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Everything posted by Terrasanct

  1. I noted the use of Crisco, too, something I don't even keep in my cupboard anymore. But that was new, clean shortening that people started using when lard lost favor. It's interesting how so many things became popular because of a perception of being clean or more modern. Of course, the older plum pudding recipes call for suet, not lard, but it's the same idea. I looked up the carrot and potato plum pudding recipe and actually found quite a few that had the same ingredients. I wonder if that was the American version, using things that were more likely to be at hand? Or if it was one of those recipes changed during the war because of rationing of certain ingredients?
  2. I think the other reason for the name of plum pudding is more accurate, but I always like the family story explanations. They're more fun. I haven't tried the "paste" and "soap" for years, so I hope they're okay. I remember the plum pudding as being really good. I should probably post that recipe, too. I'm not sure where it's from originally, but my family used the same recipe for a long time. This is cut and pasted from my family cookbook at http://www.maystar.org/Cookbook/Holidays.htm I haven't made this myself, so use at your own risk. GRANDMA MILLECAM’S PLUM PUDDING WITH 'SOAP' & 'PASTE': This recipe makes 1 pudding (This was called plum pudding, not because it contains plums, but because it is 'plum full' of good things. 3/4 cup Crisco 1 cup brown sugar 1 cup grated potatoes 1 cup grated carrots 1-1/2 cups flour 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. nutmeg 1/4 tsp. allspice 1 tsp. baking soda 2 cups raisins candied peel 2 cups currants Wash, peel and grate carrots and potatoes. Cream together Crisco and brown sugar. Mix well. Sift flour. Reserve about 1/2 cup to sprinkle over raisins, candied peel and currants. Sift remainder of flour with baking soda and spices and add gradually to wet mixture. Stir in raisins, candied peel and currants. Pour batter into greased gallon mold or coffee can with lid. Can or mold should only be two-thirds full. Place on rack in heavy kettle over 1 inch of boiling water. Cover kettle closely. Use high heat at first, then as steam begins to escape, turn to low heat for rest of cooking. Steam for 5 hours. Don’t let pan run out of water. Grandpa Millecam was the one who named the sauces. Vanilla sauce was called 'paste' because it looks like wallpaper paste and hard sauce looks like soft soap.
  3. We didn't use any alcohol in our cooking, so the hard sauce and vanilla sauce that went with our plum pudding weren't alcoholic at all. My grandmother called the sauces "soap" and "paste" because the one looked like soft soap to her and the other like wallpaper paste. Presumably they tasted much better, but as kids we loved asking for soap and paste on our plum pudding! Also according to our family cookbook, it was called plum pudding because it was "plum full of good things." HARD SAUCE (soap) 1-cup confectioners sugar 2 to 4 Tbsp. butter Pinch salt 1 tsp. vanilla, lemon juice or rum flavoring Sift confectioner’s sugar. Beat butter until soft. Beat ingredients until well blended and fluffy. Add salt and flavoring. If desired, you may add 1 well-beaten egg or 1/4 cup cream. Grandma served spoonfuls of this over steamed pudding or apple crisp. VANILLA SAUCE (paste) 1/4 cup sugar 1 Tbsp. cornstarch 1 cup water 3 Tbsp. butter pinch salt 1 to 2 tsp. vanilla or rum flavoring Combine sugar, cornstarch and water in pan and cook over low heat until thickened. Remove from heat and add butter, salt and flavoring.
  4. I don't think I'd bother. Unless you'll be drinking it straight, why dilute it? I've been happy with how mine have turned out without any additions.
  5. Thanks. I guess her route will be determined by how the ice storm is going.
  6. I don't think they're going that far north. Her friend wants to stop in Sturgis, SD. If they go to one of the Indy ones, anyone know which is quickest on and off?
  7. My daughter is leaving New York tomorrow morning to go back home to Seattle. She'll be stopping to see me in Montana. I want her to pick up some things for me on the way here. I looked at TJ's website but it doesn't really tell me what store would be closest to her route and easiest to get on and off the freeway. Neither of us is familiar with the route. Can anyone help me figure out which TJ's will be the best to stop at? I'm thinking Indiana, maybe, since she doesn't want to drive through Chicago and so will be going a bit further south. She doesn't want to stop at the store in Union Square because she wants to get out of town before thinking about stopping somewhere.
  8. Well, I don't like instant mashed potatoes, but there are some nights when my husband gets home at 9:30 and I make him salmon and a veg but need something else quick. He loves them. Which sometimes makes me a bit upset because when I make them from scratch he doesn't love them any more than the instant. As far as fries, depending on who is making them, the frozen ones can be as good as homemade. Because they're made from the potato with the right amont of starch, and are blanched at the factory. Not every home cook knows to cook the fries twice or what temp to cook them at. Damn, now I want homemade fries!
  9. I admit to having mashed potato flakes in my cupboard. I know they're crap, but my husband likes mashed potatoes, can't tell the difference, and I don't usually keep potatoes because I don't eat them. And boiled eggs--they've saved me at convenience stores in the past when I've been looking in vain for SOME form of protein that wasn't salty. I wouldn't buy them to take home and use, though. That's just silly.
  10. I think there are better ideas--from what I've heard, other organic materials can be used for fuel, so why corn? My only point was that I'd be all for taking the corn products out of our food. I don't think the answer lies with just one solution, anyway--that's the kind of black and white thinking that got us into our current mess.
  11. Thanks. Part of the problem was I didn't know what to call it without finding too many of the wrong results.
  12. Quite sure. I made that last week. This is more like the stuff you get at Trader Joe's.
  13. I have a lot of oranges I want to use, and I'd really like to make some of those orange gel sticks to cover in dark chocolate. A web search hasn't turned up a recipe. Does anyone here know how to make them?
  14. We're producing way too much grain already. Wouldn't you rather put it in your tank than as high fructose corn syrup in your stomach? It's not like we'd be burning it instead of feeding it to poor people. The only thing I'd be concerned about is if some bozos decided we need to plant even more countless acres of corn and soy.
  15. I wish I'd known about this. My daughter only has one more week in NY and would have loved to go. Does Bourdain have his speaking schedule posted anywhere online?
  16. Family recipes are in our family cookbook, both online and in a 3-ring binder. I slipped them in the vinyl pockets to keep them clean. When I need a new recipe I look online and print it up. That also goes in the binder. Notes are made right on the page. If the recipe is no good it goes out. The advantage to having our family cookbook online is that I can access it from anywhere. Family cookbook: http://www.maystar.org/Cookbook/cookbook.htm
  17. I've ground up some dried pods and put them with the coffee in the grinder--it makes good vanilla flavored coffee.
  18. Why would you do that? Potatoes are a complex carbohydrate and fat free! ← Because fat doesn't affect my blood sugar, and carbs do. I can eat vegetables (carbs) all day, but starchy ones are a problem. Fat became the big culprit about 30 years ago; before that our grandmas told us not to eat too much bread or we'd get fat. Fat on the plate doesn't necessarily translate to fat in the body, any more than eating bread makes you, uh, bready. I'm looking at the glycemic index, and a plain baked potato is going to do much more damage to me than a potato with some fats along with it.
  19. The fast food companies have a lot of power to do good but they don't; they would rather make a few million more that they don't need and couldn't spend if they tried. But they'll pay attention if consumers avoid them. Money talks--it's the only language they understand.
  20. Now, in my case the mashed potatoes would be the unhealthy food (even though I do like them) and adding butter would make them better for me because the fat slows the absorption of carbs into the bloodstream. I guess healthy depends on who's doing the eating.
  21. So is the only way to make things healthier by cutting out the fat? I'm curious why fat's supposed to be the big culprit, when there are other things that aren't healthy, and fats that are. I'm not saying that deep-fried anything is good, but what about the other health issues--salt, sugar, stuff like that?
  22. I found a whole website with 70's party foods. Maybe this will help: http://www.casagordita.com/70sparty.htm
  23. I recently began a new starter, after years of not having one. It's the right time of year for bread baking. I asked my husband what kind of bread he wanted me to make a few weeks ago, and he said, "Sourdough." I had to explain it wasn't that simple. But not that complicated, either, at least not the way I do it. I'm fascinated by how people will use so many things for a starter, and wonder if anyone here has made different kinds and compared the end result? I've always just made a starter with water, flour, and a bit of yeast. I don't think the yeast is "cheating" because it loses its potency soon enough and is replaced by all the wild yeasts in my kitchen. I was talking to a chef the other day who was a recipe tester for Reinhart, and she said that making sourdough starter with grapes was a stupid idea and that you had to use raisins. There seems to be a lot of chauvinism about this whole sourdough issue. I make good breads with mine, but I'm just making them for me. Oh, and my old starter was always named Ethyl, for obvious reasons.
  24. I noticed that when I was visiting Seattle; I wish I'd thought to buy a small amount of each. I don't know why the different salts are so tempting, but I know they'll look pretty in my test tube spice rack.
  25. My husband doesn't care about food, but when I make something really good sometimes he gets it. He'd be just as happy with the same three or four things, but I'd like to expand his culinary horizons just a little. Now, my first husband LOVED food; he loved it to death, unfortunately. I was young, and trying to learn to make better food than what I grew up with. One day I labored for hours making something like chicken Kiev and Duchess potatoes, and he bolted it down and said, "Hey, that was really good! It tasted like Chicken McNuggets!"
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