Welcome to the Kitchen Korner

If you have a favourite family recipe and would like it published in the February 2023 issue, please send on or before January 15th, 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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January 2023 - Less than a week until Christmas

Where did the time go? It seems like yesterday, we thought "there’s lots of time" so no need to rush for Christmas. As you are reading this month’s submission there is less that a week before Christmas, or if you got busy, trying to catch up, maybe the "big" day has come and gone.

If it has past you probably are like me, can’t wait to take down the decorations for another year. At least I won’t have to wait for January to bring the bills. Followed my own rule made a few years ago, "if it’s for Christmas, it has been paid before I bring it home". What a nice feeling compared to 40+ years ago, when mine were wee ones and it was a struggle to get what they wanted either because it was out of stock, or money was tight.

I haven’t been spending much time in the kitchen. I hate winter and it came much too fast, and with several cold windy days. Since I haven’t won the lotto and can’t afford to find much warmer climate, guess I’ll have to hibernate until spring comes.

Our household is not much for deserts and sweets, but we do like the occasional chocolate. In most cases it is routine to go back for seconds, rather than clear a path for dessert. Over the holidays, it seems like it becomes a habit to nibble on sweets when visiting or entertaining.

On cold winter evenings, it seems fair to have the occasional craving for a warm / hot filling desert. One favourite from days gone by in the era of grandparents is Radio Pudding. The name might sound odd, and no you don’t par-boil or bake an older radio.

The recipe is out of Barbour’s Cook Book from probably the 50’s or 60’s. It’s easy to make and is best served warm.

Radio Pudding

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 2 tsps cream of tartar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup raisins (optional)
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla.

Sauce for pudding:

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • butter size of walnut
  • 2 cups boiling water

Pour sauce over dough – do not stir. If your oven runs hot, either reduce time, or add few tablespoons boiling water. Want to create lots of sauce and to keep the dough / pudding moist. .

Bake in 350 oven for 30 minutes..


December 2022 - Hard to get into the Christmas Spirit

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 even though the stores have been focusing more and more on the gifting season.

On the very bright side, the furnace has not had to work very much, so I’m liking the savings in heating costs. We did have a couple of mornings in late October when is was necessary to scrape frost off the windshield.

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, does speak well for the lobster industry as climate change becomes more noticeable. Climate change is likely the reason King Crab fishery in Alaska has been shutdown for 2022. Reports are they have simply vanished. If you think of that as something on the negative side, but want to switch to a positive side of the ledger here, you should think about the wild blueberry producers. For the first time in a few years many have reported a bumper crop and the price is much improved from the thirty+ cent range experienced not that many years ago, when there was also high inventory in the processor’s freezers.

Speaking of blueberries, it won’t be long until Linda Harrington will report on activities and have the latest market report from the Wild blueberry producers annual general meeting. I decided to go back into the archives to retrieve the recipes Linda sent along to help promote increased consumption of the berry so important to the local economy. In hopes people will include wild blueberries as part of their daily diet, Linda, at that time, requested we 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 ¼ c wild blueberries
  • 1 c. orange juice, chilled
  • 2 c. fat-free yogurt
  • ¼ 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 ½ c. wild blueberries
  • ¼ 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.


November 2022 - Hurricane Fiona, what’s next?

We watched with disbelief how Hurricane Ian came ashore and with extremely high winds and several days of rain all but totally destroyed several towns and cities from Florida up the coast wreaking havoc wherever it went. Days later after pulverizing USA, in Nova Scotia we suffered some of the affects, but nothing like our neighbours stateside, or what was to follow.

Hurricane Fiona did a number of Nova Scotia, PEI, and NFLD. Those in the know say Fiona was the most vicious storm ever to hit Nova Scotia. Three weeks later some people still don’t have electricity and many more don’t have the pleasure of talking on their house phone (land line), watch television or be connected to the outside world with internet.

In some ways those are the lucky people. At least their real estate holding appear to be habitable, or can be repaired. Without phone, television, and internet is aggravating, but it’s like a step back in time with conveniences not readily available or did not exist. Those suffering much more are in three categories: families who lost a winter’s worth of frozen vegetable, meat and fish; others who suffered significant wind and water damage to their home, apartment, or mobile home. Those with the largest problem are those whose property was destroyed beyond repair.

Many of them have been comforted, if that is possible by the generosity of family, friends and neighbours. Everyone pitched in to provide food and accommodations at the height of the emergency. Long term solutions will be more difficult. Lack of housing, emergency funding to get through one day and look forward to the next; red tape, slowness of putting relief in one’s hand will cause major heartache.

The long term worry is we know with climate change, the intensity and frequency of storms is only going to increase. One can never be prepared for such devastation, but we can and must do our utmost to reduce the impact when similar devastation comes our way.

If there is a bit of luck, we can only thank our lucky stars, Fiona happened in September and not as part of a freezing cold winter blizzard. Imagine the additional problems. 100% of us would have been facing mammoth expense bills from frozen pipes along with other winter woes.

Whether Fiona was a result of climate change, or a freak storm in addition to, it worries me what type of and intensity of unwanted weather will be facing in the next year.

If warmer waters in the Gulf Stream contributed to the intensity of Fiona, I wonder what affect it might have on the lobster and groundfish industries. Might at some time in the future these species abandon the Atlantic coastline, in a way similar to how the Alaskan crab fishery has been cancelled this year, because the crab have disappeared.

With all of that it’s time to head back to the kitchen. This month I have chosen "Mary’s Lemon Loaf", which hjas been a favourite for years.

Mary’s Lemon Loaf

  • 1 c sugar
  • ½ c shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ c milk
  • Rind of one lemon
  • 1 ½ c flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ c nuts

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs. Mix dry ingredients alternating with milk. Add chopped nuts and rind of lemon. Put into your favourite loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Dissolve ¼ cup sugar in juice of one lemon. Pour over loaf immediately on removal from oven.


October 2022 Kitchen Korner - After affects of Fiona

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 fact toward the end of the week temperatures were mid-20’s with warm breezes being pushed into Atlantic Canada I advance of Fiona. With hurricane centre projecting Fiona could be the most intense hurricane to come our way.

Even though I knew the recipe, I intentionally delayed completion so I could recount damage from Friday evening until Mid-day Saturday. Forecasters were correct. Fiona inflicted a lot of damage. Initial projections are 72-84 hours (midnight Tuesday) without electricity. Glad I bought a new generator, last one within 30 miles. Value of meat in the freezers more than cost of generator.

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.

In October it will be 25 years since Colchester’s Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) started operation 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 more 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.

Here is a recipe received in 2016 from Chris Urquhart was kind enough to send along a recipe from Val McCabe for Cheesy Potato Beef Bake which we are pleased to highlight

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.

Now that fall is here, maybe people will have more time, and as it gets cooler, they will be spending more time indoors. If so, I’d love to have some of your favourite family recipes. My supply is getting low. The November issue would be most ideal for some great Christmas recipes, that may have been handed down through various generations.

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


September 2022 - Hot dry summer – I like it.

The only thing most people have had to complain about it has been far too hot. I have not heard any official numbers or data, but it is my guess summer 2022 has been the hottest and driest for many years. Without any amount of rain, I was getting concerned how the vegetable crops would be doing. Haven’t hear much in the way of complaints, so everything must be okay.

Normally, I don’t mind the heat. Humidity on a hot day is when I seem to suffer, or feel most uncomfortable. Yes, it has been hot for several weeks, but only a few occurrences of high humidity.

My home office has large windows facing west, so from 2 pm onward it can be brutal. Might seem strange, but when I knew it was going to be a scorcher, I would go to work around 5 am and hope to finish shortly after lunch. Worked well, but my internal body clock adjusted itself and now even though it is not hot, I am awake and could go to work shortly after five. Only think it did was remind me that during winter I am always going to work long before the sun rises.

Last Friday when it was hot and humid, one radio announcer reminded us, it was four months until Christmas Eve. His short statement sent me searching for some favourite Christmas recipes. I found two of my mother’s favourites, which were a mainstay around our house at Christmas time. Here are my choices:

Wartime Cake (Fruit)

  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 c shortening
  • 2 c cold water
  • 1 lb seeded raisins
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • Put all together and boil 3 minutes. Let cool and add:
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 ½ c flour
  • 2 tsp soda – dissolved in 2 tsp warm water.
  • Makes two loaves. Bake in 350 oven.

Cape Breton Pork Pies

(These are hard to find on the mainland, but occasionally can find in Shubenacadie)

SHELL:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • Sift together flour and icing sugar, cut in butter. Form into balls, and press into pan. Bake in oven about 16 minutes.

FILLING:

  • 2 ¼ cups chopped dates
  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Combine dates, water, brown sugar and salt in a pan. Bring to slow boil, stirring constantly until dates are soft and mixture is uniform. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool.
  • Preheat oven to 325. Bake about 15-16 minutes.

ICING:

  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 ¼ cup icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp maple extract
  • Cream ¼ cup butter with mixer. Add 1 cup sugar. Add milk and 1 ¼ cup sugar and maple extract. Beat on high until smooth. Add icing as soon as removed from oven. Let cool.

August 2022 - Hodge Podge time - Was it hot enough?

Almost similar to last year, we were transferred from a cold, miserable, rainy June, to being thrown into the fire with extreme heat and high humidity. Yes we finally, we got a week of nice weather in early July to provide a preview of what was ahead.

The week of July 15th, it was like being in a bake oven. As bad as it seemed, we certainly did not experience the "heat dome" experienced by about 200-million friends to the south and parts of central Canada.

The weather didn’t break here until Sunday afternoon, when it clouded over and a thunderstorm rolled in. Within a couple of hours, we must have received a couple of inches. I can’t remember when it rained that hard.

As probably many of you know, I’ve been looking for a new lap dog, since early spring when my "Moe" got sick and that was the end. I thought I had struck it lucky when I learned someone needed to ‘re-home" a four year old Yorkie. We made a deal and I had him for a couple of days, but the previous owner missed him so much, he went back home.

I’m still looking for my new "four legged best friend".

Just before the heat wave arrived, we were able to convert four boxes into three batches of jam. Two strawberry and one strawberry-rhubarb. Actually Maurice did most of the work. When I commented, that is too much sugar, he decided to take over, as it was measured out accurately according to CERTO.

Of course, Maurice visited Truro Farmer’s Market on Saturday and you guessed it, he came home with a bag of HODGEPODGE ingredients. We have a good recipe, but I decided to see how it’s made in other regions.

It’s amazing the variations. Some included lots of garlic, shrimp and scallops. I did find one which seemed like a mid-winter one. Called Hodge Podge Chowder it used partial bags of frozen vegetables from the freezer. One to two cups of whatever you have: yellow, green beans; peas, broccoli, corn, spinach, etc. It suggested: 4 cups of beef broth; 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, plus garlic, salt and pepper to taste and grated parmesan cheese for sprinkling.

Here’s the recipe we used this week. Sure was yummy. A great change

Nova Scotia Hodge Podge

(Ingredients came in large bag, so we divided into two. Will make the second one within a few days. Determine size you want. Veggies about equal quantities of each.)

  • - Green beans, cut into 1/3 or half.
  • - Yellow beans, cut into 1/3 or half.
  • - Peas in pod, snip ends, then cut to size include pods.
  • - New potatoes, cut into 1,5" cubes
  • - Fresh new baby carrots – cut to size
  • - green onion with top, snipped to size.
  • - Salt, pepper and parsley, to taste.
  • - ¼ to ½ cup butter
  • - 1.5+ tbsp flour.
  • - whole cream, milk.

In small amount of water simmer veggies in water with salt and pepper, until almost done. Do not drain. We combined butter and flour into frying pan, which we had just cooked burgers. (Extra oil and pieces of onions, added some zest). When thickened, we added cream and milk to make thinner sauce. Salt and pepper again to taste.

Pour creamy sauce over vegetables, and re-heat until thoroughly mixed. Add more cream or milk as desired. Serve and enjoy.


July 2022 - Thankfully no "Heat Dome" here

Finally, we got a week of nice weather. The type we have been urging to come our way for ages. The leaves are out, can almost hear the grass grow, and gardeners are in their glory. Their only lament is they are later than desired getting seeds in the ground, and transplants forming neat rows.

But as much as we express dismay of the lateness of fine weather, remember a few years ago. We worked like beavers gardening, only to have a June "killer" frost. Many had to start over, or replant a large portion of the garden.

As much as we enjoyed a week of normal weather, we’re lucky not to have been part of the "heat dome" that has put over 40-Million USA residents in danger. The other bad news is wild fires have started about two months earlier than normal, consuming millions of acres across several western and southern states.

If that wasn’t enough there are warnings of shortages or extremely high prices as field crops for produce – vegetable or fruits are being plowed under, because extreme high heat and dry weather causing a shortage of water for irrigation purposes. It was reported on CNN some cities are already making plan to ration water and in some cases banning lawn watering and car washing.

We often complain about Nova Scotia weather, but if we hang around for an hour it is liable to change. As much as I would not want to live state-side, it is sad to see in mid-June temperatures reaching 100+ degrees and lingering for days and setting new records.

I suspect once the calendar changes over to July, we will be sweltering. I predict a streak of extremely hot weather, extremely dry and we’ll be wishing for at least one day overcast and wet.

Back to the weather at hand. One thing that has happened with all this cool, wet weather. Strawberries are a few days late, but growers have been changing their technologies and choosing some earlier and later breeds, which will extend the season. I hope, strawberry producers will not face the same situation as about five years ago, when they could not harvest enough berries to supply the grocery chains for a period upwards of a week.

Look out for some extremely hot weather, which will ripen berries faster than they can be picked. No need to search for a recipe for strawberries, you either have a family favourite, or you will use the one on the CERTO bottle. However, I did start preparing myself. I went through my supply of empty bottles and have set aside enough for at least two batches. I’ve even got enough bottles for a couple batches when it’s pickling time.

To provide a change from strawberry short cake, thought you might like to whip up a batch of molasses cookies on one of those rainy days, when using the oven will help get rid of that early morning dampness. When you are looking for something to do, try your hand at "My Grandma’s Molasses Cookies".

My Grandma’s Molasses Cookies

  • ½ cup shortening
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup raisins.

Cream together shortening and brown sugar. Add egg. Measure molasses and warm water together and add to the mixture. Add dry ingredients and mix well.

Drop by spoon onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 over on middle rack for up to 15 minutes.

Surely someone has some great new BBQ recipes. I’m looking for a suggestion of an entire family meal is done on the Barbeque.


June 2022 - Crowds growing at Truro Farmer’s Market

For several years, there have been very few Saturday’s I was either working or had a full schedule and could not get into Truro. However, as the pandemic restrictions have been easing, I’ve been able to get into the Truro’s Farmer’s Market, at least for a quick walk-through.

Even though the market’s viability has been stretched by the pandemic for a couple of years, it is nice to see crowds starting to grow. If you haven’t been there for a while, or ever, I really recommend you take the time. It’s a great place to meet up with friends you haven’t seen for a while.

Since dining-in has been restricted, the pandemic has resulted in more people cooking at home. Changes in eating habits and emphasis on "buy local" certainly has helped vendors.

I was disappointed, no one was selling cabbage rolls. They are delicious and a bit troublesome to make, but it is my opinion if someone specialized in this product, they would do well.

Here’s a basic Cabbage Rolls recipe, which might serve you well, if you get ambitious or wish to try your own:

Cabbage – choose a firm one – probably the largest in the store. Par-boiI, lightly salted until 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 – Best results from lean or extra lean hamburger. Season (to your taste) with salt and pepper, minced or powdered garlic, perhaps a bit of cayenne pepper. Many people like to had a bit of left-over cooked rice, or make a new batch and mix with the meat and spices. Rice helps create more filling and cuts down on the cost of hamburger, the price of which has gone through the roof. By volume use about ¼ to 1/3 rice to volume of meat. Add a bit of tomato sauce or juice – 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. Close with toothpick if you are concerned about staying close. Then place each roll into roaster, which is very lightly greased.

Sauce - I use a combination of tomato paste (5 oz), sauce (14 oz) and tomato juice (One or two 48 oz cans of juice). 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. If you are going to freeze, under cooked is better. You can cook today’s meal longer to get to get them to level you prefer.

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. If you have small pieces of cabbage, add meat, sauce and spices to make a mulligan, for a separate meal, with some masked potatoes and vegetables of choice.


May 2022

Now that we are coming out of our two years of pandemic hibernation and everything being shut down, it’s nice to see various community events starting up again. A month or so ago Maple breakfasts slowly started to reappear. The Debert Legion is getting back into hosting people for great food with a Pancake breakfast on May 14th.

In addition to causing a lot of personal havoc, CoVid had a several and painful way of almost ruining church and community suppers. Not only did it cause financial woes to the organizations, because of the lack of fundraising, but all those volunteers, who are mostly seniors, have been out of the game for an extended period of time.

Two questions come to mind, when considering long term CoVid impact.

First, did the two year shutdown cause those seniors who for decades had worked tirelessly to support their church or community and to help make rural living more enjoyable cause them to consider, "I am too old to do this anymore"? Their dedication can be viewed as if they were an athlete. Stop and you get out of shape and it is difficult to resume what was "normal" community involvement.

Secondly, and this is meant more for those who have young families, or perhaps younger than 50, is there a chance CoVid has caused us to be more aware of the closeness of smaller circles; value living in our community and more appreciative of what we have?

Let’s hope we have learned a few lessons. Consider this, we often hear people mention how "Impersonal and not overly community minded people are in the big cities. Rural Nova Scotia is in a situation similar to walking a tight rope or picket fence. If we have strong feelings life in the country is good, we must work to preserve and improve it. If we have not realized rural Nova Scotia has been built on "caring and trust". Regardless of our age, we must commit energies and time to our community. I am hoping those from 13-50 make a commitment to themselves and community to do more. Now is the time for these people to step forward and ensure all the previous community events continue.

When I was much younger what was never considered enjoyable food for the table has been gathering a lot of traction in recent years. Kale started to become more prominent about 10 years ago. Perhaps to my own detriment my use of Kale is rare and even though I see it in the produce section I haven’t gotten to be an occasional or frequent user. The following recipe caught my eye for two reasons: What is consider adding to the garden is right around the corner, and I really like Garlic. Those who are leaning to healthier eating have chosen Kale because it is readily available, not overly expensive and proponents say "Kale is supposed to have cancer-fighting properties".

Easy Garlic Kale

  1. 1 bunch of Kale
  2. 2 TBLSPNS Olive Oil
  3. 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 2022 - Say thanks for warmer weather

Now that we’ve moved to daylight saving time, I appreciate the longer evenings. I’m not one to get up at the crack of dawn, but do like to start some of the days watching a fantastic sunrise as there are many awesome sunrises in Maitland.

Conversely I do enjoy not having to eat supper when its dark outside. Of course with the time change there was a sudden much needed change in the weather.

Although not shirt sleeve weather, or warm enough for just a sweater, but sure is nice not to have to bundle up and still freeze even though wearing a couple of sweaters and heavy winter jacket. Even better is disappearance of sheets of ice which meant high risk of falls and broken bones. I am not so smitten with spring that I realize early in April we can still get a couple of bad snowstorms. A thick blanket of snow can provide some of the most treacherous road conditions experienced all winter. The snow is wetter and quickly packs on the road to create a slippery layer of white that is as slippery as pure ice. All I suggest if we get a storm, drive carefully.

Hopefully, weather improves enough so I can get outside soon and don’t have to listen to all the "breaking news bulletins" about a new political crisis in Ottawa or Washington, or additional bombings in Ukraine. I wish somebody could tell me why politicians, and I mean all of them, suddenly, once they get elected, change their appreciation for truthfulness, transparency and adherence to the "Golden Rule".

My expectations from other people is to treat me like I treat them – with honesty, directness and transparency. Equally amazing is how about four years later they can come around expecting me to be excited about supporting them again. If that is what they call a litmus test, unfortunately everyone of them failed.

For this month’s recipe, after thumbing through recipes, I’ve gathered up over the years, I chose "Lemon Chicken Rice Skillet". I find the lemon adds just enough tang to the rice to make it more than enjoyable.

Lemon Chicken Rice Skillet

  1. 4 boneless chicken breasts
  2. Salt and pepper
  3. 1 tsp garlic powder
  4. 1 tsp diced parsley
  5. 2 tbsp butter
  6. 1 cup uncooked rice (Jasmine)
  7. 2 ¼ cup chicken broth
  8. 1 tsp lemon zest + 3 tbsp lemon juice
  9. 1 tsp dried parsley
  10. 1 whole lemon, cut into slices.

Optional add bit more butter, if desired

Heat a large skillet (with lid). Season chicken with salt and pepper, garlic powder and parsley.

Add butter to the skillet and cook chicken in hot butter until browned, but not cooked all the way, (about 2 minutes on each side). Remove chicken and set aside.

Add rice, chicken stock, lemon zest, lemon juice and parsley to hot skillet. (Cook on mid-heat). Let rice come to a small boil, then simmer. Then place chicken on top of rice. Cover with lid. Let cook 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender.

Serve with choice of vegetable. I prefer carrots, but Maurice prefers asparagus or whole green beans.


March 2022 - The sun is brighter and stronger

Even though the sun is brighter and stronger, we still have some winter ahead of us, It could be 4-5 weeks, or spring could come early. Preference would be a bit more winter, and for May and June to be more like early summer. Lately we have been focused on the Mass Casualty Commission public hearings and the Freedom Convoy which occupied downtown Ottawa for three weeks and how the face of Canada has changed.

When the sap starts running, it won’t be long until there are a number of community maple breakfasts with CoVid protocols. They are always a lot of fun, great food, good local music and lots of locally make product.

Power-Air-Fryer Ovens have become a rage in recent years. Many are very impressed with them, while others prefer traditional methods of what comes out of the kitchen.

To keep within the family food budget, we have to search long and hard to find nutritious food since costs have risen rapidly within the last year. The surge in prices has at least two contributing factors: Climate change and storms affecting transportation and CoVid-19 protocols, which have reduced production output from factories creating shortages. This will be the second and third year when more families start to grow more food in gardens and raising their own meat, beef, pork and poultry. CoVid has affected many garden supplies. It is recommended if you wish to avoid disappointment, make your list and shop early. For instance is has been near impossible to purchase tomato cages, if you are into growing tomatoes in your garden.

What meat you can afford to purchase is a weekly task. If you do decide to purchase chicken, and have some home-made tomato sauce left over from last year, you might make Chicken Cacciatore. I went searching and decided to make it my choice for this month.

Chicken Cacciatore 

Ingredients

  • 1 broiler/fryer chicken (3-1/2 to 4 pounds), cut up
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced
  • 1 large green pepper, cut into strips
  • 1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 can (28 ounces) tomatoes, cut up and juice reserved
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry red wine or water
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Hot cooked pasta
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Dust chicken with flour. Season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, brown chicken on all sides in oil and butter over medium-high heat. Remove chicken to platter.

In the same skillet, cook and stir the onion, celery, pepper and mushrooms for 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, wine, herbs, garlic and sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Return chicken to skillet. Cover and simmer for 45-60 minutes or until chicken is tender. Serve over pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. 

Freeze option: Cool chicken mixture. Freeze in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through slowly in a covered skillet until a thermometer inserted in chicken reads 165°, stirring occasionally.


February 2022 - Chicken Curry with Vegetables

We were awaiting Christmas at time of last writing. Now that’s long past, decorations are all put away and for some the bills for Christmas spending are starting to arrive. Don’t know about you, but my presents were paid before they were wrapped.

Again this year was celebrated in non-traditional way – no festive parties, or dinners; mostly alone due to CoVid lockdowns or warnings not to travel or assemble in groups not normally in you "close bubble". This is the second solitary Christmas, hope there is not a third. But in saying that, far better to be safe and in good health, rather than feel sorry for ourselves, go out and get infected.

While we are on the subject of Christmas and family events around special times, we might as well accept that CoVid is going to be around us for many years. Do not be surprised, if you are encouraged to avoid large crowds and have a mask at the ready for two or three years.

Not what any of us want to hear, but we can save ourselves a lot of anxiety and stress, if we accept those possibilities and be ready to adjust our lifestyle. Look at it this way. Prior to CoVid, if you were going to visit friends or family, and just before your visit you learned they were "sick with the flu", did you visit anyway, or did you stay home? Operate on the same premise and you will be safer, healthier and less stressed.

Normally, the week between Christmas and New Years is a time to visit relatives or friends. Just prior to Covid, Maurice took off for a couple of days to visit his sons and families in Saint John. Since 2020 he has stayed put and not seen them in the interim.

Whenever he goes to Saint John he likes to go to the Saint John City Market, the oldest one in North America. It is surprising what products from Nova Scotia are available at the market. At one of the stalls, he found a lobster chowder powder mix produced by a company from Port Williams. Then at another stall he got real interested in frozen Chicken Vegetable Curry. It would serve six people and was priced around $25.00. He resisted the purchase, but as soon as he was home, there he was on the computer looking for a recipe.

Here is one picked out at his favourite.

Chicken Curry with Vegetables

  • 2 tblspns Vegetable Oil
  • 2 12/ tbspns Curry Powder
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced with grain
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups broccoli florets
  • 1 ½ cups chopped carrots
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest of ½ lime
  • 1 ¼ cups coconut milk
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • Lime Wedges, for squeezing.

Cook 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, curry powder and onions in a large sauté pan on medium heat, constantly stirring, but let it sizzle, for 5-6 minutes. Pat chicken dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper and add the remaining oil. Cook the chicken in the onion-curry mixture until golden brown on all sides. Add the broccoli, carrots, basil, garlic and lime zest and cook, stirring until the vegetables are coated, about 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, chicken stock and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Let the chicken simmer until cooked through and the sauce begins to thicken – about 20 minutes. Squeeze with lime juice before serving over rice, egg noodles, or your favourite pasta.

Should serve 4-6 people. Prep time is 10 minutes and about 35 minutes cooking for total time of 45 minutes.


January 2022

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 low teens over the next few days.

Of course the conditions for highway driving were almost excellent, it didn’t make much difference as health professionals were constantly to avoid non-essential travel with the recent spike on Covid-19 infections.

Earlier this year we have either projected or hoped Covid would have settled down to a reasonable level, although "reasonably normal" will not be anywhere close to what we enjoyed in the past.

Most people squirm when I mention that it’s my belief we will deal with some level of Covid-19 for the rest of our lives just as we still deal with minor outbreaks of polio, measles and TB.

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 people who are doing limited 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 from previous years. Does that lead us to conclude a weather pattern similar to 2015 will follow us into the New Year? Some winters, bad weather doesn’t start until near the end o f January and then it doesn’t stop. Some years it seemed like it snowed every day for weeks. If it wasn’t snowing we were trying to dig ourselves out.

While thumbing through some previous submitted recipes, I came across a number of recipes, which Hazel Hill, now deceased, but was a long time resident of Great Village had sent in back in 2014-2016 era. 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 many families 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
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 2 cups buttermilk or sour milk
  • ½ cup salad oil
  • 1 cup raisins, dates, currents or prunes
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 ½ cups flour, unsifted, (may use 1 ½ 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 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