Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes we can, yes we did, yes we will

I am so incredibly happy and relieved that we elected Barack Obama as president. His message of hope, change, and unity are so needed right now. I remember when I first saw him speak at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. I wished then and there that I could vote for him for president instead of the uninspiring choice of John Kerry. I hadn't been that moved by a speech since I heard John F. Kennedy's speeches (replayed since I was too young to remember them live). I think this is an exciting time to be an American.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I am Elinor Dashwood

I am a huge Jane Austen fan. I have read several of her books and have seen several of the movies made from her books. My favorite Jane Austen adaptation is the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. In my opinion, Colin Firth owns the role of Mr. Darcy. He is ever so attractive. If there isn't anything else interesting on television, my sister, niece and I will usually watch one of the many Jane Austen movies we own. We've seen them so many times we can quote the dialog. Sad, but true. So when I saw a link to the Which Austen Heroine Are You page I immediately followed it. And, as much as I would have liked to have been Elizabeth Bennett, I think that I am more like Elinor Dashwood.

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Pat's Recipe Box

When I started this blog I intended to write on a regular basis. I don't think anyone would consider one blog in eight months to be regular, but it is what it is. I had no idea that it would take another blogger to inspire me to write again, but when I read Kay's blog about her Grandma Mabel's recipe box it brought back so many memories that I had to write about my mother's recipe box. This is my mother's recipe box.

My mother had this recipe box for as long as I can remember. I'm sure it is vintage 1960s. I never really liked the design but it was special because inside was all my mother's recipes. You can see how well used it was--as my dad would say it had a lot of miles on it.

Inside you can find the handwritten recipes with her scratchy writing, often with notes evaluating the recipe.

My mother was a good cook in a down home way. She was constantly looking for new recipes and would often modify the ones she found. Unfortunately, she did not always document the changes in her recipe box.

My mother's other source of recipes was her Betty Crocker cookbook. As you can see from the photo, this cookbook was also well-loved.

I love this cook book. I haven't been able to find a publishing date--some pages have fallen out. But mom cooked many excellent meals from recipes in this book. And this was the source for many of my first cooking successes, especially around the holiday. First it was the Spritz cookies and then the Basic Roll Dough, which both became a holiday favorite. After my mother died several years ago, I chose this cookbook and my sister chose the recipe box. 

A few years after my mother died my sister-in-law Holly, who had a lot of time but not much money to spend on Christmas, typed up all the recipes that my mother had made notations on in the cookbook and all the recipes in the box and gave each of us a copy of Pat's Family Recipes for Christmas.

It was a very generous gift, even if she did correct my mother's rather idiosyncratic spelling.

Here's my favorite recipe from my mother's cookbook--her recipe for pumpkin pie. Notice that she taped it to the introduction pages to the Pastry and pies section together with the recipe from the Libby's Pumpkin Pie recipe. You have to use both together because mom's version just includes measurements. She did provide the measurements for 2, 4, and 6 pies--there were 7 of us in the family and with us and all the other guests at Thanksgiving we needed several pies.

Here are the measurements for 2 pies:

1 can pumpkin
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
6 eggs
2 1/2 milk
1 1/3 cup canned milk

You will need to prepare the pie shells and heat the over to 425 degrees.

Beat the eggs lightly in a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients in order given. Pour the ingredients into pie shells.

Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we all do.