Heart of the Home


Scrapbooking is a fun way to preserve family memories.

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A Letter From Kate

Dear Readers,

Scrapbooks are a great way of recording the important moments and memories of one's life. Although the methods of making scrapbooks have changed dramatically, it is obvious that they are still important pieces of memorabilia.

While I've never kept an actual scrapbook, I have made it a point to preserve most of my precious memories in some form. It started when I received a diary when I was about 12. I kept it faithfully for a few weeks, then I began writing only once a week or so, then it dwindled to once a month, then not at all.

I found that I enjoyed taking photographs much more. I began taking pictures of all kinds of things - my family, our pets, my dolls, etc. My mother gave me a large album to contain my photos. I filled it just as I was starting high school, so I got a new album and began filling it. Thus, many of the important events of my teenage years are recorded in these books. There were many more photo albums to follow.

A few years ago, a friend invited me to a scrapbooking party, where we learned about new techniques and products that are used to make scrapbooks more creative and interesting. I bought some of the items, and for a short time, I incorporated some of the new methods in my photo albums. I got about halfway through making labels for the photos in one of my books, and then I moved on to some other project.

Unfortunately, I haven't returned to my photo album project just yet. It's on my list of things I've saved for a rainy day.

Kate Marchbanks

Together with God

When my husband and I worked with the foster care program, we made a scrapbook for each of our children so they could see physical evidence of their life. It also helped to establish a connection between their other family and their new family.

Isn't that what we all seek? A connection between our families and physical evidence of our life's worth. We need to know that our lives were important - that we did something, that we achieved and lived a good life. Another connection would have to include love and the remembrance of our joyful occasions. We value these connections so highly that we paste them into books to keep them safe.

Father, thank You for all the connections that give us a richer, fuller life. Help us appreciate that life is good when filled with the lives of others. May we always keep our connections to family and friends as special as we keep our memories. Amen.

D. Susan Rutz

Remembrance hangs on wall

I loved making scrapbooks long before it became popular to make them. My first was one my mother helped me put together of baby animals. It was made from a spiral notebook. It wasn't fancy, but I have kept it for more than 60 years.

My favorite piece of memorabilia is actually a collage that my father and I put together after my mother's death. She saved everything, so we picked out a few special things and mounted them in a large poster-board frame with a clear, plastic cover.

Our selections included the Collier's magazine cover from Oct. 9, 1943, old valentines she had received as a young girl, and a copy of the sale bill when her folks sold their Nebraska farm and moved to Colorado in 1931. We also included a picture and a poem I had written about my new baby sister in 1948.

My mother sewed and saved ads for patterns, so we included an ad dated 1939 for dress patterns I'm sure she intended to send for. There's also a ration book showing a page of stamps from World War II and a recipe for Corn Cob Jelly. I have proudly hung this 'scrapbook' of memories of Mom in my sewing studio as a remembrance of both my parents, who are now gone.

New Mexico

Anniversary book is prized possession

The first experience I had with a scrapbook was a pleasant one. I received it when my husband and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary, six years ago.

Our daughter, Kathy, her husband, Ed, and our granddaughter, Erin, hosted our anniversary party. It was beautiful; our colors were lavender and white. When we got married in 1949, there was a popular song called 'Lavender Blue.' I have always claimed that song as ours.

Kathy made us a scrapbook that had a lavender cover decorated with rosebuds, and the years 1949-1999 on it. In the invitations, she had asked our friends and family to write something about our lives. Some said very nice things about us, and there were several comments about our lives. Some were funny, some serious, and some were complimentary. She included our life stories, and there were lots of pictures of us.

My husband has been gone for four years now. Someone asked what I would grab first if our house caught on fire. Instantly, I answered, my memory scrapbook.


Turned Mother's treasures into a scrapbook

My mother was frugal. I doubt she ever threw anything away. A few years ago, when she passed away at 94, my siblings and I cleaned out her home, preparing to sell it.

In the bottom of a long-forgotten kitchen drawer, I came upon a treasure. There, I found dozens of old recipes she'd saved from her favorites. Among them were some of her mother's, dating back to the late 1800s.  

Also in this collection were brochures sent out to new mothers by the department of state welfare, for proper diets and feeding of newborns. There were clippings from the Idaho Farmer in 1933, a sugar ration certificate dated June 8, 1942, and more than 100 newspaper articles, booklets and advertisements saved over 75 years.

My favorite item was a tattered recipe book put together by the Presbyterian Ladies Aid Society of Craigmont, Idaho, in 1924. In it, I found on the first page my grandmother's recipe for Light Bread. Little had I known it was the very recipe I'd been using for all of my 50 married years.

It certainly leaves one in awe to realize how much our ancestors had to do then just to prepare meals.

In my mother's later years, she made huge batches of her famous molasses cookies. She had tins of them in her freezer, ready to give the next child, grandchild or friend who came calling. All she ever asked was the return of the pretty tin to refill for the next taker.

After I'd gathered up all of her kitchen relics, I couldn't just toss them. Like Mother, I don't throw things away easily. So I decided to make a memory book of my lovely find.

I found a cute fabric with gingerbread cookies and recipes printed on it, which made a perfect cover for the huge album I ended up with.

It is now one of my favorite 'do-nothings,' which was my grandmother's term for accomplishing something of no real consequence. But I love it.



Thanksgiving is a special time of year. Most people look forward to seeing family members and sitting down together to enjoy a festive feast.

What has been your most memorable Thanksgiving? Why was it so special? Were you reunited with a family member? Was there a cooking mishap? Tell us about your most memorable Thanksgiving.

Send your letters to Kate Marchbanks, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265.

Variety of turkey products are
great grilling alternatives

This summer, if the same old grill fare seems all too ordinary, fire up the flavor for your family or party guests with something unexpected: turkey. Today, taste, healthy living and a desire for something new are luring more grillers to enjoy the increasingly diverse world of turkey.

With a wide array of turkey products available, it's time to jump-start new taste sensations. Ground turkey, tenderloins, cutlets, bratwurst, sausages and more can be found in your grocer's meat case, and all are great on the grill. Plus, turkey is lean and packed with protein. Grilled turkey is a sure crowd-pleaser for children and adults alike.

These zesty quesadillas make a great hand-held meal. 

Three Pepper Turkey Quesadillas 

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound turkey breast cutlets
1 cup thin green pepper strips
1 cup thin yellow pepper strips
1 cup thin red pepper strips
1/2 cup thin onion slices
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
8 ounces Neufchâtel cheese, softened
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounces shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
10  6-inch flour tortillas

In a large skillet, heat canola oil. Sauté turkey, peppers, onions and cumin until turkey is thoroughly cooked. Remove turkey; cut into strips.

Mix Neufchâtel cheese with Parmesan cheese; spread onto each flour tortilla. Add turkey strips, peppers, onions, cheddar cheese and a spoonful of salsa onto half of each tortilla. Fold tortillas in half.

Grill tortillas on an indoor grill until the cheese has melted, or bake at 400ºF. until golden-brown.

Serve hot with chips and salsa. Yields 7 servings.

A tropical-flavored salsa tops these savory turkey tenderloins. 

Grilled Marinated Turkey Breast Tenderloins with Mango Salsa 

- Honeysuckle White and
Shady Brook Farms
TROPICAL TASTE: Grilled Marinated Turkey Breast Tenderloins with Mango Salsa is a savory, colorful dish.
1 ripe mango, peeled, cored and diced
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
1/4 tablespoon salt
1 pound premarinated lemon-garlic
   turkey breast tenderloins

In a medium bowl, combine mango, tomato, onion, bell pepper, mint and salt. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Grill tenderloins for approximately 20 to 30 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165°F.

To serve, slice tenderloins and top with mango salsa. Yields 6 to 8 servings.

Delicious turkey accented with a subtle blend of herbs takes just minutes to prepare. 

Grilled Turkey Breasts with Herbed Mustard 

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound turkey breast cutlets

Combine all ingredients, except turkey, in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously.

Grill or broil turkey breasts for 4 minutes per side. Spread half of the mustard mixture over one side of turkey breasts and grill or broil for 3 additional minutes. Turn and coat with remaining mustard mixture. Grill for another 3 minutes, or until turkey is no longer pink in the center. Yields 4 servings.

Spicy, grilled sausages are complemented by a cool, crunchy salsa. 

Grilled Greek Turkey Sausage with Cucumber Salsa 

- Honeysuckle White and
Shady Brook Farms
DIFFERENT: You'll love the fresh flavor of Grilled Greek Turkey Sausage with Cucumber Salsa.
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2 tablespoons fresh thyme OR
   2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound hot OR sweet Italian turkey
5 to 6 buns (6 inches each), split

In a small bowl, combine cucumber, onion, thyme, vinegar, sugar and salt. Cover and refrigerate for several hours.

Grill sausages for 4 to 5 minutes per side, until internal temperature reaches 170°F.

To serve, place sausages in buns and top each with 1/4 cup salsa. Yields 5 to 6 servings.

Grilled peppers and onions add color to this sizzling sandwich. 

Grilled Southwestern Bratwurst 

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch rings
1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch rings
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch rings
1 pound turkey bratwurst
5 dinner hoagie rolls
Mustard OR salsa for garnish

In a medium bowl, toss oil, onion rings and pepper rings together.

Grill onions and peppers on an oiled rack for 3 minutes on each side, or until tender. Transfer peppers and onions to bowl.

Grill bratwurst for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through, or internal temperature reaches 170°F.

Place brats on hoagie rolls; top with grilled peppers and onions. Add mustard or salsa, if desired, and serve. Yields 5 servings.

Quick, easy dishes are perfect
for summer entertaining

As lazy summer afternoons drift into starry evenings, the casual summer entertaining bug bites. Whether you're on the patio, porch, deck or enjoying indoor comfort, easy summer entertaining calls for contemporary flavors.

Beckon your guests with a menu that starts with appealing appetizers. Finger foods such as bruschetta and colorful salsa for dipping help set the welcoming tone. Nothing says summer like something cooked outdoors, and a flavorful basting sauce will keep any entrée moist over a hot grill.

The right combination of food, people and atmosphere makes for a flavor-packed recipe for a memorable summer evening.

Here's a delightful warm-weather salad. 

Warm Gingered Chicken Salad with Crispy Greens

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar OR white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon orange juice
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/4 pounds)
6 cups torn romaine lettuce leaves
1 small bunch watercress, optional
4 ounces snow peas, optional
2 oranges, peeled and sectioned OR 1 can (11 oz.) mandarin oranges,
   drained, optional

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, ginger and salt. Reserve 1/4 cup mayonnaise mixture for grilling. Stir orange juice into remaining mayonnaise mixture; reserve for greens.

Grill or broil chicken, brushing with reserved 1/4 cup mayonnaise mixture, for 12 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked, turning once.

In a large bowl, toss lettuce and watercress with reserved orange juice mixture.

To serve, arrange sliced chicken over greens; top with snow peas and oranges. Yields 4 servings.

Toasted bread with creamy artichoke spread makes a tasty appetizer. 

Creamy Artichoke Bruschetta

1 jar (6 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 loaf Italian OR French bread (about 15 inches long), cut into 1/2-inch slices, toasted

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except bread. Evenly spread artichoke mixture on toasted bread. Broil for 1 minute, or until golden. Serve immediately. Yields 20 servings.

Grilled salmon gets a flavor boost from a light, tangy sauce. 

Honey Mustard Salmon

- Hellmann's Mayonnaise
SAUCY: Honey Mustard Salmon features a light, tangy sauce.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons deli mustard
2 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of salt
4 salmon fillets OR steaks (about 1

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except salmon. Reserve 1/3 of mayonnaise mixture.

Grill or broil salmon, brushing with remaining mayonnaise mixture, until salmon flakes with a fork, turning once. Serve salmon with reserved mayonnaise mixture and garnish, if desired, with additional chopped green onions. Yields 4 servings.

This chunky vegetable salsa is sure to be a hit. 

Black Bean Salsa

- Hellmann's Mayonnaise
COLORFUL: Black Bean Salsa combines fresh, vibrant vegetables and robust spices.
1/4 cup mayonnaise with lime juice
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 can (19 oz.) black beans, rinsed and
1 can (11 oz.) whole kernel corn,
1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce,
Lime wedges
Tortilla chips

In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, cream, vinegar, cumin, salt and pepper. Add remaining ingredients, except lime wedges and chips; toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve, if desired, with lime wedges and chips. Yields 4 servings.

This moist, zesty chicken goes well with anything. 

Creamy Adobo Grilled Chicken

1 cup mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/4 lbs.)

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except chicken. Reserve 1/2 cup mayonnaise mixture.

Grill or broil chicken, brushing frequently with remaining mayonnaise mixture, until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Serve with reserved mayonnaise mixture. Yields 4 servings.