As a nod to the Irish, I’m posting a link to one of my favorite video channels, Hillbilly Kitchen and Becky’s demonstration of Irish Soda Bread. I haven’t tried this recipe but it looks good and fairly simple, so it’s on my list of things to do soon.https://rumble.com/vxp1nj-irish-soda-bread-heirloom-recipe-4-ingredient-no-yeast-bread-no-fail-the-hi.html
Category Archives: Recipes
This recipe is even older than Leefa, who was nearly 100 years old when she died; it was her mother’s and might date back to the mid 19th century. But from all accounts, Mary Jane was an unpleasant woman, so I’ll give the credit for this wonderful recipe to her daughter.
I’ve been making it since the 1970s and it has never failed me yet.
(Don’t be off-put by the buttermilk. I never have it on hand. If you don’t have any, make a substitute by adding about 1 T. vinegar to 1/2 c. whole milk (scant). Let it sit about 10 minutes until it clabbers. Do this first and it will be ready by the time you add it to the batter.)
Makes 2 loaves.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1/2 c. shortening (I use vegetable oil and it works just fine)
1 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
After thoroughly creamed, add:
2 mashed bananas (no chunks, at all)
Then add remaining dry ingredients:
2 c. flour
1t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
After thoroughly mixed, add:
1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts
Pour into 2 greased (Pammed) loaf pans.
Sprinkle tops lightly with sugar (and maybe cinnamon).
Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes on the middle rack in the oven.
Check with a toothpick or a slim knife. If toothpick doesn’t come out clean, turn down the oven temperature about 25 degrees, rotate pan and check again in 10 minutes. Keep checking until done.
When done, run a knife around the edge of the loaf pan to loosen, then remove the bread and place it on a rack to cool.
*To make muffins instead of loaves, add a little extra flour for a stiffer batter.
*The recipe calls for shortening. Years ago, I used a stick of butter or margarine, but now only use vegetable (canola) oil. It works fine.
*The recipe calls for 1 c. white sugar & 1/2 c. brown sugar. Sometimes I use 1 1/2 c. brown sugar (because I like a darker, richer loaf); other times I put in 1 1/4 c. white sugar and a couple of tablespoons of dark unsulphured molasses (Grandma’s brand).
*Cut off all the bad (dark) spots on the bananas.
*Mash bananas thoroughly. Any chunks can result in unpleasant pinkish colored lumps in the finished bread.
*If you dislike really, really ripe (over-ripe) bananas, don’t use them. Your bread will adopt the same wine-y flavor. I never eat bananas after they get any dark spots, but I will bake with them. However, I won’t use black bananas. Baking doesn’t improve them.
*I usually use 2 bananas, but if they’re small, 3. However, more than that will make a heavy batter and it might be difficult to get it completely done in the middle.
*Sometimes I use cinnamon, sometimes nutmeg. If I’m out of nutmeg, a bit of allspice. If you really just want the flavor of the bananas, omit all the spices.
*Nuts improve everything. Pecans or English walnuts both work fine.
*Sprinkling sugar on the tops helps keep the crust from becoming gummy and sticky after it cools. It also gives it a nice texture. I’ve tried sugar on the top of one loaf and none on the other – the sugared loaf always gets eaten first.
*Muffins take a much shorter cooking time. Check them after 20 minutes.
*On high humidity days, I’ve had to increase the cooking time. Just keep checking every 10 minutes or so.
*Is great served plain, with butter or softened cream cheese.
In commemoration of the birth of our First President, I offer this recipe named after his wife. Although I don’t know how it came to be named after the First Lady, I seriously doubt it reaches back into the early years of our country. Who developed this candy? I don’t know, but I’m certainly glad they did.
MARTHA WASHINGTON CANDY
1 stick butter, melted
1 lb. Angel Flake Coconut
1 lb. pecans, chopped fine – but not too fine
1 can Eagle Brand milk
1 1/2 lb. powdered sugar
1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly.
2. Roll into 1″ balls.
3. Chill for 30 minutes.
4. Melt 2) 6 oz. packages chocolate chips with 4 oz. paraffin in double boiler. Keep the heat on low.
5. Using toothpicks, dip each ball into melted chocolate to coat thoroughly.
6. Place dipped balls onto waxed paper covered cookie sheet to set.
7. Remove toothpicks.
*The taste of this candy is very much like an Almond Joy, except for the pecans. And substituting or adding pecans never hurt anything. Fresh, local pecans are best if you can get them. I didn’t realize it for years, but they do make a difference in the taste.
*The first time I made this recipe, I was offended by the paraffin and tried to omit it. It was a real mess and wouldn’t set.
*Keep most of the dough balls in the refrigerator while you’re dipping, bringing out only a few at at time. They quickly warm to room temperature and will slide off the toothpick when dipping.
*Store them in the refrigerator except when you bring them out to serve; this keeps the chocolate from getting warm and sticky.
*After they set up on the waxed paper cookie sheet and there is a little hole left in the top of each piece of candy where the toothpick has been removed. This bothers my husband (hereafter known as the Creative Perfectionist). His solution is to take spoonfuls of the melted chocolate and drizzle it over the tops, filling the holes. This makes a lovely presentation and gives the look of expensive, handmade chocolates. Well, they are handmade, but they aren’t all that expensive.
*Normally I don’t like “shortcut” candy, cakes, etc., but this is a really good recipe with a wonderful flavor.
1 pkg. yeast
1/2 c. warm water
1 T. sugar
Dissolve yeast in sugar and water to prove.
1/1/4 t. salt
1/4 c. sugar
5 1/2 c. flour
1 c. water
3 T. oil
Mix together and knead for about 8 minutes.
Oil large mixing bowl, place dough in bowl and turn once.
Cover with a clean tea towel and put in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about an hour.
Place risen dough on floured board, punch down, work out the air pockets.
Shape into loaves, and place into greased pans.
Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk.
Bake at 350 until done; depending on your oven this could be from 35 minutes to 1 hour.
*When I want a wheat loaf, I dissolve the tailings from a bag of Raisin Bran cereal in a little warm water or milk, then add it to the mixture. Years ago, I bought regular bran and wheat germ, but when I added them to the recipe my husband said it gave it an unpleasant texture. For some reason, the fine stuff at the bottom of the cereal bag works well, which is especially nice because I don’t want it floating in my cereal bowl and it seems like a waste to just compost it.
*Contrary to what I used to think, it is possible to over-oil the bowl.
*For taller loaves, I use two different sizes of pans – one large and one medium. When I use both large pans, the loaves are smaller.
*For a nicer crust, I butter the top about midway through the baking.
*I have discovered the Best Place for the dough to rise. Well, at least in the winter. Under our Vermont Castings wood stove. I couldn’t believe it. It rose twice as fast but wasn’t too hot. Perfect.
*Sometimes I just don’t get a good rising. Maybe it’s a humid day. I don’t know. But when that happens, it can be used for croûtons. This was my husbands idea and it was a really good one. The big puffy loaves don’t make nice croûtons but a dense loaf is just right.
*My hands just aren’t what they used to be and I can’t knead the dough, so I use my heavy duty mixer. It’s a Kenwood (an English product), not a Kitchen Aid, but it works every bit as good and cost a fraction. I bought it about 1994 and didn’t want a Whirlpool product, because at that time they were contributing to Planned Parenthood (but not anymore, as I understand it). Here‘s a more current list.
These pictures are from the October 1, 1943 issue of The Family Circle magazine. Some magazines haven’t changed all that much over the years. Family Circle has changed a lot. In ’43, it contained only 20 pages, included current events and a movie review, a short story and was printed in black and white on paper which was not slick. The cost is not printed on the cover, but I’m guessing that it was about .05. (Click on the image for an enlarged view, then click again on the magnifying glass. It will then be readable.)
The Sweetheart Toilet Soap ad is particularly nice for me, because that’s the brand of soap my mother bought for our bathroom (besides the Lava that was for my dad. Boy, I only used that soap once!). Sweetheart was pink and pretty and had a lovely fragrance.
I’ll be scanning in lots of vintage ads, recipes and illustrations and will share some of them here. I’m working on an altered book. It’s been awhile since I’ve been in an altered book round robin, and my sister (Fran) suggested we invite Abby and Cathy to join us in one with the theme of “Vintage Kitchens”. We will each choose a more specific theme for our own books then write a few rules for the others to follow when they work on ours.
Fran has chosen the 1950s, with emphasis on the colors of turquoise and pink.
For mine, I’ve chosen a 1940’s look with red and white, and accents of green and yellow.
When I was growing up, homemade ice cream was a simple fact at summertime celebrations. We simply always had it. After a trip to Owasso to the automated ice house – where one put in a coin (a quarter? surely more than a dime?) and down the shaft and out the door shot a huge solid block of ice – my mother would stir up a batch of mix for the ice cream freezer.
I suppose there were electric machines available then, but I’d never seen any and we certainly didn’t have one. Ours was the old-fashioned hand crank type. The women were always in the house where it was cool-er (no a/c), and the men would gather outside by the water hydrant (I don’t know why that was the designated spot, but it just was) to chop up the block of ice with an ice pick and take turns at turning the crank. Just who the men were besides Daddy and my older brother is lost in the mists of my memory. Probably uncles and maybe cousins and certainly my brother’s friends. What I can remember is the good-natured buzz of conversation and how that was the place I was drawn to.
Inevitably, I would beg for a turn at the crank and Daddy would try to talk me out of it, telling me that I wouldn’t like it because it was hard to turn. But I would insist that I could do it and he would let me try. About 2 rounds, maybe 3. It was really stiff and more than my skinny little arms could handle. Then I’d drift back and forth between the women and the men, asking if it was ready yet. It took forever. About 30 – 45 minutes.
Joe and I bought our first freezer during our second year of marriage. It was kind of a big deal because we didn’t have a lot of spending money and $15.00 was a lot back when minimum wage was $1.65 an hour. That one is long gone and we’re about to wear out our 4th one. Nothing fancy for us; we’re not the kind of people who have new-fangled gadgets like the kind that doesn’t take ice or ice cream salt (although I am curious). Not even a White Mountain (on sale: $248.00). We buy cheap ones at Wal-Mart and our current one was an end of season close-out that cost $9.00.
For some reason, we’ve made more this summer than ever before in any one season. We do like our snacks and summer in the south is just too hot to keep the oven long enough to bake 4 trays of cookies (always one tray at a time) or a pie or even a cake. Our summertime desserts are usually No Bake Cookies, Rice Krispie Treats or homemade ice cream.
Last week was the first time we’ve ever made vanilla. I don’t care for vanilla unless it is topped with strawberries or peaches or chocolate syrup or an accompaniment to cake, so we’ve always made a flavor. Our usual choices are banana nut, strawberry or peach. If we don’t have any fresh fruit, then we make chocolate. Once, years ago, we made blackberry. It was a lovely shade of purple, but please learn from my mistakes and strain out the seeds first. Sheesh.
The reason for making plain vanilla? It was a special request from our 5 year old grandson. So we added an extra egg, more vanilla extract and increased the heavy cream to make it a little more special.
We use the same basic recipe, with a few variations which I’ll list at the bottom.
*This recipe uses raw eggs. There are lots of recipes available for a cooked custard ice cream, which I’ve never tried myself.
BASIC HOMEMADE ICE CREAM – makes 1 gallon
In a blender, mix:
2 cups sugar
1 cup of milk
2 cups heavy cream
fruit – about 3 bananas and a dash of nutmeg or 2 cups of strawberries or 5 peaches, peeled and pitted
Blend until smooth. Pour into ice cream freezer container. Add another cup of chopped fresh fruit cut into 1/2″ pieces. For Banana add 1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts.
Fill container with whole milk up to the fill line.
Place container into bucket and lock on the motor. Add alternate layers of ice and rock salt and plug it in and let the motor turn until it stops (check on it every few minutes and add more ice and salt as needed) which will be anywhere from half an hour to an hour.
Important: Before taking off the lid, brush off all the ice and salt and pull the container up out of the water/ice mixture. I didn’t do this one time and salt got into the ice cream and it was inedible. Now I even slowly pour about a cup of water over the lid before removing it to make sure that no salt will invade the mixture.
It will probably be very soft right after the motor stops. My dad always let it set to “cure” but I usually can’t wait, so we have a serving right away. Joe has put the Tupperware box in the freezer ahead of time so that the ice cream doesn’t melt even a little bit in a room temperature container.
This recipe makes a very scoop-able ice cream (after sitting in the deep freeze for a few hours) but the texture is going to be different than a commercial product. It’s not that it has ice crystals (it doesn’t) but it’s just not as slick and smooth. I like that about it and I really like the incredibly fresh and pungent flavor that the fruit gives it. All natural. No artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM
Use the same basic recipe as above, but omit the fruit and add 1/2 cup powdered cocoa (not the drink mix) and 1 cup of chopped nuts. Joe likes to add chocolate chips in the blender; I don’t because no matter how long I blend it, it still has hard little bits of the choc. chips.
1 can of Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk can be substituted for the heavy cream then reduce sugar to 1 cup. When I’ve done this, it was because I was out of cream, but had the Eagle Brand and some Carnation canned milk, which I also used. The outcome will be different than with the cream, but it’s probably lower in cholesterol.
Once I didn’t have any whole milk or cream, and used 1 can of Carnation and reconstituted dry milk. This is probably much, much healthier than the cream & whole milk type, but is more like ice milk than ice cream.
It’s also a nice touch to put the serving bowls in the freezer ahead of time, especially if you’re going to be eating it outside.
As I said, after being in the deep freeze awhile, it makes nice scoops. Joe put the scoops into Braum’s (a nice Oklahoma company) ice cream cones for our grandsons, poured some sprinkles in a bowl and dipped them. They thought it was grand.
My mother made the best vegetable soup in the whole world. Mine is similar and very good, but hers was great. And of course, she didn’t follow a recipe or write it down. Mostly it was just what she had on hand, although she always started with bacon, and since both of our sons don’t eat meat now, I nearly always omit it. But it really is better with the bacon.
I don’t follow a written recipe either, but I will try to give approximations. This is a very flexible and forgiving soup; if I don’t have one ingredient, maybe I have something else that will work. For instance, I like to add about 1/2 c. of barley after it’s boiling to thicken it. If I’m out of barley, then I grate a raw potato. Also, I like a variety of colors, so I put in corn (frozen or canned), or maybe some chopped yellow squash. For something green, it’s green beans, peas or broccoli. When using broccoli, I don’t add it until about the last 1/2 hour or it will turn to mush; very unpleasant. When our youngest son was a teenager and nearly all he ate was meat, surprisingly, this soup was one of his favorite meals. Inexplicably, vegetables that he wouldn’t have touched if served separately, were eaten along with everything else. I even used to sneak in a turnip once in awhile because it looks about like potato in the general mix. So, here goes:
1-2 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
herbs and spices (optional)
3 carrots, scraped and chopped
Tomato product: sauce, paste, canned tomatoes
6+ potatoes (I like a lot of them) peeled and chopped
yellow vegetables, chopped if necessary
green vegetables, chopped if necessary
1. Turn burner to medium heat and add olive oil.
2. When oil is hot – but not smoking – onion, celery, & garlic.
3. After vegetables become translucent, add salt and pepper, paprika,
chili powder, & oregano.
4. Add carrots.
5. Pour in about 2 quarts of water and tomato product.
6. Add potatoes, yellow and green vegetables.
7. Bring to a boil and add barley or grated potato.
7. Stir occasionally. It will stick and burn if left completely unattended (especially if you add barley).
8. Set heat on low and cook for about 2 hours.
~This is a very nourishing, thrifty and comforting soup. For a small family, it will make several meals.
~If you want to add bacon, fry it first, then crumble and use the bacon grease to saute the onion, celery and garlic.
~If you use canned tomatoes, the broth will be thinner, of course. Tomato paste will make a thick broth, more stew-like. When I use paste, I cut the vegetables in bigger chunks.
~Leftover spaghetti sauce can even be used for the tomato base. If so adjust the other herbs/spices accordingly.
~Add water while it’s cooking if it looks like it needs it, or you like it thinner.
~Use your own judgment about what leftover vegetables you would like to add. Personally, with the exception of lima beans, I don’t care for beans in vegetable soup but if you do, go ahead and put them in.
~Omit all the herbs and spices if you prefer the flavor of the vegetables alone. Or, if you want to make it more like minestrone, eliminate the chili powder and add basil and beans.
~I’ve never been successful in adding macaroni or rice to this recipe, but if you know just when to add them, try it. Neither one should be put in for the whole cooking time.
~My mother added shredded cabbage, but this is something else I can’t seem to get right. Maybe I’ve tried to use too much. Maybe she just put in about a cup of shred. It was very good in hers.
~Even though our sons are grown and gone from home, I still make a large kettle of this soup. It’s actually better the second day after it’s been refrigerated overnight. And it’s so easy to just re-heat a couple of bowls for lunch on Saturday when we’ve been working out in the yard or come in from church on Sunday.
~On subsequent days, it will look like it needs water added before reheating, but only add a little, if any at all. It becomes more liquid as it heats.
~If reheating on the stovetop instead of a microwave, stir fairly constantly while heating. It sticks and burns easily.
~Cornbread is the best accompaniment, but cheese and crackers are good, too. My husband likes it with hot, buttered toast.