Saturday, February 9, 2008

Poached Eggs with Wild Salmon and Spinach

2 servings

When sailing out of Woods Hole, if we are heading home in the morning, we often stop at the Fishmonger Cafe for breakfast . I got the idea for this from a breakfast I had there a few years ago. While they serve this topped with a Hollandaise sauce* (as in Eggs Benedict), I prefer the lighter mustard option.

Fishmonger uses  2 eggs per serving. For a lower cholesterol version, use 1 egg per person and put all of the spinach and salmon plus one egg on one muffin and serve the other muffin plain.

We are fortunate to have a neighbor who sells eggs; I picked up a box yesterday and made this (and took the photos) this morning.  Use the freshest eggs you can find for poaching;  the eggs will hold together so much better.

Heat water (about 1/2 inch deep) in medium skillet until almost boiling then add:

2 eggs (break egg into ramekin then gently place in water)

While eggs are cooking, toast:

2 English muffins, split with fork

Poach eggs until done, 5-6 minutes until white is set and yolk has filmed over; keep water at a simmer, not a hard boil  using a spoon to push the whites toward the yolk. (Alternatively poach eggs for 4 minutes then let sit in hot water for 4 more minutes)

Remove from pan, draining all excess water and place on warm plate.

Wipe out pan and add:

1 t butter or olive oil

2 c (4 oz) fresh baby spinach leaves

Stir and cook until spinach just begins to wilt. Divide

2 oz wild smoked salmon

then the spinach between the two muffin halves. Top with the eggs then

2 t Duck Trap Mustard Dill Sauce (available at Whole Foods) or a mix of Dijon mustard (such as Grey Poupon) and  chopped fresh dill.

* Recipe for Hollandaise Sauce

Combine in a blender:

3 egg yolks
1/2 t salt
1/8 t dry mustard
Sprinkle of cayenne pepper (optional)
1 T lemon juice

Blend, adding gradually:

8 T (hot) melted butter

Serve immediately or keep warm temporarily in top of a double boiler or in a bowl nested in a bowl of hot water.

Reviewed 5/12/17

Baked Eggs

Per person

This recipe comes from Moogie. It works well made and served with muffins.

Preheat oven to 350 – 375 degrees F (coordinate with temperature required for muffins, if making simultaneously).

Lightly grease a small ramekin or muffin cup with:

Butter or olive oil

Line ramekin/muffin cup with:

1-2 slices ham; 2 if very thinly sliced, 1 if thicker

Into cup formed by ham, break:

1 egg

Sprinkle with:

Freshly ground pepper

Bake for 14-18 minutes, covering with aluminum foil after ~7 minutes to keep edges of ham from burning, until the eggs are set and the whites solidified. Remove from oven. If baked in muffin tin, remove ham and egg from muffin tin and place on a warm plate. If cooked in ramekin, remove or serve directly from ramekin.

Reviewed 5/12/17

Jason's/Pris's Granola

This is a recipe from Jason’s vegetarian days in Alaska (early 1970s). Although the recipe does not specify stirring, I stir the mixture several time while baking.

July 2014 --- My usual "home breakfast" is a whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter or a meatless breakfast sandwich (egg and cheese on a whole wheat english muffin).  But we're heading to Maine soon and English muffins don't toast well on Condor.  I usually buy some granola for the early morning starts, and I'm usually disappointed. Too sweet for my taste. 

Then I remembered this recipe, a forgotten boat staple. In this revival, I skipped the sunflower seeds, remembering how much I liked the Pear Crisp topping, used half brown sugar and half maple syrup and finished with Maple Walnuts and dried cranberries.   As previously stated stirring is important, as well as watching to see mixture does not overbrown.  I cooked at 325 degrees for 30 minutes,  then for 10 minutes at 300 degrees F..  Since the mix looked pretty browned by then, I added the nuts and fruit, stirred well and cooked a final 10 minutes at 250 degrees F.   I made only 2/3 of the recipe which filled a large cookie sheet.

Mix together:

1 c brown sugar [I use half brown sugar, half maple syrup - 
NOTE: have reduced to 1/3 c brown sugar and 1/3 c maple syrup > Perfect sweetness!]

1 t salt [I omit]
½ c canola oil [I use olive oil]
½ c water
1 t vanilla
1 c sunflower seeds [I omit]

Then add:

18 oz oatmeal [~ 6 cups, not the quick cook kind]
7 oz shredded coconut [~2 2/3 c - think this was based on the size of the bag, I use 2 c] 
1 c wheat germ [I usually omit]

Mix well. Bake at 300-325 degrees F for 45 minutes then add:

1 c chopped nuts [My favorite is to add a cup of Maple Walnuts after final baking]
1 c raisins or currants [I usually use dried cranberries]

Bake additional 15 minutes. Cool completely in pan before storing in closed container.

August 2014: Big mistake! Instead of halving the recipe, I should have doubled it.  We are on our way to Maine and this is my breakfast. So much better than the store bought granolas of previous years. Ed likes it too. It is going to disappear very fast.

June 2015:VARIATION  Strawberries are in season and I was looking for a cereal to complement the berries.  Often I've chosen a cornflake variant, but this year I used a variation of this recipe. By reduced the sweetness (1/3 c maple syrup and 1/3 c brown sugar) and omitting the nuts and currants, I made a not-so-sweet cereal that went really well with the berries.

Reviewed 5/12/17
Revised 12/21/23

Carrot Cashew Pate

I bought some of this at our local "Touch of Christmas" many years ago, and later Helen who had made the pate gave me this recipe. This is one of the yummy recipes I had almost forgotten about until I searched my notebooks for this blog, I shall make this again very soon.

In a skillet over medium heat melt:

2 T butter [I use olive oil]


1 small onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed

Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is soft. Add:

2 c carrots, thinly sliced
3/4 t salt [I omit]
1/2 t curry powder [plus 1 t grated fresh ginger, 1 T lemon juice]*
2/3 c water

Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender, 6-8 minutes. Set aside.

In a blender/food processor fitted with a steel blade finely grind*

3/4 c salted [I use unsalted] roasted cashews

Continue blending, adding:

1½ T olive oil

Add carrot mixture and blend until smooth. Stir in:

1/2 c chopped salted [unsalted] roasted cashews

Serve at room temperature with crackers, pita chips, or raw veggies.

*OCT 2012: Finally made this again.  See photo second from top. Though I usually prefer dips on the chunky side, I should have followed the instructions to finely grind. Also found the original recipe a bit bland.  Tried again, ground much finer and added: 

2 t finely grated fresh ginger
2 T lemon juice

Served on endive leaves topped with crushed cashews and also with crackers.  The consistency of the finer ground dip makes spreading on crackers much easier. NOTE: Full recipe makes ~ 3 1/2 cups. Quantity shown in photos is half the recipe.


Ed did not like the rather bland original recipe, liked the dip with added ginger and lemon juice, especially on endive (also got rave reviews from recent guests) and really liked this pate in a salad.

Press pate into a small (3" diameter) ramekin until ramekin is 1/2 to 2/3 full.  Run sharp knife around inside edge of ramekin.  Turn ramekin upside down on a bed of small lettuces and tap to release pate.  Garnish pate with crushed cashews and thinly sliced chives or scallion greens.  

Lightly dress lettuce with balsamic reduction or balsamic vinaigrette.


June 2017:  I was meeting a friend for a picnic and would not have an opportunity to purchase fresh bread and was wondering what to make when I opened the Spring 2017 issue of edibleBoston and found "Welcome Spring with a Picnic". It suggested several locations in the Boston area that would be ideal for a picnic and the following recipes:Cashew Dip, Barley and Herb Salad, Noodle Frittata with Greens and Gruyere and Rhubarb Almond Cake. Okay, this was going to be a simple picnic.  I opted for the Cashew Dip paired with some Trader Joe's Seeded Mango & Ginger Crisps and Persian (small) cucunber strips, some herbed goat cheese paired with Trader Joe's Fig & Olive Crisps, a jar of Dilly Beans and some good dark chocolate.  The other recipes looked good and I may try later but so far have made the Cashew Dip several times:

The edibleBoston recipe calls for cooking carrots over medium high heat for 15 minutes; I used raw carrots. I also used curry instead of tumeric. The author suggests serving with snap peas and rice crackers, a good option for spring when peas are in season.

Place the following in a food processor bowl:

1/2 pound carrots, peeled, if necessary, and cut into 1!' chunks
1 (1") piece of ginger, peeded and roughly chopped
1/2 c roasted unsalted cashews
3 T coconut milk, more if needed
1 t curry (edibleBoston uses 1 t tumeric)
Sea salt to taste
Juice of i lime  (1 - 2 T)

Puree, scraping sides of bowl until all ingredients form a smooth puree.  Add additional coconut milk if smoother consistency is desired.

Reviewed 7/8/2017

Sautéed Chanterelles

This recipe is adapted from the Wildwood Cooking from the Source in the Pacific Northwest cookbook by Cory Schreiber that Alex gave me for Christmas in 2005. I make this in the fall when I can find an abundance of these yummy mushrooms at a reasonable price. This is particularly good as an accompaniment to roast beef.

In a 12-inch skillet, heat over medium high heat:

1 T olive oil


1 pound chanterelle mushrooms, wiped clean and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 t salt (to dry out the moisture)

Cook and stir for 2 –3 minutes. Add:

2 shallots, minced
2 t unsalted butter
½ c minced mixed fresh tarragon, chives, chervil and flat-leaf parsley
½ t freshly ground black pepper

Cook 1 additional minute and serve.

Reviewed 6/20/2017

Friday, February 8, 2008

Tortillas and Ice Cream

This is Alexandra’s favorite ending for a Mexican dinner. To make it correctly  requires a fairly large amount of clean oil for frying. (No, you can’t just strain and re-use the canola oil you just used for fried zucchini. However, once you have used the oil to fry the tortillas it will still be “clean” enough to use for other frying purposes). IF you can keep them from getting crushed, the cooked shells freeze well for future use.

Using a “taco basket tortilla fryer” fry

Flour tortilla

In enough

Canola [I would now use peanut] oil

To cover (OK to turn basket a little if all parts are not covered at once) tortilla.

When golden, remove from oil and drain on paper towels to remove excess oil. Continue this process until you have made the number of tortilla baskets you require.

If not serving immediately, before serving, warm tortillas in a 200 degree F oven for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Be careful not to burn. Remove tortilla basket from the oven and place in the center of the basket

Scoop of ginger (vanilla works too) frozen yogurt/ice cream

Top with

1 T honey, heated in the microwave

and sprinkle with


Serve immediately.


If you do not want to go the deep-fryer route, this can be made by cutting a tortilla into 6 wedges and frying the pieces in a frying pan containing 2 T canola [peanut] oil. When the wedges are golden, remove from the pan and drain excess oil on paper towel(s). Place scoop of frozen yogurt in a dish, stick points of several tortilla wedges into the sides of frozen yogurt and top with hot honey and cinnamon.

Reviewed 5/17/17

Spicy Szechwan Peanut Sauce

This recipe is adapted from a recipe of the same name in Barbara Tropp’s The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking, a wonderful cookbook that Christopher gave me many Christmases ago.

**Assemble Ingredients (6 June 2023)
This is a great cookbook except directions like "about 10 large cloves garlic" and "about 2/3 bunch fresh coriander leaves and upper stems" are not helpful. Sure, this kind of cooking, unlike baking is "to taste" but....  Anyway I started with ""  coriander and 2 T minced garlic but a visual at left (1 tightly packed cup corriander) of what I currently use.

In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, mince (pulse so as not to pulverize)

10 cloves garlic (should = 2 T minced)

Approximately 2/3 bunch coriander leaves and upper stems (should = 3T minced and packed)**


½ c peanut butter
½ c + 1 T thin soy sauce
5 T sugar [I use 2 T]
½ t rice wine or sherry
1 –2 T hot chili oil [to taste]*

Process about one minute, until homogenized.. Store at least 1 hour at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator. Note this sauce will keep several days when refrigerated in a covered container.


Per Serving

1/2 - 1 cooked chicken breast

Place on top of bed of:

1 baby bok choy, thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2/3 c bean sprouts
1/3 c cucumber, coarsely chopped

Top with Szechwan Peanut Sauce


Serves 4 - 6

This sauce is good tossed with whole wheat pasta, especially fusilli.

Cook according to package instructions:

16 ounces whole wheat fusilli, thin spaghetti, linguine or other pasta

Meanwhile sauté for 3-4 minutes or until scallions are tender:

1 ½ t olive oil
1-2 bunches of scallions, cut diagonally in 1-inch lengths

NOTE: When cooking scallions I often separate the white ends from the green and cook the white part longer (full 3-4 minutes) and the green less (1-2 minutes)

Drain the pasta, add scallions and:

1 large waxless cucumber, coarsely chopped

Toss with enough sauce to thoroughly coat the pasta, about ½ cup.

June 2013 VARIATIONS: I've started adding the scallions uncooked, also fresh shelled peas or snap peas cut on the diagonal. Also as in photo at left, sometimes poached chicken breast cut in small chunks.  Save a few scallions for garnish.

April 2014 VARIATION:  Saute ~ 4-6 ounces thinly sliced chicken and white ends of ~4 scallions in 1 t  chili oil and 1 t sesame seed oil (adjust ratio according to desired hotness).  Note:  to minimize chicken sticking to the wok, heat wok first, then add oil and heat, then add chicken.  When chicken is cooked through, add two small, thinly sliced heads of bok choy and green ends of scallions, cut diagonally into 3/4 inch pieces.  Cook, stirring constantly until bok choy is just barely wilted.

Meanwhile, cook 6 ounces whole wheat thin spaghetti until barely done.  Drain, toss with veggies in wok and add peanut sauce to taste.   (Serves 2-3)

January 2014 VARIATION: Sautee ~6 medium shrimp per person in a mixture of olive and sesame chili oil (choose your hotness!).  Add cooked shrimp to whole wheat fusilli that has been tossed with scallions and peanut sauce per instructions above.  Top (optional) with chopped hot and/or sweet peppers and cliantro.

* June 2017: All chili oil is not equal.  Some brands are much hotter than others; be sure if you change brands (or even open a new bottle) to go by taste not previously used measurements!

Reviewed 6/20/2017
Revised 6/9/2023 see *

Penne with Tomatoes and Spinach

Serves 4

The chervil makes this dish particularly interesting. This said, I have made and enjoyed this dish on several occasions when I have not had chervil on hand and have thus omitted it. And while fresh tomatoes are indeed preferred, I have also made this successfully using Muir Fire Roasted Tomatoes (diced - drain juice and reserve for another use).

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil


8 plum tomatoes, cored and halved lengthwise
1 T olive oil

and put in baking dish cut sides up. Put in oven and cook for 20 minutes or until tomatoes collapse.

In a skillet heat

1 ½ t olive oil


3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ pound fresh spinach, washed, de-stemmed and coarsely chopped

Sauté for 1 minute, stirring. Set pan aside.

Meanwhile, cook according to instructions on package

1 pound*  penne.

Just before pasta is done, dip a measuring cup into the kettle and reserve ½ cup water from pasta.

Drain the pasta and return quickly to the pot. Do not rinse. Add the tomatoes, spinach and:

½ c Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 T fresh chervil, chopped

Toss lightly but thoroughly and divide among four individual pasta bowls or plates. Serve with extra

Parmesan cheese.

* May 2017: I find I am using less pasta and more sauce these days. 6 oz of pasta would be plenty for Ed and me. For more guidance see HOW MUCH PASTA TO COOK (bottom of post)

Reviewed 5/30/2017

Sze-Chaun Spice Chicken Salad

One winter, years ago before children, Toki and I would meet one evening a week after work, have a drink at Harvest and then go off to (Jeanne Tahnk’s) The Chinese Cooking School. We would make a variety of dishes and then eat them for dinner. This is one of my favorites which I have made many times since....

Bring water to boil in a medium size saucepan. Just before it reaches the boiling point drop in

2-3 chicken breasts

Cook for about 10 minutes (don’t overcook) and then remove the chicken from the water and cool. Then tear/cut the chicken into bite-size pieces.

Meanwhile cook according to instructions on the package

½ package bean thread noodles

[OR if I don’t have bean thread noodles on hand I use 8 oz thin spaghetti or linguine]

Place the cooked noodles on a large platter and top with:

1 c bean sprouts [I use more]
1 c cucumber, shredded [I use more]

Place the chicken on the vegetables and top with the following SAUCE:

1 T chopped scallion [I use more]
½ T chopped ginger
½ T chopped garlic
2 T sesame seed paste
3 T soy sauce
1 T brown sugar
1 T sesame seed oil
1 T chili oil
2 t sugar

I omit the MSG that was in the original recipe. If you are increasing the amount of vegetables substantially, you may also want to increase the amount of the sauce. If I have fresh coriander (cilantro) on hand, I top the dish with:

1 T fresh coriander, coarsely chopped

VARIATION: Instead of the sauce above use Spicy Szechwan Peanut Sauce.

Reviewed 5/13/17

Tomato Paella

Serves 4-5  [Photos are for half recipe - serves 2 -3]

This is adapted from a Mark Bitmann recipe in the New York Times. The key is to use Spanish paprika or as it is called in Spanish, “pimenton”. Whole Foods carries a good selection, 3 different varieties of Safinter Smoked Spanish Paprika. I use the “Bittersweet” variety. This dish is particularly spectacular when done with a variety of tomatoes of different colors. This is also excellent made with a variety of cherry tomatoes.

I have done this about an hour ahead to the step: “put pan in oven” which you may want to do if you are making this for company.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Warm 3 cups water in a saucepan. In a medium bowl put:

1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes [or cherry tomatoes, cut in half] , cored and cut into thick wedges

Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with

1 tablespoon olive oil.

Toss to coat.  In a 10- or 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat put:

7 T olive oil [I use 2 T]


1 medium onion, minced
1 T minced garlic

Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in:

1 T tomato paste
Large pinch saffron threads (optional)
1-2 t Spanish pimentón [I use 2 t]

and cook for a minute more. Add:

2 cups Spanish or other short-grain rice {I use aboriuo]

Cook, stirring occasionally, until it is shiny, another minute or two. Add:

1/2 cup white wine

Let simmer until it is mostly absorbed, then add the hot water and stir until just combined.

Put tomato wedges on top* of rice and drizzle with juices that accumulated in bottom of bowl.

Put pan in oven and roast, undisturbed, for 15 minutes. Check to see if rice is dry and just tender. If not, return pan to oven for another 5 to 10 minutes. If rice looks too dry but still is not quite done, add a small amount of water.  When rice is ready, turn off oven and let pan sit for 5 to 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from oven and sprinkle with parsley and  basil. [I usually just use basil].  If you like, put pan over high heat for a few minutes to develop a bit of a bottom crust before serving.

*VARIATION:  I don't like the tomatoes overly cooked so I often add the tomatoes, especially if using cherry tomatoes, after the first 15 minutes of cooking.

VARIATION:  Since tomato and corn season coincide, I often add an ear's worth of corn, sliced from the cob, to the rice mixture, after the first 15 minutes of cooking then add the tomatoes per the above VARIATION.

August 2017: Everytime I make this, I want to take a photo! Did last night and it shows tomatoes that were cooked about 7 minutes, just enough to be warm.  Topped with chooped basil it made a perfect late summer dinner. Enough leftover to have with crusty bread for lunch today.

Reviewed 8/31/2017

Strawberry Ice Cream

When Alexandra and Christopher were growing up, during strawberry season we would take the White Mountain Ice Cream Maker down off the shelf in the kitchen and Alexandra, Christopher and often their friends would gather on the front deck to crank the ice cream maker handle chanting “Churn Ice Cream Churn” (a hold-over from churning butter at Drumlin Farm).

When making ice cream be sure to use ROCK SALT. Our neighbors recently borrowed our ice cream maker and were not able to get the ice cream to freeze; this was because they mixed table salt not rock salt with the ice.

This ice cream is so good it will disappear fast and this is probably good because it does not refreeze terribly well (it has a slightly “icy texture").

In a double boiler (if you do not have a double boiler, use a saucepan but keep heat low and stir constantly), combine:

½ c sugar
3 T flour

Gradually add:

1 ½ c scalded milk

and cook until thick. Chill then add:

1 ½ quarts strawberries, sliced and slightly pressed/mashed with potato masher (to release a little juice)
2 T sugar

Fold in:

1 ½ c cream, whipped

Place in the center canister of the ice cream freezer, surround with crushed ice and rock salt, per ice cream maker's instructions. Crank until ice cream is frozen. Serve immediately.

August 2016: This was such fun, but everyone's covered with strawberry juice! See: Make Strawberry Stains Vanish

Reviewed 5/17/17

Snow Pudding

Bowl made by Moogie
This is a real “comfort food” recipe from Moogie. I haven’t made this in many years, probably due to a combination of the amount work involved and the egg yolk content. As I type this recipe, however, I am hungry for this childhood favorite and will no doubt make it again soon.

April 2015:  I finally made this again! It took discovering pastuerized egg whites then two tries to finally get the snow right. In the process I discovered the recipe as originally posted was probably a hybrid of two family recipes**.  I have correspondingly adjusted this recipe and added some technique notes. Following the new notes, it's really not that hard to make.  As with most recipes of this era I reduced the sugar quantity. Photos have also been added.  

(Gelatin/snow photos are double Moogie's recipe)


1T [1 envelope*] gelatin in
1/4 c cold water

Dissolve it in:

1 c boiling water

Add and stir until dissolved:

2/3 c sugar [I use 1/2 c]
1/4  t salt [omit]
1/ 4 c lemon juice
1 t grated [organic] lemon rind [zest of 1 lemom]
Chill until partly jellied [about 1 1/2 hour. This is important!  If mixture is not sufficiently jelled, the gelatin mixture and "snow" will separate, the liquid sinking to the bottom of the pan and the egg whites floating on top].

When gelatin mixture is almost thickened,  beat until stiff

2 [pastuerized] egg whites [1/3 c]

Add jellied mixture and continue beating until mixture holds shape.

Mold, chill and serve with custard sauce.


Gramma Grace/Moogie's recipe makes the same quantity of custard sauce but half the amout of snow as Hope's recipe.  Also the custard is made with 2 whole eggs:2 c milk vs 3 egg yolks:2 cups of milk resulting in a slightly thinner custard.   Having made both versions, I would opt for the recipe given above (Moogie's) which serves 4-6.

In the top a double boiler [i.e.  pan over hot water] scald

2 c milk

Beat slightly
2 eggs


1/4 c sugar
1/4 t salt [omit]

Stir scaled milk gradually into eggs and return to double boiler. Keep water in lower pan below boiling.  Cook custard stirring constantly until [it is] thickened and will form coating on metal spoon. (15 min) Remove from heat. Pour into jar to cool. Cover to prevent scum on surface.  When cool add

1 t vanilla

Spoon gelatin mixture into small individual bowls, pour Custard Sauce around the edge so the “Snow Pudding” sits like an island in the Custard Sauce.

As I typed this island reference I thought of a Floating Island dessert which I have heard of but never had. A Google search found this on Wikipedia:

"Floating island is made of egg white dumplings served floating on a milky custard sauce. Some variations uses a thicker sauce, served on top of the dumplings, but usually the milk mix is thin, almost liquid, and the dumplings "float" on top.

The egg whites are beaten with sugar and poured into a mould lined with a thin layer of caramel. Alternately, the whites can be shaped with spoons and allowed to cook gently in sweetened milk with vanilla flavoring. A custard is made using milk, sugar, vanilla, and egg yolks; the mix is cooked in a bain-marie [double boiler] for a few minutes, but must remain thin enough to pour. The custard is topped with the egg whites dumplings. The dish is served at room temperature or cold."

Snow Pudding is similar but by virtue of having gelatin as an ingredient in the "snow"/meringue, which as I remember does not float on the sauce, is probably not a real variation of "Floating Island".

* April 2015;  It turns out 1 envelope of gelatin contains less than 1 T (see photo at left). Although several similar recipes I reviewed, including my Grandmother Hope's, call for "2 T (2 envelopes) gelatin", I used the full 2 T (2 + envelopes) first try.  The resultant snow was very gelatinous. Subsequently I used just 2 envelopes with excellent results. Perhaps the confusion is with a measuring tablespoon and a place setting tablespoon.

** March 2015: My Mom has a couple of sliver spoons that are quite flat along the bottom edge of the bowl (photo left).  When I asked Mom why, she replied her grandmother, Gramma Grace, used them for cooking and had worn the bowl  from stirring. I recently asked Mom what recipes she thought had worn these spoons and she told me the only one that now comes to mind is Snow Pudding. I always thught this recipe came originally from my Grandmother Hope's Cookbook. However when I seached for this recipe (which I had taken from my Moms' cookbook) in Hope's cookbook, I found a recipe more similar to the floating island one above.  Unlike many of Grandmother Hope's recipes, this recipe gives some instructions as well as ingredients:

"Snow Balls

2 tbsp (2 envelopes) unflavored gelatine
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups hot water
1 1/2 cups sugar [I would use 1 cup as in recipe above]
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 stiff beaten [egg]whites [save yolks!]

Soften gelatine in cold water dissolve in hot.  Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add lemon juice. Chill until partly set. Beat until frothy. Pour into oiled custard cups and chilll until firm.

Combine 3 beaten egg yolks, dash of salt & 1/4 cup sugar. Gradually stir in 2 cups of milk.  Cook over hot water [double boiler] until mixture coats spoon.  When cool add 1/2 tsp vanilla."

[I omitted salt and used 1 t vanilla.]

Reviewed 5/17/17

Fruit Cake

Fruit Cake and Christmas Cookies

Makes 2 large cakes

This recipe is adapted from “Florian Fruitcake” in Sarah Leah Chase’s Cold Weather Cooking. For many years this was one of Alexander, Christopher (shown mixing the batter for Christmas 1993 cake) and my Christmas presents to Dad (and sometimes a present for his February 26th birthday as well). Dad died this November, and for the first time in many years I did not make this cake. This recipe makes two very large fruitcakes. Some year I am going to use smaller pans and give as holiday gifts.

I also serve this fruitcake, thinly sliced with an assortment of holiday cookies and clementines for a holiday dessert.

Grease [butter] two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. Line with parchment or waxed paper and grease [butter] the paper.

In a very large bowl mix together:

1 ½ pounds pitted dates, coarsely chopped
1 pound candied pineapple, coarsely chopped
1 pound candied whole red cherries [I omit cherries and red dye]
[I add 1 pound candied papaya (available at Whole Foods), coarsely chopped]

Sift together [I omit the sifting part]:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 t baking powder
½ t salt

then resift the mixture over the fruit. Mix well with your [clean] hands to ensure that each piece of the fruit is well coated with the flour. In a small bowl beat until frothy:

4 large eggs, at room temperature

Gradually beat in:

1 cup sugar

and continue beating until the mixture is thick and lemon colored. Add to the fruit mixture and combine well. [Don't lick your fingers --- raw eggs!]

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

To this batter add:

2 pounds pecan halves

and mix with your hands until everything is evenly distributed and well coated with the batter.

Pack the batter into the prepared pans, pressing down lightly [I find I need to press fairly hard to get everything to fit!].

Bake until cake tester [or small skewer] inserted in the center of the cake comes our clean 1 ½ to 1 ¾ hours. Cool to room temperature.

Unmold the cakes from the pans. [Soak the cheesecloth in rum, then wring out excess into ramekin.] Place each in the center of a large, doubled piece of:


Sprinkle the cakes with:

½ cup [or more] brandy, rum or spirit of choice [I omit the “sprinkle” - see below - and use brandy]

Wrap in the cloth, [I use a pastry brush to “paint” the cheesecloth with brandy] then wrap again in aluminum foil. Store the cakes at room temperature, sprinkling [again, I use a pastry brush to paint the cheesecloth with brandy] with some more of the brandy or rum every week or so, for 2 to 4 weeks before serving.

Reviewed 5/11/17

Pumpkin Steamed Pudding

This recipe is from the December 1981 issue of Gourmet magazine.Although this is made like a pudding, I like it even better sliced thin and served at room temperature as a ‘tea cake”. Given the high butter content of this recipe, I make (steamed) Cranberry Pudding much more frequently.

Butter and sugar a 1 ½ to 2-liter steam-pudding mold (tube center with cover).

In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, cream:

6T butter
¾ cup dark brown sugar

then add:

2 eggs

Mix well then add:

1 ½ cups flour
1 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
½ t ground cloves
½ t ground ginger
½ t ground nutmeg
¼ t soda
½ c puree pumpkin (use fresh or frozen fresh pumpkin if possible)
2 T dark molasses or maple syrup

Stir in:

½ c chopped pecans
4 T crystallized ginger, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup zante currants or raisins (optional)

Pour into the prepared mold and cover. Place on rack in large kettle, with the hot water height half that of the mold. Place cover on kettle and steam pudding for 2 1/2 hours Check periodically to be sure water level has not fallen significantly. Pudding is done when a small skewer inserted into the center of the pudding comes out clean. Let stand in the mold 5 minutes then remove from mold; sliding a knife around the edges of the mold will facilitate this. While this can be served warm (reheat in microwave if made ahead) it is also good at room temperature.

Serve with Orange (Hard) Sauce , Hard Sauce, or Ginger Frozen Yogurt.

Reviewwed 5/21/17

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Orange Steamed Pudding

This recipe is from the December 1981 issue of Gourmet magazine. Although this is made like a pudding, I like it even better sliced thin and served at room temperature as a ‘tea cake” Given the high butter content of this recipe, I make (steamed) Cranberry Pudding much more frequently.

Butter and sugar a 1 ½ to 2-liter steam-pudding mold (tube center with cover).

In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, cream:

½ cup butter
1 cup sugar

then add:

4 eggs

Mix well then add:

2 cups flour
2 t baking powder
½ c orange juice

Stir in

1 ½ T orange zest [use organic orange]
1 ½ T lemon zest [use organic lemon]
2/3 cup zante currants (optional)

Pour into the prepared mold and cover. Place on rack in large kettle, with the hot water height half that of the mold. Place cover on kettle and steam pudding for 1 ½ to 2 hours Check periodically to be sure water level has not fallen significantly. Pudding is done when a small skewer inserted into the center of the pudding comes out clean. Let stand in the mold 5 minutes then remove from mold; sliding a knife around the edges of the mold will facilitate this. While this can be served warm (reheat in microwave if made ahead) it is also good at room temperature.

Serve with Orange (Hard) Sauce.

Reviewed 5/21/17

Orange (Hard) Sauce

In a food processor combine:

6 T butter *
1 c confectioner’s sugar
2 t orange juice

Mix with steel blade until well blended, then stir in

1 T orange zest (use organic orange)

Store in refrigerator until one hour before serving. Serve at room temperature.

*Use butter not a butter substitute. For a lower cholesterol version, amount of butter may be reduced and amount orange juice increased.

This is requisite accompaniment for Cranberry Pudding and also a good garnish for Orange Steamed Pudding and Pumpkin Steamed Pudding

For hard sauce, use brandy instead of orange juice.

For a traditional hard sauce, use brandy instead of orange juice and omit the orange zest.

Reviewed 5/21/17