Company's Comin' To
Ruby Bee's Bar & Grill


 

Dear Readers,

It seems I'm gonna hafta take off for a spell while I help out at Maggody's first (and last, I hope) charity golf tournament. Mrs. Jim Bob is busting a gut trying to get everybody organized. It was her idea to begin with, on account of Earl's second cousin once removed being a professional golfer like you see on TV. I reckon most of you didn't know that Maggody has a golf course -- or is going to, anyway, once Earl bulldozes Raz Buchanon's back forty. Raz is a real ornery sumbitch, so it's going take some wheedling (some might say blackmail) to talk him into it. You'll be able to read all about it when THE MERRY WIVES OF MAGGODY starts showing up in bookstores.

Oh, and I had the nicest note from Vicky Bliss over in Munich, Germany. She's been quiet for a long while, but she'll be back in business this coming spring, along with her heartthrob John Tregart. Your jaw will be dangling when you read about what was stolen. Keep an eye peeled for THE LAUGHTER OF DEAD KINGS, and take a look at www.MPMbooks.com to find out what some woman named Barbara Michaels has to say.

 

 



Muletrain to Maggody

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Spare Ribs and Sauerkraut

From Ruby Bee Hanks

According to Elton Joanne Buchanon, whose nephew joined the US Army and got stationed In Germany, every year they have a big event called Oktoberfest in Munich. From what I could tell, all they do is set up a bunch of tents, and tourists from all over the world drink big steins of beer until they fall on the floor. I reckon I see that most Friday nights right here at Ruby Bee's Bar & Grill.

As silly as it sounds, Estelle thinks I ought to have an Oktoberfest Night, so I'm aiming to give it a try. I'll put out baskets of those fat pretzels, along with bowls with spicy mustard. After looking through my cookbooks, I came up with a special that ain't too foreign for the regulars.

  • 32 oz sauerkraut (2 cans or the kind that comes in bags)
  • 3 lbs beef short ribs, country style
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 8 oz beer (or beef bouillon)
  • 10 slices of crisp bacon

Dump everything but the bacon in a heavy pot and cook 3-4 hours on low heat. Add more liquid as needed. When the ribs are fork tender, crumble the bacon on top, and if you've a mind to, remove the bones. Dish it up with boiled potatoes, dark bread, and plenty of beer.


Don't Peep Stew

From Charlaine Harris

My mother didn't ever cook much because she was more interested in having a good time than feeding us. But there was one dish she used to start in the early afternoon before she began having her fun for the day, and we really loved it. My sister and I could make the rice to go with it when we got home from school.

  • 2 pounds boneless stew meat
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 4-oz can mushroom stems and pieces (Mom usually forgot this, and it turned out okay)
  • 1 package dry onion soup mix
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • Pepper, but no salt
  • 1/4 cup water

Place meat in bottom of roasting pan. Pour all other ingredients on top of meat. At 1/4 c water. Cover and cook at 325 degrees for three hours. DON'T PEEP. The meat will be very tender and you will have a great gravy. Spoon over rice. Serves 4 to 5.


Templar Roast Lamb

From Sharan Newman

I can’t imagine why I forgot to put recipes into my new book The Real History Behind the Templars. People are curious about every other aspect of the lives of those knights. Their diet should also be of interest. Since my non-fiction history of them takes care of everything else, I’m grateful to Ms Hanks for allowing me to make up this lack.

The Templars were a group of knights who came to Jerusalem after the First Crusade and stayed to protect pilgrims coming from Europe. They eventually became monks who answered to the pope and took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. They also remained fighting knights and took part in most of the battles of the Crusades. They came to a sad end as the book explains Today they are the subject of novels, movies and innumerable theories involving lost treasure and secret societies.

I don’t think any of those involve recipes, either. However, since the Templars were fighting men, they were allowed meat, unlike other monks, who just sat around, copied manuscripts and gossiped. So here is a likely main course for the Templar knights in Jerusalem.

  • 1 leg of lamb, about six lbs.
  • 1 lemon cut in half
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp sea salt (kosher salt will do)
  • Red wine

Preheat oven to 500 degrees or start up grill or build a fire and set up a spit, whatever suits your life style. With a sharp knife cut deep slices in the lamb about ½ inch wide.

Rub the lemon half over the meat squeezing the juice into the cuts.

Mix the spices in a dish and then rub the mixture all over the lamb, again seeing that some of it gets into the cuts.

Put it on a rack in the oven or on the grill or spit it for the open fire.

If you put it in the oven, cook it for ten minutes at 500 then turn the heat down to 350.

Baste with the wine every 20 minutes or so.

Cooking time will vary depending on how you cook it, whether you like your lamb bloody, pink, or well-done, and if there is an army at the gates that you didn’t invite for dinner.

Lee McKinney Woodyard's
Cookie Sheet Chocolate Cake

From Joanna Carl

I’m Lee McKinney Woodyard, and I’m not the chocolate expert in the Chocoholic Mysteries. That’s my Aunt Nettie – proprietor of TenHuis Chocolade, “Handmade Chocolates in the Dutch Tradition,” of Warner Pier, Michigan. I’m only TenHuis Chocolade’s business manager, the one who keeps getting her tang toungled – I’m related to Mrs. Malaprop. But when Ruby Bee asked me for a recipe, I couldn’t resist passing on a chocolate cake recipe from the Texas side of my family. Funny about this recipe – back in Prairie Creek, Grandma McKinney called it “Cookie Sheet Chocolate Cake,” because it’s baked in a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. But after I moved here to Warner Pier – Lake Michigan’s most picturesque resort – I discovered my Michigan friends made the same cake and called it “Texas Sheet Cake,” even though I never heard that name for it in Texas. Go figure. My new husband, Joe Woodyard, restores antique speedboats – when he’s not on duty as Warner Pier’s city attorney – so he has an active lifestyle and can eat all the chocolate cake he likes and not get fat. And since Aunt Nettie allows each of her employees only two of her luscious bonbons and truffles a day, this cake (whatever its name is) can fill that spot that all us Chocoholics have, the one that requires chocolate 24/7.

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 stick margarine
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, well-beaten

Mix sugar, flour, salt, soda, and cinnamon in large bowl. In saucepan, stir water into cocoa, a little at a time, until it’s smooth. Add margarine and shortening to saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients. Beat eggs and buttermilk together, then stir into batter. Pour into greased and floured 9X13-in pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes in 400-degree oven. Make following icing while the cake is baking.

ICING

  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 stick margarine
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 box powdered sugar
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
In large saucepan, mix milk into cocoa until smooth, then add margarine and vanilla. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Mix in powdered sugar and nuts. Pour over cake while both icing and cake are warm, then spread around.

Delirious! I mean, delicious!


Milt Kovak's Cream Gravy

From Susan Rogers Cooper

Hi, y’all. Me and Jean just got back from a second honeymoon in Las Vegas. Well, it was really a psychiatric convention and Jean was a speaker, but it was sorta a second honeymoon, too. Or it woulda been if my second cousin (or third or first twice removed or whatever) Maida hadn’t called up the first night ‘cause her husband Burl (best defensive lineman the Longbranch Cougars ever had) got arrested for beating up his son-in-law. Now Burl’s big, but a teddy bear, and he wouldn’ta hit the kid if he hadn’t seen him with his own eyes towering over his little girl Denise who was already black and blue from her husband’s attentions. And pregnant to boot. Anyway, to make a long story short, I get ol’ Burl put into my protective custody, he slips out, the son-in-law gets shot, and Burl, of course, is the number one suspect. Then Maida decides I need help figuring this out and calls in her five grown sons, a motley crew if there ever was one. So, anyway, that’s how my vacation went, and you can read about it more if you wanna in a book called VEGAS NERVE.

Meanwhile, that lady in Arkansas, the one with the recipes, asked me to write another one. Now the last time I wrote my mama’s chicken fried steak recipe, so I figure you can’t have a really good chicken fried steak without cream gravy, and I had to learn how to make cream gravy ‘cause my wife Jean refuses to serve it, much less make it. If you could make it with tofu, I bet she’d try it, but that’s another story. Anyway, I got Loretta at the Longbranch Inn to teach me how. The Longbranch Inn’s cream gravy is almost as good as my mama’s, so it ‘s gonna have to do.

  • Pan drippings (from your chicken fried steak)
  • Milk (none of that low-fat, no-fat stuff either. We’re talking whole milk here)
  • Cornstarch
  • Black pepper

Okay, now here’s what you do: You take the drippings from the pan where you fried your steak, and you pour off some of the grease – not all of it. You gotta have some of it or it’s just hot milk, know what I mean? Then in a little bowl you mix cornstarch with a little water – you know, like a paste. Okay, then you get out the milk, heat up your pan drippings ‘til they’re really hot, and then simultaneously at the same time pour in a little of the paste and a little of the milk and stir. Keep stirring and add the rest of the paste and some more of the milk. Fire should still be real hot. Keep adding milk. Add as much black pepper as is legal in your county and keep stirring. Add some more milk. It should be getting thick by this time. When you got as much as you think you’re gonna need for the people you’re feeding, and it’s the consistency of gravy, you can turn off the heat and pour it in a bowl. You keep it in the pan it’s gonna keep on cooking and maybe get too thick, although myself I don’t think too thick’s a bad thing, but Loretta said you could end up with library paste and, let’s face it, she’s the professional.

Okay, so that’s it. Now you got some cream gravy to go with your chicken fried steak. After you fix both these recipes it’ll be okay to die, ‘cause ain’t never gonna be anything better coming your way.

Sincerely Submitted by
Milton Kovak, Sheriff,
Prophesy County, Oklahoma


Henrie O’s Green Chile Omelet

From Carolyn Hart

Hand me a ticket and I’m ready to travel whether on planes, ships, trains, or camel back. Wherever I go, I’m always on the lookout for a great café like Ruby Bee’s. My latest journey on a luxury liner in the Baltic afforded high class cuisine along with some perilous moments. I especially enjoyed the Scandinavian breakfasts with salmon and cheeses. But my favorite recipes always hark back to my happy days in Mexico with my late husband Richard and our kids Emily and Bobby. This was our favorite Sunday morning recipe.

  • 6 eggs, separate egg whites, reserve yolks
  • 6 T. hot water
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • Sprinkle of pepper
  • 1/4 t. paprika
  • 3 T butter
  • 4 oz. Can green chiles, drained
  • 1/2 C. shredded cheddar or longhorn cheese

Beat egg yolks. Combine with water and seasonings. Whip eggs whites until stiff. Combine mixtures. Melt butter in the skillet and pour in egg mixture. When the omelet is browned on top, sprinkle half with green chiles, and fold. Sprinkle with cheese and let it melt. Serve with salsa.

 

 

 

 

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