Thinking about the weekend and our little trip to Wishek and I have to chuckle, 'cause the first thing that came to mind was the posts from Facebook about "how you know you're something or other by..." followed by a list of 10 commonalities people of a certain area or sect share. Well, when I have my doubts about who I am and where I come from, I need look no farther than a get-together with some of my relatives.
So, I know I'm from McIntosh County, ND, when -
10a. You meet one more distant relative who drove up to see her twin babies' graves.
10b. You receive multiple hugs and --
10c. You leave with a slight German accent, so there's no doubt about your roots.
As you honor your relatives who have gone before you to await your arrival in heaven, may the peace that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ.
Do some healthy drinking this summer and make your own thirst quenching drinking vinegars, shrubs and swizzles. It's so much fun to take the fruit of the summer and make your own special concoctions.
Shrubs are usually equal parts fruit, sugar and vinegar.
Here is a recipe for a simmered cherry shrubIngredients:
2. Add the fruit and simmer until fruit is sufficiently softened and can easily be crushed.
3. Crush fruit to release the juices and allow to cool.
4. Pour through a fine sieve or straining funnel and collect the juices. If you want to maintain higher clarity of your shrub, just allow the juices to drip through. At this point, you may choose to save the fruit syrup as is OR you can add your vinegar to complete the shrub.
5. Cap it, label it and store in your refrigerator. I love keeping some of these French Square bottles on hand for things like this…they look so pretty, but are also great space savers and fun for sharing!
Save the fruit and make fruit leather, spoon it over cake or ice cream or put it in your oatmeal. Waste not, want not.
The above recipe and these recipes can be found on https://foodinjars.com.
Then there’s ginger beer. Oh, yes, half the fun is collecting the Grolsch bottles with the ceramic caps to make capping up Ginger Beer simple. Here is just one of many ways to make your own “Thirst Slaking” drinks.
Ginger Syrup Ingredients
See the full HERE: https://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/the-old-fashioned-way-homemade-ginger-beer/
For the podcast of Main Street Eats with Root Seller Sue talking with Doug and Ashley about old-fashioned drinks, visit https://news.prairiepublic.org/programs/main-street.
My old neighbor in Mandan was a gardener. He encouraged my gardening habit by leaving melty footprints in the spring snow leading from his back door across the sidewalk, up the front steps to deliver packets of seeds. We raced to the garden each year to see whose radishes would be the first to appear in the spring.
Begin widowed, elderly and living with his working son, Mr. Weber would be up before the crack of dawn crushing aluminum cans or digging in his huge garden.
There was a dedicated row for composting his kitchen scraps. Using a spade, he dug a trench and each day buried his compost. Once the row was filled, he moved over and dug another row. Moving from one end of the garden to the next, he continued to feed it organic matter – never having to purchase fertilizer.
Researching compost teas, which are quicker than compost heaps in becoming garden fertilizer, I found the following information and recipes from several online sites.
10 Natural Fertilizer Recipes | Home Grown Fun. https://www.homegrownfun.com/natural-fertilizers-around-house/
10 Natural Fertilizer Recipes | Sun Oven® | The Original .... https://www.sunoven.com/10-natural-fertilizer-recipes/
Plants like potassium and banana peels have it. Just throw those peels in a bucket and add water in 2-3 days, use that water around the base of your plants.
Starbucks gives them away, and they have nitrogen. However, you do not want to use them until you use them in your coffee maker. Plants such as tomatoes, blueberries, roses, and azaleas may get a jolt out of coffee grounds mixed into the soil. But more likely it’s the nitrogen that helps. Sprinkled on top of the ground before watering or pour a liquid version on top of the soil.
Coffee compost tea can be made by soaking six cups of coffee grounds in a 5-gallon bucket of water. Let it sit for 2-3 days and then saturate the soil around your plants.
Rinse them off, let dry and then crush them for working into the soil near peppers and tomatoes. The calcium helps fend off blossom end rot. Eggshells are 93 percent calcium carbonate, the same ingredient as lime, a tried and true soil amendment! These can also be added to your compost tea bucket.
WEEDS – Ruth Stout had it correct when she said all you need to do to garden the lazy way was pull those weeds and pile them on the soil next to your vegetables.
Nettles, comfrey, yellow dock, burdock, horsetail, and chickweed make excellent homemade fertilizer. There are several ways you can use them to make your own brew or to speed up your compost pile. If your weeds have not gone to flower, you can dry them in the sun and chop them up to use as a mulch. They are high in nitrogen and won’t rob your plants of nutrients.
I LOVE BORAGE, and so do bees. A topic for another episode of Main Street Eats. PS: A listener emailed and said borage is available at Faulkner’s in Mandan, both plants and seeds. However, they are the oldest business on the Strip in Mandan and sell out quickly.
Borage (Starflower) is a beautiful herb with nutritional properties of comfrey. Dried and thrown in your compost bin, it works like comfrey as a kickstarter.
Fermented borage tea can be made by adding water and borage leaves to a five-gallon bucket. Make sure the leaves are under water, wait three to five weeks and dilute the goo 1:10 as a topical fertilizer. Yes, it will stink...
BUCKET TIP: Drill some holes in one side of a tight-fitting cover to your compost tea bucket. Fill the bucket and use that cover to strain the mixture. Throw the waste in your compost bin.
To make it even more convenient, you can use two buckets and make a hole in the bottom of the bucket that contains the plants. The goo will seep through to the lower bucket. It’s always best to apply the liquid fertilizer diluted – it should look like weak tea.
Grass clippings are the best way to add nitrogen back to the soil. HOWEVER – do not spray your land with killer chemicals before using it on the garden. Trust me. Fill a 5-gallon bucket full of grass clippings. You can even add weeds! Weeds soak up nutrients from the soil just as much as grass. Add water to the top of the bucket and let sit for a day or two. Dilute your grass tea by mixing 1 cup of liquid grass into 10 cups of water. Apply to the base of plants using the same amounts as listed in the urine recipe. Add one cup to four cups of the diluted mixture around the base of your plants.
MANURE – With a little effort, you’ll find folks that are giving away composted chicken, horse or cow manure for free. Composted and aged manure is best. Add the composted manure to a small porous bag made from recycled cloth, e.g., a t-shirt or old towel. Let it steep in the shade for a few days and apply it to your soil to condition it before planting. Bury or discard the used bag. Some people use manure tea to soak bare root roses!
HUMAN URINE – Sounds disgusting, but urine is considered sterile if the body it’s coming from is healthy and free of viruses and infection. High in nitrogen, urea contains more phosphorous and potassium than many of the fertilizers we buy at the store! If serving tomatoes that have been fertilized with pee gives you the “willies,” try it in the compost pile. A good ratio of urine to water would be 1:8. You can collect a cup of urine and pour it into 8 cups of water in a plastic bucket used outside for fertilizing plants. Pour 2 cups around the perimeter of each SMALL plant. For MEDIUM plants add 4 cups, and LARGE plants deserve a good 6 cups of your homebrew.
Writing helps me deal with overwhelming emotion. If you know me, I have a teakettle full some days just waiting to boil over.
There have been several paragraphs simmering in my brain for a long time. In the past three years, or maybe it’s only been two, I have lost three very influential people in my life. It’s coming up on Mother’s Day, so this post will only be about one of those three.
My brother asked me to speak at the wake. You know how people remember things about their loved ones. I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to share anything about my mom and all of the things we shared over her lifetime.
But its Mother’s Day. And, being a mother myself, I would like my children to know just how much I miss her. There isn’t a day that I don’t think to myself, “I need to call my mom.”
Having only left the state for a short time to learn some life lessons (and yes, one of those was on mother’s day weekend – but I really must save that for my memoirs) once I returned, found a job, got married and settled down a bit, I spent a ton of time with my mom. So did my children.
I could fill a book with the experiences we had, the meals we prepared, and experiments we tried. Yes, I remember many good times. Since she has been gone, I also recall the many heartaches I must have caused her. How I wish I could back and apologize for them.
Some were major; some were seemingly small. Only now do I feel those pains deep in my heart. She was always there for me. When she died, I felt (feel) loneliness I cannot explain. Mom listened to me pour out my heart, swear, vent, shout and cry. In the years before she passed away, I tried to call her every day thanks to my best friend from college days, Karen. She told me once that she called her mom every day on the way to work. What a great idea. Sometimes it was only for a short time; other times it was the total distance.
My only point with this outpouring is if you still have a chance to talk to your mom, do it. I have never missed anything so much in my life. It’s kind of like not having the one person in your life that you knew loved you unconditionally. I hope you feel that from your mother.
So, in line with my Mother’s Day podcast, here is a list of things you can consider for Mother’s Day gifts. Small tokens of appreciation. Although, ultimately, it’s time you spend with her that counts.
Gifts for the Foodie Mom on Mother’s Day
Listen to the May 9 podcast on Main Street at PrairiePublicRadio.org
TIME FOR DANDELIONS
Wow, I cannot believe a year has passed since we began recording Main Street Eats on Prairie Public Radio.
So here we are again, talking about dandelions; of which I have already pulled a few. Last night the temperatures dipped to 27 degrees, and it was a frosty morning on the farm. My gooseberries tiny green leaves were tipped in white sparkling frost.
My garden crocs left a trail of green between the house and the garden as they shooshed the frost off the newly-green grass. I plan to harvest dandelions as soon as I can’t feel the cold rising under my robe in the morning. Ah yes, the joy of living with the deer, pheasants and turkeys rather than people.
Dandelions are native to Eurasia, and a member of the aster family. It used to be people planted and harvested dandelions. Now, considered a weed, be cautious of harvesting this common herb from lawns or ditches that may have been sprayed with herbicide.
But harvest you should, as every part of the plant is nutritious food or powerful medicine. The dandelion is rich in nutrients, including protein, calcium, iron, and Vitamins A and C.
And on the funny side of life, if you took French as Ashley Thornberg did, you can call it by its French nickname—pissenlit, which translates into pee-the-bed. That should be a clue to its diuretic properties from potassium.
Here are just a few recipes for consuming dandelion. As I get my natural dye samples done, I will report on how it works as a dyestuff.
You can add this beverage to coffee or drink it as a coffee substitute.
Scrub roots, drain, and place on a baking sheet.
Roast at 150°F (65°C) until roots are dark and dry (about 4 hours).
Cool and grind roots with a food blender. Store in a covered jar until used.
Add one heaping teaspoon of roasted roots to 1 cup of water. Steep for 3 minutes. Strain and serve. Add cream and/or sugar to taste.
You can add this to your regular cup of coffee. Brew coffee, as usual, adding one teaspoon of roasted roots for every 6 cups of coffee. More or less root powder may be used depending on taste.
1 pound dandelion greens
1 cup cold water
4 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon chopped basil
1 cup cream
1 egg yolk
Wash dandelion greens in warm water to remove dirt particles. Combine with cold water in soup kettle and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Drain. Press through food mill and return to kettle. Add stock and basil and simmer 10 minutes. In separate bowl combine cream and egg yolk. Spoon ½ cup hot stock into cream mixture, blend with a whisk and return to kettle. Heat but do not boil. Garnish with croutons. (Also good cold.)
Fried Dandelion Blossoms
Cool, lightly salted water
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch pepper
Pick new dandelion blossoms (ones on short stems). Rinse in cool, lightly salted water. Cut off stem ends close to flower heads, leaving just enough to hold petals together. Roll flowers in paper towels to remove excess moisture. Make the batter by combining egg, milk, flour, salt, and pepper. Dip flowers into the mixture. Drop batter-coated blossoms into deep fryer set at 375 F. Fry until lightly browned. Drain on absorbent paper and sprinkle with more salt as taste dictates. Enjoy!
2 cups tightly packed dandelion leaves, well-rinsed and dried
1 dozen large basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
1 cup lightly toasted hazelnuts (skins removed), or toasted almonds, pine nuts, or walnuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
In the bowl of a food processor or blender, pulse together dandelion leaves, basil, garlic, and nuts. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the motor running, add olive oil and process until smooth paste forms. Pulse in cheese if you like. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
SOURCE: Dandelion Recipes: A Wonderful, Edible Weed | The Old .... https://www.almanac.com/content/dandelion-recipes-wonderful-edible-weed
Shrove Tuesday Doughnuts
Shrove Tuesday occurs right before Ash Wednesday heralding the beginning of Lent.
It was a day of feasting for the fasting that would take place during Lent.
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. soda
1 cups milk
1 cup cream
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
Flour to make a soft dough
2 tablespoons shortening (optional)
Mix and chill. Roll out and cut into 2 by 3-inch pieces. Slit each strip twice in the center and then pull ends through the slits and then deep fry them until they are browned. Sprinkle with sugar or powdered. Sugar.
Coloring Easter Eggs the old fashioned way.
Purple or brown tones – dry onion skins were wrapped around the egg and covered with a damp cloth soaked in white vinegar.
Red could be obtained from red veggies – Beets…
Coffee or tea was used to stain eggs
Also crepe paper – readily tossed around at weddings, showers and other parties in the days before Pinterest.
“Easter time was kuchen and dying Easter eggs. We had all our own eggs and Mom would dye them with egg dye. My dad would, when we were six or seven years old, hide them in his pocket. He would lay them outside so we would come across them. Gosh, we found Easter eggs. Mom dyed them so we didn’t know when we were at school. We thought the Easter rabbit brought them,” Adeline Moch said.
Ellen Tuttle said, “We didn’t have dye for any eggs. But Mom could make the prettiest Easter eggs. Rabbits didn’t get in the house. They laid those eggs under the plows and in the weeds. We would hunt Easter eggs for a whole week. She used tea and stuff like that to dye those. I was 14 before I knew there was no Easter bunny or Santa Claus. I believed until I was fourteen years old.”
Traditionally the Catholics did not eat meat on Fridays during Lent, even meals served at schools observed the traditional no-meat Fridays and fish was often served. Meals without meat also included dishes of noodles and prunes or fleisch kuechla with fruit soup.
“Fry bread done mostly during Lent because you couldn’t have meat on Fridays so that was a meal on Fridays. A guy would come around and sell the fish. It was winter and you could buy a big box full. The guy had the ice in there already and they kept a long time,” Bernice (Kiefer) Nagel said.
“We made noodles and colored eggs and my mother would always make little chickens with eggs. They would have little tail and a beak and she would use allspice for the eyes and she would hang them up in different places,” Mavis Erlenbusch said.
GOOD FRIDAY – prunes and noodles.
HOME-MADE EGG NOODLES
As made by Martha (Rott) Ringering b. 1901 Richville Twp, Logan Cnty, N. Dakota. Recipe from Connie Dahlke
3 cups stirred white flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 large egg
9 Tbsp water
DIRECTIONS:Measure flour, salt and baking powder into mixing bowl. Break egg into flour and stir in ½ cup of the water, mixing to form a very stiff dough (will need to mix with your hands toward the end). Only use last tablespoon of water if mixture is very dry. Knead 5 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Divide dough into two parts and shape each part into a narrow rectangle no more than ½-inch thick. Cover dough pieces with plastic wrap and let rest 10 minutes.
On lightly floured surface, roll out dough, one part at a time, until very thin – aim for length rather than width of dough strip. Each dough part should make a thin dough strip 6-7 inches wide and 19-20 inches long.
Starting at long edge, roll dough strip into a loose roll and cut with a sharp knife into ¼” wide noodles. Unroll noodles, smoothing out where needed.
When all noodles are ready, drop a handful at a time into 2-3 quarts of seasoned boiling water and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice to keep noodles separated. Remove noodles from broth with a slotted spoon and drain well.
May serve as a side dish topped with fried bread crumbs, or use in soup or a casserole.
Easter eggs are made from sweet dough, yeasty and baked in a coffee can… if you can find one.
Filled with candied cherries, almonds, lemon flavoring, other candied fruit
Frosted with loads of sweet colored frosting.
Is Russian in origin
AN XV is marked in the top meaning Christ is Risen.
2 packs yeast
½ cup warm water
¾ cup scalded milk; cool
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ cup shortening
½ cup raisins
½ cup cut-up mixed candied fruit
¼ cup chopped almonds
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
4-1/2 to 5 cups flour
DIRECTIONS: Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, raisins, candied fruit, almonds, lemon peel and 3 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, 1 to 1.5 hours. Let rise 40 to 50 minutes.
Punch down; divide into halves. Shape each half into round bun-shaped loaf. Place in two well-greased 3-pound shortening cans; or 46-ounce juice cans. Let rise until doubled.
Heat oven to 375°. Place cans on low rack so midpoint of can is in the middle of the oven. Bake until tops are golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. If top browns too quickly cover with aluminum foil. Cool 10 minutes; remove from cans. Spoon lemon icing over tops of warm bread, allowing some to drizzle down sides. Tim with tiny decorating candies if desired.
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon warm water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Mix powdered sugar, water and lemon juice until smooth; glaze consistency. Add a little water if necessary.
Asparagus can be found in most grocery stores this time of the year as one of the earliest spring veggie crops
If you are old enough you will remember a book called "Stalking the Wild Asparagus" by Euell Gibbons. It is still available here. Euell also promoted Grape Nuts back in the day. Which reminds me. I think I need to buy some next week.
Asparagus should be purchased and consumed as soon as possible. Select closed budded stalks that are still crisp. Thicker spears are more tender than the small ones and are super good grilled or roasted in the oven.
Here are my five ways to eat asparagus.
1. Raw in salads
2. Blanched and chilled. Boil in salted water till tender and then plunge in cold water to stop the enzymes from leaching all the flavor.
3. Grilled -- Toss 1 pound asparagus with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place over a grill preheated to high heat and cook, turning occasionally, until well-charred and tender, 5 to 8 minutes. If desired, cut lemon in half and place cut side down on grill until charred, about 3 minutes. Transfer asparagus to a large plate, drizzle with remaining olive oil, sprinkle with lemon (if desired), and serve immediately.
4. Oven Roasted – toss with olive oil and seasonings and place on cookie sheet in 500 degree oven … toss with parmesan cheese.
5. Braised – sear in pan with a little oil, toss in a lump of butter, cover and steam. Drizzle with lemon juice…
After enjoying asparagus, you may notice that your urine has a "haunting" smell. It is not known why some people are more prone to this than others, but worry not. It is actually pulling toxins from your body.
Rather than stalking the wild stuff, you can grow your own. It is a perennial and best planted from stalk, not seed. It takes a while to establish an asparagus patch and the male plants are better tasting. Female plants are the ones that spend all their energy on berries.
Here's some advice from the Farmers Almanac folks on growing your own asparagus.
Plant crowns deeply to protect them from the deep cultivation needed for annual weed control.
Here is a photo outside our first home in Fredonia. I'm not sure what the occasion for flowers, albeit fake ones, was. Photos were saved for special occasions.
My sister and I in the coolest house ever. I do not recall that crazy floral wall paper, but I loved those columns.
It's time to celebrate another year traveling around the sun and all I could think about is "I wish I could call my mom." After all, without her, I wouldn't be here. She's not with us anymore and I can't express how many times I say to myself, "I have to call my mom."
It was a pleasant and low-key weekend with the exception of a visit from Lucy and Oliver (and their parents) on Sunday. We baked and ate to our heart's content. It was all good.
The farther from my childhood I travel, the closer the memories of those days become.
Working with a variety of ages can be a challenge. Someone pointed out to me that I am 40 years older than some of our youth directors. Nice. Thanks for the reminder. I already feel like I am fading, fading, fading from the workforce. IT'S A GOOD THING. I'm ready to turn the world over to people with new ideas and energy. I want to focus on my creative side and writing.
Something I cannot accept easily is how difficult it is to be a child in today's world. Yes, I have grandchildren that are even younger than the people I work with. The stories I hear. With social media and cell phones, they will never ever experience the freedom we had as children.
When walking to school the biggest danger to our lives was only what we could cook up in our own minds. Playing make-believe and climbing trees. Pretending to jump off a cliff that I later realized was a mere rise in the schoolyard. But add an enormous snowbank and some recesses and we were having a ball.
We would stop and watch the birds in the fields, flush crayfish from their homes in the slough we passed by; picked Pasque flowers in the spring when the earth was waking up. I loved to go to school in the chill of the morning and break the thin layers of ice coating the water puddles. The cracking sound, the crooked spider-web designs all the while trying not to get my shoes wet. You know, I probably only owned one pair at that time.
We knew all the children in town and either played together or not, depending on the day. Yes, there was one youngster in my class that licked the flag pole. It must have been really painful cause he couldn't talk very well until it healed. We took turns putting up the flag, taking it down at the end of the day and folding it properly for storage.
Once school was out we experienced summer to its fullest. From the time we got up in the morning until supper, we ran wild around the town. Everything seemed so large and city blocks seemed so long.
Nowadays, everyone is under lock and key and followed by cameras and never going anywhere without a "snack." There's no real dark, or quiet anymore; ours is a world far removed from the electronic age. Boy, where do we go from here?
Because I need to get back to work, I have to end my reminiscing and make use of this tool that allows me to connect with people miles apart. My plan, however, is to disconnect as soon as possible and go back to the garden. The best part of my birthday is timing. The end of March, the weather warming. Time to look for April showers and think about planting veggies and flowers. Until next time.
It's Kuchen Season -- and we broadcast a Main Street Eats episode all about kuchen on Thursday, March 21. I promised to share my recipe and so here we go.
So here goes. The two photos are Marion and myself baking kuchen for Sheena's wedding... we made a ton of kuchen that day using my Grandmother Emma Meidinger's recipe. I used to keep it to myself, but I don't think she would have appreciated me not sharing - so here goes.
Grandma Meidinger’s Kuchen
1 Cup Warm Water
1 Teaspoon Sugar
2 Packages Yeast
1 Cup Milk
3 Eggs (beaten)
6 Tablespoons Shortening
¾ cup sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
6 Cups Flour
Dissolve sugar and yeast in one cup water.
Scald milk. Pour into large bowl; add shortening, sugar, and salt. Cool. Mix in two cups flour, then proofed yeast, and rest of flour. Let rise three times.
Divide dough into about 12 pieces, press into greased round pie tins, or cake pans. Top with well-drained fruit, cottage cheese or filling of your choice.
Cover with pudding and crumb topping. Bake at 350 degrees until crust is nicely browned.
6 Eggs Beaten
3 Cups Milk
1 Cup Cream
2 Cups Sugar
½ Cup Flour
Mix sugar and flour. Add the cream, milk and eggs. Cook over low heat, stirring all the while until mixture comes to a boil and thickens, remove from heat, continue to stir until pudding cools a bit.
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Sugar
Add butter until crumbly (Mix like pie crust)
Cinnamon to taste
We can't see too much green with all the snow of late, but that won't stop us from joining all Irish in celebrating St. Patrick's Day on Sunday, March 17.
Not being Irish, I can only attempt to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a traditional manner.
First off, I just read that the Irish call March 17 Paddy’s Day. No saint involved. It’s a difficult pattern to break. On the other hand, it’s not too difficult to enjoy the cuisine of Paddy’s Day, cause it’s really some of my favorite.
Without relatives of Irish descent I had to rely on the internet for information about food and facts about St. Pat… opps Paddy’s Day.
No corned beef and cabbage for the Irish – that’s an American-Irish tradition. Corned beef aside, I’m all about a fried Irish breakfast. From this website http://dish.allrecipes.com/irish-recipes-for-st-patricks-day/ I learned about this traditional breakfast of a few slices of bacon (called rashers), fried tomatoes, black pudding (blood sausage), brown soda bread, and a huge pot of tea.
IRISH FRIED BREAKFAST
1. Lay the bacon slices in a single layer in a large skillet. Fry over medium heat until it begins to get tinged with brown. Fry on both sides. Remove from pan, but save grease.
2. Melt butter in skillet. Crack eggs into pan, being careful not to break yolks. Place tomato slices, mushrooms, and bread in pan. Fry gently, stirring mushrooms and tomatoes occasionally. Keep everything separate. Turn bread over to brown on both sides.
3. When egg whites are set, but yolks are still runny, dish half of everything onto each of 2 warmed plates, and serve immediately.
My personal baking experiments include soda bread; and I did try this brown soda bread recipe. It’s okay, but much heavier with whole wheat than the traditional white wheat loaf. And, it’s a big batch. It's traditionally made into a round loaf with a cross etched in the center to keep the fairies out! I am not sure why or where those fairies light? But the cross is nice.
IRISH BROWN SODA BREAD
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Lightly grease two baking sheets.
2. In a large bowl, stir together whole wheat flour, white flour, rolled oats, baking soda and salt. Gently mix in the buttermilk until a soft dough is formed. Knead very lightly. Divide dough into 4 pieces; form into rounded flat loaves. Mark each loaf with an 'X' and place on prepared baking sheets.
3. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Then there’s scones. I love scones. Not the mushy ones you can find in coffee shops, but the crispy on the outside, tender in the inside scones. This recipe makes a large batch of scones which I read are not triangle shaped in Ireland, but round like biscuits.
Gemma's Best Ever Irish Scones
Author: Gemma Stafford
1. In a large mixing bowl, add self raising flour .
2. Using a cheese grater, grate the butter in until it is all gone. (alternatively using a pastry cutter, cut/rub butter into flour until fully crumbed and resembles course breadcrumbs.
3. Stir in raisins, baking powder and sugar.
4. In a small mixing bowl, whisk eggs and milk and until thoroughly combined. Pour mix into flour mix and stir until a soft dough is formed. Transfer dough to a floured surface and press to 1 1/2 inch thick. (if your scones are not forming a dough add a little more liquid)
5. Cut scones out with a round 3 inch cookie cutter.
6. Place cut scones onto a baking tray lined with parchment.
7. Gather remaining dough in a ball, re-flatten then cut scones from dough. Repeat until entire batch of dough is cut into scones. If you have a little excess dough left, just pat it onto the top of the scones.
8. Bake at 425oF (210oC) for roughly 22-26 minutes. In the video I said 12 minutes but to get them really golden brown you will want to bake for longer. Cool on wire rack.
9. Serve warm or fully fully cooled with butter, jam, or fresh cream.
For dessert, I found an apple tart recipe from the Kerry Gold website. If you haven’t had Kerry Gold butter, I would recommend that over a rasher of bacon if you are deviating from your diet on Sunday, March 17.
The sublime supper favorite, homemade apple tart evokes childhood memories of granny’s magical kitchen, filled with sugar-coated treats. Keep it traditional with apples or try seasonal fruits such as blueberries or the classic culinary pair of rhubarb and strawberry.
1. Master the perfect pastry with luxurious Kerrygold butter. Sift the flour and icing sugar into a bowl. Work in the butter with a knife and mix in the egg yolks with just enough ice-cold water so the dough comes together. Wrap up in cling film and let it chill for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F), Gas Mark 5. Give the work surface a light dusting of flour. Split the pastry into two portions, one a little larger than the other. Roll out the bigger bit until it’s 30cm (12in) in diameter and line a 20cm (8in) deep dish pie plate or 23cm (9in) flat pie plate, gently pressing into the corners with your thumb. Knock the sides with a round-bladed knife to give a decorative finish and place back in the fridge to chill while you prepare the apples.
3. Peel, core, and slice the apples. Place in a large bowl with all but one tablespoon of the caster sugar and the cinnamon and cloves. Brush the edge of the pastry with a little milk. Mix the apple filling together, then stuff into the lined pie dish. Roll out the second piece of pastry into a circle slightly larger than the pie dish and position to cover the apples. Press the edges together to seal, then use a sharp knife to cut away any excess.
4. Great pastry calls for a decorative finish. Crimp the edges of the tart with a round-bladed knife using your fingers as a guide and then roll out the pastry scraps and cut into leaf shapes. Brush with milk and stick on top of the pie and sprinkle with the rest of the sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4 and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
5. To serve, allow the apple tart to settle for at least 5 minutes, then cut into slices and arrange on plates. In our rule book, the chef deserves a second helping.
Should you be so inclined to drink too much in celebration of Paddy’s Day, you can stave off that hangover by drinking a flat 7-up and having a crisp sandwich. All you need is buttered white bread and some Irish potato crisps.
So have some fun with green on Sunday and do a little weekend baking in celebration of St. Patrick.
Sue B. Balcom
Writing, or maybe talking, comes naturally to me and under the guidance of a great newspaper editor I have acquired skills that led me to author four books.