Friday, October 30, 2009

It's National Candy Corn Day

Candy Corn Day | October 30th

Yippee! it's National Candy Corn Day and do I have a frightfully fun recipe; or two, for YOU!!! Did you know, "more than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced in 2009." I learned that at the National Confectioners Association, a sponsor of National Candy Corn Day!!!

Oh, I know there are a couple of you out there that don't particularly care for candy corn. You know who you are, Marjie, Pam:) Perhaps, these candy corn recipes will alter your mindset. You see, although the first recipe brought to you by Nosh With Me is for candy corn from scratch, the other recipes are more or less faux candy corn recipes. Well, take a look and you'll get my drift...
Home Made Candy Corn
Nosh With Me Home Made Candy Corn

Candy Corn Cupcakes
Megan's Munchies Candy Corn Cupcakes
Candy Corn Cookie Bark
Recipe Girl's Candy Corn Cookie Bark

Here's a monster of an idea. Make spooky looking gloves with Popcorn, Pumpkin seeds and Candy Corn!
Creepy Hands
Creepy Hands8 cups popped popcorn
1 cup pumpkin seeds, cleaned and patted dry
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
candy corn
6 clear industrial food handlers gloves
Orange and or black ribbon
6 plastic spider rings
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place popcorn in single layer in 15x10x1 inch jelly-roll pan; sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.
2. Mix butter, Worcestershire and salts in small bowl. Pour over popcorn; toss to coat.
3. Bake 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
4. Place candy corn in end of each glove for fingernail; pack glove tightly with popcorn mixture. Close bag tightly at wrist; tie with ribbon. Place ring on 1 finger of each hand. Makes 6 servings
And for those of you out there in Halloween Land who are on the fence when it comes to candy corn, here's a recipe for Candy Corn Cookies which can also be morphed into Bat Cookies:)
Candy Corn Cookies
1. Cool Text Generator (where I "designed" the Candy Corn Banner)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pizza Party Winners!!!

Update Nov. 1, 2009 Congratulations to Natashya' Kitchen Puppies! Her number, #2, was chosen as the winner in the comment section. Natashya when you see this update, please email me with your info so I can mail your gift off. Thanks for "playing."
Random numbers generated Nov 1 2009 at 21:15:39 by www.psychicscience.org
Free educational resources for parapsychology, psychical research & mind magic.

As many of you may know, I decided to celebrate my 2 year blogoversary this month with a Pizza Party Mix-Up! Game. As is the case with many of my posts, I got a wee bit carried away. This time, perhaps, with utterly confusing details. Live, learn, blog:)

None the less, there was indeed an entry. It arrived from Australia just a few days ago from Susan. Susan has a delectably charming blog over at Dragon Musings. She baked up The Funky Lime Pizza recipe she found over at Pass The Beans Please and turned it into Mother's Delicious Home Made Pluto.

The Winners!!!

Funky Lime Pizza

Mother's Delicious Home Made Pluto

Both WINNERS will each win a box full of goodies chosen by me from the Pampered Chef® The Pizza Party Set includes a Large Round Pizza Stone, which also has handles, a Pizza Cutter and a Pizza Crust and Roll Mix tucked in the boxed kit.

Prize #3, which is a choice prize of either a Pampered Chef Pizza Cutter, or a copy of The Pampered Chef's Cook's Library cookbook Festive Holiday Dessert Recipe Collection; is still waiting to be claimed. All you need to do is leave a comment in the comment section below by midnight, October 31st and I will choose a winner with the online Random Generator. The winner will be posted November 1. Have FUN! and thanks for "playing," Louise:)

Note: Winners, please email me @ acalenda [at] google [dot] com with pertinent information so I send your Pizza Kits ASAP.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Hodgepodge of Metamorphic Pumpkin Days

What kind of month would October be if it didn't set aside a day for Pumpkins? But Wait!!! There seems to be quite a mish mash of Pumpkin Days and not all of them are in October. Take Pumpkin Pie Day, for instance. There are those who claim National Pumpkin Pie Day is October 12th and then there are those who believe National Pumpkin Pie Day to be December 25th. Beats the heck out of me. I celebrated National Pumpkin Pie Day one November with a Pumpkin Pie recipe poem. What do I know? I need to bring this to rest.
Here is what I learned about Pumpkin Days in the October online issue of Restaurants & Institutions.

...26th day in October is National Pumpkin Day—not to be confused with National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day (October 21) or National Pumpkin Pie Day (December 25.) October 26 also is National Pretzel Day...

Pumpkinification or what ever happened to Cinderella's Coach?

Bibbly Bobbly You've been Pumpkinified!!!
People who are about to excuse themselves from a late night occasionally allude to the story of Cinderella by speaking of having to leave before they turn into a pumpkin. In the fairy tale, it is, of course, Cinderella's coach, not herself, which turns (back) into a pumpkin on the last stroke of midnight (or thereabout).

The Greek-derived term apocolocyntosis may here be pronounced either as a-po-CO-lo-sin-TOH-sis or a-po-CO-lo-kin-TOH-sis. (No two classicists seem to agree on the best pronunciation, with stress patterns and vowel/consonant qualities varying widely as different weight is accorded to authenticity, feasibility and euphony.) Literally meaning "transformation into a pumpkin or gourd", it is often translated as "pumpkinification". It was a title given to a Menippean satire written in Latin by (or at least attributed to) Seneca the Younger, tutor to the Emperor Nero. This work parodies the deification or apotheosis of the late Emperor Claudius, depicted as a "pumpkin-head" in life who perfects his "pumpkinification" in death, in so much as he is refused entry to Olympus and exposed by Jupiter and the other gods for what he is. Some scholars reject the literal interpretation of apocolocyntosis as "pumpkinification", preferring a more allusively-derived "metamorphosis of a pumpkin[-head]". For what it's worth, my own translation for the term qua title of the work would be The Ascension of the Living Gourd. Chris Young

It's kind of sad that the word Pumpkinification has been exiled into the tablets of Roman history. It's a fun word don't you think? I wonder how Mother Goose and Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater pumpkinified such a jumble. Perhaps, they baked Pumpkin Pie or Pumpkin Cannoli!!!

The Origin of Pumpkin Pie

Silly as it may seem, here's a bit of pumpkinifiably. Why the editors of The Boston Cooking School Magazine... chose to include this little diddy in the January 1905 issue is a bit mystifying but hey, who am I to argue, I'm a "changed" woman:)

The Origin of Pumpkin Pie
Once upon a time, a long while ago, there lived a wise old man who was always trying to see what he could discover.
Having made several perpetual motion machines and one or two airships, he was walking through the fields to avoid his creditors when he came upon a pumpkin.
"This," he said to himself, bending down and feeling of the yellow orb, "is a vegetable growth; but I firmly believe that it acquires its hue from small particles of gold which it extracts from the earth."
So he took the pumpkin on his shoulder, and took it home, telling all anxious inquirers that he was going to discover how to extract the gold from it.
At home, in spite of all his wife said, he cut the pumpkin up and put it in a pot and boiled it, only he argued that he was melting it.
when at last it was a pulpy mass, he poured it out of the pot and right on top of a pan of dough that his wife had rolled out for the purpose of making dried apple pie.
Now you know the kind of a wife he had, do you not? A woman who will feed her husband on dried apple pie deserves to be married to two or three inventors, doesn't she?
And so he put the pumpkin and the dough into the oven asserting that he would harden it with the heat and produce a solid sheet of gold, and be so rich that he could run for office on a reform ticket.
But, bless you! when the pumpkin and the dough came out of the oven, it was not a solid sheet of gold at all, but a rich, golden, tantalizing section of goodness.
And the poor inventor was hungry so he bit into it.
a Few moments later several of his creditors broke into the house; and came upon him, crying: "Look here! Where is all that gold you were going to get for us?"
And he never even looked up at them, but kept right on eating saying: "Who cares for gold? (Bite, bite O-o-o-oh!) Who cares for gold? Men, I have discovered pumpkin pie!
And the creditors sat down also and ate; and they too, were happy ever after.
So now, when you eat pumpkin pie, you should be glad that the poor inventor did not succeed in making gold of the pumpkin. For, if he had, the pumpkin might never have gone further than to fill your teeth.

Pumpkins & Apples Oh MY!

Pumpkinified Apple Recipes
Pumpkin & Apple Crumble
leftover pumpkin puree can be frozen and later used in stews, soups or as a quick side dish with butter
Pumpkin Apple Spice Muffins
fresh pumpkin has more moisture than canned pumpkin; adjust accordingly
Pumpkin Stuffed Roasted Apples
serve seasonal dips, sauces & spreads in miniature pumpkins for a decorative look
Pumpkin Apple Pancakes
2 cups of pumpkin puree equals 1lb or 16 oz. canned pumpkin.
Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie
A munchkin is a variety of pumpkin.
Pumpkin Apple Pie
Pumpkin flowers are edible
Pumpkin, Apple, & Cranberry Wontons
hallowed out pumpkin makes a festive soup tureen
Pumpkin Apple Cheesecake
Yes, Virginia there really is a World Championship Punkin Chuckin' competition in November

I know I was just trying to keep the patch nice and tidy with pumpkin recipes married in apple goodness but, I just couldn't resist Reeni's recipe for Pumpkin Mousse Streusel Pie, although, I must admit, it was quite difficult to resist many, many heavenly pumpkin recipes out there in internet Halloween land. So, "self" I said, "now may be a good time to share that Jack-O'-Lantern Cheese Ball recipe since it too is apple-ified." So here you go, from the Frightfully Fun Halloween Recipes book published in the year 2000." I found this recipe in the chapter labeled, Bewitching Bites (fun book if you can find it:)

Jack-O'-Lantern Cheese Ball
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup solid pack pumpkin
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. [freshly] ground nutmeg
1 pretzel rod, broken in half
Dark rye bread, red pepper and black olive slices
Assorted crackers

Using pumpkins as lanterns at Halloween is based on an ancient Celtic custom brought to America by Irish immigrants. All Hallows Eve on October 31st marked the end of the old Celtic calendar year. On that night hollowed-out turnips, beets and rutabagas with a candle inside were placed on windowsills and porches to welcome home spirits of deceased ancestors and ward off evil spirits and a restless soul called “Stingy Jack.”
Upcoming Food Days
27-Pizza Party Announcement
27-National Potato Day
27-American Beer Day
28-St. Jude's Day
1. Pumpkinification of Claudius
2. Rhymes & Recipe Page
3. Cooking with edible flowers
4. Pumpkin Pie Poem & Dinner in a Pumpkin

Saturday, October 24, 2009

United Nations Day via Argentina

I went down Argentina way the other day in search of recipes to share for United Nations Day. United Nation's Day has been celebrated on October 24th since 1948.

The anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Charter on 24 October 1945 has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. It has traditionally been marked throughout the world by meetings, discussions and exhibits on the achievements and goals of the Organization. In 1971, the General Assembly recommended that Member States observe it as a public holiday. UN website

"Why Argentina?" you might ask. Besides the fact, Argentina was one of the Original 51 Members of the United Nations, Latin American food lights up my senses. Have you ever experienced the pleasure of chimichurri sauce? I recently purchased a small sample of a variety sold at Wegman's which resembled pesto. Although most people use chimichurri as an embellishment with steak, I chose to marinade a few chicken thighs before roasting. I quartered a few potatoes, doused them with some melted lemon butter and put them on the bottom of the roasting pan with the thighs on top. I was so pleased with the results, that I'm most likely going to prepare the same meal for Tabitha's birthday party next month. However, I may whip up my own chimichurri sauce for the occasion. It's really rather easy! Works great as a dipping sauce with some hot crusty bread, oh my goodness. Look at this simple recipe @ The Global Gourmet.

I think my affection for Argentine cuisine stems from my Italian roots. Many of the regional dishes are melded by European influence. Lots of meat, pasta, bread and Argentinean wine. The best place for you to begin your journey into the traditional daily food habits of Argentina is at Rebecca's blog, From Argentina With Love. You never know what she will be cooking up. On my last visit, Flan was on the menu:) Who doesn't need a little sweetness every now and again:) Funny thing happened on my trip down Argentina way, I discovered Rebecca's blog by "bumping" into Laylita's recipe blog. Laylita was participating in Rebecca's empanada of the month event. It sounded like such fun I just had to drop by. You know how I feel about the quintessential Argentine dish, empanadas. I celebrated Empanada Day back in April; I think it was. I must also mention the Argentinean Food Recipe Collection. I found an Argentine Stew in Pumpkin Shell recipe I just know you will enjoy.

Recipes from Argentina

The first group of recipes I would like to share with you today, comes from the 1954 edition of Favorite Recipes from the United Nations published by the United States Committee for the United Nations. It contains 170 authentic dishes from all the countries of the United Nations...

This cookbook has been compiled and published by the United States Committee for the United Nations, a quasi-official, non-profit organization, whose Chairman is appointed annually by Secretary of State. Established in 1948 by the Department of State in response to a UN General Assembly Resolution: "...that October 24th shall henceforth be officially called United Nations Day and shall be devoted to making known to the people of the world the aims and achievements of the United Nations and to gaining their support for the work of the United Nations".

The purpose of the U.S. Committee is to disseminate facts about the United Nations and to promote the observance of United Nations Day in the United States.

They say, The Best Beef in the World is in Argentina. Others, would disagree. I personally must remain on the fence about such a statement, however, I can tell you beef is a staple of most Argentinean meals. A traditional country dish consists of a thick corn and beef stew (guisos) called Locro which is usually served with a hearty crusty bread. I have scanned it below. There are also recipes for Argentinean Almond Pastry and Meringue. You can find another recipe for South American Beef Stew adapted by Ann over @ Collectible Cooking. I just "met" Ann today also. Isn't it wonderful that there's a whole wide world of cookbook lovers out there!!!

The next two recipes I would like to share with you today come from The Cookbook of The United Nations 350 recipes from 126 member nations of the UN. It is a revised, book club edition, published in 1970. The recipes were compiled and edited by Barbara Krauss. The introduction to the recipes "brought" down Argentina Way, goes something like this:

Argentina is as long as the United States is wide. It is the second largest country in Latin America...The ancestry of nine out of ten Argentinians is European, most often Spanish or Italian. The Argentinian cuisine reflects this as well as the fact that the country is the world's largest producer of corn and wheat. Livestock raising is on par with farming and meat is served at almost every meal and between meals-as steak, or thinly sliced, stuffed, and rolled up or chopped and encased in corn dough. Argentina's membership in the UN commenced on October 24, 1945.

The first recipe is for Niños envueltos (meat rolls) which according to this Spanish Guide, filled with Christmas recipes from most Spanish speaking countries, means "babies in blankets" The recipe at the guide is remotely similar to the recipe I am including. The reason for the difference in the recipes may be related to what region of Argentina the recipe is home to. Some say envueltos (tortilla “envelopes") are another name for "tacos that are filled and fried." 

"Envueltos" have been cited in print since at least the 1890s and a recipe was included in the very first Mexican cookbook published by San Antonio’s Gebhardt Chili Powder Company. (source)
Niños envueltos
2 lbs. sirloin or top round steak, cut 1/2 inch thick
3/4 cup white wine or cider vinegar
2 tbs. chopped green pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 clove garlic, minced
6 slices stale bread, cubed
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten slightly
1 tbs. chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. salt & pepper
1 tbs. melted butter
3 tbs. fat
1 clove garlic
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 tbs. olive oil
1 1-pound can tomatoes
1 tbs. chopped parsley
3 tbs. chopped green pepper
1/2 tsp. salt & pepper
1/2 cup white wine
3 medium potatoes, cut into quarters
1 10 ounce package frozen peas
Pound steak with mallet until meat is thin. Cut in 6 equal strips.
To make marinade: Combine all marinade ingredients, simmer for 10 minutes and cool. Pour cooled marinade over meat and let stand 2 to 3 hours. Remove meat from marinade.
To make stuffing: Soak bread cubes in milk until soft. Squeeze out excess milk. Combine bread with remaining stuffing ingredients and mix well.

Place an equal portion of stuffing on each of the 6 inch strips. Roll side by side in shallow casserole or baking dish with a cover.
To make sauce: Cook garlic and onion in oil until yellow. Add other sauce ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes.

Pour sauce over meat rolls, cover, and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven. Add potatoes after the meat has cooked for 1 hour; add peas 15 minutes later, and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Make 6 servings.

Humita Mendocina (perhaps from the province of Mendoza) is a fresh creamy corn pudding which in this recipe is served dinner in a pumpkin style. You may remember a version of Mendoza's Fresh Corn Polenta from a 2008 episode of the Martha Stewart Show.

Humita Mendocina
1 clove garlic
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tbs. olive oil
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp. paprika
1 ripe tomato, chopped
12 ears fresh corn, grated or 4 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup milk
1 large pumpkin
2 cups milk
2 tbs. butter
1 tbs. sugar
Bread crumbs
Cook garlic and onion in oil in saucepan until tender. Add green pepper and cook 2 more minutes. Add salt, bay leaf, black pepper, cinnamon and paprika and mix well. Cook 1 minute. Add tomato and simmer 10 minutes. Add corn and milk. Cook very slowly, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes or until corn is tender. Serve hot or cold.
To prepare Corn Supreme served in a pumpkin: Wash pumpkin and cut off top; remove seeds and membrane. Pour milk, butter, and sugar into pumpkin and bake in preheated 300 degree oven for 1-1/2 hours or until pumpkin meat is tender. Pour off milk and fill with Corn Supreme. Sprinkle open top with bread crumbs and dot with butter. Bake in preheated 324 degree oven 30 minutes, until top is golden brown. Serve Corn Supreme along with a scooped out portion of pumpkin meat. Make 8 servings.

I just can't leave without a dollop of dessert. Or in this case "a thick concentrate of quince pulp cooked with sugar;" dulce de membrillo.

"Quince-Technically speaking, quinces are edible in their raw state but they have an astringent, bitter taste and are always cooked. They have been grown for at least 4,000 years, and were valued by the ancient Greeks and Romans for the fragrance of their flowers as well as for their fruit. There are two species of quinces in cultivation: one with round, apple-shaped fruits (Cydonia vulgaris), and one with oblong, pear-shaped fruits (C. oblongata). The fuzzy green or yellow skin gradually becomes smooth and the fruit matures. They aren’t as popular in the Americas as they are in Europe (Spain is a major producer of dulce de membrillo, a thick, sweet quince paste), but are sometimes available in the fall." (source)

I'm just going to leave you a link to the history of Argentina's sweet gooey caramel delicacy and a few recipes to crave. Think sweetened condensed milk goodness:)

Dulce Le Leche Links
Pig Pigs Corner Dulce de Leche: The easy way and it did not explode...
The Recipe Girl Dulce de Leche Pumpkin- Toffee Pie
Margarita's International Recipes Panqueques de Dulce de Leche (Dulce de Leche Crepes)
Baking Bites Dulce de Leche Brownies
Cinnamon & Spice... Dulce de leche Cheesecake
Canela's Kitchen Recipes Dulce de leche alfajores (tender, sweet, delicate cornstarch cookie (sometimes made with potato flour) filled with Dulce de leche in South America but waiting to be filled with whatever sweet goodness you may have on hand. (Think Nutella:)

Upcoming Food Days:
25-National Greasy Foods Day
25-World Pasta Day
25-Last day for Pizza Party Mix-Up Entries
26-Pumpkin Day (I will be posting the story of pumpkin pie on Pumpkin Day:)

1. Down Argentine Way (the movie @ wiki & where I downloaded the top image)
2.Argentina @ the UN
3. Candy Shop on Rivington Street for all your Halloween Goodies
4. Spanish terms used in cooking!
5. Chimichurri marinade
6.Chef Luiz: Empanada lore
7. Ten Tricks For a Good "Asado" (definition)
8. Holiday Gifts: Creamy Caramel
9 Michele's Dinner in a Pumpkin Recipe (previous post)
10. National Empanada Day (previous post)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rumtopf! It's National Brandied Fruit Day, time for some Tutti-Fruitti

What if you could capture the essence of each changing season all in one small compartment?

Tutti Fruiti:
Take one cup of brandy, one of sugar and one fruit to begin. Whatever fruit you choose, lay it in jar, first, then sugar, and lastly brandy; continue to add different fruits as they appear in season, one cup of each. You do not need any more brandy; as the juice will be extracted from the fruit and increase the amount. Commence with strawberries, and all kinds of fruit as they ripen. It is not to be cooked. Mrs. H. J. Wookford harvested from The Parish Cook Book Tried and Proved Recipes p. 176. (1907; 2ed. published by The Ladies Guild of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, East Randolph, New York)

In the days of cherries; or the "good old days," it would not be unusual to spy an old stoneware jar filled with a mixture of fruit left to distill on the window sill. In a German household, the brandied fruit cup would fondly be known as Rumtopf, which literally means rum pot. While a German "rumtopf" recipe may use rum, there are other various mixtures used depending on availability. The French use Bourbon and here in the states, we go for the Brandy. You, however, can choose whatever spirit you desire to concoct your very own alcoholic fruit salad:)


Why we celebrate National Brandied Fruit Day in October and not in May or June is beyond the scope of this still room I have for a brain. The fact that I have chosen to celebrate National Brandied Fruit Day confirms my need to explore the churned spirit.

It seems rather odd to me that an alcoholic liquor distilled from wine or fermented fruit juice such as Brandy would be used to magically add zing to the preservation of fruit. However, when I discovered the name brandy originated from the old Dutch word "brandewijn" meaning distilled, burnt or fire treated wine, I realized the virtues of brandied fruit. The distinct quality of preparing a salmagundi of "pickled fruit" lies merely upon your ability to catch the seasonal changes at their peaks. You can mix and match any fruit of your choosing to replenish "the starter" and to keep the prized mixture alive. Let me back track a moment. There are those who have spirited discussions as to what fruits are acceptable and those that are not. Apples seem to be a no no, yet the princess of fruits, the pineapple, is a definite yes! (as long as it is canned pineapple)Strawberries, most likely, will be the first layer of your soon to be relished mixed dish, as they are the generous greeters of the fruit bearing season. Perhaps one of the reasons we celebrated Strawberry Thanksgiving in June. Cherries but not too many, blackberries, boysenberries, gooseberries, apricots, pears, plums, peaches nectarines, currants, and blueberries, all carefully prepared of course, are just some of the ingredients you can add to your potpourri filled with grass root flavor.

For those of you who may be hesitant, you have a few months to muddle over it. The worst that can happen is you won't like it. Not to worry, we'll start small. I haven't chosen a day yet but, I'm seriously thinking of claiming a day in May or June as the day to begin next year's tutti-fruitti season. You know, something like Tutti-Frutti Rumpoft Day!!! Remember, you heard it here first!!!

A maceration of fruits and brandy especially popular in the South, where ladies would add one cup of each fruit of the season to one pint brandy along with an amount of sugar equal to a quart of fruit. The mixture would be stirred each morning and kept for the season.

Tutti -fruitti is also an ice cream flavored with various fruits. The term is from the Italian, meaning "all fruits" and in America dates back from the 1870s. There was also a gum-ball candy called by this name in New York City in the 1880s. Dictionary of American Food and Drink by John F. Mariani

As for utensils, well a German Rumtopf is usually started in a special vessel just for the intended purpose of distilling the fruit. I have seen some beautifully decorated ones in my travels. Size is up to you. It depends on how much you plan on making and how much choice fruit you are willing to mingle. Metal is out of the question. I'm sure it would react with the content of alcohol. I never use metal when I handle or enjoy either store bought or home made yogurt for the same reason. (I eat yogurt with a plastic spoon) Although, I have often been served Ayran in a metal vessel while dining at my favorite Turkish restaurant. Go figure. I still suggest no metal be used in the preparation of tutti-frutti or rumtopf for that matter. I plan on using one of my crock pots next spring but I'm sure you could use a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Tony's Okra Heaven, a blog I recently discovered, has an outstanding sample of a traditional Rumtopf Pot. The pot is absolutely stunning. The pot also has a recipe for Rumtopf engraved in German. Tony's post Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s Rumtopf… is his rather humorous approach to his method of bringing the delectable hodgepodge of fruit to zest. He was most generous when I asked him if I could "borrow" his image to share with you today. Thanks Tony!!! (be sure to stop by aned feast your eyes on that pot!)

Serving Suggestions

Remember that list of Friendship Day recipes in jars post from August? Well, here's another idea. A quick version of Tutti-Fruitti can be churned up in just 3 weeks using canned fruit!!! Not only will you be able to sample the imparted Brandy, for future reference, you can use the starter to bake Friendship Cakes. I found an excellent recipe for Brandied Fruit Starter prepared with canned fruit at the Big Oven. If you should decide to give the starter alone as a gift, be sure to enclose serving suggestions on a decorative gift tag and perhaps, a recipe for Friendship Cake. There's also another recipe @ Recipeland which uses canned fruit and yeast. It requires just 30 days to mature.

Hocus Pocus! magically, we all started our Tutti-Fruitti last strawberry moon and we are on the verge of sheer delight. Where do we begin? National Fruitcake Day is celebrated in December 27th. That's the day families get together to share memories of fruitcake and to begin the task of preparing next year's gifts. You know a sort of a fruitcake eating and baking session:) Add some Brandied Fruit to your favorite recipe! Brandied syrup adds a fruity bouquet to waffles, bread pudding, pound cake and makes a delightful topping on ice cream a la mode. Mixed with yogurt, rumtopf makes a grand dessert empanada filling. Quite frankly, the enjoyments are endless. Here's a recipe for Ole Koeks from The National Cookbook which was published in 1932 by Sheila Hibben. Notice how the recipe for the "little oil balls" of Olie Bollen are infused with Brandy.

Ole Koeks
1 pint milk
1/2 lb. butter
3/4 lb. sugar
4 eggs
1 yeast cake
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup brandy or flavoring substitute
1 cup citron (chopped)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (grated)
1/2 tsp. salt
Bring the milk to a boil and melt the butter in it. When cooled to blood heat, add yeast cake dissolved in a little tepid water. Then add sugar, salt, well-beaten eggs, and enough flour to make a workable dough. Set to rise in a warm place overnight. Pour the brandy over seeded raisins and citron, mix in the nutmeg, and let stand overnight. In the morning roll out the dough on a floured board; cut off pieces of about 3 inches square, put a little of the raisins and citron inside; pat into balls and let rise again on the board. Drop carefully into very hot deep fat and fry until a rich golden brown. Drain on warmed brown paper and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

I saved the best for last. You may have noticed the omission of citrus fruits as one of the suggested fruits for your tutti-frutti. There are as many variations of bottled fruit as there are individuals. There are those who do not agree with the addition of citrus fruits. As I gestured to before, some have very strict preferences as to which fruits should or should not be included in their preparation. One recipe I happened upon only included strawberries while another preferred cherries only; hmmm...Kirsch? I plan on adding lemons and limes to mine and am contemplating the thought of peeled and seeded oranges. We'll see. I like the notion of being able to adapt the fruit to the mixture as well as using the rinds to make an eco-friendly enzyme cleaner made from lemon, lime and orange peels. What! you weren't aware there's a recipe for that. Well, check out Happy Home-maker's Virtual Home for a most interesting recipe. Choesf is working on a post about the health benefits of flavored vinegars which I am eagerly anticipating.

Not to get off the subject because, the subject is always food, but October is also National Applejack Month. There's a heavenly recipe for Spicy Calvados Applesauce over @ A Crafty Lass which you must take a gander at. Tomorrow is also Apple Day in the UK. According to wiki, the first Apple Day was celebrated in England on October 21st, 1990 in London. Since I didn't want to miss the opportunity to celebrate with my visitors from "across the pond" and since I wanted to remind you all that October is still National Pizza Month, and we do have a Pizza event in progress, I thought I would include a recipe for Lots O' Apple Pizza. Oh alright, I scanned it from a book titled Mott's; A Better Way to Bake but when I do bake, which as you know is not often, I try use applesauce as one of the ingredients. I'll attempt to describe why in a future post:) Enjoy!

Upcoming Food Days

21-National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day Janet makes hers with chocolate cookie crust!
21-Caramel Apple Day (It's also National Caramel Month:) You must check out Jane's recipe for Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce; YUM!
22-National Nut Day
23-National Boston Cream Pie Day
23-National Canning Day (canned food day is always celebrated on October 23, the birthday of Nicolas Appert the declared "Father of Canning")

1. Rumtopf (rum pot) Recipe
2. Rumtopf (Traditional German Fruit Preserve & Beverage) @ recipezaar
3. Making a Rumtopf in a Piece of German History
4. Friendship Cake, Armenian-Italian style (Excellent reminiscent article with recipe)
5. Friendship Brandied Fruit (@recipe source)
6. Jeanne's Tutti-Fruitti
7. Heirloom Recipe: Tutti-Frutti
8. Tutti-Frutti Barbancourt (Haitian Recipe with a spicy twist)
9. Preserving Summer with Tutti-Frutti & Rumtopf
10. Friendship Day (previous post includes recipes in jars for gift giving)
11. Strawberry Thanksgiving (previous post)
12. Nicolas Appert (previous post)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Nibbling my way to Count Dracula's Castle

Transylvanian Cuisine

I have boogied my way into unfamiliar territory in the past, but never have I attempted fate by following the footsteps of Bram Stoker's rogue character, Count Dracula. Join me as I ramble my way through Transylvania's winding passages deep in the Carpathians, into the heart of Transylvanian Cuisine and a few of Jonathan Harker’s menu encounters.

Dracula Chapter 1

The culinary odyssey begins in Bistrita, Romania:

Jonathan Harker's Journal:

3 May. Bistritz. __Left Munich at 8:35 P. M, on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was an hour late. Buda-Pesth seems a wonderful place, from the glimpse which I got of it from the train and the little I could walk through the streets. I feared to go very far from the station, as we had arrived late and would start as near the correct time as possible.

The impression I had was that we were leaving the West and entering the East; the most western of splendid bridges over the Danube, which is here of noble width and depth, took us among the traditions of Turkish rule.

We left in pretty good time, and came after nightfall to Klausenburgh. Here I stopped for the night at the Hotel Royale. I had for dinner, or rather supper, a chicken done up some way with red pepper, which was very good but thirsty. (Mem. get recipe for Mina.) I asked the waiter, and he said it was called "paprika hendl," and that, as it was a national dish, I should be able to get it anywhere along the Carpathians.

"Without any doubt the most popular spice in Transylvania" is paprika. Some may call "paprika hendl," Chicken Paprikash while others sink their teeth into a hearty bowl of Chicken Dracula. Paul Kovi does not include a recipe for either in his book Transylvania Cuisine (1985) however, I did find a recipe on page 265 for Júhtúrós Kukoricagombóc, if you dare to rollick among the unknown.

Cornmeal Dumplings with Sheep Cheese
1 lb. sheep cheese (such as brinza or feta)
6 eggs, separated, white stiffly beaten
pinch of salt
1 tsp. caraway seeds, ground
1/2 medium onion, grated
7 tbs. butter
3-3/4 cups cornmeal
Bread crumbs sauteed in butter
2 cups sour cream
Combine the cheese, egg yolks, salt, ground caraway seeds, onion, and butter in a large bowl and beat until foamy. Mix in the cornmeal and beaten egg whites. Shape mixture into small dumplings, and cook in a pot of lightly boiling salted water until done. Top with sauteed bread crumbs and sour cream and serve. Note: Farmer cheese can be substituted for the sheep cheese.

Dracula Chapter 1

Having had some time at my disposal when in London, I had visited the British Museum, and made search among the books and maps in the library regarding Transylvania...

I find that the district he named is in the extreme east of the country, just on the borders of three states, Transylvania, Moldavia, and Bukovina, in the midst of the Carpathian mountains; one of the wildest and least known portions of Europe.

I was not able to light on any map or work giving the exact locality of the Castle Dracula, as there are no maps of this country as yet to compare with our own Ordance Survey Maps; but I found that Bistritz, the post town named by Count Dracula, is a fairly well-known place. I shall enter here some of my notes, as they may refresh my memory when I talk over my travels with Mina...

I read that every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horseshoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of imaginative whirlpool; if so my stay may be very interesting. (Mem., I must ask the Count all about them.)

I did not sleep well, though my bed was comfortable enough, for I had all sorts of queer dreams. There was a dog howling all night under my window, which may have had something to do with it; or it may have been the paprika, for I had to drink up all the water in my carafe, and was still thirsty. Towards morning I slept and was wakened by the continuous knocking at my door, so I guess I must have been sleeping soundly then.

I had for breakfast more paprika, and a sort of porridge of maize flour which they said was "mamaliga", and egg-plant stuffed with forcemeat, a very excellent dish, which they call "impletata". (Mem.,get recipe for this also.)

Mamaliga, The Recipe

Rumanian Stuffed Eggplant
4 medium eggplants, washed, dried, and halved lengthwise
Salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup butter
1 cup rice
1 bread slice
1/2 cup milk
14 ounces boneless pork leg
1 onion
1/2 cup mixed chopped fresh dill and parsley
2 egg yolks
3 or 4 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
4 tbs. grated hard cheese
2 to 3 tbs. sour cream
1. Scoop out and discard the centers of the eggplants, leaving 1/2 inch of flesh all around. Lightly season eggplants and brown slightly in butter in a frying pan. Set aside.
2. Cook the rice in 2 cups water so that it remains slightly hard. Drain excess water, if any. Soak the bread slice in the milk; drain excess milk.
3. Pass the meat through the grinder twice, together with the milk-soaked bread and the onion. Then add rice, 1/4 cup water, salt, pepper, chopped dill and parsley, and egg yolks. Blend thoroughly.
4. Stuff the eggplants with the meat mixture. Arrange them in a shallow pot. Cover eggplants with the sliced tomatoes. Pour in 1 cup water. Let simmer, covered, over low heat.
5. When the meat is done, place the eggplants in a baking pan. Sprinkle with grated cheese and spread on sour cream. Put in moderate oven and bake until brown. Transylvanian Cuisine p.74

Dracula Chapter 1

5 May. The Castle.--The gray of the morning has passed, and the sun is high over the distant horizon, which seems jagged, whether with trees or hills I know not, for it is so far off that big things and little are mixed.

I am not sleepy, and, as I am not to be called till I awake, naturally I write till sleep comes.

There are many odd things to put down, and, lest who reads them may fancy that I dined too well before I left Bistritz, let me put down my dinner exactly.

I dined on what they called "robber steak"--bits of bacon, onion, and beef, seasoned with red pepper, and strung on sticks, and roasted over the fire, in simple style of the London cat's meat!

The wine was Golden Mediasch, which produces a queer sting on the tongue, which is, however, not disagreeable.

I had only a couple of glasses of this, and nothing else...

It is shadowy to me what Harker is referring to when he speaks of robber steak. It sure sounds like a shish kebab doesn't it? Since there was no reference to it in Kovi's book, I did a bit of digging to see what bewitching tales I could uncover. The raw truth may lie in the historic annals of steak. Not any old steak mind you but the best of the best (to some anyway) Châteaubriand. Legend has it that the thickness of the steak involved a peculiar method of cooking. Since it is so thick it might be burnt on the surface while still quite raw inside. To remedy the situation, the illustrious steak was put on the fire between two other slices of beef, which, if burnt upon the grill, could be thrown away; robber steak? I also found reference to robber's steak in Round About the Carpathians (1878)

Now came the supper, which consisted of robber-steak and tea. I always stuck to my tea as the most refreshing beverage after a long walk or ride. I like coffee in the morning before starting--good coffee, mind; but in the evening there is nothing like tea. The robber-steak is capital, and deserves an "honourable mention" at least: it is composed of small bits of beef, bacon, and onion strung alternately on a piece of stick; it is seasoned with pinches of paprika and salt, and then roasted over the fire, the lower end of the stick being rolled backwards and forwards between your two palms as you hold it over the hot embers.It makes a delicious relish with a hunch of bread...The wines were excellent. We had golden Mediasch, one of the best wines grown in Transylvania, Roszamaber from Karlsburg and Bakatar. The peculiarity about the first-named wine is that it produces an agreeable pricking on the tongue called in German; tschirpsen. 
And she fell in love with the Cat's Meat Man,
The Cat's Meat Man,
The Cat's Meat Man;
And she fell in love with the Cat's Meat Man,
The Man that sold the Meat.

When I mentioned to a colleague that I was going to be posting about Transylvanian Cuisine today, my statement was met with horror. "Transylvania?" "Isn't that the mythical land of Gypsies, Vampires and Barbarians?" "They don't cook!." Indeed, Transylvania is the home of Dracula, the notorious vulture who dined on blood. Fact is, the Louis Szathmary Hungarian Collection housed at the University of Chicago Library has "a sizable number of books on the history of Transylvania."

Paul Kovi wrote about Dr. Louis Szathmary's collection in the introduction to Transylvanian Cuisine.

"The greatest finding of my search surfaced in Chicago home of my dear colleague Dr. Louis Szathmary, a Transylvanian and a fine restauranteur. His library contains the world. Works about Transylvanian cuisine alone comprise more than 350 volumes. My friend not only put his treasure at my disposal but enriched me with ideas, invaluable advice, and guidance. One great treasure I found in his library was the incomparable cookbook of Marcus Rumpolt."

Transylvanian cuisine is extremely diverse. Geography, landscape and infiltration have influenced it's culinary literature. By hook or crook, Transylvania has fearlessly managed to hold onto its distinct culinary characteristics. With a large variety of fruits, vegetables, spices and wine production, agriculture is not only an important occupation it allows its people to adapt foreign recipes to local taste. A Gastronomic Tour of Romania may have inspired even Dracula to reconsider his appetite.

The Czech Republic's kingdoms of Bohemia, Hungary, and Poland were all at one time major political and cultural forces as well. The traditional foods of these three kingdoms were gradually incorporated into the court cuisine of the Austrian Empire, so by the nineteenth century they had become "Viennese." The Wiener schnitzel (Viennese veal cutlet) would never have been possible without Hungarian beef; the famous Kolatschen (custard-filled pastries) of the Vienna coffeehouses would never have existed without the ancient kolace of Bohemia. As a political coequal to Austria, Hungary evolved a distinctive cuisine of its own inspired by nationalistic themes. Since Slovakia and Romanian Transylvania were once part of the Hungarian Kingdom, they experienced Hungarian influences most, but, by the same token, they gave back to Hungarian cookery added regional nuances and many specialized dishes. Encyclopedia of Food & Culture

The book Transylvania Cuisine does not make reference to "the wine with the queer sting," instead, one chapter, which encompasses the more than 400 pages, is devoted to The Wines of Transylvania. Two sections; From Heart to Heart and Reverence of Foods are collections of essays illustrating the poetic aspects of Transylvanian cuisine. With such delights as My Mother's Starter Dough, and the Mysteries of Strudel Making, the author charms the reader to believe in the treasure trove of dishes capturing Transylvanian delights. Beginning with over 20,000 thoroughly researched recipes, 300 carefully chosen ones are at the center of the book. The book cover states that he [Kovi] "went from village to village, kitchen to kitchen, and hearth to hearth to find the nearly lost art of the original Transylvanian cooking and flavors."

I had a devil of a time trying to select one more recipe for ordinary mortals who may want to have Dinner at the Count's. I have chosen to end my journey with a rather lengthy recipe for A Wine Vinegar for Autumn.While you're nibbling away at the recipe, I'll be feeding on Voodoo Doughnuts.

Oszre Valo Ecetagy Keszitese
A bunch of green grapevine tendrils
2 ounces raisins or dried, pitted sour cherries or cornel
1 ear of young corn
2 ounces lentils
3 quarts dry white wine
1/4 cup honey
1 or 2 pieces fresh and ripe fruit (any kind), cleaned and stemmed
1. At the beginning of the summer fill a wide-mouthed glass gallon jar one fourth full with the following ingredients: green grape vine tendrils,raisins (or dried sour cherries or cornel) ear of corn, and lentils. Pour in enough wine to fill jar halfway and stir in half the honey.
2. Cover the top of the jar with cheesecloth and tie it down. The mixture will first ferment then turn cloudy before it eventually clears up.
3. When 2 weeks have elapsed, place the jar in a cool but not too cold spot. Add 1 or 2 pieces of cleaned, stemmed ripe fruit of the season to the jar and let stand.
4. At the beginning of September add enough wine to the jar to fill it. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons honey. Place the jar in a sunny spot again for 1 week (be sure the contents do not become too warm), then return it to a cool spot.
5. Do not move the jar until the first days of October. By this time the vinegar will have a layer of sediment on the bottom, and will be clear on top.
6. Carefully siphon off a bottle (1 quart) of the clear, ready to use vinegar and fill the jar again with the same amount of white wine.
7. If the vinegar is handled carefully (not moved or shaken), it will not spoil. This procedure of draining off the clear vinegar should be repeated again from time to time (taste it occasionally, and siphon it about every 2 to 4 weeks). Be sure to replace the removed amount with fresh wine. It produces a very good vinegar.
Variations: Using an existing vinegar base, one can prepare new vinegar from a favorite wine and some fruit (or other sugar-containing plant) in the following manner:

Fill a 2-quart wide-mouthed jar with wine (or with any kind of fruit soaked in wine), Cover the mouth of the jar with cheesecloth and tie it down, then put the jar in an evenly warm place. The top of the wine will develope a skin after a while; stir it back into the wine by shaking the jar. Continue this process until 1/4 or 1/2 quart gelatinous wine skin forms. Transfer this gelatinous wine to a similar size jar. Fill the jar with some vinegar from the recipe above. Let stand in cool spot. When the contents settle, slowly siphon off the top for use. Replace the removed amount with fresh wine. Be sure to siphon off new vinegar at least once every 4 weeks. Bottle the vinegar and store it in a cool place.
Note: If the wine develops a skin on top, be sure to skim it off. Wine vinegar prepared in such a manner can be used as a base for flavored vinegars as well.

Upcoming Food Days:
18-Feast of St. Luke. Patron of Brewers and Butchers
18-National Chocolate Cupcake Day 
18-National Meatloaf Appreciation Day  @ Slashfood
18-Send Birthday wishes to James T. Ehler author of the Food Reference Website
19-National Seafood Bisque Day
21-Apple Day @ wiki
21-National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day

1. Dracula's Homepage
2. Dracula - Beyond the Legend
3. The Origins of the Vampire Myth
4. You can’t keep a good vampire down (Stoker’s descendent Dacre Stoker, Dracula: the Un-Dead.)
5. Round About the Carpathians (available free @ Project Gutenberg)
6. Transylvanian Cuisine (Excellent with recipes)
7. Slow Cooker Chicken Paprikash
8. Coco Cooks Goulash & Spaetlze

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's Pooh's Anniversary!!!

There's so much sweetness to spread in the month of October and yet, I just can't resist celebrating another Winnie the Pooh anniversary. I realize we celebrated the "official" Winnie the Pooh Day on A.A .Milne's birthday in January. You must remember, that's when I posted a bunch of Pooh recipe links and those honey sweet cookies on a stick. (that's a direct link to the recipe:) However, when I happened upon this delightful PDF file filled with creative ideas for celebrating that honey loving bear's anniversary, I just knew I needed to include just a smackerel amount of recipes. Let's begin with Piglet's No-Haycorn Pizzas just in time for National Pizza Month:)

Pooh's Holiday Ornament Cookies, usher in an introduction to National Cookie Month which I just happened to post about way back when in October of 2007. Here's a taste just in time for National Dessert Month, also celebrated in October. Enjoy!

The Dessert
Big piles of pastry, delicious and sweet,
Contain no mustard, garlic, or caraway seed.
They're baked until they are perfection,
For this is heaven's own confection.
But eat too much and you will shout,
I think I'm suffering from the gout!
Light and flaky, in sugar they're richly rolled,
Like delicate china dolls with powdered skirts and lacey fold.
Seize up your fork and count your blessings now,
For these exquisite treats the chef deserves a bow.
This toothsome dessert is made from fine flour,
Sugar, eggs, spices and all things not sour.
Chocolate, raisins, poppy seeds, and rum,
If you hesitate, my friend, you won't get a crumb!

I'd be rather remiss if I didn't mention that October 14th is also the day one of the first patents for a corn-planting machine (harvester) was granted to an African American by the name of Henry Blair. October 14th is National Dessert Day AND National Chocolate Covered Insect Day. (why oh why I'm not quite sure:)

I still haven't prepared anything for Pasta Month, Seafood Month, Caramel Month or any of those monthly food celebrations celebrated in October. Oh well...

More Upcoming Food Days:
15-Happy Birthday to Emeril Lagasse (10-15-59)
16-World Bread Day
16-International World Food Day
17-Diwali (Festival of Lights)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pizza Party Mix-Up Update

I arrived home late Sunday evening to a large box on my front porch. Guess what was in it??? The prizes for the Pizza Party Mix-Up Game. It was a most welcome surprise especially since I had such a grueling trip back from Pennsylvania. The alternator went on my car. Actually, it was the alternator that I had replaced before I left for PA. Thankfully, I made it across the George Washington Bridge and the Throgs Neck Bridge before the car finally died. Quite a few jumps later and as many hours, I made it back safe and sound. To my amazement, not only was the box nestled snuggly in the corner of my porch, it was also wrapped in a plastic bag. Thanks Fed-Ex!!! Thank you to Channon also, who promptly and more importantly; courteously, put up with my prize indecisiveness when planning the party. Channon also surprised me with a free trivet gift. Thank you so much Channon.

Just in case you missed the Pizza Party Mix-Up Game announcement, you can see it here. There's still time to enter. As of today, October 13, 2009, there are no entries:( Just look what you're missing out on!!!! 

I'll be back tomorrow just in time for a Winnie-the-Pooh celebration. I'll be serving up a few smackerels for the 83rd anniversary of the publication of Winnie-the- Pooh on October 14, 1926. See you around eleven o'clockish.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Celebrating National Fluffernutter Day!!!

"Spread one piece of bread with Fluff.
Then spread another with peanut butter.
There you have it: a Fluffernutter!"
The Yummy Book of Fluff

Fact is, I'm no stranger to Fluff. It's been "covered" more than once on this blog. Oh, and did I mention, I LOVE Fluffernutters and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Tsk, tsk, wipe those silly grins off your face. I know a few of you are as addicted to fluffernutters as I am. T.W. over @ Culinary Types is for sure. 

"Here's my terrible secret - I am addicted to Fluffernutter sandwiches! The first step is admitting you have a problem. :-)

Hey, T.W. I'm still waiting for that Fluffernutter Pie you were going to whip up:)

Fluffernutter Pie
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 c. cold water
3 T. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. peanut butter
1 c. Marshmallow Fluff
2 c. heavy or whipping cream
1 Chocolate Crumb Crust
Directions: In medium saucepan combine 1/2 cup cold water and gelatin; let stand 1 minute. Cook stirring constantly, until gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar, vanilla and remaining water. Beat in peanut butter and Fluff. Chill until mixture mounds when dropped from spoon. Fold in whipped cream. Turn into crust; chill until set. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

There are two important ingredients needed to make a Fluffernutter Sandwich. Peanut Butter and...Marshmallow Fluff. Did you know, the origins of Marshmallow Fluff actually go back to 1917? I discovered that little morsel when I posted about Marshmallow Fluff for Inventors' Day back in February. I also had a day of Marshmallow Fluff back in May.  You see, it was on May 14, 1920 that Durkee and Mower formed a partnership in the manufacturing of Marshmallow Fluff.

Yummy Books
Both these Yummy books are undated. If I had to guess, I'd say they are from the 1930s.

As you can imagine, they are filled with recipes for that gooey, sticky, yummy, Marshmallow Fluff. Rocky Road Pie anyone?

Rocky Road Pie
1 quart chocolate ice cream, softened (I'd love to try this with Fluffernutter Ice Cream)
1/2 c. chopped peanuts
1/4 c. chopped semisweet-chocolate pieces
1/2 c. Marshmallow Fluff
1/4 c. chocolate syrup
1 9-inch prebaked Graham Cracker Crust
Directions: In large bowl mix ice cream with peanuts and chopped chocolate. Spoon Marshmallow Fluff and chocolate syrup into ice cream swirling gently to create a marbling effect. Spoon into prepared shell. Freeze until firm. Makes 8 servings.

Creating a "masterpiece" with Marshmallow Fluff is only limited by your imagination. Just remember, 1 tablespoon of Fluff equals 1 whole marshmallow. For instance, If you click this link, an image of a Lemon Meringue pie will appear before you. It too is made with Fluff. Here are some more Fluffy Sandwich fillings:

Fluff Sandwich Fillings
Cheese & Ginger: Mix 1 package of cream cheese with minced preserved ginger to taste. Add Marshmallow Fluff by the teaspoon until mixture is good for spreading. Spread on Boston Brown Bread or Orange Nut Bread. Enough for 6-8 sandwiches.
Apricot & Nut: Mash 1 cup stewed apricots with a fork. Addd 1/2 cup chopped nuts, 1 heaping tablespoon Marshmallow Fluff. spread on whole wheat bread. Fills 6-8 sandwiches.
Maraschino Fluff: Mix finely chopped Maraschino Cherries with Marshmallow Fluff. Spread on white bread 2 tablespoons chopped cherries and 1/4 cup Fluff. Fills 4 sandwiches.
Fluff & Peanut Butter: Spread one slice of bread with Fluff, another with peanut butter and put together for a sandwich.

Don't have the ingredients to make a Fluffernutter in your part of the world? Here's a recipe for Marshmallow Creme/Fluff from What's Cooking America. Enjoy:) Did you miss the annual What the Fluff? festival held each year honoring Archibald Query the inventor of Fluff? I did too. It sure looks like fun!!! Have a Fluffernutter Day everyone!!!

Upcoming Food Days:
9-World Egg Day 2009 will be celebrated on 9th October.
10-National Angel Food Cake Day celebrate with Heavenly Recipes.
10-Chicken Church Day (has recipes)
10-Sugar Awareness Day

1. Fluff-Filled Chocolate Madeleines @ Serious Eats 
2. Peanut Butter-Banana Cupcakes with Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting @ the Sugar Plum blog
3. Fluffernutter Bars
4. Who invented Marshmallow Fluff? (previous post)
5. A Day of Marshmallow Fluff! (previous post. includes a Penuchi Recipe)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Celebrating "The New Housekeeper"

The very first broadcast of The Andy Griffith Show was aired on October 3, 1960. It was titled The New Housekeeper and featured Frances Bavier as Aunt Bee. Unfortunately, the episode is disabled for downloading on Youtube but you can watch it there if you like. I must confess, I spent a good part of the afternoon watching many episodes myself:) I sure got a hankering for Aunt Bee's Fried Chicken while I was at it!!!

Andy: M-mmm. I tell you, Aunt Bee. That sure was good.
Aunt Bee: Well, I'm glad you like it.
Andy: We're going to have to give you a title or something. Miss Fried Chicken of Mayberry.
Aunt Bee: Oh, stop it. Now, help me with the dishes.
Aunt Bee's Fried Chicken
1 frying chicken
2 eggs, beaten
salt to taste
All-purpose flour
Wash and cut up chicken. Dip the pieces in the beaten egg, season with salt, and roll in the flour. Put a right amount of shortening in a frying pan and melt it. When it's good and hot, turn it down a little and fry the chicken slowly. Turn the chicken pieces over 3 to 4 times and cook slowly for about 15-20 minutes. After it gets brown, put a lid over the chicken and simmer for 20 minutes. Serves 4-6 Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cookbook (1991) (contributed by Lois Rogers, Readyville, TN)

It seems, Opie was not too fond of Aunt Bee when she first arrived. And, when Aunt Bee left the cage open on Dickies door, Opie was not a happy camper at all! (Dickie was Opie's pet parakeet) You see, Aunt Bee couldn't do all of the things Rose did. Rose knew how to train frogs and everything! Why'd she have to go off and get married anyway, Opie thought. He even threatened to run away. By the end of the episode, Opie resigns himself to the fact that Aunt Bee just couldn't get along without him. Who would teach her how to fish, play baseball, or train a frog?

Opie: I think she's the best cook in Mayberry.
Aunt Bee's Apple Pie
Opie's favorite
1/2 cup butter or margerine
4 ounces cream cheese
2 cups all purpose flour
2-1/2 cups sliced apples
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tbs. honey
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbs. all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter or margarine
In a large bowl combine 1/2 cup butter and the cream cheese, and let come to room temperature. Add 2 cups of flour, and blend well. Chill. Roll out half the dough and place in a 9-inch pie plate. Reserve the remaining dough for the top crust.

In a saucepan combine the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Pour the mixture into the crust. Roll out the remaining crust and place over filling. Cut slits in the top crust to allow the steam to escape. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Serves 6 to 8. Patsy Curtis, Charlotte, TN

Bee: Do you like pearly onions?
Brisco: Oh, they twang my buds.

One episode of The Andy Griffith Show I completely forgot about was when Briscoe Darling is wooing Aunt Bee.

Briscoe's Biscuits
2 cups self rising flour
1 cup milk
4 tbs. mayonnaise
In a large bowl combine all of the ingredient. Drop onto a greased baking sheet. Bake in 450 degree oven until browned. Makes about 18 biscuits.

Aunt Bee; Famous Pickler

The introduction to Aunt Bee's Kerosene Cucumbers reads like a 1960s sitcom commercial. "These homemade pickles are popular everywhere from Oregon to Nova Scotia. They're delicious. Trust us. Really."

Aunt Bee's Kerosene Cucumbers
1 bunch dill
6 hot peppers
6 cloves garlic
6 slices onion
6 tsp. whole spices
6 lumps alum
1 quart cider vinegar
2 quarts water
1 cup salt
Wash and dry enough cucumbers for six sterilized 1-quart jars. In the bottom of each jar place a portion of the dill, 1 hot pepper, 1 clove of garlic, 1 slice of onion, 1 tsp. of whole spices, a small lump of alum, and cucumbers. In a saucepan combine the vinegar, water, and salt. Let the mixture come to a rolling boil, then pour into the jars. Seal immediately. Makes 6 quarts. Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cookbook Alice & Jim Schwenke, Houston, TX.

The 50th Anniversary of the first airing of The Andy Griffith Show, will be held next year. It sounds like there's going to be quite a celebration from The Andy Griffith Museum in Mt. Airy, North Carolina to the quintessential town of "Mayberry." Who knows, with the popularity of the folks in "Mayberry," perhaps, CBS will celebrate also.

FYI: Tomorrow is National Taco Day. You must take a gander at these Chocolate Tacos @ Janet's Dying for Chocolate blog! And don't forget National Cinnamon Bun Day also tomorrow. Anne's Food blog is celebrating with yummy Swedish Cinnamon Buns and Courtney over @ Coco Cooks has visions of Sweden and the most darling buns of sweetness for Kanelbullens Dag.

1. Frances Bavier @ Ancestry.com
2. Briscoe Darling's Hoot Owl Pie (substitute chicken:)
3. Andy Griffith Museum (opened September 26, 2009)
4. Mayberry Days Celebration
5. Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watchers Club
6. Andy Griffith show @ TVparty
7. Andy Griffith' Aunt Bee Recluse in Final Years (LA Times)
8. A Mayberry Holiday (previous post)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Let's have a Pizza Party Mix-Up!

It's my Blogoversary!

Let's have a...

Pizza Party!!!

And, Mix it Up! It isn't much fun to have a party without guests; especially a Pizza Party!!! And, did you know October is National Pizza Month? A National Pizza Month Blogoversary Party is just what I have in mind. We'll play a game and have prizes too!!! Let's begin with the game:

How to Play the Pizza Party Mix-Up! Game

1. Scout out a prized pizza recipe from one of your favorite bloggers. You may want to check your blogrolls, bookmarks, favorites and someday recipe folders or perhaps, the list of pizza recipes I posted for National Cheese Pizza Day in September. If you need more pizza recipes hints, you could also hop on over to the other side of the page and do a quick "pizza recipe" search in my Hospitality Search Engine. 

2. Contact the blog administrator and let them know you plan on firing up a version of their posted recipe. You need to tell them for a couple of reasons.
a. It's always best to ask permission first. (you're going to need to grab their link and image. See #4)
b. Leave a comment on their blog and invite them to "play!" Let them know that since you "borrowed" their recipe, they too can win a prize!!!

3. Between October 1st and midnight October 25, 2009, bake up your adapted recipe and give it a new name. Then, post it on your blog with a link to this post, just in case anyone else wants to come. You can grab the button if you like too!!!
Naming Your Recipe: Give your pizza recipe a name to be remembered. Long, short, colorful or just plain ol' cheesy, it matters! Why? Because, you want a catchy name that will tickle visitors. They will let you know with their VOTES! The way I figure it, choosing the "best" pizza at the party is no easy task. However, voting for your favorite Mixed-Up Pizza, although also difficult, will add a more pronounced flavor to our Pizza Party! Best of all, the newly created pizza name with the most votes Wins a Prize! Here's an example.
Which would you vote for?
Aunt Marilyn's Pizza
Aunt Marilyn's Irresistible Buxom Pizza; Some Like It Hot!
4. Email the links (URL) from the original recipe and your adapted Mixed-Up recipe to monthly.celebrations {at} gmail {dot} com. (Note: this is a new email address I created just for these types of occasions:) It sure would make it much easier for me if you send the two images labeled original and Mixed-Up. For instance:
The original recipe was found @ soso.blog.com. (label image original.jpg) The Mixed-Up recipe can be found @ your.blog.com (label image mixed-up.jpg)

The Prizes!

It's my party and I can do what I want. I'm giving three (3) prizes chosen personally by me. The deadline for all entries is midnight Sunday, October 25, 2009. Here's how to win:

1. Chance #1: I'll list all of the Mixed-Up Pizza entries on a new post by midnight Monday, October 26, 2009. Visit that post anytime after midnight October 26th and midnight October 30, 2009 and vote for your favorite pizza name in the comment section of that post. Not this one:) The Mixed-Up Pizza with the most commented votes WINS! Prize #1. (I'll tally up the votes and post a list of all prize winners November 1, 2009 on a new post.)

About the Prizes: I've been re-visiting some of my previous posts to this blog from 2007. I don't mind saying, quite a few of them need to be "spruced" up a bit. That's okay though because blogging has been a growing experience for me and you, my meandering visitors, have nudged it along more than words could ever express. In that light, I have personally chosen a selection of gifts from Channon who is a Pampered Chef® Consultant. I was "introduced" to Chan by Marjie, host of the Modern Day Ozzie & Harriet blog. You may remember Marjie, Marjie "brought" Ice Cream in a Bag to the Picnic Game back in June. You can see the gifts on the updated post I did here.

Prize # 1: When I saw the Pizza Party Set in Chan's online catalog, I just knew it would be perfect for the Mixed-Up Pizza Party Game for my Blogoversary. Throw in the fact that October is National Pizza Month, and you have every reason in the world to put that Large Round Pizza Stone, which also has handles, to good use. The kit also includes a Pizza Cutter and a Pizza Crust and Roll Mix tucked in the boxed kit. How cool is that?

2. Prize #2: Would you know your pizza in a crowd? Is there something unique to your recipe that would make it easy for you to decipher even if it is all Mixed-Up? It's not going to be easy. If your pizza was one of the chosen ones, you too have a chance to WIN! Here's how:
All Mixed-Up Pizza entries AND their counterparts will be displayed in two columns. Column #1 will be images of the Mixed-Up Pizzas with a link to their creator's blog. Column #2 will picture the original pizzas, also with links to their respective owners. They will not be in order. The OWNER (original pizza recipes owners only, please) who figures out which Mixed-Up Pizza was there's first, WINS Prize #2. (don't worry you still have a chance to win a prize even if your pizza was not one of the chosen ones. see #3:)

For example:

I decide that I want to Mixed-Up a pizza recipe I find on Blogger A's blog. I like everything about the recipe except for the crust because I have a notion I'm going to name my newly created Mixed-Up Pizza, the Crispy, Crunchy, Crusty, Easy as Pie Pizza. Now, say Blogger A's original pizza was called Easy as Pie Pizza and all I did was add a crispy, crunchy crust and Mix It Up. Would Blogger A spot the change among all the other Mixed-Up Pizza entries? You think so, huh. Well, Good Luck, many others may be able to pick their originals out too!!! Or, not. The first blogger to identify their Mixed-Up Pizza from column #2 and claim their pizza in the comment section of the Mixed-Up Pizza entries WINS Prize #2.

Deciphering which pizza is yours may be quite a challenge. That's why, prize #2 is also a boxed Pizza Party Set with all the trimmings. (Large Stone with Handles, Pizza Cutter and the Pizza Crust and Roll Mix) Good Luck!
3. Prize #3: Everyone who leaves a comment also has a chance to win Prize #3.
Chan and I agreed it was best for me to purchase all the prizes from her and re- distribute them from my end. By doing it this way, I am able to send the prizes directly to you, know matter where you are. Which means, everyone is invited to the Pizza Party Mix-Up!
Third prize is a choice prize. By leaving a comment, not only do you get to "drool" over the assortment of tasty pizza recipes, you also get to choose either a Pampered Chef Pizza Cutter, or a copy of The Pampered Chef's Cook's Library cookbook Festive Holiday Dessert Recipe Collection; a collection of 19 simple to prepare festive recipes with step-by-step easy directions. I should mention, it is available in English only. Comment winners will be randomly drawn through the online Random Generator.

After all the winners are announced, I will "realign" the original recipes with their Mixed-Up adaptations so you can easily see both versions. Of course, there will be links to both.

Please Note: You can still play the Pizza Party Mix-Up Game even if someone adapts one of your recipes. However, In all fairness, please resist discussing whose pizza you're adapting with others.

The inspiration for this "style" pizza party rested upon my brain one day while I was blog hopping. I stumbled upon the Book of Yum's Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger Event and thought I would just mix it up a bit. I don't know very much about gluten free cooking but boy oh boy, there sure were some intriguing recipe entries. I'm in the process of adding more gluten free resources in my Hospitality Search Engine and thanks to Book of Yum's blogroll, it shouldn't take too long.

Surprise Prize!

I just this minute decided to include another small prize. Be the last person to "leave" the party and I will send you a copy of the Season's Best Recipe Collection filled with 24 appetizer, main dish and dessert recipes, ready in 30 minutes or less! It too includes step-by-step instructions and is available in English only:( (leaving the party, at my party anyway, means leaving the last comment on the list of entries before the votes are tallied. (midnight October 31st)

That's it. I'm looking forward to sharing all of your recipes and I do hope everyone has FUN!!! I know I will:) If you have any questions, I'm sure I've forgotten something, leave a comment below or drop me an email at my new email address; monthly.celebrations {at} gmail {dot} com. or atacalenda {at} gmail {dot} com. Please Remember: All entries must be sent to the new email address. See ya there, Louise:)

Dates to Remember

  1. Entry Deadline: October 25, 2009
  2. Voting: October 27-30, 2009
  3. Winners Announced: November 1st

You didn't think I would leave you without a list of other October Food Celebrations, now did you?