Tag Archives: Tucson

Pets Are Family Part Two

Read about earlier Family pets here. I resume the story after Ken and I had married and moved into an apartment on King Avenue in Columbus Ohio while he finished school.

Liz the Cocker Spaniel

Liz, the Cocker Spaniel

Liz, the Badertscher Cocker Spaniel , Columbus 1962

In my first post on Pets Are Family, I  mentioned Liz, the Cocker Spaniel Ken and I adopted  at the Humane Society in Columbus Ohio (no AKA papers for us). We were newly weds and she was a loving and obedient dog, who knew she was not supposed to cross the line onto the living room rug, but would lie on the wood floor in our 1920s era apartment and stick her nose into forbidden territory.  When our first child was about one year old, Liz had a litter of pups.  Kenny’s first words were “Puh-puh”.  We found homes for the puppies, but Liz decided she liked freedom and took off one day, not to return.

Bitsy the Terrier Mix

After we moved to Arizona, now with a suburban house and fenced lawn and three little boys, we thought it was time again to have a dog.  This time it was a cuddly little terrier puppy who stayed with us through becoming mother to a litter of puppies, lots of adventures, and a move to a new house.

“Happiness is a warm puppy.”
Charles M. Schulz

Every boy should have two things: a dog, and a mother willing to let him have one.


Budweiser the Rabbit

At that new house in Scottsdale, after  Bitsy and before the German Shepherds Mack and Suki, I had a rabbit.  My father named it Budweiser because it was full of hops. (Feel free to groan).  Rabbits are great pets, except that they like to chew on electric cords which is a habit that could burn the house down.  Bud liked to nestle up beside me when I laid out on the small grass patch where I sunbathed. I think he thought he was a cat.

Our boys also had a succession of mice (OOOO the smell!), gerbils and hamsters.

The Friendly Siamese, Chat

Later,after  another move to our fourth Arizona home, a Tucson house with no yard for a dog, we got a cat, named, obviously (if you speak French) “Chat.” (pronounced more like shot than chat.) She was a Siamese, and unlike the general reputation of Siamese cats, she was loving and affectionate. Like other pets, Chat endured a move to another house before she disappeared.

Chat the cat

Chat the Cat in the middle of a family Christmas gathering.

Eric Price and Chat Xmas 1981, Paseo Cimarron, Tucson

Chat making friends with nephew Eric Price at our home in Tucson.

The World’s  Best Dog, Pumpkin

[Apologies, Bogie, but Pumpkin was a smart an loving dog that it will take a lot to beat!] Our third Tucson house, way out in the desert, called for a tough dog and offered in exchange lots of space.  Before we had a chance to go looking, our son Mike spotted a puppy at the Swap Meet that someone was going to give away or dump in the desert if no one took her by the end of the day. She was a pitbull mix, and Mike could not stand the thought of the beautiful little pup being abandoned, so he took it home. She was too much for apartment living, so he asked us to take her “temporarily.” Pumpkin, because she was acquired near Halloween, came to live with us in our desert home and stayed with us for fourteen wonderful years, through a move to our present townhouse.

Pumpkin the dog

Grand daughter Baby Rachael and grown up Pumpkin

She charmed everyone she came in contact with, from the babies and little ones she loved to the elderly grandparents.


While we lived out in the desert, we also acquired our first AKC certified dog, a Golden Lab puppy we called Itsy. (That comes from a Greek saying, itsy-kitsy, which is like saying “whatever.”  Itsy grew into a large and rambunctious and when we moved to our townhouse, we realized that two active dogs would be on too many. Fortuitously, we found a couple who had another Lab and wanted to adopt Itsy.

And Back to Bogie, the Poodle Yorkshire mix

When Pumpkin died at fourteen years old, we had an interlude when our son lived with us with his dog, but when he moved out, we went back to the Humane Society to look for our newest family member, Bogie.

Bogie the dog

Bogie as Humphry Bogart

He was named for the irony of his big brown eyes and tiny stature making us think of tough guy Humphrey Bogart, who wowed all the ladies–just as Bogie does.

Bogie greets Aunt Paula

Bogie greets Aunt Paula

I may revisit this topic and this post because there are other pictures that I know exist somewhere, and I want to add them as I find them.

“There are three faithful friends: an old wife, an old dog, and ready money.”
Benjamin Franklin

A fellow genealogy blogger decided to join me in this effort with her SECOND post on pets in her family. You can see her furry family members on her blog, Cow Hampshire

Read more quotes at http://dogtime.com/dog-health/general/16344-25-famous-quotes-about-dogs#vuLpjS2xMDAL3b7t.99

and at http://goodreads.com/works/quo

Recipe for Stuffed Peppers From the Farmer’s Market

recpe for Stuffed peppers cooked

Hariette Kaser’s recipe for stuffed peppers, cooked

The U. S. Department of Agriculture has declared this week (2nd weeek in August) National Farmer’s Market Week. Every week is Farmer’s Market Week for me. I go to a farmer’s market almost every Sunday because I love fresh, locally grown vegetables and fruit. Sometimes, like when red bell peppers are on sale, I get inspired to make, or say, Harriette Kaser’s recipe for stuffed peppers.

Besides the displays are so beautiful, I feel like I’m walking through a museum of still lifes.

Vegetables from Farmer's Market

A rainbow of veggies from Dragoon, Arizona at the St. Philips’ Plaza Farmer’s Market in Tucson

I even take pictures of the stuff I bring home before I store it, because it looks so great.


Farmers Market

Eggplant and friends

Do I have you in a vegetable frame of mind? And of course, like everything that has to do with food, these vegetables make me think of family.

Of course,most of my ancestors did not have to go to farmer’s markets because they had their own kitchen gardens. I mentioned that Mame Butts Kaser’s mother Ann Marie was known for her beautiful gardens, particularly the flowers.  When you drive the rural roads  of Ohio in the summer time, you’ll see neat garden patches beside every farm house.  And everyone plants flowers along with the vegetables. Ken’s mother, Agnes Badertscher grew a productive garden, but ringed it with flowers for cutting.  My grandmother, Vera Anderson did the same.  My father loved to plot a garden wherever he lived. 

Farmer’s Markets are as old as agriculture, and indeed in many places in Europe were the reason that a town grew up. We can still go to wonderful farmer’s markets in Italy, France, England, Ireland and other countries our ancestors came from. So if you don’t have time or space to garden like your ancestors did, find your nearest farmer’s market. This Smithsonian article focuses on the history of farmer’s markets in our own country.

I wonder if the village of Clark Ohio, where so many of my Kaser ancestors lived, had a farmer’s market in the old days?  I wonder what my Kaser relatives raised in their gardens?  I’m sure they had gardens, because most of them were farmers and many stayed right there in Clark all their lives, living next door to each other. Did my great-grandmother Catherine Sampsel Kaser have a garden right up into her 80s? She lived a long life, near her children, according to census reports.

And did her family love a recipe for stuffed peppers as much as my father did? And did she call them mangoes? And why did Ohioans call bell peppers “mangoes” anyhow?

Making Canned Food--Red Peppers

Red Peppers for Ready to Make Grandma’s Red Pepper Jam

I might have better answers to these questions if I actually knew any of the Kaser relatives. Although my father’s father had six brothers and sisters, and I know of at least twenty Kaser cousins that my father might have met, and those cousins had lots of progeny, too, we weren’t in touch. More about that on Thursday when I try to find out why with all those cousins, my father didn’t seem connected to his extended family.

My mother, Harriette Anderson Kaser, had a recipe for stuffed green peppers, but I like to use red bell peppers when they are in abundance at the end of summer. (I can’t ALWAYS make Grandma Vera’s Red Pepper Jam.)

So one of the ways I changed my mother’s simple recipe for stuffed peppers is to trade red for green.  I’ll give you her recipe, but there are many ways you can make stuffed peppers.

I like the Greek version (Gemista), peppers or tomatoes stuffed with bulgur wheat, a few raisins and a touch of cinnamon and topped with feta cheese..  I also like stuffing them with other vegetables for a change from ground beef and rice.

I’m really not sure what mother seasoned her stuffed peppers with, but I added some oregano and garlic salt and cumin for seasoning, and some turmeric, because I sneak it into everything for its health benefits.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Serves 3-6
Prep time 45 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 15 minutes
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Hot
Mother's stuffed peppers change a bit in my version. A flexible recipe that can be vegetarian or Mediterranean, too.


  • 6 green or red bell peppers (6 if small, 3 if large)
  • 1/2lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup rice (uncooked)
  • 1 can tomatoes (11-13 oz)
  • pepper (to taste)
  • cup cheddar cheese (grated)


  • parsley (to taste)
  • oregano (to taste)
  • garlic salt (to taste)
  • cumin (to taste)


1. In large skillet, crumble and brown ground beef
2. Cook 1/2 cup rice in 1 cup water until water is absorbed. (About 25 minutes for brown, less for white)
3. While the meat and rice are cooking, cut peppers in half (lengthwise for long, but just cut top off of small ones and set it aside). Scrape out seeds and membrane.
4. Stir rice, tomatoes, and seasonings in skillet with meat.
5. Simmer a few minutes to blend flavors.
6. Put pepper shells in baking dish and fill pepper shells with meat mixture.
7. Top with grated cheese. If you are using small peppers, put the top back on like a hat.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.


It is best to use a lower-fat ground beef or pour off the accumulated grease after browning.

Although mother would have used white rice, I used brown. And certainly, if you have some leftover rice at hand--use that. She might also have substituted a crumb topping for the cheese, depending on what was at hand.

Seasonings are flexible according to your tastes. Recipe can be made with all vegetable stuffing or can turn into Greek Gemista with bulgur wheat stuffing seasoned with cinnamon and the addition of raisins and feta cheese.