This is the season to bake bread and warm our ovens and our homes

Published 12:45 pm Wednesday, November 19, 2008

By Staff
Although I have seen many autumns come and go in my lifetime, I still feel a childlike urge to gather all this season's golden and scarlet brilliance into a special niche within my secret memory; so that I may never lose sight of it when the branches of my maples are devoid of their colorful cloaks. The crisp earthly fragrance that accompanies this seasonal change could never be captured and contained within a bottle … for it is composed of a secret formula comprising this soil of our earth, the warmth of our sun, the crispness of a harvest breeze and the moisture of our heavens. It is truly a golden opportunity to enjoy one last glimpse of the color this season affords us; before it slips into winter and a cloud of flurries descend from that once so sunny sky. The winds will gradually become sharper, as a bit of old man winter stealthily replaces the blue of our heavens. This is also the month of the year that I usually endeavor to do my special breads, for the many forthcoming holidays, for we are experiencing some quite chilly winds and the heat created in my oven, easily suffices having to activate my furnace.
Pumpkin Bread
1 – 16 ounce can pumpkin
1 cup cooking oil
3 cups flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon allspice
4 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
Thoroughly mix together all of the above ingredients, adding just one egg at a time and beating well after each, then pour the batter into several greased loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for one hour … or until done. Add some chopped black walnuts if desired.
Timely Trivia: This is the month of the year when not only humans feel an urgency to spend much time on our roadways, stocking up on winter supplies, but our wildlife is doing so also. Please have some consideration for them and observe a safe speed. Have you noticed how the simple movement is almost like a madrigal, and when accompanied by a rather wobbly fawn … seems to add a grace note?
Food Facts: Did you know that nuts have more protein by weight than meat or eggs?
Banana Bread
3 ripe bananas
1 cup oleo, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Begin by creaming together the oleo and sugar until it becomes light and fluffy, then begin adding your eggs … but do so by adding just one at a time and then beating well after each of these additions. Set aside while sifting together your dry ingredients, then beating well after each of these additions. Set aside while sifting together your dry ingredients, then add these to your first mixture and blend together well. Last of all, stir in the bananas. Spoon this mixture into two greased and floured 8 inch loaf pans, then bake for approximately 55 minutes in a 325 degree oven. Cool completely before slicing.
Homemaker's Hint: It's that time of year when we're going to be bracing ourselves against harsh winds. If you are dressed inappropriately to withstand these exceptionally cool breezes, you can lower your immune system function.
Food Facts: Bananas are a good source of foliate, potassium, and vitamins B6 and C.
I noticed that our community grocers have been having some mighty tasty looking peaches being displayed recently, so this might be the time you want to indulge yourself with this next recipe for:
Butterscotch Peaches
2 firm ripe peaches
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon butter per half
Place the peach halves with their cavity side up in a shallow baking tin. Place1/2 tablespoon sugar into each of the peach cavities, then add just one teaspoon of butter. Slide into a 325 degree oven for about 17 minutes or until the juice that forms, becomes syrupy. Serve topped with ice cream, then drizzle a bit of syrup over the top.
Homemaker's Hint: You need to use a bit of "positive reinforcement" to gain the proper response you wish to receive from people. Do you ever take time to compliment or occasionally reward your family and friends?
Timely Trivia: In past years, horses were sometimes used for mail delivery purposes; but … during the nineteenth century … cows sometimes were put to work hauling mail wagons in some German towns. Whereas other areas made use of other animals such as in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona camels were used and in areas of the world such as Russia and Scandinavia it was not unheard of to find reindeer pulling mail sleighs.
Chocolate Chip Pie
1 – 6 ounce package chocolate chips
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 well beaten eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 unbaked nine inch pastry shell
Combine the sugar with the flour, mix well; stir the eggs and melted butter into this. Then, add pecans, chocolate chips and extract. Mix well, then pour into a pastry shell and bake for 40 – 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
Food Facts: Did you happen to get some popcorn that just refused to pop? Perhaps the kernels have dried out. Try soaking them in water for 5 minutes, drain well, then try again.
Homemaker's Hint: If you have difficulty in swallowing pills, try coating them with just a bit of oleo or butter and they will usually then slide down pretty easily.
Glazed Pecan Cake
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 cup milk
1 cup salad oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
Combine the vinegar and milk to make one cup of liquid. (Don't fret for the vinegar will sour the milk!) Set aside. Mix the oil, sugar, eggs and extract and beat this mixture at the medium speed on your mixer. Next, combine the flour with the baking powder, cinnamon, soda and the cloves; then proceed to add this to the creamed mixture in an alternating fashion with the soured milk, then beat it for a full minute. Stir in your pecans, pour this batter into a greased and floured 10 inch Bundt pan, then bake for 40 minutes in a 350 degree oven. When finished, allow to stand for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. This completed, prick hose all over the cake. Combine the honey and lemon juice and water then drizzle evenly over the cake.
Homemaker's Hint: A reader phoned in the following suggestion for camouflaging a pimple. She used a very tiny bit of green eye shadow on the pimple ( it seems to neutralize the redness), then proceed to cover it with a bit of cosmetic foundation.
Food Facts: To prevent the crust of your fruit pie from becoming soggy, try brushing the crust with a little egg white, then allowing it to air dry for 10-15 minutes before adding the filling.
Since this is the time of year when apples are so plentiful … try this next recipe:
Apple Dessert
3 cups sliced apples
1 – 3 ounce package raspberry or strawberry gelatin
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
Place sliced apples into a buttered 10 x 6 x 1 3/4 inch baking dish, then sprinkle them evenly with the gelatin. Combine the flour and sugar together, then cut in the butter until the mixture becomes crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the apples, then bake for 30 minutes in an oven of 350 degrees. (Could hardly ask for a more simple recipe, right?-Lou)
Timely Trivia: Have you ever noticed that the manuscripts written by Hans Christian Anderson, contain major variations in his spelling?
Food Facts: Do not ever throw away any tiny bits of cooked fish. Freeze it, then when you are ready to use it, thaw, then flake, and then combine it with some onions, salad vegetables and a dressing.
Caramel Cookies
18 – 5 inch long graham crackers, halved
1/2 cup melted oleo
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
Mix the oleo, butter, pecans and sugar in a saucepan. Then, very carefully bring this mixture to a rolling boil over a low heat. Boil for 3 minutes, but be sure you stir it the entire time. Now, place your graham crackers in a 15 x 10 inch cookie sheet, then spoon your butter mixture evenly over the crackers. Slide them into a 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes. After removing from the oven, cut into squares.
Homemaker's Hint; Did you know that you can substitute one half teaspoon of any kind of vinegar in place of one teaspoon of lemon or lime juice in any recipe?
Food Facts: I try to save my used tea bags and place the moist bags over my eyes, for they do seem to relieve some of the weariness and leave the eyes feeling moist and revived.
Sweet Potato Bake
1 16 ounce can whole sweet potatoes
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
dash salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons cooking sherry or rum
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
3/4 cup walnuts
1/4 teaspoon salt.
Arrange your potatoes in a 1 quart shallow baking dish, then sprinkle them lightly with salt. Combine the brown sugar, cornstarch, orange juice and the 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a saucepan and blend together well. Cook over high heat until the mixture boils, being sure to stir constantly during the cooking time. Remove from the burner, add the cooking sherry and blend well. Pour this mixture over your sweet potatoes, then sprinkle them with both the walnuts and orange peel and bake for 25 minutes in a 325 degree oven.
Food Facts: Sweet potatoes can be a rich source of beta carotene, as well as a good source of vitamins C and B6, foliate and potassium.
Homemaker's Hint: Several readers have asked me if I believe that chicken soup helps you recover from colds. I have yet to read any article proving that this is indeed true, but by the same token, I have yet to read any article disproving it. Don't' you think that perhaps some people receive a "mental comfort" in believing its true worth? You know just the mere power of suggestion can be stronger on some individuals than others! I have many times read articles that have convinced me there is a lot of truth in the statement that says "Food is like a pharmaceutical compound that affects the brain."
Red Raspberry Ring
1 – 10 ounce package frozen red raspberries, thawed
2 – 3 ounce packages red raspberry gelatin
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
1 – 16 ounce can pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
3/4 cup chopped pecans
Drain the raspberries, being sure to reserve the juice. Dissolve the gelatin in boiling water, then add ice cream by the spoonful. Keep stirring until melted. Now, stir in both the reserved juice and lemonade concentrate; chill in the refrigerator until slightly thickened. Add berries and pecans to this mixture, then pour into a 6 cup ring mold and chill until the mixture becomes firm.
It is a fact that healthy eating means different things to different people. To maintain an ideal variety and moderation should certainly not require eliminating any particular food group from your diet. Surely none of us should ever feel short changed in food knowledge. It's as close as your fingertips. If we don't take advantage of the food information available to us, then we have no one to blame but ourselves. Unlike our ancestors who proceeded us, we have a wealth of information . If we are too lazy or preoccupied to take advantage of it … then shame on us!
**A reader and I happened to be discussing different foods that were back in the 1940s, and disagreed on when V-8 juice came onto the market. She believes that it was during the mid 50s, while I cling to the idea it was the late 40s, for I am almost positive I remember shopping for this as a newlywed. Just for curiosity sake, do any of you homemakers out there happen to know? …. Thanks! -Lou