"providing you with recipes to help make you the best cook in the neighborhood"
Recipe for a Good Day
Take two parts of unselfishness, and
One part of patience, and work together.
Add plenty of Industry;
Lighten with Good Spirits, and
Sweeten with Kindness.
Put in Smiles as thick as raisins in Plum Pudding, and
Bake by the warmth which streams from a Loving Heart.
If this fails to make a good day,
The fault is not with the recipe
But with the cook.
(author unknown) - from recipe book given to me by Jane Kester: Kitchen Winners Recipes from The Women & Friends of Bay Ridge compiled by The World Service Guild 1948
What beautiful weather we've had to start off July. Many of you have taken advantage of it, having picnics with your families and friends. I'm not a picnic person. I'd rather stay out of the heat and attend a bonfire and have a wiener roast when it is a little cooler and make S'mores with graham crackers, melted marshmallows, and part of a Hershey's chocolate bar.
I recall two picnics that I especially enjoyed in the past. One included a family reunion where I could see some of my favorite cousins and aunts and uncles. We had a talent show and someone brought ice cream for us all to enjoy. The ice cream was kept in some type of leather strapped cooler. The other picnic I didn't really want to go to - it was a company picnic. Even though we didn't work together, my friend Doris Steiner, suggested that we go together as clowns. We spent an hour or more getting our makeup on and planning a skit. Oh what fun we had that day, even in 90 degree heat. I dressed as a fat clown with big red suspenders, a pillow in my belly, and colored hair. She was the skinny clown. We got in her car and drove to Tops to pick up balloons. We laughed so hard each time someone in the car next to us looked over and spotted us. Their expressions were priceless. In the store, parents would point us out to their children and we would wave to them with our white-gloved hands and I'd blow my little pink horn at them.
Only a couple of people at the company picnic knew we were coming. They had the children sit down while we did our skit. Doris was the good clown, spreading out our blanket on the grass and opening the picnic basket to have a pretend picnic. I kicked up her blanket and she'd have to smooth it out. I even put a rubber snake under the blanket, shushing the children not to tell. Doris' son Ken went with us and did face painting. We also made newspaper hats with large colored tissue flowers for the girls, and hats with peacock feathers for the boys. After our skit was over, we cleaned off our makeup and had something to eat.
We've come through some hot and humid weather in June and it is a challenge as a cook to provide cool and refreshing meals to satisfy everyone, especially when you don't feel like cooking. Here are suggestions of cool weather foods that you might prepare without heating up the kitchen: bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches on toast, submarine sandwiches, grilled cheese (ham and cheese) with chips and a pickle, eggs and toast, beef on weck rolls, tacos (taco salad recipe follows), reubens, cottage cheese, fresh fruit, Rice Krispies treats (recipe follows), veggie trays with dip, instant puddings, Jell-O, Sloppy Joes, any meat grilled, steaks, hotdogs, hamburgers, chicken, or marinated meats and vegetables on skewers), meat and cheese platters with crackers, tuna salad, chicken salad, crab salad (recipe follows), egg salad, ham salad, potato or macaroni salad, lettuce salads, deviled eggs, long slices of cold cucumbers, and cold cereal with milk. Put your drink glasses in the freezer to chill before filling with your favorite drink. Serve milk shakes and corn on the cob. Have plenty of ice and ice cream bars on hand. Serve slices of tomato with sugar or Miracle Whip. Open a can of Grandma Brown's baked beans and stir in some maple syrup. Heat in your microwave, or serve cold.
Ida Klahn gave me a recipe for Campers Banana Split. Simply slice through a banana in its skin lengthwise without going all the way through. Fill slit with miniature marshmallows and lots of chocolate chips. Wrap in foil and grill for about 5 minutes (do not flip over or the marshmallows and chocolate will run out). Eat with a spoon.
My grandsons visited from Long Island and they delighted in checking my blueberry bushes a couple of times each day to spot any blueberries to pick. With pride, the boys presented me with ripe as well as half-ripened berries. The birds didn't stand a chance against Nicholas and James. I suggested that their parents visit a week or two later next year when there would be loads of ripe blueberries.
I received the following excellent blueberry recipe from David Cook. His wife Nina makes it. Some of the berries are cooked, and some are not. The uncooked berries look like they are cooked but remain round and give crunch and texture to the pie. You can use a store-bought cookie crust with this so that you don't have to heat up the oven or worry if you are not good at making pie crust.Down Main Blueberry Pie
1 - 9-inch pie shell, baked and cooled
4 cups fresh blueberries (1 cup to cook, 3 cups left uncooked) (small berries the best)
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
Cook 1 cup of berries until soft with sugar and 1/2 cup water. Make a paste of flour, salt, and 1/4 cup water. Add this to the berries and cook slowly until thick.
Add the hot berry mixture and the lemon juice to the uncooked berries.
Turn all into a cooked pie shell and chill at least 3 hours before serving. You may serve pie topped with real whipped cream or Cool Whip, but it is excellent as is.
I have been making bacon-wrapped scallops on the grill since having them at the Nine Iron Grill (located 4 miles south of Springville on 219). Simply wrap large thawed and drained sea scallops with uncooked bacon and place on a skewer (if using wooden skewers, soak in water for at least half an hour). Place on grill and grill 4 to 6 minutes, or until scallops are opaque in center. Turn once. Bacon will be cooked, but not crisp. Do not overcook the scallops or they will be tough. Four of these scallops with a small salad makes a filling meal. To turn scallops easier, thread on two skewers.
Last year I received the following raspberry pie recipe from David Cook. His wife Nina makes it and it is absolutely wonderful. I first made it when the raspberries were out of season and I paid $12 for raspberries to try this recipe. It was money well spent. Like the blueberry pie recipe above, some of the berries are cooked, and some are raw - a most excellent pie. You can use a store-bought crust for this recipe.
Fresh Red Raspberry Pie
1 1/2 pints of red raspberries (1/2 cup will be cooked, rest will be added to cooled filling later)
1/2 to 3/4 cup white sugar
4 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3/4 cup water
1 prepared 9-inch pie shell
Place 1/2 cup of raspberries, crushed in a medium-size cooking pot. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and corn starch. Add to the raspberries, along with the lemon juice and water. Cook over medium heat until thickens, do not boil. Let cool and then add the remaining raspberries. Place cooled filling in baked 9-inch pie crust and refrigerate.
I participated in a bake sale recently and was surprised how fast the Rice Krispies Treats were bought. They are super simple to make and a cool weather treat. Simply melt 1/4 cup butter and 40 regular size marshmallows in a large microwavable bowl. Stir in 5 cups of Rice Krispies cereal. Butter your hands and pat mixture into a buttered 9x13-inch pan. Place in refrigerator to cool. Cut into squares and eat.
A delicious and attractive crab salad can be made by shredding 16-oz. of imitation crab meat into a bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups of celery and a mixture of 4 tablespoons of sour cream, 8 tablespoons Hellmann's real mayonnaise, 1/4 teaspoon Spice Islands' Beau Monde seasoning, and 1 1/2 teaspoons dill weed (not seed). Serve cold. If you have any leftovers, you can add the crab salad to shredded lettuce and tomatoes for another meal. I like to buy the crab frozen and make this salad as soon as the crab is almost thawed for the coldest salad.
To make a Taco Salad, simply fry 1 pound of ground chuck, stir in 1.25-oz. package Taco Seasoning Mix with 3/4 cup of water. Simmer for 5 minutes. Shred a head of lettuce in bite-size pieces in a large bowl. Crumble a 13 1/2-oz. bag of Tortilla Chips over the lettuce, spread with meat mixture and mix together. Fill individual bowls with lettuce mixture and have people put their own toppings on their salad. Great toppings include fresh tomatoes chunks, sour cream, shredded Cheddar cheese, black olives, cheese sauce, and salsa. This is a very filling and light meal to serve on a hot and humid day.
Last, but not least, you are going to need a Texas Hots Sauce for hotdogs and hamburgers. To make, simply fry 1 pound of ground chuck with 1/2 cup onion and 1/4 cup diced celery. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, 1/2 teaspoon red hot Cayenne pepper, 1 2/3 cups Heinz ketchup, 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar, and 1/2 cup water. Simmer sauce for 10 minutes.
That's all the recipes I have to share with you this month. I'm always looking for new recipes to try. If you have any special recipes for using summer vegetables, please send them along to me. If you've enjoyed these recipes, you'll certainly enjoy the ones in my cookbook. I hope that you will order one, if you don't have one already.
Send your favorite family recipes to Marcella Stockin, 5200 Riceville Road, West Valley, New York 14171 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you.