Straight Talk from a Comfort Foodie - Simpler Times
When it was unfolding, I never thought I lived in "simpler times". That would have described pioneer days, or the world prior to the industrial revolution. Simpler times would, one day, be John-Boy and the rest of the Walton gang having dinner with Grandma and Grandpa. I was a child of the sixties, a Kennedy baby, jaded by a revolution that was counter-culture and in full regalia by the time of the Moonwalk-the "where were you?" moment of my wonder years. We watched young soldiers in bloodied Technicolor and civil riots in black and white. The world around me seemed anything but simple.
My friends and I took for granted that our moms were housewives, married to both their houses and the men who lived there while working 9 to 5 jobs. We lived in cookie-cutter homes, in planned suburban developments, and household responsibilities were defined as gender specific. This was not "simpler times", just simple common knowledge. Who would have known that even this last bastion of "home security" was headed for a revolution? Ira Levin was sitting somewhere writing "The Stepford Wives", and, when it hit the best seller list, our mothers would realize that they had all been living in blissful denial.
That was long before satellite and cable, when the microchip and the personal computer were only science fiction, when the one reality show on TV was the six o'clock news, the days when you'd wait anxiously for Saturday mornings to roll around so that you could eat a box of Captain Crunch and watch three or four hours of prime cartoon programming before going out to play kick ball with the kids on the block. Ah, the world prior to The Cartoon Network. When the advent of cable brought cartoons 24/7, it was a hard concept to grasp. You mean you can catch Bugs any time of the day? What a concept!
It was the summer of '69 ? political turmoil for some, sunshine ecstasy for others. While half a million flower children grooved to Hendrix and got back to the garden, I was at sleep-away camp, and witnessed as my counselors listened, instead, to draft numbers being announced over a PA system ? praying they wouldn't hear the tin can call their boyfriends to Viet Nam. Three hundred Camp Wah-Nee kids crowded into a social hall to watch the Man on the Moon spectacle via a simple 24-inch television with rabbit ears. I was sucking on a Sugar Daddy, and peering out the door to see if those guys were really moving around up there. Simpler times.
I wore a key, tied to a piece of yarn, which hung around my neck. I'd walk the seven blocks from elementary school to our house. My sister never accompanied me. Being three years older gave her the advantage of having a large pool of girlfriends, as well as a large number of after-school opportunities. If mom still wasn't home from her afternoon errands, or it was a day she put in hours at a local linen and towel store, I'd let myself in, lock the door behind me, and wait for her return. Watching Graham Kerr ? The Galloping Gourmet, a cute playboy/gourmet cook, was my after-school opportunity. I loved being in the kitchen, and there was nothing like winding down a long day of public school than by hanging with my inebriated friend. Kerr was always taking "a short slurp" of wine, and making all kinds of innuendos while cooking outlandishly rich dishes, loaded with butter and cream. I recollect that he gained much of his inspiration by drinking large quantities of that white cooking wine while on the air.
I had all the ingredients on the counter, and worked feverishly to get the recipe steps done along with the host. "Today we are making Rum Babka",but when we got to the step which measured and added the spirit to the mix, I couldn't figure out what or where this liquid would be in my mom's kitchen, so I called her at work.
"Hi, mom, where's the rum?" I asked in a hurry.
"Rum?? What do you want with rum?" she replied.
"The Galloping Gourmet is making rum babka. I'd thought I'd give it a try".
She proceeded to tell me where to find it in my dad's well-stocked bar. By the time she got home from work the lop-sided thing was cooling. There was never a word spoken about an eight year old using the oven without a parent being home, never a word about my mentor being an alcoholic. Mom felt I was responsible, and couldn't get into much trouble if I was cooking. These were simpler times.
Rum Babka Recipe
1. Mix 3/4 cup flour with the yeast.
2. Combine milk and margarine in a sauce pan till WARM only. Pour into bowl.
3. Add remaining DRY ingredients and beat for 2 minutes with an electric mixer.
4. Add eggs 1 at a time and up to a 1/2 cup flour to make a thick batter; then beat for an additional 2 minutes.
5. Cover and let rise till doubled, stir in raisins and turn out into a 2 quart greasedtube pan. Let rise uncovered for 30 minutes.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
7. Prepare rum syrup by boiling all ingredients, over moderate heat, until sugar is dissolved.
8. Before removing from pan and while still hot from oven; prick with a fork in several spots and pour rum syrup over cake.
London Broil - Garlic
In Grandmas Kitchen (Part I)
One of my fondest childhood memories is being in the kitchen with my Hungarian grandmother. I loved watching her chopping vegetables, kneading dough, and leaning over bubbling pots in a kitchen that was always filled with wonderful aromas. I'd always help her after school-shelling peas or beans, scrubbing and peeling vegetables, and when I got older, helping to prepare dinner. My favorite was Friday dinner-we would always have some kind of savory soup followed by a noodle or sweet dish. I was always a sweet tooth and looked forward to egg noodles with eggs or jam, palacsinta (Hungarian crepes eaten with jam, cocoa, nuts or sweet cheese fillings), and, in the late summer, silvas gomboc (plum dumplings) topped with cinnamon sugar breadcrumbs.
Whoopie Pies that is! Other known as "Moon Cakes"
Low Fat French Toast
French toast was one of my favorite breakfast foods when I was little. Dieting can be hard, especially when you can not enjoy many of the foods that you love. Here is a twist on the traditional french toast recipe, that once used to be high in fat. With just a few modifications you can turn french toast into a healthy food. I make this for my husband and he can not even tell that this is a low fat version. It's also been tested on Marines in my house and they loved it. So share it with your family and turn breakfast into a healthy meal.
Want to serve an elegant, yet easy, dessert? Try truffles. The chocolate kind, that is. Not the fungi. These rich and creamy bite-sized indulgences are really quite simple to make. The secret is to buy the best chocolate you can afford.
Save Time with No-Bake Cookies
Whether you don't want to heat up the kitchen or the demands of getting the kids out the door are upon you, it's nice to have a few no-bake cookie recipes on hand. We thought we would share some of our favorites with you.
Grilling Recipes Give People Tasteful Tremors Just Thinking of BBQ Grilling!
Grilling recipes give people tremors just thinking of the explosive thought of bbq grills producing tender, smoked ribs that melt right in your mouth.
Ground Turkey Recipes
Our family has recently made the switch from ground beef toground turkey. With ground beef more than $2 a pound, we hadbasically quit eating hamburger for quite some time. On a recenttrip to the grocery store I noticed that ground turkey was HALFthe price of ground beef, about $1 a pound. I decided to give ita try, and our family loved the ground turkey. Honestly, youcan't even tell the difference in taste, and it is very low fat. There is almost no fat to remove from your pan. Here are somerecipes our family adapted to our tastes:
How to Easily Make Sourdough French Toast Like Cracker Barrel
I got an idea one day when I was in a Cracker Barrel restaurant eating breakfast. They had sourdough French toast and it was the best French toast I'd had, so I wanted to re-create the recipe at home.
Pasta Recipes ? The Very Best In Italian Cuisine!
These pasta recipes are excellent for dinners or parties.
Rice Noodles with Tomatoes and Tuna -A Savoury Gluten-free Alternative to Pasta
Ok. I never thought that the day would come when I would sing the praises of a rice noodle. Let alone consider it a valid, gluten-free alternative to pasta. But I've come to understand and love the little blighters.
Bourbon BBQ Sauce
If you are seeking a very unique flavored bbq sauce for your next barbeque then you must try bourbon bbq sauce. This is a very unique sauce that only you will know the secret ingredient.
How to Make Your Own Low Fat Vanilla Ice Cream
Sometimes, when you have set yourself in the weight loss journey, you may miss your old friends: snacks.
Low Carb Christmas Enchiladas!
Mexican Recipes ? World Class Dishes In Your Kitchen!
Here are two **Must Try** Mexican recipes! They are HOT, tasty and so easy!
Cool Snacks for a Hot Summer
Beat the heat with these cool summer treats!
Home Made Ice Cream Recipe for Coffee Can Ice Cream
The very best thing about having birthday cake is the ice cream that goes along with it. This delicious home made ice cream recipe can be made with a few simple ingredients and a couple of coffee cans.
Easy, Tasty Chicken Wing Recipes
You can serve chicken wings hot or cold, for a meal, or for snacks. They're great as appetizers at parties, or when you're just looking for a tasty midnight snack. Try these four easy recipes:
Banana Pudding and Vanilla Wafers... the Perfect Crowd Pleaser!
Next time someone signs you up for "dessert duty" at the family barbecue, cookout, picnic or whatever other type of party you may attend this summer, consider the old pudding-and-cookies recipe. It's a gooey dessert that really wows the crowd. I usually bring the banana vanilla version (detailed below), but you can try any combination of flavors. Here's the jist of it.
Easy Holiday Quick Bread Recipes
Quick breads are a quick, easy accompaniment to any holiday meal.
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