Monday, April 2, 2018

Martha Washington’s Bean Soup

When I was a young wife and mom, a Texan married to a Pennsylvanian and living in Germany, cooking for my husband was complicated. He was not raised on the staple dishes of my own upbringing, and I was unfamiliar with the foods of the North. Enter Jo. Jo and her husband lived downstairs from us. She was from Pennsylvania, and besides being an avid cook, she had a desire to have someone to "mother." Jo and Roger quickly became dear friends to us, surrogate grandparents to our firstborn, and in her kitchen I learned to make the mysterious meals that my husband loved. This soup is one of our favorites. So good for a cold or rainy day. This soup is a reason to have ham- so you can have a ham bone to make soup! (And I still don't know what Martha Washington has to do with it!)

From Jo Durbin

1 lb. Mixed dry beans

ham bone or two ham hocks

1 large onion, chopped

1 28 oz. can tomatoes, chopped

1 tsp. peppercorns

3-4 cloves garlic

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

Rinse beans the night before, put in large pot, cover with water and soak *overnight.  Drain in the morning.  Add 2 quarts of water and ham bone or hocks.  Simmer slowly 2 ½ - 3 hours.  Remove ham bone or hocks, and add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for another 30 minutes.  Once ham is cool enough to handle, separate meat from bones and fat, chop into small bits, and return the meat to the soup.

Serve with cornbread- yum!  

*If you spontaneously decide to make this and haven't soaked your beans overnight, all hope is not lost! Simply put the beans in a large pot and cover with water as described above, bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and allow to sit for 1 hour. Drain, and continue with the recipe.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Chewy Brownie Cookies

2/3 C. shortening

1 ½ C. brown sugar

1 Tbs. water

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

1 ½ C. flour

1/3 C. baking cocoa

¼ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

12-oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix shortening, sugar, water & vanilla. Beat in eggs. Combine dry ingredients, mix in until blended.  Add chips.  Drop on ungreased cookie sheet; bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes, until set- they will appear soft and moist- do not overbake.  Cool on sheet for 2 minutes, remove to rack.  Makes 3 – 3 ½ dozen.

*Christmas Option: Upon removing from the oven, place a single Andes Mint on top of each cookie, smoothing with a spreading knife as they melt.  This “frosting” will harden as the cookies cool.

Lamb Stew

1/2-pound bacon (thickly sliced, diced)

3-4 pounds lamb (boneless shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces, fat and "stuff" trimmed off)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)

1/2 cup flour (all-purpose)

2 cloves garlic (peeled and finely chopped)

1 large yellow onion (peeled and finely chopped)

6 cups stock (homemade or canned, beef)

2 teaspoons sugar

4 cups carrots (cut into 1-inch pieces)

2 large ​onions (yellow, peeled and sliced)

3 pounds potatoes (4 C. peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces)

1 teaspoon thyme (dried, whole)

1 bay leaf

11 0z. bottle Guinness, Extra Stout

Garnish: parsley (chopped)

Sauté the bacon in a large frying pan. Reserve the fat and the bacon. Place the lamb, salt, pepper and flour in a large mixing bowl. Toss to coat the meat evenly. Reheat the frying pan. In batches, brown the lamb in the reserved bacon fat, shaking off excess flour before browning the meat. If you run out of fat, use a little oil. Transfer the browned meat to a 10-quart dutch oven, leaving about 1/4 cup of fat (or oil) in the frying pan. Add the garlic and 1 chopped yellow onion to the pan and sauté until the onion begins to color a bit. Add the garlic-onion mixture to the dutch oven. Using 1 cup of the stock, deglaze the frying pan, then pour into the dutch oven, along with the reserved bacon pieces, remaining beef stock, and sugar. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring frequently.

Add the carrots, the 2 sliced onions, potatoes, thyme, bay leaf, and Guinness to the pot and simmer, covered, for another hour, stirring frequently, or until the vegetables are tender. Check for salt and pepper before serving and add if needed. If too thick, add more stock. Top with the parsley garnish before serving.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Make-Ahead Butterhorns

These are so yummy, easy to make, convenient since you can make them ahead, and perfect for any occasion. It's been years since I made them, but I think they will be perfect for Thanksgiving next week! And, yes, that's a lot of butter. I said they were yummy...

Monday, October 16, 2017

Green Salad with Apple Dressing

A different take on green salad, with a Fall twist. Use a nice crisp apple with a bit of sweet and a bit of tang. Serve alongside a nice warm soup or a slow-braised beef roast. Wear a sweater. Rake some leaves, Imagine a bonfire... (I may be getting carried away...)

1/4 c apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp minced shallots
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp honey
1/2 c light olive oil

12 cups mixed greens
1 crisp red-skinned apple, thinly sliced or medium diced

Combine vinaigrette with whisk - salt and pepper to taste, drizzle over greens and apples and toss.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Amish-Style Baked Oatmeal

This is comfort-food breakfast to be sure. We first encountered this after running a 10k Turkey Trot in Lancaster County, PA. It was a chilly day for a run, and when we finished this was waiting for us, warm and filling the little fellowship hall with the scent of fresh-from-the-oven oatmeal cookies. That's basically what this is: oatmeal cookies for breakfast. Dig in.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Lattice-Topped Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb pie has been a family favorite for years. When we could step out our back door and harvest the rhubarb it was extra special. A summertime essential, I can't think about this pie without hearing the song, "Rhubarb pie, in the summer / Rhubarb pie, made by my mother / Nothing's better in the winter / Than rhubarb pie, after dinner!"