Fresh peaches are in the super markets. After a long winter I crave fresh fruit desserts. How about this for Easter dinner–with vanilla bean ice cream.
One to serve and one to freeze for another day.
COUNTRY PEACH COBBLER
- 4 large ripe peaches
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tb. butter
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
- 1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
- 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Filling: Peel and slice peaches. Arrange in bottom of a greased 8×8 or 9×9-inch pan. Sprinkle 1 cup sugar evenly over peaches. Dot with the 3 tb. of butter.
- Beat cake ingredients all together until light and creamy.
- Pour batter over fruit and spread evenly with a spatula.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until center is set. Cool on a wire rack.
- Serve hot or cold with ice cream in a pottery bowl.
April is traditionally the time we celebrate the Irish in the family with a hearty Corned Beef & Cabbage Boiled Dinner. This meal is also referred to as New England Boiled Dinner. Some recipes add green peas to the dish [fresh or frozen]. With or without, it is fabulous.
I prepare the dish on a Saturday for Sunday dinner. Finish the dish except for adding the cabbage, cool it and then refrigerate overnight. This also blends the flavors of the corned beef with the vegetables. On Sunday an hour before serving, bring the pot back to a low boil and add the cabbage. Cook until cabbage is tender.
You may wish to try an Irish Soda Bread recipe with this meal. Find a recipe for Irish Soda Bread with Apples and Currants at http://www.yankeemagazine.com/new-england-food-cooking/irish-soda-bread-with-apples-and-currants
- 3-4 lbs. corned beef [depending upon the number of people]
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seed
- pinch hot red pepper flakes
- 6 potatoes, peeled and quartered or halved
- 6 large carrots, peeled and cut length-wise
- 6 wedges cabbage
- 1 1/2 cups [10 oz. pkg.] frozen peas, optional
- In a large stock pot, cover corned beef with water. Add bay leaf, peppercorns, mustard seed and hot pepper flakes. Cover and simmer over low heat 3 to 3 1/2 hours until tender.
- Add potatoes and carrots. Cover and simmer 15 to 30 minutes or until tender.
- Add cabbage wedges and peas. Cook 15 minutes longer until vegetables are tender.
- Cut meat in pieces. Serve some of the broth along with the meat and vegetables.
NOTE: Corned beef is often sold with its own seasoning packet which may be used in place of the bay leaf, peppercorns, mustard seed and pepper flakes above. Consult the directions on the beef package for alternate cooking times.
It has come to my attention that an insidious propaganda campaign against the innocent cat has infected the on-line community–such an obviously erroneous blog as “How Can You Tell Your Cat is Trying to Assassinate You” is an example of this injustice. In defense of the benign cat, I submit for your consideration C.A.T.–the Cat Advocacy Treatise. C.A.T. speaks for the advocacy of the Cat to correct media bias. The Cat is a devoted and loyal member of the human family and is NOT a subversive agent seeking to dominate his owner. Rather, the true enemy is among us. His name is DOG.
- Dog masquerades as man’s best friend. What other animal so elevates his position? Is this not evidence of Dog’s agenda–to supplant man, to rule over man, to BE man?
- Dog appears benign but his heredity reveals his true nature; Dog is descended from wolves!
- Dog acts subservient yet uses subliminal manipulation to control his owner. Through this manipulation, he is given rewards and special favors that far surpass those given to quietly loyal Cat. Consider: Dog and adult car rides with the windows down, bone treats, long outdoor walks in which dog leads. Such walks also disrupt human schedules and divert human productivity.
- Perhaps the most heinous of his acts, one that exposes his true base nature, is Dog’s refusal to use civilized methods of waste disposal. Cat accommodates his owner through use of the litter box. The uncouth methods of Dog will not be described in order to spare our sensibilities…
- Dog slobbers.
- Dog sheds, refusing to environmentally contain their fur in convenient self-ingested packages, as does Cat.
- Cat bathes himself.
- Dog appears exuberant and playful but his behavior is another example of the uncivilized baseness of his uncontrolled nature.
- Dog jumps on visitors in a rude play for attention.
If this were not enough to indict them, what other animal seeks to infiltrate the very highest levels of our government than Dog? Has there not been a token Dog in every White House? Think about it… Such favoritism is a display of blatant discrimination against Cat! Who, then, is the mastermind behind this movement? Who is the leader hiding in plain sight who is even now gaining unprecedented media coverage, seducing the masses into worshipping hoards? WHO IS THE TRUE WOLF IN BEAR’S CLOTHING? I rest my case. Take up the cause! Sign on to C.A.T. Tell your friends, family and neighbors. Your Cat will love you for it…as soon as he wakes from his nap.
Sharon L. Clemens [Feb., 2012]
STORING FOOD FOR A RAINY DAY IS JUST PRACTICAL PREPPING
I’m getting low on sugar and corn meal in my pantry so I’m preparing some for storage. I learned that when storing ground grain like flour and corn meal, it is a good idea to put the package from the store in the freezer for a couple of days to kill any larvae in the grain. Sounds creepy I know but it is not unusual to have dormant larvae in grain. Adding a bay leaf to stored grain also helps kill any little incubating varmints.
After freezing my corn meal I store it in glass canning jars. Use the same funnel you use to fill canning jars when transferring the grain. I pour it from the package into a flexible container with a pour spout, which also helps avoid spills. Add a small anti-moisture packet to the top of the jar and label it with the date. I save the anti-moisture packets from vitamin and supplement jars to use again but they can also be found on-line.
Live and learn–Some of the sugar and salt I recently used from storage was hard. I thought it would work to store it in the original packaging in plastic tubs but the tubs were not enough to keep moisture out and prevent the packages from becoming solid. From now on I will transfer sugar and salt into glass jars with tight-fitting lids and store as I do ground grains. A clean, food-safe plastic container with a tight lid also works. I also use coffee cans with plastic lids but I seal the lids with Duck Tape to make sure moisture does not get in.
The sugar and salt are not damaged if they become hard; break up the chunks and use as you would normally do. Both sugar and salt have a long shelf life.
If corn meal is something you do not normally cook with, try these delicious ideas.
- Corn Meal Mush: Pour corn meal into boiling salted water and cook, stirring, until porridge is thickened and tender. Consult package directions for proportions and cooking time. Dot a bowl of thick porridge with butter and serve as a side with spicy pork dishes as polenta or eat hot with cream and sugar for a quick hot breakfast cereal.
- Refrigerate left-over Corn Meal Mush in a small greased loaf pan. Cut cold, firm mush in 1/2-inch slices, dredge with flour and fry in hot coconut oil [or vegetable oil]. Serve dusted with powdered sugar, with gravy, or with maple syrup. I grew up looking forward to Fried Corn Meal Mush for dinner or breakfast.
- Sweet Corncake: I am not a fan of dry Southern Corn Bread–at least the recipes I am familiar with. But when I discovered this keeper from Cheri & Bill Campbell of Bishop Hill Colony Bakery, Sweet Corncake has become a family favorite. Bishop Hill is a restored Swedish Settlement near Galesburg, Illinois. My husband and I enjoy visiting in the autumn for fall festivals or antique shows–and to sample Bill’s sweet treats and lunches. http://www.bishophillcolonybakery.com
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 2 Tbls. baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil [or coconut oil]
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, stir together all dry ingredients. In another bowl, mix together oil, beaten eggs and milk.
- Gently mix dry and wet ingredients together just until moistened.
- Pour batter into a 13″x9″ greased pan.
- Bake 30 minutes. The bread is done when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
This moist corn cake is delicious for breakfast with butter or with soup. Try it as a side with pot roast or pork. Delicious!
Sometimes I just get the most consuming urge to hug a small furry animal. I don’t want to feed it, groom it, walk it or clean up after it…I just want to hug it and pet it.
This urge is so strong at times I visit Pet Smart just to check out the animals for sale or watch the dogs being groomed. I am over owning a pet; but renting one from time to time sounds like a good idea.
If you have a pet, take a moment to hug it for me so that I can experience it vicariously through you… Thank you.
Cherry Tea Towel
This looks like the typical 1940’s dish towel my grandmother used but it is a new knock-off. Find these vintage-style red-banded towels by the pack or sold individually at IKEA.
Add a simple embroidery pattern such as cherries. I traced this design using a round bottle cap. These IKEA towels are extremely reasonable and are very well-made with machine stitched hems and a hanging tab. Super absorbent too–still the best for drying stemware. It is also the perfect little gift and can be personalized with initials.
I used a simple straight stitch with red and black embroidery floss. A design doesn’t have to be complicated to be classic.
Butch, my dear husband of almost 42 years, gave me red roses for my birthday. Gorgeous!
Their beautiful color brightens up this cold weather.