Tag Archives: recipe

A Story Of Ice Cream and Passion; Redheads, Brown Cows, and Sister Char

 Flavor #32

A local ice cream parlor invites you to create a new wacky flavor. It needs to channel the very essence of your personality. What’s in it?

An old El Dora milk wagon, once drawn by a horse. This marked the entrance to the El Dora ice cream stand in the early 50s.

An old El Dora milk wagon, once drawn by a horse. This marked the entrance to the El Dora ice cream stand in the early 50s.

(This was posted before, perhaps you missed it, but it is a favorite of mine. It reminds me of my sister.)

In the early fifties, it was a treat for the whole family to get into the car and drive to the El Dora. It was a dairy on Cable Road near the corner of Allentown Road west of Lima, Ohio. Inside the front entrance a long counter stretched with an enormous number of flavored ice creams in five-gallon containers. An iron railing bolted into the floor guided patrons and acted as a crowd control so the next person only approached the counter. Behind the counter, a glass wall separated the ice cream parlor from a full view of the area where the cows were led to be milked. Our family scheduled visits at milking time. Thinking back on this it seems a bit crude and bizarre arranging our day to be there with the certain expectation of watching cows do what cows do do (if you get my point and pardon the pun).

Our family was solidly split when it came to ice cream preferences. Dad and my oldest sister, Becky, always got ‘brown cows.’ They were a thick chocolate frosty – thicker than a shake and thinner than hard-packed ice cream served in a cup. Mom, my sister, Char, and I always ordered a scrumptious ice cream delight called a ‘redhead’ served in a cone.

As years passed the El Dora took on many changes and forms, one constant was the ‘redhead.’ I do not ever recall going into the El Dora and ordering anything but a ‘redhead.’ The ice cream was sort of light red in color with chopped maraschino cherries. I never really associated the flavor with anything else. I thought of it as a flavor on its own. Eventually the El Dora was torn down and replaced by a sports bar and urban sprawl took over the once pristine mid west countryside backdrop.

About twelve years ago Char and I sat back and did some reminiscing. She revealed an even deeper passion for the ‘redhead’ than I ever imagined. She was obsessed with coming up with a concoction that might yield that perfect flavor. She went so far as to track down the last owner of the El Dora and asked for the recipe. He refused to give it to her. The audacity! Frankly, I am surprised she did not try to pull out his fingernails and ‘water board’ him on the spot. Never the less Char had a keen sense of flavor and a tenacity to experiment until she found the right ingredients (it’s a genetic thing).

About a month after our conversation, Char called and invited me over. She said she had something for me. When I got to her home, she pulled a large serving bowl of ice cream from her freezer and handed me a spoon.

“Is this it?” I said.

“Try it.” She said.

I dug-in. “Oh my! This is it.” I nearly came to tears.

Well we stuffed ourselves beyond belief and Char allowed me to depart with the remainder of the bowl for later consumption. In addition, she gave me a bottle of the ‘secret ingredient.’

Here is the simple recipe. Bear in mind like many family recipes nothing is exact.


1. Half gallon of vanilla ice cream (get the best).

2. A jar of maraschino cherries (size of jar depends on your taste).

3. Red food coloring (optional).

4. Shhhh, now here is the ‘secret ingredient’ – cinnamon oil.


1. Allow the ice cream to soften.

2. Drain the juice from the cherries and chop them to whatever size you want.

3. Add perhaps as little as a three or four dashes of cinnamon oil to the ice cream (depends on you). It is easy to add too much. A little goes a long way.

4. Mix the ingredients together. You may add the red food coloring until you get a dull red color or pink (whatever) in order to receive the full visual experience.

You may want to refreeze it, but if like me, dig in immediately.

I have shared this frozen culinary delight with my grandchildren expecting them to greet it with the same enthusiasm that Char and I have. They seem not to enjoy it as we did.

Three years ago my sister, Char, lost her battle with cancer. This is such a good memory for me. I still see the delight on her face at seeing me try my first bite and waiting for my approval.



Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays

“Oh, Oh, Oh, I’ll Take The Jittery Goat Special!” With Recipe

Daily Prompt: You, the Sandwich

If a restaurant were to name something after you, what would it be? Describe it. (Bonus points if you give us a recipe!)

I like food pretty straight forward, no raz-a-ma-taz. If you’re going to get a burger it’s okay to have stuff on it, but when it’s all said and done it still has to be a burger. I figure some places have crummy burgers so they have to doll it all up with lipstick, makeup, and perfume to make it passable. (Hey, I know that sounds sexist, but more and more guys are doing it these days too.)

That’s not to say there aren’t foods that need that treatment, but some don’t and shouldn’t.

Eggs by themselves are like… well eggs by themselves. Here’s a little omelet thing I like. I call it, “Oh, Oh, Oh.” Actually three Os; Oyster Onion Omelet.

It is simple to make, but can be a bit time-consuming for a quick breakfast or meal.

Before beating two eggs and spreading them on a grill or pan have sautéed onions and breaded deep-fried oysters on hand.

Once the beaten eggs are placed on the grill or pan drop in the desired amount of onions, beaded oysters, and sprinkle with your favorite cheese. Once the eggs are cooked sufficiently fold them and allow them to cook until the eggs are solid.

Smack it between two pieces of buttered toast and go to town.

Here’s another variation. Place over an open biscuit and pour on some sausage gravy.

To really do it right dice a little garlic and sauté with the onions.

I’m gonna rant a bit. You ever notice how all those cooking show chefs have everything measured in exact proportions. That’s dumbing it down for the audience. Anybody that’s boiled anything besides water knows that no two batches of anything are exactly alike except for stuff that comes from a can. If you can’t figure out how much salt and oregano to season something with you shouldn’t light a stove by yourself anyway.

Anyway, now that you’ve read my rant, go fix an Oh, Oh, Oh.


Filed under Cookin', Daily Prompt

Burgers, Fries, And A Fat Lady’s Smile

Daily Prompt: Seconds!

Describe the most satisfying meal you’ve ever eaten in glorious detail.

It didn't look like much, but the food and atmosphere was incredible.

It didn’t look like much, but the food and atmosphere was incredible.

For some reason it is Texarkana, Texas that sticks-out in my mind. Dad, Mom, and I were on our way to visit relatives in Houston. It was a hot July day, right around noon. There was no air-conditioning in our ’62 Comet. Dad’s mouth was getting pasty. The type of pasty only a beer could take away.

Dad spotted a watering hole and he and Mom decided to eat there. I walked to a place about a block away.

There was a large house sitting on the corner with peeling white paint. It had been converted into a restaurant. I stepped on the weather-beaten and nearly rotted boards of the front porch. A screen door was the only barrier keeping the mass of flies perched to the mesh from getting inside.

As I reached for the handle on the door a stranger’s voice from behind me said, “Best shoo ‘em away ‘fore ya open the door.” So I did.

The place was packed with locals straight out of a Steinbeck novel. Overhead fans slowly churned the aromas of fried food and coffee.

I sat at the bar. A rotund black lady with plump cheeks that shined like eight-balls and a smile big as Texas ask me, “Whatcha havin’ sugar?”

“Two hamburgers, fries, and a coke,” I said. (That was my normal order.)

She laughed and held her belly. “Sugar, let me tell ya something’, if’n we fixes you one and you wants another I fetch it for ya.”

I agreed and after a short wait she brought a hamburger nearly the size of the plate.

“We call it the Texas Brurger and day only comes one way,” she said. “With mustard sauce. I makes up fresh ever day and I makes the buns fresh too.”

I held the burger in two hands. I was not shy about my first bite. The bun was soft and moist, there was a sweetness about it. The aroma of the meat seemed to ooze through the roof of my mouth and gently into my nostrils. I did not want to disturb what was happening with my sense of smell or taste. I did not chew, I enjoyed. The mustard sauce was mellow and burst full of flavor without a bitter tang. There were bits of chopped onion and dill pickle in the sauce. The meat was moist and yet solid. At last I chewed and swallowed.

Next I tried the fries. They were fresh. I watched the cook remove a peeled whole potato from a tub. He ran it through a French-fry cutter. After slicing several orders of potatoes he put them in a mesh basket and dipped them into boiling water for about a minute. Next he removed them from the water and shook away the excess water. Next he dumped them into a fryer basket and then they went into the fryer. They were there just long enough to turn golden brown.

Before sprinkling with salt I tried one without. They were crispy on the outside and firm but cooked on the inside. They were delicious without the salt. Salt robbed them of the virgin taste.

When the meal was over it felt as if I was wedged between the stool and the bar.

“Ya ready for ‘nother,” the waitress said.

I hesitated.

“Jus uz I thought,” she said.

That was a meal, a restaurant, and a waitress I’ll never forget.

In fact to this day when about to have a really good meal I think of that place in Texarkana. My mouth waters, I see a screen door packed with flies, and a rotund waitress with black shiny cheeks, and a smile as big asTexas.

Other blogs about great meals and food:

  1. Seconds! – I’m Afraid Of The Dark
  2. Seconds(and not just the food) « Natalie Elizabeth Beech
  3. Ilya Fostiy. Food of the Gods | Philosophy & Photography
  4. Food. | Hope* the happy hugger
  5. Do you know the land where the lemon-trees flower? | Q the Adult
  6. I Want Seconds! | Misifusa’s Blog
  7. A Truly Satisfying Meal | Tony’s Texts
  8. Daily Prompt: Seconds! | cognitive reflection
  9. The Daily Post:Seconds! | Angrezikabutar
  10. Daily Bread: Seconds | Sammy’s Moleskine
  11. Writing challenge: Seconds | La chica de la burbuja
  12. Burgers, Fries, And A Fat Lady’s Smile | The Jittery Goat
  13. mmm, delicious | thematticuskingdom
  14. Mouth Watering Seconds! (DP) | Elizabeth Los
  15. Seconds and probably thirds… | Spunky Wayfarer
  16. Daily Prompt: Seconds « Mama Bear Musings
  17. Seconds? Yes please! | Random Encounters of an Inquisitive Mind
  18. An unemployed morning | Pigments of Life
  19. Daily Prompt: Seconds! … Tonights meal … its 2:03 am …You will have to wait | Fasting, Food and other musings by determined34
  20. All you can eat! | The Nameless One
  21. Eat to Live. | ayimas
  22. Warning: Wet Blanket Post « Sorta-Ginger
  23. Food Satisfaction « Adventures of an Aussie Girl in London
  24. Daily Prompt: Seconds! | Phenomenal Lass
  25. Daily Prompt: Seconds | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  26. Daily Prompt: Seconds! | Completely Disappear
  27. Daily Post: | tel-uh-vizh-uh-ner-ee
  28. Bathe me in this | theloneshewolf
  29. Daily Prompt: Thanksgiving Feast | One Starving Activist
  30. Daily Prompt: Seconds! | Daddy’s Naughty Little Girl
  31. Love in Laughter | Wiley’s Wisdom
  32. Daily Prompt: Seconds! JoAnne’s Chicken Fried Steak | Lines by Linda
  33. Daily Prompt: Seconds! | awaiting demolition
  34. The Daily Prompt 22 « julianawoo47
  35. Daily Prompt: Seconds! | A Hedonistic Wander
  36. Satisfied with Steak | This Thread Sucks
  37. Best Meal Evar!! | Stuphblog
  38. Seconds! or I wish I could have stayed all day… | Ramblin’ On
  39. Daily Prompt: Seconds! « DiaryCube
  40. Daily Prompt: Seconds! | A Western Buddhist’s Travels
  41. The Best Meal I Ever Had | mycookinglifebypatty
  42. Daily prompt: Seconds? Yes, please! | the importance of being serbian


Filed under Daily Prompt

You Can’t Find Chili Like This In North Dakota

It's s complete meal in a bowl. In North Dakota Jalapenos must be grown in secret if you get caught with them it will be the Devil, for sure.

It’s s complete meal in a bowl. In North Dakota Jalapenos must be grown in secret. If you get caught with them it will be the Devil, for sure.

A few years ago my wife and I visited some friends in North Dakota. We were invited to a gathering with their friends. For days in advance everyone was euphoric in anticipation of Bob’s Chili.

I like chili. I think it’s near one of those perfect blends of ingredients that one can exist totally. I’ve never heard anyone say, “I hate chili.” It is universally loved. The reason; with the exception of burning it, you can not ruin it. If you just toss the main ingredients together and heat them, somebody in the crowd will likely say, “That’s the best darn chili I’ve ever had.”

Back to North Dakota. As a precursor to build anticipation for Bob’s Chili my friends continually said, “Oh boy, Bob is making his chili. It’s the best for miles around. He would enter it in a contest, but he’s so shy. He would not know how to handle all the attention.”

The night of the gathering came and Bob brought a large crock-pot full of his much anticipated chili. As he walked in the gathering people parted as if bringing the King’s coronation crown on a satin pillow.

“You’re going to love this,” my friend said. “For years to come you’ll tell everyone about Bob’s North Dakotan Chili.”

I ladled a bowl and tasted. I’ve had Rice Puffs straight from the box with more taste.

My friends smiled and said, “Keep in mind this is North Dakota; catsup on meatloaf is taking a walk on the wild side.”

Anyway it wasn’t anything a couple of shakes of Tabasco couldn’t repair.

So here is my chili recipe;

1 pound of lean ground beef (better than 80/20, try ground chuck)

1 cup of diced onion

½ cup of diced green peppers

Combine these ingredients and cook them in a large pot.

1 can of beer

12 ozs of beef stock (water with two beef bullion cubes)

2 cups of washed unpeeled diced Idaho Russet potatoes

Bring these to a boil in separate pot. Drain the liquid and add to the ground beef mixture.

1 can of tomatoes (30 oz. approx, crush by hand)

1 can if tomato paste (6 oz. can)

1 can of kidney beans (30 oz. can)

Add these ingredients. Set to a low flame.

Immediately add the following;

3 tbls of chili powder

2 tbls of paprika

2 tbls of powdered cocoa

1 tbls of salt (or to taste)

2 tbls of Worcestershire Sauce

2 tbls of Tabasco Sauce.

Allow to simmer for at least fifteen minutes.

Thinly slice a jalapeño.

After you bowl the chili add a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle a few slices jalapeños on the top.

You will not find this in North Dakota. In fact this might even get you jailed or escorted to the state line.

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Filed under Cookin'

Recipe For Country Boy Jambalaya

Country Boy Jambalaya; "Country boys likes dem taters."

A post featuring the Hank Williams’ song Jambalayaa few weeks ago made me think of Jambalaya – dah!

It is a Cajun dish that is better the second and third warm-up. There’s nothing tricky about it. Everything about it is simple and made with stuff you don’t have to go to one of those snooty gourmet stores to get.

Here’s a little twist for those meat and potato country boys; it’s what I call Country Boy Jambalaya.

First of all make up a mixture of Cajun seasoning to be used anytime.

1 cup of salt

¾ cup of cayenne

¼ cup of chili powder

¼ of paprika

¼ cup of black pepper

¼ cup of onion salt

¼ cup of garlic powder

¼ cup of thyme

This can be kept in a tight container and used anytime. Back to the jambalaya:

Cut a pound of smoked sausage into ½ inch lengths and have a pound of cleaned shrimp ready. Melt two table spoons of butter in a fry pan and toss the sausage and shrimp into the hot pan of melted butter. Sprinkle with Cajun seasoning. Cook until shrimp turn pink. It doesn’t take long.

Remove the sausage and shrimp into a bowl and set it aside.

Cut one medium onion into slices.

Cut two green bell peppers into slices.

Chop one cup of celery.

Add another two table spoons of butter to the fry pan, sprinkle with Cajun seasoning, and sauté the vegetable.

Remove the vegetables from the fry pan and add them to the bowl of sausage and shrimp.

Par boil four cups of ¼ inch cubed potatoes. You may want to melt a little more butter. Sprinkle with Cajun seasoning and finish cooking the potatoes in the fry pan so that they have a little crust.

Add all the ingredients into a large pan. Add a 14.5 ounce can of crushed tomatoes and add one small can of tomato paste. Heat them all together. Taste and add more Cajun seasoning to your liking.

That’s what I call Country Boy Jambalaya.


Filed under Cookin'

Another Variation Of Gourmet Toasted Cheese

Toasted cheese; try it with any cheese, any bread, any meant, with any jelly.

Last week I posted about gourmet grilled toasted cheese sandwiches. I really should have gone a step further. There is another possible ingredient neglected; meat. Recall the premise was any combination of one type of bread, one jelly, and cheese.

Before trying this I turned my nose up at jelly with cheese and jelly with meat. To me meat was only complemented with gravy, Worcestershire sauce, or some sort of steak sauce. I reasoned that many sauces have a lot of sugar such barbecue sauce. So it’s not really a leap to get to jelly. Likewise, fruits (such as those used in jellies) are very good with various cheeses.

A couple of weeks ago my daughter dropped by to make dinner for us. She prepared grilled toasted cheese.

It was fabulous. She used blueberry bread, red pepper jelly, and feta. But what really topped it off was that she added prosciutto.

This started me to thinking (Right, that is a problem). I wondered what meats would work best on the toasted cheese?

The first meat that came to mind was pastrami. The pastrami is much better if shaved or chipped.

Rather than just add the pastrami (or any meat) to the sandwich try heating it first on the grill. Make certain the grill or pan is good and hot before starting. You want some sizzle when the meat hits the heat. Do so until the ends have a little crispness to them. The reason for this is that it gives another dimension of flavor. It will also release some of the moisture in the meat. Too much moisture will make the sandwich soggy and not moist.

So assemble the grilled cheese just like in last week’s blog. Grill the shaved meat until there is a little crispness at the ends. Add the meat to the sandwich and toast it like you normally would.

My wife, daughter, and I had a wonderful time chatting over this delicious delight.

So use your own imagination to create something truly unique and tasty when friends drop over.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cookin'

Gourmet Toasted Grilled Cheese; Your Velveeta Days Are Over

If you think Velveeta is the only cheese for a toasted grilled cheese sandwich, you are not worthy of reading this blog.

Do you like toasted cheese sandwiches? Who doesn’t.

For most of my life it was Velveeta cheese and white bread and of course butter. That was the only thing that cheese was good for; the carp wouldn’t bite on it.

Here’s something to try that will get you out of your comfort zone or one bread and one cheese toasted cheese sandwich routine. And it is just as unhealthy.

On small pieces of paper write a cheese; like Swiss. Make about ten or as many as you like. Put the cheese names in a bowl. Do the same with bread. Put those papers in a bowl. Lastly, do it with jelly and put them in a bowl.

When you are done you should have three bowls; one with slips of paper with nothing but names of cheeses, another with slips of paper with nothing but names of breads, and another with slips of paper with nothing but names of jellies.

Close your eyes and pick a slip of paper from each bowl. There is your next gourmet grilled cheese sandwich. You may end up with something like rye, gouda, and peach jelly (you can use preserves or jams also). No matter what combination give it a try.

This is also a great dinner party idea. Have the cheeses, breads, and jellies on hand and make them to order.

Assemble the sandwich like normal. Apply the jelly to both slices of bread on the cheese side.

Her is some preemptive advice; when applying the jelly to the bread use only a smear. If you apply too much the heat liquefies the jelly. Also too much jelly overpowers the cheese. A smear is just enough to add a hint of sweetness and flavor from the fruit.

There is on warning that must be issued; it will be difficult to go back to Velveeta (Doesn’t that sound more like some hot little number in a little cantina just south of the border?).


Filed under Cookin'