Sunday, January 9, 2011

Baked Potato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Memories Brought Back by the Tuscon Shooting

Everyone has times in their lives that are defined by the events around them.  Moments you never forget.  Snapshots in your history where you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing.  For me, and I’m sure many others I grew up with, memories are stirred when events such as yesterday’s horrible shooting in Tucson occur.  I’m immediately transported back to August 20, 1986.  I was sixteen and living in Edmond, Oklahoma. I woke up to a phone call from a friend who needed a ride to her job at the amusement park, Frontier City.  It was a Wednesday and I was still on summer break. I remember my mom was putting together a pot roast.  I remember the smells from the kitchen and the look on her face when I told her where I was going.  She didn’t want me to leave, but I was headstrong and my dad wasn’t home, so she conceded, with restrictions.  She said whatever I did, do not go by the post office (there was only one at that time).  She explained that there had been a crazy man shooting people there.  (The gossip chain in Edmond moved fast and clearly my mom had gotten neighborhood updates via phone all morning). Getting in the car the news was on the radio, but I turned it off to listen to music (a cassette by Lone Justice).  After that it is a bit of a blur, other than watching the evening news with my family, talking about the tragedy with friends and following the story closely in the media as all the details unfolded (see links below to read more about the Edmond Post Office Massacre).  It is really amazing how such minute details stay with you when surrounded by such events.  What are your memories of the Edmond post office shooting or is there some other event that happened around you that left your memories frozen in time?
On a not so serious note, we opted to celebrate Elvis’ birthday with a dinner of his favorite meal yesterday.   Apparently, Elvis loved fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches.  So we had that, but without the peanut butter because that would be gross, so we had fried banana sandwiches instead.  Only we didn’t really want bananas for dinner so we changed that, too.  We did have sandwiches, but we grilled them with cheese.  And then we also had some baked potato soup, which Elvis never really mentioned, but I think would have liked.  But other than that, it was pretty much exactly what Elvis would have eaten.  I decided to include the recipes if you, too want to sort of eat like the King of Rock-n-Roll.
Country Style Baked Potato Soup

4 large Russett Baking Potatoes
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon white pepper
8 cups milk
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
½ pound bacon cooked and crumbled
1 cup shredded cheese


Bake potato's at 350 degrees for 65-75 minutes or until tender; cool completely. Peel and cube potatoes into 1" cubes. You want it to be chunky, but some will break up. In a large Dutch Oven, melt butter; stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. If you want it thicker, mash a few potato's against the side of the pot and stir, and it will thicken right up. Remove from heat; whisk in sour cream. Add potatoes and green onions. Place back on stove and heat to serving temperature over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Ladle into bowl and garnish with bacon and cheese.  Thanks to for this tasty recipe!

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Italian Sandwich Bread
2 slices of bacon (already cooked)


Slice generous portions of the cheese and place in between the bread along with bacon (if you don’t know how to make a sandwich I pity you).  Heat up griddle or skillet, about 300 degrees and add a couple pats of butter.  Fry up your sandwich, being sure to add more butter as needed.  It should be nicely browned on both sides and the cheese nice and gooey.

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