Simple Potato Salad

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There is a softness in my soul towards simple food made from scratch. On this beautiful October day I’m making potato salad to go with my husband’s smoked brisket. Here’s the brisket after four hours in the smoker at 200 degrees. He uses charcoal briquettes, lump charcoal and hickory chips for the smoke. We finish it in the oven, at 250 degrees covered for another four hours.

DSC01815Everyone has their version of simple potato salad. Here’s mine. Hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 5 pounds of red potatoes, boiled in salted water with skin on, then peeled
  • 2 boiled eggs, chopped ( optional)
  • chopped green onion to taste
  • 3 tablespoons of sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 5 tablespoons Miracle Whip Salad Dressing (we like the sweetness, you can use mayonnaise)
  • salt, pepper and paprika to taste

Directions

DSC01818I had large red potatoes so I quartered them and boiled them in salted water until
fork-tender. After they cool down enough you can handle them, peel the skin off. You don’t have to do this, I just think it tastes better.

At the same time I boiled the potatoes I boiled two farm-fresh eggs from a dozen that my friend Amy gave me. Peel, cool and chop roughly.

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While the eggs and potatoes are boiling I get my onions chopped and get out my spices.

DSC01822Put the spices and dressing on when the potatoes are still warm. Smells so good. The salad should be wet because it absorbs so much of the dressing as it cools. Add more dressing if you need to. Yum.

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Making Bracelets in the Kingdom of Possums

I spent the day Thursday making hemp bracelets with sixth-graders at camp in Possum Kingdom. Now I know what you are thinking. Possum Kingdom? Two words you usually don’t see together. Remember, this is Texas and we have as big a love affair with weird geographical names as any other state. I work in a city named Mineral Wells, which I get to by driving through Cool, Texas. In the forty-seven miles I drove from Weatherford to get to Camp Grady Spruce, I did not see one possum, but the place itself is a kingdom of sorts. One of the loveliest spots I’ve seen for naturalists and growing kids.

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Hell’s Gate
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Gathering Place
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The View Across from Main Camp

Camp Grady Spruce, nestled in the rugged country around Possum Kingdom Lake, sprawls over 860 acres of hilly, cedar-covered land, right at the edge of Possum Kingdom Lake. In the fifteen years I’ve taught at Travis Elementary, this is my first visit to the camp our sixth-graders attend each year. My loss. It was a wonderful experience. The Camp staff was friendly, attentive to our students needs, and seemed to genuinely enjoy their work with our students. My thanks to them and the parent volunteers who stay with our campers for their patience and enthusiasm.

I would be remiss here to not thank my lovely friend Patsy Medley, one of the office administrative staff at Travis, for this experience. Patsy asked me to fill in for her this year, taught me to make the bracelets, (several times) and provided everything I needed to be ready to teach (including letting me borrow her hand-painted camp T-Shirt). I was there to assist our school nurse, Sharon Huggs, who has for years doubled up taking care of our students’ medical needs at camp with teaching bracelet-making. Thank you too Sharon for putting up with me.

The groups were about fifteen sixth-graders at a time, who rotated through our bracelet making station , along with many other activities, including horse-back riding, archery, God’s Eye-weaving and candle-making. Not being a whiz at weaving of any sort, I was a little nervous about teaching this, but Patsy and Sharon came to the rescue and I think every student had a successful attempt at making a bracelet. Here’s some shots of the action. The last picture is a step-by-step of the bracelet, in case you want to try this with your students.

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Our Set-Up
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Examples that Patsy Made
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Nurse Huggs in Action.
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Short Center Strings Taped Down
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Concentration
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Do you think we have enough beads?
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The spiral you want.
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Cool Glove

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