Category Archives: The 1970’s

Whey cool

Little_Miss_Muffet_1_-_WW_Denslow_-_Project_Gutenberg_etext_18546

Little Miss Muffet 1901

Hey –  where are the  curds and whey?

Curds-and-Whey-Finalwiki 900

If this looks suspiciously like cottage cheese – well, that’s half the story. Cottage cheese is the curds drained of the whey, with a little milk mixed in to keep it sweet.

Once upon a time, in my ‘I’m probably gonna be a hippy when I grow up’ days, I got a hot off the presses book club edition of:

stillroom cookery

and I baked the breads, and I tried the yogurts (failures, every one – and every other ones I ever tried), I also searched up and down and all around for rennet tablets so I could make some cheeses.The only rennet tablets I could find were these:

junket.400x300

Junket Rennet Custard – so good!

But Junket Rennet Custard is not going to make cheese, although it is so, so good to eat.

If I’d only known  ….well, sooooo many things. The health food didn’t didn’t yet carry rennet, but the hardware and farm supply store probably still did, back in those days.

And then I went to work in the seventeenth century, so to speak.

We used herbs to make cheese

bedstraw-Galium_verum01

Maidshair or Ladies Bedstraw can act as a rennet

There are lots of curds and whey in the past.

curds and whey

Amid the sausages and the dead chickens and the veal head and tripe and assorted other offal – a bowl of curds! Whey is never far behind

And then I learned about Ricki Carrol, or the Cheese Queen 

and since then I’ve made ricotta (milk with buttermilk – fast and easy) :how to make ricotta

and I’ve made soft curds with lemon juice…because you don’t always have rennet in the house  : how to make soft curds with lemon juice

And I got some floursack towels to use instead of cheesecloth... because you can bleach and re-use these over and over again

canvasflour sack towels

And now a dairy meditative moment: dripping whey

Curds and Whey would be a great name for a rock band….

Curds___Whey_banner

Lots of clicking – Links galore!

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Filed under Books, Spring, The 1970's

Happy Birthday, Jane Austen!

Jane_Austen_coloured_version

Many happy returns of the day!

Jane Austen was born this day in 1775, making this the 240th anniversary of her birth.

And shortly thereafter in 1779, this book was born….

Giovanni Anfossi, Dell'uso ed abuso della cioccolata (Venice, 1779).

Giovanni Anfossi, Dell’uso ed abuso della cioccolata (Venice, 1779).

This book is all about how BAD chocolate is for you. Jane Austen did not agree.

For although there is plentiful tea in the collected works of Jane Austen, there is also a little chocolate

He took his own cocoa from the tray, which seemed provided with almost as many teapots as there were persons in company —

Miss Parker drinking one sort of herb tea and Miss Diana another — and turning completely to the fire, sat coddling and cooking it to his own satisfaction and toasting some slices of bread, brought up ready-prepared in the toast rack; and till it was all done, she heard nothing of his voice but the murmuring of a few broken sentences of self-approbation and success. When his toils were over, however, he moved back his chair into as gallant a line as ever, and proved that he had not been working only for himself by his earnest invitation to her to take both cocoa and toast. She was already helped to tea — which surprised him, so totally self-engrossed had he been. “l thought I should have been in time,” said he, “but cocoa takes a great deal of boiling.” “l am much obliged to you,” replied Charlotte. “But I prefer tea.” “Then l will help myself,” said he. “A large dish of rather weak cocoa every evening agrees with me better than anything.” lt struck her, however, as he poured out this rather weak cocoa, that it came forth in a very fine, dark-coloured stream; and at the same moment, his sisters both crying out, “Oh, Arthur, you get your cocoa stronger and stronger every evening,” with Arthur’s somewhat conscious reply of “Tis rather stronger than it should be tonight”
–Sanditon, by Jane Austen, 1817

Printing

This iconic Walter Baker Chocolate logo was painted in the 18th century

Because the weather is supposed to cooler – it’s practically Winter, so it might even be COLD (but I’m not complaining) and the sound of Christmas carols is everywhere, and I saw this use of a Pilgrim reproduction object:

beercup with marshmallow

It’s a beer cup, re-purposed as a hot chocolate with marshmallows cup. Genius!

A Chocolate Cup Jane Austen might recognize:

Chocolate_cup_Chantilly_porcelain_18th_century

And a hot chocolate recipe she might use:

From Mrs Rundell’s Domestic Cookery, 1859.

books_003

And a little https://www.youtube.com/embed/E3fX2_bxEkg” target=”_blank”>Hot Chocolate from a little more recently…..

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Filed under Recipe, The 1970's, winter

Rat-a-tat-touille

Back to the garden……

Back in the day, we walked out back, pulled weeds and gathered what was ripe.

And tossed what was eaten by insects and animals.

One year the peppers had strange bites taken out of them, while they were still on the plant…..rabbits??? squirrels??

Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat...Maybe next time!

Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat…Maybe next time!

Turns out it was

Baby Brother

A typical mid-August haul would include zucchini, summer squash, peppers of various sorts, possibly an eggplant or two. We didn’t grow eggplant every year, some years omitted by design, some years there just weren’t any that survived drought or flood or powdery mildew or cutworm….

cutworm800px-Neil_Phillips_-_Large_Yellow_Underwing_caterpiller_(by)

Large Yellow Underwing Caterpillar

Our eggplants were always purple...

Our eggplants were always purple…

It was not uncommon to bring in a haul, wash them off and start lunch.

A good circle of oil in the bottom of a good sized frying pan.

Cut up an onion (we never grew onions, for reasons I know not, which is a pity (was a pity?) because they are dead easy if you start with sets); cut up the pepper and add it next. Nothing really browns, it cooks and gets a little weepy….cut, add, stir around……

Then the green zucchini, cut into circles or half moons or triangles, depending on big around they are….they should all be the same size, and not too terribly big.

Summer squash….same delio.

Cucurbita_pepo_collage_1Salt. Pepper. Stir.

Cut and seed tomatoes.

I know you got’em

……add them last, stir again.

Any fresh herbs in your garden?

Come on – if you’ve got tomatoes, you must have basil

– wash, chop and add.

Basil-Basilico-Ocimum_basilicum-albahacaSmells good?

You betcha.

Serve over pasta or leftover rice or just put in a nice bowl ….top with grated cheese…..Lunch is ready.

Mangia!

Imagine my surprise when I caught Julia Child making this on The French Chef….and it was called

Ratatouille

Julia tasting

Julia Child – taste as you go!

Ratatouille

from Mastering The Art of French Cooking

serves 6-8

Ingredients

1 lb. eggplant

1/lb. zucchini

1 teaspoon salt

6-7 tablespoons olive oil, more if necessary

1/2 lb. (about 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced yellow onions

1 pound firm red tomatoes, or 1 1/2 cups pulp

2 (about 1 cup) sliced green bell peppers

2 cloves mashed garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Peel the eggplant and cut into lengthwise slices 3/8 inch thick, about 3 inches long, and 1 inch wide.  Scrub the zucchini, slice off the two ends, and cut the zucchini into slices about the same size as the eggplant slices.  Place the vegetables in a bowl and toss with the salt.  Let stand for 30 minutes.  Drain.  Dry each slice in a towel.

One layer at a time, saute the eggplant, and then the zucchini in hot olive oil for about a minute on each side to brown very lightly.  Remove to a side dish.

In the same skillet, cook the onions and peppers slowly in olive oil for about 10 minutes, or until tender but not browned.  Stir in the garlic and season to tastes.

Slice the tomato pulp into 3/8 inch strips.  Lay them over the onions and peppers.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover the skillet and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, or until tomatoes have begun to render their juice.  Uncover, baste the tomatoes with the juices, raise heat and boil off several minutes, until juice has almost entirely evaporated.

Place a third of the tomato mixture in the bottom of the casserole and sprinkle over it 1 tablespoon of parsley.  Arrange half of the eggplant and zucchini on top, then half the remaining tomatoes and parsley.  Put in the rest of the eggplant and zucchini, and finish with the remaining tomatoes and parsley.

Cover the casserole and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.  Uncover, tip casserole and baste with the rendered juices.  Correct seasoning, if necessary.  Raise heat slightly and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes more, basting several times, until juices have evaporated leaving a spoonful or two of flavored olive oil.  Be careful of your heat; do not let the vegetables scorch in the bottom of the casserole.

Set aside uncovered.  Reheat slowly at serving time or serve cold.

JCMastering

https://www.radcliffe.harvard.edu/news/in-news/ratatouille-mastering-art-french-cooking-and-day-julia

Julia cooking up ratatouille on ABC network

Julia cooking up ratatouille on ABC network

Ratatouille – it’s also a movie….starring…a Rat.

RatatouillePoster

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Filed under Eating, Influencers, Lunch, Recipe, The 1970's

Salad (in the) Day

 Once upon a time salad was leafy green….mostly that meant iceberg lettuce

iceberg lettuce Doleand tomatoes came in packets  – except when they came from the garden.

And salad dressing was a verb, what my mother did after the potatoes were mashed and before we had to wash our hands to sit down to supper,

The lettuce was ripped and put in the salad bowl, and then the tomatoes were cut on top. Cukes – peeled and sliced. Cut in half to make half moon or in quarters to make little triangles. Radishes – sliced and added but not always.

cuke3tomato

No fancy radishes - red on the outside and white on the inside radishes

No fancy radishes – red on the outside and white on the inside radishes

Not a lot of fancy ingredients – olives always got their own dish, croutons didn’t show up until the ’80’s – salad was salad and not much more.

Now do I remember the order of what comes next?????

Oil, a circle around, not too much. And not EVOO, this is before Rachael Ray. Our oil often had

Wessonality

wessonality

Toss.

Sprinkle the salt –

When it rains, it pours

When it rains, it pours

Sprinkle the pepper

pepper black tinSprinkle the dried basil

basil dried jar More tossing.

Wine vinegar – just a little.

Not balsamic, not artisan, not fancy

Not balsamic, not artisan, not fancy, salad was for supper not showing off.

Toss some more.

Put the bowl on the table, wash those hands and sit down at the table.

Things got fancier in the ’70’s…..

Good Seasons dressing

Good Seasons Dressing Mix – with cruet included

Up until a few minutes ago, I've been calling this Good Seasonings. Probably for decades.

Up until a few minutes ago, I’ve been calling this Good Seasonings Salad Dressing.

Good Seasons, of course was the gateway bottle to the Wishbone and Kraft and Kens Dressings that would flood the market – and our table – in the ’80’s…

To be continued……..

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Filed under Supper, The 1960"s, The 1970's

Cuppa, cuppa burning love

Long, long ago, when I was young and Mr Nixon was president,

RMNI started reading books.

Actually I started reading books – and newspapers and magazines and Sear and Roebucks catalogs and the backs of cereal boxes, much, much earlier, but I started reading books set in England and by English authors during the Nixon administration. For reasons I do not remember, I chose to narrow my reading to England for a year. Winnie-the-Pooh? Been there, read, that.

William Shakespeare? Working my way through.

Wm Shakes chandosWatching movie versions to help sort it all out.

I remember.

It was all about Shakespeare. Writing these words – the collected works of William Shakespeare, I remember.

But not just any ole Shakespeare….

Romeo and Juliet.

The Movie.This Movie.

Romeo and Juleit Zeffer

THIS is why I wanted to read ALL of Shakespeare. Sexy. sexy Shakespeare.

Which led to a major Agatha Christie Read-a-thon. Not the non-sequester this seems.The Library had scads of them. It put me in England.  I tried to read them in the order in which they were written – or just the way they were on the shelves.

Dame Agatha Christie

Dame Agatha Christie

All the detectives…..I would eventually re-read many of them by character series.

Hercule PoirotTommy and TuppenceHarley Quinn

Miss Marpleand so on and so forth…..

and then there was Thomas Hardy

hardy

far-from-the-madding-crowd-dvd

Far from the Maddening Crowd – the 1968 movie

The movie gave me a visual….each time I read Hardy I still make new discoveries. I loved the flow of the words, the poetry  – there’s no way I understood HALF of what he was writing about when I first read him.

Jane Austen….

Jane Austin

Jane Austen

I started with Emma.

3panel book reviewMy Great Aunt Eileen had given me three volumes of Jane Austen when I was nine – before cookbooks, she gave me Austen so  the books would be waiting for me to be ready for them. I had forgotten them.

They had become part of the backdrop, three red covered hardbound volumes. Until  my then brand new best friend came into school with a paperback book:

Emma Jane Austen.

Emma Jane Austen? Who’s that? I asked.

Oh – Emma by Jane Austen.

Well, yeah, I’ve heard of Jane Austen (quick brain scan, can’t remember a thing – wait!  She’s English. Fits in with my read only English authors plan for the year. Where exactly did I leave that book?)

And while I read, I drank tea.

Tea made the books more English.

Tea made me more English.

Proper tea is made in a teapot, so I wanted a tea pot.

I got one at a yard sale and it was a beauty.

I'm a little teapot...

I’m a little teapot…

Little, orange, luster-ware. It was like a little bit of sunshine on the morning table.

Considering that much of the coffee I was drinking at this period was Freeze-dried…..hey, it was the ’70’s!

sanka 1970's

He played a doctor on TV, and he sold coffee, too. Robert Young.

Back to  tea. Pots and pots of tea. Hot tea, never iced or sweet. Pots and pots of hot tea poured into cup after cup.

That’s Salada Tea

Salada_PackShot691-164639and also Red Rose and Lipton.

Constant-Comment-1-300x271

Lots and lots of Constant Comment. Perhaps the signature tea. Thank you, Judith!

Earl Grey. English Breakfast. All day long.

Drank tea while I read. And I read every day.

Sharing pots of tea as part of the conversations of the books, the characters, the plots, the places, the movies.

Often in a China cup, also purchased at yard sales and received and given as gifts, often given as gifts between those of us reading the books and discussing them. A proper cuppa. Book love = Tea love. tea cup lady carlyleThe kettle was always on. The pot was always warmed.The good China was out, singular and mismatched as it was.

Tea was served. Sometimes with milk, sometimes with lemon, sometimes with something a little sweet, sometimes with friends, sometimes with family.

The Rule of Three was established in the ancestral home – you always put the kettle on with enough for yourself and two others, even if you were alone. Someone could come in! Be prepared!

It’s June. Strawberry season. Time to read Emma again.

But first, put on the kettle.

tea-kettle-with-whistle

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Filed under Influencers, Perception ways, Summer, The 1970's

Rabbit Rabbit (Wabbit)

Trixie emeralds

The Mystery of the Emeralds (1962)

Chapter 1: “Rabbit! Rabbit!”

Trixie Belden awoke slowly, with the sound of a summer rain beating against her window. She half-opened her eyes, stretched her arms above her head, and then, catching sight of a large sign tied to the foot of her bed, yelled out, “Rabbit! Rabbit!” She bounced out of bed and ran out of her room and down the hall. “I’ve finally done it!” she cried […] “Well, ever since I was Bobby’s age I’ve been trying to remember to say ‘Rabbit! Rabbit!’ and make a wish just before going to sleep on the last night of the month. If you say it again in the morning, before you’ve said another word, your wish comes true.” Trixie laughed.”

Somewhere in my childhood – my life before junior high, say – I had started reading Trixie Belden, and specifically, this  Trixie Belden, the one with the Rabbit/Rabbit chapter. Trixie says two ‘rabbits’; others say three rabbits…

And once I had read it, rabbits popped up everywhere….Flopsy Bunnies

bunnies, floppsy

Assorted Flopsy Bunnies from Beatrix Potter

Dutch bunnies

Durer_Young_Hare

Durer – Young Hare

and Bugs Bunnys

This image is titled "The Bugs Bunny Classic"

This image is titled “The Bugs Bunny Classic”

Notice how I’ve avoid any reference to March Hares…..

There is one other rabbit, though.

Jolly Rabbit.

She was JR before Dallas and that JR….

JR in dallas

When we were in junior high, we had secret code names…she was Jolly Rabbit because her initials were JR and I was Quail because, well, say kwall real fast –  it makes it own sort of sense.

So on the first of the month, I always think of her, whenever I would finally clue in that it was in fact the first of the month…and now I have to remember that she’s no longer a phone call or Facebook message away.

So many of my Judith memories are connected to food – we enjoyed a lot of meals together – tuna sandwiches, and blueberry pancakes and blini and horseradish testing and experimental soups and and and and and…..

March is (was) her birthday month.

If you’re remembering someone, they’re still in the present tense, right? Even if they are no longer present?

Happy Birthday, Judeen. XoX

Judith Recke

Judith Recke

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Filed under Birthday, The 1970's

When Life gives you Lemons…..

Lemon-edit1

Make lemon meringue pie. Today, August 15th is National Lemon Meringue Pie Day.

Did you forget? That’s OK .  If you use the blender – yes, blender pie – it goes fast. And easy. My mother used to make this pie. I associate it with my father’s poker nights….

It was a different lemon meringue pie then Ma Flynn’s, but still GOOD. And the goodest thing about lemon meringue pie is it comes with it’s own topping – no need for ice cream or whipped cream or other heavy dairy, although a little hot caramel sauce…. I digress.

Our old friend, the Waring blender

Our old friend, the Waring blender

Begin with the crust……

Graham-Cracker-Stack

HOW TO MAKE A CRUMB CRUST FOR A 8 or 9-inch PIE IN 18 SECONDS

15 graham cracker squares

½ cup sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup melted butter

Make crumbs 5 crackers at a time on 7(BLEND)

Put the crumbs into a bowl

Ass the rest and stir until they are moistened

Press into a buttered pie plate

Chill until ready to fill OR bake in a pre heated 400 oven for 6 minutes and cool before filling

WARING COOK BOOK FOR THE 8 PUSH BUTTON BLENDER 1967 p. 17.

waring cbSince it’s summer, you probably have a lemon in the house….you’ll need the whole lemon.

Lemon Pie Filling

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup cornstarch

1 cup water

¼ cup lemon juice

Yellow rind of 1 lemon

3 egg yolks

1 tablespoon soft butter

 

Into container put all ingredients

Cover

Press button 6 (PUREE)

Blend 20 seconds

Empty into saucepan and cook over low heat stirring constantly until thickened

Pour into crust line 9 inch pie plate

Cool

If desired top with meringue and brown in oven (trust me, you want the meringue – desire the meringue. Also easy and very impressive. And tasty. Luscious yummy tasty.)

 

When I went to England, the filling was more like lemon curd and the meringue wasn't as mile high as back home.

When I went to England, the filling was more like lemon curd and the meringue wasn’t as mile high as back home.

Meringue Topping for Cream Pie

Cover cooled pie with a 3 egg white meringue and bake in a pre heated 425 oven for 5 minutes

 

They did not choose the quick and easy and no fail and tasty Graham cracker crust, but nice fluffy meringue

They did not choose the quick and easy and no fail and tasty Graham cracker crust, but nice fluffy meringue

WARING COOK BOOK FOR THE 8 PUSH BUTTON BLENDER 1967 p. 98.

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Filed under Books, Recipe, Summer, The 1970's

Happy Birthday, Pappa!

June 18th was Father’s Day in 1933.

It was also the day my father was born, which made a certain amount of sense when I was little  –  why wouldn’t fathers be born on Father’s Day?  (My mother was christened that same day in Italy, which is the start of the connections between the two of them…..)

And he  LOVED Chinese food.

chinese-take-outLike blue eyes and curly hair (what was left of it) this was such a fundamental part of who he was and what he did,  that I never asked, nor do I remember anyone else ever once asking,

“Chinese food? What is about Chinese food, Bill? Why Chinese food? How does an Irish boy learn about Chinese food”

Good questions…wish I’d thought of them sooner. Not only was  Chinese food the treat of treats, it brought him into the kitchen after he retired.

He had a wok.

Serious Wok action. This was the attitude, if not the reality.

Serious Wok action. This was the attitude, if not the reality of the ancestral home cooktop.

For a very long time, perhaps as far back as the ’70’s, a paperback copy of  “The Pleasures of Chinese Cooking” by Madame Grace Zia Chu has been kicking around .Chinese Cooking larger

Several recipes have markers….but the basic of the basics is Fried Rice.

HAM FRIED RICE

2 Tablespoon soy sauce

½ teaspoon sugar

2 eggs

4 tablespoons peanut or corn oil, divided

¼ cup scallions cut into ¼ inch pieces

4 cups cold boiled rice

½ cup diced cooked ham

  1. Mix the soy sauce with the sugar. Set aside.
  2. Beat the eggs and scramble them slightly in 1 Tablespoon of the oil. Set aside.
  3. In a heavy frying pan or a wok heat 3 tablespoons of oil over high heat.
  4. Add scallions and stir a few times
  5. Add rice and stir quickly so that rice won’t stick to the pan and will be well coated with the oil
  6. Add the soy sauce/sugar mix, stir well.
  7. Add the ham and the slightly scrambled egg, mixing and breaking the eggs into little pieces in the rice.
  8. Serve hot.

NOTES: The rice needs to be THOROUGHLY cold or all you’ll get is a sticky mess. Madame Chu’s note and my experience. Brown rice may be used for a more hippie version, just be sure that the rice is cooked thoroughly.

Cooked chicken or beef may be substituted for the ham.

The original recipe does not call for a wok, but I think they’re a little more common now, so if you got one, go ahead and use it.

The original calls for ¼ teaspoon MSG, which I stopped using years, make that decades, ago. If that departure from the recipe makes it Irish/Chinese fusion, so be it. Call the Food Police. Guilty as charged.

Serves 4.

Grace Zia Chu. The Pleasures of Chinese Cooking. Pocket Books, March 1969. p.51.

Fried_rice

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Filed under Birthday, Books, Irish, Perception ways, The 1970's

Popcorn put me through college

More specifically, MAKING popcorn….

The Kingston Drive In Theatre - c. 1977. I was there then.

The Kingston Drive In Theatre – c. 1977. I was there then. The R didn’t always light up on the sign, so it was also the Dive In Theatre…..

But I also ate my fair share. Not from a package, please. Fresh. Hot. If it’s not hot, it isn’t really fresh.

Popcorn popping

Popcorn popping – kernel to delightful!

The popcorn I was raised on was the occasional Jiffy Pop. Jiffy Pop Popcorn and I are the same age. Frederick C. Mennen developed Jiffy Pop in 1958. But it wasn’t until the 1970’s that Harry Blackstone, Jr.  was telling us that Jiffy Popwas the magic treat, as much fun to make as it is too eat.

The Jiffy Pop story in pictures

The Jiffy Pop story in pictures

This is what I use at home now :

The Whirley Pop

The Whirley Pop – maybe it’s not as far from Jiffy Pop as I thought….

And then there are Pilgrim and popcorn stories….

It's emphatically NOT TRUE that there was popcorn at the first Thanksgiving

It’s emphatically NOT TRUE that there was popcorn at the first Thanksgiving

But Popcorn and Movies DO go together. Plimoth Cinema has popcorn – and I’ve made popcorn for them, too. The proof is in the pudding – I mean commercial – but I made Indian Pudding for them, too. Check out the commercial on their page…but don’t blink or you’ll miss me!

Plimoth Cinema is also raising money for a new projector – no new digital projector, no more movies. There’s a Kickstarter campaign at Plimoth Cinema Kickstarter.  One of the updates is another great video made by some modern day Pilgrims…..so pop some popcorn and start watching.

S’mores Popcorn

talk about your lily gilding…..

6 tablespoons butter
5 cups mini marshmallows

4 quarts fresh popped popcorn
1 cup honey graham cracker cereal
1 1/2 cups  chocolate chips

Honesty minute: I first saw this recipe on Martha Stewart Radio blog site, when Patrick  Evans-Hylton was a guest, which is how I discovered his Popcorn book, which I adore. I often (usually) just mix a batch of fresh popcorn with a half bag of mini marshmallows, half a box of  mini graham crackers (which I’m not sure were even being made in 2011, instead of the cereal) a half a bag of chocolate chips (the sort can vary – I love the dark, but white is nice and a mix is heavenly), toss the whole thing with melted butter (salted butter is important here) and then munch straight from the bowl without s’moring…..OR

  1.  Butter a 9-by-13-inch pan; set aside.
  2. Melt the butter over low heat. Add the marshmallows, stirring, until they are all melted.  Pour the marshmallow mixture over the popcorn to coat.
  3. Stir in the cereal and one cup of the chocolate chips.
  4. Transfer the popcorn mixture to the prepared pan. With buttered hands, press the mixture evenly into the pan; allow to cool slightly.
  5. Melt the remaining chocolate chips according to package instructions and drizzle the chocolate over the popcorn mixture. Allow to cool completely, 20 to 25 minutes, then cut into squares.

MSL radio Morning Living June 28, 2011

popcorn PHE

Popcorn – Patrick Evans-Hylton

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Recipe, Thanksgiving, The 1970's, Uncategorized

Crunchy Granola

You are what you eat and you eat what you are.


Although granola’s been around since the 19th century

Kellog's Granola 1893

Kellogg Granola 1893

I never heard of it until the 1970’s, when crunchy granola was bona fide hippie food. With my waist length hair, wire rimmed granny glasses, India print warp skirt, and Swedish clogs, I was SO there. I was crunchy granola.

And what could be better than buying granola?

Making your own. Bonus points to listening to Dale Dorman on the WRKO radio at the same time. (Stairway to Heaven)

This is what he looked like back in the day....

This is what he looked like back in the day….

This is what he looked like when we went to Oldies 106 at 5 am to do a how for Thanksgiving just a few years ago.

This is what he looked like when we went to Oldies 106 at 5 am to do a how for Thanksgiving just a few years ago. Somedays it’s easier to get into Pilgrim clothes at 4:00 AM then others!

Uber bonus points for waiting  for the night WATD played Folk Music with Dick Pleasants.

Dick Pleasants , active all over the Boston and CApe Cod folk/,bluegrass/aucostic/etc music scene.

Dick Pleasants , active all over the Boston and Cape Cod folk/,bluegrass/acoustic/etc music scene.

(Amy, what you wanna do?/I think I could stay with you/For a while, maybe longer if I do) Pure Prairie League 1974

My first attempt came shortly after I got some recipe cards in the mail. Cards for an all-natural cooking series….and you would get more cards each month for a low introductory fee….printed out by some big company. I think I still have the free box that was my gift to keep whatever – I’m not one to look a gift box in the mouth, as it were.

I was too young and naïve to see the irony in all this.

Until these cards arrived, I hadn’t thought that Granola was something that could be made at home.

Granola was in the same category as Wheaties and Cheerios and Grapenuts and Life. Cereal made in a factory, came in a box, you  eat it and buy more. Beginning and end of story.

The same Quaker Oats that made oatmeal raisin cookies cold make granola? Wicked cool!

Into the kitchen go I.

These self-same oats must be toasted.

One of the inherent problems is that oats go from toasted to toast – make that charred tasting and truly nasty – in a flash. And once smoke detectors became de rigueur, it became annoying and embarrassing.  Maybe this was just MY problem and not an oat problem.

I’ve since read about a Theory of Cooking Relativity, that we all have a set point of how much/how well our cooking chops are, and sometimes we must lose something we’ve thought we’d mastered in order to take up something else new; that there’s always something that we don’t get good at. Sort of a Superpower/Kryptonite sort of thing.

I also burn English muffins in the toaster. I was becoming rather famous for it. I stopped toasting English muffins in the toaster, and now I only toast them in a toaster oven, watching them the whole time.

By this time I had collected quite a few recipes for granola, and tried them. Most of them were sad stories, never to be retold.

You’re welcome.

Then I discovered: Stove top granola. -enchantedbroccoliforest-katzen-cvr-200

Thank you Mollie Katzan.

Mollie Katzan now - she has yet another book out....

Mollie Katzan now – she has yet another book out….

Just when I had forgotten about stove top granola, dear Ms Katzan came out with Still Life with Menu Cookbook, which is my favorite of hers, (although I’m madly in love with all of the ones she wrote for children, too.) and mentioned it again. In case you missed it the first time. Or just plain forgot.Still life with Menu

Pretend Soup - one of my faves!

Pretend Soup – one of my faves!

I still cut out granola recipes and save them – even today David Levovitz  with NO BAKE GRANOLA BARS (it would be a challenge for even me to burn these- I’ll let you know how they turn out). I have these clippings: Jane Dornbusch in the Boston Globe (trimmed off the  date, but a Wednesday when the food pages had gone to the pullout G-section, because food is now with the Funny pages. And the horoscopes and the word puzzles); Melissa Clark in the NYTimes July 15, 2009 with a more savory than sweet granola; Jill Santopietro form the Globe, May 2, 2007.

But they all include coconut. It not that I don’t like coconut, I do. What’s a pina colada without it? Or coconut cake? I just don’t care for it in granola. And it’s usually a large enough component that leaving it out leaves things unbalanced.

I don’t like recipes that make me fretful before I’d begun.

But there was ONE recipe that coconut was an add-in, not the base, if only I could find it.

Again.

I had a dream….I have very vivid dreams.

AND in this dream I was in a 15th century bake house (straight from a picture I’d be drooling over the day before) and as I was in this bakehouse all the walls became a golden color, and the outlines became red…

Forno -1481 French

Forno -1481 French

When I woke up, I thought “Tassajara Bread Book”

the-tassajara-bread-book_1

The last recipe, #98 in Tassajara?  Granola. No Coconut. Why is there a granola recipe in a bread book? It was the ’70’s.

In the meantime, I’ve eaten most of the ingredients I bought for the granola project…and just today David Lebovitz (Living the Sweet Life in Paris)  published No Bake Granola Bars…..here’s the link:

http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2014/02/no-bake-granola-bars-recipe/

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Filed under Books, Perception ways, The 1970's