Monday, June 30, 2008

View from the Back Seat 07/03/08

Summer is in full swing at beautiful Lake Wabaunsee. Last Saturday, the lake was jumpin’ with Jet Skis and speed boaters pulling tubers. Tubers are those youthful daredevils who hang onto inflatable devices while being thrown around behind a power boat going at breakneck speeds. I have done that once and once was enough for me! I was much younger at the time. However, watching my dear husband do cartwheels across the water after being propelled from a tube was even more thrilling! He was much younger as well, but it was not exciting for him!

At the lake, the entire week prior to July 4th has been busy with campers and swimmers, boaters and skiers. My dear husband and I have friends from Nebraska who will be spending the weekend with us and we will take in some of the local parades and festivities, as well as the traditional Fourth of July Fireworks display Friday evening at Lake Wabaunsee. Of course, there will be the boat parade earlier in the evening and I am sure we will have our giant water guns readied for the passersby as we watch from our dock. Tradition requires that one must be well armed with propelled water devices (such as water balloons) or huge 30-foot shot water guns. But most of all, during the day we will be touring on our motorcycles with our friends through beautiful Flint Hills.

Whatever your activities may be on “Independence Day”, please remember the intent of this most revered holiday celebration. According to, Independence Day is celebrated on July 4 because that is the day when the Continental Congress adopted the final draft of the Declaration of Independence. From July 8, 1776, until the next month, the document was read publicly and people celebrated whenever they heard it. The next year, in Philadelphia, bells rang and ships fired guns, candles and firecrackers were lighted. But the War of Independence dragged on until 1783, and in that year, Independence Day was made an official holiday. 1941 Congress declared 4th of July a federal holiday.

John Adams, a lawyer, the first Vice President and the Second President of the United States, was one of the members of the Second Continental Congress who signed the Declaration of Independence. He wrote to his wife, "I believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival... it ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other..." And so we shall, Mr. President, so we shall.

Take care and may God bless you and your family during this Independence Day Celebration! And God bless America! Vicky

The photograph above was taken as we cruised the Mississippi on a tug boat in June 2006. There was a stiff wind and of course, Old Glory was flappin' in the breeze! Hooray for the Red, White and Blue!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Seven Layer Salad

This you can do the night before! You will need an oblong, glass dish.

Ingredients include
1 bag of lettuce,
1 chopped tomato (use those little cherry tomatoes cut in half. So much neater!)
2 to 4 chopped green onions
1 grated carrot (I chopped a bunch of those little mini-carrots. works as well)
1 package of frozen peas (use a good name brand as they are usually smaller and sweeter than off-brand)
1 bottle of bacon bits
1 small jar of light Miracle Whip - not the fat free, okay?
1/4 cup sugar; about 1/4 cup milk
Finely grated cheese.

Layer in the oblong glass pan in order. Mix 2 to 3 cups light Miracle Whip with 1/4 cup sugar and add the milk to thin it. cover the salad and then top with grated cheese. I used Kraft finely grated Monterrey jack and cheddar cheese.
The key to this great salad is to refrigerate overnight for the flavors to blend. I use Reynold's Clear Plastic Wrap. It is sticky enough to make a seal. Hint: lay a few baby carrots on top of the salad to hold the plastic away from the dressing/cheese mix.
Sunday menu: BBQ Sandwiches; Seven-layer Salad; chips and iced tea.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Raisin Sheet Cookies - A Bakin' Mama!

Oh, yeah. Raisin Sheet Cookies. Mmmm... So I baked and here they are. The recipe follows:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Spray cookie sheet with Pam.

1 cup seedless raisins
1 cup water
1 tsp. soda
1/2 cup Crisco
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. baking powder
Measure all the ingredients before you start. Combine the salt, flour, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and baking powder and stir well, set aside. You will add this later. Bring the raisins to boil in water in a 3-quart heavy sauce pan. Once it boils, remove from heat and add the teaspoon of soda and stir well. Then add the solid Crisco. Once that is melted, stir in the dry ingredients all at once. Batter will be slightly thick. Pour immediately onto the greased cookie sheet and spread out. The batter will be a thin layer, but will puff up during baking. Bake for 12 minutes to 15 minutes at 375 degree oven. Keep a close eye on the 'cake' checking frequently after 12 minutes. It should come out golden brown. Be careful so it won't get overdone as it will be too dry! Touch the 'cake' with your finger and it will spring back; the edges will draw away from the edge of the cookie sheet, too.
Remove from your oven and cool on top of the stove with a clean t-towel over it. Cool about 15 minutes. Ice with a thin layer of glaze made out of powdered sugar and water. Let the icing dry for a couple of minutes. Take a couple of sheets of waxed paper and cover the 'cake', then recover with the towel. Cool completely, then cut into bars and store in air-tight container or leave in pan and wrap carefully with clear plastic wrap.
Please note: You should ALWAYS cut a couple of pieces for a taste test! "R"

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Post Turtle

A friend sent me this joke (below). It is, however, food for thought.

Now, in Kansas about this time of year, there are all sorts of turtles that cross the get to the other side. Green turtles, ornamental turtles, and the big ol' snapper turtles. Sometimes the snapper turtles are as big as a tire and if you hit 'em, you can be sure that you will need a front end alignment on your truck if you do. Now here is this joke, please draw you own conlusions....

While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75 year old Texas rancher, whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Obama and his bid to be our President.The old rancher said,
'Well, ya know, Obama is a post turtle'.

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a 'post turtle' was. The old rancher said, 'When you're driving down a Country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced On top, that's a 'post turtle' .

The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he continued to explain. 'You know he didn't get up there by himself, he doesn't belong up there, he doesn't know what to do while he is up there, and you just wonder what kind of a dumb person put him up there.'

Think about it. Som
eone put him there.