Thursday, June 1, 2017

Editor's Corner


June 2017

“If I get married, I want to be very married.” – Audrey Hepburn

That quote could pretty much describe the viewpoint of my parents, John (Jack) Edward Carroll and Lena May (Joslin) Carroll, whose wedding pic is shown at the bottom of this column. Wed June 10, 1934, until the death of Daddy Jack, July 1, 1996, but forever in my mother's heart and mind. Although she became a victim of Alzheimer's Disease, she asked at least once, and often many times, what time Daddy would be home for supper. Grandmother Nora Viola Alexander, Carroll, Fisher, King, whose only child was Daddy, once remarked if he stood on his head and walked with his ears, Mother would applaud and say "Isn't he wonderful!" They did tend to vie for his attention, which he gave them and each of his four daughters. He believed ladies should be on a pedestal and never have to want for anything.

Mother, barely 16 when they wed, wrote this poem the night that Daddy proposed to her, after walking from his grandparent's farm, about 3 miles across the Elk River, in freezing, icy road weather. (Grandfather Kendrick would not let him take the horse and buggy out in such weather.) Since Daddy had been living in Texas with his mother and stepfather Earl Joseph King (they married when Daddy was 8 years old) he had already had quite a bus trip to get to Missouri, so nothing would deter him from proposing on Valentine's Day. He was always a romantic, and when a later position, being a refrigeration engineer with the Permian Ice Company grew into a partnership, the volume of summer business made celebrating their anniversary  in June more of a problem than a celebration, so they celebrated on Valentine's Day. Mother loved green in all shades; Daddy was color blind, but faithfully bought her a special ordered heart shaped green box of chocolates for that special day each year.

Love is God's Gift 
  By Lena Joslin Carroll
February 14, 1934
(after the proposal which culminated in 62 years of marriage)

Love - love - what can it be?
A sturdy bridge twix thee and me?
Or just a shaky stair
Trembling in every breath of air?
Or could it be that God so great
Has sent His love to those who meet
And vow to always be the other's friend
And try to all his sorrows mend?
For God is there in every union,
That's rooted in devout communion.
With vows to be true each to the other
And God's help to be a good father and mother
For in God we Trust -
For love that time cannot rust!
A marriage is made in Heaven they say,
Must yet be lived on this earth each day!
But with help from God up above,
And our hearts joined in true love,
Perhaps this life we both can live
And keep that center of love alive
Thru all our daily pressures
And build a memory full of treasures
Thank you, God - Our thanks go to You!
And may we always be true to You.

June has been called the month of brides (though nothing was submitted this year for weddings nor Father's Day) but several of our family weddings did occur in June-- your editor's first one was June 15th. Mother's brother Jack Oakley Joslin wed Mary Louise Couch on the 5th of June, so we ended up celebrating all three anniversaries on the tenth for a few years.

Thomas F. O'Neill, in his column "Introspective," tells his perspective on life, and how he explained it to his students in China. LC Van Savage recalls those 'Bohemian Days' in "Consider This" with "What's Your Sign?" and her article lauds a lady who has become known as "The Butter Lady." The second article is by Bethany Davis Whitaker, reprinted from her blog, "Altogether Beautiful." This time, she focuses on setting goals and fitting them time-wise in "Selah & Goals."

The first article is "AG Adair - Hall of Honor Inductee" with recognition of his many years of community service and dedication to seeing the students and athletes of the school were well represented in news coverage. Adair is the one who started "Hobbie$, Etc." the magazine in newspaper format that evolved into "Pencil Stubs Online" which is dedicated to his memory.

"Armchair Genealogy" by Melinda Cohenour has the second half of her interesting spotlight into a family member, Sidney Washington Creek, who she titles as "A Much Maligned Man." Rod Cohenourin"Cooking with Rod," whets our appetite with "Chile Colorado." Judith Kroll's column "On Trek" urges everyone to "tilt the scales in their world in favor of love." Dayvid Clarkson does daily reflections and we include a few of our recent favorites along with a photo he took in "Reflections on The Day."

"Irish Eyes" proves Mattie Lennon is interested in good music. He features the performers of Irish songs in "Books, CDs and Writers’ Week." He received this announcement, forwarded it to Pencil Stubs Online, and so here it is:

* * * * *

AUD$15,000.00 for a single poem VC International Poetry Prize
Dear Poetry Supporter
I’m writing to let you know one of the richest poetry prizes in the world is open for only a few weeks more. Could you please share this news with your writing community? 
Now in its fourth year, the prize celebrates the enduring significance of poetry to cultures everywhere in the world. It marks the University of Canberra’s commitment to creativity and imagination. Prize entries may be submitted until 30 June 2017.
Head Judge: Billy Collins
The winner will receive AUD$15,000.
The runner-up (second-placed poem) will receive AUD$5,000.
All poems entered for the prize must be single poems that have a maximum length of 50 lines.
Each entry of a poem costs AUD$20.
Previous winners
2016 Michael Lavers – ‘Your father at fourteen’
2015 Elisabeth Murawski – ‘Iconic Photo: Lee Miller in Munich, April, 1945’
2014 David Ad├Ęs – ‘Dazzled’
Kind regards
Dr Monica Carroll
VC International Poetry Prize Administrator
Centre for Creative and Cultural Research
20C15 | Faculty of Arts and Design | University of Canberra | Bruce ACT 2617 | AUSTRALIA

* * * * *

Bud Lemire adds a half dozen, some whimsical, some deep: "Nagelkirk's Fruit Market," "Maybe I'm Dreaming," "Autumn Love," "Good in Every Day," "Universal Blessings," and "Through The Eyes of A Senior Companion." Bruce Clifford penned "This History." Dayvid Clarkson does lovely poster style pictures and this issue shows one with his poem "Arise Spirit of Mine." John I. Blair's six poems for this month are "Three Wires," "T Shirt Ritual," "Running The Field," "Garden Ghost," "Primal Cold," and "Goldenrod."

Mike Craner, without whom this ezine would have never made the web, deserves many bouquets for his expertise and patience. Not easy keeping this little ezine able to continue its mission of encouraging writers, experienced and beginners, and to promote reading. Now if he only had a solution for the slow internet service in this area.

See you in July !!!

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
This issue appears in the ezine at and also in the blog with the capability of adding comments at the latter.


AG Adair - Hall of Honor Inductee


The Monahans-Wickett-Pyote Independent School District established a Hall of Honor to recognize and honor alumni, educators and community leaders who, through achievements, endeavors, leadership and character, have demonstrated excellence in their field and/or commitment of service to the school district; and therefore, are positive role models for the students of the Monahans-Wickett-Pyote ISD.

On May 27, 2017, AG Adair along with three other individuals was inducted into the MWP ISD Hall of Honor. Adair was nominated by Armando Flores, who stated he had known him his whole life and added, "Mr. Adair, in my eyes, will forever be known as "The Scribe for the Monahans Loboes." Those of us who have followed only have attempted to fill the void he left in writing about his community. Those are shoes no one will ever fill."

Flores prepared the remarks made by Mrs. Clara Edwards, who received the same category honor - MWP-ISD Supportive Community Member - in 2016. She presented the plaque to Dottie (Adair) Olgin during the Ceremony for the 2017 Hall of Honor inductees.

Dottie Olgin and Clara Edwards

Edwards Presentation Remarks:
Mr. Adair became News Editor for the Monahans News in 1962. During that time until his death in October 1996, he wrote news articles and covered school related stories in academics, school board, school activities. But I remember him most for his coverage of Monahans Loboes/Loboettes (Lady Loboes.) His articles were factual and positive for the young athletes which is something that carries on today.
Mr. Adair was a charter member of the Monahans Optimist Club, a member of Monahans Masonic Lodge 952, where he was the first to receive The Golden Trowel Award for 50 years of Service. Additionally, he was a member of the Scottish Rite, York Rite Knights Templar, Patron of the Order of the Eastern Star, a charter member of the Ward County Council for Handicapped Children.

AG and Mary Adair, 1985 
Mr. Adair served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He entered service on November 27, 1942, and served in the 29th Infantry Division and was involved in D Day as he landed on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1945, and also fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He left service on October 31, 1945. He also served in the Texas State Guard, where he served as 1st Sgt for Company B and later became the 403d Battalion Commander. He was President of the Texas State Guard Association in 1986.

Adair shortly before D Day 
He became Sports Editor for The Monahans News in 1986, and served in that capacity until his death, contributing to the documented history of our beloved sports teams. He was a life member of the VFW and Adjutant of the American Legion. He was known for speaking to adults, youth organizations about his dedication to his country and the proper display of our nation's Flag. He got his start in the newspaper business upon his release from active Military Service in 1945 until 1996.
Along with the above noted information, Mr. Adair was a Christian who dedicated himself and his life to serving his country and his fellow man through his involvement in various organization in civic practice. The Monahans News office along with the Ward County Archives holds timeless examples of literature he wrote concerning Monahans High School that have become a part of history.
Three other inductees were honored in the Ceremony: Mr. Alfredo Franco with the MWPISD Alumni Award; Mr. Howard Powers (with 61 years teaching) with the MWPISD Employee Award; and (also posthumously) Mr. Perry Coursey with the MWPISD Extra-Curricular Award presented to his widow.

Dottie Olgin, Mrs Coursey, Howard Powers, Alfredo Franco, and Master of Ceremonies Mrs Kellye Riley, Superintendent.

A lovely Reception followed the Ceremony of Induction where the Hall of Honor is, in the foyer of the Jerry Larned Complex. Faculty and MWPISD board members served refreshments.

The Plaque

This next pic shows AG Adair in the early '90's, running the Goss Press that he and one Goss representative assembled in less than 24 hrs, then ran the first four color issue ever printed by the Monahans News. AG and one of his classmates established, and published a weekly commercial newspaper, beginning in their Junior year in Camp Wood, Texas, for which they received recognition from the Associated Press as being the youngest owner/publishers of a commercial newspaper in Texas. He also lettered in four sports and was Salutatorian when he graduated. After the war, an adult when he went to work at the Uvalde News, he began at the linotype machine, a skill that came in handy in Monahans when they were still doing "hot type" and their linotypist was delayed in an emergency. The entire paper had to be "set" that way, except rubber mats that served as the photo bases, black and white only. He always said his blood was at least half ink.

AG Adair

Armchair Genealogy

A Much Maligned Man: Sidney Washington Creek

Born: 13 January 1832 in Liberty, Clay County, Missouri
Died: 12 September 1892 in Liberty, Clay County, Missouri

Chapter 2 in the Life of the Much Maligned Man

       Our first chapter covering the life of Sidney Washington Creek ended with his marriage to Lucinda Estes and the beginning of their family. They had ten children who attained adulthood. A quirk of the Creek and Younger families seemed to be the bestowing of multiple names and nicknames for all the children so that various records are to be located using given names that, at first glance, appear not to belong to the person into whose life one is delving. Thus was certainly the case for Sidney and his bride, Lucinda.

•       The first child born to this union was Georgia Ann Mary Creek who arrived in December of 1854. Georgia would marry Benjamin A. Franklin (a famous name, but NOT the famed statesman, inventor, and unlikely ladies man of historical import).

•       The next child to arrive was Charles Jefferson “Jacob” Creek, born 12 January 1856 and who married Sarah Emma Reynolds, the granddaughter of Killian Anderson Creek and great granddaughter of Abraham Creek, a not so distant cousin to Charles.

•       Third in line was Emaline whose trail of names and nicknames is surely one for the books: Emma Evaline (Emaline, Emma, Emila) “Lucy” Creek, b. 17 Feb 1858, who is known to have wed three times: Emma was enumerated on two separate Census documents as being Emma Jones. The second marriage to Mr. Johnson is documented by the probate of her aunt Virginia Lee Younger Creek’s estate where she is listed as Emma Johnson and by the clerk’s recordation of her name at the time of her third marriage. She is shown as Emma Johnson on the clerk’s official marriage record when, at age 35, she wed Oliver James Breeden. No records have been found to ascertain the names and dates of marriage for the first two husbands. (She is also listed as a household member in sister Ludicy’s marriage list as Emma Evaline Pascoe along with one Alfred Pascoe. More mystery.)

•      Next in line is the mysterious Lamira (reputed to also be known as Elvira) who appears in the 1870 Census age 9, but not in school, and for whom no records exist beyond that point in time to this researcher’s knowledge. No marriage record age 18 or 19, no death records, and no appearance on future Census records. We must assume, therefore, this child did not attain adulthood and whose demise was not officially marked by Clay County clerks. An additional clue that this child may not have survived is the fact Aunt Virginia Lee (Younger) Creek does not leave a bequest in her name in her estate probated in 1895, although all other surviving heirs of Sidney Washington Creek are named as legatees.

•      Sidney Beauregard “Beau” Creek, second son, born in May of 1863, Beau had his own bit of problems as documented by the Liberty Tribune. (The paucity of documentation for vital events in this family’s history cause one to tear out hair! The Civil War and burnings of libraries, courthouses, and general mayhem cost family historians dearly.) We do know that on 6th January 1886, Beau wed Mary Eliza Whitten in Clay County. We know of three children born of this union: William Coleman, Nellie May, and Charles Sidney Creek. We have a date of death (15 Dec 1894) for Beau that has been carried down by many researchers for which absolutely no documentation has been located by your author. In fact, stories carried in the local newspapers of the time indicate that Beau got up to some meanness in concert with his cousin, one John Creek, and (reputedly) his older brother Charles Jefferson (which appears to have been a case of mistaken identity):
“Liberty Tribune Mar 24 1882; Mr. John Creek, who was arrested on suspision of shooting Mr. Mitchell, and taken to Clinton County and discharged, was in our office Wed, and says he had nothing whatever to do with the shooting, was at home sick with the mumps.”
“Plattsburg, Misouri Mar 22-David Mitchell, the victim of the recently attempted assassination near this place, yesterday evening swore out a warrant charging Charles Jefferson Creek, of Clay Co., with the crime.”
”Liberty Tribune Apr, 21, 1882 Beau Creek, confined to the jail at Plattsburg for shooting David L., Mitchell, has made a confession that John Creek hired him to do the deed. John Creek has been arrested. Men are cousins.”
      It appears little, if anything, came out of the issue as Beau wed in 1886 and fathered children in the ensuing years from 1887 to 1892. However, further research shows an S. B. Creek confined in the State prison at Joliet (listed as S B Creek, aged 37, born May 1863 in Missouri, confined to Illinois State Penitentiary, at Joliet, Will County, Illinois, literate, married some 11 years, occupied as a baker in prison) and the Census in 1910 also references one Sidney B Creek as an inmate (Age 48, Single, both parents born Missouri, out of work). These records could be attributed to a different Sidney B. Creek born about the same time in Missouri; however, it is interesting to note that Mary Eliza Whitten Creek relocated to Joliet, Illinois per the 1900 US Federal Census and remarried in 1905, before the 1910 Census. This lends credence to one Sidney B. Creek, inmate, being OUR Beau Creek. More mystery. The records for inmates in Joliet so far transcribed for historians do not include the data for this inmate.

•      Susan Ludicia (Ludisa, Sudisy, Ladicee, Dicie) Creek, born 25 May 1865, wed William Henry Parks on 27 Aug 1891, coming into the marriage as Ludicy Crandells and appearing on the 1900 US Census with Parks as Head of house in Joliet, Illinois, with a daughter, 13, named Lucy C. Crandall. No marriage to Crandall has yet been found. She is named as a legatee on her aunt Virginia Lee Younger Creek’s probate records as “Dicey Parks.” Her younger sister, Sarah Lee (called Sadie or Sally) married John Henry Parks, brother to William.

•      Lucinda “Lucy” Agnes Creek, born about 1868 per varying documents. The 1870 US Federal Census lists the household thusly: Post Office: Liberty. Name Age S W Creek 38 Lucenda Creek 38 Georgia Creek 16 Charles Creek 14 Eveline Creek 12 Elmira Creek 10 Sidney Creek 8 Lucinda Creek 6. This would omit Lucinda “Lucy” Agnes Creek who would be 2 years of age. It is possible she was residing with another family. The 1880 US Census: Name Age Sidney W. Creek 48 Lucinda Creek 44 Emeline Jones 21 Bougard S. Creek 18 Ludisa Creek 15 Lucinda Creek 12 Virginia Creek 10 Sarah L. Creek 8 Lillie M. Creek 3. (This census clearly lists Ludisa and Lucinda as separate daughters, three years separating them in age and would appear to confirm her birth year as 1868.) On 24 Oct 1888, Lucinda wed Joel Melvin Stallings. Two daughters were born of this union. Joel died in 1910. Lucinda lived many years in the State Home. Her mother referred to her as "my afflicted daughter" in her Will written in 1891. The will misspelled her married name as "Slottings" rather than Stollings. She died in the State Home 22 Oct 1941.

•      Virginia “Ginnie or Jennie” Darlisco Creek, born 1869 in Clay County. On 20 Jul 1889, Jennie would wed Joseph W. Hamilton, a marriage that would prove ominous in the history of this family. Joe Hamilton was inclined to drink and when he drank, family legend is that he was inclined to get ugly. And when he got ugly, poor Jennie was frequently the target of his anger.

•      Sarah Lee “Sadie, or Sally” Creek, born 7 Feb 1872. On 29 Oct 1890, Sally married John Henry Parks, brother to her brother-in-law William Henry Parks. Two sons were born of this union, Samuel W. and Charles Sidney. By 1900 it would appear this marriage had ended, as John lists himself as “widowed” on the Census and Sarah weds again on 12 Sep 1901 in Spokane, Washington to William L. Rozier. The 1910 Census shows Sarah Rozier living in Cripple Creek, Colorado, with sons Sam and Charles Parks. However, Sarah gave him another chance as a second marriage is recorded 19 Jan 1915 in Shoshone County, Idaho. William was a miner, a dangerous job but one which drew many men in order to support their families and, always, with that promise of immense riches. This marriage, too, would end in divorce, as Sarah ended her life as Sarah Shirley, with a daughter named Lillie Pearl Shirley. The name of the father to Lillie Pearl is lost to history.

•      Lilly or Lillie M (perhaps Madeleine per one researcher) Creek, born about 1873 in Kearney, Clay County. Lilly married William Simpson on the 17th of October 1891. By 1910 this marriage would have ended, as William Simpson is listed as “divorced, hired man” on the Census for that year. No other records have been located for Lilly that provide additional information for her life thereafter.

      The first documented trouble arising in the life of Sidney Washington Creek occurred when he was a young married man, having purchased farmland in order to provide for his new little family. It was not an easy life in those days, when a lack of birth control presented new mouths to feed at a fairly regular rate and all the food, clothing and shelter was earned by the hard physical labor and wise investments of the head of each house. Thus, we see a squabble over assets turn very ugly and present the first blemish on the reputation of Sid, an article in the Liberty Tribune:

      Your author has been unable to locate additional information regarding this incident, other than the biographical information for the victim. It would appear this incident was deemed by the investigating officers or the prosecutors for the county to have been a case of self-defense, for no record of incarceration or a break in the arrival of additional children to the household occurs.

      The trouble that would impact Sidney and all Americans during this critical time would be the simmering tensions that ultimately boiled over to incite a War unseen by Americans before or since – the great and horrible Civil War.

      Previous columns by your author have covered the tensions that arose between the abolitionists of Kansas and the slaveholders of Missouri who migrated from the Deep South states of Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia, and surrounding areas. The system of slavery was deeply embedded in their heritage and was key to the success of their settlement of the western lands. There were atrocities on both sides of this argument, personal loss, outright thievery carried on in the name of the “cause” by both sides and deeply held convictions that exploded into the Civil War that split this young nation.

      Jacob Creek and his wife, Virginia Lee Younger Creek were right in the midst of this fomenting of hostility - intensely felt convictions held by both sides – an atmosphere rife with assaults and retaliations, spiraling into ever more intense hatred, which would reach its crescendo with the Civil War and its horrific aftermath. In 1870, Jacob Creek was listed as one of the Old Men of Clay County “Disfranchised.” After all his family’s contributions to the very existence of this country, the Northerners who flooded into Clay County to take over the rich farm lands and implant their banks and banking laws had the audacity to disenfranchise, among many other Southern sympathizers, this elderly man! The result was stripping away of one of the very most vital and essential rights – the right to vote.

   In these times and this atmosphere was Sidney Washington Creek maturing into a young husband, farmer, slave owner and father. His maternal uncle, Henry Washington Younger, was the father of the sons who would become infamous as the Younger Gang. His grandfather, through his many amorous liaisons would sow the seeds that would bring forth his mistress’ Parmelia Dorcas Wilson’s grandsons, the Daltons. The Younger boys would ride with Sid Creek alongside William Clarke Quantrell while cousin Abner Creek and brother Creth Creek would ride with “Bloody Bill” Anderson. The so-called leader of the Confederate group in Clay County treated his duties as more of an avocation than a vocation – showing little spine and even more desultory organization skills. Thus, when faced with the unending thievery, arson and heartless raids of the Red Legs of Kansas, the boys were attracted by the strength and flamboyant style of Quantrell. Cole Younger and brother-in-law John Jarrett would become Quantrell’s right-hand men.

   Thus, would these dramatic events affect the life of our young man, Sidney Washington Creek, cousin to the Youngers and the Daltons, trusted soldier for the Confederate cause riding with William Clarke Quantrell, one of the most flamboyant and controversial figures in that great and glorious and horrible War.

   Next month, the dramatic end to the story of Sidney Washington Creek. Stay tuned.
Researched and Compiled by Melinda Carroll Cohenour – Spring 2017.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Cooking With Rod

Chile Colorado

    This month we will fulfill a special request to publish our recipe for Chile Colorado made with Beef. This is a classic dish that truly wakens the taste buds and, for me, brings back fond memories of home.

    This wonderful concoction can be used as a straight bowl of chile Colorado with onions and cheese. It can be used in enchiladas cooked in the oven in a classic meat-filled tortilla and topped with cheese. Or, it can be used as a burrito filling. We like it with flour tortillas and served as suggested below.

    The preparation of Authentic Red Chile Sauce, prepared New Mexico style, involves the use of traditional dried chiles which are typically hung around the home in ristras, which make for a most colorful and useful decoration – especially at Yuletide. The dried chiles are reconstituted and flavor is added by seasonings and fresh vegetables. The process is outlined below.

    Bon appetit!

  • 4 lbs. lean beef stew meat (you can cut this yourself from a prime lean roast of beef, but to save time, buy the prepared stew meat)
  • 1 cup flour, for dredging
  • Ground black pepper, to taste (don’t overdo this and ruin the authentic taste, though)
  • 1 Tbsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground Mexican Oregano
  • 1-2 Tbsp. cooking oil (I prefer corn oil, but vegetable oil will do. Not olive oil, wrong flavor)
  • Water to cover meat
  • Authentic Red Chile Pepper Sauce (see recipe below)
  • Tortillas
  • Rice, Mexican style
  • Refritos (refried beans), garnished with cheddar while hot
  • Garnishes and sides for Tortillas: Ground cheddar or Mexican blend Cheese, Guacamole, Diced onions, green onions (white bulbs and green tops), radish slices, sour cream, Pico de Gallo (your choice or all of these garnishes)
  • Authentic Red Chile Pepper Sauce: (I prefer to make my own, but have found a local purveyor of an excellent packaged “starter pack” that works. It is named Bueno, sold here in Oklahoma in the freezer section at Uptown Grocers or Crest Foods. This is authentic New Mexico red chiles which have been charred, deseeded, destemmed, and reconstituted, flash frozen. All it takes is heating before adding to your meat portion.)

  • 2-3 large Poblano peppers, packaged as dried whole sections (Anchos)
  • 2-3 large Anaheim peppers, packaged as dried whole sections (Guajillas)
  • 3-4 cups HOT water to cover
  • 1 fresh green or red Bell Pepper, diced and seeded, membranes removed
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1-2 fresh jalapeno or Serrano peppers, deseeded and diced
  • 6 to 8 cloves of fresh garlic, minced fine
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Mexican Oregano
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • Directions:
    Begin preparing your Authentic Red Chile Sauce.
    • 1. Prepare dried chiles by removing seeds and stems. The flesh may break up, but that does not matter, just don’t waste it. Scoop all the dried flesh into a sauce pan or large bowl.
    • 2. Cover with HOT water. Let stand about 20-30 minutes until the chile flesh is “reconstituted” or has become softened. Cover and reserve.
    • 3. Prepare fresh chiles, peppers, and onion. Remove seeds and stems (unless you like it really hot, then leave the seeds and membranes) from the jalapenos, or Serranos, and the fresh Anaheim peppers. Dice bell pepper and onion.
    • 4. Put reconstituted peppers and water (all the water, do not waste a drop!) along with fresh peppers, onions and garlic into a blender. Do not overfill; this will probably require you to work in batches. Blend until no chunks remain and mixture is silky smooth.
    • 5. Pour liquefied chile and vegetable mixture into a large saucepan. Add seasonings and place entire mixture on medium or medium high heat to start.
    • 6. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to Low or Medium to permit to simmer until thickened, wonderfully odiferous and smooth. This sauce should have a nice gloss to its surface.
    • 7. Leave this to simmer while you prepare your stew meat. This should take about 30 to 45 minutes. Do NOT permit the sauce to burn or scorch.
    Prepare Beef:
    • 1. Spread stew meat out on a platter and season on both sides with ground pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, Mexican oregano and cumin.
    • 2. Dredge seasoned meat in flour so that all sides are well covered.
    • 3. Heat corn or vegetable oil in large skillet.
    • 4. Add stew meat to hot oil in skillet in batches to permit the meat to sear well and prevent it from steaming and becoming glue-like. As each batch is properly browned on all sides remove the batch to a platter where it will stay warm while you work with the next batch. This will usually require three rounds of searing.
    • 5. When all the meat has been browned, add it to a large stockpot.
    • 6. Pour water into the hot skillet and stir to loosen all the browned bits. Add this to the stockpot with the meat.
    • 7. Add enough water to the stockpot to cover the meat. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to allow the meat to simmer. Cover to keep in the heat and steam the meat to a wonderful tender doneness.
    • 8. By the time you’ve prepared all the meat and started the stewing process, your Authentic Red Chile Sauce should be just about ready.
    • 9. When your stew meat is tender, add about 3 cups of the Authentic Red Chile Sauce and stir thoroughly. (You can store the rest of the sauce you made in the freezer and use later.)
    • 10. Let the meat continue to simmer and soak up the flavors of the chile sauce. After about an hour, the Chile Colorado is ready to serve.

        We love this dish served with hot flour tortillas, sides of Mexican rice and refried beans. A few tortilla chips, guacamole and the garnishes make a great meal.

        This meat is also fabulous with breakfast. We love to serve it with Mexican rice, refritos and a couple of fried eggs, preferably sunny side up but over medium works, too. For the breakfast version, we like to pair it with fresh orange slices or cantaloupe perfectly chilled. A hot Mexican coffee with chocolate and heavy cream makes the meal pure perfection!

        Bon appetit!

    Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

    Consider This


    So…What’s Your Sign???

         Anyone out there remember the hippy-dippy, Bohemian, cool and groovy days when people, usually young, would be out on the prowl looking for other young people, usually of the opposite sex, and began conversations with, “So…what’s your sign?”

        What was that? I get it that nervous folks will latch onto a question like that when they’re anxious, trying to make a meaningful connection. But seriously, what was that? Was everyone back then a Zodiac geek? If the lady sipping a chocolate martini at a local bar was asked by some dude what her sign was, and back then they all asked, and she answered “Sagittarius,” what did that mean to him? Or, to ensure his getting invited back to her flat, did he say something stupid like, “Well now, talk about coincidences! I’m a Sagittarius too!” which, he was sure, would seal the deal when in fact he didn’t know a Sagittarius from a Chiropodist. And, did it actually work?

         Maybe his asking the young lady what her sign was did help his cause, but why? That’s the part I don’t get. I do understand that scholarly people make huge and important studies of the planets and stars, and for them it is all extremely meaningful and important and teaches us a great deal. Many learned men and some women too have “brought the planets home to us” advising us that knowing about them will help us to better understand our world, and for that, we have to thank scholars like Copernicus, Galileo, Hawking, Sagan, Newton, Einstein and countless more. For them, planets spinning about in the Great Vast meant something, taught us things, but likely had little if anything to do with people scoring. That’s the part I don’t understand.

        Lately I hear a lot of “universe talk” too and once again, don’t quite get it. Folks will say, “The universe has been so good to me.” Or, “I’m counting on the universe to help me through this mess I’m in.” Or, “I know the universe will help me to sell my home/get me out of bankruptcy/make her divorce me/motivate me to lose 40 lbs., fix Fluffy’s mange problems” etc. This “universe” of which they speak appears to have a whole lot of control over their lives. My answer is always the same; “So, a gigantic hole in the sky around 13 billion years old, where great bunches of stars, planets and outer space stuff floats about, has total control of your life, your emotions, your future? Seriously? I mean really??” And they all nod solemnly and say quietly, “Yes. It does.”

        OK then. I don’t get it but as for me, one of the Greatly Ignorant, I don’t think I can possibly rely on that huge hole above me to fix the pickles into which I so frequently find myself. Oh, and one other curious thing—a lot of those folks who insist the results of a long-ago Big Bang can catapult them to greatness and glory, seem to never get to either of those places, and yet still get a whole lot of the unpleasant things we non-universers get; diseases, car trouble, scary kids, broken bones, obnoxious relatives, leaky roofs, gout, gas, gallstones and GERD. So where is their precious universe when they most need it? Up in the sky where it belongs.

        Alas, I guess I won’t understand why someone’s Zodiac sign under which they were born has anything to do with anything, and I sure won’t be counting on any ancient frozen black hole floating above my head somewhere as having the slightest anything to do with anything in my life. I’m trying, but it’s just not working for me.

         My sign, by the way, is Capricorn and when I’ve read about how Capricorns are supposed to be, the “definition” is completely opposite of what, who and how I am. And I sure never needed that “what’s your sign?” thing to snag Mongo back in 1957. I also have a very nice life without having ever had any contact with that great vast thing Up There. But hey, maybe it’s been watching over me all along. If so, thanks.

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