Sunday, November 6, 2022

Friday Friend Blog posts #319 and 320

Making my way thru my Friday Friend Cookbook, one recipe at a time.

What is the Friday Friend cookbook? I once had about 50 of my closest friends and family (from all over the county) on an e-mail forum which I called the Friday Friends. At first, most of them didn't know each other, (they knew me) but over the past 21 years, we've answered and shared silly--and serious---questions, exchanged Secret Santa Christmas gifts, had a dieting contest in which we paid a $1 a week and that money went to a scholarship fund for a Friday Friends son's memorial scholarship, and we went on a great vacation for my 52 birthday. (plus so much more....)

AND, we contributed recipes for a cookbook.

I was looking at the cookbook the other night 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 (this happened to be a question on the Friday Friend forum once---does your spouse/partner know you better than you know yourself? Said, "you'll never, EVER do that."
WELL---maybe I'll show him!  Maybe I will.

Which brings me to these... recipes #319 and #320

My Vegetable Strata and Vodka Slush
(and a good book to pass the time)

Truthfully, I don't remember ever making this vegetable strata before, BUT, make it I did, and I really liked it. 
I used fresh vegetables.
This would be a great meatless dish if you were doing a vegetarian dinner.
We added a pork chop to the menu and ate on the patio, and washed it down with this vodka slush.  You can't go wrong with a slushy.

I only have a couple more recipes in the countdown, which is weird, because I thought I'd never get this done and I thought I was running out of stories, but now I have all these memories running around in my head.
It's about to explode with tales to tell. I hope I can do them justice.

First of all---click here if you want to see any of my 25 recipes in the countdown. Here. Right here.

My tale today is about one of my oldest and best friends Susie.
I think she goes by Sue now, but I just can't. Because she is Susie.

Susie actually has one official recipe in this countdown--it is FF recipe #5.  Yes! Number 5. And now I'm on #320. Wow.
Anyway, it is a cherry dump cake--- you can check that out here.

Since she turned in a dump cake as her only official recipe (she hates to cook) (although, I do have a couple cookie recipes of hers that are great and whenever I make chicken and noodles, I think of her), I am going to do a photo dump of she and I.

Since she  lives in the Olympic rain forest of the Pacific Northwest and I live in the Great Basin high desert of Northern Nevada, AND she has three adult children, and I have 3 adult children and she has 10 grandchildren and I have 15 grandchildren, we don't get to see each other as often as we would like--Life happens and ---it happens fast and before you know it, some years have gone by and you haven't see one of your best friends in quite some time.
I need to retire. (sigh)

But wait!  My photo dump!
Here is the last known photo of she and I together.
She and her husband Kelly came down for our motorcycle festival/rally, Runamucca a few years ago.
They rode their Harley.

And this is the first photo that I can find of us together.  Circa 1980
On River Road, Wallowa Lake, Oregon.

But the thing is---she has not changed one bit! Not one bit.
I, on the other hand, am 2x the girl I once was. 😂

We hike in the mountains--Wallowa Lake.

We used to have these trendy maternity shirts in 1981 that announced our pregnancy to everyone! 

I have so many stories, I don't know if I can "dump" them all out and make sense.
We've known each other since we were 17. 
We are the Godmother's to each other's children.
My children call her "Aunt Susie".  
We lived next door to each other in a duplex, like Lucy and Ethyl. And Ricky and Fred.
When she was going to the hospital to have her first child, her husband knocked on the wall and said, we're going to the hospital now.
(I don't think we could really hear him thru the walls, that would be weird, but really, we did get a knock on the door)
We saved for a Disneyland vacation by charging our husbands $.50 each time we did 'it'--and we could never say no.  That was the deal.
We could never, ever say no.
I will leave the 'it' to your imagination, but we did end up going to Disneyland about 11 years after we made that deal.

We have had so many trips and visits over the years, the lake, the ocean, each other's backyards, weddings, funerals, a concert.
At bookclub the other night we were talking about a ride or die kinda friend--she's my ride or die.  We may not see each other as often as we'd like, but if we needed each other--we'd be there.
She knows all my secrets.
All. My. Secrets.
And I know all hers.
We have to take them to the grave. And I'm not kidding!
Just ask her.
(but she'll never tell)

Kelly, Susie, me and Rich

I just have to add this side note:

This wonderful guy, Susie's husband --- is the not Fred of the Ricky and Fred, Lucy and Ethyl living next door to each other in the duplex.
(and I'm holding a dog toy--it took us all a while to figure out what that was)

This is---Fred. 
Actually, it's Tom, Susie's first husband. He is the Godfather to my children.  He is Rich's ride or die.  

We are so happy to have kept them both in the divorce. 
They are both still are friends--and that doesn't happen often. 
We love them both--and now we love Kelly too!

I may not have those early memories with Kelly, BUT I do have a whole Elf story to tell sometime.
With photos!  Of Elf ears! 
Stay tuned.

I could maybe blackmail him with an Elf ear photo!
Oh wait-- his wife knows all my secrets.
Darn it!

My friends I bring to you recipes #319 and 320.

Only 47 or 36 left to go! 
(I'm so confused now! 😂)

(Because if you remember, I counted wrong---but I'm 99% sure I only have 37 more recipes to post.)

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Friday Friend Recipes #317 and 318--Melissa's Italian Cheesecake and Yummy Braciolee


My Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown #317 and #318

My wonderful niece's Yummy Braciolee and Italian cheesecake

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!

Just remember, the countdown is not all about pretty food and food design---it's about the people and the stories.
And (the most important thing) proving my husband wrong--and that I can and WILL make every recipe in this cookbook

And this time it's not about the photography AT ALL!
It looks like raw meat, but it's just tomato sauce that didn't spread.  It tasted good, just didn't look so great--for me.  I'm sure when Melissa makes it, it is stunning to look at.

See?  Here it is all ready to go into the oven---perhaps I should have drenched it in tomato sauce?

....drenched in the sauce,
So that it didn't come out looking like raw meat. 
But it tasted great and that's the most important thing, right?
(sigh--I do know that they say, you taste with your eyes first)

This?  This is the best!
And the photos turned out great.
It really was yummy!!

As I get closer and closer to the end, it makes me kind of sad---because now we will say good-bye to Melissa (in the Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown only)
But you can check out all her recipes here.  Just click here.  Do it.  Do it now.
I am surprised by how good her dishes are.  (only an aunt can say that, right?  Being surprised I mean.  LOL)
(well, it's because I still think of her as a little girl, that's all)

Now I need a Melissa story--
She's a Vet-tech by profession, a single mom doing her best every day, and apparently a great cook. 😘

But let me go back 3 spaces to the vet tech.
Most vets and vet techs love animals and usually have a few more than the average person.  Dogs, cats, perhaps a Guinea pig or two.  A rabbit, maybe?

Not my unique niece!
Oh, she has the pets alright --just not the kind you would think.
She has.... wait for it....

Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches
Hairless Egyptian Cats (Yes, plural)
Oh and some chickens.

Come on, don't get so creeped out. 
Someone's gotta love them, right?
And that someone is my niece, Melissa.
She's a lover of all things!

And see? Wikipedia says they actually make good pets.
See, even I am holding one. 
Or letting it be upon my hand.  
Do I look scared? Freaked out?  NO.  (well kind of)
It's just a harmless little hissing cockroach.
Who, by the way, live in rotting logs in Madagascar and don't roam your house at night. (just to be clear--they are clean and friendly)

The cats?  Poor little hairless things--they still need loving-- LOL
Actually, they're just like any cat, only they might have a bit more superiority complex. 

And the chickens, are well, just chickens.

She looks so normal!

Okay, we tease her, but we love her.  And she loves us.
And apparently a plethora of unique creatures.
They're all God's creations, right?

Again, I want you to check out all her other recipes--her complete series in the Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown, as we say so long

My friends I bring to you recipes #317 and 318.

Only 49 or 38 left to go! 
(I'm so confused now! 😂)

(Because if you remember, I counted wrong---but I'm 99% sure I only have 38 more recipes to post.)

Friday Friend Blog posts #319 and 320

Making my way thru my  Friday Friend Cookbook , one recipe at a time. What is the Friday Friend cookbook?  I once had about 50 of my closest...