Oddly Unique Family Recipes

History Rambler:

A chilly night and I am craving some comfort food. My great grandmother’s recipe for hot dogs and tomato soup ! So it’s what I’m making for dinner tonight.

Originally posted on History Rambler:

I am sure every family has a recipe for a  the unique dish that has been passed down through generations and has a story attached to it.

I have a recipe that I love and asked for when I came home from college and wanted some homestyle cooking. People at first turn up their nose when it is offered but then say it is delicious once I can convince them to try.

My great grandmother Bertha May Marold used to make this dish to stretch the family grocery budget during the Great Depression and feed a family of 11 a meal that would fill their bellies.

Bertha and her second husband Joe (love the white sparkly Christmas tree!)

Bertha’s Hot Dogs and Tomato Soup

1 package of hot dogs, sliced
Mashed potatoes
1 can of tomato soup
Water or milk
A small onion
3 tb butter
3 tb flour

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Kitchen Widow Garden

Looking at the weather forecast today and it seems like fall is on the way. This gets me in the mood to gets my garden ready for winter. I like getting the soil cleared and raked and mulched after a long summer of use.   And I do need the break from gardening all summer and canning this early fall. However, I miss the fresh food.  My solution is grow fresh herbs in my kitchen window over the winter.

So I have started my herbs- Parsley, Basil,  Rosemary and Lavender. I use seeds for some and cuttings for others. I make a little greenhouse with plastic wrap and a rubber band. Once the seeds germinate and leaves are maturing then I take off the wrap.


Springs of lavender I trimmed from a plant in my garden


Terra cotta pots are best as they hold in moisture needed to root


A little tent with a plastic bag.

Below is my parsley and basil that I started  from seed in march and cut all summer.


Well used parsley



This is a close up of the woody stems where new leaves grow. I am going to bring my old basil plant inside and keep trimming. When the plant went to flower last month, I trimmer it down to a few inches and hoped for new growth.

Woody stem with new leaves.

Woody stem with new leaves.


A little rosemary started

I found last year that my rosemary loved a nice cool window to grow. My kitchen windows were perfect. I would trim off a few springs to make a lemon chicken in the oven.  The plant will regrow.  Well worth the effort to have fresh herbs over the winter.


Happy Grandparents Day

Today is National Grandparents Day! I hope all the grandparents are having a fabulous day. I still have my 94 year old grandfather and appreciate him still being here with us. My kids unfortunately don’t have my parents to spoil them rotten as all grandparents do to their grandchildren.  I learned so much from my grandparents but didn’t really appreciate them until I was older and then they were gone . So today I celebrate my grandparents!


Mitchell Sosnicki and Delores Burke (my grandparents)

Mitchell Sosnicki and Delores Burke (my grandparents)

Grandma and I in her yard under the pines

Grandma and I in her yard under the pines

Gertrude Yuill and Robert Schwarz (my grandparents)

Gertrude Yuill and Robert Schwarz (my grandparents)

Together again

One of the things I always rember sitting on the mantle in our living room as a kid was an old fashioned iron. It is one of those items that never moved form its spot in my childhood home. I dusted it more than once as a kid. It was one of those quirky things I wanted when we were clearing out my childhood home for sale.

IMG_20140902_135031291_HDRI really have not had a use for it other than sitting on a bookshelf. It too has not moved much in my home. However, I was at the local antique show this summer and came across something that goes along with the iron. I initially bought this as a trivet for the kitchen. The seller told me it was a stand for a hot iron. Well I had one of those in my house!


Stand for a hot iron

IMG_20140903_094108176_HDR[1]I was pleasantly surprised when I brought home my trivet that it fit my old iron perfectly.  These two pieces were together again. So now I need to look for another trivet. I cannot bear to keep these two antiques apart.


A little project

I love all old things.. and I love a project. I recently went to the local annual antique show at the end of August and found a few projects. I have been refinishing old furniture for twenty years. There are a few reasons I do so.

Reason 1: I love old things and history.

Reason 2: Necessity of finding cheap furniture to furnish my apartment in college . When I stated you could find a nice oak dresser for $35 and easily refinish to look like new. And then I was hooked.

Reason 3: A great way to spend quality time with my father as we looked over a new find and discussed how to refinish the piece to be useable.

and more …

Well, I found a wonderful Martha Washington Sewing Stand that would be fantastic to hold my yarn and embroidery tools. I have a dog who loves to unravel yarn and thread so I wanted a nice hiding place.

Before picture

Before picture

The stand had its original finish but it was damaged from years of use and storage but structurally it was perfect condition and had the insert to hold spools of thread.


Sewing thread spool holder

Sewing thread spool holder

The piece was super easy to refinish to my delight. Ammonia and steel wool to get the old finish off. I rubbed in a walnut stain to cover the water marks on the top . A few coats of finish that I sanded between coats and rubbed on with a rag for the last coat. This is my secret method that leaves a nice sheen but not clumpy.

My finished product

My finished product with my ancestors Easter cactus