QUICK SCRATCH COOKING

30 01 2011

I’m sure everyone has heard that if you cook from scratch you will save money.  This  is definitely true.  I cooked for years without ever using much in the way of mixes or shortcut ingredients.  It is easy, quick, and usually very good.  And certainly healthier.   

Recently, I was in a hurry  to get dinner on the table, so I literally threw together a good meal.  I had ground beef in the freezer, brought that out and thawed it in the microwave.  Then I  made  meatballs out of the meat, mixing it with  an egg, a small handful of oatmeal, and  salt, pepper, and garlic.  I browned the meatballs in a skillet and then poured in one can of golden mushroom soup.  I turned off the heat and mixed in a half can water, stirring until all lumps were gone.  

Meanwhile, I had retrieved from the freezer a package of frozen noodles that were cooked earlier.  I placed noodles in a casserole dish and microwaved until partially thawed.  Then I poured the meatball mixture over noodles.  I slid the covered casserole in the oven, turned it to 350 degrees and left the room.  

By the time the meatball and noodle dish was done in about 30 to 45 minutes,  I had changed from my working clothes, started a load of clothes in the washer, and picked up the den area.  

I set the table for dinner, opened and heated a can of green beans and prepared mixed frozen vegetables from the freezer.  By this time, everyone was ready to eat and I was ready to serve.

Quick, easy, filing meal costing very little.  Only real expense was the meat.   

Want to know how to prepare more quick dinners like this?    Buy  BET’S COOKBOOK, only $10.95 direct from Amazon under booksbybet.  Lots of tips in the book telling how to save time and money.  For instance, always cook up a big amount of pasta, freezing what you are not going to use at that time.  Then you have frozen cooked pasta at your fingertips to use later.  This works for all pasta as well as rice.  

Hope you enjoy the cookbook!





LAUGH AGAIN!

27 01 2011

I’m glad I have learned how to laugh.  If not, I would be crazy, that’s for sure.  Several years ago, I had snakes in my house.  That is enough to make you sit up and take notice.  First time, I came down my stairs and there, curled up at the bottom of the stairs was a snake with head raised.  If I had not seen him, I would surely have been bitten.  No doubt about that one.  But as it was, I skirted myself around him and cautioned my daughter not to move.  I hurried out the door to the garage, grabbed a shovel and came back and smacked him good.  Then I shoveled him up and threw him outside.  I have heard it said that if a dead snake is around, other snakes will not come around.  So I left him on the deck and forgot about it.   But just in case, I put the shovel in the closet inside the house.  Wouldn’t hurt to have it handy, just in case. 

About a week later, I came downstairs again and there was another one, looking just the same, all curled up and waiting for me.  Definitely scared me again.   I hurried to the closet, grabbed the shovel and smacked that one, too.  Now, I was really concerned.  It was possible that the first snake had managed to get in through a door somewhere, but two snakes would not have done that.  So that meant I had an access to my house for all snakes and didn’t know where that was.  

I began looking around every drain and pipe I could think of.  After awhile, I remembered there had been a pipe under the house and, at one time, the floor had been lifted around that pipe.  So, sure enough, I found the place where the pipe had been and I could easily lift the floor off the pipe.  I called my son and he brought something out to permanently close off the pipe and seal the area around it.  

That night, I was awakened by a sound I never expected to hear in my house.  It was a rattlesnake, rattling as much as possible.  I lay in the bed thinking to myself that he could not possibly have come upstairs.  So I was hearing him somewhere else.  I got out of bed and began searching for the sound.  The loudest place was in the shower.   So guess the rattlesnake had found the pipe and was making noises about it all.  But I knew he could not possibly get into the house.  It took me awhile but I did manage to get back to sleep that night.   After that, I had a plumber close off the pipe where it entered the house.  I didn’t want to wake up and hear any more rattlesnakes, whether they could get in or not.

Then today, I walked into a downstairs room and there was something skinny, brown, and curled up on the floor, looking just like a snake.  I was instantly afraid, but noticed that the form did not move when I did.  So I turned on more lights and started to go find something to poke it with.  Then I realized that I had been working on some old papers earlier and was wrapping rubber bands around them.  I wrapped one of the rubber bands and it broke and flipped through the air.  I was busy so I didn’t try to find the rubber band at the time.  And now here it was, all curled up and skinny and brown on the  floor in front of me.  

So you see, I have something to laugh at once again.  I might be half crazy by now, but  one thing for sure, I’m never bored.





JUST THINKING

25 01 2011

It’s pretty cold here tonight and I was just thinking to myself about other cold days.  When I was a child, our house at #2503 was very cold.  That was before any floor furnaces or central heating systems.  My mother got up every morning and hurried into our bedroom to light the gas stove at the bottom of our bed.  My sister and I didn’t dare put our feet on the floor until that floor had heated up just a little bit.  Mother then turned on other gas stoves in the house including the one in the kitchen.  She didn’t leave that one on for long, just long enough to heat the room while she cooked our breakfast.  

My grandmother lived with us – because as my dad said – where else could she live.  He was her only relative so he had to take care of her.  But she was a very dear person and we all loved her a lot.  On these very cold nights, she would heat an ordinary brick in the gas oven in the kitchen.  When the brick was warmed just right, she would wrap it in a heavy towel and come carrying it to the bedroom where we were all snuggled in bed.  Then she would lift the covers at the foot of the bed and slip the heated covered brick in until it just touched our feet.  Oh, that felt wonderful.  It was so warm against my cold toes.  I can remember it to this day.  

If you like a humorous, interesting, historical  book, try mine entitled #2503.  You will thoroughly enjoy it.  I don’t tell this particular story, but there are a lot of others.   You can order from me at  booksbybet, P.O. Box 2249, Benton, AR  72018   or through Amazon.  $10.95 per copy.   I gladly accept paypal, checks, and money orders.   Thanks, Bet





LAUGH!

24 01 2011

Someone told me recently that I always find something to laugh at.  Even in tough times, there is always something better to do than sit around with a long face and a crummy attitude.   So over the years, I have learned how to laugh, mostly at myself.  

For instance, when I was a young mother, I was so proud that I taught myself to make good cakes from scratch.  My young son always pulled a chair up to the counter and would ‘help’ me.  So when it was his 5th birthday, I asked him what kind of cake did he want.  I was, of course, thinking he would want one of my delicious made from scratch wonders.  He stood tall before me and proudly announced  ‘I want a Pillsbury Chocolate Cake’.  So much for that!  Every time I think of that instance, I still laugh.  

A couple of years ago, I was looking through an old  catalog.  I had been thinking of buying a particular raincoat.  I really needed one, but was just too stingy to let go of the money to buy it.  So every time it rained, I looked at the catalog once again.  This time, I was going to make myself purchase that raincoat!  But when I turned to the page showing the raincoat, the total price including shipping was penciled in at the bottom of the page.  I thought to myself that was sure funny as I wouldn’t know that price unless I had already bought the coat.  Sure enough, I checked in a remote closet and there was the raincoat hanging there, tags and all.  Guess I had already bought it but didn’t remember receiving it.  When my husband came in later, I asked him if he had seen it before and he said, he had hung it up for me when it came in the mail.  And, he added, he had already paid the bill, too. So that is another thing to laugh about now and then.  I just have all sorts of things that I can remember and laugh about, particularly on long dreary days.  

It is wonderful to laugh, especially at myself.  Makes me feel good all over.  Try it.   Look at the funny side.   Great for having a nice day!





WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO U. S.

23 01 2011

I have been thinking about what has happened to us over the years.  There is just no justifiable reason for all this economy mess we are in.  We were once the strongest nation in the world, not just because we were heavy on defense but because our people were heavy on the U.S.  We never would have heard the statements that we need to have more competition in the world in order to have a better economy.  This is ridiculous.  Who we going to compete with, ourselves? 

We once took great pride in all that we produced and the world was waiting for our products.  Only we didn’t have to ship a lot of products anywhere else as we were completely capable of having a good life right here in the good old U.S.A.   Then the workplace changed and everyone was told we needed more unions in order to make sure our people were well paid.  Just so happens they were well paid anyway. Remember this one fact.  The employee can always leave and get a job elsewhere if he is not happy where he is.  This is what freedom is all about. Freedom in the workplace.  Not expecting a handout, but expecting a good, stable job. 

There used to be advertisements on TV about buying goods made in the U.S.A.  We need to have those advertisements back.  And we need to be willing to pay a few cents extra to buy goods made in this country.  We need to support ourselves and our workers in this country.  Then there would be more jobs.  Good jobs.  Well paying jobs.  Producing products for US, U.S.A. citizens to use every day.

 Then no one could beat us at anything.  We would once again regain our rightful place in this world as the very best place to live, to work, and to raise our families.  In the good old U.S.A.   Buy products made in this country every single day.  Read the labels and make a point of buying U.S.A.





MANNERS

22 01 2011

I have been hearing various comments lately about how Americans seem to have lost their manners.  This is definitely true.  It has always been up to the mother while raising her children to teach them manners in the home.  This has been the norm forever.  And now, there are whole generations who have no manners at all and do not even know the manners are missing.   I guess it is because their mothers are missing.  What a shame!

Manners are a sign of civility.  We all hear a lot about civility.  But it is usually regarding race or religions.  Well, I’m here to tell you that manners is where civility starts.  Just go to the local post office and notice the people there.  No one ever says thank you when you hold the door for them.  They never say please when they are buying something.  They never say excuse me when they almost run over you as you try to walk through the building.  It is absolutely and positively ridiculous that all these grown up people still don’t know the very basics of normal life.   Even the morning TV shows used to teach this to children.  I guess they don’t do that anymore either.  

I always taught my children to say please if they asked for something.  And I definitely taught them to say thank you whenever they received something.  Nowadays, no one ever says thank you.  I’m totally surprised that they don’t say – hey you owed me that.  I’m expecting that one any day now.

And the words excuse me when they almost run over someone would be nice to hear.  But they probably never heard them in their lives anyway. 

I hold the door for people half my age and they just walk through as though I’m invisible.  Makes me want to hit them in the backside with the door or scream out ‘thank you’ to them as they pass me.  But they wouldn’t understand if I did any of that.  They are completely oblivious to the feelings of other people.  Guess that’s what is meant by the ‘me generation’.  

A lady this morning opened the door of the post office knowing I was right behind her.  She let the door shut in front of me and never turned to see if I had made it in or not.  This is reprehensible behavior.  

Maybe if some of those mothers would stay home and care for their children and actually teach them manners, it would help with the civility of this generation.  I can only hope. 





CHINA

20 01 2011

Well, I noticed in the newspaper and on all the TV stations that Obama welcomed the Chinese to our country.  Is he now going to move them into the spare bedroom?  Just wrote a blog a few days ago about how I won’t buy Chinese products anymore because they ain’t no good.  So here they come.  Advertising in Times Square, pushing for everything they can.  Making you want their art and their music and their way of life.  Don’t think so.  

Watch out!  They have already taken over a lot of our production.  Used to be, we Americans made our own stuff and were proud of what we made.  Then Japan came along and everything for sale said ‘made in Japan’ for years and years.  Now, everything says ‘made in China’.  Watch your back!  Soon, they will have moved into that spare bedroom and nothing will be ours anymore.  

Just read an email that told about how the light bulbs currently being made in China and sold in lots of stores here, will catch on fire, spitting actual fire out of the bottom.  The email recommended that no one ever buy a light bulb from China again.  Is the cheaper price of the light bulb worth burning your house down?  Not mine.  I will make a point of never buying light bulbs manufactured in China again.  In fact, I have already said I will not buy products manufactured in China again. 

I’m sure they are nice people but I don’t want them living in my spare bedroom.  Do you?