Archive for August, 2013

Peaches

I can never get enough peaches in the summer time. This column is full of delicious recipes for peaches. Though eating them fresh and plain is just as delicious as well.

September 1983

Biting into a juicy, tree- ripened peach is one of the remembered joys of summer. We are lucky to live close to plenty of good peach orchards and to have a bountiful supply.

A family can jump in the car, drive to the orchard and go peach picking. It is fun to select the plumpest and smoothest specimens. Coming home with peach-filled kids plus a couple of bushels in the car trunk they are all set for some choice eating.

If you can’t get around to eating all of them, fresh peaches freeze well. They are easy to skin by just scalding for a couple of minutes and immersing in ice water. The skins will slip off easily. Scalding too long ruins their color, so work quickly and do small batches at a time.

I like to put a few in small plastic bags and open them on a winter night. They make a delightful bedtime snack served while still slightly frozen with a drizzle of light cream.

Old- Fashioned Peach Pie

5 cups sliced peaches

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons flour

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon almond flavoring

2 tablespoons butter

Pastry for 2 crust pie

Roll out bottom crust. Combine all ingredients. Pour into crust. Roll out top crust. Cut slits. Moisten crust’s rim. Press on top crust. Carefully pinch edges. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes on bottom rack of oven. If top isn’t brown then raise to top rack for five minutes. Serve while still slightly warm.

Note: 2 tablespoons of red hots instead of the cinnamon gives a nice pink color.

Fresh Peach Cobbler

Pastry for 2-crust pie

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup water

1 tablespoon butter

5 cups sliced peaches

2 tablespoons flour

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ginger

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Roll pastry. Line 9-inch pan. Roll top crust. Mix sugar and cornstarch. Add water and butter. Cook until thick. Stir in peaches. Cool. Pour into crust. Sprinkle with flour and spices. Cover with top crust. Bake at 425° for 35 minutes.

Peach Dumplings

Pastry for 2-crust pie

Syrup:

1 cup sugar

2 cups water

3 tablespoons butter

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Filling:

6 peaches, peeled, halved & seeded

½ cup sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoon butter

Roll pastry 1/8 – inch thick. Cut into six 7-inch squares. Bring syrup ingredients to boil. Boil 3 minutes. Put whole peach in center of each pastry square. Fill center with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Dot with 1 teaspoon butter. Bring points of pastry over peach and pinch together. Pour 1 cup of the hot syrup in pan. Put in dumplings. Bake at 425° for 45 minutes. Serve warm with rest of syrup poured over dumplings. Cream is nice to pour over, too.

Glazed Peach Pie

6 cups sliced peaches

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup orange juice

Pie shell, baked

Sweetened whipped cream

Mash enough of the peaches to make 1 cupful. Reserve rest of peaches. Combine sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon. Stir in orange juice and mashed peaches. Cook on top of stove or in microwave until thickened. Spread half over the bottom of pie shell. Arrange the sliced peaches over glaze. Spoon rest of glaze over peaches. Chill 3 hours. Top with whipped cream.

Pecan Peach Pie

4 cups sliced peaches

¾ cup sugar, white

3 tablespoons flour

1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice

1/3 cup brown sugar

¼ cup flour

3 tablespoon butter

½ cup chopped pecans

1 unbaked 9” pie shell

Combine sugar, peaches, the 3 tablespoons flour and lemon juice. Mix well. Combine brown sugar, the ¼ cup flour and butter. Cut in butter with pastry blender. Add pecans. Spread ½ of this mixture in bottom of unbaked pie shell. Arrange peach mixture over this. Top with remaining pecan mixture.

Bake at 400° for 40 minutes. Chill. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

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Salads from the Garden

Salads are always a good go to meal when the garden is flourishing.

August 2, 1884

I haven’t had much time for trying out new recipes or thinking up a topic for Eating Naturally. The garden here has been over producing. We ate roasting ears for 3 solid weeks and are now on a cucumber, tomato and zucchini diet with a pot of green beans thrown in for good measure.

With all the fresh vegetables available it’s easy to put a pan of garden- fresh vegetables on the stove and overcook them. This results in a once vitamin- rich food reaching the table with most of the vitamins gone.

So eat all the vegetables raw that you can. Try cucumber sticks crisped in ice water as an out- of-hand snack. Zucchini slices are a good addition to a tossed salad. And don’t forget the old reliables, green onions, radishes, carrots and celery that have long been favorites eaten raw.

If you cook the vegetables try gourmet cooking techniques to preserve the vitamins and minerals. To retain the nutritive content, decrease the cooking time.

Also, vitamin leaching (the dissolving of the nutrients into the cooking liquid) is particularly serious, so it’s wise to use the smallest amount of water possible when cooking vegetables.

Water soluble vitamins, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and C, are preserved by cooking leafy vegetables using only the water clinging to them after they are washed. Be careful they don’t burn. The night we had our last pitch party I cooked Swiss Chard this way for supper. After turning the burner on high, I got busy chasing some dirt that had eluded me and forgot the Swiss Chard until the odor of charring greens permeated the whole house. The smell was overpowering but was even worse after I tried to get rid of it by spraying room deodorant all around. The smell lingered on through the whole party and for several days afterward.

For green beans, peas, carrots or beets a fourth to a half cup of water is suggested for best results. Cook only until crispy tender for maximum vitamin retention. Here, too, care is needed to avoid burning them.

A garden salad is a super way to use raw vegetables. Croutons are nice served with them but they are expensive. Here is a recipe for home made croutons. Of course, you can use white bread if you prefer.

Whole Wheat Croutons

Cut 3 slices whole wheat bread in 1/2 inch cubes. Spread out in a pan and toast in oven until crisp, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle with herbs or with curry powder. Put in a plastic bag and seal.

This recipe produces a product similar to Eagle Brand that is called for in so many recipes and is so expensive.

Condensed Milk

1/2 cup boiling water

1/4 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 cup powdered milk

Blend or beat until smooth. Will thicken later. Makes 1 pint.

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Garden Vegetables

Summer is winding down and the garden is flourishing. Here are some recipes for those garden vegetables.

August 1979

After all the long, hot days of harvest, haying, and truck driving it is exhausting to even think about continuing to cook 3 good meals a day for the rest of summer. Then, just when you feel you are too tired to hustle one more time, the garden goes into high gear and turns out bushels of produce. So it is time to rev up your failing motor and push through the picking, preparing, freezing, and canning chores.

While the garden bonanza is flourishing, let’s review the best method of cooking vegetables for the table. A good principle to remember is the fresher the food the better it tastes. If it is not to be eaten raw, cook it quickly in a small amount water to conserve the nutrients. Here are some recipes that will dress up your own garden vegetables for a little variety.

 

Sweet and Sour Swiss Chard

6 Cups torn or cut raw Swiss chard or spinach

3 slices bacon

½ cup sliced green onions

4 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons flour

1/3 cup water

¼ cup vinegar

½ teaspoon salt

Place chard in large salad bowl. Cook bacon until crisp. Drain, keeping ¼ cup bacon fat. Crumble bacon. Cook onion in the ¼ cup bacon fat. Blend in sugar, flour and salt. Pour over chard, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with bacon. Serve at once.

Makes 6 servings. 45 calories each.

 

Zucchini Casserole

3 medium zucchini

1 cup rice

¾ pound cheese

1 can mushroom soup

½ cup milk

3 slices bacon, cut in inch squares

Combines soup and milk. Layer zucchini, rice, and cheese in 8” x 13” casserole. Pour soup over. Place bacon on top. Bake at 350° for 45 to 50 minutes.

Serves 8 or 10

 

Skinny Carrots

6 medium-size carrots, grated (3 cups)

1/3 cup chopped onion

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

½ tsp. butter flavored salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

2 tsp. Butter

Measure carrots, onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper into lightly greased one-quart baking dish. Mix well. Dot with butter. Cook covered in 350° F oven for 25 minutes or until carrots are cooked as desired.

6 servings. 30 calories each.

 

 

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Making Ice Cream

Though I love ice cream all year round it is especially nice in the summertime, and so is making it yourself. This article from August 1981 explains how.

 

August 1981

These hot summer days bring back memories of the old ice cream freezer that Dad used for homemade ice cream on Sundays and birthdays.

How excited I was to help him: to jiggle the block of ice into a gunny sack, to run and get the axe he used to crack the ice, to sprinkle in the salt, and to take a turn at cranking the handle of the freezer. Even better, was getting to lick the paddle with the other kids after the ice cream was frozen. I still remember how marvelous the velvety ice cream tasted as each creamy globule melted in my mouth.

Nowadays it’s a lot easier to make ice cream, but it’s still as delicious as ever if it is made with honest- to- goodness cream, milk, and eggs. The price of the homemade treat will be a little more than the store bought variety, but the flavor is worth every penny it costs.

 

Vanilla Ice Cream

4 eggs

2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons vanilla

3 cups thick cream

4 cups milk, approximately

1/8 teaspoon salt

Beat eggs. Add sugar. Beat thoroughly. Add rest of ingredients. Beat again. Pour into gallon freezer until freezer is a little less than ¾ full. Add more milk if needed to be ¼ full. Freeze.

 

Peach Ice Cream

3 cups fresh peaches, mashed

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

4 cups milk

3 cups whipping cream

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon almond extract

¼ teaspoon salt

Combine peaches and lemon juice. Combine rest of ingredients. Add peaches to this milk mixture. Freeze in gallon ice cream freezer.

 

Strawberry Ice Cream

4 cups crushed berries

2 eggs

2 cups sugar

3 cups milk

3 cups whipping cream

½ teaspoon almond extract

½ teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

Beat eggs until foamy. Add sugar. Beat until thick. Add milk, whipping cream, almond extract, and salt. Blend in strawberries. Freeze in ice cream freezer. If using frozen berries, decrease the sugar to 1 ¼ cups.

 

Chocolate Ice Cream

4 cups milk

1 cup cocoa

1 cup light corn syrup

4 eggs

2 cups sugar

4 cups whipping cream

1 tablespoon vanilla

Combine cocoa and small amount of milk to make a paste. Add corn syrup. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cool. Beat eggs until foamy; gradually beat in sugar. Add cocoa mixture. Stir in remaining ingredients. Chill. Freeze in ice cream freezer.

 

Variations:

Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream: After freezing, stir in 2 cups coarsely crumbled brownie crumb.

Rocky Road Ice Cream: After freezing, stir in 2 cups of miniature marshmallows and 1 cup chopped pecans.

Black Walnut Ice Cream: After freezing, stir in 1 cup chopped black walnuts.

Marshmallow Swirl: Blend 1 cup marshmallow crème with a small amount of water. After freezing, transfer ice cream to a plastic freezer container. Alternate layers of ice cream with marshmallow crème. Swirl each layer with spatula for marbled effect. Place in freezer to ripen.

 

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