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See Pictures of Tornado Shelter Installation

Take 2 Aspirins…

…and call me in the morning. I like to think I’m in pretty good physical shape …. that is until I helped David with his projects like this last weekend.   After that experience, I have sore muscles in places I didn’t know I had muscles. And, lucky me, there wasn’t just one … but two such muscle-straining projects to contend with. First one was to go down (I say ‘go down’ because if you remember – working at the well house is like taking a short trip) and finish putting the well house back together. Not too bad – but dancing around the poison ivy made it more difficult than necessary. And, after my latest bout with that pesky weed, I’m very careful where I step and what I touch. Second job was pouring 13 bags of cement (80 pounds each) – downhill – behind the little red barn to stop the erosion from the rain water coming off the garage roof. That one was equally challenging.

Either one of these would have been more than enough by itself – but two !?! . . . then you add in the ‘boy toys’. I’m sure you’ve all heard the old saying, “The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.”. Both of these projects afforded David the opportunity to use two of his new ‘boy toys’ – the cement mixer which we bought a while back and his pride and joy – his new saw. It’s the one that has the two blades that go in opposite directions allowing it to cut through anything! Which I have to say – it performed as advertised. We had to cut cement board and some acrylic sheets for the well house – no problemo. So, if any of you are thinking about buying one of these saws for your significant other – they do work. Just be sure to get the saw with the 10amp engine – a little more expensive but anything less and the motor tends to burn up . . . or so I’m told.  (The actual name is Rigid Twin-Blade circular saw – 10Amp )

I’m not going into anymore of the details on pouring the cement other than to say the mixer worked equally as well as the saw and …. I’m just glad to be through with both projects.

We’ve gotten totally hooked on fried potato skins. In fact, I’ve found that if I dredge them in Zatarin’s Fish Fry mixed with a sprinkling of Paul Prudhomme’s blackened seasonings before frying, they are even better. But, we don’t like eating – and I might add,  can’t eat –  fried skins plus a pot of mashed potatoes in one day, it’s just too much . . .  so I’ve taken to keeping which ever part we’re going to save for another day –     skins or peeled potatoes – totally submerged in a bowl of water in the fridge.   I’ve found they keep quite well for at least a couple of days.  I don’t even add anything to the water – as long as they are completely submerged,  they won’t turn brown.

While looking the other day for a new way to fix my peeled potatoes – I remembered a recipe my mom (nickname Charlie) used to fix many years ago. I’m not sure what it was originally called, or even where she got the recipe – but I decided to try and re-create it based solely on memory – and, I’m not even going to tell you how many years I had to go back to remember this one!

I did remember it being layers of sliced potatoes, onions and cheese (sounds like au gratin doesn’t it) – but then she would take a mixture of egg, milk, salt and pepper and pour over the top and bake it all. I’ve modernized it a bit – for a faster cooking time and a little thicker bonding by using some corn starch in the egg/milk mixture. We enjoy it and it reheats well if you have any left overs. Since I don’t have a name for this dish – I’ll just call it …

Charlie’s Potato Casserole


  • Thinly sliced 4 russet potatoes;  pre-cooked in the microwave for about 8-10 minutes. You don’t want them mushy – so depending on your microwave you may need to adjust the time downwards here.
  • Thinly sliced onion rings – 1/2 medium-sized onion
  • 4 ounces of finely grated cheese (we like the Mexican 4 mixed cheeses you can buy already grated – but Cheddar or American will work, what ever you like)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter cut into about 8-10 thin slices
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of corn starch
  • salt, pepper – to taste
  • 1-1/2 quart casserole dish


1.  Spray the casserole with Pam or use an additional tablespoon of butter to coat the bottom and sides (keeps everything from sticking and makes for a nice crust)

2.  Begin layering the ingredients as follows …

Half of the potatoes, half of the sliced onions, 4-5 butter slices placed on top of onions, half of the grated cheese

Repeat the process using the remainder of the potatoes, onions, butter and cheese

3.  In a bowl mix the eggs, milk, corn starch, salt, and pepper with a whisk until smooth, and then pour evenly over the top of the layered casserole (Don’t worry about it too much as it will fill in between the potatoes and rest of ingredients)

4.  Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and bubbly.

Note: If you use less ingredients, i.e. potatoes, or if your casserole dish is larger – so the layers of potatoes, onions, etc. are thinner – you’ll need to adjust the cooking time so they don’t burn.

PS – It rained most of  Wednesday afternoon and the fall colors were spectacular – so just had to upload a few pictures I took from the front porch so you could see how pretty everything is.  This is one of those years that the trees are exceptionally colorful. 





















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