Monday, September 28, 2009

Dogpatch Day Recipe Show

Cartoonist Al Capp was born 100 years ago today. Is it true Al Capp "created" Sadie Hawkins Day? You'll have to pop on over to my Sadie Hawkins Day post to find out the details. In the meantime, here's a slideshow of "comic" recipes including Al Capp's Country Gravy, Country Fried Potatoes and Black-Eyed Beans all gleaned from the Cartoonist Cookbook published by The Newspaper Comics Council in 1966. The book also includes a foreword by "The Father of American Gastronomy," James Beard. Enjoy:)

I'll be around visiting your delicious posts as soon as I make the final touches on the Pizza Party Mix-Up Game. What's the Pizza Party Mix-Up Game? You'll have to stop back on October 1st, which also happens to be my Blogoversary. Curious? Oh, okay, I'll divulge the prizes. Prizes? There's going to be three prizes personally selected by me and Channon, a Consultant from The Pampered Chef® That's all I'm going to tell you for now. I'm still working on the rules and details. UG!!!

Tomorrow is National Coffee Day! You've heard about reading tea leaves, I'm sure. Have you ever heard of making your own Fortune by the Coffee Grinds?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Apple Recipes for Johnny Appleseed Day

The Story of Johnny Appleseed begins with John Chapman and the legends of his life passed down from generation to generation. We do know for sure that John Chapman aka Johnny Appleseed was not a myth. He indeed created apple orchards more than 200 years ago and some of those trees still bear apples today. Traveling by canoe or on foot, he gave apple seeds from cider mills to any farmer who promised to plant them. At his death in 1847, he had established apple trees over 100,000 square miles of territory.

Today, on the day of his birth, I would like to celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day with a selection of apple recipes harvested for the occassion. I have also included links to an assortment of apple varieties. If you're like me, I often get confused as to which apples are best for what:) (Clicking the numbers will take you to the featured recipe.)

Apple Recipes & Varieties
1. Apple (or Pear) Bacon Crisp (Jonagold)
2. How to Prepare Dried Apples for Use in Apple Pie Filling and Sauces (Cameo)
3. Grapefruit Salad with Apples (Red Rome)
4. Curried Pumpkin and Apple Soup (Ida Red)
5. Maple Apple Butter (Macoun)
6. Upside Down Apple French Toast with Cranberries & Pecans (Granny Smith)
7. Smoked Pork Chops with Maple Baked Apples (Gala)
8. Gooey Apple Bread or Apple Zucchini Bread with Almond Streusel (Braeburn)
9. German Apple Cake (Fuji)
10. Classic Apple Pie (Cortland)
11. Apple Cake in an Iron Skillet (Paulared)
12. Apple Slab Pie (Golden Delicious)

The official state apple of New York, the Empire Apple celebrated its 43rd birthday on September 15th. Developed at Cornell's Experimental Station by pomologist Roger D. Way, who introduced it to the public on September 15, 1966, the Empire Apple is the key ingredient in the official New York State Apple Muffin created by elementary school children in North Syracuse, New York.

Ginger Apple Crisp
3 lbs. baking apples, peeled quartered, cored, and sliced
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbs. cornstarch
1/3 cup (3 oz.) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 cup (3 oz.) chopped crystallized ginger
1 cup (5 oz.) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (3-1/2 oz.) firmly packed brown sugar
pinch of salt
6 tbs. (3 oz.) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into pieces
1/2 cup (2 oz.) chopped walnuts
Preheat oven 400 degrees:
Place apple slices in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice. In another bowl, stir together the cornstarch, granulated sugar, gound ginger, nutmeg, and crystallized ginger. Add to the apples and toss to coat evenly. Transfer to a 1-1/2 or 2 quart pie dish, heaping the apples up in the center.

In a bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, and salt. Drop in the butter and, using your fingertips, blend together until crumbly. Add the walnuts and toss and stir to combine. Sprinkle evenly over the apples.

Bake until the top is browned and apples are tender, 45-50 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature. Celebrating the Pleasures of Cooking by Chuck Williams (1997)

1. The Story of Johnny Appleseed: Legend vs. Fact
2. Apple Juice Recipes: Drink to Your Health!
3. Preparing Apples for Freezing & Canning
4. National Apple Museum
5. National Apple Month previous post
State Recipes
Thank you to the New York Apple Association for the use of their variety of apple images and recipes.
1. Apple Recipes from Wisconsin
2. Washington State Apple Recipes
3. Virginia Apple Tasty Recipes

Thursday, September 17, 2009

National Rice Month: "Grown in the USA"

The first National Rice Month was proclaimed in 1991 by President George Bush. Sponsored by the USA Rice Federation, National Rice Month helps increase awareness of rice and recognizes the contribution the U.S. rice industry makes to America's economy.

Did you know rice is one of the United State's oldest agricultural crops? I bet there's lots of interesting grains of trivia yet to be discovered about rice farming in America. For instance, do you know which six states produce nearly all the rice grown in the United States? They are, Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas. About 240,000 acres of rice is planted annually in Mississippi alone. The oldest working rice mill in America, Conrad Rice Mill, is located in New Iberia, Louisiana. Mike Davis, owner of the mill was featured last year on American Profile. However, Arkansas is the number one rice producing state in the United States. I didn't know that, did you? See what Chef Capi Peck has to say about Arkansas' food culture.

The "Grown in the USA" logo you see on packages containing rice grown and packaged in the U.S. was initiated last year for National Rice Month. Companies such as family owned and operated Falcon Rice Mill, Inc. based in Crowley, Louisiana have joined the ever growing list of participants. (watch for the Crowley Rice Festival in October) There is a more current list of companies who have licensed the "Grown in the USA" logo available at the USA Rice Federation website. Below is a list as of January 2009.

The companies, who were honored by USA Rice at its annual meeting as founding licensees, represent nearly 70 percent of total domestic rice shipments. They are: American Rice, Doguet’s Rice, Falcon Rice Mill, Farmers Rice Milling, Hoppe Farms, Louisiana Mill, Lowell Farms, Mars Food, Producers Rice Mill, Rice Tec, Riceland Foods, Riviana Foods, Sem Chi Rice Products, Specialty Rice, and Sunwest Foods.

Not only does choosing U.S. grown rice help preserve economic growth in rice producing states, it also creates wetlands and habitats for migrating birds, as well as various species of reptiles and mammals.
California's rice fields also support a healthy environment. On the same 500,000 acres where we grow the world's finest rice, California's rice farmers are providing habitat, food and breeding ground for 235 species of wildlife. An estimated 10 to 12 million waterfowl use the Central Valley's wetland habitats each year, including 60 percent of the total number of waterfowl in the Pacific Flyway.
Rice production can also enhance water quality. Why not take a quick U.S. Rice Farm-to-Table Tour:

Rice Recipes
According to the California Rice Commission, and I quote, "Every piece of sushi made in the United States uses California rice." Does that statement surprise you? It certainly surprised me. The Commission also states:
California rice is the foundation for cuisine that spans the globe. Sushi from Japan, rice bowls from Korea, paella from Spain, risotto from Italy and pilaf from Turkey are all made from the short and medium grain varieties grown primarily in the Sacramento Valley.
Asian and Middle Eastern consumers have always prized the moist, sticky characteristics of California rice. Today, the grain is catching on with the mainstream public in the U.S.
When my kids were small, I always had rice in the freezer. It is a practice I am going to follow again. Yes, you can freeze rice! Rice freezes perfectly for up to 8 months. I use to freeze it proportionately so I could just grab it out of the freezer. That's what's great about rice. It's so versatile. If you have it in the freezer, you're more apt to add it to soup, meat loaf, stuffing, or use it in any number of imaginative ways. And, if your like me, you don't relish the thought of cooking up rice. I've finally "mastered" it but boy oh boy, it sure took a while. Double the batches when your cooking it up and freeze the leftovers. I remember a few times where I cooked it right out of the freezer as a rice au gratin. I remember because, the kids loved it!!! If your really in a hurry, I bet you can thaw it in the microwave.
Today I would like to share a little "Carolina Golde" with you.

History of Rice in South Carolina: To attain its three hundreth anniversary, South Carolina has lived in part or all of four centuries. The colony was only about twenty-five years old when rice was introduced, the first in America. A brigantine, enroute from Madagascar, put into Charles Towne harbor in distress. To repay the kindness of the colonists, the master of the ship presented to them some seed of rice.
From these "Seeds From Madagastar" came rice plantations which flourished and produced the main crop of South Carolina for more than a hundred years. Rice became the South Carolina low-country's "Gold."
In 1690, the colonists in South Carolina asked to pay their taxes in rice rather than in gold or silver. When their petition was granted, Carolinians started to grow rice in large quantities. Farmers soon realized that rice was a reliable cash crop - meaning it could be grown for sale not just personal consumption. Large rice plantations sprung up all over South Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida. Enslaved Africans and Asian Americans, often those with experience from rice-producing areas of their native continents, performed the backbreaking work of rice cultivation, spending hours standing in knee-deep water. (source)
It never ceases to amaze me as to what you will uncover in a recipe book. Rice Recipes was first published by the Georgetown County Historical Commission in 1970. I'm delighted to have the 1974 2nd printing with me today. Carolina Plantation Rice is still produced today. Guess who was of its biggest fans?
The respected Thomas Jefferson traveled to the low country of the Carolinas to find out why Italian rice, at the time, fetched a higher price in the Paris market than Carolina rice. He became its biggest fan. In fact there were at least one hundred MAJOR rice plantations in the region, with names like: Hobcaw Barony, Beneventum, Chicora Wood and Hasty Point, to name a few…
From Rice Recipes:
The Rice Museum, a unique institution on the East Coast, is devoted to the story of rice--the crop that completely dominated life in Georgetown County, South Carolina, for decades. Prior to the Civil War and beginning in the 18th century, this area of the Low County was a society based entirely on the culture of rice.
I was quite tempted to include a recipe for Red rice —"The South's classiest classic" from a book titled the Savannah Sampler Cookbook but when I found this article by Laura Binder, I thought it best to for her to give you a taste of the cultural influence associated with a dish of red rice. Instead, I've chosen an "old" recipe for Rice Bread. If you would like a recipe for a more modern version of Rice Bread, I found one at My Diverse Kitchen.
Rice Bread: Boil a pint of rice soft, add a pint of leaven, then three quarts of rice flour, put it to rise in a tin or eathern vessel until it has raised sufficiently; divide it into three parts, and bake it as other bread, and you will have three large loaves, or scald the flour, and when cold mix half wheat flour or corn meal, raised with leaven in the usual way. ANOTHER.— One quart of rice flour, make it into a stiff pap, by wetting with warm water, not so hot as to make it lumpy, when well wet add boiling water, as much as two or three quarts, stir it continually until it boils, put in half pint of yeast when it cools, and a little salt, knead in as much wheat flour as will make it a proper dough for bread, put it to rise, and when risen add a little more wheat flour, let it stand in a warm place half an hour, and bake it. This same mixture only made thinner and baked in rings make excellent muffins.
I couldn't resist including this next recipe from a leaflet published by the Rice Council titled New Fashions in Rice. It is undated, I'm thinking 60s:) I'm delighted to be planning a birthday party in PA for my grand-daughter Tabitha who will be seven in November. The family is coming to celebrate her birthday and Thanksgiving. Although Tabi wants a Strawberry Shortcake for her party cake, (she also wants Strawberry Shortcake decorations:) the recipe for Milky Way Rice Rockets sounds easy enough and I think Noah will like them too!!! (I'll try making them with soy milk for him:) Any good Strawberry Shortcake Recipes out there? You know me and baking:) Where does one find strawberries in November anyway?
Milky Way Rice Rockets
1 package (3-1/4 oz) prepared vanilla pudding
1-1/2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup chopped candied cherries
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped nuts
8 wafer ice cream cones cups
Combine vanilla pudding mix and milk in saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until pudding thickens. Add vanilla and rice; mix well. Cool until mixture is almost set.
Fold in the cherries, marshmallows and nuts. Pile mixture into wafer ice cream cups to form tall peaked cones.
If you like, serve dishes of nuts, cherries, and gum drops for decorating.
1. Substitute 1 cup shredded coconut and 1/2 cup orange marmalade for cherries and marshmallows
2. Chocolate pudding mix may be used. Mix 1 cup chopped peanuts or crushed peanut brittle.
3. Butterscotch pudding (today is Butterscotch Pudding Day:) mix with 1 cup toasted slivered almonds. Sprinkle candy shots over each rocket.
Apple blossoms are beautiful, but rice dumplings are better.

~Japanese Proverb~

Hundreds of millions of people depend on rice as an important cereal crop. More than half of them would go hungry without rice. Besides providing sustenance, rice plays an important cultural role in many countries. Rice is Life.
FreeRice is a non-profit website run by the United Nations World Food Program. They have a sort of question and answer game on there website that was actually quite fun to play. For each answer you get right, the folks at Free Rice donate 10 grains of rice through the UN World Food Program to help end hunger. Over 67 billion grains have been donated to date. I only got as far as donating 560 grains when I played but, I'm going back for more. Click the button to be taken to freerice.org. See you there!!!
Help end world hunger

1. Arkansas Rice Farmers
2. Mississippi Rice Facts
3. Texas Rice Recipes
4. Missouri Rice History
5. California Rice Commission
6. Delta Farm Press
7. The History of Rice (@ foodreference.com)
8. Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (youtube video)
9. Georgetown Historical Society
10. Visiting America's Oldest Rice Mill (excellent article from fabulous foods)
11. Vintage Rice Farming Images
12. Rice Varieties
13. What Makes Your Cereal Go Snap, Crackle, and Pop?
14. International Rice Commission
15. Rice an Anatomy Atlas
16. Rice Image from USDA
17. Museum Day September 26, 2009
18. Rice Image from USA Rice
Further Reading
1. The Carolina Rice Kitchen: The African Connection By Karen Hess
2. The Introduction of Rice Culture into South Carolina. (1919)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things...

I haven't been myself lately. I had a few posts I wanted to get to this past week and for some reason, I just couldn't get motivated. I'm not worried mind you. I've travelled this road before. I'm sure it has to do with the changing of the seasons; the cycles of being. My family is well, my business is maintaining its prospected rate of growth and, this is a big one, I'm finally making the move to Pennsylvania in November! So why the mubblefubbles?

Today, the why is irrelevant. At present, the question is how. How do you navigate through the mulligrubs? I have an assortment of ways. After counting my blessings instead of sheep, I hum My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens,
brown paper packages tied up with strings,
these are a few of my favorite things.

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels,
door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles.
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings.
these are a few of my favorite things.

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes,
snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes,
silver white winters that melt into springs,
these are a few of my favorite things.

When the dog bites, when the bee stings,
when I'm feeling sad,
I simply remember my favorite things...
and then I don't feel so bad.

Thanks Sunny Corner:)

Favorite things to me are just that, "things." Those we love automatically top the charts as well as those we care about and respect. Things, on the other hand, are changeable. If I were to ask you yesterday, to divulge a list of your favorite things, that list could literally change overnight. You may wake up in the morning bursting with vim and vigor and make a conscience decision to thank your pillow. Who knows, your pillow, at that very instance, could be your favorite thing!!!

By now, you must know one of my favorite things is cookbooks. Today, I have decided to put them back on their shelves and share a few of my other favorite things with you. It usually makes me feel better to hum the words to my favorite musicals. 

My mother was a huge fan of Doris Day. I'm sure I've watched all of her musicals more than once. I don't consider myself a music buff by any means. I sometimes surprise myself, and others, by knowing the words to songs I haven't heard since childhood. I'm real good at Italian Songs although, I can't speak much Italian. (I do understand some dialects of Italian though:) So, without further ado, at the moment...

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

My sister has been coming over scanning family pictures for the past month or so. This one was taken while we still lived on the east side of Manhattan. I don't like having my picture taken. It was a pleasant surprise to find a picture with me smiling (minus a couple of teeth:)

My paternal grandmother always had Morning Glories growing on her windowsill in the city. She saved the seeds each year to plant the next. I do believe her Morning Glories were bigger and more beautiful than the ones I grow each year, no matter where I am! I too save the seeds from year to year.

Yep, that's me again in my Easter outfit. We didn't have a lot of money growing up in the suburbs. Somehow though, we always managed to get new Easter outfits. This one is still my favorite!
I was in a salt and pepper collecting craze for a few years. I managed to assemble quite a few. These are two from my "retro" collection:)
Spiders are not on my list of favorite things, usually. As a matter of fact, I was bitten by a brown recluse spider 4 years ago. I somehow contracted Lyme Disease from the bite. It was an arduous recovery but after nine long months, I was diagnosed and healed.

It seems like I've been watching this spider out my window in the Hamptons most of the summer. My first instinct, I admit, was to destroy his web. I wish I would have taken a picture of the stages of the web's growth. I find it quite fascinating to watch. I often watch him out the window in the morning while drinking my coffee.

...and I welcome PA!
I learned two things about myself the last couple of months. Nascar remains unfavorable to my taste. However, camping, roasted clams and fried oreos are Awesome! That's me stirring up the un-popped clams. They were oh so good:)
If you've never seen a dried Cockscomb, you are truly missing out. I bought this one at an Amish farm stand at the flea market a couple of years ago and it is simply magnificent!
The seeds are so tiny and can be found on the "grassy" neck of the stem. I haphazardly planted a few of them this past summer, never thinking they would actually grow. I guess a bit of neglect didn't hurt them all that much. They seem to be doing fine. I will be planting these again next spring. (I just found out that some of these plants may be edible. I will be looking into that notion for sure!)
How does she look?
The best pretzels, Ever!
By the Grace of God, my home in Pennsylvania is just perfect for me. I live in a rural area on a main road. As a suburban city girl, I've grown accustomed to a certain amount of hustle and bustle. As I look out my window, I think, I've accomplished my goal:)

There, I feel better already. Are you a seasonal person? Does the weather affect your mood? I would love to hear how you chase away the "mubblefubbles."

Don't forget National Guacamole Day tomorrow, September 16th. (Follow that  link to guacamole bargains)

Until next time, Que Sera, Sera...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Harland Sanders & KFC

Harland David Sanders was not born a Colonel. The title of Colonel was bestowed upon him in 1935 by then Governor of Kentucky, Ruby Laffoon. But wait a minute. I'm putting the chicken before the KFC here.

First, there was Harland David Sanders who was born on September 9, 1890 in Henryville, Indiana. The "Kentucky Colonel" did not come from a wealthy stock of Kentucky farmers. On the contrary, he came from a poor farming family, his father died when he was five years old, and his mother had to work in a factory. Young Harland dropped out of school after sixth grade. Harland Sanders had his first experience in the kitchen while still at home. Each night he cooked dinner for his family while his mother labored in the factory. She eventually remarried but this too did not afford Harland a better life in his eyes. He ran way from home and pursued many jobs in his early life. He worked as a farm hand, street car conductor, blacksmith's helper, steamboat pilot, insurance salesman, rail yard fireman, and eventually in 1906 he lied about his age and enlisted in the Army. He was 16 years old.

Around 1930, in the midst of the depression, Harland Sanders began serving cooked chicken dishes to people who stopped at his service station in Corbin, Kentucky. Meals were served in the small front lobby of his gas station. It was to be his first restaurant. News of Mr. Sanders tasty chicken soon spread and he had more business than his small service station could handle. He soon opened a motel restaurant across the street and by 1939 Sander's Court & Cafe was listed in Duncan Hines notable travel book, Adventures in Good Eating. 

Over the next decade, Harland Sanders perfected his method of cooking chicken. Around the same time he was developing his “secret recipe of 11- herbs and spices,” Americans were introduced to the world's first commercial pressure cooker by National Presto Industries at the 1939 New York World's Fair. Always looking for ways to make his chicken moist and juicy, Sanders adapted his cooking style to include the use of the pressure cooker and in 1940, the "Original Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe was "hatched." It wasn't long before it was described as Finger lickin’ Good. Use of the pressure cooker had another benefit. It allowed the Colonel" to serve his customers quicker. The pressure cooker would prove to be an invaluable tool in the developing of the KFC franchise business.

For many years, Sander's Court & Cafe did a thriving business. However, things changed after a fire destroyed his cafe and Interstate 75 was built. Sanders was forced to sell his property in order to make way for the Interstate. In 1952, at the age of 62, Harland Sanders supported by his Social Security checks, took to the streets. He traveled across country from restaurant to restaurant cooking batches of chicken and began franchising his method and recipe. His first franchise was sold to Peter Harman.

In 1952, Harland had a chance meeting with a Peter Harman, who owned Harman's Cafe in Salt Lake City, Utah, another popular, and famous eating place.  And Peter was a skilled business man.  As a result of this meeting, a business relationship was established, and Peter convinced Harland to cash in his social security cheques to start a franchise for chickens coated in Harlands recipe.

Soon after this meeting, Harland, with his wife, Claudia started travelling around visiting restaurants.  And if a particular restaurant agreed, he would cook his chicken dish coated with his herb and spices.  Many liked how the chicken was cooked and included it on their menus.  His fee for using the mixture to the restaurants was five cents per chicken that was covered.

The first years of the franchise was a stuggle, and Harland comments on this by saying. "One of our biggest problems getting started was money. After we sold the restaurant at auction, I was getting $105 a month from social security.  That paid for my gas and the travel needed to get the franchises started. Lots of nights I would sleep in the back of my car so I would have enough money to buy cookers the next day if someone took a franchise."

His wife also commented on the business at the time by saying "He helped a lot of people go into the restaurant business. "Sometimes their pies or meats or vegetables wouldn't be just right so he began to show them how to do all of it. He wanted the restaurants that served his chicken to have good food."


Without a doubt, there's a flock of fried chicken recipes grazing the online world. There are those who claim they have a Kentucky Fried Chicken Recipe just like the Colonel's and others who prefer Church's Fried Chicken such as this "copycat" recipe found at The Secret Recipe Blog. I'm more inclined to try Chef Tom's Crispy Crunchy Fried Chicken or the Fancy Fried Chicken & Savory Sweet Potato Waffles @ Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice. You know me and chicken and waffles:) I'm also tempted to try Maki's Karaage: Japanese-Chinese style fried chicken. It sure looks good and simple enough for even me to try. Actually, there are quite a few fried chicken recipes worthy of National Chicken Month and the Colonel's birthday. I've left a nibble of links below.

As for me, I'm going to share a few recipes from a Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe book which is undated. I don't think it is very old and before you get too excited, it does not include the "secret recipe." I've chosen to scan Mrs. Harland Sander's Refrigerator Rolls and "A Kentucky Speciality," Buttermilk Pie. (Buttermilk Pie topped with blueberries is oh so good!) (click to enlarge)

1. KFC, The Colonel Sanders Story
2. Kentucky Fried Chicken's Humble Beginnings
3. Kentucky Fried Chicken World Tour (cute)
1. 7 Tips for No-Fail Fried Chicken. Because grannies lie.
2. Picnic Fried Chicken
3. Chicken tikka
4. Guiltless Southern Fried Chicken
5. Oven Baked Fried Chicken
6. Fried Chicken Drumsticks
7. Tyler's Ultimate Fried Chicken
8. Fried Chicken in Pressure Cooker
9. LunaCafe’s Spicy Fried Chicken

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Quick Links: National Cheese Pizza Day

Why wait until October to celebrate Pizza? We may as well get our orders in now. October may be National Pizza Month but, Today, "saucy" visitors, is National Cheese Pizza Day! (well, you didn't want me to call you cheesy visitors, now did you:)
I rounded up a slice of some of the cheesiest pizza selections I could find in my Hospitality search for National Cheese Pizza Day. Thanks "guys."

On the Menu:

Shelly's Bruschetta Three Cheese Tortilla Pizza

Susan's Three Onion & Three Cheese Pizza

Laura's Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Pizza

My contribution to National Cheese Pizza Day is from a booklet titled Pizza All Around by Dorothy R. Colgan. A GREAT book for young cooks, Pizza All Around was published in 1992. It has adorable illustrations by Vickey Bolling and it just happens to include one of my favorite recipes for no yeast Multigrain Pizza Crust!

I suppose it's high time I fess up. Pizza is not one of my favorite indulgences. There, I said it. However, if I were to partake in the worldly tradition of "digging in," gooey cheese pizza is the track I would take. That said, today I have chosen a less conventional version of cheesy pizza; Apple and Cheddar Cheese Pizza. Although the recipe calls for a basic pizza crust, I thought it might be interesting to mix up the Apple Cheddar topping with the no yeast Multigrain Crust.
First the Crust:
Multigrain Pizza Crust
1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the first five (dry) ingredients.
3. Add milk and oil to the bowl. Mix well until flour is absorbed and the mixture forms a sticky ball.
4. Remove the dough ball from the bowl and knead gently 10 to 12 times on a lightly floured work surface. Then press out the dough into a lightly oiled 12 inch pan. (this dough does not use yeast so it does not have to rise) Fold up edges to hold the toppings.
5. Place the pan with the dough but no filling in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes.
6. Add toppings of your choice.
7. Return the pizza to the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve.
Apple and Cheddar Cheese Pizza A Sweet Breakfast Treat
1 Basic Pizza Crust (Multigrain)
5 large McIntosh cooking apples, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sugar (ripe apples will be tasty enough on their own if you decide to omit the sugar)
1 tsp. cinnamon

For Topping:
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
6-1/2 tbs. butter cut into small pieces. (about 3/4 stick)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Roll dough out about 1/8 inch thick. Place in lightly oiled pan and turn the rim up 1 inch.
3. Spread the apple slices evenly over the dough. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of sugar and cinnamon over the apples.
4. To make the topping, put the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and butter in a bowl. Mix together with a wooden spoon until the mixture looks like bread crumbs. Sprinkle this mixture over the apples.
How You Bake It:
Bake in a 450 oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees for another 25 minutes, or until apples are tender. (Have your grown-up helper test the apples with a fork to see if they are soft.) Turn off the oven. Very carefully, because the pie is hot, sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the top. Let the pie sit in the turned-off oven for 3 more minutes. Remove, cool for 5 minutes, and serve!

Apple pie without the cheese; is like a hug without a squeeze:)

National Waffle Week News:
During National Waffle Week, Waffle House restaurants will introduce a new waffle flavor. oooo I wonder what it will be:)
I'll be back on the 9th just in time for Harland Sanders & KFC. In the mean time, don't forget Salami Day on the 7th. Have a hearty, safe, and fun Labor Day. Louise:)
1. National Cheese Pizza Day! @ Slashfood
2. Multi-Grain Pizza Dough (with yeast & bread machine)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Dish of Tea and the Winners!

Do you know someone who has a birthday today? Perhaps, it is your birthday! Lovely, your birthday is on the same day as Anna Maria Stanhope, the 7th Duchess of Bedford who was born on September 3, 1783.

Tea Time
M. Dalton King (1992)
The Duchess is credited with the innovation of "afternoon tea." The daughter of an earl and wife to the Seventh Duke of Bedford, Anna had lived her entire life in aristocratic homes. The Duchess was accustomed to a meal structure which dictated that lunch was served around twelve or one, and dinner, six to eight hours later, with nothing in between. Anna lost patience with this custom as she approached middle age. One afternoon, she broke with tradition and requested that a tray of tea and buttered bread be sent up to her. This was unusual, but as a duchess is never refused anything by her servants, it was done.

In youth admired, in age revered,

From life's gay morning to its end; 

By Honor's star his course he steered, 

Nor found a Foe, nor lost a Friend."

Little is know about Anna Maria Russell [Stanhope] before her presentation as Duchess. The selection above is recorded in a memoir written by Anna Maria and a Mr. Henry Tattam in 1858. Lady Anna Marie Stanhope became the Seventh Duchess of Bedford at the young age of twenty-five. The inscription is said to have been engraved on a piece of jewelry she wore as duchess.

The duchess was looked upon with high regard by the many that made her acquaintance. She is said to have been a warm and generous religious woman adored and revered by the masses. These inclinations I discovered in her memoir.

"Welcome to Her Grace"
"Not for the lustre of thy noble name,
Though 'tis emblazoned on the scroll of fame,
Lady! we welcome thee; but that where'er
The orphan's helpless cry, the widow's prayer,
The sad appeal of the distressed is heard,
However poor the tongue, or weak the word,
Thy ' Woman's heart' throbs to the tale of grief,
And thy kind hand brings succour and relief.
More than all this!—when fair Religion calls
For help to widen and extend the walls...

Although quite interesting and perhaps a bit one sided, the memoir makes no mention of tea. The act of sipping and niceties is no where to be found. After reading bits and pieces of the it, I realize why. I suggest you take a quick look at it if you would like to know how I came to this conclusion:) I did however discover, the duchess had a huge fan in Queen Victoria. "On the Queen's accession to the throne in June of 1837, the Queen wrote these words:

Having had the pleasure of knowing you from my earliest youth, and having always had the highest esteem for your character, I should be delighted to appoint you as one of the Ladies of the Bedchamber. Should such an appointment be agreeable to you, I beg to see you at Kensington Palace tomorrow at two o'clock." (yes, she was the first chosen as a Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Victoria:)

With fruition came enchantment. So delighted with her newly found repast, the Duchess of Bedford began to invite others to join her for a spot of tea, afternoon tea that is. Fanny Kemble, a famous actress of the time wrote a recollection of her encounter with "afternoon tea" while visiting Belvoir Castle in March of 1842.

I do not know whether you ever saw Belvoir. It is a beautiful place; the situation is noble, and the views from the windows of the castle, and the terraces and gardens hanging on the steep hill crowned by it, are charming...The interior of the house is handsome, and in good taste; and the whole mode of life stately and splendid, as well as extremely pleasant and comfortable. The people—I mean the Duke and his family—kind and courteous hosts, and the society very easy and free from stiffness or constraint of any sort...We had a large party at Belvoir. The gentlemen of the hunt were all at the castle; and besides the ladies of the family, we had the Duchess of Richmond and her granddaughter, the Duke and Duchess of Bedford, Lord and Lady Winchelsea, Mademoiselle d'Este, and a whole tribe of others whose names I forget, but which are all duly down in the butler's book...Every morning the duke's band marched round the castle, playing all sorts of sprightly music, to summon us to breakfast, and we had the same agreeable warning that dinner was ready. As soon as the dessert was placed on the table, singers came in, and performed four pieces of music...The whole family were extremely cordial and kind to us; and when we drove away, they all assembled at an upper window, waving hats and handkerchiefs as long as we could see them.

In the postscript she writes;

My first introduction to "afternoon tea" took place during this visit to Belvoir, when I received on several occasions private and rather mysterious invitations to the Duchess of Bedford's room, and found her with a "small and select" circle of female guests of the castle, busily employed in brewing and drinking tea, with her grace's own private tea-kettle. I do not believe that now universally honored and observed institution of " five-o'clock tea" dates farther back in the annals of English civilization than this very private and, I think, rather shamefaced practice of it.

Fanny may have quaffed at the thought of such a "shamefaced pratice" however, afternoon tea quickly became utterly fashionable by other social hostesses. The taking of tea was not a new phenomenon in British society. Tea's journey to England flowed in with the arrival Charles II of England and Catherine of Braganza. What the duchess of Bedford had created, was a timely ritual filled with all sorts of dainties.

Afternoon tea, in accordance with tradition, is served between two and five o'clock and is always an elegant "snack" rather than a complete meal. The menu usually includes tea, finger sandwiches, scones with Devonshire Cream, handcarfted marmalades and preserves, cakes, assorted pastries, and other sweets and savories. and occasionally a more elaborate layer cake or trifle as a finale. Tea is usually served in a drawing room, living room or parlor with the elegant fare presented with lacey linens, fine bone china and silver teapots. (Legendary Rhode Island Tearoom)
Traditionally, the upper classes served a "low" or "afternoon" tea around 4:00 pm just before the fashionable promenade in Hyde Park, at which one might find small, crust less sandwiches, biscuits, and cake. Middle and lower classes had a "high" tea later in the day, at 5:00 or 6:00. It is a more substantial meal, essentially it's dinner. A typical menu at high tea would consist of roast pork, stand pie, salmon and salad, trifle, jellies, lemon-cheese tarts, sponge cake, walnut cake, chocolate roll, pound cake, white and brown bread, currant teacake, curd tart and cheeses. The names derive from the height of the tables on which the meals are served. Low tea was served not at a dinner table but on tables, which in the United States would be called "coffee tables," in the withdrawing room. High tea was served on the dinner table. (source)

The Kettledrum

A large social party, originally applied to a military party in India, where drum-heads served for tables. On Tweedside it signifies a "social party," met together to take tea from the same tea-kettle. (Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (1898)

By chance, you may have visited by other blog which is called Come to a Kettledrum. When I made the decision to dive into the blogosphere back in October of 2007, I had the difficult choice of providing a name. Months of Edible Celebrations actually began as my "kettledrum" in essence, a reason to have a party. Since that time, the Come to a Kettledrum blog has become more of a "springboard" in much need of renovation:) My very first post was an attempt to portray my notion of a kettledrum. Thankfully, I had some help from The American Heritage Cookbook and cookbook author Marion Harland

The progenitor of the cocktail party, a relatively inexpensive method of paying off a great many social debts all at once, was the afternoon tea party, which was called in the 1870's and for several decades after that a kettledrum. All one needed to provide one's guests was sandwiches as thin as tissue paper and as dainty as lace doilie and tea. (The American Heritage Cookbook p.290)
The Ladies Lunch and afternoon Kettle-Drum are social and graceful modern improvements. Marion Harland (Common Sense In The Household) revised ed. 1880 p. 146

A Dish of Tea

The Dish of Tea
Let some in beer place their delight, 

O'er bottled porter waste the night,
Or sip the rosy wine: 

A dish of Tea more pleases me, 

Yields softer joys, provokes less noise,
And breeds no base design.

From China's groves, this present brought, 

Enlivens every power of thought,
Riggs many a ship for sea: 

Old maids it warms, young widows charms; 

And ladies' men, not one in ten
But courts them for their Tea...

Philip Freneau

Did you know, tea cups did not always have handles? A dish of tea was drank out of delicate china saucers in the Chinese style.

Tea cups did not always have handles. Chinese tea bowls influenced the first European teacups. At first, the English made cups without handles in the traditional Chinese style. Not until the mid 1750’s was a handle added to prevent the ladies from burning their fingers. This improvement was copied from a posset cup, used for hot beverages-hot drink made of milk with wine, ale or spirits. The saucer was once a small dish for sauce. In Victorian days, tea drinkers poured their tea into saucers to cool before sipping, this was perfectly acceptable. This is what writers of the period mean by “a dish of tea.” (Tea Time Etiquette & the History of Afternoon Tea)

What does one serve with "a dish of tea?" From an article found in the Tea & Coffee Trade Journal published in October 2007:

Tea Fare: Tea fare can be incorporated with many items. Generally, afternoon tea involves bite-sized sandwiches, followed by a plethora of sweets, pastries and biscuits. For most afternoon tea ceremonies certain foods became popular during each season of the year. Fruit and berries were eaten in the spring and summer, while heavier starchy items were reserved for the colder months.

Placement of these items is also crucial to the construction of the ceremony. Food is generally placed on a three-tier curate stand, as follows, where scones are placed on the top tier, savories and tea sandwiches are placed in the middle and sweets on the bottom.

The protocol of placing scones on the top-tier is due to the fact that during the 1800's when Afternoon Tea first became popular, and modern kitchen conveniences did not exist, a warming dome was placed over the scones. The dome would only fit on the top tier. The savories and tea sandwiches, followed by the sweets, were placed on the middle and bottom tiers respectively. At the progression of each course, service would be provided to remove each tier.

Traditionally, loose tea would be served in a teapot with milk and sugar. This would be accompanied by various sandwiches (customarily cucumber, egg and cress, fish paste (bloater), ham, and smoked salmon), scones (with butter, clotted cream and jam--see cream tea) and usually cakes and pastries (such as Battenberg, fruit cake or Victoria sponge). The food would be often served in a tiered stand.

As much as I don't want to admit it, with the arrival of September comes the preparation of the holiday season. Of all the friendly ways of entertaining, none is as sparkling as a tea party. With that in mind, I have chosen a few "quantity" recipes to share today from a booklet titled Invitation to Tea published by General Foods in 1963. The first, Orange Nut Bread, makes 4 loaves or 9 dozen tea sandwiches and "freezes wonderfully." The recipe for Brownies also freezes well and makes 150 tea-size brownies. (150!!! oh my:) Finally, the notion of grated coconut in the Lemon Sours was just too tempting to resist. The recipe makes 160 2x1 inch bars. (Yummee!!!) Enjoy:) (click to enlarge)

Winner The Best Summer Drinks Give-Away!

Thank you to everyone who participated in The Best Summer Drinks give-away. It was so much fun reading all of your "tasteful" comments:) Let's see who won.

We Have Two Winners! drum roll please...1 6 5 7 8 9 10 3 2 4
(Random numbers generated Sep 3 2009 at 16:39:1 by www.psychicscience.org.
Free educational resources for parapsychology, psychical research & mind magic.)

Congratulations to T. W. of Culinary Types and Natashya's Kitchen Puppies. Visit their delicious blogs. I promise, you won't be disappointed! Okay T.W. and Natashya send me some info and I'll be mailing off your new recipe books!

1. Belvoir Castle
2. Records of later life (By Fanny Kemble @ google books 1882)
3. Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
4. A Memoir of her Grace the Late Duchess of Bedford  (1858 @ google books)
5. Tea Time Etiquette & History of Afternoon Tea (Tea shop website)
6. The Best Summer Drinks Give-Away