Here you will find recipes past down from generations before me and quite a few new ones I have found along the way. When possible I will add a story that goes along with them.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Blueberry Pie for the 4th

June is blueberry season. That means blueberry pie season as well!
I think all year is blueberry pie season, but making fresh is always wonderful. The one catch with a fresh berry pie is that it will bubble like crazy and will most likely leak out onto your top crust. That is something I can live with but if you don't care for leaking filling,  then cook your filling ahead of time and cool before filling the crust.This one I make with stars every year for the fourth of July because it looks so cool with golden sugar coated stars and blue cut outs..

What you will need

4 cups fresh berries
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons minute tapioca 
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons butter
double pie crust
2 Tablespoons half & half or cream
extra sugar 

Preheat oven to 400 f
Place washed berries in a large bowl
Combine the sugar and tapioca and mix well
Pour the sugar 7 tapioca over the berries and let stand while preparing the crust
Roll the crust till about 2 inches bigger around then the pie plate

Fold in half

Fold in quarters

Transfer to plate

Unfold and fill with berry sugar mix

Dot with butter

Roll out second crust and cut with cookie cutter in center

Carefully peel up crust and place over pie, save the cut out stars

Roll the edge over while pinching till a thick edge is formed

With the back edge of a knife press in rope lines at an angle

Brush with cream or half & half adding the cut out stars as you go

After brushing with cream sprinkle sugar over top and bake

Bake for about an hour or until the center looks bubbly.
Let cool before cutting.

Monday, June 20, 2011

First Aid cooling bands from diapers

I hear your question..."What the heck does this have to do with cooking?" 
The answer...wait for it...wait for it....Nuffin'!
That's right Nuffin', but I had to put the instructions up quickly for a fire fighter and this was the quickest way.
Oh well, maybe while trying to run back n forth to read the recipes on my sight and cooking you will get over heated and need one!
Cut the blue center out of the diapers. See the photo, just trim the center out.
I was a welder and used the company issued ones, but they were so small they dried out very quickly. This one will last much longer as it is thicker!

Center is all that is needed as that is where the crystal/gel is 
Roll up the core and put into the sock right in the middle

Rubber band both ends or secure with a shoe string leaving both ends long for tying to secure around neck

Soak in cold water. It is ready in minutes rather then the longer time needed for the cool bandannas that take much longer.
I made this one in about 3 minutes and soaked it for about 3.

This could be done with the diaper core rolled into a bandanna just as easy.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

German Pancakes

This the kids love and it uses so many eggs!

Ingredients & Preparation
You will need
·         6 large Eggs
·         1 cup Milk
·         1 cup Flour
·         2tsp Vanilla
·         1/4tsp Salt
·         3tbsp Butter
Preparation Time:
15 minutes
Cooking Time:
20-25 minutes
Oven Temperature:
If you are lucky enough to have laying hens that lay well, then you may also have a problem. That would be the problem of way to many eggs for one family to use. Perhaps you have fried, scrambled, poached and boiled till your family has threatened to eat the dogs’ food if you serve them one more egg. Maybe you have even chucked a few eggs at the tree in the yard just to get rid of some. Don't worry we have a recipe that will help.

 Tell everyone that you are skipping the eggs this time and having a wonderful, tasty, golden puff of custard textured bread, that will please everyone.  German Pancakes, whip it up quickly in the blender, throw it in the oven and then take a break, because this one is easy and only looks like you know some culinary secret that others will wish they knew. And the great news is that one recipe can use half dozen eggs. If the kids look extremely hungry, make a double recipe and use a whole dozen eggs.
Just make sure when you are about to pull the huge, puffy, golden twisted cake from the oven, that you call everyone to the kitchen to see it at its full height. Some deflating will occur but the magic will still be there.
Step 1:
Preheat oven and in a large iron skillet or oven proof deep sided dish add shorting, allowing to melt in the pan or skillet. Be careful not to burn butter, but you want the pan to be very hot.

Step 2:
Add eggs, milk and vanilla to a blender and mix well, or using a large bowl, whip with whisk till well blended.
To milk mixture, add flour and salt.
Blend or whisk just till smooth.
Step 3:
Now carefully remove the hot pan from the oven and quickly pour the batter into the pan with the hot melted butter.
Put the pan back into the oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until very puffed and golden brown.

Cut into pie shaped wedges and serve with syrup or powdered sugar sprinkled over the top and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cowboy Coffee, Morning Fires

Last week I posted Sour Dough Flapjacks Cowboy Style and this cowboy coffee just has to go with that recipe. The old speckled pot went everywhere we went if cooking was to take place! From the kitchen to the fire pit and out on camp outs.We burned through at least 4 pots before I was a teenager.

This is not the original pot, but a scaled down version. The original could have eaten this little one for a snack!  
Cowboy Coffee, Morning Fires as I remember it!

   Whether summer or winter the morning would start the same everyday on the mountain. First the thumping of an axe as my father chopped kindling and the bang of the cook stove lids as he fired up the old Martha Washington cook stove. Soon the smell of wood smoke and warm currents of air drifted up the stairs to awaken everyone in the house.

The first order of business, after the fire was lit, was the making of his cowboy coffee. A large speckle ware coffee pot that held at least a gallon, was set over an open burner. Orange flames jumping against its blackened bottom and my father would add more dry oak wood. The water need to "roll with boil", as he said. Soon as the water was rolling up and small droplets jumped and spattered like tiny crystal marbles across the now hot iron of the stove top, my father would flip back the pots round lid.

“One, two, three, four, five, six,” he would count, adding heaping scoops of ground coffee to the bubbling water. I think he counted for the benefit of his young daughter who watched closely, trying to learn the exact science of this wonderful morning brew that everyone in the house drank, even ones perhaps too little. To know how to brew the coffee meant you had status among the sleepy family.

“Now” he would nod to me and I knew it was my turn.
“One thousand one, one thousand two…” and I would count for exactly 15 seconds. On 15 he pulled the coffee quickly off the hot burner and back to the cooler back of the stove.

“Now get the egg shells”, he ordered. Yes, eggs shells to trap the grounds at the bottom of the pot and I would hand him shells saved from yesterday’s breakfast. Into the pot they went and he would smile.
“Won’t be long now,” he would say. I would fetch the mugs and wait with him as we watched the time tick slowly out another five minutes on the old Seth Thomas clock above the stove. This was a precise art that could not be hurried.  Sweet smells teased our noses and made our mouths water. The second hand swept past 12.

Finally it was time; he would pour the black, strong liquid into the mugs. Only two thirds full, then the milk, swirling like the currents of the early spring floods, brown and dangerous.
Heaping spoons of sugar, a quick stir and a cup so full it always spilled on the way to our lips.

For  just a moment hesitation was best, just as the mug reached your waiting tongue and warm, sweet , coffee flavored steam condensed on your lip and nose and stirred your mind to awaken fully.

He would raise his eye brows and then wink.
“Good stuff,” he would tell me.
“Good stuff,” I would agree.
"Now lets feed them horses," he would say as he headed for the door.
"Yep, horses," I would run after him. After all I now had lots of energy.

At least three more times, the old speckled pot would be filled before the day burned out.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sourdough Flapjacks, Cowboy Style

In our back yard we have a great fire pit for cooking or just to build a fire in on cool nights and sit around till the stars make us dreamy. 
Oh yeah, and the smores that have been made around this fire...

...with sticky, ooy- gooy gobs of half burnt sugar and chocolate, the night is gar-on-teeed to be happy, laughing memory making into the wee star filled hours.

When the nights are so happy around the camp fire, why not start the day there also.
How 'bout a cowboy breakfast with
 Sourdough Flapjacks

How to Make Sourdough Flapjacks
Ingredients & Preparation
You will need
  • 1 cup Sourdough Starter
  • 2 cups Warm Water
  • 21/2 cup Flour
  • 2 large Eggs, well beaten
  • 2tbsp Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Milk or Cream
  • 3tbsp Butter
  • 1tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
20-24, 5 inch cakes
Preparation Time:
Cooking Time:
25-30 min.
These are great cakes with a tangy, wonderful flavor that you can only get from sourdough. If you have sourdough starter then you are set to make them, if not start some "starter" and in just a few days you will be ready to cook. ( recipe below) I like to make some batter up and then camp out in the yard with the kids. The next morning we have sourdough flapjacks for our “camp out at home’ breakfast.

Step 1:
 In a large bowl mix the sourdough starter, flour and water together. Set this in a warm place and let rest until morning. This allows the “sponge” to develop.

The next morning mix in the rest of the ingredients. Now allow this to rest for about 10 to 12 minutes. The mix should become very bubbly.

Step 3:
Time to cook!
Grease an iron skillet. Pour or dip out small amounts onto the skillet and cook, undisturbed till the bubbles that form in the cake are just starting to hold their shape as they pop.
Flip and cook until golden.
Serve with butter and syrup or with gravy.

Basic Sourdough Starter
Ingredients & Preparation
You will need
·         4 cups Warm Water
·         4 cups All Purpose Four                                                                                  .
·         2tbsp Sugar
·         2 1/4tsp Yeast

Step 1:
 Make sure your water is warm, between 110 to 115 degrees. This can be checked with an instant read thermometer or try the old fashion way, (after all we are going old school here), and sprinkle a bit on your wrist. If it is hot wait a few minutes, then check again. The water should feel nice and warm but not uncomfortable.

Step 2:
 Add sugar into water and stir.
Sprinkle yeast over water then allow to activate. When yeast begins to bubble and grow the yeast is proofed.

Step 3:
 In a large bowel add yeast mixture into flour and stir till combined. Do not worry if it is lumpy, the hungry yeast will take care of that as it grows.

Step 4:
 Now pour into a clean crock or large jar and cover with a cloth.
Set in a warm place for 3-4 days. Mixture will begin to bubble and grow and the traditional sourdough smell and flavor will begin to develop. At this point the starter is ready to use, but the longer you let it set and feed it on a schedule, the stronger that good flavor will be.

Using and Feeding:

Before using stir well then pour off the desired amount.
For every cup of starter used add back ½ cup flour to ½ cup warm water. This will feed and keep your starter growing and healthy.

When not using the starter for a few weeks feed starter and then cover and store in the refrigerator.
Feed every other week then return to the refrigerator. When ready to use again then bring back to room temperature and feed on a regular schedule for a few days. Often the starter will develop a blackish liquid after sitting for many days unused. This is normal. Pour off and then feed with fresh warm water and flour. Watch closely for bubbling. If starter bubbles after feeding then it is still alive and ready for the next use.

 If the starter should ever turn a strange color, orange, red and smell very badly then just throw it out and start more.

Use a very clean canning jar with the ring but no lid. Cut a small piece of thin cloth to fit beneath the ring and then screw ring into place. This allows the started to breath.