Allow me to take you back to Memorial Day weekend; Sunday, May 27, 2012. On that very windy afternoon, I visited a couple of cemeteries. Because of the strong winds, I had to hold tight to the flower bouquets until I got them firmly planted in the ground.
When I arrived at the cemetery where my dad was laid to rest, I adjusted my hat in an attempt to make it fit snugly on my head.
As I reached into the trunk of the car to retrieve the flowers I had chosen to place on my dad's grave, a big gust of wind plucked the hat off my head and away it flew. I ran after the hat and was about to pick it up when it once again became airborne. I continued my pursuit and finally retrieved the hat. I plopped it on my head and turned around to see where I was ... and found myself directly in front of my dad's tombstone.
What are the chances? Was this my dad's way of letting me know he had been awaiting my visit? Or was it just coincidence? Either way, it's something I'll never forget.
A substantial one dish meal
HUNGRY MAN CASSEROLE
1/2 lb. bacon, fried crisp and broken into pieces
1/2 cup chopped onion, saute in bacon fat
1 lb. ground beef, browned
1 lb. spaghetti, cooked
1 sm. can sliced ripe olives, drained
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 can (6.5 oz) mushrooms, drained
1 can (24 oz) spaghetti sauce
Put mixture into greased casserole or baking dish.
Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 for about 45 min.
Variation: top casserole with cheddar and/or mozzarella cheese.
Note: I use a bit less spaghetti; resulting in a moister consistency.
Feeding a hungry crew? Double recipe and bake in 9x13 baking dish.
Too good to pass up
VOYAGEUR POTATO SALAD
1/4 cup Miracle Whip
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. turmeric
6 cups cold, cubed potatoes that have been first cooked, chilled and then peeled
3/4 cup diced celery
1 cup diced sweet pickle (see note)
1/4 cup diced sweet onion
1/4 cup scissor-snipped green onions
In a mixing bowl, combine salad dressing, mayo and mustard. In a small dish, combine sugar, salt, pepper and turmeric. Stir into mayo mixture. Add potatoes, celery, sweet pickle and onions - stirring well after each addition. Refrigerate salad in a covered bowl for at least 1 hour before serving. Yield: 4-6 servings.
Note: I used Bread and Butter chips (3/4 cup diced). Drain before dicing. Eat within 3 days for best flavor.
It's grilling season!
1 lb. lean ground turkey
2 cloves garlic, mince or use garlic press
4-5 fresh mushrooms, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. gr. mustard
1/8 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. onion powder
Combine all ingredients. Shape into 4 or 5 patties. If desired, brush patties with canola oil before placing on grill. I grilled the patties over medium heat, 4 to 5 min. on each side. Serve on whole wheat buns - toast bun halves if desired. Top each burger with a slice of Swiss cheese. So good!
Notes: Mushrooms add flavor and moisture to the burgers. No grill? These burgers taste almost as good when cooked in a skillet.
Tame your sweet tooth with ...
1 pkg. German Choc. cake mix
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup evaporated milk
Combine ingredients. Put half of mixture in 9x13 pan. Bake at 350, 6 min. Remove from oven.
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
Melt 50 caramels in 1/3 cup evaporated milk (over low heat) *See note. Pour over chips. Add remaining cake mix on top. Return to oven. Bake at 350 for 25-30 min.
Note: I begin to melt caramels prior to baking the bottom layer so they will be melted and ready to spread when needed. May use margarine in place of butter. This recipe requires a total of 2/3 cup evap. milk.
Food For thought: I've learned that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It could be the last time you speak to them.