Thursday, March 13, 2008

Recipe Nonsense

There are so many recipes out there that one is not sure what to make or what to believe as "good" or "best" in status to rating.... I do love Paula's southern cooking on TV, and Rachel Ray, but I really like my grandma's and Mom's recipe best. As I talked earlier in my blog about the recipe book I made for my family, it was filled with so many traditional family recipes, but I recently found a real treasure at a garage sale...yup...tons of older recipe books that were made from people's work. I got the best of both worlds, older tradional recipes aand family what I liked even more was that the recipes came with a little "blip" of history about it....what a treat!!! Some recipe nonsense is what I call it...but an educational insight to some very unique recipes and history that only a true lover of baking and cooking can appreciate!!!

Two of my favorite ones are "Bella Vista in the Kitchen" I know its from a school and old, but there are no dates or where abouts of the school, but there is a wealth of recipe nonsense in this one and some wonderful family recipes.

Then there is my utmost favorite one, "Recipes from Wisconsin" [1984] this lovely little tresure has tons of Wisconsin history and facts, that I never knew along with some real treats in recipes... some of my favorites are below...

Now did you know,"Johnny cakes were originally called "journey cakes" because they could be easily carried on journeys, and taste as good at the end of the trip as at the beginning. Simple and nutrious, the recipe was also standard fare in the logging camps of N. Wisconsin. The lunmberjacks often ate them as individual cakes smothered with the locally produced syrup."

Johnny Cake [can store in freezer too]
1 c cornmeal
3/4 tsp salt
2/3 c sugar
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg
2 to 3 tbsp melted lard
1 1 1/4 c sour milk
Sift all dry ingredients together
In a separate bowl beat egg, lard [melted] and sour milk,
Combine liquid and dry ingredients
Turn into a greased cast iron skillet
Or 9x9" baing pan
Sprinkle top of batter with a few extra tblsp sugar
Bake at 425' for 20 minutes
[to sour milk add 1 tsp of vinegar or 2 tsp of lemon juice]

One quick and easy, and filling treat that all kids and most adults will love is this one.
Rice with Maple Surple, I use Bosenberry

1 c uncooked rice white or brown
2 tsps margarine
2 c water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 to 1/2 c syrup
Saute' rice in butter for several minutes until margarine is absorbed
add water and salt
bring to a boil
reduce heat
cover and cook until water is absorbed and rice is done
poor syrup over evenly
let it steep for several minutes
Toss lightly and serve
I love coffee cake and this one is delicious...

Almost every weekend morning growing up, my mom would make an apple coffee cake for me after church. Recently I pulled this recipe from the Boston Globe; they had it listed as an apple cake for the Jewish high holidays. It tastes almost exactly like the breakfast cake I had growing up, although we topped ours with brown sugar and butter, not white sugar with cinnamon. For a scratch cake, it is very easy to make. Although the recipe says to use an electric mixer, if your butter is truly at room temp, you can do this easily by hand.

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter,
room temperature1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup whole milk
1 medium Cortland or other baking apple, peeled and sliced

1 Set the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish with or pie pan a 4-cup capacity.
2 Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt.
3 In a bowl, combine 1/3 a cup of the sugar with the cinnamon, set aside.
4 In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter with the remaining 1/3 cup sugar. Beat in the egg until blended. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk, beating until just combined.
5 Spread half the batter in the baking dish. Lay the apple slices on the batter so they just cover the batter (you may have to overlap some slices). Sprinkle the apples with half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Spread the rest of the batter over the apples. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar on top.
6 Bake the cake for 25 minutes or until it is golden brown and apples start to bubble at the edges.