Apple Salad-according to Aunt Agnes


My  great Aunt Agnes could play the piano like she was born to do so.  It seemed as natural to her as breathing.   Her daughter,  Faith can too. Aunt Agnes loved flowers and  she was as pretty as any  flower she grew.  Her trademark smile and dangling earrings charmed everybody.  My mom inherited Aunt Agnes’ good looks.

Aunt Agnes was quite a cook, too.  Her recipes are about sacred in the family.  I ate many good meals in her big kitchen.  She fed her five children and the farmhands every day at noon.  Do not think for  minute, we ate sandwiches.  She filled the huge table and the top of the “deep freeze” with all sorts of southern delicacies -all made from scratch. . .  At Christmas  she made an apple salad.

My mom had a notion for it this year at Christmas-so I attempted to concoct one like the one Aunt Agnes made.  I will tell you the ingredients sounded like a terrible combination and I just knew it would spoil my own reputation as a decent cook.  Still, mama wanted it-and it was Christmas, after all- so I  gathered the ingredients and hoped for the best . . and let me tell you it worked.  

Of course, I had to taste as I went along with it.  What a pleasant surprise I had, when it was better than “fit to eat”.  It was good.  It was so good, that I have made  it since and plan to again tonight.  Of course, as always, I do not measure ingredients (unless it is a new bread).  The good news is that it turns out anyway.  The quantity is easily adaptable.  I sent Miss Claudia a single serving and have not heard a complaint, so I suppose , measuring is not of necessity. 

  • 4 or 5 large red skinned apples                                                                                          one stalk of celery, diced very fine                                                                                        large handful of raisins-depends on your taste                                                              large handful of  roasted pecans ( you could use walnuts-maybe almonds)       a good dash of brown sugar     

Cut unpeeled apple into bite size pieces.  Mix ingredients and  brace yourself.  Use a heaping tablespoon or more of mayonnaise combined with about a cup of whipped cream to coat the mixture.  It sounds awful,  but do it anyway -you won’t be sorry.  I do not make this too much ahead of time, because of the apples turning brown, and me being out of lemon juice.  

I would think a number of variations could work with this salad-maybe cinnamon or maple would be a nice flavor addition-and some may try yogurt instead of mayonnaise. I think this would be a good side served with pork, especially.  I also think it could be considered a light dessert.

I will tell you from experience, that dishes in general, taste better in the company of loved ones.

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Pimento Cheese at the Rabbit Patch


Pimento cheese is well known in the south, though it’s origin is in New York.  It seems that Georgia started a large canning facility for the sweet red pimentos in the 1920’s and the south took full advantage of that.  All I really know for sure is that the rabbit patch loves it-and pimento cheese is as easy to make as it is to eat.  There are many variations-and you can add what you see fit.  Bacon bits and pickles are commonly used add ins, but we like the basic recipe below-

16 oz. of sharp shredded cheese

8 oz. diced pimentos ( you can lessen or add more as you prefer)

mayonnaise, salt, pepper, garlic-all your preference on quantity

a dash of mustard

This spread is great on crackers for a snack or in a sandwich, it makes a meal.  If there’s a chill in the air , serve it like a grilled cheese-you won’t be sorry.  At one time, before occasions got so fancy, little pimento cheese sandwiches were served at every bridal or baby shower I ever went to-including my own. And beware-store bought is not the same thing.

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The rabbit patch serves this when good friends come by-and it’s always better that way.. . of course, it is great for a picnic too.

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* From “The Color of Summer”

 

Cucumber Salad


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Cucumbers aren’t just for pickling or to be tossed in a salad in an unimportant fashion. The lowly cucumber has a salad all its’ own and worth bragging about.  I do not remember a summer that this wasn’t on the table.  Grandmama had a yellow kitchen table-one of those chrome ones that are considered fancy now .  The cucumber salad had every bit the importance of the salt and pepper on that table-it does go with everything. Here is the very simple recipe-

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Wash and remove most of the skin from the cucumbers, then slice them as thin as you can.  Chop a tomato in small pieces and add to the cucumbers. Stir in mayonnaise as you desire, but it ought to almost coat the mixture.  Season with garlic, salt and pepper.

Sometimes, radishes were added, thinly sliced.  I really like this combination.  You can also add onion-I like that too.  I have used dill.  My friend, Jo Dee says her mom added celery seed.  The lowly cucumber makes the salad, whatever you decide.  Remember that it will be better if you share it !

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*from “The green Grass Grows”

Upside-down Apple Cake-Best served at Sunday Dinner


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We grow apples on the rabbit patch. I have needed to get pretty creative, when it’s time to pick. You don’t have to have fresh apples for this easy recipe-canned apples work fine, and you can eliminate a bit of work by using them.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

If you are using fresh fruit, you start here- peel about 5 apples, depending on the size.  You choose the variety.  Cut apples into bite-sized pieces. I use a cast iron skillet, but use what you have.  Cover apples with water, not any more and simmer.  You are about on your own here-but I use about 1/2 stick of butter, 1 cup brown sugar, and cinnamon to taste.  I also like to toss butterscotch  morsels in, if I have them-not the whole bag, but a handful.  When the kitchen is filled with the smell of it, and the apples are soft-they are ready. Pour  apples into a greased 11×13 pan, making sure to spread it evenly.* If you are using canned apples, then this is your first step.

For the cake, you can use a boxed mix- I have used yellow, spice and caramel with success. Just mix the cake up as directed on the box. * I use milk instead of water, but you do as you please.  Pour the batter right on top of the apples-try to cover the apples as best you can-but don’t worry , it’s going to bake like it ought to even if you have some bare apples.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bake at 350 as the box says, for about 30 minutes. Let it cool a bit-though you are not going to want to wait.  When you serve it, turn the pieces over, so the apples will be on top.

If you have vanilla ice-cream, this is a good time to use it- and remember, this cake is always better if you share it.

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*From “On Any Given Sunday”-May 2016

 

Peach Cobbler


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It’s hard to beat a peach cobbler.  This is a simple recipe and suitable for a variety of fruits. I have made it with apples and blueberries.  If I don’t grow them, then I buy at the farmer’s market or a roadside stand.  This is an easy dessert to fix, but fitting for a Sunday dinner.

 

 Preheat oven to 425 degrees.    Wash and prepare fruit.  Peel if needed, and cut up large fruits.  Put in a bowl with just enough water to cover well and use sugar to sweeten as needed.  I usually use about half of a cup, but this step depends on the sweetness of the particular fruit. *If you are using canned fruit, then do not add sugar.

Let this sit at room temperature, while you mix the following:       4ad1f4e8ab3d17165a80de6a5bd10977

   1 cup sugar                                                                                                                                                       1 cup milk  ( I use whole or almond)                                                                                                      1 cup bread flour or all purpose-you can use self-rising, just increase the water in the                                                                    fruit mixture.                                                                                 

Mix well with a fork and pour into a greased baking dish.  Pour fruit mixture on top of the batter-no need to mix.  It will bake as it ought to-Bake at 425 degrees til the top  begins to brown-usually about 30 minutes.

I like to put a little butter on top after removing from the oven.

It’s better when you share it with others.  *Please note that the size of the pan you use, may alter the cooking time.  I use an 11 x 13.

 

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  • From-“Somewhere North of the Moon”-June 2016

 

Strawberry Bread Pudding


  1. I take the basic bread pudding recipe and add strawberries, when in season.  We like raisins and cinnamon in the fall.

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          2 eggs                                                                                                                                                                      1/2 cup sugar                                                                                                                                                       1 2/3 cups milk                                                                                                                                      about 2 cups bread crumbled in to bite size pieces * I use old biscuits, but any stale bread would do.

Beat eggs and add sugar,milk:  fold in bread – Pour in a buttered pan and bake at 350 for 25-30 min.  If you are adding fruit, fold it in with the bread. I cut my fruit up in small pieces.

I bet bananas would be good, too. It is quite good without any fruit-and especially good when you share it with a loved one.

7e13f344ad5a8b1ac4040762a3041091*From the “Roses and Strawberries” post.