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Volunteer Vittles Vol. 293  Cat Adams
 Nov 04, 2001 15:37 PST 
Volunteer Vittles Vol. 293
November 4, 2001

I don't know what the weather's like where you are,
but this morning we awoke to a rain-soaked lawn.
Now the sun is shining, and it's a beautiful day!

Thanks for voting in the List Fights!
As of right now, we've slipped down to 4th place.
Please keep voting... you can vote once every day.
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Welcome to all of our new subscribers.
This is your e-zine, so please contribute.
Any comments, criticisms, suggestions, recipes,
or household tips are welcome.
We LOVE hearing from you!
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Send comments to Volunteer Vittles! </A>

Contents in this issue:
. Recipe: Claypot Ratatouille
. Hints from Helga
. Little Vittles Recipe: French Toast Fingers
. Cute Toons
. Recipe: CranApple Pie
. Pet Place
. Recipe: Tahini
. Recommended Web Sites
. Humor/Inspirational
. Recipe: No-Knead Bread
. Reader Comments and Requests

And now, on to today's Vittles...

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RECIPE: Claypot Ratatouille

Reader Myron shares:


1 lg. onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 med to large zucchini, chunks
1 small globe-eggplant, cubed
4 cloves garlic, minced
14-oz. can stewed tomatoes, drained and chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. flour
red pepper flakes....as many as you dare!
about 1/5 lb. fresh basil, chopped

Presoak clay pot.

Zucchini: cut into four spears by cutting along the length.
Then cut into 3/4" chunks. You don't want them too small
as they'll disappear during cooking.

Eggplant: Leave unpeeled. Cut into 3/4" circles. Stack two
or three together, and cross-hatch, resulting in cubes.

Tomatoes: Drain (use the liquid for some other purpose or
discard) and cut the big pieces into smaller chunks. You
can use a kitchen scissors or a knife.

Mix all but fresh basil. Put into drained clay pot. Cover
and place in cold oven. Cook at 450 degrees for 45 min. Stir
in basil, cook uncovered for 15 more min.

Serve with steamed rice or couscous...
remember, good hot or cold!
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But you'll always get the very best Encouraging Messages,
Uplifting Poems, Prayer Requests, Inspiring Articles and
more at "Inspirational Angels" To join
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Hints From Helga:

LaVern shares a tip for removing scuff marks from flooring:

   Spray the scuff marks with hair spray and then wipe it
   off. I learned this in Beauty School. It took out Black
   Marks A Lot out of a white uniform. It really works magic.

And Victoria recommends:

   In reference to removing the black scuff marks from floors:
   I was introduced to a product when I was in the service
   (U.S.C.G.) called NeverDull. It's a brass cleaner. It
   worked EVERY SINGLE time I used it!

Reader Shari asked (in a previous issue):

   Dear Helga, We are landscaping our newly manufactured
   home that is located on our farm acreage and debating
   on whether or not to make a shaded cubby hole area into
   a sand box for our 4-year-old. We are afraid it will
   turn into a litter box for the farm cats just like his
   old sand box did.

   How can we prevent this from happening? There really is
   no way to cover the area because it is actually part of
   the landscape. I vaguely remember reading about something
   harmless that you can sprinkle in the sand that cats do
   not like the smell of and will stay clear. Can you help?

Thank you all for sharing your sandbox tips for Shari. Your
suggestions follow...

Reader Margaret shares:

   I know about your cat problem and can sympathize. I live
   in a mobile home park and there are cats everywhere. The
   best solution for cats to keep away is something so
   inexpensive but really works. Use mothballs crushed up.
   Put it around the perimeter of the sand box. Cats just
   hate the smell of mothballs.

   My neighbor tried it in her rose garden as the cats were
   everywhere. She hasn't had one cat using her garden as a
   litter box since.

Reader Cheri agrees:

   Help for Shari is simple. Purchase some Moth Crystals and
   sprinkle in the sand... No more kitties. Hope it does the

Reader TillieS suggests:

   I have always heard that GINGER is a smell that cats don't
   like, but I would hesitate to rely on that as a deterrent
   for cats who see this as a SWELL place to do their business.

   There is really no safe way to keep the cats out except a

   I realize this is part of the landscape, but I would still
   put a cover on it, realizing this is very temporary as the
   children will VERY SOON outgrow it. I have recently covered
   my old sandbox with wood chips and am NOW going to use it
   as a flower garden.

Reader Poetic tells us:

   We found with our sand boxes that if we add a bag of rock
   salt and mix it into the sand every other month, ants, and
   animals stay clear of it. The kids don't mind it at all.

Reader Joan recommends:

   Pet supply stores have cans of spray that keeps animals away.
   It can be used indoors too, to keep them off furniture.

Reader Tracey (from South Africa) shares:

   I used citronella oil at home to stop my cats from
   snacking on my plants.

   It really works, and it's safe for kids.

   You could also use a pet repellent which would deter the cats.

Reader April asks:

   Hi, first off I want to tell you how much I love your
   newsletter and you're doing such an excellent job with it!

   I need suggestions on what to do with magazines after you
   finish reading them. I spend so much on them that I hate
   just throwing them away or "giving" them to the local
   library without doing something with them myself first.

   Anything creative to do with them? I've got to do something!
   They're in stacks on the floor just getting in the way!
   Thank you and I really appreciate your help!

Any ideas for April? Thanks!
<A HREF=" mailto:helg-@hotmail.com?subject=Magazines ">
Send magazine tips for April </A>

Reader/editor Cat begs for help:

    Help, Helga! My daughter and son-in-law have used almost
    every one of my good pans for heating up my grandson's
    bottles. Now all of my pans have mineral coatings in
    them. Any ideas on how to clean them? I was thinking that
    maybe adding some dishwater detergent to water and boiling
    them might work... but I'll try anything to get my pans
    looking clean again! HELP!!!!

Poor Cat! That's the price you pay for getting to play with
your new grandson LOL. Seriously, can any of you readers help
Cat (before she starts hissing and scratching at me)? Thanks!
<A HREF=" mailto:helg-@hotmail.com?subject=Pans ">
Send pan cleaning info for Cat </A>

Do you have a tip for Helga? Or a question for Helga?
<A HREF=" mailto:helg-@hotmail.com?subject=Tip for Helga ">
Send your question or tip to Helga </A>

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         International Recipes and Food Trivia
Want recipes that are effective, different and interesting?
Receive twice weekly newletters with the exceptional international
recipe of quality and simplicity being posted during the week!
Food information/food trivia as well as a little on my chosen and
long profession as a principal dancer (currently with Royal Danish

To subscribe, send e-mail to:
<a href=" mailto:martinjjame-@topica.com ">
Subscribe </a>

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Reader Sally Jo shares:

Word to the wise, double this old favorite. You'll be
eating leftovers, and it freezes great.

It's important in this recipe to use really thick bread,
the thicker the better.


3/4 cup nonfat milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 egg whites, beaten
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. sugar or honey
1/4 tsp. salt
6 slices day - old, slightly stale nonfat or low-fat bread,
   cut into 2-inch wide slices
oil for spray

Mix together wet ingredients and spices. Pour over bread in
a shallow pan. Let soak 5 - 10 minutes. Heat a nonstick pan
coated with a light spray of oil. Add bread pieces and brown
both sides.
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Kids ">
Send your favorite kids' recipe to Cat </A>

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Send Me an E-Mail...

Send Out for Pizza?

To Hear Your Options Again...

Zero Pay Raise!

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RECIPE: CranApple Pie

Reader Jim shares:

                 CRANAPPLE PIE

Tired of the mundane old apple pie usually made with stuff
out of a can? Here's how to go about making your own really
different apple pie.

Apples: Want to know how many you need? Just see how many
you can stack on the pie plate you will be using. Peel,
core and slice.

1 9" Deep Dish pie crust plus cover crust. You can make your
own or use ready-made.

1 Cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries
1 Lemon
1 Cup sugar
1 T. Corn Starch
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
3/4 tsp. Cinnamon
Dash of salt
2 T. melted butter or margarine
1 Jigger brandy or your favorite booze (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 450. Squeeze lemon over apples and cranberries.
Toss to spread lemon juice evenly. Mix the sugar, corn starch,
nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Tumble with apples and cranberries
to coat them. Dump into bottom crust. It will be piled up in the
middle. Sprinkle with butter.

Put on the top crust, seal around the edges and stick your finger
through the crust in the middle to make a hole. Brush top with
egg wash or sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

Put in oven for five minutes then turn oven down to 400. After 20
minutes (if you are using any liquor). pour it through the hole
in the top crust. Bake for another 20 minutes or until the crust
is nice and brown.

Editor's note: Check out Jim's web site at:
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Recipe ">
Send your favorite recipe to Cat </A>

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Looking for Clean Joke List? Then look no further!
Easy-going, Clean Jokes. It's in here. Trivia, we got
it. Freebies, that too. Bizarre News, of course. Need
a Computer Tip, yep. Not to mention Cartoons and Fun
Site Links, and News from Hollyweird. That and a whole
lot more, come check us out! This is a Weekends Only
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All I Need To Know About Birthdays, I Learned From My Cat!
As seen in MsKitty's Daily Mews

Be finicky - they'll try harder to please you.

Give attitude - get attention.

If you don't like your presents, SULK.

If you get bored at your party - just curl up for a nap.

Don't stress out over your first grey whisker.

Act completely unimpressed by the presents you receive.

Remember, this is your day, so if anyone bugs you, you're
allowed to hiss and spit.

Take the day off and lie in the sun.

Stay out on the prowl all night long.

Demand only the most expensive fresh fish for dinner.

It's a good day to shed your inhibitions.

Act catty - toy with your presents before you tear them open.

Don't overdo it with the catnip or you'll regret it in the

If you aren't getting enough attention, sharpen your claws on
somebody's leg.

Don't let anything or anyone PUT YOU OUT!

And remember...curiosity might kill you, but birthdays won't!

Do you have a favorite pet story or recipe (that's a recipe
to serve to your pet, not a recipe to cook your pet)?
We'd love to hear it!
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Pet Story ">
Send your favorite pet story or recipe to Cat </A>

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Tanya's Freebie Land
Up to the minute updates to get FREEBIE news to you FAST!
To Subscribe please stop by the site.

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RECIPE: Tahini

Reader Aideen (from Cyprus) shares:

Here's a recipe, basically Greek, which is served as a
side-dish with almost all meals here, along with
Taramasalata and a big bowl of mixed salad with Feta cheese.


1 can Chick Peas
1 wedge garlic
2 tblsp lemon juice
1 tblsp tahini paste
1/4 tsp red pepper
1/4 tsp parsley

Drain chick peas into cup and save. Put chick peas, garlic,
lemon juice and the tahini paste into a blender. Add about
1/4 cup of the juice from the chick peas, BLEND. If needed,
add more chick pea juice, in small amounts, while blending,
to get the right consistency. Dip should be a little on the
thick side and smooth - not too thick and not too liquidy.
Should have a consistency like any other dip!

Spoon out into a dip bowl and sprinkle red pepper and parsley
on top.

*Red Pepper-optional. If you like the zing then put it on!

Serve with potato chips, vegetables or the best is Arabic bread
(otherwise known as pita pockets).
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Recipe ">
Send your favorite recipe to Cat </A>

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Reader Wild shares:

   1st Traveler's Choice Internet Cookbook

Reader Susan recommends:

   Rhodes Recipes

Reader Sally Jo shares:

   Free printable 2002 Calendar from ButterBall
   Also... turkey tips, recipes and much more.

Do you have a favorite cooking, household tips, or
craft web site (maybe your own)?
Please share it...
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Site ">
Send your favorite web site to Cat </A>

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Reader Jeanne shares:

   "Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot
   cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie." -- Garfield

Do you have a favorite humor or inspirational story?
We'd LOVE to hear it!
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Favorite Story ">
Send your story to Cat </A>

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ VOLUNTEER VITTLES ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

The lives and careers of Joan Blondell, Nancy Coleman,
Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Glenda Farrell, Kay Francis,
Ruby Keeler, Andrea King, Priscilla Lane, Joan Leslie,
Ida Lupino, Eleanor Parker, Ann Sheridan, Alexis Smith and
Jane Wyman are chronicled in detail in "The Women of Warner
Bros." To order a copy, go to www.mcfarlandpub.com
<a href=" www.mcfarlandpub.com ">
AOL link </a>

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ VOLUNTEER VITTLES ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

RECIPE: No-Knead Bread

Reader Jayne shares (for Surfin' Granny):

                NO-KNEAD BREAD

This is a recipe very similar to the quick bread recipe
my mom made when I was a kid---many years ago. LOL I can't
find my copy of hers so will need to ask her for it. In the
meantime, this is so close it could be it.

4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup shortening
6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside to

In another bowl, mix together sugar, salt, shortening, and egg
with an electric mixer at low speed. Add mixture to yeast, and
stir in flour. The last 3 cups of flour will have to be mixed
in by hand.

Cover dough with a damp cloth, and place in refrigerator. Punch
down occasionally as dough rises. You can leave dough in
refrigerator overnight.

Two hours before baking, shape the dough into rolls. Place on
greased pans, baking trays or muffin pans. Let rise 2 hours.

Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 8 to 10 minutes.


PS I have a bread machine and wouldn't be without it now. If
you don't have one, I highly recommend buying one. It is soooo
easy, quick to clean up and makes bread as good as my mom ever
did. :o)
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Recipe ">
Send your favorite recipe to Cat </A>

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Thank you all for sending in your recipes, requests,
tips, and comments! We appreciate it.

Reader Betty asks:

   I am begging for help ASAP. Can you tell me of a way
   to help stabilize whipped cream? I bake as a hobby
   and made a strawberry shortcake for one of my daughter's
   pregnant friends last May. Now the young woman has asked
   me to prepare Strawberry shortcake to serve at her child's
   christening. The problem is it is for 100 people.

   I need a way to help maintain the integrity of the whipped
   cream. Please I have to do this on November 13th.

   I'm desperate.

Can any of you readers help Betty? Thanks!
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Whipped_cream ">
Send whipped cream info for Betty </A>

Reader David shares (regarding the Unstuffed Cabbage
recipe published in our last issue of Volunteer Vittles):

   Gadzooks, the Unstuffed Cabbage is right down my alley.
   Will make it tomorrow AM, Thanks.

I asked David to let us know how the Unstuffed Cabbage
turned out and he wrote back:

   Well, I had my Cabbage last night. Very good, only I
   used a small crockpot-4 quart & it got over done. You
   had written to use a large pot. The small one just got
   too hot on low, whereas a large one on low would of done
   better... still very good & will make again.

Reader Tammy asks:

   Hello, I really enjoy Volunteer Vittles. Great recipes
   and information!

   I would like to know if anyone out there has a recipe for
   homemade cranberry sauce. I detest that stuff in the can
   and I have lost the recipe that I made last year. Thanks
   in advance!

Do any of you readers have a homemade cranberry sauce recipe
you can share with Tammy? Thanks!
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Cranberry ">
Send cranberry sauce recipe for Tammy </A>

Reader Susan shares (no-knead bread for Surfin' Granny):

   You can find 6 recipes for the bread here:



Reader Margie suggests (for Surfin' Granny):

   I discovered Bisquick a/o Jiffy Mix. I have become Lil
   Susie Homemaker. They have booklets available with all
   sorts of recipes so Granny why not check it out...

Reader Dee shares (for Surfin' Granny):

   2 cups self-rising flour
   1 cup whole wheat flour
   3 Tbsp. sugar
   1 12-oz can beer
   1 egg

   Mix together in bowl with wooden spoon. Mix until
   combined and smooth. Pour into well-greased 9x5x3"
   pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. If using
   Pyrex, lower temperature to about 325 degrees.

   Optional add-ins: chopped ham, shredded cheese, or
   chopped onion.


Reader Bill writes in:

   Hi and a wonderful site. I am looking for the recipe
   that Red Lobster uses for their clam chowder. Thanks
   for any help.

Can any of you readers help Bill? Thanks!
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Chowder ">
Send clam chowder recipe for Bill </A>

Reader Irvin asks:

   I have been looking for a pattern to crochet a strawberry
   shortcake doll. If anyone knows where I can find one, I
   would appreciate it. Thanks.

Any suggestions for Irvin? Thanks!
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Pattern ">
Send Strawberry Shortcake doll pattern for Irvin </A>

Reader JudyR shares:


   This is a fantastic crock pot dish which is just as delicious
   as easy!

   1 pound beef stew meat
   1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup,
   1 envelope dry onion soup mix
   2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
   1/4 tsp. pepper
   Hot cooked pasta

   Combine beef, soup, soup mix, mushrooms and pepper in crock pot.
   Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours. Serve over pasta.
   Yield: 4 servings.

Reader Carolyn requests:

   Please print any recipes using fresh pumpkin for breads
   or pies that you might have. Thank you so much.

Do any of you have some good pumpkin recipes to share? Thanks!
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Pumpkin ">
Send pumpkin recipes for Carolyn </A>

Do you have a comment or question? We'd love to hear from you!
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Editor ">
Send comments to the editor! </A>

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Subscribe to our other publications:
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~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ VOLUNTEER VITTLES ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

See you soon with the latest yummy and delectable
culinary treats and... more reader contributions,
suggestions, and questions... Thank you all!

Keep those e-cards and e-letters coming:
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Talk to Cat ">
Talk to Cat </A>

HELP US GROW... Because you shouldn't keep something
this good all to yourself! Feel free to forward this
issue to your friends and enemies. Please keep this
trailer intact so they can subscribe too.

To Subscribe: Send a blank e-mail to:
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Volunteer Vittles is a FREE e-zine. We claim no copyright
on any recipe published in Volunteer Vittles unless otherwise
noted. Although Hints from Helga, and Volunteer Vittles as a
whole are Copyright 2001 Cat Adams. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy: Your Privacy is our business. Your
email address and/or any other personal information
will not be published or released to any outside entity
under ANY circumstances without your permission.

Questions answered or comments given by Helga are for
entertainment purposes only. The publisher, Volunteer
Vittles, and respective staff will not be liable for any
or all incidents, problems or misfortunes that may result
from such.
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