Celebrate Mother’s Day with great meal

Happy Mother’s Day! I hope you have a great one and everyone treats you with the respect that mothers deserve. If anyone didn’t, don’t forget to return niceness to them in the same manner they were nice (or not) to you. Father’s Day is coming up and you always have a way to respond to your kids. Mothers are a limited commodity – you only get one, so it is important to take good care of that one. Too often, we take our mothers for granted. If yours is still here, do let her know how much she is appreciated, even if you don’t always agree with her.

Being a mother is a tough job, but it is also the most wonderful job in the world. I have always said that once you become a mother, your life of thinking only of you, is over. The first few years of codling that sweet little baby are great. A mother doesn’t even mind the diapers and the upchucking! Then the real test of a person comes – guiding a young one in the way you want them to be when they are an adult. Mothers do survive the teenage years of the children though, and even enjoy them as they become adults. Then a mother’s real reward comes when the grandchildren start to come. As your children start having children, you can sit back and smile as you remind them of their own antics when they were that age!

Mothers can really enjoy the grandchildren more as they don’t have the day-to-day responsibility of caring for them and guiding them through the growing-up years. Mothers can also remind the young parents how fast the time flies as the little ones grow. Maybe that is one reason we, as grandmothers, enjoy spoiling the grandchildren! One gets so busy being a mother that we often forget how soon that little one will be grown. Being a grandmother is a second chance to take the time to enjoy that little one. If a grandmother is retired, it is even better.

So mothers, hang in there – your rewards will continue through the years. But sometimes you just have to remind the rest of the family that you should be honored and respected and especially on “your” day!

Honor your own mother on this day to set an example for the younger ones in your family.

They should shower you with love and gifts on Mother’s Day, but one thing you can give them is a record of the good meals you have served them over the years. Make a “Family Recipe Book” to give all the kids – maybe that would be a good Christmas gift from you, and you can be working on it starting now.

Have you noticed how green everything has gotten all at once? And warmer, too! Thank you, Mother Nature. The flowers are especially pretty this year. Maybe it is because we are so tired of dreary and cold. Anyway, I am glad to be able to add some color to the hilltop. For the first time in a long time, the azaleas in front of the house are looking good and the bed has been spruced up so it is presentable. Next project is to redo the bed on the other side of the porch. It has gotten a little wild and needs to be thinned out and taught where those lilies should grow without crowding everything else out.

I hate to admit this, but most of the roses are looking better than they have in years. A couple were left too long before pruning and the stalks are thick leafless. I still secretly think that climbing roses should be allowed to climb, but I have to admit that I didn’t tie them to the fence where they were supposed to grow. Anyway, husband Norm is feeling very smart that he was correct (mostly), so I guess he won that round of the rose war. The final test will be later this summer as the roses continue to grow.

The Chesterhill Farmers’ Auction is opening for the season tomorrow. Since I am limiting my own garden this year, they can expect to see me often. It was a sad happening when the Marietta Farmers’ Market met with a fire that destroyed their building recently, but they are still going to be there for the community. That is close to me and I do enjoy going there. Many of the vendors are neighbors. They have such a variety of things – meat, bread, all kinds of veggies, fruit and food, as well as crafts. Locally grown food is always better than that which is shipped in.

Our grill is up, the charcoal and lighter purchased and the gas bottle full. I like to use the gas, but Norm likes the charcoal better. He did have an experience with the first charcoal grilling of the season. We had a beautiful lamb roast on the grill. He had watched it for a couple of hours while I was busy and the girls were working with the horses. He went into the house for just a very few minutes and when he came out, the smoke was rolling from the grill. That lamb roast was black! He thought he had ruined it. When we cut it, it was perfect on the inside – done just right and juicy. The charred fat on the outside was good, too. We will be using that grill often this season so I am getting out our favorite recipes for BBQ sauces, marinades, and side dishes. If they are where I can find them easily, we will have more variety instead of the same old meal every day. Of course, when the tomatoes come in, we live on BELTs – that’s a BLT with a fried egg in the middle.

Enjoy this season – it is a wonderful time of year. Enjoy your family and be thankful for them. Our family is slowly recovering – thank you for helping us. Take care and God bless!

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WESTERN BARBECUE SAUCE

One medium onion, sliced

One-half cup chopped celery

Two tablespoons vegetable oil

Two tablespoons sugar

Two tablespoons prepared mustard

One tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

One cup water

One-half cup catsup

One cup seasoned tomato sauce

Cook onion and celery in hot oil until soft and yellow. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Makes two cups.

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SPICY BARBECUE SAUCE

Three-fourths cup chopped onion

One-half cup vegetable oil

Three-fourths cup catsup

Three-fourths cup water

One-third cup lemon juice

Three tablespoons sugar

Three tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Two tablespoons prepared mustard

Two teaspoons salt

One-half teaspoon pepper

Cook onion in oil until tender but not brown. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 15 minutes. Use to baste meats close to end of grilling time.

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CROCKPOT COWBOY BEANS

Two pounds ground chuck

Two large onions, chopped

One pound bacon, cut into small pieces

One (40-oz.) can pork and beans

Two (15-oz.) cans kidney beans

One (14-oz.) bottle hot catsup

Two (15-oz.) cans butter beans

One-and-one-fourth cups brown sugar

One green bell pepper, chopped

Three tablespoons liquid smoke

Three tablespoons white vinegar

Garlic salt to taste

Salt and pepper

Brown beef and drain. Place in crockpot. Fry bacon and saute onion in bacon fat. Drain and add these to crockpot. Add all remaining ingredients and stir. Cover and cook on medium heat for six hours.

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EASY BARBECUED PORK

Five pound pork shoulder roast

One bottle (27-oz.) Kraft thick and spicy barbecue sauce

One-fourth cup Worcestershire sauce

Two tablespoons minced garlic

Salt and pepper

Cover roast with salted water and bring to a boil. Boil gently until pork falls off the bone, about two hours. Drain, but reserve some of the cooking water. Shred pork, discarding fat as you come to it. Place shredded pork in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Sparingly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with barbecue sauce. Evenly distribute Worcestershire sauce and garlic over top. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Stir well. Check pork during baking, and if it looks like it is getting dry, cover pan with foil. A little of the cooking water can be sprinkled over the meat if necessary.

Garlic powder can be used instead of the minced garlic. This can also be prepared in a crockpot. Since the pork is already cooked, it can be set on low for two or three hours. It is easy to serve from a crockpot for sandwiches, especially for a crowd. Use hamburger buns. Cole slaw and iced tea make this an easy lunch.

Contact Patty Christopher at jkoenitzer@aol.com