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Cooking Corner

January 22, 2010
Bernice Volkens

I heard lately that the month of January is "Thrift" month. Maybe it's because too many of us splurged too much during the holidays and now it's time to pull the purse strings and use what we have. Or maybe it's because January is a good time for sales. I guess anyone could put their own interpretation on what thrift means. Maybe some people think I'm thrifty because I love old furniture, but it's not old, but antique. Also most of my antiques were not bought in any fancy antique store, but just acquired.

When it comes to antiques, I'm just as open minded as anyone. I especially appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship you find in just about anything over 80 years old. I also have learned by watching IPTV's "At The Auction" and "In The Attic" just what some of these antiques are worth. When I see a collector put a really valuable item up for auction, I wonder, how they can do that. However, collectors, auctioneers and dealers are in antiquing for the money, or if they can, trade for something better.

Yet it seems to me that many people miss the real value in antique items. To me the real value is in the appreciation of the people, who once owned it, and a way of life now gone.

A case in point are a commode dresser, a high headboard and a larger dresser that was part of a bedroom set my mother had when she lived in Illinois, on a farm with her family. I couldn't see it going to someone outside the family. It's a thing of old-fashioned beauty and when it was cleaned and all polished it was worth its weight in gold. At least it is to me. Although this set is upstairs and out of sight when I do see them I think of my Grandpa Fisher and my mom and her family. To me to have an antique is like time that has turned to magic. It allows my imagination to live a little in another time, another place, with people very dear to me.

After the hectic month of December it's time to do some easy cooking and what could be easier than a casserole.


4 cups diced, cooked


2 cups celery, diced

2 10 oz. cans cream of

chicken soup

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

2 cups cooked rice

1 Tablespoon dried,

minced onion

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup cashew halves

2 cups chow mein


Combine all ingredients except cashews and noodles in a lightly greased 13 x 9 casserole dish. Top with cashews and noodles; bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.

"Ah! There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort." Jane Austen.



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