Small Town Chick

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Cowboy-Approved Barbecue Brisket

My Grandma - Mary Lee Frier

My Grandma – Mary Lee Frier

 

My grandma, Mary Lee Frier, was a rancher’s wife, an excellent homemaker who could play and piano and sing, and she was an out-of-this-world cook! Living over 20 miles from town out on the ranch, they didn’t eat fancy food, but the “meat and potatoes”-type meals she prepared were soooo good. I remember helping her bring in the groceries after she had been to town, and let me tell you – there was a ton of grocery bags!! When you lived out on a ranch like she did, you had to stock up! There are so many good things she made that it is hard to decide what to include on this site, but what I remember being family favorites were her Angel Biscuits, Barbecue Brisket, Pistachio Salad, and her famous Egg Custard. Everything she made was good, but those are the dishes that really stand-out in my memories.

Young Mary Lee

Mary Lee Frier in the 1940’s

I’m going to post all of the above-mentioned recipes, but I’ll start with her beef brisket and her own barbecue sauce. This recipe is cowboy-approved and rated 5 stars by all the friends and family who were lucky enough to be invited to a branding or delivery.  I know there are bottled marinades out there that are very good, but this is true home cooking at its finest! It calls for a little planning ahead, but it’s worth every delicious, juicy, saucy bite! Try this way of cooking brisket, and you will not be disappointed.

Mary Lee’s Barbecue Brisket

1 brisket (trimmed of excess fat – you need to leave a little for flavor)

3 Tbs Liquid Smoke

1/2 tsp  garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion salt

1/2 tsp celery salt

Worcestershire Sauce

Directions:  Sprinkle brisket with Liquid Smoke followed by the above dry seasonings and rub into meat. Wrap in foil and put in refrigerator overnight.

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The next day, unwrap the brisket, sprinkle with pepper and 3-4 Tbs Worcestershire sauce. Put brisket in large pan and cover with foil. Bake for 5 hours at 275 degrees.

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While the brisket is cooking, prepare the barbecue sauce.

Mary Lee’s Barbecue Sauce

1 cup ketchup

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup white vinegar

2 cups water

1 medium onion chopped

1 tsp salt

1 tsp celery salt

Directions:  Mix ingredients in saucepan; bring to a boil and continue to boil for 15 minutes.100_6348

 

Remove cooked brisket from oven, let it rest a few minutes, and slice (this is when it is very handy to have an electric knife). Pour sauce over sliced brisket; cover and bake for 1 hour more.

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The sauce thickens-up after being baked-on the brisket.

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This is a tried-and-true, no-fail way to cook tender, tasty, and juicy brisket.

Friers Housewarming

Mary Lee & Odis Frier at their housewarming party – 1940’s

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Aunt Em’s Baked Meatballs

Aunt Em I would like to introduce you to my great-aunt Em (Emily Bingham). She was the youngest of my Grandad Frier’s siblings and she raised her own family on a ranch between Hobbs and Carlsbad, New Mexico.  My mother tells me that Aunt Em could really ride a horse, and she was known for being a tough kid! One time my Grandad (Odis) was digging a hole with a post-hole digger and Em was playing in the dirt. She reached in for some dirt as he was coming down with the digger, and cut her middle finger completely off! One other time, she fell out of the buggy on the way to school, and the buggy ran over her and knocked her teeth out. She was one tough little lady.  She was also a good cook, and this is one of our favorite recipes from Aunt Em. These meatballs are easy and very filling. Add a side of Aunt Em’s Hot Cheesy Hominy (recipe coming soon) and you have a meal.

Aunt Em Young

My Grandad Frier (Odis – far left) with his siblings – Thelma (Aunt Sis), Buster, and Aunt Em

Baked Meatballs

2 cups cornbread – crumbled (I made mine a couple days before and let it dry out a little – like you would for Thanksgiving dressing)

1 – 10 oz enchilada  sauce (I used 2 cans – I like lots of sauce)

1/2 tsp salt

1-1/2 lbs hamburger meat

1 – 8 oz can tomato sauce

1/2 cup graded cheddar cheese (at least! I used more)

Directions:  Combine cornbread and 1/2 can of the enchilada sauce and 1/2 can of the tomato sauce & salt

Add hamburger meat and mix well; shape into balls and brown in a skillet

Place browned meatballs into baking dish & pour remaining enchilada & tomato sauce over meatballs and cover with cheese.
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Bake 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees

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My Mom has Never Been to Buffalo

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This is my mom, Amelda

My mom has never been to Buffalo (mainly because she won’t fly, but that’s another story for another time), so why should you want to try her Buffalo Chicken Wings? Well, two reasons.  One, they are baked not fried so they are better for you, and two, they are delicious! And easy. I guess that’s three reasons, but that’s beside the point. These are super easy to make; you can make them as hot or mild as you like; and you can still feel good about a non-fried chicken dish (although there is the butter . . .) These are super tangy and good!

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My mom’s handwritten recipe from the Family Cook Book

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24-36 chicken wings – cut apart (my grocery store already had them cut and sold as “wingettes”)

1/2 cup melted butter

1/4 cup tabasco sauce (or less to taste)

3 Tbs vinegar

2 pkgs Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix (1 to make the dressing as directed on package as a dip)

Paprika

Directions:  heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix melted butter, tobasco and vinegar in a bowl.

Dip chicken  in butter mixture and place in a baking dish (I also poured all the butter mixture left in the bowl over the chicken).

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Sprinkle 1 pkg of dry dressing mix over wings.

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Bake 30-45 minutes or until browned as desired. Sprinkle with paprika.

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Serve with the prepared ranch dressing.

Tipsy Planter

IMG_8159 I first saw these Tipsy Planters on Pinterest a couple of years ago and thought they were really cute.  This was my attempt at making one.

I started with a bowl planter on the bottom, then I ran a metal post through the hole in the bottom and drove it into the ground about 6 inches. I filled the bottom planter with potting soil and bedding plants that I though had good contrasting colors (sweet potato vine, dusty miller, and a purple verbena).

IMG_8161 Then I ran a smaller pot down the post and tilted it and set it in the potting soil of the bottom planter. You have to put the pot on the post before you put a plant in it. Planting  a flower in a tilted pot is sort of tricky, but just be sure and make the soil level with the ground so when you water it won’t all just run off and not water the plant.

IMG_8165 Continue adding pots and plants until you get the height you want. I probably should have added 1 or 2 more pots to mine. Also, I don’t think I considered the height of flowers I planted in the “tipsy” pots. My friend made one of these and she painted the pots different bright colors and made it taller with more and larger pots, and I think it came out a lot better. I am going to reattempt this, but this time add more pots and choose more bushy plants for the pots on top. I also suggest putting this in a flower bed and not just out in the yard like I did here. I just think it will show up better against a fence or some sort of backdrop. I’ll post my re-do this year and we will see how it goes.

Have you attempted making a tipsy planter? How did yours come out? Do you have any suggestions for my next go-around?

 

Being Thankful

Thankful  I’ve learned that being thankful for what you have is the only way to be happy. Taking care of what you have (being a good steward), is the only way to get what you are dreaming of.  If you want a nicer car, you have to take care of the one you have now. If you want a bigger, nicer home, you have to be thankful for the one you have now. If you want a better job, you better be doing your best at the one you have now. If you want more money, you have to spend what you have now wisely. That’s just how the universe works. Be thankful and you will be blessed.

Herb Garden Anyone?

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Miracle-Gro Aero Garden

I’m so excited! My Miracle Gro AeroGarden arrived today! I have wanted to grow a real herb garden for many years now.  Usually I have just opted for buying a basil and cilantro plant from the store, but they never last more than a summer. I am hoping that with this indoor grow-light, that I can have herbs (especially cilantro – my favorite!) all year long. The AeroGarden was a snap to set up and my herbs are all ready to grow!

First, you have to plug in the light bulb, which is very easy.

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Then you simply place the grow-deck on the tray and fill it with water. It also comes with plant food and an easy-add button for adding food to the water.

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Last, but not least, you drop in the seed pods you want. My AeroGarden came with 3 seed pods (Genovese Basil, Dill & Curly Parsley).  I bought a separate seed kit that came with Genovese Basil, Thai Basil, Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Mint and Parsley. I started out planting Genovese Basil, Cilantro and Curly Parsley. When these plants are established and the weather is better, I will transfer them to small pots outside and start growing the other pods. I love that I can get a jump-start on growing my herb garden this year.IMG_0471

Do you have a good way to start and grow your herbs? I would love to hear about your experiences and tips!

IMG_0468 This is my Finished Product (literally took all of 10 minutes). As you can see to the right of the picture, this is also giving light to my “Hen and chicks” plant that I’ve been trying to keep going all winter.  I will likely start some other seeds in small pots and my new gadget can “shed some light” on my cucumber & zucchini seeds.

Eunice Municipal Golf Course – Eunice, NM

To-date, golf KDprobably 90 percent of my golfing has been done at our local Eunice Municipal Golf Course in Eunice, New Mexico. It was the first golf course I ever golfed on, and honestly after visiting approximately 9 other courses around New Mexico and Texas in my short time playing, I have to say the Eunice golf course is pretty darn nice. It is only a nine-hole course, but I think it is pretty well maintained and they are working on making improvements all of the time. There is a driving range (which I was surprised to find not every course has) and a small but decent putting/chipping area. We have golfed other courses in much bigger towns that were not near as nice (but we paid a lot more!). Of course it’s more fun when you know most of the other golfers and the employees in the club house. If anything is lacking, I would say it is the club house amenities. They sell soft drinks and have snacks (candy bars, ice cream bars, etc.), but it is not a very “inviting” place to just hang out like I’ve seen at other courses.

What I am very excited about is the new water feature they have added to hole #4. It’s a little stream about two-thirds they way down that runs straight across the fairway made with river rocks. I think it will be very pretty when they get done with it.

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Actually I don’t know why I am so excited about it because since they have put it in, my ball ends up in the water probably 90 percent of the time! KD told me that it doesn’t matter where you are, that golf balls are attracted to water. And sand. And trees. Well, you get the idea, and if you are a golfer you will probably agree with that little fact!

Golf Course Rating

♥♥♥♥♥Price – you can’t beat the price

♥♥♥Condition of Greens – they just re-sanded the greens, so they are bumpy right now, but usually are much better

♥♥♥♥Condition of Course – well kept, but keep your cart out of the rough or you will get mesquite thorns in your tires

♥♥Clubhouse – you won’t be enticed to spend much time in here

♥♥♥Customer Service – the staff is mostly local high school graduates and they are all nice guys

♥♥♥Amenities – driving range and small putting/chipping area

♥♥♥♥Overall Golf Experience – casual and comfortable place to golf – nice municipal course

 

 

Garden Thought for the Day

to plant a garden  I do love all beautiful flower gardens. Although, I prefer mine to be a little old-fashioned. I like the rustic or chabby-chic look. I like to collect rusty old buckets to use as planters and when I do buy a new planter, I am more likely to paint or alter it somehow to my liking. There is just something about planting a teeny-tiny seed and witness the coming forth of the potentiality that little seed had in it. Just to think, carrots have some of the tiniest seeds I have ever seen and look what they can do! It really is a miracle. I love the colors, and the smells, and the variety of leaves and heights of different plants.

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I hope that if you don’t have a large yard to make a flower bed that you will at least buy a couple of flower pots and plant a plant of some sort or flower seeds this Spring to see what little ray of sunshine it can bring to your life! Planting a flower or vegetable garden is a true leap of faith!

 

Wits and Wagers – Our Newest Favorite

Empire Logo (Non PDF)  We played Wits and Wagers a couple of years ago at this cool little spot in Albuquerque that is a coffee shop with board games to play (Empire Board Game Library on Central). We liked the game so much, we bought it and also gave the game to some family members as gifts this last Christmas. My oldest daughter, Shelby (who doesn’t generally like to play board games with us), recently asked for us to get it for them for Christmas next year (which might just have to happen before then). It’s easy enough for anyone middle-school aged and up to play, and the variety of subjects evens the playing field – as in no one can possibly know all of the vastly different questions. That’s what makes it fun! This game gets at “thumbs-up” from our family!

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