What Ya' Got Cookin' 2014 Part 4 Sweet Summers' End

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Oooo Amish Market! When I feel lonesome for the family and foods of my youth a trip to Amish Market really gives me a boost. I love to sit and eat at the counter where I can watch to my heart's content the foods I grew up one and the people who look most like my aunts uncles and cousins!
I love the hands and faces and general roundness and good outdoor work wholesomeness not easily observed at the mall. Hey, maybe my affinity is another layer in the whys behind my daily head covering 'scarf' or as we called it babooska! my nod to my roots.

Yes Sally, they do purchase some of the produce and other ingredients they use and offer for sale. Not all we see is homegrown or organic. Ask the produce vendor where the crop was grown and if it is organic. Even at the AA Co Farmers Market I so love, several of the participants resell produce etc they buy wholesale at auctions for resale to us. When the market used to be just Sat we would go early around back and watch them unload and set up. Most of them live in Lancaster PA and just travel down although I believe there are some families settled on the Eastern shore.

Here is a very recent article 'The Amish Farmers Reinventing Organic Agriculture"

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Yes, the place is awash in 'wholesomeness' you just want to buy and eat everything!!!!!! Even stuff you actually never liked or ate before. Picalilly? What the heck is that anyway, but bring it on haha

That was interesting. Organic farming techniques sound like a new and natural 'export' for the Amish.

So, yeah, haha, part of me knew the corn wasn't local. I can live with that! I should get over my shyness to ask if a certain thing came from the farm in PA, or not.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Ha ha Sally, I learned about the produce auction sourcing because a customer next to me asked!
I'm pretty reverent around those who look like my elders, even as I become one.

I liked the part of that article where they could smell the health and vitality of what they were growing! A refreshing way of expressing 'healthy soil = healthy plants "

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

just like going into the forest and smelling that richness, that I love.

Tuesday is pizza day, every week. They never get tired of it, and I am at work.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Wayne has been perfecting his chili so we have had lots of trial and error versions. Last night's was the best yet. I showed him how to mash up some of the beans to thicken it.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)


Chicken stir fry tonight. Babysat today. We had leftover spaghetti for lunch. It is pretty cute and MESSY to watch his little face turn spaghettisaucered.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

LOL! I read a tip once about feeding little ones in the SHOWER, putting the high chair right into the shower stall for easy cleanup.

Ordered chinese last night, asked for extra sauce bec. when we ordered last month it was a bit dry. Had some leftovers and plenty of sauce, so nuked a bunch of mushrooms, then combined it with the leftovers, including a handful of rice. So.. will remember to ask for "extra sauce" next time, too!

Beef stew from the freezer tonight, I think. Last time I made beef stew, I rendered the suet in a pan on the stove, added half a cup of flour to make a thick roux, then thinned with a beef broth before adding to the crock pot. I could have used olive oil, but we don't have a cholesterol issue with our diet. Put some red wine in, too, and seasoned with Penzey's french herb mix and some extra garlic & black pepper. The resulting stew was more like meat and potatoes (and onions and green beans) with gravy -- very tasty! I didn't brown the meat this time, and I didn't notice much difference, so I'll probably skip that step from now on.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Great tip , ctitter!

That sounds like a plan. Extra sauce.

The stir fry turned out well. Only used one chicken breast in it and there is leftovers. Onions, carrots, celery, some yellow squash, some little red potatoes that I softened up in the microwave. And chicken. I do it in shifts, then mix it all together at the end. Some balsamic vinegar and voila. Marinated the chicken pieces in a little worchestershire before sautéing.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Jan, I have a feeling you will be delightedly scrubbing sauce off his shirt too! So sweet.

Pan of magic six ? layer bars in the oven. I had it all on hand, what a great accident. butter, graham cr crumbs, SCM, choc chips , coconut, walnuts. Seems like it used to be called seven layer bars.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Sounds about like Eagle brand magic cookie bars to me. Holly just had me buy the graham crackers today to make them. I had everything else.
I made a pot roast the other night, and we had leftovers last night. I think I like the LO as well as the original. I cut up all the roast and warmed it in a mushroom brown gravy and served it over mashed potatoes with fresh steamed Brussels sprouts. Since JR is staying the weekend I made potatoes for 8. LOL He helped make breakfast this AM. Sausage, cheesy eggs , grits, fresh pineapple, yogurt, toast, and coffee. For dinner we had turkey tacos, with the works and con queso. He had 3 tacos he could barely wrap. I must have forgot how his daddy ate. Tomorrow will be another full breakfast and if it's near decent out grilled steak and potatoes with chopped salad for a late lunch.
My Thanksgiving sweet potatoes came out sooo good, I'm going to try a pie.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)


Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Joyanna and I finally split and baked our little Halloween pie pumpkin... we drew faces on it rather than carving it so it would keep. I threw it in the oven this morning, and then tonight we scooped the meat into a bowl, added eggs, condensed milk, sugar, and pie spices... then for fun, we poured most of the pie mix back into the two shell halves instead of using a pie crust. The rest went into little tart pans. We tried to do a quickie "crust" by just putting graham cracker pieces on the bottom -- don't try that; they float! It all baked up just fine... warm from the oven, my oh my!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Fun baking!
I have pumpkin pie in the oven right now. Taking it for staff lunch tomorrow.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I am bracing for my big baking of the year--tomorrow.
My annual baking of my "Pirags" which I am expected to bring
to every X-mas get-together...I make about 200 easy. Freeze some too.

What will be fun is that Tony, a really nice. lovable guy from HD--
also the Grden Supervisor--wants to learn how to make these--from scratch.

He will be here tomorrow at 9:30AM--and I will let him do all the work.
He wants to....Kneading that dough in the bowl, at the end by hand, is pretty tiring.
Gotta do it till it comes free from your hands and the bowl. Then it is done.

After that--cover the bowl with a heavy terry towel and let it rise to 2x the volume.
SOOOO fragrant! SOOOO nice to work with...A true labor of love,,once a year.

Had some fun one year with the finished pile.... Gita

Thumbnail by Gitagal
Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Sounds like fun Gita. Some guys want to cook well. There was a Polish? woman I worked with, about a hundred years ago, she took a week off to make her holiday treats. Most were a sweet phylIo dough filled with different kinds of fruit preserves. My fav was a nut, fig, and honey paste she made herself. One of my goals in this life is to learn to make a good phyllo.
Yesterday I made my first attempt at "slippery" potpie, I found a recipe that resembled my GM's and tried it. It had the right taste, but I had too much liquid, in fear of the noodles sticking together. I had no idea that as soon as the noodles hit the boiling water they formed a skin. This time I used on sale veal, which I found tasty. Boiling the neck bones and scraps till tender. I will try again in the not too distant future. I've had so many of these potpies I can't remember them all.I even had one where the flour was browned in the skillet used to cook the ham, before it was made into the dough for the noodle.
I need 6 dozen cookies for tomorrow, we are doing a tree trot. Visiting, I think, 6 members homes from the York Garden Club, to see their decorations, and a cookie exchange. I want to get going on them but the sun is shining for the first time in 24 days, and I still have yard work to do it will feel good to be outside, for a bit.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I should be outside too--applying some of the mulch I bought.
Days like today should not be wasted! HA!

However--I am trying to re-organize my kitchen a bit--like removing
all kinds of "stuff" that usually sits on my Kitchen table so we will have
a clear working surface tomorrow.

All my mail, papers, and piles of magazines (on my K. table) as well as the toaster oven
have to go. Kitchen counters are cleared....put away a bunch of CC's that were sitting there.

Looking forward to it~ g.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Have fun!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Gita, you will both have a fun day with that!

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I will take pictures--if i can....

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Finishing up a big pot of split pea soup here. I usually put handfuls of those pre peeled baby carrots in mine.

Saw a cookie on TV I'd like to try: Green Tea White Chocolate...nice Christmas color for a cookie!

Gita, my mouth watered when you said you were making your Pierogs again this year! Yes, have fun passing on the hands-on how tos. When you have a chance, I'd like to know if you freeze yours cooked or uncooked and how you cook or heat the frozen ones? Thanks.

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Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


Just finished....it truly is (almost) an all day job.
Tony being there to help--helped a lot. We were actually ahead of the oven
most of the time. So--time to chat.

For the filling of all these Pirags--I mini-diced 1/4"--(by hand) a whole shank half
of a Mashes ham--3lbs of Applewood slab bacon--and a couple lg onions.
ALL liberally sprinkled with black pepper.
Have you ever had my Pirags???? I don't remember IF--or WHEN????

When my Pirags are done--I put them on a paper towel covered surface
to cool. When completely cooled, I pack them in Zip freezer bags and freeze them
like that. They hold up very well in the freezer for a long time.

Re-heating is best done in an oven--or, if just eating a few--in a toaster oven.
If you are in a hurry--a MW will do--but I do not like what a MW does to breads.

1--My picture of Tony turned out yukky--so sorry! Now I won't have this for my records...
2--The finished loot. Oh, yeah--we ate some of the "rejects"...teee-heee...

Edited to say:
One of the two 1-gal. size bags will be for the niece who is holding the get-together in NJ.
The other gal. size bag is for a summer (June) get-together in lieu of a Christmas one.
The Qt. sized bags will go to all the other nieces, my sister and my daughter
and Mark--and the rest frozen just to have.

IF I did not do such huge amounts--it would be easy, and more fun, to do just a small batch--
like 2 cookie sheets full. I have the recipe broken down for that amount.
Should try that sometimes....


This message was edited Dec 18, 2014 7:25 PM

Thumbnail by Gitagal Thumbnail by Gitagal
Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

What a sweetie to come help you. I'm sure you stuffed him full of treats and affection too.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Yes, Tony is one in a million.....A rare person.

It is one of the things you just know/feel the first time you meet.
Way back--I told him I will be happy to be his adopted G-Mother--
and he just has to learn to live with it....:o)


Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

What fun!

People like to say you can't pick your family -- and usually they're talking about somebody they feel "stuck with." I like to say, you can always ADD to your family, just as Gita added Tony.

Joyanna confused the local kids by saying an older neighbor kid was her big sister... they were more confused when they asked me and I agreed without hesitation, LOL. They accepted my explanation but haven't put it into practice themselves. :-)

I made "real" mac & cheese, and we got a spiral-sliced honey ham from Wegman's -- Christmas dinner was easy! I'll have fun this coming week cooking treats for my folks.

Joyanna and I are continuing to work on our pumpkin bread recipe... We started with the premise that most pumpkin bread just doesn't have enough pumpkin in it. Adding dates and toasted pecans seems to work well, and I used a cup of hard cider instead of a cup of orange juice this time... could that add to the leavening, do you think? The "crumb" turned out very nice this time, even and not too coarse.

We're using applesauce instead of oil, but for the Frederick Fair we'll use some oil and butter... otherwise, it won't be as nice after sitting out for a day.

Today, it's gingersnaps. And maybe applesauce & cinnamon ornaments. The house is going to smell GREAT when my folks get here!

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Trying my hand at another slippery pot pie this evening. The veal was good just a little bland in the flavor, so this time I'm starting with the turkey bones, skin, and scraps to make a good rich stock to start. I also have well over a pound of meat to add as well. I'm toying with idea of adding baby carrots, but I'm worried it will change the character of the dish. Thoughts please???

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


I wish you lived closer--i would be a frequent dinner guest....

On the carrots---my opinion---it will add sweetness to your dish.
OK--unless you would rather not have it.
Grating the carrots will give you the flavor and color--but not chunks of them.

HEY! Anything YOU cook is a step above everything.

Happy New Year to you both! Gita

PS--did you get my Giraffe cut-outs?

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Mark likes carrots in stew so I consider them a basic ingredient. Maybe a small shlurp of vinegar to counter the sweetness?
I made a nice pot of split pea with ham bone, in the slow cooker.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

AND--i always add some grated carrots to my Pea soup. ...:o)

My freezer finally has some room in it.---I think I will cook soup soon.
NOT in my 4 gal pot. Gonna do the 2gal. pot. Hope everything fits!

First on the list will be Bean Soup. Have the ham-bone--the diced ham--
the beans--some home-made Chicken Stock---ALL set!

My hours will be cut this next month--so i will have some time.


Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I did add the carrots and it came out quite good. I'm not sure like GM used to make, but... Making a good flavorful stock made the difference, if I want to do the veal again I'll either have to get more bones and stew meat or use a beef stock. Most of my soups I either make stock "cook the bones" or a rue first.
Yes Gita I did get your cut out and it will appear sometime in the future.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

OK have to admit I never heard of 'slippery pot pie' so I looked it up only to find out it's what we called 'chicken and dumplings' ( sometimes we rolled out the dough and sometimes just dropped it in in globs) Found this Menonite blog with a recipe and read through all the comments.
It's a PA thing. I remember having the rabbit and squirrel version as a kid, squirrel gravy the best.

Like Sallyg, I consider carrots a basic ingredient and mostly use the whole baby pre peeled carrots in soups, stews and yes Gita, split pea soup. I'm thinking whole baby carrots lend a more subtle flavor to overall dish than grated or sliceddo and usually cook more consistently and hold shape better than reg carrots.

I think your slippery pot pie would lend itself to some curry seasoning...def not GM version...even a dollup of sour cream?

Speaking of sour cream, my local grocery was out of 'Herring in Sour Cream' this evening! This has been a 'traditional NY food for me for years. A nod to my Dad who had hard salami on Christmas Day and Herring on New Years.

Tomorrow will roast a pork loin with lots of the garlic I grew this year. Baked apples for desert.

This message was edited Dec 31, 2014 7:50 PM

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I could eat herring in Sour Cream--or just the marinated kind--right out of the jar!
Don't buy it offten--but I do love it.


annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Yep, right out of the jar and in my house onto a Ritz cracker!

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

My dad would sometimes get that herring. I've never tried it myself. I'll have to remedy that.

I've been hankering for pasty. Will need to look up a recipe and make some soon. Need to get some ingredients before that happens. Feeling like Pavlov's dog.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Jan-- What is "pasty"?

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

if it's this
sounds hearty and yummy!

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

I like that crust recipe Sally. Easy.

In my family we made meat pies called 'bierocks' with a risen yeasted bread dough.

The 'juice' is exquisite and doesn't soak thru crust. We made ours smaller and baked them all together in several round cake pans so that they had to be pulled apart to eat. They are good cold, too. I liked dipping mine in cold apple sauce if it was still to hot to eat. A Sat nite and family gathering treat.

Jan, what fillings do you use? We didn't use potatoes in ours as I don't think potatoes were a staple in the old country like they became here. Most of the villagers grew a hard winter wheat which when they immigrated to America they brought with them to Canada and the Dakotas and Kansas, etc, where many settled and still live.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Yep, that's it, Sally. I never used rutabagas, though. I did include carrots. Parsnips might be good, too. Potatoes, definitely. Only used ground beef. Instead of slicing the taters I chop everything into similar sized pieces. I have been known to used refrigerated pie crusts. Hehehe. The area where I grew up in PA has a local group that makes them for sale. My brother usually gets a bunch and would always bring some down for my mom.

In the mining areas of PA they are common. A good handheld lunch. I like to dip mine into a mixture of ketchup and hoisin sauce.

Coleup, I need to look at your link.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Both sound yummy----don't think I have ever had these.

Sally--one pie, of the recipe you posted, would feed 4 people!
I suppose smaller meat pies could b made for a single serving?

The dough sounds good, like many yeast doughs.
I am sure we have something similar in the Latvian cuisine...
maybe just different fillings. Need to look into it.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

That was very interesting about the Volga Germans. I learned something new.

That recipe sounds very yummy.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Yepper, make them any size you want.

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