A memorable summer experience and a FREE gift!!!

by Mary Ann on June 7, 2011

excited boy picture

A Dozen Weeks of FUN!

A Dozen Weeks of FUN is here.

As many of you know this is a wonderful program to help you jump start your children’s summer and keep it gong with excitement and learning right into fall.

I am very happy to announce that I am  giving away three of these exciting programs!!

What do you need to do to win? Just share one of your most memorable summer experiences with my readers and I. You can share something from your childhood or youth or from your current family. Winners will be announced here on June 13, Monday, along with our Traveling Closet post.

I have shared so many of my youthful experiences with you but I thought of another one the other day, a very memorable summer experience.

One of my husband’s favorite things is breakfast. That is a sad circumstance because he married me and the only meal that I don’t like and rarely cook is breakfast! Really, breakfast food is gross! Give me a slice of cold pizza or a bowl of left over chicken noodle soup and I am good to go.

The one caveat to this is that I LOVE cooking outdoors and will rise at 5am just to cook breakfast. Amazing isn’t it. So one summer day I had the idea that I would cook breakfast in the park which was just two blocks from our Montana home.

lady cooking pictures

I really LOVE cooking outdoors!

I put our big, old homemade camp stove in the back of our old beat up pickup. I packed all the supplies for bacon, eggs, pancakes, green chili and coco in a large cardboard box. I packed a blanket to sit on, lawn chairs for Don and I, and all the plates, utensils, napkins, etc., whew it takes a lot of stuff to feed a family of eight outdoors!

On Saturday morning I woke everyone up early and amid protests of where are we going and why do I have to get up I loaded six sleepy children in the van and one sleepy husband in the truck. Off we drove for the whole two blocks.

That was the most wonderful breakfast and a real memory maker. Don still mentions it occasionally. The thing that made it so memorable was the spontaneity of it. It was totally unexpected by everyone.

By the way, you may be asking what green chili is. Well, Don’s granny and granddad Landis worked in the coal mines in Colorado with many people from Mexico. They learned how to make Mexican green chili which they ate on pan cakes. Please, stop making faces; it is absolutely to die for!

Granny made it so hot that when it passed by your plate your eyes began to water and you broke out in a sweat. I have changed it a bit as we would rather sweat while playing ball, not while eating breakfast. There really isn’t a recipe but you can find the general directions below. It is one of our family’s favorite breakfasts and is requested on all holidays and at all reunions. Enjoy!

Landis Mexican Green Chili

Chop one large onion. Sauté in a skillet with at least a pound of hamburger till onions are soft and burger is done. (We use a bit more burger) Add two small cans of chopped green chilies (we use more and they are MILD) and simmer a couple of minutes. Salt and pepper well. I add a bit of Kitchen Bouquet for color. It is in the spice aisle of your grocery store. It is optional. Add two tablespoons of flour (or more) to this mixture and stir well. Let it cook a minute or two and then add enough water to make thick gravy. Simmer while you whip up some pancake batter. Bake the cakes and serve them piping hot, covered with the chili. It isn’t green but looks like good brown hamburger gravy. Mmmmm I am hungry just thinking about it. Enjoy!

mexican Green Chili Salsa picture

Landis Green Chili looks like this, sorta : )

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Pam June 8, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Oh I would love to win one of these. They look like such fun! My favorite summer memory is camp. I went every year from third grade to ninth grade. There we swam in the pool, canoed, did crafts, sang and ate delicious food. I looked forward to it every single year.


Mary Ann June 10, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Ditto Pam. I LOVED summer camp not only going as a girl but going as a adult with my daughters. In fact I would have to say that that was even better. My best friend Raynae and I pulled some doosie pranks on our girls. It was wonderful!!


Jody Jarvis June 9, 2011 at 1:50 am

My most memorable summer is a toss up between two:

1) I was a young girl (let’s say maybe 11?) and my big brother (15 years my senior) and his girlfriend took them with me on a 3 week trip around the US in a VW camper van. We started in So. Cal and of course, ended there (that’s where home was then.) We did a lot of driving and only a little sight seeing (other than out the van window – drive, drive, drive, then look at the sight, then spend the night and get up and drive, drive, drive again) but I still vividly remember the things we saw. Some of the highlights:
Mount Rushmore;
Grand Canyon;
The very first Kentucky Fried Chicken shack in Kentucky – took a slight detour off the regular highway to get to that one;
fireflies in the campground in Kentucky
some battle field (either Revolutionary War or Civil War) where thousands of men died for something they believed in very strongly;
Williamsburg Pennsylvania (the only place we stayed two nights in order to really see);
Washington DC and nearly all the monuments, including the White House and the Washington Monument;
New York City including Grand Central Station and Lady Liberty – even got to go up inside her!;
Niagara Falls;
beautiful countryside driving through Canada between Niagara and Chicago Michigan;
some cool museum in Chicago, maybe it was a flight museum?;
Holland, Michigan;
prairie dogs of the South Dakota Badlands;
camping at some farm in Wyoming (I think) and it rained all night and my tent got flooded, except the sleeping bag stayed dry because the tarp floated, but I couldn’t sleep in it because there was a foot of water on the ground when we stepped outside so I had to sleep in the hammock between the two front seat doors and the farmer had to pull all the cars out in the morning with his tractor because we were all stuck in mud;
fields of corn somewhere in the middle of the US where there were no mountains, just fields and fields of corn for hours on end (Kansas?); beautiful mountains of new York which showed me there is more to the state than it’s main city.

I am thankful for my older brother who made America really come alive for me that summer, especially when most young adult men would rather not have to bring their baby sister on a trip like that with their girlfriend.

2) 1992 6 weeks in Europe with my hubby! 2 weeks in France, 3 in Holland visiting my sister and 1 in Wales, visiting my brother. For one week we rented a car and drove from Paris, to the South of France, camping along the way. Some of the great sites we saw then were:
Mont St. Michel – the island that you can walk to in low tide (OK, so they added a causeway, but it was cool to watch the tide driving in so fast!); Paris, of course with the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, etc. etc.; the D-Day beaches (most amazing thing to make it all come to life!) with the sunken ships still in the ocean making a man-made bay and the German bunkers up on the hill surrounded by huge craters in the ground and hillside where the Allies bombed; the Normandy US cemetery; Nice and the beaches of southern France, all the tulips and Holland and the windmills (not as exciting for me as hubby, since I’d been there 5 times before), and the sheep and patchwork fields of Wales!

To me, going to see places where real history happens, or to see where another culture lives and how they live, is a great way to spend a summer. So that reminds me of our week long trip to Boston, Concord, Plymouth, Salem……


Mary Ann June 10, 2011 at 6:41 pm

This was great Jody. I can’t believe that your brother took you either. However, my Kate is 7 years younger than her next sibling and 18 years younger than her oldest sibling and any one of them would have taken her. Little sisters are just special. : )


Amanda June 10, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Oh I’d love to win too! Pam’s been telling me about you for a while now 🙂 Hard to pick just one summer memory…summer as a kid was easy, relaxing and peaceful (no school!) but often boring, as I was like an only child w/ such older-than-me brothers. But we took some fun vacations; that was always the highlight of summer for me. Now, as home schoolers we’ve taken our vacations at cooler times of the year :)…so I’ll just say my favorite summer memory was my wedding 14 years ago this week….riding off into the sunset w/ my knight in shining armor, to our honeymoon on the beach…. 🙂


Mary Ann June 10, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Well that memory is a really important and special one. Thanks for sharing. : )


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