Welcome to fall with new recipes
Fall is really here. The mornings are cool and delightful for sitting out on the deck with that first cup of coffee. The days warm up — a little too much — and require summer clothing. We can enjoy these sunny days, but a little rain would be welcome on the lawns and gardens.
The lawn here on the hilltop has about given up and will probably need to be reseeded next spring. The garden is gone. A few, but very few, brave tomato plants have small tomatoes on them. The rest have dried up completely. Of course, it because we didn’t get the watering hoses connected this year, like we usually do, so the tomato plants just decided to forget the whole deal. Usually, we have big, bragging size, and bragging quantity, of tomatoes. Not this year. I didn’t even make it to the local Farmers’ Markets to purchase tomatoes to make our salsa. Mark that up to old age saying, “No canning today.” That garden depressed me into being lazy. I am looking forward to a better “country summer” next year. The okra got only knee-high this year, a sure sign of “garden failure.” Not to worry as “store bought” sauces and veggies are good with a little added seasoning and are a lot less work.
Did you have too many places you planned to visit to get to them all? I did, even with letting some of my summer chores slide. There is no worry about that here on the hilltop, though. I enjoyed just relaxing out here in the country. Sometimes we think we want to do so much that we don’t take the time just “to be”. Some folks say that is laziness; I say it is just enjoying life on one’s own time.
Have you noticed the increase of traffic in our area? I guess it is a sign of growth in the area, but it does cause one to be more careful on the highway. Care is especially needed when one sees all the drivers with cell phones glued to their heads.
I believe there is a law about that. Here is an idea for the city for more income: increase the fines for talking on cell phones while driving to a few hundred dollars and hire some enforcers to do nothing but catch the offenders with their pay being half of each fine on each person caught. Safer roads, more money for the city, and law-enforcement taught.
Another larger fine that could be added is a huge fine to those who don’t pay attention to school buses. It seems there are some folks who have forgotten school has started and all of us need to watch out for the little ones running to get on the bus.
This area is pretty good about watching out for the kids, but all it takes for a horrible incident is one careless driver.
Amy and her crew are busy working on the recipes that have been sent in for the Cookbook Contest. Did you get yours in? The judges see only a number and never know who has submitted the recipes they are judging so that it is equal for everyone. Good luck to all of you who have entered. The Cookbook is a big deal, for the cooks, for the judges, and for all cooks who take that cookbook that is printed each year and try new dishes for their family and friends. No matter how long you have been cooking, you can always learn some new tricks in the kitchen.
Our animal family is changing again. One granddaughter, who wants to become a veterinarian assistant, has brought in another rescued cat. Now, the last thing I need is another cat in the house, but I think she will hold her own as a barn cat.
She is a pretty little thing, long-haired, white and yellow, with a loud meow. That meow will get tested when she sees the vet for her mandatory “no more kittens that need homes” visit. It is so heartbreaking to see pictures of the animals that suffer from lack of food, care and a home. Our animals are like our children as is the case with most folks and their pets. I know we can’t save them all, but we try to help the ones that show up here on the hilltop. It is a cruel person who just dumps animals out in the country when they get tired of them. Sometimes I think there must be a sign at the bottom of our hill that says “cat and dog abandonment site” because of the number of animals our neighbors and us have saved.
Folks should consider the future of a puppy or kitten before they adopt it. Don’t bring them here — this animal hotel is overbooked.
The recipes today contain some sauce and salad dressing recipes. Sauces are relatively easy to make and you can adjust the flavor to get that special taste that makes it your own. Even homemade mayonnaise is easy to make. Salad dressings are so much better made fresh. Try a few and you may never buy a bottled dressing again.
Hug your kids, take a batch of cookies or a pie to your neighbor, donate the clothes you no longer wear to a donation center to help someone who needs them, and think happy thoughts. “As we think, we are.”
God bless us all and God bless America!
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 cup salad oil
Blend all ingredients except oil in blender until very well mixed. Add oil (through opening in top of lid) VERY slowly and in a thin stream. As soon as mixture thickens, it is finished. Use immediately or store in covered jar in refrigerator.
This is a basic recipe — change flavors by adding other ingredients, like minced garlic or fresh herbs.
SEAFOOD COCKTAIL SAUCE
1 cup catsup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon horseradish
Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients. Keep in covered jar in refrigerator.
APRICOT SAUCE FOR PANCAKES
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 eighth teaspoon cinnamon
1 can apricot nectar
Cook together until thick (pancake syrup consistency).
Idea for serving — place sausage patty between 2 pancakes and pour Apricot Sauce over top.
ONION SAUCE FOR VEGETABLES
1 can Cream of Vegetable soup
3 small cooked onions, chopped fine
1/2 stick butter
Blend soup, milk and chopped onion. Add butter. Heat through. DO NOT BOIL!
For each pint:
On first day, cut fruit in half and remove seeds. Cut away and discard the ends. Slice the fruit as thinly as possible. Barely cover with water in a glass or enamel bowl. Leave overnight at room temperature.
On second day, put the mixture in an enamel or stainless steel pan and boil 30 minutes. Cover and leave at room temperature.
On the third day, measure fruit mixture. Add an equal amount of sugar. Cook over a slow heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning. 1 hour later, test in a cool saucer for thickness. If still runny, cook a little longer. Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal.
BAKED SLICED POTATOES
4 large baking potatoes
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup salad oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
Cut unpeeled potatoes into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place overlapping slices in buttered oven-to-table baking pan, 13x9x2-inch. Mix butter and oil. Brush slices with this mixture. Pour remaining mixture over potatoes and sprinkle with the garlic, salt, and thyme. Bake in 400-degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are done and browned on the edges. Serve immediately.
GERMAN WEINER SCHNITZEL
Thin slices of veal, filet cut — pound with saucer or meat mallet if not thin
2 egg yolks
Salt and pepper
Melted butter for frying
Lemon slices for garnish
Beat the egg yolks and combine with salt and pepper — place in shallow bowl. Place flour in a shallow bowl. Place bread crumbs in another shallow bowl. Dip veal slices, 1 at a time, in flour, then in egg mixture, then in crumbs, pressing so crumbs adhere to veal. Fry in hot butter. Garnish with lemon slices.
NOTE: Veal is traditional, but I have used this method for chicken, pork and even beef. Just make certain the slices are pounded thin.
HOT MULLED CIDER
1 gallon cider
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 8-inch stick cinnamon
Tie allspice, ground cinnamon and cloves in a small bag. Add sugar, bag of spices and stick cinnamon to cider. Heat about 20 minutes under the boiling point or until flavor suits your taste. Longer cooking make a spicier flavor. DO NOT BOIL! Serve hot, in mugs or punch bowl.
Patty Christopher is a longtime columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.