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Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth, Gene's IGA — Peg Britton @ 11:20 am

I was not only late getting to the food sale at Gene’s this morning, I forgot about it from yesterday.  But then, I can be excused since I’ve slept since I learned of it.

There were only a handful of things left on the table and you can assume, when that happens, all the “good stuff” is gone. There was this lonely cake labeled “coconut” and it was half price since they wanted to get over with the food sale and move on.

Food sales used to be a lot different from what they are now.  Back in the old days, you can bet everything at a sale was something someone had spent a lot of time preparing and was proud to let potential buyers know.  Then we entered the period that is ongoing where no one cooks and if they do,  they don’t give it much thought. Some food sold at food sales hardly passes muster for tastiness, quality, goodness or anything edible.  Some of it is just downright bad.  But how can you tell?

I once suggested we raise prices (most items are sold for too little), include the recipe and who prepared it as part of the sale.  That idea didn’t fly.

Anyway, there was a “coconut” cake that looked very good.  Well, you never know about those things and whether or not they will be fit to eat.  I walked past it, gave some thought to potential visitors this weekend, returned and bought it.

For all the bazillion times I’ve bought bad food at food sales, this cake makes up for it.  It is absolutely scrumptious.  It’s a chocolate cake topped with a layer of creamy coconut filling then covered with a great walnut fudge icing.

I have no idea who baked it, but if whoever did happens to read this, let me know when you take another cake like this to a food sale.  I’ll be first in line. The label was an Ellsworth Co-op stick on thingy that only said “coconut”.  That narrows my search somewhat.

Let me know…



Filed under: prairie musings, Gene's IGA, Deli — Peg Britton @ 9:21 am

Ally has three deli specials today.

A quarter of a rotisserie chicken, two sides, roll and butter for $6.99.

Homemade chicken salad with toasted almonds (very yummy) on a hogey bun with chips for $5.99

Baked potato soup with bacon (also very yummy) for $3.99 a pound.

We both survived our outing last night with no noticeable after effects.  Good for that. That place was a nightmare.

Clean kitchens in the restaurant business are hard to come by, so Ally tells me.  She’s a real stickler for cleanliness, not only with her staff but everything else including the ceiling and floors.  Counters are scrubbed every day with disinfectants.  One thing that sends us scurrying is a messy prep surface.  We are still laughing about how we let our guard down last night.

Ringo has been a good dog and has adjusted to living alone with me.  He still bolts at times when I let him out, but generally he follows my every step in the house as I go about my chores.  He’s always close by and knows exactly what I’m doing.  He sleeps on his big cushion by my bed…out of the way so I’m not stumbling over him….and doesn’t stir until I get up in the morning and tell him to rise and shine.  We have our routines together which includes our daily trip to the post office.

Speaking of…I paid my mail box rental for the year…$106.00.  I’ve said this a million times before, but the whole postal system needs revamping in my opinion.  They charge me to go get my mail, but hand deliver mail to others, some many miles from town, for no charge. That’s backwards.  Those who receive home delivery should pay for it.  If everyone had to go to the post office for their mail, it would result in a huge savings for the postal department and all of us.  No longer are farmers stuck in the country with no communication with the outside world except for the daily delivery of mail.   Many communities have no mail delivery at all and everyone picks up their mail in one central location.  It works for them and should work for others as well.

Thanks for tuning in….



Filed under: prairie musings, family, Gene's IGA — Peg Britton @ 10:30 am

Ally has wonderfully seasoned creamy ham and bean soup that is DELICIOUS.  It’s full of ham, celery, carrots and other secrets…and $4.99 a pound.  She’s also smoking a few slabs of baby back ribs (we’ve reserved a slab for dinner) and she’s making homemade sticky, pecan-caramel buns that she’ll sell by the 8 pack.  She didn’t have time to tell me what else she’s stirring up today, but there will be more surprises. And they will all be good in case you don’t want to cook…or cook everything.

Brit said he’d like ribs and baked beans for dinner. Along with a green salad…hey, I can’t go wrong.

Pain can be discombobulating so Brit isn’t feeling all that well today.  He’s just taking it easy and reading to take his mind somewhere else. It’s his birthday tomorrow…big 83…so we’re gearing up for that. Prime rib…his fave the slow-roasted way Ally fixes it…is on the menu.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, Gene's IGA — Peg Britton @ 10:32 am

Ally’s special today is Philly cheese steak sandwiches….made with stacked roast beef, sauteed onions and peppers and Provolone cheese on a hogie bun.  With sides of baked beans and Cole slaw, it’s a big meal for $6.50.

That’s where we’re going for lunch.  Tyler surprised the socks off us yesterday afternoon when he arrived for the weekend to celebrate early his grandpa’s birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  He won’t be home for the holidays so he arranged for early leave. We’re jumpin’ for joy.  Not really high jumps.  Well, our feet don’t leave the ground…but our hearts are jumpin’ for joy.

I thought it unusual, but not THAT unusual, that everyone was honing in here for Mexican food last night.  Little did I know that it had been in the works for a couple of weeks and the occasion was a special one for Tyler. Everyone in town seemed to know except for Karen, Brit and me.

The wind is out of the north and sweeping the plains again.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, family, political musings, Gene's IGA — Peg Britton @ 6:54 pm

Brit and I have Gremlins running around unseen in our house.  Last night a fluorescent ceiling light light we never turn on…oh well, maybe it’s been on half a dozen times in 30 years….went on at 3:00 a.m. and awakened Brit. Lights awaken him instantly at night while little else does.  It’s a three way switch located in an obscure place and the tube has never been changed. He roamed around to see if  someone had stopped by for a visit.

Then there is the matter of the bathroom rug.  It’s neatly placed in front of the bath tub then the next thing I know, it’s in a heap.  I can’t catch Ringo doing it, yet it’s the only throw rug among many in our house that gets mysteriously “heaped”.  When it’s hanging over the side of the tub, it stays there forever undisturbed.  I suppose I could sleep on the bathroom floor and see how it gets heaped.

And, I have the matter of missing clothes.  No one in her right mind would want my blouses and slacks, but some are missing.  Don’t suggest I left them someplace as I didn’t, I don’t send them to the cleaners, and even though they are thin and worn, they aren’t so thread bare the washing machine pump could swallow them. Alas.

Are any of you old enough to remember the family (I can’t remember where they lived) who had a man living in their attic for over a year and didn’t know it?  He’d only come out at night when they were asleep, or occasionally during the day when they were all gone and raid the refrigerator.  They knew small amounts of food were missing from time to time, but they checked it up to their forgetfulness.

Then one night one of the family members got up at night and caught a glimpse of a ragged pair of pants with a very skinny leg in it going through the hall ceiling access door to the attic.  The guy had worn the same clothes all that time and did nothing except get food and water and exist in their unfinished attic.  We don’t have an attic but the thought of that strange guy ran through my mind.

I don’t go to Sam’s often, but they have a couple of items that Brit loves that I can’t find anywhere else.  So, reluctantly, I pass through their doors on occasion.  Today was such a day.  The store was bereft of customers so I talked to one of the food sample ladies who was pushing her product.  She said she had to sell so many…like a 100 packages…during her shift.  I asked what happened if she didn’t and we continued that discussion.  Then she started pointing out customers who weren’t really customers…they are just grazers and for that reason, she wouldn’t make her quota.  They come every day just to eat, she said.  She said there are those who don’t even bother getting a basket, then there are women who take a basket so they have a place to put their purse….and they graze from the vendors but don’t buy anything. After that, I watched the ones she had so carefully pointed out. She knew them well and they didn’t buy anything. They grazed. They only had four vendors today, down from the original 26 they once always had, since vendors are not going to keep putting out free samples when people don’t buy the product.  One of the couples she pointed out were sitting at the pizza table having a slice when I checked out.  They were older, like me, but well dressed and apparently didn’t get enough free lunch and resorted to pizza.  It appeared they weren’t really needy or anything like that, but were just older and wanted “free stuff”. I found that interesting.

Tyler just called and is checking in at Lackland.  He arrived safely. One of the first things he did when he came home, before he even said hello, was sign up for an absentee ballot to vote.  I’m really pleased he takes an active interest in issues.  He’s well-informed and follows closely how each candidate supports the military.

Ally said she’s getting great response to her hand-dipped, fried chicken livers and is selling them out the roof.  They are so good.  She’ll soon start doing that with gizzards as well.

Todd just mowed and trimmed the yard and blew off the decks. Brit feels just terrible that he can no longer take care of his yard.  He always enjoyed it and hates to ask anyone else to do it for him.  There comes that time when you have to ask for help.

Thanks for tuning in…now I’m tuning in to hear John McCain … in 2004 they built their whole campaign around fear, 911, Iraq, etc.  Now they have a real problem with that and selective memory probably won’t carry them far.  We’ll see.



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth, Gene's IGA — Peg Britton @ 3:39 pm

There are aren’t many events going on in my life that will make me set an alarm clock, but I will for the farmers’ market.  Caleb and James had wonderful produce this morning.


I needed onions and egg plant and hoped for okra. Caleb and his dad are so allergic to okra, I don’t think they are going to pick it.


Bob Hulse was there with some of his garden produce. That was nice to see.


The silhouette beyond Caleb’s melons is one of many historical markers found in the Ellsworth Plaza area pointing out points of interest of early Ellsworth.

I hoped Connie Terry and her daughter would be there, but they weren’t.  I wish more people would participate as vendors and buyers.


Nancy and Callie discuss the finer points of growing tomatoes with Caleb.

Trying to keep up with all the Olympic events that are being aired is a challenge. This morning we’ve seen a sprinkling of beach volley ball, trampoline, diving, dressage, rowing, badminton, ping pong…it’s “exhausticating” to watch. I don’t know what I’ll do tonight when there are political speeches that compete with the games.  I may have to read recaps of what Obama and McCain have to say about religion. I think it’s a personal matter anyway…they shouldn’t have to talk about it… it’s how they live their lives that matters to me.

Of course, the world of Michael Phelps is of interest to most of us who are following the Olympics. Here is an article that Deneen forwarded to me that answers some of the questions I had about his father…and how he is doing financially.  The answer to the first question about his father can be found in this article that is old, but probably still true.  As to his wealth, we needn’t worry. He pulls in about 5 million a year and will get another mil for matching Mark Spitz’s gold medal winnings. You can read more about him here.

I was on the receiving end of some wonderful hot peppers and tomatoes from friends so I made a batch of hot salsa…the cooked variety.  We like a lot of different things in our salsa…a few tomatoes and lots of garlic and onions, lemon juice, salt and course black pepper, buckets of hot peppers of all varieties including the seeds, parsley, cilantro and basil.  After it cooks down, I run one of those whirly-gig choppers through it to make it look like everything was finely minced. No need to measure anything.  It’s always good stuff.

Ally had some great chicken salad at the Deli today that I had for lunch.  She also had a new item that was getting lots of play….boneless pork ribs that were deep fat fried then slathered with barbecue sauce and baked.  They looked really good.

Here’s an interesting article that Mackenzie sent regarding a software malfunction at the opening ceremonies of the Olympic games. Numerous bloggers also observed the cameo played by the so-called Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) - the Windows error screen that flashes up on your computer, signifying that it’s time to reboot.

Drew came by to give us hugs and pick up his “school supplies” (pictured above) before returning to Manhattan for the school year.  He doesn’t get home very often once he settles into classes and work.  It’s very hard for us to realize he’s a senior especially when we recall his first day of kindergarten and most of the major events in his life since then.

Thanks for tuning in….



Filed under: Gene's IGA — Peg Britton @ 8:02 pm

In case you are interested, here’s what you can have for lunch….or dinner, if it lasts that long, at Gene’s/Heartland IGA, on Monday.

There will be chicken or pork chimichanga’s (deep fried burrito), beef or chicken stacked enchiladas, hominy casserole (family recipe), beans and rice.  A choice and two sides is $5.99.


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