"At my table, sit with me. I'll pour coffee or some tea. Perhaps we'll share our tears and laughter, and be friends forever after.

Welcome! Come on in, pull up a chair, have a cup of coffee and take a look at recipes from different cookbooks, vintage finds from vintage cupboards and enjoy sharing memories.

Friday, December 22, 2017

I have had and used this same candy thermometer for over 30 years

It has helped me make any kind of candy..........

Especially this buttery caramel that I make
every Christmas.
The recipe is at the end of this post.
All you need to make wonderful candy is a great recipe,
a great candy thermometer and a great deal of patience.
When making candy, cook at a medium heat and allow the temperature
to rise slowly.........which takes a good amount of time........
and then, all of the sudden it will rise to the right
degree that is required.   

For these candies........I prepare jelly roll sheet pan......slightly
coated  with butter.  I pour the hot caramel  onto the 
pan and allow to cool. 

and then slice the candies into bite size pieces. 

If I give these candies as gifts, I wrap each piece in parchment paper or plastic wrap
and place in a decorative tin.
The ones I make for my family, I just place on buttered strips
of wax paper and place each strip on top of each other into
a tupperware container.  And then place on the lid.
These get eaten quickly here, so they stay wonderfully
soft in the container.
Here is the recipe:
Buttery Caramels
2 sticks butter
2 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
Dash of salt
1 cup light corn syrup
one 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 tsps. vanilla 
Butter a 9X9X 2 inch pan and set aside.
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and stir in sugar and salt. Pour in the corn syrup, mixing well with a whisk. Slowly pour in the sweetened condensed milk, stirring constantly to blend. 
Using a candy thermometer, cook the mixture to 245 F. stirring occasionally.........the mixture will be very bubbly. Remove from heat and add vanilla, then pour into prepared pan  Let the candy cool completely before cutting into 1 inch squares. Wrap each square in plastic wrap and store in airtight container. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Creamy and cool......perfect for July 4th celebration!

This is such a rich creamy and cool dessert.......wonderful for any hot afternoon and perfect for guests for a July 4th celebration........for it makes a large pan......enough to feed and cool off a crowd!
It is like a very soft cream cheese pie with fresh strawberries. The crust sets it off perfectly!
Always beautiful to serve in vintage dishes of course!

****Make crust first because it needs to freeze for 20 minutes
3 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 1/4 cups butter, melted
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. sugar
Spray a 15x10 inch jelly roll pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of jelly roll pan. Freeze until firm for about 20 minutes. 
2 ( 8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/3 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh strawberries
1 (8-ounce) frozen whipped topping, thawed
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioner's sugar with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla , beating until combined. Lightly pat strawberries dry with a paper towel. Fold strawberries and whipped topping into cream cheese mixture. Spread onto prepared crust. Loosely cover and refrigerate for up to 6 hours
*** I placed mine in the freezer, when ready to serve, I just set it out for about 5 minutes and it is ready to enjoy!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A wonderful, fudge chocolate cake from a vintage cookbook

I have tried another recipe............from another vintage book........this is 
Better Homes and Gardens Pies And Cakes Cookbook 1966
and the recipe for 
caught my attention.
the recipe is at the bottom of this post..........

I love cake mixes and canned frosting..........anytime...........however, making a cake like this........from scratch........although more time is involved in doing so...........is so worth the extra effort! 
The cake recipe, " Mother's Best Fudge Cake" , can be found on page 48 of this book........

the frosting recipe for the cake........"Fast Fudge Frosting" can be found in this book on page 85.

the cake came out tall and moist, 

the frosting creamy and both came out deliciously chocolate!
If you would like this book you can find it for sale in my Etsy shop.......
just click onto this link

and here is the recipe for this wonderful cake.
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 slightly beaten egg
3 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
In saucepan combine first 4 ingredients. Cook and stir over medium heat till chocolate melts and mixture comes just to boiling. Cool. Gradually add 1 cup sugar to shortening, creaming till fluffy. Add vanilla. Add remaining eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. 
Sift together dry ingredients . Add to creamed mixture alternately with 1 cup milk, beating just till smooth after each addition. Blend in the cooled chocolate mixture. 
Bake in 2 greased and lightly floured 9" round cake pans at 350 F. for 25 to 30 minutes or till done. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans. Cool; frost and fill with Fast Fudge Frosting (recipe follows).  Enjoy!
1 1 pound package confectioner's sugar (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup cocoa (regular-type, dry)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup boiling water
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
Combine sugar, cocoa, and salt. Add boiling water and butter, blend. Add vanilla. Frost cake.

Monday, August 1, 2016

The pumpkins that I sprouted in my greenhouse in early spring,

have grown well.......and are now ready for harvest. 
I have planted "regular" size pumpkins........fairy tale pumpkins......mostly for decoration
and these....."little Jacks" for cooking and baking.

As most of you know....I have a country blog....you can visit by clicking onto this link
there today, you will find information on how to bake pumpkins in the oven
until they come out wonderfully soft and easy to mash into puree....
also how to prepare pumpkin seeds for roasting or for keeping for next year's planting. 

I made this wonderful pumpkin bread using my fresh pumpkin.......
I baked it in a bundt pan instead of 2 loaf pans......it almost looks like a pumpkin.......don't you think so?........
but you can do either 

This bread comes out wonderfully moist and delicious . 
The recipe is at the end of this post. 

Also I have added the recipe on toasting the perfect pumpkin seeds following the pumpkin bread recipe. 
Do you cook up your own fresh pumpkin for your favorite desserts? 
2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
3 cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose or whole wheat flour
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts
1/2 cup raisins, if desired
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
 Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2x4 1/2x2 1/2 inches, or 1 loaf pan 9x5x3 inches, with shortening.  **** I greased and floured the whole bundt pan and the bread came out beautifully ***
2 Stir together pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into pans.
3 Bake 8-inch loaves 50 to 60 minutes, 9-inch loaf 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days. ENJOY!
1 1/2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons butter, melted
 1 pinch salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F 
Toss seeds in a bowl with the melted butter and salt. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 to 45 minutes or until golden brown; stir occasionally.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Take time to smell the coffee!

To enjoy a cup of coffee with friends, 
is time well spent.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Cast Iron Peach Crostata

This is on the cover of the latest Taste of Home Magazine (summer 2016 issue)

It calls for fresh ripe peaches.......which I could not find at our local store,
so I used a large bag of frozen peaches, and it turned out............

Pick up an issue today.......or here is the recipe

1 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp. plus 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar, divided
1 1/4 tsp. salt, divided
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 Tbsp. shortening
3 to 5 Tbsp. ice water
8 cups sliced and peeled peaches( about 7-8 medium)
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp.  cornstarch
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 large egg, beaten
2 Tbs. sliced almonds
2 Tbsp. coarse sugar
1/3 water
(fresh raspberries, optional)
Mix flour, 2 Tbsp. brown sugar and 1 tsp. salt; cut in butter and shortening until crumbly. Gradually add ice water, tossing with a fork until dough holds together when pressed. Shape into a disk; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 400F. Combine peaches and lemon juice. Add remaining brown sugar, cornstarch, spices and remaining salt; toss gently. Let stand 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 13-in. circle; transfer to a 10-in. cast- iron skillet, letting excess hang over edge. Using a slotted spoon, transfer peaches into pastry, reserving liquid. Fold pastry edge over filling, pleating as you go, leaving center uncovered. Brush folded pastry with beaten egg; sprinkle with almonds and coarse sugar. Bake until crust is dark golden and filling bubbly, 45-55 minutes.
In saucepan, combine reserved liquid and water; bring to a boil. Simmer until thickened, 1-2 minutes; serve warm with pie, if desired, top with fresh raspberries.
Most importantly..........ENJOY!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

A new twist to a favorite dish.........meatloaf

Not the same tomato sauce topped meatloaf in this recipe.
No, this has a sweeter taste........and prepared differently......with the topping baked on the bottom and then the pan inverted........like and upside down cake.
This recipe is from the 1930s for one of my favorite cookbook authors,
Jane Watson Hopping
I discovered Jane Hopping when I bought one of her cookbooks at Wal-mart. I fell in love with her whole writing style , her family memories, and wonderful recipes.
I spent a year.........obtaining all of her books.........before I found Amazon. 
The topping on this meatloaf is made of brown sugar .......and then a cranberry/orange sauce.
As odd as it may sound........it is delicious.
I do need to say,***** that I did not add the other meats as the recipe calls for*****. I made my meatloaf with all ground sirloin........or ground beef, plus I did not use the pecans.
After the recipe, I also posted the information about Jane Watson Hopping, who was known in her area as the "Pioneer Lady" 

not to be confused with the famous Pioneer Woman of today's time.
So here is the recipe from her "Many Blessings Cookbook"
1/4 light brown sugar                              3/4 cup cracker crumbs or bread crumbs
1/2 cup cranberry sauce                          2 eggs beaten
2 Tbs. grated orange peel                      1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 pound lean ground beef                      Dash of black pepper
1/2 pound smoked ham (see***)           2 Tbs. diced onion
1/2 pound ground fresh pork (see***)   1/3 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350F, Thoroughly grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. 
Spread sugar over the bottom of prepared pan. In a small bowl mash the cranberry sauce and stir in the grated orange rind. Spread cranberry mixture over the sugar. In a large bowl combine remaining ingredients, except nuts. Shape into a loaf and pack over the cranberry mixture. 
Bake until meat is firm and lightly browned, about 1 hour. Remove from oven, let meat set 5 minutes, then turn upside-down onto a platter. Spoon any glaze left in the pan onto the meat. Garnish, If you with with chopped nuts. Enjoy

Jane Watson Hopping 1929-1998
A tiny woman who sported gray curls, calico dresses and a ready smile, Hopping gained national attention in 1987, with publication of The Pioneer Lady's Country Kitchen. The homey tome of recipes and nostalgic essays propelled her onto reader's favorites lists and TV talk shows.
The message in Hopping's first book and the five published works that followed was always the same. Her collections recalled an era of close kin and helpful neighbors, where collaboration was the rule, not the exception. She said the cookbooks grew out of a desire to share old-fashioned values.
I'm writing about what I saw as a young girl growing up, Hopping insisted when interviewers questioned her rosy nostalgia. It really was that way.
Hopping was born in Kansas and lived most of her young life in Missouri, according to her husband of nearly 49 years.
From the time she was — year old until we got married when we were 19, we never lived more than 25 miles apart from each other,'' he said.
As adults, the Hoppings moved to Northern California, and then to the Rogue Valley in 1959. Jane Hopping earned a real estate license, but after the couple adopted two children, Colleen and Randy, she stayed home to raise them.
The Hoppings lived and worked for more than four decades on a 40-acre farm off West Griffin Creek Road in Jacksonville.
When her children got older, Hopping began touring area schools, teaching pioneer skills and crafts.
They churned butter in class, they made candles in class, they made log cabins out of pretzels, Raymond Hopping recalled. They said the week we came, attendance went up. You can't have a better compliment than that.
In the mid-1970s, Hopping began work on a compendium of farm knowledge, a project that eventually filled 1,000 single-spaced typed pages. She was the popular star for five years of a cooking show on Medford television station KOBI.
In 1987, Con Sellers, the late literary agent and teacher, recommended Hopping to a publisher seeking a cookbook writer. The was the start of a long and profitable relationship with Villard Books.
Hopping's books ranged the seasons and included volumes focusing on Christmas, Mother's Day, summer, autumn and winter, as in her last work, The Pioneer Lady's Hearty Winter Cookbook.
In a published article about her passing:
Posted Nov. 16, 1998 at 2:00 AM
Cookbook author Jane Hopping dies after long illness
Jane Watson Hopping, the calico-clad cookbook author known as the Pioneer Lady to Rogue Valley schoolchildren and readers nationwide, has died. She was 69.
Hopping died Saturday in a local nursing home following complications of diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. A diabetic for 30 years, she had been seriously ill since about 1993, her husband, Raymond Hopping, said Sunday.
Service plans are pending.
Until about two months ago, Hopping was still living in the couple's Gold Hill home, where she and her husband were compiling notes for a cookbook about the Depression era. It would have been Hopping's eighth book.
I will miss her sense of humor, said Al Reiss, a former Mail Tribune entertainment writer and Hopping's longtime friend. She did `Good Morning America' and `Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.' She upstaged Regis on his own show.
Reiss, who wrote several poems that appeared in Hopping's books, said he'll remember their warm collaboration.
I'll miss working with her and seeing them and going to their home and just having an old-fashioned lunch, Reiss said.
All of Hopping's published books are out of print, but Raymond Hopping said he hopes to pursue softcover publication of the works his wife cherished.
Besides, he adds, Hopping's agent has fielded a few inquiries about a completed but unpublished book, The Good Old Golden Rules Day Cookbook.
Maybe that book will be the one to start it all again, he said. She wouldn't be the first author that was recognized after she was gone.
In addition to her husband, Hopping is survived by a daughter, Colleen Maddox of Ashland, a son, Randy Hopping of Pasco, Wash., and a granddaughter.