Archive for September, 2010

Dear Readers,

I often marvel at the numerous acts of kindness performed by total strangers for each other.  It was at the airport that I witnessed these small but not insignificant acts.  Let me tell you about some of what I observed.

A boarding pass accidentally tumbled out of the back pocket of a passenger when he changed seats in the airport waiting area.  A fellow traveler retrieved the dropped boarding pass and came over to return it to its owner.  The man said “thanks” and knew he was saved from an alarming situation by a complete stranger.

Two women seated behind me exchanged pre-flight pleasantries, which I couldn’t help but overhear.  The one woman remarked that she was using her vacation to stay with a sick sister at the Houston Medical Center.  It just so happened that her seat-mate was a special duty nurse familiar with that facility.  She counseled the first woman that she could request that a cot be placed in the hospital room instead of sleeping in a chair.  She also directed her to a retail area near the medical center where she could shop, eat or relax whenever a hospital break was needed.  This nurse was so kind to her fellow traveling companion and they were complete strangers.

While waiting for a connecting flight, I noticed a ten year old girl, who would be traveling alone, hug and kiss her mom tightly before the flight attendant escorted her aboard the plane.  After the girl left, tears flowed from the mother’s eyes.  An older, grandmotherly type woman and her husband reassured this  mother her daughter would be fine and that they would keep an eye out for her.  A look of relief flooded the mom’s face.  Two strangers were helping another stranger.

Boarding the plane, I viewed a final act of kindness.  The older woman next to me in the aisle seat, had difficulty lifting her suitcase up into the overhead bin.  A young man saw her distress, rushed up immediately and helped her lift the bag.

The kindness extended by these strangers gave me so much hope.  There really are many good and nice people in this world.  Too bad we don’t read or hear near enough about them!

Keep smilin’!

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A Mighty Tempting Tuna Salad

Dear Readers,

This tuna salad is different because it incorporates elbow macaroni as an ingredient.  It is easy to prepare and delicious.

Garden-Style Tuna Salad

2-1/2 cups elbow macaroni

1/2 cup Italian salad dressing

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

1-1/2 teaspoons dried dill weed

2 cups thinly sliced cucumbers

1-1/2 cups diced tomatoes

1/2 cup sliced green onions

1/3 cup chopped green pepper

1/3 cup diagonally-sliced celery

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2- (6-1/2 oz.) cans tuna, drained and flaked

Fresh dill, if desired

Cook macaroni to desired doneness as directed on package; drain.  In large bowl, combine hot macaroni and Italian salad dressing; toss gently.  In large salad bowl, combine cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, green pepper and celery; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard and dill weed; mix well.  Add to macaroni mixture.  Gently stir tuna and macaroni mixture into vegetables.  Cover; refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.  Makes 12 (1 cup) servings.

To make this salad healthier, use low-fat Italian salad dressing, light mayonnaise and omit the salt.  Also be sure to use tuna that is packed in water.

This recipe is from the “Country American Cookbook” published by Pillsbury in 1983.

Enjoy and remember to

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

Mimi spent last week relaxing at the beach with family.  I love those lazy days at the seashore.  Early morning is the time for watching beautiful sunrises and then it’s off to the beach.  There are chairs, an umbrella, toys and games to haul to our usual spot; and then trying to determine if the tide is coming in or going out.  I guess we could consult a tide table but then there would be no challenge involved.

Papa dug a long hole in the sand so that our three-year-old granddaughter could sit in her “bathtub’ while he gently buried her legs.  She giggled as she wriggled her toes and kicked the sand off her legs.  One time while she and I walked at the water’s edge trying to dodge incoming waves, she exclaimed “This is so much fun!”  In fact she repeated this remark three times in a row!

Maggie, our six-month-old granddaughter, napped while her father took long walks up and down the beach with her securely harnessed in a baby carrier strapped to his chest.  I’m sure she found the sound of the surf very comforting.

One morning Emily and I were strolling near the water when the wind suddenly whipped her sun bonnet off her head and blew it into the water.  Every time I tried to reach for the hat, the waves and undertow would push it out farther into the ocean.  Mimi wasn’t fast enough to snag it, so it was carried out to sea.  Emily raced out of the water and cried because her sun bonnet was lost.  I knew we would never see it again, so her mother and I told her we would shop for a new one.

The very next morning my son was out for a walk and spotted the deep rose colored hat clinging to a beach fence, completely wet and covered with sand.  Evidently it had washed ashore overnight.  He handed it to Emily and proclaimed that the sea had the hat but gave it back and said “No Thanks!”  Emily smiled and we all agreed that this adventure would make a good story to tell for a lifetime.

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

No blogging this week, Mimi is on her way to the beach; nothing but sun and sand.  Got to go – there’s still beach towels and suntan lotion to pack.  Have a good week and

Keep smilin’!

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Apple Pie With A Twist

Dear Readers,

Apples of all colors and varieties are beginning to show up at the Farmer’s Market.  I guess September is the start of “apple season”.  So here’s a recipe for apple pie that’s a little different.  The crumb topping includes grated cheddar cheese for an extra layer of flavor.  My husband loves this recipe.

Apple Cheddar Pie

6 tart cooking apples

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon salt

9″ pie pan lined with your favorite pastry, the edges fluted


1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/4 cup melted butter

Peel, quarter, core and slice apples.  Mix the sugar, flour, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and salt, and toss the apple slices lightly in this mixture.  Arrange the apples, overlapping the slices, in the pastry-lined pan.

Make topping.  Combine flour, sugar, salt and cheese.  Mix in the melted butter.  Sprinkle the cheese crumbs over apples.  Bake until topping and crust are golden brown, 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

Note:  Mimi uses Granny Smith apples and extra-sharp cheddar cheese.

This recipe came from Maria O’Malley and was printed in the “LaChef’s de Lasalle” cookbook distributed by the LaSalle’s Mothers Club.  The cookbook was the first edition printed in 1990.  My son attended LaSalle College High School and gave me the book as a Christmas present in his freshman year.  It came with a navy blue “LaSalle” imprinted apron, which I still wear, even though the gold letters are almost completely faded.  Enjoy and

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

A few weekends ago downtown Raleigh hosted the “Carolina Classics at the Capital” car show.  Car enthusiasts from the entire state of North Carolina traveled to the capital to either display their classic cars or to just enjoy seeing these beautiful autos showcased at the Convention Center and on Fayetteville Street.

Here are some cars that I found to be very interesting.  I even jotted down a few facts about them.

The first one to catch my eye was a Citroen Traction Avant, manufactured from 1934 through 1957.  This foreign cutie was painted a “putty” color with black trim.

My favorite was a black 1948 Jaguar XK#120 FHC roadster with the original paint and upholstery.  It sported very wide white wall tires with red bicycle-spiked hub caps.  The red leather was stunning.  Oh by the way, Mimi learned that “FHC” means fixed head coupe.  The “120” signified that it could reach a speed of 120 miles per hour.

The 1959 Cadillac two-door convertible had large fins and at 17 to 18 feet long, would barely fit into a modern garage.  The ’36 Ford C Rat Truck had 300 horsepower and the color was blue rust.  Also displayed was a 1966 two-door Chevy Nova painted midnight metallic bllue with beige leather interior.  the engine was a 383 Stroker with 450 horsepower.

The Gremlin was America’s first sub-compact car.  This particular car was a ’72 AMC Gremlin “X” with 360 hp and painted a bright orange with a brilliant blue stripe.

Mimi used to drive a 1963 white Chevy II Nova SS with red leather interior.  There weren’t any Chevy II cars entered into the car show.  But I did spy a black Chevy Nova SS with lots of chrome under the hood.

The 1934 Ford Delivery Sedan painted burgundy metallic was a “collector car” and had rear view mirrors attached to the outside top of the driver and side windows. That was cool!

All of these cars were meticulously clean, inside and out with not even a fingerprint on them.  I realized after viewing all the entries, that these cars are truly works of art, and they were admired and appreciated by the viewing public, me included!

I have a funny story about a Model T Ford and my great aunt.  I’ll tell you about it another time.  In the meantime,

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

I baked this pie the other day and my husband declared it a winner!  He was ready to devour the whole pie in one sitting but reason did prevail – he had one very large slice after dinner.  This recipe is very easy and the results are very tasty.  Give it a try.

Impossible Buttermilk Pie

1-1/2 cups sugar

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup Bisquick baking mix

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease pie plate, 9 x 1-1/4 inches.  Beat all ingredients until smooth, 30 seconds in blender on high or 1 minute with hand beater.  Pour into plate.  Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.  Cool 5 minutes.

Refrigerate any leftover pie.  This recipe came from the Bisquick Recipe Club in 1983.  Don’t knock Bisquick until you have tried one of these “impossible pie” recipes that makes its own crust!

Enjoy and

Keep smilin’!

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