Saturday, November 21, 2009

Stuffing

Prepare one box of StoveTop Pepperidge Farm or Mrs. Cubisons or other stuffing mixture, according to the package instructions, using broth instead of water, or use about four cups of bread crumbs, corn bread crumbs, mazo meal . . . whatever you've got.

Add to the stuffing mixture:

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup onion sauteed in olive oil
  • 1 Cup Celery
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic
  • 3 teaspoons Sage
  • 2 Teaspoons Fines Herbs
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts or 1/2 Cup chopped Chestnuts (boiled, peeled, chopped)
  • Pepper to taste
  • Cooked giblets, and neck meat, if desired.

Procedure

  1. Fry a small patty of the stuffing to check for taste, and adjust accordingly.
  2. Mix thoroughly, and stuff a clean, rinses, salted and seasoned (garlic, salt, pepper, etc.) bird, without packing too firmly.
  3. The ingredients should be adjusted to taste; you might use other herbs (Thyme, Tarragon, Parsely, Rosemary).

Stuffing is something that you mess with, adjusting to individual taste, and the available ingredients. Other possible ingredients: dried soaked (to soften them) cranberries, apricots, raisins, apples. Green onions, parsley, more garlic, thyme, herbs de provence. More sage. If you use bread, let it dry a day or three (unless it's homemade corn bread or biscuits; one day only then) and make crumbs. Some people like to use milk instead of broth. Butter is really unhealthy, and makes the stuffing really good. Choose your poisons.

From LRS AKA "mom"

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Lena R. Spangenberg's Pound Cake

Ingredients


1 pound (2 cups) room temperature butter
3 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour1
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon of ground mace
3 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla
10 eggs, separated
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar


Procedure

  1. Assemble ingredients 1 hour ahead of time. Everything should be room temperature.
  2. Separate eggs.
  3. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
  4. Preheat oven to 300 F.
  5. Beat egg whites with 1/4/ teaspoon salt until whites stand in soft glossy points, but not until they're dry.
    • Gradually add one and a half cups sugar, beating after each addition until blended.
    • Sprinkle the cream of tartar on top of the whites, and using the mixer on the lowest speed (or a spatula), gently fold into the whites.
  6. Put flour, soda, ground mace, and 1 1/2 cups sugar into large mixing bowl.
  7. Put the egg yolks, vanilla, and lemon juice in a second bowl and set aside.
  8. Transfer the beaten whites to another bowl and set aside.
  9. In large mixing bowl, beat the butter until it's creamy.
  10. Gradually add 1/2 cups sugar, blending it in to the butter.
  11. Add the egg yolks, vanilla, and lemon juice, gradually, alternating with the dry ingredients.
  12. If the batter is too stiff, add an additional tablespoon of lemon juice.
  13. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter, until thoroughly combined. You may need a larger bowl to do this.
  14. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, smoothing the top with a spoon. Set the pan down hard on a table to remove air bubbles.
  15. Bake approximately 1 1/2 hours, until done. The cake will shrink from the sides of the pan. Use a knife to test for doneness.
  16. Remove from oven and let stand for about fifteen minutes.
  17. Loosen sides with a spatula. Using pot holders to lift the hot pan, vigorously shake up and down to loosen cake, and then turn out on a rack.

Notes

The original recipe was in Woman's Day Magazine December, 1954. As published, the recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of ground mace.

Mom doesn't actually sift the flower, she "fluffs" it though. Mom usually makes one larger and one smaller cake form this recipe. The size depends on how well the whites are beaten. It really fills a bundt pan, rising above the rim.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Murder Your Darlings

To begin with, let me plead that you have been told of one or two things which Style is not; which have little or nothing to do with Style, though sometimes vulgarly mistaken for it. Style, for example, is not—can never be—extraneous Ornament. You remember, may be, the Persian lover whom I quoted to you out of Newman: how to convey his passion he sought a professional letter-writer and purchased a vocabulary charged with ornament, wherewith to attract the fair one as with a basket of jewels. Well, in this extraneous, professional, purchased ornamentation, you have something which Style is not: and if you here require a practical rule of me, I will present you with this: "Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it—whole-heartedly—and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings."

Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch. (1863–1944) On the Art of Writing. 1916.

Friday, September 4, 2009

C. S. Lewis on Narrative Lust

I give you C. S. Lewis in "On Stories," at the part where he talks about "narrative lust":

The re-reader is looking not for actual surprises (which can come only once) but for a certain surprisingness…In the only sense that matters the surprise works as well the twentieth time as the first. It is the quality of unexpectedness, not the fact that delights us. It is even better the second time. Knowing that the "surprise" is coming we can now fully relish the fact that this path through the shrubbery doesn’t look as if it were suddenly going to bring us out on the edge of the cliff. So in literature. We do not enjoy a story fully at the first reading. Not till the curiosity, the sheer narrative lust, has been given its sop and laid asleep, are we at leisure to savour the real beauties. Till then, it is like wasting great wine on a ravenous natural thirst which merely wants cold wetness. The children understand this well when they ask for the same story over and over again, and in the same words. They want to have again the "surprise" of discovering that what seemed Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother is really the wolf. If is better when you know it is coming: free from the shock of actual surprise you can attend better to the intrinsic surprisingness of the peripeteia.

(C. S. Lewis. On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature. 17

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Very Best Maine Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 to 1/2 Cups blueberries, adjusted to taste
  • 2 Cups flour
  • 1 Cup sugar (may be slightly reduced depending on berries)
  • 1/2 Cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Procedure

  1. Grease muffin pans or use liners.
  2. Beat butter, add sugar beat till creamy and fluffy.
  3. Mix in eggs, vanilla, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Fold in half the flour, then half the milk. Stir gently.
  5. Add the rest of the flour and milk alternately.
  6. add the blueberries, folding them in gently. Don't over stir.
  7. Pour into muffin tin cups.
  8. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with the sugar and nutmeg mixture.
  9. Bake at 375 25-30 minutes until the muffins are golden brown.
  10. Let the muffins cool about a half hour before removing.

These freeze really really well. If you're planning to freeze them, take them out of the oven one or two minutes before they're done. I like to substitute finely shredded fresh lemon zest, a generous teaspoon, for the nutmeg in the sugar topping.