Mary’s Mad Meatballs

This is Photoremedy readers’ lucky day. Today, Mary (Gilstrap) let me capture the before and after photos of her should-be-famous meatballs.

Mary's Mad Meatballs

Mary’s Mad Meatballs

More importantly–for our readers–she’s letting me share the recipe.

Mary’s Mad Meatballs

Meatballs: 1.5 pounds of ground beef, 1 chopped medium sweet onion, 1.25 cups of spicy hot vegetable juice (we prefer V8 brand), 1 egg, 1 package of dry onion soup mix, .75 cup of quick oatmeal. Mix all of the ingredients together; add the dry oatmeal last after all of the other meatball ingredients have been combined. Form into meatballs and place in muffin tins as the above shows. By cooking in muffin tins, the chef can guarantee each meatball gets its fair share of the delicious sauce.

Sauce: .66 cups of ketchup, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1.5 tablespoons of prepared mustard, ground black and ground cayenne pepper to taste. Mix all of the ingredients together, and pour on top of the meatballs as the above shows. Bake for approximately 40 minutes (or until done) at 325 degrees.

Why have I dubbed them mad meatballs? Because you’ll be really mad if you are denied the opportunity to experience more than one. Enjoy!

Great Tavern Food

Last June, we featured the rapidly growing, cool-country vacation and retirement centers of Pine and Strawberry in north-central Arizona. Mary and I enjoyed the heat-beating benefits of the historic region so much that we’ve already found our way back there this year for a little more photoremedy and food.

Pine, Arizona

Pine, Arizona

Our recent visit provided us with the added benefit of allowing us to catch up with our old friend, Maher Hazine.

Maher Hazine

Maher Hazine

We’ve known Maher, and his wife Kim, since we all began attending the same Anthem-area church many years ago. Both Maher and Kim were tireless volunteers, with Maher frequently seen flipping burgers or dogs at many church festivals and feasts. At the time, we did not know just how much he loved feeding people good food in a friendly environment. Today, the Hazines are the proprietors of Sidewinders Tavern and Grill in Pine.

Sidewinders - Pine, Arizona

Sidewinders – Pine, Arizona

It’s an awesome fit. Great food and friends is just another reason for us to keep returning to Pine, Arizona.

Sidewinders - Pine, Arizona

Sidewinders – Pine, Arizona

Sidewinders - Pine, Arizona

Sidewinders – Pine, Arizona

Hippies – Now and Then

Last summer, Mary and I stumbled upon a “Hippie Vehicle” that stimulated a lot of response here on Photoremedy.

Two Hippies Beach House - 501 East Camelback Rd., Phoenix

Two Hippies Beach House – 501 East Camelback Rd., Phoenix

I’m happy to report that, courtesy of Main Street in Camp Verde, Arizona, this year we have found what appears to be the four wheeled forefather of the great American Hippie Bus.

Main Street - Camp Verde, AZ

Main Street – Camp Verde, AZ

This should dispel the notion that any one decade or generation has a corner on producing colorful, unforgettable times. What can you do to make other people smile or to ensure your generation is memorable? Let’s commit to making this the best, most momentous summer of our lives – one that history will never forget!

Louisiana Thingamabobs and Baton Rouge

Our long and winding Louisiana photoremedy tour–featuring photos collected during a short January trip to Cajun and Creole Country–winds down today with a quick look at the Baton Rouge area and with a hodgepodge collection of items that I affectionately call “thingamabobs.”thingamabob 3j

Baton Rouge, located on the Mississippi River in central Louisiana, is a college town full of bright colors, rich history, cool trees, and deep religious roots. I was able to capture a bit of this during our all-too-short trip through the city.

Corsair II Jet at the Louisiana Memorial Plaza

Corsair II Jet at the Louisiana Memorial Plaza

LSU Christ the King Church

LSU Christ the King Church

Our final collection for the Louisiana series features many of the colorful and interesting items–I affectionately call thingamabobs–captured when I zoomed in and took a closer look at items most people generally walk by without noticing. I’m not sure I’m using thingamabobs correctly, but it was how Mary and I referred to these items as we traveled along. We primarily used the word when I coaxed Mary into looking at photos on my Canon viewfinder. At this point, I’d say something like, “Hey, check out this thingamabob!” In this case, the focus of my thingamabob search was door-related items that, in a small–but significant–way, represented the color and culture of their communities.

thingamabob 5jI love “looking for thingamabobs-style photoremedy” because it always serves as a reminder of my belief that God does not overlook the little details that make each person, creation, and place special. How many potential thingamabobs can you find in the photo below?

Oak Alley Plantation - Vacherie, Louisiana

Oak Alley Plantation – Vacherie, Louisiana

We hope you enjoyed a few tales of our photoremedy Louisiana pursuits – Mary and I were thrilled to experience the bright colors, fiery spices, historic places, unique people, and unbridled fun so often featured in the Pelican State.

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Houmas House Plantation

Located along one of the many scenic Mississippi River curves south of Baton Rouge lies what is often referred to as the Crown Jewel of Louisiana’s River Road. The Houmas House Plantation and Gardens is a destination for both tourists and locals.

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens

The one time sugar plantation, originally owned by the indigenous Houmas Indians when they were given a land grant to occupy the fertile plain between the river and Lake Maurepas to the north, now features a myriad of attributes that keep visitors coming (and coming back). On its grounds are an historic inn, beautiful gardens and statues, spectacular oaks trees, several themed restaurants, wedding amenities, guided tours, and motion picture history.

There are even rumors of a couple of ghostly spirits that have reportedly been witnessed by mature, sober adults.

Houmas House proved to be one of our top Louisiana photoremedy destinations. We didn’t encounter any ghosts, but we saw enough to understand why someone would want to return to this magnificent destination.Houmas House Dress 1j fap

Photoremedy is primarily based on the role that photography has played in helping Greg W. Gilstrap attempt to combat ongoing chronic pain issues that stem from his degenerative cervical and lumbar spine challenges. It is designed to encourage others fighting chronic pain (and other illnesses) to consider pursuing the benefits associated with what is popularly known as art therapy. It’s important to note that many of the photos Greg takes and develops frequently blur the lines between traditional art and contemporary photography, much as art therapy often blurs the lines between traditional and alternative forms of medicine.

Oak Alley Plantation

Oak Alley Plantation - Vacherie, Louisiana

Oak Alley Plantation – Vacherie, Louisiana

Known as the “Grande Dame of the Great River Road,” the Oak Alley Plantation is one of the most iconic representations of its type in the American South. Famous for a memorable Antebellum Mansion and a canopied path created by a more than 800 meter long double row of live oak trees, Oak Alley has been featured in movies and television shows ranging from Knight Rider and Primary Colors to the Young and the Restless and Django Unchained. Mary went on the OA guided indoor tour, while I grabbed my camera and enjoyed the beautiful outdoor weather and blissful photoremedy on the grounds of this spectacular National Historic Landmark. Highlights included:

Spectacular Mansion ViewsOak Alley 1j

Somber Slave Quarter Shots (also featured in our February 8, 2015 post)

 Unique Trees and Vegetation

Hometown Cajun  Food (B & C Seafood)

Riverside Market and Cajun Seafood - Vacherie, Louisiana

Riverside Market and Cajun Seafood – Vacherie, Louisiana

I later learned that Oak Alley is known for its famous mint juleps. I’m not sure how we missed that, but it’s good to know we now have another reason to return to Louisiana!