Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Friday Friend Recipe #209 - Sneaky Pete

Come with me as I continue to countdown my Friday Friend Cookbook!
What is it, you may ask?
In a nutshell...
About 19 years ago, 50 of my closest friends and family, who had been on an e-mail forum with me, sent in recipes in different categories and we compiled a cookbook.
I decided to count those down!
Because  one night I was looking thru the cookbook and I said, "I should make every recipe in here for my blog"
The Handyman--who thinks he knows me better than I know myself, said,  "you'll never EVER do that."
Well,  maybe I will!  Maybe I'll show him!

Which brings me to recipe #209
Cherrie Lou Who's  Sneaky Pete Dinner

You might be is Paella a "Sneaky Pete" dinner?
And you would be correct in wondering.
Cherrie Lou Who turned in this recipe....

And so I did exactly what she said.  I took my crockpot down from the cabinet.  I left my crockpot on the counter, 

(not my actual crockpot)

hoping/thinking that the Handyman would make something to put in it, but Nooooo! What he did was take me out to a  dinner of Paella.
My lovely neighbor Liz is dishing up the Paella, which was made in huge, HUGE Paella pans.
Have you ever eaten Paella?  It's so good!
This recipe is not about Paella tho---it's about Sneaky Pete--which the Handyman was.
He snuck out of the kitchen, so he didn't have to cook!

We enjoyed a nice Paella with chicken and shrimp and sausage.  It was a fundraiser for another friend who had some medical issues.  (I love living in a small town where everyone is a helper!)
The Paella was good, the company was good, the cause was good.
Sneaky Pete Dinner was a success! 


One time for Thanksgiving, we went to Las Vegas. 
Don't judge. It wasn't traditional ---except for the nice Turkey dinner we had at Hooters  (yes, Hooters. They had the best Thanksgiving meal/prices in the town) -- but it was very fun and family came from near and far. Friends too! 
The Handyman's sisters from Washington, our son and his family and in-laws from Arizona, our good friends (and editor of the original Friday Friend Cookbook ) the Browns from Arizona.
We ate good food, gambled a bit, went to see Jersey Boys and more.
One afternoon while we were experiencing  the Freemont Street Experience (which is better experienced at night)  having some refreshment in a bar (aka beer/cocktails)  some dancin' music came on.  My little 2 year old granddaughter Cassie, felt the beat and wanted to dance--so her Great-Aunt Cherrie-Lou-Who got up and danced with her!

Cassie had a blast!

But that's not the story --  
this is the story --
of a man named Mikey.
Well, Cherrie Lou Who calls him Michael.
His friends call him Mike
but all of us relatives (and there is a lot of us) call him Mikey.
Mike is the nicest guy ever.  This is not a lie.  Ask anybody. He has the best personality of anyone on earth.  This too, is not a lie. He can visit and make small talk with anybody.

Anybody, that is, except for this guy.
Elmer Torres,  my daughter-in-law's father.

 A lot of the time in Vegas that Thanksgiving, we traveled in a group to dinner or met up somewhere along the strip to go to a show or have a drink.  Mikey was always so kind and nice to include Elmer in conversation.  Mikey is the guy who always puts people at ease in a crowd. He doesn't want anyone to feel left out.
On the last day of our trip,  Mike, having carried on an almost one-sided conversation with Elmer for 3 days,  says to the  Handyman, "Boy Elmer is really a quiet guy, isn't he?"
The Handyman looked at his brother-in-law and said, "Oh. Well, he doesn't speak English."
Mike looked very surprised and said  "well crap (only it might not have been crap he said)  it would have been nice if someone would have told me!"

Here's to Mikey, the nicest guy ever and to Elmer Torres, the only man who Mikey couldn't engage in small talk with!

We all thought it was hysterical!
Elmer can hold his own tho--my son doesn't speak much Spanish and Elmer much English and yet it is Familia and it works.

This is recipe #209 only 158 left to go!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Friday Friend Recipe #208 -- Vera's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

My Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown #208
Vera's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

and you know all the whys and wherefores of this countdown, right? Homemade cookbook, friends contributed, Handyman said I couldn't/wouldn't do it, I'll show him, yadda yadda yadda....

...and the rest is cookbook history!

If you like oatmeal raisin cookies, these are the best!
If you use old-fashioned oats in this recipe, it makes the cookie chewy and thick and sooo good!

I made these while we were at our cabin.  Not a whole lot of counter space, so everything is spread out, but you can see the original Friday Friend cookbook sitting in the midst of all the ingredients. 

Vera was my grandma Irene's best friend. They were both rancher's wives and worked very hard -- well, you've seen the Pioneer Woman, right?  That's the life they lived.  Without the lodge and the money and the tv show.  They cooked for ranch hands 3 meals every day--6am, noon and 6pm.  On the weekends during the winter, they might ride (sometimes on horses or in a wagon pulled by horses) over to each other's ranch to play cards, have a meal or help each other with ranching chores.
By the time I knew Vera, both she and her husband and my grandparents had retired from daily ranch life and had houses in town.
My mom got this recipe from Vera somewhere along the way and it was a staple in our house growing up.

This is Vera's arm--on the right.  My grandma's arm on the left.  It's the only photo I have of Vera.
My mom is the baby on the left and Jim is Vera's son on the right.

Now it begins to get complicated.  That baby Jim above?  (One of Vera's 6 children) That baby Jim grew up to be my dad's best friend,  But my mom grew up with him. Jim married Betty, my mom's best friend.
Well, I guess that wasn't so complicated after all!

Here is a picture of Jim and Betty.  He looks just like that little baby in the picture!  It must be the hair.

Maybe it gets complicated here:
In the photos below my parents are with Jay (another son of Vera's) and his wife Nelda.
My parents traveled with Jay and Nelda, because they all lived in the same town, having moved away from the small ranching town where they  all grew up.
And Jim and Betty didn't like to travel much.
And Jay and Nelda when to the same church my parents did. 
And Jay and my dad were both Policemen.  
And they were friends too--who traveled to Australia and Alaska together.

Then there is Bill (another one of Vera's sons) in the photo below-- behind my day and mom--his brother Jay sitting in front.
There were 5 boys altogether ---and they were ornery according to my mom and grandma. But ornery in a good loving way.
Once when they were little the boys told my mom that fireman start fires, so every time my mom heard sirens--when she stayed in town with her grandparents--she would cry and hide under the bed.  One time when my mom was having a big old fit about the sirens, her grandmother pulled her out from under the bed and drug her down to where the fire was, so she could see the fireman were helpers and not arsonists. 

That's just one of many stories of Vera's sons.
I'm sure they loved her cookies.

Do you have family friends for generations?
I think my boys are missing out on that.
It makes me a little bit sad.

Some of it comes from growing up in a small town, I know.  And sticking close to that small town. 
The Handyman and I moved far away.
It makes me a little bit sad.

This is recipe #208 only 159 left to go!

Friday Friend Recipe #209 - Sneaky Pete

Come with me as I continue to countdown my Friday Friend Cookbook! What is it, you may ask? In a nutshell... ...