Pickled Eggs

I don’t know why seeing pickled eggs brings back memories of my boyhood days, but it does. Perhaps it’s because as a young lad I had to privilege of accompanying my Dad and Grand-dad into Swede’s, the local pool hall, and seeing the gallon jar of pickled eggs sitting prominently on the bar. I can’t remember seeing either of my two mentors quaffing down those eggs, but other patrons must have really loved them as the jar was always half full or half empty, depending on how one looked at it. I knew that you could go to Red’s, the local grocery store/butcher shop, and get pickled pig’s feet, pickled okra, pickled green beans and pickled asparagus. I knew that old man Keyser had a pickled liver, probably hanging on the back porch, but thought only Swede’s handled pickled eggs. It was many years later that I learned you could pickle your own eggs if you knew how.

There are many recipes for pickled eggs floating around out there, so many people must love (tolerate) these delicate alternatives to beer nuts. The USDA tells us that there is no safe way to pickle eggs for long-term storage, including canning them, but if you are a true pickled egg connoisseur, they won’t last that long anyway.

Here is one method of pickling eggs if you would care to try your hand at it.

Into a larger ‘pickling pot’ place 2 cups of 5% acidity vinegar, 2 tablespoons canning salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon dill seed, 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard, 1 clove garlic sliced thinly and 1 jalapeno pepper sliced thinly. Bring this mixture to a boil and maintain the boil for 3 or 4 minutes before removing it from the heat. After straining the garlic and pepper slices from the brine, drop the slices into quart storage jars, retaining the brine. Peel 12 hard-boiled eggs and put them on top of the garlic and pepper slices in the jars. After stirring the brine to make sure that the salt and spices are suspended in the brine, pour the brine over the eggs, leaving 1/2 inch head space in the jars. Place the flats and rings on the jars, shake well and refrigerate for 1 to 10 days, shaking the jars slightly each day to keep the pickling mix suspended in solution.

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Taco Shells

It must have been back in the 90’s at a state vocational conference that Otto Schmidtlap stuck me with one of those fancy taco shell making molds on a handle. The association was having a silent auction, taking written bids, on donated items. I seen Otto go up to the tables, but thought nothing of it, even though he came back with a feces eating grin on his face. Luckily no one threw a second bid on the taco shell maker and I was the lucky recipient, after forking over a $10.00 donation, of the unique item. I still haven’t figured out how to use the contraption but here’s a recipe for making taco shells.

1-1/2 c cold water
1 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg

Mix all 5 ingredients together using a hand beater and fry like pancakes. Pour a scant 1/4 cup of dough into a skillet and rotate the skillet to make a nice round ring. After placing your desired toppings (tomatoes, heated ground beef, cheese, lettuce, onions, etc.) onto the shell and wrap it up before eating. You could drape the still warm shell over a small bundt pan, bowl, etc. and let the shell cool to use as a taco shell bowl.

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Quick Thinking

Frenchy and I did quite a few things together the years we were both working in Iowa. One night sticks out in my mind. We were driving down the highway having a couple of beers one fall night after hunting most of the day, when flashing lights from a state trooper appeared in the rearview mirror.

Frenchy, who was driving, said, “Don’t worry! Just do exactly as I tell you and everything will work out fine. First, we’ll peel the labels off of our beer bottles and we’ll each stick one on our forehead. Now, shove all of the beer bottles under the seat! And let me do all the talking!”

Frenchy pulled over to the side of the road and the trooper walked up to the pickup. He shined his flashlight into the cabin of the pickup and looked at us.

“Have you been drinking?” he asked us.

“Oh, no, sir,” replied Frenchy.

“I noticed you were weaving back and forth across the highway. Are you sure you haven’t been drinking tonight?” asked the trooper.

“Oh, no, sir,” Frenchy replied again. “We haven’t had a thing to drink tonight.”

“Well, I’ve got to ask you,” said the trooper, “What in the world are those things on your foreheads?”

“That’s easy Officer,” Frenchy replied, “You see, we are both alcoholics, and we’re on the patch.”

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Thanksgiving Meal Blessing

Every Thanksgiving I’m reminded of  a Thanksgiving dinner we hosted when our sons were much, much younger. I don’t remember whether it was Olaf or Sven that the Pickle Queen asked to pray before the meal. As the entire family with extended family and friends bowed our heads, he began to pray, thanking God for the food. He gave thanks for the turkey and ham. He thanked the Lord for the dressing, the mashed potatoes, the fruit salad, the home-made buns and even the milk. Then he paused, and we all waited.

After a long silence, our son opened one eye, looked at his mother and quietly asked, “If I thank God for the Brussels sprouts, won’t He know that I’m lying?”

We haven’t had Brussels sprouts since then! Prayers are answered.

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Emergency Room Visit

A few mornings ago I woke the Pickle Queen from a solid sleep at 4:30 and asked her to take me to the ER. I had been tossing and turning most of the night and by then I knew I’d have to get better to die. As I lay there with wires hooked to and tubes running into my arms, legs and upper torso I couldn’t help but think of the poor guy in this story when bells and whistles started going off on the machines at the head of my bed.

An elderly gentleman had been a faithful christian all of his life and now was in the hospital on death’s doorstep. The family had called their pastor to stand with them.

As the pastor stood next to the bed, the old man’s condition appeared to rapidly deteriorate. The man frantically motioned for something to write on. The pastor, reaching into his jacket pocket, handed him a pen and paper. The man used every ounce of his remaining strength to scribble a note before he passed. Thinking it best not to look at what the man had written at that time, he quietly placed it in his jacket pocket.

As he was finishing the message at the funeral, the pastor realized he was wearing the same jacket that he had been wearing when the man died. He said, “You know, he handed me a note before he died. I haven’t looked at it, but knowing him, I’m sure there’s a word of inspiration there for us all.”

He reached into his pocket, retrieved the message and read the words, “You’re standing on my oxygen tube!”

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Remember Our Childhood Games?

Seeing a lot of today’s youngsters sitting around the house playing games with their phones or ipads made me wonder what we played as kids when we weren’t busy doing our assigned chores. How many of these ‘games’ can you remember? You might have known them by another name, but I think you’ll recognize them anyway.

Fox and Geese
King of the Mountain
Crack the Whip
Pom Pom Pullaway
kick the Can
Capture the Flag
Hide and Seek (Ollie, Ollie, Oxen Free)
Hop Scotch
Red Rover
Jump Rope
Giant Steps
Red light – Green light
Bushel Basket Upset
Drop the Handkerchief
Run Sheep Run
Up, Up and Away
Annie, Annie Over (Inny, Inny Eye Over)
Workup Baseball

And the list goes on and on!

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Classic Television programs of the 50’s and 60’s

I would bet that there are very few, if any, of us that can remember the late 1940’s when television stations began to send out signals to millions of Americans. During the 1950’s and 60’s a new era for entertainment began with the broadcast of some of these classic television programs, many of which are still viewed today thanks to re-runs, syndications and online. How many of these do you remember?

Addams Family
American Bandstand
Andy Griffith Show
Beverly Hillbillies
Dick Van Dyke Show
Gilligan’s island
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
Highway Patrol
Howdy Doody Show
I Love Lucy
I Spy
Lone Ranger
Lost In Space
Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Mission Impossible
Mister Ed
My Friend Flicka
Perry Mason
Sky King
Star Trek
Twilight Zone
What’s My Line?
You Bet Your Life

Did any of these bring back childhood memories?

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