Saturday, October 30, 2010

Big Billy's Tipsy Sweet Potatoes - a weekend recipe

Big Billy loved his beer but wasn’t much of a hard liquor drinker. He still liked to use it to liven up certain dishes. “Yams and bourbon was a match made in heaven,” he used to say. With Halloween upon us and Thanksgiving not far behind, here is a perfect holiday recipe. Try it and enjoy a little bit of heaven.


• 8 sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled, and mashed

• ¼ lb butter, softened

• 2 cups brown sugar

• 1 tsp allspice

• 1 tsp nutmeg

• 1 tsp cinnamon

• ½ cup bourbon

• ½ cup flour

• 2 tsps butter

• 1 cup pecans, chopped


Combine sweet potatoes with softened butter. 1 cup brown sugar, spices and bourbon; mix well. Pour into a buttered 2 quart casserole. Cut the 2 tablespoons butter into flour with a pastry blender until crumbly. Add remaining cup of brown sugar and pecans and blend well. Sprinkle on top of potatoes and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Enjoy.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Big Billy Gets an Ebook

For those of you that like my weekend recipes and stories, Big Billy's Little Texas Cookbook is now available in a Kindle edition on Amazon. Susan, the wife of Ed, the geologist that offices with me, just returned from a trip to the east coast.
"Seems like my girlfriend and I were the only two people in the airport without an ebook reader. Which eReader is the best?"
"Kindle and Nook are two of the best, but it doesn't really matter what you have because there's a new website where you can download any ebook, purchased in any ebook format, to whatever platform you own," I told her.
I can't remember the name of the site, but I will google it and tell you tomorrow. I think it starts with a C.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

New Kitties


Buster and Buttercup

Buttercup and Buster

Buttercup and Pumpkin

Here are some pics of my new kitties, Buster and Buttercup.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fiery October Sky

Central Oklahoma finally got a respite from dry weather that has persisted since August. Two days of rain has dampened central Oklahoma, but not my spirits. A glorious sunset highlighted my walk, although I had to risk my neck, standing amid zooming traffic near the center line of 33rd Street to get the most optimum pic. The sky was just as red as the picture shows, but I had to adjust the camera's exposure compensation to make it read true.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Vi's Overnight Vegetable Salad - a weekend recipe

Dot, my wonderful aunt from Katy, Texas was kind enough to share this recipe with me. It was given to her by her neighbor, Vi Tarpley. Thanks Dot, and thanks Vi. I can hardly wait to try it.

Vi's Overnight Vegetable Salad


• 1 16 oz. can LeSuer Peas, drained

• 1 16 oz. can French-Style green beans, drained

• 1 11 oz. can shoe peg white corn, drained

• 1 medium onion, finely chopped

• 3/4 cup celery, chopped

• 1 small jar pimento

• 3/4 cup sugar

• 1/2 cup vegetable oil

• 1/2 cup white wine vinegar

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 teaspoon pepper


In a large bowl combine peas, beans, corn, onion, celery and pimento. In a saucepan combine remaining ingredients. Heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Pour over the vegetables. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Yield: 10-12 Servings

Vi’s Hints: You may substitute small cherry tomatoes (cut in half), yellow or orange bell peppers, chopped, canned baby carrots, zucchini, sliced or most any kind of vegetable you like. Salad will keep for several days stored in a covered container in the refrigerator.

More hints: You may use small cans of peas, beans, corn and 1/2 of onion, celery and pimento. You may also substitute other vegetables in same amount, using one-half spices, sugar, vinegar, etc. Follow directions for rest of recipe making about 5 to 6 servings.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Edmond Earthquake

My business partner Ray called me around 9:30 am today. "Did you feel the earthquake?" he asked.
"Nope, didn't feel a thing," I told him.
"Our office shook like there was no tomorrow. You sure you didn't feel anything?"
"No, but I believe you," I said.
"I was in Los Angeles during a 4.5 earthquake and it wasn't nearly as intense as the one I just experienced."
"I said I believe you," I responded.
I'm a writer, but I'm also a geologist. Oil companies, for years now, have been "dewatering" a deep-seated formation called the Hunton just east of here. Once sporadic earthquakes have grown from five a year to five a month.
"Dewatering simply means the oil companies are extracting large quantities of oil and water, mostly water, from a zone about a mile deep in the earth in central Oklahoma. They sell the oil and inject the water back into another zone called the Arbuckle. this ancient formation is rife with faults and structural movement. The injected water acts as a lubricant, causing movement, and resultant earthquakes. There hasn't been much, if any, property damage - at least as yet, so no one is casting any blame. The cause of the earthquakes is subsidence due to removal, and or injection of saltwater.


Saturday, October 09, 2010

Big Billy's Bleu Balls - a weekend recipe

Big Billy loved to entertain and had a wicked sense of humor. Here is the recipe for one of his favorite appetizers he enjoyed serving, and seeing his guest’s reactions when he told them its name.

Big Billy’s Bleu Balls


• 2 3-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

• 1/8 lb. bleu cheese, crumbled

• 2 tbsp. celery, minced

• 1 tbsp. onion, minced

• Dash cayenne pepper

• Dash Louisiana pepper sauce

• 1 tbsp. mayonnaise

• ¾ cup walnuts, chopped


Combine all ingredients except walnuts. Shape into small balls. Roll each ball in chopped nuts. Refrigerate until served.


Sunday, October 03, 2010

Natchitoches Meat Pie - a weekend recipe

Natchitoches is the oldest continuous settlement in Louisiana, and that includes New Orleans. Located on the Cane River, this scenic and interesting town was the location for the movie Steel Magnolias. With a diverse cultural history, that includes French, Spanish, English, African and American Indian heritage, this sleepy community is like no other. Here is the original recipe for the world famous Natchitoches meat pie. Don’t change it or it will no longer be a Natchitoches Meat Pie.

Ingredients: Meat Filling

• ½ lb. ground chuck
• 1 ½ lb. ground pork (not sausage)
• 2 tsp. flour
• 1 tsp. shortening
• 2 onions, large
• 6 scallions, small
• 3 tbsp. parsley (chopped, very fine)
• salt and pepper, to taste
• 1 dash cayenne pepper

Ingredients: Pie Crust

• 4 cups flour
• 2 eggs, large
• ½ cup melted shortening, preferably lard
• 1 tsp. salt
• 2 tbsp. baking soda
• small amount of milk


Make the meat filling first. Meat should be ground twice and then run through a sieve. The idea is for the meat to be as smooth and uniform as possible. Brown the meat in a heavy iron skillet, pouring off any fat that accumulates.

Make a roux of the flour, shortening, onions, parsley, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Combine meat and roux thoroughly. Set aside for cooling.

Begin the pastry and DO NOT use cooking oil instead of lard. Sift flour. Add baking powder, lard, eggs and enough milk to make a stiff dough. Roll until very thin. Cut circles about the size of a coffee cup saucer from the dough. Fill with meat mixture and fold over. Moisten with water around edges and crimp with a fork. Poke a couple of holes in each pie (so they don’t explode!) and then deep fry until golden brown. You are in for a treat, so enjoy.


Friday, October 01, 2010

A Gathering of Diamonds Available at Amazon on Kindle

For all of you Kindle fans, my novel A Gathering of Diamonds is now available at Amazon as an ebook. Please check it out. P.S. my website is still malfunctioning but I am working on it.