Radish Salad

I can remember having a radish salad that Grandma would often serve with Sunday dinner. I finally ran across her recipe and want to share it with you.

1 package sweetened Lime-flavored Gelatin
1 tbsp chopped pimento
Few grains salt
1/2 c sliced radishes
1/4 c chopped sweet pickles
2 c water

Combine the gelatin and water following the directions for temperature of the water. Cool until partially set. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Chill until firm. Cut in squares. Serve on a crisp lettuce leaf garnished with mayonnaise and paprika.

Keep your fork


The Way Things Were

I received this poem from my Aunt Thelma. There was no indication as to the author, but I think the name is That Was Us. It brought back memories for me and I hope for you too.

A little house with three bedrooms,
One bathroom and one car on the street
A mower that you had to push
To make the grass look neat.

In the kitchen on the wall
We only had one phone,
And no need for recording things,
Someone was always home.

We only had a living room
Where we would congregate,
Unless it was at mealtime
in the kitchen where we ate.

We had no need for family rooms
Or extra rooms to dine.
When meeting as a family
These two rooms would work out fine.

We only had one TV set
And channels maybe two,
But always there was one of them
With something worth the view.

For snacks we had potato chips
That tasted like a chip.
And if you wanted flavor
There was Lipton’s onion dip.

Store-bought snacks were rare because
My mother liked to cook
And nothing can compare to snacks
In Betty Crocker’s book.

Weekends were for family trips
Or staying home to play
We all did things together –
Even go to church to Pray.

When we did our weekend trips
Depending on the weather,
No one stayed at home because
We liked to be together.

Sometimes we would separate
To do things on our own,
But we knew where the others were
Without our own cell phone.

Then there were the movies
With your favorite movie star,
And nothing can compare
To watching movies in your car.

Then there were the picnics
at the peak of summer season,
Pack a lunch and find some trees
And never need a reason.

Get a baseball game together
With all the friends you know,
Have real action playing ball –
And no game video.

Remember when the doctor
Used to be the family friend,
And didn’t need insurance
Or a lawyer to defend.

The way that he took care of you
Or what he had to do,
Because he took an oath and strived
To do the very best for you.

Remember going to the store
And shopping casually,
And when you went to pay for it
You used your own money?

Nothing that you had to swipe
Or punch in some amount,
And remember when the cashier person
Had to really count?

The milkman used to go
From door to door,
And it was just a few cents more
Than going to the store.

There was a time when mailed letters
Came right to your door,
Without a lot of junk mail ads
Sent out by every store.

The mailman knew each house by name
And knew where it was sent;
There were not loads of mail addressed
to “present occupant”.

There was a time when just one glance
Was all that it would take,
And you would know the kind of car,
The model and the make.

They didn’t look like turtles
To squeeze out every mile;
They were streamlined, white walls, fins
And really had some style.

One time the music that you played
Whenever you would jive,
Was from a vinyl, big-holed record
Called a forty-five.

The record player had a post
To keep them all in line
And then the records would drop down
And play one at a time.

Oh sure, we had our problems then,
Just like we do today
And always we were striving,
Trying for a better way.

Oh, the simple life we lived
Still seems like so much fun,
How can you explain a game,
Just kick the can and run?

And why would boys put baseball cards
Between bicycle spokes
And for a nickel, red machines
Had little bottles of Cokes?

This life seemed so much easier
Slower in some ways
I love the new technology
But I sure do miss those days.

So time moves on and so do we
And nothing stays the same,
But I sure love to reminisce
And walk down memory lane.

With all today’s technology
We grant that it’s a plus!
But it’s fun to look way back and say,

Keep your fork

Knot Holes

I can’t remember whether it was Olaf or Sven who was helping me build a tree stand back in South Dakota. But then, I guess it really doesn’t matter. We had found some decent 2×6’s for the floor joists and some old boards that were really dried out and full of knots for the floor boards. We had no problems nailing the 2×4’s to the tree branches but when we went to nail the floor boards down, every time we hit a nail, another knot would fall out.

Finally, my son asked, “What are the holes for, Dad?”

I answered, “Those are knot holes, son.”

My son comes back with, “If they’re not holes, what are they?”

My Dad once said, “The only way you’ll learn is to ask questions”. I had no answer for my son’s question. Son 1 Dad 0.

Keep your fork


Hard Boiled Eggs

It seems like every spring we remember that egg salad sandwiches are one of our favorites. Why we wait till spring to enjoy these tasty offerings is beyond me. Maybe it’s because I have to get my fill of them because I know the radishes in our garden are about ready to harvest and that means radish sandwiches to enjoy.

We all probably know that older eggs are supposed to be easier to peel than fresh eggs. I haven’t always found that to be true and the clutch I peeled the other day reminded me of that fact. What I forgot to do was use an old trick my grandmother used when hard boiling eggs. She always put a half teaspoon of baking soda into the water while her eggs were boiling. This softened the shells slightly, making them easier to peel.

Unlike the old saying, “Live and learn,” I have to “Live and remember.”

Keep your fork

The Corner Cafe

Like most small Iowa towns, Doon had a cafe where ‘the boys’ met at noon for lunch. The Corner Cafe had about 4 booths along the west wall and 6 assorted tables sharing the rest of the space. Come noon, if you weren’t one of the regulars, you had better be  careful which seating selection you chose as ‘the boys’ not only had their regular table/booth they sat at to eat, they had the spot at the table/booth also established. If strangers were in town and were dining in their ‘spot’, one could tell ‘the boys’ were not happy about the situation.

While visiting Dad one day, we went to the Corner Cafe for lunch. Dad carefully steered us to a “local table” where seating was not assigned. Sitting at the table when we arrived was Murray, one of the local Doon characters who was known not to want to cause any problems. As the waitress sat a bowl of soup on the table Murray asked her to try the soup. The waitress said, “Is it too hot?” Murray said, “No, just try the soup.” The waitress said, “Is it too cold?” again, Murray said no and repeated himself, “Just try the soup, please.”

The waitress then asked, “Does it need more seasoning?”

Murray shook his head and said once more, “No, no, just try the soup.”

The waitress finally agreed and said, “Where’s the spoon?”

Murray answered, “Aha!”

Keep your fork

The Stork’s Visit

I had the chance to visit with Crusty the other evening as I was taking a short  break from mowing down by the river. He mentioned that the Tiswells from across the river had their annual visit from the stork last week. I asked how many youngens that made. “Fifteen, altogether,” he replied. “Well, not altogether,” he continued. “One at a time.”

Not to be undone, I said, “They must be stork ravin’ crazy by now. They’ve been given the bird so often!” After a good laugh, I told Crusty that Mrs. Tiswell should have been like Mrs. Schilling back in my home town. She named her children Eeine, Meenie, Minee and Charley. Crusty asked what happen to Mo. I answered, “She always said there ain’t going to be no Mo!”

Keep your fork

Salmon Patties

Walking by the canned salmon in the grocery store recently reminded me of my mother’s go to meal if time or money was short. For some reason, I still can’t stomach canned salmon. If you can, here’s a recipe for salmon patties.

1 1-lb can of salmon
1/4 onion, dices
1 egg
Cracker crumbs, about 1 cup

Put salmon and juice in bowl, removing all bones. Break up fish and mix into juice. Add egg and onion and mix again. Add enough cracker crumbs to absorb juice. Form into patties and brown in greased skillet. Serve with tartar sauce if you feel really flush!

Keep your fork