Thursday, December 2, 2010

This many people

Showed up at Joseph Beth Bookstore here in the lovely Bluegrass to have Sarah Palin sign a copy of her new book. I MIGHT get in line to see John Calipari for his next book. Sarah, not so much. Although almost any woman banging on the glass ceiling of the American political scene gets at least my admiration, if not my vote (I'm looking at you, Hilary, but not at you, Nancy).

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Not My Mama's Cornbread with dinner tonight

I don't always make my mama's cornbread although I really, really love it. At some point, I went over to the Dark Side and started adding, yes, that's right, SUGAR to my cornbread. The result is actually quite wonderful. This recipe came from Allrecipes, but I have several other similar versions.

Golden Sweet Cornbread

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
3-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray or lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan.

In a large bowl, combine four, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk, and vegetable oil until well combined. Pour batter in to prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Tonight this is going with pork chops with mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, and broccoli.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Mama's Kitchen - Crockpot Edition

This morning I spent exactly 10 minutes throwing pot roast into the crockpot for tonight's dinner.

This crockpot

came from my mama's kitchen and I expect that it is about 40 years old. Still works great.

On to the pot roast. I take the lazy approach.

2 or 3 pound pot roast - I used bottom round sirloin (I think). I don't like the meat that is commonly marked "pot roast" in the stores. Sometimes I use eye of the round roast. Use whatever meat you want. You'll love it.
2 or 3 large white or yukon gold potatoes, cut up - I used 6 small yukon gold potatoes and left them whole
5 or 6 scrubbed carrots, not peeled (only because I'm a lazy cook) but cut into 3-inch chunks
1 diced rutabaga - don't skip this. Rutabagas are WONDERFUL and cheap. Sort of a pain to peel and chop but WORTH IT.

1 pkg seasoning - you can use "pot roast" seasoning packet or Lipton onion soup packet or you can use an onion, salt, pepper and whatever herbs/spices you want. Again, I use a packet of stuff because it's easy. Did I mention this is not a "health food" pot roast? Not organic, not free range, just regular food with maybe some better living through chemistry thrown in for good measure. Don't be hatin'.

1-1/2 cups water. If you don't use a mix or Lipton soup, you could use beef broth if you have it. Water works great and most people have it.

You can sear your pot roast if you want to before throwing it in the crockpot, but I didn't and it will be great. Pot roast on the bottom, cut up/whole vegetables on top of that. Then the water and mix stirred together and poured over the top. Top on and 8 hours later you have pot roast. I don't thicken the juice (gravy) usually but you could if you prefer. My crockpot (thanks Mama!) has an automatic setting that cooks on high for "a while" then switches to low, so that's what I use. YMMV. Serve with some kind of bread - Yankee cornbread? I have a recipe for that too.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Mama's Kitchen - chicken and dumplings

Forgot to take pictures last time I made this, but they look like, well, chicken and dumplings.

This is not exactly my Mama's recipe, but the results are similar.

Chicken and Dumplings, a la My Mama

1 package chicken breasts - try to find the ones with skin. You can also boil a two- to three-pound fryer
4 cups chicken broth - I use a box of Swanson's
4 cups water
onion, carrot, celery to boil with the chicken - I usually skip this
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the chicken (and vegetables if you have them) in the 8 cups of water/broth for about an hour. Strain the broth to remove vegetables. Shred the chicken into smallish pieces and set aside. If you used chicken with skin or a fryer, separate all the meat from the bones and keep a little out for the puppy. Keep broth warm while you make the dumplings. You'll want to get it boiling again when you get ready to cook your dumplings.

I use my Mama's wooden bowl for the dumplings. I think they taste better, but YMMV.


2 cups all-purpose flour
3 TBS shortening
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup buttermilk - yes it makes a difference - you can buy pints of it at some stores.

Cut the shortening into the flour, salt, and baking soda - I use a fork and just mash it around, and it works fine. Add the buttermilk (you didn't use regular milk, right?) and stir the dough until it is mixed up.

Using a well-floured surface (I use a large cutting board but you can use a clean counter top or wax paper covered counter top), pour the dough onto the board and roll it around a bit in the flour so it isn't sticky. Then fold it over on itself a few times to incorporate a little more flour into the dough. I like to separate the dough into 2 pieces at this point so I can roll the dumplings out very thin. I use my Mama's rolling pin (again, tastes better) and roll out the dough VERY thin. If the dough is too thick, your dumplings will be big clumps of gross. Take the time to roll it out. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife (be careful on your counter top!) and cut the dough into slices about 1-1/2 inches wide and 2-3 inches long. Put the dumplings over in the boiling broth and let them cook for 30 minutes or until broth starts to thicken up - might take a little longer. Don't stir the dumplings up too much. When the dumplings are done and the broth is thickened, dump in the shredded chicken and mix up. You will probably need to adjust the seasoning. We almost always have to add more salt and pepper. Make some sweet tea and eat 'em up.

I have an alternate dumpling recipe that is my sister's Mama's recipe. I'll post it here in a bit.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Mama's Kitchen - Tools of the Trade

I've been using these kitchen tools since 1987. They are from my mama's house and I brought them with me when I cleaned out her house after she passed away. Not sure of the exact age, but I remember them from forever ago.

Dumplings for Mama's chicken and dumplings always started out in this wooden bowl. Stay tuned for the recipe.