Wasn't last Sunday a beautiful day? The sun was shinning, and the temperature was perfect. The family reunion on the hilltop went smoothly, in spite of all my worrying. That happened largely because of the help I got from family and friends, and I am so very thankful for them. Two of the granddaughters, Cassidy and Baylee, really outdid themselves. They made signs, helped with the cleanup of the entire house and yard and even made most of our contributions of food. They helped with the cleanup after, also. Cassidy is getting quite good at making and decorating cakes so she showed off her talent. Everyone seemed to enjoy theirselves, so I guess it was a success since they want to come back again next year.
Did you take note of all the events coming up in our area that were noted in last Sunday's paper? If you didn't take a vacation this summer, now is your chance to really enjoy our valley. Attend as many as you can while we have nice weather. It will lift your spirit and give you enjoyment right here at home. Of course, there were too many to take advantage of all of them, so pick the ones that you and your family will enjoy the most. Don't let summer escape without doing some things just for you - you deserve a break, and those winter winds will be blowing before we realize that summer and fall have gone. There are many more fall festivals coming up, too, so enjoy.
Football season is here. The loud noises you hear are the shouts of all the football fans. Even high school is starting. Support your local school and the students by attending some or all of their games. Of course, parents and grandparents have to attend because they want to show their players they are supported, win or lose. Add, the kids appreciate it. Some of the smaller schools have to travel quite a ways to find opponents in their ranking and it can be an effort to attend those away games. We will really try, though.
College games are fun to watch, so find out what weeks your alma mater team is playing and hope it is broadcast. If you are a true-blue fan, you will probably be attending some of those games, especially if they are within a reasonable driving distance. There are so many college bowl games that you have a good chance to follow your school from now to the end ofthe year.
The big guys in football are starting their season, also. You always know where to find certain people when that season starts. The "armchair" coaches will be directing the real coaches in all three categories. They are usually hushed at the high school games, but college and professional ones need a lot of shouting and yelling. Of course, they can be heard from the local TV set to the far away place the game is being played. If your ears are somewhat tender, it might be a good idea to find something to do in another part of the house.
As school starts, it is so important to watch out for the little ones. And the buses will be running in all parts of our valley, so let's be on the alert for them.
It was with great sadness that I read of the passing of Joan Pritchard. Her articles were so interesting as she relayed the history she knew of the area and history she had lived. She didn't hold back if she thought something needed correction in our valley, either, and for that, I greatly admire her. Too many folks are afraid to speak up when something needs corrected. I looked forward to her weekly column and it will be missed. She really was a special lady and will be missed by all of us.
If you haven't finished your canning and freezing, it is time to get cracking.
Local farm markets and the auction (at Chesterhill) have veggies and fall fruits as they come into season. They will taste mighty good this winter when the cold winds blow. When you put food up yourself, you know what is in it, and more importantly, what is not in it. The flavors can be customized to what your family likes. I really enjoy canning those rows of jars give one a sense of accomplishment. It is much easier than one might think and gives a feeling of security to be able to "shop" in your own basement instead of the grocery store for your family's favorite foods. Jars of marmalade, jelly and pickles make perfect fillers for a "Christmas Basket" gift.
Don't forget the cookbook contest. Choose your favorite family recipes, especially those you have produced yourself. It is a chance to be famous in the valley. The cookbook with your recipes, and who the winners are, will be in the paper the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Do enter to be part of this local special event.
The recipes today are ones I enjoy making. Maybe you will too. Embrace the season (as well as your kids.) and attend some of the local events. God Bless.
PORK LOIN WITH ORANGE SAUCE
Eight pork chops, I-inch thick (or a 5-lb. Pork loin) One-half cup lemon juice
One-half cup soy sauce
One-half cup red wine
One-half teaspoon minced garlic Two teaspoons ground ginger Two-thirds cup sugar
One-half teaspoon cinnamon
One tablespoon grated orange rind Twenty whole cloves One-tablespoon cornstarch One-half teaspoon salt
One cup orange juice
Eight orange slices, cut into halves
Combine the lemon juice, soy sauce, wine, garlic and ginger to make a marinade. Pour this over the pork and marinate in the refrigerator overnight, turning occasionally. Remove the meat, reserving the marinade for basting. If using a loin roast, roast in a 350-degree oven for about 2 hours or until the meat registers 185-degrees on a meat thermometer, basting frequently with the reserved marinade. If using chops, saute until done on the stovetop, or put into the oven until done, also basting frequently with the marinade. Prepare the orange sauce by combining the sugar, spices (cloves tied in a cheesecloth bag), orange juice, orange rind, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan and cook over a medium heat, stirring frequently, until sauce is thickened and clear. Remove the bag with the whole cloves and add the orange slices. To serve, arrange meat on a serving platter and pour the sauce over the meat. Arrange the orange slices around and over the meat.
One pound pork, cut into half-inch cubes
One pound boneless chicken meat, cut into half-inch cubes F our cups water
One bell pepper, chopped
One pound onions, chopped
One pound smoked sausage, diced
One can cream of mushroom soup
One-bunch scallions, chopped
One-fourth cup fresh parsley, chapped
One pound rice
Ten drops Worcestersmre sauce
One-tablespoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Season the pork with salt, pepper and the garlic powder a few hours before you plan to cook it. Pour one-half cup of the water into a 6-quart pot or Dutch oven and add the pork. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for another 10 minutes. Stir in the onions and bell pepper and continue cooking for 15 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking. Mix in the smoked sausage and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Next, add in the rest of the water, scallions, parsley and rice. Bring to a boil and season to taste. Cover and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes, stirring once after 10 minutes.
CAKE MIX SHERRY CAKE
One-third cup brown sugar
One-fourth cup flour
Three tablespoons firm butter or margarine
One-half teaspoon cinnamon
One- fourth teaspoon nutmeg
Three- fourth cup toasted almonds
One regular package yellow cake mix
Four large eggs
Three- fourth cup cream sherry T
hree-fourth cup vegetable oil
One package (3 5/8-oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
One-half teaspoon nutmeg
Two cups sifted powdered sugar
One-third cup melted butter or margarine
One tablespoon cream sherry
One to 2 tablespoons hot water
Additional toasted almonds for topping
Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan. Prepare a streusel filling be rubbing 3 tablespoons butler into a mixture of the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and 1;4 teaspoon nutmeg until crumbly. Stir in the toasted almonds and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, one-fourth cup sherry, oil, pudding mix and 1 teaspoon nutmeg. Mix for I minute on low speed of electric mixer followed by three minutes at medium speed, making certain to scrape the bowl frequently. Pour half of the prepared batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with the streusel mixture then pour rest of batter over that. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 45-50 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly. Coolon a wire rack for 15 minutes before removing from pan, then leave to cool completely. While cake is cooling, prepare a sherry glaze by combining the powdered sugar, one-third cup melted butter, 1 tablespoon cream sherry and 1 tablespoon hot water.
Add more hot water if needed to make glaze thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. When cake if fully cool, brush with the glaze and sprinkle with more toasted almonds.
* * *
Patty Christopher is a longtime food columnist. Contact her at email@example.com