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Pumpkin Bread & Sage Sausage

Made a quick trip to Palestine yesterday – shopping, of course – and decided to take a few pictures along the way to share since we were going to be taking a picture of a quail ‘coop’ for a friend. The trip really is a pretty one with lots of scenic views, i.e., rolling hills, lakes, old bridges, etc. – unfortunately, many are so distant that it’s difficult to capture the beauty – but did take a few pictures of some buildings that I think are quite unique.

Not sure what the old round tin building is – but I’ve always found it intriguing. It looks like it’s almost octagonal but collapsing so much, it would be hard to say. And, looks it’s been there so long the trees are pretty much all that’s holding it up. There is a lovely little stream on the back side – took a picture of it as well, but with no leaves on the trees and the grass all brown – it didn’t turn out as pretty as it looked in person. Maybe this spring I can get a better shot of it when the wildflowers are in bloom.

The red ‘quail’ building is part metal with the rest being screened in wooden framework. It is quite large with lots of quail. Not sure what they do with them – but there always seems to be plenty of them there.

 

The very old, decrepit building is in the town of Oakwood – judging from the sign – appears to have been a food pantry once upon a time, long ago – but looks to be in need of much repair today. The property has just recently gone up for sale. You can see that the building to the left is completely gone – only a shell left. Have no idea what it could have been – but I bet this little town was quite something in it’s hey-day.

The tin shed on the road at the edge of the field is ‘new’ and we guessed it was built as a cover for children waiting for the school bus – note the pallets to keep them off the wet ground.

Finally, just had to get a picture of the cows as they looked quite contented in the mid-day sun – but gave us a curious stare when we stopped to take their picture. With the warm weather we’ve been enjoying (until today), they’ve had lots of green grass to munch.

Had a flashback the other day of pumpkin muffins. When we lived in Houston the gym where we worked out had a cafe and made the best pumpkin muffins. Now, while I try to stay away from too many baked goods – thought I’d make some pumpkin bread … justified this decision by saying we could have it for breakfast . . . although it’s good anytime. Found my old recipe (below) and set to work. Of course, I had to alter it a bit – and since I don’t like baking (hate all that measuring), while I did include everything – have to say not all the ingredients were exact portions …. but nevertheless, it turned out delicious.

Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 can 15 oz pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup butter (softened)
  • 2-2/3 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon salt (one of the ingredients I fudged on – used less)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (always add a little extra)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2/3 cup chopped nuts (we like pecans – but walnuts sound good too)
  • 1/2 cup coconut (options*)

* You can use coconut or raisins here

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 loaf pans

Directions:

  1. Mix softened butter with sugar, add in eggs, water and pumpkin
  2. Blend in vanilla and remaining dry ingredients
  3. Stir in chopped nuts and coconut – add raisins at this time if using
  4. Pour into loaf pans and bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  5. Cool – refrigerate leftovers.

I like to freeze one loaf to enjoy later and always cut it in slices separated with wax paper before freezing. This makes it so easy to get out just one or two slices at a time.

One last cooking tip. We enjoy the pre-cooked frozen sausage we get at Sam’s and Wal-Mart (original flavor). So when we want sausage for breakfast this is how I fix it. Add about 1/4 inch of water to the skillet and then cook the sausage over medium-low heat. Using a little bit of water helps keep the sausage tender, keeps it from getting over-cooked (too crispy) and if you like, you can add a dash of sage to the water to give the sausage a little more homemade taste. Once it’s done, place on paper towels and use a fork to press out any excess grease.

Finally…I’ve found a dishwasher soap I like and works better than most.  I’ll tell you about it next time.

 

 

 

 

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