Category Archives: Favorite foods

Family Meals

These were the only photos of family meals that I could find. I think we were always too busy eating to take photos! Click on photos to enlarge and read captions.

For Cave Wall’s Throwback Thursday, here are some more nosy questions about family meal rituals. I couldn’t pass up this one. This was my favorite Throwback Thursday ever. Such fun answering these questions.

Let’s start at the top of the day, breakfast! Did your family have a sit down breakfast or were you more grab and go? What beverages were served at breakfast? What was your favorite (and/or least favorite) breakfast meal? Our most frequent hot breakfast was corn meal muffins with butter and light Karo corn syrup or honey from the beehives on my dad’s land. Sometimes we had bacon to go with them and we always had orange juice.  We had one of those old black castiron round waffle makers that had a star shape in the middle. It was used on top of one of the burners of the stove and you had to move it really fast back and forth to keep the waffle from burning. It took some time to make waffles for a family of five, though, so waffles were usually reserved for supper. My favorite meal. We sometimes had dollar-sized buttermilk pancakes with syrup or honey or scrambled eggs and bacon and toast for breakfast as well..or, it’s all coming back to me …Cream of Wheat or Coco Wheats!!! We never had oatmeal but always had boxes of dried cereal in the cupboard as well. Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes and Bran Flakes. I don’t remember eating them that often, but probably my dad did as he got up hours before we did to go out to the ranch so rarely had breakfast with us except on Sundays. He also loved to crumble the leftover corn meal muffins from our breakfast into a tall glass of milk and eat them with a spoon.

Did you snack before the mid-day meal? No because we were in school for most of the year and in the summer we were usually outside playing. Snacking was reserved for night time.

Lunch for most children was eaten at school with the exception of weekends, holidays, or summer vacation. At school, did you buy your lunch from the cafeteria, or did you pack lunch? In high school, were you allowed to leave school grounds during the lunch period? Everyone except farm kids whose parents had to drive them in to school in the morning went home for lunch. We lived directly across the street from the grade school and one block from the high school (two blocks when we built our new house) so walking home for lunch was no problem. Farm kids brought their own lunch. There was no school lunch program.

For times when you had lunch at home, was it sandwiches, leftovers, or a newly prepared meal? Lunch was called dinner in our little town and it was the main meal of the day since most of our dads were ranchers. It consisted of salad, vegetable, potatoes, meat and dessert.

The evening meal is usually the most formal meal in many homes. Did your family sit down together and enjoy the evening meal or were you more of a TV dinner in front of the TV family? We all sat down together for the noon meal and sometimes did at night, but we usually had leftovers or sandwiches–once we got TV, often in front of the TV.

How did your weekend meals differ from your weekdays? They didn’t. My dad worked so hard in the fields and on the ranch every day that he needed a big meal at noon. Sundays varied a bit as he usually didn’t have to go out to the ranch. We usually had chicken on Sunday. A big treat as beef was our daily fare. We never had fish.

Who did most of the cooking in your household? Did that person also do the meal planning and grocery shopping? Were you taught to cook or were you shoo’d out of the kitchen? My mother did all of the cooking and meal planning. My dad kept beef on the table as he was a cattle rancher and we had a huge freezer in the basement that was completely filled every time they butchered a cow. I loved to cook with my mother and knew how to make everything she made. When I got older, my friend Rita and I would bake cakes and cook–especially fried potatoes!!!! I did help my mother in the kitchen a lot.

Did you have dessert served at your meals? If so, what types? We had dessert every meal except for breakfast. My mother made the best cherry pie I’ve ever had out of the cherries from the 9 or so cherry trees we had in our backyard. Summers, my sister Patti and I were in charge of pitting the cherries and my mom filled what space was left in our huge freezer in the basement with cherry pies, so we had them until they ran out. She also made apple crisp and the best chocolate sheet cakes with boiled fudge frosting  glaze that I’ve ever had. That frosting soaked into the cake, making it so moist, then formed a thin dark chocolate glaze on top. They were made from a Duncan Hines cake mix but were incredible!! She also made pineapple cookies that she frosted while hot so the frosting formed a glaze and ran down the sides. When she hadn’t baked, we had ice cream or ice cream cake rolls from the grocery store. Or Jelly rolls.

Who cleaned up after meals? Was it a shared responsibility between men/women, girls/boys or was it delegated based on gender? My mom would rest up after the noon meal with a book or take a little nap with our dog Scamp beside her on the couch and then come in and do the dishes later on after we all went back to school, but when I was 11, I started clearing the table and said, “Come on Mom, let’s do the dishes now so you don’t have to do them later.”  After that , that was the tradition. My mother mentioned this years later long after I’d forgotten it. At night and for family dinners, we girls always did the cleaning up and dishes. One time I railed at my dad saying, “Dad, I have never seen you once wash a dish. I bet you don’t even know how, do you? He calmly put down his newspaper, got up out of his chair, walked into the kitchen, took a fork out of the sink, wiped it off with the sponge, rinsed it off, dried it and put in in the drawer. Then went back to his easy chair and resumed his perusal of the paper.

How about late night snacks? Okay or discouraged? Okay. We were always free to eat anything we wanted from the fridge or kitchen cupboards. A favorite was popcorn cooked in an old black metal square popcorn popper with a long neck with a wooden handle. We’d put in vegetable oil and popcorn and run it back and forth over the burner of the stove until it stopped popping. Then, into a big bowl and melted butter was poured over it, it was salted and dug into. Another late night snack was the ever-present vanilla or butter brickle or chocolate ice cream or orange sherbet. And.. with the entire cow and stacks of frozen cherry pies in the freezer in the basement, there was bound to be an entire big carton of ice cream sandwiches that my dad bought at the locker.

Were dining manners stressed in your household? No elbows on the table, no hats at the table, no belching, please, thank you, and may I be excused? The only rigid rule a meals was no singing at the table!!! It was my dad’s rule and I don’t know why. We were not forced to clean our plates and I only remember my mother once telling us we had to finish our vegetables. We ended up throwing them between the solid bench my sister and I sat on and the kitchen wall. For some reason my mother chose that day to move the bench out and clean behind it.  We had run up to a friend’s house after lunch and my mother called up and told us to come home. Actually, though, we didn’t get in trouble. She thought it was funny and never made us clean our plates again. She did later tell us that she couldn’t figure out why she kept finding dried vegetables on the wall or floor behind our bench, so come to think of it that must not have been our first time pulling that trick.

Did you have occasions where you had large family gatherings for meals? What occasions? Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas. My Aunt Stella, Uncle Ed, Grandma Jane, my two sisters and me, my mom and dad and Aunt Stella’s kids when they were still home, then my Cousin Jim, his wife Sharon and their three kids.  Dad and Stella and Grandma would speak Dutch. I had a huge crush on my cousin Jim who was 12 or more years older than me and so I hung on his every word. When it came time for dessert, there would usually be at least three kinds: my Aunt Stella’s incredible lemon meringue pie, my mom’s pumpkin pie and either apple or cherry pie. When my Grandma was asked what kind she wanted, she’d always say, “A little of each” and so she, of course, always had the most pie of all.

Did you say grace or have a blessing before meals? Always, “We thank you Lord for this food that we are about to eat, and bless it to its intended use.”  And at family dinners, my Uncle Ed would always gasp, “Ahhhhhh-men!” at the end. When I was a little girl, my parents finally figured out that I was saying “We thank you Lord for this food that we are about to eat and bless it in potatoes and juice!”

Now for the fun part. What dishes are you glad disappeared over the years? What dishes have you carried forward into your own home? I do not miss salmon patties or oyster stew (which only my dad ate, from a can, while the rest of us had canned chili.). We didn’t eat it out of cans, understand. We actually took it out of the cans, cooked it and ate it in bowl. One of our staples was ham and cabbage with boiled potatoes. I made it just last week and it was tasteless. I’m still adding ingredients trying to instill it with the flavor of my mother’s.  I also use her recipe for meatloaf and she made the best steamed steak with onions and potatoes which neither my sister have been able to duplicate.

BONUS: Care to share any favorite family recipes? I wish I had the recipe for my mother’s ice cream custard. It was really flan cooked in a big rectangular cake pan with miniature marshmallows baked over the top but it was sooooo good. It was served cold with vanilla ice cream but we’d also have a dish served hot out of the oven and the ice cream would melt over it. It was so good. Sometimes with raisins, but we girls liked it better without. Maybe my sister Patti will read this and put the recipe in comments?  Hint, hint.

Breakfast in Paradise

Click on photos to enlarge.

I almost entered these photos for Cee’s Flower of the Day prompt. These breakfasts at a beach restaurant in La Manzanilla, Mexico were as good as they looked!  Beautiful artistry for the eye and stomach.

Christmas Eve Dinner at Viva Mexico

I had one of the best meals of my life at Viva Mexico last night and the best company one could ask for.  Fred and Christina from Gabriola Island in Canada, Lach and Becky who were friends in Boulder Creek who came to visit and ended up moving here and my long-time good friend Gloria. Here are photos.  looks like I concentrated on the food. Both of these dishes were the culinary masterpieces thought up in the mind of Agustin.



Share Your World, July 23, 2018


Yolanda and Pasiano assembling my new desk chair. Just a glimpse of Morrie supervising.

In regards to puzzles, what’s your choice: jigsaw, crossword, word search, mazes, logic or numeric puzzles, something else, or nothing?

I love doing jigsaw puzzles with my sister and brother-in-law at Xmas. Visiting friends usually get sucked into the addiction as well. This was a tradition between my sister and me when we were growing up. I also love logic problems and crossword puzzles. Writing rhymed and metered poetry is definitely a puzzle as well and actually my favorite.

List at least five favorite treats and it doesn’t necessarily have to be food.

Movies, Spider Solitaire, Thai Food, Ice Cream, Road Trips, Mexican Train.

What is your favorite type of dog? (can be anything from a specific breed, a stuffed animal or character in a movie)

I love little dogs but with two exceptions seem to have always had bigger ones. I’ve always had dogs that just showed up and adopted me so I’ve never had much of a choice. I have a black Lab mix and a Scottie now. They are both pretty cool.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

The young cats have been spending a good deal of time inside, and always manage to fall into classic cat poses:

Click on the photos to enlarge them and to see captions.


For Cee’s Share Your World Challenge, July 23, 2018

“Since You Asked” The Recipe for the Best Sandwich in the World


Okay, since I’m cooking this, I can guarantee four things.

1. It will be as easy as possible.
2. It will be flavorful.
3. It will be cooked in a crock pot.
4. It will feed a party of 8, at the very least.



4 or 5 large stalks celery 
One pork loin or tenderloin
4 or 5 scrubbed potatoes, skin on. (If you wish, you can omit the potatoes.)
4 or 5 whole scrubbed carrots with each end cut off. (If you wish, you can omit the carrots.)

1 medium-sized onion, diced

Garlic powder
Kirkland 21 herb saltless dry seasoning mix
KC Masterpiece Kettle Cooked Barbecue Sauce

Shredded cabbage (I buy already shredded.)
Shredded carrots (I buy already shredded)
Balsamic vinaigrette
Sweet Chili Sauce (in oriental seasoning aisle)

Bolillos or other large dense rolls.  Ciabatta would work, or French rolls.


Wash and cut the ends off the celery. Place in the bottom of the crockpot to form a “rack” to cushion the bottom of the pork loin. Rub the pork loin with the garlic powder. seasoning mix and pepper and place over the celery.  Sprinkle the onions on top, reserving a few.

Place the carrots and potatoes around and on top of the meat and sprinkle the rest of the diced onion over the top.  Sprinkle with the seasoning mix, garlic and pepper.

I use a rectangular crockpot with a removable cooking receptacle.  If you are using a regular round crockpot whose receptacle can’t be put on the stovetop, there is no need to brown the meat and veggies first as is described below.  Just put everything in the crockpot on high, then reduce to medium after it is well heated.

If you have a crockpot with a removable pot that can be placed on the stove top, place lid on crockpot and put on top burner of stove . In a few minutes, when you can hear contents begin to sizzle, turn to medium and allow to cook until well heated, then place on heating unit of crock pot. Turn to medium and allow to cook until potatoes and carrots are tender and meat can be shredded with a fork.

Remove potatoes, onions and celery and place pork on a cutting board.  Shred and then cut shredded pork into into 1 to  2 inch portions. Or, slice into 1 to 2 inch slices and then shred.  Place back in crock pot covered with bottled barbecue sauce to taste.  I use KC Masterpiece Kettle Cooked Barbecue Sauce and use quite a bit as I like my barbecue zesty.

Put carrots and potatoes in the fridge to be reheated as a side dish. I add them to give moisture to the meat and because they pick up the flavor of the pork and can be used on their own as part of a different meal or to accompany the heated up pork that isn’t made into sandwiches.  Cook the meat for another hour or two until well blended, then store in refrigerator.

I think barbecue has a better flavor cold or at room temperature, so I cool it off in the fridge, but if you prefer it hot, you could make the sandwiches immediately or reheat the meat before making sandwiches.

Cut the shredded cabbage and carrots into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces and mix.  Combine balsamic vinaigrette and sweet chili sauce to taste.  I use 1/3 portion of chili sauce to 1 portion of vinaigrette.  Pour over slaw mixture and blend well so the cabbage and carrots are well-coated but not soggy.  

To make sandwiches, cut bolillos or long buns in half lengthwise and remove some of the soft interior of the top part of the bun.  Butter the inside sides of the bun and place on a warm griddle or frying pan.  Press down with something weighted to insure all surfaces touch the griddle and allow to brown.

Spread a generous portion of the barbecue pork over the bottom of the bun, top with the oriental coleslaw mixture, Put top of bun on top and enjoy.  The mixture of hot and cold, soft and crisp, sweet and vinegar is to die for.  Hope you agree.  Let me know what you think. 



Why I Dine Alone at Burger King


Why I Dine Alone at Burger King

I’d like a single cheeseburger with pickles on the side,
cheese but no tomato—a fruit I can’t abide.
Be sure there is no pink to see. I like my burgers brown.
You can also skip the cardboard hat. I do not need a crown.

Grilled onions on the cheeseburger and easy on the goo.
Give me a diet Coke with that. I’d like some French fries, too.
I sit down at a booth to wait, my number on the table,
but if I could, I’d supervise—that is, if I were able.

My sandwich comes. I have a bite. I see no pink or red.
I start to take a drink of Coke but have a fry instead.
It’s hot and oh so crispy. Redolent of grease.
I feel a surge of appetite. My hunger pangs increase.

I alternate the bites I take between the fries and meat.
As regular as clockwork. I do not miss a beat.
For when it comes to fast food, I do not equivocate.
My ratio of fries-to-burger I must calibrate.

I plan it down to the last fry. I don’t allow for glitches,
and woe to folks who borrow one. I do not abide snitches.
If you want a French fry, please buy some of your own.
I have plans for all of mine. I am not sharing-prone.

With one more bite of burger and only two more fries,
the ratio is one-to-two. I plan to synchronize.
I have it all planned out, my friend, so if you’re chancing by,
keep your fingers off my French fries, or somebody’s gonna die!


The prompt today was “synchronize. (stock photo.)

Cee’s Black and White Challenge: Food and Drink

Cee’s Black and White Challenge: Food and Drink

Sugar, Sugar


Sugar, Sugar––You and Me

Hey, Sugar Sugar, you’re the one for me.
I enjoy each calorie.
Smooth or frozen with chocolate on top,
washed down with a glass of pop.
Pile on the sprinkles and roll in nuts.
You’re the best, no ands or buts.
My little Sugar is smooth and dreamy.
My little Sugar chewy, creamy.

Shortbread, brownies, chocolate chip––
in my coffee, I like to dip.
But cheesecake, pie––other forms of sin––
I put on the table and dive right in.
Swim to the middle with my teeth,
see what there can be beneath
the icing or cream or chocolate sauce.
When dessert arrives, Sugar’s the boss.

Hey Sugar, Sugar, you’re the one
in snow or rain or blistering sun.
I don’t care if you’re hot or cold.
Baked Alaska is great, I’m told,
but I also like a big old cone
just piled with ice cream, all alone.
Don’t touch my Sugar, don’t you dare!!!
When it comes to Sugar, I don’t share!!!




At any time of day or night,
I’m always open to a bite
of pastry stuffed with something nice,
in fact, pie is my favorite vice!

I am very very very
fond of all things flavored cherry,
and of all this cherry pleasure,
pie’s the one that I most treasure.

Good for breakfast, good for lunch,
on pumpkin pie, I love to munch.
Coconut or chocolate cream?
They are my fantasy and dream.

Banana, apple—oh, and peach!
Put one of them within my reach,
and I’ll purloin a piece or two.
No pie is safe within my view.

On the window ledge or table,
I’ll grab a piece if I am able.
In a coffee shop or grandma’s kitchen,
pie’s delicious. Pie is bitchin’

At picnics, parties, celebrations,
with coffee or with small libations,
at any occasion or event,
pie is the best accompaniment.

Yet there is one aspect of pie
that I hope never meets my eye.
I don’t like pie in just one place.
Please don’t shove it in my face!

Today, I’m using the weekly challenge: Pie—The scent of pastry baking, the sound of a fork clinking on a plate… This week, make our mouths water with stories about pie.

Crunchy, Soft and Piquant

The Prompt: Is there an unorthodox food pairing you really enjoy? Share with us the weirdest combo you’re willing to admit that you like — and how you discovered it.

Crunchy, Soft and Piquant

Potato chips, ketchup and cottage cheese! I imagine this pairing came about by accident one day at a school or church picnic on a too-small plate, and some flavor memory insists there were baked beans and a hamburger on the same plate; but somehow the vital ingredients came to be the salty-crunchy chips, the creamy-soft cheese and the piquant perfection of Hunts Ketchup. (For the uninitiated, the process is to dip the chip in the ketchup and then scoop up the cheese.)

I don’t usually keep potato chips in the house anymore because I can’t be trusted with them, and cottage cheese is so expensive in Mexico that I don’t usually buy it; but when I make a trip to Costco in Guadalajara, invariably I’ll come home with one of their huge containers of cottage cheese and somehow, magically, potato chips appear (If you buy it, they will come) and the house echoes with the strains of some culinary Indian Love Call coming from the heart of my fridge, “When I’m calling you u u u u u u.” And so it is that the unlikely trio are reunited once again, probably late at night when even the dogs are fast asleep and no one is looking.