Jeff Sisson our beloved brother-in-law has passed to the next great adventure with our Lord Jesus.

I have no words. Only the Lord's Prayer,  the 23rd Psalm, and Amazing Grace give me solace.  We all mourn the passing a of an exceptionally good man man.


Yesterday was Egg Day So Today I make Thanksgiving Noodles! (Got Eggs from Harry the Egg Man Down the Road.)

Holiday's are not holidays in our family without the home made noodles.
There were plans made to get eggs Monday but after all the snow and cold set in I phoned Harry Brown and asked if Tues. or Wed. would work just as well.  He was just as happy as could be to oblige me.  Dear man that he is!

Tomatoes in my kitchen window.
So yesterday off I trekked and what to my delight did I see?  A big table of tomatoes just waiting for me!

Green and partially green tomatoes ripening in one dinning room window.
God bless you Harry!  He gave me a big sack and told me to help myself!

The third window of ripening tomatoes!
I returned home with not only 6 dozen eggs but I have three window sills of tomatoes ripening.  With any luck we may still have fresh home grown tomatoes at Christmas!

You do need a sharp knife to slice them!
Today I will pan to make a few batches of noodles to freeze for Thanksgiving then drop them into hot turkey stock for Thanksgiving Dinner.     This is the link if you would like step by step directions to make them too.

The vintage doilies add to the "character" of the patchwork coverlet.
There is mending and sewing to do and I will strip the beds, launder the sheets, and remake them for the company that will be here!  There is a vintage patchwork coverlet my Mother made that needs a bit of additional repair today. Many times I am able to make repairs using the vintage doilies I have collected to cover the worn spots.    Here is another link if you would like to see just how I repair them.

Doilies come in various sizes and colors I have found! 
I am so happy when all of my Children and Grandchildren are here. It makes these tasks fun!


Pizza and Pies for Sunday Supper.

Late Sunday afternoon our middle son called and they were on their way here from Indianapolis where they had attended the High School's band contest.  He said they would be picking up pizza and heading over to treat us for Sunday supper!  Soooo.......I hurried up and baked two of their favorite pies for dessert!

Two sticks of butter cut into dice and frozen.
Beautiful and delicious pie pastry from the processor.
I keep two sticks of butter cut into dice and in my freezer for times like these.  It is a fast start to Food Processor French Pie Pastry! And, here is the link for this favorite recipe!

We ALL love Buttermilk Pie!
And we love Pumpkin pie too.
Then to mix up a Buttermilk pie filling and a Pumpkin pie filling and bake.  And here are these links for the fillings.    and     If you do not care for bourbon, just leave it out!

We have a great supper with lots of catching up and conversation, good food, and very little mess!

I will thank God every day I am able to do what I do. Gingersnaps, Banana Bread, Ribs, & Slaw

Every fall I always make Gingersnaps and this is my mot favorite recipe!
This 1-2-3 banana bread is as easy as it gets!
Yes, I was feeling all toasty and made my banana bread and baked ginger snap cookies yesterday. 

Mmmmm!  Need I say more?
That feeling continued today as I heard Brian out doors with the big leaf blower going! But then as I cleaned up my mess from having put BBQ ribs in to slow cook
and shredded cabbage for Cole slaw I heard my cell phone and it was a weather alert!  Winter Storm warning. NO, I am not ready for this! Not yet!

Oh gees!  The days have already been so grey.  That is bad enough but for the early cold and now snow before Thanksgiving.  Uncommon her but not unheard of.  And then all of the illness and hard times that have befallen those I love.

So much for my pity party.  Get on with it and rejoice in so many things! Not in any particular order.

1. I live in the USA.  While I strongly disagree with the direction things are currently headed we still are a wonderful nation and have been so very blessed.  I will remember to thank God every day for this and for those who guard and protect us all.

2.  My wonderful husband and family.  I will thank God every day for every one of them.

3.  Clean air and water.  I will thank God every day for this.

4. Food and our home and Molly.  I will thank God every day for this.

5. Prayer.  I will speak with God every day through this.

Psalm 71:18  Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.   (KJV)


BEEF JERKY at Home Recipe, Big Protein and Low Calorie Treat, Helpful Hints

Make in your oven or in a dehydrator at home.
We have made jerky in the past.  Several years ago Brian got me a dehydrator and I have made it with that.  It was good but messy and I am not a big devotee of dry, tough, raw meat!  On the other hand Brian loves it and in trying to keep on this semi-diet it might be wise to invest in exploring jerky further!

I remember Alton Brown rigging a dryer out of a box fan and furnace filters.  I don't think I want to do that but with an oven and a home dehydrator there is potential for coming up with a decent jerky I hope.

This morning I have been on a quest for potential recipes.  Many are similar to Alton's.  I found a top ten list in Men's Journal and between them and Alton I hope to be inspired!

2 1/2 pounds sirloin.
Sooo....I made my bi-weekly trip to Sam's Club and found a great piece of beef to make the jerky from!  I am going to place it in the freezer for between 1-2 hours to firm it up for easier slicing then mix up the marinade!  Most of the recipes are similar and I will just go with Alton Brown's.

Ingredients for Alton Brown's JERKY:

2 pounds red meat (beef, elk, bear, venison, wild boar, or any critter you can hunt)
2/3 C. Worcestershire sauce
2/3 C. Soy sauce
2 t. ground black pepper
2 t. onion powder
1 t. liquid smoke
1 t. red pepper flakes
1 T. honey

Semi-frozen meat slices much easier.
Place the meat in the freezer for 1 or so hours, so that it will be easier to slice.  Slice the meat with the grain as thin as possible.  Mine is about 1/8-3/16" thick.

Remove and fat or gristle.
Mix the brine ingredients right in a resealable plastic bag. (Place the bag inside a flat container to make this easier.)

Mix the brine in the bag.
Place the meat strips in the brine.  Move it around so the marinade is evenly distributed around it.  Seal the bag, working out as much air as possible.

Push out excess air, flatten into a flat container, and refrigerate.
Lay the bag flat in the container and refrigerate 3-6 hours turning every once in a while.

Remove the meat from the brine and  drain well, pat it dry and discard the brine.

This recipe smells wonderful as it drys!
It is helpful to spray the dehydrator or oven racks with non stick cooking spray before placing the meat on the racks.   Next place it so it does not touch.  I scattered the meat laden sprayed racks across my double sink and turned on the ceiling fan and left them a short time just to dry a little more before loading them into the dehydrator. 

If using your oven spray the racks.  Next you can place a drip pan on the bottom of the oven to catch any drips then turn the oven's heat to the lowest setting.  Place the strips across the racks and prop the door open with a wad of foil.  Leave until dry and leather like.  I would check every hour or so to start.

Or dry per mfg. instructions in a food dehydrator.

Store in air tight bags at cool temperature. 

I am very pleased with the way these turned out.  They are very flavorful.  I like to send to work with my husband in the event he does not have time for lunch.  It is a much better snack than chips or candy! 

This was a much less messy endeavor than my past attempts due to the use of the non stick cooking spray and the semi-freezing of the meat before slicing.  Both made this a snap.  I load the dryer shelves in the dishwasher and am done. 


Mending and Repairing Grandma Ruby's Vintage Quilt

All of the binding has come loose and I am carefully making repairs.
It has been quite a while since my brother-in-law Bart and sister-in-law Pam gave us this quilt that Grandma Ruby had made.  The binding was in need of repairs even then.  At that time I was still working and in my head it went on my now infamous "list".  While many of you have traveled with me as I have knocked things one right after another off that list I am remiss I haven't gotten to this before now!

I love these bright colors and the yellow she bound it with!
My last trip to Hobby Lobby netted the yellow quilting thread needed and today is the day I have started!  At noon when I ait to start this I am half way around in sewing the binding.  The stitching was gone most of the way around only attached at all on one side and frayed.  There are also spots in the quilt top in need of a few loving stitches!  But by far the greatest repair is in the binding!

The happy quilt! 
I have always loved this quilt as green is about my favorite color and I find this very bright and quite cheerful!

Persimmon Bread, Picking Wild Persimmons in the Woods of Southern Indiana

Wild Indiana Persimmons are usually about the size of an English
I remember at Grandma's house the lane that led from the barn lot to the "little woods" as my Dad's family called them. Just at the entrance there stood a tall and stately tree.  After the first hard freeze the walnut sized fruits on this tree would darken from their bright apricot color to a darker hue with a pinkish grey hue and become quite soft and sweet.  But if you dare to taste one prior to it's ripening your mouth would pucker with such severity you would NEVER forget the occasion!  Thus was my first taste of a persimmon one snowy day long ago.

They grow on Persimmon trees and are full of hard black seeds between the size of watermelon and pumpkin seeds.
We rode on a wooden wagon pulled by an old Ford tractor, one of several Grandpa had there on his farm.  Dad had driven all us kids out to pick the ripe persimmons.  We all stood much taller on the bed of that wagon and easily reached the soft fruit. After which my Grandmother baked the most delicious persimmon pudding topped with sweetened whipped cream. That was the day I fell in love with the wild persimmons of southern Indiana.

The recipe for her Persimmon Pudding is at this earlier link if you would like to see more about it.

Today I am making something new Persimmon Bread.  My husband's friend who had the trees from where these fruits came Saturday asked my to make him Persimmon Bread so I am testing recipes today!

I cannot think of another way to remove the seeds from the pulp than a food mill.
The first step after picking the fruits is to rinse them off and remove the stems or caps.  Next you need to run them through a food mill to remove the hard black seeds found in the pulp. 

I add the juice of a half of a fresh lemon to 3-4 cups of pulp.
I add the juice of half a lemon to about 3 cups of persimmon pulp.  Most recipes call for 1 or 2 cups of persimmon pulp for a recipe so I froze the pulp in 1 cup packages today.  I yielded 10 cups and tucked them away in the freezer from about 10 pounds of fruit.

I have seen persimmon pulp compared to apricots and honey.  They do sort of look that way!
This recipe is adapted from James Beard's Amazing Persimmon Bread Recipe found on  and it is my first attempt at baking Persimmon Bread.

The loaf came out a dark glossy jewel like loaf.
Ingredients for my adaptation of James Beard's Amazing Persimmon Bread:

1 3/4 C. flour
3/4 t. kosher salt
1 t. baking soda
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 1/4 C. sugar
1 stick (1/2 C.) cooled melted butter
2 large lightly beaten eggs
1/3 C. Kentucky bourbon (Cognac, bourbon, or whiskey will due)
1 C. persimmon pulp
1/8 t. Fiori Di Sicilia (intense citrus vanilla flavoring) You may substitute grated orange zest and vanilla)
1 C. pecans rough chop
1 C. golden raisins

Butter loaf pan and line with parchment paper or dust with flour.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.  Stir altogether well.

Spread into the prepared pan and bake 1 hour or until a skewer placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and cool.  Yield 1 large loaf.

It is truly delicious!
Will keep well one week wrapped securely.  Persimmon bread also freezes well.


Oyster Stew, Simple yet Special Enough to Mark an Occasion.

Steaming hot oyster stew serve with crisp saltines.
Oyster Stew is another dish that often times has a love/hate evoking reaction.  Here it is a love fest as my husband loves any type of oyster or oyster dish.  It evokes lovely memories for both of us.  Brian's Grandma Ruby always served Oyster Stew on Christmas Eve and had us all over while she was still living.  I always thought that a really wonderful tradition.

Drain the liquor from the fresh oysters and reserve for the stew.
My Mother often made at my Dad's request Oyster Stew as well as Oyster Dressing for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Today while at Sam's Club I spotted the first fresh oysters of the season and snapped up a pint of them in a heartbeat thinking Brian would be tickled to have them in a surprise supper tonight!

Ingredients for Oyster Stew:

1 pint fresh shucked oysters, drain and save the liquor
1 C. sliced celery
1/2 C. diced onions
3 T. butter
3 T. flour
2 C. milk
1 C. cream or half and half
kosher salt to taste
black pepper to taste
pinch of Cayenne pepper or a few dashes of hot sauce to taste
juice of 1/2 small lemon

Saute the vegetables.
Melt the butter and saute the celery and onions until translucent then stir in the flour to make a rue.  Add the oyster liquor, milk, and cream stirring until slightly thickened.  Simmer until the vegetables are tender. 

Add the liquor, cream, and milk.
Add the oysters and seasonings and cook a few minutes until the edges of the oysters are curled and the oysters are opaque. 

Stir in the lemon juice and correct the seasonings. Serve hot with saltine crackers.  Yield 4 servings.


15 More Pounds Down in the Slow Carb or 4-Hour Body Diet, Now a Total Loss of a Glorious 45 lbs.

Eggs and Tomatoes

It has been tough going lately but I was very happy this morning when I weighed and say more pounds gone without my even thinking about it or making any special efforts.  Perhaps I have just made piece with what has come to work for me?  I am happy if that is the case!  The tough going has nothing to do with eating but with the happenings in life to those we love.  But that being said it has kept me from the normal flow of things.  Here is the link explaining the program as it started.

Starting and stopping when I had lost interest I lost 30 pounds and never gained it back.  Recently I started up again and as of today have lost an additional 15 pounds so that is a total loss of 45 glorious pounds!  You may recall the essence of losing the weight is that I have eminent knee surgery in the future and I am trying to make this easier on ME.

Tomatoes and Eggs
The photo above is a tribute to my standby breakfast lately,  Eggs and tomatoes, tomatoes and eggs.  A lot of protein and a few calories.  Lest I be less than candid let me add that I do NOT spare the butter.  Yes, I do cook with pure and natural butter, especially when making eggs!

Scrambled eggs with asparagus and zucchini.
I find that eating 3-4 eggs depending on their size is a great filler and the protein carries me well into the day.  The tomatoes are because I love them!  I also rotate with adding sauteed shitake mushrooms and green onions to scrambled eggs.

I very very rarely drink any calories sticking to plain (reverse osmosis) filtered ice water for the past three years,  The exception to this is if we happen to eat out I will often order a plain with sugar Coke rather than drink the chemicals in the water I feel exist here.  I do NOT consume any artificial sweeteners or chemicals EVER if I can help it. 

Some of the easy changes I attribute the weight loss are I cook chili with no pasta but make it on the side with the shredded cheese for those who prefer it that way.  I never have to any big extent. 

I use a lot of onions and turnips and cut down on potatoes in soups and stews, which is delicious!  When I just have to have a piece of toast with butter I make rye bread toast which I love instead of white or wheat.

When you have the FREE day to enjoy anything you have a craving for or just want it makes life good.  For me, it is to the point now I don't even change much on the free day with the exception of adding dessert and potatoes to Sunday Dinner.  I also fudge a little buy running my FREE time from Saturday night to Sunday night.  This way if we happen to go out on Saturday night I can do what I want.  Often I stay on the program but I like to think I have the option.

Oven zucchini fries with horseradish sour cream sauce.
Truthfully we have discovered some new and delicious foods we truly love and I am excited to hand in there!  Here are the links to outstanding zucchini  recipes.

Zucchini spaghetti can either be microwaved with a little olive oil or dropped into salted boiling water 2-3 minutes depending on what you prefer.
You do need a mandolin to shred the zucchini into spaghetti like strands but it is well worth it!  The tender crisp and slightly sweet zucchini with the shiricha seasoned sauteed shrimp is killer good.
Topping zucchini shreds with sauteed shrimp in hot sauce is our favorite!
Many nights we have a green salad or Cole slaw with meat or fish which is an easy supper.  This has worked well and not caused any issues with the blood thinning medication Brian is on.  I just limit the greens to one cup and load in the other vegetables!

We also enjoy a lot of soups for suppers loaded up with vegetables, barley, mushrooms, and more so the longer I concentrate on this life style as they say the easier it gets.  Just saying......

Recently I went to the doctor with my husband and a new person introduced herself as the patient advocate.  Being a devotee of cynicism I jumped to the conclusion it was another step of the governments sticking it's nose in our business.  This still may be a correct case but she had screened Brian and found him to be  "pre" diabetic.  In the spiel that commenced and in her questioning it sounded like we have in the adjusting of our diet already done for the most part what she was recommending to avoid it's occurrence. 

Hope this encourages folks to make their diet work for them.  It seems to be working for us.


Assembly of the 3 layers, trimming, and basting the next quilt to be done.

I pin and trim and as I go I turn the quilt on the table to get to the next section.
After a six day trip to Indianapolis and a week to get things back into order at home I started back on Quilt #3 this afternoon.  Previously I had completed the embroidery of the four women's names who will have "had a hand" in the completion of this quilt* and purchased and laundered the backing material.  I chose unbleached perma pressed muslin. I had on hand 100% cotton batting and hand quilting thread in several colors.  I chose to hand baste in contrasting black.

The quilt top measures 6 1/2' by 7 1/2' so it is nice and big but it will be awkward to work on because of the size.  I start by lining up the backing on the corner of my dinning room table with all of the leaves in.  With Brian's help we laid the batting on top lining up the starting corner and sides.  It was much easier with a little help!  Next we placed the pieced top on the batting forming the three layers of the quilt.

The new long straight pins did make this go with more ease.
Last week I broke down and spent $7.00 on a new package of long straight pins with red beads on the end.  This made the pinning easier and more visible.  I pinned it all of the way around the perimeter smoothing the three layers as I went. Then trimmed the three layers all to about 3/8"from the raw edge of the top. (I can't tell you why I do it this way, I just do?)

Honking big gaudy basting stitches!
My hand basting is big and easy to see as well as easy to remove when I am finished! It has only one purpose and that is to keep the layers smoothly in place as I work. It was evening by the time I finished the basting and I had to turn on the dinning room light which is why the photos are so differently lit!

The basting is done at about a 6" interval in a rectangular spiral pattern from the outside in.
My next step will be to try to figure out how to put together one of my two quilting frames and how then to get this quilt onto it!  Hopefully my son Mike and his wife Julie can lend a hand tomorrow night after supper.  Both frames were her late Grandmother's.  If that doesn't work out I will call my neighbor Cindy who quilts with a frame and perhaps she will help me.  Will go from there!  Plan "C" is to just use a lap hoop and just get at it!  *  Here is the link explaining the 4 generations who have put these together.

French Oven Beef Stew

Luscious and delicious this French Oven Beef Stew was perfect on the evening of our first hard frost.
Paula Blanchard was the wife of Michigan's Governor James J. Blanchard and donated this recipe to the Historical Mackinac Island Cook Book in 1980.  I have adapted the recipe somewhat but have made it many times over the years as a standby.  I love that you make it in one dish in the oven, it simmers all day, and it is delicious!

Easy one pot meals herald the fall season and coming of winter.
Ingredients for French Oven Beef Stew:

3 pounds beef stew meat cubed (recipe asked for 2 pounds)
2 onions cut in eights
3 stalks celery in 1" dice
4 large carrots in 1" dice
1 can undiluted tomato soup (recipe called for 1 C. tomato juice)
1/3 C. quick tapioca
1 T. sugar
1 T. salt
1 t. pepper (recipe asked for 1/4 t.)
1/2 t. basil
2 potatoes cut into 1" chunks
1 can beef stock
NOTE:  You may as I did substitute a 2 1/2 pound bag of frozen stew vegetables for all of the listed vegetables.  Skipping the add potatoes step.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Brown the chunks of beef.
Brown the meat.  combine beef, onions, celery, and carrots in a covered dutch oven.  (Or the frozen stew vegetables.)

Adding a 2 1/2 pound bag of frozen stew vegetables really makes this a Quick Fix meal.
Combine tomato soup, stock, tapioca, sugar, salt, pepper, and basil and pour over the meat and vegetables. 

Soup, stock, tapioca, and seasonings are whisked together.
Cover and bake 2 1/2 hours. (I just cooked 3 1/2 hours and skipped the add potatoes.)

Add the potatoes and return to the oven in covered casserole for an hour longer.  Yield 6-8 servings.

What a nice warming dish for a cold dreary fall day!  Baked a batch of Cinnadoodles to have for dessert!