Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

A Picture from Edna

I wanted to make Irish Soda Bread for Saint Patrick’s Day, but before I got it made, Easter had arrived. This bread actually tasted a lot better than it looks in the photograph, and it sliced beautifully. Oh, was it ever easy!

I cannot remember if I ever made this before, so I went to my favorite on-line Recipe Book – Elise’s and sure enough she had a nicely illustrated recipe. Then I got to wondering how authentic would it be to use a recipe from a Californian, so I went looking for something a bit more Irish.

The first I found claimed to be the “world authority” for “authentic” Irish Soda Bread. All I could find at that site, besides the pop up ads, were warnings of what ingredients NOT to use. No nuts! No raisins or even currants! No orange rind! No sugar, honey or treacle! What’s treacle? No eggs! No shortening! No whiskey! NO Whiskey?? And, … if you dare to use any of those forbidden ingredients  – you will be making CAKE  not bread!  So there! Since I never did find Any recipe at all, I got bored and a bit rankled. Let them eat soda bread!

I tried another Irish site, and it was the opposite — too many recipes using too many ingredients, most of which I did not have on hand, especially the hot peppers. And again it was so full of advertising that I felt myself in a maze.

So it was back to Ms. California Elise’s and I “kinda” followed her instructions and all went well. Of course, as always, I improvised. I halved her recipe and since I didn’t feel like hunting to see if I had any pastry flour, I just used what was in the flour bin. I used table cream with vinegar instead of sour milk. I used a whole egg, instead of a half, since I halved the recipe. Yes, I used the sugar, even though the Irish site said it was verboten. And just to be extremely devilish, I used grated orange rind. I think that made the bread extra tasty. HA! Next time I going to go for the whiskey. After-all, it is IRISH bread, isn’t it? Here’s Elise’s recipe: http://www.elise.com/recipes/archives/004338irish_soda_bread.php

I cooked it in a Corning ware dish instead of cast iron and used a much lower temperature – 325 degrees, as I was in no hurry, and I didn’t want it to come out as brown as the one in Elise’s picture.

The image, Irish Soda Bread, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Palaver for more of Edna’s writings.


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Turkey Pies

A Picture from Edna

This year I created a Turkey Pie recipe to serve during the Thanksgiving weekend. I based it upon the French-Canadian tourtière recipe that I sometimes made years ago, using ground turkey breast in place of most of the ground pork.

The Recipe

The image, Turkey Pie, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account. Visit Neddy’s Archives, for more of Edna’s writings.

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A Picture from Edna

I made my Brer Rabbit Cookies today and once I saw how they had come out all crinkled, I remembered where I had first discovered the recipe for them. It was from my long time Navy-wife friend Elaine Rypka. These were cookies that I first enjoyed at her house and I remember being quite intrigued with the appearance of their sugary crackles. It was Elaine who told me that the recipe was from the Brer Rabbit molasses bottle.

That is one of my long ago memories that had almost vanished, but it came back. There is also the memory of the beautiful wood baking racks that I have been using for thirty years. I have a set of three; the two small ones seen here and one large one. It is such a pleasure to place beautiful cookies such as these, or casserole dishes, onto these racks to cool. My long ago friend, Don Denault, made these for me as a gift, and I have not forgotten that either.

I posted the recipe for these cookies here: Edna’s Cookies.

The image, Brer Rabbit Cookies, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives, for more of Edna’s writings.

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The Downside of Popcorn

I think I need to rethink my praises for the new popcorn recipe that I found HERE. It was so good that both my husband and I have been making snacks, and actual meals of popcorn. However, the results are showing on my cook-top. It is a mess – splattered with oil. And if that is not bad enough, yesterday Cliff decided to try popping the kernels using butter instead of oil. I know some people have written that it can be done, but believe me, he could not do it. Everything, including the popcorn turned out black. I went to the grocery today and purchased him some special butter flavored oil for popping.

Now I remember why we liked the microwave popcorn bags so well. No mess!

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Discovering this “new” old popcorn recipe has certainly been an eye-opener for me. I found it at a food blog where the author wrote that her mother discovered it years ago from a popcorn package.  Yes, this is the way we made popcorn back in the fifties and sixties, and it had been long forgotten by me.  We have been using air-poppers and then microwave poppers, and now ready-made microwave bags, so that most of us have no idea how good popcorn can taste when made the old-fashioned way.

Making popcorn from scratch oftentimes resulted in scorched Old Maids (unpopped kernels). The author claimed that this recipe produced “Perfect Pop Corn,” unburned, with all the kernels popped. I was motivated to put her to the test. No longer storing “real” popcorn in my pantry, I went to the grocery and  purchased a jar of gourmet popcorn by that guy with the funny sounding name that I cannot spell.

So far I have produced three batches of perfect popcorn. The first I popped in a heavy duty Emeril pan. The second two I used a cast iron enameled Cousances pan with a glass lid. It was really fun to watch the kernels popping and the iron pan has a spout, so that the lid does not fit air-tight, which, they say, helps to keep the popcorn crisper. Perhaps, in the past, we did not have access to such fine pans in our kitchen.  These are heavy-duty guys! I have a gas range, and I was not able to shake the pans. I did tilt them a bit – but that may not even be necessary.

I used canola oil and “gourmet” freshly ground salt, and found the taste of this popcorn to be so incredibly delicious right out of the pan that I did not use the butter. I think we will be eating breakfast, lunch and dinner for a while from that jar of Orville’s popcorn.

Elise’s Perfect Popcorn

  • 3 Tbsp canola, peanut or grapeseed oil (high smoke point oil)
  • 1/3 cup of high quality popcorn kernels
  • 1 3-quart covered saucepan
  • 2 Tbsp or more (to taste) of butter
  • Salt to taste

1 Heat the oil in a 3-quart saucepan on medium high heat.

2 Put 3 or 4 popcorn kernels into the oil and cover the pan.

3 When the kernels pop, add the rest of the 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels in an even layer. Cover, remove from heat and count 30 seconds. (Count out loud; it’s fun to do with kids.) This method first heats the oil to the right temperature, then waiting 30 seconds brings all of the other kernels to a near-popping temperature so that when they are put back on the heat, they all pop at about the same time.

4 Return the pan to the heat. The popcorn should begin popping soon, and all at once. Once the popping starts in earnest, gently shake the pan by moving it back and forth over the burner. Once the popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove the pan from the heat, remove the lid, and dump the popcorn immediately into a wide bowl.

With this technique, nearly all of the kernels pop (I counted four unpopped kernels in my last batch), and nothing burns.

5 If you are adding butter, you can easily melt it by placing the butter in the now empty, but hot pan.

6 Salt to taste.

Makes two quarts, a nice amount for two people, or for one hungry one.

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