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 Septemer 10th. 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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September 2017 - Hurricane Season & Schools In

The past few weeks we’ve been complaining about the humidity and that for the past three weekends it has rained on either Saturday or Sunday, or both. Which brings to mind, the joke. What do you call the day after two days of rain? ANSWER: Monday.

Yes, we’ve complained, as usual, about the weather……. Humidity, rain, heat and feeling uncomfortable. After watching television this weekend, all of us should stop complaining about the weather or anything related to it.

I haven’t been glued to CNN or other American stations, but after seeing the havoc Hurricane Harvey brought to Texas, we need to really thank our lucky stars that we live where we live. Can you imagine the personal trauma of living through a night of 140 Mile/hr wind and rain and then be told the storm had stalled and another 4-5 days of rain was headed your way.

I just watched a bit of CNN and the meteorologist commented on the airport outside Houston received 10 inches in 90 minutes. It’s only Sunday and some areas have 30 inches of rain, and forecasters say the rain will continue until Thursday or Friday and 40-50 more inches expected in some areas.

With all the damage to trees, power poles, and anything that was standing it will be weeks if not months before people will be back in their neighbourhoods. Not only don’t they have electricity, or cell phone service, the urban areas are like a time bomb all the natural gas lines snapped or punctured and gas flowing freely into the atmosphere.

With Trump as president, I didn’t want to move there anyway, but with weather of that potential magnitude I’m happy to stay right here and watch the Bay of Fundy tides come and go.

Within the next week the wee ones and those not so young will be heading back to school. Please remind yourself students will be near the road as they await a school bus or a walking to school. Everyone has a responsibility, but remember your vehicle is a lethal weapon.

When my mind turned to what to cook for dinner, I reached over and grabbed my binder of hand written recipes handed down to me over the years. Not that I was thinking about it, but when I opened one of the pages, a certain recipe seemed to "jump off" the page. Hence I decided to prepare some Swiss Steak.

Swiss Steak

  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • ½ tsp sale
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 can of tomatoes
  • Garlic (fresh or dry minced)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 1 large green pepper (cut up)
  • 1 cup celery cut into pieces similar to carrot dollars)
  • 1 cup carrots (cut round like a coin)
  • ½ cup fresh mushrooms
  • 1 – 1 ½ lbs round or sirloin steak

Cut up vegetables and set aside. Cut steak into 1’ pieces. Heat oil in a large dutch oven; if you wish sprinkle flour over meat, or add meat to saucepan then sprinkle in the flour, add salt and dry mustard. Brown meat on all sides with medium heat. Stir frequently to avoid sticking. Once meat is browned, add water and stir thoroughly to ensure nothing is stuck to bottom.

Add remainder of ingredients, stir thoroughly, bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat and let simmer 5-10 minutes. Continue cooking for 1-2 hours on top of stove until vegetables are as desired. If your saucepan is oven proof slip into 325 oven. However, I put mine in a slow cooker for about just over an hour.


August 2017 - Where has the summer gone?

Remember, last February we had to pay for this heat. We moaned about being cold; another storm was coming our way, or it as hard work shoveling the walkway. Even though we don’t have to shove, we are still complaining.

Think about wildlife and how much they are enjoying the lush grasses and probably the tops off some of our garden vegetables or flowers. Like us they are probably not enjoying the infestation of flies and insects.

Here we are only five weeks until students will be back in school. Is time going faster, or are we getting older and it just seems to pass us by like we are standing still. Where has the summer gone? It’s a bad way to look at it, but I the next column, I’ll probably be chatting about drive safe and look out for students on there way to or from school, then the next one, it will be pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.

On a completely different note, I’ll mention that occasionally how nice it would be to operate a coffee shop, because people are the happiest once they get there first sip, or cup of coffee. I enjoy people when they are happy. Of course, I’d be able to keep up with all the gossip, as I suspect a waitress with a keen ear would be astounded with all the juicy gossip.

However, during the last week being a waitress in a coffee shop in Colchester County it would not have been as much fun. It would be akin to watching CNN hour after hour, where it’s a constant rehash of what President Trump tweeted today, or who he called out. basically the same story. Locally, it would have been a matter of paying attention to determine who was taking what side and if they thought the alleged racist comments attributed to two councillors was true or not.

True or not, it will take a while for the blemishes from the bruising we’ve taken during the last week to disappear. There can be a positive outcome. We don’t need or want such attitudes to exist anywhere, but we can only control our own space. Maybe people will think before they speak, and be aware maybe we should join others to put a positive stamp on Colchester by ensuring there is inclusiveness and respect for others.

Now that I need to start some activity about what’s happening in the kitchen, I spent a few minutes leafing through the recipe binders I have accumulated over the years. Not long ago, I was talking to an elderly friend of mine in Cape Breton, and within a day or so, when I opened up the binder, there was a recipe she gave me several years ago.

Toonie gave me the recipe about 10 years ago. At that time she was in her early 90’s. She’s still going strong and I promised her, I’d drop by for a visit on my next trip to Cape Breton. Here’s the recipe just as she gave it to me.

Toonie’s White Cookies

  • 1 cup margarine (2 blocks)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp Cream of Tarter
  • ½ tsp Baking soda
  • 2 cups of flour (maybe a bit more)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Mix ingredients together. Ensure all is moistened and well mixed.
  • Drop spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. (I add a sheet of parchment paper)
  • Bake in 350 over until brown.

July 2017

Finally summer is here. In a day or so the school buses will stop running and take their turn at annual summer maintenance, while students are enjoying two months of a more relaxed lifestyle and hopefully a nice vacation with family.

I spent the last month primarily doing my domestic engineering duties, but did arrange a few different things. As I looked at the month, Maurice’s 70th birthday was upcoming on the 17th, plus I had a call from Cape Breton that a good friend and neighbour of many years was gravely ill and friends were going to have a retirement party for a long standing friend, also on the 17th.

My challenge was to arrange my life so all could be accomplished.

I got lured by the Casino Nova Scotia advertisements of all you can eat Prime Rib and lobster tails for $9.99 on Friday and Saturday evenings, so to celebrate Maurice’s birthday, we decided to celebrate a week early. It was a great time and an enjoyable meal. Prime Rib was excellent, but the lobster tails were not up to my liking. However, hard to complain when two meals and one beer with taxes comes in at $30.13.

As I was going some running around in preparation for my trek to Cape Breton, I discovered my car needed to visit a mechanic. It took a couple of days to make arrangements and get the parts, so my drive was delayed later in the week. By the time I got to Sydney my friend and neighbour had passed, but I was able to get there in time for the wake and funeral.

Back home now after a very enjoyable week to my old stomping grounds and doing the stomping with long-time friends.

Earlier in the month, I decided that the next day or so, we’d fire up the BBQ to enjoy some chicken breasts. Of course, you know my luck. The weather changed and it was raining hard and the wind was howling, so I had to go to plan "B". I came across a Chicken Dijon recipe I had found a couple of years ago. So I decided to give it a try. Turned out to be a good choice when you don’t want to BBQ in the rain.

Chicken Dijon

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon-style prepared mustard
  • In a large skillet, brown chicken in butter/margarine for about 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through and juices run clear. Remove from skillet and place on a warm oven-proof platter. Preheat oven to 150 degrees F (65 degrees C).
  • Stir flour into skillet drippings. Add broth and deglaze skillet by stirring vigorously until flour is somewhat dissolved and liquid has the consistency of a sauce. Add cream. Simmer, stirring, over moderate heat for about 10 minutes until sauce is a little thick. Stir in mustard and heat through. Pour mustard sauce over chicken breasts. Put platter in warm preheated oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, then serve!

If you are going to keep the chicken on hold for a few minutes, or just to keep food moist, cover chicken with aluminum foil. Additional benefits are it cooks evenly and makes clean-up easier.


June 2017 - Truro Farmer’s Market

For several years, there have been very few Saturday’s I was either working of had a full schedule and could not get into Truro. However, this past Saturday, Maurice and I had to take the dog to the animal hospital. We got done earlier that anticipated, so we dropped by the Truro Farmer’s Market.

I was totally amazed how much it has grown. We didn’t get there until around noon and it was packed.

If you haven’t been there for a while, or ever, I really recommend you take the time. Probably a great place to meet up with friends you haven’t seen for a while.

Changes in eating habits and emphasis on "buy local" certainly has helped vendors. Every stall was busy and there was lots of money changing hands, which bodes well for the local economy.

I was disappointed, no one was selling cabbage rolls, which I love to make. Not bragging, but I do get a lot of compliments. Maurice suggested, I should get a table and give it a try. He asked the price I would charge, if I did do it. I tossed out a figure and he said I was too low.

Later in the day, he had to go back into town, so he did some deli shopping from one of the large grocery stores. He couldn’t find cabbage rolls, but did bring home a few samples of other products. When I looked at the prices charged, I was amazed. For a small quiche, about three inches across he paid almost 50% more than I thought people would pay for a cabbage roll.

It’s got me to thinking. As a result, I thought I’d share my version. I’ve been making them so long, that I don’t have a recipe, so I can’t tell you ½ cup of this and one cup of that. You’ll have to be content to determine your own volumes. (When I make them, I normally make 50-60 at a time, then freeze them for later).

Here goes:

Cabbage – choose a firm one – probably the largest in the store. I boil mine, lightly salted until I figure it’s about half done. Remove from stove and let with in water for 20-30 minutes (cooler is easier to handle. Put cabbage on counter, or large roaster and gently remove the leave one by one. (Put leaves in the top of roaster.

If you get towards the centre and the leaves are too crisp and won’t remove easily, return to water and boil a few more minutes.

Meat filling I prefer lean or extra lean. Season (to your taste) with salt and pepper, minced or powdered garlic, perhaps a bit of cayenne pepper. (Some people like to had a bit of left over cooked rice). Occasionally, I’ll add a bit of tomato sauce or juice – just enough to make the meat mixture a bit moister. Mix all together. (Get in there with your hands, make sure there are no lumps of meat.

Rolls – Put meat mixture into one leaf. Put near base of leaf and roll tightly until all leave is used. Squeeze, lightly, to make sure it stays together. Then place each roll into bottom of roaster, which is very lightly greased.

Sauce - I use a combination of tomato paste, sauce and tomato juice. One or two 48 oz cans. Season your liking with salt, pepper, garlic (minced or powder) and cayenne or crushed red pepper). Pour over cabbage rolls and bake in covered roaster. I use the same one as I cook a turkey. 350 oven. Probably at least an hour, maybe two. A bit under cooked is better, if you are going to freeze.

If you have extra ingredients after using all the cabbage, you can always use for a meat loaf or put in the refrigerator and dream up another use, or use to make spaghetti sauce.


May 2017 - Mini Pizzas on the Grill

One day last week, even though I thought I noticed a couple of snow flurries in the air I was doing the usual work around the property: a bit of clean up; remove some of the debris winter’s winter deposited on the lawn; get the BBQ in position for the summer; replace an outdated propane tank, and a few other odd jobs, while "Moe" my Pomeranian shadow enjoyed running around, even though he was on a long leash.

After I went into the house, I started to think what "new to us" things we could try on the BBQ this summer.

My mind went blank, just as Maurice came in talking about a recipe, he noticed in the Port Greville area’s Shore Drive Development Association April 2017 newsletter.

After he printed it off, I decided what a novel idea, and a great project for the coming BBQ season. I must thank Barbara Aris, newsletter editor for making such a wise timely choice. I haven’t tried them yet, but I am sure will be a great diversion. If your family or friends enjoy, say a big "thank you" to Barbara Aris for her great editor choices.

  • Mini Pizzas on the Grill
    5 cups (22.5 oz) all-purpose flour (dough)
    1 tablespoon sugar (dough
    1tablespoon kosher salt (dough)
    1 teaspoon instant yeast (dough)
    2 tablespoons olive oil (plus some for
    shaping dough)
    1 ¾ cups room-temp water (dough)
    2 ½ cups organic tomato sauce
    1 tablespoon dried oregano (sauce)
    2 teaspoons salt (sauce)
    2 teaspoons black pepper (sauce)
    1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (sauce)
    1 teaspoon garlic powder (sauce)
    2 lb low-moisture mozzarella cheese
    1 0 cups various veggie/meat toppings

To make dough, mix flour, salt, sugar, and yeast together in a large bowl. Add in oil and water and stir with a large spoon until the dough forms a rough ball. Using your hand, dip it in water and vigorously work the dough until it forms a relatively smooth ball. This will probably take 3-4 minutes.

Let the dough rest for 15 minutes. Then turn it out onto a floured surface and knead it until it is very smooth, but not sticky. If it's too sticky, knead in more flour. If it's dry and cracking, knead in water a tablespoon at a time. Divide dough into 10 small balls. They should weigh about 4 ounces a piece. Lightly coat each dough ball with olive oil and let sit, covered, at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Then transfer to fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight. Remove dough from fridge 90 minutes before making pizzas.

Roll dough balls out onto a lightly floured surface until they are about 6-7 inches in diameter. If you want, you can roll out all the dough balls before starting to make them on the grill. Just set the prepared pizza rounds on clean baking sheets with a bit of olive oil.

Heat grill to medium-high and let get very hot. Add 3-4 pizzas depending on grill size. Let cook for 90 seconds. Flip pizzas and immediately add sauce, cheese, and toppings. Let cook for another 5 minutes, covered. Turn down heat to medium-low after you flip and top the pizzas. Remove pizzas and slice them up.


April 2017

We are almost out the nastiness of winter, although in April we get a couple of difficult days with wet snow which makes driving more dangerous that the dead of winter. Our salvation is we know the snow will not last long, as the sun is much stronger, and migratory birds are returning.

I haven’t seen any robins yet, but I am sure they are arriving in small numbers, or will very soon. The other positive note is that Saturday is a sure sign of spring. It will be "April Fool’s Day, so be careful how and to what you react to prior to noontime.

Now is the time to think about what vegetables or flowers you want for Canada’s 150 birthday, if you wish to get out of a habit and try something new. Seed packs are abundant in most retail outlets. If you choose not to plant seeds, you can wait for the garden centres to open, but now is the time to think about different varieties you wish to plant this year to change things a bit.

A while ago there was a great documentary on the Maitland Volunteer Fire Department. Sure I knew everyone there, and it was a great story. Even though it focused on this small brigade of 20 members, name of the community could be been changed as it would apply to any of the fire brigades in our area. I probably would not have the opportunity to hear the documentary again, but I understand it will be repeated on Monday, March 27th.

The highlight in many communities for the past few weeks and will continue into the first three weeks of April has been the many maple syrup breakfasts, brunches and events. It’s always a great feast, lots of local entertainment and the opportunity to stock up on the quantities of locally produced maple syrup to get us through another year.

If you are in a rush doing some of the things you traditionally do around the house this time of year, you might wish to try a bit different slow cooker recipe, I came across the other day. If you have sweet tooth maybe the family would enjoy an easy to make fudge recipe. Both are presented below.

Cowboy Crockpot Stew

  • 1 sm package of stew meat
  • 1 pkg sausage or kielbasa
  • 1 med onion chopped
  • 1 med potato chopped
  • 1 can baked beans, your choice

Place ingredients into a crockpot in the order shown. Cover and cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. If you are brave or have a desire for a particular spice, you can experiment to your own satisfaction. Preparation time: 10 minutes. Serves: 6 to 8.

Never Fail, Five Minute Fudge

  • 2/3 cup un-diluted evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 2/3 cup sugar
  • ½ cup chopped nuts
  • ¼ tsp sale
  • 1 pkg (6 oz) chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cup diced marshmallows (16 med).

Mix evaporated milk, sugar and salt in saucepan over medium heat. Heat to boiling, then cook five minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add marshmallows, chocolate chips, vanilla and nuts. Stir 1-2 minutes until marshmallows melt. Pour into buttered 8 inch square pan. Cool. Cut into squares.


March 2017 - Sloppy Joes

Other than one week in February when we had storms than seemed to last the entire week, and was combined with the one day closure of schools due to NSTU’s first ever strike, Granted it only lasted one day and was sandwiched in between a Thursday storm, then two solid days of severe winter on Monday and part of Tuesday.

Earlier this week, the snow around here was piled as high as the bucket on the tractor could pile it, Then low and behold, the sun came out, the temperature increased, and combined with some overnight fog, the piles as of this afternoon are half the size.

Missing two days of work due to Masstown Market being closed on the Monday and Tuesday certainly didn’t help the pocket book, but at least with the market being closed, I didn’t feel guilty about sleeping in late, then basically doing very little all day.

Lately every time Maurice or I go to the grocery store, different cuts of pork have been on sales and I mean at rock bottom prices. I can’t believe the low pricing on two pork tenderloins to a pack. It’s been going on so long now that I’m getting tired of thinking of pork.

As a result I started looking around for something different. After checking the deep freezer, I found a package of hamburger. Then off to the cookbook for something different, other than meat loaf or making patties. As a result I stumbled on a great recipe for Sloppy Joes. We had just had turkey, and I had a package of hamburger sitting on the counter. So this month we are going to enjoy the almost traditional recipe I used to crave years ago, when Bradley was home and we wanted something quick.

Sloppy Joes - Ingredients

  • 1 pound of extra-lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 onion, small diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 red pepper, small diced
  • 1 1/2 cup no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt for Life Sea Salt Blend Black pepper, cracked
  • 8 whole-wheat hamburger buns

Preparation

1. Brown meat and onion in large sauté pan. Strain remaining fat and juices from pan. Add garlic, jalapeno and red pepper; cook about 5 minutes more. Stir in remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 5 to 10 more minutes. Scoop 1/2-cup portion onto each bun and serve. Serves: 8 sandwiches


February 2017 - Chicken Dijon

The lack of constant frigid temperatures is sure having a good affect on the oil bill. Got our second one the other day and upon checking it was about $200 less. Of course the drop in price helped, but I shudder to think what it might have been had we been having a cold nasty winter.

After moving to the mainland and seeing how much attention Maurice give to the 4-H clubs and even gets columns of club news from some whose job is club reporter, I realize I wasn’t as lucky as some mothers who have children going through the 4-H process. My son and I lived in Westmount, a suburb of Sydney and 4-H was not available.

If there is one thing 4-H does, it trains youth in a variety of ways. I’ve heard many adults and business people say, finding 4-H on a resume is a plus for youth and many of them are much better workers and very mature for their age.

I don’t mean to editorialize, but the current AMADA contest which will give away four $15,000 prizes to 4-H Clubs is tremendous. Truro Agromart, Onslow needs to be congratulated on their partnership in the contest. If this area is chosen as a winner, the $15,000 in prize money will be used for much needed improvements at the 4-H barn at the exhibition grounds.

With prize money available, a local partner and monies designated for a worthy 4-H facility, everyone in Nova Scotia should get busy voting on a daily basis. To start your participation Google "thank a retailer" or go to www.thankaretailer.ca/vote. Then click onto the Eastern Canada button. Be sure to tell your friends.

Probably time to head into the kitchen and see what I can find for a recipe. With pork being so low priced, and seems like all the retailers are featuring pork, I wanted to think of something else.

As a result, I have chosen a chicken recipe.

Chicken Dijon

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup minced green onions
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  • 2 tbsp  ch fresh tarragon or 1 tsp dried
  • 2 tbsp Jijon mustard
  • 2 oz low fat cream cheese

Place chicken breasts between 2 sheets plastic wrap and flatten. Season with salt and pepper. Heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cook 7-9 minutes or til no longer pink in the centre. Turn only once.

Place on warmed plate and cover with foil. Add onions, to same skillet, cook 30 seconds. Add broth, wine and brandy, stirring vigorously to loosen an brown bits from bottom of skillet. Add tarragon, mustard and cream cheese, cook 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Return chicken to pan along with any accumulated juices, cook 1 minute or till heated thoroughly.


January 2017 - Cookies!

It certainly has not seemed like Christmas. First in November it was too warm to think about all the jingle bells and the pressure we put upon ourselves to get "just the right gift" for everyone on our list. Then of course if becomes a budgetary item.

Along with the warm weather in late November spreading on into December, all of us as grandparents or parents and even students were concerned about what was going to transpire in the education system. Students and parents then had to deal with the fact we’d have a Christmas without the school concerts and sporting activities, including the many tournaments that occur over the Christmas holidays. Disappointment among the students was the biggest stresser for parents. Oh, how to pacify the youngsters and appropriately explain what was happening.

After we settled into a different Christmas season, Atlantic Canada was thrown into the midst of severe winter weather. Lots of snow and frigid temperatures, which last week in some areas dropped the thermometer to -24. One farmer in Glenholme let it be known that -24 was two degrees colder than any time last winter.

Wonder what’s ahead for us until mid-April. Surely, we won’t have an abundance of snow, then a period of Nor’wester winds that howl for days upon end. If so, I’m not looking forward to it.

With all the above, including work at the Deli in Masstown Market, I haven’t spent much time in the kitchen. However, realizing there are still a few more days to catch up on some Christmas baking, I went looking for some of the favourite family recipes from my days as a youth in Sydney.

100 Good Cookies

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 egg – unbeaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tarter
  • 1 cup rice crispies
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 3 1;2 – 4 cups flour

Cream sugar with butter and oil. Add egg and vanilla. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Roll into balls, press with fork. Bake in 350 oven for 10-15 minutes. Should make 100 cookies.

Christmas Cookies

  • 1 cup soft butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 cup almonds (Pieces or slices) Optional
  • ½ cup red cherries – cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup green cherries – cut into small pieces

Cream butter, add sugar. Add vanilla, salt and flour. Add cherries and form into balls. Bake in 325 oven until golden brown. Do not grease cookie sheet.


 

 

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