Monday, December 30, 2013

Chicken & Dumplings

How do you organize your recipes? Are you old school and keep a paper file or do you have electronic files, or do you use a website or social media site? I LOVE Pinterest for pinning recipes. I often scan the web looking for interesting dinner ideas, then pin them for future reference. Some of my friends like to use Facebook for recipes that interest them.. and their picks look yummy... but its on Facebook. As you may know Facebook won't allow Pinterest pins. While my cousin and I have similar taste I can't save the recipe or find it on the web. So I'm making a blog with the recipe and picture, just so I can save it to Pinterest for future dining. Happy eats!

Crock Pot Chicken & Dumplings

4 skinless chicken cutlets
2 tablespoons butter
2 cans condensed Cream of Chicken soup
1 onion, finely diced
2 packages refrigerated biscuit dough 


Put chicken, butter, onion, and Cream of Chicken soup in slow cooker. Add water until all ingredients are covered. Cook for 5-6 hours on High. 30 minutes before serving add torn pieces of biscuit dough to pot.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday's Child a Mother's Story

Genealogy bloggers tend to reserve Wednesday for stories about children who past to soon.  Today I'm expanding it a bit to include a mother, Mary Burket, and her children. Life was tough in rural Pennsylvania in the late 1800s. Hopewell, Pennsylvania  was primarily a farming community. Early to bed, early to rise; few of the modern day farm conveniences existed then. Families literally lived and died with the crops.
Life expectancy at that time was only about 45 years old. Unfortunately, children dying young was not uncommon. Two of Mary's siblings (Leonard & Hannah) died before she was 10 and one, Daniel, died before she was born. In 1855, John & Elizabeth Brown Burket (my 3rd great-grandparents) welcomed their 12th child into the world. According to the census in 1870 she was the only child living at home, while going to school. That census record shows at 14, she could not write. The 1880 census does not show her inability to write. Whether the question was asked or assumed, the census taker believed Mary had learned to write. Her father had by 1870 retired and had turned the farming duties over to her brother Samuel (my 2nd great-grandpa) who had set up his own house on the farmstead. In 1871, John T Burket passed away at the ripe old age of 64 after tasking Samuel to take care of mother and 15 year old sister. 

Mary married a local boy, Walter Cessna and they set about raising a family in Hopewell as well. August 1874 brought their first child, Elizabeth. By the 1880 census, Elizabeth had a brother and sister to keep her company. Mary and Walter had two more children who lived well into adulthood; David and Earnie May. With the joy came sorrow as well. Mary gave birth to stillborn twins 1886. The Cessna's last child, Glenn, was born on April 30, 1895. It was a difficult birth for both mother and child. Mary lingered 15 days after giving birth, before passing away on May 15th at age 39. Her son Glenn didn't live to see his 3 month birthday. Unlike today with 24/7 social media it is difficult to track the happy and joyous events in an ancestors life. I'm sure Mary had many happy events, but the recorded memories are of loss and a life cut short. Mary and her young children are buried in the Cessna Piper Road Cemetery. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Today's Google Doodle Honors a Legend

My dad has had a lot of cool jobs and worked with lots of cool people. He's even worked for a legend. Today Google is honoring a computer pioneer and my dad's old boss, Admiral Grace Hopper on what would have been her 107 birthday. As many American's did, Grace Hopper joined the Navy during World War II. Unlike most American's she remained in the Navy until 1986, when she was retired for the last time as the oldest active-duty commissioned officer.The Navy wisely assigned the newly minted officer with a Phd in mathematics to the Bureau of Ships Computation Project and the results have changed our world. Techno geeks can wax on about her contributions to the 1st computer, invention of the COBOL and more. I will remember her from the stories my dad would tell. 

The most famous computer bug
When I complained about a bug in a program, dad asked, do you know why it's called a bug? And launched into the story of how one day his boss was working on a programming problem on a computer so big you could literally walk thru it. When a glitch occurred, workers would have to visually inspect the entire computer looking for the problem. On this particular day, the culprit was a moth stuck to a component. Grace proclaimed the problem fixed and the computer "de-bugged". The term stuck. For that matter, so did the moth. It is permanently stuck in the log book and on display at the Smithsonian's Museum of American History. 

Dad says Admiral Hopper was a character. The thing that sticks out in his mind most is her habit of picking up an object and chucking it at an employee crying "let's play". The recipient of the object would sit down to chat with Grace. On one such chat with her, she encouraged dad to go back to school. He complied and earned his masters at night from UPenn's Wharton School. After watching this clip of Admiral Hopper schooling David Letterman, I can imagine her "let's play chats". 

I've met many of my dad's bosses. I wish I could have met fellow DAR sister, the dazzling daughter Grace Murray Hopper. Happy Birthday, 'mam.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Car Help Needed!

Ok folks, I need help from those who understand cars. So far in life, I have managed to avoid doing much more than taking my car in for servicing when necessary. When they get overly cranky and needy, I buy a new car.  My current car, a 2003 Honda Accord, has served me well, but is entering the world of teenage drivers.  Since this generation has grown up with personal playlists, a way to connect an Ipod/MP3 to the car stereo system is a must. Of course my cassette player which had with an adapter and had been adequately serving this purpose for me has decided to commit suicide. There has been much talk about replacing the cassette deck or radio, adding a new radio, aux panel and adding sub-woofers. Sorry sub-woofers aren't happening. As to the rest, it just leaves my head spinning as the kids babble.  

Now my dad has gotten into the act by saying the kid needs a GPS. Well this is no surprise to me, as I have to constantly give him basic directions as well as driving instructions. Gratefully he is a much better driver than he is navigator. There is also a need for some sort of hands free phone ability, making Bluetooth and additional add on. So while watching Auburn beat Missouri I have been searching the web for GPS, AUX & Bluetooth. At halftime, I ran to PC Richards for advice, but only came away more confused. For those who know anything about this stuff, I'm sure it's no surprise there are hundreds if now thousands of choices, the majority of which I don't understand. Gratefully (I think) I stumbled upon a couple that make sense to me, at least in looks. If I'm right they might even come with rear view camera capabilities! So these are the pretty choices, one I totally get the picture, but the instructions are missing so I can't tell if all the cables & stuff are included. The other has great detail of all the cables included, but I can't figure out where to plug in my MP3, so I'm perplexed.
There's a MP3 plug in front!
Where do I plug in my MP3?
Am I on the right track? Building from scratch like PC Richards seemed to be talking about seems way to many choices for me. Is this something someone somewhat mechanically inclined (not me) can do or do I need a professional?  What is the right way to go? Oh, any recommendations on car trackers would be appreciated as well.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cookie Exchange

Tis the season to be jolly! The Ferro-Monte Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, celebrates the season with a Cookie Exchange on Saturday December 14th.  Bake your favorite cookies to share with the chapter. Don’t forget to bring containers to bring home samples made by fellow members. As a service organization, the Ferro-Monte Chapter, NSDAR believes in helping those in need; so please bring non-perishable items as we will be collecting donations for the local food pantry.

Ferro-Monte Chapter meetings are held at Roxbury Township Free Public Library 103 Main St, Succasunna, NJ at 10am the 2nd Saturday of the month from October - March. Prospective members are always welcome. If you have an interest in learning about your family tree, we can help you; maybe we can even find a Patriot among your leaves. For information, email:

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to promote patriotism, preserve American history, and support better education for our nation's children. Its members are descended from the patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War. With more than 165,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world's largest and most active service organizations. To learn more about the work of today's DAR, visit

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Brownies are Coming, The Brownies are Coming!

Today is National Cookie Day a fact that went un-noticed by many. In fact I didn't know what I was missing until a Facebook friend post alerted me at 8pm. Unfortunately, the kitchen is closed up and the dishwasher is running so it is to late now to make a quick batch to celebrate the day. The FB poster asked for an alert so as not to miss it next year. That sent me to the web and what a delicious treasure trove I discovered. So yes as mentioned Dec 4th is National Cookie Day; it turns out however certain types of cookies get their own day too so for the record, July 1st is National Gingersnap Day and July 9 is National Sugar Cookie Day. What the heck are Hermit Spice cookies? Well they've got their own day too on November 15.

I know, you're reading all about cookies and going, where are the brownies? Well National Brownie day is fast approaching on December 8th. So stock up on supplies now or order a box of brownies for a friend!