Archive for Baking

Spring Time

May 14, 1987

With spring settling in and the lawn growing like mad, a garden to plant, the asparagus to pick and freeze, and the social life of a small community to keep up with, May is a month full of activity for most of us.

But I’m going to find time to go quietly outdoors and enjoy the sunshine and the balmy southern breezes. People who aren’t in awe with Kansas call those same breezes hot winds, but I prefer to give them a nice name and enjoy the fresh air they bring in as they blow by.

Here are some recipes that can be made up fairly quick and then reheated in the microwave as you linger outside past the time to start supper.

Rye Bread

1 cup rye flour

1 cup unbleached flour

1 tablespoon sugar

3/4 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon caraway seed

6 tablespoons butter

3/4 cup milk

1/3 cup raisins

Mix dry ingredients. Cut in butter with pastry blender. Stir in milk and raisins. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan before removing.

You can also add a half cup of sunflower seeds to this recipe.

I made up a double recipe and had a little trouble adjusting the taste. I’m pretty sure I’ll leave out the raisins next time. It is good served with cheese and also good as toast. After eating it for three days I’m growing more fond of it. Nutritionally, this bread is a good deal.

Several of asked for the recipe for the Spanish Rice thaw was at the Sedgwick-Halstead UMW luncheon meeting. Here it is, but it is one of those recipes that can be varied for individuals taste preferences.

Spanish Rice

1 cup raw rice

1 pound hamburger

1 cup chopped green onions

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

1 tablespoon oil

2 tablespoons Worcestshire sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon liquid smoke

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

5 cups tomato sauce

1 cup cooked cracked wheat

6 cheese slices

Cook rice according to package directions. Cook peppers and onions in the hot oil until translucent. Remove from skillet. Lightly brown hamburger. Drain well. Add rest of ingredients, but just add 2 cups of the tomato sauce. Simmer for 2 hours adding the rest of sauce as needed. After 1 1/2 hours add the cooked cracked wheat.

When sauce is thick add the rice and simmer until blended. Top with cheese and serve.

Bitki

3 slices bread

1 pound hamburger

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon butter

2 cups small cooked potatoes

1 cup commercial sour cream

Soak bread in water for five minutes. Drain and mix with hamburger, onion, salt and black pepper. Shape into patties and saute in hot butter. Remove patties to a small casserole and bake in oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

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March

Nothing to exciting is going on right now, so this article seemed appropriate.

March 1982

March is a very trying month. Even though the weather spells winter it is time to plant peas, potatoes, lettuce, spinach and radishes. A few sweet peas will add charm to a fence in the garden.

The wind blows in so much dirt it is useless to start house cleaning before the vegetation has greened. But it is a good time to sew, crochet, or knit; a good time to fill the freezer with food for the busy days when the planting season is on us; a good time to prepare mixes that can be stored in a cool, dry place for several months.

Brownie Mix

4 cups sugar

2 cups flour

1 1/3 cups cocoa

2 teaspoons salt

1 ¼ cups vegetable shortening

Place dry ingredients in bowl and mix. Cut in shortening with pastry blender until it resembles corn meal. Store in airtight container in cool, dry place. Keeps up to six months.

Brownies from Mix: Beat 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add 2 ½ cups Brownie Mix. Beat with spoon. Add ½ cups nuts. Pour into greased 8 x 8 x 2 inch baking pan.

Bake at 350° for 25 or 30 minutes. Do not over bake. Cool in pan. Cut into squares.

Brownie Crust: Make above recipe using 2 cups mix and 1 egg. Grease a 9-inch pie pan. Spoon in batter. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. The bottom will be soft. Remove from oven. Push down bottom to flatten. Cool and fill with 1 quart ice cream.

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Additives

Sound advice as there seems to be more and more additives in processed food all the time. The fourth suggestion is the best in my opinion.

 

March 1983

 

We read so much conflicting information on additives in our food it is easy to be confused. Are they as bad as some knowledgeable authorities tell us? Are they as harmless as other well- qualified sources say?

The final verdict in this dispute over the use of additives in our food is definitely not in. In the meantime you still have to make a decision one way or the other for your own kitchen. Until more guidance is available it might be well to adopt a rational approach to additives by studying the following suggestions:

 

  • Eat a wide variety of food.
  • Read labels. Choose those with the fewest additives.
  • Don’t be fooled by the word “natural”
  • In reducing your consumption of additives, don’t forget to cut down on two of the leading ones, salt and sugar.
  • Use fresh or the least processed foods possible.

 

The farther food is removed from its natural form the more additives it will have. Use “real foods” not their artificial equivalent. Drink fruit juices, not powdered imitations or fruit drinks that are artificially flavored, colored and sweetened.

In conclusion, not all food additives are bad, but when they are used to enhance nutritionally deficient foods so that people buy them instead of plain, simple food such as meat, vegetables, fruit, milk and whole grains they are bad.

We don’t need all those fortified cereals, fatty and salty processed meat, chips and dips, sugary caffeine laden soft drinks or the heat- and- serve, eat- and- run products.

 

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

 

1 ½ pounds carrots

1 cup raisins

Boiling water

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup margarine

1 cup honey

½ cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2 cups quick oatmeal

2 cups nuts, chopped

 

Grease and flour cookie sheets.

Do not peel carrots. Grate coarsely. You should have 2 firmly packed cups. Pour boiling water over raisins. Let stand 3 minutes and drain.

Mix the dry ingredients. Beat margarine. Add honey and sugar. Beat until smooth. Add eggs and beat well.

Stir in the dry ingredients, carrots, oatmeal, nuts and raisins.

Form into balls and flatten. Place on cookie sheet. Bake at 325° for 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer cookies to rack. Store in a freezer box between layers of waxed paper.

 

Raisin Bread

 

2 cups whole wheat flour

¼ cup white flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda

1 ¼ cup raisins

¼ cup wheat germ

½ cup milk

¼ cup honey

¼ cup molasses

 

Grease and flour a 9 x 4 ½ x 3- inch loaf pan. Combine all the dry ingredients. Stir in the raisins. Stir in the wheat germ. Combine the wet ingredients and add to the dry ones.

Pour into pan. Make trench in top. Bake 50 minutes at 350°. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove loaf and cool.

 

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Bread Baking

Though weight loss diets have turned on bread again, baking, smelling and eating home made bread is still just as enjoyable.

February 1985

When your children or husband open the back door on a cold February day the aroma of bread baking in the oven is a foretaste of heaven.

Nothing makes a dreary afternoon take wings more than getting out the yeast and activating both the yeast and yourself for an afternoon of bread baking.

Since bread is now in high favor with nutritionists you may bake to your heart’s content without feeling guilty. It has always been a low- fat, high- energy food, but it used to be called “too starchy.” Now bread is considered to be essential in a diet that should be 60% carbohydrates.

In simpler times, bread made from corn, wheat, oats or rye was the mainstay of many primitive societies.

For a long time reducing diets excluded bread, but that has changed and bread is an essential part of all sensible weight loss diets.

Children and teenagers are better off eating bread than snack crackers, pretzels, chips or cookies. Everyone should be a little careful about loading too much butter or jelly on bread, but otherwise, eat and enjoy.

Oatmeal Bread

1 cup boiling water

1 cup oatmeal

½ molasses

1/3 cup shortening

1 cup cold water

1 teaspoon salt

1 package dry yeast

¼ cup warm water

2 ½ cups white flour, approximately

2 ½ cups whole wheat flour

½ cup dry milk

2 eggs, beaten

Sprinkle yeast on the ¼ cup of warm water. Combine boiling water, oatmeal, molasses and shortening. Add beaten eggs and yeast. Stir in flour until mixture is thick. Turn out on floured board and knead until smooth.

Place in bowl rinsed with warm water. Cover with warm, damp cloth. Let rise until doubled, 1 ½ hours. Punch down. Divide into 3 balls. Let rest, covered, 10 minutes.

Form into three loaves. Place in oiled loaf pans. Let rise, covered with damp cloth, until double in bulk, about 1 hour.

Bake at 400° for 35 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool on rack. This freezes well and is especially good toasted

Bread Sticks

1 package dry yeast

2 cups warm water

½ cup oil or shortening

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, beaten

5 ½ to 6 cups whole wheat flour

Dissolve yeast in small amount of the warm water. Combine shortening, sugar, salt and eggs. Add yeast and rest of water. Stir in rest of flour. Do not knead. It should be a nice soft dough. Chill several hours.

Divide into 60 portions. Form into pencil-shaped sticks 6 to 8 inches long. Place on oiled cookie sheets about one-half inch apart. Cover. Let rise at about 80 to 85°. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until brown. Cool on rack. Store in metal or crockery container with a lid. May also be stored in a plastic bag.

These keep a long time and are delicious as a snack. We often take them along when traveling They make a nice addition to go with a cup of coffee in a motel room.

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Baking Weather

I’m inside in this snowy weather, which is the perfect weather for baking. I might give the recipe below a try.

February 1979

Every farmer has a story of his own about how the cold, cold January affected his operation; and every farmer’s wife has had her own January struggles – hunting for lost gloves, dealing with manure caked boots dripping on clean floors, and with washing mountains of wet frozen jeans and jackets.

Since the weather has been so bad, it has been a good time to stay home and cook in the warm kitchen, a time to fill the freezer with cookies, cakes and bread, especially if you are agile and quick enough to get the baked goodies out of sight before your ever starving family devours them.

While visiting here from North Carolina our daughter, Melinda, made this carrot cake. The recipe is from the college cafeteria at Arkansas State University at Jonesboro, where she worked in her student days.

Employees there are encouraged to bring in any good recipes for the cooks to try out on the customers. This cake proved popular with the students and also with the cooks because it could be baked ahead of time and will stay fresh and moist for several days.

Colonial Carrot Pecan Cake

1 cup oil

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups sifted flour

4 eggs

2 teaspoons baking powder

3 cups grated raw carrots

1 teaspoon soda

1 cup finely chopped pecans

Combine oil and sugar, mix well. Sift together remaining dry ingredients. Sift half of dry ingredients into sugar mixture. Sift in remaining dry ingredients alternately with eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add carrots. Mix well. Add pecans. Pour in greased and floured 10 inch tube pan or a bunt pan.

Bake at 325° F for about 1 hour. Cool, then remove from pan. Frost with orange glaze.

Orange Glaze

¼ cup cornstarch

1 cup orange juice

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons grated orange peel

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Combine sugar and cornstarch in sauce pan. Add juices slowly. Stir until smooth. Add remaining ingredients.

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Peppernuts!

This one is by a special request from my cousin Megan Challender. She has fond memories of making peppernuts with our grandmother, and gave them as favors at her recent wedding in September. She was hoping I could find the recipe. It took me a little while but I finally found an article just about peppernuts with multiple recipes. Though traditionally a Christmas cookie they can be made and enjoyed any time of year, as long as you have the time.

December 1981

Back in the olden days when I was a young teacher, new to teaching and new to Sedgwick, I was sometimes lonely, especially on weekends. Quaint as it may seem to the younger generations at that time teachers were required to spend three weekends a month in town.

Without a car, the time could get very long so when Daisy Congdon called one dreary day in early December and asked if I wanted to come help make pfeffernus I accepted with alacrity, even though I had no idea of what a pfeffernus was.

When I got to her house I found Daisy happily involved with a huge batch of brownish- colored dough and together we companionably spent the rest of the day rolling out the dough into sheets 1/4 inch thick and cutting out tiny pfeffernuses with a thimble and baking them.

After sampling the little cookie I became a lifelong devotee of the German cookie, pfeffernus or peppernuts as they are called in English. The Christmas season hasn’t really arrived here on Emma Creek until the peppernuts are baked. But I don’t cut them out with a thimble anymore.

Peppernuts

3 cups sugar

1 1/2 cup shortening

3 eggs

1 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon ginger

1 cup dark syrup 1 cup sour cream (not the kind used for dip)

1/2 teaspoon anise oil

Or

1 teaspoon ground star anise

1 1/2 teaspoons soda

9 to 10 cups flours

Beat eggs, sugar and shortening. Add cream and syrup.

Sift dry ingredients. Combine with first mixture. Refrigerate overnight.

Make dough into long rolls. Cut. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to over bake.

This recipe makes 1 gallon. Store in a closed container. Can be kept a year if you forget where you stored them.

Black Walnut Peppernuts

2 1/2 cups sugar

3 beaten eggs

1 tablespoon white syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/4 cup butter

1 cup chopped black walnuts

1 teaspoon soda

5 cups flour

Cream sugar, butter, and syrup. Add eggs and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients. Add to first mixture. Stir in nuts. Roll into ropes and freeze.

Cut into thin slices. Put on buttered cookie sheet and bake 350 degrees until pale brown.

Grandmother Hiebert’s Peppernuts (Halstead)

3 cups white sugar

3 cups brown sugar

1 cup walnuts, chopped fine

1 1/2 cups warm water

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup butter or lard

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon anise

1 teaspoon baking powder

9 to 10 cups flour

Combine sugars, butter, and eggs. Sift dry ingredients. Add nuts. Chill.

Make into ropes. Cut and bake on greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees until pale tan. Cool and store.

German Peppernuts

1 1/2 cups honey

1/4 cup butter

1 egg

4 cups sifted flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon allspice

3/4 teaspoon cardamom

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon finely crushed anise seed

Honey Glaze

Heat honey in 4-quart pan. Stir in butter. Cool. Beat the egg into honey mixture.

Sift dry ingredients. Add anise seed. Stir into honey mixture. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Shape dough into 3/4 inch diameter balls. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. The cookies should be only faintly browned at edges. Cool.

Glaze cookies by pouring 2 tablespoons of glaze over 15 to 20 cookies in a bowl and mixing. Place on waxed paper. When cool store in covered container. These are chewy. 8 dozen.

Honey Glaze

2 eggs whites

1 tablespoon honey

2 cups powdered sugar

Combine unbeaten egg whites and honey. Add sugar and blend.

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Save on your Food

Here are some good tips for saving money on your grocery bills while money is tight after the holidays. The prices given are 1983 prices.
January 1983
After Christmas the bills come in thick and fast. Even though the milo crop was good around here, taxes, insurance, gasoline and fertilizer take a lot of the money. This may result in a squeeze on the household food budget. By eating less refined food it is possible to save $50 to $100 a month on food.The pleasures of good eating can still be enjoyed while economizing on the grocery bill if we all spend a little more time on food preparation and menu planning.

The cheaper cuts of meat can be slow simmered to bring out the rich, robust flavor. If you keep a batch of homemade beef- vegetable soup on hand, you will have a quick meal always available with twice the nutrients at half the cost of commercially canned soup.

This soup is good for using up the odds and ends of leftover packages of vegetables in the freezer. By adding a liberal amount of tomato juice the flavors will meld together.

If the potatoes grown in the garden last summer are beginning to sprout, try making potato soup every week. Cook sliced potatoes, chopped celery tops and plenty of onion slices in a small amount of water until soft. Add as much milk as you need and some butter. Season to taste. Allow to come almost to a boil, then turn very low and let the flavors blend for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with whole wheat bread or toast. Even if you buy all the ingredients, this soup is still both economical and nourishing.

For breakfast the simplest cereals such as oatmeal and cracked wheat are packed with nutrients. I nearly have a heart attack when I see the price on the boxes of processed cereals. Something is haywire with a pricing system when 12 ounces of wheat cereal costs more to buy than a half bushel of wheat sells for.

I’m fighting the system by using our own cracked wheat for breakfast. Also when a recipe calls for bran or bran flakes, I use whole wheat flour instead.

Whole wheat flour costs from 24 to 35 cents a pound compared to two to three dollars a pound for bran cereals. The finished baked goods made with the flour can’t be distinguished from the ones made with the cereal.

Whole wheat muffins may be used for breakfast with a minimum of early morning commotion by baking a large batch, freezing and warming just the number needed in an oven, an electric skillet or a microwave.

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