After two trips to Branson, I have given up on the Bear for this month. He had biscuits and gravy every morning we were gone and ate just about anything he pleased for lunch and supper.

After two trips to Branson, I have given up on the Bear for this month. He had biscuits and gravy every morning we were gone and ate just about anything he pleased for lunch and supper. His dessert plates were unbelievable, and I heard more than one comment, “I sure didn’t think Grouchy Bear was supposed to eat all that kind of stuff.”

Now it is back to the good old healthy food at home, but I think for now it is useless. Add all of the above to the fact we have Thanksgiving coming up, and it is an impossible situation.

Debbie LeTourneau is the contact person for Dutton’s Theater in Branson, and she sure is a great gal. Our lives connected in such a unique way because I asked her if she was related to a childhood hero of mine, R.G. LeTourneau.

At age 10, I attended a summer camp, Baptist Hill in Mt. Vernon, Mo., and one of our speakers was R.G. LeTourneau.  

He was the fellow who made large earth-moving equipment (which carried his name) and used his large profits to build missions, schools and many things around the world. He encouraged us so  much, and I was so impressed that I still have an autograph book he signed for me.

How ironic that I would connect with Debbie after all the years have passed and learn that he was her husband’s grandfather. What a small, wonderful world we live in.

I received a gift from Debbie this week. A book titled, “Recipes for Living” written by Mrs. R.G. LeTourneau in 1974. In future articles I will try and share a few of the incredible stories and recipes. The one I am sharing today is absolutely delicious.

 

Tamale pie

3 onions, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds ground chuck

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons chili powder

½ teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon basil

2 tablespoons sugar

1 large can tomato puree or 1, No. 2 ½ can tomatoes plus 1, 6-ounce can tomato paste

1 can cream style corn

½ cup cold water

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups boiling water

1 cup pitted ripe olives

¼ cup grated cheese

Cook onion in oil until golden. Add meat, chop and stir until lightly browned. Sprinkle salt, chili powder, herbs and sugar over meat while cooking. Don’t let it cook dry. Add tomato puree or tomatoes and paste. Simmer one hour, stirring occasionally. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Mix corn meal with cold water and salt. Stir into boiling water. Cook, stirring over low heat, about 10 minutes. As it cooks, spoon some of the liquid from the meat skillet into the corn meal mixture so it will have the chli flavor. Start oven at moderate, 350 degrees. Grease 2 ½ to 3 quart casserole. Put layer of corn meal mixture in casserole and add meat sauce with corn added and dot with olives. Spread remaining corn meal mixture on top. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Brown 25 minutes or until bubbly. Makes 8 generous servings.

Enjoy the results of the recipe, and I will see you next week.