Living Columns & Blogs

Cathie Campbell

Anyone for dessert?

I was recently browsing through a collection of recipes I have had for many years, and maybe it’s nostalgia, but I wanted to share a few of them with you. Actually, I’d love to share all of them, but I have thousands and of course that would not be practical. Perhaps you could use one or more as a Memorial Day dessert.

Cathie Campbell

Potato salad picnics

Memorial Day will be here before we know it, and many of us are planning to have a picnic or outdoor barbecue. If you love to serve a potato salad along with the main dish, here are some recipes you can check out to see if there's something you want to try. Many of us have our own favorite potato salad recipe, perhaps one that has been handed down through generations. I tend to change mine a little bit now and then. At times I have added sliced olives or radishes.


About KOMB

Just who are those people you see with vests and grabbers walking along the roadside picking up other people’s trash? This article features an interview with one of these dedicated members of Keep Our Mountains Beautiful, Carla Rajnus.

Cathie Campbell

Mom’s big day is coming up

Mothers Day is Sunday, May 14, so if you are planning to cook Mom a meal, you have endless choices and a few of them are presented here. Any time I have gone out for a Mother’s Day meal, it has been difficult, especially if there are no reservations. Some restaurants have a pretty good brunch event, so that is one consideration. I may be all alone in my preference to stay home, but I am fine with it, as long as someone else tackles the dish washing chores. To me, that is a great gift. I enjoy cooking but I can’t say I like washing stacks of dishes and pots. It is nice to have options, especially for holiday meals and celebrations.

Cathie Campbell

Peas that please

Sometimes I wonder if parents are still telling their children, “Eat your peas” at the dinner table. I remember hearing my Italian Nana saying that to some of her other grandchildren, but I needed no such prompting because I have always loved peas, or piselli as she called them. I was always asking her, “How do you say that in Italian?”

Cathie Campbell

Spring veggies are a treat

More and more these days I am appreciating fresh vegetables, especially this time of year when produce stands and markets are offering such a wide variety. I have fond memories of harvesting fresh vegetables when I was growing up, and sitting with my grandmother shelling fresh peas. Of course, more of those little delicacies went into my mouth than went into the bowl. There were times we just ate them right then and there instead of saving them for dinner.


Why on Earth an Earth Day?

“Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.” - Native American Proverb

Cathie Campbell

Feeling brunchy this Easter?

Brunch is good at any time, not just holidays of course. Even if Easter isn’t something you celebrate, one good thing about food is that it fits into our schedules and makes friends with our tummies and taste buds whenever we feel like it. My family mostly has limited our Easter celebration to an early dinner, with the table just as loaded as it is for Thanksgiving. When my Italian Nana was still with us, we used to have a big after-church spread of home baked breads and pastries in the morning. I remember helping her in the kitchen as she labored up to her elbows in flour and yeast bread dough. Good times. However you celebrate your Easter traditions, and even if you don’t have any, it is my hope you are all healthy and happy, and of course, well fed.

Cathie Campbell

It’s always time for ice cream sodas

I love ice cream sodas, even if the weather is not exactly hot. Every year I travel to Ontario, Canada for a little vacation, and my friends there tell me that the popular term in their region is pop rather than soda. I have heard the term soda-pop over here, but I think the use of the word pop in the U.S. is mostly in our eastern states. I have also heard it said that an ice cream soda has club soda as an ingredient, but an ice cream float uses flavored soda (or pop), with root beer being the most popular. Anyway, no matter where you call home or what terms you use, I think we can all agree that ice cream sodas or floats are welcome treats to enjoy during the upcoming hot summer months or even right now. Why save ice cream just for summer?

Cathie Campbell

Graham cracker treats

You can purchase graham cracker crumbs or you can use a food processor to make your own. You can also just use graham crackers straight from the box without crumbling them. They are great with a glass of cold milk and even better when coated with chocolate. And we all know how good those campfire treats known as S’mores are. Graham crackers have been part of our lives for generations and if you like them as much as I do, you might want to bake some treats using them. I hope you are enjoying the spring season so far, and not battling allergies like I am. I am glad I don’t have any food allergies, though.

Sue Langley

How I save money in the garden

More than anything, here in our foothills, I wanted a beautiful garden and though I had no experience gardening in deer and snow country and a small budget, I just began digging and let experience be my teacher.

Cathie Campbell

Eggs, those little devils

It’s been about four years since I focused on deviled eggs, and in fact, I haven’t prepared any at home for quite some time. Right around Easter or just after, I always used to make pickled eggs and beets, probably because I always had lots of leftover hard-boiled eggs and there are usually some pretty decent sales on eggs due to their popularity at that time.


For the Kids

We were happy to learn recently that all schools in Eastern Madera County have recycling programs. The future lies in our children’s hands, so let’s engage them in activities that will increase their awareness of being good stewards of the earth.

Cathie Campbell

Everything’s green

St. Patrick’s Day is a time when a lot of folks like to wear something green. Word has it you are likely to get pinched if you don’t. I don’t have any green clothes, but I just pin on a crocheted shamrock made out of green yarn. Since green is the traditional color of this holiday, I got to thinking that it might be fun to enjoy some green food. Not green eggs and ham, and certainly not anything that turns green from being in the refrigerator too long. Just some tasty, attractive and fun things we can serve and eat on that day when we all turn Irish.

Cathie Campbell


After 17 years, Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart are saying goodbye to the X-Men roles of Wolverine and Professor Charles Xavier, respectively. And I truly believe that this is it for them.


What do to if you meet a mountain lion

​​Mountain lions are generally calm, quiet, and elusive. People rarely get more than a brief glimpse of a mountain lion in the wild. Lion attacks on people are rare, with fewer than a dozen fatalities in North America in more than 100 years. But just in case you do encounter a mountain lion, this video will help you be prepared.
Colorado Division of Wildlife
What do to if you meet a mountain lion 4:18

What do to if you meet a mountain lion

Apartment complex in Oakhurst floods 1:17

Apartment complex in Oakhurst floods

Yurt floats away in Fresno River flooding 0:53

Yurt floats away in Fresno River flooding

Most babies should be exposed to peanuts earlier, according to new guidelines 1:39

Most babies should be exposed to peanuts earlier, according to new guidelines