When my son was little, decorating for the holidays suddenly became more fun. Like a lot of little boys, he loved trains! When he was about 4, I found the perfect stocking holder set, a train! The set has become one of our holiday traditional decorations to put out on the fireplace mantle each year. When we moved from Virginia to North Carolina, we also had the chance to bring my husband’s oldest son into our celebrations. Which meant we needed another train car for the additional stocking. Finding another car to go with our existing train wasn’t easy and we were forced to find an alternative during that first holiday. Thankfully he’s 20 years older than our son, so he wasn’t offended But I’ve made it a mission to find an additional train car to go with our existing set. Enter eBay!
Here’s what I’ve found out about our train set. They’re rare and they seem to be VERY popular! Two things that create challenges for eBay buyers. It means they’re not listed very often. And they’re often very expensive! This year, 2019, there’s an Egg Nog car listed for $325 and the current bids are over $420. Wow! Still I’m determined. I’m hoping to find the Santa and one of the tanker cars to add to my set.
Papaw’s Swedish Meatballs
When I was a teenager, my Dad started doing a lot of cooking on the weekends. I don’t know if he was just giving my Mom a break. Or if he simply had more time to do the simple things in life. I mostly remember my Dad working the Night Shift and sleeping during the day. Of course his weekends were usually reserved for Golf. Until the late fall and winter.
One of those winter weekend meals was what he called Swedish Meatballs. I wrote this recipe down one Saturday when I was helping to make dinner. Actually he told me to come make the meatballs, after he tossed everything into a big mixing bowl. Pretty sure he didn’t need the help. He just wanted someone else to get their hands into mixing and kneading the meat together with the eggs. Come on, what kid didn’t like playing in the mud and squishing the goop between your fingers. Cooking like this is the same thing. You just get to say you’re cooking, instead of playing in the goop.
Mamaw’s Traditional Meatloaf
When I was young, my Mom worked. In my neighborhood, she was the only working Mom at the time. She was a Nurse that had started out her career in the ER. Tough job! But she still found time for all 3 of her girls.
Every now and then, she would make a quick dinner. There were various versions of that, but my favorite was her Meatloaf. I don’t know if there’s anything special or unusual about the way she made it. She did tell me once when I asked to help make it, that she makes it the way her Mom taught her. But instead of using the spices and herbs from scratch, she simplified that seasoning with a packaged version.
When I asked her to teach me how she made it with my Grand Mother, she checked the pantry and thankfully we had all the traditional seasoning to give it a go. So this is her from scratch recipe. I still like it. Continue reading →
My sister makes great meatballs for Sunday game time. But in our house, the summer and early fall is time for NASCAR!
I’ve taken her Game Time Meatballs recipe and tweaked it a little to meet the taste of my Boys. Our version is more of a barbecue recipe that’s sweeter and hotter than my sisters. And we’ve played with the flavor of the meatballs a tiny bit too. Our version is also a bit darker on the table, because of the barbecue. So if you’re one of those folks who sets a table for contrasting colors, keep that in mind.
Like her Meatballs, you can serve our version in a bowl or fashion them into a sub with your favorite fixings. You can also cut them into quarters after cooking and turn them into a chunky dip for your favorite chips. And of course they’re always good with a warm corn muffin too! Continue reading →
My sister makes the best meatballs for Sunday game time. Whither it’s football or in our house NASCAR racing, these meatballs make for a great addition to any coffee table feast!
Several times during football season you could walk into the house and be greeted by a wondrous smell of barbecue and fresh baking bread. You can have them in a bowl, on a sub or slice them up and try them as a dip with your favorite Tostitos chips.
I have memories from when I was a child, watching my dad mix various ingredients into ground beef to make hamburger patties. They always added that extra special flavor that made them so much better than just plain hamburgers.
My Dad would get a large amount of ground beef at the local Butcher’s Shop to bring home for hamburgers. He would make the patties and put them between wax paper squares to freeze a batch for us to enjoy throughout the summer. It’s one big reason I would love to have a big freezer at my house now.
Over the years, I’ve altered the recipe slightly to our taste, but they’re based on Dad’s original recipe. And they still taste great straight from the grill! Continue reading →
Papaw’s Spanish Beef Rice
My Dad was quite fond of rice. I remember him cooking all sorts of dishes at least once a month on a quiet weekend with rice.
Most of them were with some form of fish. Not really my thing. But one recipe called for ground beef and tomatoes and sweet corn. It made the entire house smell so good!
As I got older and rice didn’t seem like something you had to eat to “clean your plate”, I started liking rice. Baby Boomers maybe the only folks who remember the “Clean your plate” edict. Thank goodness that concept has slowly passed by the wayside.
Anyway, on one very cold winter’s day when I was out living on my own, and feeling a little alone I longed for those gone days of comfort at Mom and Dad’s house. I called home and asked my Dad how to make his Spanish Rice and this is the recipe he gave me. I make it for my family now and I’m glad to report, everyone still loves it! Continue reading →
On one particularly cold Superbowl day, Gary told me this would be a perfect time for some hot chili. It didn’t take long for him to off to the grocery store for a few items.
One thing this chili variation reminds me of, is my Dad. Gary likes beans in his chili too. Thankfully our son follows the taste buds of the paternal side of our family. This is one of his favorites as well. But I still don’t get the bean thing. It’s not for me.
This special Jack Chili is sure to fire up any Superbowl party. Pick your desired ‘hotness’ and serve.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
– You’ll put it in the fridge overnight
– Than heat it up 2 hours before serving. Preferably in the smoker part of a grill.
Serves: 6 to 8 Continue reading →