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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Couponing

March 1981 

Recently, a Wichita TV station interviewed a woman who saved $150 a month on her grocery bill by devoting only four hours a week to collecting coupons and redeeming refund forms.  During the several days she was on the program she gave listeners a crash merchandising course in how to develop the skills needed to cash in on this remarkable bonanza of $1,800 a year.  Since the time she spent couponing produced almost ten dollars an hour it is obvious couponing has housekeeping beat hollow.

After hearing this advice I know that all anyone needs to do to make money at the grocery store is a good pair of scissors, a strong clipping arm, a shoe box file for the clipped coupons, a sturdy container for the mountains of ripped- off box tops and soaked off labels, a large supply of stamps for mailing in the refund forms, and a still larger supply of patience to wait the six to eight weeks until the new coupons, the merchandise, and the money begin to roll in.

Then, I gather, if by then the housewife still believes in the tooth fairy, but hasn’t save $150 a month she can hurry faster, clip more coupons, soak off more labels, and build more shelves to hold all the items over- flowing the kitchen cupboards.

She can get down to work and concentrate on developing strategy for a triple play to catapult her into the big time.  If this triple play succeeds she should end up with 37 rolls of paper towels at a total cost to her of 19 cents.

She will remember to keep car’s gas tank full in order to quickly drive to another store within forty miles that is having a double coupon day where the rewards of this game are doubled.

She will keep so busy buying Uncle Ben’s Converted Brand Rice with a ten cents off coupon she won’t even notice that ordinary unconverted rice is a much better buy.

Now wouldn’t it be great if John Deere, International harvester, or Massey Ferguson woke up and let our farmer husbands in on this dazzling discovery sweeping the country on how to get something for a scrap of paper and ten box tops?

How would you like to clip a coupon that offers a new combine if you’ll just send in three ripped off old combine tops and an acre of land?  Perhaps, John Deere could put out a refund form good for 75 cents on the price of a new plow if the farmer sends in four rusty plow shares and a copy of Home on the Range. Or better yet, how about a coupon good for an eighty pound bag of fertilizer if the farmer just sends in a slightly worn- out farm wife and his 1980 income tax form?

Then if all this couponing actually gets the economy to zooming skyward the federal government might wake up and offer the Arabs a whole bunch of coupons, each good for either a camel or a camera when they send in a tanker of oil.

Won’t it be Utopia? The people smart enough to coupon will be living for nothing and the ones too dumb to coupon will still be keeping house and farming.

Now, where did I leave my scissors?

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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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Getting Enough Calcium Part 3

The final installment of this interesting 3 part series on Calcium.

January 30, 1986

In addition to dairy foods and sea food there are several other foods high in calcium that can be used to add variety to a high calcium diet.

Collard and dandelion greens have over 200 milligrams of calcium per cup, raw. They are not very popular in the Mid West but Southerners really love them and grow them in their gardens most of the winter.

Turnip greens and kale have about 100 milligrams per cup, raw.

Another good source of calcium is tofu which has 130 milligrams per 3 1/2 servings. Tofu is a high protein meat substitute widely used in Asia and catching on here in this country.

Black strap molasses has 137 milligrams calcium in each tablespoon. An ordinary orange has 50 milligrams calcium.

Mexican food ingredients such as pinto beans and corn tortillas contain calcium. Each corn tortilla has 60 milligrams calcium. Processing the corn with lime during manufacturing increases the calcium content. A corn tortilla with melted cheese makes a quick calcium rich snack.

Tostada Salad

1 cup salmon, drained

1/2 cup green pepper, chopped

1/2 cup chopped carrot

1 small tomato, chopped

1/2 cup canned kidney beans, drained

4 corn tortillas

1 cup shredded cheese

2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce

Taco sauce

Mexican Dressing:

1 cup yogurt

1 tablespoon minced parsley

1 tablespoon minced onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves

1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients for the dressing and set aside.

Combine salmon, green pepper, carrot, tomato and kidney beans with Mexican dressing refrigerate.

Place tortillas on baking sheet. Broil 1 minute on each side. Place on platter. Sprinkle with cheese and lettuce. Top with salmon mixture. Serve with taco sauce. Serves 4. 156 milligrams calcium per serving.

King Ranch Chicken

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can Rotel hot tomatoes with juice

1 cup chicken broth

3 pound chicken, cooked, boned and chopped

12 soft corn tortillas, torn in small pieces

1 medium onion, chopped

1 pound grated cheddar cheese

Combine first four ingredients into a sauce. In a 9 x 13 inch casserole make a layer of tortillas, chicken, onions and cheese. Top with 1/4 of sauce. Repeat until all ingredients are used ending with a layer of cheese.

Bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Freezes well.

Greek Dandelion Salad

1 pound dandelion greens

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced

Salt and pepper

2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Wash greens. Cook in 2 quarts boiling water until tender crisp — about 6 minutes. Drain. Rinse in cold water. Drain again. Place on paper towels to remove excess water. Arrange on a platter. Combine oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt and pepper. Drizzle over green. Refrigerate. At serving time garnish with feta cheese. Serves four. 194 milligrams calcium per serving.

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Getting Enough Calcium Part 2

Below is part two of the series on calcium. Part one may be found here.

January 23, 1986

Last week I wrote about getting plenty of calcium in your diet through the use of dairy products. Sea foods are another good source of calcium.

Salmon with bones has 167 milligrams calcium for each three ounces. Three ounces of sardines with bones has over twice as much – 372 milligrams for each three ounces. Be sure to eat the bones of both sardines and salmon to get maximum calcium.

Shrimp and oysters also have a good bit of calcium. A pound of perch, halibut, sole or Orange Roughy has about 600 milligrams of calcium so that’s about 125 to 150 milligrams per serving.

Salmon Cakes

1 15-ounce can salmon

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup crushed crackers

Salt and pepper

Oil

Combine salmon using juices and bones, eggs, crackers, and desired seasoning. Form into small flat cakes. Pour about 1 tablespoon oil into skillet. Heat. Saute salmon cakes in oil until golden brown. Serve with tartar sauce. Will make 6 salmon cakes.

Salmon Rice Loaf

1 15 or 16-ounce can salmon

1 cup cooked rice

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon parsley flakes

1/2 teaspoon salt

Sauce:

1 can tomato soup

1/2 cup dairy sour cream

Combine all ingredients including juice and bones of salmon. Form into loaf and put in greased pan. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. Heat soup. Stir in sour cream. Serve with loaf. Makes 6 servings.

Salmon Casserole

4 ounces medium noodles

1 16-ounce can salmon

1 10 1/2-ounce can tomato soup

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon minced onion

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup crushed soda crackers

2 tablespoons melted butter

Cook noodles. Combine rest of ingredients except crackers and butter. Add noodles. Mix lightly. Pour into casserole dish.

Mix crumbs with butter and sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serves 6.

Polynesian Fish Balls

1 pound fish fillets, chopped fine

5 ounce can water chestnuts, chopped fine

1/2 cup almonds, slivered

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2/3 cup oil

Combine first five ingredients. Shape in one-inch balls. Heat oil in skillet. Fry fish ball, turning carefully. Just before serving, combine with sauce.

Sauce:

1 13 1/2 ounce can pineapple chunks

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 cup vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup celery, sliced thin

1/2 slivered green onions

Drain juice from pineapple. Add water to make 1 cup. Add soy sauce and vinegar. Heat. Mix sugar, cornstarch and a little water to make thick sauce. Slowly stir into hot liquid. Cook until sauce is thick and clear. Add onions, celery and pineapple. Heat Pour over fish balls.

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Are you getting enough Calcium?

Now is a good time to evaluate your diet. This article starts off a series that contains a lot of good information about Calcium and how to include it more in your diet. Current recommendations for healthy bones are 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 600 units of Vitamin D for healthy adults and 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 800 units of Vitamin D for the elderly. Further information can be found at asbmr.org.

 

January 16, 1986

 

The first of the year is a good time to check out our level of nutritional fitness and make a few resolutions to improve our diet.

Everyone, children, teenagers and adults, need calcium. Too often mothers see to it that everyone else in the family has plenty of calcium rich food and then excuse themselves from eating what they should, saying “I never did like milk and I’m too old to start drinking it now. Besides, it’s too fattening.”

Wrong, on several counts. While milk products are a good source of calcium they are not the the only source and while cream, butter and cheese are high in calories, many other milk products are not.

Your bones are living tissues and without proper nourishment they gradually lose the calcium they already contain and osteoporosis may result. Osteoporosis leads to brittle bones that may fracture easily. There are also other factors in addition to calcium that are involved in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

But you can build and maintain strong bones by using calcium rich food. Dairy products are a good source as are green vegetables, salmon and sardines, and tofu.

This article will give ways to get more calcium from dairy foods and in the next two weeks I’ll give recipes for using green vegetables, salmon and sardines, and tofu.

The American Society of Bone and Mineral Research recommends that women consume 800 to 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily before menopause and 1,300 to 1,400 milligrams daily after menopause.

Here are ways to get more calcium through dairy products:

  • Include milk in diet regularly
  • If desired, use skim milk. One cup has 300 milligrams calcium and 90 calories.
  • Enrich breads, pancakes, meat loaves, soups and beverages with nonfat dry milk.
  • Select hard cheeses for cooking and eating. Swiss and Gruyere cheese have over 270 milligrams per ounce.
  • Use fluid, dry or canned milk in coffee. Non-dairy whiteners, creamers and toppings contain no calcium.
  • Use skim Ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese. One-half cup has 337 milligrams as compared to 78 milligrams for cottage cheese.
  • Make milk based soups.
  • Use yogurt as basis for salad dressing.
  • Replace cream with evaporated milk.
  • Drink a milk based tomato soup or hot spiced milk as a bedtime relaxer.
  • Blend milk, ice and fruit juices for a refreshing drink. Example: Orange Julius.
  • If you are lactose intolerant, add lactose to fresh milk to make it digestible.

 

Swiss Quiche

 

10 ounces frozen broccoli spears, thawed and drained

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup low fat yogurt

3/4 cup evaporated milk

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 cups Swiss cheese

1/3 cup finely chopped celery

3 tablespoons sliced green onions

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.

 

Whisk eggs, yogurt, evaporated milk and cornstarch. Stir in remaining ingredients except cheese and broccoli. Set aside. Grease a 9-inch round baking ban. Pour in cheese mixture. Arrange broccoli spears, spoke fashion in pan. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until set. Makes 6 servings.

 

Cottage Vegetable Bake

 

One 10-ounce package mixed vegetables

1 cup cottage cheese

2 tablespoons dry milk

1/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pepper

2 eggs

 

Thaw and drain vegetables. Beat cheese, dry milk, flour and seasonings together. Add eggs and beat until blended. Put vegetables in casserole. Pour cheese mixture over vegetables Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Serves four.

 

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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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Christmas is over and the New Year is coming

It’s time to get ready for the new year.

 

December 1982

 

The Christmas company has come and gone. The grownups are quietly aware that another Christmas season of their alloted number on earth is over.

The grandchildren have gone home, hugging the Christmas toys in their arms – so tired from fun and excitement they were asleep before the car got out of the driveway.

The Christmas tree, a sprangly cedar from the pasture on Emma Creek, has been stripped of its glimmering cascade of silver icicles, out by the horseshoe court awaiting death in a blazing bonfire.

The Kodak pictures that will lock this specific Christmas holiday in the panorama of the years are not back from the developer.

The refrigerator sits quietly in the kitchen, stuffed to the brim with leftovers. By the time they are gone New Years will be here.

It will be time to make unkeepable resolutions for the coming year. Time to watch, with friends and family, the old year out. Time to bid it farewell with a tear and a smile and turn our energy toward making the next year the best year ever.

 

*****

 

Black Walnut Cookies

 

3 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons water

1 pound brown sugar

3 cups sifted flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon soda

1/2 cup chopped black walnuts

 

Beat eggs until thick. Gradually add sugar. Beat for 15 minutes. Sift dry ingredients. Add walnuts. Carefully add to egg mixture. Blend until well combined. Form into balls. Place an inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. These puff during baking and crackle on top when done. 12 dozen cookies.

 

Chocolate Chip Meringues

 

2 egg whites

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Beat egg whites with salt until soft peaks forms. Gradually beat in sugar, vinegar and vanilla. Continue beating until very stiff.

Fold in chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonful on greased baking sheets. Bake at 300 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on racks.

 

Quick Gingersnaps

 

3/4 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup molasses

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons soda

1 teaspoon cloves

 

Cream first four ingredients. Sift dry ingredients. Stir into first mixture. Form into small balls. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake on greased sheet at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

 

Cherry Cookies

 

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup butter

2 eggs, beaten

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries

 

Cream first four ingredients. Sift dry ingredients. Add to first mixture. Fold in vanilla, nuts and cherries. Form into rolls. Wrap in waxed paper.

Refrigerate overnight. Slice and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.

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