By Gini Rainey
My dad was quite the jokester. It seems like he was either pulling off a prank or thinking up one to do. I remember one time, when I was about 4 or 5, my mom had some of her friends over to play bridge and dad decided it was time to trim my bangs. So, dad takes the trimmings, glues them to my chest and sends me downstairs to say “hi” to my mom’s friends, who were completely taken by surprise at a little girl with hair on her chest. Of course, my mom was mortified and promptly hustled me out of the room. With that in mind, I have often wondered exactly who it was that my dad introduced me to as Hopalong Cassidy when I was around 8 years old.
I was pretty much a tom boy growing up and was madly in love with anything that had to do with cowboys and horses. My favorite TV shows were Fury, Rin Tin Tin, The Rifleman, The Lone Ranger, and of course, Hopalong Cassidy. I remember my dad coming home one day, picking me up and the two of us going to the Moorhead Country Club to meet Hopalong Cassidy (whose real name was William Boyd) and his beautiful white stallion, Topper.
If I remember correctly, dad said that Hoppy had moved to Moorhead and was a friend of his. Now, the internet rabbit hole I have traveled down trying to figure this one out has provided me with only one connection of Hoppie to Moorhead. Seems there was a disc jockey at a local radio station (KVOX) named Arlyn Lang who used the air name of Hopalong Cassidy for the 25 years he was on the air, beginning in 1984 – the math doesn’t work into this quotient. So, the question remains: Did I meet the real Hopalong Cassidy that warm day back when I was a kid? Or was it just another one of dad’s pranks? I guess I’ll never know for sure. Too bad it wasn’t the Lone Ranger, then I could be saying “Just who was that masked man?”
All of that to say, I picked up a really neat cookbook recently, named “The All-American Cowboy Cookbook: Home Cooking on the Range.” Written by Ken Beck and Jim Clark and published in 1994 by Rutledge Hill Press, this book is filled with over 300 recipes from the “World’s Greatest Cowboys,” and one of them just happens to be, you guessed it, Hopalong Cassidy. If you are a lover of anything cowboy, you will definitely enjoy this book that is loaded with a ton of trivia and black and white photos. In fact, it’s so full of fun facts and photos, you might almost skim past the recipes.
Since nature is reminding us today that winter is not done with us east Texans, it just seems like a Chili kind of day, and this book has several versions of that hearty soup. Ernest Borgnine, who was in several westerns before he joined “McHale’s Navy,” shared his “Ernie’s Tex Chili.” In a large pot, brown 3 pounds of ground sirloin or ground round in 1 stick of butter. Pour off ½ cup liquid from the meat and use it to sauté 3 chopped green bell peppers, 3 chopped onions, and 3 minced garlic cloves in a separate skillet until tender. Add to the meat mixture and stir in ¼ cup chili powder, 2 tablespoons salt, 1 ½ teaspoon pepper, 3 teaspoons cumin, and ½ tablespoon cayenne pepper. Add 3 1-pound cans of chopped tomatoes, including liquid. Simmer covered for 1 hour, remove lid and simmer for at least 30 more minutes. Topped with chopped onions and grated cheese, this makes great meal for the wild bunch!
Duck! Here It Comes!
By Gini Rainey
For those of you who have been paying attention to the general theme of my cookbook collection, you may have noticed a trend towards those written by or about celebrities and or famous people. That was one of my initial criteria when I started picking them up and mostly still is, unless I come across one that’s weird, unusual, or cheap! Every so often I’ll go to my favorite eBay store, thriftbooks, just to see if they have anything new that fits the bill. The cookbook I have in front of me today is one of those. It’s “Miss Kay’s Duck Commander Kitchen” by Kay Robertson with Chrys Howard and was published in 2013 by Howard Books and was written by a celebrity and was cheap! Score!
So, then I got to thinking “whatever happened to Duck Dynasty.” I was never a viewer of the series – but I have the T-Shirt that my husband picked up for me in West Monroe, Louisiana on one of his many treks to Florida. I did watch a portion of one episode at one of my daughter’s following a family gathering. About all I can remember about it was her family never missed an episode and were really into it. I think that particular episode had some bird-hunting/killing/plucking/slicing/ dicing/cooking involved in it. My other daughter and her family (who just happen to be vegans) had a hard time sitting there watching all of the carnage and eventually turned to other things to do and talk about.
The Robertson’s have pretty some strong family values and have actually built quite a financial empire over the past 30 plus years with their clothing line – Duck Commander. Even though she spent a great deal of her time working along side her husband, Miss Kay raised a family and filled them, not only with good food, but also a stern hand nicely blended with warmth and love.
Her cookbook is filled, not only with great, rib-sticking recipes, but also with quite a few biblical references, anecdotes, and family photos. Sharing that she uses a cast iron skillet or dutch oven to cook most of her recipes, she explains it’s because they can either be used on the stove top or in the oven and they heat up quickly. It’s also not terribly surprising that several of her recipes call for Duck Commander seasoning!
Well, if you’re lucky enough to own a cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven, here’s a fairly easy recipe to try out on your family. First, heat your oven to 275° and season about 1 pound of tenderized round steak (tenderized round steak usually comes 4 to a package and I generally cut those in half to make 8 pieces) with salt and pepper and lightly sprinkle both sides with flour. Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in your cast-iron Dutch oven (or cast-iron skillet, or ovenproof casserole dish) and brown the steaks on both sides and drain off the excess oil. Add 2 celery stalks chopped in large chunks, 1 onion chopped in large chunks, 1 chopped garlic clove, 1 bell pepper chopped in large chunks, 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes and 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce to Dutch oven along with the browned steaks. Cover and bake for 1 ½ hours and serve with steamed potatoes or egg noodles. You may not be a Duck Commander, but this meal will have you eating like one!
Programs Blooming at the Library
New April Programs for All Ages at the Library:
Introduction to Finch Robots & Book Signing for “MOM LIFE: Perfection Pending”
The Tyler Public Library is located at 201 S. College Ave., Tyler. Most events are free. For more info call (903)593-7323 or go to tylerlibrary.com.
All storytimes will be in Taylor Auditorium.
- Leeme un Cuento/Read to Me Storytime (children 3-6 years old), Mondays at 10:30am
- Lap & Play Time (babies up to 18 months) features stories, songs, and playtime with developmental toys at 9:30am every Wednesday
- Toddler Explore Storytime (children under age 3) is on Wednesdays at 10:30am
- Read Aloud Crowd Storytime (children 3-6 years old), Thursdays at 10:30am
April 7th (2-4pm) – LEGO® Block Party – Children ages 3 and up, bring your imagination for an afternoon of building and playing! LEGO® and Duplo Blocks are provided.
April 14th and 28th (2-4pm) – Makerspace – This continuing STEM education for children and teens will feature April 14th: Introduction to Finch Robots and April 28th: We’re at the Maker Faire. This will be held in the Library Treehouse.
April 21st (10:30am) – Movie Matinees – Families are invited to watch a fun feature length films in the library’s auditorium. A different movie will be shown each day. Pillows, blankets, and carpet friendly snacks welcome.
Every Tuesday (4:30-5:30pm) – Teen Tuesdays – If you are in Middle School or High School you’re in! The Library will have games, activities, and fun just for teens. Earn volunteer hours completing special projects. Descriptions for weekly activities can be found at library.cityoftyler.org/Programs/Teens. Events are:
- April 3rd: DIY Calming Glitter Jars
- April 10th: Intro to Coding with Finch Robots
- April 17th: Robots cont. – Navigate a Maze
- April 24th: Robots cont. – Draw with a Robot
April 7th (10am-12 noon) – EastSide Fiber Artists – An open gathering of all things fiber. Whether you quilt, knit, crochet, weave, spin, needle felt, etc. Bring your current or completed project and make some new friends.
April 13th (11:30am) – “Pass Along Plants” with Andie Rathbone will be presented as part of the Smith County Master Gardener Series.
April 14th (11am-12:30pm) – “MOM LIFE: Perfection Pending” Book Launch & Signing – Along with selling and signing copies of her new book during her stop at Tyler, Ethington will be discussing various parenting topics and opening up for a Q&A.
by Gini Rainey
I was thinking this morning about all the incredible advances in technology that I have seen in my lifetime, and how much my dad would have loved all the gadgets we seem to have surrounded ourselves with the past 50 years. For example, just in my lifetime, I’ve seen telephones go from shared party lines with rotary dials to the incredible iPhone (virtually a computer in your hand) that not only can be used for staying connected, but takes a whole lot better photograph than my once treasured Canon SLR.
So, then I got to thinking about all the advances in the kitchen that have helped make the home maker’s life infinitely easier and how many of the old gadgets that I grew up with are now items of speculation in antique shops and vintage stores. Sometimes just standing back and listening to people trying to determine their use is half the fun of spotting one “just like we used to have!”
Just for fun – can you name these gadgets?
So speaking of vintage, today I’m looking at The Martha Washington Cook Book and is the product of historian Marie Kimball who received special permission from The Historical Society of Pennsylvania to study the original manuscript that was used by Martha Washington for 50 years and then was passed down mother to daughter for nearly 100 years. The original cookbook was published in 1940 by Coward-McCann, Inc., and the copy that I have was published in 2005.
With nearly 50 pages of historical background regarding the state dinners at the White House and the meals hosted at Mt. Vernon, Kimball has succeeded to paint a rather lovely picture of Martha Washington, who was the over-seer of all of meals prepared for family and dignitaries. While we might not find many of the recipes included in the book to be something we might consider preparing, such as Marrow Pie, Lettuce Tart, Roasted Hare, or Stewed Calves’ Feet, Mrs. Kimball has fully adapted Martha’s cookbook for practical, modern use. All the recipes have been proportioned to the current practice of a formula for serving six people, and she says that all of the recipes have been tested and taste great!
One of Martha’s recipes that jumped out at me was for apple fritters sounds absolutely yummy: Heat 1 cup ale and add ¼ cup white wine and the yolks of 4 eggs, the white of 1 egg, well beaten. Mix together 1 cup flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon cloves, and ¼ teaspoon mace and combine the two mixtures. According to Martha Washington “Your batter must be no thicker than will just hang on the apples.” A little more or less flour may be needed. Cut the apples into rounds – or what ever shape you please – and deep in the batter. Drop in deep fat and fry a golden brown. Drain on a piece of clean linen, (I bet you can use paper towels!) sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, and serve. Oh, my, nom-nom!
EGuide Magazine’s Gig Guide
Date Night: From Fancy to Simple, Tyler Offers a Lot of Romance
April 21st: Lead the Way 5K and more Upcoming Races
Theatre Guide: “Love, Loss & What I Wore” on Stage at Lindale Theatre
The Apple Didn’t Fall Far From The Tree
April 25th-28th: “Hamlet” on Stage at TJC
Duck! Here It Comes!
Art in the Garden April 28th at the Rose Garden
Kane Brown at TJC in Concert April 25th
“Secure Your ID Day” April 21st
Connect With Us!
Free Stuff To Do
Art in the Garden April 28th at the Rose Garden
April 28th (11am-2pm) – 12th Annual Art in the Garden The Tyler Parks and Recreation Department invites you to come...
Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Story Times
Story Time at the Book Store Every month Barnes & Noble (B&N) has a variety of events. All events are...
March Events: Wildlife Walk & Navigation Revelation at Tyler State Park
At Tyler State Park, you can boat, fish, swim in the lake, hike, mountain bike, picnic, geocache, camp, bird watch...
UT Tyler Graduate Student Exhibits Feature Steel, Wood Creations
The University of Texas at Tyler Department of Art and Art History is proud to announce three exhibitions featuring three-dimensional...
A Lock, A Key & A Symbol of Love
A Lover’s Tradition at a Rose Rudman Trail Bridge: February is the month of romance and Tyler has a unique...