Remembering you, Betty Balch

Remembering you, Betty Balch.

More than Love for February

I see a week of celebrations headed our way. One of my favorite holidays comes up February 18th. It’s ‘COW MILKED WHILE FLYING IN AN AIRPLANE DAY. It’s a little celebrated day, not known by many. The day honors Elm Farm Ollie, the first cow to fly in an airplane in 1930. Reporters attended the event. Ollie was milked while flying high in the sky. Milk was sealed in paper containers and parachuted over St. Louis, Missouri. Tuesday, drink a carton of milk and think of Elm Farm Ollie, the world’s first flying cow.

The 19th follows with SINGLE TASKING DAY. This day one of those ‘easier said than done’ dilemmas. Expectations keep increasing, on employees and individuals in general. Do more. Do it faster. More, more, more! We consistently try to keep doing more things at the same time, running faster. Technologies constant connection to our lives hasn’t helped. The sponsor claims “Multitasking is ineffective—and may cause brain damage! Today, do only one thing at a time without feeling guilty.” Today, slow down and do one thing at a time. No chasing rabbits today!

Here’s an easier day to celebrate. February 20th is LOVE YOUR PET DAY. Love them today, love them everyday. Share an extra doggie or kitty treat with them. Cuddle and hug them a little extra today.

seeds of greatness monthFebruary is also PLANT THE SEEDS OF GREATNESS MONTH. Chase’s Calendar of Events shares “Think globally—build for the future—Plant the Seeds of Greatness. If you’re unhappy with your present situation, discover how you can remove the barriers and make a change in your life for the better. Use this month to put to use your own unique prosperity consciousness and plant the seeds for your new career, life objectives or goals. Make a difference for yourself, your family, your business or your community. Get outside of your comfort zone and take action on your ideas and dreams.”

Back to the animals; February is NATIONAL BIRD FEEDING MONTH. February is one of the most difficult months for our outdoor feathered friends to find food. It’s warming up and we know spring is on the way. But, plants aren’t producing edible seeds yet. And a winter of eating has depleted available food sources. Put out some seed and water to supplement the outdoor bird’s diets. See for more info.

Dr Pepper and Pecans: It’s a Southern Thang!

Dr Pepper and pecans! What says ‘the South’ better than Dr. Pepper or pecans?

 Welcome to the last stop on the She Writes Southern Writers ‘Eat my Valentine’ blog hop. (Many thanks to Zetta Brown for her organizing and coordinating this blog event!)

Dr Pepper is the oldest major manufacturer of soft drink concentrates and syrups in the US. Its origins date back to 1885, to the central Texas town of Waco. The Dr Pepper Museum states that this native Texan had its beginnings at Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store. The museum’s web site states that Charles Alderton, a pharmacist working at the drug store, created a drink to replicate the mixed fruity syrup smells permeating the soda fountain area. Many reports circulate about the origin of the name. The period was dropped from the name in the 1950’s. But very few dispute that Dr Pepper is a beloved favorite beverage, especially in the South.

Another Southern favorite is pecans. It’s reported that in 1906, Texas Governor James Hogg requested that a pecan tree be planted at his grave instead of the traditional headstone. He asked that the seeds be distributed throughout Texas, to make it a “Land of Trees.” In 1919, the Texas Legislature made the pecan tree the state tree of Texas. Pecan festivals abound throughout the south, usually from September through November.

To celebrate Valentine’s Day with a Southern twist, here are two recipes using these Southern favorites.

I’m sharing two recipes for Dr Pepper Pork Chops. The second recipe is delicious and uses the traditional baked in the oven method. But, it takes three hours baking in a low oven. With Valentine’s Day on a Thursday this year, if you have to work and then come home and cook, that will make for a really late dinner. So, a quicker crock pot method is also supplied, equally tasty with a similar, but slightly different, sauce flavor.

dr pepper pork chopsDr. Pepper Pork Chops (Crockpot method)

4-6 pork chops
1 can Dr. Pepper
12 oz ketchup or chili sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in the crock pot, and cook on low for 6 hours or until the pork chops are cooked through. Remove the chops and whisk in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch (or flour) to thicken the sauce into a gravy. Serve over rice.
Compiled by Kim Conte for CafeMom Food & Party

Dr. Pepper Pork Chops Recipe (Oven baked method)
This dish goes together quickly, but it does take 3 hours to bake. It is well worth wait.

24 ounces Dr Pepper soda
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 small onion, sliced
6 center-cut pork chops

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a 9 x 13-inch pan, mix soda, brown sugar, garlic powder, cloves, ginger, pepper, salt, and onion. Cook 15 minutes; stir. Place pork chops in mixture, and cover pan with foil. Bake 3 hours
Recipe Source: Great Firehouse Cooks of Texas by Ron and Caryl McAdoo (Republic of Texas Press)
Reprinted with permission on cooking.

To complement the Dr Pepper Pork Chops, here is a Pecan Broccoli recipe for a delicious (and nutritious) side dish.

pecan broccoliPecan Broccoli
2 lbs broccoli
Black pepper
Fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup pecans
4 TB unsalted butter
1 finely chopped garlic clove

Remove and discard large leaves and tough portions of stem from broccoli. Wash broccoli, drain and tie securely into bunches with cotton string. Cook, tightly covered, in small amount of water 15 to 30 minutes or until tender. Drain. Remove string. Arrange broccoli on warm platter. Season with salt, pepper and sprinkle with lemon juice. Sauté pecans in butter until lightly brown. Add garlic. Sprinkle garlic butter and pecans over broccoli. Serve at once. Serves 6.  
From Taste of Texas Cookbook, edited by Joy Moffett Angel, Eakin Press

However you spend your Valentines Day, with a special someone, alone, or with friends, enjoy your day. And, Be a Pepper! It’s a Southern Thang!

Southern Writers “Eat My Valentine” Blog Tour

SW_eat_my_valentine_smallYou are cordially invited by the She Writes Southern Writers to the “Eat My Valentine” Blog Tour!

DATES: February 8-12

A handful of our ladies are going to serve up recipes they love to serve to loved ones, from romantic repasts to family favorites :

February 8Patricia Neely-Dorsey – Peach cobbler

February 9Sally Whitney – Pecan pie,  Scalloped oysters

February 10: NancyKay Wessman – Ratatouille 

February 11: Amy Neftzger – “Broken” Rice Krispie Hearts

February 12: Trisha Faye –  Dr. Pepper Pork Chops and Pecan Broccoli.

 We’re stopping the tour on February 12 to give y’all time to buy ingredients so you can try them too!


One person will be picked at random from all the comments left during the tour to be eligible to win the “Grand Tour” prize donated by author/editor Zetta Brown.

With every comment you leave during the tour you increase your chances!

Zetta will be offering a food-inspired “surprise” prize to one person who leaves a “thought-felt” comment during the tour. This means the comment needs to have some “meat” to it. It cannot be just a one word comment like “Great” or “Yum” or “Thanks” or “Great! Thanks for the yummy recipe!”

In order to receive the prize, when chosen, the winner must provide their legal name and address. It will NOT be shared with anyone or put on any mailing list. It’s only to facilitate shipping the prize.

The prize drawing is limited to U.S. participants only because availability and access cannot be guaranteed elsewhere.

Good luck , have fun, and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!


From Bubble Gum to Groundhogs with a Side of Nutella

ground hog dayFor such a short little month, February’s celebrations are packed tighter than ticks on a hound dog, my Papa Goss might have said, showing his ‘Arkie (Arkansas) heritage.

From Bubble gum day on the 1st, Groundhog Day on the 2nd, and Super Bowl following along on the 3rd, there’s something special to celebrate all month long. I’m waiting for World Nutella Day on the 5th. I’m ready, jar of Nutella in hand and spoon poised.

February is more than a month for lovers. The month also celebrates Boy Scouts, rescued rabbits, and library lovers. It’s National African American History Month. It’s National Bird Feeding Month. It’s also Plant the Seeds of Greatness Month.

Celebrate life with wild abandon, in whatever form you choose. The options are plentiful, we just have to look. Go ahead. Pick a celebration. Celebrate ‘till you can’t stand it anymore. I dare you, even double dog dare you, whether your hound dog has ticks or not.

February 2013

Past blogs