1948 Betty Crocker Christmas Cooky

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Tis the season to bake and I have included some of my favorite recipes from my grandmother Caroline Mionske.  My grandmothers handwriting dots this old  Betty Crocker cookbook.  She loved to bake and so do I.  Every year  I do this in remembrance of Christmas past.

Russian Tea Cake

1 cup soft butter

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp good vanilla

2 1/4 cups sifted flour

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup finely chopped nut

Cream  butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla.  Stir in flour, salt, and  nuts. Dough will seem to be a little dry. Make sure flour is sifted as with many old recipe this seems to still need it.  Chill dough. Roll into 1 inch balls Bake until set.  Cooked dough will still look white but bottoms will be light brown. Bake 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar while still warm, then re-roll before serving. Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

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Peanut Blossoms

These cookies are from the 1980’s.

1/2 cup Butter

3/4 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup white sugar

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

2 Tablespoons milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

9 oz Hershey kisses unwrapped

Cream butter and peanut butter.  Add sugar and brown sugar.  Add egg, mill, and vanilla.  Beat untill  creamy.  Combine flour, baking soda,and salt, gradually add to creamed mixture..  Chill dough.  Roll into one inch balls then roll into granulated sugar.  Bake 350 10 minutes until set. Remove from oven and place a Hershey’s Kiss on top.  They will melt sticking to cookie.  Store when completely cool and Kiss is hardened.

 

Granny’s Butter Pecan Pie

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Pecan pie was my father-in-law’s favorite pie on Thanksgiving. Sometimes he would have half a slice of pumpkin and half a slice of pecan with a generous dollop of whip creme. If you are lucky enough to live in Georgia peans are sold in huge bags along roadside stands. But I live in the north so off to my local grocery store I go.

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If you find a store that sells nuts in bulk give them a try.  They seem to be as close to fresh pecans as I can find.  I buy the pecan halves but pieces will work as well.

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Ingredients

  • 1 unbaked pie crust
  • eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup dark brown corn syrup
  • 1 cup pecans ( see note below for instructions)

Preheat oven to 350.  Stir eggs, sugar, dark corn syrup, salt, and melted butter until well mixed. Pour into shell and bake for 45 minutes checking to see if set. {If crust becomes too brown cover with tinfoil and continue to bake.}

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If you are feeling a little creative push pecan halves into crust before filling and baking.  The pecans will float to the top while the filling bakes underneath.

 

 

 

American Cranberry Sauce

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Cranberries, turkey and stuffing that is the combination most Americans have grown to love. Did you know that Wisconsin  has become the number one state for growing these beauties?  They are grown all summer long then around October 18th the fields are flooded cranberries rise to the top and are harvested.  To watch the bright red berries floating among the dark blue waters of the many bogs in the country side is a truly a beautiful sight.  Most families buy canned cranberry sauce. But once you eat home-made sauce you will never go back.  It is simple and can be made days ahead of time. There are only 3 ingredients cranberries, water and sugar.  This recipe is about 80 years old.  Make sure you follow all the directions or you will have soupy cranberry sauce.

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Ingredients

  •  4 cups fresh cranberries  [ When you are buying fresh berries and you see the town Wisconsin Rapids on the  bag that’s where my family had a cabin and where we watched the berries be harvested every year]  Don’t scrimp on this amount buy an extra bag if you don’t think there will not be enough.
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar

Wash and clean berries.  Throw away any bruised or soft berries. Place berries and water in a very large pan.  Boil about 15 minutes until the skins are broken and berries are soft. Force berries through a sieve or food mill. Throw away seeds and skins and place the pulp back on the stove.

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Heat the pulp to boiling.  Then add sugar stirring to make sure everything is dissolved. Bring to a rapid boil, one that can not be stirred down and boil 3 to 5 minutes.

Skim off any foam that may have formed and pour into a pretty bowl or jar. Now that’s the only way to eat turkey and cranberries.

Overnight Crockpot Apple Butter

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This recipe calls for  16 to 20 large apples.  My apple butter was made from fresh from the orchard Jonathan apples.  I bought 1/2 bushel and used the rest for apple pie.  If you cannot find Jonathan apples make sure they are cooking apples. Granny Smith or Honey Crisp do not work well as they are better for eating. Robin

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Ingredients

  • 16 cups thinly sliced apples such as Jonathan or McIntosh
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp  clove
  • Crock pot that has high and low settings

Wash and dry apples.  Thinly slice and core unpeeled apples into crockpot that  is unplugged.  You will need a gallon or 16 cups.  Add 3 cups sugar and stir.  Let sit overnight.  The next morning add 1 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp cloves and turn on low.  If your crock pot does not have a high and low function then you will have to use the stove because the apples will burn. Cook 5 to 6 hours on low until apples have cooked down.  The last hour leave the top off of the crock pot letting some of the water of evaporate.

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Run through a food mill separating any skins that may not have cooked down.  This recipe makes 7 pints.image

 

French Apple Pie

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Preheat oven to 350 degree

  • 6 cups apples, preferable Jonathan or McIntosh
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2  tbsp flour
  • one unbaked deep dish pie crust

Topping

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
Peel core and slice 6 cups of apples into a large bowl

Peel core and slice 6 cups of apples into a large bowl

To apples add 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 2 tablespoons flour

To apples add 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 2 tablespoons flour

Place apples into a 9 inch deep dish unbaked pie crust

Place apples into a 9 inch deep dish unbaked pie crust

Mix together with pastry blender 1/4 butter 1/2 cup packed brown sugar and 1/2 cup flour

Mix together with pastry blender 1/4 butter 1/2 cup packed brown sugar and 1/2 cup flour

Roll mixture into a ball. If too dry add more butter one teaspoon at a time.  Roll between 2 sheets of waxed paper.  Important step!  Chill rolled topping in refrigerator for 10 minutes or you will have a gooey mess,  Carefully remove one layer of waxed paper and place over pie filling. Trim edges with fork.  Bake 350 degree oven for 55 to 60 minutes.

Cool and enjoy!

French Apple Pie

French Apple Pie

Robin’s Victory Garden Cookbook

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Gardening is not just about growing plants, its also about food. Glorious fresh nothing artificial food.  Food straight from your yard to your table food.  Knowing where your food comes from and exactly how it has been grown is more important than ever. Americans have grown food for hundreds of years and need to remember how we got here.

My mother, my grandmother, and my great-grandmother were more than cooks they were food enthusiasts.They passed their love of cooking to me.I have inherited hundreds of recipes printed on those 3×5 index cards.  No computers or printers each card handwritten like a little love note to me. Each original recipe taste tested by generations of friends and family. I have decided  to share them for home use not to be copied for public distributions.

Just a note, food has changed over that last 50 years.  I have adjusted recipes for today’s kitchen..  The margarine sold today is a far cry from from the margarine my Mom cooked with.  Flour from the 1900 was made from soft winter wheat  bleached and had a low protein content. If you are trying to recreate an old heirloom cake or cookie recipe  try using bleached flour It makes for a finer lighter textured product. Sea salt is great but tends to have larger crystal. Using a finer salt like Morton is best for an old recipe. Milk has undergone the largest transformation 1%, 2%, organic,non GMO, lactose free and soy milk, were not sold in stores during my Great Grandma’s lifetime. Grandma Fehlman got her milk from a cow.  Simple, organic from pasture raised cows.Try using organic whole milk.  It is as close as you are going to get to fresh milk unless you know a diary farmer.

Lastly cooking is emotional.  Comfort food- we all know what it is and we all carry different memories,  Mushroom meatballs, mashed potatoes and gravy with green bean casserole  remind me of my childhood home.But the smell of Baked Apple Kuchen floods back memories of Granny and I having fresh cake with hot tea in china cups.My hope is to help recreate some of those special memories through bringing basic traditional recipes.

For my family, these are the recipes you know and love. May they bring special memories to your families too. I promise to have coffee breaks, eat cake, and drink tea from special china cups with your children too.  Happy Cooking!  Love Mom

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