scan0006Not sure when this photo was taken but the Farmers State Bank in Phillipsburg, Missouri started in 1906 and did not go out of business until the crash in 1929 or shortly thereafter.  The building is the Odd Fellows Building, and the bank is located on the ground floor at the rear.  I don’t think the building went up until about 1908, so the bank must have been located elsewhere for the first couple of years.  FARMERS STATE BANK is lettered above the awning.  On the front corner of that wall, lettering says, POST OFFICE, then WILSON’s DRUG STORE.  My great uncle William Grant McMenus did not go into business in this store until the 1920’s, so this has to be an earlier image.  Also notice the tree in foreground which has been completely stripped and turned into a pole.  Trees behind the store on the right are much bigger in this image, so I think it was probably taken after 1910.  The Farmers State Bank is still going strong in the Midwest.

Posted by: marthabernie | March 30, 2015

Guest #1: Julie brings us Easy Baked Chicken

Have a look at this recipe:

Guest #1: Julie brings us Easy Baked Chicken.

Posted by: marthabernie | March 30, 2015


What I like about these mac and cheese cupcakes is that the servings are small. You can have the decadent flavor of mac and cheese without eating a whole lot of it! The beer adds a really tangy flavor!


4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
8 oz uncooked elbow macaroni
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup lager beer
1 cup shredded American cheese (4 oz)
2-1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (10 oz)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Place foil baking cups in each of 18 regular size muffin cups. In small bowl, microwave 1 tablespoon butter until melted. Stir in bread crumbs and set aside. Cook and drain macaroni as directed on package.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in 4 quart saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour, cook one minute, stirring with whisk. Continue to stir and add milk and beer. Cook and stir one to 2 minutes or until thickened and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in cheeses, salt and pepper. Add cooked macaroni and stir well. Spoon about 1/4 cup macaroni into each cup. Top with scant 1 tablespoon bread crumb mixture. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until hot and topping is golden brown. Cool 5 minutes, remove from pan. Garnish with a slice of bratwurst on a toothpick, if desired.

Posted by: marthabernie | March 29, 2015

Apple Pie Bread – Week 33

I am going to try this recipe soon.  It looks delicious!

Apple Pie Bread – Week 33.

Posted by: marthabernie | March 29, 2015


009dIt was a gray day, but at least it wasn’t raining.  County Carlow farm land, May, 2005.

Posted by: marthabernie | March 29, 2015

MORE CARS – 1940 Super 8 Deluxe Sport Sedan by Chevrolet

005I mentioned yesterday that lots of my relatives took snapshots in front of the family’s new car.  Here is my grandmother, Dulcena (Dulcie) Ferrier Marlin, standing in front of my parents’ new 1940 Chevrolet Super 8 Deluxe Sport Sedan.  My grandparents lived in a little house on York Blvd in Hawthorne, California.  They came to California after my parents landed here in 1937, giving up their farm and farm work in Missouri.  I have early memories of the house on York, but after my grandfather died of an aortic aneurysm in 1953, my grandmother sold the house and moved to another little house on Grevillea Avenue in Inglewood.

But back to the car…the 1940 Chevy is the first car I remember.  In 1954 my parents bought a Pontiac, and the Chevy went to my older brother, Larry.  When he bought a 1957 Chevy a few years later, the 1940 Chevy went to my brother, Richard.  He drove it until someone ran a stop sign and smashed into him in 1959.  The car was totaled at that time.  It had been in the family 19 years!

Posted by: marthabernie | March 29, 2015

Julia Child’s Classic Chocolate Mousse

For years, I was too intimidated to try to make chocolate mousse.  Then I watched a friend make it one night and decided to give it a try.  I have stuck to this basic recipe from Julia Child and have never gone wrong.   I am not a chocoholic but I do like the flavor of mocha, so I really like the combination here of dark chocolate and espresso.


3/4 cup chilled heavy cream, divided

4 large egg yolks

1/4 cup espresss or strong coffee, room temperature

1/8 tsp salt

3 tablespoons sugar, divided

6 oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped (70% cacao is best)

2 large egg whites

Beat 1/2 cup cream in medium bowl until stiff peaks form, cover and chill.  Combine egg yolks, espresso, salt and 2 tablespoons sugar in a large metal bowl.  Set over a saucepan of gently simmering water (do not allow the bowl to touch the water).  Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is lighter in color and almost doubled in volume and an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees F., about one minute.  Remove bowl from pan.  Add chocolate, whisk until melted and smooth.  Let stand, whisking occasionally, until room temperature.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in another medium bowl on medium speed until foamy.  WIth mixer running, gradually beat in remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.  Increase speed to high and beat until firm peaks form.  Fold egg whites into chocolate in 2 additions; fold whipped cream into mixture just to blend.  Divide mousse among six 4 oz ramekins.  Chill until firm, at least 2 hours.

Mousse can be made one day ahead (cover and keep chilled).  Let stand at room temp for ten minutes before serving.  Whisk remaining 1/4 cup cream in a small bowl until soft peaks form, dollop over mousse and serve.


Posted by: marthabernie | March 28, 2015

Plum Buckle

Nearly any kind of fruit could be substituted for the plums here:

Plum Buckle.

Posted by: marthabernie | March 28, 2015

SACKVILLE STREET – Dublin, Ireland – Very Early Photograph

013This is a very early image of what was Sackville Street (and Carlisle Bridge in the foreground) in Dublin, Ireland.  It comes off an old stereocard.  Stereoscopes were popular in the late 1800’s, but I think the photo here is perhaps 1870’s or 1880’s.  Look at the tall hats on the men, and the very wide and round dresses of the women.  Today, of course, this is known as O’Connell Bridge and O’Connell Street.  That’s the Nelson Pillar in the center, sticking up in the middle of the street.  The pillar was topped by a statue of Horatio Nelson, the English naval hero.  Erected in 1808-09, the pillar survived Irish independence in 1922, but was bombed and destroyed by Irish republican rebels in 1966.

Posted by: marthabernie | March 28, 2015

The Newmans and Their Cars – 1950’s

004I am not an expert on cars, so I can’t date the photo from the cars in the background, but I do know it was in the early 50’s because of the inscription on the reverse side of the photo.  The woman on the left is Victoria Ferrier Newman and her husband, Ollie Newman.  Vic was my grandmother’s older sister on the Ferrier side of the family, and she and husband Ollie lived in Conway, Missouri, at least during the later years of their marriage.  I believe he may have been a blacksmith when younger, but in later years he ran the ice house in Conway.  They had a big two story house (or it seemed big to me when I was a child) on the opposite side of the train tracks from the town, and I remember visiting there and hearing the trains that would go by.  Also being cautioned about crossing the train tracks when walking down to Ollie’s ice house.

Vic and Ollie never had any children, but they had cars.  In fact, they bought a new car fairly frequently, and they were very proud of them.  Out of the numerous photos I have of the two of them, many are in front of their various cars over the years.  This appears to have been a common practice though…I think people were proud that they had a car and I have lots and lots of snapshots of various relatives in Missouri, all standing in front of their car!

The photo below is an earlier photo with a different car, obviously taken in fall or winter.  The family always said that Vic drove like a maniac–fast and furious.  Sadly, Uncle Ollie died when she accidentally ran over him while backing out of their garage!


Posted by: marthabernie | March 28, 2015

Cordon Bleu That You Can Do!

I always have trouble keeping the cheese from melting out of the chicken, have a look at this recipe:

Cordon Bleu That You Can Do!.

Posted by: marthabernie | March 28, 2015


This recipe is another one from the 1960’s that my family adopted and made dozens and dozens of over the decades.  It’s actually my favorite.  They keep well in air tight containers and get softer after storing.

1 cup butter

3 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon soda

2 cups brown sugar

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter, sugar.  Beat in eggs.  Sift flour, soda and salt, add to creamed mixture.  Drop dough in small mounds on ungreased cookie sheet.  Press small amount of raisin filling into mound.  Top filling with a small bit of dough.  Bake 10 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees F, makes 3-1/2 to 4 dozen cookies.


1-1/2 cups raisins (we used to mix white raisins with the dark ones)

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar blended with one tablespoon cornstarch

Cook in saucepan until thick, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Cool, add one tablespoon lemon juice and one tablespoon soft butter.

Optional: add 1/4 cup each chopoped nuts, dates and/or glace cherries.





Posted by: marthabernie | March 27, 2015

Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese Boxy

Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese is available all over the U.S….even in large chunks at COSTCO:

Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese Boxy.

Posted by: marthabernie | March 27, 2015

Apple Biscoff Crumble

Biscoff cookies are one of my favorites, too; take a look at this; any fruit could be used:

Apple Biscoff Crumble.

Posted by: marthabernie | March 27, 2015

Bulloch Harbour, Dalkey, County Dublin, Ireland

001Bulloch Harbour is located on the north side of the village of Dalkey, County Dublin, Ireland.   I took this photo on a clear January day in 2000.  Tide was in and not many boats were in the little harbor.  Across from the harbor is Bulloch Castle.  Another castle is located in the main street and is now used as a visitors’ center.  They are very similar in look and style, so I suspect they were built as fortifications at the same time.  The harbors in Dalkey have been in use for centuries and were used extensively for trade as far back as the 12th century.  Dalkey is located about ten miles south along the coast from Dublin City.



Posted by: marthabernie | March 27, 2015

Phillipsburg, Missouri – Laclede County – about 1910

scan0002This photo was sent to me by a cousin whose grandmother, Reba McMenus Harrill, lived all her life in Phillipsburg.  This shows the Odd Fellows Hall in the center of the photo (the two story brick building).  As near as I can figure from some writing on the photos, it was built in 1908.  The Farmers State Bank was housed in the area at the right rear where you can see windows and doors.  Upstairs there was a theatre where movies were shown in later years, and the lower level was a store.  My great uncle, William Grant McMenus (Uncle Willie), ran his general store from this building for many years.  He was retired by the time I went to Missouri with my mother the first time, but since he lived but a short distance away, he often came down to the town and hung out with the locals.  I remember meeting him at the store.  I was eyeing a Grape Nehi in the cooler that was on the porch, and he saw me.  Next thing I knew, he handed me the grape soda and off I went to sit on the edge of the porch and drink it.  I am sure he went in and paid for it (or put it on his account), but I thought he was wonderful because he could just give me whatever I wanted.

His grandson, Blake McMenus, told me a story more than 40 years later about growing up in Phillipsburg.  His grandfather (Uncle Willie) owned the store above, and another grandfather or uncle owned the Montgomery store down the block to the left.  Blake would go from store to store, thinking he could just take whatever he wanted because grandfathers and other relatives encouraged him to do so.  Paying was not a custom with which he was familiar.  When he got to another store run by cousin Warren McMenus, or any of the other stores on the block, again he thought he could just take whatever he wanted.  Mom or Dad or Grand Dad would have to go along behind him, paying his “account”.

If you look to the middle left of this image, you can see three men sitting on a platform which must have been related to loading or unloading railroad cars, or maybe it had to do with railroad signals, I don’t know.  Phillipsburg was a stop on the Frisco Line for many years.  You cannot see the railroad tracks in this photo but you can see the wooden planks which were next to the tracks to facilitate loading and unloading.  I have put an enlarged inset below which shows the three men on the platform.


Posted by: marthabernie | March 27, 2015


This is a simple side dish that I often serve with beef or pork.


4 eggs slightly beaten

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup drained cooked spinach

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

Mix cheese and garlic with beaten eggs, then fold in spinach and mix again.  Baked in a greased 8 x 8 pan at 325 degrees F for 30 minutes.  Cool slightly and cut until squares.  This dish is also great for buffets, and the recipe is easily doubled.

NOTE:  I sometimes substitute finely grated zuchini squash (courgettes) or asparagus in place of the spinach.


Posted by: marthabernie | March 27, 2015

Apple Pie

A delicious link!

Apple Pie.

Posted by: marthabernie | March 26, 2015

Salted Caramel Toffees

Another link to a great recipe:

Salted Caramel Toffees.

Posted by: marthabernie | March 26, 2015

On A Walk in Dalkey, County Dublin, Ireland – January, 2005

002More photos from wandering around Dalkey in 2005.  You can see the trees in the foreground are bare, it was January, but quite warm for that time of year.  The village is an interesting mix of bungalows, cottages and larger houses, some built right against each others, others attached, and still others set back from the road by fences.  Very few of them have large grounds as the real estate has been built up over the decades to take advantage of sea views and views of the old abandoned quarry to the west of the village.  Photo below shows one of the houses that is surrounded by walls…it is called FAIRWAY.  Fairway beyond the gates!


scan0003Here is another photo of Phillipsburg, Missouri, circa 1910, sent to me by my cousin.  It actually shows more of the little town’s main street as it is further south than the other view posted earlier this week.  I think the platform the men were standing on in the earlier post is probably that tall pole with top like an arrow next to the railroad tracks.  The 2 story building furthest left is (I think) the hotel after a remodel to the front.  The Odd Fellows Building is the two story brick building in the center of the image (no chimney).  This says it was a north view from the railway’s section house.  There are men standing on the sidewalk to the upper left.  Take a close look!

Posted by: marthabernie | March 26, 2015

Cheese Scones

A savory scone recipe:

Cheese Scones.

Posted by: marthabernie | March 26, 2015


This is a really simple and fast recipe for salad, and the salad dressing can be made ahead of time.


Press two hard cooked eggs through a sieve, then blend into one cup sour cream.  Add one teaspoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon sugar.  Chill overnight and serve on lightly salted lettuce, torn into bite size pieces; or can be poured over a wedge of iceberg lettuce.  Makes 1-1/4 cups dressing, with a mild creamy taste.

NOTE:  I have crumbled bacon over the top of the salad, or have added the bacon to the dressing.


Posted by: marthabernie | March 25, 2015

CARROT CAKE – Version One

I think this recipe came from my sister-in-law, Nancy, years ago.  There are actually two versions on the typed sheet, and then three different types of frosting, so I will include the others in future posts.


Sift together 2 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 2 teaspoons soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Then add 3/4 cup buttermilk, 3/4 cup vegetable oil, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and 3 eggs.  Stir well by hand.  Add 1 – 7 oz pkg flaked coconut, 1 cup crushed pineapple (well drained), 1 cup nuts and 2 cups raw grated carrots.  Mix well, bake at 350 degree F about 55 minutes.


1 – 8 oz pkg cream cheese

1/2 stick butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 box powdered sugar

Beat well until smooth

Posted by: marthabernie | March 25, 2015

Brown scone

I have a few more scone recipes to post links to:

Brown scone.

Posted by: marthabernie | March 25, 2015

DALKEY, County Dublin, Ireland – January, 2000

001Here is a photo I took in January, 2000 as I wandered around the village of Dalkey, County Dublin, Ireland.  As you can see, the road is narrow and the cars are small.  What you don’t necessarily see is that the cars park up onto the sidewalk which does not have a very high curb.  If you could remove the cars and wires, just imagine a horse drawn carriage moving up or down this little road.  It was a clear day, though cold, and you can see the smoke coming from the chimneys of some of the houses.

Posted by: marthabernie | March 25, 2015

Black and White View of Mayo Coastline – May , 2005

010bwI posted this photo in color about a month ago, but I was looking at some black and white photos on another blog and decided to see what this would look like without the color.  Not bad, if I do say so myself!

scan0004This building appears to have been built in 1908 and was referred to as the Odd Fellows Hall.  I wonder how the building came to be and where the money came from.  I also wonder if the original intention was to put a store on the ground floor and a bank at the rear (right) of the first floor.  The building has gone through some transformations through the years.  It had advertising painted on the right side, and after the bank went out of business, the space was used by the ladies of Phillipsburg to work on their quilting projects.  But this appears to be the building when it was brand new in 1908.

Posted by: marthabernie | March 24, 2015

Fruit Scones Recipe

Another scone recipe:

Fruit Scones Recipe.

Posted by: marthabernie | March 24, 2015

Spring Pea, Asparagus and Strawberry Salad

Cannot wait for the spring strawberries and vegetables!

Spring Pea, Asparagus and Strawberry Salad.

Posted by: marthabernie | March 24, 2015

The Beach at Greystones, County Wicklow, Ireland

001This is a John Hinde image of the beach at Greystones, County Wicklow, Ireland, probably taken in the 1950’s or 1960’s.  It’s a beautiful little place, though someone posted recently that it has changed dramatically, and I took that it was not for the good.  I have not driven down there in the last few years.  For my own photos of Greystones, the beach, the little harbor and the swans, search the archives as there are three previous posts.

Posted by: marthabernie | March 24, 2015

LORETA and LEO McMENUS about 1904

013bThis is another photo from the William Grant McMenus family, my mother’s mother’s older brother, my great uncle.  Loreta was born in 1902 and brother Leo in 1900.  Loreta is another one of those people who can be easily identified, and Leo the same because of his ears!  We aren’t exactly sure where those ears came from, but Leo’s son, Blake, had them, and now my grandson, Charlie, has them, so they have to have been passed down from either the McMenus/Smith/Selvidge line, or the Massie/Mills/Hale line.  Anyway, the photo was taken by “traveling photographers” Eberhardt & Sons, and note that they appear to be standing outside on the ground (though Loreta is sitting on a chair).  The photographer must have gone from farm to farm, hoping to get the commission, then setting up the backdrop etc for the photos.  Isn’t Loreta’s dress very detailed and complex for such a little girl?

Posted by: marthabernie | March 24, 2015


This is one of the carrot cake recipes that became popular in the 1970’s.


3-1/4 cups sifed cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1-1/2 cups vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups finely shredded carrots

1 cup crush pineapple, undrained.

Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt and spices; set aside.  In mixing bowl combine sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla; beat well with mixer.  Stir in carrots and pineapple, mixing well.  Blend in flour mixture.  Pour into greased and floured 10 inch tube or bundt pan.  Bake in 350 degree oven 60 to 70 minutes, or until cake tests done.  Cool in pan 10 minutes, then loosen edges and turn out on rack to cool thoroughly.  Frost as desire or sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.  One cake makes 12 servings.

Posted by: marthabernie | March 24, 2015

Panettone Bread Pudding

I always have pannettone left over at Christmas.  This is a great way to use it up!

Panettone Bread Pudding.

Another interesting recipe:

Fresh, tangy and sweet all at once – Blueberry lemon almond cake.

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