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September 21, 2013

Culinary Conversation: Fall, old cookbooks stir up interesting recipes

NEW CASTLE — Next week marks the beginning of fall.

I’m not sure I’m ready for it, but this time of year denotes the harvest and that means there’s a surplus of fall vegetables and fruits.

Pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, peppers, apples, cabbage and edamame all have a place on the table and there are recipes galore to help with that surplus.

Last week, we vacationed in Ontario, Canada — enjoying the beautiful areas around St. Catherine’s, Jordan and Niagara on the Lake. Of course, I made my usual stop at a bakery there for my beloved Empire biscuits — round shortbread cookies sandwiched together with jam and finished off with a confectioner’s sugar glaze and a cherry.

We passed many vineyards where grapes are being harvested. And fruit stands were everywhere. We also had the opportunity to dine twice in St. Catherine’s with good friends who live in neighboring Thorold, and the meals were superb. The topper-offer for my husband was stopping at a quaint little shop that sells gelato. The flavors included tiramisu, toasted almond and mocha. Smooth, creamy stuff.

We returned to sad news. My husband’s aunt had passed away. In helping to clean out her place later in the week, we discovered several interesting cookbooks. One is simply called Bicentennial Cookbook 1776-1976 and another is the Fannie Merritt Farmer Boston Cooking School Cookbook. The original edition was published in 1896 and this one, the 10th edition, was revised and published in 1959.

So today, we include a little of everything — some harvest vegetables, a muffin recipe from reader Shirley Crowe, an apple pie recipe courtesy of the Mr. Food Test Kitchen and more from Aunt Waldean’s well-kept tomes.

Your participation in Culinary Conversation is always appreciated. Keep those letters and emails coming in.

Baked Carrots

Prepare 2 cups shredded, scraped carrots. Melt 3 tablespoons butter.

Add 1⁄4 cup chopped onions. Cook slowly until soft. Add the carrots. Add 1 teaspoon sugar and salt to taste. Put in a casserole. Add 1⁄2 cup water.

Cover and bake at 350 until tender, about 30 minutes.

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