Comfort Food Favorite

Aside from spending quality time with family, I look forward to my visits for Mrs. Hacker’s delicious homemade meals. My favorite of her creations is the pizza porcupine patty. It has been my favorite since I was a kid due to the fun name and it’s melty cheesiness.

Back in the mid-70’s, when Mrs. Hacker was in the Army, she joined a recipe club that provided each member with a recipe card box and mailed a number of recipe cards per month. The pizza porcupine patties recipe was one of the first recipes she received and ironically the only recipe she kept and actually prepared.

Now 40 years later, the recipe, slightly changed from it’s original ingredients, is still a family favorite.

  • 1 – 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 lb. ground beef or ground turkey
  • ½ cup uncooked, regular white rice
  • 2-3 chopped hot chilies (the kind that come in a jar)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup shredded pizza cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Reserve 1 cup tomato sauce. Mix remaining tomato sauce, ground beef, rice, chilies, salt, garlic salt, and oregano. Shape into patties. Place in 9″x13″ baking pan. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove patties from oven. Drain off grease. Add beef broth to the 1 cup tomato sauce. Pour mixture over the patties. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake 35 minutes. Remove patties from oven again. Sprinkle patties with cheese. Leave uncovered. And bake for 5 more minutes.

Mrs. Hacker likes to serve her pizza porcupine patties with green salad and French bread or sour dough bread. It is a delicious way to enjoy dinner together.

See the Outdoors in a New Light: Moonlight Recreation

Have a favorite place to hike or kayak? Choose a calm lake or a smooth trail, check your calendar, and invite friends. It will be an adventure experiencing those familiar places in the moonlight.

First, check your calendar or online for the dates of the upcoming full moons. Next, decide where to go and what to do. For night kayaking, choose a calm lake that is clear of too many snags or shallow areas where your kayak could get stuck. Also make sure that there are big enough clearances in the area you will be kayaking, so that the moonlight can effectively light your path. Always go night kayaking with other people in case of emergency.

Mrs. Hacker recommends that your group bring at least one cell phone in a dry bag to make emergency phone calls if needed. Dry bags effectively seal your belongings from moisture and can be purchased in most sporting goods stores. You can also wear whistles around your necks to blow if you get lost and need to find your way back to the group. Wearing glow sticks around your neck and on your paddles like Mrs. Hacker does will also help your group stay together. Headlamps can also be worn for hands-free lighting when you dock your kayak or go for a swim in warmer climates. Always check the water for safety hazards like snags or plants that you could get tangled in. Use caution before entering the water to swim. It is best if you night swim where you have been swimming during the day, so you are familiar with environment. Bring a towel in a dry bag as well, and leave dry shoes in the car to change into before leaving.

Full moons make nice lighting for hiking as well. Hike on a familiar, smooth gravel or paved trail to avoid trip hazards. Choose an open area as opposed to a heavily wooded location, to allow for better lighting. Use headlamps for extra light as needed. For any exerting activity, bring a bottle of water to rehydrate. Carrying your water in a backpack will leave your hands free to catch yourself if you lose your footing. As all mothers will tell you, including Mrs. Hacker, bundle up if it’s cold. If you get hot you can always stuff your extra layers in your backpack. As always, carry at least one cell phone in case of emergency.

If you are hiking with unleashed dogs, attach a glow stick to their collars or put a glow stick necklace around their necks so you can find them at night, and carry your whistle, so you can easily call them if they wander off.

While you may be the only group hiking or kayaking in your location of choice during the full moon, you may be surprised at the number of people out at night, especially during blue moons. Often Mrs. Hacker’s group are the only ones out on the lake or trail, but occasionally they will see others. Use caution if you are kayaking around other boaters, so that you do not bump into each. This is an instance where the headlamp is especially helpful.

As always, we hope you enjoyed our blog. Have a question? Mrs. Hacker is happy to try to answer it. Leave your comments and share. We love to spread the word!