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After Angie finished being mad at me, I ran into Gloria, Angie’s mom, over the string beans at the grocers. There she was, doing circles with her eyes at me. I thought it was about the stupid grilled cheese sandwiches, but no, her gripe was about the directions I gave her cousin to get to her house the week before.

I mean, the town’s not that big. How many directions do you need? I pointed down the road and said to look for the Lansbury place and the stupid cousin was looking for street signs and nearly broadsided a cow. How is that my fault and why was he looking for a sign that said “Lansbury Place” anyway? Mostly there aren’t any street signs and the ones that are there point all wonky and spin in the wind, anyways, because the kids use them for slingshot practice.

So Gloria is rolling her eyes at me and asking why I refer to her house as the Lansbury house when she and her husband have lived there for so many years, and they bought the house from someone named Spitz, anyway. But the Lansbury family built the house, I told her, and that’s the way it was. Everyone knew that. If she wanted to put her name on a house she could buy a patch of land and start digging holes and sawing wood and shingling shingles. I didn’t say that last part out loud because Gloria had a butternut squash in her hand and I figured that if she swung it at me, it would leave a nasty bruise.

So then she starts griping about how I said Angie isn’t a local and that she herself considers herself a local because she herself lived more than half her life (herself) in this town and so for sure her very own baby girl who lived here since she was two must be local. Which proves she isn’t a local since no one she was talking about was born here or was buried and dead here, and she said it all with that New York accent which iced the cake. And then she did the exasperated eye flutter at me and rolled her eyes around some more.

All that fluttering and rolling was beginning to get me dizzy and I forgot to bring home the string beans and grabbed a bunch of broccoli instead. That’s okay, green is green. Just about anything green works fine in this recipe. Well, except maybe honeydew melon. I don’t think that would work.

You don’t need fancy name-brand cheese like Velveeta in this recipe. Just buy a block of the stuff that they give away to the seniors at the bingo hall. If you know some seniors who are overrun with free cheese, you can probably buy some off of them or trade the cheese for some home brew. Those bingo seniors like the home brew. Whee-hoo, you don’t want to be driving past the bingo hall when them seniors are getting out and driving all hunched over the wheel and weaving from ditch to ditch.

Anyway, if you can’t get your hands on the free government senior cheese, the same cheese is always on sale at one store or t’other.

Green Mushroom Bake

  • Green vegetable of your choice
  • Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • Orange cheese
  • Stick of butter

Melt the butter and put it in the bottom of a good baking dish. Put the green vegetable on top of the butter and mix it around so it coats really good. Dump the soup on top of the green vegetable. Then put the cheese on top. It helps if you break up the cheese or slice it before you put it on top. The whole brick doesn’t melt so good if it’s in one solid piece.

Oh, and if you get the cheese that has the red covering it, you got to take the red off. It’s really waxy and doesn’t taste so good. If it’s green under the red, carve that off, too, and throw those green furry bits away.

Put the whole casserole in the oven at whatever temperature you have it on for whatever else you have in there, and leave it to bake until you can stick a fork in it and the vegetable has given up all will to resist.

Serve it hot in the baking dish because it’s not going to come out real pretty if you try to transfer it to some other dish. If you like it spicy, pass a bottle of hot sauce to douse it with.

Make-Up Cake

So after my last post about Grilled Cheese, Angie came over here all steamy mad at me. Jeebus. I thought maybe she was mad that I published her recipe, but smack in the middle of fuming about it, she told me that of course she knew to put the sandwich on a plate and I’m the dense one for not knowing that right off the bat.

What am I now, a mind reader? Sheesh. But okay, Angie’s a good friend and I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt that she already knew the plate trick, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out why she didn’t tell me about it when she gave me the rest of the recipe. I had to scrape a lot of congealed cheese off the bottom of my microwave from those dozen or three cheese sandwiches.

Well then, after fluttering her hands around and screeching at me, Angie stormed out again and I figured I should bring over some kind of peace offering, so I decided to make my famous Make-Up Cake. This one is a sure-fire way to get people all warm and friendly after an argument, whether it’s you and your best friend or you and your loverboy.

Make-Up Cake

  • 1 box cake mix
  • Ingredients for cake mix except water or milk
  • Booze to replace water or milk
  • Sweet Likker (recipe follows)

Mix up the cake mix just like the box says but use your favorite booze instead of whatever water or milk or other liquid it wants. Bake as usual.

Warning: there’s a teensy-slight chance your oven might ignite from the fumes when you open the oven door. The firemen said it had something to do with feeding in fresh oxygen or something like that, but I couldn’t hear too good because of the ringing in my ears from the blast.

It’s okay, though. Eyebrows grow back just fine over time. And really, it only happened two – maybe three – times.

When the cake is done, poke holes in it. The back end of  a spoon works good. Douse it with as much sweet likker as it can soak up.

Sweet Likker

  • 1 jug backyard booze
  • Sugar

You could do this with the storebought stuff, but it’s just not as good. Honestly, I don’t know what’s wrong with people that they can’t make the important things from scratch any more. Backyard booze is completely legal as long as you’re not making too much of it at a time, so you can just make it in small quantities on a more regular basis.

Anyway, to make the sweet likker, start with a full jug, then pour off a hefty mug full. Add back in as much sugar as will fit, with enough room in the jug to shake and slosh it around. Cap it off and shake until all the sugar is dissolved.

Sweet likker is used for the Make-Up Cake, but it’s the also a great drink for the ladies. Men don’t seem to like it as much, but we go through just about a full jug for ladies mid-morning tea. A bit of sweet likker in a steaming mug of tea warms the bones on a cold day, and a mug of sweet likker with a shot of hot tea makes the afternoon much more interesting.

Grilled Cheese

I got this recipe from my best friend Angie who lives next door. She’s not from around here, but she fits in with the locals pretty well, anyway. Angie’s parents moved here from New York when Angie was just two, and they pretty quick moved into the old Lansbury house down by where they tore the old post office down after the hay baler accident.

Angie’s parents still live in the Lansbury house, although they travel a awful lot. Last year they went to Florida for three weeks in February, and they took a couple weekend trips to visit Angela’s older brother. He never really fit in here and he moved out as soon as he turned 18. First he went to college, then he got a job that moved him around a bit. He settled down, finally. A man’s got to have roots, and his are a good four hours away from here. So the parents go and visit him sometimes on a Saturday and spend the night so they don’t have to drive, and they get home Sunday. It’s a shame they have to travel like that to see him, but he works a lot of hours and the government doesn’t want him to go far from home when he’s off work. Or at least that’s what Angela says.

Anyway, Angela suggested this recipe to me when she was over here one afternoon and my future ex-husband was giving me a hard time about me using his tools. I don’t know what he gets all het up about. I mean, I don’t ever break anything, and I didn’t actually burn the whole house down, I just singed some parts of it. And when he stormed out with his propane torch I asked Angie how I was sposed to make a good grilled cheese sandwich with burnt cheese if I couldn’t use a blowtorch on it.

So Angie said she was scared of blowtorches, but she loves her microwave. So what she does is toast the bread first (but not as burnt as for the glop on toast) and then she puts her cheese on and put the sandwich in the microwave and lets it go until it looks done enough.

Well, after Angie left, I gave it a try but it made a hellava mess when the cheese melted off the toast and puddled in the microwave. Angie’s a good girl and my best friend, but she’s no brain scientist. After cleaning up the microwave – twice – after trying Angie’s recipe, I decided to put my own twist on it so I put the toast on a plate before I piled on the cheese and nuked it to oblivion. This time it was much better.

I’m not telling Angie, though. I don’t want her to think I’m trying to one-up her on her own recipe.

Soup Glop on Toast

This is one of my mother’s go-to recipes and while it sounds deceptively simple, there are some key steps to getting it right.

The toast, for example, is very tricky. The first time it comes out of the toaster it is barely warm and pale and limp, which is not good in the kitchen or in the bedroom as my second ex-husband’s third ex-wife proudly proclaimed at the church ice cream social last Tuesday.

I love that woman like a sister.

No, the toast is not done on the first go-thru and sometimes it takes even a third try before it is finished and it can’t take any more heat.

At that point we kids would complain to mama that the toast was burnt, but now that I am older I realize that it was not at all burnt but was actually very frou-frou and caramelized and that a little bit of char is a good thing and if the toast is completely hard, it’s something you can work with and it doesn’t go all woobly in your hand when you’re scraping at it.

I won’t go as far as saying mama was always right, but maybe we oughtn’t have gave her so much grief at dinner. And maybe we wouldn’t have been plonked on the head so many times with the bald end of a mop.

So the next step with the recipe is to take that properly caramelized toast and scrape the top layer of black off it. Use the tines of a fork to create a rough textured surface. This is essential for getting the hot soup glop to cling properly to the hot toast.

Hot Soup Glop on Toast

  • Good hard hot toasted bread
  • 1 can tuna
  • 1 can cream of anything soup
  • 1 can peas

Open the cans and mix it all together. Heat it up. Put the toast on plates and divide up the glop for however many people there are. I find that if you have extra people you can make extra toast and be more frugal with the glop and nobody complains. If the glop looks like its gonna run out sooner, thin it with milk or water but not too much or the toast gets soggy.

Cake Mix Health Barz

You think it looks bad? You should taste it!

Want your cake, but want to pig out, too? Health Barz transform cake mix into health food!

First, open the box of cake mix- any flavor – and dump it into a bowl. Now, read the directions. If it says to add oil or butter, add apple sauce instead. Use the low sugar kind. And if it says to add eggs, add water instead. If it says to add water, add water.

Stir it around and see how thick it is. This is very important.

Now, dump in a cup full of whole wheat flour. It doesn’t matter what size cup. You will fix it later. I used my favorite coffee cup which is a bigger one because I’m only supposed to have one cup of coffee a day and so I threw out the stupid little cups that came with my dishes.

After you add the whole wheat flour, it will be really thick and gummy. Add more water until it is as thick as it used to be before you added the whole wheat stuff.

Chuck the whole mess into a big rectangular pan. I use the same one from when I make lasagna. You should maybe grease it first or use some kind of spray because it will stick like concrete if you don’t.

You should have preheated the oven like the cake directions said, to about 325 degrees. Put the pan in there and wait about 30 minutes and see if it’s done enough.

If it hasn’t done enough.

What? Oh yeah, stick a toothpick or a clean hairpin in it and if stuff sticks, it’s not done. Keep cooking it and baking it and poking it all over until it’s not gummy any more.

When it’s done, wait about five minutes before you pry it out of the pan. You’re best off dumping it straight onto a cutting board and cutting it into chunks while it’s warm or you could dull your knife on it later.

These are good with hot cocoa because you can dunk them in the cocoa to soften them up and if you dump enough sugar in the cocoa it doesn’t taste so bad.

Put these on the menu and you will really loose weight because you won’t eat them. The dog wouldn’t eat them either. We still have some left.

I know! Contest! If you want some I will mail some to you. You can keep them in the trunk of the car if you live somewhere cold and snowy and you can chuck them under your tires for traction. Let’s hope you’re not stuck somewhere in your car and hungry enough to think about eating them. That would be a real shame.

Hellooooo?

I am a new food blog. Look for recipes and stuff here later. After I finish spamming other sites with my links.