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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, November 19, 2010

Rolls - Cinnamon Rolls

1 cup milk (scalded)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 pkg dry yeast
1 egg (well beaten)
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
3 1/2 cups flour

Combine milk, sugar, salt and butter and let cool.

Dissolve yeast with warm water and 1 tsp sugar.  Stir into the milk mixture and add 1 cup of flour to make a batter.  Add egg and rest of flour.  Turn onto floured board and knead until smooth.  May need a bit more flour.  Turn into a greased bowl.  Brush with soft shortening.  Let rise in a warm place until double in bulk.

Punch dough down and let rest 10 minutes.  Roll out about 1/4 inch thick.  Spread with butter and brown sugar and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Beginning with the long edge, roll dough  up, pinching the edges.  Cut into 12 - 15 slices.

Combine 1/2 cup butter (melted) with 3/4 cup brown sugar and 2 Tbsp corn syrup.  Pour into 9 x 13" pan and then add sliced rolls.  Place rolls close together and then allow to sit in a warm place to double in size.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until lightly browned.  When slightly cooled, frost with the following glaze:

4 Tbsp butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 Tbsp hot water

These rolls were certainly a special treat when we were young.  In 2011, I plan to work on perfecting some of Grandma's recipes.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bread - Lefse - A Norwegian Flat Bread

I remember Grandma making Lefse for special occasions when I was young.  My sister and I liked to eat it with butter and cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top.  I have to admit, I've not had Lefse since becoming an adult.  It is a flat bread that's cooked in a dry skillet or on a griddle.

9 baking potatoes (peeled and cut into chunks)
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp salt
About 1 1/2 cups flour


  1. Peel potatoes and place them in a large pot with a large amount of water. Bring water to a boil, and let the potatoes boil until soft. Drain and mash well.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine mashed potatoes, cream, butter, salt, and sugar. Cover potatoes and refrigerate over night.
  3. Mix flour into the mashed potatoes and roll the mixture into balls about the size of tennis balls, or smaller depending on preference. Keep balls of dough on plate in the refrigerator.
  4. Taking one ball out of the refrigerator at a time, roll dough balls out on a floured board. To keep the dough from sticking while rolling it out, it helps to have a rolling pin with a cotton rolling pin covers.
  5. Fry the lefsa in a grill or in an iron skillet at very high heat. If lefsa brown too much, turn the heat down. After cooking each piece of lefsa place on a dishtowel. Fold towel over lefsa to keep warm. Stack lefsa on top of each other and keep covered to keep from drying out.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cake -Burnt Sugar Cake

1/2 cup sugar, melted in a small frying pan.  Keep stirring until dark brown, and then add 1/2 cup boiling water and cook until thick syrup.

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar creamed with
2 egg yolks (beaten)
1 cup cold water
2 cups flour
3 tsp of the syrup
1 tsp vanilla, beat and then add another 1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder

Beat carefully, then fold in the beaten egg whites.  Bake in a loaf pan in a 350 degree oven.

1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Dissolve and boil until it spins a hair.  Add 2 tsp syrup and pour over the beaten whites of an egg.  Beat until cool.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Meat - Grandma's Special Bacon

When Grandma really wanted to make bacon special, she added brown sugar.  Amazingly enough, I ran across a recipe on Saveur that sounds just like Grandma's special bacon.

1 lb bacon
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

Separate strips of bacon and blot dry with paper towel.  I like to cut strips in half.  Put sugar into a wide dish.  Coat both sides of bacon in sugar, firmly pressing sugar into each strip.  Lay bacon out on sheet pan as coated (some sugar will fall off).

Cook bacon in a preheated 425 degree oven, turning once, until browned and lacquered, about 15 minutes.  Transfer to a lightly oiled sheet pan to cool.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cake - Spice Cake

1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp butter
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp soda
1 cup raisins
2 eggs
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 cups flour
2 Tbsp molasses
1 tsp each cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger

Those are all of the details Grandma left in her recipe book.

I would cream the butter and sugar and then mix the rest of the ingredients in one at a time while beating the mixture on low.

Pour into a square baking pan and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Time to give this one a try and see how it turns out.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cake - Pumpkin Dessert

2 cups brown sugar
6 egg yolks
2 1/2 cups pumpkin
4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp salt

Combine ingredients in double boiler and cook for 5 minutes.  Dissolve 2 Tbsp Knox gelatin in 1/2 cup water.  Add to the mixture in the double boiler.  Stir and cool.

Beat 6 egg whites with 4 Tbsp sugar and fold into cooled mixture.

Pour into baked graham cracker crust.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bars - Peanut Butter Bars

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 cup Karo syrup
4 cups Oatmeal
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients together.  Bake in 9 x 13" pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup chocolate chips
Mix and melt in double boiler and spread when cool.