Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Homemade Tomato Soup

Yes I know, I said my next post would be about the little town or Greeneville, TN and what gives the place it's claims to fame, 
        but....this was already written and the soup is soooo good! Try it, you'll like it I betcha.
The recipe is part of: 1. research for a story I'm attempting to write about a family in the Appalachians in the 1930s; 2. research of recipes for a bed and breakfast my husband and I were hoping to start (didn't work out). No matter what led me down this path, my husband and I have very much enjoyed my trying new recipes and developing my own versions of some! I guess you might say it's tasty research!

Homemade Tomato Soup

I tried my hand at making my own version of tomato soup.
It turned out 'right good' in Southern Speak.

1/4 small onion chopped small
1 or 2 stalks of celery chopped small
1 stick of butter
dash of garlic seasoning
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup flour
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

In a large frying pan heat the butter, chopped onion and chopped celery on med to low heat. Saute the onion and celery until onions are clear. 
Add the diced tomatoes and garlic seasoning. Cook to blend flavors.
Transfer tomato mixture to large pot and add the chicken broth and tomato paste and stir. Bring to a gentle boil.
Put the flour in a one or two cup measuring cup and add some of the hot liquid only from tomato mixture. Use a small whisk and mix the flour and enough broth to make a smooth thin mixture. Pour the mixture into the pot of tomatoes slowly, spreading it over the tomatoes, not all in one spot. Stir the tomatos and mixture until begins to thicken. 
Add the milk in the same manner. Stir to mix well.
Add salt and pepper to taste and let cook, stirring frequently, until thickened to your liking.
Serve hot with crackers or bread.
Bread Suggestions:
A variety of breads will taste great with this soup but here are some of my favorites:
Sweet corn bread muffins from the modern mixes.
Small croissants.
Garlic toast made by covering thick French bread slices with olive oil and sprinkling with garlic seasoning, and toasting on cookie sheet in the oven until browned.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Pleased to Read Old Comments & Hubby Honors Vets

I've just been looking back at my old posts and at the comments I hadn't seen! Thank you all. I do realize it's quite possible most of you gave up on me during my long absence, but if you are still reading I hope you see this post.

I'm so pleased to read your comments. How it is that I missed most of them is a mystery to me, but today was a great day to discover them as they lifted me up and today was a down day for this old lady; partly because it's not the same here without our sweet dog, Rusty.

Hubby Honors Vets

Mr. Toney has had a beard for over 35 years and strongly resembled someone
you may recognize.

A few weeks ago this man decided he wanted to participate in the local Honor Guard. You may know this is a group of veterans who will come to the funerals of other veterans when they are asked. They carry the US flag, play taps on a bugle and shoot the guns for a 21 gun salute. Mr. Toney was an enlisted man in the Navy, so he wears the ceremonial dress uniform for an enlisted Navy man.

The first thing he did to get ready for this transformation was to shave!!! Next he lost 20 pounds, and with the help of my brother, Leroy, and several others who wanted to honor the veterans with donations, he was able to acquire the dress blues and dress whites plus the ceremonial accessories for both uniforms. He also had to buy the patches and ribbons he earned. The ribbons he had weren't available. Our son used some in a framed work for his wall, and some he'd lost over the years.
Here he is the first day he tried on his ceremonial dress blues.

Today he is going to town to sit with the other veterans in front of our local Walmart to educate the public about the Guard and ask for funds. The money is used for gas to get them to the funerals, more uniforms, accessories and other items needed to carry on this work. All the veterans are volunteers and get no money. 
You may have guessed, I am very proud of Mr. Toney.
signed: Mrs. Toney

The above was written a few weeks ago. 

Mr. Toney has attended several veterans' funerals in the last couple of months. He usually carries the flag in the service. 
It's warm now so it is time for the Dress Whites. 
He lost an additional ten pounds in that time. He's enjoying getting to know the other guys in the Honor Guard and he's having fun being noticed too, because he's the only Navy man. The others are Army and Air Force.
He is motivated to do this for his fellow vets. Since just after he decided to be in the Honor Guard he has been having terrible pain from several things. They all started to give him trouble on the same day! But, he hasn't missed more than three or four funerals due to Dr. appointments or a particularly bad day. 

There have been approximately one veteran's funeral every four days for over a year here in East Tennessee. 

Soon I'll tell you more about the only town in the USA to have a Naval vessel named for it, Greeneville, Tennessee. 

You may know Greeneville was also the home of Andrew Johnson, who became the president when Lincoln was assassinated

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Death of Our Dog "Rusty, A Mountain Dog"

My Facebook Post from yesterday, Friday, May 2nd, 2014.

I know many of you already our dog, Rusty, was killed recently.

Please do not read this if you don't want to know the details,
but if you live up here you should read it.

Wednesday night I heard dogs barking and something else I couldn't figure out (but most of the dogs bark every evening because there's a deer path behind the house, there are lots of animals, and a variety of dogs running the mountain). I looked out, but saw nothing and heard nothing more.
(I didn't hear anything more because Rusty was already gone. I didn't see anything because he was lying just out of the light.)

Rusty was in his own pen and the gate was latched. The Sheriff who came to take the report said he was sure he had been attacked by pitbulls. They got into the pen by jumping up on some wood stacked on the outside and over onto the large covered barrell on the other side and that they left the same way.

Earlier in the evening two pitbulls tried to get into our friends' car to get at a puppy the wife was holding on her lap. She rolled the window up and her husband jumped in the car and got them away from where they were.
They were on their own property behind us where they have a garden.
The dogs ran after their car, but apparently when they got to our house the dogs decided to come after Rusty.
They snapped his neck.
He put up a good fight but they killed him.

One of our neighbors is known to have pitbulls, and to let them run free sometimes. The Sheriff's report says when he talked to the man he was friendly. The dogs penned up at his house, didn't seem to have any new scratches and marks. One of the dogs was younger and had no signs of ever fighting. The other had scars from fights but no new scratches. (We have no way of knowing if the neighbor has other dogs that could have been hidden or still running free.)

We still believe this neighbor's dogs are the ones, but if they are or aren't our other neighbors should be aware and on the look out for these animals described by our friends who saw them:
two pitbulls, one brown, the other has brown and grey markings similar to a German Shepherd. If our neighbor's dogs aren't the ones, that means the dogs that killed Rusty are still running free on the mountain!

Rusty wasn't little; he weighed at least 85 pounds & probably more. Based on the noises I heard, they made quick work of killing him.

Keep your smaller pets especially, someplace out of their reach, and keep a watch out.

The report says "complaintant was told a report would be forwarded to animal control." We don't know if this means it was forwarded or just that we were told it would be. That means we don't know if we'll be getting help up here to find these animals of not.

We have learned it is legal to shoot stray dogs that come on your property.

Rusty was ten years old. We got him as a puppy, the day after we moved up here. If he had died of old age we would have been sad, but this is so much worse. If ever a dog didn't deserve this it was Rusty.

Rusty a loyal mountain dog. We'll always remember him and always miss him!
Animal Control will not do anything until Monday! And even then all they say they can do is contact the neighbor we suspect owns the killing dogs and advise him of the leash law in Tennessee. My husband has learned the man does own a third pitbull that was not there when the Sheriff went to talk to him.
It's going to be another 'that's too bad' thing. Those of us who live up here will have to take care of things on our own I guess. Animal Control and the Sheriff both told my husband we have a legal right to shoot any stray dog that comes onto our property.

Additional Info:
Story made our local paper, the Greeneville Sun - Wild Animal May Have Killed Pet Dog: Official
Animal control Director Justin House - just from the location, I would assume a wild animal killed the dog.
Interesting as the Sheriff who came up was certain it was pitbulls, because wild animals would be very unlikely to get into a cage, and because the way in which our dog's neck was broken. Also I believe a wild animal that went to the trouble of killing something would eat it. Rusty was bitten but no tissue was missing as if the animal had tried to eat him!