My attraction to flowers at such a young age was maybe because my mom loved flowers. One fall she planted more than three dozen tulip bulbs in the beds around our Sterling home. She was anxious; she was excited when they started to pop from their season of rooting sleep. The long, slender leaves began to stretch, the thick green stems began to reach for the sun; and then one fateful day her growing anticipation of a beautiful bed of variety tulips crashed. An early picking had taken place before the petals began to spread; the still colorless bud of each tulip had been hand-plucked by my little hands. My reason was ridiculous. I was a stupid child; I was in trouble.
One lovely day last week I drove into town for grocery shopping and errands. I pulled into the Walmart Plaza and found beauty there I did not remember from last spring. Every tree amongst the parking spaces and shopping cart stations was full, bursting with white petals. It was an urban setting with spring beauty overwhelming the entire asphalt acreage. The trees were gorgeous, I gave thanks.
Today as I began my trip through town, I noticed rolling petals everywhere. The spring winds were gently blowing and the same trees were beginning to look a little greener. It was snowing petals, a sweet snow to see. And while the white petals were tumbling, our crabapple tree was getting ready to burst pink onto the country scene.
Green is the grass and greener it becomes each day, the richest color of the season. And popping out, scattered all about, are the brightest weedy flowers of the growing season. Dandelions are a child’s favorite; the first flower with freedom to pick, the first gathering to bouquet for mom, the first Mason jar arrangement displayed on the kitchen table; that’s if they aren’t head picked, then they become floaters in a water filled cereal bowl.
The second phase of dandelion picking is when the yellow heads turn to seed, and when the gentle blows from a child’s mouth scatter those lighter-than-a-feather puffs into the air. Again, spring snow falls. (And while it has been green and warm and snowflakes for real seem to have passed, it did snow just after our April wedding ceremony 30 years ago.)
When the spring winds blow and the snow of spring falls, don’t be so quick to gather the petals, they might just melt in your hands.
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Cheeseburger Soup (Ruby Kline, Millersburg)
1/2 pound hamburger
3/4 cup onion
3/4 cup celery
3/4 cup carrots
1 teaspoon basil (optional)
1 teaspoon parsley
4 teaspoons butter
3 cups chicken broth
4 cups potatoes
1/4 cup flour
8 ounces processed cheese
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup sour cream
Bring broth, potatoes, celery, and carrots to simmer 10 minutes. Fry hamburger and onion. Add the rest of the ingredients.
Potluck Potatoes (Ruby Kline, Millersburg)
9 pounds shredded potatoes, cooked
7 cans soup, cream of chicken and mushroom soup
1 whole Velveeta
3 sticks butter
2 containers sour cream
2 tablespoons garlic salt
2 tablespoons Lawry’s seasoned salt
Black pepper and salt to taste
Bake and put corn flakes crumbs and butter on top. This is a big batch. Makes one Lifetime size roaster full.
Sweet Potato Casserole (Ruby Kline, Millersburg)
3 cups mashed, cooked sweet potatoes
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
Mix and pour in a 2-quart baking dish. Topping: 1/3 cup butter, melted, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup nuts, if desired. Sprinkle topping over mixture and bake uncovered at 30 degrees for 25 minutes.
Ham Loaf (Ruby Kline, Millersburg)
5 pounds meat (equal amounts of pork and beef)
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup soda cracker crumbs
Mix and put in pan.
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon mustard
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup water
Bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours at 350 degrees. Baste often.
Ham and Cheese Noodle Casserole
1 package (8 ounce) wide noodles
2 1/2 cups (3/4 pound) diced cooked ham
2 cups (8 ounce) shredded Swiss cheese
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup dairy sour cream
2 green pepper rings for garnish
Cook noodles according to package directions; drain. In a large bowl toss together noodles, ham, cheese, green pepper, onion and salt. Gently blend in sour cream. Turn into a buttered 2 quart casserole dish. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until cheese melts and casserole is heated through. Top with green pepper rings.
Stovetop Chicken Noodle Casserole
1 large bag egg noodles
1 stick butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups (more or less) chicken stock
1 family size cream of chicken soup
1 small can Swanson’s Chicken á la King
1 can of baby peas
In a large pot boil egg noodles, drain, set aside. In the same pot melt butter then add flour, whisk for about 1 minute until it is mixed together and thickened. Add 1 cup chicken broth, a little at a time, stirring briskly. Then add soup, peas with juice, Chicken á la King; stir all together until well mixed. If too thick add more chicken broth until of desired consistency or thin enough to mix the noodles in. Remove from heat, mix in noodles. Salt and pepper to taste.
Ham & Noodle Casserole
4 ounces noodles
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon minced onion
1 cup sour cream
2 cups leftover ham, cubed or 1-inch slivers
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 quart greased casserole
Cook noodles. In bowl, blend soup and milk. Add onion and sour cream. In casserole layer half the noodles, then ham, then sauce. Repeat. Toss bread crumbs with butter. Sprinkle on top. Top with cheese. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.
Cheesy Ham & Noodle Casserole
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash dry mustard
Pinch of thyme
6 drops Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
12 ounces grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 to 2 cups leftover ham, diced
1/2 package noodles, cooked and drained
Cook noodles and drain. Use microwave to make white sauce by melting butter and flour, add milk. Cook 2 minutes on high. Stir and repeat two more times, until thick. Add to white sauce: salt, dry mustard, thyme, and marjoram, Tabasco, and Worcestershire sauce. Add cheese and diced ham. Mix all and put in greased casserole. Top with buttered crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour or until bubbly.
Corned Beef & Noodle Casserole
8 ounces noodles, cooked
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 cups (8 ounces) grated cheese
1 can corn beef
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
Melt butter in skillet and cook onions and peppers. Put noodles, onions and peppers in 3-quart greased casserole. Combine soup, milk, cheese, and corn beef and add to noodles. Mix well. Top with 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs and 1 teaspoon melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
Published: April 2, 2012