Southern Corn (Cracklin) Bread

Walk through the aisles of the grocery stores in the ‘South’ and you’ll likely find cracklings. Around here most people know what cracklings are, but for those who aren’t familiar with them, here’s a quick primer. Cracklings are small pieces of either pork or poultry fat trimmings that have been fried until brown and crispy and most of the fat has been rendered from it. They are often salted or seasoned and may be enjoyed by themselves as a snack or used in baking, such as in biscuits or other breads. Here’s a recipe for corn bread using cracklings.

1-1/2 c corn-meal
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp flour
2 tsp sugar
1 egg, well beaten
3 tsp baking-powder
1-1/4 c milk
1-1/2 c cracklings

In a mixing bowl add and stir together the flour, corn-meal, sugar, salt, baking-powder, egg and milk. Add the cracklings and beat thoroughly. Bake in a well-oiled shallow pan at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes. Instead of baking you may drop by teaspoonfuls onto a hot well-oiled griddle and fry until golden brown.

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Minor Burn Treatment At Home

I’d be willing to bet that there aren’t many people out there who haven’t had a minor burn of some kind and treated it themselves or had a loved one treat it. For a minor (second degree) burn to heal by itself, all you generally have to do is the following:

  • Cool the burned area as soon as possible. Run cold tap water over the burned area for 10 to 20 minutes. If the burned area is on the face or body, gently apply cool compresses on the area.
  • Don’t do as my mother always suggested. Do not apply butter, ice or ice water to the burn as these items can cause further tissue damage.
  • If there is a chance of swelling, remove jewelry or clothing from the affected area. It’s a good idea to remove these items even if swelling isn’t a possibility.
  • Wash your hands before treating the affected area and do not touch the burned skin directly to avoid infecting the burned area.
  • If needed, clean the area by gently washing the area with cool water and patting dry. Do not rub.
  • If blisters form, DO NOT break them open.
  • If a blister does not break open, no bandage is needed. If a blister does break open, place a loose bandage over the area and change the dressing if it becomes soiled.
  • Heaven forbid that a bandage becomes stuck to the burned area. If it does, soak the bandage in lukewarm water to help loosen it.
  • See your doctor if you have any concerns or questions about the severity of the burn or if it becomes infected.

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The First Liar Doesn’t Have A Chance

It used to be that picking tomatoes wasn’t too bad of a chore. One could think about future gardening seasons while picking the fruits of this years labor. Not so this season. With two crazy individuals presently dueling to see who’s the craziest, I prefer to think about the past. While picking uncooked spaghetti sauce yesterday, my thoughts went back to earlier times when a neighbor lady asked for gardening advise.

We had a garden in the community garden plots in Watertown. Plot sizes were 20 by 30 feet so one had to make good use of the ground. We did manage to get a second and sometimes a third plot if there were leftovers that no one wanted. Everyone around always complimented us on how good everything was growing, especially our tomatoes. The neighbors who lived next door to us had their garden in their back yard, and if I must say so myself, it left a little bit to be desired.

One season, her garden was growing beautifully but the darned tomatoes wouldn’t ripen. There’s a limit to the number of uses for green tomatoes and she was getting tired of the whole situation. One afternoon as I was getting home from work she comes over and says, “Your tomatoes are ripe, mine are green. What can I do about it?”

Feeling a little cantankerous I replied, “Well, it may sound absurd but here’s what to do. Tonight there’s no moon. After dark go out to your garden and take all of your clothes off. Tomatoes can see in the dark and they’ll be embarrassed and blush. In the morning they’ll all be red, you’ll see.”

The next morning was a Saturday and as I was sitting on the deck having a cup of coffee, she came out of the house and headed for her garden. I went over to the fence and said, “Did you do as I suggested?”

“I said, well, what the heck and did it,” she replied.

“How did it work?” I asked.

“So-so,” she answers, “The tomatoes are still ¬†green but it looks like all the cucumbers are four inches longer!”

The first liar doesn’t have a chance.

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Creamed Eggs On Toast

It was a special treat when Mom made us creamed eggs on toast. Generally this “fare” is considered a breakfast item, but we’d have it for our evening meal, or ‘supper’ as we called it.

2 Tbsp real cow’s butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
2 c milk
6 hard-boiled eggs
6 to 8 slices of bread, toasted

After melting the butter in a saucepan, add the flour, salt and pepper. Stir to make a rue. Add the milk while whisking well to dissolve any lumps. Cook over medium heat until the sauce has thickened. Either chop or grate the eggs into the white sauce and stir until warmed. Serve over toast. You may want to garnish the covered toast with slices of the hard-boiled egg.

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More Ways to Annoy People

Back in February of ’16 my post was on ways to annoy people. My preamble to the short list of ways is still valid. Some people still annoy me, so I’ve decided to come up with more ways to be just as annoying. If you can’t beat them, join them.

  • Sniffle incessantly.
  • Claim that you must always wear a bicycle helmet as part of your “astronaut training”.
  • Forget the punchline to a long joke, but assure the listener that it was a “real hoot”.
  • Finish all your sentences with the words “in accordance with the prophesy”.
  • Wear a special hip holster for your remote control.
  • Write the surprise ending to a novel on its first page.
  • Honk and wave to strangers.
  • Change the TV channel 5 minutes before the end of every show.
  • only type in lower case.
  • don’t use any punctuation either
  • Pay for your meal with pennies.
  • Demand that everyone addresses you as “Conquistador.”
  • Drive half a block.
  • Chew on pens that you have borrowed.
  • Ask the waitress for an extra seat for your “imaginary friend.”
  • Signal that a conversation is over by clamping your hands over your ears.
  • Set alarms for random times.
  • Buy a large quantity of traffic cones and reroute an entire street.
  • Lick the filling out of all the Oreos and place the cookies parts back together.

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Caribbean Fishing Trip

An attorney and an engineer were fishing in the Caribbean. The attorney said, “I am here because my house burned down and everything I owned was destroyed. The insurance company paid for everything.”

“That is quite a coincidence,” said the engineer. “I’m here because my house and all my belongings were destroyed by a flood and my insurance company also paid for everything.”

The attorney looked somewhat confused and asked, “How do you start a flood?”

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Creole Gumbo

Our okra is in its peak of production and we’re always looking for new recipes to enjoy using okra. Here’s an okra creole gumbo recipe to try.

2-1/2 c okra
1 lb brisket, diced
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs parsley, chopped
1/3 c cooking oil
1/2 c onions, chopped
1/2 lb ham, diced
2 c canned tomatoes
6 c boiling water
2 Tbsp flour
Salt, pepper, cayenne
1 green pepper, chopped

Brown the ham and brisket in cooking oil. Remove meat. Brown onions and okra in the hot oil. Add flour slowly. Stir until blended. Add the meat and remaining ingredients, stirring constantly. Season to taste. Cover and simmer slowly until meat is tender. Serve while hot with seasoned rice.

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