Welcome to Dorothy's Kitchen Korner

By Dorothy Rees

PLEASE NOTE: Hoping you will want to use some of the older recipes uploaded to the Nova Scotia Archives. Reading and interpreting the old recipes can be challenging. For example, the ingredients are given by weight and not by cups, tablespoons, imperial or metric measure. Ingredients were also known by different names. For example, baking powder was called pearl ash and gelatin was called isinglass. Today's equivalents for several of the recipes tried by archives' staff are found in the modern methods section.

What's Cooking is the latest addition in a continuing series of digital products developed and released by the archives. For more information about archives' offerings, go to https://archives.novascotia.ca/ .

If you have a favourite family recipe and would like it published in the April issue, please send on or before March 15th. Please send to: The Shoreline Journal, Box 41, Bass River, NS B0M 1B0; Fax: 902-647-2194 or email: maurice@theshorelinejournal.com


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December 2016

It’s hard to get into the Christmas spirit with all the fine weather we’ve been having. Seems more like mid-October rather than late November. On the very bright side, the furnace has not had to work very much, so I’m liking the savings in heating costs.

The warm weather is not going to help Christmas Tree farmers as the unexceptionally warm weather for this time of year will sure play havoc with the condition of Christmas trees being cut early for the export market. Another thing affected by the warm weather will be the condition of Nova Scotia lobsters as the warmer ocean temperatures doesn’t give them time for the shells to harden up. In the last couple of years, we’ve noticed the shells are softer and they Yarmouth lobsters are not as full as they were 10-15 years ago.

We always try to get our lobsters from the Yarmouth area fisherman, who is selling from his truck in Truro. Last year Maurice mentioned the soft and not full shells and he mentioned there are a lot more softer shelled lobster around and he has to be very careful in picking out what he wants to sell. Both of them agreed, in their novice way, probably climate change is already affecting lobsters.

If that’s the case, it does speak well for the lobster industry as climate change becomes more noticeable. If you think of that as something on the negative side, you should think about the plight of wild blueberry producers, who are facing an over supply and prices in the thirty cent range.

When I was searching for this month’s recipe, Linda Harrington who have just finished three days at the Willd Blueberry Producers annual general meeting sent along a couple of recipes, in hopes people will include wild blueberries as part of their daily diet. Before you read on, I must give credit for use of these recipes to Prevention, June 1999 for the smoothie and the WBPANS website for Wild Blueberry Sauce.

Wild Blueberry Smoothie

  • 1 c wild blueberries
  • 1 c. orange juice, chilled
  • 2 c. fat-free yogurt
  • c. fat-free or 1% milk
  • Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into two large glasses. (Prevention, June 1999)

Wild Blueberry Sauce

  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 c. wild blueberries
  • c. water
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • Mix sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Add wild blueberries and water. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Great with pancakes and waffles.

PLEASE NOTE: Hoping you will want to use some of the older recipes uploaded to the Nova Scotia Archives. Reading and interpreting the old recipes can be challenging. For example, the ingredients are given by weight and not by cups, tablespoons, imperial or metric measure. Ingredients were also known by different names. For example, baking powder was called pearl ash and gelatin was called isinglass. Today's equivalents for several of the recipes tried by archives' staff are found in the modern methods section.

What's Cooking is the latest addition in a continuing series of digital products developed and released by the archives. For more information about archives' offerings, go to https://archives.novascotia.ca/


November 2016

An email came into the office the other day, which I found very interesting. A significant number of old Nova Scotia Recipes, which have been passed down for many generations have been placed online. The Nova Scotia Archives newest online resource, What's Cooking? Food, Drink and the Pleasures of Eating in Old-Time Nova Scotia, includes digitized copies of about 1,000 old handwritten or early printed recipes, 17 cookbooks, as well as recipes found in newspaper supplements in the mid-20th century. The recipes, which date back to the late 1700s, can be found online at http://novascotia.ca/archives/cooking

The online resource also includes a short history of food and dining in Nova Scotia, a list of published Nova Scotian cookbooks, lobster recipes, and even a collection of chocolate and candy recipes for commercial production.

After looking around the site for a while, I decided to pick two of the recipes. The first one presented here is from an Indian Cookbook by The Native Communications Society of Nova Scotia. Dated: February 1977; Reference: The Micmac News February 1977 Nova Scotia Archives  V/F vol. 143 no. 2

Indian Pudding

  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 cup yellow corn meal
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • cup sugar
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon cinnamon
  • teaspoon ground ginger
  • teaspoon ground cloves
  • teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Vanilla Ice Cream

  • Bring milk to a boil and add the cornmeal beating vigorously.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • When mixture is nearly cool, add the remaining ingredients, except the ice cream and mix well.
  • Pour into a buttered baking dish, bake two hours. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream on top.
  • YIELD: 10-12 servings.

The second recipe was found in Cooking in Nova Scotia No 1, under newspaper supplements published on Page 7 by the 4th Estate in the issue dated February 20, 1975 to May 14, 1975. The recipe I chose was Nova Scotia Seafood Chowder submitted by Mrs. J. W,.Sellers, Pictou

Nova Scotia Seafood Chowder

  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 cups milk
  • 1 cup blend or heavy cream
  • 5 oz tin shrimp
  • 5 oz tin lobster or crab
  • Large can of baby clams
  • 1/2 lb cooked haddock cut up
  • 2 tblspns butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook potatoes and onion until tender in as little water as possible. Do not drain off the fluid. Mash potatoes and onions. Add the remaining ingredients stir and cook slowly for 10 minutes. Chives may be added, also a dash of paprika to top of serving.

PLEASE NOTE: Reading and interpreting the old recipes can be challenging. For example, the ingredients are given by weight and not by cups, tablespoons, imperial or metric measure. Ingredients were also known by different names. For example, baking powder was called pearl ash and gelatin was called isinglass. Today's equivalents for several of the recipes tried by archives' staff are found in the modern methods section.

What's Cooking is the latest addition in a continuing series of digital products developed and released by the archives. For more information about archives' offerings, go to https://archives.novascotia.ca/

Even though they didn’t have the same resources and equipment as we do, they were great cooks.


October 2016

The leaves are turning, and the nights are getting cooler, although we are still getting some warm sunny days with temperatures in the mid-20’s. In looking at the calendar, it’s less than two weeks before some of us will be stuffing ourselves with Thanksgiving turkey and pumpkin pie, while others will take one day of that weekend to make a trip to Ski Wentworth to enjoy the fall colours.

Maurice was telling me that on Saturday, October 1st, the Colchester Balefill Facility, or Colchester’s Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) will be holding an open house to celebrate 20 years. It’s hard to believe that it’s almost a generation since Nova Scotia started to get serious about recycling and waste reduction to avert a lot of material from the landfills.

Handling waste is so expensive now, and siteing a new landfill is almost impossible we need to waste less and recycle or use less. Here in East Hants, where we live, each residential property pays $220.00 per year as waste management fee.

I did get a couple of batches of beet pickles made in the last month. My next project this week is to cut the kernels off and put in zip-lock bags for the freezer. I find it takes up a lot less room. We don’t blanch them, just put in the bags and pop into the freezer.

Chris Urquhart was kind enough to send along a recipe from Val McCabe for Cheesy Potato Beef Bake which I am pleased to us.

  • Cheesy Potato Beef Bake

    • 1 lb. hamburger
    • 1 can mushrooms
    • 1 can corn, peas, etc. optional
    • 1 pkg. of scalloped cheesy potato mix
    • 3 cups boiling water1 cup milk
    • 2 tbsp. butter, optional
    • 1 cup grated cheese
    • Spices of choice in hamburger

    Cook hamburger until well done. Add drained mushrooms and drained vegetables. In large bowl mix up scallop mix with water, milk and if using, butter. Pour over hamburger mixture. Bake uncovered in large casserole dish in a 400’F oven for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Cook another 5 minutes, until cheese is melted. Let set for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 8.


    September 2016

    In August, I got caught up watching and keeping updated on what was happening in RIO and probably most of you did the same. Some days on my favourite sports it was hard to get much work done. CBC did a fantastic broadcasting job. Sure there were disappointments, but there were several surprises. Like most things in life, sports and particularly the Olympic suggest can depend on timing and who is hot that day. As a nation we can be very proud of our young athletes. As nation-builders, they represented us well

    The timing of the Olympics was ideal. Just during those hot dry days, and about two weeks before the rush was on to get everything ready for the students to return to school. Must be getting old. Summer went by so fast. Seems like only yesterday we were waiting for the weather to warm up. Now here we are first of September and hate to mention it, but some trees have already started to turn. This time next month, when I’m trying to figure out what to write about approximately 50% of the foliage will have turned.

    As I turn my thoughts back to the gardens, all the fresh vegetables, I need to mention, I’ve had some great feeds of corn on the cob this year. Haven’t ventured to do it on the BBQ, but that large pot on the stove has done a fantastic job. Not sure if it was the hot dry weather or not, but corn seems to have been better this year than recent past.

    Corn has been so good, it’s time to think about converting some of it into corn relish Maybe during the cold days of winter, it will help bring back some good memories of this summer. In order to make a batch of 6-7 16 oz jars, I choose a recipe from Page 314 of the Red Roses Cookbook, only because one has not been submitted.

    Corn Relish

    • 18 ears of corn
    • 4 onions, chopped
    • 2 green peppers, chopped
    • 3 cups white vinegar
    • 3 cups sugar
    • 1 cup flour
    • cup salt
    • 2 tbsp dry mustard
    • 1 cup white vinegar

    Prepare corn by cutting from cob and boiling for five minutes n enough water to cover. Drain. Combine corn, onions and peppers together in a saucepan. Add the 3 cups of white vinegar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes

    Meanwhile combine sugar, flour, and seasonings together in the top portion of a double boiler. Gradually stir in remaining one cup of white vinegar. Cook stirring constantly over hot water for about 10 minutes. Add the fluids to the vegetable mixture, stir well and cook an additional 10 minutes, again stirring constantly. A lower heat is better than too high. Pour hot relish into sterilized jars and seal immediately. Set jars on cake rack to cool. Next morning check each bottle and tighten the lids.


    August 2016  - Hot and dry – Now it’s Pickling time

    Farmers, especially those with field crops, are lamenting the lack of rain during July. Whether it’s a sign of things to come or just one of those summers when we have had very little rain it’s not good for those to make their living from the land.

    A lack of moisture and extremely high heat puts plants under stress providing a much lower yield. Those crops, which are normally harvested early, came and went so fast it was over before we knew it. The consistent high heat over an extended period of time caused the crops to be ready to harvest too fast causing a glut on the market and lower prices.

    Sure we live in one of the best parts of Nova Scotia, and this summer’s weather has proved that. However, I can’t count the number of days, while listening to CBC Radio, Halifax, announcers were talking about how cool it was; heavy rains, thunder showers and anything about the weather which we had not faced.

    Having said all that, I’m amazed how fast summer has come and gone. Within the next three weeks parents will be scurrying to get new clothes and supplies for students to head back to school. Within five weeks of this writing, school buses will be plying our roadways and school bells will be tolling.

    Late August, once the berry season is over, it’s traditional for a switch-over to pickling instead of jams and marmalades. Late August and early September brings us cooler nights and far less humidity. Actually it’s my favourite time of year, as I find days and nights with high humidity most uncomfortable. .

    I really enjoy pickled beets, and will soon be doing up a few batches. Not complicated enough to use as a recipe here. I simply cook the beets, remove the outer skin, and cut to desired sizes (4 cups). Then I make up a mixture of 1 cups white vinegar, 1 cup brown sugar, a dash of salt and pepper, and occasionally add a few cloves (10-12). Bring mixture to a boil until well mixed. Add sliced beets to hot sterilized jars, then fill with fluid. Using sterilized lids and caps, seal. Let stand overnight. Be sure to retighten lids once cool (overnight). You should have two 16 oz jars.

    With the normally high volume of green tomatoes, for this month I have chosen a recipe for Green Tomato Chow Chow. A fair amount of work, but enjoyable. Start today, finish tomorrow. Here goes.

    Green Tomato Chow Chow

    • 7 lb (30) medium green tomatoes – thinly sliced
    • cabbage – finely chopped
    • 6 large onions – thinly sliced
    • 2/3 cup coarse salt
    • 3 cups white vinegar
    • 2 cups brown sugar
    • lemon – thinly sliced
    • cup whole mixed pickling spice
    • 2 whole sweet red pepper

    Sprinkle salt over alternate layers of tomatoes, cabbage and onions. Let stand in cool place overnight. Drain off brine. Rinse vegetable in cold water and drain well. Place in a large kettle adding vinegar, brown sugar and lemon. Stir until all mixed together. Tie spices and red pepper, loosely, in muslin or double layer of cheesecloth. Add the spice bag to the vegetables. Bring to a boil (stirring constantly). Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently until it reaches desired consistency, about 45 – 60 minutes. Pour hot mixture into sterilized jars. Seal Immediately. Place hot jars on cookie rack. Let cool, preferably overnight. Check and retighten each bottle. Store in a cool place. Enjoy. YIELD: 8 – 450 ML (16 oz) jars.


    July 2016 - No sooner said, than done...

    Last month as we were shivering with the cold weather, I mentioned it would not be long before the farmers would be cutting hay, or silage. No sooner had the ink hit the paper and on the next day as I was driving to work, there were fields already mowed. Since it was near noon-time, Jim Burrows crew in Green Oaks had been in the field long before I was ready to put my feet on the floor.

    Since then the silage is in, the fields have been spread with a fresh coat of manure. The way time goes by so fast, they might be on the fields for a second crop before the first of August. Quite possible since either it grows fast, or I’m getting older and slowing down.

    I was able to get two additional days off work and in fact just got back from four days with friends in Cape Breton. A trip up there really re-charges my system. With the warm weather and spending time on the Mira, it was hard to take my feet out of the water, put my sandals on and head back home.

    When I got home, I noticed Maurice had picked up a few transplants while I was away. Looks like two 4-pac of Brussell Sprouts and two different kinds of peppers. I know they just came from the garden centre, but he best get them in soon.

    I can’t get over the volume of recipes that Hazel Hill generates and sends to me. Being away, I didn’t get into the kitchen, so I’ve been on a mad rush to find one that is seasonably appropriate. The way things grow, especially Zucchini, this Casserole recipe should be most timely.

    Hazel’s Zucchini Casserole

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups hamburger
    • 4 cups Zucchini, sliced into inch slices
    • cup onion
    • 4 eggs beaten
    • cup milk’
    • 2 cups toasted bread crumbs
    • 1 tblsp margarine
    • cup shredded cheese – your choice
    • Salt and pepper to taste.
    • Preparation:
    • Combine eggs, margarine, milk, and seasoning
    • Crumble up hamburger into small pieces
    • Grease your favourite casserole dish,
    • Put layer of zucchini, then a fine layer of hamburger, add a bit of onion.
    • Repeat layering until done.
    • Pour egg and milk mixture over the base.
    • Sprinkle top with bread crumbs
    • Finish by adding cheese.

    Bake in 325 oven. If using a top rack, cover or add layer of tinfoil,

    Remove covering for last 30 minutes. If you feel it’s a bit dry, gently add cup of water, by sprinkling around the edges.


    June 2016 - Birthday Party a Success

    It’s still spring. One day I feel its too hot and the next day I’m freezing. I’m sure on Saturday, the temperature during the day must have dropped 15 degrees within an hour and it felt colder because there was a strong breeze.

    At least we’re not like New Brunswick a little over two weeks ago that in certain areas got a dumping of snow. We’ve been more on the lucky side. Listening to the CBC Halifax, the metro area has been blanketed with fog and of course cool temperatures. The fog in the city has been so thick its been almost impossible to see the deck of the bridges.

    When I hear how cool it was in Halifax, I looked out and the sun was shining brightly. That was mid-week on one of my days off and I had every window in the house open as part of my desire to clean the air throughout the house after a long winter.

    I can’t get over how fast the grass is growing and overnight there is a new crop of dandelions. Seems like the lawn needs mowed every other day.

    Time is slipping by quickly. Rest assured within a week some of the dairy farmers will be making their first cut of the hay fields, either for silage or some large round bales.

    I’m sorry I couldn’t get to the 90 & 90+ birthday party, but I was working and couldn’t get a replacement. Maurice was telling me how well it went and how pleased everyone was with the young curlers, Karlee Burgess, and Janique LeBlanc. He said they were awesome and went around to every table speaking to the guests and showing their medals.

    If they decided to give up curling, they could take up singing, as they led everyone in singing Happy 94th Birthday to Keith Graham, who was celebrating his birthday on May 7th.

    Maurice was very proud to receive a Certificate of Accomplishment from Karen Casey, for accomplishments in the Better Newspaper Competition. He was equally proud to show off the trophy he picked up at the Newspaper Atlantic conference for Best Circulation program.

    Some Cape Breton friends of mine who now live in Yarmouth were in Truro this past weekend for the TOPs Convention, so I got to see them for a few minutes. I’ve decided this summer I am going to take a few days and go to Yarmouth for a visit. That’s one of many places in the province, I have not visited.

    By not getting to the party, I missed my annual visit with Hazel Hill, but it didn’t take long for her to send in some more recipes. The one chosen today didn’t have a name, so I’ll call it:

    Hazel’s Monteray Chicken

    Ingredients:

    • 3 cups hot mashed potatoes, prepare with cream cheese and on a little milk, no butter
    • 1 cups cubed chicken
    • 1 – 10 oz can Cream of Chicken Soup
    • cup milk
    • teaspoon dry mustard
    • teaspoon garlic powder
    • teaspoon pepper

    Topping:

    • 1 cups shredded cheese or Montrey Jack Cheese
    • Grease shallow 2 qt baking dish
    • Spread mashed potatoes on bottom and sides of baking dish.
    • Top with chicken filling.
    • Top with 1 cujps shredded or Monterey Jack Cheese
    • Bake uncovered at 375 for 40 minutes.

    Hazel’s Note: I have not tried this recipe yet, but it looks good. (I intend to try it one day) Love Hazel.


    May 2016

    My apology for missing the deadline for this rambling last month. However, I was so sick with the cold / flu or whatever it was going around that I barely had enough energy to put one foot in front of another.

    Memory has not escaped me, but I know for sure I’ve never had a cold, or such a cough ever in my life. Seems like everyone had it. Was talking to a friend of mine in Cape Breton and a friend of hers had a similar affliction that lasted nearly 10 weeks.

    From what I understood, Sandy caught his around Christmas time, and in early April was just back from his second time to the doctor, his second prescription and still had a puffer from the first visit.

    I missed a few days work and also paid my visit the emergency department.

    Maurice just got back from the annual newspaper conference and we were honoured to receive the Award for the "Best Circulation Promotion" beating out 64 other community newspapers from throughout Atlantic Canada in the Newspapers Atlantic Better Newspaper Competition. In total approximately 20 awards were given out at the ceremony.

    The other amazing thing is the "Chase the Ace in Sydney" will continue for at least one more event. Hard to imagine the event has been going for 47 weeks. On the next draw only five cards will be on the table. Jackpot was $2.4-Million. The consolation prize was $380,000. Not a bad payday in itself. Next draw will be on May 7th.

    The Chase the Ace was started in Kennetcook about five years ago. It is totally amazing how it has grown and become a novel way for community groups to raise a lot of money. Those groups who are able to start their own, and get a bit of luck that the ace is not drawn for a few weeks, most certainly captures the interest of a larger number of people.

    Back to Sydney for a moment, just think of the money spent in that city on the weekend, as they anticipated population to swell by 30,000. Locally the Debert Legion is having a bit of a run with theirs. A while ago, Maurice spoke with Danny Martell, who said their jackpot us just under $4,000.00. Getting a prize up to that range, Debert will start to see more and more people dropping by for a few hours on Saturday afternoon. Let’s not forget how the Big Brothers / Big Sister 50/50 draw in Truro has grown. The number of plays has that pot approaching a pay-out of almost $9,000 each week.

    Kale seems to becoming the rage this year. My son, Bradley has started using it. Maurice and I haven’t gotten to be frequent users, but because Maurice really likes Garlic, here’s a recipe which will soon become most often used. Not sure if it’s scientifically proven, but proponents say "Kale is supposed to have cancer-fighting properties".

    Easy Garlic Kale

    1 bunch of Kale

    2 TBLSPNS Olive Oil

    4 cloves of Garlic, or appropriate amount of minced garlic.

    Soak kale leaves in a large bowl of water until dirt and sand begin to fall to the bottom, about 2 minutes. Lift kale from the bowl without drying the leaves and immediately remove and discard stems. Chop the kale leaves into 1-inch pieces.

    Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir garlic until sizzling, about 1 minute. Add kale to the skillet and place a cover over the top.

    Cook, stirring occasionally with tongs, until kale is bright green and slightly tender, 5 to 7 minutes.


    April 2016 - Sorry, no Kitchen Korner this month...


    March 2016

    Occasionally, we get lucky. So far this winter, we have been extremely lucky in comparison to last winter. All along we feared snow storms and accumulation might rival last year, but so far we have escaped its rage. Sure we’ve had a couple of storms and students have had been able to enjoy a few storm days.

    Now that we are into March, as bad as it might get, there’s only about six weeks left and the sun will be so strong any amount of snowfall won’t last long. Maurice always says during the nine years he commuted daily from Maitland to Halifax-Dartmouth he always dreaded the storms in April, because more often than not, each storm was wet packy snow making driving treacherous.

    Other than work, I haven’t done much since last writing and no, we’ve not had a stormy Sunday, so Maurice has not made the Dark Fruitcake yet, but assures me he will with or without a storm. I did get some very long intense chuckles from the Facebook posting from the radio personality in Cape Breton inviting those to become Trump-Dodgers to move to Cape Breton.

    Apparently, he created the posting with tongue-in-cheek as a joke, but just as the Republican GOP presidential candidate campaign is equally amazing, so is the following on his posting. I didn’t catch all of it, but an interviewee on CBC Radio stated the reaction has been so strong, they had to bring back their summer staff to handle all the inquiries.

    It seems a large number of Americans are serious that if Donald J. Trump wins the presidency in November, they are out of there. It’s even been a boom to Cape Breton realtors, as they have had many serious inquiries about purchasing property. Some of those who apparently are well heeled, have inquired about starting businesses.

    Will that tongue-in-cheek Facebook posting contribute to an increase in tourism? It certainly has spread the word through advertising that no amount of money could buy. If Trump-Dodgers come to Nova Scotia this summer in large numbers maybe it will be a boom for Colchester business if they people use the Truro area as a "pit-stop" as they race to get to Cape Breton Island.

    With the high cost of vegetables this winter, I noticed that cabbage is not too bad, so it made me think about a Cabbage and Macaroni Salad recipe, which Hazel Hill sent me over a year ago. In fact a nice home-made salad is a nice break during the winter.

    Cabbage Macaroni Salad

    • Ingredients:
    • 1 - 8 oz box of ring or small shell macaroni
    • 3 cups grated or chopped cabbage
    • 1 green pepper, chopped
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 cucumber, chopped
    • 2 stalks celery, chopped fine
    • 1 red pepper, chopped, (Optional)
    • Cook macaroni to desired tenderness. Drain and let stand few minutes cool. Add cooked macaroni to other ingredients and let stand, while preparing the dressing.

    Dressing:

    • 1 cup salad dressing
    • 1/3 cup vinegar
    • cup sugar
    • Mix these three ingredients together. Be sure to stir long enough to ensure all the sugar is absorbed into the fluid. This makes a very large salad. If you wish adjust recipe to make only half.

    Even though you will have salad left over add the dressing to all the vegetable ingredients. This recipe keeps well in the refrigerator.


    February 2016

    I guess the luck of the Irish was with us this weekend, as the major storm now named Snowzilla dumped two and three feet of snow on the eastern US seaboard. All week long the meteorologists were saying we would be spared, but when the storm blew into New York with 26.8 inches of snow, the second highest snowfall since 1895, I was sure we would be walloped. Luckily, when I wore up on Sunday morning, the sun was shining and not a bit of snow.

    Instead of spending much time over a hot stove, I decided to re-organize one of the cupboards. When I finished I realized we had almost all the ingredients to make Dark Fruit Cake. Yes, I know we are just finishing up the remainder of what Maurice and I bought in the few days prior to Christmas.

    Earlier in the fall, Maurice mentioned he was going to make some dark fruitcake, so I got most of the supplies. He got busy, then ended up in the hospital for a week at the end of November.

    If the storm had arrived this weekend, his plan was to spend the stormy day doing fruitcake. All I needed to do was to get him some cheesecloth for him to wrap it in. Here’s his cherished recipe from the Five Roses Cookbook.

    Dark Fruit Cake

    • 3 cups sultana raisins
    • 1 cup chopped dates
    • 1 cup chopped figs
    • cup chopped candied fruit
    • cup glazed cherries, cut in halves
    • cup citron peel
    • cup lemon peel
    • cup orange peel
    • 1/3 cup cognac, brandy, rum or fruit juice
    • 1 cup sliced blanched almonds
    • 1 cup chopped nuts
    • cup flour
    • 1 cup shortening
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 6 eggs
    • cup molasses
    • 1 cups flour
    • tsp salt
    • tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp allspice (Jamacian pepper)
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • tsp nutmeg
    • tsp mace

    Preheat oven. Combine fruits, add cognac and mix well. Cover and let soak overnight. Line a tube pan with heavy brown paper; grease well. (Maurice prefers loaf pans, prepared the same way). Add almonds and nuts to fruit mixture and mix well; sprinkle with cup flour and mix well. Cream shortening and gradually add brown sugar beating between additions. Add eggs one at at time, beating well after each. Add molasses, mix well. Combine flour, salt, soda and spices together. Gradually blend dry ingredients. Fold in fruit and nut mixture. Fill prepared pan.

    Place a shallow pan of hot water on bottom rack of oven. Place cake pan(s) in centre of oven. Bake in slow oven (275 degrees) for 1 hours. Remove pan of water and bake about 1 hours longer or until toothpick inserted into centre of the cake come out clean. (Loaf pans may take less time so check regularly after second 45 minutes). Cool on wire rack before removing from pan(s).

    STORING: If cake is to be used within a few weeks, do not remove brown paper. Wrap in two thicknesses of aluminum foil. If cakes are to ripen longer, remove brown paper and wrap cakes in cognac (or whatever flavour used) soaked two or three thicknesses of cheesecloth. Place cake in a tight container. Moisten cloth from time to time. To ripen cakes for a few weeks only, store in a cool dry place. If cakes are to ripen longer, store in a very cool place. (Ideal storage container is a metal cookie tin). If you wish you can wrap cakes in two thicknesses of aluminum foil and placed in chest freezer for up to 12 months. Thaw cakes in aluminum foil wrapper.


    January 2016

    WOW. What a warm winterless fall, other than a couple of snow flurry days, we have been able to enjoy. Looking ahead a few days before and after Christmas, the weather experts are suggesting the thermometer will get up to 13 degrees on Christmas Eve.

    Even though the children and skiing enthusiasts will not agree with me, now that we have gone this long without any major snow accumulation, I hope it continues this way. With so many people travelling to spend Christmas and Boxing Day with family, we certainly don’t want to have poor driving conditions. Much better to have a green Christmas than a number of people facing danger and maybe even stranded along the highway over the holidays.

    If we recall our memory we faced a similar situation last year. Does that lead us to conclude a weather pattern similar to 2015 will follow us into the New Year? Last year winter didn’t start until the end of January and then it didn’t stop. Seemed like it snowed every day for six weeks. If it wasn’t snowing we were trying to dig ourselves out.

    Speaking of a green Christmas, the province’s Christmas tree industry certainly are in the green. The low value of the Canadian dollar has certainly increased exports, especially to USA. It looks like 2015 could be a banner year.

    While thumbing through my cook books, I came across a number of recipes, which Hazel Hill had sent to me some time ago. Thinking ahead to the cold winter months, and a desire to include as much fiber in the diet as possible, I chose her great recipe for Refrigerator Bran Muffins. They are favourites of Maurice’s because just a few can be made at one time and you can have warm muffins, whenever you want.

    Refrigerator Bran Muffins

    • 3 cups Quaker All Bran
    • 1 cup boiling water
    • 2 eggs slightly beaten
    • cup molasses
    • 2 cups buttermilk or sour milk
    • cup salad oil
    • 1 cup raisins, dates, currents or prunes
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 2 tsp baking soda
    • tsp salt
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 2 cups flour, unsifted, (may use 1 cups whole wheat flour and 1 scant cup enriched white flour).

    Pour boiling water over bran in large bowl, stir to moisten evenly. Allow to cool. Add eggs, molasses, buttermilk, salad oil & salad oil. Blend well. Stir together: baking soda, salt, baking powder, sugar & flour, then stir into bran mixture. Store in a tightly covered container in refrigerator for up to five weeks. When desired spoon batter into greased muffin cups and bake at 425 for 20 minutes.


     

     

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