The Joy of Spam Folder Cooking

Month: April 2018

Bean Croquettes

So this week my spam folder brought me something that goes into the ‘nope nope nope’ pile.  Bean Croquettes.  It’s in the nope pile because of the amount of work to make these things.  Plus, the format the spammer put it in is just bad.

?Bean Croquettes. Soak 1 qt. of
white soup beans over night. In the morning, drain, cover with fresh cold water,
bring to a boil, drain, and cover with 1 qt. boiling water; boil slowly for
about an[Pg 23] hour. When the beans are tender press through a sieve then add 1
tablespoonful of vinegar, 2 of molasses, 2 of butter, salt and cayenne to taste,
let the mixture get cold, when form into croquettes, dip in egg and in bread
crumbs and fry in boiling fat.

Let’s just look at the amount of work they want me to do.

I’ll start with soaking 1 quart of white soup beans over night.  What do I soak them in . Water?  Salt water?  Rum?  (I like that last idea, rum soaked beans could be a new thing.)

After I do that, I add water, boil, and drain.  Then I add 1qt of boiling water to the beans again and let it boil for an hour.  Why can’t I just boil the whole thing for an hour?

Once the beans are tender I press through a sieve.  It takes all of that to make tender beans?  I can just over boil the lima beans for a bit and get mush, but with this I have to soak for a night and boil  for an hour.  I wonder what these beans are made of, small rocks?

Anyway, I push it through a sieve and add stuff, then I let it get cold.  I assume I can hurry that part along by using the refrigerator, but who knows, maybe they want me to put it in a pot of ice and just wait.

And now once I’ve done all of that I can fry them up in hot fat to make the croquettes.  It sounds like a vegetarian hamburger made of white soup beans and I can promise you that is something I’ll never get Fred to eat and considering the amount of work, something I will never be making.

Mississippi Cornbread

I think I mentioned before, I love cornbread.  I was very happy when my spam folder brought me a new recipe for cornbread, this one is called Mississippi Cornbread.  It’s a bit different from most cornbreads I’ve made, but in the interests of writing this blog I gave it a shot.

The recipe!

MIssissippi Cornbread

  • cup buttermilk (or 7 ounces of milk + 1 ounce vinegar or lemon juice, mixed and left to sit for about 30 minutes until curdled. If you're in a hurry, mix the milk and vinegar or lemon juice and microwave it for 20-30 seconds on high power.)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (if you're at high altitude, use 1 teaspoon baking powder, else the cornbread will rise too high, then fall)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of bacon drippings or vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup whole kernel corn
  • 1/2-3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar (optional
  • 1-4 finely chopped jalapeno or chile peppers, no seeds (optional)
  • 2 cloves finely minced garlic (optional)

Pour drippings or oil into an 9-inch square baking pan.

Heat pan in a 450 degree oven until oil is smoking hot.

While pan is heating, mix dry ingredients and any of the optional ingredients in medium-sized bowl.

Beat egg into buttermilk.

Add liquids to dry mixture, just until blended.

Do not overmix!

Carefully remove the smoking pan from oven and pour cornbread batter into pan. If the oil is properly hot, then the batter will sizzle as it hits the oil. (This sizzle is what makes a nice, crunchy bottom crust.)

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the top crust is golden brown.

Cut into wedges. Serve with butter or margarine.

Note 1: The batter will begin to rise as soon as the liquid and dry ingredients are mixed, so mix them right before you remove the hot pan from the oven.

Note 2: If you use a 10" round cast-iron skillet instead of the 9" baking pan, you should double the recipe without doubling the oil. If you don't double the recipe for the 10" skillet, your cornbread will be very thin.

As you can see, the recipe calls for jalapenos if I was so inclined.  I wasn’t, mainly because I didn’t have any in the house and also because I was pretty sure Fred wouldn’t touch them.  Though he did run off with one of those scones

It’s a weird recipe though, most of my cornbread recipes have some flour in them, but this one has none.  I read it repeatedly thinking I was just missing the word ‘flour’ but, no flour.  Weird, right?

I didn’t have any buttermilk, so I made it with the vinegar while I was waiting for the oven to heat up.  Here’s a picture.

Making buttermilk from milk

Making buttermilk from milk

Then I put the dry ingredients together, and took a picture of that.  I was still waiting for the oven to warm up and rather bored.

Mississippi Cornbread dry ingredients

Mississippi Cornbread dry ingredients

The oven finally hit 450 and I put my 9″ pan in.  And of course, I took a picture of that too.

Heating up a pan

Heating up a pan

It’s blurry because I took it quickly after I opened the oven door.   Open, shoot, close gives blurry picture for future reference.

Then I waited… and waited… and waited…

The pan never started to smoke, but the oil was turning kind of brown, so I dubbed it ready.  Plus, I was bored.  It’s really boring watching a pan in an oven and hoping that it’ll start smoking.  Every time I opened the oven to check, my eyes started watering, so I figured it must be close.

I didn’t take a picture of pouring the batter into the pan, but I can assure you it did sizzle quite loudly.  I assume that means I got it hot enough, even though I didn’t actually see smoke.

And this is the finished product, pretty, isn’t it!

Mississippi Cornbread

Mississippi Cornbread

Fred said it was tasty and ate 3 pieces.  I think we can call this a success.

Sour Rabbit

This week, my spam folder brought me a recipe for rabbit.  This is this third one.  I think I’ve made it rather clear that I will not be making rabbit.  No matter what the recipe is, I will not be making it.  Rabbits are cute and cuddly and I just can’t do it.

The recipe:

Sour Rabbit

  • Cut the rabbit and then place in a china bowl and add
  • One cupful of chopped onions,
  • One bunch of potherbs,
  • One teaspoonful of sweet marjoram,
  • Six cloves,
  • Five allspice,
  • Two bay leaves.

Now cover, using a mixture of two parts vinegar and one part water. Set in a cool place for three days, turning the rabbit over every day, then put in a casserole dish or stewing pan and cook until tender. Thicken the gravy. Serve potato dumplings with this dish, or it may be eaten cold.

Aside from the fact that they want me to cook a rabbit, let’s start with the fact that I put the rabbit in a bowl and leave it there for three days.  Of course, I turn it every day, but still, I put meat in a bowl and leave it for three days.  For some reason, that just screams to me ‘you’re going to get food poisoning!’.

This recipe came from Mrs. Wilson’s Cook Book, of course.  That does date from 1920, so I guess the idea of germs and don’t leave your rabbit in a pot for 3 day didn’t apply at the time.

I did some more reading on Mr Google and discovered that Rabbit Stew is also known as Hasenfeffer or Hasenpfeffer, depending on who you ask.  I guess it originally was a German recipe.

Anyway, until next time, toodles!

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