Good-bye summer; hello fall. Would someone please tell Mother Nature? I would like to turn off the A/C. We can expect very warm days during fall in our valley, but the HOT, along with the rain, made us think we were still in Florida. The tomatoes loved it. They overdid themselves producing big red fruit that I didn't want to put up. The roaster oven is still in the kitchen, so maybe I will weaken and make some more sauce or salsa.
How did you celebrate Labor Day? Even with the bands of rain, most folks were able to go to the fairs and have cookouts. The Washington County Fair is always at this time and the local 4-H kids were busy there as usual with their animals and projects. I have fond memories of spending the entire time of the fair being there with my friends. The 4-H Junior Leadership Club manned the 4-H food booth and I wouldn't miss a day of working there in fear of missing something. The members who had animals at the fair would stay in the cattle barn, and it was one long camp-out for them. Since I didn't have an animal at the fair, I missed out on that. We all worked together every day, though, at the food booth. That food booth provided money for Camp Hervida, our 4-H camp.
The boys would go around to the games on the midway, then construct like games behind the food booth and practice on them until they knew how to win. Then they would go to the games and win big prizes for all of us. It didn't take long for 4-H boys to be blackballed at the carny games.
Things are a little different these days. It is too dangerous for kids to stay at the fair the way we did. Of course, we didn't have the temptations that are out there now, but there was never any bad behavior by any of that group of kids. Either we were too frightened of what our parents would do to us if we messed up even one time or we hadn't learned how to get into trouble yet. I feel sorry for the kids today since they can't even have the innocent fun we did as teenagers.
The fair is still fun for kids, but it isn't the carefree days that we knew.
Did you have a Labor Day cookout? From the looks of the grocery carts in the stores, I think most of us did. I really enjoyed ours. It was at the kids' house and we were guests - no cooking or cleaning up. Great.. Missy had made a pork loin that was out of this world. She also had strawberry Shortcake with homemade shortcakes. They were so good, and even though I am not supposed to eat anything with seeds, I just had to try it. (The next day, I really paid for it, too, but it was worth it.)
One of the benefits of getting older is being a guest and not doing the work for everyone else.
Husband Norm spent much of the weekend trying to get his projects finished (and having fits about the rain when he had to stop working.) The storm had caused us to have to have a new roof and that, of course, meant the shutters had to be repainted and the workbench he was using was old and had to be remade - on and on - you know how it goes with an old place. Anyway, the cookout gave him a legitimate excuse to rest.
Now that Labor Day is over, the schools are in full swing with studies and, of course, football. Our grandson, Austin, is a senior and playing his last year of high school football, so of course, you know where we spend out Friday nights. Our "pride" sign is out front and #81 shows up on lots of the family's clothing. Our country school was a big following for the games, no matter what the score happens to be. Kids need that feeling that people are behind them.
During the weekend, I looked at many of the old family cookbooks. It was a warm feeling to recognize the handwriting of my mother and two grandmothers. Of course, I wished, many times, that I could ask them just what they meant in the instructions they left, and often, what ingredients they left out with the understanding that everyone cooked like they did. "Bake until done." Or "Add flour to make a nice dough" Or just ingredients listed and no instructions or even the name of the dish. Do leave family recipes and stories, too, for those who come after you. You will always be remembered. Some of their recipes are listed today.
Enjoy this season, watch out for the school buses, and get ready to get out the fall clothes. Take care and God Bless.
One-and-one-half cups milk
Six cups shredded cabbage
One-and-one-half tablespoons flour
One-and-one-half tablespoons butter
One-half cup cold milk
One and one-fourth teaspoon salt
One-fourth teaspoon pepper
Heat 1 1/2 cups milk and add shredded cabbage. Cover and cook 3 minutes. Make a paste of the flour, butter and half cup cold milk. Stir into the cabbage. Add salt and pepper. Cover and cook 6 minutes.
HERO BEAN BAKE
One can (20-oz) pineapple chunks
One pound ground beef
Three-fourths cup rolled oats
One-half teaspoon salt
One-eighth teaspoon pepper
Drain pineapple and reserve juice and pineapple. Mix other ingredients with half cup of reserved pineapple juice. Shape into 24 meatballs and brown in vegetable oil. Drain on paper towels. Make sauce.
One-half cup chopped onion
One-third cup chopped green pepper
One cup catsup
One-half cup water
One-fourth cup firmly packed brown sugar
Two tablespoons vinegar
One-and-one-half teaspoon dry mustard
Saute onion and pepper in butter about 5 minutes. Add rest of ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes.
In a 2 1/2 quart casserole, combine one 1-pound can dark red kidney beans, rinsed, and one 1-pound can pork and beans, and all but half cup of the pineapple chunks. Pour sauce over and mix. Put meatballs and the half cup pineapple chunks on top. Bake uncovered in 375-degree oven for 30-35 minutes.
Two cups milk
One tablespoon sugar
One teaspoon salt
One-fourth teaspoon pepper
Two tablespoons melted butter
Two (10-oz.) packages frozen white corn, thawed and drained
Combine all ingredients in a 2 quart casserole and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
CHILLED AVOCADO SOUP
Three fully ripe avocados
One cup chicken broth
One cup light cream
One teaspoon salt
One-fourth teaspoon onion salt
Pinch of white pepper
One teaspoon lemon juice
Lemon slices - optional - for garnish
Halve avocados lengthwise, remove seed and peel. Blend with chicken broth in blender until smooth. Combine with cream and seasonings. Cover and refrigerate for three hours or overnight. Stir in lemon juice and garnish with lemon slices. Serve chilled.
One-fourth cup all-purpose flour
One-fourth cup dry fine breadcrumbs
One tablespoon cornstarch
One teaspoon chicken flavored instant bouillon
One-half teaspoon salt
One-half teaspoon paprika
One-half teaspoon dried minced onion
One-eighth teaspoon garlic powder
Two-and-one-half pound chicken, cut up
One tablespoon corn oil
In a large plastic bag, shake together everything except oil and chicken. Brush chicken with oil Shake two pieces at a time in bag. Bake in a single layer in preheated 400-degree oven for 20 minutes. Turn chicken over and bake 20 minutes more, or until chicken is done.
Patty Christopher is a longtime columnist for The Parkersburg News & Sentinel. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org