How Mom ended up in the pond

<strong>Penny’s Pantry</strong> Penny Case

Penny’s Pantry Penny Case

I know no one likes to cook when it’s this hot, unless you have air conditioning, which I don’t. Having soup and a sandwich or a salad with a sandwich or soup makes a nice light meal for a hot day.

I’ve been hungry for macaroni salad and pasta salad made with ranch dressing. My macaroni salad has tuna in it and my pasta salad has chicken, pepperoni, and bacon bits. I could live on these alone. I love potato salad. I finally got mine to taste like my mother’s but it took a long time. It probably won’t ever taste the same as I didn’t measure any of the ingredients I used in the dressing.

I just thought of a childhood story: We were at a cookout at one of my parents’ friends out in the country. They had a pond. My mom was standing by the pond when my dad and some of his male friends threw my mom into the pond. Boy, was my mom mad when she got out of the pond.

Back then, my mom always wore dresses. Unknown by those men and my father, my mom had our car keys in her dress pocket but they fell out when they tossed her in the water. So all these men and my dad had to go into the pond to look for them, and they were found after a period of time.

My mom sure was upset with them but the joke was on them also as they had to go in and get her keys out of the pond. What a sight they were, all soaked wet! We all had a good laugh over this, all except my mother — it took her a few days to forgive my dad. I still smile when I think of her getting out of that pond madder than a wet hen.

Well, until next time. Please enjoy these recipes.

BLT Bites

• 16 to 20 cherry tomatoes

• 1 lb. bacon cooked and crumbled

• 1/2 cup whipped dressing or mayo

• 1/3 cup chopped green onions

• 3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

• 2 tbsp. snipped fresh parsley

Cut a thin slice off each tomato top. Scoop out and discard the pulp. Invert the tomatoes on a paper towel to drain. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; mix well. Spoon into tomatoes. Refrigerate for several hours.

Note: To keep fresh, cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Tomato Bread Salad

• 3 large tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped

• 1 medium cucumber, seeded and finely chopped

• 1/2 large sweet onion, finely chopped

• 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil, minced

• 1/4 cup vegetable oil or olive oil

• 1 tbsp. cider vinegar

• 1 garlic clove, minced

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1/4 tsp. pepper

• 1 loaf white or French bread (1 lb.)

In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, and onion. In a small bowl, combine basil, oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pour over tomatoes and toss. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Before serving, bring to room temperature. Cut bread into thick slices and toast under broiler until lightly browned. Top with salad. Serve immediately.

Note: An easy way to mince basil leaves is to snip them into thin strips with kitchen shears. Measure the basil before you mince the leaves.

Sour Cream Cucumbers

• 2 large cucumbers, peeled and sliced

• 1 large onion, sliced into rings

• 3/4 cup sour cream

• 3 tbsp. cider vinegar

• 2 tbsp. sugar

• Salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, combine the cucumbers and onions. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over cucumbers; mix well. Chill.

Note: Add a little fresh dill or dried for more flavor. Chill one hour before serving.

Bacon Stuffed Burgers

• 4 bacon strips

• 1/4 cup chopped onion

• 1 can (4 oz.) mushrooms, stems and pieces drained and finely chopped

• 1 lb. ground beef

• 1 lb. bulk pork sausage

• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

• 1/2 tsp. pepper

• 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

• 2 tbsp. steak sauce

• 8 hamburger buns, split and toasted

• Lettuce leaves (optional)

Cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon to paper towels; drain, reserving 2 tbsp. drippings. Saute onion in drippings until tender. Crumble bacon and add with mushrooms to skillet, then set aside. In a large bowl, combine beef, pork, cheese, pepper, garlic powder, and steak sauce. Shape into 16 patties. Divide bacon mixture over half of the patties. Place remaining patties on top and press edges tightly to seal. Grill over medium heat until well done. (Remember: Pork sausage in burgers requires thorough cooking.) Serve on buns with lettuce if desired.

Penny Case is a lifelong resident of Wellington who loves to cook and share recipes. Send recipes to her at 22 Johns St. or at

Penny’s Pantry Penny Case’s Pantry Penny Case