Wednesday, October 18, 2017
 

Archive for January, 2007

My Testimony

Dear Mothers,

I have been prayin’ this morning about what to write about. I wanted to get into more of the radio messages but feel led to give more of my testimony of a healed marriage. So many marriages are hurting and I just want to encourage many of you dear wives who are tryin’ to hang in there. Boy, it gets hard.

I remember a most discouraging time in my life when I was believin’ for Jim. A prison ministry told another ministry not to try to help Connie and Jim as they were hopeless. I called the home of the prison ministry and cried my heart out. I said, “How can you say that Jim is hopeless?” I felt so bad that a prison ministry that had seen it all could say that Jim was hopeless. They thought I was insane for putting up with Jim. Later on, after Jim was healed, saved and delivered, they had to eat their words. Jim ministered to the man who was the head of the ministry and treated him with respect. This man had gotten Alzheimer’s and Jim helped him get his groceries at the store. That was my Jim, a class act all the way. Jim was a walking miracle for all to see.

In the beginning, I thought of divorce and wanted to go to Bible School. But God had a different Bible School for me. A School of Hard Knocks. Later on, I could see parts of God’s plan and saw the reality of the hands on teaching. It became a glaring reality to me. “I don’t need a mission field. I have Wild Man.” Many women run from a mission to fall into a religion. Religion is a far easier set of laws to follow than to give Jesus Christ your life. Religion asks for money, or a portion. But true Christianity asks for the crucified life of the believer.

The husband is the main man and the foundation for the home. As we struggle through with him and not giving up, we learn the faith it takes to raise our children. God doesn’t throw away our lives and each of our trials are surrounded and shadowed by His angels. We are never in real danger. All truly is well even as we are falling off a cliff. Do we trust our Maker or not? Is His Word what we live on or is it the world? As Satan tempts us to give up and shows us the gold of the world, can we say with Christ, “I don’t live by that”? As we hunger and thirst in our wilderness and are suffering to find peace, will we choose the world’s peace or the peace that comes from dying to self? Not my will but His be done.

As we cling to His word, we are more than conquerors. Our prayers are answered. But sometimes the pressure mounts so much that we are forced to say with Christ on the cross, “Lord, why have you forsaken me?” God the Father was never any closer to Jesus then when Jesus was hanging on the cross at Calvary. And we, too, at times hang upon our cross and we swear to God that we are God forsaken. Christ forsaken. We feel as if we are orphans who have been left to die in our own blood. And God is closer to us then than any other time. And as our faith arises out of the blood of our lives, we cry out to God and our faith saves us. 1 Peter 2 describes the suffering Christ at the cross. In 1 Peter 3, it says Likewise ye wives be in subjection to your own husbands.

As we wives suffer and walk that lonesome valley to the cross of Christ, we are healed, saved and delivered by our obedience. As we suffer without a word of retaliation, we see His glory. As we don’t return evil for evil but we give good for evil, we will see His glory.

Oh, we will see the fruits of righteousness. We are to live pure lives in front of the unbeliever that they will see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. There is no other way to save the unsaved husband, dear wives. We break their hearts of stone as we keep our eyes upon the living Christ Jesus. Yes, some men will walk the aisle out of a fear of losing their wife. But true repentance in the unsaved husband will come in no other way then through the suffering prayers of the wife.

Fervent Prayers

I really think that the Lord calls the wife to pray for her husband as no other person on earth will pray so fervently for the husband as the wife would. I think a mother’s love for her children is so strong. And Mother wants more then anything else to give her children a good and righteous father. She prays for husband as her heart breaks for him. But it is a double fervency of prayer as she prays for the children’s daddy. And the more children she has, the more harder she prays for her husband to do right. The mother who has given her body to Christ as a living sacrifice to have as many children as God will give her especially prays for her husband.

As Mother quits work and stays home to follow the Word on Keepers at Home, she adds more fervency to praying for husband as she and her children depend upon the paycheck. But all of this works for good as Mother and wife is sustained by her husband. Her prayers become especially fervent. And this is how the husband becomes priest of the home.

Titus 2 speaks of the older woman teaching the younger to be chaste and discreet. This means keeping your marriage bed holy. This means not using birth control and killing your children right in your bed. How can God bless that home? Of course religion says it’s fine and give the money to the church that would have been used to raise another child. Christianity says lay down your life and that means your sex life as well. Have the children God intended for you to have. Quit bein’ a big baby and get into the reality of Christ.

Dear Christian wives, all is well. God is still on the throne. He knows what He is doing. He is bringing your husband to the Lord.

Jim and I were so close the last 26 years of our life. If he agreed in prayer with me, it was as good as done. Papa knew me as no one else did and I knew him.

Some of you want a miracle like I had but do you want to walk the walk? I will tell you, yes, it was hard but not that hard. His grace was sufficient for me. Yes, it was. He gave me peace in the midst of my storm. I fell many times but the Lord kept me. I felt very forsaken but the Lord gave me His favor and delivered me and gave me a testimony. And He will do the same for you.

Love,
Connie

Makin’ Noodles

Dear Mothers,

Ya know homemade noodles are so easy to make. And they are just flour and eggs salt and pepper. So if you have just these few ingredients and some meat and vegetables, you can make a meal. I used to make the noodles and add spaghetti sauce and hamburger to it. I have also made my own lasagna noodles. Once you learn to make these noodles, you will have a ball with them and they taste so much better than store bought.

So to start out with, just get a big pan of salted water to boil on the stove while you are making your noodles. OK, get out your mixing bowl and put in about 2 cups of flour. Then add enough eggs to get a dough goin’. Add a tsp of salt and some pepper. So the dough is just flour and eggs, no other liquid. So just play with this dough until it is like Play Dough. It should be that dry so you can roll it out on a floured surface. Roll this dough very thin. Now if you are having trouble getting it rolled out, just take smaller hunks of dough and roll it out. Then take a pizza cutter or knife and slice up strips. I do mine a handful at a time and put them in the already boiling water. This way the noodles have plenty of room to cook. And then cut another handful and throw them in. They will sorta float around in there. Stir them gently as to not break the strip up. Cook them for at least 45 minutes. After all the noodles are cut and in the boiling water, just turn them down and let them simmer a while.

Now you can dry these to use for later if you have too many. This is how to dry them. After they are cut, not cooked yet, just leave them on your cutting board in strips and let them dry a few days. You have to turn them over and get them really dry. After they are dried you can put them in a jar to use in a few weeks. Don’t seal the jar but put the lid on lightly. Or just make a lid out of cloth and put a canning lid around it. This way the noodles continue to dry. Also you can freeze the raw noodles in packages. And here is another noodle idea. When making the noodles, add a little tomato sauce and make the noodles red. Then I add herbs to these like basil or any Italian seasonings.

The lasagna noodles are just made by cutting the noodles in the size of the lasagna from the store and then make your dish as usual. Of course, boil them as I described the noodles in boiling salt water. When making the vegetable soups or stews, I used to add the noodles to the bubbling soup/stew. Your liquids have to always be boiling before you put the noodles in.

But hey, Happy Housewives, just try to learn these homemaking skills as it will save so much on your grocery bills. Also it will keep your families much more healthy and happy knowing their meals are homemade! Learn to make good cornbread, pies, muffins and cakes. Try your hand at making everything from scratch. Learn the feel of biscuit dough and how it is different then pie dough. Learn to be confident in your work place the kitchen.

Love,
Connie

Radio

Dear Mothers,

Boy am I prayin’ about bein’ on the radio! There are some obstacles that I am prayin’ about. I am just casting my cares upon Jesus. Oh, mercy, I want so much to be able to go into the home of mothers with a live message. I want Mothers at home to hear me say, “You can make it. It’s OK. All is well!”

I think my greatest burden is for the children. I know what it’s like to have heartbroken children who cry for their Daddy to come home. I taught my children to pray at the table, “Thank You, Jesus, for bringin’ my Daddy home.” I know what it is like to be broken hearted for my husband. And I know what it is like to have people who were supposed to be Christians say horrid things to me, adding insults to injuries. And it should never have been that way. And the Lord gave me victory. He gave me double blessings for all I suffered.

We as believers should be the counselor to the broken in heart. So many need a counselor in this age. My heart goes especially to young families. Oh, for them to be able to turn on the radio and hear an older mother say, “It’s OK. Jesus came to bind up the broken in heart and to set the captive free.”

The mourning and grieving that so many Mothers face alone is not the will of God. I used to cry bitter tears when I was alone and forsaken. I would pray, “Lord, you have called the older woman to encourage me — where is she?” Yes, the Lord has called the older Titus mother but she refuses to come. That isn’t Gods fault that so many of you young moms are forsaken.

As a child, when my brother and I would come home from school as children, we always called, “Mother? Mother?” when we came in the door. And we knew that Mother was there and ready to listen to our stories about school. And we knew that in a few hours a hot supper would be on the table. It’s not like that now in our country. And so many of our children’s souls are almost silent, having cried out into darkness for so long and no one answered.

We need multitudes of young mothers to come back home to the family. We need a multitude of older Mothers to call them back. And I am not the only one tryin’ to get on the radio. I bet there are many older moms who have heard this call of the Lord. But it has to be in the Lord’s time and I am waiting on Him. I am not going to worry over it. And I don’t want anyone else to worry over it, either. It will all gel and come together.

The Greatest Deception

Ya know women preachers are such a deception. They tell the truth for the most part. A deception is never a deception without truth. Because no one would be deceived by a person who told only lies. So these women stand up and preach the Word except for the Word concerning Keepers at home. How much heart does it take for a woman to preach and forget the children? The children are to be protected, loved and cared for. That is one of the main jobs of the wife and mother. How can any woman preacher preach and forget the children?

When Cain killed his brother Abel, the blood of Abel cried out to God. Think of the blood of 1.5 million babies a year who are right now crying out to God. And do you think God is standing there like a deaf man watching TV? And why do the lady preachers get away with all this deception and your money? Because the older woman has blasphemed the Word of God. She has hidden herself away to seek her own comfort. She has allowed lady preacher to take over and to be the voice of authority. And it is killing the heart of the young mothers, not to mention their children. Abortion thinking began in the church. I have heard of churches that made it mandatory for the young adult members to get fixed after a couple children.

Our world is not overpopulated. It’s just that no one wants to move to where there is no electricity or roads. So many are after the almighty $$$$$$ and they refuse to rough it. But any family with a pioneer spirit could have plenty of land to build a house on. Who needs electricity, anyway. As long as a person is warm and has food and water and a roof over their heads, then that is all they need.

I often wonder how many prophets of God and handmaidens of the Lord are dead at the dump because their mother and dad didn’t want them. Our population is getting so old. My own mother at 83 has the best of health care. Medicare and health insurance from my Dad’s pension. He had a good factory job. These jobs used to be pretty easy to come by. But now our nation takes the best of care of our old folks and kills the unborn, the new blood. But the older women in our day seem to have a window of opportunity here that they may not have coming up. We are, for the most part, safe at least and can teach the young mom what we know.

I was a stay at home mother. But I never expected to have my own car or cell phone or computer. Jim paid off the house so I can stay home now and care for children. I hope to cause the devil some damage as I stay here and do my work. And I don’t care how I do it. On the radio, on TV, or just through my email machine. But I do plan on causing some damage.

I am already in the soup and the furnace has been turned up three times hotter. In the middle of the night last night, reality hit me, that what I was asking for was my own radio show? My heart started to pound and I thought of all the reasons I couldn’t do it. Like Sanbalit asked Nehemiah, “Who do you think you are?” And the Syrian King stands around me telling me as he told Hezekiah’s people, “You will never get it done. Bigger guns than you have tired and I took them over and I will take you down.” But God delivered Nehemiah and Hezekiah. And trust me, I ain’t goin’ out to fight the King or the unbelievers in any way. I am waiting on God. And if He puts me over and gets me on the radio, it will be His doings.

I ain’t gonna cry to you all for a million dollars and then give you a free pen with my name on it? No, I ain’t gonna play that game. But I am saying that had the older Titus 2 mother been on the job, these lady preachers would never have gotten so far. For hundreds of years the lady preachers were not allowed to preach as the Mothers at home outshone them. Mother at home taught her daughters to stay home and run the homestead. And back then we didn’t have divorce and birth control as we do today.

Simple Meals

And ya know what? We live in dangerous times. Some of you Mothers who get to stay home don’t know how to cook and bake basic things. You all need to know how to make biscuits and gravy. I mean some of you would starve to death with a bit of meat and flour in front of ya. And ya know I threw out a lot of my biscuits to the birds as they were so hard no one wanted them. But I actually got good at it later on. But practice, Dear Heart, and you will become a good biscuit maker.

Get some self-rising flour. It costs a bit more them regular flour. Put 2 cups of flour in your bowl and add a fourth cup of shortening or lard, whatever. Rub the shortening into the flour with your fingers until the mixture looks like tiny peas. Make sure all the shortening is rubbed into the flour. Then add some milk about 1 cup. And stir this up and make a dough. Then flatten the dough on a floured surface. Don’t roll it with a rolling pin. Just pat it with your hands. It should be about an inch thick. Then cut the dough out with a table glass or the rim of a tin can. Bake in a hot oven for about 15 minutes. Be sure to preheat the oven to 450 degrees. This is a quick bread and needs to be baked quick and hot.

You can even take this dough and roll it out thin and put butter and sugar and cinnamon on it and slice it and bake it like cinnamon rolls. You could put nuts in this or raisins. Once you learn to make a biscuit dough, you can make a lot of things. Dumplings are made like plain biscuits that you can drop into a bubbling stew and they bake under the liquid. But do learn to make homemade noodles and from scratch pies and cakes. No, everything won’t turn out perfect but just keep practicing.

Happy Homemaking.

Love,
Connie

Greater Is He in Us

Dan called from Portland Oregon yesterday. Boy, what a snow storm they are having. Anyway, Dan said an old familiar phrase I used to say in cold weather. “I am frozen to the gilliards.” Well, it is below zero here today in Iowa and I am again frozen to the gilliards. I just have Olivia, 5 years old, so we are going to the store in a little while. I have to shovel out the driveway first. As the old hippies used to say, “Fun City!”

Jill said she always wanted to be a hippie in Alaska when her husband was in the service but she couldn’t drink all that tea. Those old hippie ways were good at times. The Jesus movement came in then and sort of blended with the hippies. We had a ball in our long skirts and bandannas. And this style is really back in NYC. So ladies of the hippie movement, go ahead and wear your long skirts and dangly ear rings. It’s OK — you are in!

Well, I am gonna make chili today before I leave or at least get it started. It’s a good day to make soup and maybe cornbread to keep the kitchen warm. I love to cook in the crock pot but I need something in the oven to warm up the kitchen. To make my chili, I just brown the hamburger or you could use deer meat. Anyway, after the meat browns I put in a half pkg of taco seasoning mix. My family likes it like this. I put in onions and green pepper and then the chili beans and tomatoes and water. I put in the plain kidney beans, too. It would be good with a can of black beans. I also like to put corn in it sometimes or macaroni. I make it different each time.

Wouldn’t it be fun to have recipes on a radio show and other household hints along with all of my radical messages on “Down with Feminism.” Well, it’s all in the Lord’s hands. I am waiting on Him. But I know something is in the air. An excitement, I guess. Satan has come in like a flood but the Lord will raise up a standard against him. He built me a testimony before when he tried to take my marriage. And now he tries to take my daughter.But I know God is able to do exceeding and abundantly more then I can think or ask. Satan can’t put anything on us that God don’t have authority over. When the Lord healed Jim, I shouted it to 90 countries through Above Rubies magazine. And now I hope that this thing with Mary will produce a radio show.

Love,
Connie

Crock Pot Meals

Dear Kitchen Saints,

A few years ago, my kitchen stove about blew up. Well, the thermostat went out about a year earlier. So everything I baked I had to really watch as the oven temp went to 500 degrees in about 15 minutes. So to bake bread, I had to turn the oven on and off to keep a lower temp. Well, one day my dog died and I wasn’t watching the oven and it caught on fire. That was my second fire! What a deal it was as the house was so thick with smoke. I thought for sure I had finally burned the whole dang house down. Thank God I didn’t. Anyway, I was without a stove for about a month until we got another one. Sooo I cooked and baked in my crock pot. It was fun.

I baked bread in my crock pot. I had out two crock pots. So I would make a meal in one and bread in the other. Just make up your bread and let it rise. Then shape it onto a ball and put in the crock pot. I let it rise and bake in one shot. Put it on low until it rises then on high when it bakes. Put oil in the pot so it won’t stick. But it made good bread. It doesn’t brown on the top, of course, but it makes good bread.

I also learned to make crock pot mashed potatoes. Just put water in and raw potatoes and let them cook. Then when done just drain the water out and mash with milk and butter and salt. I loved doing the potatoes like this when we had company. It keeps the potatoes hot and fresh.

I made a lot of crock pot soups, of course, and stews. Jim was pretty easy to cook for as he liked meals like this.

It is dang cold this morning here in Iowa. I guess below zero. It’s a good day for a crock pot meal. I just put some home canned deer meat in my crock pot. Also I put in a beef gravy mix and some cream of celery soup. Some potatoes, carrots and celery. Lots of black pepper, salt, tomatoes and onions. I will add spices and herbs as the day goes on and as I taste it all. I put in a whole quart of meat which will be too much but I will freeze whatever is left and then add more vegetables.

You can make a good crock pot meal by basically just putting in a few cups of meat like chicken or beef whatever in your pot. Cook the meat first for a few hours so it will be sure to get done. Then add the veggies… any kind. Then add some soup or gravy and herbs and spices. You can put a whole small chicken in your crockpot and I pour over this a bottle of the Italian dressing? The oil and vinegar one with the spices in it? This way the chicken will marinate as it bakes. This is a delicious way to fix a beef roast, too, in the crock pot. Then you can just make a vegetable dish separately.

I put my crock pot on top of my chest freezer and light a little candle beside it. Every time I write about candles on here, I know Aunt Toot holds her breath. I am more careful with explosives than I used to be. To most people, candles aren’t an explosive but to me they could be! But I pray the Lord protects me and especially when Annie and Kim come to visit as I don’t want a reputation for blowing up my guests.

Anyway, happy baking and cooking.

Love,
Connie

Skills of Housewifery

Dear Mothers,

I went to help my mom on Saturday with her wash and vacuuming. Anyway, we had pizza and a fresh salad for lunch. Mom kept saying how good the salad was and I got to thinkin’ about it and why it was good.

I know you all probably have favorite ways to fix a salad but this is how I fix mine. I take a small plate… that’s a plate smaller then a dinner plate and bigger then a saucer. But, anyway, I dice the lettuce up instead of tearing it in big pieces. I sort of shred it, so it looks like coleslaw almost but smaller. I lay this on the plate in a layer. Then I slice radishes very thin and cut the grape tomatoes in half. I dice up the green pepper and the celery. I lay these veggies on top as another layer. I don’t mix it up. Then I put the salad dressing on the top.

Our John would eat his salad like that but on a dinner plate with a whole head of lettuce. I like my salads thinly cut like that as all the veggies blend together. I don’t like big hunks of stuff on my plate unless it is on a relish plate and finger foods.

It’s good for a housewife to learn to be skilled at cutting and slicing vegetables and fruits. Also when you slice your potatoes to fry, make sure they are all the same thickness as they won’t all get done at the same time. Over the years I have learned to slice and dice pretty fast and to make the produce look pretty and appetizing. A good way to practice is to peel and cook a lot of potatoes. Like try to peel your potatoes without breaking the skin as you go. So you end up with the peeling all in one piece. As you go, you will become skilled in your cutting and slicing.

It’s now relaxing to me to cut up veggies, etc. My children I babysit for love the way I cut up apples for their snacks. Even as a widow, I am slicing up fruit all day long or the children. I cut their oranges in fourths so they can put the fourth in their mouth and smile like a monkey. I say, “Oh, no, Olivia Jean has orange teeth” as she tries to hold the orange in her mouth without laughing. She is 5 and really not strong enough yet to peel an orange herself.

Little ones like their apples and oranges cut up. I used to fix alphabet vegetable soup for my children. I would get the alphabet pasta for the veggie soup. Do they still have this pasta at the store? Anyway, when the children were young, I would cut the veggies for the soup really small. About as small as the canned soups have it.

Love,
Connie

The Home Bakery

Dear Kitchen Saints,

Ya know in the old days the Mothers of the Home did all of their own baking. A few times a week they made yeast bread. Many of them had large families and would make a dozen loaves a week or more. When they ran out of yeast bread for the week, they made a few batches of baking powder biscuits or cornbread. This was weekly baking.

Then Mother made a dessert almost each day for the family meal. Mother baked pies and cakes every few days. Cookies were not really thought of as a dessert. They were something you ate if you ran out of pie or you needed a snack. Old time Mothers would say “Well, I don’t have a dessert made yet but there is always cookies.” For mid afternoon snacks, Mother would sometimes make a coffee cake with cinnamon and apples. Then Mother made homemade noodles and crackers every week. She made the quick breads “to make do” but the yeast breads is what the family really wanted. Quick breads are made in a hurry! Baking powder and baking soda cause dough to rise quickly and also you bake them in a very hot oven and they are done in a “jiffy.”

If I was just starting out as a homemaker and didn’t know the “the feel” of different doughs, then I would start out with Bisquick from the store. Also I would buy the cornmeal mixes until you know what they are to look like. But we mothers have as much time and more than what the old time Mothers had and we can learn to be excellent bread makers and biscuit bakers. Why Not? You can take your own self through cooking school at home. Let it be fun! Some of you are so very intelligent and the cooking I am writing about is not hard. But make your home like a bakery. Learn to be excellent bakers and cooks.

I learned as a Mom to make such light baking powder biscuits they nearly flew off the plate. But only in the past 5 years have I learned to make good pie crust. I kept watching the cooking channels until I learned the secrets of good pie crust. My pie crusts would taste like cardboard. They looked good but were awful. I was making my pies just like I made biscuits and, oh, those poor pies. Pie dough takes a lot more shortening than biscuits. And after the pie dough is mixed up, it should hold its own shape for a few seconds as you make it into a ball before you add the water. Biscuit dough looks a bit like bread dough and holds its shape.

I personally love to make popovers but Jim never was very crazy about them. Popovers rise because of the beaten eggs and they are light and fluffy inside and sorta crisp on the outside. I have read recipes for bagels. But I haven’t made them.

Jill’s daughter Shelly loves to cook and often just freezes what her husband and son doesn’t eat. For some of us who don’t need to cook that much, we can sure freeze it for other meals. Such as make breads for the week and freeze it and cookies, etc.

The old time Mothers didn’t have freezers and most of their baking was daily fresh or just a few days old. Mother was up each morning fixing lunches for the children to take to school or for husband to take to work. Then after the family was off to their day’s schedules, Mother would start her baking and cooking. Mothers of large families had to be thinking all the time about the food she had to fix for the day.

I was like this, too, as I made almost everything from scratch. It was a lot of work but fun, too. I have old writings lamenting all of my work. But the Lord told me, “Connie, you don’t work that hard because you are poor but because you are wise.” The Lord taught me to be wise through a lot of lack in our home. But if you can just trust in the Lord and be happy, the family will never know that you have to bake and cook or you wouldn’t have anything to eat. Make bein’ poor a lot of fun. Makes the devil mad and that ought to make you happy.

The Romance of Thrift

Ya know some of you Mothers with large families, make the world think you enjoy being poor. Become love slaves to your husbands. Let your kitchens come alive with cooking and baking. Enjoy going to second hand stores and finding old time pots and pans and aprons. I have a pink hand mixer I found a few years ago.

The old time Mothers loved their families and they gave themselves whole heartedly to their husbands and his children. She was sold out to her family and home and she could give a hoot what the world thought of her. While the other ladies were out shopping and catting around, she was at home in love with her husband and her kitchen. It’s downright sexy to make your husband’s bread. Whoa Nellie!

And ya know in all the good Fairy Tales you read, you never hear of a haughty lazy wife whom everyone loved or admired. No, it was the Cinderellas and the Snow Whites who had good and loving hearts and loved to keep house. The ladies of yesteryear were always lovely to look at with long pretty hair and flowers in it. Flowing cotton skirts with a broom in their hands. She loves babies and her Prince Charming loves her for her womanly ways. A home graced with sexual contentment will make your bread rise. Happy bubbly bread always rises first.

The feminists of this day would have been called crabby fish wives in the old time Fairy tale books. Mostly wives with tall black hats and scraggly teeth. Instead of sweeping the floor with their dirty brooms, they ride them on dark windy nights. But the truly romantic wife is at home sewing and making soup. She doesn’t care if her husband brings home rotten apples for supper… she praises him anyway for bringing something home for supper. She is a true Pollyanna and her true Prince is Jesus Christ. And if her husband is truly poor, she takes a vow of poverty and lives only under her beloved as she sews and cooks and bakes. She does him good all the days of her life.

Love,
Connie

Cooking Hints

Dear Mothers of the Kitchen,

I have written some cooking ideas before but I will write them again for the newcomers.

I like my fried eggs or scrambled to taste buttery. But if you fry stuff in only butter, sometimes the butter burns and that’s not good. You could use margarine, too. One idea is to put about a Tbs of oil in the skillet and then about a Tbs of butter. This way the butter will float on the oil and it gives the eggs a buttery flavor. This is good also for fried potatoes. I wouldn’t recommend doing this when frying pancakes as your skillet has to be real hot. Eggs should be fried on a medium heat. Also if you are having trouble getting your fried eggs done in the middle? At the end, just add about a fourth cup of water to the skillet and let it baste a bit with a lid on it. For fried potatoes, sometimes it’s hard to get them all done, too. So at the end of the frying, just add a bit of water and fry this until the liquid is gone. Keep the lid on. You could use chicken broth, about a fourth cup.

Another idea for a large family meal goes like this. Take a 9 x 13 pan and just take your thawed out hamburger and press it all down in the bottom of the pan. You would need about 2 pounds. Then salt and pepper this and bake it. When it is mostly done, cut it in squares and drain out the fat. Just cut it like a cake. Spread the squares out a bit and put some onion on each square. Then maybe some green beans over that and some diluted cream of something soup and then mashed potatoes on the top, and bake it until the potatoes are a bit brown. Instead of mashed potatoes, you could use cut up boiled potatoes or tater tots. You could use any layer of veggies you may want to use. The old time Mothers used to make meals like this that were layered. You could use tomato soup or cream of chicken. Then put cheese on the top layer of potatoes if ya got it.

You can also crumble up and fry beef in a skillet, take it out, and fry potatoes with onions. Then when the fried potatoes are done, layer the hamburger on top and then put cheese over the top of that.

In the old days, I would fix fried potatoes for my hungry children for breakfast. If I forgot and didn’t fry enough potatoes, I would then mix eggs up in them and fry them like scrambled. Also if you are frying scrambled eggs and it don’t look like you have made enough, just scramble up about a slice or two of bread in the eggs. My kids never knew the difference as the bread looks like eggs. Just tear it up with your hands. Like for 4 scrambled eggs you could use 2 slices of bread. I just added enough bread to have enough. And if it looked too obvious that I had added too much bread, I would put cheese on the top. And that was good anyhow!

Just always try not to break out laughin’ when you are hoodwinking the family. Keep a very serious straight face! That’s the key.

Love,
Connie

Hamburger Steak Dinners

Dear Mothers of the Kitchen,

Today I am writing about making steak dinners when you have no steak.

This is how I made SALISBURY STEAK. You just fry up hamburgers and then drain them and put brown gravy mix on the top. Serve this with candlelight and mashed potatoes and a green vegetable. Hogwash the children by commenting on how tender your steak is.

Swiss Steak is like this. Fry the hamburgers part way and drain. Then put in carrots and onions and put tomato soup over the top diluted with a half can of water. Bake for about 30 minutes until carrots are done. Serve this with mashed potatoes and plenty of B.S. and you are good to go.

One time in the early years, I managed to get a small roast for the family. It was about 3 pounds but I was going to slice it thin. So I had it on a nice serving plate and my dinner was on its way except to slice the meat. John, my son (13), was standing beside me as I cut off a piece of fat and laid it on the table. Then I told him I needed a sharper knife and went to get it. I called over my shoulder for him to give that fat to the dog. I came back to the meat and it was GONE! I asked John, “What happened to the meat?” and he said, “You told me to give it to the dog.” Well, the dog was happy!

Jim was sitting in the living room watching TV and waiting for the nice dinner he was about to receive. I just didn’t know what to do. I was in Shock! So I just went in the living room and said to Jim, “The dog ate our meat.” And went back to the table. No one said much about it. We just ate potatoes and gravy and a vegetable. I probably had bread and all… I can’t remember. But that was so funny!

Well, Daisey our dog thought she was on a roll. So later in the week, I had this chunk of ham. It was small but I had it in a roaster with vegetables. I had opened the oven door to check it and my dog ran up to it and snatched the ham. I ran after her and made her give it to me and I took it in and washed it good and put it back in the roaster. Talk about fighting for your dinner!

I know I have told these nutty stories before but I have a lot of new readers so thought you all would like to read them again. Life was an adventure raising 6 children on a very small one income. Being a stay at home mother was something I had to really work at.

Love,
Connie

Bread Making

Dear Kitchen Saints,

Jill wanted me to write about how I make bread. I thought I had written about it enough that you all would be tired of me writing about it. But I guess for the newcomers I could write it.

My friends get a kick out of how I make bread. One time Aunt Toot was here visiting and drinking Pepsi and I took the can and threw some in my bread, proving you can make bread out of anything.

Well, basically you need 2 cups of liquid for 2 loaves of bread. This liquid could be milk, water, or juice. You could use a strained meat broth or potato water or any water you have cooked veggies in or whatever. When I would can tomatoes, I would sometimes make a tomato bread with the leftover juice from canning. So put your 2 cups of liquid in a big bowl. Then add a fat like oil or melted shortening. You can add up to a cup or a Tbs, either one. Then add some salt, up to a tsp. Then add a sweetener. This could be pancake syrup or jelly or honey or sugar, brown or white. Add some eggs with this if it flips your trigger. You don’t have to add eggs but if ya wanna, go ahead knock yourself out. Add up to 4 or 5 if the hen is layin’ more eggs then you can figure out what to do with. Then add enough flour and stir it all up until it looks like pancake mix or a cake mix. Stir it good.

Now get out a little bowl and put warm water in it, a little hotter than spit, about a half cup, and put in 4 Tbs of yeast or 2 packages of yeast for 2 loaves of bread. Now don’t get in a big hurry with the yeast. If the yeast isn’t good, then your bread won’t be good. So test your yeast as it is in the water. Add about a Tbs of sugar and see if the yeast bubbles. This should take about 10 minutes for the yeast to bubble. If it don’t bubble, then toss it and go buy some more yeast or try putting hotter water in. Yeast has to be kept snug and warm and secure. Put a cloth over it, too. Well, really, you should do the yeast first and then let it set a bit of time as you mix all the other stuff. But it don’t matter! So after the yeast bubbles, then put it in your bread mixture that looks like pancake mix.

OK, now start stirring up your bread and put in a cup of flour at a time. Now this could be white or whole wheat. You will get a lighter loaf if you use mostly white flour. But for health sake, throw in a cup of whole wheat and also you could add a cup of oatmeal and a cup of cornmeal. Or just do straight white. But like you end up using about 6 cups of flour for 2 loaves of bread. So a good combo would be 4 cups of white and then like 2 cups whole wheat or oatmeal or cornmeal. I have put my oatmeal in the blender and made oat flour. Well, go to kneading and mixing the bread, adding a cup of flour at a time.

Add herbs and spices if ya wanna. See, I made bread with what I had. We had 6 children and little money. So many times for breakfast, I made a big batch of pancakes to feed my hungry children and maybe fried potatoes. If I had a few cups of pancake mix left, I would start bread from it that morning after breakfast. I would heat up the pancake mix and put yeast in it and have that to be my yeast starter. I made many different kinds of pancakes like sweet potato pancakes and Chrissy’s favorite garlic pancakes. I cooked by inspiration and used up what was handy in the fridge. If I had a scraping of jelly, jam or peanut butter in a few jars in the fridge that weren’t being used up, I would put it in my bread. Or like the bottom of the bottle of syrup or even ketchup — no mustard. This way, you can use up leftovers and design your own bread.

You can get pretty free spirited with your bread but some measurements must stand unquestioned… well, at least in my book. Such as the yeast. You use about a pkg for each loaf. The old recipes say to just use one pkg of yeast for 2 loaves but I have always used 1 Tbs of yeast or one pkg for one loaf. I buy my yeast in the big bag, 2 pounds for about 5 bucks. I keep it in the fridge or even in the freezer.

It’s nice to make a big pot of soup on a cold day to warm up the kitchen for the bread. The hot soup keeps the yeast bread happy and friendly. After kneading your bread, set it someplace on the cabinet close to the hot soup to keep it warm. Put a pretty dish towel over the top. The yeast in the bread needs the warmth and covering. Don’t get the covered bread dough too close to the soup as the heat would kill the yeast. Cold won’t kill yeast but heat will.

And it takes a happy Mother to make good bread. If it don’t turn out, you didn’t love it enough. Yeast is alive and does respond to your personality. If I am upset and make bread, it will NOT be good. So be happy when you make the family bread. And ya know if ya have good bread on the table, then just about any dinner will be good.

I especially like to make an ITALIAN BREAD. For the liquid just use tomato soup or a cup of sauce with a cup of water. For this bread I use olive oil and no eggs. I make this bread very plain and use a lot of herbs — no milk or any other ingredients but salt and a bit of sugar, maybe a Tbs. I use mainly white flour for this bread but knead it in cornmeal, about a cup. I use many herbs in this bread. If it’s in the summer, I use my fresh herbs. I use a lot of basil and rosemary in this bread. You would want to blend these herbs up in the blender with maybe your oil or sauce, but you don’t want long pieces of herbs in your bread as you would in your soup. You want just bits of green in your bread. Anyway, I use coarsely ground black pepper in this bread and garlic and sometimes onions, also, ground up with the other herbs. I either put this bread on 2 long cookie sheets or I make round loaves and put them in cast iron skillets to rise and to bake. When the bread is half done and a bit brown, just check it and put butter on the top of the crust and Parmesan cheese and bake abut 15 minutes more.

I guess I would just say, to end this, that you have to take your time when making bread. You can’t hurry it. And when learning to make bread, I ended up throwing a lot of it out in the back yard. But the birds will eat it if it is too hard and they have to eat, too. Or a stray dog or squirrel, whatever. But making good bread will take a large family through a lot of meals.

Bread and Salad

And you know I have told you all that when I homeschooled, I would buy the leftover veggies from the grocery store that they could not sell, for like a buck a box. Sometimes I would get a whole box of lettuce. Or a box of carrots and onions or whatever. So, anyway, our John who was a teen at the time would eat a whole head of lettuce on a dinner plate. And if we had other veggies, he would top it all with these. That and some big slices of crusty bread and some potato soup was a hearty supper.

I had 50 bucks a week to spend on groceries. Jim gave me 100 bucks every 2 weeks. So the first week we would eat pretty good and the second week mainly vegetables, fruit and soups and lots of bread. Often I made homemade popcorn with our soups. If I didn’t get potatoes in the boxes of veggies, I would buy huge bags of them. We went through 20 pounds of potatoes in 2 weeks. I made lots of mashed potatoes with a meat gravy. Sometimes I would get odds and ends of citrus fruits from my boxes behind the store. Fruits like grapefruit, lemons, and limes and oranges. So I would get out my old fashioned glass juicer and juice these fruits and make a good juice. Papa usually did this as he made the best juice you could imagine. You have to add water and sugar. But, oh, is this juice good.

As a mom, it took a lot of wheelin’ and dealin’ to keep my children in good food. The world would have called the boxes I bought for a buck or 2 just garbage. But I would take my produce home and throw out on my garden what wasn’t good, on my compost pile. Then I would peel and carve and save what was good of the produce. My children were all healthy and we never had to go to a doctor for colds, etc. But talk about a working mother — I worked like a dog keeping my family in clothes and food.

I didn’t complain if Papa didn’t have enough money to give me for much food. I knew he was doin’ his best and supporting all of us the best he could. It was my job to keep a home. The Bible says that there is profit in all labor. And I felt I had an important job to do to keep food on the table and the wolves away from the door. I didn’t have much money to work with but I learned as I stayed in obedience to my husband that God certainly does provide as I walk as Keeper at Home.

If Mother will remain content and happy and trusting in the Lord, her family will stay happy and quiet, too. And the heck with what anyone thinks about it. I was so busy when I was raising my 6 children, I didn’t hardly notice what others outside my home were doing. I didn’t watch TV except for Little House on the Prairie and the Waltons and some other family specials. I was almost continually in the kitchen or wheelin’ and dealin’ ways to get food. Mainly prayin’ for food. And I saw miracles of answered prayer. The Lord knew I had 6 children and I had them all by faith. Wouldn’t He make a way for me to raise them? Yes, He did. He was faithful. Oh, yes, he was faithful to me.

I didn’t complain to Papa. I made sure I always spent some of my grocery money on coffee for Jim’s breakfast and after work. I kept a lot from Jim. I didn’t want to worry him. He was working as hard as any man and I didn’t want to discourage him. As Mothers we can’t set a fire of fear into our homes with crying over the obvious. Jim gave me what he had to give and any decent wife should be happy with that and I was. It was my job to make a home with 50 bucks a week and by God’s help and grace, I did.

I remember my Mom bringing over a bunch of paper towels. We ran out of toilet paper and so I took my bread knife and cut the paper towel roll in half and put the rolls on my toilet paper roller. Christian Joy laughed so hard about that, but it kept us in toilet paper for a few more days.

In my last book, I wrote about the Fancy Water I gave my children as a treat. Just ice water in a beautiful old crystal glass pitcher. They thought it was a treat!

Soup’s On!

One soup I used to make the kids they called “Chicken of the Sea Soup.” I made it like a chicken soup but without the chicken. I used drained tuna fish. But the children for the longest time thought the tuna was chicken. Well, they loved it, anyway, but named it “Chicken of the Sea Soup.” It was not really a homemade soup. I would take a few cans of cream of chicken soup and add veggies and milk or water. I could get a lot of mileage out of a can of soup. You could also add a can of chicken noodle soup to this. But I would put in my herbs and pepper, and the soup looked good and the kids thought that was chicken in there and thought we were rich.

Often I would buy a big turkey after the holidays for 59 cents a pound and I would always pass it off as chicken. Dan always loved chicken! But he barely got any. One meal I fixed went like this. You make the tuna patties mixing drained tuna with eggs and crackers. You fry the patties in a hot oiled skillet. When brown put them in a baking dish. Then over the top you put diluted cream of chicken soup and bake it in the oven. I would use one can of tuna for the whole family so that meant a lot of crackers. I called this “Chicken Sasserole.” Dan loved it as he thought it had chicken in it but, with so many crackers, no one could tell. But the cream of chicken soup over the top was enough to give it all the smell of chicken and so that was enough for Dan.

Another meal I made smelled just like a beef roast. I put a frozen pound of hamburger in the middle of my roaster and added potatoes, onions and carrots. It smelled like a roast and I sliced the meat like it was one. The kids didn’t care until they got wiser and older. Then they noticed I was just slicing a pound of hamburger and calling it a roast. I hid it under a brown gravy mix and called it a day. Of course, the Swiss steak was hamburger hidden beneath tomato soup and onions. And Salisbury Steak was hamburger patties under mushroom soup with onions. Jim and I would sit at the table and say how tender the steak was and how good of a piece of meat it must have been. Well, it was very tender!

Well, I am laughing too much to write so I must go for now. I am sending this to Christian Joy and I hope she will tell some more of the things we used to have for supper.

Love,
Connie

 
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