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Sunday, 28 December 2014

Moms work, worry, and wear down . . . so EGGS MATELOTE on Boxing Day

Dec 31st 1982
I missed the baby so when you left, not right away as I was tired so I slept all day after you left.  We sure like you home even if we don’t show it, we don’t know how.  And next time I will get ready ahead so not tire out last minute.  Someone said I looked like I am in another world. 

With my stupidity I always bark at the wrong person as I did Christmas Day about the picture, please forgive me if you can, I am very sorry, I been thinking of nothing else.

I haven’t done anything since you left.  I didn’t wash as you washed all the tea towels so there is not much wash.

We are going to town this afternoon as I don’t have no rice to make holoptsy and tomorrow we are going to Bewzas as Dad wants to see his sister. 
We usually used to go Christmas Day but now we make our own so we can’t go. 
Wed we went to see George, he sure got a big cut all around his side. 

Clayton was playing hockey 

and Naomi was helping with the lunch.  

Aline baked up everything under the sun.  I gave that book with our picture in it to George.

We won’t have no one for our Christmas unless someone comes with us not knowing.
Diana bought a cleaver for us and Dad and me said she should not had and again Diana will say we don’t like her to do anything for us but we do have one only she bought a better one, I like it but we could have done without it.  I do like to get things but we don’t want you children to rob yourselves of things.  I am going to keep quiet from now on I hope if I don’t get foolish.  Enough of this silly rattling. 



After this Christmas I am going to start embroidering on the quilt if it kills me, Dad been after me saying I will never do it, the pattern is complicated but I will try one thing, it looks nice and easy but how difficult it is.


 
I still not sure whether I will go to see Nestor in Feb.  The more I think about the more scared I am going alone.
Next time I will write a better letter I hope.  May God bless you all. 


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Ukrainian Christmas Eve and then Christmas Breakfast and Dinner . . .  that’s a lot of work!  So Boxing Day should be COOK’s DAY OFF. . . breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Why not take a favorite recipe with you when you’re visiting and give your mom (or dad) a break?

Here’s a great alternative to Eggs Benny:


Oeufs en Matelote :  Poached Eggs in Wine Sauce  to serve 4

            Based on  EGGS & CHEESE:  The Good Cook Techniques & Recipesby The Editors of Time-Life Books

12 mushrooms
 12 green onion bulbs, including part of the stalk -- the recipe suggests ¼ pound
             pearl onions instead.  [Actually, I also used some chopped regular onions.)
¼ tsp cumin seeds (yummy but optional:  this is not in the original recipe)
¼ cup butter
1 tbsp flour

½ cup soup stock (Use a bouillon cube and water if you need to.)
½ cup white wine  
2 egg yolks

4 slices of toast
4 poached eggs

1.      Sauté the mushrooms, cumin seeds,  and onions in the butter for 5 minutes.
2.     Stir in flour.
3.     Stir in stock and wine.
4.     Cook, uncovered, over low heat for 20 minutes.   Sauce will thicken.

5.     Cool slightly. 
6.     Beat 2 egg yolks and stir some hot sauce into them.
7.     Then add all the egg yolks into the hot sauce.
8.     Set aside while you poach the eggs.  (You can reheat it gently if you make this way ahead.)
9.     Toast bread and poach eggs.
10.                          One poached egg on each slice of toast.  Cover with sauce.  YUM!

·        There is only enough sauce for 4 servings so double it if you have a larger group.






Saturday, 27 December 2014

TURKS and CAICOS . . . as good as it sounds!




It felt like Christmas in The Atrium . . .  



 Kepler loved the bubbles you glimpse as you ride up and down in the glass elevators.

Our inner stateroom, Deck 10, The Caribbean Princess 

The Caribbean Princess has lovely old teak deck chairs and the food was good.
 
Most outstanding was a lemon strudel with custard sauce.   It appeared at the buffet along with  other German food one night!


When we arrived at Grand Turk Island, we were able to walk straight off the ship onto a white sand and shell beach. . .


                            . . . and into Margaritaville for a fantastic tall one J 



Everybody was happy!

Monday, 15 December 2014

UKRAINIAN MUSHROOM SAUCE

MUSHROOM FILLING
        From Festive Ukrainian Cooking by Marta Pisetska Farley
Use this filling in Marta’s delicious Vushka, in Mushroom Turnovers, or in Marta’s amazing Mushroom Gravy.  The filling freezes well so make the full amount and use as needed.
2 pounds fresh mushrooms
2 pounds onions
1 cup oil or ½ pound butter
2 teaspoons black pepper
3 teaspoons salt
½ cup dry bread crumbs
¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Chop mushrooms fine.
Chop onions and cook in oil or butter in a heavy frypan for 15 minutes at medium high heat.
Add chopped mushrooms.  Increase heat to max and cook , stirring, until dry.  (It took me 30 minutes.)
Stir in salt, pepper, lemon juice, and bread crumbs.  Remove from heat, and keep stirring for 5 more minutes to allow steam to escape.
Use some of this to make the best Mushroom Gravy ever.  J

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MUSHROOM SAUCE   (or gravy, as Marta calls it)

1 cup mushroom filling mixture (from recipe above)
1 cup stock
1 cup light cream
1 tbsp cornstarch

·        Bring stock to a boil, together with mushroom mixture, in a saucepan.
·        Stir in cream and taste for seasoning.
·        Mix cornstarch with a little cold water or stock. 
·        Stir cornstarch into the sauce until it thickens slightly.
·        Serve and swoon.  (I served this gravy on Marta’s holubtsi, but it would be amazing whenever a recipe calls for Mushroom Gravy.)


Sunday, 14 December 2014

UKRAINIAN CHRISTMAS FOOD . . . VUSHKA


Marta Pisetska Farley says that “Ukrainian vushka are served in clear broth and specifically with borsch on Christmas Eve.”  She compares Vushka (Little Ear Dumplings) to Italian tortellini or Chinese Wontons.
Savella Stechishin says, “Vushka are tiny varenyky (dumplings) filled with a savory filling of meat, fish, or mushrooms. . . Two or three vushka are placed in each serving.”  As instructions, she adds, “Roll the dough very thin, cut into 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inch squares.”  
I tried Marta’s Mushroom Filling and it was REALLY good.  So I won’t be trying anyone else’s Mushroom Filling.  You can’t improve on PERFECT.

MUSHROOM VUSHKA

From Festive Ukrainian Cooking by Marta Pisetska Farley

First make Marta’s Mushroom Filling – you’ll only need 1 cup so you could make half this recipe, but it freezes well so make the full amount and use as needed.  J You can use the rest for making Mushroom Gravy or Mushroom Turnovers.

MUSHROOM FILLING
2 pounds fresh mushrooms
2 pounds onions
1 cup oil or ½ pound butter
2 teaspoons black pepper
3 teaspoons salt
½ cup dry bread crumbs
¼ cup fresh lemon juice

·        Chop mushrooms fine.
·        Chop onions and cook in oil or butter in a heavy frypan for 15 minutes at medium high heat.
·        Add chopped mushrooms.  Increase heat to max and cook , stirring, until dry.  (It took me 30 minutes.)
·        Stir in salt, pepper, lemon juice, and bread crumbs.  Remove from heat, and keep stirring for 5 more minutes to allow steam to escape.

Now make the dough:  Use Mary Stadnyk’s incomparable recipe and method: 

Cut small sections of the dough at a time and roll into a rectangle 1/8 inch thick.  Cut it into 1 ½ inch squares (I actually used a ruler J) and fill with a teaspoon of Marta’s Mushrooms.





Half of Mary’s dough recipe and one cup of Marta’s Mushroom Filling will make 65 vushka. 

(They do freeze well so don’t hesitate to use another cup of filling and the rest of the dough.  Serve the extra vushka in a clear pork stock for an absolutely incredible soup on another occasion!)




Friday, 12 December 2014

SAM HOUSTON WHITE CAKE . . . for BRYAN



Happy Birthday, Bryan!

*****

Why A 3-layer Sam Houston Cake today?   

Bryan loves anything to do with History.  Also, he thinks anything with an interesting name somehow tastes better! 


And it's so easy;  I was making a tall cake a day when I was a pin-curled teen on the farm.  (Not a Tall Tale!)


This is the Cherry Vanilla cake I made earlier this year for a birthday.

Of course, Bryan did the icing for it J


  He's into details. 

 So I'm sure he'll help me out today! 

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Nicole likes to dust her cake pans with cocoa powder instead of flour -- since the icing will be chocolate, I decided to try Nicole's idea today.  (2 of the pans aren't fully dusted in this picture.)

The batter is very heavy at first (like cookie dough) so a hand mixer couldn't handle it.  Fortunately, I was able to employ Bryan power. 


Next, I blended in 6 stiffly beaten egg whites.



Resting for 10 minutes in their pans.





Moist and Good!

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THE SOUTHERN HERITAGE CAKES COOKBOOK is available online for only 3 cents!  

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The CARIBBEAN PRINCESS . . . and books for KEPLER!

 
Next up . . . a pre-Christmas family cruise to the Turks and Caicos!

Caribbean Princess, departs 12/18/14, 4 nights
Day
Date
Port or Activity
Arrive
Depart
Thu
Dec 18
4:00pm
Fri
Dec 19
At Sea
Sat
Dec 20
8:00am
5:00pm
Sun
Dec 21
At Sea
Mon
Dec 22
7:00am


When I started packing yesterday, I thought it would be nice to throw in a few books for Kepler . . . 



What can I say?  once a librarian; always a librarian  J


So Bryan and I went to the library and brought home a big bag of board books.  I read through them this morning and, starting with the VERY BEST one, here are the ones that will be coming along with us:

The frog says "Ga-dunk!" and the ducks say, "Wak, wak."  Irresistible.

Ten rabbits singing & dancing . . . Yes!

"What can we eat?"  all in rhyme :)






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Meanwhile, Bryan got into Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of BREADS.


He's making  Buckwheat Bread for tonight’s dinner,  and  actually started yesterday!  This sponge had to sit for 24 hours.



                                         Hot out of the oven!


This bread is EXCELLENT!  It has a distinctive taste and,

 with soup and salad, makes a wonderful dinner.