The JOTW Virtual Potluck update for 31 August

The JOTW Virtual Potluck update for 30 August

The big Virtual Feast is going faster than a deviled egg at a big Virtual Feast. Dogs and kids everywhere, and everyone’s enjoying the hospitality of host Jack Duggan in southern Oregon’s “hidebound hills, home of Forest Creek Studios, snugly tucked between Timber Mountain and Mount Isabelle.” A few folks are sleeping off the effects of that hard cider, but we expect them to Rally for the waffle ball game later today, or otherwise serve as one of the bases.

You are welcome, of course.

I get so many e-mails, and it’s been fun to share some of them with you.

Hope you can bring something to share to our “Stone Soup” sort of event, which is a metaphor for what JOTW is all about, everybody bringing a little something to share for the betterment of all.

Don’t forget to check out the other offerings posted on Aug. 25, 27, and 29, at

*** First, a moment of silence in memory of Legendary wrestler Walter “Killer” Kowalski, who passed away early this morning at the age of 81. Okay, you can put your hats back on.

*** From our host, Jack Duggan:

Good morning JOTW Virtual Potluckers:

A crisp 49 degrees at daybreak up here near the headwaters of Forest Creek, but Old Sol has made an appearance and we're headed toward a very comfortable mid-70s to low 80s for our virtual gathering.

It appears there will be a surfeit of watermelon, so I am compelled to share the rural rules of watermelon rind. Down by the little creek there is a wide swath of blackberry bushes (sorry, not ripe yet) where you should toss your rinds. Leaving them in garbage cans or anywhere near gathering spots or dwellings can attract certain black and yellow small winged beasts that will sting you.

I'm sending along another picture with this post, a cozy corner where those of you who want to step off for a bit of private time can do so. It's about a city block from the picnic spot.

(See the picture at

Now I have to go find clean socks. Can't entertain company without clean socks.

Walk in Peace – Jack

*** How ‘bout them tomatoes?

Here's a picture of them if you need it. And no, that's not me holding them. That's a gen-u-wine Hanover Tomato farmer.

Robert Holland, ABC

(See them at

*** Beth responds to Marti’s comments about Beth’s deadly desert:

All I can say is when something is as good as this, calories and portion sizes are not meant to be counted. Just work out a little harder and you can justify it. Hope this helps…


*** From Judy Heise:

Here's my taco soup for the JOTW picnic…for the late crowd that needs something to warm their insides.

It's the easiest recipe on the planet and it actually tastes really good, too. I've got some shredded cheese and sour cream to put on top if anyone's interested.

Can I borrow a sweater? It's getting chilly.

I heart you, too, you know?


(What's the recipe.)

1 lb ground beef or turkey (I prefer beef)

1 medium yellow onion / chopped

2 or 3 peppers: red, yellow or green…you pick / chopped

3 – 15oz cans beans: Navy, pinto, kidney, black, white…you pick / do not drain

1 – 15oz can of sweet/white corn / do not drain

1 – 15oz can of chopped tomatoes / do not drain

1 – 15oz can of tomato sauce

1 – small can of chopped green chilis / do not drain

1 – package Old El Paso Taco Seasoning mix

1 – package Ranch Dressing mix

In a Dutch Oven / stew pot, brown meat in olive oil. Don't drain unless really fatty. Remove meat from pot and set aside. Saute onions until soft and translucent. Remove and set aside. Saute peppers for about 6 minutes. Return everything to the pot. Add all the canned items…along with their liquids. Add seasoning packets and stir well. Bring everything to a boil than lower flame to simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes and then it's done. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and a spoonful of sour cream. Yummy stuff…and extremely easy to make.

(See a photo of this pot full of Taco Soup at

*** Do they have cell phone coverage out there?

You asked what I'm bringing, Ned and I'm sorry to say it may have to be a “phone book” to order out.

Best Regards,

Marti Davis

Business and Technical Communication

(Who says they’ll deliver way down at the end of the road?)

*** Who is this guy? Is he with you?

Good Day,

My name is Song Li. I work with the Hang Seng Bank of Hong Kong. There is the sum of $19,500,000.00 in my bank; I wish to make a transfer involving this huge amount of money. I do solicit for you assistance in effecting this transaction. I intend to give 30% of the total funds as compensation for your assistance. Please do not be offended with the manner wish I have contacted you. It was necessitated by the urgency and nature of this transaction.

I will notify you on the full transaction on receipt of your response if interested, Should you be interested Please send me your:

1. Full names

2. Private phone number

3. Current residential address

Kind Regards,

Mr. Song Li.

(Jack, this guy crashed the party. He is not part of our JOTW extended family of Nedworkers. Time to take him back to other side of the gate and turn the electric fence on.)

*** From Barbara Bonner:

Curried Chicken Salad

Serves 6 as main course

4 whole chicken breasts

1 tsp. salt

2 tomatoes, diced

2 unpeeled cucumbers, thinly sliced

½ cup salad or olive oil

¼ cup cider vinegar

2 tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

1 tsp. curry powder

In a pan, cover the chicken breasts with water, adding 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for ½ hr. Cool. Take out the chicken, get rid of bones and skin. Cut the meat into small chunks and mix with the tomatoes and cucumbers.

In a separate bowl, mix everything else and beat with whisk until think. Pour the mixture over the chicken mixture and stir. Cover and keep in refrigerator until needed. Take out about 45 mins. or more before serving so it almost reaches room temp. again. Stir before serving to redistribute the sauce.

Note: Because of the vinegar, this dish doesn’t have to stay chilled while out at a picnic. Best made the night before, as then the sauce has time to draw some tomato and cucumber flavor into the mixture.

Variation for easier prep:

I use Plum tomatoes because they are frequently in better shape at the store. I also use about 6 of them, diced.

I also use Perdue or Tyson pre-cooked ‘original roasted’ chicken breast meat – 2 packages [approx. 20 oz. total]. Saves the cooking and de-boning time.

I've used this salad almost year round for about 20 years and everyone who tries it loves it. Enjoy!!!

*** From Gwen Saunders (received as a comment to yesterday’s update.)

Hope I'm not too late to contribute my Quaker Oats “Everything Cookies.”

Love picnics, adore food!

I discovered my true inner baker during my last tour of duty in the USN. As Capt. Ned may attest, it was probably a good thing for the Navy that I hadn’t discovered my kitchen earlier – but that’s another story.

After you bake a while, you end up with bits of this and half bags of that and not enough to make anything. Post-retirement, while making a batch of the great Quaker oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies – as per the recipe on the big tub – I got a brain cell. Instead of dropping in the whole bag of chips, I dropped in half and added the remnants of white chocolate chips, mini M&Ms, Craisins, peanut butter chips, coconut and pecan pieces – there may have been others.

It was a daring attempt that resulted in diverse reactions at the newspaper: Advertising reps wanted to send them out to a lab and news writers wanted exact details on the inspiration and ingredients. The sports guys just wanted to eat them. I went home with two empty cookie cans.

Add anything you have or want; I’ve been known to buy the extras on purpose. Make sure you have enough base to keep everything together but the Quaker makes a perfect start. And I advise use of a mixer rather than by hand – it gets a bit sturdy at the end. These travel well, make great picnic food and are not for the timid.

I am filing all the recipes, especially the peach upside down cake and cornbread trifle.

And Skipper – if there’s a holiday bash, I’ll bring my BRCT (Big Round Chocolate Thing) if you’ll make sure there’s coffee!

Gwyneth J. (Schultz) Saunders

Freelance reporter/writer

(What, no cheesecake?)

*** From John Peters:


Not enough desserts. I’ll bring my wife’s Seven Layer Bars

(along with a bottle of Governor’s White from the Williamsburg Winery)


1 stick butter (1/2 cup melted)

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 six-ounce package butterscotch or chocolate pieces

1 ½ cups coconut

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Pour melted butter into a 9×13 pan

Sprinkle graham crackers over butter

Layer the walnuts, then the butterscotch pieces, the then coconut.

Pour the condensed milk over this.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until lightly brown

Chill and cut into squares

John & Vicky Peters

Virginia Beach, Va.

(Just set the butter outside for a minute or two. It'll melt.)

*** From Patty Holton-Johnson:

Yikes–busy packing to head back to US for three months on Tues., but

can bring some Graham Cracker Brownies–my grandmother's recipe:

For 1 square pan:

15 whole graham crackers, crushed

1 6 oz. package chocolate chips

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Mix altogether and spread in well-greased pan. Bake in 350F. oven for

20-30 min.

Extremely calorie-laden and yummy!!


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