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 Cella's News

March 2011



A Day Well Spent

If you sit down at set of sun
And count the acts that you have done,
And, counting find
One self-denying deed, one word
That eased the heart of him who heard;
One glance most kind,
That fell like sunshine where it went -
Then you may count that day well spent.

But if, through all the livelong day,
You've cheered no heart, by yea or nay-
If, through it all
You've nothing done that you can trace
That brought the sunshine to one face-
No act most small
That helped some soul and nothing cost-
Then count that day as worse than lost.

(George Eliot)

Overcoming Our Cooking Fears

Fear is a Mind Killer.  I know it, and you know it.  We can all recall stories of how fear prevented us from doing something.  Even the little children have stories to tell, if they could only talk.  Who has held up the hands of a little toddler, walking behind them, trying to encourage them to take their first steps.  Out of fear, the child's energy suddenly goes to their bottom as the child seeks the safety of the floor.  Once the children learn to walk, there is no going back.  I recently overcame one of my fears - the fear of my brand new pressure canner that I purchased a year or so ago.  Pressure canners can explode you know.  I successfully canned my first batch of kidney beans on President's day and now I am canning everything in sight; northern beans, chuck roast, pork tenderloin, chicken, hamburger, and beef brisket, as well as organic carrots, potatoes, and channa dal.  Watch out you dry little black beans and garbanzo beans sitting on my counter, you're next, as well as the bushel of Jonagold apples my friends bought for me at the Springville auction, they will make canned pie filling or applesauce.  I've had so much fun overcoming my fear of my unused pressure canner that I just opened my new Roma Food Strainer and Sauce Maker that I bought in the fall last year and never used.

I don't need to remind you that food prices are going up.  We should all learn how to process our own foods.  Don't forget to buy some canning jars and lids early, and other supplies that you will need for the upcoming canning season.  If you are interested in reusable canning jar lids, visit www.reusablecanninglids.com to learn about USDA- approved Tattler reusable canning jar lids.  I'm going to be purchasing some and trying them - no sense buying new lids if I don't have to. Thanks to everyone who provided recipes this month.

Prosciutto with Tortillini and Cream
(Darla Spencer)

8-oz. prosciutto, chopped in 1-inch pieces (thin, Italian ham)
1 pint heavy cream
4-oz. cream cheese
6-oz. fresh spinach, chopped, cooked, and drained
9-oz. frozen cheese tortellini

Spray 10-inch frying pan with Pam® (or lightly coat with vegetable oil).  Heat prosciutto in pan for five minutes over low heat, stirring often.  Add heavy cream and cream cheese.  Simmer for 5 minutes, then add spinach.  Meanwhile, cook tortellini in boiling water for 2 minutes and combine with cream mixture.  Serve immediately.  

Pumpkin Cranberry Orange Bread
(Melanie Feltman)

3 cups white flour, sifted
1 3/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups white granulated sugar
15-oz. can pumpkin pie filling
4 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup dried or fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons orange peel

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt.  In another mixing bowl, combine the sugar, pumpkin pie filling, eggs, vegetable oil, and orange juice.  Combine both mixtures together and stir in cranberries and orange peel.  Grease and flour bread pans and fill 1/2 full with batter.  Bake in 350 degree oven until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

Back Porch Jello® (non-refrigerated; firm gelatine)
(entimesreport.com; sets up quickly)

1 cup cold water
1 1/2 packets of Knox® unflavored gelatine
3-oz. box of your favorite Jello®
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

In a mixing bowl, combine the cold water and Knox® unflavored gelatine.  Let sit for five minutes.  Stir in your favorite Jello® and boiling water.  Add in lemon juice and sugar.  Let sit in a cool place to set.  You may add your favorite fruit, if desired.  Store in refrigerator after Jello® sets.

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup
(Jack Gerber)

3 (13 3/4-oz.) cans chicken broth
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup onions, diced
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 to 1/2 cup half-and-half, or heavy cream
sour cream, if desired

In a large pot, place chicken broth, carrots, onions, and squash.  Boil until vegetables are tender.  Puree entire mixture along with salt and butter.  Pour a little hot puree into the half-and-half or heavy cream so not to curdle the cream; add to soup.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

Send your favorite family recipes to Marcella Stockin, 5200 Riceville Road, West Valley, New York 14171 or e-mail me at marcellastockin@yahoo.com.  Providing you with recipes to help make you the best cook in the neighborhood.  Visit my website at cellascookbook.com for more recipes and archived newsletters.