More American Recipes

1) Baked Apples; core apples, leaving skin on, stuff with a mixture of cinnamon, sugar, white and brown, boiled raisins, and optional pecans or walnuts. Add water to pan and baked until apple is tender.
2) Cheese Dip; microwave Velveeta cheese, browned and drained ground beef, and salsa, in equal amounts, to preferred consistency. Keep warm in a crock pot, using a dipper to serve up into bowls. Have plenty of nacho chips. Can freeze portions for later.
3) Sloppy Joes;
Brown hamburger with some chopped onions and pickles (or relish).
Drain, and add ketchup, brown sugar, barbecue sauce, and a touch of seasoning. Stir, heat thoroughly. Scoop onto fresh buns. Serve with a side of chips.
As I think of more, and as my son asks I will add to these. As I said before, lots of recipes are on line now. I also receive easy basic recipes in emails and on tv from “Mr. Food.”

American Recipes

Need some “American Recipe’s”?
1)Aunt Muriel’s Hawaiian Pork Chops
4 (3/4″) Pork Chops
1 Tablespoon Oil
Quickly brown in a large skillet. Drain excess fat.
1 8 oz. Can Pineapple Chunks in Juice
1/4 Cup Tomato Catsup
1 Small Onion, Sliced
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. Pepper
Pour over Chops.
Cover and Simmer 10 Minutes.
Turn and Baste Chops.
Stir in 1 Med. Green Pepper, Cut into 1″ Chunks.
Cover and Simmer 10-15 Minutes Longer or Until Chops are Tender.
If Needed, Thicken Sauce With Cornstarch Mixed With Water.
Makes 4 Servings. Good Served Over Rice.
2)Pork Chops and Wild Rice Casserole
4-6 Chops, (boneless)
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Cream of Celery Soup
Uncle Ben’s Original Wild Rice
Extra rice (if desired)
Lipton Onion Soup Mix
Pour rice in pan, add 1/2 of each can of soup, sprinkle half of the herbs from Uncle Ben’s, and a little of the onion soup. Saturate with milk/water. Place chops on top with remaining canned soup and herbs, and a light sprinkle of onion soup mix. Tent foil over this part of the baking time. Bake 350 degrees for 1.5 hours.
Other variations:
A)Pork Chops and Stuffing, use same soups and some croutons, or stuffing mix and herbs, skip the rice.
B)Chicken and rice; use cream of chicken soup instead of cream of mushroom, and use mostly white rice.
3) Spanish Rice; Use Ground beef, browned and drained, Rice-o-roni Spanish Rice mix with stewed tomatoes, and some extra long grain white rice. Use plenty of water, and cook until rice softens or as recipe allows. May add cheese on top, stir in chopped peppers & onions.
4)Meat Loaf
Mix Italian sausage, ground beef, some onion soup mix, chopped onions, bread crumbs, crushed crackers, or oatmeal, and two eggs, and some ketchup together in a bowl, using plastic kitchen gloves. Place in loaf pans or a ring pan. Mix ketchup and brown sugar and spread on top of loaf.
Bake about an hour at 350-375, until center is cooked.
A)Basic meat recipe can be formed into meatballs and browned in oil for spaghetti or a hot-dish (casserole) baked with canned soup or Alfredo sauce and placed on cooked pasta or rice.
B)Basic meat recipe can have some rice mixed in for “porcupine meatballs” and served with stewed tomatoes. Can even be wrapped in cabbage or stuffed into peppers.
5)Venison or Bison Steak and gravy.
Place meat in a rectangle casserole baking dish, cover with cream of mushroom (or choice) soups, milk/water, and sprinkle of onion soup mix, bake until meat is tender. Serve with baked or mashed potatoes, and veggies.
6) Chicken-fried round steak. Cut into small squares. Dip into egg and milk mixture. Then seasoned crushed crackers. Place into pan of melted oil. Brown/fry both sides until meat is done. Can also be used to fry sliced zucchini, green tomatoes, etc.
7) Fried chicken or fish. Same as above, may use seasonings plus flour instead of crushed crackers, fry until chicken is cooked or fish filet is tender.
8) Sloppy Joe’s. Brown hamburger with chopped onions, celery and peppers, as desired. Drain, and add ketchup, brown sugar, choice of barbecue sauce, and heat up. Serve generously on fresh buns.
9) Creamed corn. Canned or frozen corn, cream corn, milk, crackers, eggs.
Stir eggs and milk together. Add crushed crackers and corn, to a soft custard consistency in a small, casserole dish. Sprinkle crushed crackers on top, and bake until heated thoroughly.
10) French toast. Use old bread. Mix milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Dip bread in mixture on both sides and fry in oil/butter (or bacon drippings) on both sides on griddle until done. Serve with syrup.
Many of these recipes are “comfort foods,” and can be made into leaner alternatives with less fat,…change and adapt them any way, as you choose!
Anything else? Apple crisp or Original Special K bars? Google it, or “Use Betty Crocker!” Sorry, Julia!


I went for a walk for a couple hours, visiting with the people in their little shops. I bought little items at some, a pair of socks here, a small office item there, a couple baby slings, a Timor Leste team banner, a lanyard, and a slim, coca-cola.
I ran across the street at each crossing to avoid motorbikes, vans, trucks, etc.
One intersection had a large round-about.
I didn’t wish to go too far with packages so I started back a bit sooner than before.
At one store, someone was purchasing linoleum. They rolled it open over the length of the sidewalk to measure as the crowd parted. People were mostly cheerful and gave friendly greetings. New stores were being built. One in a small mall a young man had painted colorful murals on each section of ceiling in a children’s store. Disney characters and popular children’s characters, and in a new store soon ready to open, the artist was painting letters, the beginning of another set of ceiling murals, for that store.
Young small boys were running around with eggs to sell, and an older man had bundles of lettuce heads hanging from both ends of a broomstick across his shoulders. Taxis everywhere, beeping for customers, one, with it’s hood open as a distributor was being fixed, on the side of the street.
As I was walking back, scooping the deep holes in the sidewalks where the sewage and bottles float along, I saw a little boy, perhaps younger than my 7 year old grand-daughter, climb out of one of the holes in the sidewalk carrying some soda cans…his bounty for his “fishing” efforts. I beckoned him and his grandpa explaining that I would run in the hotel and bring them our recycling cans from inside. They waited, and I brought out a bag with a few cans which he accepted with a nod and a smile. I know I can’t make as much of a difference as those who are here for an assigned duration, but I hope any little thing I can do will have a positive impact, however small. John told Libby we might have a Grandpa and a little boy moving in with us, Australian humor! Libby said the children earn very little for their livelihood here.

Setting Sun

It seems strange to think that as my day is ending here, back in the states, it is just beginning.
I took a shower early and went back to bed for most of the morning. I was up in the night and couldn’t sleep. The walk yesterday in the heat took a lot out of me. Libby and I had lunch at a coffee shop and went to a newly built and opened mall. I saw where she had purchased some nicely-carved, well-built furniture. We also looked at the hand woven Timorese cloth items. Libby bought me a colorful headband and ordered a cloth-framed mirror. I bought a pair of earrings for my daughter.
Libby ran into an interpreter who had assisted her and his wife and baby, plus some local police she knew.
Afterwards, we drove along the more touristy areas of beachfront east of Dilli and to the hill where there is a stairway to the large statue of Christ facing the ocean.
I took several photos of the beach at sunset, some children playing, and of the small fishing boats and their nets.



Back home, I have a plaque from a day care center with a story on it.
When I met the young Australian family last night, where the dad is a nurse at a hospital and the mom is going to work at a school here, and seeing all that they will experience in their two years here, I am reminded of the story.
In the story, there is a beach covered with starfish which had washed ashore. The child is busy throwing the starfish back into the water. An adult walks by and points out how futile the child’s efforts seem, as there are so many starfish. The child smiles back, picks up another starfish, and tosses it into the sea, and replies,”It made a difference for that one!”
There is so much extreme poverty, here and in other impoverished third world countries, and the conditions are so rough, but each day, the parents of these young lads can say, “Perhaps, I made a difference, today, for that one!”

Dili III

I slept in as I received a few emails from the states overnight. After a healthy high fiber breakfast, I went for a long walk on my own. John marked off on a map the streets to avoid, and the streets which would be interesting to travel along. I walked east first to the three story department store. I found a smaller dipper to match the ones I had previously purchased. It was $.50. As I walked along, I looked at some DVD’s, and as the temps went up, I purchased a can of Coke for $.55, and walked towards the beach. I took a photo of a Mary statue which had been dedicated in 1954. Venders tried to sell my woolen crocodiles, cigarettes and phone cards.
A young woman had trays of eggs and bottle of catsup or tabasco she was selling. I asked her if I could take her photo and gave her a dime. The thought of the eggs baking in the sun were not very appetizing to me. Her name was Dona. She walked the length of the beach and back.
One young man who was studying Political Science wanted to practice speaking English for a short time. He introduced me to his group of about eight friends, as they each shook my hand and greeted me. They hovered nearby as we talked. Next, I was watching an event at the government Parliament House when a gentleman named Izzy, one of the country’s financial managers, explained what was happening. He said it was the anniversary of the proclamation proposal for self-determination for Timor-Leste as an independent country. (1999) There was the elected leader of the country and several military groups.
Two more Education students visited for a time about their interests and goals. They were best friends, even though they were originally from different barrios. They left their homes in the remote hills at a young age to live with other families so they could be educated and have better futures.
I walked home next to open sewer streams, piles of food and litter garbage, near a young mother, her sleeping baby nuzzled-up to her, and a toddler.
By the time I got back, I had to eat a quick lunch with water, and take a nap.
For supper, we met up with a new Australian nurse, his wife, and their two curly-haired boys. They are renting a house back in a neighborhood of shacks and houses on one of the back roads. It was quite a narrow, curved road to get to they house, out toward the hospital, and to the restaurant along the ocean, and back. There were two litters of baby pigs, chickens, baby chicks, dogs, kids, people on scooters or walking, the whole length of the narrow road. The meal was served like a buffet, with juices for the boys, wine and beer for the adults. As we ate, the sun had already set, yet, there was still some fading light. People were walking along the beach and there were ships docked nearby. Dogs and a couple horses also went by as we ate. The moon was full and there were a few stars.
A cup of tea, and a historical movie in Tetun language on TV, then another end to busy day.

Dili II

This morning Libby went to work at the hospital. John had some on-line projects to wrap up, plus, the newer air conditioner wasn’t putting out cold air.
We went for a walk to one of the few larger department stores. As we went out, one lady was struggling to load and balance a mattress folded in half onto her pedal bike.
There were many shops along the way, with clothing, some nice quality furniture and other assorted merchandise.
The sidewalks had many holes along the way, revealing the sewage and litter floating below.
The department store had several USA brand products plus many with Indonesian packaging. I purchased some personal items, a couple wooden dippers made of a hard wood for the handles and coconuts for the bowl. I saw a dress (which I didn’t buy) with stars and stripes and gold zippers across the boat-shaped neckline and up and down the sides. I did buy a $1.20 pack of Indonesian cigarettes for a friend back in the states. There were also many outdoor cookstoves and large woks.
We walked into a grocery store which had refrigerated and frozen goods. One freezer had a whole pig, head and all, to buy and roast over a spit. It was just missing the fresh apple for it’s mouth.
The guys were fixing up several motorbikes and scooters in some garages. A gal had a long bamboo beam with a metal extension and a hook. She was picking a couple limes from high up in a tree.
We crossed over into the waterfront area. Several students were sitting around laptop computers and talking or texting on their phones.
We were approached by venders selling phone cards at most stores and at an ATM.
We walked along the shore and I photographed some of the boats and outriggers. Many people appear to live like nomads on the shore, in tents and small shacks.
I photographed a young fisherman, with his permission. I was approached by a couple older men who wished to have me take a photo of an older lady with them. I showed her the photo, afterwards, on my camera and she laughed. A group of young students chimed out in English that they wanted me to take their picture. I showed them the photo, saying they were “beautiful!”
They giggled and kept saying “beautiful” as we walked on. As we were crossing the street my hat blew off into the street. It landed and stayed in a spot at an intersection where two streets have two-way traffic and one street has one-way traffic, and the three converge. Amazingly, with so much traffic, my hat was rescued intact. We walked back, in a shadier section of town, past more shops, and back, waiting for Libby.
After lunch, and a cup of tea, we brought Libby to the hospital complex. There is a need for nice hospital bedding and bedsheets, in addition to other supplies. We stopped for some of the items on the list, including hangers, fruit, etc. Shopping bags cannot be left in the boot or visible from the outside or the windows would be broken and items stolen.
We went to a few more larger stores looking for more things on the list. There was only one item left, so we rode around more in some of the poorer sections of shacks and some newer places where families have new block houses, roughly built, but much better shelter from termites, and other insects and rodents.
We drove by the main soccer staduim, some Embassies, the Palace, a couple Museums, and various government buildings, schools, and universities. We drove by a soccer field by a tech school, in which the players share the field with water buffalos, goats, and whatever by products they leave behind. A shack nearby, a lady with a dozen little ones, including a little naked toddler. Young mothers with babies and toddlers wait for an opening in the traffic. Uniformed school kids were making their way home.
Trucks in the streets, unloading boxes and bundles of goods, which are carried off in stacks on the backs and shoulders of the hard-working people, showing strength much stronger than their smaller statures reveal.
Weather and work-worn carts are loaded up with fresh fruit, vegetables, mangos, and melons, and pushed from one side of the city through random traffic to the other side to their open market.
Stacks of open cages and crates of live, colorful chickens are sold along the street. Roosters crowing, and chickens wandering everywhere among the dirt yards of the tin shacks, to be fried up on a wood or propane stove in the yard or along the street. Children running and playing in a field where stalks of bamboo or cane had been recently cut down.
These are the sites I see, amongst the poverty.

A rooftop sunset.


First Impressions:
Our plane showed an edge to the water in the distance, fluffy, cotton clouds parted here and there to reveal riverbeds among the hills. We passed Dili and curved beyond the city over the ocean. The plane tilted on it’s side. The windows on the left showed water, the right; sky. Rotating to return back to the shore hooking a sharp left, straightening out to the runway. Very few airplanes, yet many helicopters are housed in makeshift-looking hangers.
A fence beyond the runway showed me my first glimpse of a third world country. Shacks amongst people, tin and grass roofs quilted together. A “Welcome to Timor Leste” greeting in Portuguese on the left. A farewell aisle where I’ll depart in three weeks on the right.
We walk down the aisle leading to the Immigrations checkpoint. There are potted plants lining the walk. Next, we gather our luggage onto trolleys to a scanner. Our paperwork for our goods to be claimed are collected. I follow Libby and John and several local Timorese people greet me, my eyes go toward Libby and John and the person who is picking us up from her hospital.
Several young boys eagerly assist us with our luggage as we roll it ups ramp to the vehicle. “Abrigado!” thank you.
I sit in front on the left. The streets are lined with people, markets with secondhand clothing and shoes, cigarettes, and some produce. People have carts loaded with beverages. The traffic included anything with wheels, whole families, young children on scooters and motorcycles with their parents and an older sibling on the back seat. There’s a smell of wood fires.
Our driver turns towards the shore, half the road is being tarred, so the traffic fights for it’s destination with oncoming trucks, cars, motorbikes, etc. Many buildings are hollow remnants of what they had been, others are patched, stores of stacked, patterned mattresses with flowers, cartoon characters and US flags printed on them. As we go along the shore to the left a few small wooden boats and outrigger canoes lay along the side of the road. Young boys stand behind trays of stacked fish waiting to sell their catch. Families with young children playing in the sand and in the waves. I spot a young girl drawing a heart in the sand with her name in the middle. The people live in such tough surroundings, lacking all of our conveniences, yet, they are smiling.
The embassies including the US Embassy plus the government Parliament house are on the right, with more hollow, destroyed buildings and more patched buildings which are interspersed in the city. We arrive at the hotel we are staying in. A familiar face waves to Libby, John and our driver. We enter a gate to an enclosed parking lot, and a couple fellows lift our heavy luggage on their shoulders and up the steps to our apartment unit. “Abrigado!”
For evening tea, John and I cross a one-way street with oncoming motorbikes, cars, vans, streaming by. The streets are filled with people on the stoops and sidewalks and young children crossing in the traffic. I tell John,”Just like Sturgis!”
We ordered sweet and sour chicken and rice to go. As we waited, Joanne and Johnny greet us with some nuts and tortilla chips, and a couple cups of tea.
The steps are uneven, and the pavement is ramped in a patchy concrete way, and there are open areas with deep holes and pipes. I’m warned to look down where-ever I walk so I don’t fall in or injure myself. Take time crossing and walking…be on the safe side of caution. Food was good…a few chili pepper pieces surprised each of us, however, as we ate the chicken.
Well, I’m here!