Welcome to the Kitchen Korner

Now that you are house-bound, please look up a few favourite recipes and send along. Please reply by June 19th for the July 2020 issue,. Regular mail should go to: The Shoreline Journal, Box 41, Bass River, NS B0M 1B0; Fax: 902-647-2194 or email:  maurice@theshorelinejournal.com


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June 2020 - Do You Have a Crystal Ball?

Last month in this space, I mentioned our movements could be restricted well into August. However, in the past month, I feel we will have this pandemic continuing in our midst for much longer than any of us originally thought.

To me one thing is sure. We will not be able to return to "normal". What used to be normal will now be a part of history. As we move forward and things settle down, we will have to adjust to "the new normal", and no one can describe what that will be.

The probability students will not return to the classroom – five days a week - in September is increasing more and more each day. Here’s a couple of tell-tale signs from recent happenings. Shortly after CoVid-19 became evident, the provincial government through its mandated organization, Develop Nova Scotia, added over $15-Million to the broadband initiative to speed up the construction process. Within the last couple of weeks, Develop Nova Scotia announced over $2-Million in additional funding, for a 100 day initiative to have chosen ISP provided speed up construction.

In Cumberland-Colchester, Xplornet has been asked to erect 19 new towers within 100 days. You many ask, why is 100 days important and when does that end? Basically7 100 days takes us to mid-August. That timing is important, because the Department of Education wants as many students as possible to have access to wide broadband in the event "on-line" learning is needed should students not be going back to the classroom for a full five day week.

These thoughts are purely speculative, as no one the government will confirm, but the stars are aligned for that to happen. But even that poses, at least, a few problems, which I will highlight here:

  1. With many families needing computer, or to upgrade an existing one to handle the needs for "on-line" education, the pandemic has broken the supply chains and they cannot get the parts.
  2. Many families have been impacted with less income because a family member or both adults lost their job, or were laid off from work, so they don’t have additional money to buy a computer.
  3. With less disposable income and if "on-line" education becomes a real necessity will the province be forced to provide gift certificates, or subsidize the cost of a computer for those households on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder?
  4. If so, would a $500 certificate per unit be in order?

Let us know your thoughts and how you visualize things will evolve.

Back to the kitchen. This time of year Fiddleheads are a delicacy preferred by many. Maurice’s younger sister, Gloria, who lives just outside Hartland, NB shared the following recipe.

Fiddlehead and Ham Casserole

  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 cps milk
  • 1 tsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 ½ cps cooked and diced ham
  • 3 cps cooked fiddleheads
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • ½ tsp salt (see notes)
  • 1 tsp chives, chopped
  • Some buttered bread crumbs
  • Make a white sauce of butter, flour, milk and salt (NOTES: I omit the salt and add some garlic powder, celery salt, pepper and Montreal steak spice to flavour the sauce)
  • add parsley and chives to the sauce (I use dried)
  • in a casserole, alternate layers of ham, cooked fiddleheads and white sauce till filled, ending with a layer of sauce
  • Cover top of casserole with buttered bread crumbs, bake @ 350F until sauce bubbles and crumbs are browned, about 30 mins.

Alternatives: you can swap in chicken, broccoli, cauliflower or other vegetables


May 2020 - In for the long haul?

Don’t be surprised if our movements will be severely restricted until August. I believe we are in for the "long haul". Unfortunately, it is possible students might not go back to the classroom in September, of if they do it will be wearing a mask. Certainly "home schooling" will be preferred by many parents I understand education officials are working on a possible "home schooling" model.

With all the self isolation many people had to find ways to keep busy and not go "shack wacky". Some decided to edit their clothes closets by setting aside items they would no longer wanted; put away the winter attire, and bring out spring and summer which had been put away last fall. Some decided to start the dreaded chore of spring housecleaning.

I can understand people wanting to get out, but I fail to understand why people would drive to a park or beach when they were warned and each of those previously public places were barricaded and there were plenty of signs. Other’s we out walking in groups and not observing social distancing. These things are the only things which have kept Covid-19 from being much worse.

It is totally inconceivable why certain people were so blatantly ignoring or uncaring. Each fine ranging from $697.50 to $1,000 is well deserved. I just hope when the courts are re-opened the judge throws the book at them and puts them behind bars until the fine is paid.

Others wanted to spend some time in the kitchen; Laura Fisher, Truro decided to make one of her favourites, Black Olive Chili, then sent along the recipe. I haven’t tried it yet, but Laura says she really likes it and freezes well. Laura describes it as "Beef chili, no beans .. I use sliced black olives instead of traditional kidney beans. I also use green peppers, onion, mushrooms and diced zucchini".

Black Olive Chili

  • 1 tuna of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tin of tomatoes paste
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1 onion minced
  • 1 green pepper minced
  • 1 pkg Mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 tin of sliced black olives
  • 2 cups of diced zucchini, if you like,
  • 1 1/2 pound med ground beef cooked loose

While ground beef is cooking in a large saucepan, make sure beef is cooked loose, arrange and prepare all ingredients. Add to meat, saving mushrooms and zucchini until later, stirring well and bring to bubbling boil on medium heat. Add mushrooms, and after about five minutes add zucchini.

Laura says, I make a mexican spice mix I use but you can just put in 2 or 3 table spoons of chili powder and some garlic powder to taste, Add sauce and simmer until veggies are soft and the way you like it. Salt to taste.

Mexican Sauce for Chili

I double the recipe and keep it in s jar. It is great for tacos and fajitas or even rice. If you wish to double size of sauce mix, double the quantities below. I use 4 Tbsp of the seasoning mix for the chili recipe.

  • 4 Tbsp chili powder
    2 Tbsp ground cumin
    1TBSP celery salt
    2 tsp garlic powder
    2 tsp onion powder
    2 tsp smoked paprika
    1 tsp dried oregano
    1 tsp ground black pepper
    1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes

For excess amount put into appropriate size containers and freeze. When you want a quick meal, let thaw slightly, or empty into saucepan and heat on very low heat until mixture is totally thawed. Then heat slowly on medium heat. Stir frequently.


April 2020 - Is winter over?

Effective today, March is behind us. Just because it is April Fools Day, we don’t need the weatherman to play a trick on us by providing another major snowstorm. We’ve had enough and we’re done with it!! Yes, we had some undesirable days, but in an overall aspect, this winter was not as cold as it could have been. Occasionally tThe snow has helped insulate us and we’ve probably burned less furnace oil than last year, which is good because the price was higher than last year.

March was horrible in a way we have not seen before. It started in February, but the Covid-19 virus shut down most of North America. Schools were shut down for at least two weeks following March break. Most pundits and parents agree it is unlikely students will see the inside of a classroom until September, maybe longer.

Premier McNeil became dedicated to updating the public every day at 3:00 pm with a news conference. Even though his messages were not good news, he provided a lot of information and it sure instilled calmness across the province. Naturally people did not like having to self isolate; non essential businesses were mandated to close. Any eatery with sit-down seating was closed, but those with drive-thru or take-out services could operate. When barber shops and hair salons are not allowed to open their doors, we are liable to look like hippies from the 60’s when this is over. Closing the provincial borders and requesting people separate themselves from others by at least six feet shows the seriousness and potential disasters.

Two things come to mind, with staying home will we have a population explosion in November and December? For those who were not proficient, many people have had to take a crash course in home cooking. For those of us who are long in the tooth, preparing family meals was life as usual. With many people hoarding there were a number of things not available on Saturday, March 21st: flour, evaporated milk, pasta noodles, envelopes of yeast; chicken leg quarters or breasts, and hamburger.

Here’s a tasty and healthy meal, which is relatively easy to prepare. This month’s selection is "Chicken Cacciatora" which can be found on Page 230 of the Five Roses Cookbook. I can’t give you the volume number as it’s not in the best of shape as both covers disappeared ages ago.

Chicken Cacciatora

  • 1-3 lb Chicken, cut up
  • ½ cup Five Roses Flour
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 14 oz can Tomato Paste
  • 1 cup Canned tomatoes
  • ¼ cup white wine (optional)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Pepper
  • ¼ tsp Oregano
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 cup Sliced Fresh Mushrooms

Coat chicken pieces with flour (I like to put in bread bag and shake), brown in olive oil over high heat. Remove chicken and set aside. Add onions and sauté over medium heat until tender but not brown. Remove excess fat. Combine remaining ingredients, except mushrooms, in a bowl. Return chicken to skillet and pour tomato sauce on top. Cover and simmer until sauce thickens and chicken is tender, about 45 minutes. Add mushrooms 15 minutes before end of cooking. Remove bay leaf skim off excess fat.

Serve with rice or noodles. For a vegetable anything is fine, but for colour on the plate something green is recommended. Fresh asparagus, green beans or broccilli fit nicely.


March 2020 - Lucky so far...

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 previous years, 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. During the nine years Maurice 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. With all the smut, lies and dirty politics south of the border, I wonder if there might be an increased number of Trump-Dodgers moving to Cumberland-Colchester now that a $60.2-Million broadband initiative has been announced.

It seems a large number of Americans are serious that if Donald J. Trump is re-elected in November, they are out of there. It’s even been a boom to Cape Breton realtors, and other realtors around the province with a constantly increasing number of serious inquiries about purchasing property. Some of those who apparently are well heeled, have inquired about starting businesses.

With broadband coming over the next three years and the proposed Cliff of Fundy GeoPark expected to get UNESCO approval in April, the economy of Cumberland and Colchester Counties should be on the upward swing for the next decade or so. Economic development officials at the two counties who are peering into their crystal ball see nothing but good. However, they do have a major concern. Will the career training institutions get ahead of the ball and offer training so we have a trained labour force when existing businesses or those willing to start or relocate need them?

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 forward several years 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
  • ½ 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 2020 - Two Previously Published Recipes.

I won’t go on about the weather, or what happened during the last month, like I normally do because I am so agitated with what has been happening in the political world. Lately CNN has been spending an untold number of hours with the Impeachment process.

I’m not a political animal like Maurice, but I occasionally listen to some of the comments. To me the entire process is like nothing I have ever seen or heard before. When I sit back and think about it, both sides seem to be as deceiving and sly as the other, although I do understand the DEMS are promoting ‘protecting the constitution’.

To me it is hard to believe after the impressive testimony from the professionals in the various departments has failed to alter or change public opinion. Seems like everyone is polarized and unwilling to change their thought process contrary to the preachings from party officials.

The irony of the entire situation is what will the millions of voters think of the actions and beliefs held by both parties, when it comes time to vote in November 2020. I’m sure if something of a similar nature occurred in Canada, people would be changing how they think or would vote.

Perhaps you might think I’ve become lazy but decided to review some of the more famous recipes published in the last couple of years. The first was from the late Chris Urguhart who submitted:

Cowboy Casserole

  • 1lb hamburger
  • 4 potatoes
  • 3 to 5 carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 can baked beans in pork & molasses
  • 1 can tomato soup

Place a layer of potatoes sliced thin, with a few dabs of butter in the bottom of a casserole dish. Next place a layer of carrots sliced thin.

Then add a layer of onions, sliced thin. Cover with hamburger using your choice of spices. Then cover with baked beans. Lastly, cover the whole lot with tomato soup. Cover dish and bake in 350ºF for about an hour, until potatoes are cooked through.

One week John MacLean sent along a recipe which Jeanette Bartlett had sent to his family, with the following note: ‘Some expressed interest in the icing used on your Dad’s birthday cake – here is the recipe":

Corner Brook’s Mystery Icing

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 Tbsp white sugar
  • 2 rounded Tbsps custard powder (eg Bird’s), mixed with a little cold water
  • Lemon or orange flavoring
  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup white sugar

Procedure:

In a small saucepan, dissolve 1 Tbsp sugar in the boiling water. Add dissolved custard powder to water-sugar mixture and cook until colour changes, stirring constantly. Let cool. Add flavouring. Cream butter well; add ½ cup sugar a small amount at a time, beating until very creamy. Add custard mixture, a teaspoon at a time, beating well after each addition. The recipe can be found in the 4th edition of ‘Corner Brook’s Favourite Recipes’, Bentley Club, First United Church, 1960.

Before I close off, Maurice & I hope that all are enjoying a Happy New Year, filled with good health & prosperity.


January 2020  Two previously published recipes

I won’t go on about the weather, or what happened during the last month, like I normally do because, I am so agitated with what has been happening in the political world. Lately CNN has been spending an untold number of hours with the Impeachment process.

I’m not a political animal like Maurice, but I occasionally listen to some of the comments. To me the entire process is like nothing I have ever seen or heard before. When I sit back and think about it, both sides seem to be as deceiving and sly as the other, although I do understand the DEMS are promoting "protecting the constitution".

To me it is hard to believe after the impressive testimony from the professionals in the various departments has failed to alter or change public opinion. Seems like everyone is polarized and unwilling to change their thought process contrary to the preachings from party officials.

The irony of the entire situation is what will the millions of voters think of the actions and beliefs held by both parties, when it comes time to vote in November 2020. I’m sure it something of similar nature occurred in Canada, people would be changing how they think or would vote.

Perhaps you might think I’ve become lazy but decided to review some of the more famous recipes published in the last couple of years. The first was from the late Chris Urquhart who submitted Cowboy Casserole.

Cowboy Casserole

  • 1 lb hamburger 4 potatoes
  • 3 to 5 carrots 1 large onion
  • 1 can baked beans in pork & molasses 1 can tomato soup
  • Place a layer of potatoes sliced thin, with a few dabs of butter in the bottom of a casserole dish. Next place a layer of carrots sliced thin. Then add a layer of onions, sliced thin. Cover with hamburger using your choice of spices. Then cover with baked beans. Last, cover the whole lot with tomato soup. Cover dish and bake in a 350’F oven for about 1 hour, until potatoes are cooked through.

One week, John MacLean sent along a recipe which Jeanette Bartlett had sent to his family, with the following note: Some expressed interest in the icing used on your Dad's birthday cake - here is the recipe".

Corner Brook’s Mystery Icing
 
1 c. boiling water

  • 1 Tbsp. white sugar
    2 rounded Tbsp. custard powder (e.g. Bird’s) mixed with a little cold water
    Lemon or orange flavouring
    1 c. butter
  • ½ c. white sugar

Procedure:

  1. In a small saucepan, dissolve 1 Tbsp. sugar in the boiling water.
    Add dissolved custard powder to water-sugar mixture & cook until colour changes, stirring constantly. Let cool. Add flavouring.
  2. Cream butter well; add  ½ c. sugar a small amount at a time, beating until very creamy.
    Add custard mixture, a teaspoon or two at a time, beating well after each addition.

The recipe can be found in the 4th edition of "Corner Brook’s Favorite Recipes", Bentley Club, First United Church. 1960.

Before I close off, Maurice and I would like to wish all Shoreline Journal subscribers, families and readers a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and Happy New Year filled with good health and prosperity in 2020.


 

 

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