Hard Times Handbook

Page 62



Shredded cooked chicken

Diced bell pepper

Diced red onion 

Black beans

Whole kernel corn


Corn tortillas.

Monterey jack cheese, shredded

Cook onion and pepper in a small amount of oil until onion is translucent. Stir in chicken, beans and corn. The amount depends on how many people you are feeding. An equal amount of corn and beans should equal about one half of the amount of chicken. Heat until hot, and keep warm while you fry corn tortillas in hot oil. Drain tortillas on paper towels. Season chicken with salsa to your taste. Spoon into tortillas and add cheese. Garnish with lettuce and tomato as desired.



1 small can of crab or imitation crab from butchers case 

8 oz cream cheese

Few drops lemon juice,

Dash of accent

Few drops of Tabasco 

Wonton wrappers 

Spread small amount of cream cheese mixture on won ton, fold into a triangle. Moisten edges to seal. Fry until golden. Serve with sweet and sour or wild plum dipping sauce. (You may use the dumpling dough)



1 lb hamburger

Canned or leftover beans (opt)

Lettuce, shredded 

Tomato diced 

Onion, diced

Cheese shredded  

Make 1 recipe of fry bread dough, and let stand for a couple of hours in the refrigerator. The longer it stands the lighter and fluffier the tacos. Roll out a ball the size of a small egg and flatten as much as possible. Fry each side in hot oil till golden. I line the bread with shredded lettuce to keep the bread from getting soggy. Top with beans, (whole or refried) and/or hamburger (if desired), tomato, onion (or salsa) and cheese. Although traditional Indian tacos are made with a spicy bean mixture, and not the meat, my family prefers them with hamburger but no beans. Make them how YOUR family likes them!

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Fun is increased in the same proportion as you have people to enjoy it with you. Here are some ways to have a blast while bonding with your friends and family. Sometimes the corniest sounding activities are the most fun.


PICNICKS:  These are at the top of my list for fun times with my family. It might be a romantic getaway with just me and by husband next to a stream nestled in the pines, or a day at a local park with all the kids and grandkids. We catch up on gossip, watch the little ones toddle around, push the older ones on the swings or catch them coming down the BIG slide. If we have a few dollars to spare, we might cook country style pork ribs all night in the slow cooker and barbeque them at the park, or maybe it will just be hotdogs or sandwiches. I always bring potato salad, one of my daughters-in-law always makes cake or cupcakes, and everyone else brings what they can- maybe a bag of chips or a can of olives. What makes it fun is friends and family. Sometimes we picnic in the snow. Dress warm and pack hot food into the cooler (yes, it serves as a warmer too). Bring a big thermos of hot soup. If you can get a hold of some insulation, you can put it into plastic cases-like giant pillows but the seams are glued instead of sewn. Put it down on the ground and put your quilt, sleeping bags or blanket on top. Or just pile  lots of layers of branches and leaves on the ground and put your blankets on top of that for a warm place to sit. Then build a snow man, have a snowball fight or pull the kids around on sleds. Build a campfire on a rock or on top of a bed of green boughs to keep it from sinking into the snow. Eat lunch on your insulated island of blankets and head home before dark.


PICNIC IN THE PARK with old fashioned games like three legged races (two people with one of their legs tied to each other), potato races (every one has to pick up a potato from a pile, carry it over to a bucket and drop it in-with their knees!), spoon races (place an egg in a table spoon and race to the finish line without dropping the egg), sack races(you stand inside a gunny sack and then hop to the finish line), tug of war (two teams on either end of a rope, trying to drag the other side over the finish line). 

      For picnic sandwiches, you might substitute bagels, biscuits, raisin bread, sourdough rolls, croissants or cheese bread instead of regular bread. For filling try

Peanut butter, raisin

Cream cheese with bacon

Dried fruit, honey and chopped nuts

Pepperoni and mozzarella cheese

Cheese (cheddar or cream) and peeled apple slices

Chicken and pineapple

Bring fresh crisp veggies and dip, or bring homemade milk shakes and malts in a thermos. If you can dig up an old hand cranked ice cream freezer, make your own ice cream!


PIZZA AND A MOVIE Make the pizza at home, get take and bake or even a frozen supermarket pizza and throw a few fresh fixin’s on top. Every one can bring a different kind. If you have two TVs and DVD players, rent a separate movie for the kids. Give them their own pizzas, too. Or do a themed movie. For example, rent 6 days 7 nights and do a tropical island theme. Tape palm trees made from butcher paper to the walls.

Serve platters of pineapple, bananas and coconut.

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    Most large cities, unless hit by a disaster such as Hurricane Katrina, will still have job opportunities, or ways to make a little money from time to time. If you live in an urban area and don’t want to leave, look around now and decide what steps you can take, a plan of action to safe guard your family. Some towns, even large ones, are a one employer area. When the auto industry began its decline in the 1960’s, the entire region was affected. GM’s massive down sizing in Flint Michigan devastated the city. Houses stood empty, businesses were boarded up and people were forced to leave in search of work. We visited Houston, Texas in 1985 and saw the same thing. The oil industry had crashed and entire subdivisions stood empty. If you have a major industry that is the main source of jobs for your area, and that employer shuts down, it’s a domino effect. Laid off workers don’t spend money and peripheral businesses quickly shut down, followed by service industries. Make a decision now if you will stay or leave in that event. If you are staying, get together with your family group and see who else will be sticking it out with you.

     The same applies to your decision to move on. Gather those of a like mind and decide ahead of time where you will go. A group traveling together is always better. If someone breaks down along the way there is help. You can make it an adventure. Camp out as much as you can. Take time off to spend a day of leisure. If it is treated as a fun vacation, the children will handle the transition much better. In inclement weather find a cheap motel and squeeze as many to a room as you can. Try not to eat out, but have weenie roasts, followed by s’mores, or grill some burgers.

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