Summer has arrived

If you are a late night owl like me, turn your TV to channel 19 at 11 p.m. to pass a half hour of entertainment and laughs. You can enjoy nightly the old re-run episodes of the Carol Burnett Show and her guests will bring back good ol’ clean cut shows where they didn’t have to be half naked or use bad words to make you laugh, like it seems they have to do on many of today’s programs.

Carol Burnett, along with The Jeffersons, Charlie’s Angels, Dick Van Dyke, Alfred Hitchcock and many more oldies can keep you well entertained and also bring back the memories of days gone by.

One can not help themselves but to laugh at Tim Conway (who just died recently), Harvey Korman and Vicki Lawrence in the many different skits that they put on and I look forward every night to watch them and laugh, after all laughter is great for the soul.

School is out and now all the kids can look forward to a nice two month vacation, which also makes it more demanding on parents and guardians having them seven extra hours a day where as when school is in session they would be in school and lunch would be one less meal you would have to worry about.

Of course various camps such as church camps, band camps, all various types of sport camps keep many of the kids occupied and involved in activities, plus something they enjoy and will also benefit by attending. Many kids also look forward to going to the various swimming pools and spending the day with friends and passing their time.

The new swimming pool at the Parkersburg city park I am sure is drawing a lot of kids attention and participation ( also tennis courts, basketball courts, baseball field and a very nice play ground) and of course there is also Jackson and Spencer park in Vienna and South Parkersburg Park. Yesterday, for example six of my granddaughters spent over five hours at the City Park pool and afterward we all went for a walk and to the swing area.

I was surprised to see that next to the adult water fountain there was also a water fountain for dogs and pets

As you well know a good parent is on call 24/7 and a full time job and responsibility from birth to maturity.

Summertime is also time for planning your vacation — where are you planning on going? To the beach, on a cruise, to the mountains… our country is so great and it has many different and beautiful places and attractions that one can visit and enjoy. Our children need to see and experience our wonderful country and the 50 states.

Everyone needs a vacation to get away and relax and away from the everyday routine.

Until next week!

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Rhubarb Icebox Dessert

3 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs, divided

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

4 cups diced fresh or frozen rhubarb

1 3-ounce package raspberry or strawberry gelatin

1 8-ounce carton frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 1/4 cups miniature marshmallows

2 cups cold milk

1 3.4-ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix

In a small bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups cracker crumbs and butter. Press mixture into a greased 13×9 baking dish. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and rhubarb. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes or until thickened and rhubarb is tender. Remove from the heat; stir in gelatin until dissolved. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until partially set.

Spoon rhubarb mixture over crust. Combine whipped topping and marshmallows; spread over rhubarb mixture.

In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 3 minutes or until soft-set. Carefully spread over marshmallow topping (the dish will be full.) Sprinkle with remaining cracker crumbs. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

***

Rhubarb Custard Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup cold butter

Filling:

2 cups sugar

7 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup heavy whipping cream

3 eggs, beaten

5 cups finely chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed and drained

Topping:

2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

In a bowl, combine the flour and sugar; cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into a greased 13×9 baking pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, for filling combine sugar and flour in a bowl. Whisk in cream and eggs. Stir in the rhubarb. Pour over crust. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until custard is set. Cool.

For topping, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth; fold in whipped cream. Spread over top. Cover and chill. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.

***

Mountain Berry Pie

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

dash salt

1/2 cup water

1 cup fresh blueberries

pastry for double-crust pie

1 cup halved fresh strawberries

1 cup fresh raspberries

1/2 cup fresh blackberries

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons butter

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt and water until smooth; add the blueberries. Bring a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Set aside to cool slightly.

Line a 9-inch pie plate with bottom crust; trim pastry even with edge. Gently fold the strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and lemon juice into the blueberry mixture. Pour into pastry; dot with butter. Roll out remaining pastry; make a lattice crust. Trim, seal and flute edges.

Bake at 400 for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350, bake for 45-50 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack; store in refrigerator.

***

Apple Pear Pie

pastry for double-crust pie

3 medium ripe pears, peeled and thinly sliced

3 medium tart apples, peeled and thinly sliced

1 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon whole milk

Line a 9-inch pie plate with bottom pastry; trim to 1 inch beyond edge of plate. In a large bowl, combine the pears, apples, 1 cup sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Transfer mixture to crust; dot with butter. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pan; cut slits in pastry. Place over filling; trim, seal and flute edges. Brush with milk; sprinkle with remaining sugar. Cover edges loosely with foil. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove foil; bake 30-35 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown.

***

Grandma’s Blackberry Cake

1 cup fresh blackberries

2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground all spice

1/4 cup buttermilk

whipped cream

Toss the blackberries with 2 tablespoons of flour; set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Combine the baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cloves, allspice and remaining flour; add to creamed mixture alternating with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Fold in blackberries. Pour into a greased and floured 9-inch square baking pan.

Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Serve with whipped cream if desired.

***

Kiki Angelos is a longtime columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

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