Saturday, November 26, 2011


I thought this would motivate everyone to start on their Christmas baking sooner than later! Enjoy! 
Once again this year, I've had requests for my Christmas Rum Cake recipe so here goes:
(Please keep in your files for use in years to come!)
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar and Lemon Juice
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • Nuts (the kind you like)
  • 1 Bottle Rum (Sample the Rum to check quality.)
  • 2 cups Dried Fruit
Take a large bowl; check the Rum again to be sure it is of the highest quality. Repeat. 
Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. 
At this point, it is best to make sure the Rum is still OK. Try another cup just in case. 
Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 eegs and add to the bowl and chuck iin the cup of dried fruit. Pick the fruit up off the floor. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit getas stuck in the beaterers, just pry it loose with a drewscriver. 
Sample the Rum to test for tonsisticity. 
Next, sift 2 cups of salt, or something. Check the Rum.
Now shift the lemon ice strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find. Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 s and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner.
Finally, throw the bowl through the window. Finish the Rum and wipe the counter with the cat. 
Cherry Mristmas

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I made a little quick mix jambalaya soup this evening for Judy.  She's not feeling her best, so supper was up to me.  I don't mind, 'cause it gives me an excuse to sample a little of my giant bottle of Glenmorangie

I bought the soup mix at the Fresh Market in Knoxville, and immediately thought, "this would be perfect for kielbasa"...forget the shrimp! 

The mix is intended to be a delicious take on the traditional southern dish! With the addition of shrimp (substituted kielbasa) this jambalaya soup mix makes a tantalizing meal.
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Jambalaya Soup Mix Ingredients:

Saffron, basmati rice, carrots, red and green peppers, onions, freeze-dried black olives, scallions, rosemary, cayenne pepper and turmeric. No added salt, preservatives or MSG.

Recipe Additions:

6 cups chicken broth (or part clam juice)
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (with garlic if available) or Rotel canned tomatoes (I added red pepper instead of the Rotel heat!  However, I learned after the first bite that's the mix includes the HEAT!)

Optional: 1 cup cubed ham, 1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and de-veined (or crab, clams, scallops or crayfish)

Jambalaya Recipe Directions:

Bring broth to a boil and add jambalaya soup mix. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add tomatoes including juice and ham, if desired. Bring back to a simmer and add shrimp, if desired. Cook 5 minutes longer and serve.

Inventive Recipe Variations:

I added a can of shoe-peg corn, and one of diced potatoes!

Jambalaya Recipe:

For a jambalaya rice dish instead of soup, do the following:

Prepare as above but use only 4 cups chicken broth. Leave out the shrimp and serve as a side dish to grilled fish.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Okay, so I'm promoting another of my websites here...PAUL MASHBURN - FINE ART, but if I don't who will?!

I have been accumulating photos for years, and have finally got to the place in my life where I have the time to spend outside at different times of the day and night to capture the images I see in my mind's eye, and the money for the kind of equipment one needs to do the job right. 

Photography has always been a passion of mine, or at least from the time, back in 1964, when a friend, Frank Boyce, gave me an old "Mamiya rangefinder" 35mm.  I used that little wonder all through the Air Force, including documenting my tour in Vietnam, and up until the time I started working for the Roane County NEWS as advertising manager.

Man, did I have fun working in advertising.  Naturally, it involved great accounts with the boutiques in our little county, and pretty high school girls (who weren't that much younger than me then), and beautiful clothes!  What more could a creative mind and a love for photography ask for?!

Of course, I spent my time on the sidelines, nearly getting creamed by running backs, just to get that one great shot for the sports page!  I think the anticipation of the darkroom experience after the game was almost as exciting as the game itself.  I loved the smell and feel of the darkroom, but most of all what you could do with a negative.  All the while, looking forward to surprising my owner/editor with a great shot!

Today my darkroom consist or software called Photoshop!  No smell, no feel, just greater control.  However, I miss the isolation and the yellow light glowing up in the dusty corner of a musty little curtained off room.

Another chance meeting that spurred my interest and knowledge in photography was working with Bill Hall, who was a renowned, yet mischievous, photographer, and the paper's chief camera man.  He used a Hasselblad, a "Hackeyblad" as he called it, which in my mind elevated him to great photographic stature!  I was almost ashamed to stand by him with my little Minolta 35mm!

I learned a lot about the art of photography, and the darkroom from Bill.  I owe him for pushing me on to be the best I could be with what I had.

In this old newspaper clipping (above), you can see that I did all the work (a day teaching), while Bill flirted with the college gals and got the photo credit at the bottom. 

However, I soon began getting my own "credit line", as the clipping above shows.  I was just Paul then...the "J" came later!

I even spent my time sweating, literally, over a 39, plus 1 double exposure, wedding shoot so I could thrill some newly wed with a cheap (cost wise) wedding album.  Thirty-nine 8X10 photos in a tufted and monogrammed album all for $200!  No one could beat it...except maybe with a little more quality that multiple lights offered, but hey, I couldn't afford all the extras at the time.  I was just trying to supplement my $150 a week income, and possibly save enough for a better camera, or another Mustang!

I ended up with a 2 1/4X2 3/4 format camera called a Rapid Omega 200.  It was really nice and gave me some of the finest color negatives I ever got from a film camera.  I still have it...if anyone's interested!

So, back to today...I decided to offer my best photos (solely judged by me) for sale.  I get request all the time from my Flickr site from people wanting this or that, but never had a way of really selling to the public.  After getting request for my night shot from Buzzard's Bluff recently, I started researching in earnest.

I found Fine Art America while Googling and comparing companies, and I think I like what they offer.  There is no commission to be paid...I just list base price I want out of a sale, and they add on shipping, handling, tax, framing, and take credit card payment from the buyers.  I simply get a check for what they've sold for me every two weeks.

Well, don't get excited, I haven't made any money yet, and I probably will never get rich, but at least when someone asks how they can get a copy of a photo of mine I have somewhere to send them, and I just stay out of the negotiation.  They can take it or leave it...I just want to take pictures!

Oh, did I ever give you the website?  JUST CLICK HERE, and check it out!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


My wife had a doctor's appointment in Knoxville today, so we took off early this morning.  I had left my truck at Jerry Duncan Ford last evening so the oil could be changed and a set of new shoes could be put on today while we were gone.

After the appointment, Judy and I did some shopping at a couple of different stores, but ended up doing most of the buying at Khol's.  I always warn her that if I have to go shopping I'm going to buy something!  So, true to my word, I bought a new pair of jeans and walking shorts...both in size 38 I may add!  Yes, I'm feels good to be able to wear decent size clothes again.

I also went into Blue Ridge Sports and bought a Timex sport watch...with a big digital face on it.  I'm getting tired of not being about to read the time on my old expensive analog watch!  This one I can even wear in the shower, if I want, or never even take it off again!  Best was only $19.95! 

We went from there to the Pei Wei Asian Diner, a place I had never been.  The first thing I notice is that there is no bar, but they do have beer and they simply display a single bottle of each type they have, and on the wall behind the cash register are single bottle displays of the wine you can order.  Different from what I expected, but at least they have a decent bottle selection!
Judy didn't want to be disturbed!

We ordered a single dinner, as we are in the habit of doing these days since we seem to fill up faster in our old age, and two pork rolls.

The Mandarin Kung Pao Spicy (spicy) comes with chile seared soy sauce, scallions, garlic, snap peas, carrots, peanuts, and was plenty for the two of us.

Their hot sauce is wonderful too.  It is already mixed, unlike P. F. Chang's, and is a delightful mix of hot and sweet, but really adds plenty of punch, so go easy until you taste it.
This is just half the order!
The pork rolls were crunchy, yet tender, and made a good "pusher" for the chicken and brown rice we ordered.

I brought along two packages of Crystal Light Lemonade to turn our water into a delicious beverage for our meal.  No, I didn't get a beer, and that too is becoming more and more common for me these days. 

Had I gotten one though, it would have been a Kirin Ichiban!

We left, more than satisfied, and all I can say is...I'll be back!  I love the cool dark ambiance of the place, which makes a quick food place seem more expensive than it really is.  I also like serving myself my drinks, napkins, condiments, and while yet eating on "real" plates, with "real" knives and forks!  'Course you can eat with chopsticks if you like, but I can't get the food in my mouth fast enough like that!  I'm a true westerner!

Finally, we get back to Harriman and I pick up my truck with her new shoes!  I'm $1K poorer (including the oil change and alignment), but she sure looks nice in those Michelin's!

My only compliant is that they did not wash my truck after spending that kind of money!  If my old buddy Carl had been there, he would have!

So, I went down the street and had it washed, asking them to pay particular attention to my new tires!

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Haven't posted much lately, but that doesn't mean I haven't been eating!  Both of us, my wife and I, have been out lots of times and have fixed some great things to eat at home, but tonight was a little scary.

Yep, we thought we didn't have anything good in the house to eat, but, man, were we surprised!

Judy had put some pintos in a pot last night to soak overnight, but she wasn't exactly sure what she was going to do with them...chili or just with cornbread?  Since we didn't have any ground beef, chili was out, so cornbread was a definite!

However, after she picked around in the freeze she found that we had some chicken tenders, so that with some BBQ sauce seemed to be calling her name...and mine!

I mixed up the cornbread while the chicken cooked in BBQ sauce in the oven, and I occasionally stirred the beans that had been cooking most of the day Saturday.

Judy discovered some potatoes in a plastic bag beneath a banana, an apple, and a couple of onions in a wooden bowl we keep on the counter next to the coffee pot.  

Eureka!  We had the makings of quite a supper!

She pealed and sliced up the small potatoes and fried them to a golden brown, while I cut up the onion, and finished the cornbread mixture by adding an egg and some milk.  Some where a long the way, might have been after I poured some scotch over ice...I don't know, I added some shredded cheddar cheese and some diced jalapenos!

I poured the bread into a hot iron skillet just after the cooking oil began to smoke and, walla, we were off!

Judy finished the potatoes and reheating the pintos just as the timer signaled the bread was ready.

Man, I'm tellin' ya...this all came together wonderfully, and I'd much rather have been at my table tonight than in any restaurant in the country!  It was delicious and I hated it when my plate was good I can still taste it! 

So, the morel of  this story is...keep looking, there's more in your cupboard than you might think!

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Ever since I got my appetite back, sometime in February, I have looked forward to going out to eat.  I'm not content to cook up something like I used to, although I love anything Judy does.  I guess it's a matter of whether I had to cook it or not!

Anyway, this has been one of those weeks, and it ain't over yet, that I've gotten to eat out 4 times!  Strangely though, every time I weigh at the doctor's office I still come in at 217 fully dressed.  That's 30 pounds less than this time last year!  I'm sure if this appetite keeps up that it will change, but thus far I've maintained that weight for about 4 or 5 months.

Judy and made a run to Knoxville Wednesday, after her dental appointment, and ate at my favorite place; P. F. Chang's!  I love that place and their KUNG PAO SHRIMP OR SCALLOPS (I get both) which has peanuts, chili peppers and scallions.  Judy tried their new SESAME CHICKEN lunch bowl which is stir-fried with broccoli, red peppers, onions and ginger in a sesame sauce.
Of course I always have to have a draft of KIRIN ICHIBAN!  

After filling our bellies, she wanted to stop by Markman's Jewelry, supposed just to look, but naturally she ended up trading up on her wedding bands!  I should have known better!

Thursday evening, I went downtown to the kick off rally for Chris Mason's second run at the Harriman mayor's job, and ate free BBQ.  It was really good, and I need to find out who catered that affair, 'cause I want some more soon!

Friday evening we were invited to meet Jerry and Gene Eblen at RedBone's in Kingston for supper.  They are good company for dinner and kept us laughing.  I had eaten almost half of my half of the GULF SHRIMP AND GRITS we ordered before I thought of taking a photo.  Besides, the tables are relatively close in there, so I didn't want to blind someone next to us and cause them to miss their mouth and put out an eye!  However, trust me, the dish was good...along with the fried green tomatoes on the side!

I'll have to say, the margaritas were a touch shy on the hard stuff!

Then there was tonight, Saturday, and we met the other Dragons and Knights at Carrabba's.

Everyone was in rare form, but Neena and Ron seemed anxious to leave on their western trip in their camper.  However, they sat still long enough to enjoy their meal.

I had a hankering for their brick-oven pizza, and ordered one with pepperoni, onions, and olives.  Man was it tasty! 

I've found that beer really fills me up quickly, so I ordered my next favorite - scotch/rocks!  It was good, but man the markup is almost as painful as gas these days!

Then there's tomorrow...wonder what I can sink my teeth into before Monday!?

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


I know, this will sound like I'm bragging, but damn, do I have the most beautiful backyard this time of year, or what!?

Judy and I made our monthly pilgrimage to Walley World today, mostly for toiletries, but ended up buying $300 worth of crap!  Most of the cost was in vitamins, which will probably do us not good at all, but into the cart they went!

'Course we did buy some good tasting stuff, like the hamburger steak and salad we had tonight.  Add to that was some canned green beans my sister-in-law gave us last week.  Man, it sure was tasty, and really made that scotch I had while grilling the steaks taste mighty yummy!  Uh oh, did I say that out loud?!

As I cooked, and imbibed, I noticed how blessed I was to live where we live.  Now you can say I'm bragging, but just look at this scene out across my deck.  Is that not "spring" to the twelfth power!? 

Pay no attention to that little UT highball's just water in case there is a flame up!

Judy was in side cooking up the beans, adding garlic and crushed red pepper to the mix, while I'm outside tending the propane fire!  It was in the seventies, windy, with fresh young green growth everywhere.  What a day!

Judy had dropped off her watch, and my mom's, at the jeweler in town, so we stopped by on the way home from Walley's.  It turned out that they had t-shirts from this Saturday's "Cruisin' in Harriman", so I bought one to wear.  The front has tree great cars on it, two of which I photographed, and the back has a photo of the Princess Theatre, which I took back in '09.  I'm so excited that Jim Thornton honored me by using my photos in his design for this year's shirt!

So, I suppose I'll be walking Roane Street this weekend during the "Cruisin' in Harriman".  I sure wish you could be there with me!  There's nothing like a street party in "small town USA"!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


This isn't a special recipe, or some unknown way of cooking something, it's just something I do annually when the weather warms up enough.

I clean the ol' grill, and prepare the first grill cooked meal of the season!

It was a beautiful Sunday, with temperatures in the 70s, and I pulled the bulky cover off the grill and did a little Brass-o job on last year's grease spots!  I also sprayed the rack with olive oil and scrubbed them into shape!

It was evident, right off, that the electric starter needed replacing, but a match brought the grill to life!  

With the rib-eye and fillet, coated in salt, pepper, garlic powder, and sprayed with olive oil to marinate for about 15 minutes, Judy got the potatoes in the oven to bake for an hour at 400, and was prepared to cook the corn-on-the-cob in the microwave for about 8 minutes.  I poured a Glenmorangie Scotch, on the rocks, and got into grilling mode!
I'll have to be honest, my steak was not very tender, but thankfully Judy's fillet was!  That's more important to me, especially since she rarely wants a steak.  I had preferred shopping for beef at Kroger, but she had insisted on Food City, so she lucked out.  I, on the other hand, now wish we had gone out for a steak dinner!

All in all, the private supper with the two of us was enjoyable, and the large portion leftover will be great with biscuit and eggs on another morning soon!

Thursday, January 06, 2011


Got home late today, just ahead of another snow, but we needed to eat something, and eat something comforting and warm!

Previously I had frozen some chicken meat, and I found the big pasta noodles I wanted to try, along with a jar of Mezzetta pasta sauce, and some sun dried tomatoes.  Well, it looked to me like all this would go together pretty well together, and well it did!

I cooked the huge pasta noodles for about 12 minutes, while I chopped up the chicken into bite size pieces, and cut the dried tomatoes down to thin strips.  

On a back burner I heated the Home Style Marinara.  On the larger front burner I began cooking the chicken in olive oil and garlic.  I also put the dried tomatoes into the hot skillet and cooked them with the meat.  I used sea salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to season the chicken meat.

Once the chicken was thoroughly cooked (which means the tomatoes had plumped up and cooked) I added it to the marinara and then poured it all over the noodles!

Man, watching the heavy flakes of snow come down while eating hot pasta is the end to a perfect day!
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