Posted by: marthabernie | November 24, 2014


001Chocolate is not my favorite thing.  I do like chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, and I also like yellow cake with chocolate frosting.   And I’ve been known to drink a mocha or hot caramel cocoa.  However, if you put chocolate candy in front of me, or chocolate pie or brownies, there are about two dozen things I would choose over them.

So it was with some reservation that I tried a sample packet of Chocolate Mint tea by Harney & Sons of Massachusetts several months ago.  Now it is my favorite cold morning drink!

I discovered Harney & Sons about 10 years ago when I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and my doctor told me to cut all caffeine and salt from my diet.   Since I have consumed tea (hot, cold, iced) all my life and at the time of the diagnosis I was consuming about half a gallon of black tea in one form or another each day, I went on a search for herbal teas and discovered Harney & Sons.  They have expanded since then and offer many, many types of blends of teas.

My blood pressure is now well under control and I have returned to one cup of black tea most mornings without any problem, relying on herbals the rest of the time.  When the weather turned cool, I went to the cupboard and pulled out the tin box you see above.  I can’t recommend it highly enough.  It’s wonderful!  And go to their website at and have a look if you drink tea at all.  You can also find some of their teas at some Starbucks in Barnes & Noble stores…not all, but some.

Posted by: marthabernie | November 24, 2014

Apple and Cranberry Cake on my Table for Thanksgiving

Another Thanksgiving recipe:

Apple and Cranberry Cake on my Table for Thanksgiving.

Posted by: marthabernie | November 23, 2014

SWEET POTATOES and YAMS for Thanksgiving

Someone asked me the other day how I prepare sweet potatoes or yams for Thanksgiving.  Well, when cooking for myself, I don’t prepare them at all because they are not high on my list of Thanksgiving sides.  I would much rather eat more dressing, or corn pudding, mashed potatoes or cranberry relish.  However, since many people really like sweet potatoes and yams, I do have a favorite recipe that I make when cooking for a group.  You have to have access to See’s Candy, which I believe is now in many states in the U.S.  Here is the recipe:

Start with four large yams, slit the top of each and roast in the oven at 400 degrees F until soft.  Cool.  Remove the meat of the yams from the skins and place in a large bowl.  Discard skins.  Add 6 tablespoons butter, salt, pepper (I like white pepper), and one-half cup of dark brown sugar to the yams.  Mix with a large fork until just blended.  Pour mixture into a sprayed baking dish.  Unwrap five Scotch Mallow Kisses that you can obtain from See’s Candy and place one in the middle, and one in each of the four quadrants.  Use a spoon to  cover the candy with some of the yam mixture.  Sprinkle very lightly with dark brown sugar.  Bake at 400 degrees until brown and bubbly, about 15-20 minutes.  Let stand just a few minutes before serving.

Let me know what you think if you try this recipe.  And for those of you who don’t have access to See’s Candy, the Scotch Mallow Kiss is a soft toffee with a marshmallow center, wrapped in paper and larger than most of the pieces of candy made by See’s.

Posted by: marthabernie | November 23, 2014

Braided Chicken Bread

This is very interesting:

Braided Chicken Bread.

Posted by: marthabernie | November 22, 2014

IDYLLIC IRELAND – County Kilkenny

kells, county kilkenny irelandMay, 2005 in County Kilkenny, Ireland.  People who have never been to Ireland often ask if there really are sheep everywhere, and is it really that green?  Yes and yes.

Posted by: marthabernie | November 22, 2014


With Thanksgiving approaching, I thought I would post this recipe,  from my mother’s first cousin, Millie McMenus Ikerd.  It was the recipe that her mother, Christabel Roper McMenus, always made.  It’s simple and straightforward.  The only thing I have never been able to figure out is whether or not Millie neglected to put down the addition of turkey or chicken broth.    Perhaps she just added a little water?  Her instructions below would make the dressing completely dry.  She used only corn bread and a few “biscuits” which were probably homemade buttermilk biscuits.  See below.

thanksgiving dressing, stuffing, missouri dressing, missouri stuffing

Posted by: marthabernie | November 22, 2014

The Ten Daughters of George Preston McMenus

George Preston McMenus Daughters, Odessa WashingtonThese are the ten daughters of my Great Great Uncle, George Preston McMenus.  When my mother came across this photo in things belonging to her aunt, it was quite a mystery.  But as time went on, she found other photos and a letter or two which explained at least part of the mystery.  George Preston was married three times, losing his only baby son and two wives to death before marrying a third time.  As a widower, he had two small daughters and his third wife went on to produce eight more daughters.  No boys to carry on the name, though the first male grandchild was named George Preston.  This photo was taken at a family reunion in the early 1920′s.  The girls are not lined up by age.  The eldest two girls by the first two wives are second from the left and third from the right (wearing glasses).

Below is a photo of the eight daughters G.P. had with wife Elizabeth (Bette).

Posted by: marthabernie | November 22, 2014

Autumn Vegetable Soup

Have a look at this link:

Autumn Vegetable Soup.

Posted by: marthabernie | November 21, 2014

KELLS PRIORY, County Kilkenny, Ireland

midieval ruins, Irish ruins, kells, county kilkenny, irelandThis photo was taken in May, 2005 near Kells, County Kilkenny, Ireland, where the medieval ruins of an Augustine monastery and priory are located.  The photo above shows the seven towers that enclosed three acres and were a fortress defending against invaders in the 1540′s.  It’s a very peaceful place, owned and maintined by the Irish government, and there are several buildings, including the church and burial ground.  You can see the sheep grazing in the field to the middle left of the photo.  It’s formally known as Kells Priory, but the locals often refer to it as The Seven Towers.  This location is not to be confused with Kells Abbey in County Meath to the north, where the Book of Kells was written in the 8th century.

Posted by: marthabernie | November 21, 2014

SAGE SAUSAGE STUFFING (Dressing) – Reposted

A few people have asked me to write down how I make turkey stuffing (dressing).  I make it at least 3 or 4 times a year, and since I put a lot of stuff in it, it really can make a meal in itself.  I don’t measure, but below is an estimation of what I do.  This recipe evolved from my mother.  She never cooked with onion so I have made changes through the years.  She would also make one 8 x 8 pan of corn bread (no sugar added) from scratch and crumble it up with the bread.  This year I made corn bread from scratch and have mixed it with the white bread and the boxed stuffing mix proportionately.


Start with one large  loaf of white sandwich bread and three boxes/packages of cornbread stuffing mix.  Tear the white bread up and put it in a very large roaster pan (I use disposable) and let it dry out.  Be sure to include the crusts.  When it has dried out, add the cornbread stuffing mix and all seasonings.  Combine.

What are the celery stalks called before you pull them apart?  Can’t think of what to call it…a bunch?  But wash it and cut the whole thing into thin slices, including about a third of the leafy part.  Put into a large saute pan with some olive oil and cook until it starts to get tender.  Slice two very large onions and add to the celery, cook until the onions are translucent.  Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl.  Break up two one pound packages of sage flavored bulk sausage and cook in the saute pan until no longer pink.  Add back in the onions and celery and combine.  At this point, season with one tablespoon sage or poultry seasoning, one teaspoon beau monde, salt, black and white peppers.  Mix thoroughly.

Pour the onion mixture onto the bread and combine.  This is the point at which you add low fat chicken or turkey stock.  It usually takes at least three or four cans, but mix it up with your hand (I use a plastic food glove) until all bread is moist but not soggy.  At this point, taste the stuffing and see what you think it needs.  I often add more sage or poultry seasoning and white and black pepper but it’s a matter of taste.

Put the stuffing into baking dishes and bake until the top is crispy (I don’t usually stuff a bird with dressing but you can do that if you prefer it).  I keep a piece of foil or baking dish lid on top until the stuffing is heated through (about 35 minutes), then I take the foil off and let it get crispy on top.

Since there are meat and vegetables in this stuffing, it can easily become a quick meal in itself it you really like stuffing!  I love the crunchy top part.  For leftovers, I sometimes mix whole fresh and/or dried cranberries with the stuffing and freeze.  Chopped pecans can also be added.  If you have not used too much stock, the dressing won’t be mushy after freezing.  I also layer leftover stuffing and cranberry sauce in freezer containers and when I reheat in oven or microwave, the cranberry sauce gets runny and melts through the stuffing.

Anyway…you can probably think up other variations on your own…but there it is!  I saw a “Stuffing Sandwich” on a cooking show the other day.  Stuffing between two slices of bread, grilled like a grilled cheese sandwich….interesting!

P.S.  Tried a Trader Joe’s brined young turkey recently and it was wonderful!

Posted by: marthabernie | November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving Corn Bread Pudding

Another idea for Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving Corn Bread Pudding.

Posted by: marthabernie | November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving Recipe Cornucopia

Here are several ideas for next week:

Thanksgiving Recipe Cornucopia.

Posted by: marthabernie | November 20, 2014


kilkenny, county kilkenny, irelandThis photo was taken in May, 2005 in the city of Kilkenny, Ireland.  It’s the dower house for Kilkenny Castle, Butler House.  I was there again in July this year and there is now a restaurant on the ground floor and the house is being used as a conference center.

Posted by: marthabernie | November 20, 2014

Roasted Veggies

Something healthy:

Roasted Veggies.

11/20/14 NOTE:  I am reposting this recipe since Thanksgiving and leftovers are coming up soon.


The recipe I found for this casserole started with unseasoned bread crumbs which were made into stuffing, and potatoes that had to be cooked and mashed.  The woman who posted it online said that she had used instant mashed potatoes when she last made it, and that she had dreamed it up because she had leftover turkey.

This recipe is very much like a shepherd’s pie but instead of using beef or lamb, it calls for tukey.  In my view, if you have enough stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy left over after Thanksgiving, you can make the whole thing with leftovers.  In fact, you could cook one pan of stuffing in a casserole dish ahead of time and make the process that much faster.  You can also use cream of chicken soup instead of gravy as a substitute, but here is what I did:

Cover the bottom of a deep casserole dish with stuffing, either leftover from your turkey or from a box or from scratch.  Chop four stalks of celery and one medium onion and saute in a frying pan in a little oil until translucent.  Season with salt, pepper, white pepper, sage and poultry seasoning.   Remove from heat.  Chop leftover turkey into half inch cubes.  Mix turkey with enough leftover gravy to cover the casserole dish.  Mix in 3/4 cup sour cream, then add the onion and celery and mix.  Pour this mixture over the stuffing layer and spread out evenly.

Heat mashed potatoes (about four large potatoes) and if they have not already been seasoned, add 4 tblespoons butter, salt and pepper.  When heated, mix in 2/3 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup cream cheese.  Combine until smooth.  Then top the casserole dish with the potatoes and spread evenly over the top.  Sprinkle grated cheddar and/or Monterey Jack cheese over the top and bake at 350 degrees F until heated through.

The first time I made this casserole, I did not have turkey or chicken in the house but had some turkey sausage.  Since my mother always made sage-sausage-cornbread stuffing, the end result was reminiscent of the Thanksgivings of my childhood.  I even ate a few bites mixed with cranberry sauce!

Posted by: marthabernie | November 19, 2014


Marlin, Webster County, MissouriMy father, Ray J. Marlin, was born November 6, 1912 near Conway, Missouri.  His father was Walter Elbert Marlin of Webster County, and his mother was Dulcena (Dulcie) Ferrier Marlin, formerly of Dallas County, Missouri.  This photo was taken in 1913 when he was about three months old.  There is only one small print of this photo, which was trimmed to put into a little oval frame, so I had a negative made and this is one of the prints.  I still have one of his little white dresses, which were still the fashion for babies at the time.  It is much longer than the one in this photo but has all the lace and was handmade by someone in the family when he was born.

Posted by: marthabernie | November 19, 2014


Another one of my mother’s recipes!


2 x-large eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon soda (dssolved in water)

2 cups flour

1 cup nuts

4 cups peeled, thin sliced apples

Beat eggs and oil until foamy.  Add the remaining ingredients, putting apples and nuts in last.  Batter will be very thick.  Place in a 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 60 minutes.

1 – 3 oz pkg cream cheese

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups powdered sugar

Mix cream cheese with butter, vanilla and powdered sugar and ice cake when cool.

Posted by: marthabernie | November 19, 2014

Donna Hay honey cake recipe

This recipe caught my eye:

Donna Hay honey cake recipe.

Posted by: marthabernie | November 18, 2014

ROUNDWOOD HOUSE, Mountrath, County Laois, Ireland

Roundwood House, Mountrath, County Laois, IrelandHere is an article I wrote in 2003 for The Irish Scoop magazine.  Photo above courtesy of the folks at Roundwood House.  Photos below are my own.

ROUNDWOOD HOUSE, An Idyllic Part of Hidden Ireland

One of the best kept secrets in Irish travel is Hidden Ireland, a group of beautiful, historic houses offering the visitor a unique opportunity to see Ireland off the beaten tourist path.  Scattered throughout the country from Donegal to Kerry, from the west coast of Galway to the east coast of Dublin and Wicklow, these private homes are not hotels or B&B guest houses.  They are the family homes of unusual and interesting people who enjoy giving visitors an experience not available anywhere else in Ireland.

Each house has its own history and character, and my favorite of the group is Roundwood House, located a short distance outside the village of Mountrath, County Laois.  It is an interesting example of the 18th century Palladian villa, built around the remains of an earlier house which dates to 1680.  It was originally owned by the Sharpe family, then acquired by the Hamiltons in 1836.  In 1970, the Irish Georgian Society bought Roundwood House to save it from ruin and eventually sold it to its present owners, Frank and Rosemarie Kennen, who left the corporate world and city life behind to raise their children in the unspoilt heart of Ireland.

My first visit to Roundwood House was in 1992  when a group of us from Dublin decided that a long, leisurely weekend in the country was just the thing as a break from the hectic pace of city life.  By car from Dublin, the trip was tedious in Friday afternoon traffic, but once in Mountrath, the journey was forgotten as we drove down the narrow, tree-shroueded road leading out of the village.  A break in the stone wall took us onto the avenue, and my first view of Roundwood House was a magnificent surprise.  The month was October, and the eighteen acres of woodlands surrounding the house were alive with autumn colors, the evergreens contrasting with chestnut, lime and beech trees.

When we parked the car, a flock of geese meandered out of the woods to see who had arrived on the scene, then noisily wandered off again.  Before we could get to the front door, it opened and we were welcomed enthusiastically by Frank and Rosemarie, who greeted us as if we were good friends turning up for the weekend.  We were ushered into a drawing room where a roaring turf fire awaited our arrival, and it was only a few minutes before tea and cakes were brought from the kitchen.  We were surrounded by an interesting mix of antique furniture and paintings, all reflecting the somewhat eccentric and eclectic personality of the house and owners.

After tea, we were escorted to our rooms for a short nap before gathering again in the drawing room for pre-dinner drinks.  The evening meal was served by candlelight in the formal dining room, three lovely courses prepared by Rosemarie using local meat and produce, accompanied by wines chosen by Frank.  After dessert, we had tea and coffee in the drawing room, and the craic went on well into the wee hours of the morning.  We were joined by our host, Frank, for this late night session, and he sat near the fireplace, smoking his pipe, telling stories and discoursing with his guests on just about any subject.

The main house has ten bedrooms, each one decorated in a different color, reflecting the authentic atmosphere of an Irish country house.  If you happen to be located in the Blue Room, overlooking the stable yard, morning is heralded quite early by the resident rooster.  It’s easy, however, to drift back to sleep in the comfort of the large bed and warm duvet.  On the first morning of my stay, I overslept well beyond the 11:00 a.m. deadline for breakfast.  By the time I got downstairs, it was well past noon, but not to worry.  A full Irish breakfast was produced without any bother.  I did get a bit of good natured teasing from Frank, however.  Being the only American in the group that weekend, he said, “It it weren’t for all the photographs you take, we’d think you were Irish!”

The location of Roundwood House makes it the perfect center for exploring the surrounding area.  It is close to the Slieve Bloom Mountains where there are many hiking trails and panoramic vistas of deep glens, beautiful waterfalls and lazy streams.  One of the country’s largest unrboken areas of peat can be seen from the many roads that wind through the mountains.  The High Cross of Kinnitty, dating from the 9th century, is located in the grounds of Kinnitty Castle and is one of the finest examples of early Christian art from that period.  Legendary Irish hero, Fionn MacCumhaill, is said to have been raised in the Slieve Bloom Mountains by a druidess, and prehistoric customs are still celebrated each year during the Celtic harvest festival of Lughnasa.

In another direction, the town of Birr and Birr Castle can easily be explored on a relaxing weekend afternoon.  The Castle demesne houses an historic science center where early astronomical instruments, cameras, photographs and photographic equipment used by the third and fourth Earls of Rosse, and Mary, Countess of Rosse, can be seen.  The award winning gardens contain a 72-inch reflecting telescope built by the third Earl Rosse in the 1840′s.  The Parsons family have lived in Birr Castle for the last four hundred years, and the castle itself is not open to the public, but on a chilly afternoon you might spot Brendan Parsons, the current Lord Rosse, in the newly rebuilt gazebo in the gardens, serving port and mince pies to private guests.

Less ambitious excursions from Roundwood House will take you to the nearby village of Rosenallis where the pub is very inviting with its thatched roof and original fireplace that is almost large enough to stand in.  Abbeyleix is also nearby, and a stop in to Morrissey’s pub for lunch, or a hot whiskey in front of the pot-bellied stove, shouldn’t be missed.

For those who don’t want to venture beyond Roundwood House itself, there is a beautiful walled garden to explore, an abundant variety of wildlife and birds in the adjacent woods and moors, and inside the house, a large collection of books and games.

Over the years, Roundwood House has expanded.  The 17th century coach house has been restored and turned into self-catering apartments, and the 18th century forge offers spacious accommodation on two floors.  Nestled in the corner of the walled garden is a tiny, romantic stone cottage that offers seclusion from the main house.  However, I still prefer the Blue Room in the main house, with its uneven floorboards and none of the frills of modern restoration.

I’ve returned to Roundwood House many times since my first stay in 1992, and it’s always like going to the home of good friends.  You can put your feet up on the furniture, and no one cares!  I’ve great memories of people and events there, and I can’t wait to get back to Ireland to make a few more!

Roundwood House, Mountrath, County Laois, Ireland

Posted by: marthabernie | November 18, 2014


I love apple cake…not the kind that is made with a spice cake, applesauce and lots of cinnamon.  I like the kind that is made in Ireland and has a light vanilla cake and real chunks of apple.  I have experimented over the years with dozens of recipes, but this is the one I like the best.  Dicey Reilly was a famed Dublin street character who was immortalized in a popular Dublin ballad:  “Poor old Dicey Reilly she has taken to the sup, Poor old Dicey Reilly she will never give it up!”  I have no idea why this particular cake is named after her, but it’s the best one I’ve tried over the last ten years or more.


1/2 pound unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

4 large eggs

1-1/4 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 large apples, peeled and sliced thin

2 teaspoons sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

4 tablespoons Irish whiskey, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.  Combine flour and baking powder.  Fold into egg mixture, combining thoroughly.  Pour half the batter into a greased 9 or 10 inch springform pan.  Arrange 2/3 of the apple slices over batter.  Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.  Cover with remaining batter.  Place remaining apples on top of cake and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake in the middle of preheated oven for 50 minutes.  Remove from oven, let cool and sprinkle with Irish whiskey (optional).

NOTES:  I usually leave the cinnamon out and sometimes use light brown sugar instead of granulated sugar.  Also, I serve this warm with warm Irish custard on top or whipped cream.

Posted by: marthabernie | November 18, 2014

SHANK HOME – Phillipsburg, Missouri

Shank home Phillipsburg Mo, Missouri, Laclede CountyThis photo was taken in 1965 and it shows my mother, Anna Shank Marlin, standing on the front porch of the house where she grew up near Phillipsburg, MO.  The house was built just after 1900 and I don’t think it was plastered until many years later.  I don’t have a photo of the house that is early; in fact, this is the only photo of the house that I’ve ever seen other than group photos which were taken against one (wooden) side of the house.

There was a sitting or front room in front on one side, and the parents’ bedroom on the other side.   My mother’s parents were Eli and Inez (McMenus) Shank. Upstairs were two bedrooms, one for the boys and one for the girls, where they always slept at least three, and sometime four, to a bed.  There was a family dining room and kitchen (one story) at the back of the house.

In 1965 when my father took this photo, the house was still being lived in.  It stood empty for many years subsequently, and in the late 80′s or early 90′s some kids set fire to it and it burned to the ground.  By the time I visited this spot in 1997, it was nothing but field.  No signs of fire.

Posted by: marthabernie | November 18, 2014

Simple Simon’s Keylime Pie

People either love or really dislike key lime pie, I am one of those who love it:

Simple Simon’s Keylime Pie.

Posted by: marthabernie | November 17, 2014

KILKENNY CASTLE, Kilkenny Town, County Kilkenny Ireland

Kilkenny Castle, County Kilkenny, Kilkenny, IrelandThis is a photo of Kilkenny Castle taken across the River Nore which runs through the town of Kilkenny.  I was standing outside in the patio area of the River Court Hotel.  There are walks on either side of the river and the views are very nice.  Kilkenny Castle is in the town of Kilkenny in County Kilkenny,  It can be confusing when someone just says Kilkenny as you don’t know if they are referring to the town or the county.

Posted by: marthabernie | November 17, 2014

FORKNER FARM, Conway, Missouri circa 1898-99

Forkner Farm Conway Missouri, photography, farmhouse, McMenusThis is the farm of Lon and Annie Forkner, Conway, Missouri, about 1898-99.  The little boy standing left behind the family dog is Raymond Irl Forkner (Little Ray), and behind him seated on the chair is his brother, Oscar.  Then sisters Ethyl and Ednah to the right, and Annie McMenus Forkner holding the umbrella in front of the horse and buggy.  Lon Forkner is standing on the right.  I know this photo was taken in 1898 or 1899 because Little Ray died in 1900 and was buried in the Graceland Cemetery in Conway.  Aunt Annie had his little photo enlarged from this photo and had it in her things, marked “the last photo of him”.

The farm was originally purchased by Lon’s great grandfather, Micajah Forkner, one of the first settlers of Webster/Laclede County.  There is a place called Forkner’s Hill which was actually moved at least once, and it now resides in Webster County.  However, at one time it was in Laclede County.  Something to do with Micajah being the postmaster, go figure.  He actually farmed near the original McMenus farm, which was south of Phillipsburg on the way to Conway.  Micajah purchased 80 acres from the U.S. government in two 40 acre parcels.  I have the deeds which describe the sale of forty acres of “Missouri swampland” for the price of forty dollars.

Sometime after their marriage in 1886, Lon and Annie bought the farm and lived there for twenty years, until they moved to Montana in 1906.  They rented it out for many years, then sold it around 1915, a few years before Annie divorced Lon.  I have those documents also.  Aunt Annie never threw anything away!

When the family moved to Montana in 1906, they changed the family name from Forkner to Faulkner, which was the original English name.  Lack of education and phonetic spelling often caused derivations of lots of names!


Posted by: marthabernie | November 17, 2014


It’s beginning to be that time of year again….

When I was a child, we only made popcorn balls at Christmas time, but in recent years, I sometimes make them for Halloween and Thanksgiving.   This is a simple recipe that my mother sometimes made which uses light molasses instead of corn syrup.


1/2 cup light molasses

1/2 cup sugar

1-1/2 teaspoon butter

2 quarts popped corn or puffed rice cereal

Bring the molasses, sugar and butter to a boil and cook until the temperature reaches 270 degrees on a candy thermometer.

Pour the mixture in batches onto the popcorn and with clean hands, greased with butter, shape into balls.  If the molasses mixtures cools, reheat until easy to pour and continue.  Chopped nuts, raisins or dried cranberries can be added to the popcorn.


Posted by: marthabernie | November 17, 2014


Another great recipe to try:


Posted by: marthabernie | November 16, 2014

The Town of Kilkenny, County Kilkenny, Ireland

Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny, RIver NoreThis photo was taken outside the Kilkenny River Court Hotel in Kilkenny.  The River Nore separates the town into two parts.  The sun was going down and I got one more shot just as the light disappeared.  See below.

River Nore, Kilkenny Town, RIver Court Hotel, Ireland, Irish photography

Posted by: marthabernie | November 16, 2014

CONWAY SCHOOL circa 1900-05 – Conway, Missouri

Conway, Missouri, Conway School, Laclede County, Conway School c. 1905This photo is a print from an old photo of the classes at the Conway, Missouri School.  I found one of Aunt Annie’s daughters, Ethyl, in the back row at the right but do not see the others.  I received this photo from Kirk Pearce at the Lebanon Daily Record in Lebanon, Missouri, Laclede County.  His Pearce family lived in the same vicinity as Aunt Annie and family at the turn of the 20th century.

Posted by: marthabernie | November 16, 2014

Fudgy Chocolate Brownies

Another cool weather favorite:

Fudgy Chocolate Brownies.

Posted by: marthabernie | November 16, 2014

Great Pumpkin Cake

Great Pumpkin Cake.

Posted by: marthabernie | November 15, 2014

DALKEY ISLAND, County Dublin, Ireland

Dalkey Ireland, Martello Tower, St. Begnets, Dalkey, Sorrento TerraceWhen you travel around Ireland with the hope of taking good photos, you are always held hostage by the weather.  And you can’t predict what it will be like–ever.  I have experienced some of the best weather in April and November, and have also spent two or three weeks there in June and July when the weather was like this nearly every day.  Here is a photo of Dalkey Island, Dalkey, County Dublin, taken in June 2006.  You can see the ruins of St. Begnet’s church on the left and the Martello Tower on the right.  Below is another view.  These were taken in the park that is adjacent to Sorrento Terrace on Coliemore Road.

Dalkey Ireland, Dalkey, Sorrento Terrace, Martello Tower

Posted by: marthabernie | November 15, 2014

McMENUS COUSINS – Phillipsburg, MO circa 1912 -1914

Phillipsburg, Missouri, Laclede County MO, Loreta McMenus Chandler, Reba McMenus Harrill, missouri cousins, family history, old photosI’ve said this before, but one of the things I really LOVE about the Internet is that it has enabled me to have contact with people I never would have otherwise known about.  In 2000, we were able to break down the brick wall in family research due to an Internet research site.  Our Joseph McManus died from measles during the War of 1812, leaving a wife and four children.  His widow Anna Phillips McManus remarried a man named Taylor.  We had never known about son Joseph’s parents until someone researching Taylor found the records of Anna and her four children in the Taylor family Bible!  This brought us one more link closer to Lawrence McManus of North Carolina, and the research continues.  The spelling of the name appears to have changed from McManus to McMenus after about 1820 in Tennessee.

More recently, I posted to various Rootsweb lists, letting people know about this blog and the historical Missouri stuff I have been putting up.  The wife of a McMenus cousin saw the post and contacted me.  Subsequently, two more McMenus cousins have been in contact, and I’ve been pleased to make their aquaintance and exchange photos and information.  The above photo was sent to me by Kyle Richardson, whose grandmother, Reba McMenus (Harrill) is seated on the left next to her cousin, Loreta McMenus (Chandler).  From their ages in the photo, I would guess it was taken about 1912 – 1914.  Note the crescent moon backdrop!  Thanks, Kyle!

Posted by: marthabernie | November 15, 2014


Another one of my mother’s recipes using chopped dates.  I don’t always keep dates in the house, so I have substituted golden raisins for the dates adding 3/4 cup and upping the apricots to 3/4 cup.  Works just as well.


3 cups sifted flour

1 cup sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 cup chopped apricots (fresh or dried)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup pitted chopped dates

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Sift together first four ingredients.  Stir in next three ingredients.  With fork, beat eggs until light, add milk and oil.  Stir into flour mixture, blend thoroughly.  Pour into a greased or lined loaf pan.  Bake in a moderate oven at 350 degrees F 60 to 70 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.  Cool in pan 10 minutes.  Remove to rack to cool completely.  Serve next day.  Makes one 9 inch loaf.


Posted by: marthabernie | November 15, 2014

Pure Wow Dump Cake aka Chocolate Bundt Cake

I have discovered that there are entire cookbooks of dump cake recipes out there these days.  This one sounds great:

Pure Wow Dump Cake aka Chocolate Bundt Cake.

Posted by: marthabernie | November 14, 2014

KILLINEY BAY – County Dublin, Ireland

Killiney Bay, Killiney, County Dublin, IrelandThis is a view of Killiney Bay, County Dublin, Ireland with the Sugarloaf Mountain in County Wicklow in the distance.  I was standing just a little way down the road from Sorrento Terrace, Dalkey.  You can see that it was a cloudy day and the light was not great.  On a clear day, the view here can be spectacular.  The beach is unusual in that it is completely covered in small stones which have washed up from Ice Age activity and covered any sand that might be buried below.

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