Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hardscrabble Recipes Revisited

Earlier I stated what I intended to do with this blog and started with a book by Laurie Bogart Morrow called 'The Hardscrabble Chronicles'.  I was able to include two recipes before Morpheus claimed me.  I am now back to complete the recipes from this book.  Again, you comments and suggestions are welcome and encouraged.

Miss Frannie's Sherried Beef

3 lbs. stew beef, cut in 1"cubes
1 can sliced or button mushrooms
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
3/4 cup of sherry
2 cans cream of mushroom soup

Brown the stew beef in a little olive oil in a hot (but not spitting hot) frying pan.  Set aside. In a casserole, combine mushrooms in liquor, sherry and the only soup.  Stir well and add the two cans of cream of mushroom soup. Add beef, turn with a wooden spoon until it is well-coated. Bake 3 hours in 325 degree oven. Serve over egg noodles.  (may be made in crock pot and cook on low 3 1/2 to 4 hours).

Tutti-Fruitti Fruit Punch

1 box or small bag of frozen strawberries
1 large can of frozen orange juice
1 large can of pineapple juice, undiluted
1 jar maraschino cherries
1 liter of ginger ale.

The day before, arrange the strawberries in a decorative metal jello mold or ring. Fill 3/4 of the way with water.

Shortly before the company arrives, in a punch bowl, combine the orange juice with the pineapple juice, pouring a little of the pineapple juice at a time until the frozen orange juice is fully defrosted.  Add the liquor from the jar of cherries.  Just as your company begins to arrive, add the ginger ale slowly.  Stir gently so that the punch does not froth.  Add cherries, remove strawberry ice from the mold by topping it with a plate, turning it upside down and running it under hot water in the kitchen sink until the ice mold give.  Float it on top of the punch for a festive holiday or summertime drink that is popular the whole year long.

Venison Mincemeat for Pie

9 cups of ground venison
18 cups of apples, cored, and ground with the peel
4 1/2 cups of molasses
9 cups of granulated sugar
3 tablespoons of cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons of cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
3 teaspoons of nutmeg
4 1/2 cups of cider vinegar
1 cup white raisins

In a large pot, brown venison thoroughly and drain fat.  Add apples and rest of the ingredients, and turn with a wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed.  Cook until apples are tender but not too soft.  If the mixture becomes too dry, add a little water.  Cool.  Prepare pie crust and bake, as usual.  If you are not using the mixture immediately, store in airtight containers for up to two days or freeze in freezer bags, bring certain to collapse the bags of all air.

Hardscrabble Dinner Rolls

1 cup warm milk
2 pkgs. or 2 tablespoons yeast, dissolved in the milk with 2 tablespoons sugar sprinkled on top to activate the yeast.  Allow to proof in a warm, draft-free place, about 10 minutes. (Don't leave too long or the yeast will crust.  If this happens, mix gently with a for to be sure it will proof again)
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of melted butter
2 1/2 cups of flour

Preheat the oven to 350. After the yeast proofs, add salt, butter and slowly add the flour, mixing with a wooden spoon  until it becomes stiff.  Then, knead until the dough is smooth and firm. Put in a warm, draft free place for 45 minutes or until it doubles in bulk.  Pull apart dough, about the size of a ping pong ball, and twist into the shape of a Parker House roll.  Set 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet, allow to rise again, about 15 minutes.  Bake 10 minutes.  For a golden crust, brush a little butter on the top of the rolls when they're done, turn off the oven and let them sit for another minute making sure they do not over brown. Or, separate a yolk from the white of an egg and beat a little water into the yolk until smooth.  Use this to brush on the top of the roll.  Brush the batter in layers of thin coatings, allowing a little time between each layer so that the batter doesn't puddle and soften the top of the roll.  Serve immediately.

Hardscrabble Corn Pudding Bread

1 1/3 cups yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup of flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 can creamed corn
2 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 425. Sift dry ingredients together.  In a separate bowl, mix eggs, sour cream, creamed corn, and melted butter until the mixture is creamy.  Slowly pour this into the dry ingredients and mix well with a wire whisk or on low speed in a Mixmaster until the batter again is smooth.  Pour slowly into a large buttered  Pyrex baking pan. Reduce the oven to 350. Bring the pan to the oven, very slowly, pour the cup of milk right down the middle of the pan.  DO NOT MIX. Carefully put the pan in the oven. Bake approximately 35 minutes or until done.  Done is when the milk forms a pudding and the bread is moist.  This must be served hot.

New England Boiled Dinner the Hardscrabble Way

1/2 lb. salt pork, cut into cubes
1 3 lb. piece of corned beef
1 pkg. dry onion soup
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dry English mustard
8 medium sized potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 large onions, quartered and separated
1 head green cabbage, quartered
3-4 parsnips, peeled and diced coarse
1 turnip, peeled and cubed
4-6 carrots, peeled and diced coarse
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

Cut vegetables as suggested. On medium high heat, brown the cubed salt pork in the pot and turn frequently with a wooden spoon until the fat is transparent.  Add corned beef, turn and brown the outside.  Then add the dry onion soup and continue to turn with the wooden spoon, coating the meat.  Add vinegar, stir, and then add the mustard.  Stir again.  Gradually add the vegetables, turning them so that everything is well mixed.  Fill the pot with water, covering the stew right up to the top, add the bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Simmer at least four hours at a gently rolling boil.  Once the water has boiled down to half, add only enough to maintain this level.  Turn the stew every so often so that all the vegetables cook thoroughly.

The author's take on pies is that it is 'okay' to buy pre-made pies of pumpkin, mincemeat, blueberry and cherry, but apple MUST be made yourself.  She has a recipe included for 'Grandma Bogart's Apple Pie' and it is a serviceable recipe.  She also indicates that most households have their own recipe for apple pie that should be used.

Again, the author indicates that there are hundreds of recipes for soup, but indicates that the most delicious is Hardscrabble Soup, called by the Old Timers as 'Whatchagot Soup'.  As the name implies, its ingredients include whatever can be found in the pantry or refrigerator and made by cleaning out the aforementioned.

These are the recipes found at the end of this book, and are ones mentioned throughout the narrative.  Try them as you will, I would love to hear what you think of them.  Often one reads a story and an item is mentioned and we say to ourselves 'I wonder what this would taste like'...With the books I intend to feature, we can.   Next up: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Crime.

1 comment:

  1. Have you tried any of these recipes? Sometimes I read Diane Mott Davidson's mysteries, and want to try the recipes, but I just never get around to it. ;)