Pioneer Potluck: About Making Memories

This summer’s memories starting in June. We were blessed with Bobs daughter, Daphene and husband Jeff Goff for a 11 day visit. They also combined their visit with trips to the chemo unit in Soldotna with Jeff’s dad Jim for a chemo session. In July they came back for the same reason, to keep Jim company while he was receiving chemo - but they brought Bob’s son, Mugs with them. What fun we had with all three of them. Laughs, playing darts and talks into the wee hours made memories forever. In August, Daphene and Jeff arrived with daughter Astin, son Trey and Trey’s 2 yrs old son Traxton. Traxton is Bob’s great grandson, so more memories were made. Bob worked for three days getting the electrical parts of a little Buz Lightyear riding car fixed for Traxton to ride while he was here. Unforgettable memories were made that week. Astin and Jeff went with Jim for his chemo on this session. Astin is studying for Masters in the Medical field. She will graduate soon. Trey works in the oil field. He is a great dad! Grandparents Daphene and Jeff and Auntie Astin make sure Traxton has the best of care also. It was sad to see them go but we relive the memories almost every day with big smiles.

 

August 28th brought my brother and wife, John and Kathy McClure to Alaska in a nice Rialto RV that they drove from Montana to see us. How nice to see them drive in after many years of not seeing them.

My Alaska relatives and old friends that John and Kathy met while they lived in Alaska, went to Susan and Porters beautiful home on a Sunday for a pot luck. Great gobs of food and friendly jabber with the men sitting in one room and the women in another getting re-acquainted with my brother and sister in-law.

We went and visited every corner of the Kenai Peninsula ending the visit by going to Homer and renting two cabins from Kelly Cooper, owner of Glacier View Cabins. What a relaxing time we had! Susan made taco soup and Bernie made burritos. We ate at the picnic table on the deck of the Elderberry cabin in the sunshine.

The next day, us girls, Kathy McClure, Susan Jordan, Kyanna Dols and me, went everywhere in Homer, eating a halibut lunch at Lands End. John and David Bateman climbed aboard the beautiful boat of King and Bernie Titera, called the Bernie C, for a fishing trip that resulted in no fish but many wonderful memories. Bernie was Captain King’s first mate and John and David said she was the best! King’s expertise at the helm, showed them around the Kackemack Bay.

John and Kathy are on their way home to Montana via the Cassiar Highway, as this is written. I thank them for the wonderful memories we have storied in our memory bank for the winter.

Make sure you tuck those summer memories away and dust them off this winter when we need a break from cold and snowy Alaska!

 

ABOUT A LONG TIME AGO

I had a wonderful conversation by e-mail and Facebook with good friends about how we survived our youth. We saw Tarzan almost naked and Jane in her skimpy skins. We saw Cinderella getting home after midnight and Pinocchio told lies! Aladdin was a thief and Batman drove his car over 200 miles an hour! Snow White lived in a house with seven men! Popeye smoked a pipe and had tattoos. Pac-Man ran around with digital music while eating pills to enhance his performance. Scooby and Shaggy were mystery solving hippies that always have the munchies. If this was your childhood, what were your fondest memories?

How about Cowboys and Indians, shooting each other with plastic guns and Indians throwing sharp sticks back at you? My brother had a rubber knife that he “used” often to kill the bad guy! Or the time he chased me around the house with the rubber knife, telling me he was going to stab me – my Dad saved the day with a smile on his face. My Mom did not think it was funny!

Or how about fireworks that we usually held in our hands trying to light them with an wooden kitchen match, sometimes out behind the barn so Mom would not see us playing with matches! How about shooting bottle rockets at each other? Chasing each other around with lit sparklers-oh, now, that was fun. (Running around with a sharp piece a wire and fire on the end of it. What would happen today?)

I am sure most of the you readers my age played Kick The Tin Can, Crack The Whip (my brother got his front tooth broke off in somebody’s forehead with this game)Ever played Crack the Whip on roller skates, I did, just once! Annie, Annie Over or Hide and Seek, we crawled high up trees, in hay lofts, the roof of the chicken coop or in the chicken coop, muddy spidery, crawl-spaces and various other cracks and crannies that we could cram our body into so we would not be seen. We also played baseball in a plowed field, using dirt clods because we did not have a ball. You know what dirt clods do when you hit it with baseball bat? I ended up with a black eye and bloody nose over that.

Or see how far we could walk on the railing of the corral before we fell in. My brother was better at this than I was. I fell into the corral and Dad washed me off with a bucket of water from the cow-horse water tank before I could go inside and change my clothes and oh yes, get a scolding from my Mother! My brother was smart enough to jump the other way, always landing on the opposite side.

My friend Bev adds they jumped motorcycles and go carts off the loading docks and did “donuts” in the pasture. She said some of the best times were when her Daddy built a dune buggy and showed them how to do “donuts” properly. She tells me that she had great parents who let them learn the hard (fun) way. Her Mom, Pat, states that they survived with experience. My Dad felt the same way, but my Mom…we just did not tell her!!

My Dad built a “hay wagon” that he used during haying season and the rest of the time he called it the “coyote wagon.” He removed the top and doors, so this was my first “convertible ride” down the pasture with no doors, no seatbelts and no rollbar. We did donuts and chased bulls that had gotten out of the pasture. We loved the way he drove fast up and down the pasture lane. We hung on for dear life to each other and to this day I wonder why we never fell out! When the fun was all over and we all had big grins on our faces that you could not wipe off, my Dad would say “now don’t tell your Mother!”

My daughter tells me that when they wanted to watch something on television in the 70s, my son would crawl up on the steep roof of our house built on the side of a hill in Eagle River and turn the television antenna (no, no Dish at this time) to just the right spot so they could watch something teen-age important, on television. It took someone on the roof, David, someone standing by the door, Susan, to relay the message to someone setting in front of the television, Gail, that the antenna was twisted to the right spot. This mama did not know anything about that and I probably would’ve been the first one to scream and scold! I am sure there is more “hidden fun” that I’ll never know about!

All these experiences and loads of fun did not cost a penny. The games, the iPad, the iPhones, the computer, hand held game devices, and television and many more electronic-digital devices we have today, cost plenty of money to entertain without getting fresh air and exercise, challenges, bloody cuts, bruises, owies, experiences and memories! And we went to bed all worn out and tired “asleep before our head hit the pillow!!”

 

Oh let’s not forget Mighty Mouse and Super Man saved the day! And how did you grow up? Recalling your memories is what keeps us all young!!

SOUTHWEST CHICKEN SOUP

For a bunch at Glacier View Cabins in Homer

By Susan Jordan

1 Roasted Chicken, boned & meat shredded or chunked

2 Big Boxes Chicken Broth, Low Sodium is preferred

2 cans S&W Chili Beans (this brand includes seasonings)

1 can Corn, drained well

1 can chopped Green Chilies

1/2 package taco seasoning

1/2 onion diced

Start with the broth and add ingredients, saving the corn to add after every thing has heated up.

Serve with Bernie’s burrito’s (Not printed here!)

MOOSE CHILI – NO BEANS

A big hunk of moose, caribou or beef, about 3 pounds, cubed

1 pound good breakfast sausage or Italian sausage

3 onions rough chopped

1/2 pound bacon

Cook sausage and bacon, put the onions and moose in the large skillet until sausage and bacon are done and moose is slightly browned. Drain off fat.

Add

A 15 ounce can tomato juice or beef broth

A 15 ounce can tomato sauce

A 15 ounce can diced stewed Mexican or Italian tomatoes or a can of Ro-Tel

(Watch the salt content of some of the tomato products in the cans. Some brands of tomatoes are loaded with salt.)

2 tablespoons of minced garlic

1/2 cup -yes - dark chili powder

1 teaspoon or more cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon oregano

1 tablespoon garlic salt-may have to add more or less

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 to 6 drops of Tabasco-optional

For the guys who like spicy and hot add 1/2 teaspoon Habanero Chili or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper.

Simmer on the wood stove over medium heat, all day or all night till the meat is tender and liquid is thick. You may have to add a small amount of water from time to time. On the woodstove this will take from 6 to 8 hours and in a crock pot 2 to 4 hours. Adjust for salt. So good with cornbread hot out of the oven or warm homemade tortillas.

 

CREAMED CHICKEN ON BISCUITS

I labored over cream chicken and chicken pot pies for years until I found this recipe.

One half large onion chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons butter

4 cups cooked chicken chopped in large pieces

1 can ounce can cream of chicken soup

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup chopped pimentos or in my case 1/4 cup grated carrot

1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese-divided

8 frozen biscuits thawed or one can of refrigerated tube biscuits

Butter the bottom and sides of “11 x 7” baking dish and preheat oven to 350°

Sauté onions in butter until tender. Combine onions, chopped chicken, chicken soup, sour cream, milk, the pimento or shredded carrot. Here is the important step. Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish and bake for 15 min. and remove from the oven. Sprinkle baked chicken with 3/4 cup cheddar cheese. Arrange the biscuits in a single layer over the top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake until biscuits are golden brown and the sauce is bubbly about 20 more minutes. Serve immediately with a green salad.

To make chicken pot pie:

Use the above recipe except the biscuits. Use already made pie crust, add 1/2 cup frozen (thaw under hot water and drain) peas and diced carrots mixture. Spoon mixture into pie plate or individual serving bowls and cover with piecrust, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until crust is golden brown about 20 to 25 minutes.

LEMON SUGAR COOKIES

These are a versatile drop cookie-by adding brown sugar in place of the granulated sugar and omitting the lemon zest you have butterscotch sugar cookies. Butterscotch Sugar Cookie recipe at end of this Lemon Sugar Cookie recipe

Into a medium bowl mixing well

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

In a large bowl, whisk

2 large eggs

3/4 cup granulated white sugar

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Mix together until well incorporated and stir in dry ingredients, mixing until well blended. Cover and chill for 30 min. or longer.

Preheat oven to 400°. Drop cookie dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. Moisten the bottom of 3 inch water glass and dip glass into sugar, pressing the top of each cookie lightly to flatten. Do this to each cookie. Bake until lightly browned about 8 min. Cool on baking sheet for 2 min. Cool on wire rack, store in airtight containers or freeze for future use.

BUTTERSCOTCH SUGAR COOKIES

To make these cookies with a rich butterscotch flavor

Substitute 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar for the granulated sugar and omit the lemon zest, proceed with the rest of the recipe using granulated sugar to flatten the cookies.

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