Perfectly Peeled Hard Boiled Eggs – Every Time

Bring water to a full, rolling boil

Gently place eggs in water (lower them into water with a spoon)

Return to full boil

Boil for 12 – 15 minutes

Rinse and soak in cold water

Guest Post by Cassandra Merrick

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Corn Fritters – Mary Schmidt Schwaller

mary

“I only eat Corn Fritters with butter and syrup – simple and delicious.” Mary Schmidt Schwaller, niece of Betty Wrysinski

This recipe for Corn Fritters came from the 1949 edition of Joy of Cooking. (My mom wrote it out by hand for me as part of a wedding shower gift.)

1 cup cooked green corn or canned corn.

Drain and mash with a potato masher.

Beat until light and add:

2 eggs

Add:

6 tblsp. flour

1/2 tsp. any baking powder

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Melt in a small skillet:

2 tblsp. butter

When it is very hot, add the batter by the tablespoonful. Permit the bottom of the cakes to brown, reverse them and brown the other side.

 

In the Joy of Cooking, the recipe begins with this story.  My mom used to read to me.

When I was a child, one of eight, my father frequently promised us a marvelous treat. He, being an amateur horticulturist and arborculturist, would tell us of a fritter tree he was going to plant on the banks of a small lake filled with molasses, maple syrup or honey, to be located in our back yard. When one of our children felt the urge for the most delectable repast, all we had to do was to shake the tree, the fritters would drop into the lake and we could fish them  out and  eat fritters to our hearts’ content.

My mother was a good cook and a good helpmate, so she developed the fritter that was to grow on and fall from the tree into the lake of molasses or maple syrup or honey, as the case might be. Mr. William N. Matthews.

Joy of Cooking, 1949 excerpt, reprinted with publisher permission.

 

Guest Post by Mary Schmidt Schwaller

bud-and-ginger

Adrian (Bud) and Virginia (Ginger) Windus Schmidt

While researching genealogy, I found Lisa’s Shared Tastes blog. It had pictures of my Aunt Betty as well as some of her recipes.  It was clear that she left her mark on her family. I wish I had known her.  We both entered apple pies in contests.  She won first place, I won second.

bud-and-ginger2

Adrian (Bud) and Virginia (Ginger) Schmidt on their wedding day. (Mary Schmidt Schwaller’s parents.)

There is a picture of a birthday celebration; the meal was pork roast and sauerkraut.  My dad Adrian, Betty’s younger brother, loved that meal.  He used to say, “If I die today, I will die a happy man,” after eating it.  This tradition lives on in Park Falls as this meal is served at most restaurants for “Sunday supper.”

We didn’t have much money so my parents had to be inventive when trying to create special treats.   I clearly remember Sunday evening Disney movies on the TV and the dining room table full of homemade deep fried potato chips and French fries.   The recipe would be as you would expect, fresh potatoes, boiling oil, and lots of salt.

I was asked to share a Wisconsin Schmidt recipe.  Every recipe I considered was already there from Grandma Betty.  Potato dumplings, casseroles, pork roast, etc.

Through the blog, I was able to connect with my California family.  I have gotten to know my cousin Mary and was lucky enough to meet my cousin Peggy in October, 2016.  It is odd how similar our lives have been even though we lived so far apart.

 

__________________

Lisa’s Notes about Names:

I asked my Aunt Mary (family historian) to help sort out the names for this post. Her response clarified why the confusion exists:

“Bud equals Adrian.  Betty equals Elisabeth.  Josie equals Joanne.  Stanley equals Gus.”

“I asked Uncle Bud (Adrian Schmidt) once if anyone was ever called by their given name.  He said the German community in Park Falls had nicknames for a lot of people.  Below is part of an article he wrote for 100 Years on the Flambeau, a local history book about the Price County area in upper Wisconsin.  Apparently nicknames were a tradition.”

uncle-bud-article

 

 

 

 

 

Windus Macaroni Casserole

grandma-windus-reciep

Lisa’s modified version of Windus Macaroni Casserole made with white rice angel hair pasta. *A short style pasta – on the bottom layer – is the optimal way to prepare this hearty one dish meal.

1 lb ground beef

1 whole onion – chopped

1 – bulb garlic – cloves peeled & chopped

3 tblsp. Italian herbs

2 –  16 oz cans chopped tomatoes (*drained or with liquid – see notes below)

4 – 6 cups cups macaroni (partially cooked) – enough to fill whatever sized baking dish you have

Pour macaroni into greased / sprayed casserole dish. Top with remaining ingredients and back uncovered at 350 degrees 30-45 minutes.

 

Lisa’s additions:

2 fresh zucchinis thinly sliced

one bunch of fresh, chopped parsley

juice from one lemon

pinch of salt

Notes: For the version that I prepared (photographed above), I used an entire 8.8 oz package of white rice angel hair pasta. (This is what I had on hand.)  It worked, but with the added zucchini, a short pasta would have been better to soak up the extra juice. Pasta on the bottom, as the recipe instructs, is the right way to go. short-pasta

*Include the juice from the chopped tomatoes or drain it depending on how much liquid you need to make this dish moist.

 

Upon receipt of the recipe, I noticed several things. There was only an ingredients list – no measurement amounts, and like the other family recipe collections that I’ve studied, casserole cooking used to be popular.  The lack of measurements told me that Virginia was a cook, like my Grandma, who could get the proportions right by ‘feel’ or eyeballing it. She had a lot of mouths to feed and casseroles were an economical way to satisfy it.

Casseroles in the US became popular after World War II, when the Campbell’s Soup Company distributed a booklet entitled Helps for the Hostess, published in 1916. Recipes from this book became staple meals in Baby Boomer homes. Click on this link to learn more about the history of condensed soup and its impact on American culture.

 

 

margaret-windus

 

This recipe is from the Adrian (Bud) Schmidt collection. (Betty Wrysinski’s younger brother.) It was passed down through the family from Margaret Windus, maternal grandmother to Mary Schmidt Schwaller. Margaret was a neighbor to Betty’s mother, Lillian Schmidt.

 

 

Stuffed Mushrooms – Todd Frantz

 

 

 

todds stuffed mushrooms

 

A holiday treat shared with lovely friends that is sure to become a frequently requested family favorite.

Coat cooking pan with olive oil

desired amount of fresh mushrooms with stems removed

Filling (enough to fill the mushrooms):
olives
capers
garlic
salt
Italian Seasoning

finely chop all of the above – fill the base of the mushroom caps

smoked Gouda cheese – chop finely or grate – place on top of filling

several pieces of mostly cooked bacon – finely chopped – place on top of cheese

brush, spray or drizzle olive oil over the top of the mushrooms (keeps them moist)

Bake at 425˚ until cheese is melted.

Edible Whipped Coconut Hand & Face Cream

face and hand cream

An edible face cream with a customizable scent.

Experiments with different brands of coconut oil revealed that all are not equal. I like “Magic All One” brand because it whips up into a smooth cream.  (Other brands have a grainy consistency.  The grains melt in your mouth if you eat them…but on the skin – they ‘crumble off.’

Place desired amount of coconut oil into bowl. With a hand mixer, whip until desired consistency is achieved.

Blend in a combination of essential oils that smell the way you want.

The combination for this batch was Lemongrass, Lavender & Frankincense.

Put whipped cream into containers, label & decorate.

Resources:

Coconut Oil

The Surprising Health Benefits of Coconut Oil (Dr. Oz)
good for skin & hair, anti-aging, hormone balance, and weight management
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil (Organic Facts)
Coconut Oil Research (Coconutoil.com)
The Truth about Coconut Oil  (WebMD) — it’s better than butter, but use in moderation

Frankincense

What is Frankincense? (LiveScience)
The Story of Frankincense (Middle East Institute)

Frankincense (Organic Facts)
gets rid of germs, anti-aging, faster healing of scars – acne & wounds and an immune system strengthener
Could Frankincense be a Cancer Cure? (BBC February 2010)
Frankincense threatened by conditions in Ethiopia (USA Today December 2011)
Boswellia Trees – Frankincense – Doomed (Wired December 2011)

Lisa’s 12-14-13 e-mail inquiry to her favorite essential oils production company:
Using the oil to make some Christmas presents, I was in the process of researching its health benefits when I came across several articles about the decline of Boswellia trees.
One article stated that the trees may be gone by 2026 if current conditions remain unchanged.
“I was not able to find information online about how and where you produce your Frankincense oil.
Do you have information about this that is shareable?”

12-16-13 e-mail response from Product Support:
Dear Lisa,
Thank you for your email. The Boswellia frereana is sourced from the Dhofar region of Oman.  Dr. Hill has written a book on Frankincense and he explains that, “many people believe that Boswellia frereana does not exist because of its difficulty to obtain.  In Oman, families believe the trees to be sacred, and they are carefully guarded.  These trees have been nurtured and replenished through generational safeguarding and often represents the sole economic support of each family.  These trees, once the best-kept secrets of Arabia, produce the most precious of all Frankincense resins.”

We partner with experts that have been doing this a while, and their long history of tested purity is part of the art of producing such beautiful oils.  They are farmers and collectors and chemists, but they are committed to distilling essential oils as artisans and we believe are mindful of their environments and are committed to sustainable practices.  Our network is vast and our suppliers’ methods are diverse.  If we were to learn of any actions of a supplier causing harm to either the environment or to the local people of their community we would certainly seek other and more appropriate sources.  Our long-term hope is as we grow the demand for essential oils, we can help develop clean industry for local economies around the production of plants and extracts.

Please feel free to respond with any additional concerns you may have.

Kind Regards,

-David-
product support

video: Essential Oil Sources
Frankincense / Oman 55:38 , Working with Farmers 1:19:23

Lavender

Lavender (Organic Facts)
calms nervous system, sleep aid, acne treatment, pain relief, bug repellant, anti-bacterial & increased blood circulation
What are the health benefits of lavender? (Medical News Today September 2013)
Lavender (University of Maryland Medical Center)

Lemongrass

Health Benefits of Lemongrass (Organic Facts)
reduces pain & inflammation, boosts mood, fights depression, reduces flatulence, brings down fever, deodorant, aids with digestive & nerve problems and  reduces cellulite
Tips for using Lemongrass
Lemongrass Healthy Eating (SF Gate)

Stuffed Sweet Potaotes

This is a family (especially kid) pleaser! A yummy comfort food for a cold, rainy night.

IMG_1434

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Hollow out potato – leaving enough inside the ‘shell’ to support the structure.

In a pan, saute

2-4 tbslp. olive oil
with 2-3 cloves garlic – chopped
and 2 large carrots – julienned

once carrot are softened
add 2 small zucchini – julienned
3 green onions –  chopped fine
3-4 medium sized tomatillos – chopped fine (if you like a tart flavor…add more!)
remove from heat once zucchini has softened

*may also add meat for protein – in this recipe, I added chopped ham

line the bottom of the potato with shredded Kerrygold Dubliner cheese
fill with sauted vegetables then top with more cheese

Squash (Pumpkin) Shepherds Pie

A good sized squash –  cooked **
Potatoes  – cooked

Vegetable_pumpkin
In approx. 2 tblsp. oil – saute in saucepan till done:
4 cloves fresh garlic – chopped
4 stalks celery – chopped
3 carrots – chopped
1 onion – chopped
1 lb. ground meat (beef/ turkey/ chicken/ pork)

add:
approx. 1/4 cup flour
approx. 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce) to taste
salt & pepper to taste
add about 1/2 of the cooked, mashed squash

Shepherds Pie

Mash remaining squash & potatoes together
add approx. 1 1/2 cups grated cheese (sharp)
add a little milk to desired smoothness

Place thickened meat / vegie mixture into the bottom of an oven safe baking dish
Top wth squash /potatoe mixture

Broil for 5 minutes until browned

Top with pumpkin seeds

** Lisa’s squash cooking method:  Rinse the outside skin of the squash then place it (whole) into baking dish in a preheated oven at 400 degrees. After about an hour, pierce it with a knife or press on the outside to see if it  is soft. Once the squash is cooked through, remove it from the oven and let it cool to room temperature before slicing it in half and scooping out the seeds.

Homemade Dijon Mustard

Start with a mustard seed base – then add flavor combinations as desired for specialty mustards.
seeds wine vinegar

Mustard Base – soak mustard seeds for about 24 to 48 hours before working with them.

3 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
2 1/2 tablespoons brown mustard seeds (the brown seeds give it a spicy ‘bite’ – similar to horseradish)
1/3 cup drinking-quality white wine (I used a Riesling for this recipe)
1/3 cup white wine vinegar

Add brown sugar or honey (to taste) to cut the bite.

blending

Put all of the mustard seeds and liquid in a food processor with very sharp blades. It will take a while to break up the seeds – but the the smell as it goes along is wonderful! As the seeds are broken up in the blending process, the liquid is absorbed and the mixture begins to thicken.

blended


Flavor combinations in this batch; Rosemary / Thyme, Caraway, Tangerine / Habanero

mustard varieties

Organic Mustard Seed Supplies: http://www.starwest-botanicals.com/_search.php?page=1&q=mustard+seeds
Reference YouTube Video

A fun packaging idea – spray paint jar tops with chalk paint – then use oiled based markers to label them.  Click here to view my Pintrest Craft Idea Board for a visual http://pinterest.com/lisaredfern17/craft-ideas/

 

Cilantro Pesto Sauce

Cilantro Pesto Sauce

3 bunches fresh cilantro
nuts (let your taste guide you in your choice of nuts…we like walnuts and pine nuts)
lime juice
olive oil
salt to taste

  • blend or food process until desired consistency

Cilantro is great for your circulatory system. This sauce is great with fish, as a snack with chips, as a spread on sandwiches and as part of a salad dressing.

Ketchup

Ketchup

2 (6oz) cans tomato paste
1/2 cup white vinegar (last batch, I used red wine vinegar…yummy!!)
4 tblsp. brown sugar
1 tblsp. garlic powder
1 tblsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. all spice

  • add enough water to make it the consistency that you like****In one batch – I used molasses in addition to the brown sugar. I didn’t care for the flavor so left it  out in subsequent batches.