Monday, May 13, 2024

Friday Friend recipe #354 Crock Pot Stew


...about 24 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/Mayor, 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 us to recipe #354
Someone's Crock Pot Beef Stew.

I say someone BECAUSE they didn't put their name.  I have a feeling it was either Barb or my mom.
Whoever it was, it was really good.

It's not very 'soupy"
Rich likes his stews soupy, but I like mine not soupy just brothy.

So, how do I write a story about "Anonymous"? 
What do I say?

Let me just share with you this anonymous person who keeps jumping in front of my photos!  And has for the past 47 years.
It's like he never hears,  'stop! I'm going to take a picture.'
He just keeps on going, ruining the beauty of the scenery.

For example, here on the Columbia River--a beautiful sunset and I want to capture it with the lighthouse too.
Look at him! Whoever he is!
I don't know if you can see this, but he has a camera or phone too.  His picture is probably perfect.
    BECAUSE no one is standing in front of him!

And my tree. Where the Wallowa River empties into Wallowa Lake. 
I loved this tree--and it is gone now.  Felled by a storm, it no longer stands.
Yes, I have a gazillion photos of this tree throughout the years, in all kinds of weather and seasons, but the point is--he knows I always take a picture and still gets in front of me!

Okay, we were hiking and perhaps I'll give it to him that I just couldn't keep up and needed a 'breather' but still....
(do you think he's shading his eyes looking towards our route? Like Lewis from Lewis and Clark--one of our more famous arguments was about Lewis and Clark.  No kidding!!  Or do you think he's putting his hands on his head in frustration that I am so slow?)

Again, back at the lake.
It's such a pretty place to walk and take nature photos.
I get the Handyman's backside!!
I told you; he either can't hear "stop" or doesn't understand what it means. 

Okay, this one-- he didn't actually get in front of me, I was just taking pictures of the backyard and he was fixing the roof of the patio.
I thought it apropos because he is as ass for getting in front of all my photos.
(cue laughter from the crowd!!)

Back to the Lake/cabin.  I wanted to take a picture of the dear, but with Rich and the dog, it wasn't happening. 

Checking to see the last sighting of bear or mountain lions.

Okay, fun fact.
I really do know who this is.
I was going to write the love of my life (which he really is) but I hate, HATE when that is splashed all over Facebook/social media.
PDA are not for me.
We get it people--you love your spouse (sigh).  You should!
We get that they are your everything (sigh).  They should be.
We get that you can't live without them (sigh).  

Wow!  I'm reading those lines and it's kind of how I feel about him.
Who'd a thought?
Please do not tell him--he doesn't read this blog so I'm safe.
He really is a good guy,
He puts up with me, knows how weird I am and still likes me. 
He might, in his words, know me better than I know myself!
He never thought I'd do this countdown tho--I did it to spite him and I'm going to hold it over his head for a long, long time.
Now he's reduced to making dumb jokes about  "oooh, I should have challenged you to do  blah blah blah (could be a bit risqué) 🙄🙄"

Like I said, he really is a good guy,
even if he can't hear the words, stop I'm going to take a picture.

And that my friends is recipe #354!
I have 4 more to go!
I'm gonna get this done. 
I really am.

Four more!!
It's only taken me 10 years to complete.
That's 36 recipes per year--so I made an average of 3 recipes a month from the Friday Friend Cookbook.

Who are the last 4 recipe contributors?
Who have I not said "good-bye" to?
The suspense is killing you, right?!

Let's see......

(and for your viewing pleasure… More of the mayors backside 🤣)
(I could go on forever)
(but I won’t… It just seems like I did)

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Friday Friend recipe #353 Chipped Beef and Chicken


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.

Which brings me to recipe #353

My mom's Chipped Beef and Chicken

Loved my mom with all my heart---but I don't think I'll be making Chipped Beef and Chicken again.
Just sayin'

I had to have the baked potato because my mom said the sauce was good with it.
It was.

I just had to show you my chipped beef--it comes in a jar and is round.  
Who the heck still buys this?
Me, I guess.
(and it is not cheap--considering)

This is my mom's 51st recipe in the cookbook countdown.
(you can check them all out here--just click)

You know how I feel about ending this cookbook countdown, right? 
It's extremely satisfying to have cooked 353 recipes--358 when I'm finished--but at the same time I feel as if I'm saying goodbye to old friends and family.  For good!
Weird, I know.
And on the other hand, what more can I say about my mom?
She's been gone (really gone) for 10 years, so it's hard to have a new story 😀 (sorry, but she would think that was funny)

I've gone from telling you about my parents living on the same street when they were growing up.
started first grade together
had their first kiss together 
first everything together!

To their old age together (altho they never really got old, they passed away in their late 70's) throughout the 50 recipes and stories of her.

One thing that was always consistent in their 50+ years together is that they had fun.
My mom more so than my dad--she was good for him.
She was the most positive, accepting, kind person I have ever known, and she drug him along for the fun--and he followed, because he was head over heels in love with her--always had been. 

I was going thru an old box of "stuff to throw away most likely" and I came across this email which I had sent to a couple of my friends.
It was dated April 17th, 2006
and the subject was: Easter Fun

On Saturday night after we had had a bbq, we played cards with my mom and dad. It was fun. We played a few games thru-out the Easter Weekend...but that was not the "fun."

My dad's neck was hurting while we were playing cards and I guess they have been using this muscle medicine similar to Ben Gay, that you spray on.
It comes in a little spray bottle.
So, my mom runs upstairs to get the spray medicine out of their suitcase.  Comes downstairs and sprays it on my dad's neck.  We continue to play cards, but my dad says, 'this medicine isn't feeling the same as it usually does.  He says it usually gets icy cold and then warms up and feels really good on his sore muscles.
He asks if the bottle might be getting old.  My mom says no, it's a brand-new bottle.
We continue to play cards and we have a nice time.
When the card game was over and we were sitting around the table chatting, Rich reaches over and grabs the bottle just to look at it---he turns it around and he and I both notice at the same time the bottle says "PAUL MITCHELL" ...and I'm wondering when Paul Mitchell hair products started making medicine.
So, we both! This is HAIRSPRAY!!!

She just grabbed the first think that looked familiar to her. 
hahahaha--and my dad was wondering why the hell it wasn't working.
We laughed so hard! 
I went to bed laughing and woke up laughing.
And then I thought---these are the genes that have passed to my children!

And that sums up my parents' marriage!

And that my friends is recipe #353!
I have 5 more to go!
I'm gonna get this done. 
I really am.

Five more!!

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Friday Friend recipe #352


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 24 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 recipes 352. 

My favorite mother-in-law's
Chicken in Gravy 

If you've been paying attention, you might think this looks a lot like the recipe I just made--Barb's Australian Breasts in Wine Sauce.
It is almost exactly the same.  If I had been paying attention, I would have spaced these further apart, but I am down to 6.
SIX! 6!  Six! Recipes to make and post. 
So, there isn't much room to space anymore. (as if YOU cared anyway 😉)

The difference is there are mushrooms added here and not as much wine and no bacon or almonds.

This is my mother-in-law's 15th recipe in the countdown--and her last.
My mother-in-law was alive and well when I began this countdown 10 years ago, but she passed away 4 years ago— March 16, 2020.
I adored her and she adored me.
 I've said it before and I’ll say it again… I am so lucky.  I feel like I belong to the Handyman's family.  Like I am one of them.
I’m not so sure they feel the same way 🤣

Anyway, let me tell you her last story--oh and if you want to see all her recipes and read all her stories, just click here. Right here. 

This is my mother-in-law, Teresa Marie Solaro-Stone- Belcher and my father-in-law, Philip Belcher. 

In June 2004, my mother had a knee replacement. So, I went up to our hometowns (the Tri-Cities, Washington.) To help my mom. 
After I had been there a few days, I called my in-laws. 
My father-in-law, Phil answered, so I asked him how it was and told him I would be coming out for a visit on Friday around 10 AM. He said OK.

On Friday at 10 AM… I am late — but was doing stuff for my mom. I called my in-laws in this time my mother-in-law answers.
I say... hi I’m not gonna be there until 11 so don’t worry about me.
She says... OK. I am so excited to see you!!
I called back about 15 minutes later to ask her something about my mom. And my adored mother-in-law says, oh, are you there with your parents?
I say… Yes
She says… I am so glad you were able to come up to me with your parents.
I say… Me too.
She says… Guess who’s coming to visit us today?!
I say… uh, me?
She says (pausing a bit) you’re coming to visit today?
I say…Uh, yeah.
She says… Oh, good. Guess who else is coming to visit around 11?
I Say… um, me?
She says…(pausing again) did you just call us an hour ago and tell Phil you would be here at 11?
Hi, say… Yes
She says… That, damn Phil!! He can’t get anything straight!! (she’s yelling at Phil now) Phil, it’s Debbie who’s coming to visit. Not Chris!! So you can stop hiding. (Chris is Rich’s ex-wife. 🤣) but now Debbie, I’m really excited to see you.

By this time, I was laughing so hard-- so hard!! I think I had fallen on my bedroom floor. My parents came rushing in to see… My mom hobbling with her new knee and my dad right behind her, to see what was the matter… I was laughing so hard.  

I was laughing at my favorite mother-in-law, who was trying to backpedal and telling me why she would’ve been excited to see my husband's ex-wife.
(Chris had had that stomach bypass thing and had lost 70 pounds and my mother-in-law was looking forward to seeing her)
 They remained friendly with Chris until they died. And it’s OK. We’re friendly too, the Handyman and I.  With Chris, his ex-wife.

Laughing at my in-laws and their antics that day was such a stress reliever for me.  It was great!

I always loved laughing with them.
And now---no more recipes from her. At least in the Friday Friend Cookbook countdown. (did I tell you that I took her recipe boxes when she died?  Don't tell her daughters!)

It makes me sad to say goodbye.

This photo below is in front of my in-law's house in Prosser, WA.
When she turned in the recipe for Chicken in Gravy, she lived in this house. 
I'm pretty sure that Phil knew who he was waving goodbye to. 😄

Love this whole extra family I got when I married Rich. 
I knew he was good for something.

And that my friends is recipe #352!
I have 6 more to go!
I'm gonna get this done. 
I really am.

Friday Friend recipe #354 Crock Pot Stew

  ...about 24 years ago, 50 of my closest friends and family, who had been on an   e-mail forum with me, sent in recipes in different catego...