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Thursday, October 12, 2023

Thursday Threads

I enjoyed this sunrise several days ago
It has been awhile since I wrote an I Like Thursday post. Thanks to LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color, for her encouragement to look for things we like! Her links to additional bloggers and their I Like Thursday posts are right here. This is a long, photo-heavy post, so if you like, just look at the photos!

SLC, a common term describing "scary looking clouds!" These only contained rain and lightning
I like this October weather! We had rain, then it got down in the 40s last week and is supposed to again this coming weekend - woo-hoo!

I like my "new" old Club Ware aluminum pot. My Mom had one just like this one, and the best pot
roasts were made in it. I was "watching" one on eBay and got an offer from the seller I couldn't refuse.

Although many would say it's too soon, I like Christmas displays! We found this one
last week at Home Depot, and I'm sure Hobby Lobby and other stores have followed suit.

I liked spending time at soccer practice with Delaney. And we will get to keep Laney
and Everett a couple nights this weekend while Jenni and John go on a weekend trip!

Our new black kitty Gus, with Toby creeping around the corner to meet him.
Meet our newest kitty Gus, named after my favorite Lonesome Dove character - Augustus "Gus" McCrae. I've been spending an enormous amount of time helping this sweet little guy adjust to the good life, after being a street cat that I have been feeding whenever he showed up for two years. In August he finally allowed me to pet him, and last Friday we made the decision to bring him inside before winter. He is so sweet and shy but brave, and so far tuxedo Toby is his favorite of the other four cats.

Leeanna recently provided some interesting prompts related to our favorite spices and herbs, so here we go!

Most used spices or herbs
My favorite baking spice is cinnamon, followed closely by nutmeg. I buy whole nutmeg and grate it with a microplane. Favorite cooking spices and herbs are garlic (both fresh and powder), basil (fresh and dried), smoked paprika, and cumin. I like spice blends like Everything Bagel and like Wendy, I like to sprinkle it on my hummus. My husband bought a big jar at Sam's made by Einstein Bros, but I prefer the blend from Spice House. I used to buy Penzey's spices and used them frequently in my catering, but when they made me feel unwelcome a year or so ago, I was one of 40000 folks they lost as a customer. But the bonus of that was finding Spice House, and I love their spices and buy them in "flatpacks", which are shipped free. I also purchase spices and herbs from Trader Joe's and Walmart.

Sits next to the stove and frequently used!
Special containers
I purchased some pretty glass containers on Amazon, and Hubs made a special spice rack for the counter so everything is handy. Sometimes I just use the container it came in, especially if it is Trader Joe's! 

Herbs I grow
Basil is almost always in the garden. Although I fail to use it very often, I do like to pick a leaf and smell it! Rosemary is another favorite, and I love to use it in homemade bread. I haven't grown any since we lived in south Texas, where it was pretty much perennial and grew into a small bush. It is included in my garden plans for next spring.

An unusual herb I enjoy
Maybe it isn't very unusual, but I love cilantro. In my experience people either love it or hate it. My mother hated it and said "it smells like a stinkbug" - lol! I buy a bunch in the produce section, cut about a half inch off the ends, and store it in water in the fridge, loosely covered with a plastic bag. I love to snip it into salsa, salads, guacamole, and soups. I change the water every few days, and it lasts about two weeks, then I throw the remains with the water into the garden.

Spices and herbs used when I was growing up
Mom used Lawry's Seasoning Salt, and that was when it still contained MSG. She was quite adept with the shaker, and everything she made was delicious to me. I think she used garlic salt too. I buy the low salt version of Lawry's (no MSG) and garlic powder instead of garlic salt. Like Helen's Mom, my Mom sprinkled paprika on her deviled eggs, and she made some kind of really good noodle dish with the name "paprika" in it. My cousin Weezey had never heard of paprika and couldn't remember the word so she repeatedly asked Mom to "make those Puerto Rico noodles" every time she visited.

My Granny used nutmeg in her old fashioned sugar cookies (recipe here on my old blog), so I grew up loving it. It is my favorite cookie spice. Mom used whole cloves when she baked ham, and she covered it with them. I used to like cloves, but for some reason I no longer care for the taste, so I do not buy pumpkin spice to use in pumpkin pie but instead use cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and sometimes a bit of cardamom.

Ethnic foods I like, and do I make any of these at home
Mexican is always my choice for a restaurant! Our favorite Mexican restaurant is Lupe Tortilla and our favorite in south Texas was Guadalajara. My husband gets the same thing every time - beef enchiladas covered with chile gravy and cheese, but I like to branch out and try some of the "specials" (even though I'm usually full of a frozen margarita, chips, queso, and salsa!). My favorite entrees almost always contain chicken, avocado, and roasted poblano peppers, and I love fish tacos with either grilled or lightly fried fish.

I have recreated my husband's favorite enchiladas and a really good queso by using
this cookbook by Sylvia Casares, the owner of popular Tex-Mex restaurant in Houston.

If you've stuck with me this far, let me know what kind of spices/herbs you like in the comments!


  1. Thanks for the wonderful post today, I enjoyed every word of it!

  2. Beautiful sky photos, Linda! I have to admit I get a kick out of the Christmas tree displays, too - even if it's only mid-October. You're an angel with those kitties - lucky Gus! I love enchiladas - it's what I always order at my favorite Mexican restaurant here. That would be a handy cookbook to have! Happy Thursday!

  3. So much to like in this post, Linda. I sure hope Gus fully adjusts soon. He is a lucky kitty! I really enjoyed your bit about spices and I love the spice rack your husband built.

  4. How cool. I like that big old pot. I have a shelf full of spices, and I keep seeming to gather more!

  5. Lowry's Season Salt is what I use to make Chex Mix. Mmmmm! I love fresh cilantro, but I see it dried on your shelf. I didn't even know you could have dried cilantro. I may have to look for that next time I'm at the store. One more thing... Nutmeg... I'm not sure I've ever even used or tried that. Somehow I associate it with pumpkin spice or egg nog and... yuck... And, another admission... I didn't even know there was such a thing as buying a whole nutmeg and grinding it up!

  6. someone else had a solution to be able to leave comments and I followed her directions to be able to leave a comment - now I need to see if it will work on other blogs for me too

  7. This was such a fun post! I could relate to a lot of things here, such as having a favorite pan, although mine is a new one. Like you, I love cilantro. I think there’s no in between when it comes to cilantro, you either love it or hate it. I also like nutmeg. I use it in some cookie recipes, but I find I use it the most in savory recipes. Green vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli pair quite well with nutmeg. Unlike you, I hate seeing Christmas displays, even when it’s close to Christmas. They always seem so overdone. I started seeing Christmas things in August, and I wanted to run screaming into the streets. That cookbook looks marvelous. It sent me to Amazon looking for a used copy. I was drawn in by the title alone. I love enchiladas, and they are so versatile. You can stuff anything into an enchilada and with the right sauce it is delicious.

  8. Hi Linda! Gus looks like he's adapting well inside the house. Toby is such a pretty cat! That big 'ole pot is pretty cool - I can almost taste the yummy pot roast. I hope you enjoy the grandkids. All that time together is special. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  9. Enjoyed your post very much, especially the part about Gus.

  10. What a fun photo filled post. We have SLC in Wyoming often. I'll have to try to photograph some this fall. If I can stick my wimpy head out the door. Love your spice rack built especially for you. I wish we had a Trader Joes. We are stuck with WalMart, Kroger, or Albertsons. Oh we have a local grocery store that carries McCormick brand and some other off brands. I'll have to look at Spice House. I also make some of my own blends to keep them salt free. I have been wanting a microplane.....what brand do you have?

  11. What a wonderful post. Interesting and dramatic cloud photos. Wonderful story about kind you are! and we loved Lonesome Dove too. It was one of my Dad's favourite books. Do hope Gus continues to understand he has found a good home. I also love cilantro and do buy a bunch occasionally as I'm the only one who likes it. Here it seemed Halloween and Christmas stuff went up together in the stores. I don't know why the seasons have to be hurried along like they are these days...sounding like an old grump!

  12. Gus still looks a little unsure, but I'm sure he appreciate being out of the weather this winter. My mother used garlic salt and baking spices, but not much else. I had to learn a lot about herbs and spices on my own. I'm not keen on cinnamon, but like cilantro. Have a great weekend.

  13. Oh, I like that black kitty!! He is so lucky to have a warm home for the winter. I am also enjoying soccer games via the grandkids. And, there is no Tex-Mex like south Texas Tex-Mex. It is the reason I can’t lose weight.

  14. Fun post. Your newest cat looks beautiful. (Hope he doesn't mind me calling him that!) He'll get used to being indoors and the warmth and food. That was one gorgeous sunset. Enjoyed this post a lot.

  15. You saw some beautiful things - that sunrise is really gorgeous!
    and what fun to hang with the grandkids!!! ( or kid?) haha!

  16. Oh I enjoyed reading your I like Thursday post! Maybe I can do that sometime. I love spices too. I have a rosemary bush that usually makes it through the winter here in east tennessee but the only time I use it is when I make a chicken pot pie, or rosemary roasted potatoes. Cinnamon is a staple in my homemade granola and of course with the grandkids for their cinnamon sugar toast. I have used cardamom in several things and really like it too.

    1. Homemade granola - yum! I don't see cardamom in a lot of recipes, and I didn't discover it until 2007!

  17. Definitely a chili powder girl, I use it in a lot of my soups. But garlic and cumin are close seconds. Hubster is migraine allergic to cumin, chili powder, and paprika, so I have to use it sparingly when cooking for us both. He's gone this week so my chili has cumin!!! Another I use often is oregano, for my Am-Mex and Italian cooking.

  18. Penzeys is on the right side of history. They respect others, unlike the current republican party leaders and members. This is my last visit to your blog.

    1. Anonymous, I was hoping you would return and leave your name so I could know who is making their last visit to my blog. My comment about being made to feel unwelcome at Penzey’s was simply to explain why I switched from one spice company to another. It was not intended to be divisive or to cause anyone reading it to be offended.

      Although we may not agree on Penzey’s, I do respect your right to express your opinion and invite you to do so. Since I do not have your email to reply to you in private, here is my reply made public:

      None of us can truly predict how history will view our time, but being "on the right side of history" not only applies to what one believes but also how one treats people. Your comment that that Bill Penzey is on the right side of history and respects others contradicts my knowledge of him.

      Bill Penzey has expressed disrespect for Republicans for years, but I was horrified by his January 2022 email in which he chose to acknowledge Martin Luther King weekend with a “Republicans Are Racist” sale, cheerfully offering discounts to “cheese off racists”. He stated that all Republicans are racists who bought guns because “maybe they were finally going to get their chance to shoot a Black person”. Yes that was actually in the email! After offending me and thousands of others with his message of hate and divisiveness, he ironically promoted his "Choose Love" campaign in the same paragraph. Folks from both sides of the fence were appalled at his words.

      His words were not just disrespectful but openly contemptuous of millions of Americans who do not deserve to be called racist. And that is why I was made to feel "unwelcome” and chose to stop purchasing from Penzey’s.

      Although I want you to know that you (and your opinions) are welcome here, Anonymous, I do respect your decision to stop visiting my blog.

  19. Club ware aluminum pots are the best. We have an oval roast pan that we use all the time. It's the best! Great photos! I love that spice rack so close to the stove! Perfect!


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