My Childhood on a Plate


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:

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…

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!


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.


My First Photo Contest

Um…well…it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  No excuse really, just haven’t gotten off my butt to type an entry.

One of my best friends came down to visit over the past weekend.  To most, that’s no big deal, except that Crystal and I have been planning trips to see each other for years, and something has happened EVERY TIME to keep us from getting together.  It’s like the Universe didn’t want to allow us in the same place at the same time for some insane reason.  Well…screw you, Universe!  We beat you this time!  The proof:

Crystal and Strider


On another topic, Little Balkan’s Days was going on in Pittsburg the same weekend Crystal visited.  One of the events happening was the Photo Contest.  Now, Mom was after me for YEARS to enter some of my photos in contests (for that matter, so was Aunt Judy), and I never really got around to it.  Partly because I was a bit lazy about it, and partly because I didn’t want to pay any entry fees.  Well, the LBD Photo Contest was free to enter, so I thought what the hell?  Why not?

So…here are the five photos I entered:

Tiger Buddha Taking Offerings of Dasani KOAM's Shorter Tower Switcher


And that photo that took First Place in the Animal category…

The Grumpy GorillaI am so thrilled!  My first contest, and one of my pictures won!!!  I think Mom would be so proud!!  I took this one when we went to the Sedgwick County Zoo a few years back for Mother’s Day.  Dad and I took Mom, and Chris and the kids took Steph and Carol.  It was such a fun day, and mom really had a blast.  I’m so glad one of the pictures I took with Mom won.

Oh, it’s been a BUSY weekend!

Has it ever!

I went to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning, and bought some Ossabow Bacon.  Very yummy.  Then I spent the day cleaning.  No easy task when you have a glass collection with over 80 pieces.  And of course…nothing beats Classic NES in HD…so I had to hook up the old Nintendo…and dust two years of crap off parts of the TV stand I have’t reached in as long.  Then went to a friend’s wedding and had quite a bit of fun.

Today…I cooked.  A lot.  *grin*

So, I present to you…Honey Mustard Chicken with Crispy Bacon!

Honey Mustard Chicken with Crispy Bacon


I had to bake it a little longer than the recipe called for, but that’s because I doubled the recipe.  I wanted enough to last me the week.

More Chicken!I was amazing.  I could taste the chicken without it being overwhelmed by the mustard flavor.  And I’m a huge fan of mushrooms.  I actually sauteed them in some of the rendered bacon fat as opposed to oil.  Just adds more bacon-y awesomeness!

Here’s where I found the recipe:

For dessert…Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce.

There’s a bit of a story behind this one.  I’ve mentioned Miss Muzzie’s several times on this blog.  Well, before they closed, they had this REALLY good Bread Pudding with Caramel Curd.  I ordered it the first time, and Mom turned her nose up at it.  She did not like Bread Pudding; too much of it as a kid, I think.  Somehow, I convinced her to try it, and she was hooked.  I’ve been looking for a recipe as good as theirs ever since.  I’ve finally found one!  Actually, rediscovered it.  Mom sent me a copy of the recipe back in 2009, and it got relegated to the massive “Food” folder in my e-mail.  Dug it out, and decided to give it a whirl this evening.  I am soooo glad I did!  I only wish I would have done it sooner.

Bread PuddingIt looks so pretty!!  It was kinda puffy coming out of the oven, but once it cooled, it deflated a bit.

Bread Pudding with CaramelLooks even prettier with the Caramel on it!

I only have one thing to say about this recipe.  Ho-ly shit.  I’m pretty sure it’s the best thing I have ever eaten.  I had two helpings.  I think next time, I’ll have it with some ice cream.  And die a happy woman.

The recipe is from a closed Wichita restaurant called Tanya’s Soup Kitchen.  And I’m so glad Mom sent it to me.


9 eggs
6 cups milk
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla
12 cups stale bread, torn into chunks**

Caramel Sauce:
2 sticks butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups heavy cream


Mix the eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla until blended. Place bread in a 9×13-inch pan and pour mixture over it, then squish together with your hands until “well mushed.”

Bake at 350 degrees for about one hour, until top is browned and pudding is puffed. Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes before serving. (Pudding will deflate.)

Meantime, make caramel sauce by melting butter in a saucepan. Add sugar and cream and stir with a whisk until the sauce comes to a boil, then lower heat and simmer 10 minutes. Makes 12 servings.

**Just a side note here.  I picked up two loaves of French Bread from the Walmart Bakery for this.  It was cheap, and I didn’t want to waste a whole bunch of money in case this didn’t turn out.  I ended up using about a loaf and a half.
Enjoy!  And remember…Share the Bread Pudding.  It’ll be hard…but you’ll make people happy.


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.

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*

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.

And speaking of Tea…go  here…

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!

Happy Warm Place on a Cold Sunday Morning


I’ve not always liked tea.  When I was a kid, the only way I would drink it was with about a cup of sugar mixed in.  Then, a few years ago, Mom, Aunt Judy, and Donna took me to a little tea shop in Augusta called Miss Muzzie’s Tea Shop.  Mom ordered their Wild Strawberry Tea, no add-ins, and I tried some.

I was hooked.

Unfortunately, Miss Muzzie’s is closed… 😦  But I’ve continued to drink the Davidson’s Wild Strawberry Tea ever since.  It’s a special tea to me, it reminds me of Mom.

In the years since, my taste for tea was expanded quite a bit, and I’ve found another favorite.  PG Tips.  And I’ve been a fan of Earl Grey for as long as I’ve been a Star Trek Fan.

I’ve made it a habit of starting every day with at least one cup of hot tea in the morning, and in the afternoon, I switch to iced.  And now, I can’t imagine why on Earth as a kid I dumped so much sugar into my tea, ruining such an awesome drink.  I guess my tastes have changed.

I’ll take my tea black.


Okay…I’ve waited to post this picture because I wanted it to heal completely.  For those of you who knew her, you will recognize this as my mother’s signature, in her handwriting.  Surprisingly, getting this tattoo has helped me more than anything.  It’s nice, having it on my wrist, and being able to see it every day.

Jarred at Lucky Devil Tattoo in Wichita did an amazing job, and I will be going back there for future tattoos.