Dub and Deb from "Miz Judi's Kitchen!"

Nannie Murphy, Dub’s Lasagna, and Momma’s Chicken and Dumplin’s

By —— Bio and Archives--January 21, 2011

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Good morning everybody, and welcome back to “Miz Judi’s Kitchen!”

You know, I met a good friend of mine last week for lunch. Harold, we’ve known for years through bein a business associate and has literally became a good friend as well.


We were talkin over lunch about the economy and the effect it’s had on both of our families and some of our friends too. But you know what, I told Harold that even with the drop in our business, and the tough decisions we were being forced to make, I had to say that honestly, I’ve never been happier in my entire life!

This is for a couple reasons, the first bein that Deb and I have always been frugal when it comes to spendin money. Oh, sure, we’ve had our tough times, and today “ain’t no bed a roses,” for sure, but you know what, “The good Lord provides!” There’s a lot of truth in the old sayin, “If you’re dealt lemons…make lemonade!”

The second bein that Deb and I never expected anything! Life literally is a challenge. No one told ya it’d be easy, they didn’t me for sure, always the opposite, and most important of all, to me, is this simple fact…no one owes you anything!

Our government today has taken that last statement and just totally twisted, abused and misconstrued it to the point of convincing many, many Americans it is literally a falsehood. This is one of our biggest problems we face today as a nation!

People now truly believe they’re owed something, and this to me is a crock! Why? Because they’ve been convinced by our government, no “brainwashed” is a better word, that we the working, productive American should and will share the fruits of our labor with them, whether they “hit a lick at a snake, or not!”

But, enough of that! Let’s fire off the cook stove and have some fun!

You know, I stated earlier that Deb and I are pretty frugal, and I gotta tell ya I had two pretty good teachers! The first being my Dad, the second was my Mom’s Mother, who to me was “Nannie Murphy!”

I know we all have “special people” in our lives and Nannie was exactly that in mine! We never spoke by phone, not once, that she didn’t always ask, “son, are ya stayin warm? Do ya have enough to eat, or do ya have plenty of socks, etc.” Every single time! She loved everyone in her family, and I miss her!

Anyway, Nannie I believe, invented the term frugal. I heard one time that she and a neighbor were walkin to town one morning, and happened upon a penny layin on the sidewalk. The way I heard it there was a heck of a tussle right there up town, over this dern penny! They said one had one side pullin and a tuggin, while the other was a hangin on to the other side of that one penny, and the end result was neither ended up with it, but…copper wire had its beginning!

One other quick story about Nannie and her thriftiness is actually a true story. I’d get around friends of mine and tell this story to em, and Nannie would be denyin it, laughin the whole time, but knew in her heart it was true!

Mom tells me I was two-three years old, just really beginin to get around a little bit. Well, Nannie knew exactly, to the penny, how much money she had in her purse whether it be bills in her wallet, or change in her change purse at all times, bar none. Exactly!

We’d, Mom, Nannie and myself had just came back from town, and evidently they were in Nannie’s livin room and I’d slipped off into the kitchen. Well a youngin bein a youngin, I was into everythin, and this particular day bein no different.

I’d gotten into Nannie’s change purse and dumped it in the floor, and I guess they’d heard all that change hittin the floor and Mom says Nannie was off to the kitchen “like a rocket!” Mom said they came around the corner and there I sat, underneath Nannie’s kitchen table surrounded by “Nannie’s change.”

Mom said as soon as they saw me under that table Nannie’s expression immediately went to one of anger, cold boilin anger over her money! Now of course I don’t remember any of this, but Mom says she snatched me up and took me outside, outta harms way. Mom says she looked back once and Nannie was on her hands and knees up underneath that table pickin up change.

Once we got outside, Mom had sat me down and was just beginin to git me involved in something else and BOOM, that screen door flew open and Nannie started hollerin, “SHAKE HIM DOWN RUTH…THERE"S A DIME MISSIN!!”

Honestly, that’s a true story, and as you can tell, I had no choice but to be frugal…it’s a runnin through my genes!! I’ll remember my Nannie for as long as I live!

On that note, how bout we go on in “Miz Judi’s Kitchen” and we’ll cook up some a Dub’s lasagna today!

Dub’s Lasagna:

Once again, this is a “double batch” and we food saver and freeze what we don’t eat, then take it out, thaw it, and presto, another meal that just needs heatin up!

  • 2lbs. hamburger (I know, I know hamburger again…but this is really good!)
  • 2-boxes Lasagna Noodles (I guess that’s what ya call em…noodles??)
  • 2- 12oz. packs of sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 1-32 oz. container of parmesan cheese
  • 1-32 oz. container ricotta cheese
  • 4- 28 oz. cans whole tomatoes
  • 2- 12 oz. cans tomato sauce
  • 2- 12 oz. cans of tomato soup
  • 1 Large onion
  • 2 eggs

Just a pinch of oregano and I use a pinch of basil too

1/4 cup sugar (For Richard: before I forget again, oven temp. is 350!!)

I dice my whole tomatoes first, and put them and all juice outta the can into a LARGE pot. I then empty all the tomato sauce and tomato soup into the pot, adding the basil and oregano as well, and cook over med. heat on stovetop until it starts to slightly boil, the cook on low…maybe #3 setting on your stove…stir from time to time.

Once I get that pot going, I then take a large skillet and brown the hamburger and onion, mushrooms added would be good as well. Once beginin to brown I drain the grease off, put back into the skillet and brown well this time, drainin the grease once more(very little this time), and then add this to your pot of tomatoes and stir in well. At this point I add the ¬º cup of sugar. You can use more or less, depending on your own taste, but I do think the sugar sets this recipe off, so don’t leave it out! Stir it in well, too.

In reality, the longer you simmer this on the stovetop, the better the flavor becomes, kinda like soups, the longer you allow them to simmer the better they taste, at least that’s what I find.

I then in another pot, put the noodles on to boil. I like to add just a touch of olive oil as I find they don’t stick together so bad after coolin. Cook these 10-12 minutes, or until tender, remember you’ve got 2 boxes, not 1 in your pot. Allow for this. Stir them some occasionally as well to keep from stickin.

I’ve found the more pots I use, the more aggravated Deb is with me, as she’s the designated dishwasher, and from my standpoint in regards to this…mission accomplished!

This whole while you’ve continued cooking the tomatoes, hamburger, etc. stirring ever so often, and just continue doin this for now.

Once your noodles are done, drain them and let cool. Get a large bowl and we’ll mix the parmesan cheese, the ricotta cheese and 2 eggs together really well. Get it to a smooth consistency. Bear with me, you’re gittin close!

Grab ya a LARGE baking pan, or if you don’t have one this large, simply use two smaller ones, you could put two side by side in the oven. I personally use those throwaway pans you can pick up at the grocery store. For this recipe, the size you’d like to use is the one you’d bake a turkey in. Ya might wanna make sure it’d hold a BIG turkey!

At this point spray Pam on pan bottom and sides. Pre-heat oven to 350.

Now, you want to barely cover the bottom of the pan with your sauce, I use a coffee cup for this. Once you have the bottom covered pretty well, layout your lasagna noodles until you have a “nice bed” of them. Now take your cup and pour some more sauce over them, covering well.

You then want to start spooning your parmesan and ricotta mix over this sauce and noodles. Once it’s put over your hot sauce, it’ll start breakin down some, so try to spread it out best ya can. Layer your sliced Mozzarella over this now, maybe 4-5 slices.

Now continue this just as we just did until your ingredients are used up. Noodles, sauce, parmesan ricotta mix, the mozzarella, just continue layerin. You want to end up from this cycle with…mozzarella on top!

Then cover pan with foil, and cook for approx. 1 hour. Open oven, take off foil and cook another 15-20 minutes, or until your cheeses start to brown. Take out and sit on stovetop for approx. an hour for your sauce and cheeses to set up a little. Dig in!

All of our family, friends and neighbors love this dish…I hope you do too!

Dub out!

I was sittin back listening to Dub talk about his Nannie Murphy this morning and I’m here to tell ya, she was, one great Nannie, the best!

While hearing him speak about her, I got to thinking about my Momma this morning. I lost both my parents young, Daddy first, when I was 13, and Momma 17 years ago. I just want to say, respect and love your parents as they’ll not be here with you to enjoy all the good times throughout your life as you’d like… so don’t take them for granted! I miss them both.

On a lighter note, Momma lived on a piece of land that my sister and I both had homes on with our families. Dub, being my second husband, hadn’t entered our lives yet, though sometimes it seems I’ve never been without him, and I’m still tryin to figure out if that’s a compliment or…just kiddin Dub.

Anyway with Chris, my sister, and I living on Momma’s land, well, let me just say, “She didn’t miss a trick, God bless her!” This said, my oldest Josh, though both today consider Dub their Dad, and will tell ya quick this is the case, was seven and Mark was four in regards to what I’m fixin to share with ya.

Josh really never got into anything as a child, but lordy Mark couldn’t stay outta nothin! It was non- stop, all the time he just always seemed to be right in the middle of something he had no business bein into in the first place!

Chris my sister had a girl Tammy, and a son Tony who was 5 months younger than my Mark. Tony though not quite as bad, and I’m using quite, quite liberally here, was himself a regular “Dennis the Menace,” in his own right!! Put them two together, and at the very least you needed to take your phone off the hook!

Now my Momma was never at a loss for words, and also believed and was firmly committed to the simple fact, you told it just like it was! Her friends, neighbors, her children and even her grand-children, if you ticked Momma off, you paid the price!

Well one morning those two had taken off over to Momma’s while Chris and I were both cleaning our homes. An hour or so later Momma called me raisin cane, and evidently had called Chris about the same time as she was coming out her front door as I was coming out mine.

I hollered over to Chris, “Did Momma just call you, and she answered that she indeed had! I asked Chris what Momma had told her over the phone, and Chris answered back verbatim what Momma had told me, which was, “If you want these two little “blankety blanks”...then you better come get em!”

It seems those two boys had gotten behind Momma’s house and had found her drink bottles she’d been savin. Back then you used to get a deposit on the bottles you returned. Well Momma had a considerable amount stacked up neatly in the boxes they came from the store in.

I guess those boys, bein around 4 at the time, just couldn’t take the pressure of them bottles stacked up so nice and neat, and decided they’d just have to do something about that…and they did! Them boys had slipped back there and commenced to breakin every bottle Momma had…glass everywhere!!

Momma had already tore their tails up, and was fit to be tied, still fightin mad over these two by the time Chris and I made it there. We gathered em up and took em back home outta Momma’s sight for the next day or two, but don’t think Chris and I didn’t hear about it for awhile. I have to say though trouble followed those two around, morning noon, and night!

Momma if you were still alive and well today, I promise you, that you’d be very proud indeed of those two little blankety blanks, for sure…they both are fine men today!

Momma too, bless her soul, loved us all as well, but if you “crossed her” look out!

In honor of my Momma, here’s her recipe for:

Momma’s Chicken and Dumplin’s:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 3 cups of self-rising flour
  • 1-1/2 cup of milk (If for some reason you’d possibly run out of milk, you can substitute water, instead of making a trip to store)
  • 3 teaspoons of grease. (I use regular Crisco in the can, new or used)

Fill a good size double-handle cooking pot a little over half full of water. Boil your chicken until done, maybe adding a couple of cups of water during cooking, and save all your broth in pot. Tear chicken from bone and I actually just shred it in my hands.

Pour your 3 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl. Place your 3 teaspoons of grease and pour in the 1-1/2 cups of milk. Mix well, with the end result kind of like a paste.

Sprinkle flour on a cutting board, cover fairly well, as this will prevent your mix from sticking to the cutting board. Dump mix out of the mixing bowl onto the cutting board. Roll mix around in the flour, adding more flour on the board if needed, you’ll be able to tell. The mix will try to stick if you don’t. Continue this, until mix is fairly covered in the dry flour.

At this point use a rolling pin and roll mix out on board until the mix is thin. You can use a glass to roll out mix if you don’t happen to have a rolling pin.

Bring your broth you’d saved earlier, back to a boil. Add your chicken, and then start cutting your mix into small 1inch by 1 inch squares, adding them to the pot as you cut them. If need be, take a fork and push dumplings down into broth.

Cook approx. 15-20 minutes on just under medium heat on stovetop, keeping a lid on your pot while cooking. On my stovetop I use the #4 setting. As your dumpling start to swell, and trying to come to the top in the broth, keep a close check, as they’re really close to being done. This is something that will come to you the more you cook them.

Turn burner off and let sit 10 minutes or so, again keeping lid on pot, as this thickens broth just a little. Salt and pepper to taste, then serve em up!

God Bless All!


Reader Tips:

Instead of using tomato soup on top of the peppers, please try chili sauce
for the last 5 minutes they bake. Delicious!
—Susan Connelly
Woodstock, GA

Thanks Susan! That does sound really good, Dub and I will try it for sure!

This from Teresa:

I enjoyed your info and your words. You would be fun to live around!

I would love to have recipes, one thing though, I do not eat any meat, no, not even chicken, but the eggs will be for all my rescues. So when you put meat I will use my morningstar brand soy meat. I decided when I was six to not eat meat and Im now almost 60 boy did I make my parents mad. I use to have to sit at the kitchen table for hours and hours and then would sneak down later to eat cerel. lol Those were the days. Thanks again for your humor and stories.

Teresa, thanks so much for your comments, we really appreciate them. If anyone out there are vegetarians as well, could you send in your recipes too?

Teresa, Dub says tell you he wished he’d known you years ago. His reasoning is since you didn’t eat meat, he says you’d a been a “cheap date!!” lol!

Again thanks to everyone for their tips, and just sending in your comments. Once more, together we’ll make this happen!

Love each and everyone of ya, and God bless you all!

Dub and Deb from “Miz Judi’s Kitchen!”



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Dub and Deb -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Note to Readers: There are a few things that Dub doesn’t know but one thing he does know is that the word ‘Riding’ (as in Riding Out the Recession) is spelled with a ‘g’ at the end.  But Dub not only walks the walk, but speaks like he is: down home, true blue, and plain speakin’ country folk.

Dub and Deb are both native Floridians, live in Central Florida, and run a small business as well. They have five children, and seven grandchildren.

Both love to cook, love to laugh, grow a garden, and generally try to “aggravate” most anyone around them basically…all in good fun, of course!

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