Friday, September 26, 2008

Island Rum

It won't be long when it will be winter -- cold, ice, chilled to the bone.
Now is the time to start planning your herb garden for next spring, with thoughts of pool parties and back yard barbecues and all of the recipes you will be using.
If you don't have these plants in your garden, it's a good excuse to put them on the list of herbs to plant. Store this recipe away for the day your herbs are ready to harvest.
But for now, just sit back and dream about long days in the tropical sun and cool evenings on the beach.

Island Rum

1 handful apricot hyssop flowers
2 3-inch stems of pineapple sage, including leaves and flowers
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
1 cup mango chunks
1 750ml bottle of rum

A wide-mouth hinged-lid jar works best for this recipe.
Dust off herbs and flowers with a soft cloth, and place your hyssop flowers in the jar. Slide in whole stems of pineapple sage and add fruit chunks. Top with rum, cap bottle, and shake well. Store out of sunlight for 2-3 weeks.

Toss a cup of this mixture in a blender with fruit juice and lots of ice to perk up mai tais, pina coladas, and daiquiris.

The Herb Quarterly, Spring 2007

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Laura Ingalls Wilder/ Cooking in 1914

I haven't done any canning in a long time, but every Fall I still get the urge. I came across a book in my library called, I Remember Laura. It's Laura Ingalls Wilder's remembrances of her family and friends. I haven't read it in quite a while. One of the chapters is devoted to recipes from a 1914 cookbook called Cream City Cook Book published by the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society.
I thought it would be fun to pass this recipe along for Mixed Pickles. It was Laura's mother's, Mrs. C.P. Ingalls (Caroline Lake Quinter Ingalls)

Mixed Pickles

1 gallon chopped cabbage
1 gallon green tomatoes
1 quart onions
3 green peppers
1/2 cup pickling salt
4 tablespoons ground mustard seed
2 tablespoons ginger
1 tablespoon cloves
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon allspice
6 cups sugar
1 ounce celery seed
6 cups vinegar

Chop cabbage, tomatoes, onions, and peppers; sprinkle with salt and let stand an hour or two; press out water.
Mix in other spices, sugar, and celery seed and 6 cups of vinegar or enough to cover the vegetables. Boil slowly for 20 minutes.

Pour into hot, sterilized glass jars. Seal. Process in boiling water bath (212 degrees F) for 5 minutes.

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Homemade Anisette

If you don't mind a little adult beverage now and then, this is a fun thing to do. Herb-infused liqueurs are becoming quite fashionable, and you can make them right at home. You can cut the herbs from the garden, rinse them, and dry on a paper towel the day of use. If you decide to purchase them, look for organic herbs, if possible. Use clean, sterile jars and bottles -- you can reuse the original liquor bottle or a wine bottle as long as it is thoroughly cleaned. Make sure you use a new cork.

Let's start out with Homemade Anisette. The Greeks call it Ouzo, the Italians call it Sambuca. Called Pernod in France, it is used as a nightcap to ease digestion. Anisette can be used to flavor cakes, cookies, and coffee.
It's not necessary to purchase the highest priced alcohol on the shelf. In this case, inexpensive is fine. The smoothness and flavor of the liqueur depends on the quality of the herbs.

1 c. distilled water
1 c. sugar
2 T anise seeds
1 licorice root, scored
4 sprigs anise hyssop
1 750 ml bottle vodka

Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and gently bring to a boil until sugar dissolves. Toss in anise seeds and licorice root and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often. Allow to cool and strain. Slip anise hyssop into a clean bottle. Top with vodka and syrup, cap, and shake. Allow flavors to fuse for a few days.
The Herb Quarterly, Spring 2007

More drink recipes to come.

Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why.
Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where.

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Garbanzo and Sweet Potato Stew

I love this recipe for a chilly Fall day. The colors are fantastic and perfect for the season. I prefer sweet potato but you can also use orange squash, or pumpkin.

1 t. canola oil
3/4 c. chopped onion
1/2 to 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 in. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. ground coriander seed
1/2 c. water
1/2 T. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 c. peeled cubed, sweet potato
1 c. cooked garbanzo beans (I use canned beans, drain and rinse)
1 c. reduced fat coconut milk (I have substituted 1% milk)
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 c. chopped cilantro leaves (I use a lot less as my family doesn't care for cilantro)
Spinach leaves for garnish

1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, pepper, ginger, and garlic. Cook, stirring 2-3 min. or until onion is translucent but does not brown. Add cumin and coriander, cooking and stirring 1 minute or until spices are aromatic, taking care not to burn.

2.Add water, soy sauce, sweet potatoes, and beans to pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until squash is tender and water is nearly cooked away. Add milk and heat through. Add lime juice and cilantro, and stir to blend. Garnish with baby spinach leaves.

Makes 2 servings.
Diabetic Cooking March/April 2003

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Monday, September 1, 2008

Gracie Allen's Roast Beef

I wish someone had told me cooking was this easy. I'm voting for Gracie! How about you?

Gracie Allen's Classic Recipe for Roast Beef

1 large Roast of beef
1 small Roast of beef

Take the two roasts and put them in the oven.

When the little one burns, the big one is done.

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories