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Gratitude for generosity

Many of us like to give and share and some of us more than others depending on our ability to do so. Sharing is important, but it must be done from the heart and not something you feel you must do.

I personally like to help, give and share with others and our community. If I have a choice I will never stop helping people because I know there are needs and it makes a difference in people’s lives.

I admire and compliment the many people in our community who dedicate their time and talents to help others. Thanks to them many people and places are helped. Kind and loving people need to be thanked for their kindness and willingness to help others.

A while back, West Virginia University at Parkersburg had a beautiful outdoor reception at the Oakland House on Seventh Street where college President Chris Gilmer ask me if I would help him on a fundraiser by cooking with him for the event. Without hesitation I agreed to help in anyway possible that I could and we decided on auctioning a dinner to someone interested. To make a long story short, three couples joined together and donated $1,000 to cook a meal for them. We all decided to have the dinner right away before the busy holiday season started. So a few days ago, Gilmer and I prepared a special dinner for the generous donation by Wayne Waldeck, Lee Rector, Becky and Jim McGinnis and Bob and Annette Fehrenbacher. The menu consisted of southern-fried chicken and gravy, homemade potato salad and deviled eggs, corn bread and a delicious pecan pie prepared by Gilmer. I prepared a Greek salad, pastichio casserole (Greek lasagne), broccoli casserole and bread pudding with a secret sauce.

Decorations and table settings of WVU-P college colors of gold and blue were provided by the talented David Creel of WVU-P. Torie Jackson was there to help serve.

It was a very enjoyable and fun evening to be with such good friends and at the same time help WVU-P students.

Thank you all for making this such a successful evening.

While all this was taking place our son, George, at 52 years of age was running the 26.2 mile Marathon Run in Columbus for the second time in his life. Twenty years ago he ran the marathon in Columbus in around 2 1/2 hours, but this time it took him 3 hours 19 minutes. His goal, however, was to qualify for the Boston Marathon in April, which he did. Still he finished 208th and 10th in his age group out of over 7,000 runners. Over the years, he has ran the Boston, New York, Chicago, Columbus and the original Marathon in Athens.

I will just stick to riding in a car. LOL!

Till next week:

VEGETARIAN BAKED ZITI

1 pound ziti noodles

1 1/2 quarts marinara sauce

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

24 ounces ricotta cheese

2 teaspoons pesto

1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Cook ziti according to package directions. Rinse with water and cool. In a greased 9-by-13 baking dish, layer in the following order: 1 cup marinara sauce, half of the cooked ziti, 2 cups marinara sauce, parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, pesto, half of the mozzarella cheese, half of the cooked ziti, 3 cups marinara sauce, half of the material cheese. Cook and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 to 15 minutes more to brown the top. Yields 8 to 10 servings.

PORK CHOPS IN SOUR CREAM SAUCE

6 pork chops, 3/4 inch thick

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups chicken stock

1 bay leaf

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons paprika

3 tablespoons butter

Flour seasoned with salt and pepper

Melt butter in a large skillet and saute the onion and garlic until golden brown. Remove the onion and garlic from the skillet and set aside. Lightly flour pork chops in seasoned flour. Place in the skillet and brown on both sides. Remove from the skillet and pour off excess fat. Return skillet to medium heat and add chicken stock and deglaze the skillet. Add the pork chops, bay leaf and cooked onion and garlic to the skillet, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Remove pork chops to the heated serving platter. Turn the heat up and reduce the liquid by a half. Remove skillet from heat and add the sour cream and paprika. I suggest you pour a little of the sauce over the pork chops and serve the rest in a gravy boat with seasoned rice or mashed potatoes.

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