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Kitchen Korner - Archives 2008

December 2009

In many ways the past month has been filled with many distractions for all of us. Some good, other’s somewhat frustrating.

We’ve finally been getting the nice mild weather we had hoped would have been here in June and July. There were a couple of days in early November, which seemed warmer than what was occurring in early July.

I remember in early July when Maurice and I were at the Bluegrass Festival at Stewiacke River Park, and I thought I was going to freeze. A couple of days in November, I didn’t need a sweater. This month our frustration level increased with all the fuss, confusion and frustration regarding the H1N1 vaccination clinics. Who could get them, the long line ups and sheer fear about being exposed to the flu. Some people are so worried they have been staying home.
It certainly has not been good for the economy. Just think about the lost classes by students, and the huge drain on the economy, with so many people missing work either because of illness or standing for hours in long line-ups.

Now they tell us the wave might have hit is peak and we might get a third wave in February or March. Thank heavens it was not worse than what we have experienced.

When I was looking through my files, to see what would satisfy my sweet tooth, I came across a recipe from Alsleigh Share, Station Road, Londonderry. I chose this one, because Maurice loves banana muffins and chocolate chip cookies. This is a combination of both.

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp soda
4 tbsp milk
tsp salt
1 cups flour
2 to 3 bananas, mashed
tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips (coated in flour to prevent sinking in the muffin)

Preheat oven to 350*F. Cream together the sugar and oil. Add beaten egg and mix until fluffy. Add bananas, milk, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. Sift soda, salt and flour. Add chocolate chips. Put into greased muffin tins (or tins lined with muffin wrappers) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Continuing on the road to more chocolate, I wanted to share with you a recipe for Skor Squares sent to me by Freda MacDonald.

Skor squares

1 box Ritz crackers blue box
1 can Eagle Brand milk
1 pkg of Skor Chippits.

Save 1/4 cup for later method

Crush the box of Ritz until fine
Add the can of Eagle Brand milk and chippits

Bake n 350 oven for 20 minutes.
Cool, ice with white icing and sprinkle remaining chippits on top

November 2009

Last month I mentioned about the leaves turning so quickly. But having said that I certainly did not anticipate hearing on the radio there was snow in Oxford and salt trucks out on the road in Mahone Bay before the month was half over.

They’re still trying to collect pumpkins from the fields for Hallowe’en; farmers are trying to get the last of the corn harvested for silage; and some still have potatoes laying in water soaked fields. Winter’s coming far too fast for me. Before we know it the dairy cases will be prominently displaying Egg Nog, available only at Christmas time.

Less than two weeks from now (November 9th) voters in this area will be marking their ballots to choose Bill Casey’s successor. There are six candidates including one independent to choose from.

Just after the last issue was completely distributed, I received a good recipe from Christine Urquhart in Masstown. Here’s what she had to say, “This is an old family recipe that my grandmother Helen Hayman always made for Sunday's and other special occasions. Now a days we probably will shudder at the amount of eggs but believe me, it is a wonderful tasting pie that is good either hot or cold.

Custard Pie
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups milk, scalded
large pie shell

Combine eggs, salt & sugar; add milk and vanilla slowly. Line pie plate with pastry, pour in filling and sprinkle with nutmeg.
Bake at 450'f for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 325'f for 30-40 minutes longer. An inserted knife will come out clean when done.

I’ve been asking for some Christmas recipes. Freda MacDonald in Sydney sent me one quite some time ago. I probably should have published it early, so it would have had lots of time to age. Maurice says he thinks dark fruit cake should be made in January, or prior to summer so it has lots of time to age. Just like good cheddar cheese.

Dark Fruit Cake
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tesp baking soda
2 eggs beaten
1 jar mincemeat
1 can eagle brand milk
2 cups mixed fruit
1 cup cherries cut up
1 cup walnuts

Mix in order given and bake in a tube pan. Grease and flour lightly. Bake in 300 oven for 1hour and 30 minutes.

I always like it when young adults submit recipes of their efforts in the kitchen. Ashleigh Sharpe, Station Road, Londonderry is a case in point. Over the months she has sent me may recipes. I chose this one, because first of all I am diabetic, but also shortbreads are popular at Christmas time.

Diabetic Shortbread Cookies
1 cups sifted icing sugar
1 cup margarine
1 egg
1 tsp maple flavouring
2 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

Mix all ingredients together. Roll dough into waxed paper and refrigerate until cold. Preheat oven to 350*F and slice dough into cookies. Bake for 7 or 8 minutes until golden.


October 2009

Now that fall is officially here, the leaves are turning, most of the gardens are finished as is most of the pickling and preserves. However, still time to make more beet pickles or some additional apple and fruit pies.

Most avid kitchen fans long ago made the traditional Christmas Fruit Cake so it would have plenty of time to garner all its flavours. Of course still a lot of season baking and battering down the hatches for the oncoming winter.

If anyone has some favourite Christmas season recipes they wish to share, please send along within the next couple of weeks, to enable me to get some in the November issue. I’m not a fan of politics, but no doubt people are occasionally casting their eyes about wondering if there will be a federal by-election his fall to replace Bill Casey. Recently, I learned a date must be set on or before October 31st.

As most people have talked about before, summer started off slow, cold and rainy, but now that we are into fall, we are enjoying better and warmer weather than many days in June and July. Hopefully, warm days and cooler nights will continue for a couple more months. At the cost of furnace oil, I dread the thought of turning on the furnace.

Keeping busy in the kitchen and using the oven frequently is a way to take off the chill and rid the house of some of the dampness.

Since peppers are still prevalent in the garden, and Jack Frost has not taken his toll, I decided to publish the recipe submitted some time ago by Leslie MacLean, Glenholme.

Spiced Pepper Jelly:

5 cups coarsely chopped sweet pepper ( red or green)
1/4 cup finely chopped jalapenos
1 1/3 cups cider vinegar
1 tsp. salt
5 1/2 cups sugar
2 pouches liquid pectin

In food processor, chop sweet pepper until a coarse puree. In large heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring both peppers, vinegar and salt to boil; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add sugar and return to boil; boil rapidly for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in pectin and return from heat. Skim off any foam. Let cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ladle into hot sterilized jars; seal immediately with new lids. Process for 10 minutes in boiling water bath or store in refrigerator.

About the same time, I came across a great recipe from Freda MacDonald, of Sydney, who is an avid baker and spends a lot of time in the kitchen.

Lumber Mans Cake
Large cake cook in 9 x 13 pan

1st Mixture
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup w sugar
1 egg
1 tesp salt
1 tesp vanilla

2nd Mixture
1/2 pk dates
2 cups chopped apple
1 cup boiling water
Add to first mixture & bake in 300 oven for 45 min

3rd Mixture
8 tbsp butter
1 cup brown sugar
8 tbsp milk
2 cups coconut

After your cake is done mix this 3rd mixture and spread on the cake. Put back into the oven for 8 minutes or until golden brown.


September 2009

Last month, I was wondering if the rain would ever stop? Then in early August summer arrived. We went from cool sweater-required evenings to blistering heat and high humidity. I like it warm but not hot and humid. We didn’t even get an opportunity to get climatized.

Of course on the hottest two weekends, I was out of the kitchen selling t-shirts in two of the hottest areas in the region. With the temperature in the +/- 30 degree range, I was in the centre of a ball field in Sussex, NB. Some were saying that with the humidity, it felt like 42 degrees. It was even two uncomfortable to complain about the suffering.

Then the next weekend, it was the exhibition grounds at Middle Musquodoboit. Lucky for everyone there, a breeze was blowing daily, but even so it was almost unbearable. Dusty critters we were come nightfall. With a breeze blowing dust from the horse activities and everyone with their sweat glands turned up to maximum, you can’t imagine how much dust collects on one’s body.

Then came Hurricane Bill, and just as quickly as the high temperatures and humidity arrived, it disappeared. It was back to jacket required and a threat of frost in some areas. Either the weather if fickle or we just can’t stop complaining about it.

With summer activities paramount, the influx of new recipe submissoins has hit an all time low. With cooler weather and less humid, hopefully some more people withbe able to send off a few of their favourites.

John, a great family friend was telling me about two exciting things he helped prepare for the BBQ at a reunion:

Delicious BBQ Sausage Log

Take bacon and lay out on a flat service, weaving together, similar to criss-cross pastry crust, until you have a bacon blanket approximately 12 or 14 inches square.
Next take a variety flavours of larger sausages and remove from their casings. (Make sure some are Hot Italian). Mix the sausage meet together to form a large ball. Convert the ball into a log.
Place the sausage log in the centre of your weaved bacon blanket. Roll to wrap the bacon around the log, trying to cover all exposed parts. Fasten bacon blanket with toothpicks or metal skewers if required, but not necessary. You still need to be able to “roll” the log on the BBQ.

Get the BBQ real hot, add the sausage log. Reduce heat, and let cook for about two hours. While cooking, baste the log with a variety of BBQ sauces. (When cooked, the log should have enough glaze from the sauces, that it is almost impossible to see the weaving of the bacon).
Serve by cutting log as if cutting blocks of wood, or a jelly roll.

John mentioned another project undertaken for the same reunion.

Bacon filled Pork Loin

If your group is large enough use a whole pork loin, or cut in half for smaller groups.
Cut deep slits about of an inch apart lengthwise into the loin. The slits should be deep, (approximately three quarters of the way through), but not deep enough to cut the loin into pieces or for it to fall apart on the BBQ.
Lay strips of bacon into each of the slits. Season according to individual preference. Tie with meat cord or fasten with toothpicks to ensure bacon does not fall out, when turning. Add sauces as preferred, basting frequently. Cooking times vary according to size of loin. Probably 2 to 2.5 hours.

August 2009

Will the rain ever stop? This summer has been a downer in many ways, because the weather has not cooperated. It seems just about the time, the sun peaks through and looks at the calendar to see the weekend coming, it runs and hides.

So far by my calculation, we have only had one weekend (July10-12) this summer, when it didn’t rain between Thursday afternoon and lunch time on Sunday. Outdoor activities, such as flower and vegetable gardening, or even mowing the lawn has been a challenge.

Received a nice letter from Cathy Hayward, formerly of Londonderry. Cathy says she had been enjoying the Shoreline Journal, since her return to the area after spending 34 years in Yarmouth.

She included several of her favourite summer recipes, of which the most of them use local ingredients, and has used them so much, she had forgotten their original source. I chosen the following three:

Easy as Punch

2 Litres of Ginger Ale
48 oz Fruit Punch
48 oz Pineapple Juice
1 can frozen Rasberry concentrate

Mix together in a punch bowl. Add orange slices for garnish, (or steal Nancy (Langille Matthews beautiful frozen fruit ring – thanks Nancy, and lots of ice.

Fresh Strawberry Dressing

1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp liquide balsamic vinegar
1tsp liquid honey (optional)
1 tsp freshly ground pepper

Process all five ingredients until smooth. Use on fresh greens (I like romaine with a few halved strawberries and a handful of candied almonds. Or, use on spinach salad with strawberries. Or use it to perk up a tossed green garden salad, or……….use your imagination.
(This recipe makes about a cup of dressing. Don’t store it too long).

Raspberry Sales

3 cups Spinach leaves
cup feta cheese, crumbled
cup Pine nuts, toasted
2 cups chicken breasts cooked and diced (optional)
cup vinaigrette (see recipe below)
1 pear, halved and sliced
cup fresh raspberries

1. Combine spinach, cheese, nuts (and chicken) in a bowl and toss.
2. Pour in half of the vinaigrette. Do not toss.
3. Add fruit
4. Pour over the remaining vinaigrette. Do not toss.

2 Tbsp red onion, minced
2Tbsp sugar
1/4 Tsp dry mustard
Tsp salt
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil.
Combine in blender and chill.

Another cheese can be substituted for Feta, if desired. – I’m not a big feta fan).

In a pinch, commercial raspberry vinaigrette dressing (such as Kraft) can be used.

July 2009

Finally maybe we can have consistently nice weather so I can enjoy the BB-Q a bit more. As soon as spring arrives, I enjoy getting cooking on the grill, but I much prefer warm weather. Since late April on many of the nice days, I made up my mind, BB-Q was the way to go. In April and early May, dreary weather is expected and when its mealtime, it has really cooled off.

However, I don’t expect to have to put on a winter jacket to keep from freezing or blowing away in mid-June. However, that’s Nova Scotia. If you don’t like the weather, hang around for five minutes its sure to change.

Now that the weather finally warm up, it has brought along high humidity, which makes it seem warmer than it actually is. Great for those going camping or using their travel trailers, but I’m sure they wish the weekends would have less rain and lots more sunshine.

That’s my hope starting this weekend. Maurice and I are off to Moncton for a trade show for my t-shirts. The summer schedule is filling up fast, as we have an event somewhere almost every weekend until and including Labour Day. The BB-q will get lots of use, even if I have to do it under the canopy.

This month’s mailbox containing some interesting submissions from Doreen Smith, Parrsboro NS, who provided recipes for Sweet and Sour Sauce and Orzo Shrimp Stew. She also included the following note: “I enjoy the Shoreline and always look forward to the Kitchen Korner”.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

3/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup water

A friend of mine gave me this recipe and it is the only one I use now.

Orzo Shrimp Stew

2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 pound cooked shrimp
5 cups broccoli florets
1 cup uncooked orzo
1 can ( 14 1/2 oz. ) diced tomatoes
salt, pepper, basil to taste
2 tbsp. butter

Bring broth to a boil. Add broccoli, tomatoes and orzo. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add shrimp and remaining ingredients, continue simmering until orzo is tender.
Makes 4 - 1 3/4 cup servings.

Orzo is a pasta and looks just like rice. Superstore and Masstown Market sell it. This recipe is from a magazine and I have used it many times as it is very good. With the next edition at the end of July for the month of August, it would be nice to receive some pickling and preserve recipes, as the gardens will be delivering lots of fruits and vegetables.

June 2009

Although is has not been as nice a spring, as I would have hoped, the weather is finally starting to seem like summer. Not that I was intending on starting an open fire, but today, there were forest fine hazard warnings for Kings, Hants and Cape Breton Counties.
My impression of the weather we have had, was cold and wet, and not to my liking. I was in total shock at a high fire index.

The weather is starting to beckon me to the outdoors, so it will be less time in the kitchen for a while. However, Debbie Weatherby, Belmont, came through with three great recipes. A different recipe, but Tomato Soup Cake is one of Maurice’s favourites, but comes behind the Radio Pudding, printed a few months ago.

Here’s a few of her comments: The Carrot Cake recipe is one that used to be made for family members. I got it from my husband’s sister, Gladys Lindsay. In now make it for my three sons when their birthdays roll around.

The Sour Milk Spice Cake is one of my husband’s favourites, as well as, the tomato Soup Cake. I obtained these from his mother, Bella Weatherby, now deceased.

Carrot Cake

3 eggs, 1 cup oil, 2 cups white sugar, 2 Tsp vanilla. Beat with spoon, then ad 2 cups flour, 1 Tsp cinnamon, 2 Tsp soda, 1 Tsp salt.
Beat by spoon then add 2 cups coconut, 1 cup crushed pineapple (with juice), 2 cups grated carrots.
Beat by spoon. Bake at 350F for 35 to 40 minutes in 8 x 8 square pan or 45-50 minutes in tube pan.

Sour Milk Spice Cake

1 cup sugar, cup shortening, cup molasses, 1 cup sour milk, Tsp cloves, 2 cups flour, 1 egg, 1 Tsp soda, Tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp allspice, Tsp salt, cup raisins.
Bake at 325F for about 40 minutes or until done . Be sure to use a square pan.

Tomato Soup Cake

1 cup sugar, cup butter, 1 can tomato soup, 2 Tsp cinnamon, 1 Tsp soda, Tsp cloves, 1 cup raisins, cup nuts, 1 cups flour, pinch of salt.
Mix in order given. Bake at 350F until done.

Now that the weather is much nicer, and we are getting closer to school graduations, I would like to have some great summer recipes. Time goes by so fast, it won’t be long until we will soon be able to have a few items of totally fresh home-grown produce. Fiddleheads, dandelion greens and asparagus are just about finished.

May 2009

Last month’s explanation about “custard powder” seemed to strike a happy nerve. I’ve received quite a few “thank you” comments. Discussed the matter briefly with neighbour Roger Crowther, the English gentleman with the bow tie, often seen on Canadian Antiques Road Show. Being a Brit, he remembers Bird’s Custard Powder as being a staple in England during World War II.

With fewer new submissions received this month, its not hard to tell readers are starting to engage in more spring-like activities, such as house cleaning, getting ready for gardening, and starting to spend more time outdoors.
It’s a good thing, I’ve received a surplus of entries over the winter. Thanks to Linda Giddens and Hazel Hill, our regular columnist from MacCaull Villa, I’ve got some very interesting recipes for you to try.

Linda Giddens has submitted Chocolate Oatmeal Cake, which was a favourite of her aunt, Irene Soley, who died in February 2008.


1 cup hot water
cup rolled oats
cup butter
Stir above ingredients until butter melts. Add 1 cup brown sugar, 2 beaten eggs.
Sift together and add the following ingredients:
1 cup flour
teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons cocoa
cup walnuts (optional)

Beat and pour into greased cake pan batter is very thin. Bake at 350 degrees until done.
Linda’s notes. The above recipe is exactly what I received from her. I adapt it by using margarine instead of butter; reducing the sugar to 1 cup brown and omitting the walnuts.
If you wish to add chocolate chips, do so after you have poured it into pan, as if you add it to the batter, as the chips will sink to the bottom.

As for baking time, I place it in a long pan that I bought from Murray’s Aunt Effie, and it takes 30 minutes to bake. I like the long pan as it is easy to use slices for lunch boxes.

Hazel Hill, MacCaull Villa, Great Village, who submitted MacCaull Villa notes each month, has taken time to submit two recipes: Fat Free Brownies and Brown Bread.


1 cup rolled oats
2 cups boiling water, poured over oats
cup molasses
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon shortening
1 pkg dry yeast in cup warm water, 1 teaspoon sugar
Flour to make soft dough.

Let rise and put into loaf pans, let rise again. Makes 4 small loaves.


cup cocoa
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
tsp salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 cups sugar
2 egg whites
cup apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla

Beat egg whites, add butter and sugar. Creamed. Mix in rest of ingredients. Spread in pan. Bake in 350 oven about 25 minutes.

I’m hopeful, I’ll receive some nice recipes and meal menus which include the first harvests of spring for fiddleheads and locally grown asparagus, etc.

April 2009

It’s interesting how things take a different twist. Just like the many bends in the road and the highway of life.

Just as I was trying to figure out, the prelude to my next column, Glenda Morrissey, sent an email looking for clarification on “custard powder”. Orginally she thought it was my own recipe. After a couple of exchanges, we were able to determine, her mother had clipped out my column from last October. Custard Powder was one of the ingredients in Glenholme’s, Leslie MacLean’s Blueberry Pudding Cake recipe.

Not knowing myself, it was off to the internet to get the answers. Custard powder looks a lot like cornstarch or cornflour and is made from cornflour. It also has annatto coloring (from the achiote tree), salt and other flavorings. The cook combines several tablespoons of the custard powder with sugar and enough milk to form a paste. The paste is then slowly added to hot milk and stirred until completely dissolved. The result is a thick custard sauce, not identical to traditional egg custard, but still good over cake, pudding or other desserts.

An Englishman named Alfred Bird came up with custard powder in 1837 because his wife was allergic to eggs. His custard powder caught on and by 1844, his company was producing custard powder for the whole of England. “Bird’s Custard Powder” is an English tradition, in fact, is used all over the country.

Custard powder is sometimes used for cookies. One recipe online uses it for the cookies themselves and for the filling inside! Some cooks also add fruit to the custard mixture, for a fruit custard. It can also be used in recipes calling for a cream filling. The key to making a thinner or thicker custard is the proportion of custard powder to milk. More custard powder will thicken the mixture, while more milk will thin it. It all depends on the recipe and the desired results. Some recipes call for a custard that will come set in a tart shell, which would necessitate a thicker custard.

Custard powder is a good alternative to minimize the amount of cholesterol in a custard to ensure everyone at the table can eat it, even if someone is allergic to eggs. A 10.5-ounce (300 grams) can of custard powder will make about eight pints (3.8 liters) of custard.

Here’s a great recipe submitted by: Terry Hill of Scottsdale, Arizona, who writes, “I hope you don't mind a recipe from "south-of-the-border". I read The Shoreline every month - a gift to my husband, Ferguson Hill, from his mother, Hazel Hill of Great Village.

I've enjoyed the Shoreline for several years now and thought your readers might enjoy my recipe for Panna Cotta. It's a simple, easy and light dessert that I consider "comfort food" especially during the summer when I serve it with fresh berries, usually blueberries or strawberries. It is almost a custard but lighter because it doesn't use any eggs.

Panna Cotta

3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
4 cups of heavy cream
vanilla bean, split lengthwise
cup of sugar.

In a small bowl, combine the water and gelatin and let soak about 10 minutes (don't stir). Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the cream, vanilla bean and sugar to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. As soon as it starts to simmer, turn off the heat and add the gelatin mixture, stirring to dissolve the gelatin. If the gelatin doesn't completely dissolve in 3 minutes, return the mixture to the heat and warm gently until dissolved. Pour the mixture into 6-8 ramekins or dessert cups. Chill, uncovered, 2 hours. Serve alone or with fresh berries.

March 2009

Many people before me have always maintained, something good always evolves from all the bad. The financial downturn, or recession and the movement to better environmental stewardship we are now experiencing might cause more of our younger generation to spend more time in the kitchen. 

If we have less money at our disposal, we can still enjoy the “sweets” from the kitchen by creating our own. Spending more time in the kitchen also reduces the amount of packaging of the sweets and prepared foods from supermarket. We are also able to control the ingredients avoiding many of the chemicals needed to preserve food from commercial forces.

If we don’t want to express our kitchen creativity, we can always visit a farmer’s market (in season) or many of the local church and community sponsored bake sales. It’s interesting to note that in a recent survey 42% of farmers said they achieve approximately half of their revenue from selling products at farmers markets. 

Purchasing local products helps sustain rural life and our agriculture industry and we preserve our environment by having less transportation and packaging in the products we consume, not to mention the social aspect of visiting a farmers’ market. 

The volume of recipes submitted since Christmas has dropped, so we’re putting on a push to encourage more of you to send along your favourites. 

I asked Maurice to dig out his Tomato Soup cake recipe I mentioned last month. Low and behold, he had a difficult time making a decision so he submitted two, again from pages 12 and 13 of the 3rd edition of the Barbour Cook Book. 

Tomato Soup Cake

1 cup of sugar; cup butter or shortening; 1 can tomato soup; 3 tablespoons water, 2 tsps cinnamon; 1 tsp soda; tsp cloves; 1 cup of raisins; cup nut meats; 1 cups of flour; salt..

Mix in order given, sift soda with flour. (Dust raisins in a bit of flour, before adding to mixture). 

Bake in middle of the oven at 325 degrees for about 35 minutes. Individual ovens will vary. 

Husband Cake

1 cups sugar; cup Crisco; 1 cup of tomato soup; cup cold water;  1 tsp soda; 1 tsp Acadia Baking Powder; 1 tsp salt; 1 tsp cloves; 1 tsp nutmeg; 

1 cups raisins; 1 cups nuts; 3 cups of flour. (Dust raisins with bit of flour, before adding to mixture). Bake at 325 in middle of the oven for about 30-35 minutes or until done. 

The recipes were submitted by Mrs. Perley Smith and Mrs. P. H. Betts. 

Maurice says he learned from his mother to always dust raisins in flour before adding to ingredients because is helps keep them more evenly distributed, rather than dropping to the bottom of the cakes. Sometimes they used to soak raisins in a bit of water prior. It helps make the cakes a bit more moist. Don’t forget the toothpick to test for doneness.


February 2009

Now is had been a winter to remember. A severe cold-snap, an economy which is constantly moving downward, and several times, we have endured snow followed by several hours of rain and freezing rain.

Although I am not a fan of winter, I can accept new accumulations of snow, but would much prefer the freezing rain stay away. It seems the only things resulting from a sudden drop in temperature after the rain is wide-spread power outages and the entire country-side gets turned into a skating rink turning the area into prime locations for plenty of falls and spills and broken hips. But that is Nova Scotia’s climate. 

While we are bracing ourselves for several days of very cold weather, several areas in the United States are suffering from flooding and in Texas the big threat is grass fires, which consume entire towns and villages. 

Before I head into the kitchen, I must mention it is very disturbing to see the significant price increases we face each time we head to the grocery store. 

Almost every item seems to go up a few cents, but there are some items, which really caught my eye. Like most families, we have cats and dogs, and they like to eat too. In passing, I will note the brand of dog food, we use has increased in price almost 50% over the last few months. It increased from around $9.50 per bag to $13.49

Enough complaining about the weather and how the cost of living is increasing. Its time to focus on duties in the kitchen. The other day, Maurice, did some improvising and came up with a fantastic Shepherd’s Pie. In addition to plenty of hamburger, he added plenty of frozen cut green beans, and peas. To give it some body, he used a couple of heaping tablespoons of corn starch to make a clear gelatin gravy, and then added a can of tomato soup. After it was in the casserole dish, he topped with a thick layer of garlic flavoured creamed mashed potatoes. It was so good, I’m going to get him to repeat it so I can take to a group of senior ladies, who meet in Noel to quilt, play games, and have social interaction after a hearty noontime meal.  

As promised many months ago, here is Maurice’s favourite winter-time desert recipe taken from the 3rd Edition of the Barbour Cook Book. The book is probably 60-70 years old. His favourite is Radio Pudding, which had been submitted by Mrs. Harry Fisher.

Radio Pudding. 

1 cup flour; cup white sugar; 1 tsp soda; 2 tsps cream of tarter; tsp salt; cup raisins; cup of milk; tsp vanilla. 

Sauce for pudding: cup brown sugar; butter size of large walnut; 2 cups of boiling water. Pour over sauce and bake (325 degrees).   Enjoy!!

Maurice admits he uses more brown sugar and more water to make more sauce. His other favourite recipe, Tomato Soup Cake, on Page 12 of the cookbook, was submitted by Mrs. Perley Smith.  

The Christmas holidays and winter weather has taken its toll on the influx of recipes from readers. Maybe you would like to spend an hour or so going through your favourite recipes. I hope you can send along some more. 

January 2009

Last month when I mentioned, I had not spent much time in the kitchen, because I had been busy setting up my own business, I didn't realize how demanding it would be with the store open from 9:30 am to 9:00 pm six days a week and then 12 noon to 5:00 pm on Sundays.

As Christmas has drawn closer, it has become busier and busier. In fact right now I am almost exhausted. Not only have I not been in the kitchen, its been difficult to even find time to sit at the table. I told Maurice the other day, I can's wait to sit down to just potatoes and gravy.

In lieu of me trying to compose a length column, I have opted to print a number of recipes from 13 year old Ashleigh Sharpe. Hope you enjoy Ashleigh's contributions.

Twice Baked Potatoes

6 good sized baking potatoes (wrapped in tinfoil), 1 tub sour cream, 1 envelope onion soup mix, 1 to 2 cups grated cheese

Bake potatoes in 375*F oven until cooked.  While potatoes are cooking, mix sour cream with onion soup mix , cover and refrigerate until ready to use.  When potatoes are done, remove from oven and unwrap from tinfoil.  Carefully cut potatoes in two (long ways) scoop out the insides, (being careful not to break the outside skin) and put into a large bowl.  Add the sour cream / onion soup mixture and mix well.  A little grated cheese can be added to the potato mixture if you like.  Put potato “skins” on a cookie sheet and carefully scoop the potato mixture back into the cavity.  Cover with grated cheese and reheat in 375*F oven until cheese is melted.

Quick Start Breakfast Drink

2 cups pineapple juice, 2 sliced medium ripe bananas, 2 cups yogurt (your choice of flavor), 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, cup wheat germ, 1 tbsp vanilla.  Blend ingredients in a blender until smooth.  Serve chilled.  Great way to start the day!

I hope all of you have a very enjoyable Christmas, and that the coming new year brings you lots of happiness. Next month, I'll get into a more regular routine and hopefully resume with some new recipes, which you decide to send in.  Enjoy!!




Maurice Rees, Publisher
The Shoreline Journal
Box 41, Bass River, NS B0M 1B0
PH: 902-647-2968; Cell: 902-890-9850
E-mail: maurice@theshorelinejournal.com