Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Brownie Month Jaunt

Okay so I popped on over to the Thesaurus for just the proper word to include in today's quick Brownie Month post title. My inspiration came from a recent post by Marjie over at Modern Day Ozzie and Harriet. The title of her post was simply; Drive-By Posting. It's a rather funny post and it's brief:)

Since it's in my nature to try and deliver hints of historic tidbits when creating a post for you "guys", I must admit I was delighted to find a rather in depth theory online which bites right into the History of Brownies. Whether cakey, chewy, fudgy, or found in a bar with creamy brownie frosting, nothing, and I say nothing, beats the quintessential joy ride of wildly chocolatey Brownies decked out in thick chocolate frosting in my book!!! Oh goodness...(and I'm not even go to make an excuse for all those spelling errors:) How else can you describe something that is totally indescribably good???

Before we begin our Brownie expedition, I want to take a moment to thank Pam over at Pam's Midwest Kitchen Korner for offering her Zucchini Fettuccine for the National Farmer's Market Month post I originally planned for today. For some reason, why oh why, I don't know, I just had to post a few Brownie recipes instead. Thank you, Pam:) Thank you to all you farmer's out there too!!!

With the exception of one, the brownie recipes I've chose to post today all come from vintage recipe cards that I have in my collection. I plan on sharing more about them in a future post but for tonight, I'm just dropping these recipes off before I run!!!

Ways With Brownies

Ways with Brownies: Betty Crocker Recipe Card Library ©1971

August is also Brownies for Breakfast Month!

Coffee Frosted Brownies

Coffee Frosted Brownies: Marguerite Pattens Recipe Cards ©1967 Peter Hamlyn LTD

Cocoa Brownies

Cocoa Brownies: My Great Recipes ©1974

This recipe is suppose to make 60 Brownies!!!

Chocolate Syrup Brownies

Chocolate Syrup Brownies: My Great Recipes ©1974

Carob-Honey-Nut Brownies

This one's for you Sophie! Carob-Honey-Nut Brownies: My Great Recipes ©1974

Mom's Best Brownies

And one for Marjie:) Mom's Best Brownies: Healthy Meals in Minutes: undated but I'm thinking 2001.

And for those of you who would rather have your chips in your Blondies, this recipe for Chocolate Chunk Oat Blondies is from Chocolatier Magazine; November 1983

If you have a favorite Brownie recipe you would like to include for National Brownie Month, go for it in the comment section!!! I know there are some heavenly brownies out there just waiting to be nibbled or "guzzled" upon. Here are two from A Dash of Sass to get you a ramblin'...
1. Sweet and Salty Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies
2. Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

Okay, so it was a toss up, Brownie Month or National Pots de Crème Day tomorrow. I'm NOT sorry:)

This week in Food Days:
28th-National Cherry Turnover Day
29th-More Herbs, Less Salt
30th-National Toasted Marshmallow Day
31st-National Trail Mix Day

Sunday, August 19, 2012

An Unexpected Garden Find

As many of you know, one of the jobs I tackled on my arrival to Pennsylvania three years ago was creating a flower garden.

As August shimmers away to welcome September, it's time to reflect back on this year's progress.

Soon it will be time to get down and dirty and start the Fall clean up and let me tell you, this year there's lots to do! I'm definitely going to need the help of my garden Angels.

First there's the matter of the menagerie of living creatures to deal with. Although I adore the plethora of butterflies, bees and other insects that have made their home in the garden, I'm deadly afraid of most of them. (Not the bunny who lives under the shed though. I've been watching it grow all summer. It seems he or she has been watching me too:)

Since we don't have any kids rustling about around here, I don't have to worry too much about the plants in the garden that may be harmful to children. Yes, there are a few. The Milkweed for example, which is that Orange plant in the top collage, is very dangerous to both children and adults. Although the Monarch Butterfly calls it home for their little caterpillar eggs, the sap if ingested can make you really sick and if it gets on your hands, and you rub your eyes, it can do some real damage. Note to self, Wear Gloves! Those pods you see standing erect are the seed pods forming. When you open them, silk threads carrying seeds emerge and fly away if you let them. It's very cool to watch:)

It's the bees that really worry me though. I've never been stung by a bee, if and when the time comes, I do dread it. (I was once bitten by a brown recluse spider and I still have the scars both mentally and physically after that horrid experience) Oh I know, bees are of the utmost importance. In reality, they are the cause and yes, the effect for today's post.

However, I must admit...

Then there's the matter of the "Bionic" Tomato plant growing in the compost pile. I've been a very bad composter this year. This tomato plant, yes as far as I can tell it's only one plant, doesn't seem to agree. We haven't actually had any tomatoes from it yet but we're expecting quite a harvest! (we did pick one tomato but it was inedible)

Which leads us to this surprise find!

I'm of the mind set that pretty much agrees with the expression "Live and Let Live." So when I spied a member of the cucumber family planting roots in the flower garden, I didn't bother to pull it, much like I didn't pull the array of tomato plants growing here and about the yard either. Who am I too evict them when they have honored me with their presence. No, I didn't plant a single one. And yes, there are about 5 or 6 tomato plants growing throughout the yard. There are even a couple growing in the newly planted Rose bed! Let's get back to our little friend the cantaloupe however.

Yes, there's also a pretty good sized tomato plant living right next door to the Cantaloupe, which by the way, I'm sure is only one plant too!!!

I know there has been quite a Cantaloupe scare this year in the US. Just in case you haven't heard about it and you are a cantaloupe aficionado, I'm not by the way, leave here right this minute and read this!

We'll just wait here for you to come back while we look around the garden:)

Now where were we? Oh that's right, The Cantaloupe or as they call them here in central PA, the Loupe or Lope I don't know what possessed this cantaloupe plant to take up residence in the flower garden. I didn't plant it or any of the tomato plants for that matter. The only thing I can think of is since we had a pretty mild winter around these parts and since I am such a bad composter, that's composter not composer by the way, it just grew of its own accord. My other theory has to do with losing my beloved Lavender plant early in the Spring. There was a pretty big space there when I dug it out and, I did fill the hole with some dirt from the "compost pile." Now mind you, I did recognize both the tomato plants and the melon plant seedlings here and about but I just didn't figure they would devour the whole garden and then some!!! As they grew larger and larger and began to spread their "wings" pretty much blanketing anything around them, I just figured "ah what the heck" I'll just leave them be. Oh I know flower garden are suppose to look all "purty" and everything. I think it still does and anyway, when I do get around to doing the clean-up, the "unsightly" residents will have filled Marion's tummy, I don't eat Cantaloupe or most melons for that matter, and if we get a few tomatoes from any of the tomato plants, I'll be one happy "fruit" gardener!!!

So far I've counted five good sized cantaloupe tucked under the Phlox, Portulaca (one of my favorites), and the Penstemon. One vine has stretched clear to the center of the mound. If I remember correctly the garden is about 22 feet wide. At the rate it's going, pretty soon it will be able to climb up one of the Tree Lilies planted smack in the middle! (You can see one of them in that picture above with the fountain in it, to the left) Which reminds me, I still have tons of work to do to the fountain And I have to take the truck down to pick up a load of rocks to go around the base of the future rock garden:)

This antique seed catalog card is dated 1887. A treasure I found tucked in an antique Botany book titled Familiar Lectures on Botany by Almira Lincoln Phelps.

So how did Marion enjoy our garden Cantaloupe? She loved it!!! She said it was fragrant, juicy and dee...li...cious! Personally, I think I should have left it on the vine a bit longer. After doing some quick Cantaloupe growing research, I learned that a muskmelon will pretty much release itself from the vine when its just ripe for picking. I did a bit of tugging to get this one off. Hey, I was jubilant!!!

I can't very well leave you today without leaving at least one recipe. I do believe I have found just the "proper" choice for the occasion; Cantaloupe Loup or Loop as I prefer to see it:)

Cantalope Loup
6 medium Cantaloupe scooped out to 1 inch. Put in with 1/4 to 3/4 cups Quantro (Cointreau a must for the perfect Singapore Sling) or Grand Marnier, 1-1/2 cups orange juice, and 3/4 sugar. Let marinade in refrigerator. Float slices of Kiwi or (I can't make that one out) Fill shells just before serving.

It seems like we're going to have an abundance of cantaloupe, Marion and I. And since I don't really like it, I think I will try freezing it and see what happens. I had no idea it was so easy until I stumbled upon the simple steps at Hickory Holler Farm. Marion often requests those frozen melon balls they sell at the supermarket for smoothies and such. Now all I need to do is head out to the garage and they'll be sitting nice and pretty in my new freezer!!! (I knew I bought that thing for a reason besides gallons and gallons of ice cream which I've sworn off of:) For you adventurous souls out there, you may want to take a peek at Steff's Cantaloupe Cupcakes which I just happened to spy in my side bar the other day. I know many of you have posted some mighty fine cantaloupe or muskmelon recipes in the past. If you want to leave the link in the comments, be my guest. As you may have noticed, I am no longer offering my Hospitality Search Engine due to a bit of a discrepancy with its techo owner (we won't mention names) so I can't do a quick search on all of your blogs at the moment.

I'm still working on that deadline that I missed and had to reschedule so chances are I won't be posting until next Sunday or late in the week. I did want to mention that today is National Root Beer Float Day! It is also the day that Charles E. Hires was born. Hires is often credited with "inventing" the Root Beer Float. Question is, did he??? I left the post link I did about him down in the resource section just in case you're curious:) There's also a picture of Elsie too and a very old recipe for making your own Root Beer:)

This Week's Celebrations:

20th-National Lemonade Day Did you know the first lemonade "soft drink" debuted in Paris on August 20th, 1630!

August 22, 1966 Peppermint Patty made her debut in Peanuts. Why not eat a peach while you're reading that comic, it's also Eat a Peach Day!

23rd-National Sponge Cake Day

The first U.S. waffle iron was patented on August 24, 1869, by Cornelius Swarthout of Troy, New York.

25th-National Banana Split Day. It's also Regis Philbin's and Rachel Ray's birthday if you're a fan.

For you cocktail "enthusiasts" it's also National Whiskey Sour Day, August 25th.

1. Almira Lincoln Phelps: Notable American Woman 1607-1950 (A Biographical Dictionary, Volume 2 By Edward T. James, Janet Wilson James, Paul S. Boyer, @ google books)
2. Cantaloupe Recall Expanded to Include Whole Growing Season, Honeydew
3. Mr. Hires and the Black Cow

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Stuffed Patty Pan Squash a la Julia Child

I hadn't planned on celebrating the 100th anniversary of of Julia Child's birth today. However, when I stumbled upon the following recipe for Pattypans and Stuffing "from the desk of" Thomas Manchester, while hunting for vintage poultry raising ephemera in the shed the other day, I just couldn't help myself. Who is Thomas Manchester, or Mary M. for that matter and for what gala event was Julia Child's Stuffed Patty Pan Squash going to be served?

I didn't have time to do any kind of thorough research, and no I didn't find what I was looking for in the shed either, but, I did do a quick google search and the only trace of Stuffed Pan Pan Squash I can find that was served at any kind of celebration was back in 1990. According to an article published in the Milwaukee Sentinel, Julia Child visited Milwaukee Wisconsin to promote her book The Way To Cook and to "help usher in the newly created Milwaukee chapter of the American Institute of Wine and Food, (AIWF) a national organization she and other cooking professionals formed in 1981." I didn't "clip" the whole article, just the part that mentions the Patty Pan Squash. You should be able to see the complete article here.

Celebrate Julia Child's 100th Birthday at PBS, and I'll "see" you on Sunday with a garden surprise!!! Louise

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Saint Louis Cookbook

I'm thrilled to be sharing a rather unique cookbook with you today. I think it's the perfect day too because on this day in 1821, the Show Me State, otherwise known as Missouri, became the 24th state in the good ol' USA! And since St. Louis is one of Missouri's largest city, what better way to get a taste of Missouri than with The Saint Louis Cookbook: Bicentennial Issue!

This particular edition of The Saint Louis Cookbook is the Bicentennial edition. It's "a selection of recipes chosen from favorites of friends of the St. Louis Symphony; music lovers, orchestra members, guest artists and celebrities from all over the world who came to help St. Louis celebrate her 200th birthday." (The city of St. Louis was founded by Pierre Laclede Liguest on February 15, 1764.)

Before we begin our journey, you might want to read about the Foods of Saint Louis. Some are foods found only in St. Louis, while others are those which became popular there before spreading both east and west. Take the legend of the infamous Hot Dog for instance. I must apologize for not showing a picture of the Jean Baptiste Roy Home, (legendary birth place of the hot dog) it just wouldn't scan clearly:)

It seems that St. Louis lays claim to the invention of the Planter's Punch also. There is a prominent culinary historian by the name of Robert F. Moss in Charleston South Carolina that would beg to differ:)

Here's another punch recipe, this one from the 7-UP Company Test Kitchen is non-alcholic.

What about this recipe if you just happen to have an old coffee can hanging around:)

Croquignoles are rich crisp twisted donuts, sometimes spiced with nutmeg. I found a few updated recipes online but this one from the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers really caught my eye.

Here's another recipe with an unusual name, Cat's Tongue Cookies. (Lenguas de Gato) They remind me a little of my favorite Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookie. I bet if you sandwiched two cookies together and filled it with Nutella or a little jam, it would come pretty darn close.

The Saint Louis Cookbook on the history of Angel Food Cake.

The Saint Louis Cookbook was first published in 1954 as the Symphony Cookbook. It was brought to light by a woman named Mrs. J. Eldred Newton. Mrs. Eldred contributed this recipe for a Glamorous After-Symphony Ring Mold to the book.

I hope you've enjoyed this stroll through St. Louis food history. There are so many things I wanted to share but alas, time is a going. I think I will tuck this book aside until April of next year just in time to celebrate the opening of the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. Thanks for visiting everyone! I'll be catching up on all your delicious posts this weekend so, be ready!!! Happy S'mores Day! Louise

S'mores on a Stick

1. Missouri "The Show Me State" at The Library of Congress @librarycongress
2. Timeline of Missouri History: 1820-1829
3. State Symbols of Missouri
4. Historical recipes of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri
5. Step by Step Directions Cat's Tongue Cookies from The Colors of Indian Cooking