29 Delicious Croatian Desserts, Cakes & Sweets

By Dana Hyland-Horner

Thanksgiving Traditions and Recipes

Most families have their own family traditions for this day. Ours is usually get up, turn the parade on, my husband Mike puts the turkey in the oven, and I get started on all of the sides. Each member of our family has one certain thing they love for me to make, and that wish is usually granted on this day only.

When we sit down all together at the table, we pray, and then ask each person what they are thankful for. It could be unusual, crafty, athletic, funny, but always from the heart. I am always thankful that we can all be together. After dinner for our family it’s usually a card game of PIT which can get brutal at times, and then a nice walk to reflect on the day. Some families take this day to celebrate the upcoming holiday season by exchanging Hanukkah gifts or ornaments for the Christmas tree, watch a holiday movie together or get the cookie recipes out and decide who will make which cookies for Christmas.

If you have travelers coming in, make them a small basket filled with bottled water, crackers, cheese, candies and a small note thanking them for making the trip and put it in the room where they will be sleeping.

Now we come to what to do with the leftovers? When you wake up from that post Thanksgiving nap, you may have a lot of food to take care of. Don’t panic! I tell my kids to bring Tupperware with them and they can pick and choose what they can take home for the next day. It works out great and then we usually don’t have a lot to deal with. I’m going to break down a few things that our family does with those precious leftovers.

Debone all of the remaining meat and put in a container for several other meals. Take some of the bones and add celery, onions and some herbs and boil for a delicious stock that can be used later for soup or gravy.

We usually add minced onions, a small amount of flour and make potato cakes. This can be used as a breakfast side for later days.

Add a can of green beans to your leftover corn and you have succotash.

Add the remaining gravy and some leftover turkey meat and bake as a casserole. This is so good weeks later. You can also make a Turkey Pot Pie with all of these leftovers.

I make homemade, but I do like the kind from the can. You can add the cranberry sauce to a round of Brie cheese for an elegant New Year’s Eve appetizer.

I usually never have rolls left over because that is my favorite food item at Thanksgiving: a cold turkey/dressing sandwich with a dab of cranberry sauce. But if you do, chop up your rolls into cubes and save for croutons. Add some butter to your skillet and lightly brown them. I add a little garlic powder to them as well. Delicious on salad.

Thanksgiving is so rich in history that it is celebrated in Canada as well as in the United States. The English Colonists we call Pilgrims celebrated days of Thanksgiving as part of their religion. Our day of celebrating began in 1621 when the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians came together to enjoy a peaceful harvest feast. There are only two surviving documents that reference the original Thanksgiving Harvest meal. They describe a feast of deer meat, wildfowl, cod and bass and the Native Americans brought a variety of corn that was eaten as cornbread and porridge. There was plenty to go around and that is why they called it a “feast”. Whatever you do for Thanksgiving as a celebration, remember to always tell your family members how much you love them, and it’s always ok to go back for that second helping without guilt.  Enjoy these leftover recipes. Mike and I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

4 cups mashed potatoes

2 eggs, well beaten

1/2 onion finely chopped

2 tsp. Baking powder

Combine all ingredients and mix well. The flour may be added if needed so potatoes can be shaped. After they are shaped like a pancake, drop gently into hot oil (we prefer bacon grease) and fry until golden brown.

4 cups chopped, leftover turkey

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

1/4 cup green pepper, chopped

3/4 cup catsup

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp chili powder

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Cook onion, celery, and pepper in butter until soft. Add remaining ingredients except turkey and cook for 5 minutes. Add turkey. Heat thoroughly.

1-3oz.package raspberry Jello

1 cup hot water

1/2 cup cold water

1/2 pound cranberries

2 oranges or 1/2 cup crushed pineapple

1/4 cup pecans, chopped

3/4 cup sugar

Dissolve gelatin in hot water, then add cold water. Cool mixture and set aside. Wash and grind cranberries. Pare and chop apples into small chunks. Stir together the ground cranberries, chopped apples and oranges ( I prefer pineapple), pecans and sugar.

Add to a slightly thickened gelatin mixture; then pour into a mold and chill until the salad is firm and holds its shape. Unmold on salad greens.

1 package (10 ounces) frozen green beans

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup diced red pepper

10 ounces of leftover Thanksgiving corn

1 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1/2 tsp thyme leaves

1/4 tsp black pepper

Cook the green beans as directed on the package, drain and set aside. Melt butter in a large skillet and add onion, red pepper and cook until tender. Add all the other ingredients and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes until heated through.

Start thawing frozen turkey slowly 3 days before dinner. We cover the bird with butter and the juice from 2 large oranges, chopped thyme, sage and chives. Inside the bird we put onions, celery, sage and the chopped up oranges. This makes for a delicious gravy when cooked.  Enjoy!

By Dana Hyland-Horner
Photographs by Mike Horner

Several distinct habitats at the farm have flourished and provide homes for native mammals, reptiles, amphibians and plants, as well as native and migratory birds and insects. There are so many things to look at that you would need a full day to take it all in. I loved the pollinator garden with all of the plants that bring bees, butterflies, and dragonflies to that area, and there were many. Another attraction for me and my husband was the old log cabin (c. 1853) on the property that you could go in and be taken back to how folks lived in that time. It was brought up piece-by-piece from West Virginia in 1996. They call it “The Red Fox Cabin,” and it is used for educational workshops and school tours.

The farm is also known for its animal rescue/sanctuary for abused and neglected animals. They provide a peaceful place for birds and mammals as they heal. We got to meet several of these animals, such as goats, pigs, chickens, turkeys, donkeys, a fox named Quinn, and an albino red rat snake by the name of Tyree (also known as a corn snake). Tyree and I came eye-to-eye. He stuck out his tongue and I stood very still and just smiled! I am a country girl from southern Ohio that when you saw a snake down by the Ohio River, you ran for a hoe! I have become more calm in my older years about this issue. I’ll just smile and educate myself.

We have raised rabbits, goats and chickens, so going to this farm was very peaceful for me, and my husband. It’s a beautiful place with around 3 miles of hiking paths that lead to a creek and marsh. While we were there we were introduced to Deb Weston, an expert birder who works for the farm doing bird hikes and bird counts. She said the farm has around 137 species of birds, with the most rare find being the yellow-billed cuckoo. I was excited to talk to her and look at her beautiful pictures she has taken of the many birds. I have several bird feeders and houses in my back yard and love watching them. Our newest bird house Mike put up a few days ago is for attracting bluebirds. We are hoping for the best.

A topic of interest to me is bees and what is happening to them. They are on a slow decline across the world. Bee populations are declining due to habitat loss, pollution, and the use of pesticides, among other factors. The Quarry Farm has hives where you can watch the bees in the process of making honey. You can help bees out at home by placing 1 tablespoon of water with 1 tablespoon of sugar until they are dissolved. Place in a shallow dish near your garden or on your outside table so that the bees can get a drink as they sometimes fly miles and miles to get to a hive.


1. Bees beat their wings 11,400 times in one minute, that is why they are so loud.

2. Only female bees can sting. Male bees don’t have stingers.

3. Bees communicate through a series of dance moves.

4. A hive of bees will fly over 55,000 miles to make 1 pound of honey.

5. 1 bee has 5 eyes!

Honey Cornbread Recipe

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, beat the eggs. Add cream, oil and honey; beat well. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Pour into a greased 9-inch baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm.

Peanut Butter Honey Fudge Recipe

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk such as hemp milk or unflavored coconut milk
  • 1 cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons raw organic honey
  • 11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Brush an 8X8 baking pan with a little olive oil. Put sugar and milk in a small pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring often and turn the heat off. Slowly add the peanut butter and honey and stir well. Add vanilla extract and stir until the ingredients are mixed. Pour the mixture into the baking pan and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight for a harder texture.

Closer to Home: The new wildlife observation area is now open to visitors at Troy’s Monarch Butterfly Habitat, north of Treasure Island Park. This is a wonderful addition for birdwatchers and butterfly enthusiasts as they have feeders and plants to draw in several species. A gazebo as well as a birdfeeder station have been built so visitors can enjoy both birds and butterflies in their own habitats along the Great Miami River.

Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar: A Pair Made in Heaven

Growing up in southern Ohio our families used many methods of oils for baking and frying. One I remember the most was that big can of lard. Great for frying chicken, pork chops, and even putting a dab on a burn when needed. The most important form of grease was and still is bacon drippings. Oh yes!  Every household had a can, tin, or Ball jar in the refrigerator with that liquid gold. You didn’t waste a drop of it, ever!

After frying bacon, you carefully poured it into your container to then use it to flavor most anything from green beans, fried potatoes, eggs, biscuits and the list goes on and on. My personal favorite was and still is, wilted lettuce. If you have never had it, it is worth a try, you will not be disappointed.

My husband and I have one of those containers in our refrigerator, a small tin container marked GREASE on it. When we moved from Wheelersburg, Ohio to Troy, that container rode in the front of our truck with us, so we would not spill a drop. Mike uses bacon grease to flavor his cornbread, collard greens  and many other food items. But, isn’t it funny how things change in a blink of an eye?

A few weeks ago we attended a class at the Troy Library hosted by a local store called The Olive Oasis (7 N. Main St. in Troy) and we were mind-blown! The store owner, Chelsea Demmitt, who has owned the store since 2018, put on a remarkable demonstration on olive oils and balsamic vinegars.

I believe in today’s world we are all trying to be a little more healthy and conscious of what we are putting in our bodies. Olive oil has so many health benefits, including those for heart disease, blood pressure, and diabetes. The Mediterranean Diet has been a large success due to the fact that it uses EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil). It lowers inflammation, protects “bad” LDL cholesterol from oxidation and improves the lining of your blood vessels which could prevent blood clotting. This was all we needed to hear to make a change in our oil selections.

By Dana Hyland-Horner | Photos by Mike Horner

Moving on to Piqua, my husband and I stopped in This and That’s Candy on Main, located at 408 N. Main St., where owner Tom Lillicrap says business is great for candy. He said their best seller is salt water taffy and they have many bins full of different flavors. It’s that delicious memory of the beach and boardwalk candies that I think we all love. Another big seller for his store is imported candy from countries like Japan for instance. We all want to know what other cultures enjoy and compare it to our sweets. The one thing that caught my husband’s eye was the very old Coca Cola machine that carries the “little” Cokes. For some reason drinking an ice cold little Coke tastes so much different and better. The brightly decorated windows will lead you directly into Tom’s store.

After lunch, we headed to Troy and our home town store, Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop where you can find most anything you are looking for in candy. Located at 1 E. Main Street the store carries a large variety of nostalgic candies from years past such as Beemans Gum, Bun candy bars, Mallo Cups, the little paraffin bottles filled with juice, candy cigarettes, Necco Wafers, and the list goes on and on. They also have a large display unit of different flavored Jelly Belly jelly beans. This candy store opened in 2018 by Christopher J. Beers and has been a huge hit for the area. They also carry a nice variety of ice cream that is a must during summer music events on the Square.

Of course, we can’t forget the delicious chocolates from Winan’s Chocolates + Coffees. They are a delightful addition for beautiful Easter baskets filled with different flavored chocolate cream eggs, jelly beans, and chocolate bunnies. Winan’s, located at 10 W. Main St., now has several locations in our area to choose from.

When I asked Google “what is the most popular candy in the United States?” the answer was the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, invented by H.B. Reece after he founded his candy company in 1923. Two other popular candies have been and still are the Hershey’s milk chocolate bar and the famous Hershey Kisses. The first bar from the Hershey’s company was sold in 1900 by Milton S. Hershey.

Some of America’s favorite candies are candy corn, Jolly Ranchers, Tootsie Pops, Milky Ways, Kit-Kats and M&Ms. I love making Easter baskets and getting the candy that I know that person loves. Our children are 40 and 42 and I still make them a basket. The tradition of the Easter Basket came to America in the 1700s when the children of German immigrants would add straw to little hats and boxes to create little nests and hide them throughout their homes the night before Easter. They hoped that on Easter morning, they would find the nests full of colored eggs. Now, they are filled with delicious candy. WIN! Here are a few candy recipes to try before Easter.

Coconut Nest Eggs

6 ounces white candy coating, coarsely chopped

6 drops green food coloring

1 drop yellow food coloring

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

36 jelly beans

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt candy coating; stir in food coloring until blended. Stir in coconut. Drop by tablespoons onto waxed paper into 12 mounds. Make an indentation in the center of each with the end of a wooden spoon handle. Fill each with 3 jelly beans. Let stand until set.

4 tbsp. butter

1 cup peanut butter

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

2 cups chocolate chips

1 (10-oz.) bag mini rainbow marshmallows

Grease and 8×8″ baking pan with cooking spray. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips. If necessary, return to low heat to finish melting chips. Let cool to room temperature. Stir in marshmallows. Pour mixture into pan and refrigerate until set, 3 hours. Cut into squares and wrap in parchment paper.

Easter Oreo Bark

1 package vanilla candy coating

3/4 cup M&Ms (Easter)

3/4 cup Spring Oreos, crushed

Spring or Easter sprinkles

Melt package of candy coating in a small pot on low heat-stirring constantly until all is melted. Pour over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle on crushed Oreos, M&Ms and sprinkles. Place in the refrigerator for half hour to an hour. Break into pieces.

Have a wonderful Easter Holiday!

Celebrating Black History Month

February is Black History Month and it is celebrated in different ways to pay tribute to the rich history and contributions of African-Americans in the United States. February is the birth month of President Abraham Lincoln (born February 12), who issued the Emancipation Proclamation, and, African American author and orator Fredrick Douglass (born February 14th). During this month, we can learn and celebrate past achievements and future accomplishments of our fellow African-Americans.

Black History Month has inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, history lectures and performances. One organization that is working in Miami County is I.D.E.A Troy, with President Tre’ Heflin-King. I.D.E.A. Troy is a public partnership of the Troy community and is a fund of the Troy Foundation. They are a community of advocates developing and promoting cultural awareness through inclusion, diversity, and equity endeavors for a better Troy. Tre’ says he enjoys living in Troy, and raising his children here in a peaceful community. Recently I.D.E.A. Troy donated books to the Troy-Miami County Public Library titled 100 African-Americans Who Shaped American History. I.D.E.A Troy is made up of four teams:

1. Juneteenth Troy Team

2. MLK Team

3. Troy Freedom Chasers Team

4. Diversity Awareness Team

Sweet Adaline’s Bakery

29 E. Main St. Tipp City, Ohio

Dobo’s Delights Bake Shoppe

417 N. Main St. Piqua, Ohio

Sweet Dreams Cake Shoppe

50 S. Dorset Road Troy, Ohio

Bakehouse Bread & Cookie Co.

317-Public Square SW Troy, Ohio

Pauline’s Rolls (My Mom)

1 pkg. yeast

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups warm water

7 cups flour

3 Tbsp. melted shortening

Mix in order given. Let rise till double in size. Knead. Make out into 3 dozen rolls. Let rise. Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

4 egg whites

1 tsp vinegar

1 cup sugar (add slowly)

Combine ingredients. Spoon out on an upside down cookie sheet and bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour. (You can add a tsp. of strawberry flavoring as well)

1 box white Cake mix

1 box Strawberry Jello mix (small)

1 cup oil

1/2 cup milk

1 cup mashed sweetened strawberries (not drained)

Mix all ingredients together and pour into a 9X13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes.

I pound of confectioner’s sugar

1 stick of softened butter

1/2 cup mashed strawberries (drained) Very important that they are drained!

If the frosting is too thick, add berries until it is the right consistency.

Keeping Fit & Healthy

How life slows down once retirement starts. Mike and I decided we wouldn’t be couch potatoes when this day came. He had always worked out in a gym, but I was never really interested. You know I would go kicking and screaming, bracing myself in the doorway, until one day when we got home and I actually felt good, with a ton of energy. I knew right then that it had to be all of the movement of the different muscles and good breathing during the workout. We then decided a good fit for us would be joining our local Troy YMCA. They offer so many different classes in different ranges of activity.

We have taken different classes at the Y, but for our age group the Silver Sneakers program was just what we needed to stay fit and healthy. We signed up for the Cardio Class 3 years ago and still take it 3 times a week. It is 45 minutes of non-stop workout with weights, balls, resistance bands, a little yoga breathing and balance techniques. When this class is finished we go to the gym. Mike lifts weights and I walk on the treadmill, or do some rowing on the rowing machine. I am a diabetic and this program has kept my daily numbers as well as my A1C numbers right where they need to be. Along with this we have changed our eating habits as well. It’s hard to be this age and find things to keep you healthy. Silver Sneakers has also provided us the opportunity to make lifelong friends.

The YMCA was founded in London in 1844 by George Williams and 11 of his friends. They were concerned about the lack of healthy activities among young men that worked in all of the local factories. He felt they needed someplace to just let off some steam in a safe environment with spiritual support and physical fitness. The first YMCA in the United States opened on December 29, 1851, in Boston, Massachusetts. It was founded by Captain Thomas Valentine Sullivan for the same reason, as he felt the seamen coming off of many months at sea needed a place to re-group and get fit for their next venture out at sea. Today, the nations 2,400 YMCAs are the largest not-for-profit community service organizations in America.

We are lucky to have two YMCAs in Miami County. The Piqua branch, which started in 1892, is currently building a new facility to be completed in 2024. Between the two you will be able to find any fitness and health class you need. Currently in our class “The Classic” we completed 100 squats as well as wall push ups and sit ups, weight training and balance techniques all in 45 minutes. Other classes include:

Cardio Fit – This heart healthy aerobics class focuses on building upper body and core strength while increasing your cardio vascular endurance.

Offers standing low impact moves that alternate with standing upper body strength.

Canning and Freezing

Our small Victory garden will provide us with all that we need to get us through the winter months. Not long ago someone asked me why I call it our Victory garden. My “Mamaw” told me that during the world wars the public was encouraged to grow gardens of planted vegetables to ensure a good food supply for civilians and troops when they came home from war. That has always stuck in my head and now we do it to honor those from the past. A Victory garden can be a very large garden or as small as a window box garden. The National Museum of American History in Washington D.C. has a re-created World War II -era garden featuring vegetable and flower species available for gardeners through the 1940’s.

With this being said, we cannot forget the farmers of all of our communities that go out every day to provide us with local produce fresh from their gardens. They are facing many struggles like climate change, soil erosion, changing tastes of consumers and trying to stay resilient against global economic factors. When you see a farm tractor or combine trying to get to their fields, give them all the road room they need to get there. Remember they are doing this for us.

Bread and Butter Pickles

  • 4 quarts cucumbers, sliced thin
  • 3 medium onions, sliced thin
  • 2 green peppers , chopped
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 3 cups vinegar
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. celery seed
  • 2Tbsp. mustard seed

Combine cucumbers, onions,peppers, and salt. Cover with ice cubes and let stand for 3 hours. Drain well.

Combine all syrup ingredients in a large pan. Add pickle mixture. Bring to a boil. Place in jars and seal.

Hot Bath until boiling around jars. Set out to cool.

  • 1 large head cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. celery seed

Combine cabbage, green pepper, onion, and carrots in

a large boil. Mix boiling water and salt together in a bowl

and pour over cabbage ,mixture. Set aside for salt to

draw out extra water, about an hour. Drain well.

Mix sugar,1 cup water, cider vinegar and celery seed in

a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook and stir until sugar is

dissolved, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool

Pour cooled sugar-vinegar mixture over drained cabbage mixture in a large bowl and toss until slaw is well mixed. Spoon slaw into resealable plastic bags and freeze.

When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator.

Until next time.

Peace and Tranquility at The Quarry Farm in Putnam County

prevention of wasteful use of a resource

On a recent “Away” adventure, my husband, Mike, and I decided to visit a very well known nature preserve and conservation farm in Putnam County, Ohio. The Quarry Farm, which has spurred my interest for several years, is maintained by Steve and Anne Coburn-Griffis and family.

In the late 19th and early 20th century several small quarries along Riley Creek near Bluffton were in operation and used for flagstone and lime burning. The business operated in the floodplain southeast of the mouth of Cranberry Run where it enters Riley Creek. The quarrying operation hit multiple springs, which forced the business to relocate upstream. Everett Seitz and his family lived in a house on the upland north of the flooded quarry pit. After a fire in the 1940s claimed Everett’s house his brother, Carl, bought 50 acres that encompassed the old quarry and two homesteads. The waters of the old quarry and Cranberry Run became popular fishing spots. In the early 1970s, Gerald and Laura (Seitz) Coburn bought the Quarry Farm (as the Seitz family had so named it) and began restoring the stream’s riparian corridor, floodplain and woodland and maintained it as a retreat and nature preserve. Today, family members and friends continue to operate The Quarry Farm.

Provides a fun environment using a splash-board to increase movement and intensity options during shallow water exercises. This class is safe for those that do not know how to swim.

This chair and standing class works on strengthening the muscles, stretching the muscles to increase range of motion and increase balance. Breath work is done during this class to decrease stress without the strain on your joints.

Builds strength and balance while doing Tai Chi and Qigong principal movements. This class improves physical and mental well-being. In a guided flow participants learn the foundations of weight transfer, rhythmic movements along with awareness and focused breathing.

As you can see there are many classes that you can choose from if you are interested. With the winter months fast approaching, it’s nice to get out and get a little exercise in a great controlled environment. For class times and classes call:

Troy Robinson Branch (937) 440-9622

Or visit   for The Fall Program Guide

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Energy Bites

  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flaxseeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. If too dry, add more peanut butter or if too watery add more oats. Refrigerate the mixture for 15-30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and scoop the mixture into 1 tablespoon balls and place on wax paper.

For nut allergies: Sunflower seed butter can be used as a substitution to peanut butter.

Summer Black Bean and Corn Salad

  • 2 cans of black beans (drained)
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups frozen corn (thawed), or remove cooked corn from the cob that has been cooled.

Combine black beans, corn and red pepper in a bowl. Add olive oil and lime juice and stir to coat.

Season with garlic powder, cumin and black pepper and mix well.

Can serve as a salad or as a healthy snack with nacho chips.

*Recipes provided by YMCA Instructors

Keep Healthy and Fit with us!

Appalachian Cooking and Life

People ask my husband and I all the time, “where are you from?” Although we don’t hear our accents anymore, obviously we still have them, Mike more than me for some reason. In this Home and Away we will tell you a little about ourselves.

We grew up at the beginning of the Appalachian Mountains, south of Portsmouth, Ohio in a small country farming community called Franklin Furnace, where families were close and friends were even closer. Mike was one of 13 and I was the baby of the family with 2 older sisters. Life on the beautiful Ohio River was quiet and easy. You know the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”, well that’s how it was for us.

Mothers in our community back then raised all of us. Mike recalls many moms in the evenings standing outside chatting and comparing notes on what the kids were doing. If one got in trouble most likely there were several more involved. They were like the FBI and always found out exactly what the truth was. When it was time for supper, whoever you were playing with at the time also came in to eat, usually beans and cornbread, poke greens or freshly picked dandelion greens like the ones you see in your yard today. We didn’t eat the yellow flowers then, but have recently learned that they can be eaten as well. Ramps were another hidden jewel back then that you would hunt just like morel mushrooms. They have a taste similar to green onions or chives. Absolutely nothing went to waste, if you had beans left over you made bean cakes the next day by adding a little onion and flour, patted out into cakes and fried in bacon grease. Leftover cornbread was put in a glass with milk, like cereal. Mike still loves it to today.

Blackberry picking back then was a big event. Every family had their own special place to pick as they were plentiful along the river. If you happened to venture over into another field, you got told loudly to just keep on moving. It is so hard to believe now that we would pick buckets of blackberries that would then be cleaned and turned into jam, jelly or pies for the winter months. Of course most families also had grape arbors that we kids would invade when we could get away with it. These too were picked and cleaned for jelly and some even for wine.

My sister Patty would tell me stories such as our grandma would always bake her an August birthday cake and decorate it with flowers out of her garden like petunias, marigolds and other blooming flowers. Today it is well known that many varieties of flowers are edible. I had a January birthday so my cake was just plain icing!

Cast iron skillets were the kitchen implements of choice. They never, ever went into the dishwater. When you were done cooking you cleaned them out and re-oiled them for the next use. If you happened to burn something in one, it was a two-week process of scraping out the old and deep cleaning and re-oiling. It was a process. We still have one we use for our cornbread and nothing tastes better than a steak in butter with herbs fried in a black iron skillet.

My Dad was an Associated Press Photographer that worked out of WSAZ T.V. in Huntington, W.Va. and The Goodyear Atomic Energy Plant in Piketon, Ohio. He also took all of the school pictures for years in Scioto County. He was a large man and quick to get to the story. He was first to get the Marshall University plane crash (We Are Marshall), The Silver Bridge that fell across the Ohio River full of Christmas shoppers, and the F5 Tornado that devastated Wheelersburg, Ohio. I think that is where I got my love for the media and a story. Now that you know a little about us, we hope you will continue to read and enjoy our stories in My Miami County and This Local Life Magazine.

  • 12 ears fresh corn, shucked
  • 4 cups water, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp self rising flour
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. bacon drippings
  • 2 Tbsp. salted butter

To begin, completely rinse and cut the kernels from the cobs of corn and add to a large bowl. Then add to water.

Next stir flour, sugar, salt and pepper into corn and water mixture. Make sure it is completely dissolved into the water.

In a cast iron skillet, add bacon drippings and butter and heat over medium high heat. Once the butter has completely melted, pour corn mixture into the hot skillet and continuously stir.

Turn the heat down to medium. Cook approximately 12-15 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated and it has all thickened looking like creamed corn, then serve.

  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cups melted shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Beat eggs, add milk and shortening. Sift remaining ingredients together, add to egg mixture, and beat well. Pour into a greased iron skillet and bake in a hot oven until the bread shrinks from the side of the skillet, about 20 minutes.

Cucumbers and Onions

  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper

Slice cucumbers and onion into half moon slices and put into a bowl.

In a Mason jar or small bowl whisk together the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper.

Pour mixture over the cucumbers and onions and toss lightly. Keep in the refrigerator until it’s time to serve.

I usually triple this recipe as it goes quickly in my family.

Lavender, sunflower and clover

It seems like we just planted our garden yesterday! Where has the time gone? It’s time to get out the tried and true recipes that we have used for years, wash those jars, buy new lids and get our fruits and vegetables put up for the winter.

There is nothing better than Bread and Butter pickles or Freezer Slaw in the winter months (see recipes below). My husband, Mike, always makes homemade salsa that goes quickly when the family hears it’s finished. Canned goods also make great gifts. Just get a basket and fill it with jars of pickles, fruit jam and jellies, crackers and a couple of cute kitchen towels.

When I was a young girl, I remember my family making a large camp-style fire outside and sitting for hours shucking corn and breaking beans to can and freeze. I still today love to sit and break beans and think of all the fun conversations I would have with my family as we got ready to take care of our garden produce.

There are several ways you can preserve your fruits and vegetables, but Mike and I prefer to use the “hot bath” method , then after we pull the jars out of the boiling water, we listen for the lids to “ping,” let them cool, then put them in the pantry.

For the freezer, we put up corn and freezer slaw. We have already put up rhubarb-strawberry jam, rhubarb compote, and bags of cubed rhubarb for breads and pies. Peaches are now ready and will be made into jelly and pies. Then it will be time for a nap!

My favorite jar to use in canning is the Mason jar, which was patented in 1858 by John Landis Mason. The jar’s mouth has a screw thread on its outer perimeter to accept  a metal ring or band for a much tighter seal. The blue Mason jars were produced until 1937 using sand from around Lake Michigan. It was that sand that gave the glass a blue hue. Today, they seem to be quite the collectors item, when you can find them.

Items from Dana’s antique collection including old biscuit cutters, crocks, pewter pieces and vintage linens.

When it comes to the difference between vintage and antique items, an antique must be at least 100 years old. Terms like collectible, vintage, and retro are used to categorize items that aren’t currently mass produced. There are some items that you need to stay away from such as ivory, or anything made from elephant or walrus ivory. It is illegal to sell many ivory antique pieces. Eagle feathers are usually illegal to sell as well, or antiques with eagle feathers incorporated in them. There are also some very specific laws related to buying and selling Native American artifacts.

We say keep the hunt simple and fun.

Before the days of plastic and Pyrex, most American homes used crocks, and they are making a resurgence with avid vintage collectors around the world. We have several that belonged in our families. Mike has one that was used when he was growing up. It was an everyday bowl used to mix up biscuit and bread dough. I have several from my grandparents. One we now use to keep onions in, and potatoes in another.

We have so many nice shops in Miami County to visit when looking for that one special item to complete your collection such as Expressions of the Home, which is located in downtown Troy. Owner Diana Scheib says her shop covers both antique and vintage as well as “found items”. Diana says her best sellers are one-of-a-kind items and her many green plants. She has been in business in Troy for 23 years and loves helping her customers find that one piece that will make their home collection complete.

Top left clockwise: Exterior and interior of Expressions of the Home, Midwest Memories and Crossroads Estate Sales.

Another newer business in Troy is Crossroads Estate Sales where you can also find wonderful items for your collection. The owner unloads trucks full of items from estate sales on Sundays. They clean and sort on Mondays and open on Tuesdays. Every week there is something new and different to sort through.

A favorite place of ours is Midwest Memories Antiques located in downtown Tipp City. It is a 10,000 sq. ft. vendor mall featuring unique presentations of antiques, vintage finds and items for your home. We always say, “Let’s run in for a minute and see what they have”, and 3 hours later we are on our way home. Our son collects small vintage toys like race cars, and we seem to always find one there for him. They have become popular in the last several years and are harder to come by, so having a place like this is a win-win for us.

West Milton has several unique antique stores that you could take a day and visit like Treasure Chest, Olde Red Barn and Village Peddler. I recently saw at one of these stores several old postcards that were in a frame for display. You could also do this with old comic books or posters from concerts. A friend of mine collects old church cookbooks and handwritten recipe cards, while another collects Beatrix Potter children’s books, which I love too. Beatrix Potter’s books owed much of their success to her own drawings, which were used to illustrate them.

Recently, Mike and I found a beautiful Pewter piece at the Apple Tree Gallery in Piqua, which we had been hunting for. There are several other antique stores in Piqua that make for a day’s adventure like Vintage Antiques and The Mercantile.

So you see, no matter what you collect or what you are on the hunt for, you can most likely find it in Miami County. Here are a few recipes from a Vintage Cookbook. Enjoy!

6 medium apples, peeled and cored

2 cups brown sugar

2 cups water

1/3 tsp. cinnamon

1/3 tsp. nutmeg

1/3 cup butter

favorite pie crust recipe

Roll out dough and cut into 6-inch squares. Place an apple on each and bring dough up around the apple to cover completely. Moisten top edges with water and fasten securely on top of apple. Place in a greased baking pan. Combine the brown sugar, water and spices in a pan and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, until dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Pour over dumplings. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes, basting occasionally.

Pot Pie (Big Noodles)

2 cups flour

2 Tbsp. liquid shortening

1 tsp. salt

1/2 egg shell of water

Mix all ingredients until it clings together. Knead dough 4 or 5 times, and then divide in half. Roll out on floured area, turning over dough several times, and making sure it’s floured each time. Make as thick or as thin as you like noodles, then cut into squares and cook in boiling broth until tender. Serves 4-6 people.

1/3 cup oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/2 clove garlic

2 Tbsp. chopped onion

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley

1 Tbsp. fresh basil

Arrange tomatoes in large shallow dish. Combine remaining ingredients in a jar. Cover tightly and shake well. Pour over tomato slices. Cover and refrigerate for several hours.

Most ceramic plates, bowls and crocks have an unglazed rim around the very bottom, where the piece was in contact with the floor of the kiln. The unglazed ceramic is harder than metal and can be used just like a sharpening stone. This is how many ‘old timers’ sharpened their kitchen knives.

Local Bakery Delighs

Local Bakery Delights

When it’s time for a celebration, cake or sweet treats are usually on the menu. For years, my husband and I have usually gone to local grocery stores to pick out themed cakes or cupcakes to bring to such events as birthdays, weddings or family get-togethers.

Times are changing, though, and small independently owned bakeries are making a comeback. We have returned to the nostalgia of childhood when going into a local bakery on a Saturday or Sunday morning to get that sweet treat, or when a bride wants to sample all of the cakes before making that most important choice for her wedding. We can’t forget the child’s birthday party that has to have a themed cake.

Sweet Adaline’s in Tipp City
  Adam Berning, owner and pastry chef at Sweet Adaline’s, a full-service bakery in Tipp City, says that using only the freshest ingredients makes all the difference. He uses fresh cream, butter, eggs and fruits that are currently in season.

He graduated from the Culinary School of America in New York and had always wanted to open a bakery and pastry shop in Tipp City. He grew up in Tipp and wanted to give back. He has worked in some of the finest bakeries and country clubs, but knew his hometown would benefit from having a great bakery. All of the recipes he has written through the years are original, and everything in the shop is made from scratch. He is very involved with non-profits in Miami County and hopes to service more of them in the future.

Sweet Dreams Cake Shoppe in Troy

Troy baker, Catherine McKenna Peoples, who recently opened her own bakery, Sweet Dreams Cake Shoppe, specializes in beautiful cakes and cupcakes using her own recipe of buttercream and fondant.

She started out by baking a cake at home for her small child. She said she knew she could do it as she has a degree in art: add some frosting to that and a beautiful cake was made. Quickly, by word of mouth her love of baking became a home-based business. She needed more space though, so she bought a business in Troy and it is growing by leaps and bounds. It’s a family affair as she has 5 children. Two of her girls come in and work with her, which gives her time to create and decorate her cakes and cupcakes. Besides cakes, she bakes pies, sugar cookies and bar cookies.

Catherine moved here from the Columbus area and loves the small town feel of Troy to raise her family. She looks forward to serving Miami County with her cakes and sweets.

Small town, family owned bakeries have been around since the 1800s when families immigrated to the United States from countries like Italy, Holland and Germany. Many made a living by baking and selling their own family recipes of cakes and breads. Some of these bakeries are still thriving and have been passed down from generation to generation. The recipes are a closely guarded secret in some families still today.

The first open-air market for baked goods was established in Paris, France and since then bakeries have become a common place to purchase goods and to socialize.

Dobo’s Delights Bake Shoppe in Piqua

Dobo’s Delights Bake Shoppe located in Piqua is a full-service Hungarian bakery that has been in business around 45 years and is owned by Cindy Dobo. The bakery is especially known for its Dobos Torte, which is a sponge cake layered with chocolate buttercream and topped with caramel. Another popular item is salt-rising bread, similar to sourdough bread. The Hungarian Sampler, Fluffo and Zserbo (all sweet treats) can be shipped all over the country. Dobo’s is also known for its beautifully decorated wedding cakes of all designs.

Bakehouse Bread & Cookie Company in Troy

Bakehouse Bread & Cookie Company, located on the Square in downtown Troy, creates artisan breads and pastries daily and is also delivered nationwide. They are a café as well and serve high-quality sandwiches, soups and salads all from locally sourced ingredients. A list of their featured breads include, New York Rye, Rustic Olive, Raisin-Walnut, Cranberry Poppyseed, 7-grain, Rustic Italian, and baguettes. Those are just a few of the many breads they make daily.

Miami County has so many bakeries and cafes that offer a different specialty to choose from. The next time you need a cake or a sweet treat, visit one of our local bakeries and support small businesses. They will thank you and you will be happy you did!

Books to Read this Month:

12 years a Slave –  by Solomon Northup

Up from Slavery –  by Booker T. Washington

Ruby Bridges goes to School – by Ruby Bridges

– by Linda Baten Johnson

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl – by Harriet Jacobs

In the culinary world southern African-American cuisine ranks very close to the top. Traditional African-American comfort foods include red beans and rice, fried chicken, corn bread, mashed potatoes and gravy, seasoned greens, macaroni and cheese, and ice-cold iced tea. Granted, these are not the healthiest of choices, but they kept the family together and are still passed down from generation to generation. Some of the best known dishes are gumbo, jambalaya, collard greens and Hoppin’ John (a dish made with greens and pork). On a recent trip south my husband Mike and I picked up a cookbook called Mama Dip’s Kitchen. It has become one of our favorite cookbooks with over 250 traditional Southern recipes. Here are a few of her recipes to try.

1 pound fresh pork neck bones

4 cups black-eyed peas, fresh or (three 10 ounce frozen packages)

1 cup onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 cup rice, uncooked

Wash neck bones, put in a pot of water enough to cover them, come to a boil. Turn the heat on low and cook slowly until tender for about 1 hour. Remove the neck bones from the pot, skim off the fat and strain the liquid. If necessary, add water to the broth to make 4 cups of liquid. Put the liquid back into the pot and add the peas, onions, garlic salt, thyme and red pepper. Come to a boil. Put in the rice. Stir well and cover. Reduce the heat to low and let cook slowly for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pick the meat of the neck bones. Add it to the peas and rice for a one-dish meal.

1 pound fresh okra

1/2 stick butter, cut into pieces

1 teaspoon salt

In a pot, add the butter and salt to the water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the okra. Cover the pot and let the okra simmer for 8-10 minutes or until tender. Stir occasionally to cook evenly.

Egg Custard Pie

2 teaspoons self-rising flour

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 stick butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup milk

1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, and nutmeg. Stir in the butter, vanilla, and eggs, and beat for 10-15 strokes. Add the milk and mix well. Pour into the pie shell and bake for 30 minutes or until firm.

Enjoy a piece of history for Black History Month!

Ivy Court & Fun with House Plants

It’s a new year! Happy 2023! Everything seems to have a fresh new start. New Year’s resolutions are being made.

This year my husband and I have decided to shop local in Miami County for many of the items that we would normally purchase in the larger brick and mortar stores. Small businesses always need our help, and they usually have the best deals.

One such business for me is the plant and home decor store, Ivy Court located at 103 W. Main Street in Troy. It is a beautiful store loaded with plants and unique items for the home. The clerks are always very helpful and knowledgeable on plant information. Courtney and Ryan Hart, owners of Ivy Court, opened the store in Troy because of the growth the city has shown in recent years. One of the clerks, Brianna Slusher said, “The business is booming! We have so many regulars that come in for plants or pots or even wall art that we know them by first name.”

By Dana Hyland-Horner | Photographs by Mike Horner

Apple Picking Time

cider. My family loves it at Thanksgiving warm on the stove with fresh apples, orange slices, a clove and a little cinnamon in a warm mug while waiting for dinner to be served. It makes the house smell so good as well.

Apple picking brings families together. From families on a multigenerational outing to maybe a couple’s first date. It’s so sweet to see a child take his first bite of a freshly picked apple with the juice running down his face. Take a picture, frame it and every year in the fall display it and see how they change from year to year.

Some orchards will have apples already picked and ready to go for you. There are so many varieties of apples that are good for different recipes. Some are only good for applesauce, some just for eating, and of course those for baking. Apple butter is another favorite of ours. Both of our families used to make apple butter outside in large copper kettles over an open fire. It takes quite a while to cook down, but it sure is good when it’s done.

This year we made apple dumplings, something we have never made before. They turned out delicious. Happy picking!

How to know your apples:

Very popular apples the last few years, our favorite. Crisp, juicy with a sweet-tart flavor. When cooked remains semi-firm. Great for a pie as it doesn’t cook down too much. It is also ideal for topping baked goods such as pastries or pancakes.

Known for its bright green color and tart flavor. This apple is good for cakes, muffins and cookies. And yes, there really was a Granny Smith that had an Apple Orchard in the 1800s.

This is a great apple for making applesauce as it breaks down perfect. This apple is one that we probably all have seen or used in lunch boxes. It has a tart bite and a fruity aroma.

This apple has a full flavor and has a firm, crisp texture. Developed in Japan in the 1930s it is great paired with cheddar cheese and crackers.

This apple is more sweet than tart. It has a thin skin that can be left on when cooking. It is delicious when used for applesauce.

This apple is great in both sweet and savory recipes. It retains much of its texture when cooked. It has a mellow sweetness and is great just eating by itself.

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Combine sugar, water and spices. Cook for 3 minutes. Add butter. Pare 5-6 apples (we used Honeycrisp). Cut into 1/8th’s and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

2/3 cup butter

1/3 cup milk

Sift flour and salt. Cut in butter. Add milk. Mix and press together. Roll 1/4 inch thick. Cut into six 6″ squares. Place apples in the center of each square. Dot with butter. Fold corners and pinch together. Place in a greased baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

1 Can (1 lb. 2 oz.) apples

1 package (6 1/2 oz.) Jiffy cake mix

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Pour apples in a buttered 9×9-inch cake pan. Sprinkle cake mix over apples. Melt butter and pour over cake mix, then spread pecans over all. Bake for 45 minutes.


8 unpeeled apples, diced

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup celery, chopped

1/2 cup broken walnuts

1 cup miniature marshmallows

Stir the above ingredients gently.

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. vinegar

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 cup rich milk or cream

1 tsp. vanilla

Blend cornstarch into water. Stir in other ingredients over low heat until all are dissolved. Bring to a boiling point.

Cool and pour over the apple mixture. Chill. Garnish with fresh parsley.

A Road Trip to German Village: Sausages, Fudge, Cream Puffs and Other German Delights

There are so many places close to us that deserve a road trip. One of those places is German Village located in Columbus, Ohio. My husband Mike and I had never been there and were so surprised by how pretty of an area it is; with cobblestone streets and old, beautiful brick homes and gardens. As was typical in 1800s neighborhoods, one-of-a-kind locally owned boutiques, specialty stores and restaurants dot this beautiful area.

We started our day with a visit to The Book Loft, one of the nation’s largest book stores featuring 32 rooms of bargain books where I lost my mind!  We were there for about an hour, but I could have spent hours more. I bought several Christmas gifts and several for myself. If you love to read this is a “must” visit that you need to experience.

Tea shops and gardens became popular in the 1800’s. On Saturdays and Sundays ladies would gather in each others’ gardens and have high tea. Today, it is still popular to take a break in the afternoon for a spot of tea in England, Ireland and Scotland.

“Made in America”

America was the first country in history to come up with the tea bag; it was discovered by accident when a merchant decided rather than wrapping loose tea in foil to instead send it in gauze bags. Folks liked it so well that it became a staple in homes. America’s second contribution to the tea world came at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, where the temperature was well over 100 degrees and vendors were not selling their famous tea. After careful thought they decided to put ice in the cups and it became a big hit. Today, 4700 years after the Chinese “invented” it, tea is the world’s most popular beverage, after water.

The Golden Leaf Tea & Herb Company

Just the smell when you walk in makes you want a cup right then! Lewis uses local honey to sweeten her tea when purchased. During COVID, she offered DoorDash to get her special blends to folks that weren’t feeling well. Again, there’s nothing like a hot cup of tea when you are sick.

My husband and I also had a good cup of tea at the Scottish Thistle in Piqua and Winans in Sidney where I had a Chai tea latte.

Tea parties are now the new cocktail hour of years past. All you have to do is set out a couple of teapots of different blends, add a spread of snacks, such as tea sandwiches made of cream cheese with chives and garlic powder spread on a rye bread with a slice of cucumber, then just welcome the relaxing and reconnection of good family and friends.

How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea Using Loose Tea:

Step1: Use fresh, cold water. Bring to a rolling boil

Step 2: Measure1 teaspoon of tea per cup

Step3: Pour boiling water over the tea (Never put the tea into the hot water)

Step 4: Brew to desired strength. Approximately 2-6 minutes.

Herbal Tea is easy to make: put a handful of fresh herbs (about 1/4 cup) per cup of tea into a pot. Pour boiling water over the herbs, cover, and let steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Strain and drink. I have found that mint and chamomile are the most popular of teas made from herbs.

I enjoy drinking my hot tea out of a pretty porcelain cup and saucer. They say there is a difference of how the tea tastes when you use a cup that is thick-rimmed. I’m not sure of this as mine never lasts that long!

After visiting the Tea Plantation, my new favorite tea is Raspberry, hot or cold. There is nothing better than sitting outside in the shade with a cold glass of fresh tea listening to Jimmy Buffett singing, “Life is just a tire swing”

Dana Herb Garden

The quality of their olive oil is determined by the freshness of the fruit which in the fall comes from mills in Chile, Australia and Argentina and in the spring the oils come from Italy, Spain, Greece and California. They are committed to have the oils freshly pressed and shipped to the store. Chelsea said, ” You want to consume it as fresh as possible to preserve the taste, aroma and health benefits.”

Their balsamic vinegars mixed with the oils produce wonderful dressing for salads, meat, fruit and vegetables. You can go to the store and sample all of the oils and vinegars and I promise you, you will be mind-blown, too! They are simply delicious. We got to sample a fruit salad that she made using a pairing of Coconut White Balsamic+Persian Lime oil. It was light and made you wonder what that taste was. I had to go back and get a second cup of it. Shoot, I really wanted to take the whole bowl home with me!

Here are just a few of the pairings they have put together:

  • Traditional Balsamic + Tuscan Herb Oil
  • Raspberry Balsamic + Garlic Oil
  • Dark Chocolate Balsamic + Blood Orange Oil
  • Mango White Balsamic + Persian Lime Oil
  • Elderberry Balsamic + Lime Oil
  • Plum White Balsamic + Ginger and Black Garlic Oil
  • Traditional Balsamic + Olive Wood Smoked Oil
  • The list is just to long to put them in this article, go in the store and try them all out with a small piece of crusty bread provided by Bakehouse Bread Company.

Creative ways to use their products:

  • Cook scrambled eggs in various infused oils (Garlic would be my choice)
  • Make salad dressings by combining and Olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar
  • Dip crusty bread in Herb-Infused Oils
  • Cut up potatoes, toss in your favorite Oil and bake
  • Add fruity Balsamics or Olive Oils to plain Yogurt
  • Use the Espresso or Chocolate Vinegar over baked Asparagus or Brussel Sprouts

Now back to the black grease tin in our refrigerator, it will always be there, but now it has company, a tall bottle of healthy olive oil.

How to make Wilted Lettuce

– 5 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

– 1/4 cup bacon grease drippings (put the rest in your container)

– 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

– 2 teaspoons sugar

– 2 green onion tops, sliced

– 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper

– 6-8 cups torn lettuce pieces or mixed greens

– 1 hard boiled egg, sliced

– Heat the dressing and pour over the lettuce

The Miracle of Tea

My love of tea came at a very young age, when I would walk to my grandparents house (an orchard away) and invite myself for supper. My Mamaw, as we called her, would have fried pork chops, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans and the most delicious drink—iced tea!

We would eat, clean up the dishes and take our iced tea to the front porch and sit in her swing and talk about life. I was 5 years old. It is the tea that I will always remember.

In my adult life I have always had iced tea with every meal, and when I or my children got sick, it was always hot tea with honey that made us feel a little bit better. They are grown adults now and still have that love for sweet tea. I am now up to making two large pitchers when they come over, and there is never any left when they leave.

Recently, on an “Away” adventure, my husband and I went to Charleston, South Carolina where there is a large tea plantation owned by the Bigelow family. We were able to tour the fields and factory where the tea was harvested and processed. This plantation is the only one in the United States that has the right conditions and soil to make a viable tea.

We learned that the first cutting of the tea bushes make the best flavored tea. The tea bushes in Charleston are called Camellia Sinensis. Most of the teas that we in the U.S. consume are normally from Asian countries.

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