New Castle News

September 21, 2013

Culinary Conversation: Fall, old cookbooks stir up interesting recipes

Lugene Hudson
New Castle News

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.

Roasted Beets and Sweet Potatoes

Preheat oven to 400.

In a bowl, toss the beets with 1⁄2 tablespoon olive oil to coat. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and sugar in a large resealable plastic bag. Place the sweet potatoes and onion in the bag. Seal bag and shake to coat vegetables with the oil mixture.

Bake beets 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Mix sweet potato mixture with the beets on the baking sheet. Continue baking 45 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes, until all vegetables are tender.

Oatmeal Muffins

Raisins (optional)

Soak rolled oats in buttermilk for one hour.

Mix shortening/butter, sugar and egg. Blend flour, soda and salt. Stir alternately into shortening mixture with soaked rolled oats. Fill 2⁄3 full.

Either grease muffin cup pans or use paper baking cups.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes at 400. Serve warm.

Pumpkin Cake

Preheat oven to 350.

Coat a 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray; dust with flour.

To prepare cake, place the egg substitute, sugar, applesauce and pumpkin in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed for one minute. Add pie spice and cake mix, beating at high speed 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake completely on a wire rack.

For frosting, place 2⁄3 cup or 6 ounces tub-style light cream cheese and 11⁄4 teaspoons vanilla in a large bowl; beat at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add 31⁄2 cups powdered sugar, beating just until blended. Do not overbeat. Spread frosting evenly over top of cake.

Upside Down Apple Pie

5 large Granny Smith or other firm apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1⁄2-inch wedges

Preheat oven to 375. Coat a deep-dish pie plate with cooking spray and line it with waxed paper. Coat waxed paper with spray.

In a small bowl, combine 4 tablespoons butter, the brown sugar and pecans; mix well and spread evenly over bottom of pie plate. Unfold one pie crust and place it in pie plate, pressing crust firmly against nut mixture and sides of plate; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon and remaining 2 tablespoons butter; mix well. Add apples and toss gently to coat. Spoon into pie crust.

Unfold second pie crust and place over apple mixture. Trim and fold edges together to seal. Using a knife, cut four 1-inch slits in top crust.

Bake 1 to 11⁄4 hours or until crust is golden.

Carefully loosen waxed paper around rim and invert pie onto a serving plate while still hot. Remove waxed paper and allow to cool slightly; slice into wedges and serve warm or allow to cool completely before serving.

Put a cookie sheet on the bottom oven rack to catch any juices that may leak from the pan while it’s baking!

(*Note: Most recipes have not been tested.)