The Joy of Spam Folder Cooking

Month: September 2016

Rhubarb Dumplings

Hey there, sugar!

I so wanted to make something this week. I had planned on it, even. I was going to make chocolate gelatin. Isn’t that a wacky idea? Peach, blueberry, strawberry… those are my favorites. My favorite breakfast is a nice hot biscuit smeared with jelly.

But as it happens, we don’t always get to follow through with our plans. One of my favorite sayings is ‘Man plans, God laughs’. I think it’s a yiddish saying. It fits perfectly with my week though. I had planned to buy the ingredients and get to making, and… things went awry. Not in an especially interesting way, if you don’t count a hot water heater making the basement flood as uninteresting. I got to clean up the mess while Fred dealt with the plumber. Next time I’ll deal with the plumber and Fred can clean up. It was his pile of fishing gear that got swamped!

Anyway, I did find a recipe to talk about. Rhubarb dumplings. The fun part to me is that it’s
missing part of it.

Roll the pastry out one-quarter inch thick and then cut into four-inch 
squares.  Fill with pieces of rhubarb cut in one-half inch pieces, adding 2 
tablespoons sugar. Fold the dough over, pressing it tightly, and then brush 
with egg-wash and bake in a slow oven for thirty minutes.

So… what pastry for rhubarb dumplings?  I don’t have pastry recipes just sitting around.  For that matter, I don’t know what pastry to use for rhubarb dumplings.  I have a recipe for chicken and dumplings, but does that apply here?  I don’t htink so…

I mean, I could buy pastry, they sell it in the freezer, I just don’t know what kind to buy. It does look like a good recipe, if I knew what pastry to make for rhubarb and what a slow oven is… and for that matter, what an egg-wash is.

Until next time, toodles!  Here’s hoping the new hot water heater behaves and next week I can make that gelatin.

 

 

Curried Hare

Hey there, sugar!

Now Fred liked the idea of this week’s recipe. He thought it sounded just yummy. I, on the other hand, refused. I think it might be watching Bambi too much as a kid. Or maybe reading Watership Down. I don’t know, I just don’t like the idea of eating rabbit. Suppose that means I’d be a horrible survivalist. Of course, my idea of roughing it on vacation is a hotel without enough towels. Camping is just not happening.

Fred loves to go. He says he and his friends hunt and fish but I think it’s really just an excuse to sit in the woods and drink whiskey.

Anyway, on to the recipe!

Curried Hare.

Clean and cut the hare or rabbit as for fricassee. Simmer slowly 
in just enough water to cover, add a thickening of 1 tablespoonful 
each of butter and flour, season with salt, pepper, and 1 
tablespoonful of curry powder.

And isn’t that nice.

I went back to my emails to find where that recipe had shown up.  (Yes, Fred, I didn’t click on anything.  You made it so I can search through this mess without clicking.)  It seems it is a popular recipe ’cause it showed up quite often.  It was either ‘Get back to your youth’ (no thanks!  Not with rabbit!) or ‘Walgreens gift card!’  (yeah, free, right) or credit reports (sure, I’ll trust a spammer with my social security number… about the same time I go camping with Fred!) and I even found it in ‘Hearing Loss Reversed!’… and then I stopped looking.  I guess curried hare is popular with spammers.  Maybe they should make curried spam next time.

Until then, toodles!

Halloumi Cheese

Hey there, sugar!

After last week’s disastrous attempt at cinnamon rolls, I decided not to cook this week. Not that Fred would have eaten this recipe, he’s against any cheese that didn’t originate from a cow. Don’t ask me why, apparently his mother told him other cheeses would make him ill and you just can’t argue with mother. At least, he can’t. I told her she was out of her mind, but there’s no way I can convince Fred otherwise.

And this recipe uses a cheese that comes from a mixture of goat and sheep, so there’s definitely no way to get Fred to take even a small taste. That man, when he gets an idea, just will not let it go.

On to the recipe! This one had no title. Just a list of ingredients and, luckily, instructions.

Ingredients :

2 x 250g blocks halloumi cheese , cut into 6 slices each
olive oil
1 large fennel bulb , thinly sliced
3 stalks celery , thinly sliced - keep any leaves for salad
200g Kalamata olives , pitted
1 lemon , zested and segmented
small bunch mint leaves, torn
small bunch flat-leaf parsley , leaves picked
45ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
crusty bread , to serve
Directions :

Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, then drizzle the 
halloumi slices with a little olive oil and cook for 2-3 minutes 
on either side, till golden.

Combine all the other ingredients in a bowl (except the bread) 
with another 3 tbsp olive oil, and season. Pile onto plates, 
top with halloumi and serve with bread.

I’m going to guess that this recipe originated in Europe, based on the ingredients and how they listed the amounts. I don’t have a scale, so I guess making this would have been difficult too. That and apparently halloumi is Turkish. It does look interesting. Sort of a salad with cheese on top. I visited Pittsburgh once and those people… they put french fries on top of salads. So I guess putting a block of fried cheese on top isn’t so odd. Doesn’t sound particularly healthy either. Then again, those fries on top of my salad were pretty tasty too!

Until next time, toodles!

Sticky Cinnamon Rolls

Hey there, sugar!

This week’s recipe is one of Fred’s favorites. I knew that before I even started baking. It is a sure way to prove ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’ and in Fred’s case, he loves cinnamon rolls of all kinds. He’d eat them for every meal if he could (and he has, when I was off visiting my sister).

Anyway, on to the recipe!

Scald one cup of milk and then place

Four tablespoonfuls of shortening,

One-half cupful of sugar,

One teaspoonful of salt


in the mixing bowl, and pour over it the scalded milk. Stir to thoroughly 
mix and then cool to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Now dissolve one-half yeast 
cake in one-half cupful of water 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and when the milk 
is at the proper temperature, add six cupfuls of flour and work to a 
smooth dough. Place in a well-greased bowl, turning the dough around in 
the bowl so that it will be thoroughly coated with shortening. Cover and 
let rise three and one-half hours. Now pull the sides of the dough into 
the centre and punch down, turning the dough over. Let rise again for one 
hour, then turn on a moulding board and divide the dough in half. Knead 
each piece into a ball. Cover and let rise or spring for ten minutes. 
Now roll out one-quarter inch thick, using a rolling pin. Brush with 
melted shortening and sprinkle well with brown sugar, using [pg 21] 
about one cupful. Now dust with two teaspoonfuls of cinnamon and spread
over the prepared dough one and one-half cupfuls of currant s or small 
seedless raisins. Begin at the edge and roll like a jelly-roll. Cut in 
pieces one and one-half inches thick and then place in prepared pans and 
let rise for one hour. Then bake in a moderate oven for forty minutes.

So the ingredients include:

  • One cup milk
  • 4 tbsp shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 yeast cake
  • 6 cups flour
  • Melted shortening
  • About 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup currants or raisins

I had to find out what a yeast cake was and how it compares to my envelopes of yeast. After asking my friend Mr. Google, I found this bit of information:

>http://www.bobsredmill.com/blog/featured-articles/active-dry-yeast-vs-compressed-yeast/

According to that, a yeast cake and a packet are the same size, so I used half my packet or 1 and 1/8 tsp yeast. Although it was interesting to learn that a yeast cake is sweeter than normal yeast.

Anyway, I put the dough together. It was a bit … shaggy, I guess is the word. Bits kept falling off of it. I finally just put the whole mess in bowl and left it to rise… for 3 1/2 hours. That’s the longest time to rise I’ve ever seen… And yes, I do bake bread on occasion. Fred loves my cinnamon bread, especially when I make french toast from it.

Back to the cinnamon rolls. I blew it. They turned out to be cinnamon rocks with a hard coating of brown sugar attached. See my lovely picture? These are some of the most pathetic cinnamon rolls I have ever made, considering it took all day to get to this point.

 

Pathetic Cinnamon Rolls

 

Oh well, I tried. I guess I didn’t use enough yeast or get things to precisely 80 degrees… maybe next time I’ll do better.

Until then, toodles!

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