Posted by: marthabernie | May 27, 2015

Crispy Chicken Breast with Rosemary and Pancetta

This recipe looks really good!

Crispy Chicken Breast with Rosemary and Pancetta.

Posted by: marthabernie | May 27, 2015

The Bath Hotel, Westport, County Mayo, Ireland – 1911

scan0063Note the reflection of the hotel in the water.

Posted by: marthabernie | May 27, 2015

The Shank Kids – About 1928

scan0068This photo is from a snapshot taken on the Shank family farm near Phillipsburg, Missouri.  Based on the ages of the kids, I estimate it was about 1928.  The trees are bare, but some of the girls are in short sleeved dresses so maybe it was a warm day before spring.  Left to right back row, step sister Burniece Massey (later Rich), Minnie Shank (Greninger), Geneva Shank (Steigerwalt), my mother Anna Shank Marlin, and brother Virgil.  Front row, the little ones are half-sister Jean Shank (Williams) and half brother Warren Shank.  Some bright person decided to write the first letter of names over their heads.  The following picture is not as clear, but no writing.  Not sure who the girl on the right end, back row is…probably a visiting neighbor.


Posted by: marthabernie | May 27, 2015

Cinnamon Blueberry Bakes

A wonderful blueberry recipe!  A link to a link:

Cinnamon Blueberry Bakes.

Posted by: marthabernie | May 27, 2015

HOW TO CAN CORN – 1880’s

Another recipe that was clipped from the newspaper and saved by my great grandmother, Rebecca Frances Smith McMenus.  I think the “milk” is the juice that comes from the corn but not sure as it could be cow’s milk.  The recipe goes on to tell us how to can beans and peas, though the containers are “cans” instead of “jars”.


Cut corn from the cob, press well into glass jars until the milk covers it, gradually fill the jar with corn and then put the top on.  Put into a boiler of cold water, heat, and boil three hours.  Sealed tight, it will keep any length of time.  Can beans in the same way except that you will fill can with water after they are full of beans, and boil two hours  instead of three.  Can peas the same.

Posted by: marthabernie | May 26, 2015


scan0062This is a press photo of the attack on the Four Courts in Dublin during the 1922-1923 Civil War.  This building was started in 1776 as designed by Thomas Cooley.  After his death in 1784, James Gandon finished the building.  It housed the four courts of British Rule initially, then the High Court of Ireland after a major revision of the judiciary in the late 1800’s.  Of course, after the new Republic set up their court system in 1924, the building could not be used until refurbished, but it retained it’s name…The Four Courts.

Located along the River Liffey at Inns Quay, it was built on the site that originally was originally part of the King’s Inns.  The Four Courts were seized by Ned Daly’s lst Battalion during the Easter Rising in 1916.  The building survived the bombardment by British artillery that destroyed large parts of the city centre.  On April 14, 1922, the Four Courts were occupied by Republican forces led by Rory O’Connor who opposed the Anglo-Irish Treaty.  After months of a stand-off, the new Provisional Government attacked the building to dislodge the rebels on the advice of the Commander-in-Chief of the Irish Army, Michael Collins.  There was a week of fighting in Dublin, and most of the building was destroyed.  Oddly enough, as the rebels finally surrendered, the west wing of the building blew up in a huge explosion, destroying the Public Record Office and more than a thousand years of irreplaceable archives.  Some believe the Republicans purposely booby-trapped the building, but they denied it, stating that they had used the archive as a store of their ammunition, which had accidentally blown up.

The Four Courts reopened in 1932 after major rebuilding and remodeling.  Much of the decorative interior was not replaced as the records and architectural plans were blown up in the explosion and there was not enough money to do anything lavish.  Today the Four Courts houses only the High Court and Civil Court as the Criminal Court was moved to a new building in 2010.

four courtsPhoto courtesy of Wikipedia.

scan0042I took this photo from a sea plane in 1992 while on a summer vacation in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada.  The Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains provide great skiing in the winter and there is usually enough snow leftover for people to snowboard on ice at the top of the ski lift.  This was away from the resort, north, where the glacier formations were spectacular!

Posted by: marthabernie | May 26, 2015


scan0043This photo is from a tiny little snapshot taken July, 1935 at the old Marlin home in Webster County, Missouri.  On the right is my grandfather, Walter Elbert Marlin, next to him his mother, Carrie Lunda Hall Marlin, then my great grandfather, James Jones Marlin, and (I assume) a neighbor, Frank Caffey.  I grew up being told that my Great Grandmother was half Cherokee Indian.  She and a sister were orphans and were taken in by the Hall Family.  Because of her high forehead and high cheekbones, she did look a bit like a Cherokee.  However, I took the DNA test about 18 months ago and discovered not one drop of Native American blood.  Just goes to show everyone that many, many family stories are just that…stories.  Not fact.


This is from a newspaper clipping that was clipped into the Dr. Price’s Cook Book that belonged to my great grandmother, Rebecca Frances Smith McMenus.  It’s very basic, but I have tried it and it’s not bad.  It does need to set, and of course, they were using fresh eggs, probably laid by the hens that morning,  so there was no worry about eating the uncooked and unrefrigerated egg white!  Confectioners sugar is powdered sugar.  Love the description of how to make this!


For plain white frosting, stir into the white of one egg, unbeaten, enough confectioners sugar to make a thick paste which will scarcely run off the spoon.  Beat briskly for two minutes after it is well mixed, and spread onto cake.  Will be ready to cut in half an hour.

Posted by: marthabernie | May 25, 2015

Lemon and Poppyseed Bundt Cake!

Another one of my favorite combinations….lemon and poppyseed:

Lemon and Poppyseed Bundt Cake!.

Posted by: marthabernie | May 25, 2015

A Warm Day in Sandycove, County Dublin, Ireland – 1998

scan0061You can see all the people at the little beach in Sandycove, County Dublin, Ireland.  It was early July and it was probably all of 66 to 68 degrees that day, but if it’s not raining, the Irish go to the beach in summer!


scan0031In 1991 we took a holiday and went to Seattle for a few days before renting a car and driving up into British Columbia.  After a couple of nights in Vancouver, we took the ferry across to Vancouver Island and stayed a few more days, exploring the island and its wildlife.  On the second to the last day, a head cold I had started on the first day of the vacation turned into a full blown sinus infection.  We were supposed to drive across British Columbia to Banff and then back to Vancouver.  However, I was feeling pretty listless at this point and we decided to scrap Banff and take the short trip to Whistler instead.  It was one of the best things that ever happened on vacation as Whistler in July was not crowded, and there were all sorts of activities available catering to the family crowd they were trying to attract.  It was also very affordable compared to the rates during the height of the ski season.  We went on a jet boat up one of the rivers; we went horseback riding; we took boat tours to see flora and fauna, and on the day I took this photo, we went up in a seaplane to see the glaciers.  The mountains in the area are the Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains.  This was the view from the plane before we actually got to the glaciers.

Posted by: marthabernie | May 25, 2015

Coconut, Oat and Almond Cookies

Coconut, Oat and Almond Cookies.

Posted by: marthabernie | May 25, 2015

Aunt Annie’s “Economy Cake”

Another quick and easy cake from my Great Aunt Annie’s recipes.  Note that the currants are rolled in flour after being washed, then added.  The flour keeps them from sinking to the bottom of the batter.


One coffee cup of sugar, one teaspoon of salt, butter about the size of an egg, one egg, not beaten, one cup of sweet milk, one and a half cups of flour with one teaspoonful of baking powder sifted in; any flavoring or extract to taste.  One cup of dried currants, washed and floured, are an improvement, but requires a little more sugar.

Posted by: marthabernie | May 25, 2015

Aunt Annie’s Letters – 1885

003aI am going to go in a slightly different direction today and post a letter that my great aunt, Matilda Anna Laura McMenus Forkner Tweddell saved all her life.  She apparently had quite a few suitors but married Lon Forkner, whom she eventually divorced after 32 years of marriage.  The tintype photo above shows her in 1884 at age 16.  The next year, she received the following letter from Lee Schmalhorst, who lived in the adjacent town of Conway, Laclede County, Missouri.  There was apparently something between them but he indicates he has heard something which he can’t believe and which he needs to talk to her about.  We have always wondered if she might have been attracted to Lon Forkner at this stage (they married the next year after she turned 18) and perhaps Lee Schmalhorst had heard something about the pair…  Anyway, here is a letter  from him which Aunt Annie saved.  Was it his last letter?  My mother found it down in a trunk in the late 1960’s.  Along with the letter was a photo of Lee Schmalhorst which I have subsequently returned to his family.  He looked to be about 12 years old in the photo.  Of further interest is that Aunt Annie must have contacted Mr. Schmalhorst after she divorced Lon Forkner and after Mr. Schmalhorst’s wife died.  There is a letter from him telling her that he could not possibly consider marriage to a “divorced woman”.   It was apparently quite a stigma to be divorced in 1918!

“Conway, Mo.

Dec. 30th 85

Miss Annie McMenus,

Kind friend, I guess you will be somewhat surprised to get a letter this week, but I will explain why I write you.

We have an interesting meeting at the Presbyterian Church, going on now and is a going on till after Sunday, and I think it would not look well for me to leave and go elsewhere as you know I promised you to be at Salem.

If I thought you would come to Conway Sunday, I would be pleased to come after you, but judging from the way things were the last time I was with you, it would be of no use.

We are having a good meeting.  Our old Pastor is here, Mr. Tucker.  He preached for us 10 or 12 years ago. Hope you are having a good time in your meeting at Phillipsburg.  Although the weather is very bad, but that need not keep us from praying and doing our duty as far as we know how.

I trust you will pardon me for this once and I will try and not disappoint you any more.  But you need not be disappointed.  You and Elmer can come to Conway almost as easy as to Salem and why not come up here.  I would be glad for you to come and hear our Preacher for I think he is a good one, although I may be wrong.

I would like to have a talk with you in regard to our Oyster Supper in (you know).  I heard something that I can’t believe until I hear more or see you, and if I don’t see you the first Sunday I will see you at your convenience.  If it will suit I will see you the second at about 2 or 1/2 past or if there is church, any where; we can go horse back that day (as we can go no other way)  I will go with you.  So answer.  I remain Your Sincere, Lee Schmalhurst”

Posted by: marthabernie | May 24, 2015

Ginger Spice Loaf 

I find myself cooking and baking more and more with ginger these days.  I especially like to put candied ginger in fresh cranberry sauce at the holidays.  Here is a great recipe for a nice quick bread.  I buy Lyle’s Golden Syrup at an import store and use dark molasses for the treacle.

Ginger Spice Loaf .

Posted by: marthabernie | May 24, 2015

POWERSCOURT HOUSE – From the Gardens – 2000

scan0074cIn County Wicklow, Ireland, the house and gardens at Powerscourt are quite impressive.  This is the back of the house as you now access it, looking up from the gardens, but I suppose it was originally the front of the house.

Posted by: marthabernie | May 24, 2015

COUSIN REBA McMENUS – Phillisburg, Missouri

scan0040aThis is my mother’s first cousin, Reba McMenus, before she married.  I don’t know how old she was in this photo, but from the dress length and white button shoes, I would guess about 1918.  Reba’s father, John McMenus, was the older brother of my grandmother, Inez McMenus Shank.

Posted by: marthabernie | May 24, 2015

Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco, California – 1999

001aI took this photo in 1999 on a trip to San Francisco.  Most people shoot it from the other side of the bridge, but this is on the Pacific Ocean (west) side.

Posted by: marthabernie | May 24, 2015

Mustard Roasted Potatoes for Dinner and Lunch (GF, V)

I love cooking with mustard and here is a way to use it with potatoes:

Mustard Roasted Potatoes for Dinner and Lunch (GF, V).

Posted by: marthabernie | May 24, 2015

“A Good Recipe For Corn Bread” – Aunt Annie 1900

This is a recipe I found written by my Great Aunt Annie and stuck into her mother’s cook book.  Again, no real instructions, but the ingredients are very straight forward once you figure out what they are.  You can substitute buttermilk for sour milk, or you can add one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to one cup of regular milk and use after it sits for ten minutes.  Do not use milk that has gone sour on its own.   Salaratus is sodium bicarbonate, so use baking soda.  Not sure what steaming two hours is supposed to mean, but I covered this and let it sit in a warm place for two hours, then baked for one hour and it turned out fine.  I had never thought about putting ginger in cornbread until I read this recipe.


One cup of sweet milk, one cup of sour milk, two cups of corn meal, one cup of flour, one teaspoon salaratus, one teaspoon salt, one tablespoon sugar, one tablespoon ginger; steam two hours, then bake one hour.

Posted by: marthabernie | May 23, 2015

Sweet and Moist Northern-Style Cornbread with Honey Butter

Here is a bit of a change to the Southern style cornbread I grew up on:

Sweet and Moist Northern-Style Cornbread with Honey Butter.

Posted by: marthabernie | May 23, 2015


bHere are two views of the main street in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland.  The sun was obviously going down, but it was a clear crisp January day.  It got dark by 4:30 pm and it didn’t start to get really light again until nearly 9:00 a.m.


Posted by: marthabernie | May 23, 2015


010This is a snapshot of visitors to my great aunt, Anna L. Tweddell, after she married Uncle Walter in late 1923.  They often took visitors to the beach at Long Beach (other snapshots are labeled but this one is not).  The swimwear dates it to the 20’s.  Those are shoreline buildings, one or two of them hotels and a theatre.

I can honestly say that I have made these enchiladas all over the world.  When I go to Ireland, I take the green enchilada sauce with me in my checked luggage because I have never been able to find it there (red sauce yes, green sauce no).  I also usually take a big package of corn tortillas with me because for whatever reason, most of the corn tortillas in Ireland are made with flour as well as corn meal.  Since I like these enchiladas to be gluten free, it’s also essential that you read the ingredients list on the green sauce as some brands are gluten free and others are not.  Anyway, these are easy to make, just a little time consuming when you sit down to put them together.  The ingredients here are for a double batch, so you will have LOTS of enchiladas.


3 large chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless, cut up into chunks

1 large onion, sliced

2 cups green salsa

white and black pepper

2 cans spicy refried beans

2 or 3 dozen corn tortillas

16 oz shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

2 large cans (about 26oz each) of green enchilada sauce

Cook onion over medium heat in 2 tablespoons oil, until it starts to become translucent.  Add chicken and brown, turning pieces every couple minutes.  Once browned, pour in the 2 cups of green salsa and add one teaspoon white pepper and one teaspoon black pepper.  Stir, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until chicken is tender.  Remove from heat and with a knife or fork, shred the chicken into smaller pieces.  Then return to medium heat and cook until the sauce is reduced.  You want the mixture to be a little wet, but not runny.  Stir occasionally to avoid scorching.

At this point you can cool the filling and assemble the enchiladas or you can refrigerate for another day.  I usually make the filling one day and assemble the enchiladas another day, and reheating the mixture only makes it more flavorful.

When ready to assemble the enchiladas, spray your pans with non-stick cooking spray.  Wrap about 6 corn tortillas in a couple of paper towels and microwave for a minute or until they are warm and easy to work with.  Spread one tablespoon of the spicy refried beans down the center of each tortilla, then follow with about two tablespoons of the filling.  Sprinkle grated cheese on top, then roll the tortilla and place in the baking dish.  Repeat until you have used up all the filling.  Pour the green enchilada sauce over the enchiladas a little bit at a time, letting it run down the sides and between the enchiladas.  Continue pouring the sauce over the enchiladas until they are completely covered.  At this point, I use a spoon to separate the enchiladas a little, allowing the sauce to go between them.  Also, I always put them in the refrigerator overnight so the sauce can really soak into the tortillas.

When ready to bake, bring to room temperature and sprinkle with more Monterey Jack (and/or Mexican cheddar) cheese.  Cover with a foil tent and bake until edges are bubbly at 325 degrees F, about 50 minutes to an hour.  Then remove the foil and raise heat to 350, browning the cheese on top.

Serve with more grated cheese and/or a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

NOTE:  I have made these vegetarian by using Spanish rice and corn and onions instead of chicken.  You can put just about anything in them that appeals to you, but the recipe above is my standard chicken recipe.


Posted by: marthabernie | May 23, 2015

Easiest Banana Bread

Another banana bread recipe for the file:

Easiest Banana Bread.

Posted by: marthabernie | May 23, 2015

“MOONSHINE” Dessert from Dr. Price’s 1887 Cook Book

If you read my posts of a few days ago, I have been putting up some recipes from an old cook book which belonged to my great grandmother, Rebecca Frances Smith McMenus.  The cakes, pies, muffins and other baked goods give very few instructions and even the measurement of ingredients are somewhat vague as they measure by a teacupful, a coffee cupful, and then a cupful.  No heating instructions since things were usually baked in a wood stove.  The last pages of the book have recipes for frostings and other desserts.  This one is particularly interesting since it is called “moonshine.”  It calls for beating the egg whites for more than thirty minutes!  No idea what a “broad plate” was supposed to be.  I intend to try this in the near future and will report back.  See below.


This dessert combines a pretty appearance with palatable flavor, and is a convenient substitute for ice cream.  Beat the whites of six eggs in a broad plate to a very stiff froth, and then add gradually six tablespoonfuls powdered sugar (to make it thicker use more sugar up to a pint), beating for not less than thirty minutes, and then beat in about one heaping tablespoonful of preserved peaches, cut in tiny bits, and set on ice until thoroughly chilled.  In serving, pour in each saucer some rich cream sweetened and flavored with vanilla, and on the cream place a liberal portion of the moonshine.  This quantity is enough for seven or eight persons.

Posted by: marthabernie | May 22, 2015

The best brown sugar cookie recipe to bake

I like plain cookies.  We I was a teenager, my mother and I would make chocolate chip cookies with the Toll House recipe and leave the chocolate chips out…this recipe reminds me of those cookies.

The best brown sugar cookie recipe to bake.

Posted by: marthabernie | May 22, 2015

The Pavilion at Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) Then and Later

scan0066If memory serves, the Pavilion at Kingstown was built in anticipation of a visit from Queen Victoria.  It was obviously constructed of mostly wood, and I don’t know what happened to it…whether it was torn down for something more modern or something else transpired.  I think at least one of the structures may have burned down.  The photo above is at least as old as 1911, maybe even older.  The photo below shows The Pavilion much later, probably the 1940’s or early 1950’s as there is a postmark of 1952 on the reverse side.  Today there is yet another Pavilion which houses shops and restuarants and is much larger than the 1950’s version.


Posted by: marthabernie | May 22, 2015


005My great aunt’s daughter, Ednah, married Frank Lewis on December 31, 1908, in Stevensville, Montana.  They lived in Stevensville for a period of time and then moved to Los Angeles, where Frank’s parents lived.  They had only one child, Ruthanna Lewis, born in 1914.  Aunt Annie’s two grand daughters were named after her, using the name Anna in the first name…Ritzanna (always called Ritzie) and Ruthanna (always called Babe for some reason).  Here is Ruthanna as a baby, photo taken at the Bushnell Studio in Los Angeles.  She went on to marry a couple of times but was single late in life.  She died of complications from alcoholism in her 50’s, a great sadness for her mother, Ednah, who lived well into her 80’s, passing away in 1968.

Posted by: marthabernie | May 22, 2015

Malia’s Minestrone

Another minestrone recipe for my collection:

Malia’s Minestrone.

Posted by: marthabernie | May 22, 2015

BBQ Turkey Meatballs

I have pretty much given up red meat except for making pot roast a couple times a year.  This is a great recipe using ground turkey.  The original recipe suggests serving with mashed potatoes to catch the sauce.


2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2-1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 – 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chiles

1-1/4 pound ground turkey

3 tablespoons Italian seasoned dried breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon chili powder

Cooking spray

Place first 6 ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth.  Combine turkey, breadcrumbs and chili powder in a large bowl; using wet hands, shape into 16 meatballs.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Lightly coat pan with cooking spray.  Add meatballs, cook 2 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.  Add tomato mixture to pan, bring to a simmer.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 6 minutes or until meatballs are done.

Strawberry and banana is another great flavor combination!

Strawberry Banana Streusel Muffins That Just Happen to be Gluten-Free.

Posted by: marthabernie | May 21, 2015

Sandycove, County Dublin, Ireland – 1998


Along the coast road.


Posted by: marthabernie | May 21, 2015

OSCAR FAULKNER – Stevensville, Montana – 1911

005aThe inscription on this photo says, “Oscar Faulkner, age 20, for his mother, taken May 26, 1911, Stevensville, Montana.”  Oscar was my Great Aunt Annie’s son and third child.  There was a younger brother, Raymond Irl, (always known as Little Ray), but he died at the age of 9 or 10, most likely from pneumonia, six years before the family left Missouri and relocated in Stevensville, Montana.

Older Posts »



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 939 other followers

%d bloggers like this: