Sunday, July 16, 2017

Week 82, 7/16/2017

Thoughts and Quotes: Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.
                                                                                                Henry James

According to Wikipedia (click here), Henry James was an American born British writer. The family traveled between London and different cities on the US eastern coast. I suspect this quote was written when he was either in England or Newport, RI, where the weather is more agreeable than mine in Missouri in the middle of July with temperatures in the 90's and humidity in the 80% range. And I've just been told that my compressor is shot, so no air conditioning today. Will my keyboard short out from dripping perspiration? Hold a good thought that I can get a new unit quickly because the coming week is predicted to be in the 90's and no sign of rain.

Tasting: Tuesday was my day to host the VECC (Very Exclusive Cooking Club) lunch. I decided to do a sort of tea room lunch with soup, salad and sandwiches.

July 11, 2017 at Patsy’s



Cream of Mushroom Soup

Chicken Salad

Macaroni Salad

Fresh Fruit Salad

Vegetable Salad

Cardinal Cole Slaw

Deviled Eggs

Ham Finger Sandwiches

Cucumber Finger Sandwiches

Tomato Finger Sandwiches

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Apple Bread

Lemon Bread

Cherry-Walnut Cookies

Iced Tea      Hot Tea



Tins of some of each of the dessert items.



8 oz white button mushrooms
8 oz baby Portobello mushrooms
6 Tbs butter (or more)
1/3 cup flour
1 qt chicken broth
1/4 tsp Herbs de Provence
1 cup whipping cream
Chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste.

Clean the mushrooms and take few middle slices out of the small ones for garnish.  Chop the rest.

Melt the butter and sauté the garnish slices.  Remove to a paper towel to drain and add the chopped mushrooms.  Sauté until golden, adding more butter if necessary.

Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms, cook and stir a few minutes to cook the flour.

Add the chicken broth and herbs.  Simmer ten minutes.

Whirl the mixture in a blender in batches.  It will be hot and the pressure will cause the lid to fly off unless you hold it on with a folded kitchen towel.  On low, start at “pulse” and work your way up to the highest speed and then switch over to high.    Do each batch the same way.  Do not fill the blender more than halfway each time.

Return to skillet or pan. Add whipping cream and reheat, stirring constantly.  Add salt and pepper, if desired.  The salt will depend on the chicken broth you use. Garnish.


2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken - about two half breasts
  (To save time, buy a cooked rotisserie chicken at the market)
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped fruit
1/3 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix together and chill.  Butter bread before adding chicken salad.  Garnish with parsley sprig.

Use any kind of fruit. Try using pineapple (fresh or canned); apples; dried raisins, cranberries or cherries; or grapes. Be sure to cut your fruit into small pieces.

For crunch add finely chopped nuts – I like pecans, walnuts or slivered almonds. Add just before serving or they’ll get soggy.

Bump it up by adding two tablespoons of minced onion.

Spice it up by adding 1/4 teaspoon of curry powder, dried dill weed, or dried tarragon.  Use fresh herbs if you have them, but double the amount. Always start with a small amount; you can always add more to taste.

 For this lunch, I used chicken, celery, green onions, red grapes, and pecans.

Janice Lesperance

Macaroni, shells or elbows, cooked
Green onions
Green olives, stuffed
Ripe olives
Green pepper
Hardboiled eggs
Shredded cheese
Dijon mustard
Salad Supreme
Dill seed

For this lunch I omitted the stuffed olives and replaced the dill seed with chopped dill pickles.

Jan’s sister’s mother-in-law from The Philippines

Juice of one lemon
1/3 cup sugar
2 apples, cored and finely chopped
Fruit chunks of choice

In a large mixing bowl, squeeze lemon juice and remove seeds.

Stir in sugar and add chopped apples.

Add your choice of fruits and mix well so that lemon apples are distributed throughout.

Note: If adding fragile fruits such as strawberries or watermelon, stir everything first and then gently stir in.

Canned pineapple works well. If adding bananas, stir in just before serving.

Photo is Pink Lady apples, cantaloupe, fresh oranges, canned pineapple, and strawberries.

For this lunch, I used apples, mango, pineapple, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, and blueberries.


1 15 oz can Le Seur peas, drained
1 15 oz can white shoe peg corn, drained
1 15 oz can French cut green beans, drained
1 green pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped green onions
Small container pimientos, optional

1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup white vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

While the green beans are still in the can, run a knife through to cut the pieces into 1/2’s or 1/3’s.

Mix all salad ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

Mix all dressing ingredients together in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stir to make sure sugar is completely dissolved, then cool.

When cool, add to salad and chill. 

Springfield Symphony Cookbook, Ninth Movement

4 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup chopped unpeeled apple
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
Bottled Cole slaw dressing

Moisten cabbage, apple, and raisins with dressing.  Chill.

Add peanuts just before serving.

Note: Original recipe calls for Miracle Whip instead of dressing.

The coffee cake, apple bread, and lemon bread recipes were on last week's post. You can find them on the drop-down menu above.

Planters Nuts

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1-3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries

Heat oven to 400°.

Cream together butter and brown sugar.

Add egg and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

Blend in dry ingredients.

Form into a roll, 2-1/2” wide. Wrap in waxed paper and freeze until firm.

Cut into thin slices (1/8”) onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until browned.

Note: Dough may be kept frozen for two weeks.

Things that Grow: My dinner consisted of things from the garden; buttered zucchini with parmesan and tomatoes and cucumber for my salad.

The tomatoes actually came from the patio - a plant appropriately called a patio tomato. The tomatoes are smaller than the ones on garden tomato plants. Here they are in comparison to supermarket tomatoes on the vine. Just as tasty as the garden variety, however.

And the zucchini keeps hiding under the large leaves and I end up with these big guys. I have four of them in the refrigerator right now. Becky said that I can shred it and freeze it for breads and cakes. I certainly won't be doing any baking until the a/c is fixed.

And I also had turnips from the garden to make Creamed Turnips. If you haven't tried them, you should.


3 cups peeled and cubed turnips
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper

Put the turnips in a saucepan with enough water to cover them by 1”.

Simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.

Drain and transfer to a bowl.

Melt butter in the same saucepan over medium heat, and then whisk in flour.

Continue whisking for a minute or two to cook the flour.

Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly, and cook until the sauce is thickened.

Return turnips to sauce and heat through.

Season with salt and pepper.

Tales: I finished the second book from the library. Lillian is 85 years old, lived in New York City all her life, worked for Macy's writing ad copy, and takes a walk on New Year's Eve, 1984. She visits all her old haunts, tells about her life, and introduces us to the people she meets along her walk. For those of us "of an age", it echoes some of the thoughts we might have about aging and end of life. At least, it did for me. A little more on the literary side than the cozy mysteries and novels we like to read in the summer, but I liked it a lot.

You can see a better review on Amazon, click here.

And then I finished the third book which takes place in Seattle, alternating between the early 1940's and 1986. A Chinese boy (Henry) who lives in Chinatown and a Japanese girl (Keiko) who lives in Japantown work together in the kitchen of an all white private elementary school - "scholarshipping". They become friends, though Henry's father calls Japanese (even though born here) the enemy because of the war between China and Japan. Henry and Keiko were both born in the USA and just consider themselves Americans.

When Pearl Harbor is bombed, Keiko's family is moved to an internment camp in Idaho. The book is a novel, but it tells the real history of the time. Very entertaining. You will fall in love with Henry and Keiko, as well as Keiko's family and Henry's African-American friend who plays saxaphone on the streets and then in the clubs. 

Amazon readers gave the book 4-1/2 stars, despite the bad reviews from the "experts", which you can read here.

You might have guessed by now that I goofed off this week. I even shopped for cardstock for making cards, and then did a bit of -

Thrifting: Next month I need to redo a theme dinner called "Sailing, sailing...". I made it for my younger brothers and the toy boats were a sort of joke.

I found something I believe will work. The total cost was $5.50. The pieces are candles, which I probably won't burn. It seemed a little extravagant for just taking a photo, but maybe I'll actually recreate this dinner for guests someday.

4th of July goodies for $2.50

A sweet little plate to use for tea yummies - 50 cents

A small teapot for the library to use as a doorprize for the Mother-Daughter Tea - $4.

I've searched everywhere for one of these; mine is about thirty years old. Each month has a place to write birthdates and anniversaries and a pocket for storing cards as you make or purchase them. And an address book was included - $1

Individual teapot with a chipped rim (chip doesn't show when the lid is on) - $1. Or I might use it as a vase for an Asian table.

A $1 cookbook for Mim, who has a blog for widows. You can check it out here.

And six good quality votive candles for $2

The Pepper and Pals Report: Pepper and Stormy are starting to tolerate each other a little more. Stormy is such a cute little girl. She lets me pet her back and tail now. She continues to rub against my legs, and is trusting me more each day. She still runs from strangers, however, which I need to work on if I'm going to find her a home.

Midnight (Pepper's sister - black) still comes around sometimes, and her daughter is here all the time, begging for food. She's the mother of the litter of unknown whereabouts. Sometimes Midnight won't let BJ eat with her, and sometimes they finish one plate and then move to the other together.

If you look just beyond Midnight's back you can see my broken pot. I don't know whether Stormy did it chasing candlesbugs after dark when the outside light is on, or maybe The Janitor did it. He's the possum who cleans up all the leftover cat food at night.

It's now 2:00 p.m. and the house is 82 degrees. I'll be looking for a cooler spot, as the sun has moved over to the office side. I'll probably work on my fourth and final book - too hot to move around.

Tidbits: Let's see which national holidays are coming up this week.

Monday is National Peach Ice Cream Day - I can do that.

Tuesday is National Hamiltons Day, which means you can get a full rack of ribs at TGI Friday's for $10 (Alexander Hamilton is on the $10 bill). It's either that or eat caviar or sour candy. I'm opting for the ribs.

Wednesday is Hot Dog Day - Hot dog! I love them. 

Thursday is Lollipop Day. Guess I'll drop by the bank - I always get one there.

Friday is National Junk Food Day. Now you're talking my language. Maybe a Mexican Pizza from Taco Bell.

Saturday is National Penuche Fudge Day. Maybe I'll have air conditioning by then, and I can try the recipe in the Springfield Symphony book for Spice Cake with Penuche Frosting. 

Sunday is National Vanilla Ice Cream Day - Goody! Ice cream twice this week.











  1. Patsy, I absolutely love your thrift finds. And how lovely to have feline visitors. The table setting is beautiful, simple and elegant, and I love that white tablecloth! The dishes look so scrumptious! Now I am getting hungry, I need to make supper. Thank you so much for sharing. :)

    1. The area I live in is a thrifter's paradise. I think we just trade our "stuff" around as a relief from boredom.

      There are some ladies from California who come every year. They haunt all the thrift stores and flea markets and buy up all the pretty cups and saucers to take back with them. Then they have a tea at the Senior Center, and the ladies who attend get to keep their teacup set. Isn't that a sweet idea?

  2. Another amazing table setting, the food looks wonderful. I am going to give the creamed turnips a go as a side for Sunday lunch. Impressive thrift store haul, great finds.

    1. I'll be interested in hearing your opinion of creamed turnips. The cream sauce calms the sharp taste. My mother liked them cubed, cooked, buttered, and then she put some vinegar on them on her plate. She put vinegar on her cooked spinach as well.

      Some people call all mushed up turnips with butter Creamed Turnips. I call that Mashed Turnips, like Mashed Potatoes.

      Let me know, and thanks for all your kind compliments.

  3. My poor HOney! I'm so happy you got everything fixed now and I don't have to worry about you boiling up over there. ;)

    YOur luncheon looks pretty as a picture (which it was obviously from this post -Lol) and the menu was amazing!! You spoil others...including beautifully my Dear!

    I love all of your latest "treasures" as well. That teapot will be perfect for a vase - love that idea! And your summer reading sounds like it's been so fun! I'm trying to concentrate on more of that, but projects keep calling me too.

    Your tomatoes look beautiful! I'll have to remember that variety for container gardening.
    Sending you nice cool iced tea thoughts Lovie! xoxo

    1. Not fixed until Thursday, but we're managing. I can get the bedroom down to 75-78 degrees with the portable unit. The family room is another matter, because I can't close it off. Pepper slept on the loveseat in my bedroom all afternoon, and I stayed in there and read. Tomorrow will be another bedroom day and then it will all be over, so just a bump in the road. I think back to when I was growing up - few had a/c, but we managed.

      Obviously not working on the books this week. I don't dare fire up that oven.