Cooking Without Photos – Chicken Rice Casserole

🎵🎶Ooooooooooooklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain🎶🎵 Yep. This week we travel to Ottawa County Oklahoma. Home of Miami, but NOT Florida! Pronounced “Miam-ah”. And also home to Picher. Never heard of it? Lemme tell you a little story, friends.

Picher, Oklahoma once belonged to the Seneca-Cayuga Indian tribes. Lead and Zinc were discovered in 1913 and much of their land was bought or stolen by mining companies.

Once mining started, it expanded quickly and covered a huge area. It’s been said that the Tri State Mining district was so overly mined, a person could drive a car from Picher, Oklahoma to Joplin, MO all while being underground in the mines. That’s roughly 25 miles.

Back then, mining companies were not under many regulations. They mined and took what they wanted and put the rest in a big pile on top of the ground. ”Chat” was what was left and they made huge piles of it all over Picher. HUGE! Folks didn’t really know what to do with it. They tried to make uses out of it, but there was just too much of it. Kids played on it. It was in everyone’s back yard. Folks would come and visit just to climb a pile of it (me included). In the end, it sat around for almost 100 years, slowly poisoning everyone. Yes.

In 1994 the Centers For Disease Control began testing the people of Picher and it was discovered they all had lead in their bloodstream. 35% of all of the children what were tested had more than 10 micrograms per deciliter, which is considered to be a health concern. Among other health problems, it causes developmental delays.

Huge long story short, after many tries and fails, the government declared Picher, Oklahoma uninhabitable. The residents had to move. The whole town was closed down. And in the end, it will eventually all cave in because of the extensive undermining and become a massive sink hole.

Fun fact: there have already been multiple sink holes that have opened up and swallowed buildings in places as far away as Galena, KS. (Part of Tri State Mining District). If you’d like to have more information about this topic, Tar Creek Documentary is available on Amazon Prime for a small fee. Very interesting indeed.

Now back to cooking. I chose to use a recipe out of the cookbook, “Ottawa County Bi-Centennial Cook Book: Compiled by Extension Homemakers Of Ottawa County Oklahoma 1975”.

My own Mama made something similar to this recipe my whole life. I did do a couple of things different. I used minute rice, cooked it at 350° for 1h and 15 minutes, added 1/2 cup more milk and I put the rice mixture on the bottom so the skin would be crispy. Oh! And I added salt and pepper to the top. It didn’t say anything about doing that for some reason. AND I added mushrooms because we are mushroom people🤷🏻‍♀️ Enjoy!!!


Dollar Tree DIY Easter Wreath

Whoooop! This DIY Dollar Tree wreath is super easy! I don’t normally make wreaths. In fact, I have a pin board on Pinterest that’s called, “Wreaths I’ll Probably Never Make”. If I can do it, anyone can!

Here’s what you’re gonna need: Glue Gun, glue sticks, scissors, zip ties

From Dollar Tree: 2 packages colored eggs, rabbit sign (they have several that would work), two round wire wreath forms, Spanish moss, wire ribbon.

Supplies Needed

1. When you take the eggs out of the packaging, save the carton part and the raffia that is tied around the package. You’ll use them both. Tear the packages up and hot glue the pieces to one of the wire forms. This will prevent the moss from falling thru the back.

2. Hot glue the moss onto the paper, creating a nest effect.

3. Hot glue eggs onto the moss. This way you won’t have to chase them around when you put the top on. They will stay in place better.

4. Place the other wire wreath form on top. Secure with zip ties and cut off the excess. I used three. You can use as many as you see fit.

5. Remove bunny from original sign. You may want to use the other parts of the sign later, so don’t throw them away. At this point, I took off the bow and used the raffia from the egg carton to jazz it up. Then I added back the original bow on top of the new bow. Cute!

6. I made a bow for the top out of the wire ribbon and hot glued it all down.

7. Ta-Da!!!

Cooking Without Photos – Goulash

This time we make a short drive to Benton, AR.

Other than having the best VFW around and being home to the famous Brown’s Catfish (now closed), did y’all know that Benton used to have 13 pottery firms? Yes! Thirteen!

Apparently, kaolin (a type of richly colored clay) was found in and around the Benton area. Folks made all kinds of things out of it and sold it for a profit. In fact, at the turn of the twentieth century it was Benton’s primary industry. The most famous being Niloak Pottery.

This week’s recipe came from, “A Taste Of Heaven: A Collection Of Recipes By Northside Church Of Christ Ministries”.

Believe it or not, but I’ve never made goulash before. Our Mama made it for us, but I’ve never tackled it. This was a super easy recipe. I did have to use the suggested small can of tomato sauce and also about a half of a cup of water. Just use your judgement. Enjoy!