Friday, November 13, 2015

Chicken Paprikas

I've had my dad on my mind all day.  He liked to cook (and EAT), and one of his favorite dishes was Chicken Paprika.  He spent so many years hunting for the perfect recipe he had tasted at a church potluck once.

After Mom died, I lived with one of my grown sisters, Betty, for 3 years until Dad remarried.  She and her husband took  care of me all week, but when the weekends came, Dad would pick me up, and off we'd go out to his cottage at "the Lake".  Here's a picture of our cottage which was taken a few years later after we put a foundation under it and made it into a year-round home.

So on Fridays after school, I'd rush home to pack up for the weekend with Dad.  I was so eager to see him pull in the driveway after work.  We'd always stop at the same family restaurant, Emil's, along the way where I would order a cheeseburger with tomato and mustard and a chocolate milk.  He'd usually order the special of the day.  All the waitresses knew my order and often would gather at my side telling me that I was the only child they knew that wanted mustard instead of ketchup on their burger.  Dad would get a big kick out of all those "girls", as he'd call them, paying such attention to our table.  Yeah, I was a babe magnet for him :).  We mostly went out to the Lake after supper, but a few times we'd go to our home in the city, but not very often.  He never talked about it, but I think he really didn't want to spend much time at "home" anymore without Mom there, an neither did I.

On Fridays, we'd get to the cottage just time to watch "The Everglades".  It wasn't a long-lived TV show, but I liked it.  Later in the evening the Friday Night Fights came on, and there was always popcorn between Dad and me...grape Nehi for me, beer for Dad.  He really enjoyed the fights, ducking and diving punches with a stogie in his mouth, ashes falling in his lap.  Then, I'd entertain him during the commercials doing my best impression of Edie Adams selling cigars in her sexy manner.  I'd throw my fuzzy scarf around my neck and promenade around the living room swishing my hips and brandishing a cigar box.  It always made him laugh, and that just encouraged me all the more.

Back then the cottage was just a cottage and still had an outhouse in the backyard.  Good grief, how I hated to go out there.  In the winter it was a cold trip, but the summer was worse because of the bugs and snakes.  Shivers year round.  But it had a great cobblestone fireplace which welcomed me back.  He'd let me pitch a camp and sleep by the fire at night.  Camp was a large blanket spread across two or three dining chairs, with the opening to the fire.  My pillows were placed just so on the floor with blankets for sleeping, and a book for coloring until I fell asleep.  Such fun.

On Saturdays, Dad would cook for us.  Breakfast was usually toast and cereal, lunch was bean or veggie soup with swiss cheese on the side, and then there was supper.  We'd often go out to eat, but we'd often enjoy some of Dad's cooking.  This brings me back to the Chicken Paprikas ... more commonly called Chicken Paprikash.   I inherited Dad's Hungarian Cookbook he bought at a church social for the recipe for this dish.  I'm sharing it with you guys below:

Veal Paprikas or Chicken (from Elizabeth Gage) (ed. verbatim)

2 c    veal chopped into small pieces
1 lg    onion chopped and sauteed in 2 Tbs shortening
1 tsp  paprika
1 tsp  salt
Wash veal and rinse.  Add onions.  Add pepper to taste.

Bring to boil, turn fire low, cook slowly 1-1/2 hours.  When half done, add 1/2 mango to meat in one piece plus 1/2 tsp Accent if you like.  Add water only if it cooks down too much.  Stir occasionally.  When meat is done, mix in a pint jar 1/2 pint of sour cream with 2 Tbs of flour.  Fill jar with water and mix till smooth.  Add to meat.  Cook till thick gravy is obtained.  Serve with noodle dumplings.  You can substitute chicken for veal or beef.  Omit sour cream if beef.

This is the authentic recipe from Ms. Gage's family recipes.  It was printed in a cookbook entitled Our Favorite Hungarian Recipes.  Compiled by The Women's Guild of the Hungarian E + R Church (United Church of Christ) Columbus7, Ohio

By the old fashioned address and the picture on the cover, I think this was compiled in the late 40s or early 50s, but I have no way of knowing for sure.  This was written in a large paragraph.  I broke it out in a more manageable layout for you.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Credenza, Project for the Sewing Room

A few months ago I wrote of salvaging the bookshelves that we tore out of what had been the den in this house, and using it in my sewing room (see posting here) .  You may remember the whole thing looked like this when we bought this place. We couldn't save all the shelving, but we were able to pull 2/3 of cabinetry and all the shelves from the trash heap.
Den before, note cabinetry below the shelves

Den after the remodeling, Now Laundry Rm
I've finally finished the base of the credenza -- patched, sanded, painted and parked in its new resting place.  The paint needs a few more days to cure (especially now that it has been raining and the air is very very humid).  It'll take some nice dry days before I can start putting fabric on the shelves, but I'm really looking forward to starting to use it for my stash's storage.  The top is just a piece of white laminated shelving from Lowes.  It's not what I had in mind, but it works just fine.  It'll be nice to unpack my stash from those large plastic containers soon.

Credenza Before Refinishing

Patching Credenza
Credenza Painted with Laminate Top 77"

There are two shallow shelving units that will fit on top, but I haven't even begun working on those yet.  They're still in the garage housing my hubby's odds and ends...but they're next.  They aren't very deep, but they should hold a plethora of odds and ends.  I'll have to cut about 3-4 inches off the bottom so they clear the crown molding in the sewing room....I don't want to mess with crown molding....I'm neither that ambitious nor talented! LOL
Shelving from the Den

The last step was to get these doors' hardware remounted, and then hanging them back onto the credenza.  I'm using the original 1950s hardware which is copper (see the top picture).  Oh, I do love copper.
Doorbacks of Credenza painted
Here's the finished project for now.  I'm just really loving those copper hinges and pulls.  The shelving will just have to wait in the garage until next Spring for me to get to them.

Credenza, finished
So, as some of you know, I'm going into the hospital for surgery tomorrow to remove a tumor and the surrounding tissues.  The docs say I won't be feeling well again for a couple of months.  Based on what they're saying, I may not be blogging for quite awhile, so don't be surprised if I go silent again for some time.  I'll be back as soon as I canh thoug, and I'm sure I'll have many stories to tell.

So, until the next time ......... peace and blessings to you all.

                                                           ~~ Karen ~~

Monday, September 28, 2015

Just Kicks and Giggles

 I was going through my pictures and came across this one that my daughter sent me of a recent shopping trip to the grocery.  My youngest grandbaby has personality, that's for sure.  This picture always makes me smile.
She really got excited upon discovering this special shopping cart made "just for her" .  Wish I could have been there with her, too.  She's such a hoot.

This weekend was spent finishing up painting the credenza for my sewing room.  I'll be working on the doors today.  I'm anxious to get this project to a quasi-finished point before I go into the hospital on Thursday.  After surgery, they say I won't feel good again for a couple of months.  So, I'm anxious to get this old project off the table, literally. I'll take a couple of pictures later today for another day's blog.

Until next time........peace and blessings............

                                                     ~~ Karen ~~

Saturday, September 26, 2015

More Beach Getaway pictures

My last posting was all about our trip to the Outer Banks for a 3-day get-away with our daughter who took time off work for a visit.   Love spending time with our kids even though they are no longer kids.

I thought I'd post just a few more pictures of her and her Dad's 1st hang-gliding adventures.

Here's Lee testing out the gear
 Here he is getting ready for take-off
 Here's Katie testing her gear.
 Katie's take-off...
 And....she's flying !

Along the dunes you can easily see all kinds of animal tracks.  How many tracks can you identify?  The museum at the entrance has a great tutorial about the tracks.
 I really liked the contrast of this dead tree against the sand and sky.
 A "field" of flowers along the dunes
 Jockey Ridge State Park's buildings are powered by the wind.
Human Tracks in the Sand

 Here we are at the beach at sunrise....someone forgot their sunglasses the day before.
 Sun rising from the sea...
Another forgotten toy casting long shadows at sunrise.
 A tern preening in the sunshine after climbing the remains of what had been a magnificent castle.
 Sea spray

 Sea turtle nest site
 Small crab tracks
Meanwhile, back at the pool....brass birds keep watch over some young'uns....
 Dune grass bathed by the morning sun
Sunset over the bay (from our balcony).

Until next time, God's Blessings to you and have a nice weekend...

                                                   ~~ Karen ~~