Takes me a while to get a year started…

January 22, 2019

Hey there! Haven’t seen y’all since last year? Where ya been?

Oh. You’ve been…here? Err. Emmm. Well, I … have not.

When we last spoke, I was about to deliver AGCs 1 and 3 to the other grandparents for transport back to their parents, and I was about to go into recovery mode, which I promptly did. I cooked the obligatory black-eyed peas and greens on Jan. 1, of which I ate one bite to appease the Gods of Greens, and then I did not cook for, oh, a week and a half. And haven’t cooked a lot since.

I have baked bread, a couple of times; made muffins for Sunday school, and cooked a pot roast and a pot of beans. I cooked some bratwurst that had been in the freezer too long, and opened a jar of kraut to go with it, which in turn necessitated going to get corned beef, swiss cheese and rye bread for Reubens, which I enjoyed for several days.

Child A has been on a potato skins kick, so I have made those four or five times. I top mine with bacon and green onions, and they make a respectable meal.

Tonight, I think, is going to be beef stroganoff made from leftover pot roast. That sounds eminently doable to me. The leftover potatoes can go into a potato cake with a fried egg for breakfast.

I WILL commend to you these muffins, one in a new series of muffin adventures. I picked up a book, The Ultimate Muffin Book, which purports to have 600 muffin recipes. It really has about 75, with a bunch of variations on each one, but I’ll still call it worth what I paid for it. These sorta-kinda came from there; I used my go-to base muffin recipe, and stirred in more than the recommended amount of additions. I’ll make them again.

Base muffin recipe:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 stick of butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup whole milk or half-and-half milk and buttermilk
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 tsp flavoring (in this case, almond)

Stir together the dry ingredients. Stir together the wet ingredients. Pour wet into dry, and stir just until all flour is incorporated.

Fold in: 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (if sweetened, reduce sugar in base recipe to 3/4 cup), 1 cup chopped up dried cherries, 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Put into greased muffin tins and bake about 25 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven.

I also made the lemon ginger muffins from the book. Same base recipe, stir in the zest and juice of 1 lemon and at least a quarter cup of fresh grated ginger. Do not stint on the ginger. I did, and they were not gingery enough. They were also a little dry. I might add some sour cream next time.

Thinking this Sunday’s offering will be back to a favorite standby, caramel apple pecan. I enjoy bringing muffins every Sunday morning.

What else exceptional has happened? Spent some time with a fellow poster on the food forum, who is opening a new restaurant in St. Louis focusing on Ozark cuisine. I’ve helped out with some research, and have offered some insights into West Tennessee hill country cuisine, which does not differ markedly from Ozark cookery, as it’s Appalachian in origin and there’s little difference at all in Appalachian and Ozark. When it gets open, betake yourselves to Bulrush in St. Louis, and in the meantime, get Rob Connoley’s cookbook, Acorns and Cattails.

I shall try to be more diligent in posting for the rest of 2019. You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em stay warm and cook warm things. I’m off to bake bread and clean up the kitchen.

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