I found this great quote by Laurie Colwin that sums up what I feel we all think about when we are in the kitchen cooking for our families: “No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.”
Sitting down to type this last “Recipe of the Day” post brings with it a little jolt of nostalgia. Over the next three weeks, I will begin to make a transition, and on May 6 (a week before we leave for the island), I will close this Lake Blackshear blog down and switch over to Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog.
A friend asked me not long ago if I would continue the lake blog next winter. I smiled, and told my friend that if I had to make that decision right now, I would say no. As I told my friend, writing from the lake has been a whole lot more like work than writing from the island, and the reason is this. There are many days in both places that I will awaken not having a clue what to write about. On the island, I know that all I have to do is throw my camera in my pocket and take a walk – the story will be waiting just down the street, or in town, or on a trail in the woods, or on the ferry dock. There is always a story waiting to be told. The uniqueness of Mackinac Island is a story in itself, whereas the lake is simply . . . . home.
So, I won’t make decisions about next winter right now. I do know that after the winter we had here in the south, my urge to return up north is a little less pressing than last year. The warm (sometimes even cool) spring we are having – filled with sunny days on the ri’vah – have been a blessing. And because we are not sweltering yet (as we were this time last year), my urgency to get packed hasn’t switched into high gear – not yet anyway. Having said that, even today I found myself making calls to order dog supplies we will need to take with us and rewriting the list I checked off last year before we left (last year’s list was 57 items long, so far 6 items longer than this year’s list – but the month isn’t over yet).
I think most of you must have already sent in your favorite recipes in each category, because there were only a few emailed in this week. I have loved doing the Recipe Day, not only for the yummy dishes I have added to my notebook, but also because I have gotten to know several of you so well through your loyal contributions each week. It’s been great fun!
MOM B’S FROSTED RAISIN BREAD (Submitted by Diane Swihart-Elkhart, Indiana)
From Diane: “This is one of my favorite bread recipes that takes me back 31 years ago to when I was dating my husband. His mom did not really care for me, and showed it every time he would invite me over to his house. So I asked my mom what would be something nice I could make for Christmas to give her, as it was December, and she suggested I make up her raisin bread and put it in a nice basket with a pretty new dishcloth to cover it. So I made it up and gave it to her for Christmas. A few days later, Dave called me to say his mom had told him she was starting to like me, and she told him, ‘that girl comes from good stock to make homemade bread like that.’ Whew! Was I relieved. We have had our ups and down over the years, but we love each other dearly, and every time I make up the raisin bread I think of when I made it for her years ago. My hubby and sons love that it makes 3 loaves up – which are usually down to crumbs by the end of the day. As soon as they open the door and smell the cinnamon and yeast, they are looking for the knife to cut a slice, or 2, or 3!”
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
- 2 packages yeast
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup raisins
- 8 cups flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 Tblsps. cinnamon
- 2 Tblsps. butter, melted
Frosting Ingredients: 2 sticks softened butter, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Warm up the milk until it starts to get bubbly, then remove from the stove, and let cool until it’s lukewarm.
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, wait until it’s frothy, then mix in the eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter, salt and the raisins. Stir in the milk. Add the flour gradually until the dough gets stiff.
Knead the dough for a few minutes on a lightly floured counter. Place into a large greased bowl and turn to grease the dough. Cover with damp dishcloth (a clean one mom always said- ha!). Allow the dough to rise until double.
Roll out the dough on the floured counter until you make it into rectangle shape. Brush with 2 Tblsps. melted butter. Mix together the ¾ cup of sugar and the 2 tablespoons of cinnamon, and sprinkle this on top of the dough.
Roll up the dough. Cut into 3 pieces. Place the loaves into 3 greased (or Pam sprayed) 9″ X 5″ pans. Lightly grease the tops of them. Let them rise again for about an hour.
Bake at 350 degrees until they are light brown on top and sound hollow when you thump them. Remove from the pans, and let them cool.
Frosting: Put 2 sticks softened butter, 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract in a bowl and stir it up. Then frost the tops of the loaves. Any extra frosting you can put on your slices of raisin bread, like mom let my sisters and I do – yummy!
From Patty: “The Banana Cream Bread recipe came from the Service League of Bartlesville cookbook, ‘Taste of the Territory’. According to my husband Buz, it too is ‘World Famous!’ Years ago, I prepared the German Chocolate Upside Down Cake recipe for a July 4th all-church picnic. It became all the buzz, as everyone was wondering who had brought it to the picnic. Needless to say, it made the front page of our church newsletter for all to enjoy! It is to die for!”
BANANA CREAM BREAD (Submitted by Patty Wierick-Bartlesville, OK)
- 1 1/3 cups oil
- 3 cups sugar
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 6 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 cup sour cream
- 4 cups unbleached flour
- 1 ½ tsp. soda
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 cups chopped pecans
- chopped pecans
Combine oil, sugar, eggs, bananas and sour cream in a large bowl. Blend until smooth. Mix together flour, salt and soda. Stir into the banana mixture and add vanilla and pecans.
Pour into two large (9″ x 5″) greased and floured loaf pans – or 6 mini-loaf pans. Sprinkle top with sugar and chopped pecans. Bake at 325 degrees for 1+ hour for large loaves (or 40 minutes for small loaves), or until loaves test done in the center.
GERMAN CHOCOLATE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup coconut
- 1 box German Chocolate cake mix, prepared according to directions (do not bake)
- 1 stick melted butter
- 1 (8 oz) cream cheese
- 1 box powdered sugar
- 1 well-beaten egg
Grease 9″ x13″ baking pan. Place a sheet of wax paper on bottom and sides of pan and sprinkle with pecans and coconut. Pour prepared cake mix over the top.
Mix butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and egg together. Drizzle over top of cake, leaving 1 1/2″ from edges. Bake at 350˚ for 50 to 60 minutes.
Let cool; turn out on a serving tray. Peel off wax paper. Top with Cool Whip. ENJOY!
BROCCOLI AND MUSHROOM SALAD (Submitted by Jill Sawatzki-Lansing and Mackinac Island, MI)
From Jill: “My mom thinks this recipe came from a neighborhood Boy Scout Pot Luck. Today those Boy Scounts are 45 and 53 years old! It’s been a FAVORITE easy dish for me to bring.”
1 head broccoli (flowerets only)
1/2 lb. pkg. mushrooms (sliced)
2 finely chopped green onions
1/2 cup sugar (extra-fine sugar, if you can find it)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp celery seed
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup vinegar w/tarragon
Make marinade (everything but broccoli and mushrooms) several hours or a day ahead. Keep stirring and blending well, and make sure all sugar is dissolved. Marinade does not have to be refrigerated, but it is ok to refrigerate. Two to four hours before serving, pour marinade over broccoli and mushrooms and mix well. Put salad into a container with a tight lid and refrigerate. Every 30 minutes or so, shake container so marinade coats all the veggies. Serve cold.
RED CAKE (Submitted by Charlotte DeBroka-Mishawaka, IN)
From Charlotte: “This is a cake my Mom made when we were kids. I know around here there are lots of stories about where the recipe came from. The one I’ve always heard is a lady ate at a big department store in New York City. For dessert, she had a slice of red cake. After eating the cake, she asked the waitress if she might have a copy of the recipe. When she was given the recipe, she received a tab for $100.00. Liking the cake so much (and having the extra $100 with her), she paid for the recipe. Arriving back in town she started giving copies of the recipe to all of her friends. I’ve also heard it called the $100 Red Cake. We just call it Red Cake. While I worked, my best friend always asked me to bake my red cake for her birthday (for mine I always asked for her cheese cake).”
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 scant tsp. salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 Tblsps. cocoa
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 ozs. red food coloring
- 1 tsp. vinegar
- 1 tsp. soda
Cream shortening, sugar, and eggs. Make paste of cocoa and red food coloring, add to creamy mixture. Add flour, salt, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat well. Fold in vinegar and soda. Don’t beat. Pour into two greased 8-inch cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees 30-35 minutes.
Note from Charlotte: “When putting them together, Mom always used tooth picks to help the layers stay together. Those getting a toothpick didn’t have to help with dishes that meal. Of course this was before every house had a dishwasher. I still continue putting the toothpicks in because it reminds me of Mom.”
Frosting for Red Cake
- 3 Tblsps. flour
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup butter (1/2 lb.)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Mix flour and water. Boil until thick, stirring constantly. Set aside and cool.
Cream butter and vanilla together. Beat until fluffy. Add cooled mixture. Beat lightly. Frost cake.
From Charlotte: “I love this frosting also on German Chocolate Cake.”
GARBAGE COOKIES/OATMEAL PEANUT BUTTER HERMITS (Submitted by Irene Cowley-California)
From Irene: “I meant to get you this last week, but my schedule got crammed. This is one of my favorite recipes because it’s so easy to make. If you notice, except for the vanilla, raisins and wheat germ, there’s no measuring involved. Originally it was two cups of white sugar and two of brown, but I tried it once with just the box of brown, and – no more measuring!
I sometimes make them big (4 in.), but when I make them for church social hour, they are closer to 2 in. OH, and sorry about the title, but that’s what we call them – because they contain everything but the kitchen sink!”
Beat until creamy:
- 1 jar of peanut butter (18 oz.)
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 box light brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 box “old-fashioned” oatmeal (18 oz. , I think – the regular box, not the huge one)
- 2 1/2 tsps. baking SODA
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 bag (6 oz.) chocolate chips
With a spoon, drop onto cookie sheet about 4 inches apart, and press flat with a fork.
Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 min. Remove from cookie sheet and let cool on a wire rack.
THREE RECIPES FROM BREE
LAMAR’S KAPOK TREE INN SHRIMP
From Brenda: “This is just a fancy name for Fried Shrimp, but it is Ted’s absolute favorite fried shrimp – and mine too. I found this recipe years and years ago. The batter is VERY light.”
3 lbs. raw shrimp, shelled and deveined (with tails left on)
1 1/4 cups flour
1 Tblsps. baking power
1 tsp. garlic salat
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
1 cup water
Oil for frying
Mix all batter ingredients until well blended. Grasp shrimp by tail, and dip in batter mixture until well coated. Deep fry at 375 degrees until golden brown. Remove, drain on paper towel, and serve with tartar sauce and lemon wedges.
SALMON WITH VEGETABLE TOPPING
From Brenda: “This only serves TWO, so multiply ingredients as needed for extra servings. My beautiful step-daughter Julie shared this recipe with me after she served it while we were visiting in Arkansas.”
2 (8 oz.) salmon fillets
2 Tblsps. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup carrot, finely grated
1/2 cup tomato, finely chopped
3 Tblsps. chopped green onions
3 Tblsps. mayonaisse
2 Tblsps. cream cheese, softened
2 Tblsps. minced fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. pepper
Arrange fillets in baking dish; drizzle with lemon juice. Combine carrot, tomato and green onions in a bowl. Mix well. Stir in a mixture of mayo, cream cheese, parsley, and pepper. Mound veggies on each fillet, covering completely.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until salmon flakes easily.
Note from Brenda: “You can prepare this one day in advance, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Bake the next day.”
From Brenda: ” Well, of course I had to end the whole thing with CHOCOLATE!! This is granddaughter Jordan’s absolute favorite BeBe dessert.”
1 (18 1/2 oz.) pkg. Devil’s Food Chocolate Cake Mix
3 (3 1/2 oz.) pkgs. instant chocolate pudding mix
2 cups milk (for making pudding)
2 cups whipping cream (the REAL stuff)
2 Tblsps. sugar
1 cup pecans, lightly toasted
Chocolate sauce, or chocolate syrup, for garnish
Prepare cake mix and bake in 13″ x 9 ” pan according to pkg. instructions. Let cool thoroughly, then cut into cubes about size of walnut.
Prepare chocolate pudding according to pkg. directions.
In medium bowl, whip the cream with sugar until stiff.
To assemble: In trifle bowl, layer half the chocolate cake cubes, pudding, whipped cream, and nuts. Repeat, layering remaining ingredients, ending with whipped cream and nuts.
Drizzle decoratively with chocolate sauce or syrup. Serves 20 – a great party dessert!
The header is Lana’s version of Shrimp Creole (an utterly delicious version, of course), and can be found at http://www.lanascooking.com/2009/06/10/shrimp-creole/. Thanks, Lana, for allowing me to brazenly steal from your blog every week. By the way, our friend Ed made your Outrageous Chocolate Cookies last week, and he and Sally almost made themselves sick eating them – they were THAT GOOD. I can attest to that because he brought Ted and I some samples, and we both ’bout fainted from the yummyness!
Here’s to all the cooks – past and present. We thank you for teaching us and making sure we are never alone in our kitchens.
I just have a couple more things to share tonight. One is this photo my friend Samille sent today of a bird nest in one of her flowerpots. I think mama bird is blocking our view of the eggs (or the babies).
AND – on Monday I will be sharing all the darling dogs and cuddly cats you sent in after Bear asked for photos of your four-legged babies. WOW! What a landslide of action THAT request caused! They are all adorable, and I can’t wait to show them off for you!
In preparation for that, I’m posting below a group of photographs a friend sent me of a piglet that was adopted by a very special mom. This little doxie mama could be Maddie’s twin, and I think you will find this too precious for words – so I won’t add any!
Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you back here Monday morning with the “cutest” blog post ever! God bless.