Dear Readers:
My mind’s eye sees an old-fashioned black telephone with eyes wide, deliriously happy, as black notes seen on a musical scale dance above it. It happily rings to remind you that you have a call you will be glad to receive. Later, the phone would be on a wall, with a cord long enough to go into the next room, or in my case, to be able to walk around my kitchen multi-tasking as I spoke to the person on the other end. Remember?
My telephone today is a land-line with four telephones, placed in strategic areas, enabling me to answer the phone without running a marathon to say hello, and, of course, I have a cell phone. I can be reached anytime…or can I.
Today, to me, the telephone is a constant interruption, ringing from all over the United States, for whatever the reason or purpose. I am on a no call list, supposedly telemarketers, by law, are not allowed to contact me. When the phone rings, I check to see where the call is coming from, and if I don’t recognize the number, I allow my answering machine to pick up, and wait to see if there is, indeed, a message. If a message is left, I return the call immediately. If a message is not left, I don’t answer the phone. However, the aggravation comes from that same call placed again and again from the same number during other times of the day, and again and again in succeeding days. Even weekends are a hassle. A dozen calls a day is not unusual from various telemarketers, politicians, and fund raisers.
Now, those same calls are being made to my cell phone. One ringy dingy times twelve on two telephone numbers is definitely too much for me. What to do? Excuse the pun…is there an answer? PAT
Hello Pat,
Am I the only one who loves my vegies? Because squash is available in farm markets at a very reasonable price, I thought I would send you this recipe. It is a great side dish for either yellow or green squash. My family loves these croquettes.

2 cups yellow or green squash, finely chopped
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil

In a large bowl, combine squash, onion, egg, salt and pepper. Mix well. Stir in flour. In a skillet, heat ½-inch oil over medium-high heat. Drop batter by tablespoon into oil. Cook about 3 minutes per side or until golden brown, turning once. Drain croquettes on paper towels. JUST ME
Does anyone know who repairs radio/record players? I have a Philco that is not working and I have some old records that I would love to play. Is there anyone who can fix it? Please contact me at [email protected] Thanks!

I am writing in reply to your request for Gluten-free recipes. I have a ton, as I have a very limited diet. Because of Celiac Disease, I try to eat a healthy diet. My husband makes our food from scratch. We try not to consume the genetically modified foods: beets, corn, rice, potatoes, peanuts, soy. Most of the packaged Gluten-free food is made from all the GMO’s due to it being inexpensive to process. We try to stay away from sugar; using local honey and unsweetened applesauce in place of sugar. We try to make everything from scratch-even soap, use local.
Breakfast being the most important meal, I have enclosed a pancake recipe. I have a ton or other information/recipes and would be glad to share with you. Pat has my email address.
Makes 16 Pancakes
Delicious egg-free, grain-free pancake recipe in which chia gel (chia seeds soaked in water) is used as the egg substitute. You’ll never know that the pancakes don’t contain eggs.

2 tablespoons organic chia seeds
6 tablespoons water
1/4 cup organic unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup unsweetened organic almond milk
1 1/2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1 1/2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
1/2 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons chopped pecans
Organic extra virgin coconut oil

1. Place chia seeds in bowl, add water and let sit 5 to10 minutes until mixture reaches consistency of raw egg. Mix in applesauce, almond milk, and vanilla, and set aside.
2. Mix almond flour, arrowroot, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and pecans together in separate bowl. Form a well in center of dry ingredients, and pour in wet ingredients. Mix together, but do not overmix.
3. Heat coconut oil in large skillet on medium-low heat. Drop 1 1/2 tablespoons batter into pan, spread out batter slightly for each pancake. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, until bottoms are browned, then flip and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Add more oil to pan, and repeat with remaining batter. A READER
NOTE FROM PAT: I will pass along your email to MARCIA. Thank you for assisting her.
Dear AVIS:
In reply to your request for slow cooker recipes, this is a recipe that has been shared amongst family and friends. I double it and add an extra can of beans. Salsa, sour cream, and shredded cheese add an extra zest.

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Cook: 3 hours YIELD: 6 servings
3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-1/4-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cans (15 ounces each) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, divided
2-1/2 cups chicken broth, divided
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
Optional toppings: sliced avocado, quartered cherry tomatoes and chopped cilantro
1. Toss chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat; sauté chicken until browned. Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker.
2. In same skillet, heat remaining oil over medium heat; sauté onion until tender. Add jalapeno, garlic, oregano and cumin; cook and stir 2 minutes. Add to slow cooker.
3. In a bowl, mash 1 cup of the beans; stir in 1/2 cup broth. Stir bean mixture and the remaining whole beans and broth into chicken mixture.
4. Cook, covered, on low until chicken is tender, 3 to 3-1/2 hours. Stir before serving. Serve with cheese and toppings if desired.
Freeze option: Freeze cooled chili in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little broth or water if necessary. Yield: 6 servings.
Note: Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face. PHYLLIS

Hi Pat,
I have a self-cleaning oven that leaves a lot of residue on the sides and bottom of the oven. After I use a brush, spots are left, especially on the oven window. Because I have a problem with respiration when using commercial cleaners, something homemade would be great. Can anyone help? DOTTIE D.
Slow cookers are so handy! I hope you try my chicken recipe. I like to add lemon slices, as it gives the chicken an extra kick of fresh lemon flavor.
1 teaspoon dried McCormick oregano
1/2 teaspoon Morton salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1. In a bowl, mix the oregano, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture into chicken. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken in butter for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Place chicken in a slow cooker.
2. In the same skillet, mix the water, lemon juice, garlic, and bouillon. Bring the mixture to boil. Pour over the chicken in the slow cooker.
3. Cover, and cook on High for 3 hours, or Low for 6 hours. Add the parsley to the slow cooker 15 to 30 minutes before the end of the cook time. GRANDMA OF FOUR

Dear ROSE,
This is a web site where many recipes are listed for the Power Pressure Cooker. Hopefully you have computer access and can look at these recipes. NANCY

Dear Pat,
This will become a favorite of your readers. I love it because I can make it the night before I have company. It’s easy, light and so good!

2 1/2 cups graham crumbs (2 sleeves)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 cups of powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounce container Cool Whip
20 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained well
Preheat the oven to 300 F. Melt the butter in the microwave and let it cool. Combine the crumbs and butter, and then press 2 cups of the crumb mixture firmly into a 9×9 square pan and bake for 8-10 minutes. Place on wire rack to cool.
Beat the cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Turn the mixer down to low and add the powdered sugar one cup at a time until incorporated. Turn up and beat well for a minute or so. Add a heaping tablespoon of the drained crushed pineapple and stir in with a rubber spatula. Spread the cream cheese and pineapple mixture over the crust
Fold the remaining pineapple into the Cool Whip and spread on top of the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle the remaining graham cracker crumb mixture on top. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. EASY DOES IT
Hi Pat,
We have been using the angel food cake mix and crushed pineapple recipe for a long time. A perfect topping for this cake is an 8 ounce can of crushed pineapple and an 8 ounce tub of Cool Whip. Mix the two together and spread over the top of the cool baked cake. To us, it also tastes better if the cake mix with topping is put in the refrigerator for a while after making. This cake makes a great fast dessert when you have last minute guests coming for dinner or are going to visit friends. Hope you enjoy the topping addition. DENNIS

I am answering your request that is in need of sewing, hems and clothing alterations help. My rates are reasonable. I am a retired teacher; elementary and secondary schools. Some of my majors are: Elementary Education K-12 (tutoring experience) Home Economics: Cooking, Sewing-Alterations, and Guidance & Counseling. I am a fairly young retired teacher and can relate well to both young and old. I am kind, friendly and efficient. Please email if you have needs that require expertise in these area. Pat has my address. Thank you. MARCY

Dear Pat,
The holidays are right around the corner and I was hoping to get a head start on shopping, planning, and hosting. I wonder if someone will share a favorite recipe or craft for gift giving, an idea for decorating, or even a knitting or crochet pattern they appreciated making. If it has already been done and brought raves that is what I am interested in. Thanks! ANNIE W.
Hi Pat,
Each fall, close friends and I get together for what we call our “Cup of Cheer.” Though busy schedules keep us from gathering during the year, this special time gives us the opportunity to renew our friendships. It’s a delightful afternoon spent enjoying tea, chatting and making memories. As a special keepsake, we exchange a special teacup and saucer we’ve found at yard sales or antique shops during the past year. After five years of this cherished tradition we each have a lovely and unique collection of teacups that reminds us of a special time with dear friends. MONIQUE
Keep smiling!

Contributing is easy. Answer a request for someone who needs assistance, ask for assistance from the readership, share a recipe that brought raves, tell us about something you read about in a magazine that bears repeating, share your summer book author, let us know about a pattern for something you knitted or crocheted, tell us about an idea for an occasion or craft, let us know of a date for a happening… anything that sounds good to you is good for us. Send your contributions to Pat Gratton, Boomtown Media 11928 N. Williams St., Ste.3 Dunnellon, FL 34432 or email me at [email protected]