Thursday, May 20, 2010

Scraps of Wisdom

I love the old cookbooks that have been handed down to me, but that probably comes as no surprise to you since I talk of them often.  The pages are worn and little notes about recipe adjustments are in the margins.  Those are the little additions that make the recipe a family tradition.  And, they are often the little things that are lost to family history.  Take time today to tweak some of those notes in your cookbooks for future generations. 

These are some vintage tips clipped from newspapers and glued into my Grandmother’s cookbook.  I thought you’d enjoy them.

Seventeen is the age when the picnic isn’t a picnic without a cake.  Bake plain layer cake batter in a shallow loaf pan.  Cut thin slices of jelly and cover the top; then pile on boiled frosting and sprinkle the top with shredded coconut.

Quick cupcake frosting – mix six ounce package semi-sweet chocolate pieces and 1 tablespoon margarine.  Melt over hot water.  Drop by tablespoon onto cupcakes and spread quickly.

Substitute flour for part of the confectioner’s sugar in butter frosting.  The frosting is smoother and has less sugar.

A quick and easy way of frosting a cake is to put a plain chocolate candy bar (or one with nuts) on cake while still hot from oven.  The bar of candy will melt and the result will be a smooth and delicious frosting.

When you want a quick frosting, add one cup of tart jelly to an egg white and beat until stiff.

For a quick topping for loaf cake – cut a few marshmallows into small pieces, combine with 1/4 cup brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon.  Spread on top of batter and bake as usual.

When making potato salad, cube or slice the potatoes and let them stand all night in a solution of 1/3 vinegar and 2/3 water.  In the morning drain this off, and mix in seasonings and mayonnaise with the potatoes. 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

You’re just supposed to know…

Have you spent any time looking through vintage cookbooks.  Go back a few decades and it becomes quickly apparent how much time our grandmothers spent baking from scratch.  Most of the cookie recipes don’t tell you how long to cook them or the oven temp.  You’re just supposed to know!  The best trick?  Use a moderate oven temp around 350 degrees and keep a watch on your cookies after 5 or 6 minutes.  Don’t be afraid to experiment!  Even a bad cookie can be good!


1 cup thick sour cream

1 teaspoon soda

a pinch of salt

1 cup granulated sugar

Flour enough to roll.  Flavor to taste.  Bake.


3 c. flour

1 tsp. soda

1 c. shortening (half butter and half lard)

1 c. sugar and 2 eggs beaten together

4 tbsp. of milk, mix with flour and shortening.

Flavor with vanilla.

Roll thin and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How high’s the water Daddy?

Saline Creek May 2010 Flood

There’s something to be said for living on a hill during a thousand year flood event.  Here’s a picture of a beautiful field near the Hollow.  The water beyond the pond is actually overflow from Barkley Lake spilling into a normally dry field.

Saline Creek May 2010 Swift Field

A narrow strip of land separates a swollen creek from overflow from Lake Barkley.

Spring St DoverView of Cumberland River backwater at Spring Street in Dover.

Dover Landing rising Cumberland

Cumberland River at Dover Landing.

Cumberland River Dover

Cumberland River at Dover bridge.

Lake Barkley bottom land

How high’s the water Daddy?  Six feet high and rising!  This is a view of bottom land near the Hollow.  This has about six feet of back water from Lake Barkley flooding the woods near the road.  The lake is expected to rise another four feet over the next couple of days as the Cumberland River continues to flood.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

More Flood Pictures

This is a view of Old Bumpus Mills Road in Dover.  Normally the water is very low on the right side of this picture.

Old Bumpus Mills Road May 2010 Flood

View from the bridge of the Cumberland River at Dover.

May 2010 Dover Cumberland River

View of the Tennessee River at Paris Landing.  This shows water in the parking lot.

Paris Landing May 2010 Flood

View of the marina at Paris Landing and water in the parking lot.

May 2010 Paris Landing Flood

Monday, May 3, 2010

Flooding in Tennessee

I just heard that the Cumberland River is at a record high flood level and is expected to crest at over 60 feet in Clarksville.  Levels this high have not been seen since the 1930’s – before the dams were built. 

This is a picture of Saline Creek in Bumpus Mills.

Saline Creek May 2010 Flood 

Here’s another view of Saline Creek.  I have seen it higher, but it has been several years.


This is a view of Dyers Creek in Dover.

Dyers Creek May 2010 Flood 

This is a view of Dover Landing and the Cumberland River.  You are usually able to drive further down, but obviously that part is covered with water. 

 May 2010 Dover Landing Flood

Hope you are all safe!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Flooding in Tennessee

Thoughts and prayers are needed for Tennessee right now. I don't think I've ever seen flooding this bad in our area. Thankfully, I am on high ground. I cannot believe that I was watching cars floating down I-24 in Nashville on the news yesterday afternoon. You expect flooding on side roads, but not major interstates. Check out some of the info from one of our local new stations - WSMV. It should go without saying, but DO NOT try to drive through rising water. I hope all my fellow Tennessee bloggers, friends, and neighbors are safe!