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A Snowy Weekend – Let’s Have Barbecued Meatballs

Over the weekend we had a significant snowfall here in the foothills of North Carolina.  Actually, it is my favorite type of snowfall.  It began on Friday afternoon with big fluffy flakes of snow.  It continued through the night and snowed for a short period of time on Saturday morning.  I think our accumulation totals was eight inches.

Another reason I liked this snow is because it happened on the weekend and we didn’t have to go to work and could just enjoy watching it snow.  I was also appreciative of the fact that it was snow and not sleet or freezing rain.  The kids in our neighborhood had a good time in the snow but it was extremely cold all weekend.  Of course, I don’t think kids ever admit they are cold when they are playing in the snow.

Here are some pictures:











Before the snow, I had chosen the following recipe to share with you.  I thought it was such a comforting recipe for a cold January day.  Of course, I love barbecue so it really appealed to me.  It is from a recipe book from a local cook that compiled recipes of her friends and family and named the book, “Susie’s Dinner Bell.”



I hope you enjoy the recipe.  If you are experiencing a snowy day, I hope you are safe and warm.  Thanks for stopping by.

Easy Recipes For Busy Days?

Last week, I worked 30 hours.  That is the most hours I have worked in a week since 2008.  I knew it was a temporary thing just because of staffing shortages at my day care.  As the week progressed, I realized how tired I was and I started experiencing another feeling.  It took me a while to get a grip and realize what was going on.  I was reverting back to the days when I was a working mother and homemaker.  I remember the challenge of wanting to prepare some type of meal for my family they would enjoy but something that would be quick to prepare.

Today, I know we live in a time when people are thinking about preservatives and eating only fresh food.  Mr. D and I have very simple meals during the week and it is usually a meat, vegetable and starch.  It doesn’t take that long to prepare the food and it is good for us too.  However, I know when children enter the picture that can change.  I remember days of working and not even wanting to think about having to go home and prepare a meal.

I am glad the experience last week was temporary but I realized that I wanted to give you a glimpse of recipes similar to ones I would have used in the past to prepare meals for my family on busy days.  Here are a few I selected:

The first one is for Five O-Clock Franks and is from my Campbell’s Soup Main Dish Recipe Book:

five oclock franks

The next one is from my Rival Crock Pot Brochure:

meatball and peppers

The last one is for Save A Penny Casserole and is from a Taste of Home brochure.  I love the note from the note from the contributor about sharing recipes.  That was always something I enjoyed doing with my a penny casserole

Today, I have given you a glimpse of how the homemakers of the 80’s prepared meals for their families. At that time, this is what we referred to as “Fast” food.  Today, cooking is my favorite hobby and I love trying to make gumbo or dumplings or something I have never made before.  However, I totally understand how hard it can be for Moms to prepare a great meal for their family, day after day, after day. By the end of a harried week of working at least 40 hours, helping children with home work and personal care, a Mom just wanted to prepare something that would help the family survive and not starve to death.

Thanks for stopping by.




Reunion Parade – Jim Valvano – Ina’s Meatballs

On Monday I wrote about the Old Soldiers Reunion celebration in Newton and Cruisin Night.  Yesterday was the reunion parade and the memorial service in Newton.  I was working in Newton once during Old Soldiers Reunion week and I remember how the excitement grew each day with the parade on Thursday as the highlight of the week.  The old courthouse that is the center of the town has food and merchandise vendors lining the street throughout the day and the aromas are so wonderful.  One of my favorite memories is riding through downtown on the morning of the parade and seeing lawn chairs on the side of the road.  There is no one in or around the chairs and you just put your chairs in a prime spot earlier in the day and that is your reservation for a good view of the parade in the afternoon.  Everyone respects your reservation and will not mess with your stuff.  Sort of sounds like Mayberry doesn’t it?

Here are some pictures of the parade yesterday from our local newspaper:

One of many floats in the parade

One of many floats in the parade

Couples sitting in their reserved chairs waiting for start of the parade

Couples sitting in their reserved chairs waiting for start of the parade

Another Parade Route Picture

Another Parade Route Picture

Boxer patiently waiting for his funnel cake -  Smart Dog!

Boxer patiently waiting for his funnel cake – Smart Dog!

I was always working on the day of the parade and I have only attended it one time.  Don’t compare it to Macy’s or the Rose Bowl Parade as it is just an old fashioned down home parade with lots of locals participating.  There are so many children that have a part in the parade and that has always been heartwarming for me.  I can remember how excited neighborhood children would be about their participation in “THE PARADE”

My fondest memory of the parade is the year that Jim Valvano, former coach of the NC State Basketball team was the speaker for the memorial service and I think that was in 1984.  The team had won the national championship in 1983 and he was a household name in this state and very popular all over the US.  His team was the Cardiac Pack as they were never considered to be a contender for the title and won it all.  Yes, many of us almost had heart attacks watching them squeak by with one or two point wins to win it all.  At the time Jimmy V came to Newton he was being accused of trying to be a big celebrity and I have to admit that some of his projects did bother me a little.  However, I always believed he had a good heart and cared about people.

My daughter was going to the YMCA that summer as I worked full time.  She told me they were riding in the parade and I asked all kinds of questions.  Then I realized they were loading all the kids in the YMCA bus and they were riding through downtown Newton in the bus.  I thought that was great because they didn’t have to be the most talented are the prettiest to be in the parade.  She was ten at the time and has never been that interested in sports.  I told her Jimmy V was coming and to look for him and how exciting it would be for me,  if she could just see him.

I asked her after the parade if she saw Jimmy V and she said, Oh Yes!!! He came on the bus and talked to us.  No it wasn’t prearranged and their was no one there to take his picture.  After the parade, the kids were sitting in the bus waiting to go back to the Y and Jimmy V came around the corner to leave.  He spied the bus and stopped and got on the bus with the kids and took turns letting each one of the little kids sit on his lap.  He had high 5’s or handshakes for the older kids.  He talked to them about basketball which really didn’t interest her but I am sure as motivational as he was, there was some life lessons included.

Jimmy V was forced to resign at NC State and sometimes I think it was envy and jealousy that played a part in that.  When he was under tremendous pressure at NC State, I wrote him a letter and thanked him for all he was and all he had done for so many people.  He responded and I have that response in my lock box because it means that much to me.  He was such an inspiring person and I think my fondest memory of him is that miserably hot August day, he stopped to talk to a bunch of kids on a YMCA bus in the small town of Newton, NC.

Because Jimmy V was a native New Yorker and because he was Italian, I am sharing Ina Garten’s Turkey Meatball recipe with you.  I have made this recipe many times and it is so delicious.  If Jimmy V was coming for dinner, I would have made this for him and I think he would have been pleased with the choice.

Jimmy V is also known for his emotional speech at the ESPY awards 8 weeks before his death.  As I wrote this post, I did shed a couple of tears because it brought back so many bittersweet memories.  In that speech, Jimmy V said, “Don’t ever give up.”  I miss you Jimmy V!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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