Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sharida's Easy Pumpkin Spice Muffins

My Own Chicken Noodle Soup

Barb's Own Chicken Noodle Soup
To answer the obvious question, no, I do not get tired of soup, at any point from about mid-September until time for Thanksgiving Dinner…maybe even longer than that.
Today, I made this up. Or, I should say, “Today I created this comforting culinary delight.”  We just finished supper, and frankly, it was to die for.
Yesterday I baked a chicken. Won’t even go into the details of what a disaster I had in my kitchen. Baked it in a huge domed stoneware “bell.” Chicken was large. Chicken was juicy. Juice spilled over in oven. Did I mention the chicken was juicy? Bad spill. Bad mess. House had to be aired out. Oven had to be cleaned.
Today is a new day. The chicken was actually delicious. I saved the stock that cooked out of said juicy chicken. I used the stock and some of the left-over chicken for today’s soup. This is kind of my recipe, best I remember:
  • About 64 oz chicken stock (used my leftover, with fat skimmed, and additional stock from Kitchen Basics)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 8 oz (dry measure) Amish noodles (narrow)
  • 2 tsp salt (but, to taste)
  • some cracked pepper
  • 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning (just because I have it)
  • About 2 cups chopped cooked chicken (better if baked rather than boiled)
Bring stock to boil, in Dutch oven or stock pot. Add carrots and celery. Simmer until vegetables are starting to get tender. Add dry noodles, bring back to boiling, and cook until noodles are tender. Add seasonings and chicken. Simmer at least 30 minutes.
Good for what ails ya’!!

Extended Family Scrapbook Page

I've been spending most of my time in recent days with family history research, but I did enjoy creating a couple of scrapbook layouts. Here's one I just completed, featuring my sister who is married to Russell's brother--their children and grandchildren--photos taken late summer/early fall.

Monday, October 25, 2010

BK's Vegetable Minestrone

Click to play this Smilebox recipe

An Old Sycamore and a Young Lad’s Memories

Many times Russell has told the story of the big sycamore tree that was beside the banks of the Moreau River where Pleasant Hill Baptist Church folks went for summer baptisms. On one of our “journeys into family history,” he said he would like to see that tree again. sycamore by Moreau River where baptisms were held
Some things never change. You can count on the big, old sycamore tree to be the same size, and in the same place, even after the passage of 50-some years. Its roots are firmly grounded. When Russell was a lad (probably 8-12), he and his two brothers and two cousins would all encircle the tree, joining hands, and could barely reach all the way around the tree. 
That same day we drove by the first house my family lived in, when Daddy first came to pastor Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. First house as pastor of PH lived in 2 mos no rng water How can something deteriorate that much in just 50 years?. It was barely recognizable.
Lord, I know that my human body has deteriorated in fifty years, by Design. But, for what matters in this life, and in eternity, thank you for your gift of grace in my life, giving me roots firmly grounded in You. Thank you that, in the end, I can be more like the sycamore tree and less like the dilapidated house.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies for “my kids”

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Ready for Oven
Oatmea Raisin Cookies Fresh From Oven

The Reason for Cookies

When I got the word that my kids were coming out to “play” in the woods after school today, I made some Cheddar Chowder and Dilly Bread for supper; for their after-school-snack, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. I love being a Mamo—and being a Mom is pretty neat, too!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Barb’s Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin Bars Served
Barb’s Pumpkin Bars

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 2/3 c granulated sugar
  • 1 c cooking oil
  • 1 16-oz can pumpkin
  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3-oz pkg cream cheese, softened
  • ½ c butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • Chopped pecans (optional)
In mixer bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin till light and fluffy. Stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and soda. Add to pumpkin mixture and mix thoroughly. Spread batter in ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan.
Bake in 350 oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool.
Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top if desired. Cut in bars. Makes 2 dozen.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
Cream together cream cheese and butter. Stir in vanilla. Add powdered sugar, a little at a time, beating well, till mixture is smooth.
(I usually refrigerate left-overs after the first day or so. It also freezes well.)
(This has been a family favorite since I first made it when my children were young. I make it every autumn.)

Thursday, October 14, 2010


   While in Eldon to visit the Cemetery, we located the “old” Drive-In where Russell’s family would often go for hot dogs and shakes, usually on a Sunday evening, when the boys were teens. Russell tells of how their dad would pay for a shake and one hot dog apiece, and then they would each buy themselves two more—each eating a “yard of hot dogs.”  Russell preferred the pineapple shake, usually; Curtiss and David liked the butter pecan (as I recall the story). For old time’s sake, Russell and I each had ONE foot-long hot dog (okay, so he ate part of mine) and a shake (he had pineapple, I had butter pecan).
   We also drove by the house where Grandpa and Grandma Ford used to live—308 Mill Street, in Eldon. Russell had great fun with memories of Eldon!

Another Journey

Yesterday we traveled into the heart of Central Missouri, where Russell’s roots run deep. We visited five cemeteries, four for his ancestors and one for my family (father and sister). I took 103 photos and then narrowed it down to 50, for my scrapbook albums. I have one album just for “Journeys into Family History,” and now I have several pages to do in that album!
Entry Eldon Cem
At the Eldon Cemetery are buried Russell’s paternal grandparents (Ford).
Entry Pleasant Hill Cem
At Pleasant Hill Cemetery are several of his mother’s (Scott) ancestors: Grandparents, Great Grandparents, and 2 sets of Great Great Grandparents.
Entry Johnston Cem
At Johnston Cemetery there were so many ancestors we thought we would never get all the pictures taken: Great Grandparents (Scruggs), Great Great Grandparents (Johnston), Great Great Grandmother (Scruggs Hines), Great Great Great Grandparents (Johnston), and Great Great Great Grandparents (Tipton).
Entry to Hart Hill Cem
At the Hart Hill Cemetery, Russell’s Great Great Grandfather Scruggs is buried (although there is no longer a distinguishable marker for him).
Entry Enloe Cem
At Enloe Cemetery, my father and sister are buried.

In all, Russell’s ancestors’ burial sites visited: 2 sets of grandparents, 2 sets of great grandparents, 4 sets of great great grandparents, and 2 sets of great great great grandparents.
We always enjoy these treks, and feel we are honoring our ancestors when we visit their graves.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Journeys into Family History

WalnutGroveCem 024 zoom
As a part of my genealogy research, we like to visit the burial sites of our ancestors. Now, I know that may seem a bit morbid. But, for us, as we learn more about our ancestors, it’s somewhat like going on a “treasure hunt” to find their final resting places. It is especially satisfying to find the ones who are really far back in our history. We have some really neat stories of discoveries we have made. Today we went to Boonville, Missouri, where Russell’s great grandparents are buried. We had tried once before to locate this tombstone. This time, we found it! These were the parents of Russell’s father’s mother. They were the first generation of that branch of Russell’s tree to be born in America. Emanuel’s parents immigrated from Switzerland. Susanna’s parents immigrated from Bavaria (Germany).

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Keep Smiling
God has placed several encouragers in my life. Each one plays an important role in keeping me balanced and positive. This week, my daughter was a HUGE source of encouragement for me. Sometimes she just seems to know my heart in a way that is perhaps unique to daughters and mothers. She knows I’ve been experiencing some sadness in my life, and to let me know that she is thinking about me, she sent me this delightful card, with an inside verse that reads, “Have a beautiful day (no matter what else is going on around you.)” Well, just opening that card DID make me smile, and it now sits in my work area, where each time I see it, I smile again. That’s the fruit of an Encourager’s act of kindness!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fall is Officially Here!

Hot Dog Roast at our place 10-2-10
Fall is here
Yes, we have had the first wiener roast of the season, at our little picnic spot on our property. We have had a homemade soup/homemade bread meal. The fall decor is out in the kitchen, complete with Spiced Pumpkin candle. We have rearranged the closet, with the sweatshirts and corduroys at the front. I have even already made my homemade Apple Pie TWICE! But, it’s never officially fall at our house until I make the first batch of My Own Chili of the season. That’s today! Yay! Here’s my own from-scratch recipe:

Barb’s Own Chili
  • 1.5-2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 cans Bush’s Red Beans, drained
  • 2 cans Tomato Sauce (not the small ones)
  • Water to fill the 2 tomato sauce cans
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 1 T cumin (powder)
  • 1 1/2  tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
In stock pot or Dutch oven, cook the beef and onion until done. Drain. Add rest of ingredients, mixing well. Simmer for at least 30 minutes. We love it with Club crackers and Colby Longhorn Cheese—oh, and you know, those little Cokes in the 8 oz. bottles!