Margaret Button | Kitchen Comfort: Don't look a gift horse in the mouth

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I love getting mail — the old-fashioned kind that gets delivered by the mailman to your mailbox. The first thing I do when I get home from work is go to the mailbox and find out what goodies he's brought. Most of the time, it's just bills or bank statements.

The best thing about retrieving the mail is the possibility someone sent a package or something I've ordered has arrived. So, when I drove up to the house last week and saw two big — and I mean REALLY BIG — boxes, one on my tiny front porch and the other on the walk, it was a dream come true.

They were about 4 feet square and 6 feet tall and addressed to my son David, which raised two questions — what was in the boxes (parts for his truck?) and, how the heck was I going to get them into the house or onto the back deck?

"There are two large boxes here for you," I texted David. "What are they?"

"One is your birthday present and the other is for Mother's Day." he wrote back. "Open them."

As I posted on Facebook the other day, "Nothing says Happy Birthday and Happy Mother's Day quite like a matching pair of galvanized horse troughs. I've been assured there isn't a horse coming next. Love my kid!"

David's reply to my FB post: "The horse is coming this weekend." (Spoiler alert: Not really, the troughs are going to be filled with veggie and flower plants!)

With all the big days last week — my birthday, Cinco de Mayo, Kentucky Derby Day and Mother's Day — a margarita or two were in order. And to go with them, I turned to my mother-in-law's recipe for jalapeno dip. It's more work-intensive than the standard Velveeta cheese and Rotel tomatoes version, but it's worth the extra effort!

Jalapeno dip

Chop a small onion and saute in butter, until soft and translucent. Pour into a blender with a 14-ounce can of tomatoes (stewed or diced). Add 1 tablespoon corn starch and 1 or 2 seeded and chopped jalapeno peppers and 1 tablespoon bottled chili sauce. Blend and add 1 pound American cheese, cut into small chunks, a little at a time, blending after each addition. Cook slowly over low heat until thick. Keep warm and serve with french bread.


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