Yes I yearned for and received a simpler way of life, on a 20 acre parcel of land. We grow our own food—preserve it, prepare it serve it at the dinner table and/or store it for later use.
The food we eat tastes incredibly than we could purchase; prepared, in the store prepared. You will be surprised how great it really tastes; pesticide free.
We are in an age of choices. We can purchase and eat fresh cherries from Chili in January – avocados from Israel throughout the year.
The price we pay for this progress is not just the cost of these unseasonal foods; but, it is an alienation from our deepest instincts to saw, reap and store.
I still have a hunger in me for those old ways. We are drawn to the simplicity of those earlier times—Survival was a reward rather than an expectation.
Perhaps, we no longer need to follow the progress of the seasons to ensure our survival. We can still participate in seasonal activities; and, we will find our lives immeasurably enriched by doing so.
The sowing of seeds, even if it is just a pot of parsley, chives or any number of plants that grow well in flower pots and increase the flavor or the food that you may be cooking. The fresh herbs have so much more flavor than do the dried, packaged herbs we can purchase in the store. Properly cared for it can last for years. Watching them grow in the window seal is the beginning of a relationship with the plants that germinate, the picking of apples from the garden follows the beauty of the spring blossom and the slow growth of the tiny green fruit to their full-flushed maturity when we can enjoy the satisfaction of our own harvest.
I hope very much that you will be inspired to take some time out of our busy and hectic modern life to experience for yourself the pleasure of the seasons; to discover the enjoyment to be had in baking, pickling and preserving; to try the simple natural remedies and fragrant beauty products and potpourris; to celebrate the progress of the year with seasonal decorations and foods.
Break the desired number of eggs into a shallow greased baking dish or pan, or into individual greased custard cups or casseroles. Dot with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tablespoons of cream or milk may be poured over each yolk to prevent the yoke from shriveling during the baking and to case the white to bake with a delicate custard-like texture. Bake in a moderate oven (350 deg. F.) uncovered from 12 to 20 minutes, or covered for 10 to 15 minutes, or until of the desired firmness. Serve at once directly from the baking dish. Baked egg will continue to cook in the hot dish after they are removed from the oven when they are just slightly softer than desired.
BAKED EGGS IN TOMATO CUPS
5 Medium tomatoes 5 eggs
½ teaspoon salt 5 slices bacon
2 tablespoons butter Parsley
Wash tomatoes, remove core at stem end, and scoop out enough of the pulp to provide space for the egg. Save pulp. Sprinkle salt inside of tomatoes. Divide butter and put a portion into each tomato. Place in shallow greased baking pan and bake in a moderately hot oven (400 deg. F.) for 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven and quickly break an egg into each tomato cup. Pour removed tomatoes pulp around tomatoes. Return to oven and cook eggs to desired consistency (5 to 10 minutes). Meanwhile pan-broil bacon until crisp. Arrange tomatoes on hot platter, garnish with bacon and parsley. 5 servings.
Article #8 of 14
EGGS BAKED IN BACON RINGS
8 slices bacon Salt and pepper to taste
2½ slices bread Parsley
Pan-broil bacon in a heavy skillet until half done, remove to a plate. Pour off all drippings except 1 teaspoonful. Cut bread in rounds with a biscuit cutter to fit into bottom of rings in a muffin pan and brown on both sides in drippings. Place in bottom of muffin rings. Line side of each ring with 1 ½ strips of bacon. Break an egg into each ring and season with salt and pepper. Pour ¼ teaspoon bacon drippings over the top of each egg. Bake in a moderately slow oven (325 Deg. F.) for 20 minutes, covered or uncovered to the desired stage of doneness. Remove carefully with spatula to serve. Garnish with parsley. 5 servings.
EGGS BAKED IN POTATO NEST
¼ cup scalded milk 1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter 4 teaspoons ketchup
4 medium potatoes, cooked 4 eggs
and mashed 4 slices bacon
Salt and pepper to taste
Add hot milk and butter to hot potatoes. Beat until light and fluffy. Add seasonings, the beaten egg and again beat hard. Spread lightly in a greased glass pie plate, about 8 ½ inches in diameter. Make 4 depressions in surface and put 1 teaspoon ketchup in each. Break an egg into each depression. Lay strips of bacon over top, so each egg is covered and baked in moderately slow oven (325 deg. F.) until bacon is browned and eggs are cooked to preferred stage of doneness, about 20 to 25 minutes. 4 servings.
The olives packed commercially are grown in California or in Spain. The bulk of the California crop is made into ripe olives, minor portions being cured as green olives and green-ripe olives. The olives, grown in Spain are cured as green olives and are finished either with the pit or stuffed with pimiento. Olives are usually picked by hand. All are bitter when picked and are cured in a pickling solution to make them palatable.
Ripe Olives are royal purple when picked. In the pickling process they are held in a special brining solution. But at intervals they are removed from this brine and are subjected to jets of air which causes oxidation and develops their rich black color. After sufficient treatment they are packed in fresh brine in glass or tin, sealed and sterilized. Ripe olives are packed whole or chopped. Size, number in pack are indicated on labels.
Green-ripe Olives are picked ripe and pickled and brined similarly to the ripe olives. However, they are not brought into contact with air and their color ranges from a light green to a mottled brown. They are somewhat richer in oil than are other types of olives.
Green or Spanish Olives are picked green and held in a curing solution for a short time, then rinsed and held in a salt brine. After several weeks they are packed in a light brine and shipped to this country where the brine is brought to the required strength. Olives are packed and sealed, but do not require sterilization. (Always packed in glass.) Queen olives are the large variety, Manzanilla the smaller. Either may be packed with pits or stuffed with pimiento. The size of the olive largely determines its price. Green olives sometimes develop scum when held for some time. This does not indicate spoilage, but it is natural brine development. Olives keep well as long as they are covered with brine, but darken and spoil when exposed to the air.
Commercially packed pickles are made from cucumbers cured many months in brine. A smaller amount of quick-cute dill and sweet and sour pickles are also produced. To cure pickles, young cucumbers are picked when they reach the desired stage of maturity and are then washed and packed into wooden tanks in brines of different strengths and held from six months to two years, depending upon supply and market price. Curing gives pickles bright green color and firm texture. They are then “freshened” in fresh water until salt is removed, then are packed with the various combinations of vinegar, spices, dill and other herbs, sugar and vegetables to make different varieties and packs.
The largest cucumbers, 800-1800 to the 40 gallon cask, are used to make dill pickles. The midget size, 20,000 to 40 gallon cask, is used to make sweet pickles. The in-between sizes are used for sweet, mixed and sliced pickles mixtures.
THE ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT
Bread and biscuits rise, popovers pop, and soufflés puff, because of the magic influence of leavening agents. Steam, air an gas, are the three agents that leaven or lighten all baked foods.
Steam alone stretches the elastic walls of cream puffs and popover, and makes them expand and lighten. Steam helps to leaven all baked foods.
Air is actually a leavening in any batter that is beaten, since the beating and lightens the product. Eggs, particularly egg whites, have the physical ability to incorporate expands during baking and lightens the product. Eggs, particularly egg whites, have the physical ability to incorporate especially large amounts of air. Beaten egg whites should be stiff and hold their shape, but never dull or dry. If they are overbeaten to the dry stage, the structure loses most of its elasticity, and is not able to stretch, expand, and lighten when heated.
Gas is set free whenever baking powder, soda and acid, or yeast are used. This gas is always in the form of carbon dioxide, and disappears from the food when it is baked. The action of baking powder, soda, and yeast is somewhat more involved than that of steam or air and requires further explanation.
Three different types of baking powder are commonly used in the home, all containing baking soda and cornstarch, plus certain acid reacting compounds which vary in nature and amount. The powders are named from the acid reacting ingredients. They are: (1) tartrate, containing cream of tartary and tartaric acid; (2) phosphate, containing calcium acid phosphate; and (3) sulfate-phosphate, so-called combination (or double action) baking powder, containing sodium aluminum sulfate and calcium acid phosphate. Since the food laws, in general, require that the ingredients be named on the label, you can readily determine which type you are using.
The leavening gas given off by all three types is the same, but the rate of formation and the residue varies considerably. Baking soda is a chemical compound which contains combined carbon dioxide. In the presence of water, it reacts with the residue varies considerably. In the presence of water, it reacts with the acid reacting ingredient of the baking powder to liberate this carbon dioxide in gaseous form. In this manner the batter or dough is permeated with very fine bubbles of gas, which leaven it (make it light). The only function of the inert cornstarch is to keep the active chemical ingredients separated and inactive while in the container. It has been discovered that a major portion of the starch formerly used in combination type baking powders may be replaced with a specially precipitated calcium carbonate, that not only keeps the baking powder stable but also has the important advantage of enriching the baking food with substantial amounts of needed calcium.
The rate of gas formation differs according to the type of baking powder. Tartrate and phosphate baking powders have the major portion of the action in the cold batter. Sulfate-phosphate (combination type) baking powders have the lesser action in the cold batter, with the greater action in the oven
To preserve the strength of baking powder, It is essential to keep it dry. Keep the container tightly closed and in a dry place where the temperature is uniform; never let it stand open in a humid kitchen, and never put a wet spoon into the powder. Baking powder remains active longest in a dry climate. It usually can be depended upon for at least two years. When it fails to give the required volume to a baked product, it should be replaced with fresh powder. Slight deterioration is indicated when the powder contains soft lumps; a hard caked condition indicates advanced deterioration.
Careful measurement is very important. Any type of baking powder is fluffy and will settle down in the container when subject to vibration, as occurs in shipment. It is, therefore, advisable to shake the package well before the initial opening to insure more accurate measurement. Always measure baking powder by the level teaspoon.
In substituting one type of baking powder for another, it must be remembered that the same amount of tartrate of phosphate baking powder if required, but one-fourth less of a combination, (sulfate-phosphate) powder should be used in any batter or dough. For example if a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of tartrate baking powder, it is only necessary to use ¾ teaspoon of combination powder. An excess of baking powder tends to produce course texture and dryness. When buttermilk is used in a recipe, both baking powder and baking soda may be used. In this case, the soda serves to neutralize the acidity of the milk. Avoid excess amounts, that is more than the baked product, and will darken the color.
In substituting one type of baking powder for another, it must be remembered that the same amount of tartrate or phosphate baking powder is required, but one-fourth less of a combination, (sulfate-phosphate) powder should be used in any batter or dough. For example, if a recipe call for 1 teaspoon of tartrate baking powder, it is only necessary to use ¾ teaspoon of combination powder. An excess of any baking powder tends to produce coarse texture and dryness. When buttermilk is used in a recipe, both baking powder and baking soda may be used. In this case, the soda serves to neutralize the acidity of the milk. Avoid excess amounts, that is more than the can be neutralized. Excess amounts, that is more than the baked product, and will darken the color.
Advance preparation, if desired, is satisfactory with batters and dough’s made with baking powder. The batter or dough may be mixed a few hours in advance of baking, and stored in the refrigerator. When this is done, cake batter should be poured into the pans, and biscuits shaped before storing, to avoid manipulation after storing. In waffle and griddle cake batter, which is stirred and poured as it is baked, with the result that some leavening is lost, a combination (Sulfate-phosphate) baking powder is preferable.
Note: Leavenings behave differently at high altitudes. With decreased atmospheric pressure, more gas is produced with the same amount of leavening. Recipes must be adjusted for use in localities in high altitudes, the method of adjustment is usually explained in the various state colleges and extension services.
Homemaker’s Handbook — For Buying Staples – Article #2
All-purpose flour is a relatively low protein flour that is made by blending hard and soft wheat flours. Hard wheat is a spring-sown wheat raised in the northern states, while the soft wheat is sown in the fall in the middle and more southerly states. This flour is designed for general household use for making both quick and yeast breads, pastries, cookies, and some cakes.
Barley flour is made by removing the outer coat form barley and then putting the barley through a pearling machine a number of times. The shelled off coats are sifted together and sold for flour. It has limited uses, but is useful for thickening soups.
Bread flour is made by milling hard wheat, and has a higher percentage of protein (11-12.5 %) and lower percentage of starch than flours made of the soft wheat. Because it has greater power to absorb liquid, it will produce more loaves of bread from a given weight than does and all-purpose or soft-wheat flour. It is sold unblended, chiefly to commercial bakeries for making only bread and rolls.
Buckwheat flour is a mixture of ground buckwheat seeds and white flour. Buckwheat is an herb rather than a cereal grass. Its seeds are ground and sifted through a courser bolting cloth than that used for cereal flours, which allows particles of hull to pass through, and gives the flour its characteristic flavor and dark color. The white flour is added to modify the naturally strong, bitter flavor of buckwheat.
Cake flour is milled especially from the highest grade of soft wheat for the chief purpose of making fine cakes. It contains a high percentage of starch and a low percentage of the protein, gluten.
Corn flour is finely ground and sifter cornmeal. It is one of the flours used to replace wheat flour in the diet of those with wheat-flour allergy.
Enriched flour is ordinary white flour with vitamin B1, and iron added to improve its nutritive value. The purpose is to return to the flour some of the nutritive value that is lost in the refining process. It is not different for ordinary flour in use, appearance, or flavor, but it is much more desirable from a nutritive standpoint.
Since the average person consumes considerably amounts of bread and other bakery products daily, it is important that these foods carry a share of the vitamins and mineral necessary for health. In the process of making refined flours, meals, and many breakfast cereal, wheat and other cereals are stripped of the outer coating and the germ. These parts contain almost all of the vitamins and minerals. During World War 2 most white flour was enriched by the addition of certain vitamins and minerals making it more nearly equal to the whole grain product in food value. The enrichment of all white bread was made mandatory as a war time measure by national legislation, and in some sections of the South enriched corn meal was also available.
Graham, Entire Wheat, and Whole Wheat flours are all the same. It is made by grinding the entire wheat grain, bran and all, usually of hard wheat. It is used in making 1—percent whole wheat breads, and mixed with white flour to make fractional whole wheat breads, and to some extent pastry and cakes.
Gluten flour is a special flour designed for making bread for diabetics. It is very high in gluten, being prepared by removing a large percentage of starch from hard wheat flour.
Oat flour is made by dehulling the oats and grinding the remaining groats to the desired fineness. It is brushed, not sifted through a sieve. It cannot be sifted because of its high oil content. Oat flour is a whole grain flour with limited uses as a stabilizer for commercial ice cream, and for the making of some soap and face powder. It is also used in poultry feeding.
Pastry or Soft Wheat flour is milled from soft or winter wheat and has a high starch, low gluten content. It is used more in the South than in the North for all kinds of quick breads and pastries. A good yeast bread can be made with it, but it is different from the bread made with hard wheat flour. Soft wheat yeast breads had less liquid, requires less kneading, more yeast, and more sugar than bread made with hard wheat or all-purpose flour.
Potato flour, Prepared from dehydrated potatoes, is a white velvety flour especially suited for making muffins and sponge cakes, and for a thickening agent if pies and fruit sauces. It may b combined with other flours to provide a change in flavor and texture.
Pumpernickel flour is a dark rye flour made by grinding whole rye grain somewhat coarser than for regular rye flour. It is often called rye meal, and is used in making pumpernickel bread and Boston brown bread.
Rice flour is milled from the cracked particles, incompletely debranned, and otherwise imperfect rice grains left from making head rice. It is practically pure white in color. For best result, rice flour should be combined with other flours, or used in combination with eggs and milk. If not used in this way, a grainy heavy product results.
Rye flour is a mixture of milled rye with enough gluten added from hard wheat flours to enable it to rise when made into yeast doughs. White rye flours are made from the inner part of the kernel, whereas the dark rye flours are taken from the outer portions of the kernel.
Self-rising flour is a soft wheat flour combined with salt and baking powder and sifted many times. In some brands, one or more additional ingredients such as sugar, powdered milk, and shortenings are added. The quick breads, cakes, and pastry mixes on the market are types of self-rising flours.
Stone-ground whole wheat or Buckwheat flour is prepared by grinding the grains or seeds between stones. The hear or germ is left in as these flours are not bolted (sifted). They make breads of superior flavor.
Soy flour manufacture began as a by-product in the extraction of oils used in producing foods, paints, etc. from soy beans. These flours are designated as full-fatted, low-fat, and defatted. The full-fat flour contains all the natural oil of the bean, the low-fat flour has 5 to 7 percent of the oil, and the defatted, 1 to 3 per cent of the oil, and most of the coloring matter removed. The low-fat flour is most commonly used in the home; the full-fat is sold in largest quantities to the food industry.
In the making of the full-fat flour beans of high quality are cracked between corrugated rolls and dehulled. They are then debittered by one of the several heat and moisture treatments, dried, cooled and milled into flour. In making of low fat flour, the dehulled debittered, dried beans are cracked and passed to a continuous screw expeller fitted with a cold water shaft to prevent scorching . When the required oil is extracted, the beans are cooled and milled. In the making of defatted flour, the oil is removed from the dried beans by a solvent extraction process, and then milled. There is relatively little of the defatted flour on the market. Soy flour is used alone, or in combination with wheat flour in the making of quick and yeast breads, cakes, cookies, and pastry; and it is commonly used as a meat “extender.” It has a high protein content, and the use of soy flour is highly recommended as a source of this and other essential nutrients.
1 tablespoon plain gelatin (1 envelope)
¼ cup cold water
¼ teaspoon grated orange rind
1 cup orange juice
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
Pinch of salt
½ cup sugar
1 seedless orange ¾ cup whipping cream
Soften gelatin in the cold water; then place over hot water and heat until gelatin is dissolved. Allow orange rind to stand in orange juice for 2 minutes. Strain. Discard Rind. Combine orange juice with lemon juice (save out 1 teaspoon lemon juice), salt and sugar. Add gelatin, stir thoroughly, and chill until thick and syrupy. Then whip with egg beater until light and fluffy. Whip chilled cream until thick; then add the teaspoon lemon juice and continue beating until stiff. Fold whipped cream thoroughly but lightly into gelatin and turn into a mold which has been rinsed with cold water. Chill until firm. Unmold* out onto a chilled serving plate as you would a molded salad. Garnish with sections of peeled orange and whipped cream, if desired. 5 servings.
Note: Unmolding the salad: The molded salad must be unmolded carefully or all of the work that was put into it to make it beautiful will be lost. Many women have their pet theories about unmolding and some seem to have difficulty, but the process is very simple if care and patience direct the effort. The unmolding is like the making of the salad, if it is carelessly or hurriedly done, the results will certainly be a failure. All that is needed is a thin, sharp-bladed knife, a pan of hot water that will be large enough for the mold to be dipped into it, and a flat plate of the appropriate size to hold the mold and any additional garnish without crowding. The knife should be run around the edge of the mold to a depth of about ½ inch only, and very close to the edge of the container to loosen the bottom edge. Then the mold is dipped quickly to within ½ inch of the top in hot water. By shaking the mold very gently, it can be quickly seen if the salad is loosened; if not it should be dipped quickly again. It is much better to dip two or three times quickly and stop at just the right stage than to leave the mold in the hot water too long the first time the first time and melt the gelatin. Then the plate should be centered over the top of the mold and both mold and plate inverted at the same time. Then the metal or glass mold can be lifted off carefully and the edge of the platter garnished with greens, fruits, or vegetables in a beautiful way. The salad can be put back in the refrigerator for a few minutes until ready to serve, but should be unmolded as near the time it is needed as practical.
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Wash DRIED PEACHES, PEARS, FIGS OR RAISINS toughly but quickly in cold water. Barely cover with lukewarm water, cover and let stand for 1 to 3 hours. Then heat fruit and simmer, covered, until tender (I5 to 20 minutes) in same water in which it was soaked. Add sugar to suit taste, allowing from 2 tablespoons to 1/3 cup for each ½ pound of fruit. Amount will depend on tartness of fruit and on personal taste; many persons prefer to add no sugar at all.
For variation, a combination of dried fruits may be cooked together in the same manner.
Wash raisins, put into colander or sieve and place over saucepan of simmering water. Cover and steam 10 minutes or until raisins are puffed. Puffed raisins give an unusual flavor and are particularly desirable to use in cake, pudding and cookies.
Seedless oranges washed and cut in slices about 3/8 inch thick may be poached like apples. These make an attractive garnish for baked ham.
Combine 1 cup water, 2 cups sugar and the juice of 1 lemon (3 tablespoons) in a ten-inch aluminum skillet or a shallow saucepan and simmer fine minutes., and drop orange slices into the hot syrup; simmer until tender. Lift out and serve hot with bacon or sausage. The syrup may be used several times if a little more water and sugar are added each time. 5 servings.