Meals with Marge cover

Our daughter-in-law Molly recently turned 40—the big “4-0”—an age that most young people dread, but not Molly. She was cut from a different mold. She looked forward to and made plans to throw a party for herself.

Molly had a “Sips and Nibbles” event. Usually everyone brings a dish or snack to pass, but not this time. She and Mark, our son, made everything.

It was a hot, beautiful day so we sat on the deck and ate and visited. After a couple of hours, I donned my bathing suit and headed for the pool, which was full of kids, adults and pool toys. All went well until the thunder and lightning started. The pool emptied quickly, and everyone headed for the house. Driving rain and wind ended the outdoor festivities.

Molly had made key rings made from a cork that said “Molly’s 40th. Decorations hung from the ceiling and a photo corner was set up so that all the guests could have their picture taken with Molly. Katy, Molly’s 12-year-old daughter, made a letter “M” out of corks, which was a table decoration.

When we arrived, there was a pillow sitting on a chair on the front porch that had the year Molly was born imprinted on it. Molly also made herself a photo poster that included 40 photos highlighting the past 40 years of her life.

As Molly said, “It was a perfect end to a 40th birthday extravaganza. Extravaganza, is an understatement, I am without a doubt the luckiest gal north of the Mason Dixon Line.”

Because I will celebrate a milestone birthday before the end of the year, and because Molly is now an expert at “throwing a party for yourself,” I asked Molly if she would help me put together a party for myself!

After a fun birthday party, I didn’t think the week would hold any surprises, but I was wrong. On Monday, we drove to Fond du Lac to have lunch with our granddaughter, Christine, and her boyfriend Bill. They took us to Ala Roma Pizzaria and Pub in Fond du Lac—very good food with large portions.

After we ordered our food, Christine put out her hand in front of us and there was a large diamond engagement ring! What a surprise! Both she and Bill seem very happy with one another. Stan reminded them that we have been married 43 years out of the 50 years we’ve known one another. He told them he wished many years for them. They are already making wedding plans for next July.

We then went to their house and visited some more with them and their two dogs which were very pleasant to have around. One is a blue healer named Bea and the other a border collie named Blaze. He has blue marle coloring, one of the more rare colors for a border collie. A very nice couple with a very nice house and two very nice dogs.

The tomatoes in my garden are starting to ripen—time for some tomato recipes.

Baked Tomatoes with Crumb Topping

Makes 2 servings

  • 1 large ripe tomato
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • dash pepper
  • ¼ cup crushed saltines
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon minced fresh basil or dash of dried basil

Cut tomato in half width-wise. Place cut sides up in a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Combine the cracker crumbs, butter and basil. Sprinkle over tomatoes.

Bake uncovered at 375 F for 10 to 12 minutes, or until crumbs are golden brown.

Fried Green Tomato Slices

Makes 6 servings

  • 4 medium size green tomatoes
  • ½ cup unsifted all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup packaged dry seasoned bread crumbs
  • salad oil

Trim a thin slice from top and bottom of each tomato. Cut tomatoes crosswise into ½ inch slices.

On large sheet of waxed paper combine flour with ½ teaspoon salt.

In small bowl, beat eggs with sugar and remaining salt.

Dip tomato slices into flour mixture, coating completely. Dip into egg mixture, then into bread crumbs, coating completely.

Heat ¼ cup oil in a large skillet. Add tomato slices; saute about 3 minutes on each side, or until nicely browned. Add oil as needed. Serve with mustard, if desired.

Acorn Squash Surprise

Makes 6 servings

  • 3 medium acorn squash
  • ¼ cup (half stick) butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • 1-1/2 cups applesauce

Preheat oven to 375 F. Scrub squash. Cut in half lengthwise; remove seeds and stringy fibers.

Arrange cut side down, in shallow baking pan. Surround with ½ inch hot water. Bake for 30 minutes. Pour off excess liquid from baking pan. Turn squash cut side up.

In small bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and mix well. Spoon 1 teaspoon sugar mixture into hollow of each cooked squash, coating surface completely.

Spoon ¼ cup applesauce into each cavity. Spoon remaining brown sugar mixture over tops. Bake 15 minutes longer, or until squash is tender.

There’s a lot to like about people born in August: They are confident and very strong people, physically, mentally and very strong willed. They’re also very proud and very charismatic, but theirs is a quiet charisma. August born tend to be very organized, very precise and detail-oriented. They’re reliable and they are also intelligent, practical people.

Enjoy the simple pleasures of life and, of course, eat well.

Call or email me with questions or comments. I can be reached at 920-980-3885 or email

Send your favorite recipes to be included in this column to me at The Sheboygan Sun, 606 Fremont St., Kiel, WI 53042. Please include your name and phone number in the event I have questions.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Thank you for taking part in our commenting section. We want this platform to be a safe and inclusive community where you can freely share ideas and opinions. Comments that are racist, hateful, sexist or attack others won’t be allowed. Just keep it clean. Do these things or you could be banned:

• Don’t name-call and attack other commenters. If you’d be in hot water for saying it in public, then don’t say it here.

• Don’t spam us.

• Don’t attack our journalists.

Let’s make this a platform that is educational, enjoyable and insightful.

Email questions to

Share your opinion


Join the conversation

Recommended for you