Strawberry Salsa Zucchini Pancakes Old Fashioned Stuffed Eggs Apple Brown Betty Howdy, Howdy, Howdy! Summertime's a comin', Summertime's a comin', Summertime's a comin', and my bones don't hurt no more! Just a little take off on the Tex Logan tune, "Christmas Time's a Comin'" made famous by Bill Monroe. I love this warm weather. The ol' bones are finally thawed, and dried out from out wettest spring ever! Words just can't describe how good it feels to be able to walk with out your hubcaps (knees) hurting like you've crawled back and forth on them to Texas a welding three or four times. During the thirty-three years I worked as a welder, I probably crawled the equivalent of six trips to Texas and back! Throw in a healthy helping of bone chips floating around and a BIG dose of arthritis and you've got a classic recipe for pain when the weather gets wet and cold! Like I said, "Love this warm weather!" Back on May 22, I went up to the Strawberry Spring Music Festival. My good friends Lost Highway opened the show and just absolutely wowed the crowd with some of the best traditional Bluegrass you'd ever want to hear! Ken, you guys get better every time I hear you. I didn't even mind the joke you tried to tell about me! (Nobody in the audience knew what you were talking about and the band and I were the only ones who laughed!) Work on your delivery! The following day, the Texas swing group "Asleep At the Wheel" put on one killer show! If you like good Texas swing music, you've just got to see this band live to really appreciate how good they are. The group's leader Ray Benson is a consummate entertainer. A lot of professionals in Bluegrass music could learn a lot about "entertaining" by watching how he puts on a show. Ray, you remind me of the Maddox Brothers and Rose! Kudos on a great show my friend. (Wonder of wonders, Ray is a huge Vern and Ray fan!) I had a wonderful time at the Strawberry Festival as always. Charlie Craine, Mitch Third and the rest of the staff always put on one of the best festivals on the West Coast. They have a very eclectic mix of music. If you've never been to a Strawberry Music Festival, you owe it to yourself to experience it at least once in your life. Charlie and Mitch, once again, thank you for your wonderful hospitality. My good friend Don Burnham was at Strawberry also. Don heads the excellent Texas swing band "Lost Weekend." They wowed the crowd last year at the festival too. It was really neat to be there visiting with the leaders of my two favorite Texas swing bands in the whole world! We swapped a lot of good stories over some good vittles while we were there. Speaking of vittles, that's what this column is all about and I'd better get down to it before I run out of breath. So come on back to my "summer kitchen" here under the Black Oak trees, and pour yourself a big glass of Iced Tea. Grab one of them "new fangled," real comfortable, folding chairs that just mortally wraps around you and we'll palaver over some vittles! Now I didn't plan this first recipe or even own it until about a week after I got back from the Strawberry Festival. This was on some kind of promotional literature that I got in the mail. I swear, I get enough junk mail every year to build a house out of! This recipe was in a small folded promotional of some kind and it caught my eye, so I tore it out and lo and behold, it made some of the best and most unique Salsa I've had in along time! Charlie, you should make this the official Salsa of your festival. Here's how to make: Strawberry Salsa 2-1/2 cups finely chopped, fresh Strawberries 1-cup chopped green pepper 2-tablespoons chopped green onions 2-tablespoons minced fresh parsley 1/3-cup Catalina salad dressing Dash hot pepper sauce Pepper to taste Tortilla chips In a bowl, combine the strawberries, green pepper, onions and parsley. Stir in the salad dressing, hot pepper sauce, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve with tortilla chips. Yield: 3 cups Folks, you just can't believe how good this Salsa is! Serve it with freshly made Tortilla chips, (you do make them fresh - don't' you?), a decently chilled Margarita or even a Rum and Tonic with a slice of Lime and you have the best hot weather appetizers ever, and your company will also likely rant and rave over them! (Technical note: As usual, banjo pickers aren't interested in quality, just quantity, so don't waste this recipe on them.) Just kidding Kris! Dot, here's a recipe you can fix for Les with out worrying if its gonna "outstretch" those stretch pants of his! (Stretch pants make a horrible noise when they "outstretch," or at least that's what Dot Leverett says. Myself, I don't know, cause I don't need 'em! Ha Ha!) Zucchini Pancakes 1-1/2 cups shredded Zucchini 1 egg, lightly beaten 2-tablespoons biscuit or baking mix 3-tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese Dash of pepper 1-tablespoon cooking oil In a bowl, combine zucchini, egg, biscuit mix, cheese and pepper. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat; drop batter by 1/4 cup. Flatten with spatula and cook until golden brown. These are wonderful for any meal. They're easy to fix and make a great addition to a summer meal when you don't want anything real heavy. You can add some garlic or chopped onion or even some minced chilies to alter the flavor and give them a Southwestern style. This next recipe has always been one of my summertime favorites. When my mom would fix this dish, she fixed one batch for me and one for the rest of the family. I've never met a stuffed egg that I just purely didn't love! I never got my mom's recipe, but I found this one years ago, and it'll make up a bath of eggs that'll make yer tongue slap yer brains out when you're eating 'em! Old Fashioned Stuffed Eggs 12 hard-cooked eggs 1/2-cup mayonnaise 1/4-cup sweet pickle relish, drained 1-tablespoon honey mustard 1-teaspoon garlic salt 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1/3-teaspoon pepper Fresh parsley springs, optional Slice eggs in half lengthwise; remove yolks and set whites aside. In a small bowl, mash yolks with a fork. Add the mayonnaise, pickle relish, mustard, garlic salt, Worcestershire sauce and pepper; mix well. Stuff or pipe into the egg whites. Refrigerate until serving. Garnish with parsley if desired. Yield: 2 dozen. When I see a big plate full of these tasty morsels, something happens to me that I could never understand. I "morph" into a banjo picker mode and I've just got to eat every single one! Pray for me folks! Even though summertime is here and I try to keep my meals on the light side, I still like to fix a nice dessert once or twice a week -- especially if I have company over for supper. Here's a version of Apple Brown Betty that's as easy to fix as falling off a peeled foot log over ol' Piney Creek! Serve this up while its still nice and warm from the oven, slathered with half and half or even whipped cream if you're a mind to, and you're in "hillbilly heaven"! Apple Brown Betty 4 slices white bread, toasted 3 cups sliced, peeled baking apples 1/2-cup sugar 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1-teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted 1/2-cup half-and-half cream Tear toast into bite-size pieces; place in greased 1-1/2 quart casserole. Top with apples. Combine sugars and cinnamon; sprinkle over apples. Drizzle with butter. Cover and bake at 350º for 1 hour, stirring after 30 minutes. Serve warm with cream. Yield: 4 servings. Should you by chance ever take some of this to a CBA event, don't offer any to John Murphy, seeing as how he doesn't care for it. I will gladly do my duty as his friend and eat his share. That's the least I could do (or the most!). For you folks who are regular readers of the Bluegrass Kitchen, you've read my praises for the wonderful meals that I've enjoyed at Wilma's Café in Sonora, California. My good friend Mitch Third call


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