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Who Says You Can’t Eat Raw Ramen?

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By Gini Rainey

I’ve found that inspiration sneaks into your life in lots of different ways.  I must say, that (as I’m sure my devoted readers have noticed) this summer I have been suffering with a lack thereof.  What with work, the heat, aging in-laws, the heat, and – oh, did I mention the heat? It would seem I have had my share of the don’t-got-what-it-takes-to-write-a-blog disease. 

However, imagine, if you will, the great bird of creativity that landed on my shoulders just a little while ago when I stepped into my library and spotted a cookbook on ramen!  Especially when you consider that last night a friend of mine posted a photo on Facebook of her little munchkin munching on her snack of choice!  That’s right!  Abby, in all her cuteness, is holding a block of dry ramen noodles in her precious little hand and noshing down on them like some of us do on champagne truffles.  Oh, the things we could teach her! 

Believe it or not, Publications International, Ltd put out a cookbook in 2012 that highlights recipes that make splendid use of the ramen noodle.  It’s not just for dorm rooms anymore, buttercup.  Not at all.  Gad, I wish they’d ramen noodles when I was in college.  We couldn’t have a hot plate in our dorm, but we could have a popcorn maker!  I guess the rule-writing folks had never taken a close look at the popcorn makers of the day.  They were nothing more than a hot plate with a 2 quart, covered aluminum spaghetti maker, soup cooker, and canned stew heater, and believe me when I say, we took full advantage of that handy little gadget. 

While this cookbook doesn’t credit any specific writer or contributor, my guess is that a whole lot of creativity had to go into the recipes that it features.  While some of them completely obliterate the obvious shape of the noodles, after disposing the lovely, sodium-laced broth packet, the get crushed and used as a breading agent (much like cracker crumbs or panko) to create a crust for things such as chicken and salmon croquets or a filler/binder in Swedish meatballs.  Tell that to Sven! 

Of course, there is also a section devoted to Noodle Bowls (go figure) that really does pump the old ramen noodle up to a new level.  The Shrimp and Pepper Noodle Bowl, Asian Chicken Squiggle Soup, or Asian Ramen Noodle Soup look and sound really yummy, however, I kind of think that using the dry noodles to make Open-Faced “S’Mores” would really be a stretch, but the Rocky Road Bundles look pretty good, Abby!  (just a thought butter cup – you know, chocolate and all!) 

The first time I ever had ramen noodles, other than in their broth, was when my Aunt Evie made a wonderful mixed green salad with a package of crumbled dry noodles tossed in right before serving.  Now, the noodles gave the salad a great crunch, but her homemade sunflower dressing gave it an extra punch.  So, for a cool summer dinner salad, you might want to give the ramen noodles a try and top with this dressing. Blend together the following: 1 cup honey, 2 ½ cups oil, 1 cup white vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, ¾ teaspoon white pepper, 2 tablespoons chopped, freeze-dried chives, 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon crushed garlic.  Add ¾ cups roasted sunflower seeds and toss with salad.  Add the noodles and the dressing right before serving.  That salad has summertime written all over it.

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Family

TJC Science Center offers Spring Break Camps

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The Tyler Junior College Earth and Space Science Center will offer a Spring Break Camp from 9 a.m. to noon Monday-Friday, March 9-13.

Campers in grades 1 through 4 will explore the solar system and the planets as well as journey to the moon in the center’s newly updated Hudnall Planetarium. They will also discover the science behind the changing seasons and launch their own miniature rockets.

“This year’s camp incorporates planetarium shows with hands-on, interactive STEM learning experiences to engage and inspire students over their spring break,” said Dr. Beau Hartweg, TJC science center director.

Each day will feature a different theme:
• Monday – Exploring the Planets
• Tuesday – Journey to the Moon
• Wednesday – Space Rocks! Comets, Meteors, and Asteroids
• Thursday – Weather and Seasons
• Friday – Space Exploration and Rockets

Cost is $30 per day per child, and science center members receive a 10 percent discount.

Space is limited, so early registration is recommended. Deadline to register is Wednesday, March 4.

The center is also open to the public during spring break, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday.

The science center is located at 1411 E. Lake St., on the TJC main campus. Parking is free.

For more information, go to sciencecenter.tjc.edu.

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Azalea Trail

2020 Historic Tyler Houses, Party & Tours

Historic Tyler Reveals 2020 Historic Tyler on Tour Houses at Homeowner Reveal Party

Historic Tyler on Tour is held each spring during the Azalea Trail, it’s the main fundraiser but also a great way to get a glimpse inside of some of Tyler’s lovely historic homes. This year’s theme is “Hidden Gems & Surprises” and will feature five homes and a Candlelight Tour.

Historic Tyler announces the 2020 houses for Historic Tyler on Tour! On Thursday, February 20th, at the beautiful historic home of Patrice and Mike Carmichael, Historic Tyler members, and community supporters will toast the tour homeowners in appreciation of them graciously opening their homes for the public to enjoy.

Candlelight Garden Party and Home Tour:

The Connally-Musselman House: 700 South Broadway Avenue, Charnwood Residential District

Tour Houses:

The Enmon House, 1401 Belmont Drive, Azalea District

The Farrell House, 1308 South Donnybrook Avenue, Azalea District

The Fisher House, 1617 McDonald Road, Bruce Goff House

The Fite-Heines House, 612 Tremont Place, Azalea District

The Odom House, 607 West Rusk Street, Azalea District

Historic Tyler on Tour is an annual fundraising event for Historic Tyler, Inc. set during the Azalea Trails.  This always-popular event brings visitors from near and far to experience some of Tyler’s treasured historic homes. The Historic Tyler on Tour 2020 theme is “Hidden Gems & Surprises.”  Ashley Washmon, Executive Director for Historic Tyler, said, “I am eager for the public to have the opportunity to enjoy these houses! We have many historical treasures in Tyler, but these houses are particularly endearing because they are a little bit off the beaten path. Because of that, you may or may not have noticed these unexpectedly charming homes before.  We invite anyone and everyone to join us on the house tour.”

2020 dates for Historic Tyler on Tour:

Candlelight Party and Tour:

Friday, March 27th

House Tour, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Garden Party, 7:00 pm – 10:30 pm.

This ticketed event is $125 for Non-Members, $100 for Historic Tyler Members, and $135 at the Door. The Daytime tour ticket is included with the purchase of Candlelight Party ticket. For reservations, call the Historic Tyler office at (903) 595-1960 or visit our website at www.historictyler.org.  The Candlelight party features the impressively preserved The Connally-Musselman House and is a one night opportunity to experience this piece of history. Both the exterior as well as the interior of the Connally-Musselman House holds many beautiful surprises with its eclectic architectural style.

Daytime Tour:

Saturday, March 28th, 10 am -5 pm

Sunday, March 29th, 1 pm-5 pm

Tour tickets are $25 for Non-Members and $15 for Historic Tyler Members. Tickets grant ticket holders access to the interior of five historic homes.

Historic Tyler, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, was founded in 1977 with a mission “to promote the preservation and protection of historic structures and sites through advocacy, education, involvement, and private and public investment.” It is a membership-based organization with many preservation accomplishments to its credit. Mrs. Washmon invites you to visit the website: www.historictyler.org for more information on the organization or to become a friend of Historic Tyler.

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Art

15th Annual Life in Tyler Photography Contest Now Seeking Entries

The City of Tyler Parks and Recreation Department is seeking entries for the 2020 Life in Tyler photography contest. Entries will be accepted from March 2nd to 10th.

Photos will be exhibited at the Rose Garden Center during the 2020 Azalea Trails, March 21st through April 5th. Ribbons and prizes will be awarded for the Best of Show entry as well as first, second and third place for each of the 12 categories.

Registration forms are available online at TylerParksandRec.com, at the Parks and Recreation office at 2000 W. Front St. or at the Rose Garden Center, 420 Rose Park Dr.

For more information, please call Debbie Isham, special events/recreation manager, at (903) 531-1214 or email disham@tylertexas.com.

About the Tyler Parks and Recreation

The Parks and Recreation Department provides oversight for the City’s open spaces, athletic complexes and recreationally oriented programs for the use of all residents and visitors. Staff members diligently maintain a proactive maintenance program for over 26 park areas including oversight of maintenance activities on 23 playgrounds, traffic islands and medians, landscaping at City buildings, cemeteries and the downtown square. They also provide for the propagation of seasonal and perennial plant materials utilized in the Parks beautification programs, as well as the maintenance of trees in the Parks system. The mission of the Tyler Parks and Recreation Department is to improve the quality of life for our residents and guests by providing superior parks, cemeteries, recreational and tourism opportunities. Our vision is to provide residents and visitors with attractive outdoor spaces that are well maintained while continuing to be fiscally responsible. Learn more at www.TylerParksandRec.com.

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