catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 10, Num 1 :: 2011.01.14 — 2011.01.27


Ten recipes

1.  Blueberry dumplings cooked in a cast iron chicken fryer — or even better, cooked over a fire alongside a lake high in the mountains where the berries are picked and called huckleberries.  As the fragrance of my dumplings drift across the lake waters, I am certain I can smell the fragrance of those cooked a hundred years ago in that same spot. This recipe is pretty close, but I always simmer mine 12 minutes uncovered, then 12 minutes tightly covered.

2.  Meat loaf — the recipe on the Lipton onion soup mix — made for our first meal in our first apartment 45 years ago. I put baking potatoes, pricked at either end so they didn’t explode, alongside the meatloaf.  And this recipe makes nice baked meatballs to drop into your spaghetti sauce.

3.  Pot roast of beef in that same cast iron chicken fryer: a browned chunk of chuck roast, garlic bits pressed into the meat, lots of onions and salt and generous grindings of pepper.  Perhaps some red cooking wine and the plebian mushroom soup, cooked for hours, with potatoes and carrots cut up and added the last hour.  My mother’s Sunday dish which then became mine, and which is still in demand by my youngest whenever he comes to visit.

4.  Wacky Cake — a moist chocolate cake.  You can find the recipe here.  We always double it and make a 9″ × 13″ cake or two layers or 30 cupcakes.  It was the first cake each of my children made on his or her own.  Moist enough, it doesn’t require frosting, but you could frost it.  My husband loves to cover his plain piece with applesauce.

5.  Forgotten Cookies.  A recipe close to mine is found here.  I don’t use nuts, but I do color mine green or pink and flavor the pink ones with mint flavoring or use chopped Andes mints instead of chocolate chips.  I like mini-chocolate chips also for these cookies.  I one batch each of pink and green at Christmas and fill glass jars with them.  They are a   great batch of cookies to make while the oven is still hot from the other baking…and you can forget about them until morning.

6.  Chocolate croissants — well, really they’re imitation chocolate croissants.  Open up a can or two of crescent rolls and line chocolate chips along the wide edge.  Roll them up and bake as usual.  We ate the real thing for Christmas in France where we studied French before going to Africa as missionaries.  They have become a celebration breakfast staple in our house. I found you could use cream cheese and jam as a substitute for the grandson who could not eat chocolate…and then the other kids wanted one of those as well!

7.  Macaroni and cheese.  Made with a white sauce and lots of really good sharp cheddar cheese.  It entered the rotation of my recipes when I was a new Army bride, my children loved it and now my grandchildren ask for it.

8.  Jim’s favorite frosting (or boiled milk frosting). We lived in Africa and you could not get confectioners’ sugar.  This easy frosting became the staple and is my husband’s favorite frosting, especially on a Wacky Chocolate Cake.

9.  Scalloped potatoes and ham. My mother always made it with the leftovers from the Easter ham, and I do the same.  Layer sliced potatoes, and ham, sprinkling each layer lightly with flour and pepper.  Pour milk until it just covers the top layer.  If a little flour sticks out of the milk, that’s OK.  Dot it with butter (I try to put the butter on the flour) and bake till tender through.  It was always a bit of a fight who got the crusty bits of potato sticking above the milk.

10.  German Pork Skillet from the Farm Country Cookbook my mother-in-law gave me when I got married.  Brown the pork chops and cut up an onion or two to layer on top of the pork.  Drain and rinse a can of sauerkraut and spread that over the pork.  Mix a cup of sour cream with a half-cup of brown sugar and spread over the sauerkraut. Pour a cup of water in along the edge, lifting up the porkchops so the water gets under them. Top with a thick sprinkle of breadcrumbs (at least a half a cup).  Put the lid on and simmer at least an hour or bake a couple of hours covered.  I like to put in chunked potatoes all around the meat.  Every time I make it I think of my mother-in-law who saw her two sons both marry the same summer.  She taught me so much without words.  My husband still considers this among his favorite dishes.

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