Friday, October 26, 2012

Safeway's Fourth of July Patio Picnic Menu

Welcome to 1962!  This menu comes from the Safeway's Meal Planner cookbook, a gift from a reader.

SAFEWAY'S Fourth of July Patio Picnic Menu
Just For YOU...

Golden Barbecued Chick-a-Dee
Tropical Sweet Potatoes
Pineapple Cole Slaw
Peaches and Cream Pie
Cool Lemon Tea
Suggested Bread Type: Grilled Roma Torpedo Rolls with Lawry's Garlic Spread wrapped in foil.  

To my sorrow, and I assume to yours, I was not able to make everything on the menu.  Forgive me.  Like myself, you must be contented with the bolded dishes.  Besides which, chicken AND a meat casserole?  What?  I thought this was 1962, not 1862.  D'oh ho ho!

For those who take offense to the fact that it is not July 4, I refer you to the title of the blog.  

Tropical Sweet Potatoes (Serves 6)
1 can, No. 3 squat, TOWN HOUSE sweet potatoes, drained
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon CROWN COLONY pure rum flavoring
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter

Place each sweet potato on a double thickness of heavy duty aluminum foil.  Brush with combined lemon juice and rum flavoring.  Sprinkle generously with brown sugar and cinnamon; dot with butter.  Wrap the foil securely around the sweet potatoes, twisting ends.  Barbecue on grill 7 to 9 minutes or on briquets 4 to 5 minutes.

Let your table setting be in the spirit of the occasion by having the theme colors of red, white, and blue.  Start with a white paper tablecloth, blue napkins, and red and white insect repellent candles that may be found in your Safeway hardware section.  Spread the theme throughout your entire patio with pale blue candy dishes filled with Roxbury mint straws and balls.  

Chili-ghetti (Serves 10)
In a large skillet melt 2 tablespoons butter; brown 1 clove garlic, minced, 3/4 cup chopped onion, and 1 pound ground shoulder.  Drain off excess fat, then add 1 can, No. 303, TOWN HOUSE solid pack tomatoes with 2 15-oz. cans chili con carne with beans; simmer for 45 minutes.  Meanwhile, cook 3/4 of one 12-oz. package CHIEF brand spaghetti according to package directions; drain.  Remove skillet from heat and stir in 3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese until melted; then fold in 1/2 pint LUCERNE sour cream.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Combine chili mixture and spaghetti, mixing well; turn into a 2-quart casserole.  Top with 1/4 cup SAFEWAY grated Parmesan cheese and bake 45 minutes.

Chili-Ghetti may be prepared ahead and refrigerated until ready to bake.  It may also be frozen after baking.*

Peaches and Cream Pie
Arrange 4 cups sliced fresh peaches, one layer deep in an unbaked 9-inch pastry shell.  Mix 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/2 cup sweet or sour cream, pour over peaches.  Bake 450 degrees F. for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees F. for 40 minutes.  Bake until filling is set.  Cool and serve.


Tropical Sweet Potatoes: Wow, these are... rummy.  Please note, you don't sprinkle rum on, you sprinkle rum flavoring.  It is VERY STRONG.  This is also maddening to make.  You have to double wrap every tiny nubbin of sweet potato.  INDIVIDUALLY.  Grahhhhhhhh!  And what do you end up with?  Little wrapped nuggets of soggy brown moosh that make you smell like a bum in the gutter. 

Chili-Ghetti: This is the culinary equivalent of a warm, fuzzy blanket.  Eating it on a cool day is like snuggling up in front of the fire with hot chocolate and a purring tabby, while fat flakes of snow drift gently down upon the land.  I did freeze half of it, and it was even better the second time.  Yes, it is terrible for you.  But let us not speak of that.  It is your grandmother's kugel.  It is the love of a child.  It is the Moonlight Sonata. It is cookies fresh out of the oven.  It is a hammock on a perfect summmer's day.  You shall not say a word against it, for I will defend its perfection to my last breath.**

Peaches and Cream Pie: An uglier pie I have rarely seen, especially the next day.  Brrrrr.  The sugar in the sour cream sauce draws out the juice in the peaches, leaving wells and rivulets of juice cracking the surface.  Not bad in taste, but not terribly inspiring either. 

*Chili-Ghetti may cause shortness of breath, rash, fertility, hipsterism, lollygagging, aphasia, balding, tomfoolery, and shenanigans.  Time Travel Kitchen cannot be held liable.  

**Probably of heart attack. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

WWII: Mock Fried Egg and Wheatmealies

Eating For Victory: Healthy Home Front Cooking on War Rations [reprinted WWII instruction leaflets, 2007]

Husband has become leery of "mock" anything.  It is almost never good.  If it's "Mock Something" in recipes from the last few decades, it is usually because it contains some weird processed food that is taking the place of a real food.  For instance, crackers instead of apples in apple pie.  In quite old recipes, like Victorian and Regency, it is because a cheap food is being disguised as a fancypants rich person food.  A calf's head instead of a turtle, for instance.

The Second World War is my favorite era of mock foods, however.  This is because of the imagination and nerve it takes to disguise vast quantities of vegetables as totally preposterous and laughable things, like geese.  I admire the sort of mindset it takes to say, "No fried eggs?  The hell you say!  I will have a fried egg if I have to construct it of twine and sticks."  

As substitutions go, this one seems... a little bit genius.

Mock Fried Egg
1 egg (reconstituted from powder);
2 slices wheatmeal bread;
Salt and pepper.

Method.--Beat the egg.  Cut holes from the centre of each slice of bread with a small scone cutter.  Dip the slices quickly in water and then try on one side until golden brown.  Turn on to the the other side, pour half the egg into the hole in each slice of bread, cook till the bread is brown on the underneath side.  The bread cut from the centres can be fried and served with the slices.

Half-dozen slices stale bread, 1/4 inch thick. 
Cut into 1/4-in. squares.  Put on a baking sheet and bake in a slow oven till brown and crisp.  Store in a tin.  Serve with milk and sugar to taste.  


Mock Fried Egg:  It does seem genius, doesn't it?  I mean, if a person wants a dang fried egg, and all there is is powdered egg, egg-in-a-basket is a pretty neat solution!  Unfortunately, there were... other factors.

Yes... I am afraid this picture was the result of following the directions.  All the moisture in the reconstituted egg was either sucked into the bread or vaporized on the pan, leaving a thin membrane of leathery egg.  Which then stuck to the pan and had to be chipped off.  What worked much better was to put the equivalent of about three eggs in the middle.  Which kind of defeats the purpose.  It tasted fine, though.  And were I set on a fried egg and had nothing but my number 10 can of dry egg... I might consider it.  And then I'd make scrambled eggs, because this is ridiculous.

If there are any dried egg experts out there, please lend your expertise. Where did I go wrong?  Is this feasible?

Wheatmealies:  As a homemade cereal, this actually wasn't bad.  You have to eat it at lightning pace, of course, or it will turn to goo.  Like Cap'n Crunch.  Sugar and cream also help a great deal.  Husband didn't like it, but I would not complain about eating it again.  The addition of some fresh berries would be lovely.

For a beverage, I served this with some black currant juice.  It is the best way to get vitamin C if your orange juice supply is blockaded, or indeed.... if it isn't.  Black currants have four times as much vitamin C as oranges.  During WWII, the British stepped up their black currant production for this very reason. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Pear Flip

Yet another delight from The Better Homes and Gardens Blender Cook Book [1971].  I... I am still working myself up to the drink with sauerkraut and tomato soup. 

Pear Flip
1 12-ounce can pineapple juice
1 8-ounce can pear halves, undrained
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Few drops peppermint extract
Mint leaves

Blend first 4 ingredients in blender container till pears are pureed.  Serve mixture over ice cubes; garnish with mint leaves.  Serves 4 to 5.

Verdict:  Lovely.  A proto-smoothie.  I think this would be better with the ice cubes blended up right along with it, but still nice and refreshing.  In case you can't tell, the stuff floating on the top is mint.

My mint plant is a little under the weather. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

WWII: Pigs in Clover and Honey Oatmeal Buns

Usually, the WWII rationing recipes are horrid.  It is to the point where the mention of WWII food brings a certain terrified glint to Husband's eye.  He is really a terribly good sport.  Besides, after the aspic, any comparison is bound to be advantageous.

Pigs in Clover
For this wholesome and economical dish you will need 6 medium, well-scrubbed potatoes, 6 skinned sausages and some cabbage.  With an apple corer, remove a center core lengthways from each potato and stuff the cavity with sausage meat.  Bake the potatoes in the usual way and serve on a bed of lightly chopped, cooked cabbage.


Try These For a Change
CABBAGE.  All sorts of additions may be made to steam-boiled cabbage.  A few bacon rinds chopped small; or a few teaspoons of vinegar and a sprinkle of nutmeg or a shake of caraway seeds, and you have something novel and nice.
TOPS. Broccoli tops, turnip tops, and beetroot tops are all excellent if cooked as described above.

Honey Oatmeal Buns
These nourishing buns are extremely popular in most homes.  Try them on your family.  This recipe makes 18 medium-sized or 12 larger buns.

Sift 4 oz white flour, 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder and some salt.  Then rub in 2 1/2 oz margarine or clarified cooking fat.  When evenly mixed, add 4 oz fine oatmeal and a level teaspoon ground ginger.  Mix a little beaten-up egg with 3 dessertspoons honey (loosened by slight warming if necessary) and mix to a stiff consistency with a fork.  You may need a little milk here.  Divide the mixture into roughly piled heaps.  Bake in a hot oven for quick rising, then reduce the heat slightly for crisp, even browning.  The whole baking should take about 20 minutes. 


Pigs in Clover: In the absence of an apple corer, I bored a hole through the middle of each potato with a paring knife and stuffed with bulk sausage.  I should really get an apple corer.  Extremely useful for baked apples, which are delicious.  Anyway, this was... good!  Basically a baked potato with a vein of sausage in it.  The sausage lends some flavor to the potato around it, and baked potatoes are nice anyway.  The taste was improved further with some ketchup.  This is an excellent way to stretch a small amount of meat a looooooooong way, and might well be a good freezer meal for lunches.  Additionally, it is sort of cute.  At least if you squint and use some imagination.  Or Photoshop.

Look how winsome!

In place of cabbage, I used swiss chard (otherwise known as silverbeet).  Swiss chard and beets are actually pretty much the same plant; chard is just bred for the tops where beets are bred for the roots.  I put some nutmeg on top, as recommended, but it just made it taste weird.  I don't know why I planted it, because I hate chard.  I think I was lured by the pretty colors.  It was in hopes that it would finally die that I harvested such a huge pile of it, but to no avail.  (Oops!  Aw, I guess I accidentally hacked so much off, it just couldn't carry on!  Alas, now we won't be able to eat even one more single meal with it.  Shucks! Oh I could just kick myself.)  It continues lush and verdant... even perky.  Husband offered to make an assassination attempt of his own, with guaranteed results.

I feel Baby most appropriately expressed her feelings towards the "clover":

Honey Oatmeal Buns:  If you think of these as a dessert, they are not very good.  If you think of them as a biscuit (the American kind, o confused Brits), they are just fine.  Little bit crumbly.  Not bad though.  Benefits from some jam.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tomato Aspic, with Starbursts

Something glorious happened in 1978.  Something... obscenely wonderful.  The M&M/Mars company put out a cookbook.  A cookbook filled with strange and exotic uses for their products, uses hitherto undreamed of.

My favorite chapter is called "Conversation Starters."  This is the main dish section.  Yes.  The main dish section... of the cookbook dedicated to candy.  It is aptly named, but I think a better title would be "Where Angels Fear to Tread."

Tomato Aspic
Try this shimmering tomato mold with tuna or chicken salad.

2 tablespoons (2 envelopes) unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup water
4 cups tomato juice
2 (1-11/16 oz.) pkgs. STARBURST Fruit Chews (22 candies)
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 drops hot pepper sauce
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
1/3 cup sliced green onion
Salad greens

Combine gelatin and water.  Let stand 3 to 4 minutes.  In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup tomato juice and candies.  Melt over low heat, stirring until smooth.  Add celery salt, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and gelatin mixture.  Stir until gelatin melts.  Blend in remaining tomato juice, green pepper and green onions.  Pour into an oiled 6-cup mold.  Chill until firm, 4 to 5 hours.  Serve on salad greens with mayonnaise dressing.  Makes 6 to 8 servings.  

Verdict:  This is awful.  Just awful.  It is like cold wobbly tomato soup... with Starbursts.  You may think, optimistically, that the two might somehow meld together.  No.  Not at all.  It is much like maple syrup on spaghetti, or frosting on broccoli.  

This is a landmark occasion in Time Travel Kitchen history, because husband was unable to eat even one bite.  He ran full tilt for the sink and spat again and again to remove the taste from his mouth.  I ate a bite, but it was not easy. 

Baby ate a bite without even pulling a face, but I have also found her eating her own poop.

I am excited to try the beef stew recipe from this book!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Spiced Prune Drink

Better Homes and Gardens Blender Cook Book [1971]

I will now admit that I have never actually drunk prune juice before now.  This is terrible, because all know it to be a warrior's drink. 

This is an improvement even on the original noble beverage. 

Spiced Prune Drink
1 cup prune juice, chilled
1 8-ounce carton plain yogurt
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in blender container; blend till combined.  Makes 2 to 3 servings. 

Verdict:  Quite pleasant, actually!  Sweet and tangy.  Could use a bit more cinnamon.  Besides which, the combination of intestine scouring prune juice and colon cleansing yogurt prepares the mighty warrior's body for battle.  Ever tried to fight Romulans and Borg while bloated and not-so-good feeling?  Not easy.  Down a gallon of this, and I guarantee you, that will not be a problem.  Just make sure you do so... well before you plan to defeat your enemies. 

Unless your enemy is constipation.  Which it well may be.

Husband thought it was too thick, but Baby claimed it was a delight both for the taste buds and the fingers.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Stuffed Cubed Steaks, Beet Soup, Swedish Hardtack

This menu is compiled from 500 Wartime Recipes, an American booklet on rationing from WWII. Before now, I have always done British recipes. Having compared the two, I can say that the Brits had it a lot worse, culinarily speaking. I have heard that is usually the case though.

Stuffed Cubed Steaks

4 cubed steaks (1 lb.)
1/4 t. salt
2 T. flour
1 C. soft bread crumbs
1/4 t. poultry seasoning
1 t. minced onion
4 T. melted butter
2 T. water
1/3 C. cooked rice
2 1/2 C. canned tomatoes
1/4 t. salt

Wipe steaks with a damp cloth, roll in mixture of salt, pepper and flour. Combine crumbs, poultry seasoning, onion, 2 T of butter and water to make a stuffing. Place steaks with cut side up, and cover each with a fourth of stuffing. Fold steaks over stuffing, fasten with skewers or toothpicks and place in greased shallow baking dish. Place rice around meat rolls and add tomatoes, salt and remaining butter. Cover dish and bake in moderate oven (350 F.) about 1 hour or until steaks are tender. Serves 2 or 4.

Beet Soup

6 beets, pared and grated
1 large potato, pared and grated
1/2 C. chopped celery
1 t. salt
2 C. cold water
3 T. butter
1 1/2 C. milk

Cook first 5 ingredients together 10 minutes. Force through sieve. Add butter and milk and heat thoroughly. Serves 6.

Swedish Hardtack

1 pint buttermilk
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. shortening, melted
1 t. salt
7/8 t. baking soda
coarse rye flour

Mix ingredients to make a thick dough and shape into 24 balls, dipping them into flour. Roll out very thin with a special peg rolling pin that pricks dough as it rolls. Bake on cookie sheet in hot oven (425 F.) until browned, about 15 min. Very crisp and tender.


Stuffed Cubed Steaks: Watery, tasteless, and horrid. The stuffing was slimy and bland. Were this a British WWII recipe, there would be no butter, 10x the rice, and 1/10 the meat. This is expecting each person to eat 1/4-1/2 lb. of beef per person! During rationing! Insane. I do not know why people were afraid of onion, either. At least this has actual chopped onion instead of onion juice, which is a little sad. Maybe if you went bananas and put a whole onion in, it might taste like a flavor.

Beet Soup: While the recipe says this serves 6, we found it could easily serve around 50. The beautiful, deep color fools you into thinking it is going to be delicious, like something berry flavored. No. It tastes of blended beets. As well it might. There is no other flavor but blended beets. The same results could be obtained by adding water to baby food.

Swedish Hardtack: Very nice! Lovely and crisp, comparable to a very tasty cracker. Because it is. Husband allowed as how he would not mind it appearing in the future, especially on camping trips or emergency snacks to supplement MREs. Due to their flavor, thinness, and relative sturdiness, they are ideal for the transference of jam to one's mouth, second only to a spoon.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cress grown on a bit of flannel

Ministry of Food War Cookery Leaflet Number 14 Grow your own! Even if you have no garden, you can have fresh-picked parsley or mustard and cress, for these both grow well in window-boxes or flower-pots. Or mustard and cress can be grown on damp flannel. Remember--the fresher the better for you--and the better the flavor!

I've been working on the old Victory Garden recently (Can you picture 7 cubic yards of manure? Neither could I. I can now. Really, really well.), and managed to find a packet of cress. I put half of the seeds on flannel that used to be pajamas with sock monkeys on them, and half of them on an old terrycloth washcloth, so I could see which was better. For victory!

March 3

After watering responsibly and giving the cloths plenty of sun, this was the result:

April 5

Result: Buy some potting mix, for goodness sake. Aw, geez. If growing cress on your windowsill helps fight Hitler, what does failing this miserably do?

If anyone has any helpful hints, or has been able to do this successfully, let me know! You will receive all the gold stars in my possession.

Update: apparently, I should have kept them in a darker place until they sprouted. Curses! I wonder how many WWII folk made similar frustrating mistakes?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Plain Swiss (Suet) Pudding

Things A Lady Would Like To Know [1876]

True love, like the eye, can bear no flaw. --Laveter.

Once again showing a lamentable taste in quotations, we proceed, at last, to the long-awaited suet pudding. Queen Victoria, like most Victorians, had a basic distrust of vegetables. Her Majesty in particular lived on a diet made up almost entirely of beef and puddings.

In the absence of a pudding mold, I ended up smooshing it into a metal bowl and setting it on top of a coil of aluminum foil inside a pot of boiling water. I took great care with the smooshing, so that it would detach from the bowl easily and lie there in a beautiful, smooth hemisphere.

Not so much.

Plain Swiss Pudding
Chop very fine 6 oz. of beef suet, and mix it well with 8 oz. of breadcrumbs, 1/2 lb. of apples, pared, cored, and minced fine; add 8 oz. of powdered white sugar*, the juice of 1 lemon, and the peel grated, with a pinch of salt. Well mix all the above ingredients, and put it into a buttered mold; boil it, and when done, turn it out and serve.

From the White House Cook Book [1887] "Sauces for Puddings" section:

Milk or Cream Sauce:
Cream or rich milk, simply sweetened with plenty of white sugar and flavored, answers the purpose of some kinds of pudding, and can be made very quickly.

Verdict: Um. Mixed. The flavor was really, really, really good. Rich and sweet and buttery tasting and fruity and luscious. Really, it is one of the best things my tongue has ever had the pleasure of tasting. That is saying something, considering what I used for breadcrumbs was failed whole wheat bread that was as dense as a brick. Not a bit like beef. But. Every bite leaves a heavy, waxy coating all around the inside of the mouth. It coats the back of the teeth and doesn't leave. It is awful. The bits from the bottom of the bowl were the worst, I think the suet kind of pooled there. The bits from the top were much better. Husband ate all of his portion and only noticed the fattiness after I pointed it out. I ate a few bites, then couldn't stand the wax build-up any more.

I am unsure whether this result is just because that is how suet puddings are, or because this particular recipe or cookbook has a particularly high ratio of suet to other stuff.

*"Powdered" here means "Smashed up from the brick or cone it came in."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

In which I stab my finger

Today, after taking out suet to thaw, I had an unfortunate incident involving a knife, some treacherously slippery mangos, and my thumb. After besmearing my kitchen and bathroom with gore, followed by a brief unconscious constitutional on the bathmat, I am now resting comfortably with a stomach full of pizza; but free of both suet puddings and mangos.

My mother, my angel of sympathy who laughed at me when I sprained my ankle trying to reproduce a heel-clicking incident performed by Donald O'Connor in "Singin' In The Rain" while emptying the dishwasher, suggested I use this opportunity to try out some historical first aid recipes on my poor mangled finger. "You know, make lemons into lemonade!" "Pink lemonade."

To this end, I give you a short list of home remedies you (yes you! I like my fingers too much.) can try on your cuts and scrapes.

1. Spider webs: Honestly, I've only ever seen this in fantasy novels. Anyone have a source? Also, no. I am not touching spider webs. SPIDERS LIVE IN THOSE.

2. Packed herbs: Again, I think I've mainly seen this in fantasy novels. Characters are always going on quests through the woods in lands that never fail to boast the botanical equivalent of ibuprofen/neosporin/Band-Aids.

3. Pads: The lady kind. This technology was used during WWI for the staunching the injuries of our boys at the front. Eventually, a nurse noticed that WE HAD HAD THIS TECHNOLOGY FOR AGES and decided this might have applications for ladies. Before that, women had to either clamp rags between their legs or stay pregnant for their entire reproductive life. In conclusion, this is why we need more girls in the sciences. Men just can't be trusted to think of these things.

4. Moldy bread: The forerunner of penicillin. Unfortunately, I am allergic to penicillin so I do not think a full-body rash would help very much.

5. Turpentine: My mom suggested this one. I am beginning to suspect she is not taking the mango-related almost-severance of my finger seriously OR sympathetically.

6. Toasted Cheese: "Things A Lady Would Like To Know"* suggests binding toasted cheese on a cut. That is not only unhelpful, but also cruel. As is commonly known, crispy cheese is impossible not to eat. Even if it has one's own blood on it. And that is gross. On the other hand, I may now have a business idea for a bandage, made of renewable materials, that does not fill up the garbage dump. And is delicious. If a little bit metallic tasting.

*This book also suggests curing deafness by being electrified through the ear, and then taking a cold bath. This source may not be a trustworthy source of medical advice.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Suet pudding

HA HA! Just kidding, I have not made suet pudding yet. I bet you were all, OH MAN. TODAY IS THE DAY. But no. It is a cruel joke.

I have got a recipe for Delicate Suet Pudding with jelly sauce all ready to go. I started to assemble the ingredients before realizing I had no pudding mold. And I was sad. How did I get this far into my adult life without having a pudding mold? It is disgraceful.

Almost as bad as the first time I bought grapefruits when I left home, and cut the first one open before realizing I honestly had no idea what to do with it because I did not yet own grapefruit spoons.

Anywhoodle, what I need from you all are Good Ideas ( or Entertainingly Terrible Ideas) about how to proceed. Internet, how am I to steam my beef-fat laden pudding?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pot Roast Stroganoff, Confetti Dressing, Mocha Roll

Better Homes and Gardens Blender Cookbook [1971]

This book is special for its insistence that everything, everything, can be made in a blender. Of particular note is the chapter entitled "Timesaving Breads." I also like the title of "Jam and Relish Jamboree"; but that may just be because I feel that jamboree is an excellent and underused word, as well as my love of weak puns.

I have never been more thankful for this important blender tip: if you squeeze some dish soap in after use, then fill halfway up with hot water and blend, you will have a clean blender. This is useful when one is using a blender four times in the same meal.

Pot Roast Stroganoff
Hot Noodles
Confetti Dressing
Mocha Roll

Pot Roast Stroganoff
2- to 2 1/2 pound beef chuck roast
3 tablespoons salad oil
1 10 3/4 ounce can condensed tomato soup
1 cup cream-style cottage cheese
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 small onion, but into pieces
1 clove garlic
1 3-ounce can mushrooms, drained
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup water
Hot cooked noodles

Trim meat; season. Brown in oil in Dutch oven. Put next 5 ingredients in blender; blend smooth. Add mushrooms; pour over meat. Cover; cook at 325 degrees about 2 hours. Place meat on platter. Skim fat from sauce. Combine flour and water; add to sauce. Cook and stir till thick; season. Serve on noodles. Serves 6.

Confetti Dressing
Stir dressing before serving so tiny bits of onion, olive, green pepper, and celery are dispersed throughout the zippy dressing--
1 cup salad oil
3/4 cup vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon sald
2 green onions with tops, sliced
1/4 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives
1/2 small green pepper, cut in pieces
1 stalk celery, sliced

Put all of the ingredients into the blender container; blend till vegetables are finely chopped. Chill mixture. Stir the mixture before using. Spoon mixture over salad greens. Makes approximately 2 1/3 cups dressing.

Mocha Roll
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup packaged pancake mix
Confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
1 4 1/2 ounce package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder [I left this out]
Sifted confectioners' sugar
Shaved chocolate

Place eggs and salt in blender container; blend till frothy. Add sugar and vanilla; blend till smooth and thick. Add pancake mix; blend to combine. Spread in greased and floured 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1-inch pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Loosen sides; turn out onto towel dusted with confectioners' sugar. Starting at narrow end, roll cake and towel; cool.

Place milk; instant chocolate pudding mix, and coffee powder in blender container; blend till ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Unroll cooled cake; spread with mocha filling. Reroll and chill. At serving time sprinkle with sifted confectioners' sugar and top with shaved chocolate. Makes 10 servings.


Pot Roast Stroganoff: Fine. It was nice and tender, and the sauce was fine. Not great, but within the bounds of reason.

Confetti Dressing: Sort of watery and bland. It is canola oil, white vinegar, and some bits, really. I suppose it looks kind of festive. The name leads one to expect more joy and celebration, though. It is the 70's, so maybe this would be better with a high degree of inebriation. There IS a cocktails section of the book. Anyone want a go? Only one of them has sauerkraut juice!

Mocha Roll: I was most skeptical of this one. Pancake mix and instant pudding? Really? I like pancakes and pudding, so I figured it couldn't be too bad. And it wasn't. It was really tasty. Nice and smooth and filled with pudding. Pudding! I didn't have any chocolate to shave, but I found some chocolate covered raisins in the back of the cupboard and proclaimed it Good Enough. Four of us polished off the whole thing in short order. It was actually better than a lot of real cake rolls I've had, not counting my sister's pumpkin cake roll with cream cheese filling. All of us would eat it again, and one person said that lemon pudding would be fantastic in it. Ooh, maybe with a raspberry sauce over the top...

I will confess though, I did not make the pudding in the blender. Why would I, when I have this?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Rendered Suet

Never before have I completed a recipe and quite so adamantly thought, "NEVER AGAIN." Okay, so suet is the beef fat that comes from around the kidneys. It is the purest fat from the carcass, and as such, was very popular for cooking. Kind of like the lard of beef. It is apparently the only thing to use for steamed puddings because of its particular melting point, and a traditional ingredient in pie crusts, mincemeat, and tallow candles.

If you are lucky enough to live in the U.K., you can get it in the form of innocuous pre-processed pellets . I do not live in the U.K.

So, when we bought half a cow recently, I asked the butcher for the suet. He asked what that was, and then said that they call it the leaf fat. He brought out a great big chunk to the yard, hacked off the meaty tendony bits into the Trash Can O' Animal Bits, wrapped it up for me, and said I could come back any time for the same. Usually they use it to mix into ground game meats.

Let's do this.

7:00 a.m- Looked at leaf fat. Resolved to make it into suet today.
8:00- Looked at leaf fat. Resolved to make it into suet soon.
9:00- Looked at leaf fat. Resolved to make it into suet soon.
10:00- Looked at leaf fat. Resolved to make it into suet soon.
11:00- Looked at leaf fat. Resolved to make it into suet soon.

12:00 p.m.- Convinced husband to cut it into chunks. Cut one chunk myself. Had severe hibbity jibbities. Vowed never to do it again. Husband asked if this was going to smell weird. I reassured him that it probably wouldn't. Possibly. Anyway, it'd probably just smell like beef.

12:15- Put it in the crock pot, with about 2 cups of water.

3:07- Does it smell weird in here? Not super weird, just a little weird?

3:11- It smells weird in here. Is it the suet? It is, isn't it. I should check.

4:00 Lifted the lid of the crock pot. IT IS THE SUET. It does not smell like beef. It smells like fish that has gone off. I hope this doesn't get worse. It isn't too bad as long as you don't open the lid.

4:46- Put crock pot in garage, to quench the smell of death.

5:54- I think it is following me. No. It's just residual.

7:01- suspect stench is infiltrating. Told Husband I was pulling the plug on this project, but he convinced me to try it just a while longer. Sigh.

8:27- The stench may be lessening... or I am just getting used to it.

10:09 p.m., next day- Fat still not entirely rendered. This is taking much longer than I thought it was going to. It doesn't stink anymore! Hooray!

1:43 p.m., the day after that- Looks like pineapple chunks in syrup. Smells... like beef! Admittedly not a super quality in something whose purpose is to go into desserts, but much better than Nasty Fish flavored.

1:48 p.m.: I'm tired of this. I'm straining it.


Still kind of gross. But... less so?

This is after chilling. Creamy and delicious? I guess?

Now, to do stuff with it! Yay.

As a reward for getting through all those icky pictures:

***Edit: Please also visit this much more helpful article on rendering lard here.***

Monday, January 9, 2012

Next Time

I apologize for the tardiness of the latest post, but it is something I have to work up to. I have not worked up the courage yet, but I will, I promise.

I can do it I can do it I can do it