Recently, I had the pleasure of hosting three of my best friends for lunch.

We all started kindergarten together in Lexington at Mrs. Ellison’s little green building, high on a hill beside her home. I can still remember the one big room with a pole right in the middle. There was a little red chair beside the pole called the “remember chair.” If you were in trouble for anything, you had to sit in that chair for an allotted amount of time as your punishment. Those of you who know me will not be surprised that I had to sit there a few times for talking. Mrs. Ellison was a lady before her time with her own version of “time out.”

As Kathy, Anne, Tricia and I reminisced about our 57-year friendship, we also talked about the state of the world we live in today. How different things are now as opposed to when we were young.

We walked and rode our bikes all over town. People left their keys in the car at night, and we didn’t lock our doors. A lady named Mrs. Rhyne had a store in town that sold candy. You could go in there with 25 cents and leave with a paper sack full of your favorite treats. The three of us wondered what the future holds for our grandchildren and other family members we love.

I think every past generation has worried about what is going on at that present time. I ran across a list of things people worried about in 1958 — the year we were born.

• If things keep going the way they are, it’s going to be impossible to buy a week’s worth of groceries for $20.

• It won’t be long before $5,000 will only buy a used car.

• I’m going to have to quit smoking if cigarettes keep going up; 25 cents a pack is ridiculous.

• The post office is thinking about charging a dime just to mail a letter.

• I’m not paying 50 cents for a haircut.

• A pro baseball player just signed a contract for $75,000 a year. Before long athletes will be making more than the president.

• I never thought I’d see the day when all our kitchen appliances would be electric. I hear they are even making electric typewriters now.

• Things are tough nowadays. I hear that a few married women are having to work to make ends meet.

•It won’t be long before young couples are going to have to hire someone to watch their kids so they can both work.

• Marriage doesn’t mean anything anymore; those Hollywood stars seem to be getting divorced at the drop of a hat.

• I’m just afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open the door to a whole lot of foreign businesses.

• The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on.

• You can’t even afford to go away for the weekend anymore with nearly $15 a night for a hotel.

• No one can afford to be sick anymore having to pay $35 a day for the hospital.  

• I’m afraid to send my kids to the movies anymore. Ever since they let Clark Gable say “damn” in “Gone With the Wind,” it seems like every other new movie has “hell” or “damn” in it.

• If they raise minimum wage to $1, nobody will be able to afford to hire help outside the store.

• Who would have thought that gas would be 29 cents a gallon?

I hope you will enjoy today’s recipes. They are from some pool party treats I have served lately. Thanks for reading.

MARGARITA PUNCH

2 (12-ounce) cans frozen limeade, thawed

1 (12-ounce) can frozen lemonade, thawed

1 (1-ounce) bottle orange extract

4 cups water

13 cups Sprite

2 cups tequila, or to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve over ice.

• To make virgin margarita punch, swap tequila for more Sprite.

• I prepared a tray of ice cubes made with lemonade to keep the punch from becoming diluted in the hot sun.

MONTEREY JACK SALSA

1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies

1 (4-ounce) can chopped black olives

4 green onions, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

¼ pound Monterey Jack cheese, with peppers, shredded

½ cup Italian salad dressing

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Mix all ingredients together, and refrigerate. Serve with tortilla chips.

This recipe doubles easily. I usually double the recipe so I don’t run out!

LEMON TARTS

1 can Eagle Brand milk

½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon lemon zest

Mini phyllo shells

Whipped topping

Red maraschino cherries, cut into quarters

Mix milk, lemon juice, egg yolks and lemon zest, and refrigerate. When ready to serve, place a spoonful of lemon mixture in shells and top with whipped topping and a cherry.

• This is a perfect bite of something summery sweet to end your meal. I like to serve them on a tray with something chocolate — Millionaires!

Contact Lee Ann Flemming at lafkitchen@hughes.net.

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