Friday, November 2, 2012

Grandkids and Great Grands all Decked Out

We just can't resist letting you see how cute all of the little ones looked on Halloween.  They love the dressing up and creating of cute costumes.  We won't deny that they also enjoy the candy.


Hannah and Hailey with neighbor Kate (on far left)
Hailey is a Peacock and Hannah and Kate are Diva Policewomen
Children of Jason and Kimmie

Jaxon and Isabel with friend Madison (in middle)
Jaxon is a Werewolf and Isabel is an Indian Maiden
Children of Adrian and Lara

Jaxon hiding behind the trailer to scare trick or treaters...with complete costume on

Audrey and Emma
Outfitted as a Princess and a Go-Go Girl
 Children of Jeremy and Dana

Kate and Abigail
Lovely Witch and Pirate
Children of Danny and Jessica

Malosi as the West Texas Rain Fairy
Parents are Kelly and Matt
Rance at one week in a Boo suit
Parents are Matt and Kelly
Ryder Russell as his favorite cowboy, Woody
Son of Shanea' Russell

Jacob and Jacy
Dressed as a football player and his supportive sister
Children of Kevin and Kim

 We are getting ready for the start of hunting season, starting with the Hunter Appreciation Lunch this Saturday.  It is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and will be held in front of the Hotel Matador.  If you hunt in Motley County, we will see you there.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Some Pumpkin Ideas

I spent part of last Saturday carving pumpkins with the youngest of the grandchildren.  They were so excited to pick out patterns for the design, use a tracing wheel to trnsfer design to the pumpkin, and then cut with a small saw blade to expose the scary results.  I have to admit that Isabel did not like the "yucky" feel of the pumpkin guts which prompted some aggrevating from Jaxon.   Jaxon wanted to get out the big knife he was wearing on his belt and take care of the carving more quickly...vetoed.  The result, however, is that I have two lighted pumpkins on my front porch.   They are patiently sitting there waiting to be lit each evening.  It is a nice reminder of fun times.

Caron's daughter, Jessica, is making some wonderful costumes for her girls, Kate and Abigail.  I even got in on the action and crocheted a black cap for the pirate (Abby).  The costumes each have a tutu base so that even the swashbuckling pirate is quite feminine.  I haven't seen the end products, but I am sure that pictures are coming.

When the children were growing up, Halloween was a last minute deal.  We might put on old clothes to look like a hobo, or some wild garb and said it was a gypsy costume, but the favorite was to find a  worn out white sheet, drape it over them, and cut out some eyes as they left to knock on the doors in the neighborhood.   Once when I had Kevin down to the eye hole part, I used an unusally sharp pair of scissors and snipped part of his eye lid.  As I recall , I was worried about getting blood all over everything until I realized that it would just add to the Halloween effect.  Luckily his eyelid was not permanently scarred.  I caution you, however,  to cut the sheet before attaching to kid.

One of the cutest costumes we ever used was a Raggedy Ann costume created by Mary Ann Lackey and which we got to borrow for Lara.  She was so relieved that she didn't have to wear one of my creations that year.  And I can tell you that if Mary Ann created it, it was well-done.  I occasionally see some of her current handiwork and marvel at the beauty of the fabric art and quilting.

Now to the most creative pumpkin carving I have seen in a while.  We received this picture at the Hotel this morning from Sara Gray who lives in Schulenburg, Texas.  It is of Emma Gray and her pumpkin that has been created by using it for target  with her .22.  It seems like she has a wonderful aim .......and no messing with the "yucky" part.   I love this picture.

I really like to cook with fresh pumpkin.  It has such a mild, light flavor and color.  The bread made with fresh pumpkin is a beautiful apricot color.  My favorite way to cook the pumpkin is in the oven.   Instructions are simple:  Just half a 8-10 inch pumpkin, scoop out the seeds and pulp with an ice cream scoop, and bake it upside down on a baking sheet at 350 degrees until it is fork tender.  Let it cool before removing the pulp.  There is quite a bit of water in the pulp, so you might put it in a cloth to drain overnight so you won't have too much liquid in your recipes. If the grandkids are coming over, save the seeds to roast, or if you plan to plant your own pumpkins next year, put them in a bag in the freezer until planting time.

A sandwich of the bread with a filling of sweetened, spiced cream cheese would make a perfect starter for breakfast or a great afternoon snack.

 Let me know your favorite way to use fresh pumpkin or to prepare the pumpkin itself.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Hotel Innkeepers Elected as Vice Presidents of Texas Bed and Breakfast Association

Members of the Texas Bed and Breakfast Association elected new officers last week.   At their annual meeting in Fort Worth, the organization elected David Fleming, Woodrow House, Lubbock,  as the president.  Marilynn Hicks, Linda Roy, and Caron Perkins, owners and operators of the Hotel Matador will serve as Vice Presidents in charge of conventions. 

The Texas Bed and Breakfast Association is a state-wide organization epresenting over 120 properties throughout the state.  Properties are inspected every three years and must meet high industry standards.   The members are considered examples of "Texas' Finest Inspected and Approved Bed and Breakfasts, Country Inns, Guesthouses, and Ranches."

Other officers elected during the convention include:
Liz Lock of the Adams House B&B, Austin, as President-Elect
Dawn Fleming of the Woodrow House B&B, Lubbock as Treasurer
Martha Linnartz of the Azalea Plantation B&B, Ft. Worth, as VP of Membership
Carmen Finn of the Knittel Homestead Inn, Burton, as Secretary
Sallie Blalock of the Katy House B&B, Smithville, as Central Regional Rep
Lynn MacWithey of the Das Garten Haus, Fredericksberg, as Hill Country Regional Rep
Leslie Benson of Etta's Place-A Sundance Inn, Ft. Worth, as North Regional Rep.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bison Celebration Day with Asleep at the Wheel

Hotel Matador Bed and Breakfast
Bison days
Saturday, September 15, 2012
8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
The public is invited to see and photograph the magnificent, free-roaming bison in their natural environment and enjoy activities like living history encampments, geocache challenges, a BBQ benefit dinner (11:00-2:00), area vendor booths, and more.
$4.00 per person park entrance fees apply to adults ages 13 and older; children ages 12 and younger are free for Saturday's event.
Visitors may also donate directly to the Texas State Bison Herd Restoration Project or purchase merchandise that supports the project.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Vendor area 8:00-5:00
Concert 2:00 p.m.
Better asleep at the wheel
Asleep at The Wheel
Nine-time Grammy award-winning Asleep at the Wheel will be performing Sunday afternoon to benefit the Texas State Bison Herd Restoration Project. The concert will be held just south of the park entrance, approximately 3 miles north of Quitaque on 'FM 1065. Beverage and food vendors will be at the venue.
Tickets on sale starting August 1 for $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
We are less than an hour from the venue and would love to serve as your hostesses.
Hotel Matador Bed and Breakfast
Marilynn Hicks, Linda Roy, Caron Perkins

Friday, August 10, 2012

Check us out in September issue of Texas Highways

When the reporter from Texas Highways magazine was in town a couple of months ago, we gladly shared our vision for Motley County as a destination and are proud that he agreed.  There is a multiple page article in the September issue about sites such as Bob's Oil Well, the Museum, and the building murals.

We are especially grateful for the coverage for the Hotel Matador. Pick up your copy and look what you can find in the "new hill country of Texas."

I forgot to tell you that Tumbleweed Smith also had some interviews on his radio broadcast, "Sounds of Texas," with several people from the county.  He talked with Marisue Potts, Randy Hicks, and of course, the people at the Hotel Matador.  If you go to his website, you can listen to the interviews.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sugar/Butter Pie

When we were growing up, many of our weekends were spent in Matador, Texas, where one set of our grandparents lived for their whole lives, and our other grandmother spent many years.   Nannie and Daddy John (aka Olive and John Russell) lived in a small, shotgun home with a single bedroom and an enclosed sleeping porch for the children.  The cabinets in the kitchen had been specially built for Nannie who stood on tiptoes at about 5'2", so even as teenagers we had to stoop a little when working alongside her in the one small wall of cabinets and about 24" of counter space on either side of a sink.  Nannie never loved to cook, she preferred to be outdoors in her yard or garden, but that didn't keep her from turning out some wonderful culinary creations.  

She made ice cream from a cooked custard and froze it in her ice trays, taking them out to stir several times so that ice crystals wouldn't form.  It was a wonderful treat after a hot morning working cattle.  I intend to share this and several of her other creations in the days to come, but the most outstanding treat to me was the sugar/butter pie.   It was actually the left-over pastry crust from cobbler.  I don't ever remember her making pies, but she turned out cobblers that were sweet and had the most luscious crust. 

I think she probably made extra crust to line the pie pan and slather with butter and sugar and cinnamon and then pop in the oven.  As you walked in the back door and passed Daddy John in his rocking chair in the kitchen, in front of you was the range and sitting there would be a cobbler and a sugar/butter pie to be enjoyed on the spot.  We would just break off pieces and scatter crumbs all over the kitchen.  I can't even remember getting fussed at for making a mess.  Our love of this confection would always bring a shy smile to the face of our grandmother. 

As adults we have talked about the freedom we had to explore at their house and the extra things they would do to create new experiences.  There are books of stories from that little house.

Recipe of the day:

Sugar/Butter Pie

  1. Pastry for a 9 inch pie pan.                                                                                                         Use scraps mashed together and folded over at the edges to complete the crust.
  2. Melt enough butter to thoroughly coat the sides and bottom of the crust
  3. Sprinkle liberally on all surfaces with sugar and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  4. Bake in a 375 degree oven until barely brown.
  5. Enjoy and Share.....

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Family Gathering at Hotel Matador and Beyond

Cox/Russell Reunion 2012 

Swimming in Perkins pool

Each one teach one....
Every family needs a water feature

Time for movies

Cousins...Generation 1 with Mom

Cousins...Generation 2

Cousins.....Generation 3
The Hotel was shut down to the public June 22-24th so we could visit with family....and what a family gathering we had.  Our first intention when we purchased the hotel was that it would be a place for familyto stay during holidays, and it was finally used for that purpose. Everyone was relaxed, and the cousins from the Russell side all stayed at the Hotel so the talking went on late into the night.  It reminded me of the days when they all were relegated to Mom's basement at Christmas.  Another time we will talk about the wild stories that came from that basement.

We missed Jeremy and his family as well as Luke, but trust they can join us next year.   Maurice's children were not able to come in from Missouri and Huntsville, but they sent emails and good wishes.  Perhaps next year they can be here as well. 

We had some sad moments as we reflected on our loss of Don, but his spirit was there amongst us.

The food was outstanding.  I am going to share several of the recipes in the next weeks, and some of them will probably make it into our next cookbook.(Do you have one of current cookbooks, Conversations from the Kitchen?)

This time, however, I am going to award the Outstanding Culinary Award to Ron Cox for his beans and brilliant wit when sharing a recipe.   You have got to try these.

Smoker Beans

1 1/2 lb peppered bacon
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 white onion
6 cans Bush's original baked beans
1/2 C Adams brisket rub
6 bottles or cans of Shiner Bock

Dice bacon and onion ( I prefer larger pieces of onion)
(Add one beer to the cook.)
In a large cast-iron dutch oven brown hamburger and bacon.
Add onion and cook until it starts to become translucent.
(Add one beer to the cook.)
Pour off most of the grease.
Add beans and 2 T of seasoning.
Place uncovered in smoker at low heat (between 150 and 225) for up to six hours. Stir and taste regularly to make sure smoke flavor does not become too intense
(Add 3 beers to the cook during this time.)
Toward the end of cooking (30min to 1hr form end) add more seasoning to taste.
Cover and keep warm in smoker until time to serve.
(Add remainder of the beer to the cook.)

If using mesquite a long smoke time can make things bitter therefore as little as two hours may suffice.
For oak, plan on smoking longer. Some say that mesquite is too harsh too smoke with. I say they need to learn how to cook.

I found beer makes you a much better cook. Either the cook drinks enough they do not care no one likes the food, or better yet the guests drink so much they will eat anything. The later can be more expensive but you will waste less food.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Non-paying guest

We had an interesting guest on Saturday night.  I was checking in a late arrival and then heading back to the kitchen when I heard a scratching on some posterboards in the hallway.  My immediate reaction was, "Oh no, we have a mouse!" So I tapped on the boards with my foot and out hopped a frog.  You wouldn't think that a dribble of rain would bring out the amphibians, but evidently it did.  Anyway, he disappeared into the dining room, and I went to bed.  Grandkids had been here for several day,s and I was sure he had found an open door and an opportunity for a cool nap.

Next morning, Bill and Jo Mabe from San Angelo were having breakfast and out hopped Mr. Frog.  He escaped our mutual efforts at capture one more time.  However, due to the vigilance of Bill, when he poked his head out from behind the china cabinet, he was at last captured and set free in the courtyard.

We have often been amazed at the home towns and countries of our guests, but this one was truly unique.  The song to go with this story is "Froggy Went A' Courtin'".  There is a song for nearly every occasion it seems.  m

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The city of Matador is turning 100 this weekend.  It has been a century since the town was incorporated and became official.  There will be a parade, activities and vendors, stage coach rides, motorcycle run and antique car show.   On Saturday night CPR (Country, Pop and Rock) band will play for street dancing.  Come join us for the fun.