Fare Exchange: Make-ahead specialties for the holiday table

Fare Exchange: Make-ahead specialties for the holiday table

December 12th, 2018 by Jane Henegar in Life Entertainment

Jane Henegar

Jane Henegar

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

We have sent out a call to you readers for a holiday recipe on the menu at your house. Today we have two early responders, one with an easy-to-make snack and another with a pecan pie. Won't you send a Christmas favorite from your kitchen?

And here are some other things our readers are wanting.

An anonymous correspondent is looking for "a recipe that appeared in the newspaper long ago. I believe it was called Betty Cummings' Roast, and the method of cooking produced a tender, browned roast. The method worked for other meats as well, as I recall, but I cannot recall the method."

Here's a reminder too that a reader wanted directions for cooking sea scallops at home.

 

PIE

Juanita Ellis introduced this pecan pie by explaining, "I have been making pecan pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas for 30 years or more." Now that is an impressive history.

Pecan Pie

1 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup dark corn syrup (I prefer clear Karo syrup)

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons milk

2 eggs, whole

1 deep-dish pie shell, unbaked

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Combine sugar, salt, vanilla extract, syrup, melted butter, flour and milk. Add eggs one at a time. Mix well. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Top with pecans. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

 

MUSHROOMS

Barbara Mann and her daughter have a plan for the season that is upon us. "Since the holiday is long this year, we decided on one snack night with all our favorites. I found this recipe this year and have made it a couple of times."

Marinated Mushrooms

1 pound button mushrooms, cleaned and halved

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup vinegar

2 minced garlic cloves

2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon red pepper, optional

1 bay leaf

Salt to taste

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Saute mushrooms in oil, allowing liquid to release and evaporate. Remove from heat. Add rest of ingredients, and refrigerate. Allow to marinate at least 8 hours. This dish is good in the refrigerator for several days. Serve at room temperature.

 

DIP

Also in the snack department, here's an easy dip from Barbara Smith, from "Cooking With Grainger County Tomatoes."

BLT Dip

2 medium tomatoes

8 ounces mayonnaise

8 ounces sour cream

1 jar real bacon bits

Remove seeds from tomatoes, and dice. Mix all ingredients well, and chill. Serve with toast squares.

 

GINGERBREAD

There is the sweet aroma of memories and of grandmother love, as well as of spices, in the letter sent from Pat Pelfrey of Flintstone, Georgia. "This was my grandmother's gingerbread recipe. She lived 102 years and was a wonderful cook."

Mama Long's Gingerbread

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1 1/2 teaspoons ginger

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup molasses (not the dark Grandma's brand)

1 cup strong black coffee

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the dry ingredients; set aside. Cream butter and brown sugar together. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add molasses. Alternate adding coffee and flour mixture. Pour into a greased jellyroll pan. Bake 25 minutes or until top springs back when touched. Serve with Lemon Sauce (recipe follows).

Lemon Sauce

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

6 egg yolks

Grated rind and juice of 2 lemons

Combine ingredients in top of a double boiler, and cook over low heat until thick. Pour over gingerbread, stirring all the time.

 

SQUASH

As promised, here are more plan-ahead recipes, fit for Christmas, from the cookbook sent by E. of Henagar, Alabama. Its title? "Fix, Freeze, Take and Bake."

Winter Squash With Honey, Cranberry and Walnuts

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup butter, melted

3 cups mashed winter squash (use butternut, Hubbard or buttercup; see note about mashing)

3/4 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen

1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate

1/8 cup honey

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Note: To make mashed squash, cut 1 medium winter squash in half. Roast halves face down until tender, scoop out flesh and mash. (Or peel squash, cut into cubes, simmer until tender, drain and mash.)

In a medium bowl, stir together egg, melted butter and squash. In a separate bowl, combine cranberries, frozen orange juice concentrate, honey and walnuts. Add 1/4 of the cranberry mixture to the squash mixture. Transfer squash mixture to a greased 1-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cranberry mixture. Cover and freeze.

To prepare: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake frozen squash loosely covered for about 1 hour. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

 

PORK CHOPS

Keep the honey pot on the counter for this final one from E's collection today.

Honey-Glazed Pork Chops

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger

2 teaspoons minced garlic

3 tablespoons soy sauce

6 boneless pork chops

In a small bowl, mix together honey, vinegar, ginger, garlic and soy sauce. Combine with pork chops in a freezer bag. Freeze.

To prepare: Thaw meat in marinade overnight in refrigerator. Arrange pork chops with marinade in a baking dish. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes. Turn pork chops 2 or 3 times during baking to coat with glaze.

You may freeze the pork chops in the freezer bag for up to 6 months.

 

JUST A DASH

G.C.H. served up a bowl of goodies to a guest recently. "I like to give my little girls simple foods that I cook fresh. That leaves a lot of small containers in the refrigerator at week's end. So I make a bowl for the grown-ups: This week I used warm quinoa as a base, then chopped grape tomatoes, green beans, garbanzo beans, pomegranate seeds, Brussels sprouts, avocado. Use whatever you have on hand. I dressed it with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a generous sprinkling of salt and maybe a little crumbled feta cheese."

Thank you for your company and your bright ideas, and do come back.

 

REQUESTS

* Betty Cummings' roast

* How to cook sea scallops

* More holiday standards

 

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

Email: chattfare@gmail.com


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