My freezer overfloweth this time of year. We just put in two pigs from FFA and a deer. The guys would like to get more deer, so I am pressured to cook from the freezer. We will probably cold pack some of the next deer.
Meat loaf is a long honored tradition in our family, as in most. Our only rules are: ground meat, onions, egg, grain and ketchup. I usually throw some potatoes and winter squash in the oven alongside the meatloaf.
Serves 10 – 12
1 lb. lean ground pork
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. ground venison
2 Tbsp. onion flakes
1 cup oats
1 cup finely diced green bell peppers
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
½ can (12 oz.) Busch Light Beer
Salt & pepper
½ cup ketchup
Preheat oven to 350°F. Have a 9” x 5” loaf pan ready.
Mix all ingredients, except ketchup, together in large bowl with your hands.
Pack into loaf pan and shape the top with a slight well around outside edge.
Bake for 60 minutes.
Spread ketchup over top and continue baking until meat thermometer stuck in middle reaches 170°F. It took almost 2 hours last time!
Take meat loaf out of oven and let it set for 15 minutes before slicing in the pan.
It seems like Grandma Petrie made these once when I was very young. I make these most every Christmas since I began baking in my teens. I find my mixer bowl is not large enough, so I make half the oat mixture at a time. Do the bottoms first, then the tops. Or use a very large bowl and a hand mixer to cream the butter and sugar. I thought I was making too much, but they are all gone by Christmas!
Yield: 4 dozen
5 cups (20 oz.) Chopped dates
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ cups Water
1 cup Chopped walnuts
3 ½ cups Sifted flour
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Salt
1 ½ cups Butter
2 cups Brown sugar
3 cups Rolled oats
Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease two 13”x 9” pans.
Cook dates with sugar and water. Cool and stir in nuts.
Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in flour mixture. Fold in oats.
Press ½ of oat mixture in bottom of pans. Spread date mixture over oats. Sprinkle rest of oat mixture over dates and pat lightly in place.
Bake 25 minutes or until just browned. Cool. Cut into bars while still warm.
There was a discussion and search for this recipe on the recipe groups several years ago. I subsequently found the original recipe. These are very festive, tasty, nutritious and easy to make. I have included the original recipe from Quaker Oats. They are a thumbprint cookie with oats. I have made chocolate cookies by adding cocoa to the recipe. You can fit about 18 cookies on a 11” x 15” cookie sheet.
1 cup shortening, soft
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ cups Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
Red and green candied cherries
Beat shortening until creamy; gradually beat in sugars. Blend in egg and vanilla.
Sift together flour, soda, salt and cinnamon; stir into creamed mixture. Blend in oats.
Shape dough into small balls and place on greased cookie sheets.
Make a hollow in each ball; place half a red or green candied cherry in each hollow.
Bake in preheated moderate oven (375°F.) 10 to 12 minutes.
Makes 4 dozen.
From: ALL-TIME ANYTIME RECIPES, The Quaker Oats Company, Chicago, IL; 1972; pg. 12
This is another of Grandma’s famous recipes. We begged her to make it throughout the year, but she would always make it for Christmas. I am still not proficient with this recipe. It takes quite a pastry maker to roll out pie crust to fit a cookie sheet! Currants can be stretched with chopped apple.
Pastry for 3 pie crusts
3 (11 oz.) boxes Currants
¾ cup Sugar
1 tsp. Lemon juice
1 tsp. Lemon peel
2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
Put currants, sugar, lemon peel and lemon juice in water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Dissolve cornstarch in a little bit of water and stir into the currants until thickened. Remove from heat and cool.
Roll out bottom pastry and fit into a high sided (3/4”) 10” x 15” cookie sheet. Dust with flour and spread on the currant filling.
Roll out the top pastry and prick with fork. Moisten edges of pastry in cookie sheet and lay on the top pastry. Pinch edges together.
Bake at 425° for 10 to 15 minutes. Lower heat to 375° and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Let cool and cut into 2” squares.
My Grandma brought this recipe with her from Scotland in 1929. She passed away in 2004, but we still make this recipe every Christmas.
2 cups sugar
2 lb. butter, room temperature
8 cups flour, sifted twice
Preheat oven to 300°F.
In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar with your hands.
Add flour and mix together with your hands.
Divide into two balls of dough.
Put each in a 9"x13" pan. Pat out evenly. Prick top with fork about every inch.
Bake for one hour.
Let cool on racks for 15 to 20 minutes before cutting into 1" squares or bars.
Cool completely, then store in tins lined with wax paper.
For very light and fluffy, melt in your mouth, shortbread, divide recipe in half and cream butter and sugar in mixer. Use twice sifted confectioner's sugar, measured before sifting. Gently stir in flour with wooden spoon. Never over mix or it will toughen.
I prefer to use unbleached white flour. Grandma has also used 1 cup of rice flour to 3 cups of white flour. She also used 1 cup of farina (Cream of Wheat) to 3 cups of white flour.
A half recipe will also fill two 8" round cake pans.
Add a teaspoon of almond extract for a mysterious and delicious difference.
Sugar can also be sprinkled lightly over top before baking.
Serve immediately with hot buttered tortillas.
PS: I have started to substitute masa harina for the flour to thicken this. It adds a wonderful hint of flavor!
My neighbor called the other day and asked me for my recipe for pickled beets. I have been making them for more than thirty years and they are a family favorite. I was surprised to find I have never written down my recipe. It is based on watching my grandmother and a recipe from the second edition of Putting Food By, 1975 p. 444.
15 lbs. beets without tops
6 cups vinegar
6 cups sugar
1 recipe Hilltop Herbs Beet Pickle Mix
12 pint jars and lids, washed and held in hot water
Wash beets leaving root and 2” of stem. Put beets in a large kettle and cover with water. Boil until tender when pierced with fork.
While beets are cooking make the pickling syrup in a large stainless or enamel kettle. Mix together vinegar and sugar and bring to a boil. Let simmer.
Dunk beets in cold water to handle. Slip off skins, stem and root. Slice. They can be left whole if they are baby beets. As the beets are sliced, put them in the kettle of hot pickling syrup.
When all the beets are sliced, start filling jars one at a time. Put 1 Tbsp. of beet pickle mix in jar. Fill loosely with beets. Add hot syrup, leaving ½” of headroom. Seal and set jar in canner filled with hot water.
When canner is full, bring to boil and process for 30 minutes.
Hilltop Herbs Beet Pickle Mix
This is one of the mixes, in a family size recipe, I created and sold when I was doing business as Hilltop Herbs.
3 Tbsp. Mustard Seed
2 1/2 Tbsp. Onion Flakes
5 (3”) Cinnamon Sticks, crushed
2 1/2 Tbsp. Whole Allspice
1 1/2 Tbsp. Celery Seed
Mix all together. Use 1 Tablespoon per pint jar of beets.
Yield: enough for 12 pints of pickled beets, 1 canner full.
Substitution: If you would prefer to use fresh onion rings, delete the onion flakes from the mix. Thinly slice several onions into rings and heat them in the syrup with the beets. Be sure to put some rings in each jar.
I have been making homemade ketchup for more than thirty years. My family always raves over the flavor and we give it away as presents. My original recipe came from Putting Food By, 2nd edition 1975, p. 316. The following recipe is what has evolved over the years.
Yield: 10 pints
½ bushel tomatoes, 4 gal cut up
½ gal cut onions
½ gal cut sweet red peppers
4 large cloves garlic, cut
1 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. celery seed
2 Tbsp. whole allspice
2 Tbsp. whole cloves
2 Tbsp. black peppercorns
2 Tbsp. yellow mustard seed
4 bay leaves
1 ½ cups packed dark brown sugar
3 cups cider vinegar
Wash the tomatoes. Cut out the cores and any bad spots. Cut into 2 to 6 pieces over ½ gal measure.
When full, pour into 20 quart stainless kettle. Keep count of how many gallons are in kettle.
Peel the onions and cut into 4 to 6 pieces into ½ gal measure. Then add to kettle.
Wash and core the peppers. Cut into large chunks into ½ gal measure. Then add to kettle.
Peel garlic cloves and cut in half. Add to kettle.
Cover and heat over medium heat stirring occasionally with a large sturdy spoon, to keep the scorching to a minimum. This will be easier as the liquid begins to break down from the tomatoes. Simmer for about 25 minutes until the peppers and onions are soft.
Process through a Squeezo or Victorio Strainer or other juicer to remove skins and seeds.
Heat oven to 350°F. Put a very large flat pan for evaporation on the middle rack of the oven. I use the bottom of an enameled turkey roaster 18” x 13” x 4 ½” deep.
As the juice is rendered, measure it and pour into the pan. Stir in the salt.
Put all the spices in muslin spice bags or tie into several thicknesses of cheesecloth or muslin. Put spice bags in juice in pan in oven.
If there is more juice than can safely fit in pan, put it in a covered container and hold it in the refrigerator to add later as the ketchup cooks down.
While cooking at 350°F, stir about once an hour. Turn down to 325°F, to cook overnight. Be sure to get up early to check on it. Continue cooking at 350°F the next morning and stirring more frequently as it thickens, say every ½ hour.
When ketchup is reduced to about 1/3 its original volume, stir in the brown sugar and cider vinegar.
Cook for another hour or so until thickened again.
To can, set pan over one or two burners set to low heat. Use just enough heat to keep it boiling but not burned.
Ladle while boiling hot into hot ½ pint or pint jars, leaving ½ inch of headroom. Run a table knife around the inside of the jar to release any air bubbles. Wipe the rim clean with a clean hot cloth and set the lid (which was held under hot boiled water) on top. Screw on a clean hot ring, holding hot jar with towel. Using a mitt and jar tongs, lower jar into hot canner.
Process jars in boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove with mitt and tongs and set on thick towel on draft free counter with several inches between jars and listen to the lids pop as they seal! Any jars that don’t seal should be refrigerated and used first.
Tip: Be sure to wash up right away. The screen of the strainer can get especially bad if not cleaned ASAP. There will inevitably be some burned spots on the bottom of the large kettle. Wash the rest of the kettle, rinse and drain. Sprinkle a heavy layer of baking soda over the burned spots, cover and let sit for a day or so. When you go back to wash it, the spots should lift much easier.
This recipe was originally from Good Housekeeping and called Sesame Noodles. The only sesame here is the oil. I have adapted it to ingredients on hand – i.e. an abundance of zucchini!
The original recipe called for green onions, cucumber, radishes and carrot. My green onions are gone now, but I have plenty of fresh chives. I can’t eat raw cucumbers, but I have lots of zucchini. My radishes didn’t make it this year. I thought carrot ribbons would be nicer with the long noodles. Fettucine would work just as well as vermicelli. I cut the soy sauce way back. It was too salty and made the noodles too dark. I substituted hot sauce for crushed red pepper. Fresh ginger is nice, when available. Overall, this is a tasty Asian style noodle dish.
16 oz. vermicelli
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
¼ tsp. hot red pepper sauce
½ cup water
3 Tbsp. fresh chopped chives
1 small (6” x 1”) zucchini, unpeeled, cut lengthwise in half and thinly sliced ¼”crosswise
1 medium carrot, shaved into long thin ribbons with peeler
Cook noodles per package directions.
Meanwhile, in blender, mix peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, hot sauce and 1/2 cup water until blended. Set sauce aside.
Chop chives, zucchini and carrot.
In large pasta bowl, toss noodles with sauce until evenly coated. Top with vegetables; toss before serving.
Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/recipefinder/sesame-noodles-666?click=main_sr