"providing you with recipes to help make you the best cook in the neighborhood"

 Cella's News

June 2005

http://cellascookbook.com

 

If I could take -

The hurt all away -

I'd gladly walk in your shoes.

I'd rather it be -

Happening to me, than you.

I'd love to turn your 

tears into laughter,

and all of your rain to sunshine,

But since I can't take it,

Let's make it yours and mine.

But since I can't take it,

Let's make it yours and mine.

I'll laugh with you,

Cry with you,

I'd gladly die for you,

If only we can make it through.

If I could take -

The hurt all away -

I'd gladly walk in your shoes.

I'd rather it be,

Happening to me, than you.

I'd love to turn your 

tears into laughter,

and all of your rain to sunshine,

But since I can't take it,

Let's make it yours and mine.

But since I can't take it,

Let's make it yours and mine.

(words of a song by the Isaacs)  - placed here in memory of my brother Rickey who died May 15, 2005, of a shotgun wound to his chest.  I'll never forget you and your sense of humor.  Always leaving us laughing, until now.

 

 

When Spring finally comes after what I call 6-months of winter, I enjoy walking outside in my yard to see what plants are peeking through.  The daffodils, grape hyacinths, tulips, and my windflowers always bring me joy at their bright appearance, although they sometimes wear a little coat of white snow.  The red tips of the rhubarb start showing signs of growth in May, along with spears of asparagus.  The stores are offering sales of strawberries from California and I cannot resist buying them when I see their bright red color and smell their sweet fragrance, even though I know that fresh berries will be available locally in June.  

This month's newsletter will provide you with recipes for preparing rhubarb, asparagus, and strawberries.

My mother always grew rhubarb and often had some to sell.  She made rhubarb sauce (4 cups rhubarb, 1/4 cup water, 3/4 cup sugar simmered until rhubarb was cooked through) which was good to eat plain or was thickened with flour for rhubarb pie.  Additional sugar may be needed to adjust taste.  Later in life I learned how to make strawberry rhubarb pie (2 cups fresh strawberries, 4 cups rhubarb, 1 1/2 cups white sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup flour; baked in two layer pie shells until bubbly and thickened).  I usually make at least two a year.  Before I got married, my elderly neighbors in Machias (the Fanchers) told me how to make strawberry/rhubarb jam.  You simply combine 5 cups rhubarb, thinly sliced with 4 cups of white granulated sugar in a large pot and let sit for 1 hour.  Place over medium heat and bring to a hard boil, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat, stir in 3-oz. package strawberry Jell-O gelatin, stir until gelatin is dissolved, pour into 2 sterilized pint jars and refrigerate.  

Keep in mind that the leaves of the rhubarb plant are poisonous.  I always pull the stalks of rhubarb from the ground instead of cutting them at the base.  The light pink area that I like so much is below the surface.  I read that rhubarb flourishes fertilized with kitchen scraps (no grease though).  So as soon as I tire of eating rhubarb, I'll let it go to seed and fertilize it.  I've been picking off the flower heads as they appear to lengthen the rhubarb season.   

Strawberry/Rhubarb Crisp

Rhubarb Pie and Pie Crust

My dad always raised asparagus and I liked it okay except that some of it was tough and stringy.  I have since learned that before cooking the asparagus one needs to break off the hard part and throw it away (see recipe below) as it will never get tender no matter how long you cook it.  I know that this may seem wasteful in light of the price of asparagus, but keep in mind that we usually don't eat the banana or orange peel, either.  You can always cook the hard pieces in a separate pan and eat them if you absolutely must.

A quick way to make asparagus is to simply boil it in and inch of water 3 to 5 minutes until crisp tender, drain it, and put butter on it.  The kids can help make asparagus by wrapping a tender piece of it with bacon, placing on a cookie sheet, and baking in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until the bacon is crisp.  Use a paper towel to dab off the grease and eat.  You can make an Asparagus Folder appetizer by trimming off the crusts of sandwich bread, rolling the bread thin with a rolling pin, placing a dollop of prepared Hollandaise sauce (made from a McCormick packet mix) on the bread, a dash or two of Parmesan cheese, a piece of asparagus (can use canned), folding bread over, securing with a toothpick, brushing with butter, baking in oven until bread is toasted.  For best flavor, bake until foldovers are crispy like toast.

Chicken and Asparagus Bowtie Pasta with Basil Pesto

My dad raised strawberries and when he died, my mother picked and sold them to help pay for his funeral.  When I was married, my mother-in-law taught me how to make strawberry jam.  Why not have someone teach you if you don't know how, or else follow the instructions on a box of Sure-Jell.  When my children were young, I remember making 50 jars of strawberry jam one year as our family ate a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  My husband's grandfather rented his land in Chaffee to strawberry growers.  One day he had me come over and pick berries in a little patch set aside for his own use.  I picked 20 quarts that day.  My husband worked for crop farmers.  They grew acres of strawberries.  I remember smiling as I watched their little boy Elijah picking and eating just the right berries in the field.  And when he was full, he carried away all that his two little hands, arms, and chest could hold.  Why not take some child picking strawberries this year.  I was amazed one year when one of my co-workers (about 50 years old) told me she had never picked any berry off a bush in her life.  

I wonder how many homes in Western New York will be feasting on Strawberry Shortcake this June?  I use my Drop Baking Powder Biscuits recipe for my shortcake.  To make, use a fork to combine 2 cups sifted flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 4 tablespoons Crisco, 3 tablespoons baking powder.  Add 1 cup milk and mix with a fork only until no dry pieces remain.  It's okay to have some lumps.  Place in large dollops (8 or 9) on a greased baking sheet and bake in 350 degree oven until lightly browned (about 20 minutes).  Serve warm, topped with sweetened fresh strawberries and whipped cream.

Strawberry Pizza

Visit my web site on line for Ruth Schumacher's Rhubarb Bread and Muffins recipe.  I've also included a main dish recipe for Stir-Fried Scallops and Asparagus, along with other recipes.

http://www.cellascookbook.com

Send your favorite family recipes to Marcella Stockin, 5200 Riceville Road, West Valley, New York 14171 or e-mail me at marcellastockin@yahoo.com.  I'd love to hear from you.