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4th of July Edition








   Letter from the Editor

*Please note the subscribers master index has been updated to date.  You can locate the 8 page PDF at the entry of the 2003 collection.  

When it comes to food our biggest request is for recipes to make high quality meals in minutes.  Many working mothers would like to be able to open a few cans of food, mix and crank in the oven still keeping nutrition in mind.  The Mabel Company is working hard on "Home Made Meals in Minutes."  Until that is announced this fall, here are a few tips we now employ:   

The first place we tend to "cheat" is with ready made dough.  We find it is cheaper to buy 3 one pound loaves of frozen dough (in the freezer section,)  than it is to make them from scratch.  While white dough is not high in fiber or any other important value, we can adjust that by the ingredients we add.  We buy Bridgford dough and we find it great for anyone who likes the flavor, aroma, and wholesomeness of home-made bread but would just as soon skip the hassle of obtaining and mixing ingredients.  Bridgford sells a white, as well as a harder to find honey wheat.  Their honey wheat is out of this world.

If we desire to make bread or other dough related items, we take the dough out of the freezer in the morning, no later than 10:00 AM, and we place the dough in a glass loaf baking dish that has been sprayed with PAM.   We place the glass loaf dish on top of the stove and cover with a pretty dish towel.  By 4:00 PM you have some serious dough that has risen!  What you can do with the dough when it is ready is truly remarkable.

With Bradford dough you can make fantastic cinnamon rolls and sticky buns, braided bread, calzone, cheesy bread, charcoal grill bread, stromboli, pizza, tomato, olive and rosemary focaccia, fondue bead, garlic twists,  herbed bread, coffee cake, gourmet pretzels, and our personal favorite, broccoli and cheese bread.    Subscribers will find an eBook with over 120 ready made dough recipes in the 2003 forum. 

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3 Fat Chicks on a Diet

I know, how virtually mean to discuss dieting just after a long dissertation on gooey cinnamon roles.   Nevertheless, this message was brought to you by 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet.  Now that I love making yogurt so much, I searched the net over and found 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet.  Don't go there if you hate being barraged with pop ups that you have "won" something." At age forte' everything is going south and our bodies are less forgiving.  So, if I want to get 40 more quality years in, I had better find time to walk and find time to sweat a little, as well as drink lots of water.  Since nothing happens without motivation, (for me anyway) I pretend there is a prize at the end of my long walk--or post it note J'Lo's body to my glasses and get out that door!  Or just boogie to your favorite music when no one is home, of coarse, and make sure you sweat a little.  Do these things BEFORE you partake of a meal and you will be less hungry.  You will also naturally desire water when you are done.  It is true that the more active you are, the less you have to diet at all.

If you need the photo, OKAY, here it is, the unauthorized version of J'Lo. Well, never mind.  If you want the recipes for the One Fat Heifer Diet, also known as the "Forte' Diet"  (pronounced "For Tay")  I created for myself, it is in the subscribers section of 2003.  I have to loose about thirty pounds, so this may take me a good 60 days to do.  I also set my calendar to remind me of the commitment, since I make appointments for everything I do.  This appointment is with myself, and it incorporates boogie, shower and eat--an hour long process.  I can reasonably fit that in two to three time a day--around breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Just do not let anyone catch you trying to follow the Tai Bow tape, the laughter could be brutal.

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Floral Designs for the 4th of July!

You can create long lasting floral fireworks on a slim budget with red carnations, white poms, and blue statice.  You can even buy all white carnations and use a floral color spray to create the colors you are after.  To get more blue you can use a navy colored satin ribbon, to get more white, baby's breath.  Other props could include a red, blue or white taper candle, a flag, and/or a clear hurricane glass to be centered in your design.  As long as you know how to soak floral foam before using, it is hard not to come up with an outstanding arrangement!  What I have in mind is a nice centerpiece of red and white roses that are just starting to open, with a navy satin ribbon. Since I like guests to leave with a gift, I would set some flowers individually in small vases so they can be taken home with the guest.   

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Making Ice Bowls

Ice bowls are very easy to make and very beautiful.  The thicker the bowl the longer it will last when serving.  To make ice bowls simply pick a large plastic bowl and a medium sized bowl to freeze the water in between the two and use a bamboo stick to place your petals or herbs right where you want them when the bowl is half frozen.  We used dill on ours and pansies in the smaller bowl.

Recommended reads for the 4th of July fare:  Subscribers can print Potato Salad Recipes, BBQ Sauce Recipes and   

4th of July Blue Prints by Mabel

First of all you may want to make popsicles for the kids using lemonade and red, and blue food coloring.  If the kids like yogurt, then make them red and blue yogurt pops.   We highly recommend the pretty Kerr mason jars to use as glasses and pour old fashioned lemonade with real cut up lemons in them.  The Kerr decorative jar can be bought at Wal-Marts.   Subscribers will want to go to BBQ recipes (Year 2001,) the new Redi-Dough Recipes (Year 2003,) our great Casseroles in minutes recipes (Year 2000,) Coca Cola Recipes (Year 2001,) and most certainly Potato Salad Recipes (Year 2001.)   You may also want to look at Dry Meat Rubs (Year 2003,) and Spice Mixes (Year 2002.) 

For desert you may want to give away Kailua Brownies baked in mason jars (Year 2002,) and bottles of your own home made BBQ sauce for guests to take home!  (We used old IBC Cola and Root Beer bottles to pour the sauce in and then corked it while it was still hot.)    The Kids may like to create a red, white and blue piñata, Popcorn (Year 2000,) and you may want to be sure you have Citronella Soy candles outside to keep pests away (in the archives.) 

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Making Flavored Vinegars and Oils

Gourmet flavored vinegars and oils can cost a small fortune, but you might be surprised at how easy and economical it is to make your own. With a few fresh herbs and/or vegetables and a little imagination, you can create a signature vinegar to splash on foods as a flavor garnish or to use in salad dressings, sauces and marinades. Captured in decorative bottles, home-made vinegars are also special gifts.  We like to dip the top of our finished product in paraffin and then use a natural raffia bow around the neck of the bottle.  Flavored oils can be made the same way we describe below.  These concepts can also be used for decorative bath oils. 

Select and prepare containers first. Use only glass jars or bottles that are free of cracks or nicks and can be sealed with a screw-band lid, cap or cork. Wash containers thoroughly, then sterilize them in the dishwasher or by immersing the jars in a pan of hot water and simmering for 10 minutes. Once the jars are sterilized remove from the simmering water and invert on a paper towel to dry. Fill while the jars are still warm.

Commercial companies that make herbal vinegars dip the herbs in antibacterial agents that are not readily available to consumers. As an alternative, briefly dip the fresh herbs in a sanitizing bleach solution of 1-teaspoon household bleach per 6 cups (1-½ quarts) of water. Rinse thoroughly under cold water and pat dry. For the best results use only the best leaves and flowers, eliminating any brown, discolored, trampled or nibbled parts of the herbs. Fresh herbs are best picked just after morning dew has dried. Allow three to four sprigs of fresh herbs or 3 tablespoons dried herbs per pint of vinegar.

Fruits often used to flavor vinegars include strawberries, pears, peaches and the peel of oranges or lemons. Allow the peel of one orange or lemon or 1 to 2 cups of fruit per pint of vinegar flavored. For a variation, try fruits in combination with herbs or spices. Vegetables, such as garlic cloves and jalapeno peppers, can also be used to add zest to vinegars. Thread these on thin bamboo skewers for easy insertion and removal. Thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables with clean water and peel, if necessary, before use. Small fruits and vegetables may be halved or left whole; large ones may need to be sliced or cubed.

High Quality Vinegars Only
Even the strongest herbs cannot diminish the sharp flavors of some vinegar. The type of vinegar to use as the base depends on what is being added. Fruit blends work well with apple cider vinegar. Distilled white vinegar is best with delicate herbs and wine vinegars works well with garlic and tarragon. Do be aware, however, that wine and rice vinegars contain protein that provides an excellent medium for bacteria growth, if not stored properly.

To make flavored vinegars, place the prepared herbs, fruits or spices in the sterilized jars, being careful to avoid over-packing the bottles. Use three to four springs of fresh herbs, 3 tablespoon of dried herbs or 1 to 2 cups of fruit or vegetable per pint of vinegar to be flavored. Heat vinegar to just below boiling (190F), then pour over the herbs and cap tightly. Allow to stand for three to four weeks for the flavor to develop fully. Then, strain the vinegar through a damp cheesecloth or coffees filter one or more times until the vinegar is no longer cloudy. Discard the fruit, vegetable and/or herbs. Pour the strained vinegar into a clean sterilized jar. Add a sprig or two of fresh herbs or berries that have been sanitized for decoration and identification. Seal tightly. Store in the refrigerator for the freshest retention of flavor.

Fresh Rosemary Vinegar

8 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 cups (1 quart) white vinegar

Wash rosemary and dip in solution of 1-teaspoon household beach in 6 cups of water. Rinse thoroughly under cool running water. Place dill in sterilized quart jar. Heat vinegar to just below boiling point (190F); pour over rosemary. Cap tightly and allow to stand in cool, dark place for three to four weeks. Strain vinegar, discarding rosemary. Pour vinegar into clean sterilized bottles with tight fitting covers. Add a fresh sprig of cleaned and sanitized rosemary. Store in the refrigerator.

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Oh Honey!

Mabel has many bee keepers in her following, and she stays forever  intrigued with the life of aBee beekeeper and the by products of bees.   Uses for bee products are varied as well as endless.   Burt's Bees really gave the entire bee industry much more recognition than it ever had before and sort of "branded" it.  If you ask Burt how he got started, as with any great idea, it was all by mistake.  One day, he found a swarm of homeless bees and learned how to take care of them and harvest bee products.  Bees or no bees, someone was a marketing genius in the world of Burt.   

So, let us look at the uses for honey.  It is a well known ingredient in good BBQ sauce and it tastes GREAT in ice cream.  In fact Hagen Das used to offer a "honey" ice cream, but for some reason they no longer carry it in their line.   Honey also taste great over coconut ice cream or just drizzled over croissants.  Honey is also used in soap making as a humectant, and in lip balm as a sweetener.  People use honey to sweeten their tea as well as chai.  Whipped honey butter is great to accompany dark breads.    Honey can be like a fine wine having different geographics:

  • Clover: Many varieties of clover blanket the limestone-sweetened meadows of New York State's Mohawk and St. Lawrence river valleys. This mild, transparent honey is the perfect complement to delicately flavored food and beverages
  • Wildflower: Many wildflowers blanket New York's Finger Lakes region where this honey is made. It is amber in color, with a rich, full-bodied flavor.
  • Orange Blossom: Thick and fruity, this honey has the delicate aroma of the orange groves of Florida. It is produced by New York bees that spend winter in Florida.
  • Buckwheat: A rich and robust dark honey, produced in late summer in Western New York's buckwheat fields. Almost as dark as molasses.  I love to make squaw bread with this honey!  The seeds are used for pancake flour, while nectar from the blossoms produces this unique and much loved honey.  Other varieties I see in the health food store include blueberry, lavender, pumpkin flower, in fact there are so many even "imported gourmets"  such as Hawaiian Macadamia, that we need not go there! 

Bee Pollen

Is purported to posses amazing health enhancing powers and is known to be the "perfect food."  Bee Pollen has a high amount of minerals, vitamins, amino acids and nutrients.  It has earned the title of “the most complete food every discovered by man” because it single handedly contains the 22 essential elements needed by the human body.  The nutrients in bee pollen include 22 amino acids, 27 minerals, a full span of vitamins and numerous enzymes, which support good digestion and overall good health.

We think that is great and we put bee pollen in our smoothies for energy. In fact we advise not to eat bee pollen after 3:00 PM unless you intend to stay up all night!


We love honey so much we even make slogans out of it!  "It is none of your beeswax," or is it? We love to make lip balm, cosmetics, lotions, crèmes, and even candles with our bees wax. "What's the matter Buckwheat, you don't like cosmetics?"  We also love to put just a little melted bees wax in with our soy candles to make it more opaque.  Bee people make beeswax white by adding little hydrogen peroxide to the yellow wax.  Honey, I am home!  

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Patriotic Soaps and Candles


Free Idea's to Create Your OWN Sparks!

If you enjoy sitting around a bon fire and use GREAT CARE you can throw in these salts and watch colorful flames dance, you'll be happy to know you can color your own flames quite cheaply.  The various chemicals or salts required for certain colors of flames are as follows:

potassium soleplate ( 3 parts) and potassium nitrate (1 part) for violet flames

strontium chloride for red flames

calcium chloride for blue flames

magnesium soleplate (Epson Salts) for white flames

baron salts (borax) for yellowish-green flames

copper sulphate (blue vitrol) for green flames

sodium chloride (table salt) for yellow flames

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Did You Know?

  • The secret to Kentucky Fried Chicken is to soak the chicken in salt water for three hours before rolling in buttermilk and then seasoned flour.

  • Dip mixes and flavored vinegars sell best at craft events.  Dip mixes usually require 1 ounce of various spices and ask for 1 cup of mayonnaise and 1 cup of sour cream.  Most dip mixes can also be marketed as a "meat rub" and as a salad dressing by alternating the dip ingredients for  2 Cups of mayo or buttermilk and 1 cup of water.  Shake well!  Popular mixes include Cajun, garlic, onion and ranch.  Some even have chicken and/or beef bullion in them.

  • Good BBQ Rib Restaurants simply season the ribs, wrap them in aluminum foils and bake at 350 Degrees for three hours?  They slap them on the grill at the very end for "perception" of being grilled on hickory.

  • You can save IBC bottles and pour your own home made BBQ sauce in them and using a wine cork to secure it?  You can even dip the tops in hot paraffin if you want to get really fancy.


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