Picnic Time

Sunday, since it was a beautiful day, I went to the next town for their Annual Spring Picnic. Picnics are different here than they are in your area. They do not serve barbecue, beans and potato salad. They serve what is known as Picnic Stew. Each church has their own version, some of them are delicious and some of them not so much. The chunks of meat are cooked in big batches; some are made with a little thickening, so you have gravy, but mostly not, just the meat juices. They also serve German style seasoned potatoes, seasoned green beans (some use mushroom soup in theirs, others, like today were seasoned with bacon), fried chicken, sausage and sauerkraut. At this time of year, there are actually two picnics on the same day and many folks go from one to the other, I did not! The line was long, but it moved relatively quickly. The food is self-serve, other than the chicken which is served. The menu at the other church was the same except that they have cornbread dressing with their fried chicken. It was a nice day, the people were friendly and as you went through the line, you got visit a bit with friends who might be in a different part of the line. It is set up so that basically, you are making a series of esses, from start to finish.
Last week, I mentioned about Memorial Day and the flags that are placed alongside the roads, north, south, east and west entering town. I had no clue how many or anything until I received the local paper. Veterans of the American Legion Post 571 placed 160 flags along U.S. Highway 77 and State Highway 111 in a joint effort with members of the Interact Club. Veterans from DeWitt and Lavaca Counties participated. Also on Monday, American Legion Post 571 will be hosting a Memorial Day program as well as a meal for their members. Once I found out how many members of the Ladies Auxiliary I already knew, it was easy to make the decision to join the organization. Basically, all I had to do was transfer my membership, since the Post in Castroville was no longer in existence.
Now, how about a Pineapple Upside-down cake that is a little different, it is baked in a Bundt pan!
Pineapple Upside-down Bundt Cake
1 large can of sliced pineapple, (drained reserving juice)
8 maraschino cherries, drained
¾ stick butter, melted (6 Tbs.)
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 box either pineapple or yellow cake mix
Ingredients as listed on box for making cake
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Open pineapple, drain well, and cut slices in half. (You will use only 8 slices), cut cherries in half and drain well. Place melted butter in a well-sprayed Bundt pan, top with brown sugar spreading it out evenly over the butter. Place the slices of pineapple evenly around pan, resting one edge on the sugar/butter mixture; place cherries, cut side up, close to the ends of the pineapple (if you place them too far toward the sides of the pan they will be around the edge of the cake instead of on top). Mix the cake batter according to the directions on the box, using the reserved pineapple juice instead of water in the mix; gently spoon the batter over the pineapple, straightening the slices as necessary so they are nice and even. Bake according to directions on box for a Bundt Cake. Allow to stand about 5 minutes in pan and then invert over plate for serving. This makes a really pretty cake.
Cajun Style Shrimp Salad
1 pouch (4-oz) Zatarain’s® Crawfish, Shrimp and Crab Boil
1 lb. ready to use frozen, tiny shrimp (or you can use 1 to 1½ lbs fresh, peeled and deveined small shrimp)*
1 cup uncooked white rice
½ cup finely chopped sweet onion
½ cup chopped green olives
½ cup finely chopped celery
½ cup frozen petit green peas
1 cup mayonnaise (do not use salad dressing)
Add 1 to 2* tablespoons of the crawfish, shrimp and crab boil to 4 cups of water, bring to boil and add the frozen shrimp and leave water over low heat for about 30 to 45 seconds, just long enough for the shrimp to completely thaw and absorb the flavor of the mixture. (If you used fresh shrimp, bring mixture to a boil, add the shrimp and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp are done). Remove shrimp from liquid with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour uncooked rice into mixture and bring to a boil, cooking (and stirring if necessary) until rice is done and drain well and rinse with hot water if desired. Add shrimp and peas to rice and set aside to cool to room temperature. Chop onion, olives and celery, add mayonnaise and stir to mix well; add to rice/pea mixture and stir to mix.. Chill thoroughly before serving. *The amount you use will determine how spicy your salad is. If you like really spicy, use the full 2 Tbs., if not just use 1 Tbs. (I used just 1 Tbs. and found everyone liked it just fine). *Be sure to tell people that it contains shrimp, I served it at a meeting and the lady across from me had enjoyed the first bite of just rice and asked what was in it, when I said shrimp, she had to leave the table and rinse her mouth, as she was horribly allergic to shrimp!

Celebrate with your Mother!

This past week was abyssmal. I wasn’t unusually busy as my weeks go, but on Tuesday I came home from the Gift Shop not feeling totally well and with some back pain. After relaxing for a while in my new recliner with a couple of ibuprofen for the discomfort, I was home free, I thought. Wednesday and Thursday I felt horrible and a nighttime of severe chills on Wednesday added to my misery. Yikes, I haven’t felt that bad in many years. (Yep, there’s a bug going around, and he got me good, shook me around like a rag doll and threw down and stomped on me!). My sweet sister brought me soup, Imodium and Gator Ade! She knew the cure and it helped. All day Friday and Saturday, my energy level was nil, (thank you family for the new recliner, it works well), but I had no more symptoms, and by Saturday evening, I felt well enough to go to church with her in town. Sunday my energy level was up a bit (not normal, believe me), but up and by Monday morning, I feel nearly normal!
Now, let’s talk about this coming weekend! Sunday, May 14, is Mother’s Day, and the time to specially honor our Mothers on their very own day.
Do you know the origins of this special day honoring our Mothers?
It was first observed in Grafton, West Virginia and in the churches of Philadelphia on May 10, 1908, on a suggestion by Miss Anna Jarvis to honor her mother, a Sunday school teacher. Because of her Mother’s fondness of flowers, especially carnations, Miss Jarvis gave a carnation to each person present in her honor.
According to an article that I read sometime during this past week, even though Anna Jarvis never married, she continually worked toward more attention being paid to Mother’s during her entire lifetime.
Mother’s Day International Association was incorporated in December 1912 to encourage a greater observation of the day.
In 1913, by a unanimous vote, The House of Representatives passed a resolution commending the observance of Mother’s Day and calling upon the president, his Cabinet, the Senators and Federal Government Employees to wear a white carnation on the second Sunday of the month to observe Mother’s Day.
President Woodrow Wilson, in 1914, issued a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day and directed that the American Flag be displayed on all public buildings on that day.
A holiday called “Mothering Sunday,” an old English custom, antedated the present observance by many years. The name was derived from the custom of the faithful attending the mother church in which they had been baptized on Mid-Lent Sunday. At this time they offered gifts at the altar to the church, and also to their mothers, as tokens of love and gratitude.
Some of the earliest Mother’s Day celebrations on record can be traced back to ancient Greece. The celebrations were held in honor of Rhea, the Mother of the Gods. The Roman equivalent was a religious celebration known as Hilaria that lasted from March 15 to 18.
The observance of Mother’s Day has spread to many other countries, including England, Sweden, Denmark, India and Mexico.
In parts of Yugoslavia, Mother’s Day is called “Materice” by the Serbian people and is observed two weeks before Christmas.
It has become the custom to wear white flowers if your mother is deceased, and red flowers if she is still living. The flower most usually associated with Mother’s Day then and now has been the carnation.
Do you remember the verse that you may have learned, or that was printed on a mimeographed sheet, with a carnation for you to color for your mother, when you were in grade school? It was called simply “Mother”. I have no idea as to the source, because the first time I saw it and colored it, I was in third grade! It has been around for a very long time and is still as beautiful now as it was then.
M – is for the million things she gave me.
O – is only that she is growing old.
T – is for the tears she shed to save me.
H – is for her heart of purest gold.
E – is for her eyes with love light shining.
R – is right, and right she’ll always be.
Put them all together and they spell “Mother”, a word that means the world to me.
In case you’re celebrating, having a big meal and all the trimmings, here’s a truly delicious dessert for you to try. We had this numerous times when the family was all together in Devine and it was strawberry season. The original recipe was from my Mother and she served it to her bunco ladies as well as her family!
Strawberry Pie
1 baked pie shell, or a vanilla ready-to-use crust
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
6 teaspoons cornstarch
7 teaspoons strawberry gelatin (or 2 teaspoons sugar-free gelatin)
1 pound, cleaned, hulled, fresh strawberries (divided usage)
Whipped topping
Bake pie shell according to directions on package and set aside to cool. Mix together, sugar, water and cornstarch in pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly until thick and clear. Add gelatin, stir well until gelatin is thoroughly dissolves and set aside to cool.
Cut strawberries into quarters or slice (save 8 of the nicest strawberries and leave whole for garnish) and place sliced berries into the prepared pie shell. Pour cooled cooked mixture over berries and chill thoroughly. Serve slices with whipped topping; garnish each serving with a whole cleaned berry with the stem on. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
The following is delicious also, and my granddaughter sent it to me several years ago.
Strawberry Jell-O Cake
1 box strawberry flavored gelatin
1 box white cake mix + 2 Tbs. flour
4 eggs
½ water
1 package frozen strawberries (minus ¼ cup for frosting)
Mix gelatin, cake mix and flour; add oil, water and eggs; mix well, add strawberries and stir to mix in; pour into 9×13 pan and bake as per package instructions. Cool completely before frosting.
Frost with:
1 box powdered sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
¼ cup butter
¼ cup strawberries
Mix all together until of spreading consistency and spread on cooled cake.


It’s hard to believe, but the year is already one-third over. Easter was a little late this year, so the feeling that we have just celebrated it is a logical one! And since then, both the Poteet Strawberry Festival and Fiesta San Antonio have been celebrated. I didn’t get to watch any of the parades on TV this year, mostly because they were being broadcast when I was having bad weather and the TV was off!
My recent trip to Devine was uneventful, all the bad weather waited until I was safely home before it came in. Saturday and Sunday were both relatively quiet for me. Saturday, I went on a small “road trip”. I had seen an ad in our paper for a garage sale and decided to try to find it. Guess, what? It was one of those placed that “you can’t get there from here”. Meaning I wasted nearly an hour trying to get there before I turned around, came back to town and went the way I thought was simplest to begin with! The lady turned out to be someone I knew; however, she didn’t have much that I could use. I found a game with a chapter book for children to read here at my house and a couple of books for myself.
This next week is going to be a busy one, as I have Pokeno on Monday afternoon and in the evening, there is visitation and a rosary for one of our locals. I know the family; his wife is a lady who knows how to stay busy! She is our ringleader when it comes time to make noodles for our various fundraisers and is totally pleasant to be around. I’ve gotten to know him a little bit, as he was a member of the American Legion post that I attend the Ladies Auxiliary. Tuesday, I have the monthly meeting of our Hospital Auxiliary and the in the afternoon, a turn in the gift shop. Wednesday will find me back in Victoria once again with my new hearing aids. I think sometimes it’s like Pat Dubose used to tell me, when I had a computer problem “operator error”! Truthfully, I’m doing very well with them, just a couple of little glitches.
May is a month with more holidays/celebrations than many of our other months. First, we have May Day on May 1. It is not celebrated in our country as much as it is in other countries. In some, it is celebrated with parties, May poles and May baskets. In my grade school days, we made a May basket out of woven strips of construction paper for our mothers. When I was working at the nursing home, one of the aides, made each of us a May basket filled with tiny flowers and hung them on the doorknob of our office.

My information about this date was gleaned from the internet several years ago.
It was on this day in 1862, that the Mexican army, for the first time, defeated the most feared French army of Napoleon III. He had been planning to take unconditional control over Mexico. Napoleon III observed how the Spaniards had controlled the land in colonial times and how they lost it. He had also seen the northern part of Mexico was later of great interest to the United States Emancipation plan. It was through the treaty of Guadalupe Hildago that Mexico lost one half of its territory. The government was split, headed by Zuloaga and another headed by Benito Juarez. Under these conditions, Napoleon III wanted the land even more. He, therefore, sent the Austrian, Ferdinand Maximilian, to take control (under Napoleon IIIs orders) as Emperor of Mexico.
Mexico was not willing to have any more colonizing and ruling from other Empires settling in the land. It was a time to fight back and be respected. All their gold and silver were under the Spanish power when they had first colonized the land.
President Juarez decreed that no man between the ages of 20 and 60 would be excused from taking up arms. He was determined not to lose his people’s land. He made it clear to the citizens that any traitors would be taken prisoner, and have his possessions confiscated by the State. He guaranteed to protect the lives and property of French citizens who lived in Mexico.
The French proclaimed General Almonte as president of the Republic of Mexico. Not all of the citizens of Mexico accepted him as President. Those who were loyal to their country still depended on their only president, Benito Juarez.
Juarez sent a warning to Napoleon III, who later denied receiving it. In it Juarez indicated that the citizens did not want a monarchy and did not want to be controlled by the French Empire. He also warned Napoleon III that if the nation’s sovereignty were attacked, the citizens would resist, and sooner or later freedom and justice would win. Napoleon took all of this as a joke because he did not recall his army back to France but continued his aggression into Mexico City. On April 12, 1862, President Juarez had no other choice but to make his nation aware of the French invasion. He asked the people to support the Mexican army in the impending battle and to defend their independence. He reminded them that, in war, everyone suffered, but no type of misfortune was greater than the loss of freedom.
General Ignacio Zaragoza was appointed to gather forces at Puebla to defend Mexico City. Zaragoza and Juarez, as well as the French, knew that the only way to Mexico City was through Puebla. If the French were able to gain control of Puebla, Mexico would be in their hands. General Lorencez was put in charge of taking Puebla. IN many instances he was informed that the citizens of Mexico were willing to accept the French in their land and that there was not going to be any combat at all once he reached Puebla. Lorencez had no idea that the inhabitants of Puebla were actually waiting for him.
Puebla had over 80,000 inhabitants and over 150 churches and was surrounded by a chain of five forts. Zaragoza had an army of about 6,000 men who were placed in the forts. The others were held in reserve in the city, where he had erected barricades in most of the streets.
He knew that at this time of the year, showers were to be expected frequently. The rains made the roads almost impossible to use, causing heavy cannons to get stuck on mountain roads. The hailstorms would also make life miserable for the soldiers, and if there was an outbreak of disease, such as smallpox or typhoid fever, this would also wreak havoc. The Mexicans knew their territory, which gave them a great advantage, in spite of the fact that they were short on supplies and weapons.
On May3, 1862, Zaragoza arrived at Puebla and discussed with the citizens the possible tactics that the French would use. On May 4, Lorencez arrived at the village of Amozoc, a few miles north of Puebla. He did not know where to attack. Almonte advised him to attack from the west and added that Puebla had never been taken from the north. Others advised Lorencez to attack from the north. The French army arrived near Puebla at 9:00 a.m., on May 5, 1862. Once there, Lorencez’s army was attacked by a small group of Mexicans. The French took a stand and realized that they were not going to be as welcome as they thought they would be. At 11:00 a.m., the battle of Cinco de Mayo began.
To get into the city of Puebla, the French army had to bring down the Fort of Guadalupe and also Fort Loreto, which was about half a mile away. For hours they kept advancing closer to the fort’s walls and did not seem to be doing any damage. After about an hour and a half of fighting, they had spent nearly half their ammunition, and the French infantry was sent in to capture the fort. They were under strong musket fire from the Mexicans in the fort, and from others sheltered by rising ground halfway between the two forts. The Mexican artillery in Fort Loreto was also turned on them.
Acting on orders from Zaragoza, Porfirio Diaz led a charge against the French infantry in front of the fort. That afternoon a heavy thunderstorm drenched the combatants, obscured visibility and made the ground slippery. Lorencez did not have a chance and he knew it. He was running out of weapons and losing soldiers. To save his army, he knew he had to retreat. At around 7:00 p.m., the French army retreated from Fort Guadalupe to a position at the foot of the hill and waited for a Mexican counterattack. The French erected their tents and spent the light listening to the Mexicans cheering and celebrating their victory by singing Mexican songs and the “Marseillaise”, which to the French was “our Marseillaise”. Lorencez waited for Zaragoza to make the next move, staying for two days in the city of Puebla. But, after seeing that Zaragoza was not coming, Napoleon’s army had to walk through the silent mountains, defeated, with 462 men and eight of their prisoners taken.
President Juarez decided to make the Battle of Puebla a holiday, along with Mexican Independence Day (September 16). The battle came to be known as the “Batalla de Puebla”, in which civilians of the poor Pueblo de Puebla defeated the great French army of Napoleon III.
Chicken Fajitas
2 pounds chicken, thighs or breasts, de-boned and cut into 2-inch strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
Juice of 2 limes
1 bottle dark beer
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
½ tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper
Cilantro, cut up
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
Place chicken and next eleven ingredients into plastic or glass bowl and marinate at least 18 to 24 hours in fridge. Heat a little olive oil in a sauté pan, drain meat and sear in hot pan, adding the bell pepper. Cook until done, about 4 to 6 minutes. Serve in hot tortillas with salsa.

Of Easter Eggs and Rain Storms

Beautiful weekend and Easter were not totally synonymous this year. My daughter came in Wednesday evening as my first guest of the weekend, and while she didn’t drive in much rain, that night and Thursday morning, provided us with flashing lightening and rumbling crashing thunder beginning around 3:00 and 4:00 a.m., and it continued until after 9:00 a.m., Thursday morning. It quit raining long enough for us to go to town for a few errands. We had intended to go to Victoria for a little shopping and we reached the point where we had to decide yah or nay! We decided on “yah” and took off for Victoria. It didn’t rain again until we were on our way home. We went shopping to a couple of stores, and she, luckily, found some clothes that fit! By now, it was time for lunch, and we went to one of our favorite sea food restaurants. It has been in Victoria for quite a while, and while small, it has wonderful food. My fried shrimp plate and her fried catfish plate were extremely delicious. The waitress was talking with us and my daughter told her that we were celebrating my birthday, and we were given a choice of a couple desserts, we selected the Key Lime Pie, and she brought us a nice size slice and two spoons. It was a great choice, and we enjoyed every morsel.
After a really fun day, we came home in a light shower and in time to begin working on some things I would need when I went back to Devine to have Easter with my other daughter and her family.
We did our weekly bible study, and then managed to completely put together an “Easter Bunny Cake”, that turned out really well. This past week has been a wonderful birthday week for me, and I have enjoyed every moment of it, including attending the gig, where my grandson was playing guitar. It was a large crowd of us, as some of my son-in-law’s relatives were in from out of state. I think our crowd was over 25! The food was delicious and the music, as usual was great. My trip was uneventful, except for the 20 plus minutes that it poured down raining, luckily, I drove out of that, and the rest of the trip wasn’t too bad. Not much traffic and just occasional sprinkles of rain. On Saturday afternoon I came back home and prepared for the company that was coming to my home. However, due to illness, several weren’t able to be there. You were missed!
The following
Several years ago, while I was doing research at the paper office, I found the following article in a 1941 issue of The Devine News. It was interesting to me and since I haven’t published it within the last several years, I thought my readers might find it interesting also, during this Easter season.
Easter began as the most joyous of Christian holidays to celebrate the rebirth of Christ. Easter comes at the same time as spring when new life begins with growth and rebirth in nature. Many ancient people honored the coming of spring. Ancient Egyptians and Persians celebrated the coming of spring by decorating and eating eggs. Eggs were a symbol of fertility and new life.
The Christians adopted the egg as their symbol of new life as well. In the early days of the church, eggs were forbidden food during Lent—the six-week period before Easter.
But when lent ended people were glad to eat eggs again and made it a tradition to eat them on Easter Sunday. They also gave eggs to their children.
The hare or rabbit was also part of the celebration of spring long before Christianity.
In ancient Egypt, the hare was thought to have some connection with the moon since this small animal comes out to eat only at night.
Since the moon also symbolized the beginning of a new life, so did the hare and the rabbit.
The wearing of new clothes on Easter Sunday is also the symbol of a new beginning. It is the casting off of old clothes and the wearing of new ones.
In ancient Egypt and Persia people exchanged decorated eggs at the spring equinox, which was the beginning of the New Year. Eggs were seen as a symbol of fertility because the coming forth of a live creature from an egg was so surprising to people of ancient times.
When Christians adopted this tradition, the Easter egg became a religious symbol. These early Christians believed it represented the tomb from which Jesus came forth. In medieval times eggs were traditionally given to all servants, and to children, along with other gifts.
Here are a couple of slightly different recipes to try. The hummus recipe is from a friend, and the egg rolls, which are totally different, were served at a bunco party that I attended not long after I moved here to Yoakum. The local Pilot club ladies had a bunco party monthly as a fund raiser, and it was always fun to attend.
Vegetable Hummus
2 large cloves garlic
2 cans (15 to 19 oz each) chickpeas/garbanzo beans
1 package Knorr® Recipe Classics Vegetable recipe mix
½ cup water
½ cup Bertolli® Olive Oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon cumin
6 (8-inch) wheat or white pita breads cut into wedges
In food processor, pulse garlic until finely chopped. Add remaining ingredients except pita bread. Process until smooth; chill at least 2 hours.
Stir hummus before serving. If desired, add 1 to 2 tablespoons additional olive oil, or to taste. Serve with pita wedges.
Mexican Egg Rolls
Egg roll wrappers or wonton wrappers.
1 box Spanish rice mix
2 pounds hamburger meat
2 teaspoons salt
Chili Powder, to taste
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped bell pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (careful, these are hot, don’t use too much)
1 large can petite diced tomatoes
1½ cups shredded cheese
Cook Spanish rice according to directions on package. Brown hamburger meat along with salt, chopped onion and bell pepper. Drain well, and then add tomatoes, chili powder, crushed red pepper flakes, return to heat and simmer until one-half the liquid has evaporated, stir in rice and cheese. Spoon mixture onto egg roll wrappers, brush edges with water to seal as you roll them up. To roll egg rolls: Start with point of wrapper toward you, place filling about 1/3 of the way down on the wrapper, cover with point that is toward you, brush with water, bring left and right points over, brush with water and roll toward remaining point. Deep fry until golden brown. These were served at room temp at a bunco party.

Yucca and Easter

My trip to Devine last week was great. For the first time, I got to meet my newest great-grandson, who is a whole two months old, of course, he is totally precious, and I held him to my heart’s content. He’s a good baby, the only time I heard him cry was when he was hungry!
This coming Sunday is Easter. It is a little later than usual, being in April rather than sometime in mid-March. I will be part of the holiday in Devine and part here at home as I have a few family members coming in. Saturday, I got out the boxes of Easter decorations and placed some here and there in the house. My dining room table is cute, not as decorated as in the past when I had an “Easter Tree” in the middle of the table with flowers and lots of plastic eggs hanging from it, but for a “do it now” job, it looks good!
Spring is really here, not only according to the wildflowers blooming along the roadsides, but also according to the calendar! The bluebonnets have appeared in all of their glory and in various places they are really thick and beautiful. The roadsides around this area are absolutely gorgeous, and the flowers are really profuse. Unfortunately, I do not have any in my own field, as that portion was always cultivated, so I just have coastal mixed with a few weeds, a few wine cups and a patch of buttercups!
On my trip to Devine last week, I noticed that there weren’t very many bluebonnets, mostly white prickly poppy, along with the beautiful magenta ones here and there, wild mustard and lots of yellow rapeseed, and purple mallow, that is also called winecup, (which I just learned from my Victoria paper).
One thing that I have noticed this year, maybe more than some others is the yucca is blooming profusely. In traveling back and forth from Yoakum to Cuero and Victoria, as well as a couple of towns in the opposite direction, I have noticed several yuccas that are out in open fields, and some have as many as four and five ‘branches’ all bearing flowers that are creamy white to ivory in color. The yucca plant is pollinated only by a moth called simply ‘yucca moth’.
The yucca is basically a desert tree that grows primarily in the southwestern United States, and it is related to the Joshua tree. It is called by many names, including Yucca, Spanish Dagger, Spanish Bayonet, Dagger Plant and Candlestick Plant. According to a map of the United States that accompanied the article concerning yucca, yucca will grow in the western parts of Washington, Oregon, all of California, parts of Nevada and New Mexico, all of Texas except the panhandle area and on through the southern part of Oklahoma, through all of the southern United States from Louisiana through Florida and up into Virginia and the Carolinas and beyond up the eastern coast line states, including Delaware and southern New Jersey.
The yucca, (which is what I am going to call it for this article for simplicity), has sharp pointed dark green leaves, that are generally 2½ feet long and sometimes more and about two to 2½-inches wide at the centermost area. Some varieties have smooth edges on the leaves and others have very rough, edges. If you use them for landscaping, they should never be placed anywhere near a walkway because of these leaves with their sharp points. Even though the plant is considered a shrub, it can grow from six feet to sixteen feet tall. The ones in the wild seem to be about ten feet tall.
The yucca belongs to the Agave family and yucca is actually the genus name and there are over 50 varieties of this plant. Historical use has it that the Native Americans used the soapy leaves and roots for numerous conditions, including boiling the roots or leaves and making poultices and baths for skin conditions. Sprains, joint inflammation and bleeding were also believed to be helped when treated with a poultice or washing with a bath made of yucca.
We only have the rest of this week to need meatless dishes, but here are a couple of shrimp recipes to help you get through it.
Cajun Style Shrimp Skewers
¾ cup cooking oil
1 finely chopped medium sweet onion
2 Tbs. Cajun seasoning
6 minced garlic cloves
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely minced
2 pounds, large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Place the shrimp in a resealable plastic bag, add one-half of the marinade, seal bag, turn to coat shrimp and place in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours. (Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade to be used later for basting).
Drain and discard marinade, thread shrimp onto eight (8) metal or wooden skewers that you have soaked. (If you use 2 skewers to thread the shrimp on, they will be easy to turn on the grill or in the oven*). Grill over medium heat for 2 to 4 minutes on each side until the shrimp turn pink. Baste once while cooking, *I would have to bake these in the oven or under the broiler until they just turn pink. My thought would be 350º to 375º.
Shrimp Tostadas
1 pound cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined (you can use the ready-to-eat shrimp now available)
1 can (14 ½ ounces) diced tomatoes, drained well
1 cup diced sweet onion
1 can (4 ounces) diced green chiles (whatever heat you prefer)
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbs. cooking oil
3 Tbs. lime juice
1 can (16-ounces) refried beans, warmed
10 tostada shells
2½ cups shredded lettuce
Combine shrimp, tomatoes, onions, chiles, cilantro, cooking oil and lime juice in a medium bowl; mix together to combine, cover and set aside.
Spread about 2 tablespoons of refried beans on each tostada shell, top with ¼ cup lettuce and ½ cup of the shrimp mixture. Makes 10 single servings.
Now, here’s the dessert I will be making for Easter. I don’t think there are any of the men in my family that don’t like Carrot Cake. It is frequently requested for birthdays!
Carrot Cake
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ cup sugar
1½ oil
4 eggs
2 cups finely shredded carrots (a food processor works great)
1 can (8½-oz) crushed pineapple, in juice, drained
½ cup chopped nuts
1 can (3½-oz) flaked coconut
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add oil and eggs to this mixture and mix well. Add carrots, pineapple, coconut and nuts. Pour into 10×12 pan or a Bundt pan and bake at 350ºF for 35 to 40 minutes or until done. A Bundt pan will need about 45 to 50 minutes baking time.
Remove from oven and cool either in the pan or remove from pan and place on a cake rack to cool completely. For Bundt pan, cool about 5 minutes in the pan and then remove. Cool completely and frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
½ cup butter or margarine
1 block (8-oz) cream cheese
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
Using electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese together until fluffy and light, gradually add sugar, beating just until creamy. If it is too stiff, add a few drops of milk until of spreading consistency.


It has always been interesting to me, and yet a bit confusing to listen to “new phrases” utilized by the younger folks in my life. Of course, as a Bona Fide Baby Boomer, there are several generations of them by this point of time.
Our Grand Daughters, ages 8 and 6, use the phrase You Do You on occasion. I have come to understand that is NOT an expression associated with acknowledgment of their unique personalities. And be assured they ARE very different in some ways. It is more akin, in their language, to mean “Go Ahead and be Stupid”.
I have learned that trying to wear a Black and White Shirt, AKA be The Referee, is NOT a wise approach, so I just sit back and observe. If there becomes some danger of bodily harm being inflicted, I will intervene, but mostly am amused that they go from Mortal Enemies to Best Buds in about 60 seconds on some days.
But pondering on that term caused me to think back to “my younger days” of what that saying might have translated into. Let me quickly acknowledge such a consideration is ALWAYS dangerous for an old guy who sometimes is stuck with how to respond to the greeting of Good Morning.
It strikes me that a common phrase back then was “Do Your Own Thing”. Free Speech, Flower Children, and several other labels were used to describe that period in our history as a nation. Far be it from me to appear to convey any skill or pretense as a Sociology Expert. I spend far more of my time looking for my keys or cell phone and checking for rain forecasts than pondering the implications and meanings of words associated with and to varying groups of people.
But a thought did come through the foggy spot called my brain that there might be a better way to use the term. Now I want to acknowledge there is a fine line between Inspiration and Indigestion in my world these days, so this idea might be off course in the viewpoint for some of you fine readers.
How about if we change the wording to: YOU DO THE BEST YOU. By focusing on developing into the best possible version of yourself, a person can contribute in a manner that brings some good to others as well as themselves. Seems to me that is a double win!
I spent a whole lot of years observing very well-educated people in colleges and universities debating the “finer points” of many subjects. Many seemed, at least to me, quite insignificant in terms of the “bigger picture”. But in keeping with the above concepts, if the collection of these ramblings are way off base from your point of view, well all I can say is YOU DO YOU!

UGLI® Fruit? What’s That?

This past week has been a medium one for me. The Auxiliary is having their annual spring drawing, so, in addition to working a couple of afternoons in the gift shop, I also worked Friday afternoon helping sell tickets. We have some awesome prizes this year, including a Grand Prize of outdoor furniture and a fire pit, a 1st prize of a smaller fire pit with chairs, a 2nd prize of a $300.00 live oak tree, a “date night” gift certificate, and last but by no means least, a basket filled with cup towels, potholders, cooking utensils and an Auxiliary Cookbook. Our drawing date will coincide with the Annual Tom Tom festival the first week of June.
The coming week will be a busy one, as I have a couple of appointments, in the middle of the week and the list just seems to keep growing. To start my week, my sister invited me over for lunch and we had a great time eating and visiting, and now it’s time to get to work!
UGLI® Fruit is one that goes under several different names. Jamaican tangelo is only one of about half a dozen that were listed.
Jamaican tangelo is a natural cross between an orange and a grapefruit. (One source had it being a hybridization between an orange and a tangerine). However, I’m basing this on the orange and grapefruit hybridization. The Jamaican tangelo first appeared nears Brown’s Town Jamaica and that is where it is mostly grown today. The UGLI® Fruit was first discovered growing in 1917, and after much budding, grafting, etc., was first exported to Canada and England in 1934, came to the United States in 1942.
(The name UGLI® is a registered trademark of Cabel Hall Citrus Limited who distributes this fruit, and the word itself is a take-off of the word ugly). It refers to the fact that his citrus family fruit is not particularly appealing to look at. The rind is a rough surface, greenish yellow that peels easily, the ones I saw in the store was light yellow, but looked as if it had some type of dark stain rubbed on it, that made it look totally unappealing and dirty. I touched one to see and that was the actual color. The flesh is yellow/orange in color and is separated into segments, just as are oranges, tangerines, lemons and other citrus fruits. According to the information I found the taste is sweet, like that of the tangerine but with a hint of the bitterness of the grapefruit.
Parts of this article are from Wikipedia; the free Encyclopedia and other parts are from typing UGLI fruit into my computers search program. The stories are interesting and vary greatly. There were no recipes in any of the articles, so, I just found a couple that can be made and set out for snacks at Easter. The first is “Puppy Chow”, I’ve never met a child and just a few grown-ups who don’t like it! The first time I tasted it, was at Bunco in Devine and I think Sherry Davis was the lady who was hostess that night.
Puppy Chow
(aka Kibbles & Bits)
1 cup butter or margarine
1½ cups peanut butter (crunchy or regular)
12-oz package chocolate or butterscotch chips
1 box Crispix cereal (or Rice Chex, Corn Chex or mixture of both)
1 box (1-lb) powdered sugar
Melt butter or margarine, peanut butter and chocolate chips together. Place cereal in a large mixing bowl and pour melted ixture over it. Stir and toss to coat thoroughly. Let stand for 5 or 19 minutes, then place in a large plastic bag, add the powdered sugar and shake and mix until well coated.
Almond Bark Cookies
24 oz almond bark
2 cups dry roasted, unsalted, peanuts
2 cups pretzels (short straight ones)
2 cups (peanut butter flavor, Capt’n Crunch Cereal
2 cups Rice Krispies
2 cups miniature marshmallows (optional, but very good)
Place almond bark in a very large Pyrex bowl and microwave 2 or 3 minutes, stir and put back for 2 minutes longer. Have all other ingredients mixed together in a large container. When almond bark is melted, dump the other ingredients into it and stir until well coated and then drop by spoonfuls on to foil. You can substitute chocolate bark and use pecans instead of peanuts for another delicious cookie.

A few more days until Spring officially arrives

My week was not as busy as some have been lately, and I enjoyed an afternoon visit from my grandson and part of his family on Thursday! We had a very enjoyable time together, he soon will be stationed in Florida, so I am enjoying their company now, while I can. They brought hamburgers, ‘fries, and tea for our lunch and we totally had a wonderful day. My days for the next two weeks are full, it seems as if each day something new is claiming my attention and I have to tend to it. Sunday afternoon and evening, my neighbor invited my sister and I over for an afternoon of games with she and her mother who was visiting. The three of us started out playing dominoes and when my sister came, we switched over to Rummycube. Great company and a fun time for all of us!
In our area, Mother Nature seems to think that spring has arrived, even though there are still a few days until the first official day of spring. The Texas Mountain Laurel is sporting a beautiful purple coat, and the fragrance is out of this world. The Indian Blankets are blooming along the roadsides, the mesquite trees and huisache are finally wearing green, wild verbenas are beginning to show their lighter purple and the wild phlox are in full bright pink bloom. The pecan trees however, as well as the Sycamore in my brother’s yard both realize it is still winter and they are biding their time to bud out.
Friday is St. Patrick’s Day, a day the Irish and the “wanna be” Irish celebrates. “Erin go Bragh”, shillelagh, shamrocks, green ribbons, scones and Irish stew will be the order of the day. Over the years in reading different books and articles, I’ve come across the (slightly comic) Irish cop (usually in Chicago, sometimes in New York), telling someone to straighten, “Before I lay me shillelagh up alongside your head”.
When it comes to stories about St. Patrick, legend and truth are totally intertwined. The young man who was to later become St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, was born in Wales around AD 385. His given name was Maewyn, and due to lack of required scholarship, he almost didn’t get the job of Bishop of Ireland. Until the age of 16, he considered himself a pagan. At that time, after a raid on his village, he and other young men were sold into slavery in Ireland.
During his time of captivity, he learned the Celtic language and also moved closer to God. After six years of slavery, he was able to escape and went to Gaul. There, he studied in a Monastery under St. Germain, Bishop of Auxerre for twelve years. While he was in training, he became aware that he was being called to convert the pagans to Christianity. He was ordained as a deacon, then as a priest and finally as a bishop. Pope Celestine then sent him to Ireland to preach the gospel.
St. Patrick is best known the world over, for having driven the snakes from Ireland. Different tales tell of his standing upon a hill, using a wooden staff to drive the serpents into the sea, and banishing them forever from the shores of Ireland. One legend says that one old serpent resisted, but the Saint overcame it by cunning. He is said to have made a box and invited the reptile to enter. The snake insisted the box was too small, and the discussion became very heated. Finally, the snake entered the box to prove he was right, whereupon St. Patrick slammed the lid and cast the box into the sea. The legend of the shamrock is also connected with the banishment of snakes from Ireland by a tradition that snakes are never seen on trefoil and that it is a remedy against the stings of snakes and scorpions. While not the first to bring Christianity to Ireland, it was Patrick who encountered the Druids at Tara and abolished their pagan ritual.
The custom of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day came to America in 1737, when it was celebrated publicly in Boston for the first time. The Irish have their own language (Gaelic) and their own names for the foods they eat, and believe it or not, corned beef and cabbage is not a traditional Irish dish. So, what are traditional foods? One could start the day with a dish or porridge with a topping of cream or honey, followed by a full Irish breakfast fry, consisting of sausage, bacon, fried eggs, fried tomatoes, black pudding, white pudding, toast and brown soda bread. In accompaniment, there would also be a large pot of fresh tea, marmalade and honey.
Some more items that are considered traditional Irish recipes (those that are at least fifty years old), soda bread, oatcakes, gingerbread loaf, seed cake, basic scones, porter cake, Irish whisky cake, Irish omelet, oatmeal bacon pancakes, and Irish stew. This stew is traditionally made of lamb or mutton, potatoes, onions and parsley. Frequently, lamb or mutton neck bones, shanks and other trimmings were the basis for the stock. The root vegetables, turnips, parsnips or carrots, add further flavor and thickening power, as well as filling sustenance.
Yes, I know Irish Stew made with short ribs is not a meatless Lenten dish, but it fits the column! Serve it on Sunday or as your main dish for the day.
Irish Stew
4 to 5 pounds short ribs
7 small red potatoes
6 carrots
2 medium onions
Salt and pepper
1 cup flour
3 cups water
3 beef bouillon cubes
½ cup cooking oil
Dissolve bouillon cubes in water and place over medium heat until just under boiling. Keep hot on low heat. Season meat with salt and pepper, dredge in flour and brown a few at a time in oil. Place in a large Dutch oven or roaster and set aside as you add more meat to the skillet. Fry onions in same pan with ½ cup of the flour left over from dredging the meat, until lightly browned. Add to ribs. Add water in which you have dissolved bouillon cubes, cover and cook about 1 to 1½ hours. While meat is cooking, peel potatoes and cut into quarters. Peel carrots and cut into ½-inch chunks (or use baby carrots and leave them whole). When meat has cooked the 1 to 1½ hours, add the vegetables and cook an additional hour, or until the vegetables are tender.
Now, here is a recipe which is truly Irish.
Oatmeal Raisin Scones
2 cups flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup chilled butter (do not substitute)
1½ cups oatmeal (either old-fashioned or quick cooking, but not instant)
½ cup raisins
1 cup buttermilk
Cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven to 375ºF Mix together, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut chilled butter into dry ingredients with a pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oatmeal and raisins. Add buttermilk and mix with fork until dough forms a ball. Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead 6 to 8 minutes. Pat dough into ½-inch thickness. Cut into 8 to 10 rounds or shape into large circle and cut into 8 to 10 wedges. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Scones are similar to the biscuits we eat. The “biscuits” that are eaten in England and Ireland are the equivalent of what we know as cookies!

Spring, or maybe not quite yet

According to the calendar, spring officially begins March 20th! At the time I am writing this, it really looks like a spring day. Friday afternoon when I came home from town, I came what is considered the back way because you don’t have to go through town to get back to my home. At the crossroad, about two miles or so from my home, the bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush were blooming profusely. These were the first that I had seen so far this year in anywhere near what could be considered profusion. Maybe I’m just not going to the right places! The Arizona Ash trees and elm trees around my home are beginning to leaf out, and the Anaqua trees are totally white with blossoms, however, the mesquites and huisaches aren’t showing even a little bit of green. This past week we saw some bad weather, with your area getting a lot worse than mine did. I have a few small limbs down, mostly off the old Arizona Ash trees in my front yard, and lots of small sticks from the same two trees. From what my daughter has told me, the wind in your area was over 60 MPH or more. It was not that bad here, just enough to keep me awake and going from window to window to check on things, not that it did any good! And there wasn’t enough rain to measure.
As far as I know, no one to my knowledge, has seen Purple Martins flying around and I haven’t had any “mud birds” or bridge swallow trying to build their nest on top of the light on my patio nor on my front porch. I guess we can consider that spring is here…unless the weather changes and we get a late freeze, which can happen, after all, we live in Texas; and Easter, even in April can be cold, wet and messy. (My birthday is in April, and I have seen it pretty cold around that time.
Now, how about a little weather lore and some old adages?
If you find no dew on the grass early in the morning, it will rain within 24 hours. Over a period of time, this has been proven true more times than not. My uncle told me about it many years ago, but, of course, sometimes you have to be outside before sunrise to check it! And many times, I just slide my hand over the gate, just to see!
An old saying states; “Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning, red sky at night, sailors delight,” which is another prediction for stormy weather.
Lots of pink or white blooming thistles in the fields are an indication of an impending drought, and since I didn’t come to Devine in February, I didn’t get to check the acres of them that grow each year between Floresville and Pleasanton. “Turkey track” clouds in the sky forecast rain within three days.
Purple sage blooming predicts rain. And last but not least, according to folklore, sighting a “Scissortail” swallow, is said to be a truly sure sign that spring has arrived. The mesquite trees and other trees can freeze back, but when you see one of these birds, spring is truly here. Weird as it sounds, this old adage does seem to be true. I watched it several years, especially since moving to this area and the temperature has never gotten down to freezing.
Here are a couple more meatless dishes for you to try, for the ones of you who are on “meatless” Fridays!
Chiles Rellenos
1 large can whole California green chiles*
2 eggs, beaten well
Monterey Jack cheese, cut into pieces ½ inch square, and 1-inch shorter than the peppers you are going to stuff.
Drain canned chilies and pat dry. If they have any seeds and pith, remove them. Stuff each chili with a piece of the cheese. Lap one side of the pepper over the other to close. Roll very generously in flour, dip into the beaten egg and then back into the flour, repeating twice. (You want to coat them just as if you were frying chicken). Deep fry in heavy skillet until brown on one side turn over gently and brown the other side. Serve either plain or topped with enchilada sauce, or a ranchero sauce and sprinkled with cheese. (The sauce for the Cheese enchiladas, that was in last weeks’ paper works well with this! *If you are interested in using fresh chiles, you will need the large green Ancho chiles, and will have to check on-line, as to how to prepare them for this dish. This is the “I’m in a hurry for dinner” version.
The following dish is really delicious and works well with the easy-peel shrimp that you can purchase at most HEB stores. Over time, I have found their seafood to be really fresh and good in most recipes. The good thing about this dish is that you can use the small to medium shrimp that are not as pricey as the large or jumbo shrimp are.
Shrimp Pasta Primavera
½ cup chopped green onion
½ cup green or red bell pepper cut into strips
½ cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
½ cup margarine
1 package (8-oz) cream cheese, cut into cubes, and at room temperature
¾ cup milk
2 cups, small to medium, peeled, de-veined shrimp (tails also removed)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 package spiral macaroni (7-oz or 8-oz), cooked according to package directions and drained well
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
Sauté onions and bell pepper in ½ cup margarine, add cream cheese cubes to pan, along with milk; cook and stir until cream cheese is melted. Stir in shrimp and Parmesan cheese and cook until shrimp are pink and done. Cook and drain macaroni, toss with 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, add to cream cheese/shrimp mixture and stir together. Serve hot, along with salad and hot rolls or bread.
Now, to get ahead of the game, here are some desserts, if you would like to try something you haven’t made in a while for your Easter dinner, or make it now, if you didn’t give desserts up for Lent
Lemon Meringue Pie
(1 baked 9-inch pie shell)
1 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups water
3 eggs separated
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
¼ cup lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional)
1 teaspoon lemon extract
6 tablespoons sugar
Combine sugar, salt, flour and cornstarch in a saucepan. Stir in water with a wire whisk and cook over moderate heat until mixture becomes thick and clear, stirring frequently. Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl; add a little of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks. Stir yolks into the hot mixture, and cook 1 minute more, stirring constantly. (If you want this filling to be a prettier yellow color, add a few drops of yellow food coloring). Remove from heat and blend in butter, lemon juice, zest (if used), and extract. Pour into baked pastry shell. Cool slightly, and top with meringue made by beating egg whites with 6 tablespoons sugar until stiff enough to hold in peaks. Begin beating the egg whites and add sugar one tablespoon at a time until you have your stiff peaks. Brown in hot oven 425ºF about 5 minutes, cool thoroughly before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Is it spring?

Wow! Didn’t the month of February fly by? Of course, it being three days shorter than most months, could have something to do with it, couldn’t? The weather can’t seem to make up its mind as to what season it is. Our mornings are cool enough for a sweater or light jacket and by noon, you’re shedding layers. The morning fog is sometimes stupendous, when you get up in the morning and can’t see your car, that is parked less than fifty feet from the house, you have a fog! It is not an unusual occurrence for me to be unable to see my brother’s house (across a hay field) in a fog, but usually I can at least see an outline, but not some recent mornings. With another three weeks (officially) of winter to go, we still have the chance of colder, damp, messy weather. The first day of spring is not until the 21st of March, and I have seen it freeze well into March. It doesn’t matter that trees are leafing out. It has been in the 60s each morning for several days and my elm and Arizona ash trees are beginning to sprout leaves already and I noticed, on the way home from church this morning that the blue bonnets were thick in several places. It amazed me that San Antonio made it completely through Stock Show time without rain or freezing weather, this is very unusual. I’ll believe spring is here when I see the first Scissortail Fly Catcher. That is what Mr. Alfred Brieden told me was the real harbinger of spring, not pecan trees or mesquite trees leafing out!
When is the last time, or have you ever baked a cake from ‘scratch’? When I was growing up, cake mixes didn’t exist. All cakes were baked from ‘scratch’, meaning that you got out a mixing bowl, a big spoon to mix the cake batter with and your ingredients. Until after the years following WWII, many homes did not yet have a mixer, and everything that needed mixing was done with a spoon! Times have changed, haven’t they, and aren’t we glad they have? The first cake mixes came out in 1947, after the war years, and bearing the Betty Crocker label.
A cake from scratch is not hard to make. It just takes a little longer than a box mix. My two favorite recipes for yellow cake (which means you used whole eggs to make it, rather than just the whites of the eggs), were from my mid-1950s Betty Crocker Cookbook. These were two cakes that Mother had also used frequently. This cookbook gave two methods of mixing, the older, “cream together…” type and the newer, “mix together…” type. Both made wonderful cakes. Each page also has several variations of each cake, using the main, or “key” recipe and then adding nuts or fruit to the batter. Both of the following recipes are from this Betty Crocker Cookbook. I have used this one many, many times for birthday cakes and they never last long, it is truly my go-to recipe if I am baking a cake from scratch!
Light Golden Cake
2¼ cups, sifted Softasilk® cake flour
1½ cups granulated sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1½ teaspoons flavoring
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour two 9-inch round or square cake pans or a 9X13 pan; set aside. Sift the dry ingredients together, stir the flavoring (usually vanilla extract) into the milk, add the shortening to the dry ingredients, along with a little over half of the milk/vanilla mixture; beat 2 minutes. Add remaining milk mixture and the 2 eggs. Beat 2 minutes longer. Pour into prepared pans; bake until cake tests done. Frost as desired.
Here is my favorite recipe for enchiladas during the Lenten season. They are cheese enchiladas from a recipe my Mother used to make for a main dish at supper time for a meatless Lenten meal.
Cheese Enchiladas
2 tablespoons butter, margarine or cooking oil
1 medium sized onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 or 2 finely minced cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons Gebhart chili powder
1 can (16-oz size) tomato sauce
½ cup water
1 small can diced green chilies
Cook onion, green pepper and garlic in butter until soft. Add flour, salt and chili powder; stir until smooth. Add tomato sauce or tomatoes, breaking tomatoes up with spoon or fork (can use the ‘recipe ready’ type if desired), green chilies and water. Cook until thick and smooth.
1 pound shredded cheese (can use American, cheddar, or the pre-shredded type that is seasoned for tacos)
1 medium onion, chopped
10 to 12 corn tortillas
Dip tortillas into sauce to soften or soften by heating ¼ cup oil in heavy skillet and dipping them briefly into the hot oil, or soften by heating a short time in the microwave.
Spray a rectangular pan with non-stick spray and spread a small amount of the sauce in the pan, just to coat the bottom. Spoon a small amount of sauce onto a tortilla, add some cheese and onion and roll up. Place each enchilada, seam side down onto sauce in baking pan, as you finish rolling it. Repeat until all tortillas are used. Top with remaining sauce and additional cheese. Bake at 350ºF about 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through.