Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving at the Farm-2015

Ah, another satisfying Thanksgiving.
As usual, it was shared with dear friends.
This year at the McIntire farm.

This old wooden plaque greated us on the mantle.
Note the carving knife and fork from a bygone era.

Beside the plaque was this pilgrim hat.

It didn't date from the from the first Thanksgiving though.

My camera could not capture the warmth of the setting.
It was raining off and on all day but wasn't the least bit dreary inside.

This was my dinner plate.
Yes, I ate every delicious morsel!!

The "groaning board" from which I artfully filled my plate.
While enjoying dinner, we caught up on what our children and grandchildren were doing.

Did we save room for The Baker's
pumpkin pecan pie with bourbon whipped cream?
You bet we did!!

And, we left with take-out containers of leftovers to enjoy the meal again.

Thanks, Steve and Diana.
You are always perfect hosts!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

I just pulled out this photo 
of our former dining room.
Although I feel a bit of nostalgia, I am quite
content with where I am right now!

We'll be traveling over the river and through the woods
(well, not quite over the river) to the
McIntire farm for Thanksgiving this year.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving
surrounded by those you love.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Snow and a Pumpkin Roll

The forecast for Saturday was snow.  Snow that was to start late Friday night (and did) and continue through the day on Saturday.  It seemed a good idea to lay in provisions on Friday just in case the predicted three inches became a blizzard.  As it turned out, the bulk of the snow went north and east of us.  We ended up with about five inches.

Saturday morning view from my window.

As you can see, this is not a pumpkin roll!!  After pulling all the ingredients together. I couldn't find my jelly roll pan.  I'm sure I had one though it has been years since it was used.  Did I not even move it from Charleston (over twenty-five years ago)?  Oh well, I made some slight changes and the result, while not as dramatic, were delicious.

Pumpkin Spice Cake

2 cups of pumpkin puree
1 cup of sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp orange marmalade
1/2 tsp salt


1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tsp milk (or enough to make spreadable)


1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped candied ginger

Preheat the oven to 350 and oil a 8 x 13 baking pan
1.  Beat pumpkin, sugar, oil, marmalade and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.
2.  Add eggs and mix well.
3.  Combine dry ingredients, except for the nuts and ginger, and gradually add to the pumpkin mixture, beating until well blended.
4.  Pour into the oiled pan.
5.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until center tests done.
6.  Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, beat the cream cheese and vanilla until smooth.  Beat in the confectioner's sugar, adding milk if necessary to make spreadable.  Frost and sprinkle with the walnuts and candied ginger.

NOTE:  This cake freezes well.  Just cut into serving pieces and freeze individually.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Polish Sausage with Cabbage, Potatoes and Onions

If there ever was a day for a hearty meal, today is the day!  Rain, lightning and high winds rolled in early last evening and spent the night!  Rush hour was a slow slog of a drive.  Well, not for me!  I spent part of the morning in my warm robe before dressing to drive three miles in no traffic.  I was there to help our friends (who are moving to our new neighborhood) by packing up the back of my wagon with some boxes and bags not to be handed over to the movers.  To be truthful, I sat in the warm car while they loaded up the back.

I had everything I needed to make this "stew" except for the cabbage.  I bravely braved the gusting winds to pick up some at the store.  Again, in being transparent (well, why not use that word in this context?), the dish may not be Polish at all.  It is similar to a casserole my Polish mother-in-law made.  I think she even made her own sausage!!  Whatever the nationality, it is delicious--and that's the truth!!

Polish Sausage with Cabbage, Potatoes and Onions
For four

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, cut into fourths and thinly sliced
6-8 fingerling potatoes, unpeeled and thinly sliced
1 pound ring of fully-cooked Polish sausage, sliced in 1/4 inch slices
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups of Savoy cabbage (or another of your choice) cut into approximately 1 inch chunks
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1.  Heat the vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
2.  Add the onion and saute until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.
3.  Add the potatoes and saute until they start to soften, another 4 to 5 minutes.
4.  Add the sausage and saute for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
5.  Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute.
6.  Add the cabbage and stir well.
7.  Add salt and pepper to taste, stir,  cover, reduce the heat to medium low and cook for another five minutes.  Stir and check to see if the cabbage is done.  We like the cabbage to have a little crunch left.
8.  Stir in the balsamic vinegar and cook for another minute.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Corn and Shrimp Chowder

Our summer was not the best for tomatoes and corn.  What was available was delicious and we had many feasts featuring both.  Alas, there was no corn to "put by" in the freezer.  Summer squash did not produce in abundance either.  That means there is no ratatouille stashed away for our winter dining pleasure.  As Scarlet would say "Oh, well, there is always next year".  At least she said something like that.

I have had this recipe for years.  It could have originated with Eve for all I know.  The bowl was quite satisfying on a recent blustery evening.

Corn and Shrimp Chowder

1 quart of chicken stock
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp canola oil
1 large crushed garlic clove
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 8-oz can of creamed corn
12 extra large shrimp, cut into thirds
1/4 cup heavy cream

1.  Reduce the stock to about three cups.
2.  In a small saute pan, cook the onion in the oil until translucent--about five minutes over medium heat.
3.  Add the crushed garlic and saute for one minute.  Add all to the stock along with the potatoes and creamed corn.  Simmer until the potatoes are tender.  About fifteen minutes.
4.  Just before serving, stir in the shrimp and heat until they are pink--about five minutes.  Remove the garlic clove.  Stir in the heavy cream.
5.  Sprinkle with the parsley leaves.


Friday, November 6, 2015

Apple Sauce and Autumn Leaves

At the beginning of the week, the tree outside the bedroom window was a blazing burnt umber*.  Today, it is completely bare.  The colors of autumn are fleeting.  So are the leaves.  The storm during the night swept away a lot of the leaves--taking them to another neighborhood perhaps.  Maybe they will be piled up against the front door.  I haven't looked yet.

I miss the smell of burning leaves in autumn.  Neighbors would rake great piles to the curb and light them on fire.  They'd stand around, rakes in hand, and chat with one another--always ready to tamp down a blaze that might threaten to get out of hand.  Now the leaves are vacuumed up by city crews that patrol the neighborhoods in fall.  It just isn't the same!!

Making applesauce from the fall harvest hasn't been banned though.  Yesterday, I filled the house with the scent of apples and cinnamon bubbling on the stove.  These Ball freezer "jars" are perfect for us.  I'll make another batch today to insure our winter supply is adequate.

*burnt umber, another page from my memory book!  It was one of my favorite Crayola Crayon colors.


3 to 4 pounds of peeled, cored and quartered apples.
(I used a combination of McIntosh and Jonathan but any cooking apple will do.)
4 strips of lemon peel
Juice of one lemon
3" cinnamon stick
1/4 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Put all ingredients into a large, heavy pot.  Stir to mix well.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Remove cinnamon stick and lemon peel.

Roughly mash with a potato masher.

Enjoy immediately or freeze.  Keeps frozen up to one year.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Don't Forget to Change Your Clocks

Oliver, taking advantage of the extra hour of sleep.