Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Oven Fried

Kentucky Fried Chicken/KFC Original Recipe chi...

That’s right–not Kentucky Fried. OVEN fried. 🙂

Brother Jeffrey shared Mom’s recipe for Potato Chip Chicken the other day, so I thought I’d pass it on to you.

His family ate it for their Christmas dinner, which they had a few days after the 25th when his daughter and her family made it home. (Any day’s Christmas when you’re family is together. Right?)

And as Brother Jeffrey says, “The proof of a good recipe is when you eat it all–even when it’s leftovers.”

I agree!

So, here’s his recipe.

Jeffrey’s Potato Chip Chicken
Enough chicken for your crew, cut up.
pepper chicken
dip in Pet Milk
roll in crushed potato chips to cover really well.

Put on baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for one hour or until all pink is gone.

Thinking about JPCC, I remembered a similar recipe that came from Pryor Creek.

Pryor Creek Chicken

Melt 1 stick of butter (1/2 C) in baking dish.
Roll cut up chicken in biscuit mix and put in melted butter
Cover with foil.
Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, then 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Easy Peasy, right? 🙂

With all this chicken talk, I remembered one more. It’s from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa and one of my favorite cookbook authors.

This is from the Food Network website.

BTW: I’ve made this recipe several times, and I’ve never soaked the chicken in buttermilk over night. Usually, I dip it in the buttermilk and get to cooking. 🙂

Oven-Fried Chicken

Copyright 2002, Barefoot Contessa Family Style, All Rights Reserved

Prep Time:
15 min
Inactive Prep Time:
10 hr 0 min
Cook Time:
40 min
6 servings



  • 2 chickens (3 pounds each), cut in 8 serving pieces
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil or vegetable shortening



Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and pour the buttermilk over them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Take the chicken out of the buttermilk and coat each piece thoroughly with the flour mixture. Pour the oil into a large heavy-bottomed stockpot to a depth of 1-inch and heat to 360 degrees F on a thermometer.

Working in batches, carefully place several pieces of chicken in the oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side until the coating is a light golden brown (it will continue to brown in the oven). Don’t crowd the pieces. Remove the chicken from the oil and place each piece on a metal baking rack set on a sheet pan. Allow the oil to return to 360 degrees F before frying the next batch. When all the chicken is fried, bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink inside. Serve hot.

From Susan–
Since you’ll be cooking for your family, fix the chicken the way you like it. Sometimes I add a little garlic powder or cayenne pepper for extra flavor.
However you cook it, be sure you eat it with those you love.
And, as always, enjoy!



Ever notice there aren’t any songs about Friday? There’s “Monday, Monday,” “Yesterday,” and “Today,” but Friday really should have a song. Hm. Maybe there’s one I can’t remember.

Isn’t Friday everybody’s favorite day of the work week? (People who go to work, that is.) It’s my favorite day, for sure. Why? Because, more people dress the way I dress most of the time on Fridays. In jeans.

So my walking buddy and I’ve started trekking around town again since the big cool off. (Thank you, Jesus, for lower temps!) We’ve wound our way through the cemetery as well as the streets on both sides of Broadway. Yesterday, we went past one of our favorite houses.

I think it’s one of the oldest houses in C-Town. It has a well, a couple of out buildings and a beautiful yard and garden. (There’s even a greenhouse.) And this was out front, just waiting to stop us. 🙂

Of course, it worked. We stopped and wished we had the talent of whoever set up this gorgeous fall display.

And we’re thankful they don’t call the cops on us. (We don’t get in the yard–very far, anyway.)

Thank you, person who lives in my favorite house! You make our walks wonderful.

To celebrate this gorgeous time of year, I’m going to share my mom’s applesauce cake recipe. (Hey, I love apples and don’t — er — enjoy pumpkins so much.)

Mama’s Applesauce Cake

1 C sugar
1/2 C shortening
1 well beaten egg
1/8 t salt
3/4 C raisins
2 C flour
1 1/2 C applesauce
2 t soda
1 t cinnamon
1/4 C hot water
2 T cocoa
3/4 C nuts
Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs, beat well. Mix soda and applesauce, then mix with the rest. Add hot water. Sift flour, cocoa, salt and cinnamonn. Mix all together. Add rasins and nuts.
Bake in a moderate oven.

That’s all that’s on the recipe card–in Mama’s hand writing. (I love old recipes from Mama.) Bake the cake in an oblong pan for about an hour at 350 degrees. If you bake it in layer pans, shorten the time by five or ten minutes.


Carla Emory’s Old Fashioned Recipe Book

Carla Emery

Image via Wikipedia

One of my favorite all time books is Carla Emery’s Old Fashioned Recipe Book.

I first heard of Carla a long time ago. I saw her on the Phil Donohue Show. (Remember Phil? I think he was married to That Girl–Marlo Thomas.) Anyway, in 1977 Carla had a book for sale, published by Bantam.

In 1971, the book came out in four issues. Truly selfpublished. Carla wrote it, and with the help of friends mimeographed it on colored paper, punched holes in it, and put it together with metal rings.

There’s a big, smart and profitable movement these days toward self-publishing, but it’s nothing like what Carla did. I wonder how many people want to publish that badly? I’m not sure I do. At least, nothing I’ve written yet.

I love Carla’s book. It’s so much more than that. It’s how to live on your own without running to the store every day. (She tells how to preserve fresh eggs for the winter–in water glass.) How to be self-sufficient by raising most of your own food. (Animals and all.) How to believe you can do what needs to be done.

Something that always intrigued me was her recipe for homemade bread. Look in the index under bread, you’ll find–boiled, Boston Brown, cabbage, challah, rye, salt rising, unleavened, wheat and yeast. 

One heading under breads is called, The Science and Art of Yeast Bread Making. It tells what you need and why you need it. Liquid, yeast, sweetening, shortening, salt (all that’s pretty much explanatory) then, Other Things:

I’ve reached the point in my bread making where I don’t make a bread without some “other things.” A whole wheat bread is improved so much by the addition of a quite large part of fruit, vegetable or both.

 She adds cereals, or rice, or corn bread or crusts. AND plenty of things like eggs, mashed potatoes, pumpkin, apricots or peaches.

I’ve tried making bread Carla’s way. It’s been a long time since I tried it. G-Man makes bread more often than I do these days in our bread machine. And we rarely vary from the recipes in the machine’s instruction book. (We don’t want to gilflirt the bread maker.)

She tells:

How to make cheese. I’d love to try it some time, but I doubt I ever will. She even tells how to make rennet. (Enough on that subject.)

How to be a bee keeper. It’s one of those magical things I’d love to try, but won’t. LOL. I’m allergic to pain, so I can’t go there. I love knowing about it, though.

How to make jam, jelly and preserves. I tried making strawberry jam once years and years ago, using apple peel instead of pectin to thicken. When jam doesn’t set up, what have you got? Syrup. Yeah, I must have missed something. 🙂

How to raise just about any garden vegetable. Even Jerusalem Artichokes. Oyster plant. (Aka salsify–whatever that is.) And celery.

Celery and celeriac aren’t for just any garden or gardener. They are both difficult and demanding to grow even though celleriac is a little easier than celery.

How to make attar of rose, rose water and rose beads.

How to use herbs. How to dry them, make butters with them, vinegars, extracts and oils. She also tells about sachets and herb pillows.

Here’s a Midwestern pioneer recipe for a Headache Pillow: Mix together 2 ounces each lavender, marjoram, rose petals, betony rose leaf and 1/2 ounce cloves. You’re supposed to sniff it to cure your headache.

Anybody know what betony rose leaf is?

Sadly, Carla died in 2005. I won’t get to meet her this side of Heaven, so she’ll never know about all the hours of entertainment she’s given me. I’ll never be a pioneer woman. Never live anywhere that I don’t have indoor plumbing. I won’t preserve eggs in waterglass.

I certainly don’t plan be a homesteader, milk a cow or churn butter. I won’t depend on my garden in order to eat or feed my offspring.

But if for some reason I’m forced to, I’ll have my partner, Carla, to help me along the way.

Advice from Carla:

Take a leaf from our revered Colonial great-grandmothers who grew their own wool and flax, spun the thread, wove the cloth, and grew all their own food and drink. They drank out of a single vessel which circulated from hand to hand around the table and ate two or three to a bowl, which helped save on dishwashing. They specialized in one pot meals–mainly stew. When cold weather came the children were sewn into their winter underwear and wore it until spring when everybody had a bath.

  1. Don’t discuss the obvious.
  2. Don’t own a television or radio. Read no worldly magazines and only the front and back pages of a newspaper.
  3. Quit a job when you’re losing efficiency.
  4. Go to bed when you’re tired.
  5. Eat less salt and less sugar, and use less heat.
  6. Keep records of things to do, things to buy.
  7. Then get somebody else to do as much of that as possible.
  8. Don’t drink coffee, tea, colas, alcohol, smoke cigarettes, chew snooze or use drugs. Stay at home.
  9. Sing a lot.
  10. Pray a lot.


So just admit you can’t be an old fashioned girl and continue doing as much of everything else as you used to and decide what you’re going to neglect. Or better yet, go ahead and neglect it because deciding takes time.


John Vinson Cookies

Ready for a Christmas recipe or two?

For several years, G-Man, the boys and I lived in Pryor Creek, Oklahoma. While we lived there, we owned a pharmacy (or maybe it owned us.) The best thing about living in PC and owning that business was the people we came to know and love.

One of those people was John Vinson. John was an older man who lived with his wife outside of town. Something had happened to John in his younger days (I don’t know what) and he lived with a tracheotomy–a hole in the base of this throat.

He’d found a way to talk by swallowing air and forcing the words out. Before very long at all, he was very easy to understand. For a man who’d come through something as awful as what he must have and having to live with whatever trouble the trach caused, he was a delightful man. He always had a smile, a story and a joke to share. I never once saw him less than happy.

One year at Christmas, he came in telling me I had to make G-Man a batch of fruitcake cookies. Now, I’ve never been a big fan of fruitcake–at least the store-bought variety. Home baked might be delicious! But at that time, I thought I knew. 

John brought me his recipe, G-Man encouraged me, so I bought the ingredients and baked our first batch. I have to tell you, it was delicious!

I still have trouble getting other people to try these cookies because they think they know what it’ll taste like. They have no idea how good they are.

I used to think John had a secret going here, but I recently found two similar recipes. Barefoot Contess and The Pioneer Woman both have cookies that are very close! And they like them, too. <G>

This is from Ree’s blog

Before you recoil at the word “fruitcake” and run screaming from this website (and I realize it wouldn’t be the first time you’ve probably run screaming from this website) please listen: You must try these cookies! They are completely divine.

These cookies are wonderful with coffee or milk or just by themselves. 

Suggestion–if you want to try a batch and aren’t sure whether you’ll eat them or not, find an old man to share them with. I’ve found that old guys like fruitcake better than anyone. 

BTW: Rather than Fruitcake Cookies, we changed the name to John Vinsons’s Christmas Cookies. Sometimes people will try them before they hear the FC word and padlock their jaws. 🙂

Try them. You’ll adore them!

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C sugar
  • 2 1/2 C flour
  • 2/3 C real butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp whiskey–cheap bourbon (John’s directions!)
  • 1 tsp soda dissolved in boiling water  
  • 1 C white raisins
  • 1 7 oz pkg dates
  • 1/2 pound candied cherries
  • 1/2 pound pineapple
  • 1 pound pecans

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, mix each group of spices with flour taken from 2 1/2 C. Chop nuts by hand. Chop fruit with sissors. Keep separated, flour as mentioned above and add to batter one at a time. Add nuts last.

The batter is very stiff. Drop by heaping spoonfuls on cookie sheet. (Don’t let them get too brown.)

Bake in a moderate oven.

Word of warning–I had trouble finding the candied fruit this year. I went to three stores before I found it, but according to my friend who makes a fruitcake every year for her father, it stores well. So I bought enough for three batches.

Enjoy and merry Christmas!