Saturday, June 30, 2012

Bread Bags - what do you use?

I reuse Maier's Italian bread bags and even hamburger and hot dog roll bags to wrap my own loaves of homemade bread. I wash them in soapy water, rinse well and dry them by hand and then again hanging up inside out. How do you wrap your homemade breads?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Gwladys Jones Welsh Cookies

4 Cups Flour

1 tsp Nutmeg

1/4 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp Salt

1 and 1/2 Cups Sugar

1 Cup Currents

2 Eggs beaten

1/2 cup milk

1 Cup Shortening

Sift dry ingredients- Except sugar,
Cut in shortening like making pie dough.
Sugar and currents and mix.
Milk and eggs, and form into a ball.
Roll dough 1/4" thick. Cook on moderate griddle until brown on both sides.
Coat with sugar before cooling on rack.

NOTE: This is a real Welsh Recipe from Great Grandpa Jones side of the family.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Meat Ball Pie For Fifty


6 lbs Hamburger

6 eggs beaten

2 tsp Salt

1 Cup Chili Sauce

3/4 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Cooking Oil  for browning or baking meatballs.

Gravy and Vegetables:

1 and 1/2 Cups Flour

2 TB Salt

2 Quarts Vegetable Juice

3 Quarts Mixed Vegetables
Bisquick Mix- large box

Milk to make the biscuits
Form meat balls into 1 and 1/2" balls, brown in 1/2 cup cooking oil (I would just bake them in 2 jelly roll pans in the divided oil at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or so)  You need the oil the make the gravy, don't omit it to save calories. Divide the meatballs between two foil pans.

Now pour the oil and drippings into a large pot and add the flour, whisk smooth over the heat and add the vegetable juice and salt then whisk until thickened.
Note: the recipe doesn't say whether to use canned or frozen veggies. If I used frozen I'd cook 10 minutes separately or in the gravy before diving between the two pans. Maybe you could use a large foil pan instead of two.

Divide the gravy and veggies between the two pans and stir to mix with meatballs.

Make Bisquick biscuits and place on top before baking at 450 degrees for 25 minutes. Serves 50

NOTE:Use your favorite biscuits if you don't like Bisquick ones.

Taken from 365 Ways to Cook Hamburger by Doyne Nickerson

Mexican Goulash for Fifty

3 lbs Hamburger

3 lbs Pork Sausage

6 Cups Chopped Onion

2 Cups Chopped Green Peppers

Brown in a large heavy skillet and set aside.

To Make White Sauce:

1 and1/2 Cups of Meat Drippings

3 Cups Flour

1 TB Salt

1 tsp Pepper

Cook over low heat until mixture bubbles.
Stir in 2 Quarts Milk and continue stirring until mixture begins to boil.


Meat Mixture

3 Quarts White Sauce

3 Quarts Cooked Tomatoes

1 and 1/2 Pounds Uncooked Macaroni

1/4 Cup Chili Powder

1 and 1/2 TB Salt.

Cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring often. Serves 50.

VARIATION: Place mixture in 4 baking pans and bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes.

NOTE: I would cook the macaroni separate to al dente and drain before mixing in the FOIL baking pans. You could do this ahead of time for the homeless shelter.

Taken from 365 WAYS TO COOK HAMBURGER by Doyne Nickerson

Superior Bread Puddings (TAC)

One and one-half cupfuls of white sugar; two cupfuls of fine, dry bread crumbs, five eggs, one tablespoonful of butter, vanilla, rose water or lemon flavoring, one quart of fresh, rich milk, and one half a cupful of jelly or jam.  Rub the butter into a cupful of sugar; beat the yolks very light, and stir these together to a cream.  The bread-crumbs soaked in milk come next, then the flavoring. Bake in a buttered pudding dish- int  a large one, and but two thirds full- until the custard is "set."  Draw to the mouth of the oven, spread over with jam or other nice fruit conserve. Cover this with meringue made of the whipped whites and half a cupful of sugar.  Shut the oven, and bake until the meringue begins to color. Eat cold, with cream. In strawberry season, substitute a pint of fresh fruit for preserves. It is delicious. Serve with any warm sauce.

Burn Care

To draw fire out of a burn spread with soda. Then wrap with muslin. Than pore cole oil over it.

NOTE: I don't recommend following these directions but thought it was amusing to read. Does she mean "cold" or "coal" oil? I don't know how much baking soda though.. In order to "spread" soda I suppose it must be made into a paste with water? :  )

Puffed Rice Candy (From very old notebook)

1 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup Water

A Little Cream of Tartar

1 TB Vinegar

2 TB Butter

Boil for ten minutes

3 Cups of Puffed Rice

NOTE: This is the entire recipe word for word I found in a very old notebook with a linen fabric cover. The pages are falling apart. This one was written with a fountain pen. 

This is  similar to Carmel Popcorn.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Puff Balls (TAC)

A piece of butter the size of an egg, stirred until soft; add three well beaten eggs, a pinch of salt, and half a teacup full of sour cream. Stir well together, then add enough flour to make a thick batter. Drop a spoonful of this into boiling water. Cook until the puffs rise to the surface. Dish them hot with melted butter turned over them. Nice accompaniment to a meat dinner as a side dish- similar to plain macaroni.

NOTE: A real, old fashioned China tea cup holds 6 Ounces if filled to the brim. That's 3/4 cup.. so whats half of that? 3 ounces or a rounded 1/3 cup? I bet they would taste good cooked in broth or soup.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

My PRESTO Pressure Cooker

I grew up watching my mother use a pressure cooker. She would make venison roasts quite often in one, plus beef cubes and gravy and even beef stew. So when I got married the first time in 1979 I requested mom get me a pressure cooker for a wedding shower gift. It was a PRESTO brand aluminum pot with a long handle on the side of the lid and the pot that had to lined up in order to seal the pot correctly. That pot lasted me a good 23 years when the plastic handle broke off the lid. I was disgusted with the design anyway so shortly after that time I bought myself a stainless steel Presto PRIDE Pressure cooker in 2003.  It has two short rounded handles on each side of the pot and lid.  and after 9 years I'm still pleased with it. I just used it today to cook some venison, a roast and a steak. I only cooked it 40 minutes and it seems tender enough but another 10 minutes wouldn't have hurt. After the meat was cooked I removed it from the pot and added more chicken soup base and some peeled carrot sticks which I brought up to steam and cooked a mere 4 minutes to cook them tender and infuse them with venison juices. Then I removed them from the pot and made gravy by adding flour water poured through a small sieve to catch any lumps before I quickly stirred the gravy with a whisk. It seemed too thick so I added more water as I whisked it. Now all I need are some instant mashed potatoes and I have a meal.. LOL

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lorraine's Cheesecake

I customized this from the Philly Cream Cheese Cheesecake cookbook.

4 (8 oz) pkg Cream Cheese

1 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Sour Cream

2 Eggs plus 3 egg Whites

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 heaping TB Cornstarch

Make the graham cracker crust first and place it in a 10 inch spring-form pan.

Preheat oven to 325-350 degrees after you make the crust. Like 340 degrees really- less than 350, but more than 325.. I know weird.. BUt if you have a hot oven just use 325 degrees.

Soften the all four pkgs cream cheese in the microwave for 60 seconds if you need to.
Beat the cream cheese with the sugar until smooth and creamy on medium speed, then add the two eggs and 3 egg whites, mix until smooth.

Now add the sour cream, cornstarch and vanilla. Pour into a oil sprayed spring-form pan using your favorite graham cracker crust recipe.

I usually wrap the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil in case the butter in the crust drips.

Place a glass baking dish half full of hot water on the very bottom rack, then place the cheesecake on the rack above in the middle of the oven. Let it bake for at least an hour, then turn off the oven. Now take it out of the oven and check it. If the center seems jiggly just leave it in the hot turned off oven for 20 minutes of so. Hopefully it won't crack on you.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Onion Soup (TAC) unusual

One quart of milk, six large onions, yolks of four eggs, three tablespoonfuls of butter, a large one of flour, one cupful of cream, salt and pepper.  Put the butter in a frying pan. Cut the onions into thin slices and drop into the butter.  Stir until they begin to cook; then cover tight and set back where they will simmer but not burn, for half and hour. Now put the milk on to boil, and then add the dry flour to the onions and stir constantly for three minutes over the fire, then turn the mixture into the milk and cook fifteen minutes.  Rub the soup through a strainer; return to the fire, season with salt and pepper.  Beat the yolks of the eggs well, add the cream to them and stir in the soup. Cook three minutes, stirring constantly. If you have no cream, use milk, in which case add a tablespoon of butter at the same time. Pour over fried croutons in a soup tureen. This is a refreshing dish when one is fatigued.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Ledger

I bought a small piece of property 2 doors up from my parents, it belonged to relatives. When my aunt bought the old lean too house it included an old tannery store ledger from the late 1880's, filled with great recipes. I still have that ledger, even though we tore down the old house and built a new one years ago.  I copied down most of the recipes before I donated the ledger to the local county historical society. Now I wish I had it back. Perhaps it wasn't a permanent loan.. I'll have to call and find out. I would like to scan the whole book now and give it back for safe keeping if I feel like it.. maybe I made a mistake.. you know? I'll post some of the recipes.. most of them are for sweets.

Yummy Childhood Memories

I grew up in a small town in North East Penna. on a dead end. The house was old, and cold and drafty with a coal furnace in the dirt floor cellar. Dad had to rip off the old wood shingles and re-roof the whole house. In the 70's the old house stood on stilts as a new cinder block basement was built underneath by my dad and his friend who taught him masonry.  I remember bats flying around the house form the attic, and an old coal stove in the kitchen.. the pipe ran through the ceiling into the bedroom I shared with my sister. An old drunk dies of the DT's in our bedroom many years earlier before I was born, but I swear it was NOT a haunted room or house.. although the old steam radiators did sound like a man deep breathing in his sleep. I remember us kids running though the corn field being the house and getting yelled at by the farmer.. Later I'd run through the alfalfa he planted as I took a shortcut to my cousins house.. and get yelled at for that too.

Do I remember the food I ate back then? Let's see.. Mom made baked chicken every Sunday for a while.. It was a whole chicken cut up and coated with melted margarine and sprinkled with garlic salt, paprika and pepper. I still LOVE that chicken.. so does my son now..MOM makes it for my dad's family reunion every year..I make it with chicken thighs every once in a while.. try it sometime.. it's very moist! Bake it for 45 minutes at 375 degrees.

I remember Dinner In A Bowl..  A Stew/Soup.. with Italian sausage, ham, cabbage, carrots, potatoes and onions.. Very tasty..

And venison roasts cooked in a pressure cooker.. the gravy was VERY rich and strongly flavored. The pressure cooker makes it so tender it falls off the bones. I cook my Beef roasts the same way. A 2 pound chuck roast cooks for at least 45 minutes, then I remove the meat and cook at least 3 pounds of carrots in the beef juices for a mere 4 minutes in the pressure cooker before making the gravy to serve over the meat and mashed potatoes. I admit to using instant potatoes from time to time.. No one cares! That's the whole meal:  beef, carrots mashed potatoes and gravy. I use onion powder, Mrs. Dash Original, and beef broth the cook the roast in the pressure cooker. Many times now I've used Chicken Soup Base instead of broth.. It's cheaper..

I remember Dad going to the corner store and buying Hershey's Ice cream for himself and Fudgo's and Orange Blossoms and chocolate coated vanilla ice cream for us kids.. Did would eat half a gallon one night and the other half the next night..  Even cutting the box in half to save himself the dirty bowl. Many a time he's pored Root beer or dark birch beer soda over a bowl of ice cream. He kept adding more soda as he ate.. He still does that.. LOL

When I was growing up my main meal for breakfast was "COCOA AND TOAST" We ate and drank so much of it Mom made her own instant cocoa powder mix from Carnation instant milk, coffee mate and Nestle's sweetened cocoa powder.. We just added boiling water and milk to cool it down. Then she'd go down town to the nearest bread bakery and buy day old bread every week. At least 8 loaves of bread.. I'm not kidding. My older sister and I ate 4 sliced of margarine slathered toast with our cocoa. I dunked my toast in the hot cocoa I still do today. Mom bought one pound bricks of margarine. Us kids didn't even like butter back then..But we love it now.. LOL My youngest sister and I are the only ones to eat COCOA AND TOAST  these days. It's best to use reconstituted evaporated milk, Hershey's dark cocoa powder sweetened with sugar and crunchy toasted homemade bread with real butter.

I can go on and on about food from the good old days..

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Salt-Rising Bread (TAC)

This recipe would be good if you had no yeast, although it takes quite a while to make.


While getting breakfast in the morning, as soon as the tea-kettle has boiled, take a quart tin cup or an earthen quart milk pitcher, scald it, then fill one-third full of water about as warm as the finger could be held in; then to this add a teaspoonful of salt, a pinch of brown sugar and coarse flour enough to make a batter of about the right consistency for griddle-cakes.  Set the cup with the spoon in it, in a closed vessel half-filled with water, moderately hot, but not scalding. Keep the temperature as nearly even as possible, and add a teaspoonful of flour once or twice during the process of fermentation. The yeast ought to reach the top of the bowl in about 5 hours. Sift your flour into a pan, make an opening in the centre, and pour in your yeast. Have ready a pitcher of warm milk, salted, or milk and water, (not too hot, or you could scald the yeast germs,)  and stir rapidly into a pulpy mass with a spoon.  Cover this sponge closely and and keep warm for an hour, then knead into loaves, adding flour to make the proper consistency. Place in warm, well greased pans, cover closely, and leave till it is light. Bake in a steady oven, and when done let all the hot steam escape. Wrap closely in damp towels, and keep in closed earthen jars until wanted.
This in our grandmother's time used to be considered the prize bread, on account of it's being sweet and wholesome, and required no prepared yeast to make it. Nowadays yeast-bread is made with very little trouble, as the yeast can be procured at any grocery.

NOTE: Well.. what do you think?. A 'pinch of brown sugar'? I'd add a TB at least.  Coarse flour is whole wheat I suppose, but whole grain rye would work as it ferments even better. No real measurements on the salt and milk..  How much is 1/3 of a quart of water? 10 ounces approx? There is no fat added to make the crumb tender.. Did she use "coarse flour" in the whole recipe?  
I have seen other salt rising breads made with at least a tablespoon of salt.

Raisin Pie - 9 inch

3 Cups Raisins

1 and 1/2 Cups water

1 Cup Sugar

4 Tb Cornstarch

1 Tb Flour

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Salt

1 Tb Cider or White Vinegar or lemon juice

2 Tb Butter (optional)

Boil the raisins and water 5 minutes.

Mix the sugar, cornstarch, flour, salt and cinnamon. Stir into the boiling raisin mixture, and continue stirring as it boils and thickens and the juice runs clear, about 3-5 minutes.

Stir in the vinegar or lemon juice and butter and let cool for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Then roll out the pie dough and place in the pie dish. Trim the edges to a 1/2 inch overhang and pour in the raisin filling. Wet the bottom crust edges and place the top crust on, and trim so 1/2" hangs over, then fold under and press a decorative edge.

Bake for 15 minutes, then turn oven down to 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cool before cutting for at least 5 hours.

Grape Pie (TAC)

Did you ever hear of such a thing as Grape Pie? Boy do I love The American Cookbook. Here's the recipe:

Pop the pulps out of the skins into one dish, and put the skins into another. Then simmer the pulp a little over the fire to soften it; remove it and rub through a colander to separate the seeds. Then put the skins and pulp together and they are ready for pies or for canning or putting in jugs for further use. Fine for pies.

NOTE: What do you think? How would we go about making a pie with the pulp and skins? Cook it with sugar, flour and lemon juice? Or cook it with sugar and cornstarch? It sounds very interesting. Since we have seedless grapes now should we still separate the pulp from the skin, then cook it and puree it? Hmm

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Thin Crust Pizza 16"

7 OZ warm water,
1 level tsp dry Yeast,
2 tsp Sugar,
1 tsp Salt,
2 TB Olive or Canola Oil,
2-3 cups Bread Flour, (I never measured)

Stir the yeast and one tsp sugar into warm water and let proof for a few minutes.. Just so it starts bubbling a little.. .

In a medium sized bowl add the other tsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, and 2 TB veg. oil. Now add the yeast water and stir, then start adding bread flour a scoop at a time until it forms a shaggy ball. Now remove from the bowl and knead in more flour until it no longer sticks to the counter. Knead 100 turns, and place the dough in an oil sprayed bowl and spray the top of the dough ball too. Cover with plastic wrap or a cloth and let rise in the oven with a light on too keep it warm. Let rise an hour.

 While the dough is rising prepare the pizza pan by olive oil spraying it and sprinkling with corn meal and set aside.  I use the Frugal Gourmet's perforated 16" pan I bought years ago. I also brown my sausage or cut veggies for the pizza while I wait.

After an hour light the oven to 450 degrees and remove the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured counter and roll out into a large circle with a long rolling pin. quickly transfer the dough to the prepared pizza pan and stretch to fit the pan, and give a small outer crust which will be very crispy after baking. Poke the crust with a fork all over and once the oven is heated bake the naked crust for 6 minutes.

While that bakes get out your sauce and cheeses. I use 8 OZ of shredded whole milk Mozzarella and 8 OZ of sharp or medium cheddar cheese and Walmart brand pizza sauce.

  After the crust bakes 6 minutes remove from the oven and pop any bubbles and flatten them with a hot pad. Now spray the crust with olive oil spray and spread the pizza sauce on the crust then spread out the cheeses, add the toppings and return the pie to the oven to bake for 20 minutes. The pie will be nicely browned and bubbly when it comes out of the oven. Let cool 7 minutes before cutting.                                                                                                                                                      

Cookbooks 06/16/2012

I went to an annual library book sale today. I bought my usual novels and trade paperbacks, a spiritual book about people "passing over" and of course some cookbooks. My daughter teaches cooking since she's a Family and Consumer Science Teacher so I end up giving her quite a few every year. Since my daughter is half Polish/Slovak she gets the POLISH COOKERY The Universal Cook Book by Marja Ochorowicz-Monatowa. For myself I'm keeping the MENNONITE COMMUNITY COOKBOOK Favorite Family Recipes by Mary Emma Showalter printed in 1950, and BEARD ON BREAD by James Beard.

Friday, June 15, 2012

German Bread (TAC)

One pint of milk well boiled, one teacup of sugar, two tablespoonfuls of nice lard or butter, two thirds of a teacupful of baker's yeast. Make a rising with the milk and yeast; when light, mix in the sugar and shortening, with flour enough to make a soft dough as can be handled. Flour the paste-board well, roll out about one half inch thick; put this quantity into two large pan; make about a dozen indentures with the finger on the top; put a small piece of butter in each, and sift over the whole one tablespoonful of sugar mixed with one teaspoonful of cinnamon. Let this stand for a second rising; when perfectly light bake in a quick oven fifteen or twenty minutes.
NOTE: A pint of milk is 2 cups, so I would use one pack of dried yeast (2 & 1/4 tsp) or at the most 3 tsp dried yeast, in place of the homemade BAKER'S YEAST. 

A quick oven is hotter than a "Moderate" (350) oven. I would bake at 400 degrees and see how it turns out.

NOTE: This recipe reminds me of some very delicious coffeecakes my old Sunday school teacher used to make. Since she passed away many years ago, no one had made them since. The only difference is, she placed a layer of sour cream perhaps sweetened with sugar, on top of the indentations instead of butter and sprinkled the top with cinnamon. I remember them only rising as high as the aluminum pie tins she baked them in. 

Home-Made Yeast (TAC)

Boil six large potatoes in three pints of water. Tie a handful of hops in a small muslin bag and boil with the potatoes; when thoroughly cooked drain the water on enough flour to make a thin batter; set this on the stove or range and scald it enough to cook the flour, (this makes the yeast keep longer), remove it from the fire, and when cool enough, add the potatoes mashed, also half a cup of sugar, half a tablespoon of ginger, two of salt and a teacupful of yeast. Let it stand in a warm place until it has thoroughly risen, then put in a large mouthed jug, and cork tightly; set away in a cool place. The jug be scalded before putting in the yeast. two-thirds of a coffeecupful of this yeast will make four loaves.

Rye Bread Recipe from The American Cookbook (TAC)

To a quart of warm water stir as much wheat flour as will make a smooth batter; stir into it half a gill of home-made yeast, and set it in a warm place to rise; This is called setting a sponge; let it be mixed in some vessel which will contain twice the quantity; in the morning, put three pounds and a half of rye flour into a bowl or tray, make a hollow in the centre, pour in the sponge, add a dessertspoonful of salt, and a half a small teaspoon soda, dissolved in a little water; make the whole into a smooth dough, with as much warm water as may be necessary; knead it well, cover it, and let it set in a warm place for three hours; then knead it again, and make it into two or three loaves; bake in a quick oven one hour, if made in two loaves, or less if the loaves are smaller.

The American Cookbook printed in 1889

My cousin recently gave me a rather worn out and damaged copy of THE AMERICAN COOKBOOK written by Mrs. F. L. Gillette and printed in 1889. It's a very fascinating cookbook. All recipes were cooked over a wood or coal stove. I will add some recipes from the book from time to time, and you'll find them under THE AMERICAN COOKBOOK RECIPES label.

Fried Corn (TAC)

Cut the corn off the cob, taking care not to bring off any of the husk with it, and to have the grains as separate as possible. Fry in a little butter-just enough to keep it from sticking to the pan; stir very often. When nicely browned, add salt, pepper, and a little rich cream. Do not set it near the stove after the cream is added as it will be apt to turn. This makes a nice dinner or breakfast dish.

Pumpernickel Flour? What the heck is that?

Yes, I'm still making Sourdough breads. I usually make a Rye Sour or Sponge made with raw onions, but next time I'm making a Milwaukee Sourdough Rye, no onions in the sponge. I have plenty of Rye bread in the freezer, but I'm itching to try that "Pumpernickel" flour Mom picked up for me at the local Co-Op grocer. The store owner suggested Mom buy that since she was out of rye flour. I was NOT a happy baker when I saw that flour which is lighter in color than the rye. I imagine she added bread flour to the "pumpernickel flour" You see in my Bread Cookbook there's no such thing as "Pumpernickel flour" You just use Rye flour and add Cocoa powder and the typical rye bread ingredients. (Personally I doubt if the Russian peasants added expensive and heard to find cocoa to their pumpernickel bread). In fact I'm not a fan of that bread. I like seeded Rye. The flour wasn't too expensive- not quite $5.00, but I feel like I should use it.. and not waste it. But I really wanted the Dark Rye flour I asked mom to pick up, which was the same price by the way. I was thrilled to get 3 OZ of caraway seeds for a mere $1.50! (Can you believe that price!?) I was thrilled.