Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fruit Pies

Pear Pie (Memaw's)

2 cups cooked pears
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons butter
Double pie crust dough

Line pie pan with half of pie crust dough.
Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Combine pears, lemon juice, lemon rind, and butter.
Sprinkle dry ingredients over pear mixture and combine well.
Pour into unbaked pie shell.
Top with lattice crust and bake at 375 degrees F until bubbly and brown. (about one hour)
To lattice crust, roll remaining dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into long strips. Criss-cross on pie. Flute edges and bake.

Dewberry Pie /Cobbler (Memaw's)

1 quart berries
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 double pie crust mix

Line the bottom of a deep dish pie pan with half the pie crust dough. Let the dough extend up the sides of the pan.
In a saucepan, combine berries, sugar, and butter and bring to a boil. This should be really juicy. If necessary, add a little water. Pour berries into prepared pie pan.
Top with remaining crust. Sprinkle sugar generously over pie crust. Dot with butter. Bake at 375 degrees F until crust is golden brown and crunchy.
Blackberries can be used the same way. If you like a soft crust, use a rich biscuit dough. Bake the same.
Blackberries can be used the same wy. If you like a soft crust, use a rich biscuit dough. Bake the same.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Harvest Moon, Shine On

According to a fellow blogger, tonight is Harvest Moon (if you can see it through the clouds!).

Shine On, Shine On Harvest Moon!

Lemon Cloud Pie and Rain

Raining here this weekend. Yesterday when F and B came out to bush hog around F's property, the skies fell in. F said he always brings rain when he brings out his mowing equipment.

Anyway, our plants and grass are now watered, as well as the pond. It was beginning to look scummy. Last night at dark Flip and I saw a small snake jump from the tall grass along the pond bank and swim off to safety. Needless to say, he need not be afraid of us. We don't like his type one bit.

Let's finish up lemon pies on this dark, warm(still !), and rainy Saturday.

Lemon Cloud Pie (Memaw's)

1 cup sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
1 slightly beaten egg
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Sift together flour and salt in mixing bowl.
Cut in shortening until particles are fine.
Combine egg, lemon rind, and lemon juice. Sprinkle over mixture while stirring with fork until dough is moist enough to hold together. (Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water, if necessary.)
Form into ball. Roll out to fit 8 to 9 inch pie pan. Flute edge. Prick generously with fork.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes.

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup water
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 egg yolks
4 ounces cream cheese
2 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar

Combine sugar, cornstarch, water, lemon rind, lemon juice, and slightly beaten egg yolks in a saucepan.
Cook over medium heat. Stir constantly until thick. Remove from heat.
Add cream cheese and blend well. Cook while preparing meringue.
Beat egg whites until soft mounds form. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into lemon mixture.
Spoon into pie shell. Chill.

Lemon Chess Pie (Memaw's)

2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon cornmeal
Dash salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
Juice and grated rind of 2 lemons
4 eggs, beaten
1 nine inch unbaked pie shell

Combine sugar, flour, cornmeal, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
Add melted butter and milk. Blend well.
Add lemon juice, lemon rind, and eggs, beating until well combined.
Place unbaked pie shell under broiler for 1 minute.
Remove shell from oven and pour in filling.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes or until slightly firm in center.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Happy Birthday, Holiday Child

Today is my hub's birthday! 

Anyone born at this time of the year is pretty much guaranteed to be a product of the Christmas through NewYears holidays. Even one of my favorite television chefs Mario (with the orange shoes and short pants) discussed that recently on "The Chew."

But the holidays during the Hunger Winter of 1944-45 in The Netherlands was not the abundant  holidays that we celebrate today. In the western part of the small country, sometimes erroneously called Holland, the people were literally starving to death.

It was the winter of boiled tulip bulbs and bread crumbs and potato peelings, since the Nazis had blocked all food and fuel supplies to the Dutch provinces in the west of the country. People in the big cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague were lucky if they could scrounge up 500 calories each day of nutritional food.

18,000 people died of starvation during the five long months of starvation!

But my in-laws lived in the east of the country, not far from Germany. According to my mother-in-law, during the Hunger Winter they never had a shortage of food. Farmers in the area still farmed, and they would rather give up their animals to their Dutch neighbors than to the Nazis.

I wish there were Time Machines. I would love to go back in time to just see what life was like in my hub's family during the holidays of 1944-45. Since I can't do that, I can enjoy the product (HeHe) of that time. 

Happy 67th Birthday, Hub.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Four Generations On the World Wide Web

I am sure there are some families with five generations on the Internet every single day, but we have four generations. In fact Memaw has been an avid emailer for almost 14 years! That is saying something, since I know people who are 35 years younger than she is who don't even know how to send an email message or Reply to All when sending private messages! Hard to believe in this day of technology.

This week Memaw started her own blog! Yippee! If I can just get her to type up her Spice Cake recipe on her blogspot, then I can paste it here and finally be finished with the cake section of Just Plain Cooking. (hint hint)

I still have a few more pie recipes to type, but not today. Actually I say "but not today" quite often.

By the way, Memaw's blog is

I passed the 3,000 th page view last night on this blog. My Pinterest pins number over 11,000 and I am edging toward 300 followers.

The only numbers that are down are our visitors on the apartment for sale in The Netherlands:(((
Check it out before we move out most furnishings.
More lemon pie recipes later this week.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Too Pinterested!

I know! I know! I spend too much more time Pinteresting than actually doing what I pin.

But yesterday I had to laugh at myself. I bought some 20 year old Southern Living Christmas books with recipes and crafts from my friend who is selling everything to go do mission work in Africa. (doesn't this sound like something from the 1970's??!)

Anyway, I was enjoying my Sunday afternoon and flipping through the books when I subconsciously started pressing the pictures with my finger. LOL! What a goof! I was treating the photos in the book like Pinterest on my iPad! Big disappointment for me.

My hub said to take photos of the photos and then pin them. Guess I will try that.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Lemon Meringue Pie

(We accidentally frightened off 20 ducks from our pond yesterday at dark. :((((()

I have never even tried to make Lemon Meringue Pie. I know this is a delicious recipe, since Memaw did make it during my childhood.

Lemon Meringue Pie (Memaw's)

1 baked 9 inch pie crust
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter or oleo
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
Grated peel of 1 lemon
4 eggs, separated

In a saucepan stir cornstarch, salt, and 1 cup sugar. Stir in water, lemon juice, and grated lemon peel. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and boils. Remove from heat. Best egg yolks and stir in small amount of hot mixture.
Slowly pour yolk mixture into lemon mixture, stirring rapidly to prevent lumping. Return to heat. Cook while stirring constantly until lemon filling is thickened.
Stir in butter.
Pour into pie crust.
Cool 10 minutes and top with meringue.


Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.
Gradually sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar over egg whites.
Beat egg whites until they stand in stiff glossy peaks.
Spread over lemon pie.
Bake in hot oven until golden brown.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Can't Post

I tried to post something today, but I was blocked by something. Maybe the subject was not meant to be discussed. Probably none of my business. So I will leave it at that.

 Or I could say that I still don't know too much about blogging and Blogger. That sounds like the real reason.

In any case, from tomorrow on I will stick with what I know and how to do it. Sound confusing? To me, too.

Have a good Saturday evening.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Oh So Sweet! Lemon Ice Box Pie!

This is definitely not a blog post for my hub. He hates lemons, and he likes my stories instead of recipes. So Hub, you can skip this blog post today.

My favorite pie is Lemon Ice Box Pie! Actually it is the filling for Lemon Ice Box Pie! Or maybe it is the sweetened condensed milk in the filling of the Lemon Ice Box Pie! Maybe I should just save some time making the pie and just open a can of Borden's Sweetened Condensed Milk, eat it with a spoon, and forget the pie! (Have thought about it).

Lemon Ice Box Pie (Memaw's)

1 can (sweetened) condensed milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
 3 egg yolks
1 baked 8 inch pie shell or line pie pan with vanilla wafers

In a small mixing bowl, beat egg yolks until lemon color.
Gradually beat in condensed (think she meant SWEETENED condensed milk). 
Add lemon juice and mix well.
Pour into pie shell.
Top with meringue.
Brown meringue in hot oven for 3 to 5 minutes or until browned.
Cool and refrigerate until cold.
You may use whipped topping instead of meringue. Spread whipped topping over pie and cool and serve.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Ever Heard of Christmas Creep?

Have you ever heard of Christmas Creep? Or Sinterklaas Creep? Or Halloween Creep? Or Easter Creep? Or Valentine's Day Creep? Or ...... Just check out Wikipedia for Christmas Creep.

Those sneaky merchants just creep up on us with merchandise for celebrating all kinds of holidays. This week Dollar General already had their special Thanksgiving baking shelves up and running. I laughed at the two month early display, but now I know that this early merchandizing has a name: Thanksgiving Creep! Actually the Dollar Store has Christmas Creep going on, too. Even before they empty out their shelves of gardening and kiddie pool supplies! I bet if I visited some large department stores 45 miles away, I would get a bigger (and better!) dose of the Creep, be it Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas.

The creepiest part of this whole phenomenon is that we fall for it. And we buy the seasonal snacks. Since if you wait until the actual holiday, you might be purchasing old, contaminated food or candy! What a laugh!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Can Not Tell a Lie. Not a Cherry Pie.

Okay, I can not tell a lie. I do not bake apple pies from scratch!

Yesterday's post said it all. I have used boxed mixes for the pastry and then added the fresh apples and raisins. As I can't find pastry mixes for the sand tart pie bottom here in the US, I usually make an apple dump cake with a boxed cake mix and canned apple pie filling.

For my Pinterest follower A in Florida, here is a great recipe for authentic Dutch appeltaart.

For the rest of my family and friends, here are Memaw's apple pie recipes. She still bakes them!

Apple Pie (Memaw's)

3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons flour
Juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons butter (melted)
1 can sliced apples or 6 sliced apples
1 double pie crust

Line pie pan with one half of pastry dough. 
Combine sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and flour. 
Pour lemon juice and melted butter over apples. 
Combine dry ingredients with apples and mix well. 
Pour into pie pan. 
Top with strips of pastry dough. Crisscross or put on solid cover and pierce top to let steam out. Seal edges by wetting the bottom layer of the crust with water before you put top crust on. Crimp the edges. 
Bake at 375 degrees F until bubbly and crust is golden brown (about 50 - 60 minutes).

Ooh La La! Now for the French version:

French Apple Pie (Memaw's)

3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 to 7 cups sliced apples
1 1/2 tablespoons butter

Crumb topping :
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 cup flour

Pastry for one 9 inch pie

Heat oven to 425 degrees F. 
Mix sugar and cinnamon. Mix lightly through sliced apples. 
Heap up apples in pastry lined pie pan. Dot with butter. 
Mix ingredients for crumb topping and sprinkle onto apples.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Serve warm with cream or ice cream. 
Heap up apples in pastry lined pie pan. 
Dot with butter. 
Mix ingredients for crumb topping and sprinkle onto apples.
Bake 50 to 60 minutes. 
Serve warm with cream or ice cream.

Okay, now we have had the Dutch Appeltaart (, Memaw's American apple pie, and the French crumb top version. Your pick! I may stick with the dump cake. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ready for Homemade Apple Pies?

Toasted Coconut Pie

Toasted Coconut Pie (Memaw's)

3 beaten eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine (melted)
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 can flaked coconut
1 unbaked 9 inch pastry shell

Thoroughly combine eggs, sugar, butter, lemon juice, and vanilla. Stir in coconut.
Pour filling into unbaked pastry shell.
Bake in moderate oven at 350 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes, or until knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean.
Cool before serving.
If desired, garnish with whipped cream or dessert topping and toasted coconut.

(Tomorrow will feature Apple Pies. My Pinterest follower A  has requested a real Dutch appeltaart recipe and there will also be a couple of Memaw's apple pie recipes, too. I keep waiting for this "cool" front to come through here. So far only a little rain!)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Chocolate Cream Pie

Great lawn and gardening bargains at Dollar General today!

At the end of summer gardening, I always find little cotton garden gloves for about 30 cents each. That is so cheap that I just toss them after they get really grungy and dirty. Guess you could call them my disposable garden gloves.

I also found big plastic (cotton backed) orange tablecloths for $1.00 each. I never have enough of those to protect our old wooden tables when we have family or friends over to eat. I just cover the table with the plastic cloth and then top it with placemats or a pretty cotton tablecloth. Voila! No water rings!

The last real bargains were the short green wire fences that we use to protect our baby boxwood plants along our walkpath up the front lawn. They were $1.30 each, and I only found five left in the box. So I bought them all. That won't make it all the way down to the little lane to our house, but I don't have enough plants to do that either.

Before I go get one of those good chocolate cupcakes from Sunday night, here is a PIE recipe.

Chocolate Cream Pie (Memaw's)

3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 cups milk
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Dash of salt
1 baked 9 inch pie shell

Separate eggs. Set aside.
Mix sugar, flour, cocoa, salt, and milk in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until it begins to thicken. Stir constantly to prevent scorching.
Slightly beat egg yolks. Stir in small amount of pudding mixture into egg yolks. Then blend egg yolks into pudding mixture, stirring constantly.
Add butter and cook one minute.
Take off heat and add vanilla.
Pour into baked pie shell and top with meringue.
Brown in a hot oven for about 3 to 5 minutes.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Banana Cream Pie and Chocolate Cupcakes

I have two guaranteed winning recipes today. One is from Memaw's Just Plain Cooking cookbook, and the other I found while Googling.

Banana Cream Pie (Memaw's)

3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 cups milk
1/3 cup flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ripe banana
Dash of salt
1 baked pie shell

Separate eggs. Set aside.
Mix sugar, salt, flour, and milk in saucepan and cook over medium heat until it begins to thicken. Stir constantly to prevent scorching.
Slightly beat egg yolks. Stir in small amount of pudding mixture into egg yolks. Then blend egg yolks into pudding mixture, stirring constantly.
Add butter and cook one minute.
Take off heat and add vanilla. Let mixture cool. Add chopped banana.
Top with meringue and brown quickly in hot oven.

I borrowed the following recipe from Jamie at A great recipe for a great cupcake. I used two packages of sugar free pudding mix (one chocolate--5 years passed sell by date!!!and one vanilla-- only 1 year passed sell by date!) and homemade Greek yoghurt instead of sour cream. I used my husband's instant cappuccino instead of the instant espresso. 
These baked up like the best bakery cupcakes, and I will try this again. The Dollar Store cake mix by Betty Crocker is always a winner!
Save RecipePrint

Doctored Up Cake Mix Recipe

YIELD: 24 cupcakes
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 18-22 minutes


1 (18.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix (see note below)
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon instant espresso granules dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water (see note below)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, eggs, vanilla and espresso water mixture. Beat for about two minutes on medium speed until well combined.
3. Using a large cookie scoop, distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells; about 3 tablespoons of batter per well.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched. Allow cupcakes to cool inside muffin tins for about 10 minutes.
5. Remove cupcakes from muffin tins and allow to fully cool on a wire rack. Once cupcakes are cool, prepare your frosting.

For Cakes

Bundt Cake Directions: Pour the batter into a well-greased, 12-cup bundt cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 50 to 55 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. If desired, drizzle the cooled cake with your favorite recipe for chocolate ganache.
For 2 9-inch Cake Layers: Pour batter evenly between 2 greased 9-inch cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Frost cooled cake with your favorite buttercream recipe.


- My favorite Devil's Food Cake is Betty Crocker - Pudding in the mix.
- If you don't have instant espresso granules, you can sub in 1/2 cup warm coffee.
- The espresso in this recipe really just deepens the chocolate flavor, but if you aren't into the whole coffee thing, just use 1/2 cup warm water.
-Updated 8/23/12- Some box mixes have recently reduced in size to around 15 ounces, so I now use a 3.4 ounce package of instant pudding mix as opposed to the larger option.
My Baking Addiction adapted from All Recipes

Saturday, September 15, 2012

White Feather Letter

Crazy what you learn while watching the Antiques Roadshow on Saturday morning.

If I could, today I would send out a white feather letter.

After checking the origin of the white feather letter, I found that this letter was the way for women in England to let men know that they were cowards. One origin is from early 20th century in England when men who did not enlist to fight in the wars were given a white feather by a women's group. The white feather symbolized cowardice. During those same wars, the men who did not enlist to fight would sometimes wear unadorned or unmarked military type suits so that no woman would recognize that they were not serving in the military. Most suits were custom made, since the real uniform could only be issued to a real soldier.

But back to the white feather letter. What I read is that when the white feather tradition crossed the Atlantic, it took on a different twist. In the US, receiving a white feather letter is an honor. The white feather symbolizes courage and bravery, not the tail feathers as in "turned tail and ran."

Even though Americans may speak the same language as the Brits, someone is driving on the wrong side of the road! (literally and figuratively)

As you can probably guess, I would send my white feather letter to the boss this week who had no backbone. After three long years of trying to resolve this pond/ levee situation, he left us with a pond that we have to "finish up" on our own! What a loser! And maybe even "yellow bellied." Hmm? Wonder where that expression came from?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Rescued Hummingbird With iPad

While sitting on the screened in back porch, I just rescued a hummingbird.

He flew into the screen and got his bill caught in a tiny hole. I reached up with my iPad and pushed his bill free.

So that is another way to use an IPad.

Bet Steve Jobs never thought of that one!

Lone Dog

When our Flip showed up at our door in January 2011, he was our first pup.

But he joined a group of three other dogs here at the end of the road. It wasn't until earlier this summer that he finally "got on" with that other bunch. Maybe you remember that visiting doggy Chandler sort of brought the pack together.

Then the demise began. Chandler returned to his home, momma and son dogs disappeared, and now the oldest and lamest dog has succumbed. So that means that Flip is the last of the canines down here at the end of the road.

My hub and I give him way more attention than most people do their dogs ( meaning spoiled rotten!), and we are still glad he showed up at our door. Pity the folks who dumped him off or that he ran away from back in 2011.

Wonder if the neighbors are planning to replace their lost dogs?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Walk Around Our Pond


I had been skipping my early walks around our pond for a multitude of reasons. Today I got back into the peaceful and quiet routine.

Temperatures are still a bit too warm, but this morning I did not break a sweat.

A few minnows did cartwheels and somersaults to greet me. Who knows where they came from or even how big they are.

Most of the cattails have been sawed off at the water's edge. I still wonder what beast went to all that trouble. I keep hoping they will surface to let me see their razor-sharp teeth. Knowing me, I would scream and scare them away.

I began my walk with an extremely enthusiastic beagle hound who acted as if he were being set free from a long hibernation. After five minutes he disappeared into the deep woods, so I finished my walk alone.

But peaceful.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Coconut Cream Pie

We are being tormented by pond stuff today, so let me stick with PIES. A whole lot sweeter and simpler.

Coconut Cream Pie (Memaw's Favorite)

3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
3 eggs
2 cups milk
Dash of salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 can grated coconut
1 baked 9 inch pie shell

Separate eggs. Set aside.
 Mix sugar, flour, and salt with milk in a sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until it begins to thicken. Stir constantly to prevent sticking.
 Slightly beat egg yolks and stir small amount of pudding mixture into eggs. Then blend egg mixture into pudding mixture, stirring constantly. Add butter and coconut. Cook one minute.
 Add vanilla and let cool while you make meringue.
Pour mixture in baked pie shell. Top with meringue and sprinkle coconut over meringue.
Brown in hot oven until lightly browned.


3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons sugar
Dash of salt
Coconut to sprinkle on top

Beat egg whites and baking powder and salt until whites stand in peaks.
Add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time beating constantly until whites are glossy and stand in peaks.
Add vanilla.
Spread on pie. Top with coconut. Brown quickly in hot oven.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Not the Upper Crust

I am beginning the pie section of Just Plain Cooking today. The time of the year seems appropriate, since pies make me think of Fall. I know that Memaw cheats on the pie crust by using either the Walmart or Pillsbury boxed kind, but she does have a recipe for the "real" thing in her cookbook. I have used it often, since the boxed pie crusts were not available in The Netherlands when Ilived there. Prolly ( my son's text spelling for probably) still can't buy them in NL.

Let the PIES begin:

Pastry for One 9 Inch Pie (Memaw's)

1 cup sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
3 tablespoons cold water

Mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening. Sprinkle with water. Mix with fork. Round into ball. Roll out 1 inch larger than pan. Ease into pan. Flute edges. For baked pie shell, prick with a fork. For unbaked shell, DO NOT PRICK.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Bouncing Back

Flip bounced out of the house at his usual time this a.m. So I guess he is okay.

Last night we weren't too sure if a small scorpion that he tried to eat in the garage had stung him or not. When I took him out for his nightly "check for the spooks" toilet visit, he jumped on a small scorpion that was crawling near his dog pen. He jumped into the air, so I figured he had been stung by something. I just thought it might be a wasp or bee that had gotten into the garage when we drove the car in yesterday afternoon. He did not seem too bothered, so we went out into the cool evening air to check for "spooks."

When he came back inside the garage, I looked into his wooden cage to see if he still had food in his bowl. That is when I saw the small scorpion. I sent Flip into the house and called my hub to help. Hub wanted to chop the scorpion with a "scoffel/hoe", but I insisted on spraying it with wasp spray (which I had just dropped off the tallest shelf onto my nose). Hub sprayed the scorpion, and then it disappeared. Vanished!

As for Flip, he continued to paw the left side of his nose, but he fell asleep on his bed in the living room. After reading about dogs and scorpion stings on my iPad, I found my lowest dose of antihistamine and gave him a tablet in his peanut butter and vanilla cookie treat.

Now he is outside "huntin." So I guess he is okay. We will keep watch anyway.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

One Brown and Two Whites

Here are the last three icing recipes from Memaw's Just Plain Cooking cookbook. One is chocolate fudge and the other two are white icings.

Chocolate Fudge Icing (Memaw's)

2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa
1/4 cup Karo syrup
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine first 6 ingredients and cook until it forms a soft ball. Stir constantly.
Remove from heat.
Add vanilla and beat until creamy.
Spread on yellow, white, or chocolate cake.

Divinity Icing (Memaw's)

1 1/2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons water
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine sugar, water, cream of tartar and cook without stirring to 238 degrees F (is this number a joke?).
Pour 1/3 of syrup in a fine stream over the stiffly beaten egg whites, stirring constantly.
Cook remainder of syrup to 248 degrees F (now come on!).
Pour half of remaining in a fine stream into mixture, beating constantly.
Cook remaining syrup to 268 degrees F ( you saw this coming, right?).
Pour into icing. Beat thoroughly.
Add vanilla and spread at once.

[Not sure I will ever try the Divinity Icing. It is difficult enough for me to keep up with the temperatures for making my yoghurt.
By the way---
238 degrees F (114 C) is soft ball candy stage.
248 degrees F (120 C) is firm ball candy stage.
268 degrees F (131 C) is hard ball candy stage.]

White Icing (Memaw's)

2 1/2 cups sugar
5 tablespoons white corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 egg whites, beaten stiffly
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine sugar, water, and corn syrup in saucepan and cook over medium heat to hard ball stage (268 degrees F).
Pour very slowly over beaten egg whites, beating constantly.
Add vanilla. Beat until cool and mixture stands in peaks.
Ice cake.

My note from May 7, 2011. :((
Tried it, but did not like it. Like putty at first, and gets crumbly overnight. Never again!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

This Started Out Titled As Foreman's Boudin! Forget That For Now!

Last evening we had 20 Master Gardeners in our home for "graduation." I heard only one recommendation (to plant another peach tree to pollinate our lonely Feliciana peach). I will heed that suggestion, since we had a grapefruit tree that did not survive last winter's weather. And as my hub loooves peaches, we want our own peaches on our tree.

Since our house is eclectic (lots of gently used furnishings), we got lots of comments and questions inside our house. It is not for nothing that my nieces say our house looks like a museum. Although we love it like it is, in my next life I plan to have minimalist Italian or Danish furnishings. With a lot less DUST!

Being BIG collectors, my hub and I have a story for most of our "things." I hope to begin a chronicle of photos and stories of our unusual collections. In other words, some things need provenance. ( I know, over dose Antiques Roadshow!) As soon as I get through the pies from Just Plain Cooking, I will begin with my Brocante Chronicles.

Now for the icing on the cake, literally. Here are some icing recipes.

Caramel Icing ( Memaw's)

1 cup sugar (browned)
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup Karo syrup (Golden Syrup in England, by the way)
3/4 stick of margarine or butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Brown one cup sugar in a heavy pan over medium heat. Stir constantly to prevent burning. Combine 2 cups of sugar, milk, Karo syrup, and butter and add gradually to caramelized sugar. Stir constantly to prevent lumping. Cook to soft ball stage. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and beat until creamy.
Spread onto cake. Good on yellow or white cake.

(If this looks familiar, I published this recipe and Never Fail Creamy Caramel Icing in an earlier blog entry. Please refer to Out of Order published on April 14, 2012.)


Sunday, September 2, 2012

What To Do With A Yellow Cake Mix?

Whew! This is the last cake recipe in Just Plain Cooking! Yes, I still did not publish the Spice Cake and there are a couple of additions and corrections to two other cakes. I will get to that soon.

Now for a quick and decadent cake from a yellow cake mix:

Pineapple Dream Cake (Memaw's)

[check ingredients list on both cake mix and pudding boxes]

1 yellow cake mix
1 can crushed pineapple
1 package vanilla instant pudding mix
4 ounces cream cheese
1 tub Cool Whip

Mix cake as on package and bake as directed in a deep oblong cake pan.
Pour pineapple over warm cake.
Mix pudding as directed on box and blend with cream cheese.
Spread pudding/ cream cheese mixture over cake.
Top with Cool Whip. Refrigerate leftovers.

Memaw's Favorite Pumpkin Squares Recipe

It is September, but not too many farmers around here grow pumpkins. Maybe that is something to think about for next year. Or maybe not. It must be due to the weather that no one has picked up on growing pumpkins.

I still think that transporting watermelons and even pumpkins must be expensive, since they are so huge and heavy. I will never forget the time I paid over $25 for a pumpkin for my son and me to carve into a jack o' lantern on Halloween. As it rolled around in the back of our station wagon, he screamed that I was hurting it. Maybe so, since I tend to take corners a bit too quickly. But the pumpkin was okay. It served its purpose by scaring aware the spooks.

I don't buy pumpkins anymore. Cans of the purée serve the purpose for yummy desserts.

Here is Memaw's recipe for Pumpkin Squares. Great way to usher in the cooler weather, wherever it may be. Not here, in any case!

Pumpkin Squares (Memaw's)

2 cups (16 ounce can) pumpkin
1 cup margarine (softened)
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Put all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Bake in a greased and floured jelly roll pan ( or large oblong cake pan and one small square cake pan) in preheated 350 degrees F oven for 25 minutes. Cool completely.


4 ounces cream cheese
1 box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup softened margarine
3 or 4 tablespoons milk

Beat all ingredients until smooth and spread over cake. Cover leftovers and refrigerate.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

What To Do With A Chocolate Cake Mix

I buy cake mixes. Years ago I bought only Duncan Hines, but now just about any kind is good. And cheap! Have you checked out cake prices at Walmart or even a bakery? Do it yourself! Cheaper, fresher, and probably more delicious.

Maybe you remember the story about my mom's 99 cent coconut cake. Well, here is another box cake mix recipe from Memaw. Impress your friends with this torte.

Creamy Praline Chocolate Torte (Memaw's)

1 butter chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 eight ounce package Cool Whip
1 cup coconut
1 cup pecans (coarsely chopped)

Bake cake mix as directed on package. Let cool. Using a sharp long blade knife, slice cake layers in half. This makes thin layers.

In a small mixing bowl, combine brown sugar with about 1/3 of whipped topping. Stir gently to combine sugar with Cool Whip. Mix sugar and cool whip mixture with remaining Cool Whip.
Add coconut and pecans.
Spread between and on top of cake layers. Decorate with pecans.