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My Grandma passed away at the age of 94. She was a wonderful cook and I was lucky enough to inherit her recipes. Many date back to the 1940s and 50s. Grandma prepared them in a charming country kitchen with no running water and most of her produce came from her garden, not from the grocery store. These are made-from-scratch recipes. I wish I had spent more time with her in the kitchen and . . . I wish I had spent more time with her for so many other reasons.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Meat - Swedish Meat Balls

1 1/4 lb hamburger
1 1/2 cups milk
1 egg
3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp onion
1/2 Tbsp butter

Combine milk with beaten egg.  Blend well.  Pour over bread crumbs.  When well softened, add meat and mix well.  Beat for 2 or 3 minutes until well blended.  Add salt and pepper and the onion that has been sauteed in butter.  Beat again and form in small balls and brown in butter.  When well browned on all sides, reduce heat and fry until tender.

Serves 6.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Soup - Chili

This recipe makes me realize how many more specialty and prepared foods we have available that make our lives so much easier than our grandmothers' lives.  This version of chili doesn't sound like it would taste much like our chili today.

3 Tbsp fat
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup onion (chopped)
1 Tbsp green pepper (chopped)
1 1/2 cups water
1 can of tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 can kidney beans

Add the beans last and simmer a few minutes before serving.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bars - Evelyn's Bars

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup raisins
1 cup water

Bring to boil to make raisins soft.

Cool and add . . .

1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves or nutmeg
1 1/2 cup flour
pinch of salt
nuts, if desired

Powdered sugar
A little hot milk and butter
1 tsp vanilla

Varnish Remover - Another Unexpected Find

2/3 cup Perfex - I've been trying to find Perfex on Google (no luck yet)
3 Tbsp cornstarch
3 cups cold water

Cook all ingredients until thick; spread hot and let stand 15 minutes.  Wash with hot soapy water.  Repeat if necessary.  Keep remover hot.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's Fall - It's Time For Pumpkin Creme Brulee

Who would have thought Grandma made Creme Brulee?  She was so creative.  I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised.

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup mashed cooked pumpkin or butternut squash
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar, plus 4 tsps
9 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp good vanilla extract
1 pinch of ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
You will need 8 (1/2 cup) custard cups.
In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, brown sugar and 1/4 cup sugar.  Bring to a bare simmer over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve  the sugar.  You will know the cream is ready when small bubbles start to form on the edge of the pan and the top of the cream has started to ripple.  Remove from the heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until frothy and lemon-colored.  Slowly add 34 cup of the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly.  This is referred to as tempering the mixture and prevents it from cooking the eggs.  Add the egg mixture to the remaining hot cream, and whisk.  Add the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and pumpkin, and whisk until smooth.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl.  You will notice that there may be some of the pumpkin left behind.  Divide among the custard cups.

Add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the cups.  Bake until the custards are just set in the center, but not stiff, about 50 minutes.  Remove from the oven and refrigerate until chilled or overnight.

Sprinkle each creme brulee with 1/2 tsp sugar.  Using a kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar or use your oven broiler until the sugar melts and caramelizes.  Rotate the cup every two minutes to avoid burning.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cake - Chocolate Zucchini Cake

For all of you gardeners out there who always have more zucchini in the summertime than you know what to do with -- this recipe is for you.  Keep it handy for next year.

1/2 cup butter (softened)
1/2 cup oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
2 1/2 cups flour
4 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
2 cups finely grated zucchini
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup nuts (optional)

Cream butter, oil, and sugar.  Add eggs, vanilla and sour cream.  (You can use buttermilk instead.)  Blend well.  Sift dry ingredients.  Mix with creamed mixture and add zucchini.  Grease and flour 9 x 13" pan.  Pour in cake mix.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts, if desired.

Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.  May take a little bit longer.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cake - Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

5 cups rhubarb
1 cup sugar
1 (3 oz) box of strawberry Jell-o
3 cups miniature marshmallows

Place above ingredients into 9 x 13" baking dish.

Prepare one yellow cake mix as directed and pour over other ingredients.  Bake as directed on cake mix package.

Allow to cool when removed from oven and invert onto serving dish.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cake - Cherry Coffee Cake

1 cup butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
3 cups flour (sifted with 1 1/2 tsp baking soda)
1/2 tsp salt
1 can Cherry Pie Filling

Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, vanilla and almond extract.  Slowly add flour, baking soda, and salt.

Spread 2/3 of the batter on an oiled cookie sheet (10" x 15").  Spread cherry filling lightly on top.  Drop remaining batter by teaspoonful on this.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Top with powdered sugar.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


4 cups flour
2 eggs beaten
1 cup scaled milk (cooled)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening

1 pkg yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water and 1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp vanilla

Mix all well adding flour to stiffen.  Let rise to double (30 - 40 minutes).  Divide and but into small pieces about the size of a walnut.  Roll into balls and place on a cookie sheet to rise.  Coat with melted butter.  Make an impression.  Use prune or apricot filling.

Bake at 400 degrees for 12 - 13 minutes.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pie - Southern Peach Pie

Prepare Pie Crust from the recipe found on this blog.  Just type Pie Crust into the search box to the right.

Line a pie pan with crust and prick with a fork.

4 cups fresh sliced peaches
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp minute tapioca
1 tsp lemon juice

Mix together and let stand for 15 minutes.

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter

Blend all ingredients together.

Use approximately 1/3 of the mixture to spread on the bottom of the unbaked pie crust.  Add peach mixture and then top with remaining topping.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.  Reduce temp to 350 degrees and continue baking for 20 minutes.

Cool before cutting.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Grandma's First Great-Granddaughter was Married on October 2nd

Laura Carlstrom, Grandma's first great-granddaughter, married Joel Willeke on Saturday, October 2nd in Jefferson City, MO.  Please click on the link for Karan's Kitchen to see pictures from the wonderful day.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Salad - Fruit Salad

This isn't your typical fruit salad, but when I stop to think that fresh produce wasn't as available as it is today.  We're so fortunate to have access to almost any fresh fruit we want year round.

Give this recipe a try next time you can't find your favorite fresh fruit.

1 can peach or apricot pie filling
1 can white seedless grapes
1 can mandarin oranges
1 can pineapple chunks
1 cup miniature marshmallows
slice in an apple or banana, if desired

Sounds pretty tasty.

Cake - Coffee Cake

2 cups warm water
1/3 cup sugar
2 pkgs yeast
1 'Tbsp salt
2 cups flour

Mix well.

Add 2 cups flour and beat 2 minutes on slow.

add 1/3 cup shortening
2 eggs and beat 1 minute

Add last 2 1/2 cups flour gradually by hand and kneed.

Let rest 20 minutes (or refrigerate)

1/2 sup sugar
2 tsp instant coffee
4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter softened - mix with a fork
2/3 cups toasted almonds

Divide dough and roll into 10 x 15".  Spread filling and roll.  Cut into circles 1/2".  Cut into circles 1/2" and pur into pan to rise.  Bake at 350 degrees.  Frost