My Childhood on a Plate

Scrapple.

Such an interesting word.  It can describe many things…a gelatinous meat loaf, polenta…amazing plate of awesome.

For me, it’s amazing plate of awesome.  My Granny had a recipe for Scrapple.  It’s simple.  Corn Meal and home-made Turkey Stock.  I don’t know how often she made it when my mom was a kid, but I do know it wasn’t very popular.  I’m serious…no one liked it.  Expect maybe Mom.  My Aunt has certainly expressed her distaste for it.

So, fast-forward to my generation.  Me, my cousins, their kids…Still no dice.  No one likes Scrapple. Except for my family.  Mom, Dad, and me.  I LOVE Scrapple.  Dad LOVES Scrapple, and Mom made it like no one else, but Granny.  Dad and I would always argue over who got the last slice.  There was no splitting it; it was all or nothing.  Every year at Thanksgiving, I’d make sure that Dad would take the turkey carcass so we could make it.  I would not be happy unless I knew we had that dead bird in our freezer.

Unfortunately, I don’t remember that last time we had Scrapple.  I do know it was long before mom died.  Pretty sure I was in Ju-Co, since that was the last time I lived at home.  Dad and I never really tried it ourselves…it can be tricky, and Mom was always able to pull it off.

So this year, I decided I needed to make Scrapple.  Starting with the homemade Turkey stock.  Which I had never made before.  So I took the carcass from the turkey breast I did for Thanksgiving, and the carcass from the turkey the Morning Show crew did at the station and threw them in a pot with some veggies.

My place smelled pretty good Thursday.

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And 8 hours later I got this:
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So yesterday I made the Scrapple!  Sorry…not sharing the recipe.  Just the photos!

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And after sitting in the fridge overnight…
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Yum!  Gelatinous loaf pan shaped blob!  Do you have any idea how hard it was for me to NOT eat that loaf right there?

Slice it up, flour it lightly, and into the pan it goes!

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I only burned myself twice!  I was so worth it.  Little bit of butter, a lot of syrup, and I was in heaven!

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So it seems I inherited my Mom’s ability to make Scrapple after all!  And I know, that the only two people in my family who will ever eat this is me and my Dad.  That’s okay…more for us.

And I’ll still fight anyone to the death over that last slice.

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Then and Now

I know my cousin Sheryl will get a kick out of this post.  And I’m pretty sure my Dad and Aunt Judy will as well.  Over this past weekend, I was going through a few of my photo albums and I came across a few photos that my Grandmother took that really explain a lot about me.

Now, you have to understand…I’ve loved Television since I was a freshman in high school.  And I don’t mean sitting at home and watching some lame show on cable.  I’m talking about Broadcast News.  Local news.  Getting behind the scenes and shooting the stories, writing the scripts, switching the shows.  I fell into this career out of sheer dumb luck, and maybe a hint of lazy teenager.  We moved to a new town halfway though freshman year, and I needed a class to finish out my schedule.  Video Productions looked like a birdie course, so I signed up.

Oh…how little did I know how much that one decision would shape my life.  I’ve said this a million times before:  I wish every kid had a teacher like the one I had in Video Productions.  Someone who so thoroughly reaches you, gets in your head and instills a true love and passion of something in you…someone who is as influential in your life as your closest family…

Linda Potter was that person for me.  I can honestly say, that other than my parents, grandmother, Aunt Judy, and Uncle Don, Mrs. Potter had the most influence on my life.  She got me into the career I love.

What I didn’t realize back in the mid to late 90s, was that my love for News started far earlier in my life than high school.  Or Middle School…or Elementary School…

I’m guessing it started way back in late 1983.  Or early 1984.  It’s kinda hard to tell…

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That’s my Granny’s living room, and her old console television that I remember her having even as I got into high school.  I figure the next photo was taken when I was two-ish?

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I think I’ve quite a long way since then…
Control room wideAshley & James Ashley directing noon

Well…at least I’m not sitting three inches away from my…55 television monitors or computer screens…

What a week!

And that is an understatement!  Last week was crazy insane…it took me this long to recover enough to post about it.

It started last Monday evening when Dad called me.  Our 15 year old deaf, blind, barely-able-to-walk Rat Terrier ran away when she was let out to go potty.  It hit us pretty hard.  We’ve had Bebe for 13 years.

Itty-Bitty Itchy-Bitchy

She was adopted by us after our Greyhound died of bone cancer.  A classmate of mine in high school who worked at a local vet bought in a photo of her to show me.  I took it home, showed it to Mom and Dad, and then went to work.  Half way through my shift, they came through the drive-thru with the dog.  I found out the next day, another family had come in, wanting to adopt her about 30 min after my parents took her home.

So…Bebe ran away.  But Dad and I are both firm believers in “Everything happens for a reason.”

On Wednesday, a coworker of mine sent out an email to everyone at the station that there was a Corgi at the city shelter, needing a home FAST.  If he didn’t get adopted, he would likely be put down.

Now, EVERYBODY AT WORK KNOWS I LOVE CORGIS.  I cannot stress that enough.  There wasn’t a single person in that building that didn’t think of me when Meg sent that email.

The MugshotI mean come on!  Look at that face!!  Was there ever any doubt that he was coming home with me?

Nope.  And I had a plan!

So I called Dad, and asked him if he was interested in adopting him.  It took him about 10 seconds to say yes.  He’s wanted a Corgi for years; ever since I brought Strider home.  Cue frantic phone calls and text messages to Meg!  Thursday, Wizard (formerly Troy but dad renamed him) came home with me!

And Strider was not amused.   But I expected that.  After the initial rush of “omaigawdnewplace!!!” and “why did you bring this hyper ping-pong ball into my house?” from the dogs, they actually started getting along pretty well.  Or ignoring each other at least…

Except for this:

The Chair!

It didn’t last long.  Because Wizard discovered the sofa!

Happy Smiley

 

SleepyI think he was happy to sleep on a soft couch instead of a hot slab of concrete…

Well… Friday came along, and it was time to take Wizard to my Dad.  Went to work, worried that my house would be in shambles when I got home…yadda, yadda, yadda.

The house was fine.  Went to load up the car, and things went pear-shaped from there.  As I was taking an arm load of stuff to the car, a brown blur of fur ran out between my feet.  I thought it was Wizard.  He had no tags, and I live on a busy street.  So I took chase…and promptly stepped in a hole and rolled my right ankle.  When I was able to shake the stars from my eyes, I saw it was Strider, who had gone to wait by the car for me, like he always does when we go to Grandpa’s.  I finally get up, and manage to make it to the car and let the dog in, then load my crap in, and hobble back to the apartment to get Wizard.

It is not fun driving two and a half hours with a sprained ankle and two hyper dogs in the back seat.

We finally get to Dad’s house.  And Dad notices a message on the answering machine.

A trucker out of Ponca City called us.  He was picking up oil from one of the tank farms about 3-4 miles west of Dad’s house when he found Bebe curled up in the shadow of one of the drums.  Alive.

By this time, she had been missing for six days, four of which had heat indexes in the 100s.  A 15 yr old, blind, deaf, 16 pound Rat Terrier had somehow managed to make it that far for that long in that heat and survive.  He was able to get close enough to her to see and call our phone number on her tag.  He gave her some water and food, then let us know.  When we got there, she was still there.  Exhausted.  We got her into the car, and when she realized who it was, she just went nuts.  She was so excited to be going home.  And the strangest thing?  She’s acting like nothing happened!  Dad took her to vet on Monday with Wizard, and both dogs got a clean bill of health.  Bebe had only lost 2 pounds.

So, now…Dad and Kim have four dogs.

Add Strider to the mix, and it was a crazy weekend!

 

Waiting for DadWizard, Strider and Bebe waiting for dad to come home.

The PackThe Pack, trying to sneak out the door.  Wizard and Bebe standing by the door, Strider laying by my Dad’s feet, and Kim’s Carirn Terrier’s Toto (in pink) and Ruby (in red) to the right.

Getting alongAnd finally, Strider and Wizard getting along enough to fall asleep only a few inches away from each other.

In the end, everything worked out…almost  Bebe came home, Wizard was saved from doggie death row and is settling in to his new home nicely, and I’m nursing a swollen ankle…

It was worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

I only have two words for you…

Monkey.  Bread.

I really don’t need to say more, but I’m going to…I’m pretty sure EVERYBODY has this recipe, but it’s special to me because my parents would make it for the holidays.  I don’t remember the last time I had it.

And I’m pretty sure that last time mom and dad tried to make it, they let the dough rise too long and came into the kitchen to find it crawling down the side of the fridge.

Not happening this time.  *girn*

IMG_2533I’m pretty sure that this bundt pan belonged to my grandmother.  And if that’s the case, then it’s older than I am.

IMG_2534It’s well loved.

IMG_2535Fresh out of the oven!  It doesn’t look like much now…but just wait.  The hard part is next.

Turning it out of the pan.  This is where things would go wrong when I was a kid.  Inevitably, part of the bread would stick to pan and would have to be pried out with a crowbar.

Not today!!

IMG_2536I used a shit-ton of cooking spray and a basting brush to make sure it got into all of the ridges.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen Monkey Bread come out of the pan that easily before.

Add a bit of butter, and it’s breakfast for the next week!

http://www.rhodesbread.com/recipes/view/1613

A side note…I did not cover with foil for the last 15 min.  And I used enough cooking spray that I didn’t even need the knife to loosen it from the pan!

 

 

A Long Week

It’s been a loooong week…I’m glad it’s over.  I’ve not enjoyed the past year, but I- we’ve- made it.

We buried my mother a year ago today.   It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but I know she’s doing okay.

So.  The new entry.  I know that Mom wouldn’t want me to sit on my ass and be all depressed today…I know she would want me to do what  I love to do.  So, here’s three of them.  Food, Tea, and Photography!

On to the food!

I got a new dutch oven.  I love my new dutch oven.  Everyone should have one.  This weekend’s recipe was Beef and Ale Stew with Buttermilk Scallion Dumplings.  Found it on From Away.

http://www.fromaway.com/cooking/beef-and-ale-stew-with-buttermilk-scallion-dumplings

Beef and Ale Stew with Buttermilk Scallion Dumplings

 

The verdict:

It was pretty good.  I’m not a fan of cooked mushrooms, so I subbed potatoes for them.  It was my first time making dumplings.  I need to make them smaller.  I also need a bigger dutch oven…at least for this recipe.  It was HUGE.  I actually had to transfer the stew to my big-azz stock pot.  I will have leftovers for a week.  Yum.  Any ideas on what to do with leftover stew?  Oh a side note… Dawn Bleach Alternative five min soak is AWESOME for getting little burned things off the bottom of your pan.

Next, the Tea!

This tea is special to me.  It was actually the tea that got me hooked on tea.  My Mom, Aunt Judy, and Cousin Donna took me to a little place in Augusta called Miss Muzzie’s Tea Shop, which sadly, closed several years ago.  Mom had ordered some Wild Strawberry Tea, and encouraged me to try it (without dumping 6 tablespoons of sugar in it), and I was hooked.

I don’t brew it very often, but I felt today was the day to do so.

Davidson's Wild Strawberry Tea

I love this tea.  I mean love, love, LOVE this tea.  It’s strawberry without the cloyingly sweet fake strawberry flavor.   It’s an organic black tea with natural flavors.  You can see the seeds and leaves in the bag.  I highly recommend it.  Without sugar. *grin*

http://www.davidsonstea.com/Wild_Strawberry_Tea_Bag.aspx

Oh, and that teapot was a gift from Mom when I went off to FHSU.  It’s the Assam, from Bodum, and I love it.  I’ve been using it for years.

http://bodum.bodum.com/us/en-us/shop/detail/1842-01US/?navid=272

And speaking of Tea…go  here…

http://www.adagio.com/signature_blend/list.html?userId=273428

Right now.  I mean it.  That link will take you to Adagio Tea’s website.  Specifically, my best friend Steph’s blend page.  That Taurus Blend looks yummy. (Yes, I am one.  Just ask my family.  I am Taurus personified.)  Check out what she’s got!

And as for the photography…*points to the pictures* Duh…

And because I do this blog for my Mom…

Mother and Daughter

I love you Mom!

Be Afraid…Be Very Afraid…

There are some people who follow this blog that will know what this is.  And if I know those people (Dad, Aunt Judy, and Marci) like I think I do, then they’re probably running away from their computers right now, screaming in terror.  Don’t worry family!  I have no plans to inflict this upon you!

Now my co-workers on the other hand…*insert maniacal laughter here*

This is a Brandied Fruit Starter.  No, no one gave it to me…I had to make it myself.  It’s similar to Friendship Bread.  Someone gives you a starter, you feed it, it grows, you give a starter to someone else, feed yours some more…lather, rinse, repeat until you get so sick and tired of it that you finally throw it away.

One of the Mom’s sorority friends gave us some when I was in high school, and it was really good…for a while, then it got tossed.  For some insane reason, I got to craving some, and well…I’m doomed.  Dad has strictly forbidden me from giving him any (well, that’s no fun), so my co-workers at KOAM (and probably Steph too) will be the unfortunate victims of the Brandied Fruit of Doom.

Brandied Fruit Starter

Fear the big damn jar of fruit…

Lunch?

Did you ever get the feeling that if it wasn’t for a 3 inch thick pane of reinforced glass, you’d be lunch?

I did.

These pictures were taken at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita the day before I moved to Pittsburg.  The new Tiger exhibit had recently opened, and my mom and I were really wanting to see it.  I graduated from FHSU, and am proud to be a Tiger.  Mom and I both love them.  A whole huge group of us went.  Mom, Dad, and me, Amanda, Steph’s family, and two of the most well behaved toddlers to ever toddle this planet.  We all had a really good time.

And my personal favorite…

And I’m rather fond of this one.