My "back porch" is my kitchen, my favorite room in the house. Come on in, the coffee is fresh, and I just made a pitcher of sweet tea. The cookies will be out in a minute. I have over 40 years of recipes to share with you, along with my opinion on everything. Oh my, you are right, it is cocktail time. What can I get you? Of course I can make you a Mint Julep! Stop by anytime, something is always cooking, and the back door is never locked.

Bon Appetit, Y'all





Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Annie and Mazzy Have a New Home!

Beverly's beloved Yorkies, Annie and Mazzy, have a new home.  They will be living in Danville on five acres with a fenced yard an a Yorkie sister to keep them company.  Their new parents are school bus drivers, so they'll have the next couple of weeks to get full-time snuggles.  This is the picture that made the couple fall in love with the girls :)  I know Beverly would be thrilled that they are going to a loving home together, and that they will be pampered nearly as much there as they were with her.  Merry Christmas, and hug your loved ones tight - furry and non-furry!  Angie

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Celebration of Beverly's Life

I wish all of you could have been there for Beverly's memorial service Saturday.  In a way, you all were.  Beverly's pastor, Scott, must have spent the entire week between her death and her funeral reading her blog.  He said that in many ways she'd written her own eulogy with the scriptures she selected each week for her "Saints and Scripture Sundays" posts.  He read comments from readers he'd found on her blog as well as emails readers from around the country had sent to him.
Edie's good friend Scotty made this beautiful arrangement for the altar.  I wish my photography skills were better so that you could see that the arrangement includes not only lilies and roses, but kale, one of Beverly's favorite vegetables to cook with :) And yes, her urn is a covered casserole dish - what could be more appropriate for a food blogger?
These were the pictures we had on display of Bev from childhood through adulthood.  The one in the center is her senior portrait and the black and white ones are from when she was crowned Prom Queen.
 Here's the altar with everything in place, including her picture from the blog, her leather vest from the Harley-Davidson 'Bike Week" in Daytona, and a sign that hung on her front door reading "How can I miss you if you won't go away?"  The church was decorated beautifully for Christmas, and the pews were full of people who loved her.
 Scott had the brilliant idea of creating his own version of "prayer cards" for Beverly.  The backs didn't have prayers on them, though - they had recipes.  There were four different recipes, and once people realized that not everyone had the same recipe there was a bit of a scuffle as women made sure they had one of each.  The recipes included were for Hot Mess Brownies, Hoppin' John Savannah Style, Hot Brown Panini, and Turnip and Potato Soup. David Biddle was mentioned specifically in the Turnip and Potato Soup recipe, and he played and sang two lovely hymns for us with his autoharp, speaking briefly about Beverly in between.  It was heartfelt and beautiful.
After the service it was standing room only downstairs where the ladies of the church had put together a spread of food unlike anything you'll ever experience outside a funeral at a small Southern church.  At the far end of the table you'll see Scoot, the pastor, and his wife.  If you're looking for a church filled with loving people and led by a practical, charming, and devout pastor (and you live somewhere within driving distance of the Fayette/Bourbon County line in Kentucky) check out Old Union Christian Church at 11 a.m. on any Sunday.  I guarantee your soul will be nourished.  It's at 6856 Russell Cave Rd, and you can call (859) 293-6192 if you need directions ;)  Mention you came because of Beverly's blog and you're sure to get some good "Beverly stories" - there are plenty to go around.  I'll be sharing more over on my own blog, The Jammie Girl.  Angie

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Beverly

I am so sad to tell you that Beverly passed away Thursday the 6th.  She died peacefully in her sleep.  I was blessed to be able to spend the last few days of her life with her, and for most of that time she was coherent and was her usual funny, irreverent self.  She enjoyed hearing the blog comments and emails I read to her.

I gathered a few mementos I found in the house while looking for things that were important to Beverly near the end, including her baton from when she was a majorette (she was also Prom Queen) and a motorcycle vest from the Daytona Beach Harley-Davidson Bikers' club to which she belonged.  A patch on the front reads "I'm perfect just the way I am."

When we met with Beverly's pastor, Scott, in preparation for his composition of her eulogy we laughed and cried and told "Beverly stories" for two hours.  My favorite story, though, was Scott's.  He said that when he told his daughter of Beverly's passing a deeply spiritual women (but, obviously, one who had never met Beverly) was standing nearby and said, "Now she's singing with the angels."  Scott's quick response was, "No, she's probably having a cigarette and telling God what she's cooking for supper."  That is Beverly in a nutshell.

Thank you all so much for your comments, your emails, your thoughts and prayers.  We have all lost someone special, whether we knew her through her blog or "in real life" as we bloggers say.  Every time you cook one of Beverly's recipes think of her and smile.  She'd like that.  Special thanks go to Joyce at October Farm, who I know grieves for Beverly with her whole heart.

For those of you who live near Lexington, Kentucky and would like to attend her memorial service here are the details:

Saturday, December 15th
Old Union Christian Church
6856 Russell Cave Rd.
Lexington, KY 40511
Visitation 2:30 to 4:00 p.m.
Memorial service at 4:00 p.m.
Supper to follow in the church basement

If you need directions or have something special about Beverly you'd like Scott to include in her eulogy he can be reached at OldUnion@earthlink.net.  And if you do come it's likely you'll get to meet David Biddle, who grew nearly all the vegetables Beverly cooked with.  Rumor has it David may even sing.  You'll probably also meet Betty Rose and Louise Charles.  And you will certainly eat a delicious meal, because the ladies of Old Union will be pulling out all the stops and making their best dishes for Beverly, as is only right and proper.  The food for her funeral was one of the few details Beverly was willing to discuss - a food blogger to the end!

A memorial fund has been established in Beverly's honor through Traditional Bank in Paris.  In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the fund with checks being made payable to Larry Swetnam with "Beverly's Memorial Fund" on the subject line or on a note enclosed with the donation.  Their address is 3333 Lexington Rd., Paris, KY 40362. Please mark the envelope "ATTN: Cecilia".  And thank you, Cecilia, for helping us set this up for Beverly when we were too overwhelmed to think clearly.  ~Angie

Monday, December 3, 2012

Beverly is at home with Hospice.

Beverly has been home for a few days under Hospice care.  She decided against a feeding tube, and for a hospital bed.  Either my Dad or his wife, Edie, have been with her constantly since she came home.  As soon as I'm done with a test of my own I couldn't reschedule tomorrow morning I'm heading to Lexington, and I'll pass along all your wonderful comments if Edie hasn't already read them to her.

I'll also pass along all the hugs.  She's taking pain medicine around the clock to stay comfortable and is sleeping much of the time, but when she's awake she's her usual self :)

Thank you all again for all your thoughts and prayers.  Hug someone you love today and tell them how much they mean to you in case you don't have the opportunity tomorrow.  Angie

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Latest From The Back Porch

Beverly is still in the hospital, so she asked me to fill you all in.  There's no more chemo planned for the immediate future, and no PEG tube, either.  Her hospitalist, oncologist, and palliative care doctor are working together to improve her nutritional status and make her more comfortable so that she can come home to these two adorable pups:



Thanksgiving day, after visiting Beverly, we took Annie and Mazzie down to their Mama's house for a short visit and a photo shoot.  They weren't particularly cooperative, but at least you can see how adorable they are!  Hopefully this is the view Beverly will soon be seeing as she heads home:

She is exhausted, and has asked to limit her hospital visitors to family only for right now, and her immunosupressed status keeps her from receiving flowers, but she has loved the cards so many of you have sent, and the blog comments I have passed along.  Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.  Angie

Sunday, November 4, 2012

An Update From the Back Porch


So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
~Isaiah 41:10

This is Angie, Beverly’s niece, posted on her behalf.  I know many of her faithful followers have been wondering why they haven’t seen any new recipes for a while.

Beverly is quite ill.  She has non-small-cell lung cancer, which is treatable, but not curable.  She is exhausted, and the road ahead is hard.  Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

She has touched the lives of many, and if you’d like to leave her a comment wishing her well we’ll make sure she gets all your messages.  Hopefully she’ll be strong enough soon to be posting on her own, but until then, think of her when you prepare one of her recipes, and say a little prayer.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

White Turnip Soup With Rice

This is a wonderful soup that I found in one of the books Joyce sent, Italian Soup Cook Book.  I made a few changes because of available ingredients.  Nothing major.  And as I've mentioned before the turnips are marvelous this year.

I need to mention I may be missing in action for a few days.  There is lots to do before our church auction on Saturday. 

servings 6-8
print recipe

3 large white turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 4 cups
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounce pancetta or bacon, finely chopped
1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
8 cups basic homemade beef broth or canned low-sodium beef broth
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Salt (optional)
1 1/4 cups rice, preferably Arborio
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1.  Cook the turnips in a large saucepan in salted boiling water to cover just until tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

2.  Melt the butter in a large skillet over low heat.  Add the turnips and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 7 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

3.  Saute the pancetta in a large soup pot over medium heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.  Add the broth and black pepper.  Taste and season with salt, if needed.  Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.

4.  Add the rice and reduce the heat to a very slow but steady simmer.  Cover and cook until the rice is al dente, about 15 minutes.  Stir in the turnips and parsley and remove from the heat.  Lade the soup into warmed bowls and serve, passing the grated cheese alongside. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pumpkin Pancakes

What is it about fall and cooler weather that makes me think of pancakes?  These are sooo much better than regular pancakes, thicker and denser, and lighter on the spicing to highlight the pumpkin flavor.  You can use any winter squash to make these.  It really is fine to have pancakes for supper. 

Serves 4 or more
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1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
one 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
Vegetable oil for frying
Unsalted butter, softened
Sorghum syrup or real maple syrup, warmed

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the buttermilk and vanilla until frothy.  Whisk in the pumpkin until combined.  Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until combined, with a few streaks remaining.  The batter will be fairly thick.  Add tablespoons of water as necessary to make it spoonable but short of runny.

Warm a griddle or large heavy skillet over medium heat.  Pour a thin film of oil onto the griddle.  Pour or spoon out the batter onto the hot griddle, where it should sizzle and hiss.  A generous 1/4 cup of batter will make a 4-inch pancake.  Make as many cakes as you can fit without crowding.

Cook the pancakes until their top surface is pocked with little bubbles but before all the bubbles pop, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.  This batter forms fewer bubbles than many pancakes, so also watch for the edges to look just a bit firm and dry before turning.  Flip the pancakes and cook until the second side is golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes longer.  Repeat with the remaining batter, adding a bit more oil to the griddle as needed.

Serve immediately with butter and syrup.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sausage-Apple Loaf

Like it or not, it is October.  Fall is just time for real comfort food.  Canning and freezing are basically finished, now it's time for soups and stews and anything else that'swarm and soothing.Like this wonderful breakfast meatloaf.  I use Jimmy Dean Sage (1 pound), and Jimmy Dean Hot (1/2 pound).  The important thing is that it have sage and a little heat.  You will love this I promise.  Any leftovers can be reheated and served the next day on a big fluffy biscuit.

Serves 6
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1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small onion, minced
2 tablespoons real maple syrup, divided
1 1/2 pounds well-seasoned bulk breakfast sausage
1 cup grated apple
2/3 cup dried bread crumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Warm the butter in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute' until very soft, about 5 minutes.  Scrape the onion into a large mixing bowl and let it cool briefly.  Add 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup and the remaining ingredients.  Mix well.

Pack the mixture into a loaf pan, mounding it a bit in the center.  Brush the remaining maple syrup over it.

Bake until the loaf is well browned with an internal temperature of 165 F to 170 F.  at the center, about 1 hour.  Pour off the accumulated grease and let the loaf sit for about 10 minutes before cutting into slices and serving.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Saint and Scriptures Sunday

Normally I choose a mediation from one I've enjoyed during the week.  Not so today.  This is one that I needed to read and meditate on, because I haven't really enjoyed some of the people in my life this week.  Nor did I feel loving and attentive.

When people bother you in any way, it is because their souls are trying it get your divine attention and your blessing. - Catherine Ponder

We are in constant communication with one another and with God in the spiritual realm.  No matter how singular our particular course may appear, our path is running parallel to many paths.  And all paths will intersect when the need is present.  The point of intersection is the moment when another should seeks our attention.  We can be attentive and loving to the people seeking our attention.  Their growth and ours is at stake.

We can be grateful for our involvement with other lives.  We can be mindful that our particular blessing is like no one else's and that we all need input from the many significant persons in our lives.  There is no insignificant encounter in our passage through life.  Each juncture with someone else is part of the destiny of both participants.

I will look carefully and lovingly at the people around me today and bless them, one and all.   They are in my life because they need to be.  I, likewise, need them. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

AMANA HOPPELPOPPEL

Don't you love saying the name of this dish!  Of Germany heritage this hearty, chunky hodgepodge is perfect for weekend breakfast or brunch.  This reminds me so much of a dish my grandfather made when I was a child.  He made his with sausage.  More about that at the bottom of the post.

Serves 4
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adapted from A Real American Breakfast

4 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 to 6 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium to large onion, cut into large dice
3/4 pound small waxy red potatoes, boiled until tender, then cut into 1/4-inch slices

Crack the eggs into a bowl and add the milk, parsley, salt, and pepper.  Whisk just long enough to combine; you should still see large bubbles.  Set aside.

Fry the bacon until brown and crisp in an 8-10-inch skillet.  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve it.  Add the onion and saute' until soft but not brown, about 5 minutes.  Add the potatoes and continue cooking until they are golden with some brown edges.  Stir in the bacon, then pour in the egg mixture.  With a spatula, turn the mixture over a couple of times to combine, scraping up from the bottom, then pat the mixture back down into a thick layer.  Cover and reduce the heat to low, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until the eggs are lightly set but still very moist.  Don't overcook.  Spoon out and serve immediately.

Amana Hoppelpoppel with German Sausage:   Substitute cooked bratwurst or other wurst for the bacon.  Start with 4 to 6 ounces sausage sliced into very thin half-moons, friend to crisp the edges.  Depending on the sausage's fat content, you may need to use a tablespoon of oil or butter for the frying.  You want enough fat left in the skillet to saute' the onion and flavor the eggs. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Tabasco Cottage Potatoes From the Oven

With all the beautiful Yukon Gold potatoes I'm getting from David's garden, I'm making potatoes for every meal.  We have all made cottage potatoes, but I love this recipe because it can be made ahead, perfect for Saturday morning breakfast, and it comes from the oven, not fried. 

Serves 4 as a main dish or 6 as a side dish
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2 pounds Yukon Gold, russet, or other baking potatoes, unpeeled, cut into neat 3/4-inch cubes
Salt to taste
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced
2/3 cup diced green bell pepper
2/3 cup diced, red, yellow, or orange bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce, or more to taste
1 tablespoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt, use your homemade or favorite store bought
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 to 1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese or a combination, optional

Bring the potatoes to a boil in a pan of well-salted water and boil until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes.  Don't overcook!

Warm the butter in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat.  Stir in the onion and bell peppers and saute' until just beginning to soften, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the Tabasco, paprika, seasoned salt, and pepper and remove from the heat.  Mix in the potato chunks, coating them well.  Proceed with the baking if you wish or, to allow a fuller blending of flavors, cool briefly, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

If refrigerated, uncover the potatoes and let them stand at room temperature while the oven preheats to 375 degrees F.  Bake the potatoes for 25 to 30 minutes, until richly brown and crunchy in spots.  If you are adding the cheese, scatter it over the top, then return the skillet to the oven for 1 minute.  Serve hot.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sweet Potato Home Fries

Who doesn't love home fries!  But, in my opinion sweet potato home fries are just the ultimate.  If you don't have leftover sweet potatoes or frozen, you can make equally good from scratch.  Starting with raw potatoes means a longer cooking time, but they require little more than an occasional stir.  The instructions below are for raw.  Adjust your cooking time if using leftover or frozen.

Serves 2 generously as a mail dish
4 as a side dish
print recipe

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 to 2 pounds peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary just before serving
Minced chives or parsley, for garnish

Warm the butter in a 10to 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat.  Stir in the potatoes, and when coated with a bit of butter, season them with salt and pepper and cover the skillet.  Cook for 20 minutes, during which you should hear only a faint cooking sound.

Uncover the potatoes and cook for 30 minute longer, turning them at 10-minute intervals and patting them back down.  When you turn them the first time, stir in the onion and bell pepper.  As the potatoes soften, pat them down more lightly, bringing as much of their surface in contact with the skillet as possible without mashing them.

Cook the potatoes for about 20 minutes longer, turning them at 5-minutes intervals.   During the last 10 minutes, bring the heat up to medium and, if you wish, add more salt and pepper and the rosemary.  The home fries are ready when the potatoes cubes are richly browned and clearly crisp with tender, melting centers.  Plate them immediately, scatter with chives or parsley and serve

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hillbilly Smoothie

Most folks would call this Buttermilk with Crumblin's, but I think Hillbilly Smoothie adds a little something to it.  This had to be one of my dads favorite things.  I can still see him sitting at the kitchen table eating this.  You can have this for breakfast, dinner, snack or supper.   For supper you might want to add fried green tomatoes, and for breakfast a nice slice of cantaloupe.  Don't turn your nose up at this until you try it.  Wonderful!

Serves one
I don't think you need a printed recipe

About 1 1/2 cups ice cold buttermilk in a well chilled tumbler
1 fist size square of cornbread, preferably buttermilk cornbread

Pour the buttermilk into an oversize tumbler.  Crumble the corn bread into the glass and stir with a long-handled iced-tea spoon.  Sip, spoon, and swoon.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Butternut Squash Soup

When Edie was here a few days ago she was talking about butternut squash soup and I knew I had a recipe that I really liked but couldn't find it.  Well in my amazing orderly filing system here it is.  I think this might be an old Southern Living recipe, but I do make some chances.  The one below is the original recipe.

I use fresh squash that has been peeled, cubed, and roasted until tender and I use homemade chicken broth.

8 servings
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6 bacon slices
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 (12-ounce) packages frozen butternut squash, thawed (or 3 1//2 pounds peeled, cubed and roasted fresh)
1 (32-ounce) container low-sodium fat-free chicken broth (or homemade chicken broth)
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons salt (I use 1)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used fresh grated)
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
Garnishes:  sour cream, fresh thyme sprigs

1.  Cook bacon slices in a Dutch oven until crisp.  Remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in Dutch oven.  Crumble bacon.

2/  Saute' onion and carrots in hot drippings in Dutch oven over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until onion is tender.  Add celery and apple, and saute 5 minutes.  Add garlic, and saute' 30 seconds.  Add butternut squash and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until carrots are tender.

3.   Process squash mixture, in batches, in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Return to Dutch oven.  Add whipping cream and next 7 ingredients.  Simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until thickened.  Top each serving with bacon.  Garnish if you wish.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Saint and Scripture Sunday

Every time I read this meditation I think of my niece Angie. She has had so many changes in her life over the past few years. Dealing with constant pain, two surgeries, loss of job, children in college, a new teenager, constant battles with the insurance companies. Her ability to deal with all this simply shows me her strong faith.

The universal human yearning (is) for something permanent, enduring, without shadow of change. - Willa Cather

The spector of change builds dread in most of us. We fear the effects on our personal lives. We lack faith that the impending change will benefit us. Only time can assure us of that. And it will, just as every change we've survived up to now has done.

Changes are gifts, really. They come as hallmarks to our present attainments. They signify successful growth. And they announce our readiness for more growth. How we struggle to understand this, and how quickly we forget it once we have adapted to the change. The struggle is then repeated the next time change visits us.

We long for permanence, believing it guarantees security, not realizing the only real security available to us comes with our trust in God, from whom all change comes as a blessing on the growth we've attained. If we were to experience total lack of change, we'd find death. Life is challenge, continued change, always endurable and growth-enhancing. We can reflect on what's gone before, and trust that which faces us now.

Change means I am progressing, on course.

Easy Brunswick Stew

It has been down right cold here in the mornings.  I guess fall really is here.  Perfect weather for soups and stews.  I make vegetable soup on Saturday and my soon to be sister-in-law made Brunswick Stew.  This is not Edie's recipe, because I couldn't find it, but I have used this old Southern Livings recipe lots.  I've made it with pork or chicken or a combination of the two.  It's always good. 

If you are really in a hurry stop by your local supermarket or barbecue place for shredded pork or chicken.  I use the vegetables I have frozen from the garden, yes even the potatoes.

5 quarts
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3 pounds shredded cooked pork or chicken
4 cups frozen cubed hash browns
3 (14 1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, undrained
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can cream style corn
2 cups frozen lima beans
1/2 cup good barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Stir together shredded pork/chicken, 4 cups water, hash browns, and remaining ingredients in a 6-quart stockpot.  Bring stew to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often, 45 minutes. 

Like most soups and stews this is better made ahead.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Turnip and Potato Soup

David phoned yesterday morning to let me know he had fresh dug Yukon Gold potatoes.  I had a few zillion other errands before I got to him, but when I did he also had fresh pulled turnips.  Turnips are one of those things I can just peel and eat, no cooking necessary.  I found this recipe in one of the cook books Joyce sent.  It is basically a French vegetable cook book with fabulous simple recipes, Vegetables of the Earth.  This is what was for supper last night.  You will love it!  This exemplifies French family cooking at its best.

I think it serves 2 or 3, but I ate it all
print recipe

Over very low heat, cook a sliced leek (white part only) in a little butter.  Add a quarter pound of turnips, peeled and sliced thin, and 1 1/4 cups of peeled, cubed potatoes.  Stir with a wooden spoon and add cold water or chicken stock.  Add salt and bring to the boil.  Cook until the potatoes begin to fall apart.  Puree in a blender or food processor.  Bring some milk to the boil with a good chunk of butter and add this to the soup.   Return to the boil; turn off the heat as soon as it boils, season with a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, and serve.



Friday, September 21, 2012

Baked Apples and Sausage

Apple, apples everywhere. I spent last Saturday canning the most wonderful applesauce. Ten varieties of apples, no sugar. Of course I had apples leftover, I planned it that way. I still had apple cake to make and these wonderful stuffed apples.

I found this recipe at www.almanac.com - The Old Farmer's Almanac. So easy and delicious. Sausage and apples, how fall can we get.

6 servings
print recipe

1 pound bulk sausage ( I used Jimmy Dean Sage, but anything you like)
6 tart apples (Granny Smith because that's what I had, or other baking apple)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Brown the sausage in a skillet, drain if necessary. Wash the apples and cut off the tops. Remove the cores and hollow out the apples, leaving just a 1/2-inch thickness. Chop the removed apple flesh and mix with the browned sausage, brown sugar, cinnamon, and lemon rind. Fill the apples with the mixture, place into a baking dish, cover, and bake at 37 degrees F until tender, about 40 minutes.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Creamy Gratin of Turnips and Potatoes

It seems so sad to see some of the garden vegetables no larger baring and being plowed under to await another year. We do have fall crops to be grateful for, potatoes, turnips, cabbage, etc.

My mom made something very much like this, but I doubt she called it a "gratin". If it had turnips in it, I was there. Never met a turnip I didn't love. It's hard to believe that people once viewed turnips as "poor-people's food".

6 servings
print recipe

4 firm waxy potatoes, such as red-skinned (about 1 pound)
4 medium white turnips (about 1 pound)
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2-3 ounces Swiss Gruyere cheese, grated
3 tablespoons butter, cut in pieces

Wash, but do not peel, the potatoes and put them into a pan of cold salted water, bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes. You can also steam them.

Peel the turnips and cook in the same manner, but for 15 minutes; they should be tender but still somewhat firm.

Preheat the oven to 35o degrees F.

Cool the potatoes and turnips in cold water until you are able to handle them. Peel the potatoes and cut both the potatoes and the turnips into 1/8-inch slices.

Pour the cream into a deep skillet or wide casserole; season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and bring slowly to the boil. Add the potatoes and turnips and mix carefully to avoid breaking the slices.

Turn the mixture into a buttered gratin dish or baking dish. Sprinkle with grated cheese and dot with butter. Bake for 20-30 minutes. If the top is not browned by this time, raise the oven heat to 475 degrees, or run under the broiler for a moment.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Kindness of Strangers

Most of us expect kindness from our friends and family. Joyce at October Farm sends me care packages all the time, wonderful care packages. But this is not about Joyce today, she knows how much I love her and she is just like family.

This is about kindness of strangers or people I hardly know. It all started over the weekend with the mushrooms from Tom. Tom lives down the road and is basically a hermit. He is the son of my friend Betty. He started dropping off fresh mushrooms a few years ago and I would drop off homemade bread or jams and jellies to him. Rarely did I see him.

Monday I had to be in Walmart. There are about 6 people who work there that I just adore. Around the holidays I usually make a big box of cookies for them. Nana one of my favorites said, "I'm so happy to see you". I have something for you." She found her mother's old tin cookie cutters and wanted me have them. Can you imagine. I was thrilled!

My favorite stranger is my electric meter reader, Glenn. This is one of the nicest people you would ever want to know. During the summer I leave fresh produce on the porch for him on the day I know he will be coming. During the winter months it's cookies or small cakes. In a few days I'll get a thank you note from his wife. On Monday he knocks on my door and hands me a beautiful box of chocolates and a birthday card. Do you think I care that my birthday was last month! He made my day.

Do something nice for someone today. It's the little things that might just make someone elses day.





Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hearts of Palm with Ginger

This recipes reminds me of one I made when I lived at Duck Key, Fl. in the late 70's. You are not going to find fresh hearts of palm unless you live in the tropics or Florida. We actually have men that came around selling them off their truck. They are gathered from young sabal palms no taller than about three feet. Fresh hearts of palm, seasoned with nothing more than salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice are heavenly. Most of us use canned hearts of palm; they are not as flavorful, but they taste surprisingly close to the fresh product. If you can buy fresh at our local Asian or Caribbean market, do so by all means, just poach them in salted water before using them in this recipe.

This recipe takes about 15 minutes to prepare with canned hearts of palm.

4 servings
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2 1/4 pounds canned hearts of palm
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

Drain the hearts of palm, rinse them thoroughly, and dry them with paper towels.

Blend the flour and the ginger and dredge the hearts of palm in this mixture.

Heat the butter in a skillet until it begins to take color, add the hearts of palm, and cook until golden on all sides. Add the soy sauce, and turn the hearts of palm with tongs until evenly glazed with soy sauce.

Arrange on a serving platter and garnish with the coriander.



Monday, September 17, 2012

Vegetable Soup With Fresh Basil

Maybe we should call this "End of the Garden Soup". Because everything you will need is in your garden, or in my case David's garden. The temperature is really dropping this week, perfect soup weather.

The touch of pesto drizzled into each bowl before serving imparts a lovely, color, and flavor. If you choose not to use it, finely chop 12 small leaves of fresh basil and sprinkle some over each bowl.

6 serving
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4 ounces fresh lima beans, or 1/2 cup dried
10 cups water
7 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 small zucchini, scrubbed, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 medium ribs celery with leaves, thinly sliced
2 large fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 medium onion
4 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 large leek, white part only, cut in half lengthwise, well rinsed, and thinly sliced crosswise
4 ounces dried linguine, broken into 1-inch pieces
2 or 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 teaspoons of your favorite pesto or 12 fresh basil leaves

1. If using fresh lima beans, set them aside; if using dried, pick them over, discarding any storms. Soak overnight in cool water to cover by 2 inches. Drain and combine with 3 cups water in a medium-size saucepan. Brig to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a very slow but steady simmer and cook, covered, until the beans are almost tender, about 45 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Bring the 7 cups water, the oil, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes, zucchini, carrots, celery, tomatoes, onion, green beans, peas, leek, and lima beans, fresh or cooked dried, and return the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to a lively simmer and cook, covered, until the vegetables are almost tender, about 25 minutes.

3. Add the pasta pieces and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Let the soup rest off the heat for 15 minutes or so to gain flavor.

4. To serve, lade into warmed soup bowls, lightly drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil in the shape of your initial over each serving, then top with a teaspoon of pesto and serve.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Saint and Scripture Sunday

What a week! I'm glad that's over. This was a great meditation for me yesterday.

When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep. - Ursula K LeGuin

Sometimes we need to turn away from what's troubling us. Hanging onto a situation for which no solution is immediately apparent, only exaggerates the situation. It is often said the solution to any problem lies within. However, turning the problem over and over in our minds keeps our attention on the outer appearance not the inner solution.

Rest meditation, quiet attention to other matter, other persons, opens the way for God to reveal the solution. Every problem can be resolved. And no answer is ever withheld for long. We need to be open to it, though. We need to step away from our ego, outside of the problem and then listen fully to the words of friend, to the words that rise from our own hearts. Too much thinking, incessant analyzing, will keep any problem a problem.

I will rest from my thoughts. I will give my attention wholly to the present. Therein will come the solution and when least expected.

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sun-Dried Tomato Butter

There is a good chance I will need to make more sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil before the season is over. I'm using these in everything. Try this soup enhancement with some of your soups, such as lentil soup, or your pasta soups.

makes 8 pats
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1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons finely minced, drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 fresh or canned plum tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
1 large clove garlic, minced
Juice of 1/2 lemon (use fresh lemon juice only)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Combine all the ingredients except the salt and pepper in a medium size bowl. Using a hand held electric mixer, beat it thoroughly to blend. Add the salt and pepper, then beat just to mix it in.

2. Spoon the butter onto a sheet of waxed paper and shape it into a cylinder about 8 inches long and 1 inch thick. If the mixture is too soft to shape, refrigerate it until it stiffens somewhat and is easier to roll. After shaping, wrap the roll in the waxed paper and refrigerate for up to several days. Cut into pats to serve.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bay-Scented Roasted Potatoes

I can not resist the potatoes when I go to David's if I see him bringing them right from the garden. This is a wonderful simple dish that can be served with any meat, poultry or fish. It will be a favorite!

4 servings
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8 medium potatoes, such as red-skinned
12 large fresh bay leaves
Salt
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup olive oil

Reheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Peel wash, and dry the potatoes. Cut slits into each potato every 3/8 inch; cut nearly all the way through, but be careful to keep the potatoes in one piece. Cut the bay leaves into 1/2-inch strips.

Oil a baking dish just large enough to hold the potatoes; but the potatoes into the pan and slip a piece of bay leaf into each slit. Sprinkle with salt (very little if your chicken stock is already salted). Bring the chicken stock to the boil and pour it over the potatoes; drizzle with the olive oil.

Bake, uncovered, for about 40 minutes. The potatoes should be very tender and nicely browned; no cooking liquid should remain.

Serve in the baking dish.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Zucchini Pound Cake with Pine Nuts

I'm having food preserving withdrawal. There are a few things left to do but nothing like a few weeks ago. This is when I start looking for new things to make. Our church auction is coming up in early October so I'm on the search. There are always so many beautiful pies, cakes, cobbler, jams, jelly, candies, etc. Not to mention all the handmade crafts. It is a day everyone in the area looks forward too. I was reminded on Sunday the auction has been going on since 1954. Good heavens, I was only 9 years old. I can remember going with my dad. If you have never been to a country church auction you are missing one of life's great treats.

This might be up for bid! Delightfully aromatic, it will keep for several days in the refrigerator wrapped in aluminum foil.

1 loaf cake
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10 tablespoons butter
3 small zucchini (10 ounces total)
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup pine nuts
A pinch of ground caraway

Melt the butter over low heat. Peel, wash and dry the zucchini and grate them coarsely. I don't peel mine because I like the color in the cake.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a food processor blend the eggs, melted butter, sugar, and vanilla.

In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and caraway, then add this to the butter mixture in the food processor. Processor until smooth. Return to the bowl and add the grated zucchini and the pine nuts.

Butter and flour a 6-cup loaf pan and scrape the batter into it. Smooth the top, bake for 10 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for another hour.

Unmold onto a cooling rack.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Green Tomato Jam

Yep! This is what you make in late September when the tomatoes remaining on the vine will never ripen. You can simply spread it on bread, biscuit, or you can make an excellent tart by spreading it on a pate brisee crust. And you thought you didn't have to see another one of my canning recipes. It's not really over until the first hard freeze.

about 6 cups
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4 1/2 pounds large green tomatoes
4 1/2 cups sugar
3 lemons, preferably not sprayed or waxed (if you get supermarket lemons, scrub them well before using)

Wash the tomatoes, cut off the stems, and cut them into 8 to 10 wedges each. In a stainless steel bowl, arrange alternate layers of tomatoes and sugar. Let this macerate in the refrigerator for 20 to 24 hours; stir 2 or 3 times during this period.

The next day, pour the tomatoes into a preserving pan or large stainless steel saucepan. Start cooking the jam over high heat, then reduce the heat to very low as soon as it comes to the boil.

Remove the scrum with a spoon or skimmer.

Do not peel the lemons, but cut them in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 1/8-inch slices. After the jam has cooked for 1 hour, add the lemon slices and cook for an additional hour, still over low heat.

Sterilize 6 half-pint canning jars. Fill the jars with the hot jam, then seal. Process in a hot-water bath for 15 minutes. Remove jars from water and let cool. Check seals and then store.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Potato-Celery Soup

September 11, 2001 will always be one of the worse days I've ever experienced. I remember exactly were I was, Hilton Head, S.C. I remember what I was wearing. And I remember what I cooked that day. As everyone else, I was looking for comfort, and nothing says comfort to be like potato soup. Take a minute today to remember all the people lost that day and all our hero's. Then take time to make a pot of potato soup to make you feel better.

There is a lot of celery here, and peeling it does make a difference. Just scrape along the outside of the stalks with a vegetable peeler to get rid of the strings.

Serves 6
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2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups peeled and diced celery (about 5 stalks)
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2-3 cups milk or I use a mix of milk and cream
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, more if you like

Put the potatoes, onion, and celery in a soup pot. Add 2 to 3 cups cold water, enough to just cover the vegetables, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat, cover partway, and reduce to a gentle boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender and beginning to fall apart, 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove from the heat and mash the potatoes in the pot with a hand masher. It's fine to leave the potatoes a bit coarse to give the soup a chunkier texture.

Return the soup to the heat and stir in enough milk/cream to reach a good pourable consistency. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and taste for sale and pepper. Ladle the soup into large soup bowls, and float slivers of butter on top of each serving.

A nice skillet of cornbread goes well with this.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Frybakers

Who doesn't love fried potatoes or a good baked potato! This will give you the best of both worlds. Our grilling season is not over yet, and these are perfect with anything grilled. I guess they are great with just about anything, grilled or not.

Serves 12 - adjust for your needs
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1/4 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon dill
6 large baking potatoes, halved lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat the bottom of a baking pan with the oil. Sprinkle with the seasonings.

Place the potatoes, cut sides down, in the pan. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. The surface should be crusty; the inside, soft.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Saint and Scripture Sunday

I have to chuckle a little every time I read this meditation. That was me, Ms. Perfection. But that was also about 20 years ago. Today I try to do a fine job of whatever I get done. So what if all I got done yesterday was a pot of soup and a loaf of bread. It was a wonderful pot of soup and bread.

And it isn't the thing you do, dear, it's the thing you leave undone which gives you a bit of a heartache at the setting of the sun. - Margaret Sanster

A quality we all share, a very human quality, is to expect perfection from ourselves, to expect the impossible in all tasks done. We must rejoice for the good we do. Each time we pat ourselves on the back for a job well done, our confidence grows a little bit more.

We need to recognize and celebrate our strong points, and need to practice prayer and listening to guidance first to develop our ties to God, but more importantly to be able to acknowledge when help is at hand. We can do all we need to do with God's help.

Having goals but keeping them realistic, for the day or the year, is a sign of emotional health. Not dwelling on those that can't be accomplished, at the moment, is another sign. A change of attitude is all most of us need to move from where we are to a better place emotionally.

There's never a better time than right now for rejoicing over what I've done.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Autumn Soup

Every time I make this I change the name of it, plus I change the ingredients. The recipe that follows is the original recipe and is wonderful. Feel free to do whatever you like. Today I doubled the recipe and used a quart of my home canned tomatoes with garlic and basil and 3 of my homemade tomato paste cubes and some dried tomato powder, instead of the tomato sauce. I also added a tub of Knorr Beef Stock.

Makes 5-6 servings
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1 pound lean ground beef
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
3 cups hot water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup sliced carrots
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon basil
1 envelope of onion soup
8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup macaroni, cooked and drained

Crumble beef into slow cooker. I brown mine first. Add pepper, oregano, basil, salt and dry onion soup mix. Stir in water, tomato sauce and soy sauce. Then add celery and carrots. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Turn control to high and add cooked macaroni and cheese. Cover and cook on high for 10-15 minutes.

Friday, September 7, 2012

California Ginger Bread

Don't confuse this with your grandmothers ginger bread with the whipped cream on top. This is an actual loaf of bread. Perfect out of the oven or toasted for breakfast with honey butter (butter at room temperature, mixed with an equal amount of honey) or marmalade butter (the same procedure but with an equal amount of marmalade.

California Ginger Bread
1 loaf
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1 cup buttermilk
3-4 tablespoons peeled, grated fresh ginger root
1/2 cup peanut or vegetable oil
1 egg
grated rind of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups -all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves


Combine the buttermilk, grated ginger, oil, egg, lemon rind, and salt. Mix lightly until blended

Sift the remaining dry ingredients into a bowl. Make a well in the center of this mixture. Pour buttermilk mixture into the well. Stir all together until you have a smooth mixture. Do not over mix.

Grease and flour a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan. Place the dough in the pan and bake at 350 degrees F. for one hour and 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes and remove from pan.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Spicy Cabbage and Sparerib Soup

It might still be 90 degrees outside but I'm ready for soup. A nice warm comforting fall soup. I found this recipe in one of the zillion cookbooks that Joyce sent, with the unusual name of Italian Soup Cook Book by Joe Famularo. Lovely recipes.

David's fall cabbage crop includes savoy cabbage that are not quite ready yet, but I took 2 anyway.

Good homemade bread is essential for mopping up the broth in the bottom of the bowl.

Serves 6
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2 tablespoons olive oil
6 pork spareribs (about 1 1/2 pounds) cut into individual ribs
2 large cloves of garlic minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 medium head savoy cabbage, trimmed, cored, and cut into 8 wedges
1 1/2 cups water
6 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
Salt to taste
3/4 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese, such as Romano

1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the spareribs and saute' until they are lightly browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Turn the ribs 2 or 3 times to cook all sides. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute, then stir in the red pepper flakes.

2. Add the cabbage wedges and water to the pot and bring to a boil, partially covered, over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the cabbage is limp and bright green, about 15 minutes.

3. Add the broth and raise the heat to return to a boil. Reduce the heat again and cook, still partially covered, until the ribs are tender, about 30 minutes. Season with salt.

4. To serve, place a rib and some cabbage into each warmed bowl, then ladle in the broth. Sprinkle some grated cheese on top of each serving and serve the remainder alongside.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pasta and Salmon and Peas

Just had to post this wonderful salmon recipe for my blogging friend Ina in Alaska. I don't make this often because my salmon is not exactly fresh caught like Ina's. It works well with frozen, and I have used a 10 ounce package of frozen peas instead of fresh. Ina if you make this think of me while you are enjoying all this goodness.

Serves 6
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1/4 pound unsalted butter
1 clove garlic
1 pound salmon steak, skinned, boned, and cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt to taste
1 pound fresh peas, shelled and cooked
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1 pound pasta shells, ziti, or penne
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the garlic and the salmon. Stir gently. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until just done. Add the salt, peas, and parsley. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute

Cook the pasta until it is al dente according to package directions. Drain. Add to the salmon mixture. Add the pepper and lemon juice. Serve hot.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Red Pepper Chutney

My do nothing Labor Day just didn't happen, well not until about 3:00 in the afternoon. There is always something to do this time of year. I'll rest in the winter when it's too cold to be out.

I know I've been on a chutney kick, but this is sooo good and so easy a monkey could make it. This is what I'm making today. I would eat this on anything, plus what a beautiful hostess gift.

Makes 3 pints
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12 sweet red peppers, seeded
1 tablespoon salt
1 pint cider vinegar
2 3/4 cup sugar

In a meat grinder, or food processor, grind the peppers. Add the salt, and let stand for 3 hours. Drain, and rinse with boiling water.

In a large saucepan, heat the vinegar and sugar. Add the peppers, and cook for at least 1 hour, or until the mixture is thick. Place in hot sterilized jars. Process in hot water canner for 10 minutes.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful long weekend. I basically did nothing on Sunday and am planning the same for today. I have canned, frozen or dehydrated something every day since the middle of May. Excluding Sundays of course. There is a reason it's called Labor Day, and it isn't to labor in the kitchen all day. Keep it simple, burgers, ribs, or hot dogs.

If you live in my area you will not have to worry about rain. They have been saying major rain for days. To my knowledge I believe it's been about 15 drops.

If you are looking for a killer potato recipe check out Joyce's Potatoes With Celery Sauce. This is the best thing I've had in a long time.

Hopefully by tomorrow I'll be back in the mood for my "labor of love" canning. If not I have plenty for the neighborhood already.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Saint and Scriptures Sunday

I'm still working on my post on "Recharging Our Spiritual Batteries". Maybe I'll have it done in the next few weeks. Where does the time go!

You will be well on your way by reading some of the things Jesus spoke about in Matthew 6.

This is a meditation that I have always enjoyed.

The more we are in concert with God,, the greater will be our pleasures sin life. Recognizing our partnership with Him makes every decision easier, facilitates the completion of every task, and removes all uncertainty about our value to this world, particularly to those persons around us.

Knowledge that we are never alone, that in every circumstance our best interests are being cared for, softens whatever blow we encounter. The blows teach us, they are the lessons the inner self has requested, and let us never forget we have a ready tutor to see us through every assignment.

The more we rely on God to see us through the mundane activities as well as the troubling experiences, the greater will be our certainty that all is well, our lives are on course, and a plan is unfolding, little by little that has our best interests at its center.

Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Cold Fettucine with Tuna

This is just a simple old pasta dish that I've made for 20 years or more. Perfect for this long Labor Day weekend. It goes with everything.

Serves 4
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1 pound fettucine
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 ounces pine nuts
1 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
1 cup canned tuna, in chunks and drained
1/2 red sweet pepper, cut into thin strips
6 black olives, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parsley for garnish

Cook the fettucine until it is al dente according to package directions. Drain

In a skillet, heat the oil, and saute' the garlic and pine nuts over low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the garlic is translucent and the nuts are golden. Add the tomatoes, and cook for a few seconds. Transfer to a large bowl. Cool.

Add the pasta to the pine nut mixture, and toss gently to coat. Add the tuna chunks, sweet red pepper, olives, parsley, and vinegar. Blend. Season with salt and plenty of fresh ground pepper. Garnish with additional parsley. Serve at room temperature.


Friday, August 31, 2012

Tomato Curry Soup

I know I should be posting Labor Day recipes, but we have the same thing on Labor Day that we have on Memorial Day, and the Fourth of July. We need to be using our tomatoes before they are gone. I wish. I haven't made this soup in forever. I forget about all this good stuff because I'm busy making something else new.

This is great because you make it the day before serving.

Serves 4-6
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6 large ripe tomatoes, peeled
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (I like the thick)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
About 1 tablespoon curry powder
3 tablespoons chopped parsley

The day before, put the tomatoes and the onion through a food mill, using the coarse blade. (Do not use a blender; the mixture will be too thin.)

In a bowl, blend the tomato-onion mixture with the Worcestershire, sugar, and salt. Cover and chill overnight.

Combine the mayonnaise and the curry powder to taste. Add the parsley. Fill a soup cup with the tomato mixture, and top with 1 tablespoon of the curry mayonnaise.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Baked Eggs with Garden Vegetable Hash

I can't believe I found this recipe in Back to the Table: Art Smith. This is so much like a dish that an old boyfriend use to make all the time. Not just for breakfast or brunch. His favorite time was for supper. We called it Art's Baked Eggs. Yep! His name was Art Smith. This is the perfect time to make it while you still have vegetables in the garden. He would make the egg dish, I would make the sausage gravy and Pillsbury made the biscuits. What a team!

Makes 6 servings
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1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 4 medium), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch thick half moons
1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound Roma or plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
6 large eggs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Lightly oil a large baking sheet or roasting pan.

Toss the potatoes, bell pepper, zucchini, onion, and olive oil on the baking sheet and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bake, occasionally turning the vegetables with a spatula, until the potatoes are almost tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, and thyme. Bake until the vegetable are browned, about 20 minutes more. Transfer the vegetables to a 2-quart ovenproof serving dish.

Spacing them evenly apart, break the eggs over the vegetables. Bake until eggs are set, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pear Chutney

I love a good homemade chutney. You can use this same recipe for peach chutney. Now that I've finished, I hope, with the basic canning and freezing I have time for the fun stuff. It's wonderful to have these on hand for the perfect hostess gift, or to add a little class to your Sunday dinner.

Yield: about 7 pints
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4 quarts finely chopped peeled, pitted peaches or pears (about 20 medium)
2 to 3 cups brown sugar
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
1/4 cup mustard seed
2 tablespoons ginger
2 teaspoons salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 hot red pepper, finely chopped (Remove seeds for a milder version.)
5 cups vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Simmer until thick. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. Ladle hot chutney into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust 2-piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pears With Dark Chocolate

It seemed our summer pears were late this year. Or maybe I'm late getting to them. I should have pick pears yesterday but I'm taking a canning rest. I'll go today. I think all my neighbors have pear trees.

This dessert is so quick and easy you can have it any night of the week. It is also delicious served over vanilla frozen yogurt.

Serves 4
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4 ripe summer pears
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sea salt

Slice pears onto four plate, removing the centers and stems. Arrange slices in a fan pattern. Carefully melt the chocolate with the vegetable oil over very low heat in a saucepan or in the microwave. Spoon the warm chocolate over the pears. Sprinkle sea salt over the chocolate.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Blackberry Tart

How did it get to be the last week in August! Summer is almost over. Of course with the temperatures still in the high 80's and 90's you would not know it. The nights are really cool for sleeping with the windows open. Instead of picking quarts of blackberries, I'm now lucky to get a pint. But a pint is all you need for this cool and refreshing late summer dessert.

Yield: 8 servings
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2 cups crushed ginger snaps
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (You can use non-fat if you like)
Zest of 1 lemon
1 pint fresh blackberries, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
1/2 cup of local honey

Combine cookie crumbs, butter, and sugar. Press into 8-inch tart pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Stir yogurt, cream cheese, and zest together until smooth. Spoon yogurt mixture over the cooled crust. Place berries in an even layer over the yogurt mixture. Chill until ready to serve. Drizzle honey over all just before serving.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saint and Scripture Sunday

The decision to use this mediation today is based on the fact that for the past month I've intended to write about "Recharging Spiritual Batteries". With any luck I will have that ready for you next week.

Faith is like the air in a balloon. If you've got it you're filled. If you don't you're empty. - Peggy Cahn

Being faith-filled takes effort, not unlike becoming a good writer, tennis player, or pianist. Faith rows with our hearts, but we must devote time to foster this growth. Daily discussions with God are required, frequent quiet times to hear God's messages to us - just as practice on the court, hitting balls or sitting for extended periods at the computer or a piano are necessary to attainment of these goals.

Life's difficulties are eased when we have faith. The most frightening situation, a job interview, an evaluation with our boss, a showdown with a friend, can be handled confidently when we let our faith work for us. But, we must first work for it, work to attain it and work to keep it. Like any skill, it gets rusty with lack of use.

I will make sure to add to my reserves today. We never know when we may need to let our faith direct our every action. I will make a friend of God, and that partnership will carry me over any troubled time.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Farewell to Kary ,Plus Dried Tomatoes Preserved in Oil

I know that is a strange title, but I selected a recipe that I thought Kary would love. There is a memorial service at her home today for family and true friends. I hope SL gets the message. Let's lift our wine glass, light a candle, and say a prayer for our dear friend. Kary you may be gone, but never forgotten. We send our love and support to John, Teddy and the kitties.

This ones for you sweet girl!

Dried Tomatoes Preserved in Oil
Yield about 3/4 cup
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2 pounds beefsteak or plum tomatoes
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dried basil or mint
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 sprig rosemary
1-2 dried chiles (optional)
1-2 garlic cloves, cut into slivers (optional)
Olive oil to cover

Halve the tomatoes and arrange, cut side up, on a wire rack placed over a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with the salt, sugar, and dried basil or mint and then finely drizzle the extra-virgin olive oil over the top.

Place the sheet in an oven set to the lowest possible temperature and leave the door slightly ajar to allow the moisture to escape. Bake for 8-12 hours, or until the tomatoes are dry but still pliable. I dry mine in the dehydrator.

Pack the dried tomatoes into a sterilized jar along with the rosemary, dried chilies, and garlic, if using.

Pour olive oil into the jar, making sure the tomatoes are completely covered. Poke the contents of the jar with a wooden skewer to be sure there are no air pockets, then seal. The tomatoes will be ready to eat in 1-2 days, but improve with age. Shelf life - 2 years, refrigerated.

Use to flavor salads, pasta sauce, stews, and breads

Friday, August 24, 2012

Roasted Tomato Sauce

I used to make my tomato sauce like everyone else, simmering fresh tomatoes in a big pot until I discovered not just one but two fabulous new sauce recipes. This is quick and easy with that intense tomato flavor. The other one from Joyce's blog is slow cooked for hours in your slow cooker. It has the taste of fresh from the garden tomatoes. On Friday I made a batch of each, plus my dehydrator was full of tomatoes. Talk about tomato overload!

Makes 3 cups
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5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 pounds Roma or plum tomatoes, cut lengthwise in halves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Generously brush a large baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.

Season the cut sides of the tomatoes with salt and pepper. Place, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Brush the skins with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Bake until the tomato skins are lightly browned and the tomatoes are tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely. Pull the skins off the tomatoes and discard.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the garlic, and red pepper in a small skillet over medium heat until browned, about 2 minutes. Puree the tomatoes and garlic oil in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot. (The sauce can be prepared up to 3 days ahead cooled, covered and refrigerated, or frozen for up to 2 months.)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Birthday!

How in the world did this happen! Today is my birthday and I didn't even think about it until last night. That's a really good sign of old age. It's hard to think about canning and freezing and your birthday. Especially at my age.

Growing up I always wanted the same meal for my birthday, Chicken and Dumplings, brown beans, sliced tomatoes, cottage cheese, homemade rolls and banana pudding Not grocery store cottage cheese, the kind my grandmother made. I can taste it now.

It's funny how our taste change as we get older, not that I don't still love Chicken and Dumpling. Now I would lean more to fresh veggies and homemade bread. Let's keep the banana pudding.

On Monday of this week I went to visit a dear friend that lives down the road. Louise had her 93rd birthday last week. She told me at church on Sunday she was cutting back on her canning this year and would love for me to have some of her canning jars. I was thrilled. When I went in she had two pressure cookers on the stove full of green beans. This would make 38 jars. I didn't have to say a word, she said, "I'm cutting back not stopping." Most of the food she cans goes to the food bank and for church functions and her children. She just doesn't have the time anymore. On Wednesday each week she visits the nursing home where her sister is and "talks with all the old people". Yes, she still drives.

I should live so long to be as wonderful as Louise.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Scalloped Potatoes with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

This is what's for Bible study this week. These scalloped potatoes are made with broth, not milk, and get a huge flavor boost from the sun-dried tomato presto. They are fabulous with roast chicken, which someone else is bringing.

Makes 8 servings
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Adapted from Art Smith's Back to the Table: The Reunion of Food and Family

3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (I used larger red-skinned from the garden.)
1 cup Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (recipe posted yesterday)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 cup chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium, heated to boiling
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil an 11 1/2 by 8-inch (2 quart) baking dish. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat.

Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds (a mandoline or food processor does the quickest work). Add to the boiling water and cook until barely tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and toss with the pesto to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper.

Layer half of the potatoes in the dish, sprinkle with one third of the cheese, and sprinkle with basil. Continue until you have 3 layers, finishing with cheese. Pour in the hot broth. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.

Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until the cheese is bubbling and starting to brown, about 15 minutes. Serve hot, sprinkled with parsley.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

Were you wondering what I was going to do with all the tomatoes I dehydrated? I thought maybe I had overdone it a bit until I discovered this pesto recipe in Art Smith's Back to the Table Cook Book that Joyce sent. This stuff is flat wonderful.

Keep a container of this brick-red pesto in the refrigerator to toss with pasta, stir into soups or salad dressings, or even to make the Scalloped Potatoes I'll be showing you tomorrow, or soon.

Makes about 2 cups
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2 cups sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup (packed) fresh parsley leaves
2 garlic cloves smashed and peeled
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Process all the ingredients in a food processor fitted with the metal blade until the mixture forms a coarse paste. (The pesto can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 1 month.)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pot-Roasted Turkey Drumsticks

It is so nice to see the top of my kitchen table again. Not a tomato in sight. The weather was perfect the week end for a little fall type food. In my opinion we don't eat enough turkey, especially the dark meat. If I had my way Thanksgiving dinner would be turkey thighs, drumsticks, and wings, and all the trimmings. Save the breast for sandwiches.

This dish gives a whole new meaning when it's turkey in the pot. I adapted this recipe from one of the cookbooks that Joyce sent in the hundred pounds box of books last week. The Everyday Turkey Cookbook by Frank Papai Secunda

I like to brine my turkey drumsticks for 8-12 hours in 1/4 cup of kosher salt per quart of water. Don't use table salt or it will be too salty. Dissolve salt in water and pour over drumsticks in a gallon zip lock bag. Refrigerate

4 servings
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3 1/2 cups turkey/chicken stock
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 large onion chopped
2 large carrots, cut into pieces
1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
1 small cabbage, cut into quarters
4 turkey drumsticks, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine stock, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, sage, salt, pepper, garlic, onion, carrots, mushrooms, and cabbage in a large Dutch oven an simmer 30 minutes.

Add turkey, cover, and bake 2 hours, or until drumsticks are tender when tested with a fork. Remove turkey with a slotted spoon and place on a warmed platter. Remove veg tables with a slotted spoon and place in a warm bowl. Pour cooking juices into a gravy boat and serve wit turkey and vegetables. Delicious!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Saint and Scripture Sunday

Well now, if I could remember this everyday I'd have it made!

to have a crisis and act upon it is one thing. To dwell in perpetual crisis is another - Barbara Girzzuti Harrison

Exaggerating the negative element in our lives is familiar behavior for all too many of us. But this obsession is our choice. We can stop at any moment. We can decide to let go of a situation that we can't control, turn it over to God, and be free to look ahead at the possibilities for happiness.

Perhaps we can learn to accept a serious situation in our lives as a special opportunity to let God work in our lives. We learn to trust by giving over our dilemmas to God for solutions. With patience, we will see the right outcomes, and we will more easily furn to God the next time.

Crises will lessen in number and in gravity in direct proportion to the partnership we develop with Him. The stronger our dependence on His power, for all answers and all directions, the greater will our comfort be in all situations.

Serenity is the gift promised when we let God handle our lives. No crisis need worry us. The solution is only a prayer away.

I will take action against every crisis confronting me - I will turn to God. Each crisis is an invitation to serenity.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Baked Stuffed Cucumbers

Maybe a cucumber now and then is not essential to your diet. It's food value is small. How could it be otherwise, being from 90 to 95 percent water. But it does contain vitamin C in a goodly amount and some of both vitamins A and B. Plus they are just plain good. Have you ever been in the garden and picked one, wiped the dirt off and eaten the whole thing. Wonderful! Always remember to take your sea salt to the garden with you for such occasions.

Baked Stuffed Cucumbers are a great dish for lunch or supper. Serve hot with a side dish of stewed fresh tomatoes.

Servings about 4-5
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The Gold Cook Book ( I love this book)

Select 4 medium-sized cucumbers. Cut in half lenghwise; remove the seeds and place in cold water for 15 minutes. Parboil about 4 minutes in a small amount of water.

Combine 1/2 cup of chopped left-over cooked meat with a cream sauce made with 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon flour and 1 cup milk. Add 1 or 2 chopped hard-cooked eggs, 1 teaspoon each of finely chopped parsley, chives and grated onion, and 1/2 cup of tiny celery cubes. Salt lightly, add a few grains of nutmeg and pepper; and fill the cucumbers. Top with buttered crumbs, and bake about 20 minutes in a 375degree F oven.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Garden Fresh Vegetable Soup

You will not have vegetable soup like this in the winter, not even with your canned and frozen bounty from the garden. The fresh vegetable flavors are shining through in this one. The short-ribs are not the star here so don't be tempted to double up, unless of course, you're doubling the whole recipe.

It is going to be really chilly here this weekend, perfect for this soup.

Servings 8 to 12
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1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound short ribs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 quarts of water
2 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
4 Roma or plum tomatoes, peeled and cored
1 medium red-skinned potato scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 medium turnip, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup fresh or frozen butter or lima beans
1 cup corn kernels (about 2 ears)

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over high heat. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper to taste. Cook in the oil, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes.

Transfer short ribs to a plate.

Add the onions, carrots,and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Return the short ribs to the top and add the water. Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Add the thyme and bay leaf. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the short ribs are tender, occasionally skimming fat from the surface, about 2 1/2 hours.

Add the tomatoes, potatoes, turnip, beans, and corn. Continue cooking until the turnip is tender, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Skim the fat from the surface. Serve piping hot.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hungarian Cabbage

This is what's for Bible Study this week, from one of my favorite new cookbooks, The Gold Cook Book I mentioned yesterday. I know it sounds more like a fall or winter dish but when you have free fresh cabbage, why not. You can only eat so much cole slaw. And it is the time of year for all the free stuff that people don't want or need to can and don't want to waste.


About 4-6 servings
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Discard the outer leaves from 1 large green cabbage and shred coarsely. There should be 2 to 2 1/2 quarts of shreds. Cook in a large amount of boiling salted water, uncovered, 5 to 7 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly and stir in 1 generous cup of heavy sour cream, scaled (heated) and seasoned to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper and a dash of nutmeg (use fresh). When ready to serve, stir in 2 or 3 tablespoons of butter and 1 teaspoon of caraway seeds. Delish!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Corn and Egg Scramble Kentucky Style

Is there anything better than receiving a box of cookbooks from your best friend! That's what happened yesterday. Sweet Joyce not only sent fabulous cookbooks but, heavenly salami, and to die for baklava. If that doesn't make me feel better nothing will. I love all cookbooks, but old ones seem to be my favorite. I have not looked at even half of them yet but found three that I will never part with.

Joyce will laugh when she reads this because she mentioned the fact she couldn't remember where is got the book. I know! It was purchased at Caliban Book Shop - Rare and Scholarly Books in Pittsburgh, Pa. on April 2, 1998. Pretty creepy right! She left the sales slip in the book. haha

The recipe I'm sharing today is from The Gold Cook Book - Luis P. De Gouy, copyright 1947. The presentation is exactly like it appears in the book. I am using fresh corn and my own roasted red peppers. This would be perfect for breakfast, lunch or supper. For some reason I can see this for Derby breakfast with a big slice of country ham and big fluffy biscuits. I'm starving!

Your old cookbooks do not give you number of servings as a rule, but I'm saying three or four servings.

Corn and Egg Scramble Kentucky Style
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Take 1 cup of drained canned whole grain corn, or fresh boiled corn cut from the cob, and brown in heavy skillet in 4 tablespoons of bacon drippings,, with 1 small green pepper, chopped, 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley, and 2 tablespoons of chopped canned pimiento; stirring to keep it from sticking. When done, and just before serving, add 5 or 6 whole eggs, salt and pepper to taste and scramble all until eggs are set.

And that was dinner last night with garden fresh tomatoes.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Whine, Whine, Whine!

How can it be Monday already, plus the middle of August. I will never get caught up with this canning. Is it too early to pray for a hard freeze. I really need to whine for just a minute. If you don't have time to listen I understand. Just scroll down and read the recipe. A few months or so ago I pulled the muscles in my left arm, shoulder and down that side of my back. A little pain doesn't normally bother me, but I've also had a summer cold this week. What a baby! Yesterday was a good, fun day and decided to rearrange the canned goods into like produces. Wrong! In church yesterday I could hardly stand to be still. I have now managed to make the pain extend down my left leg.

I don't even have time to post a recipe because my friend Betty is bringing me a bucket of apples. That's okay, they'll look great next to the half bushel of Roma tomatoes spread out on my kitchen table. Maybe I'll mix them together and make a zillion jars of Tomato Apple Chutney. No, I don't have time to look for the chutney recipe right now. Later!

Thanks for visiting and letting me vent. I'll TRY to do better later.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Saint and Scripture Sunday

I've had a wonderful week and hope you have also. This is one of those meditations that's so hard for me to remember. Staying in the moment is not easy for me.

Let me tell thee, time is a very precious gift from God; so precious that it's only given to us moment by moment. - Amelia Barr

Where are our minds right now? Are we focused fully on this meditation? Or are our minds wandering off to events scheduled for later today or tomorrow perhaps? The simple truth is that this moment is all God has allowed right now. It's God's design that we will live fully each moment, as it comes. There in lies the richness of our lives. Each moment contributes to the full pattern that's uniquely our own.

We must not miss the potential pleasure of any experience because our thoughts are elsewhere. We never know when a particular moment, a certain situation, may be a door to our future. What we do know is that God often has to work hard getting our attention, perhaps allowing many stumbling blocks in order to get us back on target.

Being in tune with now, this moment, guarantees a direct line of communication to God. It also guarantees a full, yet simple life. Our purpose becomes clear as we trust our steps to God's guidance. How terribly complicated we make life by living in the past, the present, and many future times, all at once!

One step, one moment, and then the next step and its moment. How the simple life brings me freedom!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Spanish Gazpacho

This is the perfect time of the year for gazpacho. Everything is growing in the garden. This is my very favorite Gazpacho recipe, have used it since 1962. Have eaten and made gazpacho from recipes all over the country, this is still the best. It also was my first experience with cold soups. You will never guess where the recipe came from, New Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, published in 1962. Sometimes old is just better. Serve ice cold and make sure your cups/bowls and spoons are also cold.

A chef told me one time to NEVER use your blender to make gazpacho It should be chopped small by hand.

This is so nice for a dinner party because it will serve as both soup and salad.

Spanish Gazpacho
4-6 servings
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1 cup finely chopped peeled tomato
1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
1/2 cup finely chop celery
1/2 cup finely chopped cucumber
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons snipped parsley
1 teaspoon snipped chives
1 small clove of garlic, minced
2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 cups tomato juice (homemade, if possible)

Combine all ingredients in a stainless steel or glass bowl. Cover and chill thoroughly - at least 4 hours, but not until the oil hardens. Very important to serve the soup in chilled cups, with chilled spoons. Top with croutons, sour cream or finely chopped cucumber.

Cook's Note: I fine chopping the veggies by hand makes a better presentation than using the food processor.