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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.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Irish Soda Bread

Grandma has many, many bread and roll recipes, most of which require lots of time and energy to make.  This one is surprisingly easy.  No yeast, no kneading, no rolling, no rising . . . my kind of bread recipe.

4 cups flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg (lightly beaten)
2 cps buttermilk
1/4 cup melted butter

Combine all dry ingredients.  Whisk together egg and buttermilk.  Add all at once to the dry ingredients.  Stir in the melted butter.  Stir to combine.

Scoop the dough into a greased 9 x 5" load pan.  Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 35 - 45 minutes.  If top begins to brown too much, cover with aluminum foil.  Test for doneness with a toothpick in the center.  If it comes out clean, the bread is done.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

4 medium sweet potatoes
1 cup milk
4 Tbsp butter
1 tsp salt

Pierce potatoes in several place with a fork; place on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour.  Transfer hot potatoes to cutting board to cool slightly.  Combine milk, butter and salt in a saucepan and heat over medium low heat until hot.  Cut potatoes in half lengthwise; carefully scoop flesh into bowl.  Add milk and butter mixture and mash until smooth.

Okay, this may be cheating, because it's not on Grandma's recipe card . . . but I like my sweet potatoes with a little more "sweet".  I add 1/2 tsp of Allspice and 3/4 cup of brown sugar.  Mmmmmm!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Potato Salad - Routine or Memorable

Grandma had a Basic Potato Salad recipe, but I've run across a few of her notes that take the basic recipe and make it special.

In a large bowl, combine 1 1/4 cup Miracle Whip, 1 Tbsp yellow mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.  Toss with 2 lbs of boiled potatoes and allow to cool.

Good BET -- add bacon bits, chopped hard cooked eggs and tomatoes.

Island -- add fresh pineapple, cashews, and lemon zest.

Garden Crunch -- add cucumber, carrots, pickle relish.

Orchard -- add apple slices, ham, and grated smoked cheese.