of chicken layer.

Top the chicken with the dressing, spreading it evenly to cover.  Pour the chicken gravy over the stuffing to cover and sprinkle evenly with the shredded cheese.  This can be made ahead and refrigerated or bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes.  Yield 4-5 servings.  


KEEP BERRIES LONGER with this Easy Rinse that Retards Mold!

Generally I let the berries sit out to drain well for about an hour then store in a closed container in the refrigerator.
The berry season is upon us once more and prolonging the goodness of your fresh berries is a timely topic.  One worth repeating as it was first discussed here last year when again my husband's Aunt Betty sent me this tip.  I used it on numerous occasions last year and it truly increased the storage life of my berries quite noticeably so!   I did not keep a written record but as I recall it added about an additional week onto the life of my grapes and berries without a trace of mold.

The formula is one part white vinegar to ten parts fresh water.  Today I have a lot of berries as I am planning mixed berry shortcakes for tonight's dinner.  I have purchased more berries than I will use today so I have used my magic potion to inure they will keep well into the week.

Ingredients for Berry Rinse:
1 C. white vinegar
10 C. fresh water
fresh berries or grapes

Combine the vinegar and water in a large vessel.  Swish the berries in the water making sure they are submerged and thoroughly wet.  Gently remove the berries to a large sieve or colander and let drain well.  I usually let them sit about an hour before sealing them in a closed container and placing them back in the refrigerator.  I sometimes turn on the kitchen ceiling fan to speed the process.

This is one of the best tips I have come across!


Successful Tips for Transplanting Volunteer (wild) Dogwood Trees

This sapling will have morning shade from the trees and house to the east of it.
Today was our first beautiful spring day.  Mid 60's and partly sunny.  In our experience the perfect day to transplant a wild or volunteer Dogwood tree.  I base this on the fact that it is commonly thought that they are extremely difficult to transplant from the wild but this is our fourth transplant with no failures thus far!

Our daffodils are in full bloom.
Our yard is wooded, especially the back and we tend to like it having that woodsy ambiance.  The fact we have numerous old Dogwoods accounts for the volunteers.   The first point that leads to success is to transplant very very early in the spring before the young sapling has leaves that give any more than the appearance of tiny needles.

Next the smaller the sapling the more chance of success you will have.  I would not recommend much more than a good inch in diameter for the thickness of the trunk and smaller is better.  Dogwood trees are shallow rooted but still you need the largest root ball you can maneuver.  Prepare the hole you are transferring into  by measuring the depth and width of the root ball and planting it exactly even to the ground.  You also would be wise to break up the soil at the bottom and sides of the hole to help the new roots grow into the new spot.

My last tip is to mark the tree before you remove it from it's original spot so you can place it into the new hole with it's sides all facing the same directions they previously were facing.  The tree we moved today was on the south side of the house.  I marked the southern most facing limb with a piece of tape so when we planted the sapling it was positioned as closely to the same direction as possible.

Dogwoods like acid soil and the protection of larger trees.  They will grow well under the canopy.  If planted in a sunny spot it will be happier if it is afforded at least partial shade.  Mulch is helpful in keeping the roots from drying out.  I am excited and hopeful this little tree will do as well as our past saplings have done.  Some of our neighbors have lovely Dogwoods from our yard!  My only concern is there looks to be something working on the trunk and I am heading to the lawn and garden center for some wound sealer to try to stop any further damage.  It would be a shame to loose it after all of this hard work.

Dogwood noon 7/25/13 viewing north,
Transplanted 3/16/13 photo update noon 7/25/13 looking to the south.
UPDATE:  This tree has done beautifully and this is a follow up to a comment today from a reader who liked the posting.  THANK YOU!  I had called our county agent upon planting this tree and we had concluded a deer had done a bit of rubbing on it and may have weakened it.  He said if the tree made it past June we were home free and here she is!!

Salmon LOVE Salmon

Grilled fresh salmon is delicious and so good for you too!
Last night after finding beautiful fresh salmon yesterday afternoon, I was thinking it might work out well to cook it on the Cuisinart Paninni Griddle I hardly have used!  It is a great appliance but I just don't think of using it all that often.  The first comment Brian made upon starting his meal was, "this salmon is delicious."

Ingredients for Grilled Fresh Salmon:

12-14 ounces fresh salmon
lemon pepper
1 fresh lemon cut into 6 wedges
1-2 T. olive oil

Preheat the griddle on high (about 400 degrees).  Cut the salmon into two equal portions and sprinkle generously on both sides with lemon pepper.  Drizzle the oil evenly over the griddle and place the salmon skin side down on the hot  surface.

Close the top section down over the fish.  If you are not using a paninni skip this...ha ha.

After about 4 minutes turn the fillet front to back, not over, and close again.  Finish for 3 more minutes or until the salmon flakes.  It will depend on the thickness of the fish which can vary greatly. If the fillet is thicker it will take a little longer.

Serve with the fresh lemon wedges and enjoy.  Yield 2 generous servings.

Note:  I served the salmon with freshly fried rice make from cold rice leftover from earlier in the week, broccoli salad from earlier in the week, and Orange, Fig, and Walnut bars, also made a few days ago.  That is how I afford to pay $22.00 for two pounds of fresh salmon.  I froze the other two servings for another day.


Old Books Hold New Treasures for Me.

This book on embroidery is beautifully illustrated and shows complex and beautiful stitches as well as the basics.
Another one of my many "I just loves" is old books.  And wouldn't you know I just came across a couple of dandies!  These were all published in the early 60's but the information contained therein is still of value, to me anyway.  They were in one of the boxes I brought back from Indianapolis last week. 

Two were put out by the Singer Manufacturing Co. and are volumes 1 and 2 of the Singer Sewing Library.  Book 101 is How to Make Curtains and Book 102 is How to Make Draperies at a price of $.25, yes, that was 25 cents each!  The copyright date is 1960.  I have made lots of curtains and drapes so I chuckled and thought of dear old Miss Ruth Sproat, my Home Economics teacher and 4-H leader for many years.  I wonder if she is still living?

The fact the pages are yellowed with age makes it all the more fun for me!
The real treasure and the one I am most excited about is Creative Embroidery by Joan Nicholson, also copyrighted in 1960 .  I have collected several sources on embroidery in Pinterest as I love is as does my sister Linda.  We both have done lots and lots of embroidery.  I am fascinated by the lavish and beautiful small crazy quilt projects, extremely decorative, pieces with embellishments and embroidery currently being done.

I think it is a marvelous coincidence to have found these at a time that I can really appreciate them.
So I am excited with the prospects of perusing these old books and just thought I would share my enthusiasm with any of you who might share this love of vintage publications.


Mending knit pajama pants with a dinosaur applique, (patches) for the little ones!

This dinosaur wraps his tail around the back of the pajama leg and does the job!
I must admit to having put my thinking cap on for this one.  When one of the little boys put his knee through a perfectly good pair of pajama bottoms I didn't want to just mend them and wind up with a knotty seam that would not only look bad but would be uncomfortable.

The knit pants are a black background with green dinosaurs tromping through every which way.  I dug into my treasure trove of fabric and found a green velour knit that was nice and heavy and stretchy.

The first step was to insert a plain half sheet of paper into the pant leg and trace the relaxed size and shape of the hole to be sure I would allow a big enough applique to cover the gap.

Next I sketched a dinosaur like the ones already on the pajamas large enough to allow the finished patch to cover the tear.  Then I added enough seam allowance to be able to turn under the raw edges.

I flipped the dinosaur over so he would not be backwards, then traced him with a charcoal pencil before I started cutting.

I still added more on thinking it is always easier to trim excess off but you cannot add more fabric on if short in a spot.

For this project I decided to try using a fabric glue stick to adhere the turned under edges and then I pinned my replica over the hole.

Velor is very forgiving and I simply overcast stitched him on and then put an eye on with a French knot then trimmed his back with a chain stitch using embroidery floss.  Seems like it took most of the day but I think he looks presentable.  Surely enough so for a 4 year old anyway.  Plus there was all of that extra love I stitched into the repair!

Gosh, I am thinking really hard about going back with my "glow in the dark" thread and outlining this dinosaur!  My fingers are too sore right now but we will see.....Isn't glow in the dark thread a neat thing?   I found it online at Sublime Stitching about a year ago and sent off for it.  Way cool in my book.

Orange, Fig, & Walnut Bar Cookies

These flavors must be tasted to be appreciated.
One of my very favorite and perhaps a less well known flavor combinations is that of figs and orange. A wonderful cheese shop operated here for a few years and she imported from Croatia a fig and orange spread in big gallon glass jars that she often used with triple cream cheeses on her cheese trays.  Oh my!  It was just out of this world!  Recently, after looking far and wide, I have found at Fresh Market a similar spread imported from Italy.  Plain fig spreads are readily available and were used in the original version of this recipe.  I had mixed it with orange marmalade to catch the flavor in my version of the spread before finding this one.

My sister Linda gave me a gift of a new cook book.  (I collect them, big surprise!)  2013 tasteofhome ANNUAL RECIPES.  Under the cookie section I came across a Orange Fig & Walnut Bar which I adapted yesterday with great success.  Yum!  It is taking a lot of effort to stay out of them this morning!

Ingredients for Orange, Fig, &, Walnut Bars:

1 Box Orange Cake Mix ( I used Duncan Hinds Mix.)
10 Ounce Jar Fig Preserves ( I used a 8 1/2 oz. jar *Dalmatia Orange Fig Spread and 3 T. plain fig spread.)
1/2 C. Canola Oil
1 Egg
2 C. Chopped Walnuts

1/2 C. powdered sugar reserved for the tops

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and butter and flour a 9" x 13" pan and set it aside.

Combine all of the ingredients, except the powdered sugar,  in a large bowl and mix altogether well. The batter will be very thick. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 minutes until done, remove from the oven, then cool. Sprinkle the top of the cookies with powdered sugar and cut into bars. Yield 36 bar cookies.

*Dalmatia Orange and Fig spread can be found at The Fresh Market.  It is the only place I have ever been able to find and buy it.  I was originally introduced to it several years ago by a gal who opened a cheese specialty shop here.  She imported it in large gallon jars from Croatia.  The small pamphlet on this jar says it is imported from Italy via Croatia.  It is absolutely delicious served with a triple cream soft cheese on crackers which was my first introduction to it. Or you can certainly whip up a batch of these bar cookies for a real treat.


My Spring Cleaning Philosophy and New Found Treasures.

Large and colorful church lights up and shows off stained glass windows.
I firmly believe that it is necessary to rid yourself of things you no longer need, things that have collected through time, and things that are not useful to you anymore.  You need to do this and cycle on to others who are in need of what can be useful and is no longer a "treasure" to you but may be to them.  Or, if it is of no use just pitch it!  You need to do this to make room for new things to come into your life.

Each spring I am overtaken by an itch to go through drawers and closets and "just clean house".  It is nice to sort through, clean up, pack, and haul off!  Today was my first official day to do so.  I went through every drawer and cabinet in the upstairs bathroom and all of the medicines in the house and pitched 3 big bags of "stuff",  Then I swept the whole house and cleaned up the kitchen.

Beautiful snow capped house with porches lights up and is the perfect scale with the church.
I went downstairs and unpacked some more from my current batch of treasures from Grandma Powell.  Who knows how long she has had these lovely treasures boxed away.  Just guess what I have found! A large painted church and a house with a big front porch that light up!  These will go beautifully with the pieces I already have.  I am already excited for Christmas next year to see what I can put together and where I will do so.....Will they all go above on the mantel or is there room on the marble topped buffet?? Or maybe???  Well I have a good bit of time to think on this one.  For now I am going to set out the two new pieces until it warms up a bit more.  We have had snow off and on most of today so it is nice to see their snow topped trimmings. 

Such a lovely reward to have made room today for something new and a lovely surprise that validates my theory.  I will keep plugging away at my cleaning and pitching project.  There are at least 6 more boxes and tubs to go through from my last trip.  One day at a time!


Over One Million "Hits" Milestone Passed Last Weekend.

It doesn't really mean anything special to anyone but me.....but I have to tell you I am just tickled to death to think that over a million of you have stopped by to visit this little blog!

Wow!  I am just plain "got"! So as I am also suffering from a obviously early case of spring fever I thought I would combine some spring favorite pictures and the top posts to date.  Then I will get back to the "spring" cleaning at hand!

The number 1 post to date is Aunt Betty's 1-2-3 Cake in a mug. 

Number 2 is Buttermilk Pie.

Number 3 is Easiest Stove Cleaning.

Number 4 is Chocolate Chocolate Pudding Cake.

Number 5 is Helpful Hints for Scrubbing Bathrooms.

Number 6 is Making Egg Noodles.

Number 7 is Our First Snow.

Number 8 is Fruit Cream.

Number 9 is Home Cured Bacon.

Number 10 is Cleaning Dingy Sheet Pans.

Number 11 is Casserole of Pork Chops.

And, number 12 is Pecan Pie in Mason Jars.

Thank you all and do come again.


Birthday Cake

I am certainly impressed when my granddaughters make such a pretty cake!
Thought I would share these birthday photos this morning.  Emmy and Katie, my granddaughters are quite the bakers.  No doubt you will agree when I tell you they are 13  and 17 years old!!  They made me this lovely and delicious birthday cake and we celebrated with a pizza party, cake, ice cream, and fresh berries on Saturday.  She uses the marshmallow fondant which I find much tastier than what you buy.  Here are the links if you would like to make some too.  and  and also

The "little boys" four year old twins Jack and Sam made things for Grandma too!  Jack a lovely plate and Sam a little dinosaur, his favorite thing in this world. They now occupy places of honor in the living room.

To top this off the first crocus blooms opened in the front yard along the walk!  What a lovely day!
Thank you everyone.


Easy Pepper Steak with Hot Cooked Rice and Oatmeal, Raisin, Pecan Cookies.

Fresh tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic paired with strips of steak in a paprika flavored sauce over rice with freshly baked oatmeal cookies is a simple but delicious Sunday supper.
We used to have pepper steak quite often and I also served it to company.  But for some reason I haven't fixed it for a couple of years.  Last evening Brian thought something with rice sounded good so I thought of this.  It is just too good to neglect making any longer!

We love this sweet spicy oatmeal cookie laced with pecans and raisins.
Then he had mentioned oatmeal cookies so I thought I would stir up a batch just the way he likes them chocked full of raisins and pecans.  This is my oldest recipe and we truly do like it best of all.  You can use all butter or all shortening if you like and I just use water if I don't have apple juice and they are always good either way.  Here is the link back to my oatmeal cookie recipe.

Pepper Steak with Hot Cooked Rice

1 pound sirloin steak trimmed and sliced into 1/2" deep x 1/4" thick strips

1 T. paprika

2 T. butter

2 cloves crushed garlic

1 1/2 C. beef broth

1 C. sliced onions,  green if you have them

1 large red or green bell pepper cut into thin strips

2 T. cornstarch

1/4 C. soy sauce

1/4 C. water

2 tomatoes cut into wedges (6-8 wedges per tomato)

3 C. hot cooked rice

Sprinkle the strips of steak with the paprika and set aside to stand while you cut, gather, and prepare the other ingredients.   Melt the butter in a large skillet or wok.  Add the meat strips and brown.

Add the garlic and beef broth, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and let slow simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the rice per the package directions.

Stir the onions and peppers into the meat mixture and cook 5 minutes more.  Blend the water and soy sauce together and add the cornstarch.  Stir well until completely dissolved.  Add the soy cornstarch mixture into the meat and peppers and cook about 2 minutes until thickened.  Add the tomatoes and stir.  Serve over hot cooked rice.

Yield 4 generous servings.


Poem and Thoughts from Charlie Reese's Final Column for the Orlando Sentinel. It is a Completely Neutral Statement Addressing the Source of our Debt.

by Charley Reese

Charlie is retiring after 49 years as a journalist.  This is his final column from the Orlando Sentinel and is politically neutral.

545 vs. 300,000,000 People
-by Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget.  The President does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations.  The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equate to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress.  In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason.  They have no legal authority.  They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing.  I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash.  The politician has the power to accept or to reject it.  No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault.  They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall.  No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the president for creating deficits.  The President can only propose a budget.  He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving  appropriations and taxes.  Who is the speaker of the House?  John Boenner.  He is the leader of the majority party.  He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want.  If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted--by present facts--of incompetence and irresponsibility.  I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people.  When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red it is because they want it in the red.

If the Army and the Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it's because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan....

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish;  to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject;  to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.

Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like  "the economy,"  "inflation,"  or "politics"  that prevent them from doing what they took an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees.

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table,
At which he's fed.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his work,
Tax his play,
He works for
peanuts anyway!

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.

Tax all he has,
Then let him know
That you won't be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He's good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave, Tax the sod in
Which he's laid.....

Put these words
Upon his tomb,
'Taxes drove me
to my doom......'

When he's gone,
Do not relax,
It's time to apply
The inheritance tax.

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Taxes
Federal Unemployment Taxes (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (Currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Tax
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Sales Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State, and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Reoccurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax


Not one of these taxes existed 100 year ago & our nation was the most prosperous in the world.  We had absolutely no national debt,  had the largest middle class in the world,  and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.


I am reprinting this email from a dear friend because I see it as a reality check.  I am wondering if there are enough Americans with enough GUMPTION to help and correct what we have allowed to happen?  If you are one of them please email this on to others by using the M button at the end of this posting.  Like on Google + or on Facebook.  Drop me a comment and tell me what you think.


Please join me in praying for our country.


Good Old Homemade Bread Made Easily and Variations.

Today I baked long Pullman loaves and melted butter on the tops as they came from the hot oven.
Another grey cold and gloomy day here in Indiana!  It cheers me to get a couple of loaves of homemade bread going to perfume the house and warm my kitchen.  I had put this recipe aside to make and since I need 2 loaves today it will be just perfect.  I saw it back in July and am getting to it just now!  When I complete the baking I have more treasures to unpack from Grandma Powell as I stopped to visit her in Martinsville on my way home from Indianapolis.  I am adapting from The Iowa Housewife: Fleischmanns Master Bread Dough.  This is their link should you want to visit the sisters Sue and Myrna who write this wonderful blog.

Ingredients for Master Bread Dough:

6 - 6 1/4 C. bread flour (I use King Arthur Organic Bread Flour.) or good all purpose flour
3 T. sugar
2  scant T. rapid rise instant yeast ( or 2 pkg. instant yeast)
2  t. salt
1 1/2 C. water 120 degrees F
1/2 C. milk 120 degrees F.
2 T. room temperature butter

Combine in a mixer bowl 2 1/2 C. flour, sugar, yeast, and salt and whisk to combine.  Heat the water, milk, and butter to 120 degrees F.  Gradually add the warm liquid to the dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes at medium high speed.  Scrape the bowl.  Add 1/2 C. flour and beat another 2 minutes. Change to the dough hook and add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough that does not stick to the sides and bottom of the bowl. Knead for 5-6 minutes using the hook. 

Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and set to rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile butter and flour two loaf pans.  Set them aside.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Divide the dough into two equal portions.  Shape loaves as desired and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from the pans and cool on  a rack.  I always slather to tops with soft butter and let it melt down the sides of the loaves.  I only wish you could smell this bread too.  There is just nothing like the yeasty aroma of fresh baked bread.  Makes any day better.


Loaves:  (1 1/2 pound)  Roll 1/2 of the dough to 12" x 7" rectangle.  If using 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" pans begin at the short end and roll up as a jelly roll and pinch the ends to seal.  Since I made Pullman loaves I rolled the long ends.  Either way place the loaves seam side down and Pinch the ends under to seal them.  Cover and let rise until doubled.  25-30 minutes.  Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes.

Hearth Braid:  Divide 1/2 of the the dough into 3 equal pieces  about 8 ounces each.  Roll into 16" rope.  Braid on a buttered baking sheet.  Cover and let rise until double, about 30 minutes.  Beat 1 egg and 1 T. water and brush over the braid.  Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds and bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Remove to a rack and cool.

Pizza:  Grease a 14" or 2-12" round pizza pans.  Roll out 1/2 of the dough to fit the prepared pans.  Top as desired.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes until done.

Rolls:  Using 1/2 of the dough shape into 10-12 equal portions and place in a 12" buttered pan.  Cover and let rise until doubled.  For dinner rolls, top with egg and water mixture as above.  Sprinkle with seeds.   For onion rolls top with egg mixture and sprinkle with 2 T. instant minced onion.  For either variety bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, until done.  Cover with foil the last 5 minutes to prevent over browning if necessary.