I grew up where black walnuts were the thing, not pecans. I didn't have to buy them. They grew all over the farm, especially down the lane to the pasture. Here, we had several black walnut trees on our 1 2/3 acres.
I remember the first time I gathered 'em, dried 'em and placed the precious nuts in grocery bags. They were placed to cure on a high shelf in our little barn. Later, the following winter, I reached up to retrieve a bag of walnuts to take to the house and crack.
Boy, oh boy! Here is a recipe straight out of the 50's. I suppose some women during the Great Depression had enough money to fancy up their menus. My mother didn't. It seemed that women's magazines only came into their own around the late 40s time. They were only 10 or 15 cents each. I could afford that. I would pick up a woman's magazine when I did my grocery shopping on the weekend. This recipe reminds me of these days. It has survived the test of time, just brought up to date with the Cool Whip.
Have you ever made hamburger stew? It's easy and cheap to make. Use ground chuck. The last thing you want is having to deal with the beef fat that is tallow. Use whatever vegetables you have, if you don't have the frozen mixed vegetables. That is what I do. The other veggies you always have on hand. Serve it over rice to extend the number of servings you get. It's called creative cooking 101.
Button mushroom caps make excellent appetizers. Pull out the stem, giving you a nice cavity to fill with whatever you desire. The secret to working with fresh whole mushrooms when you plan to stuff them is to saute a few minutes to reduce the water content and tenderize them. There are a number of possible fillings. This is an easy one. It doesn't need to be baked. Can be served warmed or chilled.
My favorite part of the chicken or turkey is the dark meat. Most people prefer the breast. I find more flavor in the drumstick and thigh. There are more than a few ingredients in this recipe, but it's worth the effort. The leg sections seem to dry out during roasting. That won't happen here. The thighs cook in a nice gravy and are a delight to eat. I like gravy on my mashed potatoes, too.
Well, March is almost here. (Wishful thinking) I have been trying to recollect what we ate in the wintertime back in the day. No grapes from Peru or avocados from Mexico. All food was local. Fresh produce was expensive and limited in selection. No matter. We couldn't afford it anyway. We ate what we had on the farm. I don't know how the folks in town got on that didn't have a garden.
A sister in the Lord shared this recipe with me. I had given her my Red Grape Pie recipe. She showed up at church last Sunday with this recipe in hand. I am a believer in sharing recipes. There are those who say ”Oh, I couldn't give you the recipe for that. It's all in my head. I just throw it together.” Some just flat out refuse to share a recipe. However, no two cooks making the same recipe end up with quite the same tasting dish, don't cha know. If I have a special way of making something, I share it. I am too old to keep secrets.
My daughter Anne's favorite cookie is chocolate chip. There is no doubt about that. But Spritz Cookies run a close second. She seems to crave them around Christmas time. Every year I make a variety of candies to give as gifts during the holidays, but I must bake a batch of Sprtiz just for Anne. It is not Christmas unless she has her special cookies.