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Sweet Patoot

A few weeks ago, when we were putting our daughter’s bedroom back together after a complete remodel, I caught myself saying something I hadn’t heard in a while. I was putting all her clothes back into her nice new big closet. Kenzy was bouncing all over like it was Christmas morning. She had waited five long weeks for her daddy to finish this project — being the carpenter he is. I helped, of course, but he did sixty percent of it. OK, maybe seventy. It looks amazing, and I am so proud of my husband. There isn’t much this man can’t do. He deserves all the credit. I just helped gut the room out and organize it all to store it away, then helped do a lot of scraping of walls and putty. Fun stuff, I tell ya.

We had a fun Saturday cutting all the trim together with old barn wood pieces leftover from our bathroom remodel a few years back. Some of the pieces were long, so it took two of us to use the table saw. We had fun together running up and downstairs, putting it all together like a puzzle all day. I had told him I felt like I was working at the sawmill with Pa Ingalls!

“Hey, Babe? Can you take off your shirt and just wear suspenders? Ya know, so I can really feel the full effect while we do this?” I asked. (Pa sometimes would do that on Little House, and phew, that Ma was one lucky gal!)

I’d get all the eggs in my basket from my chickens and take a walk into town to the mercantile just to get a glimpse of my man sweatin’ in his suspenders putting in a hard day’s work. (*Insert cheesy smile here*)

My husband looked at me, shook his head while cracking up, saying, “You are just not right!”

Hey, can’t say I didn’t try. Even with his shirt on, he is still gorgeous, and I enjoyed our time together. We have always made a good team together. Ladies, I know you can all agree it’s better watching a working man with his shirt off, but hey, it was cold that day, so I cut him some slack. Lord have mercy, see how I get off-topic!? OK, back to the real story here…

So, I was putting away clothes; Kenzy was jumping all around saying how much she loved her new room as she was literally kissing every new thing she could get her hands on.

I said, “I am so glad you love your new room, my little sweet patoot!” This stopped me dead in my tracks. Sweet patoot!? I hadn’t heard this in years! My grammy, Margaret Perry, used to call me her little sweet patoot all the time! My heart instantly melted hearing that word again.

My grammy and I did everything together. I loved being with her. My pap, Dwain Perry, used to tell us we were like Lucy and Ethel together. I often stayed at my grandparents’ house for the weekends. These were my favorite! Grammy and I would do all kinds of fun things. She always asked what I wanted for dinner. My top favorite was her spaghetti and meatballs. I loved our spaghetti races with regular spaghetti, and I also loved when she had the angel hair nest. I remember dropping them into the pot of boiling water, and Gram and I stood over them watching, knowing they only took a few minutes to cook. My second favorite was her chicken stuffing bake with veggies. I remember it always smelled like Thanksgiving. She had cut out the recipe off the back of the Stove Top box, and that’s what she always used when she made it. Once I tried to put my homemade filling in it instead of Stove Top. It wasn’t the same. Stove Top just reminds me of my gram and makes the recipe which sounds crazy. It is absolutely delicious.

I could write columns for weeks and weeks about things my gram and I used to get into and how special our times were when we were together. My dad still has their house phone number, and sometimes when I dial it, I expect her to answer. She would clear her throat and say, “Good evening!” or, “Good Morning!” I called her about everything. Her advice always helped me, no matter what. This recipe gives me a little piece of her. I am thankful for the food that gives us memories, whether it’s smell or taste, and this one gives me both.

Grammy’s Chicken Stuffing Bake with Veggies

– 4 boneless chicken breast
– Salt & Pepper
– 1 can of Cream of Chicken Soup
– 3/4 cup sour cream
– 1 box Stove Top Chicken Stuffing
– 1 bag of frozen veggies of your liking


Prepare your stovetop; set it aside. Rinse chicken and place in a greased 9×12 casserole dish.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper or your favorite chicken seasoning.

Mix together soup and sour cream in a bowl and pour on top of the chicken.

Next, sprinkle in veggies, then top with filling.

Bake at 350° for 45-60 minutes or until chicken is cooked.