Is there anyone else out there that truly wonders what is going on with our weather and our surroundings? I am literally freezing today and two days ago I had on the air-conditioner. The last two winters have been horrible with lots of snow, ice and weeks of cold weather. To me spring really has not shown up yet but there have been days of hot weather. There must be an explanation.

When it is raining all day and the weather is cold I usually stay at home unless I have appointments or something. Those are the days I clean house, sew or do something relaxing, but my favorite thing to do is read recipes. I like to drink iced tea one day and hot chocolate or coffee the next. Stew or chili one day and sandwiches the next. Sure would like to find out if anyone else feels the same way.

Sausage sauerkraut balls

1 (16-ounce) can chopped sauerkraut, drained and squeezed dry as possible

8 ounce bulk sausage

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese softened to room temperature

2 tablespoons bread crumbs (any kind)

1/2 cup chopped onion

Mix all ingredients together and roll into balls, about 30, and chill. Roll in flour, then in beaten egg, then in bread crumbs. Deep fry 2 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. (May freeze after deep fry and bake later).

Meat ball yummies

1 pound lean beef

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons steak sauce

1 egg

1/3 cup bread crumbs

Mix previous mixture thoroughly. Brown small meat balls in oil. Drain oil from pan; add 2 tablespoons butter and 1/3 cup steak sauce. Mix; add meat balls and simmer covered, for 15 minutes or until done.

Summer fruit bowl

3 medium bananas

4 medium oranges, pared and sectioned (3 cups)

1 cup fresh strawberries, halved

1 cup seedless grapes, halved

Peel bananas; slice into bowl. Cover completely with other fruit. Cover bowl and chill. Just before serving, pour dressing over fruit and toss until fruit is well coated.

Sour Cream Honey Dressing: Blend 1/2 cup dairy sour cream, 1 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon orange juice. (Fresh pineapple and fresh blueberries are also good in this fruit bowl if available.)

Pickled eggs

2 dozen hard boiled eggs, peeled

Bay leaves

Onion slices

Pickled peppers (optional)

Pickling spices

1 quart bottle vinegar, maybe more, depending on storage jar for eggs

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup water

Drop eggs in large mouth jar, alternating with onion slices and pickled peppers, if you like them hot. Meanwhile, simmer on stove the spices, vinegar, sugar and water. If you want red eggs for color, add food coloring to simmering solution. Cool, pour over cold eggs, onion and peppers. Cover; let mellow for at least 3 days. Bell peppers can be added for color but do alter the taste. Eggs should be cold and solution should be cold or the eggs will get tough. Will keep indefinitely in cool place; get better with age.

Hopefully, some of these recipes will be new to you. They are also something to keep you busy on a rainy, nasty day. See you next week.

Dixie Ryan lives in Odessa and has enjoyed sharing her cooking talents and secrets with readers for many years.