Saturday, May 31, 2014


Ahh!  If only you could smell this latest winner from my smoker!  It is stuffed with red and yellow bell peppers and baby red potatoes.

These are my new silicone gloves that are great for handling hot items.  I used to swear by my OvGloves.  But these are even better.  They have a solid grip and protect you from heat even if wet, unlike the OvGloves.  And the best part, just throw them in the dishwasher to clean.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Red Cabbage and Chickpea Salad

Here is a great tasting salad full of nutritional value.

2 cups chopped red cabbage
16 oz. chickpeas
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
Apple cider vinegar and olive oil dressing

Combine the cabbage, chickpeas, chopped tomato, onion powder and salt and pepper in a medium size bowl.

Mix up the dressing:  2 parts apple cider vinegar to one part olive oil.  Pour over salad.  Mix well and enjoy.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Another winner from my grill!

Everyone knows how I love cooking on my grill or using my smoker.  Today I grilled a steak on my Weber grill.  DELICIOUS!  I used the rub and bbq sauce recipes you can find two posts down from this one.  Stir fried veggies rounded out the meal.

While the grill is going, I enjoy sitting in my outdoor chair with my glass of wine looking up at the sky, today it was sky blue!  The smell coming from the grill was out of this world wonderful!

And here is the finished product!

Friday, May 23, 2014

A nice quote

Here is a quote at the end of my grandson's e-mail to me recently.  I never quite thought of a mile in these terms.

"On a mile of highway, you can drive a mile.
On a mile of railway, you can travel a mile. 
With a mile of runway, you have the whole world."
-Ed Bolen

Monday, May 19, 2014

Here they are! The rub and sauce recipes you asked for!

My facebook friends know how excited I am about the new rub and sauce recipe I tried yesterday.  They both were 5 stars plus!  Several people asked me to put the recipes on my blog, so here they are.

These came from Steven Raichlen's 2000 edition of his Barbecue Bible.  In my copy, the Basic Barbecue Rub is on page 23 and the Sweet and Smoky Barbecue Sauce is on 134.  I have 4 or 5 books on bbq and smoking meats and this is definitely one of my favorites.

First, the rub

Steve writes, "Here's the grand-daddy of all barbecue rubs, but don't let its simplicity fool you."

1/4 cup coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup paprika
3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir or whisk to mix.  Transfer to a jar, cover, and store away from heat and light.  This will keep for several months.  Makes one cup.

Next, the sauce

6 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup mollasses
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons dark rum
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1 tablespoon pure chili powder (not a blend)
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 cups ketchup
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper

Combine all the ingredients, except for the ketchup, in a large, deep, heavy, nonreactive saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Cook, uncovered, until all the ingredients are dissolved, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the ketchup and bring to a boil, stirring well, as the ketchup has a tendency to spatter.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Reduce the heat slightly and gently simmer the sauce, uncovered, until dark, thick, and richly flavored, about 30 minutes, stirring often.  Use right away or transfer to jars, cover, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.  The sauce will keep for several months.  Makes 5 cups.

Both of these are good for all types of meat.

Enjoy!  And invite me over when you have your next cookout!!!

One, probably insignificant, note.  I didn't have dark rum but I had an almost full bottle of light rum that I had bought a number of years back for another recipe.  I used that.

I would love to hear your thoughts once you try these.

Postscript:  I use a Weber Smoky Mountain smoker (22 1/2 inch size).  You can smoke meat on a regular charcoal grill, but I think using a smoker makes it a lot easier, especially for a novice like me.  I used a small handful of hickory wood shavings thrown over the charcoal in the beginning and threw another small handful in about halfway through.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I love the Throwback Thursday theme online and on Fox News Channel's Fox and Friends weekday program.  I enjoy looking at friend's TBT pictures and laughing at how they looked back in the day.

This one brought back a LOT of memories.  Back in our younger days, my long time friend, Nancy, and I did a lot of backpacking and canoe camping trips in the backwoods of the Adirondacks, and day hikes to all over.  This particular picture is from a weekend backpacking trip into Wanika Falls, near Lake Placid.  Jen, who later became my daughter-in-law, was with us on this trip.

Oh, the stories I could tell about our adventures!

My friends know I carry a legally licensed concealed firearm.  There was one trip Nancy and I did with another lady whom we knew, maybe a little better than "casually."  She was an avid backpacker and we invited her along on a week long backpacking trip in the Adirondack Park of New York State.  I wasn't going to mention the fact that I carried.  But Nancy did.  The atmosphere became a little tense after that conversation.  The subject wasn't brought up again. . . until after our first night on the trail!  It was getting late in the day and we needed to find a place to camp.  The only spot available was on a lake where a gang of guys in a motorboat had taken up residence with several cases of beer.  We pitched our tents as far away from the leanto (which, by the way, by state law is only available to canoe campers and backpackers. . . not motorboats) as we could.  Fortunately, the men left us alone.  The next day on the trail, the other lady told me she felt comfortable knowing I had my firearm. . . just in case.

On another backpacking trip, with just me and Nancy, she brought along a two pound chunk of German sausage.  I didn't like the sausage at all!  She did.  But two pounds is a lot of weight when you are backpacking.  After a few days on the trail, we ran into a German couple. . . it was obvious by their accent!  Nancy and I looked at each other as soon as we heard them talk.  "Would you like this German sausage that we have but Sherry doesn't care for?" Nancy asked.  Their eyes were like those of a kid on Christmas morning.  They were hiking for three weeks and their food consisted of freeze dried food and rice cakes.

They were totally thrilled to get "REAL FOOD" as one of them exclaimed. . . and we were more than happy to get rid of the extra, unwanted weight!

Several winters "back in the day" Nancy and I and whoever else we could talk into coming along would stay at a bed and breakfast in the high peaks region of the Adirondacks and spend our days snowshoeing or cross country skiing in the backwoods.  One winter, it was just me and Nancy.  The owner of the B&B offered to drive us in to Lake Placid and drop us off at the trailhead of the Jack Rabbit Trail, a wonderful long distance cross country trail.  We left a car at our end spot.  We spent the day on a truly delightful cross country ski through the woods.  At mid-day, we came to a nice little restaurant where we had a wonderful hot lunch that energized us for the rest of the afternoon.  I will remember that day for the rest of my life.  It was just a leisurely, very scenic, fun day.  We went at our own pace, neither one of us into setting any speed records.  I would love to do that ski trip again someday.

Isn't it amazing how running across an old picture can bring back great memories from the past?

Saturday, May 10, 2014


I don't like snakes.  Not even the so-called "good" ones that, I'm told, eat garden pests.  I don't like snakes. . .

This morning while mowing the lawn, one wiggled beside my lawn mower.  In total panic, I ran over it with the lawn mower.  Just how long does it take a snake to die?

I finished mowing the back yard, dug a grave for the slithery thing.  Took my shovel out of the shed, began to scoop up the culprit.  It hadn't moved during the time I mowed the lawn, but as soon as my shovel touched it, it began wiggling.  So I left it for several hours to allow it to totally die.

Again, I picked up my shovel and the creepy thing rolled over and over.  So I stabbed it unmercifully with my shovel, trying to cut it in half.  It's head reared up with its mouth wide open, sending ice through my veins.  In the act of trying to cut it with my shovel, the shovel went into the ground.  "Okay", I said to it.  "You want to be buried here?"  I can arrange that.  With the shovel, I pushed it into the small hole the shovel had made, and then used the shovel to beat down the dirt over the snake.

Okay, even I have to laugh at this. . . I pounded that dirt really hard and then started to walk away.  The last 2 or 3 inches of the tail of this beast was still above ground and "waving" at me. . .

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Bring on summer!

Even in the frozen tundra, also known as New York State, spring and summer eventually take over from the harsh winters.  This past winter, by anyone's estimate, was a very brutal experience.

Now the spring bulbs are in bloom, my lawn needs to be mowed, I don't need my glasses to see the foliage taking hold on the trees and shrubs.

I found a new passion this spring - smoking meat.  I like all kinds of cooking, especially grilling in the warm months, but smoking meat?  Wow!  I wish I had discovered how easy it was a long time ago.

Summer is my idea of fun times.  I have three one week trips planned for canoe camping in New York State's Adirondack Park.  I am really looking forward to that.  There is a new canoe area just opened to the public last October, near Long Lake in the Adirondacks.  I intend to explore that this summer.  No motor boats or jet skiis allowed.  Just the solitude of paddling on a warm summer day with the only sounds you hear are the leaves blowing in the breeze or the birds singing.

Summers are short in the North Country.  So get out and make it a good time every chance you get!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

A pleasant day trip today

I have been all over New York State, from the big cities to the small villages, from one end of the state to the other and everything in between.  Today my travels took me to Canojoharie, Sharon Springs, and Cobbleskill - all small villages where I have never been.  I went to Cobbleskill to check out a breeder for Labs.  Since Molly died, I miss the craziness of having two dogs in the house.  I would like to get a new yellow Lab puppy sometime in the summer or fall of 2015.

Once you leave the New York State Thruway and get onto the back roads, you find quaint little villages, streets lined with American flags, interesting architecture, distant views, even a road sign warning motorists of cows in the street!

These pictures were all taken with my iPad so I didn't have a zoom lens.

I was very pleased with the breeder after talking with her and seeing her kennel.  I think my search for a breeder is over!  She is more interested in finding the right puppy for you rather than making a quick sale.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Throwback Thursday

There is a trend going around on TV and facebook called Throwback Thursday, where people post pictures of themselves from yesteryear.  This morning I posted this one on facebook.  It was taken mid-1980s at Rollins Pond Campground in New York State's Adirondack Park.  The dog in the canoe with me is Teri, my first Labrador Retriever.  I ran across this picture recently and hadn't seen it in years.

It brought back a flood of memories and thoughts.  I have owned a Labrador Retriever continuously since Teri came into my life in 1985 and I plan to own a Lab until I die.  I have often jokingly said, "There is only ONE breed of dog, and that is the Labrador Retriever!"  No, of course, I don't believe that.  Nor do I believe that the Lab is the only dog that can bring joy to one's life.

First, allow me to tell you a little about each of the Labs I have owned.  Humor me.  Teri grew into a very loving, intelligent dog.  Previous to owning her, back through the years, I had a lot of disasters with dogs. . . like the Old English Sheepdog that I had always dreamed of owning.  PJ was a disaster and ended up at Lollypop Farm (a dog shelter).  Teri and I just bonded from the start.  One night on Halloween, a toddler came to the door and was eye level to Teri.  Teri reached out and licked her across the face.  The little girl laughed and Teri licked her again.

When Teri was just a few years old, I got Cash, a yellow Lab, from the same breeder.  Cash, lovable as she was, was high strung and played by her own rules.  I often said she would be bouncing off the wall the day she died, and I wasn't far off.  She was rambunctious until just a few weeks before I had to have her put to sleep due to ill health.  When Cash's health started waning, my neighbor said, "Sherry, you know you can't live without a Lab, go find another one now."  So I did.

Enter Molly.  Molly was born just a few days after 9/11.  I loved Molly, just as I have loved all my Labs.  But we had a special bond.  It's hard to describe, but she was special.  Never mind the time I wanted to take her for a canoe ride and she wanted no part of that and ended up tossing both of us into the water with the canoe upside down.  (We were in shallow water!)  That was the one time I would have given her to the first person that asked to take her!  As my regular readers know, Molly died about two months ago.  

For almost two years now, Morgan has been in my life.  She is just beginning to show signs of maturing into a wonderful adult lady.  She loves to be loved and cuddled and can play a mean game of tug of war.

The one common thread that Teri, Cash, Molly, and Morgan have had are their ability to stand by me with love and devotion through good times and bad - and there have been plenty of both.  A Lab will love you when the whole world is caving in on you and you think there is no tomorrow.  All they want in return is to be cared for and loved.  There is something about the way a Lab looks at you with those gentle eyes that says, "I understand, but I still love you."

If you have never been privileged to have a Labrador Retriever in your life, then I truly feel sorry for you.