Showing posts with label war. Show all posts
Showing posts with label war. Show all posts

Friday, July 7, 2017

Freedom's Light - Robert J. Saniscalchi, Author

Gloria's Chicken Mix


1) 4-Fuji Apples peeled and sliced
2) 1- medium red onion sliced 
3) 3- Red Potatoes peeled and sliced
4) 2- Chicken Breasts
5) chopped garlic to taste
6) Seasoning to taste


A) Pour some olive oil into large frying pan with medium heat.
B) Add Ingredients and after ten minutes put cover on and low heat.
C) Stir and Turn over chicken.  Continue cooking until potatoes are soft.
D) Slice up cooked chicken breast and mix everything into a large bowl.
E) Season to taste  

    Enjoy with a nice glass of your favorite wine.

Freedom;'s Light - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Rob was interrupted from his peaceful sleep by the ringing and vibrating of his phone.  He reached over Ashley to grab it, and what he heard coming from the other end of the line froze him, words that took some time to sink in:  "Eagle's Claw," the recording repeated over and over.  Rob put the phone down.  "Damn it!  Ashley, honey, you need to get up, sweetie," he said gently nudging her.  Ashley was slow to wake but realized something was dreadfully wrong, as soon as her sleepy eyes landed on his distressed face. "Rob, what is it?"  "Something bad has happened," Rob replied, frantically searching for the TV remove.  "I need to see the news.  There's been...some kind of major terrorist event," he said. 

What had happened was one of the worse attacks the U.S. had ever seen.  Two planes had just flown into the World Trade Center.

Rob is a member of an elite team called Light Force.  They were being sent on a mission to investigate and report back the activity that was taking place at a terrorist base in Afghanistan.  Washington believed it to be a missile with the intent to make another attack on the U.S.  What Rob and his team find is far more dangerous than a missile and they find themselves without radio contact in which to order an air attack.  Their only option is to destroy it themselves.

I'm not a fan of books regarding war but I did watch on television as the towers came crashing to the ground and the thousands of innocent people crashed with them.  After reading the first few pages of this book I found myself wanting to read more.  What takes place within the pages are fiction, I assume since I've never seen news of these events, but the possibilities of this having taken place are quite possible.  It brought home to me the true acknowledgement of those brave men and women who protect us every day at the risk of their own lives.  I recommend this book to be read by everyone in the hopes that the next time you see one of these brave men and women, you'll take a minute to stop and just say "Thank You!"

This is one of those books that I would love to see made into a movie.  You can bet I would go to the movies to see it!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Louisiana Sunset - B. J. Robinson, Author

Venison Roast
 (I used to cook one this way every New Year’s Day
    - B.J. Robinson)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash deer meat and cut deep slits to place the onion, garlic, and green onion.

1 deer roast
1 onion
1 pod garlic
½ bunch green onions
Chop small and place in cut slits of the roast.

You may use a baking bag or put the roast in a small amount of water in a deep pan and baste it. Cover pan with aluminum foil. In the water, place 1 tbs. soy sauce, 1tbs. Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbs. garlic salt or powder, black pepper and salt to taste, three beef bouillon cubes, and 1 tbs. Kitchen Bouquet.

You might also use a crockpot and slow cook it all day. If you use the oven, the roast should be done in appropriately two to three hours.  Brown a tbs. of flour in an iron skillet in a small amount of oil and use the water from the roast to make a brown gravy. If you do not wish to make your own brown gravy, you can use three or four gravy packets instead.

This was one part of our annual New Year’s dinner as described in the book. We also had cabbage cooked with pork chops, green beans and potatoes, potato salad, and rice for the gravy.

You may leave out ingredients per taste or add others. This is how my mother-in-law taught me to cook venison roast when my husband brought home the deer. He cleaned it, and I cooked it. 

Louisiana Sunset - Review by Martha A Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Lilly Mae's life is making a complete circle.  She left Louisiana to get away from her abusive boyfriend, but after losing her job in the city she has decided to return and live in the river cabin her grandfather left her.  And of course the circle wouldn't be complete without agreeing to meet her long lost love Timber.

How could she even think of meeting him at the river again?  That time was gone and for the best.  She'd moved on, had her life together until she'd lost the job that meant the most to her, and she didn't need to let Timber rip her world apart again.  She signed.  What was she thinking?  Every ounce of her very being screamed.  Leave before he shows.  Forget him.  He's bad news.  Yet, she stood rooted to the spot.  Would he appear?  She had to know.  Had to see him one last time and put it and him behind her for good.  She was strong.  She could do this.

Even so, Lilly Mae had agreed to meet him and the old feelings resurfaced... for both of them.  Timber vowed that he had changed.  He would never hurt her again.  His temper was under control.  Lilly Mae refused to believe him.  But he refuses to give up.  He pops up everywhere, even at her home.  Then she meets Levi... the perfect man.  Levi was the total opposite of Timber.  He believed in God and went to church.  Timber actually only wanted to go if the preacher was funny.  He respected her.  Timber didn't even respect himself.  Levi thought of the other person first.  Timber only thought of himself - first and last.  But Timber still won't give up.

Levi does keep Timber in line for a while, that is until war broke out and with him being a pilot he is one of the first to head for what would be called Desert Storm.  Timber continues to keep up with his stalking.

So, will Timber separate Lilly Mae and Levi while he's thousands of miles away?  Will Lilly Mae be able to stay true to Levi, the man she loves and plans to marry or will she give in to her old love Timber?

This is one of the most beautiful stories I've read in a long time.  I found myself laughing at times, feeling sorry at times and even wanting to cry at times.  This book is a true love story that has a few twists.  And now that I've finished it, I'm looking forward to see what happens in the story that follows Louisiana Sundown - book 2 in the series.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

When The Drum Major Died - Anjuelle Floyd, Author

A Dinner for Two in thirty Minutes
by Anjuelle Floyd

2 to 4 ¾” cuts of filet mignon
1 white onion, chopped
1 bag of leaf spinach
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 bag of salad of your choice
salad dressing(s) of your choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  While oven is warming, place cuts of filet mignon on a sheet of aluminum foil.  Salt and pepper both sides of each cut of filet mignon.  Place 1-2 squares of butter on each cut.  Add basil and onions.  Once temperature reaches 350 degrees, place in oven and cook for 15-20 minutes turning once.  While filet mignon is cooking, sauté spinach in olive oil for 5-6 minutes adding salt, pepper and garlic as desired.  Remove filet mignon form oven when 20 minutes is up or earlier.  Serve with sautéed spinach and salad with dressing, both of your choice.

When The Drum Major Died – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

“The thick jungle, and the heat.  It was too much.  They had to cut their way through vines and over growth.  No path had been laid out like usual.  It was native tropical forest, untouched.  They had been through their own war.”  Clifford lowered his head.  He teared up, redness swallowing the whites around his irises.  “Towards the middle of the night the Viet Cong heated up their firing.  We thought it was all over, that in the next moment their entire company would descend on us.  I lost track of Ennis.  Like me he was trying to keep focus on his men amid the fighting and keep them alert.  Firing died down about one the next morning.  We began to hope.  Then one of my men reported seeing a soldier dragged off.  By morning twenty-five men lay with their necks slit.”  “Not more than ten yards from me Ennis lay dead.”…. “I never got to say “Good-bye,” Clifford said, barely audible.  Neither had Florina.

Florina had met Ennis while in college.  They found themselves deeply in love and married just before he left as a First Lieutenant in the US Army on his way to Vietnam.  Many saw him as a white man but Ennis’s mother was of both Negro and Cherokee heritage.  This was no problem for Florina since she was of the Negro race but very light skinned.  But due to his heritage, she decided to keep both Ennis and their marriage a secret from her family until after her graduation.  This never took place.  Ennis was killed in action while in Vietnam.

Life goes on for Florina.  She found a great man and husband in Dr. Redmond Austin, one of only 3 black doctors in the small North Carolina town of Poinsettia… Redmond, his father and Macon Elders.   But as  all lives come with baggage...hers was in continuing to keep Ennis and their marriage a secret, Redmond’s baggage came in the form of Agnes, Macon’s wife as well as their next door neighbor.

Now and then I run across a book that has a story that simply tugs at my heart with its love/hate relationships.  This is one of those books but this is more than just a love story.  I grew up with boys I went to school with being drafted to fight in the Vietnam War.  I grew up with segregation going on all around the little town where I lived just outside of Atlanta.  I also grew up confused as to the way both white and blacks treated the one boy that was admitted to my high school.   He wasn’t accepted by either race.   Why?  He was light skinned.  I never understood the problem.  As I read, When The Drum Major Died, after all these years, I have begun to understand.  If you grew up as a baby boomer, especially in the south, this is a book I recommend you read.  It is beautiful, educational and simply a wonderful book to read.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Amongst My Enemies - William F. Brown, Author

Cranberry Fluff -
(it's an easy and quick holiday thing that
goes great with turkey or about anything:)

    2 cups of frozen cranberries, ground (Cuisinart)
    3 cups of miniature marshmallows
    3/4 cup of sugar
    1/2 cup of chopped nuts (if desired)
    1/4 tsp of salt
    2 cups Cool Whip
    1 small can of crushed pineapple, drained

Combine cranberries, marshmallows and sugar in a 2 1/2 qt bowl or larger.  Cover and chill overnight.  Next morning, add drained pineapple, nuts, and salt.  Mix.  Fold in Cool Whip, and chill.  Serves 10 or more (if you keep the kids out of the bowl until then.)

Amongst My Enemies – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; A Book and A Dish; Think With Your Taste Buds

Four months ago, their B-17 took off into a clear, Italian sky for the long leg north to Berlin.  They hit their marks and dropped their bombs, but before they could make the big turn west, the German flank guns found them.  A B-17 is a tough bird and Lieutenant Jensen, their pilot, fought hard to keep it in the air as they lumbered north and east, out of control.  The smoke and flames got worse and worse inside, until the plan went into a steep dive.  Mike and Eddie clawed their way to a side door and bailed out, but they were the only ones who made it.  They came down in a muddy wheat field somewhere in East Prussia.  Long columns of refugees choked the roads heading west, desperate to stay ahead of the Russians.  Discarded furniture, mattresses, pianos, steamer trunks, and suitcases lay strewn along the roadside.  He and Eddie found some civilian clothes and it was easy for them to blend in – not that it mattered.  Two days later, they were stopped by a German Military Police roadblock, and the joke was on them.  The Germans weren’t looking for American airmen.  They were looking for strong backs to dig tank traps and clear rubble.  Instead of a POW camp or being thrown against the closest wall and shot as spies, they were dragooned into a forced labor battalion headed north to Konigsberg.

It’s 1945 and the world is at war.  Michael Randall and Eddie Hodge were Americans who found themselves in a world of trouble as they and their fellow prisoners were huddled together in an old truck bed trying to keep from freezing.  Michael knew it was just a matter of time before their German watchdog Stolz would demand they leave the truck to start the day’s work.  As Michael looked at Eddie he knew it would just be a matter of time before his life would be ended one way or another.  He would either die due to the gangrene that had started eating away at his feet and legs or be shot by Stolz for not carrying his load of the work.  Eddie’s solution was for Michael to find a way to put him out of his misery, which with a heavy heart, he did.  Now he had to live with his guilt and his promise to not let those responsible get away with what they had done.  This promise became the heart of Michael’s existence.  He would make them pay and pay dearly.

Amongst My Enemies takes you on a tour of the world as Michael is put into a position that provides for his rescue from his capturers just before their vessel is attacked in Swedish waters.  Before dying Eddie had also made Michael promise to visit his father and sister in South Carolina to explain to them what really happened and why.  But his real promise came into place when a Charleston newspaper stated that Admiral Eric Bruckner was coming to New York.  That simply wasn’t possible.  Admiral Bruckner was the one who put Michael in a life boat before taking his U-boat back out into deep waters.  He was also on board the U-boat when it was attacked and sunk.  Proving this became Michael’s beginning of self-recovery and keeping his promise to Eddie.  He just didn’t know what trouble he was about to step into. 

Michael’s travels take him back to the coast of Sweden as he and a small group search for the sunken U-boat expose the imposter.  This will bring the Russians in as they try to destroy the find preventing the world from knowing about their infiltration into other countries defense systems.  It will bring in the Germans who had stripped the U-boat and loaded it with gold, jewels and art work that had been collected throughout the war.  Will Michael be strong and smart enough to succeed?  Will the Germans recover the loot inside the boat?  Or will the Russians blow it all to keep their ruse running?

I’m not a fan of war stories and seriously thought about having my friend who sometimes helps me read this book and do the review.  Glad I didn’t.  The more I read, the more I wanted to read.  It held my attention to the very end.  Great book!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Enemy My Love - James Walker, Author

Creamy Leek Croustade
(A James Walker favorite)

Part 1:
6 oz. (175g) fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
2 oz. (50g) butter or margarine
4 oz. (100g) cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz. (100g) mixed nuts, chopped
1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) mixed herbs
1 garlic clove, crushed

Part 2
3 med. sized leeks
4 tomatoes
2 oz (50g) butter or margarine
1 oz (25g) 100% wholemeal flour
1/2 pint (284 ml) milk
salt and pepper to taste
4 Tbsp (60 ml) fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs

Put the breadcrumbs in a basis, rub in the butter, then add the remaining ingredients from part 1.  Press the mixture into a 11 x 7", (28x18cm) tin.  Bake in the oven at 220c (425f, mark 7) for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.  Meanwhile slice leeks and chop the tomnatoes.  Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Saute leeks for 5 minutes, then stir in flour.  Add milk, stirring constantly, then bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer.  Add the remaining ingredients of part 2, except the breadcrumbs, and simmer for a few minutes to soften the tomatoes.  Check seasoning.  Spoon the vegetable mixture over the base, sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and heat through in the oven at 180c (350f, mark 4) for 20 minutes.  Serve at once.  Serves 4.

My Enemy My Love – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; A Book and A Dish; Think With Your Taste Buds 
“I am sorry to burden you with my troubles,” Beatrice said, catching her breath as she did so in an effort to keep calm. “Nonsense, my dear, what are friends for. You must stay the night with us. There is enough food, I’m sure.” Claire looked at Brigitte as she spoke. “You can help me prepare supper tonight, can’t you?” It was more of a demand than a request. “Of course, Mama.” She looked once more at Beatrice and couldn’t help thinking how badly this awful war was treating her. One of her son’s blinded for life, the other still serving at the front presumably, her daughter heavily pregnant with a bastard child and God knows where, and now her husband arrested for the kind of offence that could well result in his execution. It was little wonder that she was in tears when her once so secure world was rapidly crumbling around her. Not for the first time she decided that the evil Boches had much to answer for, given the misery they were visiting on so many innocent people whose lives they were trampling underfoot. Then she thought of her letter to Friedrich; it was enough to make her want to laugh. “This war is making fools of us all,” she mumbled to herself.
Aubert and Beatrice Guilloux, along with their two sons Antoine and Philippe and daughter Cosette live in the countryside of the French city of Lille. Aubert, with Philippe as his accountant, has a successful tannery business that has allowed him to provide everything needed to make his family happy in all of their desires. Their estate consists of their own home as well as cottages for some of the servants, a stable full of horses and through Aubert’s ability to manage money, rental property for yet another income. Things couldn’t be better…that is until WWI started and the Germans invaded France and took over Lille. Aubert and his family were required to move into one of the cottages giving the house up to the German officers.
Cosette had led a fairly sheltered life where her family supplied her every whim so moving into the cottage did become quite a change for her. Their horses had been taken over by the Germans so her love for riding and jumping had come to a stop. She, nor anyone else in the family, was allowed to go near their old home. All she had left to entertain her were walks to the lake. But these she found were quite dangerous as three German soldiers captured her with the intent of rape. Her rescuer turned out to be a German officer that caught her attention as well as her heart.
My Enemy My Love is another of those books that I almost didn’t read. I enjoy reading some history but have never enjoyed reading anything written about WWI or WWII. It’s always given me a ‘dark’ feeling about life during this time. But, as I’ve stated before, I will read at least the first 50 pages of any book before declining. My Enemy My Love turned out to be another of those books that I just kept going after the first 50 pages. Yes, it still gave me my ‘dark’ feeling but it also showed me the strength people find deep inside themselves when faced with the dangers of war and injustice. I find myself wondering if I could be so brave. Could I risk my own life to help my country? Would I hate ALL of those that brought this pain upon my world or would I look at them as just doing what they are told and must by their own leaders? Could I actually love one of them knowing that if found out I would be considered a traitor even by my own family? Through My Enemy My Love, Author James Walker has given me many mixed emotions and feelings making it difficult to answer any of these questions for myself. This is truly a great book that took not only a strong imagination but an awful lot of research. See, other than the main characters, most of the other characters are real and went through what he epics within this writing.

A message from the Author - The book was dedicated to my wife but perhaps I should have dedicated it to my grandfather who was still suffering from the physical and mental impact that the Great War had on him more than 50 years after it ended. I also have a German great-grandfather , which has influenced my perspective on the two world wars, and a love of French history which made the research a pleasure rather than a pain.  My other grandfather, who died before I was born was an 'old contemptible' at Mons in August 1914 and a cavalryman to boot, so I have watched the successful war film War Horse recently with some emotion knowing that he was caught up in the madness of sending horses against machine guns!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bullets + Bandages - Robert Saniscalchi, Author

Grilled Salmon Steaks 
(A Saniscalchi Favorite)

1) Take fresh stakes and marinate in Italian Dressing over nite in the fridge.
2) Place on Grill Medium heat.
3) Turn steaks after cooked for five minutes.
4) Grill until steaks until they flake off easily with a fork.
5) Serve with fresh salad and bread of your choice.
6( A white wine is highly recommended.

Bullets and Bandages – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds – Desserts
“Where have you guys been?”  I said.  “We ran out of time!  My buddy here needed help, but now he’s dead!”  They tried to calm me down.  The flight medic replied, “We’re sorry about your man.  We left the base as soon as we had word.  I’ve seen this snake before.  It’s one of the most poisonous in the world.  No one can survive the venom unless they’re right outside a hospital when they are bitten.”  He was right.  It wasn’t their fault.  The choppers lifted off and banked over trees, but I just stared at the body bag, feeling so very tired.  I would never forget him.  He saved a lot of lives and lost his to a tiny snake.  I prayed for him.  I prayed for his family and for his lost soul; I prayed it wasn’t my turn next.
Sergeant Jakes had already survived one tour in Viet Nam. He knew the VC as well as the jungle.  He knew what to watch for and what to listen for. Now he was now successfully taking his team through yet another tour.  He had been through just about everything the VC could toss at him and lived through it.  The one thing he didn’t live through was the bite of one of the most poisonous snakes in the world.  One that made his home in the jungles of Viet Nam. 
That was just one of many deaths that Rob Doc Marrino would have to face while serving as a Medic in Viet Nam.  He would experience the horrors of war that only someone who lives through it can truly claim talking rights.  Those of us who have never experienced this act of greed called war can never completely understand what these men and women went through.  Some will tell us about their experiences, some just want to forget what they saw, heard and felt during their days in hell. 
Being a baby boomer, I knew many boys who quickly became men due to the Viet Nam War.  Most came back, some in the bowel of the plane, some in the passenger seats.  A lot came back physically damaged while others came back mentally damaged.  I have a friend who was there and luckily returned whole, at least in body.  Now 40 years later, he, as well as many others like him still have nightmares that wake the house with his screams as he re-lives the horrors that took place right before his eyes.    
As I read Bullets and Bandages I realized that the war horrors produced by Hollywood is nothing compared to the real experiences these men and women actually went through.  Author Saniscalchi has captured on paper the events and stories that his own brother experienced as he served in the military in Viet Nam.  He allows you to feel the bond of friendship that forms between yourself and your buddies.  You experience the strength of their will to survive and the strength of true fear.  But most importantly, their understanding of the importance of God in their survival. 
I can’t say that I loved Bullets and Bandages but I can say that I didn’t want to put it down, that it made me hurt as well as cry and that I was so glad when the book ended.  In the past I’ve heard men talking about their experiences in Viet Nam and actually blocked it out.  Now I listen because these men and women need to be heard.  They need to get their memories out in the open instead of allowing it to fester like a cancer until it consumes their whole body and life.  And we need to be the ones listening.
ISBN# 978-1-58982-247-4

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