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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Spagh-a-Chini


Zucchinis in the garden,
Zucchinis in the store,
Zucchinis overflowing,
Zucchinis more and more!

Well, that's how it's supposed to happen.  Everyone says zucchini is so easy to grow and there's always too much of the stuff.  People joke about sneaking around the neighbourhood after dark,leaving zucchini on doorsteps, trying to get rid of the abundance of their harvest.

It never happened to me.  I planted zucchini in my garden and got nothing.  Some days all I had were female flowers and other days nothing but male flowers.  And the days I had both male and female flowers blossoming it was raining so hard the pollen was too soggy to make little fertilized zucchini.  Sooooo..... no zucchini in my garden.   And I had great visions of graciously passing out my overflow crop to family and friends.  Sigh.....  Today I bought zucchini at the supermarket.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Sugar Cookies

Halloween is coming up in a day or two and, of course, there will the hoards of neighbourhood children knocking on our door looking for a treat.  This year I'm giving out juice boxes, bucking the tradition of candy or chips.  My son says I'm going to get "egged" in protest.  Ah, well, I'm sure some of those kids will enjoy sipping on a juice box while devouring their pile of candy and chips.  And I'm betting a few parents will be pleased with my choice. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sugar Cookies



I've had this cookie recipe for years and forgot I had it.  Last Christmas I searched for a sugar cookie recipe but couldn't find anything I wanted to make.  Wish I had remembered this recipe.  But I've found it now, tucked in that old recipe box, and it's just as delicious as I remembered.  Funny, I didn't think of that last year. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Nanny Hemeon's Sweet Raisin Bread


Nanny Hemeon was my daughter-in-law's grandmother and this is her recipe for molasses raisin bread.  I've known the Hemeons for years.  When I was a kid I first became friends with Louise and Barbara at summer camp. We kept in contact over the years and then I moved to the same town.  We attended the same church and I came to know their mother, Mrs. Hemeon, as a lovely Christian woman who always had a smile for this young teacher miles from home.    Mrs. Hemeon raised a family of 14 children and was well known for her baking and cooking skills.  Who would have known, all those years ago, that my son, Peter and Mrs. Hemeon's granddaughter, Vicki (who were not even born) would fall in love and get married. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Scrambled Egg Special

This recipe comes from a magazine clipping and I guess it must have been in my box about 15 years or more.   A friend passed on the recipe because she thought I might like it.  I don't know the name of the magazine but there is a name attached to the recipe.  It says "from the kitchen of Violeta Rodriguez." I have looked at this recipe over the years and always thought it would make a nice supper dish but never made it until now.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Air Buns


My husband seldom requests a meal or food item.  He's a great person to feed.  He'll eat whatever I prepare, even if he doesn't like the meal. But last night he looked at me and said, "How about making some cinnamon buns.  I'd like to have some."  So what else could I do but make cinnamon buns today.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Aunt Amy's No Fail Pie Crust


A taste of summer.
Aunt Amy, my mother's sister, was a wonderful cook and we loved going to her house for meals.  Our grandmother, Nanny as we called her, also lived in the same house so there were always aunts, uncles and cousins coming and going.  Nan was in her 70s when my sister and I were born and by that time she had given up keeping house and was cared for by Aunt Amy and her husband Uncle Ken, who happened to be my father's brother.  Two brothers married two sisters.  We lived only a short distance from Aunt Amy and Uncle Ken's house so my mother would drop in to see Nan just about every day and of course Heather and I would usually trail along. There was always something cooking or baking in Aunt Amy's kitchen and it was a dismal day to find the kitchen empty.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Aunt Joan's Prize-Winning Oatmeal Chip Cookies


I love cookies. I've been eating them all my life and have been known to sit down with a can of cookies and a glass of milk and do quite a bit of damage to both the contents of the can and my waist line.  I'm talking about homemade cookies, not those poor, pathetic store-bought, symmetrical rounds of baked cardboard that pass as cookies at the supermarket. (Though I have forced myself to eat those in emergencies.)  I guess I was spoiled from childhood by a parade of great cookie makers.  My dad was renowned for his cookies as were many of my aunts and church members.  Even today in Newfoundland, any home baker worth her/his salt can produce an array of baked cookies and squares to rival any gourmet bakery. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Mrs. Schwindt's Mushroom "Steaks"

Ready to eat.
It's funny how, when I look at a recipe in my box, a whole story emerges.  The Mushroom Steaks conjure up a hot summer weekend when I was a bridesmaid for my friend Lynda.

For part of my school years, I attended college in  Massachusetts.  I still can't spell that state's name, although I mastered the spelling while I lived there.  While there I met and became friends with Lynda.  Eventually we became roommates for a semester and when Lynda became engaged she asked me to be one of her bridesmaids.  I was thrilled to be asked and agreed to be one of her attendants for an August wedding at her hometown in Maryland.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Helen's Company Roast


When I was seven years old my third cousin, Ron married Helen.   Helen moved from Ontario to Newfoundland  to work as an accountant in our church office and was the person whom we kids took our school fees to every month.  (Until 1997 all schools in Newfoundland were church run schools.)  The church offices were connected to the school by a short hallway and it was like going to Narnia on the day we were allowed to go pay our fees.  After Ron and Helen married I saw her just about every day because she and Ron would eat dinner (lunch) at his mother's place which was next door to my house.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Mrs. Davies' Hot Milk Sponge Cake




Mrs. Davies was our minister's wife and the mother of my sister's best friend, Beth.  Heather, my sister, often stayed over at the Davies' and would sometimes bring home samples of Mrs. Davies' baking.  And of course, there were the church socials and potlucks that gave me an opportunity to taste Mrs. Davies' best provisions.  I was always on hand to taste anything new as the Davies were from the "mainland" and often introduced a new recipe into my ever growing collection. My mother made cakes but this was a new one to me because it used hot milk. 

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Barb's Cherry Cheesecake


Barb showed up in my life when we were in grade 8.  She was from "around the bay" and seemed a little too sure of herself for the "new" girl in class.  I don't ever recall calling her a "bayman" to her face.  Regardless of her "unfortunate" background she soon became part of my circle of friends.  By high school Dawn, Barb and I were like triplets, joined at the hip and of one mind.   We were all short girls but Barb was the most petite of the three of us.  She always had a boyfriend and was quite particular about her hair and clothing.  Dawn and I would often roll our eyes at each other as we waited and watched Barb arrange and rearrange her hair before we went out together.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Mom's Cherry Cake


If I had a choice between a slice of chocolate cake and a slice of cherry cake the cherry cake would win hands down. (Not that I couldn't be forced to eat a piece of chocolate cake, mind you, if push came to shove.)   As I type the lovely aroma of that sweet treat is filling the air as the cake slowly bakes and the crust turns a lovely golden brown.  I'm almost drooling. 

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Memories In An Old Box


I have an old recipe box I've been stuffing recipes into for years. The recipes have come from family, friends and magazine clippings: all the places recipes come from. Every time I go through that old box memories are conjured up in my mind that bring me back as far as my childhood. I can see a group of teenagers eagerly awaiting for Barb's cheesecake to be made so we could demolish it before it even set.  I can smell Mom's cherry pound cake baking a few days before Christmas.  I hear my friend Pat telling me about the Chocolate Cream Cake she used to make for her husband.  Almost every recipe brings me a special memory.