I have a recipe for Mincemeat Fruitcake. There was a time when the amount of spices in your mincemeat showed off how much you could afford. Not me. I buy the cheaper store brand. There is no meat in mine either, just green tomatoes. The Puritans would have liked mine. It is booze-less. I am always looking for a way to save money. Meat and candied fruit are expensive. Green tomatoes aren't.
What is the easiest and cheapest nut to gather? Walnuts, of course! When my kids were in grade school, I would drive along country roads looking for walnut trees that had dropped their nuts. I figured if the nuts fell between the farmer's fence and the roadway, they were fair game. Most of the time I was right. Other times, with the farmer screaming and running after us, I hurriedly loaded my kids in the truck and sped off.
I met David and Mary Nevin when I became involved in the Union County United Way a number of years ago. David taught school here for several years. They have since moved into Knoxville. I think about them often but seldom hear from them anymore. Our paths don't cross like they used to do. Doesn't that happen with a lot of people we know? Time marches on.
I like chicken. When I was growing up, chicken was for special occasions. When we needed one for a meal, Mother went to the chicken coop and selected a non-laying hen. How did she know which was which? Easy. She would catch one and lay two fingers between the hip bones just below the tail. If that space was wide, she was a lying hen. If it was narrow, her laying days were over. She would be the star of that Sunday dinner.
What did you have for breakfast this morning? Sausage gravy and biscuits? Ham and eggs? Lucky you! What did I have for breakfast back in the Great Depression days of 1934? It wasn't that, for sure. Did I have cornflakes and ice cold milk? Or Frosted Flakes? Or one of the many boxed cereals on the Food City shelves today? I wouldn't have known what you were talking about.
I enjoy cooking and do a fair bit of it. One of the recipes my wife and I like is Homemade Baked Fries.
Potatoes are loaded with potassium and when I was on dialysis a few years ago I was on a low potassium diet. One trick we used to lower the amount of potassium in potatoes was to soak them in water. While this did not remove all the potassium, it did allow me to have some potatoes while on dialysis. Come to find out later, soaking potatoes in water for two hours is a key step in making homemade fries.
There are pears and there are pears. By that I mean some are more desirable than others. There are winter pears, Kieffer is the one that comes to mind. They are small and hard as a rock. They are called winter pears for a reason. You must wait until after New Years to eat them.. only then will they be softened, but they are still small. By the time you peel them, there is not much left. I never could understand why anyone would want to grow winter pears. I guess there was a time in the dead of winter, when fresh fruit would be a luxury.
I hope most of you already have on your calendar Open House on September 30 from 2:30 to 4:30 at Historic Oak Grove School. Just in case, I'm including an invitation just for you!
In researching and preparing for the restoration, as well as, the open house, I discovered that Bertha Cox was the school cook, and she was a good one. Students loved her Raisin Squares, and if you come to Open House you should get to sample some of these cookies. Just in case you want to try a batch, here is Bertha's recipe:
Bertha Cox Raisin Squares
It's Fair time. I take my appetite to the Fair. There are many exotic foods to sample that aren't available other times of the year. Corn dogs with a squiggly line of mustard are my favorite. I can fix them at home, but Fair time is Corn Dog time in my mind. Elephant ears are good, too. The list goes on and on, but my Corn Dog recipe is where I'm heading today.
Chow Chow is delicious. I wondered where that name came from. Taking a jar in hand, I looked at it straight on. Why is it called Chow Chow? Curiosity got the best of me. I checked it out online. I am now more confused than ever. Consider these possibilities:
1. There are "Northern" and "Southern" varieties. Mine is Southern.
2. Some say it came South with the Acadian expulsion from Nova Scotia.
3. Others cite a connection with the Chinese rail workers in the 1800's.
4. A chutney from India is made from chayote, hence "chow chow".
I have never heard anyone say, "Tea is tea." Green tea, black tea and exotic tea blends line the shelves at Food City. Why am I talking about tea? First of all, it's hot outside and I want a tall glass of iced tea. Then, too, my taste in tea has changed over the years. My favorite now is sweet tea. You can buy it in a gallon jug. Even the fast food places brew their own sweetened iced tea.
There was a time when green tea was king in our house. Mother would buy a one pound bag of green tea siftings. It wouldn't last long. Mother knew how to brew good tea. She would scald the tea pot with hot water, add the right amount of loose tea leaves and fill with scalding hot water. After it steeped a few minutes, Mother poured out a cup for Dad, first of all, and then for my two brothers and me. Finally she poured a cup for herself. That was the order for everything served at our table. I will talk about that another time.
I like greens. especially in the spring. After a winter of potatoes, carrots and such, I am ready for a change. Of course, the first greens to be had are dandelion greens. I remember looking for dandelions in the tall grass along sides of the fields on our farm. They were the best. There was no road salt on them from the winter. They grew tall competing for sunlight with the grass. Armed with a sharp knife and a half bushel basket, I would cut a basket full. Then back to the house to clean and rinse and cook and eat.