Connect with us

Blogs

I’ve Got It Covered!

 

ricks_webad_728x90
By Gini Rainey

Today I did something that I haven’t done in a while.  I filled in as guest musician for a friend at a small, Presbyterian Church in a little town south of here.  Playing at a new church is always an adventure, and today was no exception.  While this church can boast 2 organs – one a very, very old pump organ in a lovely case and the other, a vintage Hammond organ complete with the infamous Lesley speakers, the instrument I got to use today was a very, very, very old upright piano complete with a round, antique piano stool that had a bad case of the weeble wobbles.  Now, I’m not a piano snob by any stretch of the imagination, but my initial thought was “Oh dear God!  Please at least let it have been recently tuned.”  This was prior to my sitting down and discovering the frailty of the stool or I would have added “Oh, and please don’t let me fall on the floor!”  While the piano might have had a sound reminiscent of one you might find in a honky tonk bar, the experience as a whole was quite pleasant and the members of the congregation were very lovely and welcoming.

In this day of mega churches, it rather warmed my soul to be a part of this small congregation, if only for a short time today.  From the moment I walked in the door of their fellowship hall and was greeted with a cheery good morning and the offer of a cup of coffee to the lady who came up behind me as I was playing my postlude and threw her arms around me, hugged me soundly, and started talking with me, it was a lovely start for a Sunday morning.

All that is to say that one of the best kinds of cookbooks around are those that are put together by some of the best cooks in the world – the ones that have made covered dish dinners an enduring event used to gather church folks together in fellowship and community.   The one I have in front of me today was published in 1981 by the Christian Women’s Fellowship of University Christian Church in Tyler, Texas.   “From Thy Bounty” is also almost like sitting down with several dear friends that I have lost touch with for one reason or another.  One of the more prolific contributors in the book was Martha Marshall, who passed away last year.

One of her recipes that stands out and would make a great meal for colder weather (I just know it’s got to be heading this way – I just know it!) is for Cowboy Casserole.  This is also a good time to start planning ahead for the busy holiday season and making up some dishes that freeze well for that busy time of the year.  First, cook 1 8 ounce package of spaghetti until just tender.  Then brown one diced onion in butter and add 1 ½ pounds of ground round and cook until browned.  To this mixture add 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon chili powder, and 1 teaspoon seasoning salt.  Mix well and add 1 can cream of mushroom soup and 1 can tomato soup along with a dash of Worcestershire sauce.  Mix the spaghetti into the meat mixture, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Now pour into a casserole and top with 1 cup grated cheese (cheddar or mozzarella) and heat in a 350° oven until the cheese melts.  Served with a green salad and garlic bread, this is one really great meal.  It also freezes and travels well (to those covered dish suppers) and tastes just plan yummy!

ricks_webad_728x90

Books

A Good Pounding!

stretford tyler tx

By Gini Rainey

Good grief, that’s exactly what I deserve.  I have been so over-whelmed with life in the past few months – okay, this year – that I have neglected to do what I love doing – writing!  So, apparently it took an email to our editor/publisher to get me off high center.  She forwarded this email to me on June 24th and it comes from an editor named Jess Miller who just happens to be associated with jenreviews.com.  Jen Reviews is the authority on everything food, fitness and home and has been featured in some mind-blowing (my mind, anyway!) publications such as Forbes, Fast Company, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Greatist, Reader’s Digest, MindBodyGreen, Livestrong, Bustle, Lifehacker, Wikihow, and oh my goodness, many many more. 

Jess email says “I was doing research on pound cake recipes and just finished reading your wonderful blog post: https://eguidemagazine.com/janies-cakes-finally-oprah-realizes-something-weve-all-known-for-years/ In that article, I noticed that you cited a solid post that I’ve read in the past: https://janiescakes.com/  We just published a delicious cranberry pound cake with orange glaze recipe complete with step-by-step pictures and detailed instructions. It is completely free and you can find it here: https://www.jenreviews.com/cranberry-pound-cake-recipe/.  If you like the recipe we’d be humbled if you cited us in your article.” 

The gauntlet was thrown and I tried it.  I baked it last night and it is yummy.  Of course, knowing me, you know I have to pull in a cookbook of some sort, and for those of you out there who don’t know where the name “Pound Cake” comes from, I pulled out my earliest reference that I have, which is a replica of “American Cookery” written by Amelia Simmons in 1796. It’s really interesting to leaf through this book and try to read some of the recipes.  It is actually a photocopy of the original and along with various spots and stains, the letter “f” is used in place of the letter “s.”  Originally, a pound cake called for one pound of sugar, one pound of butter, one pound of flour, one pound or ten eggs, one gill of rose water and spices to your taste. (Hence pound cake!) We are told to watch it well (remember – wood burning stoves/ovens back then) It will bake in a slow oven in 15 minutes. 

The recipe referred to by Jess is a bit different and perhaps produces a much lighter version than the 1796 version.  What you will need to do to make Jess’s recipe is to begin with a 350° pre-heated oven and a lightly greased and floured 12×4 inch loaf pan.  Then in a bowl, whisk together 1 ¾ cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt.  In another bowl, cream 9 ounces of softened butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon orange zest until light and fluffy.  Then slowly add in 4 eggs plus 2 yolks (at room temp), followed by 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar. Then alternating between the flour mixture and ¼ cup room temp milk, gradually add to the sugar/egg mixture.  Lightly dredge in flour 1 ¼ cups of washed and dried fresh cranberries (because fresh cranberries aren’t on the market at this time, I substituted rehydrated dried cranberries and I think they did well) and gently fold into the mixture.  Pour into the pan and bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  For the glaze, combine 2 cups of powdered sugar with 2 ½ tablespoons of fresh orange juice, and using a small spoon, drizzle over the completely cooled cake. 

This is one yummy cake – the unexpected tartness is a wonderful compliment to the buttery richness of the cake and would serve you well at a winter holiday meal – or even right now in the middle of the hot Texas summer along with a bowl of home-made ice cream! 

stretford tyler tx
Continue Reading

Food

Smith’s Bar-B-Que Opens in Jacksonville

liberty_hall_tyler_texas_tx

Smith’s Bar-B-Que had a great Ribbon Cutting on Friday, April 5. Smith’s Bar-B-Que is owned and operated by Gary Smith and has been in business for 11 years. They started in the Exxon parking lot but has now found a home at the Travis Towers parking lot at 558 S. Ragsdale. They serve ribs, brisket, sausage, pulled pork and their famous stuffed baked potato. You can also add beans, potato salad and peach cobbler. They also offer catering with no event being too big or too small. Gary Smith is a culinary school graduate, food service manager and the 1st to obtain his vendors permit from the City of Jacksonville. Hours are Friday and Saturday 11 am until…..

They are at 558 S. Ragsdale in Jacksonville, Texas and can be reached at 903.944.0036.

Ad Eguide

Continue Reading

Books

Artists in the Kitchen

liberty_hall_tyler_texas_tx

By Gini Rainey

I have many passions in my life, mostly leaning toward my right brain, but after working for over 25 years as a business manager/owner, my left brain seems to have shoved a lot of those passions to the side, but trust me – they’re still there!  So, when I come across a cookbook that has wonderful recipes that are paired up with amazing works of art from the National Gallery of Art, you can be sure this is one book I had to have. 

With notable chefs such as Julia Child, Jeremiah Tower and Alice Waters creating dishes and menus to compliment the art of Matisse, Pissaro, and Gauguin, to name a few, you can only imagine what a lovely and creative book this must be. 

While using paintings of the obvious subjects, such as Vollon’s Mound of Butter and Jean Simeon Chardin’s Still Life with Game for inspiration, I think the recipes that truly intrigue me are from the chefs who viewed such paintings as Raoul Dufy’s The Basket and Mary Cassatt’s Afternoon Tea Party, let their imaginations run wild and came up with what might have been in the basket or what Cassatt might served at her Tea Party. 

Pablo Picasso’s Le Gourmet was the inspiration for Nancy Silverton’s Butterscotch Sauce that would make a delicious topping for a bread pudding or a dish of Blue Bell’s Homemade Vanilla ice cream. To make the sauce, combine 1 cup granulated sugar, 2 ½ tablespoons light corn syrup, and 2 ½ tablespoons Scotch whisky in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, swirling the pan occasionally until the mixture just begins to smoke and turns an amber color.  Meanwhile, place 1 ¼ cup heavy (whipping) cream in another large saucepan, split a vanilla bean in half lengthwise, scrape its seeds into the and then add the pod.  Add 1 cup of butter and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and set aside until needed.

When the sugar mixture reaches the proper color, immediately stop its cooking by whisking in the cream mixture in small amounts, waiting a few seconds between additions to prevent it from boiling over.  Once all the cream mixture is incorporated, simmer the sauce for 5 minutes.  Whisk in ½ cup of butter until combined.  The sauce will keep for several weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  To reheat, place the sauce in a bowl over simmering water.  If desired, add some toasted pecans or add a dash of sea salt to taste, and wow, you have got something really yummy going on there. 

 

 

Continue Reading

More To Do!