Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

We hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving full of love and laughter. Drive safely and don't eat too much:) We are, as always, thankful for all of our readers.

~Brenda and all the OFL staff

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving: Old Fashioned Desserts

Most of us tend to think of pumpkin pie when we think of dessert for our Thanksgiving dinner, but there are other old fashioned desserts to consider serving on this day of sharing with our family and friends. The recipes below are from various cookbooks I collect, and I thought they might inspire us to try something new to our table but old to others.

Take note that in a lot of older cookbooks they don't share the pie crust recipe with the filling recipe. It's assumed most people know how to make their own pie crust. Of course in 2011 it's also easy to pick up a pie crust at the store:)

Pumpkin Pudding Cake
Farm Journal Cooking for Company
Published in 1968

1 2/3 cup sifted flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/3 cup soft shortening
1 cup cooked, mashed or canned pumpkin
1/3 cup water
1 egg
2/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup walnuts or pecans

Sift dry ingredients together into mixing bowl; add shortening, pumpkin and water. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed of electric mixer or until ingredients are well mixed. Add egg, beat 2 minutes longer. Stir in raisins and nuts.

Pour into a 1 1/2 quart ring or Turk's head mold that has been well greased and lightly dusted with fine, dry bread crumbs. Bake in moderate oven at 350 degrees F. about 45 minutes or until cake tests done. Serve with whipped cream. Makes 8 servings.

Pumpkin Nut Pie
Modern Priscilla Cook Book
Published in 1924

1 cup prepared pumpkin (canned or fresh pureed)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped nut meats
2 cups milk
2 tbsp. flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated coconut

Mix ingredients, pour into a pastry lined plate, and bake in a moderately hot oven. Time in cooking: 5 minutes at 400 degrees F. then 40 minutes at 350 degrees F. Servings 6.

Indian Pudding: Two Recipes
American Woman's Cook Book

1 quart milk
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 egg

Place the milk in a double boiler and when it is scalding hot add the cornmeal, moistened with cold water, and stir constantly to avoid lumps. Cook for twenty minutes. Turn into a pudding-dish and stir in the other ingredients adding the beaten egg last. Bake two to three hours in a slow oven (250-350 degrees F.) and serve hot with hard sauce or any preferred sauce. One-half cup dates or figs may be used instead of the raisins.

Indian Pudding #2

2/3 cup cornmeal
1 quart hot milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp. shortening
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups chopped apples

Slowly add the meal, moistening with cold water, to the hot milk, stirring constantly, and cook to a thick mush. Add the other ingredients and mix well. Turn into a greased baking dish and bake in a slow oven at 250-350 degrees F. for two hours and a half. Serve hot with any sauce.

Mock Cherry Pie
Practical Recipes for the Housewife

1 cup cranberries
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. butter

Cut the cranberries and halves and the raisins into pieces. Mix flour and sugar together and add to the cranberries and raisins. Fill the lower crust with the mixture and dot over it with butter. Bake between crusts. (Top with a second crust and cut 3 slits in the top)

On OFL we have recipes for more pumpkin treats:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving: Homemade Biscuits

Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude. ~E.P. Powell

Biscuits or rolls are always a favorite at any holiday meal, and making them yourself is easy and inexpensive with a few tips. The first and most important tip:

NEVER over handle the dough.

Follow the instructions to the letter, and afterwards gently handle the dough when rolling, patting, cutting or shaping. Biscuit dough that's been over mixed or kneaded too long will result in hard biscuits. I should know because I've baked many a biscuit failure in my oven over the years, until I learned this lesson.

The recipe below is from The Home Comfort Cook Book, published in 1948, with a few of my changes.

Basic Biscuit Recipe

2 cups sifted all purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. shortening
3/4 milk

Sift together dry ingredients, blend in shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture is like course corn meal. One or two more tablespoons shortening may be added for richer biscuits, and part water may be used with milk. Make a well in the center of flour mixture, pour in liquid and stir vigorously with a fork for 1/2 minute. Then turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead gently and quickly for another 1/2 minute.

Roll dough with lightly floured rolling pin or pat it out gently to the desired thickness--about 1/4 inch for plain biscuits, 1/2 inch for tea biscuits and 1 inch for shortcakes. Cut dough with biscuit cutter, dipped in flour. Tops may be brushed with milk or melted butter for a soft, well-browned crust. Place 1/2 inch apart on greased baking sheet and bake in a hot 425 degree oven about 7-15 minutes.

A note on "sour milk": you can use buttermilk or add a tsp. of white or cider vinegar to regular milk which will "sour" it.


Drop Biscuits: Add 2 tbsp. or more milk to the recipe, stir dough about 1 minute and then drop by spoonfuls on greased baking sheet. Bake according to recipe above.

Buttermilk/Sour Milk Biscuits: Use 3 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. soda instead of the 4 tsp. baking powder called for in recipe. 2 tbsp. shortening and 3/4 cup sour milk or buttermilk instead of sweet milk. Mix and bake as per recipe above.

Orange Biscuits: Add grated rind of 1 orange and 1 tbsp. sugar to dry ingredients. When biscuits are ready for the oven press a sugar cube dipped in orange juice into each biscuit and bake as usual.

Pineapple Biscuits: Use part canned pineapple juice instead of milk in the recipe. Dent tops of biscuits and fill with drained, crushed pineapple. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar and bake as usual.

Cheese Biscuits: Add 3/4 cup grated or finely chopped cheese to recipe and substitute water for half of the milk. (Brush with garlic butter to make garlic cheese biscuits!)

Biscuit Sticks: Cut biscuit dough into strips, 1/2 inch high, 1/2 inch wide and 3 inches long. Brush with melted butter and bake.

Whole Wheat Biscuits: Use 2 cups unsifted whole wheat flour instead of white flour and use 3 tbsp. shortening instead. Dot each biscuit with a dab of butter before baking.

On OFL we also have instructions for easy yeast bread: