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Volunteer Vittles Vol. 310  Cat Adams
 Apr 19, 2003 17:23 PDT 

Volunteer Vittles Vol. 310
April 19, 2003

It's a bright sun-shiny today in Southern California,
although we've had a lot of rain this past week. I know
it never rains in Southern California (smile) but my
rose bushes are grateful for the water and the sunshine.
They're blooming and flourishing. What a beautiful day
it is today! I hope that you're enjoying your gardens
today, too.


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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!

Contents in this issue:
. Recipe: Posole (Hominy Stew)
. Hints from Helga
. Little Vittles: Fluffer Nutter
. Recipe: Two-Can Stew
. Pet Place
. Recipe: Butter Crunch Cheesecake Bars
. Recommended Web Sites
. Recipe: Crockpot Caramelized Onions
. Humor/Inspirational
. Recipe: Cream of Cauliflower Soup
. Reader Comments and Requests

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

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

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

RECIPE: Posole (Hominy Stew)

Readers Jeff & Joelle share:

               POSOLE (HOMINY STEW)

3 lbs. pork steak
1-1/2 tsp. salt
6 cups (3 cans) hominy
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. oregano
1 can stewed tomatoes
1-2 potatoes, cubed
1 carrot, sliced
enough water to cover
4 tortillas

Add hominy to browned pork. Add potatoes and tomatoes.
Crockpot 4-6 hours.

Cut up tortilla just before serving and place them in bowl
for added flavor.

[I got this recipe from a friend when I lived in Clovis,
New Mexico.]
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Recipe ">
Send your recipe to Cat </A>

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Hints From Helga:

Reader Dianne shares some wonderful time-saving household

Dirt: Layers of dirty film on windows and screens provide
a helpful filter against harmful and aging rays from the
sun. Call it an SPF factor of 5 and leave it alone.

Cobwebs: Cobwebs artfully draped over lampshades reduce
the glare from the bulb, thereby creating a romantic
atmosphere. If your husband points out that the light
fixtures need dusting, simply look confused and exclaim,
"What? And spoil the mood?"

Pet Hair: Explain the mound of pet hair brushed up against
the doorways by claiming you are collecting it there to use
for stuffing hand-sewn play animals for underprivileged

Guests: If unexpected company is coming, pile everything
unsightly into one room and close the door. As you show
your guests through your tidy home, rattle the door knob
vigorously, fake a growl, and say, "I'd love you to see our
den, but Fluffy hates to be disturbed and the shots are
SO expensive."

Dusting: If dusting is REALLY out of control, simply place
a showy urn on the coffee table and insist that "This is
where Grandma wanted us to scatter her ashes..."

Painting: Don't bother re-painting. Simply scribble lightly
over a dirty wall with an assortment of crayons, and try to
muster a glint of tears as you say, "Junior did this the
week before that unspeakable accident...I haven't had the
heart to clean it..."

General Cleaning: Mix one-quart cup pine-scented household
cleaner with four cup soft water in a spray bottle. Mist the
air lightly. Leave dampened rags in conspicuous locations.
Develop an exhausted look, throw yourself onto the couch,
and sigh: "I clean and I clean and I still don't get anywhere..."

[Note to readers: For today, take Dianne's advice - put
your feet up, relax, and enjoy! For those of you who just
can't seem to follow this advice, please see GrannyB's
suggested web sites in today's issue.]

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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LITTLE VITTLES: Fluffer Nutter

Readers Med and Tonya asked:

   Could you please print the recipe for the Kraft Fluffer
   Nutters the reader mentioned? Please! [Med]

   Do you have the recipe for the "Fluffer Nutter" sandwiches?
   I am not a kid but sure sounds good to me!!! [Tonya]

Reader MerzInMAss writes in:

   Marshmallow Fluff is made ONLY in Massachusetts === I buy
   it and send it to my sons (wherever they happen to be).
   They have had fluffanutters since they were able to eat,
   and that is at least 50 years -- How about that??

   Marshmallow Fluff also comes in a raspberry flavor and it
   is pink !! It is available in all grocery stores around here.

Reader Connie shares:

   Kraft is not only NOT the only company to make marshmallow
   creme, but it is far inferior to the brand where the name
   "fluffer nutter" came from... FLUFF brand. Marshmallow Fluff
   is terrific; I think it's smoother, fluffier, and better-tasting
   all around. Not that I would refuse Kraft in a pinch...!!

   We do not have Fluff here in California, and I have to get my
   sisters in the Boston area to send it to me. Luckily, it comes
   in plastic tubs if you prefer that to the glass jars, and is
   therefore quite light to ship. (The empty tubs are great storage
   containers, too.)

   You can also get it shipped from the manufacturer, and it's not
   expensive at all. And if you make marshmallow fudge... Fluff
   makes GREAT fudge!!

   The FLUFF site is: MarshmallowFluff.com

   I am SURE you will be very happy you tried it! (Don't forget:
   the plastic container is both lightweight and very useful later!)

[Editor's note: I think that the recipe is: take two slices of
bread; spread peanut butter on one slice of bread; spread
Marshmallow Fluff on the other slice of bread; slap the two
bread slices together; eat; and enjoy! I'll have to ask the rest
of you readers if I'm right?]
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Kids ">
Send your favorite kids' recipe to Cat </A>

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Huge Cat

Portable Potty

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RECIPE: Two-Can Stew

Reader Beverly shares:

                 TWO-CAN STEW

Here is my recipe for a great stew. It's also quick and
easy to make and really inexpensive.

I call it my 'Two-Can' Stew. My boyfriend just calls it
'Bird' Stew. Get it??? Two-can... bird? :)

Use two cans each of:
whole kernel corn
sweet peas
potatoes (cut into small pieces)
carrot slices

and two packets of brown gravy mix

[You'll also need ground beef, celery seed, salt, & pepper]

Open all the cans of veggies and put into a large pot, juice
and all. Brown ground beef (use whatever amount you want,
depending on how much meat you want in the stew). Drain and
mix with vegetables. Stir in the brown gravy mix (both packets)...
just dump it into the pot dry. Stir 'til the brown gravy mix
is blended throughout the pot. Season with celery seed, salt and
pepper to taste

<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Recipe ">
Send your favorite recipe to Cat </A>

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



To preserve children take:
1 large grassy field
1/2 dozen children
2 or 3 small dogs
a pinch of brook and some small pebbles

Mix the children and dogs well together and put them in the
field, stirring constantly. Pour the brook over the pebbles,
sprinkle the field with flowers, spread over all a deep blue
sky, and bake in a hot sun.

When thoroughly browned, remove and set to cool in a bath tub.

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>

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

RECIPE: Butter Crunch Cheesecake Bars

Reader DJ shares:


3/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup shelled walnuts, chopped

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
6 small chocolate crispy peanut-butter flavored candy bars
(such as Butterfinger), chopped

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

CRUST: In bowl, beat butter with mixer until smooth and creamy,
1 minute. Add sugars, beat 3 minutes until fluffy. Beat in flour.
Beat in nuts until just incorporated. Reserve 1 cup mixture.
Press remainder over bottom of ungreased 13x9x2 inch baking pan.
Bake crust 10 minutes. Let cool.

FILLING: In bowl, beat together cream cheese and sugar with mixer
until smooth. Add vanilla and eggs, beat for 2 minutes. Fold in
candy bars. Spoon over baked crust. Sprinkle reserved crust mixture
over top. Bake for 30 minutes until cheesecake layer is set.

Let cool. Cut into 16 bars. Serve, or cover and refrigerate.
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Recipe ">
Send your favorite recipe to Cat </A>

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Reader GrannyB shares:

   Timeless Household Tips

   Frugal Household Tips

   Handy Household Tips

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>

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

RECIPE: Crockpot Caramelized Onions

Reader Myron shares:

These are quite a favorite around my house and they do not
last very long! They are great in onion soup, omelets and
just as a veggie side dish.


4 large sweet or yellow onions
1/4 lb. butter (not margarine)

In a large crockpot, place peeled whole onions and trim top
and bottom slightly. Add whole stick of butter - no need to
cut. Cover and slow cook for 12 hours on low heat... will
literally fall apart, deep, sweet caramelization, easily chopped.

Myron's notes: I use Vidalias when they are cheap... Texas or
Florida sweet onions work pretty well too! You won't be able
to stop eating these... they are really, really deeeeee-lishus!
Just this recipe alone is enough reason to own a crockpot!
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Recipe ">
Send your favorite recipe to Cat </A>

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Reader Susan shares:

                BE A KID AGAIN

. Give yourself a gold star for everything you do today.
. Dot all your "i's" with smiley faces.
. Sing into your hairbrush.
. Grow a milk mustache.
. Smile back at the man in the moon.
. Read the funnies. Throw the rest of the paper away.
. Dunk your cookies.
. Ask somebody if their refrigerator is running.
. Play a game where you make up the rules as you go along.
. Order with eyes that are bigger than your stomach.
. Open a pack of cupcakes and give one to a friend even though
you wanted both of them for yourself.
. Pretend your bread rolls are tap dancing.
. Step carefully over sidewalk cracks.
. Change into some play clothes.
. Try to get someone to trade you a better sandwich.
. Have a staring contest with your cat.
. Eat ice cream for breakfast.
. Kiss a frog just in case.
. Give someone a "Hug-around-the-neck".
. Blow the wrapper off a straw.

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 ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

RECIPE: Cream of Cauliflower Soup

Reader Myron shares:


1 head of cauliflower, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon celery seed, powdered
salt and pepper, to taste

Cook cauliflower until very soft, drain. Puree cauliflower
in blender until creamy, but not watery. In a soup pot,
heat cauliflower over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add cream,
butter and seasonings and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Remove
from heat and blend at medium speed until smooth and creamy
and serve immediately. 6 servings.
<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.

We received many recommendations for Margot regarding
mint usage. Thank you all so much. Your suggestions follow...

Reader Margot asked:

   I have inquired of numerous sources on the Internet but have
   never received the answer I want. My question is: Since
   spearmint and peppermint have radically different tastes,
   how do I know which to use when a recipe calls for mint?
   I've never seen a recipe that specifies which type to use.
   I would be so appreciative if someone could answer this
   question. Thank you so much for your consideration of this

Reader Lois shares:

   This is a general rule...

   Spearmint for drinks
   Peppermint for drinks & desserts
   Garden mint for general cooking
   Pineapple mint for salads & cooking

   You can buy Garden mint here

   This would give you an idea of what you like.
   Hope this helps.

Reader Wanda recommends:

   Unless otherwise stated, it is usually peppermint they
   mean by mint.

Reader Connie advises:

   If it says "mint", it means peppermint. Spearmint would
   be specified as it is VERY rarely called for in a recipe.

   Hope that helps.

Reader Honey suggests:

   There are over 400 varieties of mint... but unless it
   specifies specifically for a certain type of mint, use
   regular garden mint. You can plant this once and it
   keeps growing and spreading.

   To research 'Mint".... go to:

   Type "varieties of mint" in the search line and see all
   the interesting sites that come up!

Reader Longs shares:

   I use spearmint because I don't grow peppermint because
   I don't like it. So to me, it would depend on your taste.

Reader Nick (in Tennessee) recommends:

   Go to the liquor store, buy a bottle of peppermint schnapps
   (they have other flavors too)... use an eyedropper to
   "mint flavor" just about anything you want. It's inexpensive,
    does not spoil, and is quite flavorful.

Reader Catherine shares:

   I do a lot of baking and candy making, and I have always used
   peppermint when following my recipes. I have experimented with
   spearmint a few times but find the flavor is too strong for the
   finished product. I hope this helps!

Reader Elsie (in New Zealand) writes in:

   If it is a sweet recipe, either will do; but if it's for meat,
   neither. It's a different herb for meat; it's a mint that you
   buy either dried or fresh at a supermarket. Hope that helps.

Reader DG advises:

   Mint is a spice that grows in consistently wet soil. It has a
   strong aroma (pleasant) and very green leaves. Stems of leaves
   or just the leaves are picked and finely cut/chopped (same
   size as leaves in a tea bag, but that is a lot of work and
   they may be larger). Sufficient vinegar is added to just
   provide a mixture that can be spooned and it is mostly used
   to spice any lamb meat i.e.. chops, roast leg, braised spare
   ribs etc.

   There is no relation between mint and spearmint/peppermint.

Reader Elayne asks:

   Is there a way to soften cookies that are baked too hard?
   I baked some chocolate chip cookies that taste good, but
   they are not soft and chewy. What did I do wrong?? Thank you!

Any suggestions for Elayne? Thanks!
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Hard_Cookies ">
Send suggestions for Elayne </A>

Reader mg shares:

   Hi Cat - That "Raspberry Smoosh" is one of the best recipes
   I have ever gotten!!! I have made it countless times since
   you published it & always have a pan of it in the freezer.

   I increase the amount of raspberries, decrease the amount of
   (Lite) Cool Whip & slightly reduce the amount of sugar. And
   for half of the sugar, I use Sweet 'n Low.

   But no matter how you make it, how you alter it, it is always

   I want to thank Martha & Caroline for the good advise about
   Substituting pasteurized egg whites!!! I have worried about
   the salmonella danger & definitely will switch if I can find
   the pasteurized egg whites & if it works well.

   Thanks for the best ever recipe!!!

   I forgot to add that I crush coconut macaroons (the hard
   crunchy ones - not the chewy ones) and put some in the bottom
   of the pan, pour the raspberry smoosh over it, then sprinkle
   a few cookies crumbs on top, then put in freezer. Is
   soooooooooo good!

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>

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

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

To Subscribe: Send a blank e-mail to:
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Subscribe to Volunteer Vittles </A>

Privacy Policy: Your Privacy is our business. Your
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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.

Copyright 2003 Cat Adams. All Rights Reserved.
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