Hobo, favorite cat, has finally returned from his road trip. The way he likes to be petted and lay on someone's lap makes me wonder why he goes on these wandering trips of his. We had given up on seeing him again. Anyway, we are glad he is back.
Did you have a great Fourth? This is one holiday when we should show our love for America. If one doesn't love America, that person should leave this country and go where they think they will be happier. I would help pay their air fare. This is supposed to be a Christian nation that allows others to worship anyway they want, but not to interfere with Christian values. When it was created, a vote was taken to make English the official language. It is OK to speak another language, but all public and official language should be English.
Those in Washington need to learn to take care of our own citizens before they go giving away our money on non-Americans. Anyone who wants to come to the U.S. should do it legally and not be rewarded for disobeying our laws by getting money they are not entitled to receive since they did not contribute to those funds. We need to take better care of our military since they are the ones who protect us, not the "talking' crowd in Washington. If a person serves in the military and is injured, that person should be taken care of for the rest of his or her life. Those who devote their entire working life should never have their benefits reduced or taken away. What they were promised when they decided to risk their lives should be what they receive.
It is honorable to be concerned about peoples in other parts of the world, but we need to be concerned about our own citizens first and definitely not be borrowing money from those who are undermining our country to send to countries who don't even like us. Where are the minds of those who have been elected to watch over us and the stability of this great country? We won't have a great country if some of this stupidity isn't stopped, and soon.
I get really upset when I see folks in this country losing everything for which they have worked through no fault of their own. I get even more upset when I hear about children in this country going to bed hungry at night while we send millions to those who dislike us and laugh behind our backs because we are so dumb to do it. In the meantime, we are being told we have to buy something some of our people can't afford or "pay" for our disobedience. Our Christian religion is being removed from as many places as Washington can get it done, in spite of the wish of most of Americans. Where are our children going to learn our values if they see it not allowed in every public place?
Pray for our country, and vote for those who are honorable and will preserve our heritage.
These are some of the things we need to think about as our country grows one year older. We need her to stand forever, and it is up to us. It is the best thing we can leave behind for our children and those who follow them. Monroe was right when he told us years ago that America should be for Americans, not for those who are jealous of our country and want to destroy it.
We weren't home to fly our flag on the Fourth. It is the flag for the year this house was built - 1863. It is a sign for everyone that old things, like houses and people, are still standing strong. Neither are perfect or even as good as they once were, but still standing. Both the house and us could use some repair.
Even with a cover on the deck, it has been too hot to use the grill as we would like, but we are just using the oven in the air-conditioned house and pretending the food is grilled outside. We deceive ourselves by using a little smoke seasoning. The early morning is the perfect time to sit outside and enjoy that first cup of coffee, then into the house for the hot part of the day. Husband Norm tried to turn himself into a tomato on vacation, and is paying for it now. So he and the sun have called a truce and he doesn't go outside during the heat of the day. His office is so, so cool that I am tempted to go down there when I forget to turn on the AC early enough. He makes a quick dash going and coming from work.
Try to keep cool these days. Just remember how cold it was last winter and be glad the temperature in our valley doesn't stay the same for too long. When it is hot, it is a good excuse for not doing anything strenuous, like moping. The health dept. doesn't know where I live and I don't let fussy floor inspectors in the house....
I looked through some old cookbooks to find some recipes for hot days and will share them with you today. Some are repeats, so you may already have them. Enjoy each day and be thankful for our country.
MARINADE FOR STEAK
One-fourth cup olive oil
One-fourth cup dry red wine
Two cloves garlic, minced
One teaspoon coarse ground pepper
One-half teaspoon salt
One-half teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
Combine all ingredients. Pour over steak (in a zip-top bag) and place in refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Turn bag occasionally so all the steak is marinated. Also, place bag in a glass baking dish in case the bag leaks.
FRESH RUSSIAN TEA
Two cups water
Six whole cloves
One-and-one-half quarts water
Eight regular-size tea bags
Two-thirds cup orange juice
One-half cup lemon juice
One-and-one-half cups sugar
Combine two cups water and cloves in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand one hour. Bring one and one-half cups water to a boil in a large saucepan and add tea bags. Remove from heat, cover and let steep five minutes. Then remove tea bags. Strain clove mixture into tea. Stir in fruit juices and sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves. Serve hot.
FRESH SIBERIAN TEA
Serve above tea over ice cubes.
TOPING FOR STEAKS OR
One-fourth cup crumbled blue cheese
Two tablespoons soft goat cheese (chevre)
One clove garlic, minced
One-fourth cup thinly sliced green onion
Combine all ingredients and use to top grilled steaks or burgers. This may also be used as a "filling" for burgers - pat out two fairly thin patties, put a spoonful of the cheese mixture in the middle of one and place other one over top and seal. Turn only once on grill unless you have sealed them VERY well.
One-half cup good olive oil
One-fourth cup fresh lemon juice
Six cups tomato juice
Two cups beef broth
One-half cup very finely minced onion
Two tomatoes, peeled and cubed
Two cups finely minced celery
One-fourth teaspoon Tabasco
Two teaspoons salt
One-half teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Two green peppers, finely chopped
Two cucumbers, finely diced
Beat together the oil and lemon juice. Stir in the tomato juice, broth, onions, tomatoes, celery, Tabasco, salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning (mixture should be well seasoned, and may requite more salt or Tabasco, depending on individual taste.) Chill the soup at least three hours. Pour into a tureen. Serve the green peppers, cucumbers, and croutons separately to be added to each serving.
This soup keeps for several days in the refrigerator, and is a perfect lunch on a hot day.
Patty Christopher is a longtime food columnist for The Parkersburg News & Sentinel.