Saturday, May 31, 2008

Peggy Of The Flint Hills


I went back home and found the old house in which I was born filled with dull coppery oats piled against faded green wallpaper. The windows were boarded, the doors nailed shut. In one corner stands the old organ my mother saved turkey money to buy...a six octave Beckwith Grand from Sears & Roebuck. It is as intricately ornate as a cathedral and has as many pockets as a pair of overalls. I looked at my face in the mirror and smiled to think it had once reflected the same face, freckled and pigtailed.

One of the four big mullberry trees had been cut down. Others were dying at the top. Except for the sure knowledge that trees and house and well had not been moved, I could not have believed the vast rolling spaces I remembered could have shrunk so small.

The only things untouched were the stone doorsteps...the big limestone rocks worn smooth from years of footsteps, bare feet and shod feet, wind and weather and scrubbing. Men and women and children sitting on them summer evenings, babies climbing over them...all who passed the threshold smoothed and polished the hard stone...but a hundred generations could not wear it down.

I searched my mind for the truth. The little girl seemed someone I had known and loved. I would recall that she said this or that...a very dear little girl, truly, but she must be a grown woman by now. There was tenderness but not pain in remembering her. The old home place had been emotionalized. People travel back to see it and their hearts are heavy. They think they are grieving for a house trembling with years, for dying trees and old forgotten things....but their tears are for their lost youth, for the changes that have come to them.

That childhood should seem so lost and sad is a mark against adult living. Other periods of years should be as precious, but they are darkened by the clouds of failure and remorse. Perhaps we bungle our lives until the tormented mind takes refuge in the innocence of young years. Contentment sprang so easy from the rich early soil that we will not work to make it grow on the worn fields of later years. It is too easy giving up. We flee to the securuty of the past rather than try to learn a new kind of happiness.

Childhood is simple and free. The spirit can grow boundlessly, but in older years it is warped and scarred trying to fit into rules and measures. A man looks back to escape the future. The goodness of childhood is gone, but he knows that is the answer to his be simple and free again, to be as a child again.

So the place of childhood becomes a symbol. He sets his feet on the rich green ground of memory and his heart is broken when he finds decay. But it is the decay of his own spirit he unknowingly grieves, and that is the one thing that can be impervious to time.
Wood and tree and fence can decay....but man's spirit can outlast a stone doorstep.

Zula Bennington Greene
"Peggy of the Flint Hills"
September 15, 1945

Friday, May 30, 2008

Let'em Eat Cake <---click for movie

Full Disclosure: This is the absolute best damn cake I ever ate. Period. But I did not make it ~ my Sis makes me a German Chocolate Cake from scratch every year, for my birthday ... and bless her lil' ol' pea-pickin' heart, she keep practicing & one day she gonna git it right!!! LOL Whooooooboy, you done yerself proud on this one, BrendaBob ... this was pure poetry on a plate ... and I ain't just blowin' smoke up yer apron, kiddo ~ that's fer tru.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Three Feet High And Rising

Well, today's my birthday ... 57 trips around the sun, and nothing to show for it 'cept 10 boney fingers and a bad sunburn! As the story goes, it was a *dark and stormy night* ... quite literally, actually. It had been storming and raining hard for a couple days (a precursor to the Great Flood of '51) leading up to the night mah ol' Daddy, him, had to drive Mama to the hospital on account I was ready to make my grand entrance into the world. The old country roads were flooded & treacherous ... and the bridge was washed out on the main road to town ~ so Dad had to take to the backroads in Grandpa's old '49 Chevy pickup truck t'git to the hospital. All dat said, I arrived in the wee hours, along 'bout 1 AM ... hungry from the git-go ... and Daddy always liked to say when I was borned I was so ugly dat docteur, him, he took one look at me & slapped my MAMA ... twice!! LOL What a long, strange trip it's been.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

You Can't Fix Stupid

This Is What Happens When City Folk Move To The Country...

ABT Meatloaf <---click for meatloaf movie

Mais, I hauled off and chopped up dem ABTs you see in the post below ... and made a kicked-up meatloaf wit adobo/chipotle glaze ~ thinkin' dat meatloaf might make a good cold meatloaf sandwich on toasted fresh-baked sourdough? Whooops ... lookie here~~

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

TexMex Atomic Armadillo Turds

ABTs kicked up my way ... stuffed with smashed pintos, mexican rice, aged white cheddar & a chunk of carne adovado ... bacon wrapped, dusted with a lil' DP Red Eye Express & applewood smoked. Makes a cold beer taste real good ~

Monday, May 26, 2008

Morning In Kansas


There's lands beyond the ocean which are gray beneath their years
Where a hundred generations learned to sow and reap and spin
Where sons of Shem 'n Japhet wet the furrow with their tears
And the noontide is departed, and the night is closing in

Long ago the shadows lengthened in the lands across the sea
And the dusk is now enshrouding regions nearer home, alas
There are long deserted homesteads in this country of the free
But it's morning here in Kansas, and the dew is on the grass

It is morning here in Kansas, and the breakfast bell is rung
We are not yet fairly started on the work we mean to do
We have all the day before us, for the morning is but young
And there's hope in every zephyr, and the skies are bright and blue

It is morning here in Kansas, and the dew is on the sod
As the builders of an empire it is ours to do our best
With our hands at work in Kansas, and our faith and trust in God
We shall not be counted idle when the sun sinks in the West

Uncle Walt Mason

Kaw-Cajun 4-Bean Swamp Salad

Inspired by a Paula Deen recipe ~ kicked up a few notches ala Fat Johnny style ... definately not yer regular ol' bean salad, ah garrontee.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Birthday In PerryDice

Spent my birthday at The Perrydice Lodge yesterday ~ good friends, great food, groovy music and beautiful environs ~ hard combination to beat! Thanks to NoBob & Lil' Missy for makin' this ol' coonass' day ... tru dat. And Hoppy mah frien ... here's yer Heavenly Houseboat Blues ~ Townes Van Zandt

I'm building a houseboat in heaven
To sail those deep and holy seas
I'm building a houseboat in heaven
And it's welcome aboard you sweet, sweet peace

The bow she is made of solid silver
And the hull she is made of solid gold
She ain't too much long the line's a-floating
But she's yours, babe, to have and to hold

I rode my old guitar to heaven
But heaven didn't feel too much like home
So I'm headed out onto them lonesome oceans
In my ruby studded houseboat to roam

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Little Green Tents

Little Green Tents

The little green tents where the soldiers sleep
And the sunbeams play and the women weep
Are covered with flowers today

And between the tents walk the weary few
Who were young and stalwart in 'sixty-two
When they went to the war away

The little green tents are built of sod
And they are not long, and they are not broad
But the soldiers have lots of room

And the sod is part of the land they saved
When the flag of the enemy darkly waved
The symbol of dole and doom

The little green tent is a thing divine
The little green tent is a country's shrine
Where patriots kneel and pray

And the brave men left, so old, so few
Were young and stalwart in 'sixty-two
When they went to the war away

Uncle Walt Mason 1916

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hot Out The Oven

Scratch Peach Upside Down Cake ... guess I need to make some whipped cream, huh??

Blues In The House Tonight..

The Legendary Charlie Musselwhite

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What's An ABT?? <---click for movie

Japs stuffed with smashed pintos, mexican rice & white cheddar ~ topped with a chunk of carne adovado, wrapped with applewood smoked bacon & dusted with Dizzy Pig coffee infused rub ... then smoke them until bacon is cooked. Bet'cha cain't eat just one!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

When Life Gives Ya Beans

Make Some Kicked-Up Homemade Refried Bean Dip!

I Don't Want A Pickle....

I Just Wanna Ride My Motor-sickle

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

When Life Gives You....

Carne Adovado and Pintos .... Make some Puffy Indian Fry Bread Tacos.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Chef's Rules


I. The Chef is right.
II. The Chef is always right.
III. Even if an underling appears to be right, article I applies.
IV. The Chef doesn't eat, he nourishes himself.
V. The Chef doesn't drink, he tastes.
VI. The Chef doesn't sleep, he rests himself.
VII. The Chef is never late, he is detained.
VIII. The Chef never quits his service, he is called away.
IX. Chef never reads his newspaper on the job, he studies it.
X. You go into the Chef's office with your own ideas, you come out with the Chef's ideas.
XI. The Chef remains the Chef, even in a bathing suit.
XII. The more you criticize the Chef, the fewer bonuses you will receive.
XIII. The Chef must think for everyone else.

The Short Version:

Rule 1. I am the Chef. I am always right.
Rule 2. There aren't any other rules. Rule 1 always applies: man, woman, child or vermin.

Hay Johnny ... Whut's Fer Supper?

Carne Adovado, Bigwheel's Beans, Warm Flour Tortillas ... and a COLD BEER! Pull yer badself up to the groanin' board ... there's plenty to go around.

Burnt Ends Fer Breakfast!

Homemade Jalapeno Sausage & Burnt Ends Sandwich ... piled high on onion bun w/homemade potato salad. Breakfast of champions.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Home Town ~ Onaga, Kansas

Onaga ~ Pottawattamie Indian translation: "little potatoes"

Saturday, May 17, 2008

All Mah Rowdy Friens Have Settled Down

The "Bunkhouse Boys" ... from left: Willdog, NoBob Rob, Big Rick, Mr. Timmy, Chez, Arkie Clarkie & NoBed Phred

Give My Poor Heart Ease....

Konza Prairie ~ In The Flint Hills of Chase County, Kansas

Our Place Was A Graveyard For Automobiles...

They Looked Like Tombstones In Our Yard

It'll Shine When It Shines

Lookin' Out My Kitchen Window

Take Four

Love Me Some BBQ Pork Chops ... Charred Just Right.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Take Three

Definately NOT Yer Father's Pulled Pork BBQ, Ah Garrontee!

Take Two <---Click For Movie

Fresh Morels ~ Pan fried in butter ... so good, make you wanna slap yer mama for not makin'em so good!

Take One <---Click For Movie

Hot Out The Oven ~ Peach Bread Pudding. Put a lil' south in yer mouth!!