Pioneer Potluck: Fun bubbles over in the sauna cabin

We once lived in a small log cabin with one bedroom, a very small bathroom and a kitchen living room in one. A woodstove kept us warm and cozy. We had a visitor that summer, Bob's son. What one didn't think of, the other did! We had fun and laughed all summer long around the big bon fires down at the lake, built by Bob and his son. For some reason building fires occupied their minds most of the summer. The fire in the sauna woodstove was almost continuous. The warmth of the sauna steam soaking our bones was delightful.

This sauna cabin had a dual purpose. The front part had a washer and dryer, and a woodstove to heat the sauna, which was through a door into the cedar lined room with a one-man Jacuzzi on one end. It had big powerful jets. The swirling warm water was very relaxing and was used all the time. The first one in the sauna got the Jacuzzi first. This time it was Bob's son in first.

After several in and outs to feed the woodstove in the outside room, Bob came back in with a big cup in his hand. He walked over and dumped the contents into the Jacuzzi containing his son, the big jets going full blast. All of a sudden, billowing suds came up out of the tub, flowed over the edge and continued across the floor, like creeping lava. It reached the other end of the room and started building and building until the whole room was filled with soap bubbles. I still hear the laughter of both of them chasing and making soap suds mustaches and piling big cones of suds on their heads. I did not escape the suds pilled high on my head either. Then we began parting the suds to see each other. The whole room was filled to the very top with Amway soap bubbles.

After rinsing off the best we could, we one by one, escaped the soap bubble room and crashed in our beds to sleep a perfect relaxed sleep, but not without one more comment about how fun the soap bubbles were.

The next day I went to wash clothes and took a peek in the sauna for any left over towels. I was met with big stalactite soap bubbles hanging from the ceiling. Three days later, those hanging soap suds were still there! Future sauna soaking was watched closely by me to see what Bob had in his hands as he entered the door! Does this tell you how we filled the long summer days of July and August? What fun and good memories.

Secret Breakfast Casserole

The secret- a waffle crust!
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Generously butter a 8 x 8 baking dish.
Toast 4 to 6 frozen waffles. Butter them.
Lay in a single layer in the baking dish.
6 eggs slightly beaten
1/2 cup milk or cream
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 pound of sausage of your choice - cooked.
Or cubed ham
1 cup shredded cheddar or pepper jack
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup finely diced green or red bell pepper
Put the dish with the layer of waffles in the oven to warm it up while you assembly the ingredients.
Mix the milk or cream with the eggs, add the salt and pepper
Fold in the sausage or ham and the cheese, onion and green pepper.
Pour over the warm waffle crust and top with shredded cheese and salt and pepper.
Bake in hot oven for 30 to 35 minutes until eggs are set.  Cut in squares and serve with sour cream.  

Chicken, or Salmon Salad with Parsley Dressing

OR use a combination of seafood.
1/2 head of romaine lettuce - torn in bite sized pieces - about 4 to 5 cups
4 cups spinach - stems removed
1 pint jar of salmon, drained or 2 cups cooked chicken or seafood combo
2 hard cooked eggs, sliced
1 tomato cut in small wedges
2 oz Monterey Jack cheese, cut into sticks
1/2 cucumber sliced thin
A few thin slices of red onion
Arrange on platter in order given and drizzle with Parsley dressisng

2/3 cups vegetable oil
1/3 cup vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tblsp prepared mustard
1/2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp sugar or more according to your taste
Combine in pint jar.  Cover and shake to combine.  Make 1 cup plus 2 tbsp.
Delightful and so good this time of year.  I use this dressing for macaroni salad with imitation crab.

Potato Patties

Another way to use the abundance of potatoes that grow in Alaska.
4 large potatoes - Red McClure's or the pretty yellow Yukon Gold - scrubbed
2 tblsp vegetable oil
2 tblsp butter
1/2 onion grated or chopped fine
2 tblsp flour
1 egg
Salt and pepper.
Microwave pierced potatoes until hot through and starches have set.
Cool so that you can handle them.  Shred into a bowl. Add the onion and flour and salt and pepper.  Heat a heavy iron skillet with the oil and butter.  Divide the potato mixture into about 8 to 10 patties.  Pat into patties and fry until golden on one side and turn and fry other side.  Do not crowd pan, about 3 or 4 at a time is all you want to fry.  Repeat and add enough oil if needed.  Remove to warm platter and pass sour cream and chives. 

Pepper Jack Biscuits

Heat oven to 425 degrees and adjust rack to upper middle.
3/4 cup Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
1 tblsp jalapeno
1 tblsp onion chopped
1/4 tea Cayenne pepper
2 tea sugar
2 tea baking powder
2 cups flour
1/2 tea salt
1 1/4 cups canned milk, whole milk, or cream - may need 1 to 2 tblsp more.  
Stir with a fork the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar, cayenne.  Add the shredded cheese and jalapenos.  Stir to coat.  Add the milk.  Stir until dough forms, do not over work.  Transfer to work surface and pat with hand to form a circle.  Cut with large biscuit cutter or pat into round pan and score the surface into wedges.  Bake the individual biscuits on a cookie sheet, for 7 to 9 minutes.  Bake the round pan 20 minutes.  Take out and sprinkle with additional shredded cheese.  Serve hot with butter. 

Strawberry Trifle

Easy, quick, good! Nice light bedtime snack.
1/3 store bought angel food cake, torn in small chunks
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup vanilla yogurt
2 cups fresh strawberries
Place chunk of cake in four individual bowls.  
Mix yogurt and cinnamon together and spoon over angel food, reserving 2 tblsps.
Top each bowl with the berries and a tablespoon of reserved yogurt.  A little whipped cream on top.


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