Tag Archives: Marion Cunningham


  1. to make waffles
  2. to fail to make up one’s mind


First- here’s a link on how to make waffles out of just about everything from Food Network Magazine

 Waffle iron to the rescue


Which I saw last month and thought, ” More Waffles, More Often!” and wondered briefly if I could, if I should, if I would…..but because it was November AND I’m a pilgrim – a Foodways Pilgrim, no less – I didn’t actually get further then that on that thought.


Pilgrim me – from Food Network Magazine

And then I moved.

Which is actually another story, but a part of this one.

Because it’s not the first time I’ve moved. In this century.

It’s the third time.

And there were the three previous moves with my son….

And the three moves when I was single.

Except some of them were winter rentals and I moved home each summer….. so I’ve had some experience with the planning/picking/packing…

With the help of brothers, trucks, nephew, son – lots of help from the son – sister, mother, even a cousin who sent housewarming plants, I’m about 95 % moved in  and in the unpacking stage. Because of the time lag between when I put things in boxes, and that I wasn’t the only one putting things into boxes, it’s a little bit of a surprise every-time I open another box. Like an endless game of  Let’s Make A Deal…..with myself.

letsmake a deal

Monty, please don’t ZONK me!

Because the new space is small, some things just need to go, go, be gone.

Is the waffle iron one of those things?

Does it get enough use to justify, to pay for it’s space? Is it space worthy?

My son and I have a long history of waffles……and since waffles are a part of our New Years Morning traditional breakfast, the iron is on the safe list until then.

I also need to curate my cookbook collection. Marion Cunningham is safer then safe, for one.

Also clothes, cleaning supplies, pencils…you name it, it has to earn a place.

But all of this THINKING about place made me think maybe Michael  Pollan


and so many other food wise gurus  are wrong, wrong wrong  about why people got out of the kitchen. They generally say something about woman going into the workplace in the ’60’s, which is a little late for the exodus as far as I can see. I think it’s people on the move. Every time you move, all systems are GONE. When you have to think about where every spoon might be, when don’t know if the dishes are in the cupboard or in a box, when the counter is now to the right instead of the left and the trash is around the fridge which is near the sink…..anyhow, I think Americans on the move have more to do with people eating out then woman entering the workplace. More on this later.

Warning to family: There will be an extra box under the tree at Christmas, of things that no longer fit in Auntie’s Pantry.



Waffles as eargear AND playing chips – SWEET


Filed under Books, Holiday, Uncategorized

Olive You More

The  sauce uses, at best, a half a can of basic black olives.

What to do with the rest?

This is not me, and yet it was me....olives are very philosophical, as well as tasty

This is not me, and yet it was me….and sometimes still may be me…..

Winter is full of citrus fruit, and Red Grapefruit seems to be the harbinger of Spring citrus.

The fruit that made Texas famous....not really, but not a lie, either. A Story for another day.

The fruit that made Texas famous….not really, but not a lie, either. A Story for another day.

This is why they're called GRAPE- fruit

This is why they’re called GRAPE- fruit

Add some mint – a breath of fresh air.Mint-leaves-2007


1 large red grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
1 cup pitted black olives
1 cup fresh mint leaves
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice (if the grapefruit is very juicy, I sometimes skip this)
Salt to taste (it SOOOOOO depends on the olives)

1. Mix it all together.
2. Adjust salt.
3. Eat.
It says 4 servings…but it’s more like 2. Four servings if you put it over salad greens.

Marion Cunningham. The Supper Book. p. 196.

The Supper Book - also fantastic

The Supper Book

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Filed under Books, Eating, Recipe

Chili con Carne

“In Texas, where the dish originated, strong men have been known to do battle over the proper way to cook chili con carne. This recipe can be made with ground beef, but the cubed beef has more character. Serve in the traditional manner, with red pinto beans and fluffy rice.”

Marion Cunningham, The Fannie Farmer Farmer Cookbook

cowboys7aSomewhere, Marion Cunningham has a longer article on Cowboy Beans, which is never to be confused with chili, which is always meat. This is a report, not an argument. Some would argue that the spicing is what makes the chili. They are not from Texas.

Cowboy beans always make me think of Mel Brooks…you know the scene from the movie.

Blazing Saddles

So get ready for Wednesday, because  it’s chili night. This one meat and more meat. MC recommends chuck, but I’ve used the on-sale marked-down  stew meat….really good.

2 pounds beef chuck in 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons bacon grease
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 cup water.
1. Roll the beef cubes in flour.
2. Heat the grease in a heavy pot with a lid.
3. Brown the floured meat – don’t crowd or it will steam – turning it to color it on all sides. Start with as much as will cover 2/3’ s of the bottom of your pan, letting the first batch sit undisturbed for 2 minutes to get good color. As you turn to side 2, add some more in the empty spaces. It’s worth the 15-20 minutes to be fussy with the browning. Don’t hurry it and don’t crowd it.
4. Add the garlic and the chili powder and stir through for another minute. It should smell heavenly.
5. Add 1 cup water. Stir around to loosen up the good bits on the bottom.
6. Cover and simmer for 2 hours. If it gets too thick for your tastes, add more water.
7. Add salt to taste.
8. May be made ahead and reheated.
From The Fannie Farmer Cookbook. Edited by Marion Cunningham with Jerie Laber. pp. 167-8.


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Filed under Books, Eating, Recipe

Waffles for supper

Meatless M0nday – unless if when you hear waffles, chicken isn’t far behind.

Chicken and waffles is not meatless, but a great supper any day of the week

Chicken and waffles is not meatless, but a great supper any day of the week

In keeping with my resolution to reduce food waste, I had to come up with a way to use the buttermilk left over from the Irish bread baking of last week.

I once tried to cross reference my various recipes for just this sort of occasion…it was a hopeless muddle. I just wanted to group all the 1 cup of buttermilk recipes, all the 2 tablespoons of tomato paste recipes, all the…you get the picture.

But because I was reading Marion Cunningham, she neatly solved this buttermilk conundrum for me.

A waffle iron was one of the best small appliances I ever indulged myself in. I’ve actually worn out several. I don’t buy the high-end semi-industrial machine.

This waffle iron is a beaut - but at 200 bucks...I won't eat 200 dollars worth of waffles in my lifetime!

This waffle iron is a beaut – but at 200 bucks…I won’t eat 200 dollars worth of waffles in my lifetime!

I wait for a sale at Benny’s or Target, and get a perfectly respectable machine for under $30. It  has always served well for years. Now that I make waffles less often (read: New Years Day and maybe once or twice in the year, as opposed to maybe 25 or 30 times a year) my current waffle iron should last for decades.

Waffles also have an historic element – you knew I’d be working the food history angle in here eventually –

Waffles as good time food c. early 17th century:

This is a detail from a Pieter Bruegel painting about Carnevale. Notice the waffles as headgear!

This is a detail from a Pieter Bruegel painting about Carnevale. Notice the waffles as gambling booty and  headgear!

This is a 17th century waffle iron from France - It had to be heated over the fire. It's hard to tell from this photo, this might be a wafer iron, which are waffles super thin, extra rich cousins

This is a 17th century waffle iron from France – It had to be heated over the fire. It’s hard to tell from this photo, this might be a wafer iron, which are waffles super thin, extra rich cousins.



1 cup cornmeal

1 ¾ cups AP flour

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3 eggs, separated

2 ½ cups buttermilk

4 tablespoons of butter, melted

3 tablespoons of sugar

  1. Start heating the waffle iron.
  2. Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well blended.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg yolks. Add the buttermilk and butter to the egg yolks, blending well.
  4. Combine the liquid mixture with the flour mixture, mixing well.
  5. Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff, slowly adding the sugar.
  6. Fold in the beaten egg whites.
  7. Spoon ½ cup waffle batter in the hot greased waffle iron.
  8. Bake until golden. It will smell like popcorn.
  9. Enjoy!

Makes 6-8 waffles, depending on the size of your iron.

The Fannie Farmer Cookbook. Twelfth edition. Edited by Marion Cunningham with Jeri Laber. Alfred A. Knopf: New York. 1979.p. 500.



Filed under Books, Recipe

Irish Stew

Because of James Beard I know Marion Cunningham.


Marion Cunningham – Mrs C from Happy Days – NOT a cookbook author

Marion Cunningham, cookbook author

Marion Cunningham, cookbook author

Marion Cunningham wrote a new edition of the Fannie Farmer Cook Book – which would have been quite enough…..

the 100th anniversary edition of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook - edited and updated by Marion Cunningham

the 100th anniversary edition of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook – edited and updated by Marion Cunningham

She also wrote the Breakfast Book

The super fantastic Breakfast Book, because breakfast isn't just for breakfast anymore

The super fantastic Breakfast Book, because breakfast isn’t just for breakfast anymore

Today we’ll pause to take a gander into the Supper Book

Supper Book

The Supper Book – also pretty fantastic – we’ll be visiting here a few times

Because it’s hard to have Corn Beef for Two, since most Brisket is much larger the two servings, even if you want has the next day (and you do want hash, don’t you?) I was interested in looking around for something that would on the one hand reflect my Irish heritage and on the other hand not make we never want to it again, even a year later.

So, I looked up Irish Food in Alan Davidson’s Oxford Companion To Food and here is what he said:

Irish stew is a celebrated Irish dish, yet its composition is a matter of dispute. Purists maintain that the only acceptable and traditional ingredients are neck mutton chops or kid, potatoes, onions, and water. Others would add such items as carrots, turnips, and pearl barley; but the purists maintain that they spoil the true flavour of the dish. The ingredients are boiled and simmered slowly for up to two hours. Mutton was the dominant ingredient because the economic importance of sheep lay in their wool and milk produce and this ensured that only old or economically non-viable animals ended up in the cooking pot, where they needed hours of slow cooking. Irish stew is the product of a culinary tradition that relied almost exclusively on cooking over an open fire. It seems that Irish stew was recognized as early as about 1800…

—Davidson, Alan. (2006). Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (p. 409).


Marion Cunningham to the rescue.

Ireland’s Irish Stew

2 pounds lamb for stewing (I can sometimes find lamb with bone still in in the stew meat section – a little more fuss to eat, but so absolutely worth it. Eating off the bone is Kitchen Manners, not for Company or Public. Just so you know I was not raised by wolves.)

4 large onions, thickly sliced

8 medium potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced (these peels would be great for Potato Peel Broth…)

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh thyme (or 1 tablespoon dried, crumbled)

2 cups water

3 tablespoons chopped parsley

  1. Spread out the lamb, the sliced onions and the sliced potatoes. Salt and pepper them all well.
  2. Starting with the potato, layer potato/onion/lamb in a Dutch oven(the now infamous le cruset), sprinkling some of the thyme over each layer.
  3. Add water slowly so as not to disturb the layers.
  4. She has you put this in a 325° oven, which I’m sure I’ve done, but usually I do this on the stove, bringing it to a boil, and then keeping it at a simmer for 2 hours.
  5. Serve in bowls and sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Now I remember – the oven has the Irish Soda Bread in it……..

Marion Cunningham. The Supper Book. Alfred A. Knopf. 1992. p.99.



A bunch of parsley is not an uncommon thing in my kitchen. If I have it I use it. I’m going to try growing it in pots this year.


Filed under Eating, Holiday, Irish, Recipe

Beard on Food

sounds like something you’d see on Duck Dynasty

Duck Dynesty

Beard OVER  food

or maybe inspired by them

This is more of Beard AS Food, not on it

This is more of Beard AS Food, not on it

But back in the the good old days of the 1970’s it was the title of a syndicated column by James Beard. It was carried by the Brockton Enterprise, in   the weekly Food section (which wasn’t  called FOOD then, but something to let you know it was for the Mrs. House-wife/Homemaker – anyhow it was the day that the grocery stores ran the ads with the coupons). So James Beard was another Early Influencer.

James Beard in front of a portrait of...James Beard

James Beard in front of a portrait of…James Beard – this was a man who was literally larger then life.

James Beard was a unique voice – a MAN writing in the Women’s Section who happened to be writing for PEOPLE. His voice was NOT the usual. He was witty and opinionated and generous and interested and interesting. He was no lightweight.  One of his books was titled Delights and Prejudices, and that’s what you got with him.


I don’t like gourmet cooking or ‘this’ cooking or ‘that’ cooking. I like good cooking.
James Beard

James Beard also liked to drop names…if it weren’t for James Beard I wouldn’t have heard of Marion Cunningham or Helen Brown or Elizabeth David, for instance.

English Bread and Yeast Cookery - Elizabeth David

English Bread and Yeast Cookery – Elizabeth David

In fact, there’s a great deal I owe to  James Beard on the topic of  bread alone.

Although bread is often better with something.

Beard On Bread

Beard On Bread

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Filed under Bread, Perception ways