We welcome both your recipes and your requests.
Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750.
Good morning, indispensable readers. Today's requests include Greek salad dressing, sugar cookies and tinted icing once printed in the newspaper, and burnt caramel pie.
• R.C.B. went to lunch at his favorite place, Park Place Restaurant in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., and had his favorite meal, Greek salad. "The dressing is wonderful and, unlike most restaurant salads, they give you plenty of dressing for drenching the salad. I would love to have that dressing recipe or something like it. It is thick and creamy."
• Kittie Stauffer has made an extensive search for a sugar cookie recipe, complete with icing that can be tinted with different food colorings. "It was printed in the newspaper. In an article about a project for children. This recipe seemed like an old one to me, and that is just what I was looking for."
• Alice Stevenson is looking for a recipe "for a burnt caramel pie. It is like a butterscotch pie, but better, and uses granulated sugar instead of brown sugar. This makes the burnt part." And you will see below that Ms. Stevenson sent a gift as well, a dish she calls cranberry relish. That recipe, says Cooper, really looks like a salad and certainly is suitable for January and February.
1 package fresh cranberries
1 cup pecans or walnuts
2 cups sugar
1 (10- or 15-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 pint whipping cream
Grind cranberries in blender; set aside. Grind pecans or walnuts in blender; add to cranberries. Add sugar. Refrigerate overnight. In morning, drain most of juice from cranberries. Mix in drained pineapple. Whip cream in mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold into relish. Serve.
Did you clip that sweet monkey bread in last week's Exchange? Let me clarify that the kind sender was Theresa Lisa.
As expected, you also hurried to the aid of the devoted mother who wants to find nitrate-free meats for her daughter. Angela Hanley advised Cooking Mama "to check out the Wednesday Main Street Farmer's Market. There are several local farms that bring a variety of meats there each week. The ability to talk directly to the farmer is invaluable. The quality is always superb as well."
Peggy Sult joined the conversation, recommending Creekridge Farms in Chickamauga, Ga. They specialize in this. The owners, Marvin and Susan Galyon, work really hard to make sure their products are as pure as possible.
"I contacted Susan and this was her response, 'We have quite a few customers with allergy issues and a money-back guarantee. First for allergic people, I also advise they try a small bite of the food that has always given them trouble. We have several customers with corn allergies who buy our beef regularly and eat it with no problems. We don't have a wide inventory of beef right now, but we have some. The meat freezers are almost empty so it's time to harvest chickens and steers. We will also be adding pork soon.'"
Ms. Sult adds that one can find this farm on Facebook at Creekridge Farms.
Mary Ann McInturff found the authentic Williamsburg creamed onions by digging up her 1971 copy of theiamsburg Cookbook. Ms. McInturff wrote that " I was reminded of this recipe for King's Arms Tavern Creamed Onions with Peanuts." Could a cook use any old peanut? Absolutely not. "Anyone who knows the Tidewater area of Virginia knows that the only peanuts they would use here are Virginia peanuts, like those from The Peanut Shop in Williamsburg, which are cooked in peanut oil and only lightly salted."
16 whole small white onions
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1/4 cup whole salted peanuts
1/2 cup buttered bread crumbs
1/4 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 1-quart casserole. Cook onions in boiling salted water until tender; drain. Melt butter over medium heat; stir in flour and salt. Add milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth and slightly thickened. Put onions in prepared casserole and pour cream sauce over them. Stir in 1/4 cup whole peanuts. Top with buttered crumbs and chopped peanuts. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and lightly browned.
Jane Guthrie weighs in with a variation on this theme, remembering tasting this dish at the Boar's Head Inn.
3 jars Aunt Nellie's onions, drained with 1/2 cup of juice reserved
1 1/2 cups white sauce
1/2 cup or more of cocktail peanuts (Roasted are not as good as cocktail peanuts for this use.)
Drain onions well. Reserve 1/2 cup of the juice for the white sauce. Follow the usual procedure to make 1 1/2 cups white sauce using real butter, fine flour, half and half and 1/2 cup of reserved juice. (See the recipe above for how-to instructions for white sauce.) This may all be done a day in advance.
When ready to assemble, butter a Pyrex loaf dish, pour off any onion juice and add the onions. Spread the white sauce over the top of the onions. Bake 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Sauce will melt, bubble and be distributed among the onions. Cover the top with the peanuts and put back in the oven for 10 minutes.
Leftover onions are a great addition later to a turkey sandwich of stuffing with a little gravy and cranberry.