Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I had a crush on Jacques Costeau

It's true, when I was a little girl I used to watch Jacques Costeau on TV & dream of being on his boat, sailing the seas with him & exploring the world.  I was glued to the television watching the Costeau Odyssey Series over & over.  When I was in 9th grade we wrote a paper on what we wanted to be when we grew up, I was going to be an oceanographer!  Dreams are a part of life, little did I know that I was claustrophobic, afraid of the dark & scared of sharks.  (this fear was only amplified & confirmed when I had a panic attack while watching a Titanic Documentary)  Good thing I never took out a loan to go to college with this ambition, I would of got a swift kick to the heart the minute I went underwater.  I did the next best thing, The Jacques Cousteau Hat!

It is for one of my daughter's dance teachers.  His name, oddly enough is Jack....or Jacques...
It is an easy pattern, though I hated my yarn for it, I used Mirasol Yarn, Tupa.  The yarn is very nice but  I just wish I would of used something a little less bulky, it took about 1 1/2 skeins.   I CO for the men's size & feel it will be too big, should of CO the woman's for this particular yarn.   I'm proud of my project & would like to think that somewhere in an alternate universe I am sitting on The Calypso next to my husband, Jacques.  Wearing our matching hats that I knitted, his in Navy...mine in Pink,a place where I am not afraid of water, or of the dark, or of small enclosed spaces.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Recipes of the past......

I went home for a visit & found myself going through my mom's cookbook collection.  I came across 2 copies of the BetterHomes & Gardens Cookbook.   You know the one we all have when we get married with that familiar red & white checked cover.  Her copies were published in 1953 & 1962.  I thought I would share  a few delightful photos with you.  That thing there, that looks like a pineapple is actually a center piece for an appeitizer tray.  Want the recipe? Come on!  I know you do!

Liver Sausage Pineapple
Mix 1# of liver sausage  with 1 tbl. lemon juice, 1 tsp. of Worcestershire sauce & 1/4 of mayonaise
Shape around a jelly glass.
Soften 2 teaspoons unflavored gealatine in 2 tbl. of cold water, dissolve over hot water & add 1 cup of mayonnaise; chill. Use to frost pineapple.
Score; stud with sliced stuffed olives.
Top with real pineapple top.

Though it sounds inviting, I think I might pass on making this, but I can't help wondering about the person that created this.  Can you imagine all those ladies in the test kitchen at Better Homes.  They were probably "ooooing" & "ahhhing" Betty for such a fabulous presentation piece.  Little did she know this one would not go down in history as one of the most fabulous dishes ever to be made.

Then these was this little number, a Crown Roast Dinner.  The "roast" is actually 12oz. cans of luncheon meat.  You'll need 4 of those if you decide to make this dish, I'll let you figure out the rest.

 The kitchen that was featured in the 1962 book I was a little jealous of, I must say, pretty impressive for the 60's.  Notice the 1950's version of the book where the husband is standing over the wife smelling her delicious soup.  Being the pessimist that I am, I imagine he is saying, "Honey, where is my martini & why isn't dinner on the table yet?"

All jokes aside, I couldn't sleep this morning so I came down to the kitchen.  The books had been on my mind...haunting me....calling to me.   The ripe bananas on my counter were screaming to me!  So I dove in...looking in the index section of both books I found 3 different banana bread recipes, and went with the one that best suited the ingredients in my kitchen.  I started to bake.  Since I still get up with a baby twice a night my older kids rarely see me in the morning before they go to school.  My daughter was shocked to see me in the kitchen, mixer in hand.  So I asked her opinion on the bread, to chocolate chip or not to chocolate chip?  She said, "No chips, you'll ruin the bread."  My thought was....I can't bake anyway so it's final resting place is most likely the garbage can.  But alas, out popped this little number...

Save the compliments, I know you can all see the doughy bottom part.  It was good nonetheless.  I added pecans instead of walnuts, which I like better anyway.  It was not as fluffy as the banana bread I buy at Loafers, I don't know if it was the recipe or me.  I'm gonna go with me, only because at one point it called for 1/2 teaspoon of soda, I think they meant baking soda, not club soda.  So that is what I put in.  I look forward to sharing many more endeavors with my new ancient recipe books....this will be interesting.

Banana-Nut Bread  (Circa 1962)

1/3 cup of shortening
1/2 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups of flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

heat oven to 350

Cream together shortening & sugar; add eggs one at a time.  Beat well with mixer.  Sift together dry ingredients' add to creamed mixture alternately with bananas.  Blending well after each addition.  Stir in nuts.  Pour into 9 1/2 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.  Bake in moderate oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until done.  Remove from pan, cool on rack.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I baked a pie! Sort of...

I'm not a good baker, never have been, never will be.  I can make chocolate chip cookies, sometimes they even get screwed up.  Baking is too precise & I am not a precise person, so I cook.   That is what I can do.  But for birthdays around here I like to try to make the kids a  cake, it is always more special from mom....right?   So I stick with boxed cake mixes & icing that you buy out of a can but for my son's 15th birthday I went with a pie that I love.  When I was 17 years old I worked at a restaurant that no longer exists, it sat on a country club golf course & their specialty dessert was Mallo Cup Pie!  We would often sneak into the walk-in freezer & steal pieces of it, shoveling it in before we would get caught.

It's easy to make, but even easier to eat! 

Mallo Cup Pie

Bag of  mallo cups, frozen (you can use any size or any candy bar you want)
1 bag of Oreo Cookies
1/2 Gallon of French Vanilla Ice Cream
1 stick of Butter
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Freeze your candy bar, Mallo cups, bite size candy bar pieces in the freezer for at least 1 hour.

~Take all the Oreo cookies & scrape out the creamy center, throw in garbage, trust me on this you won't need the extra calories!
~Put Oreo cookie pieces in a ziploc bag, crush it with a rolling pin, so it is fine.
~Melt butter in microwave.
~Put Oreo Pieces in a bowl, and slowly stir in melted butter.
~Press into one of those nice deep pie pans.

Freeze for 1 hour.

Take your frozen candy & put in ziploc bag, wrap in towel, bang with heavy hammer until broken up into tiny chunks.   In the meantime let you ice cream sit out until it is soft enought to stir, but NOT runny. Mix the candy in with the ice cream & stir.  Pour into your pie crust. Spread the top all nice & pretty with peaks & such, then freeze, for as long as it takes it to get hard, usually a couple hours.  Melt chocolate & drizzle on pie & freeze a little longer until the chocolate hardens.  I spoon my chocolate eon in lumps we like it that way.   ENJOY!

Candy that works well for this:  Snickers, Mallo Cups, Milky Ways, Whatchamacallits, Snickers Dark, Peppermint Pattis, Peanut Butter Cups & one of my favorites....Heath Bar!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A New Year.

It's a New Year & has been for exactly 20 days, I have taken such a long break from constant blogging I feel like a newbie all over again. Having 2 babies in 2 years relly keeps you busy, but I feel like things are getting better, we seem to be getting a routine & I am finding time to do the things that I love again.

I always thought of this is as a knitting blog, and since I have not been knitting, I have not been blogging. But alas I realize it's my life blog, knitting just happens to sometimes take center stage. With that said I am going to try to be better on here & not feel funny about posting, "oh look! I baked a pie today!" After all this is my blog & it's for me. I just like to share with all of you!

To start the new year I am knitting Clapotis....I know, I know she is so 2004, but really a classic that never goes out of style. I bought some Aslantrends Bariloche at KnitOne last week, and can't wait to get this one done, I think it is going to be beautiful!

Tomorrow my oldest baby boy turns 15! Where does the time go....Happy Birthday Justin! Here is 15 years ago, wearing antlers for my amusement....