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Meals matter

April 17, 2013
By Pat Jensen , Marshall Independent

One evening I was watching "Wheel of Fortune" on television. I enjoy trying to solve the puzzles. For one puzzle, the category was: Event. The puzzle consisted of eight words. As the contestants chose the letters, I couldn't believe my eyes. The answer to the puzzle was: SITTING DOWN TO DINNER WITH THE WHOLE FAMILY. When did this become an event?

Growing up, having a meal together as a family was simply a daily occurrence. Sitting around the table allowed us a chance to connect and share the happenings of the day.

I guess in many households these days, enjoying a meal together on a regular basis is no longer an option. So, on those rare occasions when the family is able to share a meal, it truly is an event.

Serve over cooked egg noodles or mashed potatoes


1-lb. ground turkey

1/2 tsp. Emeril's seasoning (see Note)

1/8 tsp. pepper

scant 1/2 tsp. ground mustard

1/8 tsp. dried basil

1-1/2 T. minced onion

Combine ingredients. Shape into 12 to 13 balls. Brown in a large skillet, adding some veg. oil if needed. After browning, remove meatballs from skillet and set aside. Wipe out skillet with a paper towel.

To skillet, add:

1 can cr. of chicken soup

1 can cr. of mushroom soup

Water/milk to thin as desired

Dash of Kitchen Bouquet

Heat over low burner. Add the meatballs and heat through. Simmer 15 to 20 min.

Note: I used a homemade version of Emeril's seasoning. Recipe follows.


1 T. paprika

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. dried parsley

2 tsp. onion powder

2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. ground oregano

1/4 tsp. ground basil

1/4 tsp. ground thyme

1/8 tsp. celery salt

Mix well. Store in airtight container.

Note: I store the seasoning in a 2 oz. jar that once held diced pimentos. Be sure to label. I've added this seasoning blend to many dishes - meats, veggies, pasta ... Double recipe if desired.

Simple and bursting with flavor


4 cups sliced raw carrots

2 T. butter or margarine

1 tsp. olive oil

heaping 1/4 cup chopped onion

1 can mushrooms, drained

Salt and pepper

Salad Supreme seasoning

Mrs. Dash (table blend)

Place carrots in saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook until crisp-tender. Drain. Meanwhile in skillet, saute onions in butter and olive oil. Add cooked carrots and mushrooms. Season to taste. Heat through and serve.

A spring favorite


4 cups sliced fresh rhubarb

1 (3-oz) pkg. raspberry flavored gelatin

1/3 cup sugar

1 (18-1/4 oz) pkg. yellow or white cake mix

1 cup warm water

1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted

Spread rhubarb in a greased 9 x 13 in. glass baking dish. Sprinkle with dry gelatin, sugar and lastly, the dry cake mix. Pour water evenly over top. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until rhubarb is tender.

Note: Great warm! May wish to serve with ice cream.

Just a thought: The dining room is the place where we eat our meals while the kitchen is being painted.



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