Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas lists

What's on your Christmas list this year?
Do you see anything from this 1956 ad that you would like?
Dear Santa:
I would love that hot and heavy iron for 14.95.
You can still buy an iron for that price but it won't be hot and it won't be heavy.
Grandma Jessie would like a chenille spread.
She gets one every year because I have every one of them in my basement
 waiting to be sewn into a project, like the back of a baby quilt.
My brother Stephen would ask for that freight train...
and he got one from Santa one year.
Years later I remember grandpa taking him on a train ride.
I really wanted to go too.
My brother David would take that super dart gun...
and shoot everyone that dared crossed his path.
Mom would enjoy that new blanket in a mist green color.
Sister Rhonda would probably ask for those roller skates.
Remember owning a pair of those? Talk about fun.
And that sled would be perfect for pulling my little sister Lisa around on.
We will be extra careful as we take her to highest hill in town
and let her go!
Trying to be good must have counted with Santa
 because us five kids were rarely good all at the same time
 and we always had a great Christmas.
Thanks Santa!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

my soup kitchen

The first thing I must do here is write a disclaimer...
I am in no way knocking Campbell's Soup.
Believe can opener and I have opened thousands of
Campbell soup cans.
Cream of mushroom, chicken noodle, bean and bacon,
vegetable and tomato!
And when you are sick...Campbell's consomme soup tastes so good.
Blame it on my weakening taste buds,
or maybe it was the price?
Or maybe I simply enjoy a challenge in the kitchen
and making homemade soups.
But I decided it was time to go on yet another mission...
find all the tomato soup recipes I can and begin making them
until I find the best one.
I did this one summer with baked beans until Mr. b said
no more beans!
This is my first place winner for homemade tomato soup...
Tomato Bisque Soup
1/4 pound butter
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup white flour
1 quart whole milk, warmed
1 46-oz. can tomato juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 28-oz. cans tomatoes
3/4 teaspoons ground Greek oregano
dash of white pepper
1/2 cup sugar (optional)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Saute onions in butter until transparent.
Sift in the flour, stirring vigorously and constantly.
Whisk in warmed milk until it starts to thicken, about 10 minutes of until it starts to bubble.
Add the tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce and diced tomatoes,
 again stirring constantly just to a boil.
Slowly add the rest of the ingredients and bring back to boil.
(This recipe can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.)
This is a large recipe - 1 gallon!
I use one can of diced tomatoes and one crushed.
I use regular black pepper and oregano.
This recipe is a close second place winner...
Creamy Tomato Soup
4 slices bacon
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (28 ounces each) whole tomatoes in juice
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Heat a large, deep pot over medium heat: add bacon and cook until barely crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove bacon and reserve: remove and discard all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings. Add garlic and cook, stirring, over medium heat, 1 minute. Add tomatoes and their juice, breaking up tomato pieces with your hands or a wooden spoon. Add broth, sugar and black pepper: bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes with cover ajar.
Puree soup in batches in a blender or food processor. Return to pot, stir in cream until incorporated and heat through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vinegar.
Serve garnished with crumbled bacon.
(I use my hand blender to cream my soups, they are inexpensive and easy to use.
 Cleanup is a breeze compared to cleaning a regular blender.)
But when you're short on time...
Campbell's soup is always the best route.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Happy Halloween everyone!
Are you ready for all the little ghosts and goblins that will be knocking at your door later today?
Boy...nothing could stop my kids when they were young on Halloween night.
They were like two postmen...
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night
stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

Our family has had some fun times over the years for Halloween...
we are a little bit like the Munsters and the Adams family.
But enough of that...
lets get cooking.
Halloween night usually means homemade soup at our house.
We get a few bites between monsters knocking at our door.
Tonight I'm serving it with beer bread.
Have you ever had Tastefully Simple's beer bread?
It's delicious and too expensive $.
I like cooking with beer and prefer the taste of the dark ones in my recipes.
So I went looking for a taste-alike recipe for it and came up with this one.
Beer Bread
2 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 heaping tablespoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 bottle of beer
Heat oven to 375, grease the pan. Whisk the dry ingredients together and add the beer stirring slowly until mixed. Pour into the bread pan and bake for 35 minutes then turn the loaf and bake for another 25 minutes. Bake until the toothpick is clean and the loaf is golden brown.
Like Tastefully Simples...
I add a tablespoon of melted butter over the top before baking.
Reminder: If you don't want your baked goods to taste like your
Great Aunt Winifred's...
only use the freshest of ingredients.
Enjoy all those trick-or-treaters tonight...
and try not to get tricked.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sweet Goodness From Mississippi

We were given a big box 
of Mississippi Sweet Potatoes!

The sweet couple 
that brought them for us
said, "Y'all were so kind to us 
for letting us hunt on your land last year,
we brought you some of 
the best sweet potatoes in the world!"

So last night we had
sweet potatoes
pork chops

I have never fixed them before,
so I had to do a little looking around
for different recipes first....

I found this one in the ladies guild cook book....

(don't you love the old recipe card I found?)

I was lucky enough to come across
this card on Nana Moon Shop blog
(thanks Danylle!)
you can download it free from her site
if you are interested.
I downloaded her recipe card then
used photo shop to type 
Mrs. D.D. Fokken's recipe
for Boiled Sweet Potatoes on the card

( and this is why it takes me all day to cook supper)

after several blog land distractions...

I managed to do my own thing with the 
sweet taters...

I wrapped them in foil, baked 1 hour
(along side my squash)
then smothered them 
with butter, brown sugar,
a little salt and pepper,

(isn't that how any
good German cook would do it?)

back in the oven to 
melt it all together....



Sweet Goodness
some sweet folks
from Mississippi,
Thank Roy and Patsy!!

Y'all Come Back Now!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

chilly weather

When the weather turns chilly
we make chili at our house.
 I always make a big pot of it because we all know...
 the longer chili sets the better it gets.
Mom always made hers in a large cast iron kettle on the stove.
No recipe needed for chili is there?
Everyone has their own likes and dislikes.
ground beef
lots of onions and peppers
we like celery in ours (the way mom made it)
chili beans and black beans
whole tomatoes, preferably fresh
 chili seasoning
celery salt
salt and pepper
and here's my secret...a little sugar
A good cook knows that everything tastes better with a pinch of sugar in it right?
Mother used kidney beans...
 I don't think they had the assortment of beans then like we have now?
My sister adds potatoes to hers...
that is just so wrong!
My Mr. likes his HOT...
I have to hide the chili powder!
 I like to eat mine with a fork
never add water.
And if you need a few extra calories...
and don't we all?
Serve your chili with grated cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips..

Time to write a letter

Dear Lovely,

When did I sign up for such a crazy life?
Could somebody please pull my file
and find the form I signed
 that said...
"you are hereby informed
your life will be hectic and crazy,
if you are up for it 
sign here:"

I was obviously delusional when
I signed said form
and would appreciate
you stamping it 

Now that that's off my chest
I can sit down with 
a cup of tea
and write my dear sister
a letter!
(just like the old days)

Your card is in the mail, Sis!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ladies Aid

It's Wednesday and the German Ladies Aid is meeting at my home today...
I want to be sure and have everything in tip-top shape,
that Mildred is such a snoop you know.
Only my favorite recipe for coffee cake with the freshest ingredients will do for this group.
Betty will be trying to get a look at my recipe but she isn't going to get it!
 (It's 1937...she's not likely to find it here on our blog is she?)

Quick Fruit Filled Coffee Cake
1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg in one cup measure with enough milk to fill
1 tsp. vanilla
1 can (any kind) of fruit pie filling
1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
Cream butter and sugar until soft. Add dry ingredients. Mix in egg/milk and vanilla. Pour in greased 9x13 inch pan. Cover with 1 can fruit pie filling. Top with crumb mixture topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. (Blueberry tastes extra good!)
While my coffee cake is baking we'll hold our meeting.
There's new officers to elect and fundraisers to decide upon.
But it's after the meeting and during lunch...

 that we get to gossip and
discuss where the best place is to get your hair done in town...
and the newest styles in hats.
 I wonder if Edith knew that the blouse she was wearing was all wrong for that skirt?


Friday, September 21, 2012

Household Hints

"Saturday Cleaning"
was a ritual at our house....
If you had anything you wanted to do
you had better get some cleaning done first!!

Have I carried on that tradition?
Heaven's NO!
I have to be pretty bored 
to pick up a dust cloth on Saturday
(or any other day of the week!)
Dusting was always my weekly job...

and now dusting is an annual job at my house:)!

Since tomorrow's Saturday
and this wonderful cool weather 
reminds me of Fall Cleaning,
I thought you might

Some household tips from
 The Ladies' Guild
Of The
Ebenezer Presbyterian Church
Lennox, S. Dak.

Published 1949

"When washing windows, put a few drops of kerosene
in your water, and they'll shine beautifully."

"Clean silverware by rubbing with a raw 
potato dipped in soda."

"A little glycerin added to the rinse water
 will keep baby's woolens soft and fluffy."

"Put aspirin in the water of your cut flowers
and they will stay fresh longer."

Before starting out on a dress buying tour,
slip a "waterwave" net cap into your purse.
Don it before plunging into the "pulling-on-and-off" ordeal 
and you will leave the shop
 quite as neatly groomed as when you left home.

all good tips then
and now!

Tomorrow let's 
grab our caps and gloves
and go dress shopping!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

flour sack towels

When my grandmother needed a break from her daily chores she would sit down in her big wooden rocker and do her stitching, which usually meant mending shirts or darning socks. But it was when she was doing embroidery that got my attention. I loved all the pretty colored threads and the tiny stitches she was making.
It was this grandmother, who had the patience of Job, that taught my sister and I how to cross stitch on flour sack towels.
Up until 1950, food items such as flour, sugar, cornmeal, and chicken feed were packaged in tightly woven 50-100 pound cotton sacks. During the depression, between 1929 and the late 1930's, everything was hard to come by. Frugal housewives would re-use these cotton sacks and make them into clothing, toys, quilts, curtains, pillowcases, and of course, dish towels.

1949 newspaper ad
In the 1950's flour companies began using a cheaper method of packaging, paper sacks, and the re-use of flour sack towels went by the wayside.
As a kitchen towel, flour sack towels are lint free, dry quickly and wash beautifully.
I refuse to use a kitchen towel without something pretty stitched on it...
and still love all the threads and doing embroidery. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

zucchine bread

You can bet when your grandmother got up early in the morning
 and put her apron on it meant business...
This is Mrs. Derby...people still talk about the wonderful pies she made
at the Derby Cafe in Chamberlain, SD..
That's quite a legacy.
As a girl we did our baking on Saturdays...
after our housecleaning was done.
It was quite a commotion with three of us,
my sister Rhonda, mother and myself,
all working around each other in the kitchen.
"No talking! I'm counting teaspoons here!"
So go get your apron on....
because I'm sharing  Lila's Zucchine Bread today
I know, mom should have checked that spelling...
but really...I have to use my spell-check every time I type it in.
I love her hand-written recipes.
Lila's Zucchine Bread
                                                      Mix till fluffy:
3 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup salad oil
then add:
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp mapleine
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking powder
                                                      Then add:
2 c. grated zucchini
3 cups flour
1 cup chopped nuts
Pour into 2 greased bread pans.
325 oven
3/4 to 1 hr.
I like to make one regular and two mini loaves (for sharing).

Friday, September 7, 2012

Making Aunt Verola Proud

This was my dad's sister, Verola.
She married a hard-working pig farmer, Roland...
they had one son, Dennis.

My dad always felt a little sorry 
for Verola because she worked so hard 
on their pig farm in Iowa...

I'm guessing she was a happy 
hard-working farm wife
and loved the life she chose!

I don't remember anything about 
visiting their farm (I was too young)
but the stories my siblings tell 
me about chasing Roland's pigs
and tracking in mud on Verola's floors...

I think it would also be a safe bet 
that Verola felt sorry for my dad
and his life of raising 5 wild children!!


Like any good farm wife in the 50's
she cooked everything from scratch,
and nothing went to waste!

Here is her recipe for 

Refrigerator Pickles....

Bring to boil:
1 Cup Vinegar
2 Cups Sugar
1 Tablespoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Celery Seed

7 Cups Thinly Sliced Cucumbers
1 Cup Sliced Onion
1 Cup Green Pepper

Pour the sugar/vinegar brine over
the vegetable mixture and stir.
Cool and place in the refrigerator...
these will keep up to one year!

We are still finding cucumbers on the vines,
but since we aren't picking them everyday,
they are getting too big to pickle in our quart jars!

This is a great way to use those over-sized cukes...
and I love that sweet pickle taste!!

I had plenty of fat cucumbers to spare
so I doubled the recipe to fill this 
gallon size country jar!

I think I'll start charging 
5 cents a slice....

maybe I can save up enough to buy a pig!!

Have a sweet day!

Friday, August 31, 2012

peach pie

Our family has been making the same peach pie as long as I can remember...
it's the only recipe I've ever used to make peach pie.
Yes, it's that good!

Did you know that when mother rolled up her sleeves and put on her apron in August of 1956 to make peach pie she only paid $1.99 for a lug of California peaches and sugar was 79c for 10 lbs.
And she definitely did not buy her cream for this pie at the grocery store...
she bought it from the milkman who delivered right to her doorstep every day.
And at one time our father was the milkman...
(but more on that in another post).
This pie calls for a bottom crust only...
do you have a favorite go-to pie crust recipe you use?
Or a favorite bowl and rolling pin like I do?
Mother's Peach Pie
4-5 peaches
3/4 cup sweet cream
3/4 cup sugar (1 cup if peaches are sour)
3 rounded tbsp flour
1/4 tsp nutmeg
dash of salt
Pour this mixture over peaches in a slightly done pie crust.
Bake at 375 degrees for one hour.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I'll Take Mine With Cream Please

I always thought that 
since my dad worked at a Creamery,
we just had to use up a lot
of excess cream!!

We ate creamed asparagus,
creamed beans,
creamed potatoes,
sour cream pie,
cream on our peaches...
creamed EVERYTHING!!

It wasn't until I was an adult 
when I learned 
there were other German families
that ate that way too,
NOT just the cheesemaker's kids!!

This is a page out of a favorite 
cookbook of my mother and Grand-mother!
Published in 1949
(note: ALL of the CREAM)

Isn't it obvious why we remember
Mom's and Grandma's cooking
to be so gosh-darned delicious??!!!

 I'd like to try this 
old recipe for Potato Salad

Does anybody know what
"rook until thick" means??

The Ladies' Guild
of the
Ebenezer Presbyterian Church
Mrs. Edw. Sinning's submission

4 egg yolks; 1 teaspoon dry mustard; one half cup sugar; one half cup vinegar; one half teaspoon salt; 1 cup thick sour cream.
Beat egg yolks. Add vinegar. Mix sugar, mustard, 
salt and mix with yolks and vinegar. 
Add sour cream and put in
 double boiler and rook until thick.
Very good for potato salad.

Did anybody else have to eat 
wrapped up in a dish towel,
or was that a German thing too?

Have a great Day!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Late Summer Hints

In 1932 all households received their newspapers on Fridays.
In rural areas the local weekly newspaper
was the only source of news for most families.
Housewives would scan the grocery store ads
 looking for the best bargains
to do their grocery shopping on Saturday.
Buying a good quality broom for 25c was
both a luxury and treat to the 1932 housewife.
Hints for the Household was also a popular column...
When was the last time you made Pressed Chicken?
And if you're having trouble with mosquitoes...
 just leave a bottle of penny-royal uncorked in the room at night.
 In the morning there will not be a mosquito to be found.