Family of 5 in a 1972 VW Camper Van exploring the South Island of New Zealand in April 2016.
Is this the Colonel’s secret 11 Herbs and Spices? The Chicago Tribune may have stumbled upon the recipe
With the help of the local tourism office, I arrange to meet a man named Joe Ledington. The 67-year-old retired teacher has spent his entire life in Appalachia. He still lives in the house in which he grew up, just north of the city limits of Corbin, a town of about 7,300. He agrees to meet me to share a few yarns about the Colonel. You see, the guy he called “H.D.” and “Old Man Sanders” was his uncle. Ledington says he used to do chores in the modest cafe as a young boy, making a quarter a day to sweep and clean up.
I enter the dark-paneled restaurant lit by naked fluorescent tubes and find Ledington leafing through a photo album. His wife, Jill, sits quietly at the next table, munching chicken from a familiar red-and-white box.
Ledington and I shake hands, and I tell him about the assignment that brought me to this part of southeast Kentucky. Before I can even open my notebook, he draws my attention to the photo album overstuffed with pictures, newspaper clippings and various family documents.
“This was Aunt Claudia’s album,” he says, referring to his father’s sister, Claudia Ledington, who became Harland Sanders’ second wife when they wed in the late ’40s. Claudia worked as a waitress in the cafe and was instrumental in launching what would become a multibillion-dollar fast-food chain boasting nearly 20,000 KFC restaurants in more than 125 countries.
The album, with its nondescript cover and clear cellophane sheets, looks like the kind I used to buy for a buck at Walgreens. Ledington turns the pages, occasionally stopping to point out certain pictures, like the one of him posing with his famous uncle and others taken at the opening of a KFC in some faraway land. Sanders was always sporting one of his iconic white suits. Ledington says he had a closet full of them.
Ledington continues to leaf through the family scrapbook, pausing here and there to share a memory or an anecdote about his uncle. At the back of the album is an official-looking document, its pages stapled together: the last will and testament of his Aunt Claudia, he tells me. She died on New Year’s Eve 1996 at age 94.
“I can show you what every family member got,” he says, poring over the papers. “This was my dad, Robert Ledington. He was the first one. He got $209,888.”
But what I’m really interested in is the handwritten note on the back of the document. At the top of the page, in blue ink, it reads, “11 Spices — Mix With 2 Cups White Fl.” That’s followed by an enumerated list of herbs and spices. Eleven herbs and spices. And the measurements for each.
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 – oz. package taco seasoning mix
- 12 5-inch tortillas
- 1 c. shredded cheese
- 1/2 cup onion
- Garnish: shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, salsa and sour cream
- Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat until browned. Drain; stir in taco seasoning according to package directions. Spray the inside of a pie iron with non-stick spray; place tortilla on one side. Add about 1/4 cup of beef on tortilla; sprinkle with cheese and onion.
- Arrange a second tortilla over filling; close pie iron. Cook over medium-hot coals until tortilla is crispy and filling is heated through, about 10 minutes. Remove from pie iron; garnish as desired. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
For a quiet weekend, it sure was busy.
- We went out for drinks at O’Shea’s Irish Pub with Pat Lorje and her husband Tom. It’s always a fun time. For those of you who wonder what gets talked about, it’s a bunch of “Donald Trump did what? I stop paying attention to CNN for and hour and he did what?” I don’t know who the cooks are at O’Shea’s but they were only going through the motions Friday night. Maybe I am asking too much but I want good food at a local pub and O’Shea’s has never seemed to understand that.
- Then on Sunday we got up early and drove to Prince Albert National Park and the village of Waskesiu with Oliver. We did some shopping, went for a bit of a swim in the lake, had pizza at Pete’s Terrance and then drove out to the Narrows Campground. We are planning to spend Thanksgiving Weekend out there this year. We have been to Paighton Beach (see last Thanksgiving’s post) but had never been to the campground. We check out some spots and then drove back into town where we got Oliver an ice cream cone the size of his head.
- We got back into the city in time to head back to O’Shea’s for a drink with some friends.
For Thanksgiving, we will bring up Mark and Oliver’s three season tent and also bring up a summer four person tent. We will have lots of blankets, our warm sleeping bags, and stuff for warm food. With warm clothes, hot chocolate, and a dog to cuddle with, we will be fine for two nights. Now to train Marley to cuddle with me rather than Jordon when she is cold. The entire park is so quiet that time of year and I am really looking forward to spending that time together.
Realizing we are running out of summer weekends, we decided to head to Waskesiu today. Mark had to work so we took Oliver and spent the day wandering around the town.This is just after Oliver splashed me and I ran him down in the water. In his attempt to get away, he fell in and got himself soaked.Just a friendly arm wrestling match as we check out some of Parks Canada famed red chairs.
We did a bit of shopping. Got some ice cream and then headed up the Narrows Road to check out the Marina and the Narrows Campground which I had never gone in. We picked out a couple of good spots for when we go up there for Thanksgiving and camp for the long weekend as a family.
- 1/2 cup margarine, melted
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 4 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
- 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
- 3 cups milk
- 1 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- To Make Crust: In a medium bowl, mix together margarine, pecans and graham cracker crumbs. Pat into a 9×13 inch baking pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until lightly browned; allow to cool completely.
- In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and confectioners sugar until smooth. Fold in 1 cup of the whipped topping. Spoon mixture into graham cracker crust.
- Prepare chocolate and vanilla puddings with milk as per package directions. Allow pudding to set before pouring on top of the cream cheese layer. Spread remaining 3 cups of whipped topping over pudding layer; swirl melted chocolate throughout whipped topping.
- Cover and refrigerate for about an hour. For leftover pie, keep frozen in a tightly covered container. When ready to eat, just cut off a piece and allow to thaw; keep rest frozen.
Some great footage of Banff and Jasper National Park.
Professional daredevils Rex and Melissa Pemberton were drawn together by a mutual passion for risk and adrenaline. Now they have a marriage based on love, trust, and the strange, stoic acceptance that their life partner could die at any moment.
For the next five months, they jumped and climbed across Australia, scuba-dived on its reefs, and leaped off Malaysian skyscrapers. In September 2007, at Colorado’s Royal Gorge, where they spent three days among a tribe of fellow BASE jumpers hucking themselves from a 956-foot-high bridge, he told her he loved her. He told her right after he realized the downside of finding your perfect match—right after he first felt the fear that hasn’t left him since.
Their helmet cameras documented the moment, the last of their 5 jumps: Melissa goes first, with a whoop and two backflips. She free-falls for three seconds and at about 500 feet pulls her chute, which opens cockeyed. Her lines cross and send her into a spin, back toward the rock face. She struggles to untwist the lines, and the video bounces between flashes of rock face, sky, and red-and-white parachute canopy. Rex, still above, sees that she’s in trouble.
“Fuck!” Melissa yells. She kicks herself away from the wall and keeps falling. She slams into the cliff again, tries to kick away with her left leg, and snaps her tibia and fibula. Finally, she plunges toward the rocks below until her chute catches on a small outcropping. Pieces of rock torn loose by her parachute cascade in a shower around her. She hangs 200 feet off the ground, and Rex thinks he’s just watched her die.
“Ohhhh fuck! Fuck!” he yells, then shouts for the high-angle rescue climbers on standby above.
“Is she moving?” His voice is now a pained moan. “Is she moving?”
“She’s moving, Rex,” a friend says. “She’s OK.”
“I think I broke my leg,” Melissa yells. “I’m passing out.”
“Don’t pass out,” Rex shouts. “Are you bleeding?”
“No,” she says. “I’m going to pass out.”
“Did I tell you that I love you?” he yells.
Melissa laughs. “I love you, too,” she says.
I don’t mind shopping at Best Buy and have never really had a bad experience there but today was something else.
Today I went in there thinking it was a bad day for them back then and it would be better today. I wanted a Motorola Moto G 4th Generation cell phone. When I went in to the Best Buy at Circle Park Mall, the staff was incredibly rude, mocked Fido, and aggressively tried to keep me with Bell.
They didn’t have of the phones that I wanted so I drove to the other Best Buy where he kept trying to sell me an old Motorola G 2nd generation but kept trying to convince me it was the new phone. It was kind of surreal that something this stupid was happening to me. I asked him, “Is that the 4th Generation?” and he was almost panicked in trying to enter it into the computer and going, “It’s the Moto G!” Umm, that’s not what I was asking. Finally he got frustrated and angry when the computer would only sell it to me as a pre-paid phone. I just left at that point. It was clear he was trying to rip me off and send me out with a phone that wasn’t what I had asked for.
I left and talked to Jordon. I had some questions about the Fido home phone system so I just called Fido. The rep I talked to offered to courier out my phone to me immediately via UPS. She thought they would ship today but I suspect she was wrong and it will go out Monday. Either way I should have it by Wednesday.
I had no real issues with Bell but Fido has been exceptional.