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December 2014

Even though we have had some unexpected snowstorms, which brought about a few hours of treacherous driving, we are very lucky. In Nova Scotia we always joke, if you don’t like the weather hang around for five minutes, it’s about to change.

However considering our luck, when someone complains about early snow, suggest maybe they would like to move to Buffalo. Can you imagine receiving six feet of snow in two or three days, and while it was still snowing, weather forecasts were calling for an additional three feet (90 cm).

Never in my life can I imagine the turmoil from a week of weather like that. Sure the snow would cause concern and change lifestyle, but their troubles haven’t even started. Now that it’s stopped snowing it’s getting warmer and rain is in the forecast. Sure will be a significant amount of collapsed roofs in the beleaguered city.

A few days ago, I was rearranging some things in the small glassed-in room at the end of our porch. It was snowing and the Barbeque looked so forelone and lonely. It got me to thinking ahead to a nicer winter day when I’ll want to fire it up just to enjoy the something from the BBQ and how nice it will be when summer arrives again.

No sooner had I gone back into the house to warm up and Maurice comes telling me John MacLean had sent an idea of a recipe for this month. Apparently John has been looking for a recipe to do mushrooms on the BBQ and he came across one similar to one used at the 7th Annual Foray held in Wallace, September 26th-28th.

According to John, David Boyle has about 400 recipes from previous forays.

I’m not a big fan of mushrooms, but Maurice is and a few years ago he used to go picking them on grounds adjacent to the Lawrence House Museum. He says on one occasion they were so large three would fill a plastic grocery bag. He put lots of butter in a frying pan, add the mushroom which filled his favourite cast iron fry pan. Add a little salt and pepper cook to his desired level of being done and that could be a meal.

Nova Scotia Mycological Society Famous Foray Portabello Burger

3 large portabello mushrooms, trim stems
1 red pepper, slice into 3 slabs
Marinate 5 to 10 minutes in fresh squeezed lemon, equal part olive oil, diced fresh garlic (several cloves to taste), diced cilantro fresh (1 Tbsp or so) and 1 tbs of honey.
Barbeque mushrooms, gills up, until they sag, then flip.  Barbeque peppers at same time. Toast fresh burger buns on grill.  Top mushroom caps with a slice of swiss cheese to melt.  Put it all together and wash down with your favourite wine, beer, or beverage and imagine you're at the foray!
Options: sliced tomatoes, lettuce and onions.

The above recipe is a bit different, but with changing weather, all the Christmas baking being done, and the worry about Christmas Shopping and Wrapping, I thought it best to let our minds wander.

November 2014

I was busy this month and was going to write this column this morning, but Maurice informed me he wanted us to attend the last of the 2014 Economy Hall sessions, as Matt Minglewood was playing. I’ve seen Matt numerous times, but not so far this year, as we did not get to Sydney for the Cape Breton BikeFest at the end of July.

Natalie Elliott has been doing a great job organizing the Economy Hall Sessions, bringing a variety of musicians and entertainers to the shore. The sessions are an important fund raiser for the Economy Recreation Centre. For a small community with probably less than 500 people in the immediate area, they sure do a great job raising nearly $40,000 each year to keep the centre open.

They also gave Maurice and I a tour of the fitness equipment set up in the basement. Volunteers from the community operate the centre from 9:00 – 10:00 am on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, while other volunteers open the gym from 7:00 – 8:00 pm on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Maurice took some photos, which he’ll publish next month.

Before I get into the kitchen, I must apologize. When I make a typing error, it definitely should not be in a recipe. Maurice got several calls wondering how much flour to use in Hazel Hill’s Peanut Butter Cookie recipe I used last month. Missing from last month was One cup of flour. I’ve reprinted the recipe to correct my error.

  • Peanut Butter Cookies
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1 unbeaten egg
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Large cup of flour

Mix soda and flour together. Cream sugar, butter and peanut butter. Add egg and sifted dry ingredients. Mix until uniform mixture. Roll in balls, press down with a fork. Bake in 350 oven for 10-12 minutes.

Since we all have a sweet tooth, I might as well continue with some cookies, which you can bake when using my corrected recipe. It never hurts to bake something different before it’s needed. This recipe for Wartime Cake is excellent to freeze as we get closer to Christmas and want to have some sweet readily available when unexpected company comes for a visit.

Wartime Cake (Fruit)

  • 2 cups sugar 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup shortening 1 tsp cloves
  • 2 cups cold water 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 lb seeded raisins 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Put all together and boil 3 minutes. Let cool, then add:
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 ½ cups flour
  • 2 tsp soda, dissolved in 2 tsp warm water.

This recipe makes two loaves. Bake in 350 degree oven on centre rack. Some ovens do a better job at 325 degrees. Remove from loaf pans, when cool. Once totally cool, maybe overnight, wrap with two layer of saran or plastic wrap and put in the freezer.

October 2014

It sure is nice to live in Nova Scotia: great weather, no real fear of earthquakes, or violent thunderstorms and tornados like they experience on the west coast or southern states. However, we do experience the occasional storm of high winds and flooding from heavy rain as experienced recently that caused a lot of havoc in Belmont, Debert, Great Village, Londonderry and Wentworth.

The somewhat freak storm caused a lot of damage, but thankfully there were no injuries or loss of life. In the long term, we should be concerned this type of storm will become more frequent due to climate warming.

In recent years fine summer weather seems to come a bit later, but our fall is extended closer to Christmas. A week ago, when the moon was changing, we experienced a week of cooler weather and heavy frost, but now within a week, we are back to temperatures approaching the mid-20’s and we couldn’t ask for a better day.

One thing about this type of weather in late September is we have less humidity and the leaves are rapidly changing colour. The finer weather at this time of year helps to extend the tourist season. With the economy in the USA improving, we are noticing a slight increase in senior Americans joining us to enjoy our scenic beauty and clean air.

Earlier today Maurice was talking to a couple from San Diego, California, who were totally amazed at our climate, and mentioned at least we are outside the earthquake zone. They wanted to spend some time in the area to watch the high Bay of Fundy tides come and go.

Back into the kitchen, I’ve chosen a couple of recipes Hazel Hill, Great Village sent along a while ago.

Cheese Biscuits

  • 2 cups all purpose flour

  • 1 tbsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ½ cup shortening

  • 1 cup grated cheese

  • 1 beaten egg

  • ½ cup milk (may take more).

Mix dry ingredients together. Cut flour mixture and shortening together until all shortening is fine molecules. Add egg and milk until uniform mixture. Flour a flat surface roll out dough to about 1 inch thick. Cut into circles. Bake in 400 degree oven.

While the oven is on and the biscuits, maybe you’ll want to start a batch of Peanut Butter Cookies.

Peanut Butter Cookies

  • ½ cup butter

  • ½ cup peanut butter

  • 1 unbeaten egg

  • ½ cup brown sugar

  • ½ cup white sugar

  • ½ tsp baking soda

Mix soda and flour together. Cream sugar, butter and peanut butter. Add egg and sifted dry ingredients. Mix until uniform mixture. Roll in balls, press down with a fork.

Bake in 350 oven for 10-12 minutes.

Now that the exhibitions and festivals are over for the summer, Maurice is home on the weekends and able to take over some duties in the store. Maybe I’ll be able to spend three days at home. This will give me some time to catch up on domestic duties at home, before much colder weather arrives.

If you are going to drop into the store, bring along a couple of your favourite recipes.

September 2014

Not much time spent in the kitchen in the last month. Maurice has been busy travelling around to the various festivals and exhibitions for our t-shirt business, and I’ve been in the store six days a week. By the time I tend to the pets, and do the necessary "domestic engineer" duties of meals, dishes and laundry, I’m ready to go to bed.

The 10th Anniversary Dutch Mason Blues Festival and the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition are recorded in the history books. Within a week, students and teachers will be in the classroom and we’ll be preparing for the "Indian summer" and the leaves to turn.

I don’t want to think what will follow Thanksgiving.

I always find peppers in the garden seem to come later, or I like to wait until they are larger in size. Now that time is here, I’ve chosen a "Stuffed Green Pepper" recipe, which has been in our family for years:

Stuffed Green Peppers

  • 4 large green peppers

  • 1 lb hamburger

  • 1 medium onion

  • 1 tsp salt

  • ¼ tsp pepper

  • 1 ½ cup cooked rice

  • 1 can tomato sauce

Brown hamburger, with salt and peppr and half of the onion, which has been chopped small. When hamburger is ready turn off burner or remove from heat, add rice and rest of onion, mix well. (Sometimes I add 1/3 of the tomato sauce to the mixture). Fill peppers, cover with wax paper, cook on high heat for 10 minutes, or pepper are almost tender. Pour remaining tomato sauce over peppers. Continue cooking for 3-5 minutes.

Serve while hot with other vegetables, or perhaps creamed mashed potatoes. (Pour remaining sauce from pan over peppers.

Thanksgiving is just six weeks away, and possibly you are already thinking what can I do with all the left-over turkey once the family and friends whom you have invited to dinner have gone back home with a full tummy. Here’s a recipe, which was a family favourite for many years.

Turkey Casserole

  • 2 cups cooked turkey

  • 2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup

  • ½ can of cold water

  • 1 can Chow Mein noodles

  • 1 cup celery

  • 1 cup onion

  • 1 green pepper

  • 1 can sliced mushrooms

Heat soup and water just enough to form a sauce. Mix all ingredients together, add warm soup and put in a greased casserole dish. Bake 45-50 minutes in 350 over. (I prefer to keep the casserole covered for most of the cooking, removing cover for last 15 minutes.

If you want to plan ahead, you can increase the ingredients in proportion and make several casseroles and freeze them for later. You can freeze in an oven proof dish without cooking, or you can cook, cool and place in the freezer.

If you choose to cook, then freeze, pour about a ¼ to ½ cup of water around the top edges of the casserole and cover with tin foil if the casserole dish doesn’t have a cover. This will help make the casserole moist.

Well, its time to get ready to head to the store. Would be nice if readers dropped in for a visit at 914 Prince Street, Truro. Maybe you can bring along a couple of your favourite recipes.

August 2014

Sometimes you do things, sub-consciously, for no apparent reason, but eventually how your mind worked and why comes to the forefront. I forgot about starting this month’s column when I was finishing last months. When I was researching recipes for last month I picked "Oven Beef Stew" and a biscuit recipe. I ran out of space so the biscuits and notes got saved for this month.

The reason I picked biscuits to go with the oven stew was they could be cooked in the hot oven just as the stew was finishing, and they would have been ideal either with the stew or use for strawberry shortcake.

What I found mindblowing, when I opened the file was it was given to me many years ago, by my Cape Bretoner friend, Freda, who was about 20 years my senior. She and I worked together in the kitchen’s of senior’s homes in Sydney many years ago, and maintained a close friendship through thick and thin.

I last saw Freda earlier this winter, when I attended her husband’s funeral. We chatted a couple of weeks ago, and I told her I’d be in to see her later in July, when I headed to Sydney to have a weekend with two of my other close friends.

On Saturday, July 19th, Maurice was in Parrsboro at Old Home Week, and I was starting to put into my suitcase, when I received a call from Freda’s daughter. I was shocked to learn she was hospitalized. I called Maurice and told him I would be leaving on Sunday morning to go see Freda.

Sunday morning at 8 am, the phone rang. Freda passed away at 7:30 am. I left on Tuesday to attend her wake and funeral, then stayed on for the "girl’s weekend". Now you know what was mind blowing and a shock when I opened up this month’s recipe file. There was Freda’s Tea Biscuit recipe staring me in the face. I wondered if I should seek another recipe, then thought, "NO", this is my memorial contribution to Freda.

Freda’s Tea Biscuits


3 cups flour

6-8 tsp baking powder

¾ cup shortening

1 tsp sale

2 tblsp sugar

1 ½ cup of milk

Blend flour and shortening with hands until no large lumps of shortening. Add other ingredients to the milk, stir well, then pour into flour mixture. Mix ingredients together in bowl until liquid is distributed throughout the flour. Don’t over mix or kneed, as it will make the biscuits tough. Roll out onto a floured surface to your desired thickness – at least an inch thick. Cut into circles, place on baking sheet. Bake in 400 oven for 15-20 minutes.

I love pickled beets and it’s the one pickling session I like to do each fall. Another good friend, Iva in Cape Breton gave me this recipe over 20 years ago. If you are cooking beets for dinner, throw a few more in the pot. If you don’t want to pickle right away, let them cool in the juice and do them tomorrow.

Iva’s Pickled Beets


2 c vinegar

2 c sugar

2 c water

1 tbsp sale

1tbsp allspice

2 tbsp cloves

Boil for five minutes, stirring constantly. Peel and cut beets to required size, put in sterilized pint jars. Pour hot fluids over beets. Close bottles with lids, set aside on cake rack to cook. After cooling, check covers to ensure tightness. Enjoy next winter.

July 2014

Now that we’ve had a couple of days of summer weather, I’m already finding it too warm. Not sure it that’s because as Nova Scotians we always have something to say about the weather or because last Thursday and Friday evening the temperature was down around 5 degrees, and within 48 hours we were in the mid-20’s.

The change, for the better, in the weather sure has changed the attitude of shoppers. They are finally coming out of hibernation and even have smiles on their faces, as they start to stroll around in their summer wardrobe.

It’s not hard to tell summer is here, for another reason. The paving crews are out. As bad as our roads are, we get irritated when the flagging crew hold us up for a bit, and as workers clean out the ditches, and install new culverts, we get further upset with the sections of gravel and bumps created once the culvert installation is complete.

Seems like we are never satisfied. We complain about the potholes, then complain even more about the minor inconveniences while the road is being repaved.

The produce departments are starting to show signs of some local produce. Locally grown produce seems to taste so much better, and it gives us a good feeling to be supporting farmers and market gardeners from our area. It won’t be long until some of those ambitious gardeners put up their little stands at the end of the driveway to sell some surplus resulting from their long hours in the garden. Strawberries will soon be in abundance, then after a few good feeds, we’ll be thinking about how we might find a new recipe for jams and jellies.

Nice to hear after a disastrous 2013, strawberry growers are anticipating an abundant crop. Many experts thought it might take two or three years for them to bounce back, but they are a resilient bunch and have been able to solve their problem within a year. Let’s hope they are able to keep the aphids away for many years.

The other day when it was raining I decided to look through the binder with a collection of family recipes I had collected over the years. Even though we’re into BBQ season, there might be a craving on a cooler rainy day for a casserole. Here’s my selection for the month:

Oven Beef Stew

  • 1 ½ lb beef

  • ¼ cup flour

  • 6 onions

  • Potatoes

  • Carrots

  • Garlic

  • Turnip

  • 3 cups of water

  • 1 ¼ cup bouillon

  • 1 can tomato sauce

  • 1 tsp thyme

  • ½ tsp oregano

  • ¼ tsp pepper

  • ¼ tsp salt.

Cut beef into stew size pieces, roll in flour, cut vegetables into the sizes preferred by your family. Use the amount of vegetables you think best suits your family’s needs. I try to use the same amount of each of potatoes, carrots and turnip. Layer vegetables and meat in roaster, large covered baking dish, or I prefer a thick bottom covered dutch oven.

Mix together spices, water, boullion and tomato sauce then pour over meat and vegetables. Bake covered in 325 oven for 3 hours.

Enjoy the summer and all the visiting you will do with friends and family.

June 2014

Even though we have only had a few warm days, it has not slowed the grass from growing. The lawn needs mowing at least once a week.

My how time flies, within a week or so, some farmers will be hauling their first loads of silage off the fields, while some are facing the problem some fields are still too wet to plant grain or corn.

It’s still too early to put the transplants out, as there is threat of frost in low lying areas. Sure has been a weird spring. All this will be happening while many will still be thinking about planting their garden. I’m not sure if time is running faster or if I am slowing down.

The 4th Annual 90 & 90+ birthday party which Maurice and I organize and sponsor for area residents is now history. The Economy Recreation Centre has proven to be an ideal place, as it seems to be central for those coming from Advocate or Onslow and all those who attend report having a good time.

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend. Our t-shirt store on Prince Street is open Saturday’s and I couldn’t find someone to work it for me. Last year I missed it, because I was in Cape Breton. I’ve already put the oar in the water to get my son, Bradley, to tend to the store for me.

This year, we added a couple of new things. Maurice was able to get a couple of RCMP members to come and give a short talk on some safety tips for seniors. He was even able to get them to help serve the meal.

The other items added to the agenda were recognition of Emily Prescott and Ella Porter, the two area 4-H members who were awarded $1,000 Ram Truck Scholarships in a national 4-H contest sponsored by the Chrysler Canada Foundation, and the van den Hoek family at That Dutchman’s Cheese Farm for winning a national award for Dragon’s Breath Blue Cheese.

From my part, it was a pleasure to develop a special t-shirt for each winner. I’m hopeful it is something they will cherish for years to come. I’m sure Maurice and Linda Harrington were able to get some pictures, which probably are located elsewhere in this issue.

Everyone tells me the cheese casserole served by the Economy UCW at the birthday party was fantastic. He brought some home, and it sure was yummy. I’m going to ask Maurice to see if he can get the recipe from Carole Dibbons.

Guess everyone has been busy, as I have not received any new recipe submissions in the last couple of months, so I going to present another recipe from Hazel Hill, Great Village.

(Unfortunately Hazel was not feeling well, and was unable to attend the party, but Maurice tells me she is feeling better, because he received her MacCaull Villa Notes).

Turkey Casserole

6 Tblsp Butter

6 tsp flour

3 cups milk

1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 ½ cups diced celery

½ cup onions

4 cups cooked turkey

1 cup mushroom pieces

1 pkg noodles

Combine the first 8 ingredients – butter to mushroom pieces. Cook and drain noodles according to instructions. Combine cooked noodles with turkey mixture.

Pour into greased casserole.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

May 2014

My hopes got shattered again as it has so many times this winter. Just as I noticed the grass starting to get green and the lawn starting to dry out, we get several days of rainy weather, a couple of half decent days, and not it is sleeting and they are calling for snow tonight.

I’m commencing to think climate warming is taking its toll elsewhere and we are getting the blunt end of the stick with a winter that just won’t quit. If what the scientists say some areas will experience more severe storms, warmer temperatures in the summer and more severe winters.

I guess climate change is here if this past winter is an example. I think I should go out and wrap the tulips in something and put the suet ball back out for the birds who have migrated north for summer weather. Little did they expect to see sleet and snow at the end of April.

In Nova Scotia weather is everything. All you have to do as ask someone. It’s always a topic of conversation. Lots of things are being affected by the weather. All those businesses who sell seeds and transplants for gardens and flower beds are really feeling the pinch. Equally upset are all the retailers, who are finding all the new summer styles still sitting on the racks, not to mention all the people who are frowning and shivering.

Hopefully, the weather changes soon. If not, we could have snow in early June.

I haven’t felt much like getting into the kitchen lately, so I have to say a sincere thank-you to Hazel Hill. Seems whenever I’m low on recipes, she sends along a few, when she submits MacCaull Villa Notes. I won’t be seeing Hazel until the 90 & 90+ Birthday party on May 10th at the Economy Rec Centre.

Of the four recipes, she sent along, I’ve chosen "Aunt Ida’s Meat Loaf". My second choice of her recipes would be her Turkey Casserole.

Aunt Ida’s Meat Loaf

This recipe is quite simple and makes a tasty moist meat loaf.

1 to 1.5 lbs ground beef

1 egg

¼ cup oatmeal

½ envelope dry onion soup mix

Salt and pepper to taste

½ can tomato sauce (If I don’t have it, I use tomato soup)


2 Tbsp brown sugar

Use remaining ½ can tomato sauce or soup

2 Tbsp vinegar

1 Tbsp prepared mustard

Mix together the first six ingredients. When the meat mixture is turned into the loaf pan, shape a drain or vent along all four sides, so that the sauce will have somewhere to run, when you pour it over the meat. Make the sauce using the last four ingredients.

Cover the meat loaf and sauce light with foil and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Serve hot, but let sit in loaf pan for about 10 minutes before cutting or serving.

April 2014

Maurice came over laughing saying Debbie Weatherby in her column mentioned that a friend mentioned to her husband refers to the March winds as the "lazy" winds. Instead of going around you, they go through you.

Debbie’s also wrote she arrived at the Colchester East Hants Health Centre on Sunday, with her son, around 1:00 pm and didn’t get out of there until around 9pm. That’s a long shift when spending $158-Million for a new facility was supposed to eliminate some of the bottlenecks.

Her complaint reminded me to mention what a mid-40’sfriend of ours encountered recently. Feeling sick and realizing something was wrong his son rushed him to hospital. There was no need to rush, he had to sit there for over three hours.

Diagnosis: A blood clot in his leg went to his brain, causing a minor stroke. During his eight day stay in hospital the doctor told him he was lucky the clot landed where it did, or he could have suffered serious permanent speech and mobility damage.

I can’t say he suffered any affects from the over three hour wait, but should people in that sort of danger be subjected to additional risk.

All this goes to show that money doesn’t solve everything. We’re spending in the range of 60% of our tax dollars on healthcare and people don’t feel we are getting and the results are there. Somebody’s asleep at the switch.

On another matter I had to take off to Cape Breton unexpectedly. A real good friend called saying her husband got up from bed went to the washroom, came back into the room, sat on the bed, slumped over, falling on her…… Dead.

Now into the kitchen….. looked in the deep freezer the other day and realized I had frozen about a dozen ears corn. Decided to take out four of them out. Before they had partially thawed, I wasn’t in the mood for corn-on-the-cob.

Enlisted the assistance of Maurice to strip the kernels off the cobs. Oh, what a mess he made, however, he got the job done. Far too much for one chowder so put half of it back into the freezer in a sandwich bag for another chowder.

Without a recipe, we decided to jazz it up a bit, so here’s what evolved.

Homemade Corn Chowder

2 ears of corn

1 medium onion

2 medium potatoes or 1 large one

2 carrots (equal amount of carrots as potatoes)

¾ cup frozen peas

½ cup Miracle Whip

1 tbsp corn starch


Salt,  Pepper, Parsley Flakes

Place kernels from two ears of corn in large saucepan with a small amount of salted water, bring to a boil, cover, reduce to low heat while preparing remainder of vegetables. Cut vegetables to desired size and add to corn as completed. Add potatoes last so they don’t get mushy. Two minutes before finishing, remove cover and add the peas.

Do not drain off the water. Add desired amount of salt and pepper, or other spices if you wish. (I added some garlic powder). Fold in Miracle Whip and stir until melted. Sprinkle cornstarch into mixture constantly stirring. Continue on low heat until thickened.

Then add the desired amount of milk to achieve the desired consistency. Sprinkle each serving with a dab of butter and parsley flakes.

If you were ambitious serve with rolls or hot biscuits.

March 2014

How long and harsh as winter been? Far too long.

Even though February is the shortest month of the year, it’s also the most discouraging, as it comes with the arrival of the bills run up for Christmas and in most cases, we view spring being just a bit too far away.

We can only look at the seed catalogues, because it’s too early to start seedlings to add some greenery to our life. I can’t remember when we’ve had so many storms as this year. Having weather forecasters bring us warnings about three storms within a week was about enough to drive us around the bend.

About the only salvation we’ve had this month is the Olympics. Yes, Canada fared well and the men’s and women’s curling and hockey caused us to forget work, the longevity of winter and to relish in being the best in the world.

Now the Olympics are over, and I just realized how much longer the days are becoming and the amount of strength in the sun, when it does get an opportunity to shine brightly. A few sunny days will also be beneficial for the retail sector. It’s amazing how much more traffic there are in the malls and downtown areas on a sunny day, and how much happier customers are.

With a sagging economy and dismal retail sector, retailers need everything to be on a positive note. Vibrancy in the small business community is important for the entire province. Let’s all work to put away negativity and deal only with the positive.

Last week, when we were just getting over one winter storm and there were forecasts of two more storms just two days apart, I started thinking what recipe can I find, which would be appropriate for the season.

Now that we are near the end of February, and the days are getting longer, I was still thinking about snow. As a result I chose "Snow Pudding" which is a recipe provided by Mrs. Sarah Billings from Woodstock. Ironically, she was also one of Maurice’s high school teachers and her son was a classmate when Maurice was in grade 10. The recipe can be found on Page 46 of 3rd edition of the Barbour Cook Book.

Snow Pudding

  • 1 pt boiling water
  • 3 tbsps cornstarch
  • 2 tbsps white sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • yolks of 2 eggs

Stir cornstarch, boiling water, sugar and salt until it thickens. After is it cooked and while hot fold in the whites of 2 eggs, beaten to a stiff froth.

Serve with whipped cream, flavoured with vanilla or any desired sauce.

I also came across another simple recipe, which I tried on one of the stormy days. It was easy to make and very delicious. Also good for those on a diet or who are diabetic. It took only two ingredients.

Pineapple Angel Food Cake

Empty a box of angel food cake mix into a bowl, add a can of crushed pineapple and juice. Mix until all ingredients are moistened.

Turn mixture into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. I preferred to use a pyrex cake pan. Bake in oven. Let cool. A lot of the pineapple falls to the bottom.

When serving, turn moistened pineapple to the top. Add whipped topping, whip cream or serve plain. Absolutely delicious.

February 2014

Last month I mentioned about feeling safe in rural and small town Nova Scotia. Leave it to me to cause thing to provide a jinx. Within a month vandals destroyed the comfort and feeling of safety for 16 cottage owners in the Bass River area.

What a senseless crime. Breaking windows and smashing doors to rummage through cupboards and dresser drawers only to steal a few minor things, which meant more as family favourites than their value on the streets.

Just think of the thousands of dollars spent in boarding up cottages, and the hundreds of hours of RCMP investigative time for a senseless immature act. An even more disruptive problem for thousands of families is the current strike of bus drivers, tradespeople and custodians to CCRSB, which started on Monday morning.

It is a big worry to high school students, especially those in Grade 12 who needed good mid-term marks to complete their applications to university, community college or trade school next fall. The strike also puts a lot of additional stress on parents, as they scramble to juggle getting to work, and transporting students to and from school.

Maurice and I have been watching the cost of beef, chicken, pork and seafood. It is absurd, how little the farmer gets in comparison to what we have to pay at the grocery store.

With the high cost of beef products, we’ve been eating more pork and chicken, only occasionally sinking our teeth into beef.

We did however, break down and get some round steak the other day, not to BBQ or broil but to see what else we could come up with to quench our desire for some beef. After a bit of thought I choose Swiss steak.

Swiss Steak

  • 3-4 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 to 3 lbs round steak (blade or brisket will do)
  • 2 small or 1 extremely large onion chopped
  • 1.5 cups of celery (cut to desire size).
  • Clove of garlic, or use 1tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup green pepper chopped (approx).
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms, or 1 can stems and pieces (including Juice)
  • 1 or 2 cans consommé or beef broth
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup.
  • 1 or 2 cans tomato soup. (Depending on your taste)
  • Salt (to your taste).
  • Pinch of black pepper.
  • Steamed rice or Egg Noodles
  • Optional:
  • 1.5 cups diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced turnip.

This dish can be finished in the oven or on top of the stove. (I prefer the oven, so I can do other things and don’t have to worry about it sticking)

Heat cast iron skillet, or dutch oven (with thick bottom) add oil and salt and pepper. Coat meat in flour. (I added 4 tbsp flour to plastic container with a top). Dice meet to approx ½ in cubes, coat with flour, then add to skillet. Brown on all sides. Scrap bottom of skillet so flour does not stick.

When meat is browned on all sides add onions, celery. Saute until onions start to soften. Stir frequently. Now add green pepper and mushrooms.

Stir gently while adding consommé or beef broth, cream of mushroom and tomato soup. (Reserve one can of tomato soup to add later if you desire).

If your family is larger and you wish to make this great dish go further add the optional carrots. If you wish it to be more like a stew with a tomato soup base, add turnip. Adding turnip takes over the flavour and you’d think you were eating stew without the dumplings.

Cover put in 250 – 300 oven and cook until vegetable are just the way you like them.

Serve over steamed rice, or egg noodles.

Please note: Adjust the seasonings to your own taste. If you need to thin it a bit, add water until you reach the consistency you want.

January 2014 - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It's great to have a feeling of safety from living in a rural area and working in small town Nova Scotia. With almost a daily shooting or a pedestrian being mowed down in a crosswalk driven by someone who’s not concentrating on what they are doing, I shudder and worry about those who live in Halifax Regional Municipality.

For the life of me, I can`t understand how two adults, one a pedestrian and the other operating a vehicle can be so unaware of their immediate surroundings. Although just as serious, it would be easier to understand if these accidents involved a youth riding a bicycle, or chasing a lost ball. If the pedestrian was a person with impaired vision or intoxicated stumbling into the path of an oncoming vehicle at least could be an excuse. Ironically, most of these incidents have occurred in crosswalks.

A caller to a Halifax radio show mentioned those who are jay walking possibly are more careful – looking both ways and access the speed of oncoming vehicles. Made sense to me, but on the other side of the coin, does his rationale mean pedestrians are not looking and because they are in a crosswalk simply keep on walking without breaking stride.

Maurice was grumbling the other day, because on Queen Street, he noticed a middle age woman actually increase her walking pace, to get across the crosswalk even though the "Don’t Walk" was flashing. If a motorist had been turning left or right, there could have trouble. Sure she was in the crosswalk, but not supposed to be crossing.

One reader brought to my attention that in printing Ruth Thompson’s Plum Pudding recipe, I failed to indicate what type of sauce should be applied to the pudding. It was intentional, because the sauces can’t be made far in advance. Some families prefer a hard sauce, others prefer a more basic fruit or foamy sauce. Here`s a variety of sauce recipes.

Hard Sauce

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup icing sugar

1é-/2 cup whipping cream

2 tsp brandy (optional)

1 tsp vanilla.

Cream butter in a small bowl. In another bowl combine brown and icing sugar. Fold sugar gradually into creamed butter alternating with mixture of whipping cream, brandy and vanilla. Beat Well. End with sugar. Place in refrigerator until sauce is firm. Serve cold with plum or steamed pudding. This recipe makes 1 1/2 cups.
Foamy Sauce

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sifted icing sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

Pinch of salt

Combine sugar, flour and salt in saucepan. Add 1/3 of the milk and stir only until mixture is smooth. Add balance of milk and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook 2 minutes. Beat egg yolk lightly with a fork and with with a little hot sauce. Return to saucepan and cook stirring constantly over medium heat, without boiling. 1 minute. Remove from heat, fold in butter and vanilla. Serve immediately on pudding.

Lemon Sauce

6 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp flour

1 tsp grated lemon rind

Pinch of salt

1 cup boiling water

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp lemon juice.

Combine sugar, flour lemon rind and salt in saucepan. Add boiling water gradually, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat constantly stirring until sauce is clear and thickened. Remove from heat. Fold in butter and lemon juice. Serve hot with steamed puddings, fruit puddings or apple desserts. Yield: 1 cup. classifiedsjan14.html




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