Yesterday was a bittersweet day for me. Our beloved 17 year employee Jim Fries officially retired and it was his last day. It was a sweet afternoon of current and former employees sprinkling him with love and well wishes. Jim came to us by way of his son, my high school friend, Blake Fries. I had known him throughout my growing up as Mr. Fries “the executive” in his former career. He had just “retired” and I think I strong-armed him by saying “wouldn’t it be fun if you came to work at Pryde’s a couple of days a week?” 17 years later.....It has been fun!
I don’t think we are defined by one career or vocation, but by the thought that we are defined by the love we have extended to others. Having had the privilege of working with others in the same job since I was eight years old, I have an observation that the happiest people are adaptable and honest to their nature and have an awareness of their gifts and talents. Jim had a talent for drawing out the best in a person, and mixing the perfect martini.
There was no job too mundane for Jim. He approached every task, as I suspect he had his entire life, with gentlemanly grace. There was no conceit to Jim and when I think of his wise pragmatism, this quote came to mind. “ Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility value others above yourselves”. Phillipians 2
On the eve of our 50th anniversary, I am filled with thankfulness for all of the wonderful personalities that I have had the pleasure to work with over the course of the years. They have seasoned and flavored Pryde’s with their presence.
There is a tremendous amount of disturbing news in the world today. I think the best approach in handling the barrage of the constant information bogies is to hold your families near and dear and cook for them. Through cooking, you are extending yourself to others. Perhaps when you are thinking of your daily dinners, think of others around you that are in need of a little home cooked TLC and double your batch. The new mother in the neighborhood, a co-worker who has lost a parent, or your sister-in-law who is sick with the flu. When you think of it, there are so many people you will want to sprinkle one of your favorite recipes upon! Feel free to share your favorite recipes and why with us!
We are quickly approaching, (whether we realize it or not) a completely automated age to a degree of stealthy proportion. I think that is why cooking and having friends over is so important. You don’t have to be a gourmand or have the perfect table settings because although helpful, these things are not as necessary as a hospitable heart.
Jim is just one of the many reasons people visit Pryde's. You can't smell fresh ground coffee being brewed or the aroma of homemade pie over the internet. Only at Pryde's and in your own homes! Sometimes quicker is not always best. We have a multitude of choices that are available at the ask. Products that you can actually touch and feel that are "tried & true" and are good solid basics for your kitchen and home.
Below is one of Jim’s favorite recipes, lovingly cooked for him by our dear co-worker Martha. It’s an oldie, but, a perfect Fall favorite and easy to prepare. He prefers it best with Velveeta but any good Cheddar will do.
As always - Happy cooking,
King Ranch Chicken Casserole
(adapted from Southern Living)
1 large onion, diced
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
2 tbs butter
2 c chopped cooked chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 can diced tomato and green chiles (Rotel)
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
2 cups (8 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese, divided (or Velveeta)
Sauté onion and bell pepper in hot oil in a large skillet until tender. Stir in chicken, soup, tomato & chilies.
Tear tortillas into 1-inch pieces; layer 1/3 of the tortilla pieces in the bottom of a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish. Top with 1/3 of the chicken mixture and 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat layers twice.
Bake uncovered at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes until hot and bubbly
Freeze casserole up to 1 month - thaw in refrigerator overnight and bake as directed.
Share this post