Monday, October 24, 2011

Bacon Strip Pancakes and Apple Butter Sourdoughs

Some time ago, a reader requested I make these bacon strip pancakes, as seen on Mr. Breakfast (whom I adore). How could I possibly refuse? It is pancakes plus bacon. Hooray! Pancakes! Plus bacon! Hooray! What day is it?


Bacon Strip Pancakes [1962, from the back of an Aunt Jemima pancake mix)
(4 servings)

12 slices of bacon
2 cups prepared pancake batter
softened butter
maple syrup

Just about the best breakfast that ever greeted a hungry family! And it's as easy as this: Shake up Aunt Jemima batter according to package directions. Place cooked bacon strips on the griddle and pour batter over each strip. Bake 'em golden brown on both sides. Couldn't be easier - couldn't taste better! How about Aunt Jemima Bacon Strip Pancakes at your house tomorrow!

Unfortunately, I was so excited by the prospect of pancake-coated pork fat (fried in pork fat), I did not read the instructions carefully.

No matter.


Verdict: Have I mentioned that it is bacon, coated with pancake? Fantastic. One does feel a little wrong, though, with a plate of bacon pancakes fried in bacon grease that you then spread with butter and soak with syrup. So wrong, and yet... so right.

But let's not stop there.

Apple Sauce Sourdoughs [Alaska Sourdough, 1976]

On hot, well greased skillet drop Sourdough [sourdough pancake batter, but any pancake batter will work fine] making small pancakes. Dip a small teaspoonful of sauce in center of each cake. Add a few drops of Sourdough batter, covering the applesauce. Bake until bubbly. Turn carefully, cooking well on the other side. Serve hot on warmed plates. Dust Sourdoughs with powdered sugar.

Verdict: Instead of applesauce, I used apple butter. Because apple butter is delicious. HOW have I never done this before?? Is this something that everyone else knows about but me? Genius. Genius! (Hooray!) It is like the pancake version of jelly doughnuts. I'm trying this again with raspberry jam. And strawberry jam. And apricot jam. And whatever other kind of jam I can get my hands on. Husband demands that both of these recipes appear again. He will be obliged. Probably on Christmas morning. And several times before then.

Maybe Halloween?


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Carrot Cookies

We'll Eat Again [1990, reprinted recipes from WWII]

Back to WWII rationing once more! These cookies use no eggs, little sugar, and very little fat. It also contains something which every patriotic citizen should have in abundance in their Victory garden: carrots.

Did your mother ever tell you that carrots would help you see in the dark? It was a lie. But she may not have known that she was lying! During WWII, the British invented this rumor to cover up their development of radar technology from the Germans. "Carrots!" they said. "Our pilots just eat LOTS AND LOTS OF CARROTS."

This led to a whole generation of British, American, and German children alike being forced to eat truly outrageous amounts of carrots. Thanks a lot, BRITS.*

Carrot Cookies**

Cooking time: 20 minutes Quantity: 12-15 cookies

1 tablespoon margarine
2 tablespoons sugar and a little extra for sprinkling on top of the cakes
a few drops of vanilla, almond or orange flavouring
4 tablespoons grated raw carrot
6 tablespoons self-raising flour or plain flour and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

(To get a full tablespoon of margarine or fat, plunge the spoon first into boiling water, then cut out the fat with the hot spoon. In this way, a piece of just the right quantity will be obtained.)

Method: Cream the fat and sugar together until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the flavouring and carrot. Fold in the flour or flour and baking powder. Drop spoonfuls of this mixture into small greased patty pans. Sprinkle the tops with sugar and bake in a brisk*** oven for about 20 minutes.

Verdict: Okay, you see that spoonful of dough up there? Go ahead, scroll back and look. That is ALL the batter. That's it. This recipe only makes about 12 walnut-sized cookies. But what do you expect? There's a war on, gosh!

I didn't anticipate that these would be very good. But they are! Pleasantly crispy, pastry-like outside; tender, cakey inside. And such a beautiful color! Perfect for Halloween. They don't taste particularly of carrot, I think the carrot is just to stretch the flour and stand in for some of the sweetening. It tastes kind of like a interesting, pleasant sugar cookie.

Five minutes after they came out of the oven, I had eaten them all. Don't be a Judging McJudgerton, Husband was gone!

*I'm just foolin', I love carrots! Thanks, guys!
**Hey! Where's your insistence that cookies are called biscuits now, huh? Gotcha!
***About 375 degrees F. will do.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Yorkshire Meat Balls, Fruit Pudding Cake

The Thrifty Cook: Tasty budget recipes by the food editors of Farm Journal [1974]

Whilst perusing my collection of cookbooks, I came across these two recipes for which I just happened to have ingredients. Serendipitous! The fact that Yorkshire pudding is one of Husband's most favorite things in the whole wide world, coupled with his love of cake, seemed to indicate that this would be a good day for him.

Or would it. *dun dun dun* I lacked but one ingredient,one which does not fail to strike fear to Husband's heart and send chills down his spine... fake cheese.

Yorkshire Meat Balls
Topping in meat balls tastes like Yorkshire pudding--an ideal main dish for company.

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1/4 c. ketchup
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 tblsp. parsley flakes
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 tblsp. water
1 1/2 c. sifted flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
3 tblsp. melted regular margarine
Fast-fix Cheese Sauce

Thoroughly combine ground beef, ketchup, onion soup mix, parsley, pepper, 1 egg and water. Form mixture into 24 balls and place in 6 rows of 4 meat balls each in a well-greased 13x9x2" baking pan.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.

Beat 4 eggs until foamy; blend in milk and margarine. Add dry ingredients all at once; beat with rotary blender just until smooth. Pour over meat balls. Bake in 350 degree oven 45 to 50 minutes. Serve with Fast-fix Cheese Sauce. Makes 8 servings.

Fast-fix Cheese Sauce: Combine 3/4 lb. process cheese spread (Velveeta), cubed, 1/3 c. milk and 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until cheese is melted. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Fruit Pudding Cake
Good inexpensive dessert. You can use leftover fruits instead of the fruit cocktail. Use 1 1/2 c. fruit and 1/2 to 2/3 c. of their juice.

1 (1 lb. 1 oz.) can fruit cocktail
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. sifted flour
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
Whipped dessert topping

Place fruit and juice in mixing bowl; add egg and vanilla. Sift flour, white sugar, salt, and baking soda over it. Beat with spoon until smooth. Pour into greased 13x9x2" baking pan. Sprinkle on brown sugar and nuts. Bake in 325 degree oven 40 to 45 minutes, or until pudding begins to pull away from the sides of pan. Cut into squares and serve with whipped dessert topping. Makes 9 servings.


Yorkshire Meat Balls: YES, "Meat Balls" is two words. I love Yorkshire pudding. This is much like meatbally toad-in-the-hole. The meatballs are a little salty from the onion soup mix, but other than that, it's really nice! Especially when bites are dipped in beef broth, an activity which transports Husband into raptures. BUT WAIT. There is NO beef broth there is, in its place... cheese sauce. But not just cheese sauce. Cheese sauce is fantastic. This, this here, is fake cheese sauce, the kind that instantly forms a rubbery skin both on its own surface and on the back of your teeth.

When Husband realized that one of his favorite things had been replaced with one of his least favorite things, his sadness was pathetic to behold. He gamely ate one pudding-imprisoned meatball with "cheese" sauce before sighing and making beef broth. After a few bites with "cheese" sauce, I joined him. The cheese sauce isn't bad, it's just not... not... right.

Fruit Pudding Cake: Tasty times! And better than eating straight-up fruit cocktail. Fruit cocktail is the worst. I don't even remember buying it! How did it get in my pantry? How does it always appear at the back of the pantry? I think bad wizards must put it there.

Anyway, this was moist and delicious, with a lovely topping. The grapes were still squidgy and unnatural, but really, one can only ask so much. It's a cake, not a miracle machine.