Archive for June, 2013

Pie Crusts Part 2

Below is an article from May 1983. It is part 2 of a series on pies and pie crusts. The first part can be found here.

May 1983

After giving three basic recipes for the old- fashioned type of pie crust last month, crusts made with shortening, flour and water, I began to think of some of the new types of crusts that are widely used. Included in these would be oil, meringue, graham cracker or vanilla wafer, and a shortbread type of crust.

Each of these crusts has advantages – either in ease of preparation or in having just the right characteristic for a particular type of pie. For some, a recipe using oil is preferred since the crust is pressed into the pan instead of being rolled out. The mess of flouring a board and rolling pin is avoided.

No-Roll Sweet Pie Shell

1/3 cup margarine

½ cup sugar

1 egg yolk

1 cup unsifted flour

Cream margarine and sugar with electric mixer. Add egg yolk and beat. Stir in flour. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of 9-inch pie pan. Prick surface with fork. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until light brown. Cool. Makes 1 pie shell.

No- Roll Oil Pie Shell

1 ½ cup sifted flour

2 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup oil

2 tablespoons milk

Combine dry ingredients. Add milk and oil all at once. Stir with a fork until a ball of dough forms. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Flute edges. Prick with fork. Chill for 30 minutes. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 1 pie shell.

Tart Shell

1 cup butter or margarine

½ cup sugar

2 cups sifted flour

Cream butter and sugar. Add flour. Stir into a ball. Roll out and cut with round cookie cutter to line muffin pans. Bake at 325° for 15 minutes – just to a faint tinge of brown. Cool. Remove from pans. Fill.

Makes 24 shells. This recipe will also make 2 regular pie shells or provide the base for a desert made in a 9×13- inch pan.

Meringue Pie Shell

3 egg whites

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

1/8 teaspoon salt

¾ cup sugar

Beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until foamy/ Add sugar slowly, beating all the time. Beat until peaks form. Spread meringue over the bottom and up the side of a well buttered 9-inch pan. Bake at 275° for 1 hour. Cool on rack. This can be used many ways. I like it filled with whipped cream and strawberries.

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Ice Cream and the Vineyard

My grandmother loved ice cream and wrote of it often in her columns. Below she describes an interesting ice cream shop that I plan on visiting again next week at the Vineyard.

 

June 1980

 

A feature story in Time last month covered in detail Americans’ passion for ice cream which reaches its peak in the New England states. They lead the nation in per capita consumption of the sweet confection. Having just spent two weeks in Connecticut and Massachusetts my farmer and I know that New Englanders do, indeed, have this addiction.

Ice cream stores are everywhere to tempt one with their delightful delicacies. One day I polished off 4 double dip cones, each with 2 different flavors of ice cream because I couldn’t choose which one of the beguiling flavors I wanted to lick for my own personal gustatory pleasure. To be perfectly objective I tried all of my top eight favorites and left the rest to be sampled on other days.

It was during the week spent on Martha’s Vineyard, an island 23 miles long and 7 miles wide, located in the Atlantic Ocean about an hours boat ride from Woods Hole, Massachusetts, that I came face to face with the Cadillac of the ice cream business – Mad Martha’s Ice Cream Store.

The owner was driven to writing poetry on his walls to express himself lyrically on the epicurean delight he offered in his store. His listed 35 flavors ranged from plain vanilla to an exotic mixture called heavenly hash. He also specialized in some distinctly peculiar flavors.

I sampled Large Mouth Bass ice cream made, as he bragged, with only the freshest vineyard fish. After tasting this, I personally, would just as soon eat pickled pigs feet ice cream. Wiser from this revolting experience I steered clear of quahog chowder ice cream, chicken noodle ice cream, (boasting the finest white meat of Perdue chicken) and bubble gum ice cream with a wad in every cone.

The store’s prize listing was advertised as a pig’s dinner which you ordered by oinking. It was billed as 1 dozen scoops of ice cream, 2 bananas, hosed down with whipped cream, many cherries, and a nose full of nuts – all this for $9.95.

This type of humor was working. It looked as if every one of the numerous visitors who land on the island daily came in for ice cream.

Getting away from the temptations of the coastal town we decided the island didn’t have much potential for farmland. The sandy soil was covered with scrubby oak trees, beach plums and salt grass. Also, it is a little expensive to farm – the going price is $20,000 an acre. Jackie Onassis had bought 300 acres more or less and built a palatial home on it last year.

In the early days the people on the island made their money from shipping and later the towns and harbors became centers for the whaling industry. The land itself was devoted to grazing sheep and raising grapes for wine.

The greatest attraction now is the ocean and the fragile beauty of the countryside. The bays and inlets are alive with sailing craft and the beaches are full of people when the sun shines.

For me I found the ocean fun, but so cold it took most of the afternoon to muster enough courage to go in. Then when I was in, the rolling waves had a bad habit of knocking me down. On the last day I learned to ride a giant size inner tube through the waves and was beginning to feel like an old salt when it was time to say farewell to the beach and ocean and return to gloriously green Kansas, where the milo had grown a foot taller in our absence.

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Healthy Family Eating

This article from June 1979 contains advice that is still very relevant today, avoid processed junk foods and stick to whole foods as much as possible. There is also a nice chicken stew recipe at the end.

 

June 1979

Balancing the food budget and a family’s nutritional needs can be a tricky proposition these days. If you add family food preferences the balancing act becomes even more precarious. Complicating the problem even further are the TV hucksters who convince the kids that this overpriced, highly sugared cereal or that chemical ridden soft drink is essential for them to eat or drink if they are going to pass the third grade and become a fourth grade beauty queen or football hero.

What is a mother to do short of jumping off a bridge, running away from home or letting the offspring consume what they want until their hair and teeth fall out from malnutrition? First, decide that you are the family’s nutritional food expert in charge of the food budget in your own household. Be sure to check your credentials and see that they are in order for this big assignment. Remember if junk food is not in the refrigerator and cupboards, it will not be eaten – at least while the kids are home.

Of course, if you take the family off junk food you have to cook good meals 3 times a day. One plan for a nutritional main meal is to use a pattern of serving broiled, grilled or baked meat, a potato prepared without grease or oil, a plain or cream cooked vegetable and a leafy salad accompanied by whole wheat bread with milk for a beverage.

At the present time potatoes are cheap and contain high grade carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. Canned vegetables are less expensive now than frozen. Fresh carrots are much better buys than canned or frozen ones. Celery and lettuce supply food fiber at low cost. Of course, home grown products are the best of all.

Another way to serve a good meal at a reasonable cost is to use a casserole for the main item containing ingredients from all 4 food groups such as meat or fish, complementary vegetables, cheese topping and a crust of pasta base.

There is a pitfall to beware of in casserole recipes in popular cookbooks. Many of our current recipes were originally put out by soup companies and feature cans of prepared soup which increase the cost and at the same time reduce the food value. Try to find recipes using basic ingredients. A homemade white sauce can be substituted for cream soups in casseroles.

Farmer’s Chicken Stew or Pie
2 ½ cups chicken stock 1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup chopped celery 1 cup diced potatoes
½ cup chopped onion 1 package, 10 oz. frozen peas
1 teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cups milk ½ cup flour
2 ½ cups cooked cut up chicken
Bring chicken stock, carrots, celery, potatoes, onion, salt and pepper to a boil and cook 5 minutes. Add peas. Cook 5 minutes. Slowly add flour beating to remove lumps. Slowly add flour mixture to hot chicken stock and vegetables stirring constantly until thickened. Add chicken.

As a chicken stew this can be served plain or over toast, cornbread squares or biscuits.

2 ½ cups cooked beef and 2 ½ cups beef stock may be substituted for the chicken if desired. For a chicken pie prepare this topping:

½ cup all purpose flour 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt ½ cup rolled oats
1 egg, beaten 1 tablespoon melted shortening
½ cup milk
Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add oats, egg, shortening and milk. Pour stew in a 2 ½ quart casserole. Spoon topping over hot base. Bake at 425° 20 to 25 minutes.

This is a complete meal and a strawberry sundae would be a perfect ending.

 

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National Dairy Month

This article from June 1982 celebrates National Dairy month. Enjoy a glass of milk while you read about the work that goes into getting it there. There is also an added recipe at the end that goes nicely with milk.

 

June 1982

June is Dairy Month. We are so accustomed to seeing the dairy case filled with reasonably priced milk that most of us take it for granted. Few people realize that behind the scenes is a complicated set of marketing problems that must be solved in order to provide consumers with an adequate supply of fresh dairy products.

Since the demand for milk varies from season to season it appears on the surface it would be simple to produce milk only when it is needed. It isn’t.

Unfortunately, dairy cows are temperamental creatures who hate cold, wet weather and love warm, sunny days. They like to freshen in the spring, feast on lush green pastures, lie in the shade and give torrents of milk just when school is out and the lemonade and soft drink season hits the whole country. Result: less demand for milk at the time more milk is being produced.

This situation has long been a problem of the dairy Co-ops who constantly work to even out the yearly supply of milk and, at the same time, have the dairy cases full when the consumer is ready to drink more milk.

Behind every tanker truck of milk you pass on the highway are several dairy families who get up early 365 days a year, slosh out to the barn in the rain or snow or early sun to get in the cows, wash the udder, and start the milking machines. Since no one has bred a profitable one- time- a- day milking cow the whole process of preparation, feeding, milking and clean- up is repeated again in the afternoon. It doesn’t matter if it’s graduation day, a wedding in the family, or Christmas. To the cows each day is the same.

Family vacations are a problem since cows definitely prefer milkers to whom they are accustomed. Often the family takes no vacation or arranges for some member to stay behind and milk, which partially spoils the fun for the ones vacationing.

When you buy a gallon of clean, health- giving milk say a silent word of thanks to the people who have chosen dairying as a way of life. They’ll keep right on making personal sacrifices in order to keep the barn conditions serene and the milking schedule regular for that most temperamental of all prima donnas – the dairy cows.

Beef/Corn Bread Casserole
Casserole: 8 ounces lean ground beef 2/3 cup chopped onions
¼ cup sliced pitted ripe olives ¼ cup catsup
1 teaspoon chili powder ½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder 1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow corn meal 2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk ¼ cup ( ½ stick) butter, melted
1 egg, slightly beated 1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels (3 to 4 ears) OR 1 can (12 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained
8 slices (8 oz.) Monterey Jack cheese
Sauce: 1 can (16 oz.) tomatoes, undrained 2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup chopped celery ¼ cup chopped green pepper
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon pepper
For casserole, cook meat and onion in skillet until meat is browned and crumbly; drain off excess fat. Stir in olives, catsup and seasonings. Cook and stir 2 minutes; set aside. Preheat oven to 400° F. Combine flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder and salt in mixing bowl. Add milk, butter, and egg. Stir just until all ingredients are moistened. Stir in corn until combined. Place half of the meat mixture over batter. Place 5 slices of cheese over meat. Cover with remaining batter and meat mixture. Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Cut remaining cheese slices into 2 triangles each. Place cheese over meat. Return to oven just until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, for sauce, combine all ingredients in medium-sized saucepan. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf. To serve, cut corn bread mixture in squares; spoon sauce over each serving.

 

Serve with a green salad, milk and ice cream for dessert.

The bland coolness of dairy products will cool the palate after a zesty main dish.

 

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