Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pickling Season

I know most of you are busy getting your pickling done or have just finished it. I know this is probably a little late for you but I remember my mom's saurkraut that she made. She had a huge crock pot that she used. I don't even remember how she did it but I can remember the big plate she stuck on top of all the cabbage and held it down with a rock. We always had to ask "how much longer before we can eat it?" The answer was always the same - "You have to wait". Eventually it was done and you would think it would have lasted a long time after she made so much but it disappeared quite rapidly with all of us eating it on everything.

Here is a mustard sauce recipe that she used for corn, leeks and cucumbers.

1 pint vinegar
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp dry mustard
1 cup sugar
1 tsp flour

Mix spices until smooth, add vinegar. Heat and stir until thick.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Prickly Pear Cactus

I remember one of the plants my mother had in the kitchen was a huge prickly pear cactus. It reached the ceiling and once a year we got to stay up to see the flowers open. The flowers only opened for a few hours for one night then they were done. The cactus was so big that it finally had to go because it would not fit in the kitchen any more. That reminded me of my cousin coming to visit and Mom baked some oatmeal date cookies for us. I have added the recipe she used and hope everyone enjoys them as much as I do.

Oatmeal Cookies:
1/2 cup shortening 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine 1 tsp baking soda
1 cup brown sugar 1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour 1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups oatmeal

Cream shortening, butter and sugar. Add oatmeal and flour, salt and baking soda.
Mix in vanilla and water. Roll on floured board and cut in round circles. Bake at 375°F approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.

1 cup chopped dates
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup water

Spread about 1 rounded or heaping teaspoon of filling on one cookie and cover with a second cookie. Stored in a closed container they will remain soft for several days.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fresh Muffins for Breakfast

As mentioned in one of my earlier posts, my Mom had a small bakeshop in her kitchen. I am also quite confident that you have heard the say 'too many hands in the soup pot spoils the broth'. The summer that I helped her out we decided that it was a much better idea to have one doing some of the goodies and another one doing the rest. My job was to make cakes, donuts, muffins and lemon pies and Mom made the tarts, sticky buns, bread and anything else she wanted to try.
Although my family still enjoys all of these things, the muffins were and still are one of their favorites. They are easy to make, the batter stays fresh up to 6 weeks and you can just bake a few at a time. Great for kids lunches too!

Muffins by the Pail

2 cups natural bran
1 cup mazola oil
4 cups kellogg's bran flakes (we found that other brands of bran flakes were very soft but still usable)
4 eggs
3 tablespoons baking soda
1 quart of sour milk (a few drops of vinegar in fresh milk does the trick. I actually use one can of evaporated milk and one of water and enough vinegar to turn it sour)
2 cups boiling water
3 cups brown sugar
4 cups flour
2 cups of raisins
1 tablespoon of salt

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Let stand overnight. Stores up to 6 weeks in closed container in refrigerator. Bake in muffin tins at 350° until golden brown.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pumpkin Apple Pie

Apple Filling:

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup water
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
3 cups sliced peeled tart apples

Pumpkin Filling:

3/4 cup cooked or canned pumpkin
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

Pastry for a single-crust pie (9-in.)
Whipped Cream, optional

In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt.
Add water and butter;bring to a boil. Add apples. Cook and stir for 4 minutes.
Place pastry in a 9-in. pie pan; add apple mixture. In a bowl, whisk pumpkin,
milk, sugar, egg,cinnamon and salt until smooth; pour over apple layer.
Bake at 375 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until a knife inserted near the
center comes out clean.
If necessary, cover edges with foil for the last 15 minutes of baking to prevent
Cool completely.
Garnish with whipped cream if desired.
Store in the refrigerator.

This recipe is another one of Suzanne's and sounds like it might be a nice one to try for Thanksgiving. I usually make apple pies and pumpkin pies separately but everyone takes a piece of each - why not combine them.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hamburger Stew

3 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 pound ground beef
3 (8 oz.) cans of tomatoes w/green chillies (RO-TEL)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 large onion, peeled, halved and sliced
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 cups diced zucchini
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
Salt and Pepper
In an ovenproof Dutch oven. layer the potatoes, then the carrots, crumble the beef over carrots, pour one can of tomatoes on top, layer the peas, then layer the onion, salt and pepper to taste, pour another can of tomatoes, then the layer of cabbage, then the diced zucchini, salt and pepper, then the last can of tomatoes, dot with the butter or margarine. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until meat is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender.

Thanks to a dear friend Suzanne for allowing me to use some of her recipes here.

This is also one that my mother often made for us as we always had lots of fresh vegetables from the garden and preserves during the winter.