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Bargains galore

October 30, 2013
By Pat Jensen , Marshall Independent

Life is filled with wonderful bargains. Happenings designed to make the heart sing.

A spring shower that appears without warning, a majestic sunset seen over the hillside or behind a barn, the smile of someone who loves you. These are life's true bargains.

A dream that might come true, a field of colorful wild flowers, a rainbow in a summer sky, the laughter of children, the warmth of a lasting friendship. What fragile things these are.

The sound of a bubbling brook, the scent of fresh cut hay, the whistle of a train in the night, the happiness of going home again, the sight of a great forest enveloped in fog, a colt standing in a pasture, the stillness of a country road on a summer morning. These enrich our lives.

Kissing a child goodnight, receiving a letter from an old friend, a smile from someone you don't know. These are life's true treasures.

The aroma of homemade spaghetti sauce, a gentle breeze, the sound of church bells in the distance, happy moments, a baby's first smile, sidewalks sprinkled with flakes of glistening snow, lilacs after a light rain, the sweet fruits of summer, the lights of the city at night. How special.

What beauty life has to offer - trees reaching for the sky, the quiet of night, misty dawns, the open fields of the prairie, the sight of wild geese flying above.

The simple things are so wonderful. Take a moment to hear a bird's song, listen to the wind, roast a marshmallow, stare at the moon and dream of what tomorrow may bring.

Life holds many golden moments - having a grandchild run to you with open arms, reading an old love letter, hearing your newborn's first cry.

Life is filled with things that seem to touch the soul - seeing the American flag flying in the breeze, saying farewell to a loved one, hearing your daughter say, "I do."

Life holds magic for all - a special song to share, memories of happy days of long ago, the pride of a job done well. These are special things.

A chat with a neighbor over the backyard fence, the band playing in the park, clowns in a parade. Such happiness these things bring.

The blue sky, leaves falling in October, the family gathered at the dinner table, so many things that money can't buy. These are the bargains life has to offer. They are available to us all, if only we choose to see.

Got some leftover spaghetti?


Spaghetti sauce (your choice)

Cooked spaghetti

Olive oil

Grated Parmesan cheese

Heat skillet. Add enough olive oil to coat skillet. Drizzle spaghetti with a bit of sauce. Stir to coat. Add to hot skillet. Spread out. Fry until lightly browned on underside. Flip spaghetti over so can crisp up. (see note)

Remove from skillet. Top with cheese. Cut into wedges. Eat with a fork.

Note: To flip spaghetti, use a large lid to invert and then slide back into skillet to brown the other side.

May serve with ranch dressing


2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges

2 T. olive oil

1 T. light brown sugar

1/2 to 1 tsp. Kosher salt

1/4 to 1/2 tsp. pepper

Spread potato wedges out on greased pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Combine brown sugar, salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the wedges. Bake at 400, 20 to 25 min or until done. (Turn once or twice)

From the kitchen of my daughter, Sue


Saute until tender:

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 T. butter

Remove from heat.


1 can cr. of mushroom soup, undiluted

1 can cr. of chicken soup, undiluted

1/2 cup milk

1 (4-oz) can mushroom stems and pieces, drained

1 (2-oz) jar diced pimientos, drained

1/4 cup chopped stuffed green olives

1 T. Worcestershire sauce

1-1/4 tsp. garlic salt (or less)

1/2 tsp. each dried basil, oregano and pepper

Mix well. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl.


4 cups diced cooked chicken

3 cups mostaccioli, cooked and drained

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup (4-oz) shredded Swiss cheese

Toss to mix. Pour into a greased 9 x 13" baking dish. Cover and bake at 350, 40 min. Uncover. Sprinkle with about 1/2 cup additional cheddar cheese. Return to oven for 15 min. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Biscuits made better


Cut 3 tubes of buttermilk biscuits - each circle into 4 pieces

Roll each piece of dough in a mixture of 1/2 cup sugar and 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Drop pieces into a greased 9 x 13-in. baking dish. In a small saucepan, melt and mix: 1/2 cup margarine, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar and 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream. Pour over biscuits and bake at 350 for 30 min. Invert onto waxed paper.

Food for thought: Let a chore go undone. Life isn't a to-do list.

... I really need to work on this one.



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