Friday, April 4, 2008

Down Home Country Cooking

I love church cookbooks. Or any other organization's cookbooks. I have quite a collection of them and I've found that I can usually trust the recipes in those cookbooks to be good cookin'. A few weeks ago my friend Michelle gave me a cookbook that fits into that category and then some. She said she'd never use this book and would I like it. Would I like it!! This book is so cool to me - a former military Mom. Amy was in the Air Force and while she was never deployed so I've never been a blue star mother myself, I have great sympathy for those who are. So Recipes from Home by the Blue Star Mother's of Minnesota is just fascinating to me.

Most of the recipes are from Moms in southern Minnesota and feature the kind of food that you'd find at your typical country potluck (Minnesota term here). My sister in law has relatives in southwestern Minnesota and so I've been to several potluck type wedding showers with great food. Well here are the recipes. Where else are you going to find Snicker Salad (which I've had and it really is great) which calls for 2 tubs of Cool Whip, 4-5 cut up apples, and 4 cut up large Snicker bars. You mix it up and eat it right away! No redeeming social value here but it sure tastes great!

Some of the recipes are named so and so's favorite. It's especially touching to think these are the favorite recipes of some of our soldiers "over there". By the way I couldn't find an internet link but the address in the front of the book, in case you would like one, is;

Blue Star Mothers of America
Department of Minnesota
P.O. Box 45
Sauk Centre, MN 56378

I tried two recipes out of this book. The first was Beef Stew by Linda Schmiesing, mother of SGT Lisa Schmiesing. Another great crock pot recipe. I didn't take a picture of it because it was very similar to pictures of other stew like recipes I've made previously - and also because I'm a bad blogger and I was just lazy. But take it from me - this was a good basic stew recipe.

My version takes:
3 carrots, cut up
3 potatoes, cut up
2 pounds beef, cut up
1 cup beef stock
1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 bay leaf
1 spoon of bottled minced garlic
Pepper to taste
1 tsp. paprika
3 onions quartered
1 stalk celery with tops, cup up

Put all the ingredients in your crock pot in the order they're listed, stir just enough to mix spices, cover and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

I brought the recipe book along on our trip to Delaware and the following recipe was one that my sister had been looking for, for a while. It's called Monkey Bread and isn't the same as what I have thought of as monkey bread but it's good too. We made it twice while we were there and enjoyed it thoroughly both times. Finger lickin' good!

You'll need:
4 cans Country Style refrigerator biscuits (we used 2 large cans of biscuits)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
3-4 tsp. milk

You unroll and cut up each biscuit. In fourths if you have the smaller biscuits or more if you have the larger biscuits. I think that my sister cut up the larger ones in eighths but use your judgment - you want bite size pieces here. Shake the pieces in a plastic bag with the sugar and cinnamon a few at a time. Put them in a bundt pan. You don't need to grease it. Bring the butter, brown sugar and milk to boil for 1-2 minutes and then pour over the biscuit pieces. Bake 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees. Oh, this recipe can be divided in half - which is what we did.
Put them on the table in front of a hungry teenage boy and watch them disappear!

1 comment:

Miss T said...

That sounds like a good stew--similar to my favorite recipe, except that mine isn't made in the crock pot.

Great to see you today!