Sunday, February 7, 2016

"Oh, Kaye!" Chats About Football, Shares a Superbowl Sunday Recipe AND shares a little personal news

First of all, I know every single one of you loves football.  Right?!

And you can't wait for the game to start.  Right?!

Okay - some of you may only watch for the commercials, I know.

And some of you just like collecting Super Bowl Sunday Recipes.  And if you're one of those, this recipe's for you.  

This is what Don Barley and I will be having today as our halftime meal  (in between the nervous Superbowl snacking we'll be doing with those wild swings between sweet and salties - ice cream, chips, maybe a Baby Ruth, eating, after all, on Superbowl Sunday is a tradition.  Isn't it??!

Cheesy Pull Apart Sliders:
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 cups diced onion (about 1 medium onion)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (10-oz) can Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles, drained
  • 12 slices cheddar cheese
  • 12 dinner rolls
  • ½ cup (one stick) butter
  • 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Place a large skillet on the stove top over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the beef and season with salt, pepper, mustard powder, and paprika. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is browned and onions are golden. Stir in drained tomatoes until combined.
  • Slice dinner rolls in half and place bottom half of rolls in 9x13 baking dish. Top with beef mixture & sliced cheese. Finish off with the top half of the bun.
  • Mix all the ingredients for the glaze in a sauce pan over medium heat (or microwave about 40 seconds) and mix until melted, smooth, and combined. Pour evenly over the buns.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes.

Makes: 12 burgers.

okay - so.

before we move on to football (although, I know most of you are dying to move on to football), I have a little news I'd like to share.
Some of you already know it, I squealed quite loudly about it at Facebook.   
I intended to write about it here.  I actually had a lot to say (imagine that), but it happened about the time we were traveling to Atlanta for my mom's service and then the holidays were upon us.  But now seems like an okay time.
I was thrilled, surprised, honored and am still floating to have been chosen as one of the top ten finalists in the annual short story contest conducted by Southern Writer's Magazine. It was for my story "Picnics with Aunt Kathryn."

If you're interested in reading it, along with the three top winning entrants and other finalists, you can purchase the magazine in print, or the on-line version, at their webpage -

And if you're not already a subscriber to the magazine, it's one I highly recommend.

So.  Yeah.

That happened.


Okay, already!

I know, I know.

Y'all are ready for some football, right?!

I swear, y'all are such football fanatics here, who would ever believe it?!

Superbowl Sunday.

There was a time when my home would be full of people on this hallowed day.

It started when I was a little thing and growing up with a dad who was an obsessive Colts fan.  Actually, I'm not sure there was any other kind of Colts fan.

Tickets were impossible to come by.

When someone died their Colts tickets were passed down.

My dad did not own a Colts season ticket, but he owned "part" of one.

So he didn't get to all the home games, but those he did get to were always something he enjoyed more than just about anything else he did.

And he was usually in trouble the next day.

He would go with this crazy crowd of cronies.  They were always later getting home than he said they would be.  Much later.  And he would usually bring my mom a gift to ease the pain of the wrath of Hazel.  Not, I assure you, a gift she was thrilled with.  None of you would have been either, I promise.

I hesitate to mention some of the gifts 'cause I don't want you to think less of my dad, but LordAMercy.  They were awful.

Okay.  Here's one.

Only a group of idiot men coming home late from a football game will think it's a good idea to stop along the side of the road and pick up (okay, let's just say it - steal) a State of Maryland smudge pot.

Anyone remember when this is what road crews would use at night to mark the roads?  Like say, they were doing a repair and wanted to re-route cars away from the repair site?  There would be a line of these flaming smudge pots showing a new traffic pattern.

Well, we had one.  For a very short while.

And no, my mom was not happy.

I think I remember her saying one time when she was mad at my dad that she was going to call the State of Maryland and turn him in for stealing state property.

And I think we all got kinda tickled about that, truth be told.

What can I say - I was raised by crazy people who laughed at crazy stuff.  And did crazy stuff.


When my dad couldn't be at a game and when it was on TV there was always this group of rowdies hanging out at our place.  The Arcade.  

Here's the roster - Tom Duncan and his dog Bobo (I loved Bobo.  Loved Tom too).  Dude Willoughby and his younger brother Young Dude Willoughby.  Some guy named Fish.  Another guy named Moose.  There was a Donnie (the only one I didn't particularly care for).  And a sweet old guy named Fred.

They would drink beer.  A lot of beer.

My mom would make sandwiches, or sometimes cook them a nice meal.  She would put it out on the kitchen table so they could help themselves and then she would disappear into the bedroom, close the door and read or nap.

She was not a fan of football.


I was usually on the floor, sitting between my dad's feet sneaking sips out of his beer.

This was a problem.

My mother would pitch a fit about him allowing his only child to become an alcoholic before the age of 10.  (I'm telling you, she had some great lines).

It was also a problem when the Colts would score and everyone in the room would stand up, arms straight up in the air, screaming SCORE!

I occasionally had my fingers stepped on.  I also occasionally would accidentally hit someone in the nose when my hands went straight up for the SCORE!

We had an old sofa that sat on 4 short little wooden legs.  When the guys sat back down one Sunday after the SCORE! all four legs popped off the sofa and pinged against the walls.

Oh, yes - Hazel Wilkinson was thrilled.

Long story short - a new sofa was bought.

But the very next time the guys were over to watch the Colts someone's cigar was dropped and there was a nasty burn in the sofa arm.

WHY my mom put up with all this I will never know.  

But these things did make for great stories, I have to say.

You might already know the end of this particular saga.

Colts owner Robert Irsay moved the team from Baltimore to Indianapolis, completely unannounced, in the early morning hours of March 29, 1984. This after having been THE team in Baltimore since 1953.

Believe me when I say this is still a topic of conversation and it has not yet been forgiven.

When we were cleaning out my mom's apartment we found this -

Oh, yes.  This was a huge hit back in 1984.

But I had to laugh that my mom still had it.

Tucked in a drawer.

An old 45 that had been my dad's.

Back when he was heartbroken and mad as hell about losing the Colts.

Back when we actually had a turntable on which this record could be played.

Moving ahead quite a few years and I was now in Atlanta and pulling for the Atlanta Falcons.

There were always, always, always, people at my house watching football.

Once again, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

My furniture was now the furniture bearing football scars.

My house was now the place people were drinking beer and standing up to shout SCORE!

I was the one making sandwiches and leaving them in the kitchen for everyone to help themselves.


I had become my mother AND my father.

I was also flat in love with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

All of them!

But mostly I loved Terry Bradshaw, Mean Joe Greene, Franco Harris and Lynn Swann.  Man - I loved those guys.

But, as time went on I lost my taste for football.


It's back.

and in a big way.

Now I'm head over heels in love with Cam Newton who is a breath of fresh air.

And now I'm a happy girl with my bum parked in front of the TV on Sundays watching the Panthers play ball.  And I will still stand up and shout SCORE!

Football is fun for me again.

Who knew?!

So.  Today I'll be reliving the kind of Sunday I used to live.  Back from the time I was a kid sitting between her dad's feet stealing sips of beer.  Today though I'll be in my own chair, drinking my own glass of wine, and I'll be thinking about my dad.

Watching the Carolina Panthers play the Denver Broncos in the Superbowl.

No big crowd of people here today for the big game.  Just me, Donald and Harley Barley.  Not as many Superbowl snacks sitting around as there might have been back in the day, but some.  More than enough though.

Harley hates watching football with me because I am a loud TV participant, but he does enjoy those snacks that get dropped on the floor.

I still jump up and yell SCORE!

It seems to be a part of my genetic make-up, that "SCORE!" thing.

And I still yell at the refs.

And I am, of course, a great armchair quarterback AND coach.

Funny, and fun, how after not sitting in front of a football game on the TV for so many years how it all came right back to me this season.  Kinda like riding a bike, I guess.

Truth be told, none of this would be happening for me if it weren't for one person.

Cam Newton.

This guy is a ray of sunshine who has pulled a team together.  A group of guys now having fun while playing the game.

Oh, it's still serious business.

But they are having fun and pulling the fans right along with them.

We're having fun too.

Sad we forgot just how much fun football could be.

Sad the NFL has become what it's become, in my opinion.

Maybe Cam Newton and his teammates can be the beginning of turning all that around.  I can hope so anyway.

In the meantime - - -

Reds - 

Are you ready for some football?

Or do you just hate it?  

Or, at least, ignore its very existence?

And if you're watching today's game who are you cheering for?


  1. Congratulations, Kaye, on your selection as a finalist in the short story contest. That's super news!

    Your recipe sounds delicious; we'll have to try it. Thanks for sharing.

    Football? Not a fan . . . no favorite team, no preference for which team wins. I gues you could say I'm simply ignoring its existence.
    Actually, I have a book I'm planning to finish reading.

  2. Sounds like you're up for it, Kaye!

    Loved your story today. I do remember those pots very well! When I was a little girl I blew out the flame in a smudge pot by the brook that ran under the road and was swelling, because I thought it was dangerous. Ours didn't have closed tops the way the one in your photo does. They're hard to describe but looked like one of those cartoon bombs. I went home and told my father about how I saved the woods from burning up. I have never been as patient as he was. He told me what they were for and that I must never blow out the flame and that they were safe. After that, however, he went out two or three times a day to check. Everyone thought he was very dedicated to keeping the neighborhood safe. I even had an email recently from the woman, then girl, who babysat me back then. She remarked how diligent my father was in caring for the smudge pots. I wanted to take credit for scaring him into it.

    As for football, picture four deaf guys watching TV at full volume so they might hear a little bit of it! That's all I have to say!

  3. Congratulations, Kaye, on being a Top Ten finalist in the Southern Living contest! I love that magazine! And thanks for the recipe--my boys will love it and the mini-dachs will thank you for any dropped 'snacks.' Football? Eh, no. Not since the glory days of the Cleveland Browns and those days ain't never coming back. Sigh.

  4. Congratulations, Kaye!
    Football? Um... we're going to see Star Wars. In 3D.

  5. Congrats on the Southern Living coup Kaye! and you sure painted a clear picture of your parents' differences on football. very funny!

    I'm not a big fan, though I'll watch a little with John if one of his two teams are playing--the Steelers and the Patriots. Unfortunately, neither made it to the game today...

    I save my excitement for women's college basketball--go Huskies!!!!

  6. Mornin', Everyone!

    Thanks for all the kind words about my Southern Writers Magazine piece - not Southern Living though. How wild and cool would THAT be? wow.

    Hallie, I saw the new Star Wars in 3D. twice. Guess you could say I really loved it. Have fun.

    Reine, what a great story!

    FChurch, doesn't that recipe sound delish?! I'm anxious to try it today.

    Joan, enjoy that book!

    Lucy, I'm also a big Steelers fan.

  7. I'm going to yoga class and looking forward to Downton Abbey tonight.

  8. We are not admitting football exists, because-- the Patriots.

    But I know Jonathan will watch, and I guess I am for Carolina, because of Cam Newton. But as a journalist, is Peyton Manning the better story? Neither of us will be yelling, because we both have laryngitis. It is pitiful.

    Hallie, when you get back from Star Wars, I have a question. I'll wait to ask you all until then.

    YAY KAYE! Congratulations on your short story, and I am (silently) cheering!! xoxooo


  9. Have fun, Susan!

    Oh, Hank. BOTH of you with laryngitis! Nooooo! Maybe we should do a Hank & Jonathan comic strip with little balloons that we can fill in. LOL!!! and thank you, sweetie.

  10. Oh that must have been so fun at your parents' house! That smudge pot reminded me of a stunt a college dorm friend pulled. She decided she wanted one of those. So we girls are in a car creeping along an Austin street. A passenger door opens. A hand comes out and grabs a smudge pot. Car speeds up. Stops again to dump out the oil. Speeds up again. Back at the dorm the culprit showed us the shiny red smudgepot that lurked under all that oily grime. I don't have any idea what she did with it.
    As for the Colts creeping out of town, I feel your pain. Those damn Cleveland Browns did the same thing to us. We were living in NE Ohio at the time and were big Browns fans. Then Art Modell pulled his stunt and they were gone. After much outcry the NFL did a dog and pony show about picking new owners to bring a new Browns team to town. What a joke! Bah. I haven't had much to do with pro football since then. But I do root for my Houston Texans and admire JJ Watt. Just don't watch the games.

  11. Oh, Pat - we need to do a collection of smudge pot stories - How Funny! Memories. I'm sitting here watching the pre-game show and surprised at how many of these players and plays I actually remember.

  12. My father and I used to watch the games on TV when the NY Giants were playing (Y A Title, Rosie Greer, and such).
    My mother would get a big batch of giant size (!) pretzels for us and find a project in another part of the house. We were loud. And, yes, were argued with the refs and played backseat quarterback.
    We were good.
    Can't say I have any real interest in the game since then. It was all about the Dad.

  13. Congratulations, Kaye. What spectacular news, definitely super bowl worthy. The Colts were in the first Super Bowl game I remember. I think it might have been III. Of course, they were playing against Joe Nameth and the Jets. I have no recollection of who won and less recollection of the game, but I remember the noise in the house and the great snacks. This year, again, I have no idea who is playing, but I am rooting for the kitten bowl kitties and the puppy bowl puppies. I heard all the kitten bowl cats had been adopted so I say SCORE to that!


  14. Oh, Libby. So, so sweet. Dads and daughters - wow, huh?

    Oh, Kait - how I remember that game!!!! Joe Namath and the Jets won that game and upset ALL the odds. It was wild and Joe Namath was a guy you either loved or hated.

    Here's to the kitties and the puppies and I am with you - they are adorable!

  15. Kaye, congratulations on your story! That is just fabulous!!!

    Love the recipe, too, and loved hearing about football and your dad.

    My dad was a Cowboy's fan, so he watched football--although he was the least football-y guy imaginable. (He loved golf and horse-racing.) I remember Super Bowl Sundays as being fun but not a huge deal.

    The Superbowl is the only football we ever watch at our house, and that's mostly because I like the ads and the halftime show, and an excuse to make a little occasion of it. I'm going to make my friend Diane's oven-roasted chicken wing recipe, served with lots of crunchy veggies and the best thing ever--Trader Joe's Blue Cheese Dressing!

    And I think I'm rooting for the Panthers, mostly because I think Cam Newton is cool and it's nice to see such a talented young player with CLASS!

    Hank, you and Jonathan drink lots of hot tea and whisper, "SCORE":-)

  16. Thank you, Debs! I always loved the Cowboys and thought Tom Landry was one very classy guy. There really is something about Super Bowl Sunday that just seems to demand celebration - no idea why, but it's always been so. And yep, I agree - Cam Newton is a classy guy, and full of a childish enthusiasm that so many of us have fallen in love with. Sending a kiss for Baby Wren.

  17. Such great news, Kaye! Good luck, darlin'.

    Football is meh, as far as I'm concerned, although we are going to a Super Bowl party this afternoon. I will probably barely look at the TV, though, except maybe during halftime. And we had better be home in time to watch Downton, is all I can say.

    And I do remember smudge pots! Haven't thought of them in years. I guess they were an environmental disaster, but effective for a long period of time. How funny that your dad thought your mom would enjoy having one. Or at least that's what he said, eh? LOL I mean, after all, beer.


  18. Aw, thank you, Karen! Have fun at your party today - I'm betting you'll eat well. And yes - you made me laugh - - beer. Lots and lots of beer. LOL!!

  19. Tom Landry was a class act. My mom rooted for the cowboys for years. Now she's expanded to include the Texans. We lived in New Orleans in the early days of the Saints and Archie Who. He and his sons are good guys so I'll usually root for Eli and Peyton. But Cam sounds cool too, so I'm happy with whoever wins. Guess I'll watch the game (and ads) until Downton Abbey time.

  20. Congratulations, Kaye on being a finalist in the Southern Writers Magazine short story contest! I plan on following the link to read your story later. The title itself has me interested.

    Sorry to say that I'm not a football fan, and since I'm home alone, I doubt I'll be watching the game today. I might sneak a peek. Your description of watching football with your dad and his cronies was wonderful. What great memories to have. My family was a basketball and baseball family, baseball when I was in grade school and my older brother played baseball, and then basketball when high school came along for my brother and he played. When I got to high school, I was a cheerleader for the basketball team, so our weeks were filled with going to basketball games, home and away. My mother played basketball back in mid/latter 1920s, so basketball was a long tradition.

    I hope those of you who celebrate Super Bowl Sunday will have a grand time today!


  21. Pat, I remember Archie Who! MORE memories!

    Kathy, my dad played basketball. He played for the U of Baltimore, and then played what was called "semi-pro." And yep, I too was a cheerleader (JV only). My dad was a little disappointed that I didn't play basketball.

  22. Have mercy, I remember so well when the Colts snuck out of town in the dead of night. It was a moment of shame that lives on today. I lived in various parts of Maryland including outside of DC for many years. You could not avoid football in Washington or Baltimore. When I moved to my current place in central NY, professional football is not as dominant probably because there is really no home team. Now college football is another matter....but I can't imagine anything but the Terps, truth be told.

    My current boss is from Indiana and is a rabid Indianapolis Colts fan. I keep telling her that it's not a real team because they were stolen. She just rolls her eyes.

    Neither my husband nor I are football (or any kind of sports) fans. So we were able to ignore the whole thing. Except go to the grocery store this weekend. Lord have mercy.

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