Sunday, December 17, 2017

Archive for September, 2004

A Bit of This and That

Jim just went to work and I am about my Father’s buisness, doing my homemaking. Jim asked me to fix meatloaf for supper, so I have the hamburger out thawing.

I just now took the empty Hersheys chocolate syrup jar and poured myself a cup of coffee in it. It had some of the scraping of chocolate syrup in it. Anyway, I added some milk and a bit of sugar and put the lid on it and shook it up. It’s Mocha coffee and it is a yummy. I do this with the marshmallow cream when it is empty, too. I make marshmallow coffee.

Papa said it was supposed to almost freeze tonight, so I have quite a few outdoor chores to do. I have to pick tomatoes and bring them in, and I brought in some of my other potted plants and herbs early this morning.

Yesterday afternoon, Jim came in with two nice big pumpkins. He had to deliver pizza at the garden shop, and they had pumpkins on sale for a buck apiece. So I have my fall tablecloth on our family table and the two pumpkins are sitting on it.

In the Autumn, around here, the squash is a good price and potatoes, onions, apples, etc. are fresh and easy to buy. I bought some peanut squash and acorn. Now, sometimes, I get a big squash and can’t even cut it in half, as the peel is so tough. So I will put the whole squash in the oven and bake it and, when it is half done, I take it out of the oven, cool it, then cut it in half and clean out the seeds. It’s easily cut after it is baked awhile. Then, I put it back in the oven to bake the rest of the way.

The peanut squash and acorn squash, I just put butter and brown sugar on it and eat it like this. It’s also good with honey and butter. I also smash up the peanut squash and make a pie with it. You just follow the same recipe as for pumpkin pie. The peanut squash pie tastes like pumpkin pie, except it has a nutty flavor. It’s by far my favorite Autumn pie. Also, the squash can be used instead of pumpkin in the spicey pumpkin breads.

Speaking of bread, I am out of bread and need to make either a yeast bread today, or muffins or biscuits for supper. Also, I plan to make some apple cookies. Ya just make the regular chocolate chip cookie recipe, but put in chopped apples instead of chocolate chips. Then add cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. If I have any raisins, I will put them in, too. And I will just use all brown sugar and no white, so they will taste more butterscotchy. And I may add some oatmeal and some maple flavoring … and maybe some peanut butter? Yup, that sounds good.

Sorry, I know I drive some of you nuts with my un-recipes. I should just say that I will be making a batch of cookies and leave it at that. My son Jimmy used to buy me recipe books and tell me, “Now, Mom you won’t have to use your imagination.” Well, imagination is a dangerous thing sometimes, I guess. But when I cook, I often clean out the cabinets and add a dab of this and that … out of a jar that only has a teaspoon of something in it. Sometimes I get away with that and, sometimes, my family wants to spank me for it.

So, anyway, I had better get back to work. I am off to the garden.

My Cast Iron Soup Pot

To me, folks worry too much about their cast iron. I have used mine for almost 40 years and, really, I don’t do much with it. I wash it just like I would any pan with soap and water.

I haven’t gotten that many new ones. Most of mine I have gotten at garage sales. But, when I get a new one, I just boil grease in it to season it. Mine get rusty sometimes and I just wash the rust off and boil some grease in it, before I cook in it, then dump the grease out. I mean, don’t wash it out — some grease will be left. No big deal.

I use mine a lot. I don’t use any other pans except for certain things. Like for fried eggs, I use a teflon skillet. Or, if I am making jam, I would use an enamal pan. I wouldn’t boil tomatoes, or make the sauce or ketchup, or cook rhubarb in cast iron. I would think the acid would some how combine with the iron and the food would taste funny. But I do boil potatoes or macaroni in my soup pot.

I make bread in my cast iron skillets. Also, I make pies in them, and cakes. If I am making a lot of pies, then I would just make one in the cast iron to be eaten within a day. Then, the other pies I would put in regular pie pans because you can’t store pie in a cast iron skillet … it would make the fruit turn black. Actually, you shouldn’t store any food in the cast iron.

I especially love my dutch oven, or my cast iron soup pot, with the bale handle. I start my soup on the top of my stove, and then I put it in the oven to simmer for the day if I plan to have it for supper. The cast iron can go from the stove top to the oven. But I start out by frying the meat in my pot and, while the meat is frying, I start cutting up vegetables. I just put them in as I get them cut up. Then I add the water, usually with a can of soup, or a gravy mix. The liquid has to cover the meat and vegetables. Then I add the herbs and spices and sometimes, after the soup has simmered in the oven for a while, I take it out and put it back on the stove top, bring it to a boil, and place homemade biscuits on the top. Then I put the pot quickly back into the oven on about 400

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