22.9.07

More Goodies

Grandma Valentine raised 8 children, 4 girls and then 4 boys. I don't know when the picture above was taken but it shows Dad with all four of his sisters and his brother Tom. The inset is Uncle Bill who died a few years earlier. His other brother, Uncle Burr, died in World War II. From left to right they are Uncle Tom (Richard Thomas, Aunt Viola, Aunt Helen, Aunt Bonnie, Aunt Tress, Dad. I always thought it was interesting that Grandma's four sons had the same names as Eleanor of Aquitaine's sons --- William, Henry, Richard and John. All she was missing was Geoffrey...

Grandma Valentine’s Applesauce Fruit Cake

By itself this is a delicious, moist cake but it is also the base for the most wonderful fruitcakes. My mother never liked fruitcake until she tasted the fruitcakes that Grandma Valentine made from this recipe. It is best to make them in September and then soak a teatowel in rum and brandy, wrap the cake in it and place in a sealed tin. Check now and then to re-moisten the towel if needed. By Christmas you will have a treasure.

Basic cake:
Combine: ½ cup margarine, 1 cup sugar, 1 beaten egg, 1 cup apple sauce, 1 ½ cup flour, 1/4 tstp salt, 1 tsp each baking soda and cinnamon, ½ tsp ground cloves. Stir well and pour into loaf pan. Bake at 350̊ for an hour.
Fruitcake: Add ½ cup each of raisins, walnuts or pecans, sliced candied cherries, and candied fruit. Add ½ tsp grated orange peel.

Anne’s Cherry-Nut Pound Cake
Our sister Anne is an amazing cook. This is from her:
Blend together 3/4 cup margarine and 4 whole fresh eggs.
Beat in:
1 cup sugar
3 cups flour
1 ½ cups milk
1 large package vanilla pudding mix
½ tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts

Spoon half the batter into a tube pan. Spoon in the contents of a can of cherry pie filling. Spoon in the remaining in batter. Bake at 375̊ for 1 hour. Cool before removing from pan. Dust with powdered sugar.

My Rhubarb Crisp
Rhubarb is my favorite thing! I use it for all sorts of recipes but this is probably the best thing I make with it. When Lisa visits she still gives me gentle hints that it is about time for me to make it again. I bet Garrison Keillor would LOVE this.
Chop rhubarb into ½" pieces and toss lightly with flour to coat. Place in a casserole dish to within 1 1/2"of the top. Sprinkle with 2 cups of sugar mixed with ½ cup flour. Dot with a few pats of butter.

Crumble together 1 cup raw uncooked oatmeal, 1 stick of butter and 1'2 cup brown sugar, ½ tsp salt. Crumble over the top of the rhubarb and bake at 350̊. Apples may be used to fill the dish if there is not a lot of rhubarb.

Best Carrot Cake
This is the most delicious carrot cake I’ve ever tasted. The recipe was invented from a number of other recipes:
Preheat oven to 350̊ and grease two round cake pans or 1 flat sheet pan. Dust with flour. Combine:
4 eggs, 2 ½ cups flour, 2 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp baking powder, 2 cups sugar, 1 1/2cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp salt.
When batter is well mixed fold in: 2 cups grated fresh carrots, ½ cup golden raisins, ½ cup chopped walnuts, ½ cup well-drained crushed pineapple.
Fill pan 2/3 full as this raises quite a bit. Bake one hour until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
Blend 6 oz. Softened cream cheese, 1 stick soft butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, ½ tsp vanilla. When creamy stir in 1 cup chopped walnuts. Use this to frost the cooled cake.

Patty’s Peanut Butter Custard Pie
I’ve known Patty all my life. Our mothers used to walk us in our carriages together. This is an unbelievable treat and shows up in Each Angel Burns when Gabe tastes it and decides if anything ever happens to Maggie, the woman he loves, he’ll track down the girl who made this pie and marry her.
Cream together 1 cup smooth, natural peanut butter a 1 tsp vanilla extract. Beat on low speed with a mixer. Add 1 ½ cups sugar a 1 tsp salt. Gradually beat them into the peanut butter mix. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat in 2 eggs. Reduce speed to low and add 1 ½ cups milk. Beat until smooth and creamy. It will be a little runny. Pour into a 9" unbaked pie shell and bake at 350̊ until set when pie is gently shaken - about 45-50 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

My Potato Spice Cake
I am very partial to spice cake. This is about the best I’ve ever tasted. It is very moist and spicy.
Cream together with mixer or in the food processor:
1 ½ cups sugar, 1 cup cold mashed potatoes, 3/4 cup margarine, 1 tsp salt. Add 1 tsp each ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves; add ½ tsp each ground allspice and ginger.
Stir in 3 eggs, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 cups flour, 3/4 cup nuts (optional)
Pour into a tube pan and bake at 350̊ for 50 minutes

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19.8.07

Four Dessert Recipes from Mom

The following are four of the very best and most often made of my Mother’s desserts — her pie crust recipe and three of her outstanding cakes. That's her with Baby Me a VERY long time ago.

Mom’s Apple Cake

Absolutely delicious!
Cream together:
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 stick of softened margarine
2 eggs
½ tsp salt

Blend in:
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 c. milk
2 1/4 cups flour
dash of vanilla

Stir well.

Gently fold in 2 c. chopped apples

Mix well and pour into cake pans. Sprinkle the tops with brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped walnuts. Bake at 350°̊ for 45 minutes.

Mom’s Pie Crust
Virtually infallible. Even mine turns out flakey.
Cut together:
4 cup flour
1 tblsp sugar
1 1/3 cups shortening
2 tsp salt

Beat in a bowl 1 tblsp white vinegar, ½ cup ice water and 1 egg.
Combine with flour mixture and form into balls. Chill at least 15 minutes before rolling it out. May be kept for up to 3 days.

Mom’s Cream Cheese Cake
I absolutely love this cake. Mom always made it at Christmas time in small loaf pans and passed them out to people as gifts. Sometimes she would make this and her Apple Cake in little loafs, wrap them in colored cellophane and tie them with pretty ribbons to give as treats. They were always much appreciated.

Combine:
8 oz. Softened cream cheese
1 ½ cups sugar
4 eggs
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 c. margarine
1 ½ tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour

Blend in:
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup chopped dates
1 jar of maraschino cherries, drained and sliced
Stir together. Pour into a tube pan or small loaf pans. Bake at 325̊° for an hour and 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Mom’s Date & Nut Cake with Broiled On Topping
For years I asked for this for my birthday cake. Not a traditional birthday cake but I didn’t care. This and rhubarb pie are my very favorite birthday treats.
Combine:
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp baking soda
Let stand until cool. Meanwhile cream together:
½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 ½ cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup walnuts
1 tsp. Vanilla

Add to date mixture and pour into a prepared cake pan. Bake at 350̊ until top is set and does not respond to touch.
Broiled on Topping:
Blend 2 tbsps brown sugar, 2 tbsps cream, 5 tbsps margarine and ½ tsp vanilla. Spread on finished cake and place under broiler until it sizzles. Sprinkle with coconut.

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18.8.07

Gram Werner’s Apple Dumplings

There is nothing that can compare with Gram Werner’s (at right in 1919) apple dumplings. What wouldn’t I give for a bowl of them right now!!! They are crusty and crunchy on the top and gooey and sweet on the bottom. You can have them hot or cold, with or without milk. They are the BEST!

Prepare a batch of pie crust (Mom’s Pie Crust will be coming soon.) Divide into 4 sections and roll each section out into a thin circle. Cut each crust into 4 quarters (16 pieces.) Peel pie apples and cut them into chunks. Place a handful in the center of each crust. On each pile of apples place 1 heaping T. Sugar, 1 pat of butter, sprinkles of sugar and nutmeg. Fold up the corners of the crust and pinch them together to make a little dumpling. Place them seam-side down in a shallow cake pan. Pierce the top crust of each dumpling 2-3 times with a fork. Drizzle maple syrup or light corn syrup over each dumpling.

Bake at 350 degrees for an hour or until golden brown. Serve with milk, ice cream or just plain.

Gram Werner's Mincemeat Tarts
Christmas was never Christmas without Gram's Mincemeat Tarts. She had the prettiest tins to bake them in --- I found one a few years back in a yard sale and I treasure it. It is sort of like a muffin tin but with a fluted bottom. My tarts might look like Grams but nothing will ever taste as good as hers did.

Make a double batch of pie crust. Divide into 16 pieces and cut into circles to fit your tin. Reserve the scraps.

Mix together:
1 large jar of commercial mincemeat with rum and brandy
1 c. chopped apples
1 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 c. raisins.

Spoon the mixture into the shells to almost fill them. Cut little circles from the scraps of dough and place one on top of each tart. Pinch the edges of the tarts in but don't close completely. Beat an egg with 1 T of water and brush over the top of each tart. Bake at 350° until the shells are golden brown.


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