Last weekend Sonny decided to make the trip to get a stove to heat the building Grandpa is lending us where we are setting up shop. Sonny found a used stove like the one in the old shop at Goldendale for sale close to where Caren and Jake live. Jake found out we needed it, offered to buy it, pick it up and hang onto it for us until we could get down to get it. That was before the snow hit, almost two months ago.
With the patch of good weather Sonny informed me he was heading down to get the stove. I couldn’t miss the opportunity to visit with Caren so I went with him.
After our last trip to the populated side of the state and my inability to navigate using a phone screen’s blue dot I decided to get myself a paper map to navigate. But with all the craziness of the winter storms I hadn’t gotten to it. Fortunately for me Sonny decided to take the route with roads I am familiar with, so we didn’t need the blue dot.
Sonny and I showed up on Jake and Caren’s doorstep with our two mutts and a cooler holding lasagna to spend the weekend. Five mutts howled from the other side of the door; the door opened; Caren stepped out grinning and welcomed us into her home with a hug.
Jake stood up from his chair as we entered. All smiles he gave Sonny a hug, a big old bear hug as the dogs milled around our feet. Our two mutts mingled with their mutts. Hackles went up, tails got tucked, their youngest dog ran and hid.
One of the biggest reasons I love visiting with Caren and Jake is that we can always take the dogs. Our dogs get along with their dogs. Back when I was growing up everyone had dogs and the dogs went everywhere with the families. The dogs got along just fine; kids got along just fine; the kids didn’t bite the dogs and the dogs didn’t bite the kids. Kids and dogs had good manners in the back-when. (I’m not sure the significance of that; maybe my memory is wearing rose colored glasses.)
I had a great time. Caren took me to a wonderful ‘ladies’ lunch then we went shopping for a paper map. Maps are spendy these days. Now I understand why Aunt Jeanine borrowed a phone book; xeroxed the map pages; drew herself a route with a red pen. It only cost her a few cents for the copy machine plus a little time. Her wallet didn’t get much thinner and she had a file of ‘routes’ in her glove box. She found a method to deal with being directionally challenged and she even shared her method with me. Paper maps work!
Sonny and I spent a joyous weekend with Caren and Jake and their pack of mutts sharing food and company. Jake really liked the white sauce lasagna we brought. I made it using mushrooms instead of meat.
Cream of Mushroom Lasagna
2 10oz cans cream of mushroom soup, undiluted.
½ to 1 16oz pkg of lasagna noodles, cooked
1 16oz container of cottage cheese
1 lb. mozzarella cheese
8oz to 16oz fresh mushrooms sautéed (optional)
Assemble the lasagna by layering, in three layers, the ingredients starting with the cream of mushroom soup. One fourth of the soup on the bottom, one third each of the noodles, the cottage cheese, the mozzarella cheese and the mushrooms (if using them). Continue two more times for a total of three layers. Pop in a 375 ℉ oven for 35 minutes to an hour until the center is hot and the top cheese is melted. Serve with garlic bread and/or green salad… or anything you like. Enjoy.
Note: Canned mushrooms can substitute for fresh ones. Meat can be added to the layers. Herb and spice can be added to the cream of mushroom soup. Homemade white sauce can be used instead of canned soup and any type of meat or veggie can be added along with or instead of mushrooms. Variations for the sauce are limited only by the imagination. Even without meat this recipe has protein because cheese + grain (noodles)= complementary protein.
In 2000 Michele Priddy left the work force to become a stay-at-home mother and wife. Being a one-income family in today’s society meant she had to learn to budget quickly. Food became a priority early because she wanted the children to have the best nutrition, she could offer them even on a budget. She also taught cooking classes on how to stretch the food dollar with simple ingredients at various churches in her community. Michelle has put her kitchen strategies and recipes in booklets, her church newsletter and in her hometown newspaper, The Goldendale Sentinel. We hope you will enjoy her strategies, stories, and recipes. You can contact the Leavenworth Echo at Reporter@leavenworthecho.com or 509-548-5286 if you have any questions or comments for Michelle.
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