Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

I have SUCH good memories of Halloween attached to my memories of my Mum, Lulu. I think she really liked the holiday as I recall how days before she began preparing for it. In the late 1940's what folks gave out to the trick or treaters were little packets of mostly homemade goodies.

Mum first made round cookies and decorated them with carved pumpkin faces by icing them with orange frosting and then piping on the details. Sometimes she used raisens or chocolate chips to make the faces.

Then she made fudge - the old fashioned cooked kind that was SO good. Using unfolded paper napkins she put a cookie in the center and then put a couple pieces of fudge on top the cookie. On top of that I remember some scattered candy corn and perhaps some wrapped caramels. Whatever else was in the packages I don't recall. When done she brought up the corners of the napkins and gathered up the excess and tied them with a ribbon.

Almost all the mothers did this back then. Some of the mum's used to make popcorn balls and I always looked forward to those. There were some neighborhoods in Duluth where the houses gave out full sized candy bars, but I never got to trick or treat very often in those areas....LOL!

So.....All this was because there were no packages of miniature candy bars or mini packages of small candies available in the stores. I prefer to remember those Halloweens and the happy times we had. Our costumes were simple - I was a hobo almost every year. My older brother and Dad's clothing were handy for it and I don't recall anyone having a commercially made costume. Some did have masks which were sold at the dime store. I always just had one of the little black masks that just covered your eyes.

Have a safe and happy Halloween my friends!

Friday, October 9, 2009


Birthday Cake
Originally uploaded by lasassone
Yes, today, October 9th was Lulu's birthday. She was born in 1906 and passed her love of cake onto both my brother and me.

The above will maybe make my embroidery followers happy, but it's a pretty bad rendition of a birthday cake and I'm to blame. I found a similar image in my files and from my copy-job it is obviously I'm no artist.

This is the only cake I'll be making today because if I made a real one, I would just have to eat it all or freeze it. G doesn't care for cake (pie is HIS downfall) and when we have one in the house, I always have to put slices in little ziplocks and fill a gallon bag with them for the freezer. Yes, I HAVE been known to eat frozen cake......

Funny family story about Lulu's birthday - I forget which one, but was one we ALL remember - maybe her 63rd? Her brother, my wonderful Uncle Roy and his wife, Nellie, who would pass away a few short months later, were visiting for Mum's birthday. We lived nearby and were invited to a family dinner. I had baked her a cake and brought it with us. When Aunt Nellie saw the cake her face brightened with a funny grin and she told me to follow her after I put the cake down because she had something to show me.

She had brought a box of the joke candles that do not go out when you blow on them and gave them to me to put on the cake. Since Mum wasn't keen on calling attention to her age, I had decorated the cake but hadn't put any candles on it.

Well, when it was time for cake, Uncle Roy lit the candles and we all sang Happy Birthday to Mum. When we were done she started blowing out the candles. None of them would go out and stay out. I remember how we all laughed at her frustration and she eventually laughed along with us. Thinking back now it makes me feel sort of sad. Mum wasn't a practical joker but Aunt Nellie sure was! I'm not sure what I'd feel like if someone did that to me - and I'm WAY older than 63!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


This salad was a mainstay in Lulu's summer kitchen and it sure has been also in ours. Last week I made it for perhaps the last time this year. The hot weather seems to have left us and we are now experiencing very Fall-like temperatures. G never says no on a hot day in the summer when I ask if he would like Tuna Salad. It's kind of an adlib sort of salad depending upon what you have in the house besides tuna!

-One 12 oz bag of mixed salad greens, chopped a bit more
the equivalent other salad greens (maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of a head of iceberg chopped)
-1 or 2 cans of tuna, drained & chunked up (I usually use 2 cans)
-1/2 a basket of cherry tomatoes, quartered or halved
1 C. seeded regular tomatoes, cut in chunks
-1/2 C. green stuffed olives, sliced (See #3 below)
-1/4 C. to 1/3 C. diced purple onion (I use the 1/4 C.)(See #4 below)
-3 or 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled & cut up. (see #5 below)
-3 or 4 shakes of McCormick's California Lemon Pepper Seasoning
1) In a fairly large bowl, dump the lettuce in after having cut it up a bit more in smaller bite-size pieces than it comes in the package. I've also been known to use a bag of shredded lettuce, but I don't like that as much. Lulu always used a head of iceberg lettuce.
2) Add in the tomatoes
3) On a paper towel blot the olives and slice the olives in thirds. My kids used to call these the eyeballs in the salad. If you don't like green olives, I don't see any reason you couldn't substitute a little can of black olives.
4) Add in the onion. If you would prefer yellow or white onion, you can substitute it.
5) Add in the eggs. I cut up the peeled hardboiled eggs with my handy slicer by first slicing them one way and then turning them and inserting them to slice them the opposite way. Hmmm, this is hard to explain, but hope you get my drift. If you don't have an egg slicer, just cut up the eggs.
6) Now toss all the ingredients together and sprinkle on the seasoning.

7) Add mayonnaise to desired consistency. Spoonfuls should mound. G likes this salad a bit sloppier than I do.

NOTE: Amazingly good even the 2nd and 3rd day. We always "fight" over the leftovers! Living in a very hot summer area of California when I was a kid, Mum used to make this a lot. For a fancy luncheon for her friends Lulu she would serve this in or on a lettuce leaf/cup along with other things. Back then I got all the leftovers since I was the only one left at home!