By Jane Henegar
Good morning, readers. On this spring day there are many names to mention.
First, one request for a sourdough starter. Dale M. of Hixson is looking for a particular starter, "the one where you add potato flakes, sugar and warm water."
Next, a group of teenage girls got into a conversation about sweets, and they are expert tasters and occasional preparers of new recipes. Their friend, Abby, had just last weekend invented her own cookie: an Oreo with chocolate chip cookie dough wrapped around it, then baked as one would any cookie. And that got them thinking about doing their own baking.
With your help, these would-be chefs (Kay, Kristen, Calyn, Janie, Jan, Destinee, Brianna, Christian, Courtney, Lisa, Katie Beth and Hannah) will be able to make Oreo cookies covered with chocolate, a Celebration Cake that calls for poking holes in a cake and adding sweetened condensed milk, toffee and whipped cream; Oreo balls dipped in dark chocolate; turtle cake; Butterfinger cake with melted caramels drizzled on top; cookies like the ones made by the Signal Mountain Cookie Lady, and thumbprints like those sold at Hurt's Cleaners in Dalton.
It's fun to see cooks start early. A particular young woman of my acquaintance, whose name happens to be Emily, has started her own cookie company at age 11. In a recent Saturday night baking session (she actually has one neighbor who has a cookie subscription to be delivered every Sunday), she allowed me to help. She has her secrets, and if I knew them I would not tell you, but she smiled as she opened the chocolate-chip container and simply shook. And then she shook out some more. No measuring for her, just a generous hand. No wonder people subscribe to Emily's cookies.
Thanks for the more-than-gracious plenty of your recipes for crackers seasoned with Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix. It's been years since a recipe produced so many enthusiastic answers, and each version used either saltines or oyster crackers. And so we thank a second batch of senders: Charlotte Freeman, Sheppie Dunn, Carolyn Sandlin, Anonymous, Stephanie Sheehan, Alice Smalley, Ann Davis, Diane Hall of Soddy-Daisy, Cuma Bryant of Cleveland, Catherine Bartrug, Brenda Fields, Jillrene, Judy Zehnder, Kim Clay, Pat Reynolds of Soddy-Daisy, Rita Nahay of Soddy-Daisy, Peggy Denton of Dayton, Helen Friel of Ringgold and Jennifer Owens.
A reader who calls herself simply Marilyn has a favorite recipe for muffins made with applesauce. "I love raisins, and so these muffins are full of raisins. I also prefer to add pecan pieces or chopped walnuts to the recipe. They are good for breakfast."
1 cup butter (no substitute)
2 cups sugar
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons allspice
1 teaspoon cloves
2 cups applesauce
2 teaspoons soda
1 heaping cup raisins
11/2 cups pecan pieces or chopped walnuts (optional)
Heat oven to 350 F.
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix well.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Mix together applesauce and soda, and add alternately with flour mixture to the first mixture. Add raisins, and nuts if desired, and bake in greased and floured muffin tins - or use paper muffin cup liners - for 15 to 20 minutes.
Two versions of the requested stuffed cabbage arrived in good time. Camille Zvolerin sent this one from Cleveland from her husband's family.
Zvolerin Family Old Country Stuffed Cabbage
2 medium heads cabbage
11/2 pounds lean ground beef
3/4 pound ground pork
Salt and pepper
2 cups cooked rice
1 (46-ounce) can tomato juice
1 to 2 cans sauerkraut (optional)
Cut core out of cabbage so leaves will come off easily. Parboil cabbage in boiling water about 10 minutes, until leaves are tender. (Microwave works just fine.) After cooling, cut vein off leaf without perforating.
Mix together beef, pork, salt and pepper and cooked rice. Take leaf and fill, but don't overfill, with meat mixture; fold and tuck, burrito style. You can use a toothpick if you haven't mastered the fold.
Place in a roaster pan lined with foil. Pour over tomato juice and add water to cover. Add sauerkraut if desired; it really adds to the flavor. Cover with extra cabbage leaves to prevent burn. Put lid on roaster and bake in a preheated 350 F oven about 3 hours. Check occasionally to make sure there is still liquid in the roaster. You may have to add water.
Serve with mashed potatoes. This dish freezes well.
S. Smith sent this recipe with a warning that sodium-restricted dieters should be careful.
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
12 large cabbage leaves
11/2 pounds ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup cooked rice
1/2 teaspoon sage or thyme
2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar
Cover cabbage leaves with boiling water and let stand 5 minutes or until limp; drain and lift out on paper towel to cool. Combine next 7 ingredients. Place equal portions of meat in leaves. Fold sides over meat; roll up and fasten with toothpicks. Combine sauce, sugar, water and lemon juice, and pour over rolls in skillet. Simmer covered for 1 hour. Serves 6.
Here are some simple omelet directions from Barbara, and they will have to be in narrative form for our purposes. Barbara wrote that "I would suggest a nonstick pan or stainless steel or cast iron. Make sure the eggs are mixed well and fluffy. A small amount of water, milk or cream may be added, plus your seasonings of choice. Heat pan on low to medium-low, depending on your stove. Then add a pat of butter and let it melt. Pour in the eggs, and as soon as they start to set, lightly mix with a fork. Patience is the key for omelets not to brown very much. Watch them carefully. When the omelet is starting to set, if the middle still looks soft, push that egg off to the sides and let it set. If you are adding a filling, now is the time. Then flip half the omelet over the top of the filling. Let warm a couple of minutes and slide out of the pan.
To Reach Us
Fare Exchange is a longtime meeting place for people who love to cook and love to eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include precise instructions for every recipe you send.
Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750.