Tag Archives: Family Time

Meal Time~Part 2

22 Jul


Judy Wills



I’ve mentioned in other posts that daddy was a deer hunter in the winter.  We ate a lot of venison in my growing-up years.  You must understand…MOST people who work in church-related work don’t make a lot of money.  Therefore, the meat daddy provided through his hunting kept our family going.



The deer in the New Mexico mountains feasted on the good stuff – pine nuts.  The meat was always sweet, whereas the deer in Texas usually had their meals on milkweed, which gave it a bitter taste.  The Texas venison had to be marinated in milk or something else to get rid of that taste.  But we didn’t have to do that in New Mexico.  Again, there was no waste to the deer.  We had steaks, roasts, and hamburger-style meat (ground venison).  With the ground venison, mother would make chili.  She had a great recipe for that, but I’ve never been able to duplicate her chili.  I’ve tried several times, with regular ground beef, but it just doesn’t taste the same.  The flavor of the venison was unique to the chili, I guess.

There was one time, while Fred and I were living in Texas, that a friend had bagged his deer, but wanted another, so he gave us that first one.  Since we had helped daddy butcher his deer before, we knew how to butcher this one – which we did.  A good friend let us store the venison in their freezer – taking out what we wanted when we wanted it.  One Thanksgiving, we took out a “ham” and had it smoked by a bbq restaurant in town. It was really good eating!

At Thanksgiving and Christmas, mother would make a cranberry salad as a side dish.  She mixed the chopped cranberries with chopped walnuts or pecans, orange, and other items, in a gelatin, put it all in small forms, then let it “jell.”  It had a sweet taste that countered the tart cranberries, and was quite good.


After Fred and I had been married for a few years, I tried my hand at roasting a turkey.


Credit Google Search


I set to work on the “dressing or stuffing.” Unfortunately, I cannot – to this day – remember what kind of  stuffing mother made.  Since daddy was from Louisiana, I suspect that she made a cornbread dressing (with chopped onions and chopped celery), but I don’t remember.  I’ve asked my brother, Bill, and he can’t remember, either. So, I learned to make a bread dressing, New England style, from Fred’s mother.  We all like it – including our daughters.  If we are at a family meal where cornbread dressing is served, they always ask me to also make a dish of bread dressing for them.   It has become their favorite.

I remember there was a time when mother would make bread from scratch.  It smelled soooooo good baking, that I could hardly wait for it come out of the oven! I would cut it almost immediately – which was hard to do without squishing it – and slather it with butter and eat it right away.


Credit Google Search and Pinterest


She complained so often that we hardly had left any for the sandwiches she wanted to make.  Fortunately, it was a good-natured complaining.  But she was a working woman, and probably didn’t have time to make bread very often.  I’ve tried my hand at it, and while I love the fresh bread taste, it’s a lot of work. But it’s a fun memory.



~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~





JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years.
Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.
She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.
They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born.
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
She was a stay-at-home mom for many years.Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.
Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer.
She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Gone Fishin’

24 Jul

My Take

DiVoran Bowers Lites


Photo from Pinterest


My dad learned to fish from his dad. He loved it the best of all recreations. The first fishing trip I recall going on with dad was when we lived in Westcliffe, Colorado. We had a little restaurant and bar on Main Street called Min’s Café.

One early fall, Mother and Dad closed the restaurant and we went up into the Sangre de Cristo Range to fish in a creek. We drove our black 1946 Ford two-door car to about 9,000 feet elevation. We took a tent, fishing gear, and an aluminum set of pots, pans, and flatware that all fit together in a cozy kettle.

It wasn’t far, so we arrived early in the day and found ourselves in a high meadow. Dandelions with their green leaves grew all around, some of the flowers were yellow, and some were dressed in white fluff. The air was cool and fragrant. Grasses along the creek had begun to change colors. As soon as the tent was set up Dad took my brother and I down to the creek to start fishing. Our poles had two hooks each so we’d have a chance to catch more rainbow trout and more browns. Dad thought that since I was such a big girl I ought to be able to thread the worms he’d brought along onto the hooks. They were wiggly and squishy and I didn’t like doing it one bit, because I knew it had to hurt them. Dad was proud of me for doing it, though, so I was proud, too. He wanted us both to learn to enjoy his favorite sport. Dad and my brother went to fish further up the creek. Mother was resting in the car after a long week of working in the café. Feeling lazy, I released the fishing line into the creek in a quiet place and propped the rod against the bank with rocks. I then crawled into the tent and picked up my Nancy Drew mystery from the library. Reading was already my favorite recreation. Before I got through even one chapter I heard a commotion outside and crawled out of the tent to see what was going on. Dad and my brother were waiting for me. Holding up my fishing pole to show me that I had caught a fish on each hook. Wow, was I ever satisfied with my talent for fishing. Dad took them off the hook for me, thank Heaven. We put them in the creel, then Dad and brother went back to fish for our supper. Mother was ready to pick dandelion greens and wanted me to help her. I had never heard of such a thing as eating dandelion leaves before, but she said said Auntie Elvira had taught her in Camp Fire girls when she was younger.

After we picked a batch of green and started them cooking in the kettle, mother gave me a bar of soap and told me to wash my hands. I got down as close as I could to the water and put my hands in holding the soap. Whoosh, the creek took it, and it was gone. I went back to tell Mother and she was understanding about it. “Oh, well,” says she, “we’ll just have to wash our hands with sand.”

Dad had brother and I watch him clean the fish so we’d know how to clean our own next time. I’ve never had to do it, but I can see clearly in mind mind’s eye how he slashed it from the bottom of the belly to the gills and pulled out the guts. It was pretty cool and then after it was fried in cornmeal in a skillet over the camp stove dad taught us how to get the bones out. We started at the tail, got hold of the inner skeleton and pulled all up together. We then pulled that from the side and had two clean sides.

During supper, my brother kept casting bright-eyed glances at my dad. Did they have a secret? What could it be? I would find out one way or another.

As I was finishing my canned peaches for dessert I looked up and saw that gentle snowflakes were wafting down. I’d never seen it snow in summer

Later on when no one was looking I got my brother in a headlock and made him tell. Did I mention he was younger and smaller?

Anyhow he talked. He said that after he and dad had caught a few, they sneaked in and put a couple on my hooks. “That’s what you get for readin’ when you’re supposed to be fishin’” my brother said. He then ran away. I gave chase, but I never caught him. Did I mention that he was swifter a well?



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