Saturday, October 13, 2012

It's Fall Ya'll

Golden leaves and bright blue skies!  Have a blessed day!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Buttered Apples

You say buttered.  I say fried.  Either way, these are delicious!


1 lb. of apples, 2 oz. of butter, ground cinnamon and sugar to taste. Pare, core, and slice the apples; heat the butter in a frying-pan, when it boils turn in the apples and fry them until cooked; sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, and serve on buttered toast.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Home-made Apple Sauce

Nothing smells better in the Fall than the aroma of apples cooking in your kitchen.  Try making this instead of buying the jarred kind the next time you want apple sauce.  It makes a great dessert and also a great topping to your morning oatmeal.


1 lb. of apples, 1/2 cup of water, 1-1/2 oz. of sugar (or more, according to taste), 1/2 a teaspoonful of mixed spice. Pare and core the apples, cut them up, and cook them with the water until quite mashed up, add sugar and spice. Rub the apples through a sieve, re-heat, and serve. Can also be served cold.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Potato Sausages

Something just a little different.  We called these potato cakes back in the hollow.  Adding a little shredded cheese is a great addition.


1 pint of mashed potato, 2 eggs well beaten, 1 breakfastcupful of breadcrumbs, 2 oz. of butter (or nut-oil), 1/2 a saltspoonful of nutmeg, pepper and salt. Mash the potatoes well with one of the eggs, add seasoning, form the mixture into sausages, roll them in egg and breadcrumbs, and fry them brown.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Cold Beef Sandwiches

What's your favorite idea for leftover roast beef?  I ran across this idea in a vintage cookbook and thought you would enjoy it.  I'm thinking a little minced onion would be a great addition.

Cold Beef Sandwiches

Take the remains of cold roasted beef, and chop very fine; put it into a bowl; to each half pint of meat, add a half teaspoonful of salt, a tablespoonful of tomato catsup, a teaspoonful of Worcestershire sauce and a teaspoonful of melted butter; work this together. Cut the crust from the ends of a loaf of whole wheat bread; butter lightly 15and slice; so continue until you have the desired number of slices; spread the slices with a layer of the seasoned meat; put two slices together, and cut into desired shapes.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Summer Reading - Transition Man

Do you remember the first book you ever checked out of a library?  Mine was Casper, and I never wanted to give it up.  I was so thrilled at the thought that, for a little while, the book was mine.  Once I was able to find used books at thrift stores, I thought I was in heaven.  I remember when you could buy used Harlequin romances for a dime each.  I would leave the store with a grocery sack full of books already holding the one I was reading next.  I'm constantly on the search for the next great book I want to read. 
This evening's news spotlighted a new author, Jon Pew, and his first novel,  Transition Man (The Griffin Chronicles)

Transition Man is described as a fantasy action/adventure.  I have to admit the fact that this book is from a local author that is active duty military intrigued me.  So, I had to take a closer look.  After reading a few pages, I was instantly hooked and found myself eagerly turning the pages.  As your Summer is winding down and you search for something different to read, consider giving this book a try.  You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Horseradish Sauce

I noticed the other day that The Pioneer Woman Cooks had a great recipe for Hotel Butter and I started thinking about this wonderful sauce.  Try this recipe the next time you're serving a steak.  You won't be disappointed.  It also doubles as a great dip for fried mushrooms!


  • 2 tblsp. butter
  • 2 tblsp. flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup grated horseradish
  • ¼ tsp. dry mustard
  • salt and pepper
Melt butter, remove from heat and stir in flour. Add the milk gradually, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. Add salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes more. Add the grated horseradish and dry mustard and blend well. Keep hot in double boiler. Serve on slices of boiled beef or corned beef.

Monday, August 13, 2012

How do you spell yuck?

How do I spell yuck?  S O U S E.  Souse, sometimes called head cheese has to be an acquired taste.  I never acquired it.  Honestly, I don't even remember trying it as a child even though Mom and MaMa had it often.  There's a reference to it in the slasher movie The Texas Chain Saw Massacre .  Just thought you'd enjoy reading about what you don't have to eat anymore!  This is one of the reasons I'm happy to be born to a different generation.


Use 3 pigs feet or about 2 lbs. Scrape, wash and clean thoroughly. Place in stew pan with 1 chopped onion, ½ cup chopped celery and cover with cold water. Let it come to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until meat is tender and comes easily from the bone. Pick meat from the bones, strain liquid, which should measure a scant 3 cups. (If less add water). Put meat and liquid into a bowl. Add 3 tblsp. strong cider vinegar, ¾ tsp. salt, black pepper and several thin slices of lemon. Chill overnight, remove surplus fat from the top. Turn out on a platter and serve with lemon slices and parsley.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Apple Strudel

Back in the Hollow we had a huge apple tree and Mom was always making something with the country apples.  This recipe was always a family favorite.   You can also make it with peaches.


Into bottom of a buttered baking dish put thick layers of apples. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon mixed. Dot with lumps of butter. Into a mixing bowl sift:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
Into this break 1 egg. Mix until crumbly. Put over apples and bake in moderate oven (350-f) till crust is brown. Serve with milk, whipped cream or ice cream.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Flavored Butter

I ran across these flavored butter recipes in a vintage cookbook and thought you would enjoy them.  I also included the information about steaks because it's just plain fun reading.  This takes us back to the days when you purchased your meat at a butcher shop.  


The selection of steak depends entirely upon the number of persons to be served. A steak cannot be classed as a cheap meat; the portions of bone and trimming makes this meat a rare luxury in these times of high prices.
Yet there come times when the men folk want steak—and steak it must be. There are three kinds of meats that are cut into steaks; namely, the loin, rump and round. All three will make delicious eating if properly prepared.
The round steak has the least waste, and if steaks are taken from the first three cuts they should be tender and juicy, providing they are cut sufficiently thick and are properly cooked.
The rump steak is fully as tender and palatable as loin and it contains about one-third less waste. The sirloin is the choicest cut in the whole carcass and it contains a proportionately large amount of waste.
Have the butcher cut the round steak one-half inch thick and then pound it with a meat ax to break the tough tissues. Place on a platter and brush with salad oil and let stand for one-half hour. Now broil in the usual manner, turning every four minutes. Lift to a hot platter and spread with choice meat butters given below.
Rump steak should be cut two inches thick and the bone and fat trimmed. Now nick and score the edge of the fat and brush with salad oil, and then broil the same as for round steak.
The sirloin steak should be cut two inches thick. Have the butcher remove the chine bone and then the flank end. Let him add a piece of suet to the flank end; then put it through the food chopper for hamburg steak. It is a mistake to cook the flank with the sirloin. Brush the steak with salad oil and then broil. Lift to a hot platter.
Place one pint of water and one tablespoonful of salt in the bottom of the broiling pan to prevent the fat drippings from taking fire. Turn the meat every four minutes, so that it makes the cooking even. To test the meat when broiling press with a knife; if it is soft and spongy it is raw. Watch carefully and when just beginning to become firm it is rare. Allow four minutes for medium and six minutes for well done.
Do not turn the meat with a fork. The intense heat has sealed or seared the surface and caused the meat to retain its juices, and if you use a fork to turn it you will puncture or make an opening so that these juices will escape.
A two-pound steak will be cooked rare in twelve minutes, medium in fifteen minutes and well done in eighteen minutes. Always lift to a hot platter.
Two tablespoons of finely chopped chives,
One tablespoon of finely chopped leeks,
One tablespoon of finely chopped tarragon,
Juice of one-half lemon,
Two tablespoons of melted butter,
One-half teaspoon of salt,
One-half teaspoon of paprika.
Work to a smooth paste.

French and Italian and Swiss cooks frequently serve a vegetable garnish with steaks. It is prepared as follows:
One green pepper, chopped fine,
Two leeks, chopped fine,
Eight branches of parsley, chopped fine,
Two onions, chopped fine,
Ten branches of tarragon, chopped fine,
One-half cup of chives, chopped fine.
Place four tablespoonfuls of shortening or vegetable oil in a frying pan and add the herbs and cook very slowly until soft, taking care not to brown. Now season with salt, pepper and dress on a hot platter in a little mound at the bottom of the steak. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

One tablespoon of melted butter,
One tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce,
One-half teaspoon of salt,
One-half teaspoon of pepper,
One tablespoon of lemon juice.
Mix and then pour over the steak.
One tablespoon of grated onion,
One tablespoon of finely minced parsley,
One-half teaspoon of salt,
One-quarter teaspoon of paprika,
One and one-half tablespoons of butter.
Work to a smooth paste.
One green pepper, chopped very fine,
One teaspoon of paprika,
One-half teaspoon of salt,
Two tablespoons of butter.
Work to a smooth paste and then spread on the meat.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


In the Hollow, we would call this an Upside Down Apple Pie and would make it with whatever type of apple happened to be available.  I often wondered who planted all those apple and pear trees we would visit as a child.  The trees were huge and had been around for a generation.  Unfortunately, the homesteads were already lost to time.  Maybe they came from John Chapman.  Who's John Chapman?  He's better known as Johnny Appleseed!    
Pare the apples and then cut into thin slices. Now place a layer of apples in a pudding pan and sprinkle each layer with
Two tablespoons of flour,
Six tablespoons of brown sugar,
One-quarter teaspoon of cinnamon.
Repeat this until the pan is full. Now place a crust on top and bake in slow (325 degrees) oven for forty minutes. To serve: Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the crust. Invert the plate over the pie and turn the pie upside down upon the plate. Cover with fruit, whip and cut into wedge-shaped pieces and serve with custard sauce.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Here a sauce, there a sauce...

Vintage recipes are often tried and true.  Why not try one of these recipes next time you are tempted to purchase one in the grocery store.  Not only are these less expensive, but you will have control over the ingredients. 
One cup of brown sugar,
Four tablespoons of water,
One tablespoon of butter.
Place in a frying pan and cook until caramelised, then add one and one-half cups of water. Bring to a boil and then add four tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved in five tablespoons of water. Stir until the mixture thickens and cook for five minutes, then add one teaspoon of vanilla and use.
Place in a saucepan
One cup of crushed fresh fruit,
One cup of brown sugar,
One cup of water.
Cook until the fruit is soft and then cool. Rub through a fine sieve and then add
Three tablespoonfuls cornstarch
dissolved in
Three tablespoons of water.
Bring to a boil and cook for five minutes.
Place in a saucepan
One-half cup of sugar,
One-half cup of white corn syrup,
One-half cup of water,
Two tablespoons of cornstarch.
Stir to dissolve and then bring to a boil and cook three minutes. Now add
One tablespoon of vanilla extract.
Place in a saucepan
Grated rind of one lemon,
Two cups of water,
Four tablespoons of cornstarch.
Dissolve the starch and then bring to a boil. Cook slowly for five minutes and then add
One cup of sugar,
Juice of two lemons.
Beat to thoroughly mix and then serve.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Baked Green Peppers

Growing up in the hollow, we had Stuffed Green Peppers often during the summer.  It was a great way to use up green peppers at the height of the garden harvest.  When I ran across this vintage recipe using bacon and bread crumbs, I was intrigued that I had never heard of it before.  We always used ground beef in our stuffed peppers.  But, this recipe sounds delicious and I thought you would enjoy it.


Allow one large pepper for each person. Cut a slice from the top and remove the seeds and then place in cold water until needed. Now mince fine four onions and then cook until tender but not brown, in four tablespoons of shortening. Place in a bowl and then add
Two ounces of bacon, diced and cooked to a light brown,
One and one-half cups of fine bread crumbs,
Two teaspoons of salt,
One teaspoon paprika,
One-half teaspoon thyme,
Three-quarters cup of milk,
One well-beaten egg.
Mix and then fill into six large peppers. Place in a greased baking pan and add one-half cup of water. Bake for forty minutes in a moderate oven. Five minutes before removing from the oven place a strip of bacon over each pepper. When nicely browned, serve.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mustard and Onion Sandwiches

Hardly a Summer passes when I don't remember Mom feeding me mustard and onion sandwiches.  She would toast up two slices of white bread, spread mustard on both sides and add onion slices.  I never missed the meat.  Back in the hollow, I didn't realize it was because we had run out out of food before payday.  Mom found a way to make a meal stretch without making us feel deprived.  Almost once a week we would have SOS on toast.  SOS you ask?  It's a white gravy with ground beef or chipped beef crumbled in for good measure.  If times were really good, she would serve it with green peas on top.  As a child, I hated green peas.  I've come to accept them as an adult.  But, back in the hollow, Daddy tried to make me eat them one night at supper.  I made a production of picking a pea up off the plate, placing it carefully on my spoon, and then putting it in my mouth.  Then I took a big gulp of milk and swallowed it whole while making a disgusting face and shaking all over.  After the third pea, Daddy gave up and told me to leave the table.  He'd be rolling in the floor with laughter if he saw me willingly eating them today.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Got Sauce?

I found these recipes in a vintage cookbook and thought you would enjoy them. .


CUCUMBER SAUCE—Pare two good sized cucumbers and cut a generous piece from the stem end. Grate on a coarse grater and drain through cheese cloth for half an hour. Season the pulp with salt, pepper and vinegar to suit the taste. Serve with broiled, baked or fried fish. .

GHERKIN SAUCE—Put a sprig of thyme, a bay-leaf, a clove of garlic, two finely chopped shallots, and a cayenne pepper, and salt into a saucepan, with one breakfast cup of vinegar. Place pan on fire and when contents have boiled for thirty minutes, add a breakfast cup of stock or good broth. Strain it through a fine hair sieve and stir in one and one-half ounces of liquefied butter mixed with a little flour to thicken it. Place it back in the saucepan and when it boils stir in it a teaspoonful or so of parsley very finely chopped, two or three ounces of pickle gherkins, and a little salt if required.

GIBLET SAUCE—Put the giblets from any bird in the saucepan with sufficient stock or water to cover them and boil for three hours, adding an onion and a few peppercorns while cooking. Take them out, and when they are quite tender strain the liquor into another pan and chop up the gizzards, livers, and other parts into small pieces. Take a little of the thickening left at the bottom of the pan in which a chicken or goose has been braised, and after the fat has been taken off, mix it with the giblet liquor and boil until dissolved. Strain the sauce, put in the pieces of giblet, and serve hot. .

GOOSEBERRY SAUCE—Pick one pound of green gooseberries and put them into a saucepan with sufficient water to keep them from burning, when soft mash them, grate in a little nutmeg and sweeten to taste with moist sugar. This sauce may be served with roast pork or goose instead of apple sauce. It may also be served with boiled mackerel. A small piece of butter will make the sauce richer.

HALF-GLAZE SAUCE—Put one pint of clear concentrated veal gravy in a saucepan, mix it with two wine-glassfuls of Madeira, a bunch of sweet herbs, and set both over the fire until boiling. Mix two tablespoonfuls of potato flour to a smooth paste with a little cold water, then mix it with the broth and stir until thick. Move the pan to the side of the fire and let the sauce boil gently until reduced to two-thirds of its original quantity. Skim it well, pass it through a silk sieve, and it is ready for use.

HAM SAUCE—After a ham is nearly all used up pick the small quantity of meat still remaining, from the bone, scrape away the uneatable parts and trim off any rusty bits from the meat, chop the bone very small and beat the meat almost to a paste. Put the broken bones and meat together into a saucepan over a slow fire, pour over them one-quarter pint of broth, and stir about one-quarter of an hour, add to it a few sweet herbs, a seasoning of pepper and one-half pint of good beef stock. Cover the saucepan and stir very gently until well flavored with herbs, then strain it. A little of this added to any gravy is an improvement.

HORSERADISH SAUCE—Place in a basin one tablespoonful of moist sugar, one tablespoonful of ground mustard, one teacupful of grated horseradish, and one teaspoonful of turmeric, season with pepper and salt and mix the ingredients with a teacupful of vinegar or olive oil. When quite smooth, turn the sauce into a sauceboat, and it is ready to be served.

LEMON BUTTER—Cream four level tablespoons of butter and add gradually one tablespoon of lemon juice mixing thoroughly.

LEMON SAUCE FOR FISH—Squeeze and strain the juice of a large lemon into a lined saucepan, put in with it one-fourth pound butter and pepper, and salt to taste. Beat it over the fire until thick and hot, but do not allow to boil. When done mix with sauce the beaten yolks of two eggs. It is then ready to be served. . 

LOBSTER BUTTER—Take the head and spawn of some hen lobsters, put them in a mortar and pound, add an equal quantity of fresh butter, and pound both together, being sure they are thoroughly mixed. Pass this through a fine hair sieve, and the butter is then ready for use. It is very nice for garnishing or for making sandwiches.

MAITRE D'HOTEL BUTTER—Cream one-fourth cup of butter. Add one-half teaspoon salt, a dash of pepper and a tablespoon of fine chopped parsley, then, very slowly to avoid curdling, a tablespoon of lemon juice. This sauce is appropriate for beefsteak and boiled fish. . SAUCE A LA METCALF—Put two or three tablespoonfuls of butter in a saucepan, and when it melts add about a tablespoonful of Liebig's Extract of Beef; season and gradually stir in about a cupful of cream. After taking off, add a wine-glassful of Sherry or Madeira.

PARSLEY AND LEMON SAUCE—Squeeze the juice from a lemon, remove the pips, and mince fine the pulp and rind. Wash a good handful of parsley, and shake it as dry as possible, and chop it, throwing away the stalks. Put one ounce of butter and one tablespoonful of flour into a saucepan, and stir over fire until well mixed. Then put in the parsley and minced lemon, and pour in as much clear stock as will be required to make the sauce. Season with a small quantity of pounded mace, and stir the whole over the fire a few minutes. Beat the yolks of two eggs with two tablespoonfuls of cold stock, and move the sauce to the side of the fire, and when it has cooled a little, stir in the eggs. Stir the sauce for two minutes on the side of the fire, and it will be ready for serving.

POIVRADE SAUCE—Put in a stewpan six scallions, a little thyme, a good bunch of parsley, two bay-leaves, a dessert-spoonful of white pepper, two tablespoons of vinegar and two ounces of butter, and let all stew together until nearly all the liquor has evaporated; add one teacupful of stock, two teacupfuls of Spanish sauce. Boil this until reduced to one-half, then serve.

ROYAL SAUCE—Put four ounces of fresh butter and the yolks of two fresh eggs into a saucepan and stir them over the fire until the yolks begin to thicken, but do not allow them to cook hard. Take sauce off the fire and stir in by degrees two tablespoonfuls of tarragon vinegar, two tablespoons of Indian soy, one finely chopped green gherkin, one small pinch of cayenne pepper, and a small quantity of salt. When well incorporated keep sauce in a cold place. When cold serve with fish.

SAUCE FOR FISH—Simmer two cups of milk with a slice of onion, a slice of carrot cut in bits, a sprig of parsley and a bit of bay-leaf for a few minutes. Strain onto one-quarter cup of butter rubbed smooth with the same flour. Cook five minutes and season with a level teaspoon of salt and a saltspoon of pepper. .

SHRIMP SAUCE—Pour one pint of poivrade sauce and butter sauce into a saucepan and boil until somewhat reduced. Thicken the sauce with two ounces of lobster butter. Pick one and one-half pints of shrimps, put them into the sauce with a small quantity of lemon juice, stir the sauce by the side of the fire for a few minutes, then serve it.

SAUCE FOR FRIED PIKE—Peel and chop very fine one small onion, one green pepper, half a peeled clove, and garlic. Season with salt, red pepper and half a wine-glassful of good white wine. Boil about two minutes and add a gill of tomato sauce and a small tomato cut in dice shaped pieces. Cook about ten minutes.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Warm Gingerbread

The next time you reach for a package of store bought muffins or snack cakes for breakfast, consider how quickly this receipe can be ready.  It takes just a few minutes of time, but your family will be raving.  I love it with butter, but you could put a little sugar glaze over the top before slicing.
Stir together half a cup of molasses, half a cup of brown sugar, one teaspoonful of soda, one beaten egg, two tablespoons melted butter, half a cup of milk, two cups of flour, one tablespoonful of ginger, teaspoonful of cinnamon, one-quarter teaspoonful cloves, and a little nutmeg. Mix in the order given, pour in greased shallow pan, and bake at 350 degrees fifteen to twenty minutes.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Baking Day Hints

I love finding baking hints in vintage cookbooks. Some are just plain fun to read, but sometimes you find some bits of wisdom. I found these in a 1911 cookbook.  Hope you enjoy them. Have a Blessed Day!
On Baking-Day

When you wish a fine-grained cake, beat the whites of the eggs to a stiff foam with a Dover egg-beater. If something spongy, such as an angel cake, is desired, use a wire egg-beater, which makes a more air-inflated foam.

Recipes in the older, much-prized cook-books often call for a teacupful of yeast. A teacupful liquid yeast is equal to one cake of compressed yeast.

To remove pecan meats whole, pour boiling water over nuts and let them stand until cold. Then stand the nut on end and crack with a hammer, striking the small end of the nut.

If beef or mutton drippings are used in making a pie-crust, beat them to a cream with a teaspoonful of baking-powder and the juice of half a lemon. This effectually removes all taste.

When a cake sticks to a pan, set it for a few minutes on a cloth wrung out of cold water. It will then come out in good shape.

Heat the blade of the bread-knife before cutting a loaf of fresh bread. This prevents the usual breaking and crumbling of the slices. For cutting hot fudge, first dip the blade of the knife in boiling water.

Nothing is better for pudding molds than jelly tumblers with light tin covers. One can readily tell when the puddings are done without removing the covers.

The juice will not boil out of apple or berry pies if you dot bits of margarine near the outer edge.

A little salt in the oven under the baking-tins will prevent burning on the bottom.

There is nothing more effective for removing the burned crust from cake or bread than a flat grater. It works evenly and leaves a smooth surface.

Use a wooden potato masher for stirring butter and sugar together for a cake. It is much quicker than a spoon.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Ways of Using Left-Over Foods

No one likes to waste food, but it is hard to come up with new ways to use leftovers.  I ran across this table in a vintage cookbook and thought you would like to see it.  Some uses may be outdated, but it gave me a few new ideas.  Hope you enjoy...



Left-over Meats Left-over Vegetables
Scalloped meat with rice or or potato
Shepherd's pie
Ham with scrambled eggs
Ham fondue or omelet
Hash with poached eggs
Meat pie (biscuit)
Meat pie with dressing
Meat balls rolled in cooked rice
Minced meat on toast
Mincemeat for pie
Minced meat in ramekins
Stuffed peppers
Stuffed tomato
Meat bones cooked for stock
Buttered vegetables may be used in
Creole soup
Meat stews
Salmon loaf (peas and celery)
Peas in omelet
Stuffed peppers
Stuffed tomatoes
Rice may be used in
Scalloped rice with cheese
Salmon or fish loaves
Potatoes, used same as rice
All creamed vegetables can be scalloped or used in soup

Left-over Fruits And Juices Left-over Breads And Cakes Left-over Dairy Products And Eggs
Blanc manges
Brown Betty
Scalloped fruit
Mince pie filling
Fruit salads
Sherbets and ices
Bread puddings
Brown bread
Brown Betty
Crumb pancakes
Crumb cookies
Crumb muffins
Scalloped fruit
Meat loaf
Hamburg balls
Stewed tomatoes
Sour milk
cakes corn bread gingerbread muffins pancakes Sour cream
butter corn bread spice cake salad dressing Cheese
bean loaf cottage cheese loaf cottage cheese croquettes rice and cheese Salads
soufflés fondues Eggs, broken
dipping mixture cakes custards croquettes salad dressing


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Macaroni with Tomato

This was always a favorite dish in the hollow.  Sometimes Mom would add a little browned ground beef and a layer of shredded cheddar cheese.
For baked macaroni with tomato, put in baking dish first a layer of the cooked and rinsed macaroni, then a layer of tomatoes, either fresh or canned, but well seasoned, then another layer of macaroni, then one of tomatoes, and on the top sprinkle rolled bread crumbs. Scatter tiny lumps of butter all around, season again, and bake a light brown in a quick oven.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Interesting Potato

I found these potato recipes in a vintage cookbook for children and thought you would enjoy them.
The Interesting Potato

Every girl should know how to cook potatoes properly; yet really there is scarcely any other one vegetable that can be prepared in so many ways and still is often so poorly cooked as to be practically unfit to eat. It would seem an easy thing to make a light, appetizing dish of mashed potatoes—and what is more inviting?—but how often are they served wet and soggy! To understand the right way to cook and serve potatoes is as much an art as to make a salad or bake a cake.


Plain boiled potatoes, with the skin on, are delicious when cooked as they should be. The requisite number should be selected, perfect in form and uniform in size, and scrubbed with the vegetable brush, but the skins not broken. If they are old they will be better for soaking half an hour in cold water. A half hour before dinner-time, if they are of medium size, they should be[46] covered with boiling salted water and placed on the stove, where they will boil gently, not hard, until the skins begin to crack open. Test with a fork, and as soon as they are tender, drain off all the water and set on the back of the stove to steam dry. Serve in a hot, open vegetable dish; and if there is company or you are very particular, remove the skins (without breaking the potatoes) just before sending to the table. In case there is to be fish or a meat dish without gravy, serve the potatoes with the white sauce our little cook was taught to make in one of her first lessons.


For mashed potatoes the mother should tell the child to pick out the imperfect ones, or those too large to bake, to be peeled and cut up. Have her put them on in boiling salted water half an hour before dinner-time, cook until perfectly tender, then drain and let steam dry. After standing a few moments (in a hot place), have her mash them thoroughly, first with an old-fashioned wooden masher until all the lumps are removed, and then with a wire one. To each cupful of potato add a teaspoonful of butter and a tablespoonful of hot milk. They should be beaten up[47] creamy with the wire beater, then turned out into a hot covered dish, with a lump of butter in the center and a sprinkling of pepper over the top, and served at once.

If dinner is delayed, however, and there is danger of their getting cold, have her put them in a baking-dish or tin, smooth them nicely over the top and set where they will keep warm. Then when needed, if she will grate a little cheese over the top and put in the oven for a few minutes to brown, she will find that they are even nicer than when first made. The mashed potatoes left from dinner can be worked up with a little cream and molded into small round cakes, to be fried brown next morning.


Often in buying potatoes one finds a quantity of little ones usually considered "too small to be bothered with." They seem hardly worth peeling, but if scrubbed clean and boiled as directed the skins can be removed quickly when they are tender. Then if a white sauce is made, these little potato balls can be dropped in and served garnished with finely chopped parsley on top. This is a favorite way of preparing new potatoes and most appetizing.[48]


If the mother prefers, she can have the child take these little balls (peeled after they are cooked), cut them up fine, and fry them as follows: In a hot pan melt two tablespoonfuls of butter and add a teaspoonful of finely chopped onion, which should be cooked until a delicate brown before the seasoned potatoes are added.


Parboil sliced potatoes, or slice cold boiled ones, line the bottom of a baking dish, sprinkle with salt, pepper, a little flour, grated cheese, and dots of butter. Repeat until the pan is nearly full, cover with milk, sprinkle the top with the grated cheese, and bake until brown, or about half an hour. Cheese potatoes are particularly good served with cold meat.


Potatoes for baking should be of uniform, medium size and perfect. After being well scrubbed they should be wiped dry and put in a moderate oven three-quarters of an hour before meal-time. If the meal is delayed for any reason they should be pricked with a fork in several places to let out[49] the steam, and then set where they will keep hot, but not in a covered dish, or they will get wet and soggy.


If it is necessary to keep them any length of time, cut off the end of each potato, scrape out the inside, season with salt, pepper, a little butter, a small quantity of cream and to every three potatoes one egg, the white beaten stiff. After whipping up light put back in the shells, where they will keep warm. Just before sending to the table, put in the oven for a few moments, until they puff up and brown at the ends.


Cold boiled potatoes can be used in so many different ways that where there is no servant in the house it often is a saving of time and labor to boil a quantity at one time and then heat up as needed. They are nice simply sliced thin and fried brown in butter.


If this is considered too rich, half the amount of butter will be sufficient to flavor and keep from scorching, and then when they brown as they are[50] hashed in the pan pour in a few spoonfuls of cream. Season well, allow to brown down again, then fold like an omelet and serve on a hot platter garnished with parsley.


Scalloped potatoes are very nice for a supper dish, as they can be prepared early in the day and set away until needed. The little cook, after washing and peeling her potatoes, next cuts them in thin slices, enough to fill the dish needed and parboils in salted water for ten minutes. Then drain. Arrange a layer of these, with a sprinkling of flour, pepper and salt and a few small pieces of butter, repeating in layers until the pan is full. Pour over enough milk to cover. When ready to cook, allow half an hour for the baking, and from time to time add a little extra hot milk. It is well to set a large pan containing water under the baking-dish to catch any milk that might boil over and burn on the bottom of the oven.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Cabbage Salad?

Have you noticed how dishes are called by different names in other areas of the country?  One reason is the influence of our diverse heritage.  But, those dishes were also called by other names in days gone by.  Take cabbage salad for instance.  Ever heard of it?  This comes from a 1910 cookbook and it's the same recipe we've used in the hollow for years.  We just call it slaw!

Cabbage salad is possible at all seasons of the year, and should be one of the first that the child should learn to make. Insist on getting small, perfect heads, and have the leaves removed one at a time, examined closely and washed as carefully as lettuce, for fear of worms. After chopping finely, the desired quantity is to be seasoned with salt and pepper and served on the small, tender white leaves, with the following dressing:


To half a cup of thick sour cream, add half a teaspoonful of salt, a teaspoonful of sugar, a dash of black pepper, and two teaspoonsful of strong vinegar.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Woodman, Spare That Tree!


Woodman, Spare That Tree!

Woodman, spare that tree!
Touch not a single bough!
In youth it sheltered me,
And I'll protect it now.
'Twas my forefather's hand
That placed it near his cot;
There, woodman, let it stand,
Thy ax shall harm it not.

That old familiar tree,
Whose glory and renown
Are spread o'er land and sea—
And wouldst thou hew it down?
Woodman, forbear thy stroke!
Cut not its earth-bound ties;
Oh, spare that agèd oak
Now towering to the skies!

When but an idle boy,
I sought its grateful shade;
In all their gushing joy
Here, too, my sisters played.
My mother kissed me here;
My father pressed my hand—
Forgive this foolish tear,
But let that old oak stand.

My heart-strings round thee cling,
Close as thy bark, old friend!
Here shall the wild-bird sing
,And still thy branches bend.
Old tree! the storm still brave!
And, woodman, leave the spot;
While I've a hand to save,
Thy ax shall harm it not.

George Pope Morris.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hollow Suppers

I think Mom had a million ways to use ground beef.  In the days when it was cheap, she could really stretch a food budget with it.  I thought you'd enjoy one of our favorites.
Oriental Steaks
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Mix ground beef with salt, pepper, garlic, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, ginger, and lemon rind.  Shape into patties - one pound should make 4 patties about an inch thick.  Mix the rest of the soy sauce with the lemon juice. Brush part of the sauce mixture over the patties, reserving some for basting.  Broil, basting and turning patties half-way cooking (about 7-8 minutes each side) until well done.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Buying a House

Thanks for the article from Jermaine Haynes

Buying a house is more work than I thought it would be. I knew it would be harder than renting, but I didn’t think it would take up this much of my time. I guess part of the reason it has been so hard on me is because I couldn’t even find a house that was up to my standards. I can be picky and a perfectionist. I knew which neighborhood I wanted, but I couldn’t seem to find a house big enough for us. When we finally found one and closed on it, it was such a relief. Then we had to start dealing with moving in. For the most part we had nice furniture and we only needed to add some décor pieces. I went to directv and got us connected with TV and internet, and my husband made any repairs that we needed. It took us a while, but we finally got everything done and are happy to finally be in our new home. I can’t wait to have our housewarming party so all of our friends can see it!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Now is the time…

Old Luton House May 2010
Easter memories have been flooding back to me lately.  I remember hunting Easter eggs with my cousin when we were both hardly bigger than the baskets we carried.  And, coloring Easter eggs with my brother, the smell of vinegar hanging in the air.  MaMa always made a coconut cake that was so moist she used toothpicks to hold the layers together.  She also made this delicious potato salad that was more like mashed potatoes than the chunkier kind I make today.  That recipe is lost to time.  
I’d like to step back in time and have us all together once again.  But, now is the time for new memories.  We can’t spend so much time looking back that we forget to enjoy today.  So cherish your memories of good times, but look at what you have in front of you right now.  Enjoy it.  Embrace it, because nothing lasts forever.
Have a blessed day.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Easter in the Hollow

Can you believe it's almost Easter already?  Where has the time gone?  We've had such warm weather in the hollow that everything has bloomed early.  Still, it's hard to believe that we're ready to start coloring Easter Eggs again. I remember the year in the hollow that we couldn't find any Easter Eggs.  Mom got so frustrated and started searching all her hiding spots herself and couldn't find them either.  She finally realized our family dog, Candy, had followed behind her that morning and gobbled up the eggs.  The next year, Mom hid the eggs much higher!
Do you remember Easter Baskets you received as a child?  I still love making them and including some homemade goodies.  When you can't be there in person though,, is a perfect solution.  They have the traditional Easter Baskets along with a wonderful selection for the rest of the family.  I love the idea of the fruit basket for older relatives.  It's a great way to let them know how much you're thinking of them at this special time of year. 
Brought to you by your friends at  Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Black Walnut Brittle

If you don't like black walnuts, you can substitute your favorite nut in this recipe.  Make an extra batch for a friend!


½ cup sugar and
½ cup water in saucepan and boil quickly until syrup is a golden brown.

Remove from heat, add
⅔ cup chopped nut meats and turn into lightly greased pan.

Cool and pound until broken into very small pieces

Monday, March 5, 2012

Starting a pet specialty store

Content by Sol Rosales

I have a slight obsession with animals. I always have since I was a kid but now that I am an adult it has grown to a love of dogs more specifically. I decided a few years back after working for corporate America for twenty years that I needed to get out and do something different. It is draining working in the same office building for your whole career. I decided that a specialty dog boutique was the way to go for me. In my community people treat their dogs as if they were small children so I think no one will bat an eyelash at my gourmet organic dog treats that cost more than a Starbucks coffee. One thing that I knew I needed to get in place as soon as I got the store location was the internet connection. I knew I would need that to run all aspects of my business from credit transactions to social media and networking. I found through a friend and had them come out right away to get started.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

In like a lion?

 HPIM0971 (2)
March has roared in like a lion this year.  Well, at least I hope it’s a lion.  The old saying goes ‘ in like a lion and out like a lamb ‘ meaning we should have calm weather the last few days of March.  Mom always said you had to wait until the end of March to know for sure whether it came in like a lamb or not.  What we think of as bad can always be worse.  But, it’s hard to realize that when you’re in the middle of the storm.  Here’s hoping for bright days ahead.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sweet Potatoes

I love sweet potatoes.  One of my favorite methods of cooking them is to cut them in cubes, sprinkle with sea salt & coarse black pepper, then toss in some olive oil and broil until crisp.  It’s a salty, sweet snack or perfect side dish. 
I ran across this recipe in an old cookbook and thought you would enjoy it.
Pare, and cut in halves. Have in a skillet some hot fryings, in which place potatoes; pour in about one-half pint of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender. Remove the cover, and let brown; take out in dish; throw a spoonful of sugar into skillet, with a little flour and water; let boil up once or twice, and pour over the potatoes.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Is a Wine Club for you?

I love the idea of a Wine Club where a different selection of wine arrives at your door every month. Not only does it expand your knowledge of various wines, but it's a great excuse to invite a few friends over for a wine tasting. Just the thought of it brings a picture of friends gathered around a warm fire on a cool evening sharing stories and laughter. Or, maybe your favorite spot is your kitchen where friends sip wine as they help you prepare a meal. We shouldn't need a reason to gather friends together, but these days, they sometimes get lost if the shuffle of the day to day grind. So, take a step back from the worries of today. Enjoy your friends and stop to taste the wine!
Here's a brief history of Champagne that I thought you would like. infographic
Brought To By, Purveyors of Fine Wine and Champagne

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Buttercup Memories

Every time I see Buttercups, I think of Mom.  I can’t say they were her favorite flower, but they definitely ranked near the top of the list.  You probably know them as daffodils or jonquils, but we always called them Buttercups in the hollow.
One year, near a favorite fishing spot, Mom and I found Buttercups blooming in a ravine along the side of the road.  We didn’t have anything to use for a vase, but wanted to pick a bouquet.  We finally used one of Daddy’s rubber boots that he kept in the truck.  I can still see that boot stuffed and overflowing with those beautiful yellow flowers.  And, I can still hear our laughter.  You would have thought we had stumbled across a pot of gold.  We came back later that year and dug up a few bulbs.  They still bloom in my yard today.
Have you ever noticed that Buttercups bloom in some of the most unusual places?  Every Spring, Buttercups will bloom and give a silent tribute to the past.  They show us where families used to live.  You’ll find them near an abandoned farm house, in vacant lots, fields and along the side of the road for no apparent reason.  Someone, long ago, planted bulbs and they multiplied over the years.  Do you ever think about the person that planted them?  Ever wonder what their life was like?  They carved out a living on a littlie piece of land and while doing so took the time to plant flowers for no reason other than the joy they bring.  Years later, when no one remembers their name, a stranger comes along and enjoys the view or perhaps picks a bouquet.  The joy spreads.  Lives are touched and made all the better for it.
How will you spread joy today?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Tomato Catsup or Ketchup

Catsup or Ketchup?  Which do you prefer?  Back in the hollow, we used to make our own catsup.  And, it was so much better than anything you buy in stores today.  The main reason was probably the home grown tomatoes.  I don't remember our catsup calling for as much salt as in this vintage recipe.  I think this recipe could be a great starting point if you wanted to make your on catsup.  Just use a couple of cans of crushed tomatoes and adjust the seasoning to your own taste.  And, definitely taste before adding salt!  I'm betting a tablespoon would be sufficient.

TOMATO CATSUP—This catsup has a good relish on account of the onion in it. Wash ripe tomatoes, cut them in slices and cook slowly for one hour. Press through a sieve to take out the seeds and skin. To one quart of this pulp and juice add one tablespoon of cinnamon, one of black pepper and one of mustard, one teaspoon of cayenne, one-half cup of salt and two onions chopped fine. Simmer two and one-half hours, then add two cups of vinegar, cook an hour longer. Put in sterilized bottles and seal.  Refrigerate.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Flaxseed Lemonade

One of my Aunts used to drink a cup of flaxseed tea every morning.  She would boil a few whole seeds for minute and then pour it into a cup.  Once it cooled enough, she'd drink it straight, seeds and all.  I never acquired a taste for it.  The water thickens up to the consistency of egg whites.  I ran across this vintage recipe from an early 1900's cookbook and it brought back memories of my Aunt standing at the stove making her tea.  By adding honey, and a little lemon, it made a delicious hot drink.
Flaxseed Lemonade
—Pour one quart of boiling water over four tablespoonfuls of whole flaxseed, and steep three hours covered. Then sweeten to taste, and add the juice of two lemons, using a little more water if the liquid seems too thick to be palatable. This beverage is very soothing to the irritated membranes in cases of severe cold.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Throwing Parties

Thanks for the post from Sylvester Campbell
Ever since my husband and I moved into our fabulous house, we love to throw parties. The house just has such a great setup for parties and we can’t resist throwing one whenever there is a reason. We have a pool in the backyard that is perfect for daytime parties and barbeques. We also have a lot of open space in the house that is great for cocktail parties, and even a dance floor with a DJ. We usually enjoy all of our parties, but we had some trouble at the last one. The ex-boyfriend of one of my good friends showed up uninvited, and started a fight with her. When we kicked him out he threatened to come back, and we were worried. We went to and set up a home alarm system right away. So far we haven’t had any problems but we’re nervous about what this guy s capable of. He really went off the deep end when my friend broke up with him. We feel much better now that we have the house armed, but we really do hope he gets some help for his issues.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

You Say Polenta; I Say Mush!

I first took notice of Polenta while watching a cooking competition on The Food Network.  I recognized the dish, but not the name.  Back in the hollow, we called it mush.  It is basically cornmeal and water.  We would cook it up and pour it into empty tin cans.  Once it was cold, we'd empty it out and cut it into slices.  Mom would fry it up in a little butter until it was cripsy on the outside.   Most times we would put a spoon of blackberry jam on it for breakfast.  I never dreamed or heard of anything called Polenta.  But, I suppose you can charge more for mush if you call it something fancy or foreign.
Have you noticed how much they charge for rolls of Polenta in the grocery store?  Try saving some money and make your own.  Here's a vintage recipe, but you would still make it the same today.  Try experimenting with adding different spices.  Tell your family it's Polenta when you serve it, but know it as mush in your heart.


Allow one pint of yellow or white corn meal and one teaspoonful of salt to a quart of water. Sprinkle meal gradually into boiling salted water, stirring all the time. Boil rapidly for a few minutes, then let simmer for a long time. Very palatable served with milk; some people like it with butter and pepper. For fried mush let it get cold, then cut in slices, dip in flour and fry in butter until brown

Friday, January 20, 2012

Of Chickens and City Folk

I grew up collecting eggs every day from our chickens.  During the day, they were 'free range'.  In other words, the chickens roamed the yard keeping the bug population under control.  On occasion, we would have one of those chickens for dinner.  In all those years, I never once thought about the noise that chickens make or the smell involved.  There has been a big debate in the city over allowing homeowners the right to keep a few chickens in their yard.  It seems that some neighbors do not want the noise or smell.  Really?  First of all, hens lay eggs, not roosters.  Roosters crow, not hens.  So, having a few hens to lay eggs for your breakfast table won't really add to your subdivisions noise pollution.  What does add to it?  Car radios so loud that your windows vibrate when they pass blaring from the house next door...dogs barking constantly because they are confined to a small back yard...I could go on and on.  Yet, you don't hear so much about that when someone is debating your right to keep chickens.
I think the real problem is that people don't want to know where their food comes from these days.  What we buy in the grocery store is so far removed from being a live animal that it blurs the line between real food and fake food.  We don't go to the store and buy a package of cow or pig.  We buy beef and pork and that's the first step in moving away from the live animal that our food was before the slaughter house.  That package of chicken tenders used to be a live, breathing being, but a lot of people don't want to think about that or whether or not it was treated with respect during its life.  If you don't think about it as a cute, feathered fowl, then it makes it easier to think of it as food.  How in the world did we manage to eat the animals we raised a generation ago and still look ourselves in the mirror?  Easy, we were hungry.  Maybe the problem isn't the noise.  Maybe the problem is that your next door neighbor doesn't want to explain to little Johnny the chicken nuggets on his plate were once like the chicken walking around on two legs in your back yard.  Johnny might never want to eat chicken again.  Or, your neighbor could use the moment to teach little Johnny about the food chain and how it really works.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Mama's Molasses Cake

Remember how wonderful your Grandma's cake tasted? Those cakes probably included farm fresh eggs which made them good and rich. I've made this recipe over the years, but Mama made it best. If the season was right, Mama would add some hickory nuts or black walnuts to this delicious cake. You can find black walnuts in your grocery store. Soak them in water for about an hour before adding them to the recipe. The recipe doesn't say, but I usually add about a half cup. Also, you'll notice it says 'floured' raisins and currants. Before you add them to the batter, you need to lightly coat them in flour. This keeps them from sinking to the bottom of the pan.
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup raisins and currants
flour to make a soft batter
1 tablespoon ginger
1 tablespoon cloves
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 cups sour milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
Cream shortening and sugar. Add molasses and beaten eggs. Sift dry ingredients and add alternately with 1½ cups of sour milk. Mix the soda in the remaining milk and add with remainder of flour. Floured currants and raisins are added last. Bake in a loaf pan in a slow oven (325 degrees)about one hour.

Friday, January 6, 2012


We probably had these so often in the hollow because corn meal was always on hand. But, they sure tasted good on a cold winter morning so I though you would enjoy this recipe.


2 cups corn meal
½ cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. soda
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
2 tblsp. butter
1½ tsp. salt

Sift flour, corn meal, baking powder, soda and salt. Sift again. Beat eggs well, add the buttermilk and combine with the dry ingredients. Beat until smooth and add melted butter. Bake on hot, greased griddle. Serve with brown sugar or syrup.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A garage makeover to last for years

Guest post written by Kimberlee Givens

When I go to the trouble of making some home improvements around my home, I like to make sure that they're going to be effective for a long time. There's no use spending time on something when you're not going to reap the benefits of it for a long time. So when I decided that it was time to actually start organizing our garage, I was going to get it done in one day and do it right.

I looked onlien to get some ideas about how exactly I should go about organizing my garage and when I was doing that, I ran across the site I looked through it some and decided they would be good for us to contact about getting our windows replaced. I keep hearing things about how this winter is supposed to be harsh and if that's the case, I don't want to deal with old drafty windows for another year.

I did find some really good tips for our garage makeover and actually put some of these organizational units that I bought months ago up in the hopes that the garage will stay organized because of them.