Monday, January 27, 2014

Giants Who Ruled America

This book by Richard J. Dewhurst is absolutely fascinating! Months ago, I read a newspaper account of giant skeletons being unearthed in North East America in 1912. Intrigued, I started doing more research, and then found Dewhurst's book. I can hardly put it down. Rather than trying to explain the contents...the following comes directly from the back cover:

"Drawing on 400 years of newspaper articles and photos, first-person accounts, state historical records, and illustrated field reports, Richard J. Dewhurst reveals not only that North America  was one ruled by an advanced race of giants but also that the Smithsonian has been actively suppressing the physical evidence for nearly 150 years. He shows how thousands of giant skeletons have been unearthed at Mound Builder sites across the continent, only to disappear from the historical record.  He examines other concealed giant discoveries, such as the giant mummies found in Spirit Cave, Nevada, wrapped in fine textiles and dated to 8000 BCE; the hundreds of red-haired bog mummies found at sinkhole..."

Note: My favorite photograph is that of an eight foot "queen" (Page 127)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A King's Love - Charing Cross

On November 28th 1289, King Edward 1's beloved wife and mother of their 13 children died in Lincoln, England. Distraught over Eleanor’s death, the King had his wife’s body embalmed so it could be transported to London for a burial fit for a Queen. He accompanied his wife’s body during the 12 day journey. At every overnight place of rest, the King ordered a wooden cross be erected to remind the people of England to pray for their Queen. Later, those wooden crosses were replaced by stone memorials.

Today, only three crosses remain – Geddington (Northamptonshire,) Waltham Cross (Essex,) and Charing Cross (London.) The most spectacular cross was built in marble by the best mason of the day. A rough replica stands before Charing Cross station to this day.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hammock - The Origin

Photo: Artisan on Grand Cayman.

Originally, the Spanish colonists slept on filthy mattresses stuffed with straw. Drawn by the warmth of a body, they were flea ridden, attracted snakes, ants, and vermin of every kind. Imagine the Spanish soldiers when they set foot on land and saw the Native American hammock -- what an ingenious and clever idea. They immediately adopted the concept, and burned their mattresses. At first, the hammocks were made from the bark of a hamack tree, but that was later replaced by sisal fibers which were more plentiful in the area.

Around 1590, hammocks were adopted for use in sailing ships; the Royal Navy adopted the canvas hammock in 1597. Aboard ship, hammocks were regularly employed for sailors sleeping on the gun decks of warships, where limited space prevented the installation of permanent bunks. The hammock also moves in concert with the ship, and therefore provides the sailor with some protection from being tossed out due and possibly injured during heavy seas.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mountain Home for Sale

This beautiful home is located 60 minutes’ drive from Denver, Colorado. Located in the coveted sub division of Winterland, Idaho Springs, the home sits on a well-stocked (trout) private fishing lake. The views are absolutely breathtaking, and there are plenty of hiking, cross country skiing, and snowmobiling trails. The home is within a short distance of St. Mary’s Glacier.
For more information please go to:

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs

Okay, I know I've talked about food a lot over the last few posts, but I have to mention Biker Jim’s delicious hotdogs? His stand is at the corner of 16th Street Mall, and Arapahoe Street. His specialty dogs are not to be missed, and absolutely scrumptious! Last week, I had a Wild Boar brat with liberal amounts of onions and cream cheese -- something I’ve never tried before. My husband had the Louisiana Red Hot, and really enjoyed it. The other specialties are: Elk Jalapeno Cheddar, South Buffalo, Alaska Reindeer, German Veal Brats, Wild Boar, Louisiana Red Hots, and Hebrew Nat’l Kosher (all beef.)
For more information go to:

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sausage Rolls - Traditional Pub Food

These rolls were typically served (think they still are) in pubs and therefore considered “Pub Grub.” They are easy to make and are delicious. I use them for parties and BBQs. If you make them as an appetizer, roll the pastry out quite thinly - the sausage meat too, and cut them about 2" long so they're are “bite size.”

Short crust pastry (see previous post for recipe)
1lb. Sausage meat (mild, medium or hot - whatever you like)
2 tablespoons to ¼ cup of finely chopped onion
1 beaten egg
Salt and Pepper 

Roll out pastry until pieces measure approximately 12” long and 4” wide. Mix sausage and onion together and roll into long sausages about the about the size of a Frankfurter. Lay the sausage to the left of the strip of pastry and dampen the edge. Dampen the edge of the pastry strip and roll the pastry towards the right so you have a long pastry strip with the sausage inside. Cut the sausage strip into rolls. I use a diagonal cut for better presentation. Then put three small cuts (for decoration) on each roll. Brush the rolls with beaten egg and cook for about 30 minutes depending on size until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. These rolls freeze well.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Cornish Pasties

I’m sure most of you know that Cornish Pasties (not to be confused with pastries) is a dish that originated in Cornwall, England. I remember clearly my teacher telling us that is bygone years; the miners would take a pastie for their lunch. She also told us that the pastie would be large with two sections; a meat section and a sweet section with a partition of dough. Traditionally, the pastie was filled with lamb, but over the years, I’ve discovered that not many of my American friends like lamb, so I  usually use beef.

About ½ lb. short crust pastry (recipe below – it’s really easy)
About 2 cups of chopped (cooked) leftover beef (or lamb)
1 finely chopped potato
1 finely chopped onion
About 1/4 cup of beef stock or broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

Short Crust Pastry
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup shortening
1 teaspoon salt

Using a fork, blend all ingredients together in a basin. Add just enough cold water to make a pliable dough. Knead lightly on a floured board and roll out thinly until about as thick as a quarter.

Roll out the pastry as noted above. Use a saucer or something of similar size and cut rounds of pastry. Place a heaped teaspoon of the meat mixture in the center. Wet the edges of the pastry and pull towards the center, making sure the edges of the pastry sticks together. HELPFUL HINT:  Pinch the sides of the pastie so the gravy doesn’t run out. Then pinch the rest of the pastie together. (See photograph). Brush with egg and bake in a hot oven 400 for about 30-40 minutes. Scrumptious! They freeze well too so you could make a batch and pull them out of the freezer as and when needed.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Apple Nut and Cinnamon Cake

This cake is wonderful for brunch or a dessert. Topped with a dollop of's really quite delicious! It also freezes well.
½ cup shortening
1½ cups of white sugar (½ for topping)
½ cup brown sugar
2 eggs (beaten)
2½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup of milk
2 cups of chopped apples (I leave the skin on but that’s up to you)
½ cup of chopped nuts I use either walnuts or pecans (topping)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (topping)

Cream shortening, 1 cup of sugar, ½ cup of brown sugar together and add the beaten eggs gradually. Sift the flour, soda, baking powder together and add alternately with the milk. Stir in the apples and pour into a greased and floured 13x9 pan.
Mix ½ cup of white sugar with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and ½ cup nuts. (I've used crunchy cereal on the above cake.) Sprinkle on top of batter in pan and bake for about 45 minutes at 350°.