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Archive for the ‘Homeplace Recipes’ Category

B's 85th with Cake

Gathering

There was a gathering last week for (Dad’s/Grampy’s) Bill’s birthday!  And our once quiet little house in rural Virginia became a beehive of activity with lots of talking, shouting, and barking from Elsa-the-dog, all vying to be heard to catch up on our lives.

The Grandgirls 2019

And there was the birthday boy of course.  There were MaltShop Music DVDs from the 1950’s as a backdrop.  What fun.  What memories.  A chocolate birthday cake with chocolate icing was a hit too.

Dining Delight

I made a new dish for dinner which is now a family fave.  It is called Sausage and Linguine.  Basically it is just that with a few other things like red peppers.  It was a major hit though.  Nothing like a recipe with 5 or less ingredients.

Playing with a Rescue Dog

Elsa Loves Son Corky, who managed to actually play with her.  Elsa does not know how to play.  She runs away from squeaky toys (afraid they are crying and hurt), will not fetch a ball or play tug-o’-war either.  Sad.  But she loves Corky.  He treats her like a puppy, challenges her by showing and hiding treats and and Elsa wags her tail and acts much like a puppy even though she is 7 years old now.

Laughter Lingers

I'm in Cork 2019It was a lovely day for Bill’s birthday with calls and cards, and gifts and lots and lots of love.  The GrandGirls left first, returning to D.C., South Carolina and Michigan to resume their busy lives.  Then we had time with son Corky and daughter-in-law Emmy – time for shopping, talking, laughing, planning.  It was all such fun and we loved every minute, but they are all gone now.

The house is quiet again except for a couple of thunder storms.  Elsa is frightened and shaking under my desk at my feet.  I’m sure she misses Corky and all the other big humans who were here such a short time ago.

Ditto.

 

 

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Egg Exploding

It might be a funny story for future generation giggles.

It was not funny yesterday.

I decided to make hard boiled eggs.

I decided to try another way to make them.

  • Step 1:

You bring them to a boil and

  • Step 2:

Immediately remove them from the heat and allow to stand precisely 17 minutes.

Yup.  I did Step 1.  I am good at following directions.

And then I left.

I think I thought I had 17 minutes to write thank you notes.

The bad thing is I missed Step 2 – the 17 minute-part where you take the eggs off the stove and allow them to stand.

It must have been about 37 minutes later when I heard a funny noise.   Elsa-the-dog was pacing and trying to tell me something was amiss, but I ignored her and told her everything would be allright.

I was busy concentrating you know – writing lovely thank you notes.  It couldn’t be 17 minutes already.  Could it?

Then there came another noise.

Only this time it was a thunderous BANG!  Like a very loud GUNSHOT in the kitchen!

Was someone being murdered INSIDE my house?

It is still gun hunting season here.

Was there someone actually firing a gun in my house?

I ran/hobbled to the kitchen in time to see – YES – it was an explosion all right –

AN EXPLOSION OF EGGS!

Have you ever seen an egg explode?

It was a first for me too.

Oddly enough, I become very calm and deliberate in a crisis.  If you discount the way I talk to myself and even give myself vocal instructions, you would surely admire my bravery in quickly turning the burner off.  I also thought to put Elsa in the back room to keep her from eating exploded eggs.

Note: There were no more eggs in the pot.  I think most of them were on the ceiling and the pot was burned black.

There was definitely egg on the ceiling,

egg on the floor,

egg across the stove top,

egg under the vent hood,

eggs on the walls,

bits of egg into the next room,

egg EVERYWHERE!

Bill helped me clean up, especially in the upper reaches (like egg on top of the refrigerator).

I am still finding egg or egg shells in unusual places.

Finally my friend Amy came over and under her eagle eye and a tightrope walker’s balance, the last remnants of eggs on the ceiling are gone.

The only thing left is

“egg on my face.”

If you are not familiar with this expression, here is what it means.

From “The Dictionary of Cliches” by James Rogers (Ballatine Books, New York, 1985): “to have egg on your face – To be embarrassed or chagrined at something one has done or the way one did it; to do something ineptly. The expression originated in the United States some 25 years ago, probably from the fact that someone eating an egg sloppily is likely to wind up with some of it on his face and therefore not looking his best. 

 

 

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The relationship between peanuts and baseball goes all the way back to when a peanut company bought ad space on the back of scorecards in 1898.  The snack was a big hit in stadiums, and only a few years later, in 1908, the song, “Take Me Out to the Ball game” featured the line, “buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks”, which has forever united the two American traditions in the public mind.”   From WRAL.com

bigstock-Baseball-Food-156694937-DMID1-5c47gbdvo-640x360

I can still hear the peanut man calling!

When I was a young girl my family went to evening baseball games at a local park.  There was always a man climbing the bleachers and calling out in a singsong voice.  He had a carrier full of warm delicious peanuts. The aroma alone was to swoon for.  And twenty-five cents would buy a little brown bag.

Years later I discovered I could roast my own peanuts and duplicate the flavor.

If you are a new guest at our house, you might mistake the peanuts for garden variety supermarket Ho- Hums, but if you politely taste one, guaranteed you will be asking questions.

Apologies if you are allergic though!

The recipe is simple but start with shelled, blanched, raw peanuts.  I get mine at a place called “The Cheese Shop” in Stuarts Draft, Virginia.  You have probably guessed they carry a lot more than cheese.   xslider-1140x460.jpg.pagespeed.ic.ADbx5syzP8Cheese Shop_0

And Bill and I are going there tomorrow to stock up!

Recipe for Dor’s Home Roasted Peanuts  Ingredients:  1-2 lbs shelled, raw, blanched peanuts; 1 tsp butter (or I use coconut oil); Salt to taste.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Spread all the peanuts in a rimmed pan (I use the bottom of my oven broiler pan).
  3. Bake on middle rack for about 6 minutes and then stir everything around. 
  4. Bake 6 minutes more and stir again. 
  5. Repeat #4 two more times. 
  6. Peanuts are done when they are a deep golden brown color. 
  7. While still hot add the butter (don’t be tempted to add more than a teaspoon or they will be too greasy).  The purpose of the butter is to provide a coating the salt can stick to. 
  8. Salt to taste. 
  9. I freeze mine and bring them out in small quantities as needed. 

 

 

 

 

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Nice View Here

It was 0.6 degrees Fahrenheit outside when I opened my eyes this morning. I was looking at the ceiling where we can immediately know the time and the temp all lit up like a starry sky above.  It was 6:00 AM and who needs to know the time and temp that early anyway?  In fact, knowing made me want to go back to sleep.

But I had to get up to put chicken in the crock pot.

I was thinking,

“How can I arise, dress in something warm and cozy,  and then head out to the kitchen with nary a sound?

“Should I just go back to sleep and forget the crock pot?”

“No, I answered.  You have to stay on plan.  So, it’s cold.  You will survive.”

Now I am aware it is colder elsewhere in the country.  And wetter.  And snowier.  Feeling sorry for myself and broadcasting that “woe is me” attitude is definitely self serving.

“Stay in bed, I thought, You are entitled to selfish self-serving pampering.”

“No, get up!”

“Get going.”

“Bill will love not having to cook dinner!”

“Just a little snooze huh?

This  internal struggle continued and jumped to other concerns about the cold temperatures.

Do the lights go out just because it’s cold?

Why then, do I have the urge to hoard water and bread and why am I wanting to stock up for a surprise power outage?

Lucky us!  There is no wetness in this part of Virginia.  Not even any humidity.  It’s just well, COLD!  My youngest grandgirl was supposed to be here yesterday but she was stranded in Charleston, South Carolina! They had 6 to 7 inches of snow that melted a little and then froze.  Bah Humbug!

The sun is up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  And by golly it looks warm out there.

Never mind the ceiling flashing 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit at 7:30 AM.

The chicken dish is in the crock pot and if you are interested, here’s the complicated recipe:

DOR’S CROCK POT YUMMY CHICKEN

GOOD ON A WINTER COLD DAY NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE

WORTH GETTING OUT OF A WARM BED FOR

Ingredients:  Chicken, a can of black beans, and a jar of salsa.

Directions:

Put however many pieces of chicken in the crock pot

Dump in a can of black beans and a jar of salsa.

Put on “Low” for about 8 or 9 hours and plan to serve over noodles or rice.

And go back to bed!

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No Flour Cookies

Following in the noble footsteps of one of my favorite bloggers, MJ of Emjay and Them, I have embarked upon a wheatless, almost-grainless, eating program.  People like MJ are raving about the Wheat Belly weight loss theory and feeling good too.  I have been doing this now for about 5 weeks and have lost about 4 pounds – also feeling pretty good.

However, being skeptical of almost everything (as noted by the array of vitamins and minerals in my tried and never-true massive collection), I am only teetering on the edge of issuing a rave report about WHEAT BELLY.  Isn’t that the most awful title for a program about healthful eating?

Of course, things like cookies, cakes, muffins, bread and pancakes, etc. that have a flour base are no-no’s  and they naturally become delicacies  to be missed.

But I have a secret remedy!

It’s a tried and true recipe discovered even before reading the first two Wheat Belly books.

FLOUR-LESS Chocolate Chip Cookies

(But, if you are allergic to peanuts, please ignore this recipe.)

1 Egg

1 Cup brown sugar (I use coconut sugar – 1 cup = 1 cup)

1 tsp Vanilla

1 Cup chocolate chips (I use dark choc chips)

1 Cup chunky peanut butter

Mix all.  Drop by minimum Tablespoons onto a parchment sheet or Silpat

Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for 10 to 12 minutes.

Note:  If I can only control how many of these to eat in a day, the Wheat Belly routine may just work!  I am averaging SEVEN now and still lost 5 pounds!  Working on decreasing to SIX (cookies that is).

 

 

 

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rumballs10Grandma’s Bake-a-thon.

Sheryl from the wonderful blog called A Hundred Years Ago (taken from her Grandmother Helena’s diary) will be ending that blog after Christmas.  In honor of her grandma, Sheryl has organized an on-line Bake-a-thon!

Directions:

To participate in the Bake-a-thon, make an old family recipe,

and share the story of why this recipe holds special memories for you.

Rum Balls hold special memories for me.

My mother was a terrible cook.  She preferred to read a book.

Once there was a television commercial that reminded me of Mom. Maybe you remember it. The wife would be reading (like Mom) when hubby would come in shouting, “I’m home!”  She would jump up and splat flour around her face and begin banging pots and pans to look busy as a housewife should be (that was in the old days of course).

Those were the days my family suffered burnt pork chops and charred cookies.  Oh there were some good things we looked forward to like BLT’s or “Beefaroni” – or rum balls.

When it came to holiday delicacies, Mom was the Queen of Rum Balls and I still love them.

The recipe is simple so I love the recipe too

You see, I hate to cook.   Must be genetic.

Here is Mom’s easy, no-bake recipe for all hate-to-cookers out there:

FAMOUS RUM AND BRANDY BALLS 

Quantity – about 40

1 Regular size vanilla wafers (a box)

¼ lb. chopped English Walnuts

¼ lb. chopped Black Walnuts

¼ cup Honey

1/8 cup Brandy

1/8 cup Rum

Powdered Sugar 

*******

Crush the wafers. 

Chop the nuts finer. 

Mix all ingredients.

Roll into balls and then roll in powdered sugar.

Stack ’em for an elegant presentation during the holidays! 

Now if you are serving minors, you may want to forego the Brandy and Rum, but I seem to remember the adults saying, “Not to worry.  The alcohol evaporates.”   Hmmm.

Photograph from Webicurean.com .

 

 

 

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Mandarin-Salad-Recipe-Pic

Here is a spectacular salad that always gets rave reviews!  I hope you like it as much as I do.

The basic recipe works for approximately six people.  Amounts are pretty much guesswork based on your own preferences, but follow the erratic instructions below for instant success!

Ingredients:

Fresh Romaine Lettuce and Spinach (You decide how much)

Can of Dill Green Beans OR Jar of Three Bean Salad (drained)

Slivered Almonds or Sunflower Seeds (for crunch)

One onion sliced in rounds

One can of Mandarin Oranges, drained

Some fresh dill (if you have it)

Ranch dressing

 

Combine the Romaine Lettuce and Spinach in a large bowl.

Gently mix in the Dill Green Beans or the jar of Three Bean Salad.

Sprinkle in the almonds or sunflower seeds – enough just to add some crunch.

Then on top of the salad arrange the sliced onion rounds and the

Mandarin Oranges.

Add some dill and good sized dollops of Ranch dressing here and there.

Serve in a pretty salad bowl and mix at the table.

 

P.S.  If you want to make it a more hearty salad, add chicken pieces!

I’ve seen this salad with a combination of mandarin oranges and strawberries too.

Optional:  Add celery chunks, walnuts, feta cheese, or serve with just spinach or just romaine.

It’s like the proverbial “little black dress.”  You can dress it up or down.

Happy Summer!

 

 

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