Dear Readers,
This month has been a whirlwind of activity for me. Usually, I am content to take each day, one at a time, and deal with it. The past six weeks have been rather special. I have taken two flights and been in the states of Maryland, New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island for a visit, a wedding and a memorial service, respectively. When home, I gave a birthday dinner party for a wonderful friend, had company from Alabama visit me, and then guests from the eastern part of Florida, visit. Happily they revisited, playing it safe, due to Hurricane Mathew. All in all, I have been busy!

Many times I have friends ask how I manage to accommodate all the company I have. First, I just love it! My house is cleaned because those alligators are there biting my backside to get everything all comfy for everyone. Second, I love the people who come to visit, and third, I enjoy their company. All in all, I am a happy camper when the Gratton Inn is open.

My secret lies in the fact that when my company arrives, I point out where they are to sleep (if they haven’t been here before), then I point out the stove, refrigerator and pantry. After that I tell them the maid died and I love to have people cook for me whenever they feel like it!

I can remember planning a trip up north last year and relaying the following to Mathew, the publisher of this newspaper who happens to be my adopted son (because we say so): “Mat,” I said, “I just got through renting a car, booking a room with a bed, toilet, tv, telephone and pool, and it cost me an arm and a leg!” “This makes no sense to me,” I said, “when I have the same things right here at home and it’s free!” (Well, almost.)

Therein lies Secret No. 2: Now you know why I stay at home enjoying my whirlwind called life and my company.

You are most welcome, anytime; just call to make certain I am home! PAT

Hello again,
The following hints were posted on my Facebook Page; readers asked to have them appear in my column. I learned some easy ways to do things, too.

The hint that I wondered about: Wipe off mildew with pieces of peeled potato that are large enough to use to scour bathroom tiles. Cleans mildew formed on grout. Hmmm.
To economize on shampoo or any liquid in pump spray bottle, wind an elastic band around the pump stem close to bottle opening. When pump is pushed, it is stopped before it can release the full amount of liquid.
To use soap neatly, place an elastic band around the soap dish on an angle; place another band around forming an X. The soap sits on top of the elastic bands and does not touch the soap dish.
Apply small amount of toothpaste to a sponge and wipe the bathroom sink clean.
Remove rust with ketchup. Apply to affected area, wait 15 to 20 minutes and then rinse using a toothbrush to scrub away the rust.
Baking soda and vinegar cleans the trap in a bathroom sink. Foam is generated when baking soda touches vinegar. After 10 to 15 minutes rinse with hot water.
To pour water into bucket from bathroom sink, place a dustpan under faucet with handle aimed toward the bucket. Water runs down the handle filling the bucket.
Pour a flat can of cola into the toilet bowl. After 10 to 15 minutes, brush toilet and flush. Clean!
Clean dirty glass shower doors by applying shampoo to dry cloth; rinse doors and wipe dry.
Vinegar and baking soda will clean flooring. Sprinkle baking soda over floor, then on spray vinegar. Clean with brush and rinse. Make certain windows are open or you wear a mask if you are doing a large area.
Used coffee grounds remove moisture and odor in refrigerator.
I hope you learned a new tip or two. PAT

Oven cleaning isn’t any fun. But in response to removing those well baked on black stains on
oven walls and glass:
– Mix a soft paste of Baking Powder & Water.
– Scrub & dab onto spots until well covered.
– Let stand until dry.
– Using a Scrubby, NO STEEL WOOL, and water, scrub spot until removed. You may apply more wet paste while scrubbing; wipe and rinse.
Note: When scrubbing the oven door & window, do not allow paste to drip in between gasket and glass, as this will leave streaks inside of the oven door glass panes and cannot removed. “WALLAH!” Black Spots Gone! Always works for me. John P. Rapach

Dear Pat,
I don’t know why, but I seem to crave donuts during this time of the year. These donuts are golden and plump. Enjoy!
MAKES: 30 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + chilling Cook: 5 min/ batch
MAKES: 30 servings
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 cups cold mashed potatoes (mashed with milk and butter)
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Oil for deep-fat frying
Additional sugar, optional
Nutritional Facts
1 each: 125 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 18mg cholesterol, 235mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein .
In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar. Add the potatoes, buttermilk, butter and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and ginger; gradually add to egg mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface; roll to 1/2-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 2-1/2-in. doughnut cutter. In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375°. Fry doughnuts, a few at a time, until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Roll warm doughnuts in sugar if desired. Yield: about 2-1/2 dozen. LOVES COOL WEATHER
Dear Pat –
I e-mailed you back regarding my e-mail address for the lady who posted that she had gluten free recipes. I have never heard a word. Can you contact her again for me please – or put in a little blurb about me needing these particular recipes. Thanks again.
Are we waiting for the cooler weather or not? Sure has been hot!!! Thanks again. Stay well. MARCIA

Hi Pat,
I am looking for a pattern for making the Mug Rugs out of the plastic squares and yarn. My Mom made these, but I can’t find her pattern; hope someone can help me. Thanks, SYLVIA Z.
Dear ANNIE W.,
This easy recipe is great for gift giving or any time!
2 egg whites
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
7 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
Dolci Frutta Hard Chocolate Shell (for dipping) (Ask for it in supermarket)
Marzetti Caramel Dip (I used 1 individual serving size for 12 cookies)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix egg whites, sugar, vanilla and salt. Add coconut until blended. Drop tablespoon sized dollops of mixture on parchment lined cooking sheet about 1-inch apart (makes approximately 12 cookies). Bake 10 to 22 minutes until edges and top are golden brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes. Remove to rack or counter to continue cooling. When almost cool, spread 1 teaspoon of caramel on each cookie. Prepare chocolate shell as directed on label. Dip bottoms and place on waxed paper. Add additional chocolate on top of caramel. Place in freezer for 5 to 10 minutes until chocolate shell hardens. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. MARIA, INVERNESS
NOTE FROM PAT: I asked for this recipe for you ANNIE W. These cookies are wonderful! They taste like a Mounds Bar.

Hi Pat,
I look forward to each Village Crier and your wonderful column. I have gotten some wonderful recipes from your articles. I do have a recipe problem….Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong, when I take a cake or specifically banana nut bread from the oven to cool and it looks wonderful. A little later the top has sunken in, in a few places. I don’t think my ingredients are old.
Any insight you can share, would be greatly appreciated. THERESA L.

Dear Pat,
This recipe has been around for years, but it still is the best cake! It is made with fruit cocktail in the batter and has a streusel-nut topping. A boiled coconut topping is poured over the cake while hot. It’s quick, easy, and economical.
Prep time: 10 mins; Cook time: 40 mins; Total time: 50 mins
Serves: 15
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups UNBLEACHED all-purpose flour (bleached flour toughens baked goods)
2 cups fruit cocktail with syrup (16-oz. can)
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped nuts
Mix regular sugar, eggs, fruit cocktail, baking soda and flour.
Pour into greased and floured 9×13” pan or baking dish.
Combine brown sugar and nuts; sprinkle over batter.
Bake at 325° for 40 minutes.
Spread Boiled Coconut Icing on cake while hot.

Cook time 5 mins; serves 15

1 stick butter
1 cup coconut
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk or half-and-half
Combine icing ingredients in saucepan and boil for 2 minutes; spoon over cake while hot. Let cool; cut into squares.
Hello Pat,
I love your recipes and the many articles of interest you publish. I also know some of your readers do sewing work. I would like to know if any of them could tell me where I can get a pair of pinking shears sharpened in the Ocala area. I’ve tried Joann’s but was told they do not sharpen them. Thank you. PAT V.

Hey Pat,
I absolutely love your wonderful column in the Village Crier. I see it among my mail in the mailbox and I could care less about what else is in there. Just give me my Village Crier and I’m set for the day.
I love the cake recipe “feathery pineapple cake”. I told my husband this recipe is my kind of recipe. An absolute “NO BRAINER” and sounds delicious. Well you guessed it! I made a mess out of it. I made it in an angel food cake pan and after it cooled on top of a bottle it stuck to the pan and was a total disaster. HELP!!!! I have to tell u it tastes great though where did I go wrong? DARREL

Dear Readers:
My daughter sent me this recipe for you all who have problems sleeping due to muscular and joint pain. You have to make a paste out of turmeric, coconut oil and black pepper; she also adds cinnamon. All ingredients have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. She has been drinking this mixture every night before bedtime for approximately six months and says it makes her feel much better.
In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup water with 1/4 cup turmeric powder. Heat gently till it starts to bubble around the edges, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add more water (about 1/4 cup) if it is too thick to stir easily. After mixture cools, pour paste into small container and store in refrigerator.
In small saucepan:
Pour 2 cups coconut milk OR almond, cashew, or soy milk (my daughter uses vanilla flavored milk)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 to 1 tablespoon Golden Paste
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
4-6 black peppercorns
1 pinch Stevia
Stir; simmer 10 minutes on low heat. Strain to rid of peppercorns and ginger. Pour into mug and sprinkle with cinnamon. Enjoy before bedtime.
Please let me know if this helps you after using for a few weeks. PAT

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]