Happy (?) New Year

Here’s hoping this year will be so much better than last one.  At least the last month of last one.  I really want to get back in my kitchen and cook something.  I know I can’t smell anything, but still I can remember the smells of the things I usually cook, and really miss that pot of beans and the Mexican cornbread that always go with it.  Mmmm, what more can a person ask for than beans and cornbread on a cold, winter day?

I have a new award, sorta.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here it is. doncharisma-org-not-on-freshly-pressed-award-4-300x300 doncharisma-org-not-on-freshly-pressed-award-3-300x300I haven’t decided which one to put in my gallery yet, but I think it will be the one with the picture of the presenter, Don Charisma.  Of course, the other one shows up better, but I’ll decide before my next post.  Don is really a great guy, currently living in Thailand, who is now doing great things with stitching photos together to make up really large, breathtaking scenery.  He’s funny, intelligent, and altogether a great guy who created my angel logo for me.  My knight in mostly shining armor.  You really should check out his blog, http://doncharisma.org.  At least I think that’s it.  If not, so sorry Don.  Sinus headache, remember?

Since I can’t go shopping at this time, I have started online shopping at Amazon.  I think I went a bit overboard on a few things there, but since you don’t actually see the product, just a description, you don’t know until it arrives. 004 Just a few days ago I got a call from the office telling me I had a large package downstairs.  Large?  It was about the size of a coffin.  It is still taking up half my living room.  As you can see, I ordered paper towels, also 007 well, that’s more like a photo of the box with the towels at the top.  So, here’s another one.005 A dozen packages of paper plates, and a huge bag of paper bowls.  Since I can’t wash dishes at the moment, I use a lot of paper products.  And last, 006 a dozen boxes of Kleenex, although I only pulled one out because I only needed one opened at the time.  Fortunately there was no shipping fee, since the order was more than $50.  The trash bags and Windex are still to come, and naturally they are the items I needed the most.  Except for the Kleenex, since I somehow caught a head cold without ever leaving the building.  How?  Your guess is as good as mine.  I think if there is half of an allergen floating around the hemisphere it makes it to my nose and takes up residence there.

I’ve pretty much slept thru the past few days.  It’s just too comfortable under the covers to move lately, and I have a lot of lost sleep to make up.  Throw a couple of pain pills a day into the mix, and I’m snoring like, well, a lumberjack?  Or maybe more like Max did.  For such a tiny dog he could beat my dad when it came to snoring.

Well, back to the sinus meds.  Doctor appointment on Friday for results of CAT scan.  To tell the truth, I’m not sure I really want to know.



Mostly Photos From The Past

Leo &Betty Ann's house Leo and Betty Ann’s home as I remember it.

tonyangela Tony and me when we lived on Parrish Court in Owensboro.   We had real snow way back then.

Leo's kids, minus Doris Doug, Pat, Phil, Mark and Janet Blandford.  They lived down the drive behind us.  Sorry Doris, you weren’t born yet.  Doug and Ray were usually partners in crime.

Mark and philMark & Phil Mark and Sandy Mark & Sandy Mark and Pat. Mark & Pat Mark and Doug Mark and Doug (scowling) as they are today.

Leo Leo w. Doug and Pat Leo, Doug & Pat Leo and PatLeo and who? Leo Blandford 2 Doug’s son Leo, with wife Sara and twins.

Damien & HildaDamien & Hilda, wedding picture, w. Grandmother & Papa on left, and Mom & Pop Goetz on right.

Vird Vird and Johnnie, with Sheila, Sarah, Sharon and Kathy.  Krista yet to be born.

youngcousins Young cousins.  The tall one has to be Don, and on his left is Shirley, Carol is the blond in front, I think Patty is second from right, so probably Barbara on right, completely lost after that.

TonyTroublemaker Tony.  DSC01964_edited-1 Big Brother Tony with Uncle Vird.  Just goes to show what a difference a few years will do for troublemakers.

shirley and crewThis one is called “Shirley and crew”.  Shirley is in the middle of the back row, Betty is on the left of back row, not too sure about the rest.

Tony Barbara Diane Patty Left to right, Tony, Barbara, Diane and Patty.  Tony and Diane were making their first Communion, Barbara was a flower girl, and Patty was an angel. (still is).

HubertHelenHubert and Helen’s wedding picture.  Patty Hubert Barbara Patty, Hubert, Barbara

Patty Barbara Patty & Barbara  Patty Michael Barbara Patty, Michael, Barbara Paul Michael Ronald Paul, Michael, Ronald Barbara Barbara today.

JoeMaudeMaude and Joe, wedding.  jerrydamienmaryalene Jerry, Damien, Mary, AleeneMaude Donnie Joe In Detroit.  Jerry Julia Nick Jerry, Julia and Nick in 2000.

Donnie Jerry Patty Donnie, Jerry, Patty when they lived in Detroit.

cousins1 1952 family reunion at Vird’s house on Hwy. 81.

Eeanor Eleanor. Eleanor Swanson Later photo of Eleanor.Shelia and Joe 10-21-12 Sheila and JoeLeslie & Sarah Leslie Ann & Sarah.  I don’t have photos of Karen, John, and Tim (?)  You need to come home so I’ll remember your names right.

B0000166 My family, Bernard (dad) Tony, Mary (mom) Steve, Angie, Sylvia, Larry, Ray.  Elaine wasn’t born yet.  Sorry sis.BabyElaineElaine stuffing her face on birthday .Mary's Family Most of us in 2ooo.

Satyr walking Steve Satyr walking Steve in Tulsa. Larry and Marcia 9-11Larry and Marcia near Atlanta. Mark and Amy Christmas  Young Amy and Mark      Mark and Sarah wedding pic Mark and Sarah, wedding day.  New Amy.Amy beautiful niece., .  Grammy & kidz Me, with Anika, Laurie, Ethan, and Andrew, in Frankfort, KY  Mike and Janette Mike and Janette (Mike’s my baby, a Leap Year baby, so now 11 years old)Alan, 2012 Alan, oldest grandson. Faleasha5 Faleasha, beautiful granddaughter taken during her trip to Barcelona Noah with drink Noah, being Noah.  .Gina, Ethan Bill 2013 GO CATS!!! family-211 Don, with his grandson, Camden. family-268 Brothers, Eli and Camden. Elaine making burgoo Elaine, making burgoo at her home near Monument, CO.  And she didn’t even send me some. The Hartle family, minus Jon, 2013 The Hartle family, minus Jon, who is off to college.  Matt is married to Denise, and her sister is in the photo with them.  I’ve posted photos of Ray many times, and that leaves Sylvia and Erin, who refuse to have their pictures taken.



This series is dedicated to my wonderful Grandmother, and all the fantastic people who have come after her.  I love you all, and don’t you think it’s time for another reunion?





Train Wrecks 2000

cousins are This will be the last entry about the stories from the 2000 cookbook.  Mark has suggested, and I totally agree, that it would be a great idea to start planning another reunion.  And maybe even another cookbook with new memories from the newer generation.  Plus, I would love to meet some of the cousins we have who are related from Papa’s side of the family.  I know one of them — Vicky Connor.  So if any Blandfords in the West Louisville area are related to her, you are related to the rest of us also.  I’m going to start putting some random photos on here tonight, because I’m running out of the older ones that have been destroyed over the many years since the 1920’s to the ’40’s.  So look closely, some of you could find yourselves going international tonight.

Vird Vird’s family.  Marie Blandford  Ward recalls:  Bernard (Elzie) used to walk in his sleep when he was younger.  One of the houses the family lived in had upstairs and downstairs porches.  One of the upstairs porches had a banister, one didn’t.  Off the porch without a banister was a little storage room. It was here that Mother kept her laundry until it was time to wash it.  One night when Bernard was around 13, he got up in his sleep.  Without knowing it, he walked onto the upstairs porch without a banister, and into the storage room.   There he put on a pair of Joe’s pants and went back to bed.  He had no idea what he had done until the next morning when he woke up in bed wearing Joe’s dirty pants!JoeMaude Joe and Maude’s wedding picture.  Can’t find one of Elzie (aka: Bernard)

Leo's familyI was hoping this photo would be larger, but Doug is in there–the oldest.  Doug Blandford recalls:  Daddy was a very opinionated about certain things.  For example, he felt very strongly that Muhammad Ali was a no-good draft dodger, regardless of how good a boxer he was.  Once Daddy woke up in the middle of a dream in which he was pummeling Ali.  He must have been flailing away (shadow boxing) when he connected with Ali’s jaw, but in actuality it was the bedroom wall he connected with!

armyleo My brothers and I learned to love and play the game of baseball from Daddy.  He would take us out to the field and throw and catch and hit flies until we all dropped.  But Daddy couldn’t throw very far or for very long at a time because he says he hurt his shoulder while playing ball in the Army, but he never talked about the war (WWII) and his participation in it.  Daddy was a machine-gunner in the infantry and marched with his unit across Germany and saw a lot of action.  But that is all I know about his experience there because he wouldn’t talk about the war, ever.  I kind of suspect that he really had a bad shoulder because of the constant recoil of the gun, but he led us to believe he threw his shoulder out playing ball.  Either way, I wish Daddy was still here so that I could tell him how proud I was of him.

Note to Doug:  the story I heard all my life was that your Dad was the only survivor of two different units.  By the time he was re-assigned to the third unit they had marched on Berlin, and taken the city, so most of his unit survived that time.  Mom told me this when I was a teenager, and I was asking why your Dad wasn’t a cook also, since he had the great recipe for the barbecue sauce.  Since the sauce recipe came courtesy of your Mom’s side of the family, and your Dad didn’t cook yet, he was assigned to the gunnery unit.  A real hero, among all the rest of heroes from that era.  I hope that helps after all these years.

Leo, Doug & PatAren’t you guys cute?  Fr. Ray Goetz recalls:  Uncle Leo had the best line of all.  Some of them can even be printed.  I believe it was Tony that he called a “Big long slim slick sycamore sapling.”  You might need to check the accuracy though. (Don’t have to, I remember it well).  When something was just too astonishing for words he would exclaim “well garden seed!”  We had a beautiful mild cow named Beautina, but we called her “Beauty” for short.  Because she had a pair of magnificent horns, Leo called her “Double Ugly”.  He was never very fond of her I think.

Those are all the stories in the book.  There are a lot more I can only half remember from so many years ago.  Tomorrow I will post the photos I have salvaged, so you can see the “way back whens” and some of the more modern ones.  Oh, how I love my family.



Train Wrecked Blandford Memories

Grandmother & Marie Marie Blandford Ward recalls:  When I was about 5 or 6 we kept rabbits outside in a hutch.  I just loved them and thought they were my pers.  One night a big storm came.  The next morning when I went out to check on the rabbits their hutch was overturned and they were gone.  when I went in for breakfast all the boys were teasing me, that the rabbits were gone for good and I’d never see them again.  I was feeling so sad and upset.  Well, George felt sorry for me and motioned me over to him.  When I went over, he said, “Look over there, under the buffet.”  All the rabbits were there.  The boys had brought them in earlier.  George was always very tender-hearted. George and Aleene

Fr. Ray Goetz recalls:  Uncle Damien had a couple of favorite phrases that I remember.  I never heard him curse, but he would use the phrase “dad bum”.  He also taught me to sucker tobacco.  He said that to be able to sucker a plant without using a knife I would have to learn the “fossiarity” of the plant.  I still don’t know how to spell it, but I knew what he was talking about from the first moment.  joehubertdamien Joe, Hubert, Damien.

Patty Barbara Patty and Barbara:  Patty Blandford Liu recalls:  We moved from Rome to Owensboro in the middle of January.  My dad (Hubert) loved ice cream, and I can remember him going to the grocery store late at night in the snow to get ice cream.  He thought it was great to be close to stores where he could buy ice cream anytime he wanted and not have to make it to enjoy it.  We all remember him as a kind, gentle person, never angry, who loved to cook and pull practical jokes on family and friends.  All his siblings tell this story.  Aunt Eleanor Eeanor had a friend home to spend the day after Sunday Mass.  There was fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, etc., and of course home-made ice cream.   Daddy was in charge of dishing the ice cream, and when it came to Aunt Eleanor’s friend, he took a scoop of mashed potatoes and covered it with a layer of ice cream, then stood back to watch her reaction.  Daddy said she took a bite with everyone watching and said, “Mrs. Blandford, this is really good.”  Of course, my Dad was cracking up, and Grandmother knew he had done something, so it all came out.  I don’t remember what Grandmother did to Daddy, but this was typical of my Dad.

Low fat substitutions, submitted by Patty Blandford Liu

Substitute apple juice for oil.  Use twice the amount called for in the recipe (1 cup apple juice for 1/2 cup oil)

Substitute 2 egg whites for 1 whole egg.

Finely grind 1 1/8 cups oats in a blender and substitute for 1 cup white flour.

In cakes, muffins or quick breaks, replace all or part of the butter, margarine or other shortening with half as much applesauce, apple butter, fruit juice or pureed fruit.  If recipe calls for oil, replace all or part of the oil with 3/4 as much fat substitute.  Mix the batter, and if  it seems too dry, add a little more fat substitute.  Some recipes need a one for one substitution.

When eliminating all fat from a recipe, reduce the number of eggs by half, or substitute 1 egg white for each whole egg, or use egg substitute.

Mary Mary Blandford Goetz recalls:  I thought of a funny story I heard about Coleman and Ambrose when they were small boys.  Papa sent them out to plant beans in the cornfield, and when they came in to dinner that day he asked them if they planted all the beans.  They said “yes”.  Papa checked the cornfield periodically to see if the beans were coming up, and after about a month there was still no sign of the bans, but he was walking by an old tree stump that was nearby, and that old stump was covered with bean sprouts!!!  Coleman and Ambrose finally admitted that they had just dumped all the seeds in there, thinking no on would ever know.

That’s it for this edition.  Only one left, unless you want to send me more memories.  I may put in more of my own if I don’t forget to remember them.  And I’ll try a post with as many of the photos as I can find that haven’t been destroyed over the years.  BTW, the low-fat substitutions by Patty were what I was looking for when I started reading the comments in the book.  Thanks Patty.  I want to try out my oven to bake a cake this afternoon.


More Blandford Train Wrecks

Thanksgiving dinner 2002 Thanksgiving at Mom’s house a few years ago.  L to R:  Ray, Tony, Angie, Marie, Hayman, Mom, Marcia, Mark Goetz.  And isn’t that a great looking table!

Mary Blandford Goetz recalls:  I do remember my maternal grandmother, who died in 1933, and the only thing I remember about my maternal grandfather was that when I was only 1 year old I was standing too close to an open grate and my dress caught on fire.  Grandpa was sitting close by and he grabbed me and put out the blaze.  I was not burned, thanks to him.  I just remember that he had a mustache and a long beard.  He died in May of that year, 1921.  I never knew my paternal grandparents.  My grandmother died in 1888 and my grandfather remarried and moved to Mayfield.  We don’t know when he died, but I know it was long before I was born.  I know he was a farmer, and his father before him also farmed.  In fact, one of Papa’s uncles, Aquila Blandford, donated the land that Mount St.. Joseph is build on to the Ursuline Sisters.  Papa’s dad, J.R.II, donated land for the Catholic Cemetery in Mayfield, KY.

I can remember mom telling me about Uncle Aquila donating that land to the Mount most of my life.  I guess that’s why most of my life has been tied up with the Mount’s history.

armyleovirdjohn Leo, Vird, John R.IV.

Mary Blandford Goetz:  John R., Vird and Leo were the only boys to be drafted into the Army in the early ’40’s.  Both John and Vird were cooks.  Leo was in the infantry.  All three served in Europe during the entire siege.  John had cooked at home before going into the army, but I guess Vird learned while there.

Marie Blandford Ward recalls:  We went to Mass on Sundays in shifts — too many for one car load.  While the first shift of boys were at church someone from the second shift would sew their pants legs together.  Leo had Sister Edward for a teacher.  She lived with Sister Eulalia (our aunt) and was like family.  She was always teasing Leo about his curly hair.  One time he wrapped up a real pig tail and gave it to her.  One summer afternoon we wanted to make either ice cream or fudge.  The boys were working on the farm, so Mary and Eleanor said they would milk the cow.  They started out with Mary carrying the bucket and Eleanor carrying a stick, so there was no way a cow was going to let them come near. (Mary has said they chased the cow all around the pasture without any luck and that night it wouldn’t even give any milk!)

Another story I heard mom talk about quite often while I was growing up.  To this day she is afraid of being around cows, so I’ve often wondered if they chased the cow or the cow chased them.

mariejoeeleanorMarie, Joe and Eleanor, on lake front in MI.

Mary Blandford Goetz recalls:  As for Marie, the only thing I can think of that wouldn’t embarrass her too much is that she was so short she could easily run right under the dining room table and be out of sight in a flash.  We used to call her “Wee Wee” instead of Marie.  Since she was so small, the boys often carried her to and from the bus.   It was about a two mile walk to the bus stop, which was long for her.  And the boys found it easier to carry her than to walk slow at her pace.

Gina as freshmanRegina Wink Swinford:   Uncle Vird told Aunt Marie who told me that when Uncle John was growing up there was a particular rooster who had it in for him.  I asked his daughter, Mary, about it.  She asked Uncle John.  He said he remembered the rooster, but it was mean to all of them.  One day he got it back though.  When the rooster attacked Uncle John once while he was on his way out to the barn, John took the pail he had and whacked the rooster clear down the driveway.  That was the last time the rooster bothered any of them.

Oh, the joys of growing up in the country.  I loved it myself, and I’m pretty sure my kids did also.  And even though she calls herself Regina now, she’ll always be Gina to me.  See you tomorrow.


Blandford Reunion 2000 Revisited Part 3

cousins areSo here we go again, and I’m not sure who all will be featured tonight.  I do know Ray will lead off.  He seems to have the loudest voice in the family, and tells some of the best stories.  Of course, part of that came from Dad’s side of the family also.  I’ve never been sure where I fit in because I’m the one that always leaves the openings for the rest of them, and I seem to walk into the traps every time.

B0000166The little short guy in the front is Ray.  He was so cute way back then.  I wonder what happened.

Fr. Ray Goetz recalls:  I guess all the boys in the family went hunting with Papa at least once (and for a reason I will now share, ONLY once).  He carried his old shotgun with the hammer back and his thumb over the trigger.  He walked very fast, more like stumbling forward.  Best of all, he wouldn’t let you walk in front or to the side.  I remember being scared to death watching that barrel pointing at me every time he took another step.  That just might be why I never enjoyed going hunting.  He would get after me for making too much noise, and then forget himself and whistle as we went through the woods.  I also remember helping him shell corn for the chickens.   He had an old Sheller in the barn and I loved putting an ear of corn in and turning that crank!

elders1 Not sure, but I think, back row are Ambrose, Coleman, Joe, front row, l. to r. Eleanor, Leo, Damien (?), Hubert (?), Vird, Mary, and George (?). As my Uncle Hayman said at one time, it seems only the oldest boys and the oldest daughter had shoes, the rest were barefoot.

Mary Blandford Goetz recalls:  On Sundays Mother would try to have a really good dinner.  We had fried chicken in the springtime when the chicks were the right size.  They tried to get the baby chicks at the time when they would be the right size for our first fried chicken dinner to be on Easter Sunday.  With the chicken we would have mashed potatoes, gravy, peas and banana salad.  What a treat!!!  I guess Mother’s trademark dish was her famous fried chicken.  She had a deep 12 x 15 inch pan in which she melted lard to a depth of about 2 inches.  She fried about 5 or 6 chickens at a time, by dredging the pieces in a mixture of flour, sale and pepper, then putting them into the very hot lard, and cooking it in the oven until done.

I think all of my cousins will agree with me that Grandmother’s fried chicken was to die for.  As long as she lived and was able to cook, she made her fried chicken in the oven, and it was always fried in lard.  Since she and Papa both lived to their late 90’s, I think the secret of longevity is not so much in what you eat, but the purity of what you eat, along with the exercise you get by working hard all day the way my grandparents did, and the way my mom and aunts and uncles also did.

Mark and Doug Mark and Doug Blandford

Doug Blandford recalls:  There was a story Daddy (Leo) used to love telling.  Our Uncle Joe’s first wife, Maude, was a rambunctious personality, and so was Daddy, and they used to get each others goat.  Daddy took a couple walnuts, freshly fallen from the tree, still in their green outer shells.  They were about the size of a baseball!  He noticed that one of Maude’s sons, Don or Jerry, was whining, and Daddy saw his chance.  He placed both of the walnuts inside the boy’s diaper.  Aunt Maude heard the kid whimpering, felt his diaper and saw he needed a change.  Well, when she removed the diaper and saw those walnuts roll across the floor Aunt Maude about had a heart attack.  Daddy saw the whole thing and had the laugh of his life.  Another time he was passing out homemade ice cream to the folks and put lard in Aunt Maude’s bowl.  Those two characters are playing jokes in heaven, I’m sure.

I think now you are getting an idea of why I have turned out a bit twisted.  With ancestors like these (and cousins like these) how else could I be?  But oh, how I love them all.


Memories From Reunion 2000, Part 2

cousins are Tonight will feature Marie, Ray (baby bro) and Carol (my cousin, now deceased and missed by all).

Grandmother & Marie Marie has always been the shortest member of the family, at barely 5’2″, in a family that averages closer to 6 feet and over for the guys, and 5’5″ for the girls, except for Carol, who was also short.

Marie Blandford Ward recalls:  When we were growing up, though much different from kids these days in many ways, we were always “starved” when we came home from school.  Our snacks were usually a concoction of vinegar, sugar and water with Mother’s home-made bread, or left over home-made biscuits, split in half and fried in bacon grease–very good.  But the best aroma and treat  was on Friday when Mother always had two pots of vegetable soup on the stove, one with onion and one without.  She didn’t start putting meat in it until later years when she found that way to use beef steaks.  It may sound strange, but anyone who ate her soup thought it was delicious.

Having had Grandmother’s soup, I can tell you for myself, it was delicious.  I was lucky enough to grow up across the pasture from her house, and would run across and spend afternoons with her during the summer, when my cousins were busy doing other things, and Grandmother and I would have lunch–with Papa of course, then after cleaning up the kitchen, would watch soap operas on her TV.  She may have been the first in the family to have a TV, and it was great living so close to her.

family-224Fr. Ray Goetz recalls:  When Aunt Maude wasn’t looking, Uncle Joe would give us “samples” of ice cream or barbecue.  He would always offer it as if he really needed an opinion, and he would keep giving us more until he was “satisfied” that it was as good as we were saying it was.  He is also the one who told us that if we would look under the bleachers at the race track, we might find some nice surprises.  So Doug and I learned that if we went to the track the day after the races and looked under the stands we would find all the change that fell out of people’s pockets.  I used to get to ride on the tractor with him as he was working in the field.  He was always very kind and friendly, but it was rare to get a conversation out of him.  I suspect that he just didn’t know what to say to kids.  He liked us though.  He and Maude were my godparents.  Shortly before he died we were and Marie and Haymen’s and I asked him if he remembered that they were my godparents.  He not only remembered, but he told me about the baptism (which was pretty typical of all infant baptisms of that day).

graduatesDan, Diane, Carol Blandford, and Angie Goetz (that’s me) at our 8th grade graduation.

Carol Blandford Medley recalls:  Once I asked Grandmother how in the world she raised all those children when I find three is more than I can handle.  She replied, no problem at all.  They each had a job to do (or a chore).  My Dad’s (George) was cutting everyone’s hair.  She said, “He did a great job too.”  That was told to me when she was 97 years old.  I also remember when we would visit Grandmother and Papa.  Daddy always said “you can’t wear those shorts to Mother’s house”.  He really had a special respect for Grandmother.

Mary in the Window Mary Blandford Goetz (sitting in window) recalls:  On rare occasions Mother would take her egg money and buy a big beef chuck roast.  She would try to have some left over for hash on Monday.  Then there was country ham.  Papa and the boys always killed about a dozen hogs in the late fall, as soon as it got cold enough that the meat wouldn’t spoil before it could be processed.  So we had ham some Sundays.

I’ve always felt so spoiled when I have heard these stories from my mom.  How hard the times were back then, and how easy we have it today.  She is a wonderful woman, still going strong at 93, and healthier than all of her 7 children combined.  And she never takes having food on the table for granted.   We grew up poor, but I never felt that way, because she always made us feel like we had it all.  And from what I remember, the same thing went for all of my cousins.  Most of us grew up within a mile or so of each other, so we definitely were each others first friends.

More to come for many more days.



Memories of Blandford Family Train Wrecks

cousins are Today I was looking for a recipe in the Blandford Family Reunion cookbook from 2000.  My daughter did the hard part of collecting the recipes and stories from so many family members, while dealing with her newly adopted twins, her older adopted son, and moving from Richmond, VA to Frankfort, KY.  Pretty amazing, isn’t she? Callie and me15 I could have stuck the photo of her with her hair dyed hot pink, but this one is better.  So, anyway, I decided to go through the cookbook and share some of the comments different members of the family made when sending in their favorite recipes.  Most of them, or maybe I should say, a lot of them, have to do with my mom and her sibs growing up.  So, here we go.

DSC01961 Marie Blandford Ward (left, mom on right) recalls:  The boys were jokesters.  Hubert, usually was the leader, with Damien doing his share and whoever started something was backed by the rest.  Our toast was made with real cream instead of butter, and toasted in the oven.  One time Maude, a city girl who was dating Joe, asked what made our toast so yellow.  Hubert told her they put mustard on it, so that is what she did.  After Joe and Maude were married and were visiting us, Maude wanted to learn how to make biscuits.  Damien, who could make some good ones, was showing her, and he told her Papa liked a few pinto beans in his biscuits.  She put some raw pinto beans in some and gave them to Papa.

Mary Blandford Goetz (above, right, my mom) recalls:  Papa never cooked….I’m sure there just weren’t enough hours in the day for that, after tending the farm.  He did, however take Mondays off to help Mother with the laundry, which they did on washboards.  There was no running water, so water was heated in washtubs over an open fire in the backyard.

Mary Blandford Goetz recalls:  As for a typical breakfast when I was growing up, I don’t think there was a typical one: we had whatever was available at the time.  You see, I grew during the great depression, and with 10 to 14 mouths to feed every morning, it had to have been very hard.  I remember Mother saving bacon grease when we had bacon in the winter time after hog-killing, and making gravy with the grease to eat with our biscuits.   We had to sell our eggs to buy sugar and other necessary items that couldn’t be raised on the farm.  So most mornings we had gravy and biscuits, or butter and homemade jelly to go with the hot biscuits.  Occasionally we would have oatmeal, but not often.  Bacon and eggs were a rare commodity, but a most welcome one.  Sometimes we had toast, made with Mother’s homemade bread, spread with thick cream and toasted in the oven.  Although she made 6 large loaves every day, except Saturday and Sunday, there wasn’t always enough for breakfast, so that’s why we had biscuits.  What we considered a real treat was when sometimes they would buy several loaves of bread from the store.  Although bread was only a nickel a loaf, there weren’t many nickels available back then.

Note:  we seldom had biscuits when I was growing up, because mom was so burned out on them.  And the first time I ever had biscuits and gravy was when I had a Sunday breakfast with my then fiancé, Edd.  After we were married he wanted me to learn how to make the milk gravy, so we could have it for Sunday breakfasts.  I think the only gravy we ever had while I was growing up was a brown gravy, made from the stuff on the bottom of the skillet after frying chicken, or the kind I really liked, made with the broth of a beef roast, and poured over mashed potatoes.  That is still my favorite gravy, although I can no longer eat the beef roast.  I do still make biscuits and gravy on occasion, because I really love it.  Since I still don’t know how to cook for one though, when I make the biscuits and gravy, I will be eating it for a week, three times a day.  And I’ll still have enough to share with everyone on my floor of the building.

More tomorrow.  I come from a huge family, and there are a lot of stories in this book.  I’m a lucky lady to have such a large, loving family, on both sides of the family.

Lazy Thursday

Well, almost.  The phone woke me up early.  Yeah, I actually slept last night.  Really great feeling, and woke up feeling even better.  So, the flu shot didn’t give me any side effects after all.  I just felt bad last night because I was exhausted.

So, at 10:30 my first visitor arrived to do an evaluation for in-home therapy.  While we were talking she asked if I had lost any weight.  I laughed at that one, and told her almost 100 pounds since last Christmas.  She asked how, so I started talking about getting involved with the Slow Food movement, getting my fresh veggie deliveries from Cecil Farms, and eating healthier meals, plus snacking on my dehydrated veggies (I didn’t mention the 2 ingredient fudge) and she got excited about the veggie deliveries.  I have a feeling she will be contacting them about next year.

Vegan Chocolate Fudge.

Vegan Chocolate Fudge. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Usually I don’t post a regular recipe, but I found the fudge one on Facebook, and gave it a try, and it’s great!  So her ya’ go.  One can of sweetened condensed milk and 18 ounces of chocolate chips.  Melt together in the microwave or a double boiler, stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted, then pour into a buttered 8 x 8 square dish.  When cooled, cut into pieces and enjoy.

I’ve made the chocolate version several times, and since I finished the last batch today, I’m thinking about trying it with some other flavors of chips.  Just happen to have some peanut butter and some caramel ones on hand.   Sorry, I erased the photo of the first batch of fudge, but I can tell you, it’s really good.  And just use your favorite type of chocolate.  I personally like the dark chocolate, but I know a lot of people prefer other types, so, do your own thing there.

Pulled that photo off the public domain stuff that shows up on the bottom of my page when I’m typing, so just to get your taste buds working here.

Okay, so back to the therapy.  Happy to say that when she took my blood pressure this morning it was back to my normal, which would be a normal persons low BP.  I’ve decided mine goes up about 50 points for every minute I sit in the doctor’s waiting room.  Before she had finished, the intake person for the physical therapy part came in.  I guess that makes her the occupational therapy intake.  Whatever.  She left after he came in and he put me thru some paces I wasn’t really happy about, like showing him how I got in and out of the bath tub.  It’s hard enough doing it one time a day, without having to demonstrate it for someone.  At least I was warmly clothed for the demonstration, and he agreed with me that I needed more pull bars in the bathroom.  After thinking about it all day, I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe I just need a different type of shower chair, that I can scoot out on.  Oh well, anyway, next I had to stand up and sit back down for 30 seconds, while he timed me to see how many times I could do it.  Two and a half times.  And getting up the last half time almost upset the apple cart.  Glad he was nimble enough to catch before I fell.

Okay, end of visitors for the morning shift.  Real therapy begins next week, three or four visits a week.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?  Hey, if it helps, anything can be fun.  It all depends on your point of view and sense of humor.  And in my family, if you don’t have a sense of humor you might as well live on the moon, because you won’t survive here. sense of humor This about sums it up for the Goetz family.  My dad could crack a joke with a poker face and we would sometimes wonder if he was joking or telling the truth.  But then one look at the sparkle in those blue eyes and we would know.  I’m not quite as good at it as my brothers are, but I managed to get my youngest one once.  Only once, but that was a real high for me, because Ray is just like dad.  And they all know just how to get me.  I trip over my tongue more often than I tripped over my cat.  Callie and me8 That’s Callie.  She’s now my grandcat, because after tripping me every time I turned a corner I realized I jus couldn’t deal with all the bruises any more, and my grandkids had fallen in love with her, soooo.  My son-in-law wasn’t exactly thrilled, because they already had two cats, Mischief and Mayhem, but being a doting dad, he gave in. Now he’s the one who gets tripped, but he’s young and athletic, so he deals with it better than I dealt with the concussions.

I had all kinds of plans to make bread today, and do some cooking, or maybe it was cleanup in the kitchen, but instead, after the therapy people left, I just vegged out in the recliner and watched TV all afternoon.  Did a little bit of knitting while I was sitting there, played some Solitaire, but mostly just vegged out.  That was kinda fun.  Just do nothing.  Interesting concept.

I finally got myself up and came in for my evening fight with the computer, and of course the phone rang again.  A friend from the other building asking if I wanted some Mexican cornbread she had leftover from a dinner she had been to.  And a mostly full jar of jalepenos.  Sure, why not?  I asked her if she happened to have an extra jar of peanut butter around while she was at it, and she did, so now I don’t have to make a grocery run for that tomorrow.  She said she would be over in a few minutes, which I knew meant a couple of hours, so I was almost finished with my email when she came in, with two huge bags of food.  The cornbread, which I had already forgotten about, the jar of jalepenos, a couple of jars of her home canned relishes, a quart of her home canned salsa (yummy), two boxes of cereal, which I won’t eat, but can recycle into something else, like crumb topping for casseroles, and jugs of juice and can after can of fruit and veggies, plus some cheese and several bags of pasta.  Tomorrow I will definitely be making Don Charisma’s fried pasta.  His method, which he shared in his blog yesterday, is to make the sauce, cook the pasta al dente, then heat the sauce in a large pan and put the pasta in the hot sauce to finish cooking, while at the same time absorbing the sauce into the pasta, instead of just dumping the sauce on top of the pasta.  So, it’s a gotta try in my book.

So, Carol and I visited for about an hour, and as predicted, she was two hours late, but anyway, we’ll be going out to dinner sometime in the near future.  And I have loads of pasta, mac and cheese, plus all my fresh veggies still to hold me over until then.  I sent her home with some fruit syrup and some of my apple/sweet potato leather to snack on, so we were both happy at the outcome.  Now we just have to get to JoAnn’s again and buy more yarn.  I’ve almost used all of mine up, so my vow to not buy any more until I have used all of my stash is accomplished.  Or will be by the time she gets around to making the trip there.  I might have to take the bus if I run out of yarn before then.  I think I live at a faster pace than she does.


Random Musings

I’ve been fooling around with my computer again.  Now everything is in a different place, my usual Google web page is missing, replaced by Yahoo, I have three,  that’s right, three different virus protection products fighting each other to see which one can control the computer, and in case you haven’t read this before, I HATE THIS COMPUTER!!!!  And for some reason, I seem to have changed my background for my post.  I think.  Not really sure yet, but I guess I’ll find out when I hit “publish”. I should have taken that Mickey Mouse computer course I signed up for in college, instead of reading thru the textbook and dropping the class because I already knew how to turn on the computer.  After taking the first course I could have taken the second one and maybe have learned a few things I didn’t already know how to do.

I’ve found dozens of delicious looking recipes today, but ran out of printer ink, so can’t print them out.  Truth is, I would have to live another two hundred years to make them all, but collecting recipes is one of my hobbies.  Then I take the ones I am really interested in and tweak them a bit and come up with something, uh, interesting?   Most of the time it works, but when I don’t like it myself I can always stick it on a neighbor’s door  and then it will be their problem.  I guess that makes me a wuss of some kind, but there’s always the chance they will enjoy it.  A lot of them have told me I’m a pretty good cook.  And I guess most recipes are born thru experimentation.  If I keep telling myself that some day I might believe it.  Some, like the ketchup, I make over and over, because it’s part of who I am, and it’s a family heritage.

I’ve tried a lot of family recipes, since I have also mentioned that I’m from a family of great cooks.  In 2000 we had a Blandford family reunion, and my daughter decided to put together a family cookbook.  She contacted a member of each family and asked them to spread the word among their immediate family to send her their favorite recipes.Callie and me15 This is my daughter, Gina, taken a couple of years go.  When she was putting the recipe book together, she was also getting to know her twins, Anika and Laurie, who had just been brought home from Romania, and in the middle of moving from Richmond, VA to Frankfort, KY.  She is the ultimate Super Mom.  She not only got the book finished in time for the reunion, she had taken orders from family members and had the book printed and bound, and gave them out at her cost per book at the reunion.  And a lot of people who hadn’t ordered one saw the book and decided they would like to have one after all, so she took names and addresses, got more printed and sent them out when she got back to Frankfort.  It’s just too bad she decided to become vegetarian in college.  Can you believe she even gave up burgoo???  How can any respectable person from Daviess County give up burgoo? BBQ capitol of the world We are the barbecue capital of the world.  And we have the International Barbecue Festival every year to prove it.  And burgoo is ALWAYS featured there, although only two places make the really good kind.  Out of respect to all of the burgoo makers in the area, I won’t mention the Mount or St. Martins.

Don and Norita came to visit today, and I mentioned that I was thinking about piercing my nose and hanging a bucket under it.  Don thought it would be funny, but Norita said “please don’t”.  Guess I won’t, because it actually sounds painful, but it would kinda be trend setting.  Just think how many people I could influence with my new fashion style.  I could get little buckets in several colors to match all my shirts.

Gonna call Mike later to see if he can score some pears for me.  Don said the old pear tree on the farm is still producing and I’m hankering for some pear honey and pear vinegar. Need a bucket of apples too, but no apple trees out there.  And I don’t think I would trust Mikey to bring me persimmons.  His idea of fun would be to bring half-ripe ones that have the pucker power of a millions lemons at once.  And he would probably smuggle in a ‘possum or a raccoon to go with them.  Love the kid, but I don’t think he’ll ever really grow up when it comes to the practical jokes.  And every time he can get one over on mom…..

Well, let’s see what I’ve done with this page, and if I have to do anything to try to fix it.  Or maybe I should just stop trying to fix things.  Tried to fix my power chair by hammering a screwdriver into a spot on it.  Managed to smash my thumb.  Ms Fixit I’m not.  Most of the time.  I do know how to change a lightbulb if I can reach it though.