Baked Macaroni


When you’re searching for an easy recipe to take to a potluck or to serve for Sunday lunch, this recipe is an easy go-to one. There is  no last-minute stirring and mixing because it will have been done three hours earlier.

You can choose your style of macaroni; I usually use elbow macaroni, but that’s entirely up to you.  You’ll need butter, milk, shredded cheese (or Velveeta), and Salt and Pepper.  Oh yes, you’ll need three-plus hours of time before it’s ready to serve.  How easy is that?

The how to

Start by melting the butter in the pan you’ll be using (which depends on how many batches of this you’ll be making). For one recipe, I use a 9 x 9 casserole dish.

Melt the margarine in the bottom of the pan, then add your dry macaroni and salt and pepper.  If you’re a garlic or onion fan, you can toss some powder or the real stuff in there.  Mix it together.

Add your cheese and mix it well.

This is where I don’t quite follow the directions.  It says to add the milk and not stir it, but I do (just a little).

Put the pan into a pre-heated oven set at 235.  Cover it and bake for three hours.  I really like the Lily pad covers I have.  I prefer these to foil wrap because they are reusable, are dishwasher, stovetop, and oven  safe. This one doesn’t quite fit the corners, but it still works.  I have a rectangular one I could have used, but  it is quite a bit larger than this pan.

The finished product. I like to use this dish when I am using canned beef heated in a skillet.  A dish of green beans and a red congealed salad (or some applesauce) tops off the meal.

This chart is helpful if you want to double or triple the recipe.

The recipe

Baked Macaroni

My Windowsill
An easy recipe for baked macaroni - easy to mix, simple to bake, and filling to serve.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 20 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 -8


  • 1 1/2 cups macaroni
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • Onion minced, and/or garlic (optional)
  • 1 1/4 cups Velveeta OR shredded cheese I recommend Velveeta
  • 4 cups milk


  • Melt margarine in bottom of 9 x 9-inch pan.
  • Add macaroni, salt and pepper, and stir.
  • Mix in cheese and milk.
  • Cover and bake at 235 for 3 hours.
  • Remove from oven.
  • Let set for 10 minutes before serving.

This recipe is a repeat from seven years ago.

Pussy Wants a Corner and other Games

Pussy wants a cornerGames

One of my favorite memories from my childhood is playing games with family and friends. At home, we played I SpyCat and the Rat, , No Bears are Out Tonight, Bum, Bum, Here We Come, Red Light, Green Light, and Upset the Fruit Basket.

At school, we played Red Rover, Fox and Goose, and Pussy Wants a Corner, and some of the same games we played at home. Pussy Wants a Corner is a game like musical chairs. 

Pussy Wants a Corner

Everyone goes into one corner in a room except one person, who is Pussy. Pussy goes to individuals and says, “Pussy wants a corner!”. The person can say, “Go to the next neighbor,” or he can say, “SCAT!” 

If the person says “Go to the next neighbor,” the pussy cat goes to another person and begs, “Pussy wants a corner!”

If the person says “SCAT!” everyone runs to a different corner. The pussy tries to get to the corner before everyone else, and the person who doesn’t make it to the corner becomes the new Pussy.

I’m not sure if there is a set number of people who can be in a corner, or how it is decided if the corner is “full”. I do remember the rush in our school classroom to get to another corner if you did not want to be the Pussy. Games like this provided competition and comradery. It allowed a child to be highlighted if he desired, or to remain in the shadows if he was quick enough to move to the other corner.

No Bears are out Tonight!

Children enjoy this game best when it is getting dark outside. There’s a bear hiding in the shadows. Children come out of their “home” and wander around the yard, saying, “No bears are out tonight!”

Suddenly, the bear (or bears) appear, growling and running after the children. The children try to run home before the bear catches them. If the bear catches a child, the child becomes the next bear.

I’m not sure why we found this game so delightful as kids. Sometimes we had trouble sleeping at night after this game, but we kept playing it nonetheless. 

Cat and the Rat

This game takes place where there is a sidewalk (or another place designated as such). One person designated as the cat must stay on the sidewalk. The other children are rats that try to run across the sidewalk without getting caught. When a cat catches a rat, the rate becomes a cat. The game is over when there are no rats remaining. 

gamesUpset the Fruit Basket

This game also is a form of musical chairs. Each player chooses a particular fruit that will represent  him: (an orange, banana, etc.) Everyone sits in a circle. There is one less chair than the number of players. The person who is IT names a fruit, such as an Orange. The people who are “oranges” need to move and find a different seat. The extra person tries to get to an empty seat before one of the “oranges” gets the seat. When the person who is IT says, “Upset the fruit basket,” everyone has to find a seat, including the person who is IT. Whoever is left without a seat is IT.

The purpose of games

Playing games is a great way to help kids develop a good spirit when winning or losing. Playing games helps kids learn to take turns, help other team members, and compete. How much better it is for kids to play together than to be off alone. 

We learn a lot about our children by playing games with them and by watching them play with others. We find out which ones are confident, competitive, timid, or tender. Playing games can soften tough kids and strengthen kids who feel insecure. 

I’m grateful for the myriad of games we played at home and at school. Laughter and fun is an important part of growth for our kids. It’s also a great asset for adults.

Pinterest games

Why Worship


As a noun, worship is “a feeling or expression of adoration for a deity.”  As a verb, it means to “to show reverence and adoration for a deity.”

We can worship with others, or by ourselves. We should worship with others, and by ourselves.

Scripture tells us that we are not to neglect meeting together. [Hebrews 10:25] This is because we need to encourage and exhort each other. We need each other’s example and encouragement.

We also need to spend time with Jesus, alone. He wants to hear our heartaches (even though He already knows) and He wants to hear our declaration of Who He is.

What worship does

True worship is about God, and not about us. It realigns our hearts and our feelings. When we are out of alignment with God, true worship pulls us back into alignment. Click To Tweet Worship is focus on God, not on me. It declares the Truth of who God is.

worshipWhy we must worship

Worship is about a relationship, not about bright or dark emotions. Emotions can carry us through a moment, but they will not last for days. Relationship with Him lasts. Recognition, of Who God is, lasts.

The first time this word is used in the Bible is in the story of Abraham and Isaac. God tells Abraham to sacrifice his only son. Abraham journeys to the place and tells his servants, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.”

Abraham’s task was hard and heavy. Yet, when Abraham obeyed and made the journey, he was ready to worship. 

David fasted and prayed for his sick son, asking God to spare his life. Yet, when the child died, David got up, changed his clothes, and went into the house of God and worshipped.

Job lost his children, his livestock, and his wealth. Yet, when he grappled with the devastating news, Job got up, shaved his head, and fell to the ground in worship.

When I consider these men and their situations, I am amazed that they could worship God in these moments. Yet, I know He wants the same from me. He wants the same from all of us.

worshipA lesson for today

When there are questions or heartaches, going to God in praise and adoration because of Who He is changes our conflict to confidence. Sometimes events in our lives can be a catalyst, bringing us to God. If we do this right, our emotions will change from despair to confidence. Our focus changes from “myself” to God. 

If we allow the things that can bring discouragement or defeat to bring us to God, we will find a change in our attitude when we declare His goodness. Putting the things we cherish on the altar of praise brings us to a place of adoration of Who God is. Praising God is sometimes difficult. Yet, we are told to bring the sacrifice of praise to Him. We are to acknowledge Him with our lips – by the things we say and the praises we sing!  Hebrews 13:15 tells us: Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

Worship is a bold declaration of Who God is and what God has done for us. Let’s not forget to declare His glory and His Truth, whether alone or with others!Pinterest Why Worship

Photo credits:

Homemade Tortillas and Quesadillas

Store-bought or homemade

I used to purchase tortillas in the grocery store.  Not anymore! This recipe is the bomb. I texted a friend who was visiting friends in Texas. In a few minutes, she had sent me a recipe for homemade tortillas.

“I don’t usually use a recipe, but this looks like what I make,” she said.

The Tortillas

It comes from the cookbook Savour Belize and the author is Mrs. Zelah Kropf.

There are no directions for this recipe, so I had to text Anna again and ask her what to do after I’d mixed the dough.

This recipe is so easy and such fun to make. The dough texture is great to work with. You can pat the tortillas out into a circle or roll them out with a rolling pin.  Anna said she pats her tortillas into a circle, but we used a rolling pin.

You’ll need flour, baking powder, salt, shortening (vegetable oil), and water.  The directions call for shortening, so I had to text Anna again to ask her what she uses.  Vegetable oil it is.

Mix your dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients.

Use a little flour or cornmeal to roll them out. To fry the tortillas, spray a skillet and fry for about 30 seconds per side.  This photo shows one tortilla on our Cook-n-Dine.

The Quesadillas

Chop your onions, shallots, and peppers.  Add mushrooms and saute.

To make your quesadillas, you’ll need refried beans, shredded cheese, mushrooms, onions, peppers, shallots and/or onions, bacon (fried and crumbled), beef, chicken, or any other meat you’d like to add.

Place refried beans on half of your tortilla, then add the toppings of your choice.  Fold the other half over your toppings, and fry, flipping over when one side is browned and the cheese is melted.

In this photo, you can see my Cook-n-Dine.  On it, we fried the tortillas, sauteed the vegetables, and then fried the quesadillas (which is why it looks so well-used.)

Serve your quesadilla with salsa and/or sour cream or yogurt.


The recipe for homemade tortillas

Homemade Tortillas and Quesadillas

My Windowsill
A simple, easy recipe for homemade tortillas and directions for quesadillas as well.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Belizian
Servings 18 -20


  • 6 cups flour
  • 6 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 shortening vegetable oil
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups water more or less to make a soft dough


  • Mix dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, and salt)
  • Add shortening and water
  • Divide into 18-20 pieces
  • Roll or pat each piece into a circle, using flour if dough is sticky
  • Using high heat, spray a skillet and fry tortilla, approximately 30 minutes per side
  • The dough can also be rolled into balls and put into a bag or tightly covered container
  • Store in the refrigerator for use later that day.
  • Take dough out of the refrigerator 10-20 minutes before you are ready to fry them so they can warm to room temperature.

Note: This is a repost for 7 years ago. 

Time Passes as a Tale That’s Been Told

This is a re-post from almost seven years ago. Ms. Puryear is not longer with us, and I’m so glad I stopped in one day to ask her about the rake in the tree.

Time passes as a tale . . .

Just a few miles from our house, there’s an old, dilapidated rake that was left in a grove years ago. I noticed it one summer when we’d gone to pick strawberries at Puryear’s Produce farm in Halifax County.

Seasons and years have passed since that rake was first abandoned. Rebecca Clark Puryear was almost a teenager the day her daddy bought his new rake. She remembers that day nearly eighty-three years ago as though it was yesterday.

“My daddy had bought a new rake that could be pulled by a tractor. This one was pulled by a mule, and he always unhitched the mule from the rake right there next to the stable and corn crib,” she explained.

I suppose that John Clark came in from the field that day, stopped at his usual place near the stable, and unhitched the mule from the rake for the last time. I don’t know if he planned to move the rake at some later time or not.

time passesLife happened as time passed

At any rate, life happened . . . A hackberry sprout began to grow in the empty space beside the stable and corn crib, next to the deserted rake.

In time, the sapling pushed through the soil where the abandoned rake sat and waited. Over the years, the hackberry tree grew, and the rake remained just where it had been placed years before. The tree grew in and around the rake. Its trunk encompassed the rake, even while making room for the rake as it spread its branches and reached skyward. Now the two are bound together. To remove either one, both would be affected.

time passes

and continued . . .

On another day and on a different road, I noticed another pair of trees that have grown together. Somehow, sometime, a crepe myrtle shoot managed to push through the trunk of a red cedar tree; now its branches and blossoms spread around the entire cedar tree. The red cedar stands taller than the crepe myrtle, but when I pulled back the branches and peered underneath, I noticed that the crepe myrtle had pushed through the trunk of the red cedar in several places. Now the bases of their trunks are so interwoven that it is difficult to see where one stops and another one begins.

I have no idea how long it has taken for them to become so intertwined. But I do know that life happened. Anyone wanting to move one of the two would need to destroy the other in order to do so.

I am certain that, in both cases, no one noticed the small shoot that grew stronger as it grew taller and spread its branches. No one would have guessed it would happen like this. And so, unnoticed and unhindered, they grew together. The years came and went, and the trees kept growing.

How like life it is. We spend our years just like that . . . as a tale that is told.

Life happens.

A newborn baby grows, takes its first steps, says first words, and experiences firsts of everything. Circumstances and experiences help bend and shape, and before we know it, years have passed and we begin experiencing our lasts*, just like the rake claimed by the tree.

Time marches on, we’ve heard it said.  We’ve probably repeated the phrase ourselves. And it’s true. Yet while time is moving, we so often fail to notice the small pressures and influences that shape our lives, or how susceptible we are to the persistence of life’s experiences around us.

We don’t think about the habits we’re forming, the attitudes we are carrying, or the emotions ensnaring us. Until, that is, one day we’re grown and the choices we’ve consciously or subconsciously made have a profile of their own. We’ve continued on, our path unnoticed and unhindered, making our own way, defining our own destiny.

Life happens. Seasons come and go. Trees spring into action after winter, producing pastel shoots that change to deep forest green by summer. Sun, wind, rain and frost produce changes in those same trees come fall, and all the earth is ablaze with splendor. Then another winter comes, and another spring, and another summer. Before we know it, another year of seasons is gone. And all the time, we’ve been growing and spreading our branches, shaping our lives and the lives of others, one small ring at a time.

Life continues

Life happens. It happens so slowly that we are oblivious to the difference that is taking place. We’ve changed in ways we never would have thought were possible.

I find this truth both sobering and encouraging.

I find it sobering because, years from now, I won’t be able to go back and undo the direction I have taken. That’s because my priorities will be ingrained. Habits and attitudes will be so rooted that it will be difficult to hack away and attempt to undo those changes without great pain. The trunk of my tree will be solid and fixed. It will be too late to change the bent of the tree without removing branches.

I find this truth encouraging because, while at times it seems I’m not making a difference, I know that perseverance will bring results. When I grow weary, I remember that old rake bound to the trunk of the tree. I picture the tall red cedar surrounded by purple crepe myrtle blossoms. I know that one achievement, one success, one sturdy shoot, or one prayer can make a difference.

Oh, I might not notice the results instantly. But years from now, my story will continue even after I am gone. I am spending my years as a tale that will, one day, be told.

Our God is constant

Life happens. When life around me seems to be in constant turmoil and change, I remember especially the promise in scripture. While the earth lasts, the seasons will continue as they have every year since creation. It’s a promise. Though all around me, things are changing, God does not change. It’s a promise.

He is faithful.

His mercies are new, every morning.

He is always the same. That is a promise, too – even as life happens.


A note from Gert

This article was first published in 2008 in the e-zine Discover Southside.  The rake and the tree still stand, as do the red cedar and crepe myrtle trees.

With thanks to Karen Kingsbury, who introduced the idea in her book Let Me Hold You Longer