Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday ponderings & comment answers

Thank you for your kind and warm wishes regarding our friend. His absence will be noticed for a very, very long time. When people leave this world quickly, it can be difficult to absorb the fact they are gone.

My father died suddenly of a heart attack while I was at school (5th grade) and I think for years I still expected him to walk through the door. Whether a loved one (friend or family) passes quickly or by a slow process... saying goodbye is never easy.

On a brighter note, Christopher is now the proud owner of his own automobile, having researched what was available for weeks and finding a good deal on a used car lot owned by a man we used to attend church with.

There was no way he could start classes without his own car (let's say... there was no way Mom was getting out at midnight to pick him up from the computer lab!). He will have a small car payment but his part-time job can cover it.

Now to answer a few questions from comments.

Yes, you are always free to link to this blog or to quote me (as long as it is a correct quote, of course). ;)

A few people mentioned the Beverly Nye cookbooks on my kitchen bookshelves. I used to see Beverly each week on a show called The Bob Braun (sp?) show, which was telecast to the Midwestern market from Cincinnati. I was a teenager when I watched her! I have probably used more of her recipes since getting married than any one person... outside of the family.

Thanks to Jeanie for letting us know the Breadman bread machine worked great for her (and it was inexpensive at Target). Mine is over ten years old, it is a Regal. I think any of them should be fine, especially if you decide to use it mostly on the dough cycle.

Mine was a present one Christmas and to be honest, I hardly used it at first. Then I saw an episode of Julia Child's baking show on PBS which had a bread machine expert as a guest.
Julia didn't think she'd ever use one but this particular person showed how she used it only to knead the dough and everything one could do with it.

I tried it immediately after that and I was hooked. Since I only use it for kneading, that is probably why it has lasted ten years. It works great for our small family. When I'm making a lot of dough, I use my Kitchen Aid mixer.

A link which takes you to my bread machine recipe that I've used all these years as well as one called Indian Fry Bread is... here.

Speaking of the recipe blog... I have a delicious recipe for chocolate zucchini brownies recently added. Their texture is similar to cake and I iced them with cream cheese icing (although I think I'll make regular vanilla icing next time).

Christopher took some to work with him and they loved them. I tried it the first time with whole wheat flour and it turned out fine, although I used unbleached white flour when I made it for the bookstore. It is made with oil so it stays moist for awhile, at least I assume it does as it hasn't lasted more than two days. :)

Another recipe question... the cucumbers & onions in vinegar was one of the veggie dishes my mom would make all summer. It was one of the carry over cheap recipes she used when she was a widow with seven children (before she married my dad at age 40).

It is one of those "to taste" combinations... she sliced cucumbers and onions and placed them in a shallow container. Then she poured cider vinegar to cover and sprinkled sugar to taste. Then just a little salt sprinkled on top. She would stir it once in awhile.

I have found it much easier to place the cucumbers and onions in a gallon size ZipLoc bag and pour about a fourth a cup of either cider or rice vinegar and about 3 heaping tablespoons sugar in the bag and a couple shakes of the salt shaker... closing it, and then just shaking it up once in awhile.
Drain before serving.

Give it at least an hour or two to marinate and I've also left it overnight or all day. The vinegar taste gets stronger when it sits overnight so I actually prefer it to marinade only two or three hours.

Hubby doesn't mind the heavier vinegar flavor. He just finished off some that were marinating on their second day (I should have drained them earlier but I forgot... ).

I have been using garden cucumbers for these but the English cucumbers work great, too. I just wash them and then slice. If you are using large cucumbers, it is better to cut them horizontally in half and remove the seeds before slicing.

I use inexpensive yellow onions but hubby loves it when I use vidalia or Texas sweet onions (in season).

That's all I remember right now!


Mrs. Staggs said...

Oh Brenda, this post is so timely for me. My bread machine broke, and my step-mom gave me her extra, which I just looked up the directions for online. I mostly used my old machine in the dough cycle, so I'm a bit relieved to hear that you think that most every machine is reliable in that cycle. I loved my old American Harvest machine.

Also, I just saw the movie, Julie and Julia, and have Julia Child on my mind. I really enjoyed the movie.

We had dinner recently at my sister's home, and one of the dishes she served was cucumbers and onions in vinegar. My mom always made that. I hadn't had it in years. It brought tears to my eyes when I tasted it again. Isn't it funny how such things bring back memories?

Anonymous said...

I never thought to drain the marinate! We just keep them in an old glass jar right in the marinate till they are finished. Now I know why the cider vinigar gets stronger! :)! We just keep washing and refilling that jar all summer and putting it back in the fridge. :) Jody

Anonymous said...

Great memories, Indian fry bread...on a business trip to Arizona many years ago with hubby, we ate some in a "hole-in-the-wall" awesome. The greatest blessing is that after playing with the recipe we found in an annual put out by Sunset Magazine, we finally came up with a very good alternative flour "taco shell, pizza shell, enchilada shell" for my daughter's allergy needs. It is a staple now. I make up a bunch and freeze for use as we need them. I have 3 versions, depending on where we were at different times with her allergy problems. But of course, there truly is no alternate flour that REALLY tastes like wheat either. But that is life, eh? We substitute what we can whenever we cannot have the "real" thing!! And actually, the alternate stuff is often healthier for us...maybe not so tasty, but healthy!

The chocolate zucchini brownies sound so awesome!! Gonna have to buy some ingredients to make some!! I appreciate your recipe ideas very much!

Helena said...

What a nice place to visit. I really enjoyed reading your posts.
I also love your library.....such lovely books.
Oh and your recipe blog....delish! Can't wait to try some of your recipes :) Thank you.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

I'm glad for the car.

Thanks for the memories of cucumbers, onions, vinegar. This was a staple on our table when I was a child, although I don't eat it! (don't like raw cukes and onions!). My mother made this ALL THE TIME.

Love your blog. I feel "at home" there. C.

Niki RuralWritings said...

Thank you, Brenda, for answering my cuke salad question :) I have so many cucumbers in the garden now, I'll be sure to give it a try.

scrappy quilter said...

Congrats Christopher on your new car. Enjoy!! And have a wonderful year at school.

freetobeme - Anita said...

My mother-in-law used to make the sliced cucumbers in vinegar. I've wanted to make them for my husband but she's gone now so I can't ask her how. So thank you for the recipe and the instructions. My husband will thank you too!

Leann said...

Thanks for the brownie recipe. I'm going to make it sometime this week.

Please stop by The Old Parsonage anytime, I love company!


Beth said...

Hi! I made your zucchini brownie recipe as soon as I found it on your blog and OH MY GOODNESS, they are wonderful. WERE wonderful, I guess I should say since they were gone right away!
There is a farmer down the road that I have been buying some fresh produce from. I had some of my own zucchini but decided to buy some from him since they were nice and fairly inexpensive. I told him about your brownies and promised I would made him some. He also asked for a recipe for his elderly aunt who bakes for him! I hope you don't mind sharing! I did include your blog address on the copy for her.
Thanks again! Beth

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

Thank you so much for these suggestions and I will be asking for a bread machine for Christmas. I always you have tons of cookbooks? Do you plan a menu for the upcoming week or month?
I always imagine your house smelling so yummy with baked goods and all sorts of treats.