Welcome to the Kitchen Korner

If you have a favourite family recipe, please send by November 15th, so I can use in the December issue. In fact, I’d like to receive a few special holiday recipes. 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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November 2021 Kitchen Korner

This summer amid the CoVid-19 pandemic we have been subjected to a provincial and federal election and Colchester residents in District 10 are going for their third on November 6th with a special by election to replace veteran coucillor, Tom Taggart who switched to provincial politics winning Colchester North as the MLA replacement for Karen Casey.

It is absolutely amazing how beautiful the weather has been this fall. Granted there have been some miserable days, but overall we have been blessed. From what I remember, it seems weather patterns have shifted extending the warmer fall season into the first week of November. My memory seems to indicate a decade ago most of the fall foliage was gone in early October almost missing the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. With the shift to lateness, it has mean the onset of hot summer weather doesn’t start until very late May or even into mid-June.

As long as we get a few good months I will take them. The lateness into the fall surely causes staffing problems for major players in the tourist sector. Students, who are a significant part of the human resources must return to classes right after Labour Day. Years ago tourism based businesses started shutting down Labour Day weekend. If locally owned businesses wish to be aggressive and participate in a market which has extended almost to Remembrance Day they must find ways to keep staffing levels to an acceptable level.

Within a couple of weeks, we’ll be heading to the cenotaph in observance of Remembrance Day for the areas which will hold non-virtual ceremonies. On that note, it is disappointing to learn, due to CoVid-19 Veterans Memorial Park, Bass River has been forced to go virtual this year.

With the weather becoming more conducive to getting back into the kitchen, two things are on my priority list. I have a 10 lb bag of beets waiting to be converted into pickles, and knowing I could not get to it right away, I picked up a box of Millen’s frozen blueberries for jam and a few patches of muffins. I’ll wait for a couple of cooler or rainy days to undertake these two projects.

For this month, I have chosen a relatively low calorie recipe for Sausages with apple and raisins for this month.

Sausages with apple and raisins

  • 1 onion
  • 2 tblspns butter or margarine
  • 2 large German sausages or 4 large pork sausages
  • 1 cooking apple
  • 3 tblspns raisins
  • 3 tblspns clear honey
  • 1 tsp paprika pepper
  • 1 tsp sale
  • tsp white pepper

Peel and thinly slice the onion. Melt the butter or margarine in a frying pan and fry the onion for 5 minutes, then push to one side. Add the sausages to the pan and fry until well browned on all sides. Meanwhile peel and core the apple and cut into thick slices. Remove the sausages from the pan and slice. Keep warm. Add the apple slices to the pan and cook until very soft. Strain off the excess fat. Stir in the raisins, honey, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix with the onions.

Return the sausage slices to the pan and heat through before serving. Serves 2: (about 540 calories per serving.

Variation: Add - cup drained sauerkraut to the apple mixture.


October 2021 - Green Tomato Mincemeat

It’s hard to believe October is here and Thanksgiving is just two weeks away. Other than rainy weekends, the most frequent things have been elections. We’ve got through two of them, only the Municipal District 10 by-election on November 6th to go and we’ll be done running to the ballot box for a while.

I can’t believe that summer is gone and the leaves are starting to turn, and before writing another column the trees will be void of leaves. Where has the year gone?

What’s even worse is we are just about 12 weeks away from Christmas. It weather patterns repeat themselves this winter, it also means we are less than 15 weeks away from another winter with potential of significant snow storms and everyone complaining about the efforts of shoveling.

It’s getting near that time what all vegetables need to be harvested prior to a visit from Jack Frost. Most gardens probably still have lots of green tomatoes. If you have made several batches of green tomato chow with enough to give as Christmas gifts to family and friends, you might wish to consider using up some more tomatoes with a couple of batches of "Green Tomato Mincemeat". When you taste in a tart or pie, it’s hard to tell the difference from real mincemeat.

With the high cost of meat right now, about 50% more than this time last year, green tomato mincemeat is great way to get the texture, smell and flavour, and still be able to serve to those to refuse to eat meat. I’ll share it with you in case you have a surplus of green tomatoes:

Green Tomato Mincemeat

Makes about 6 X 500 ml jars Green Tomato Mincemeat is a savvy and delicious way to use green tomatoes at the end of the harvest season: excellent for gift giving during the holidays

  • 8 cups (2000 ml) cored, quartered green tomatoes
  • 4 cups (1000 ml) cored, finely chopped apples
  • 2 cups (500 ml) raisins
  • 1 cup (250 ml) dried currants
  • cup (125 ml) mixed candied fruit
  • cup (50 ml) candied orange peel
  • cup (50 ml) candied ginger
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) allspice
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
  • tsp (2 ml) ground cloves
  • tsp (2 ml) mace
  • 1 cup (250 ml) lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cups (375 ml) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (250 ml) apple juice
  • ⅓ cup (75 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • cup (60 ml) lemon juice
  • cup (125 ml) brandy, optional

In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine all ingredients except brandy; stir constantly. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat in a pot that has a thick bottom; reduce heat, boiling gently, stirring frequently for 1 hours until mixture thickens. Stir in brandy, if using, and remove from heat.

Ladle hot mincemeat into hot sterilized 500 ml (Pint jars). Be sure to tap the jar, or thump on the counter to remove any air pockets. Seal with sterilized lids. Let sit until total cool. Tighten lids again before storing away for later use. One jar will make one large pie.


September 2021 - Hurricane Season & Schools In

The past few weeks we’ve been complaining about high heat and humidity for three or four days then a period of slightly lower temperatures, clouds, showers or torrential downpours. Seems like vacationers and camper have not had the best of luck. Occasionally it has rained 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 in Nova Scotia style about the weather……. Humidity, rain, heat and feeling uncomfortable. After watching television of weather events in other areas we need to stop complaining about the weather or anything related to it.

At one point temperatures and humidity was in the 48-51 degree range in British Columbia while the province was facing nearly 230 wild forest fires, causing Nova Scotia to send a crew of firefighters out west. I haven’t been glued to CNN or other American stations, but have heard reports of massive heat in excess of 100 degrees Fahrenheit, massive fore fires in California, Washington and Oregon and farmers plowing down fields of cash crops, cattle suffering from the heat; no hay for winter feeding and water sources so low there are restrictions and possibly rationing.

This past weekend Hurricane Henri hit New York and Long Island, for the first time in 30 years, before moving up the New England coast before venturing out to sea, avoiding a direct hit over Nova Scotia. At one point there were 40-Million Americans under hurricane and flash flooding warnings.

Although we complain about the weather we really don’t have much justification. Yes, it can change quickly, with temperature along the coast dropping 10 degrees in an hour or so when a bank of thick fog comes ashore.

A drop of 10 degrees is minor compared to massive hurricanes, tornados, blazing temps in excess of 100F, people suffering from heat strokes, massive wildfires, and all the ills that accompany volatile weather changes. I’ll stop complaining if assured we can continue with thick fog coming ashore; a few days of blackfies and mosquitos, and the occasional Nor ‘Easter. Give me the province’s beauty, quality of life, less population and opportunity to get either deep in a forest, or walk a beach in just over an hour.

When my stomach started to remind my brain, it soon would be time to have supper. As I thumbed through some recipes my eyes focused on Swiss Steak, perhaps because earlier in the day, I noticed a slab of round steak in the freezer.

Instantly my mind was made up.

Swiss Steak

  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 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)
  • cup fresh mushrooms
  • 1 – 1 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. Sometimes, I’ll use in a slow cooker for about just over an additional hour.


August 2021 - We are heading for different times.

July has been a much different month. Cool and wet on some days, and extremely unbearably hot on others. However, complain about the weather as most of us do, we are very fortunate. Imagine if we were in British Columbia with extremely high temperatures and humidity hovering around 50 degrees. Add to that almost 300 wild forest fires raging out of control not only destroying communities, but also creating hundreds of deaths. Get used to it, we are heading into much different times and weather

The smog or smoke filled atmosphere moved east and was experienced in some parts of Nova Scotia. Climatologists reported on CBC radio that even as far away as Nova Scotia is from British Columbia there are dangerous chemicals in the foul air driven our way.

At least we can start getting out and enjoying life with CoVid-19 restrictions being eased or eliminated, and borders are opening for friends and relatives from across Canada to come enjoy our hospitality and relatively clean environment. Almost 18 months of being cooped up and practically isolating has taken its toll. What is yet to be determined is how will the Delta variant affect the lives of students who will be returning to class in just over a month.

We are not out of the woods with regard to the pandemic. We must continue to observe social distancing and if we are not totally sure the ones around us are vaccinated, we must always have a mask "at the ready". Respiratory professionals are telling us the Delta variant is 1000 times more transmissible than the original "alpha" strain.

If we want to stay healthy and avoid CoVid-19, if possible, the rule is simple. Wear masks in public and observe social distancing. We got used to wearing seat belts while driving, so we need to get used to these two important warnings.

As the gardens are starting to deliver the produce we so dearly love, it’s time to now focus on the kitchen. This month, I’ll focus on Mum's Beet Pickles, which are easy to make, and delicious when we are less likely to be outside.

Mum's Beet Pickles

Cook your beets, salting as for dinner, but don’t overcook. You want a little crunch to your pickle. Skin beets, cut into chunks and put into your bottles.

One cup vinegar, sugar and Pickling Spice – 2 tbspns or large palm of hand size. Boil vinegar, sugar and spices together for a few minutes and strain, if desired. Vinegar to Sugar ratio will be 1 to 1, regardless of volumes. Use the above one cup of spiced-vinegar as one of your cups of vinegar.

Meanwhile make rest of pickling juice by mixing together equal quantities of vinegars and sugar; boil till dissolved and is syrupy. Add the one cup of spiced syrup. Return to boil.

Pour Hot Syrup over cut beets in the bottle; tighten each bottle as you fill it. A couple of tips: try to make sure both the jars and beets are quite hot when you pour the hot syrup on them.

QUANTITY SUGGESTIONS: About 9 1/2 lbs of beets; 3 cups sugar and 3 cups vinegar (with 1 cup vinegar having been boiled with 2 Tbsp pickling spice and strained). If you wish make more liquid add 1 cup water and sprinkled in some allspice, cinnamon and cloves once the liquid came to a boil. Yield: Approximately 6 pints.


July 2021 - Can you believe this weather?

Finally, we got a week of nice weather. The type we have been hoping would 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 I in the ground, and transplants forming neat rows.

But as much as we express dismay of the lateness of fine weather, remembering a couple of 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 fine weather, it has its days and nights going from extremely high to near frost levels at night. About ten days ago it was so cool and overcast, by mid-afternoon, I was freezing so had to turn the furnace on for a few minutes. Didn’t take long to get rid of the chill, but even so, can you believe this weather.

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 this weather. Strawberries in some areas are a few days, perhaps a week early.

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 more than a couple batches when it’s preserving time and will save some for pickling later this summer.

Readers are lucky to have a new contributor for a recipe. Vonnie Rushton, Baseline Road, Londonderry renewed her subscription to the Shoreline and included in a recipe. She was down in the Annapolis Valley helping her niece following hip surgery. They were going through a box of papers from Grandmom Stirling, Port Williams and found a recipe for "Lacy Oatmeal Cookies". In her note Vonnie said, "We enjoy the Shoreline – obituaries, Kitchen Korner, etc. Keep up the good work and stay safe with Covid along with everything else".

Lacy Oatmeal Cookies - Granmom Stirling, Port Williams)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tsp soda
  • Boiling water
  • 6 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • tsp vanilla

Instructions:

Soften one pound of butter; add 2 cups brown sugar; 2 teaspoons soda dissolved in cup boiling water. Add six cups rolled oats; 2 cups flour; 1 tsp salt and tsp vanilla.

Roll into balls. Flatten with fork dipped in cold water. Bake at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes. The dough can also be formed into a roll, like a rolling pin, frozen then cut off when needed. Would ensure you could quickly have a supply of fresh cookies.


June 2021 - Birthday Party stopped by CoVid-19

It’s still spring. One day it’s too hot and the next day temperature drops and it’s freezing. I’m sure on Mother’s Day weekend no one was happy with the weather. A constant stream of showers, cool temperatures and definitely not a weekend to accomplish anything outside. With the strong Nor’easterly winds, on Saturday, I commented if this had been in January or February it might have been the snowstorm of the winter.

At least we’re not like New Brunswick which in mid-April got a dumping of snow on the Northwestern areas north of Woodstock. Listening to the CBC Halifax, the metro area has been blanketed with fog and of course cool temperatures. When fog engulfs the city normally it is so thick it’s almost impossible to see the deck of the bridges.

With the pandemic lockdown, perhaps the unfavourable weather is a god-sent. Best to get it now, rather than at the end of May or early June, when they forecast health protocols will be relaxed and we will be able to get outside, perhaps go for a drive. Right now they are pleading for people to stay home and avoid $2,000 fines for non-essential travel and going outside the boundaries of your resident municipality.

I can’t get over how fast the grass is growing and overnight there is a new crop of dandelions. Seems like the lawn is getting to the point it will need mowed every other day, when the rain stops and it’s dry enough to mow..

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.

The CovId-19 pandemic is having a lasting effect on all life’s activities. For a second year in a row, the Mother’s Day weekend when the Shoreline’s 90 & 90+ birthday party, in Economy had to be cancelled. The way they are talking the pandemic might be every-lasting and could be somewhat prominent even next year. None of us know what the future might bring, and if CoVid might hang around for decades just as measles and Tuberculosis.

Even thought the list of finalists results have not been announced, but Maurice has been advised The Shoreline Journal is a competing finalist in the Community story category for his coverage of the Mass Murder victims in the April 2020 issue. The Awards are sponsored and organized by the Atlantic Journalism Association. A few years Maurice was admitted to the AJ’s Hall of Fame for his 55+ years contribution to the publishing sector.

Back in the kitchen we chose a recipe from Great Village now deceased resident Hazel Hill, who while she was able submitted a few notes about activities at Great Village Villa. She didn’t have a name on the recipe so we named it Hazel’s Monteray Chicken.

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.

May 2021 - Do you have a crystal ball?

Every day CoVd-19 surges are changing our lives. As we adapt and follow safety protocols it seems like we are going in circles. Do one thing today and tomorrow in the opposite direction.

Last month we believed movements could be restricted well into August. In the past couple of weeks, we have experienced surges, resulting in almost total shutdown in communities surrounding Halifax. The province bubble will not re-open as expected.

Women’s hockey tournament has been cancelled and most summer events are being cancelled. This pandemic will continue much longer than any of us originally thought. I don’t want to appear to be negative, but we might be under some sort of restrictions this time next year.

\We will not be able to return to "normal". What used to be normal will become part of history. We will have to adjust to "the new normal", and no one can describe what that will be.

Cases within the schools are increasing rapidly and causing much more worry and grief for parents and educators. The mental health and ability to get a quality education causing more concern each day. Although difficult to accept or adapt, adults are more pliable than our youth.

Yes, the government and educators have done a tremendous job of changing the methods of teaching and providing electronic devices and tools for "in-home" learning, but it does not provide the social interaction which students need to have a "rounded" education.

CoVid-19 has demonstrated how vulnerable rural and un-serviced areas have become as we transgress to a "new" society. In order to remain competitive businesses need access to connectivity at the same level as urban centres. Connectivity is important for the mental health and education of adults and youth, alike and competitiveness for business.

We can do all the masking, social distancing and adhering to health protocols, asked of us. However, the one thing most needed in rural areas is better communicating services, whether it be cell phone or internet service.

The nearly 1-million residents of Nova Scotia must "band together" to DEMAND governments place high speed broadband, for all areas, at the top of the list. We must ensure "heaven and earth" are moved to make this happen NOW. Otherwise rural areas will die an earlier death.

Let us know your thoughts; what you will do to make it happen 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 cps cooked and diced ham
  • 3 cps cooked fiddleheads
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 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.


April 2021

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 than 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 tomorrow (Thursday) 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 this summer’s garden as we continue to work our way out of the Covid-19 pandemic. Government officials and Health professionals are suggesting we soon will see more openness and perhaps the Atlantic Bubble will be restored soon. Last year there was an abundance of "new" or "renewed" gardeners as people were confined to their property. It is expected most will continue outdoor habits at home, but with less intensity as we will want to get out and around.

If gardening is still on your mind, 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 change things a bit.

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. Now that we will be able to attend such events, it is hopeful many of the community groups will continue or resume to historic and enjoyable event. 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.

Regardless if you wish to confine yourself to staying at home or breaking up the time with some day-trips the hospitality industry participants will be glad to welcome you. Restaurants, pubs and local craft and antique shops will be most eager to welcome you.

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 different slow cooker recipe as you commence to tidy up the yard and prepare the garden for your invasion.

If you have a 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
  • cup chopped nuts
  • tsp sale
  • 1 pkg (6 oz) chocolate chips
  • 1 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 2021

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 2021 - Ready for Dark Fruit Cake?

Although it is about six weeks away, we could say the luck of the Irish has been with us this winter, in that although we are mired in the Covid-19 pandemic, we have not had our normal winter storms. Basically no snow, and temperatures up to and above 10 on many days and nights. As I sit here on a Friday afternoon, CBC radio is reporting for about a 30 mile circle around HRM it is snowing heavenly and roads are treacherous with traffic creeping along on the margins, of Berwick, Shubenacadie and down to Bridgewater.

Those of us who detest snow have been in our glory, but those with snow sleds, skiers, and those who enjoy getting on snowshoes are lamenting the open winter. The pandemic has changed life, and the ways to get outdoors and fill our time with healthy outdoor activities, because we are restricted from visiting friends, or a day shopping at the mall.

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 from Christmas, but fruit cake is better when it has lots of time to season. 10 months n advance is not too long.

Here’s a 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 2021 - Thanks to Co-Vid, a different Christmas

It certainly has not seemed like a normal Christmas thanks mostly to CoVid-19, when we are encouraged to stay home and entertain only within our small family bubble. 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 cold weather for a few days. Snow and frigid temperatures in some areas dropped the thermometer to -19.

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

Like many of you, keeping an eye on the pandemic, we haven’t spent much time in the kitchen. However, realizing there are still a few more days to catch up on some Christmas baking here are a couple of recipes from my youthful days.

100 Good Cookies

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 egg – unbeaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 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
  • cup brown sugar
  • tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup almonds (Pieces or slices) Optional
  • cup red cherries – cut into small pieces
  • 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 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