Welcome to October, autumn cooks.
Down in a vineyard in a not-so-faraway state, a college woman and her mother were invited to pick all the Concord grapes they wanted. Audrey Davis reported, "Mom and I wanted to make Concord grape jelly or jam together, just like my paternal grandmother did."
That is a very sensory way to remember somebody you love: to cook as they once cooked. Concord grape jelly or jam recipes, anyone? And if you have a family memory with a recipe attached, would you share that recipe, no matter what its category?
E. of Henagar, Alabama, found this treat for fig lovers in an old cookbook. Figs don't even need to be growing on the bush out back; this recipe calls for canned figs, though fresh should work well too. This recipe was attributed in the cookbook to Mrs. Alfred J. Gipson of Decherd, Tennessee.
Orange Fig Salad
1 (No. 303) can figs
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 orange
1 (3 ounce) package orange Jell-O
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Drain figs, reserving juice. Mix reserved juice with the lemon and orange juices. Add enough water to equal 1 3/4 cups liquid. Put in saucepan. Bring to boil; add gelatin, and stir until dissolved. Cool. Chill until slightly thickened. Soften cream cheese. Add Worcestershire sauce and nuts, and mix well. Cover each fig with cream cheese mixture. Arrange figs in a mold so each serving will contain a fig. Pour gelatin over figs, and chill until firm. Serve on salad greens.
The Sundays are still thinking of things chocolate.
What, we asked, would one do with chocolate ganache as per their recipe?
Mr. and Mrs. Sunday replied, "Dress plates, pour over ice cream, drizzle over a Bundt cake, make lava cakes, etc. We've heard of whipped ganache icing but haven't tried it. Slather it on toast."
And furthermore, for chocolate fondue: dip angel or pound cake, fruit or marshmallows in chocolate ganache.
"You might add powdered vanilla wafers and your choice of booze to make rum/bourbon/amaretto ... balls (a recipe from the '60s)." And here is that recipe.
Rum/Bourbon/ Amaretto Balls
1 cup vanilla wafers
1/2 cup pecans, toasted or not
1 to 3 tablespoons of ganache
2 to 4 tablespoons of your choice of liquor
Confections sugar or cocoa for dusting
Blend vanilla wafers and pecans to a powder in food processor. Mix in ganache and liquor of choice. Form into balls, and roll in confectioners sugar or cocoa, and chill.
If the chocolate needs to solidify, you'll need to temper it. Not for beginners — see the following link for how to do it: https://www.seriouseats.com/2014/12/the-food-lab-best-way-to-temper-chocolate.html.
"With tempered chocolate in hand, you can dip fruit into it and let it set, pour it into puff-pastry cups, interweave it into phyllo sheets."
CAKE WITH MAYO
Joy Yates of Cleveland, Tennessee, had a sweet memory of her aunt's mayonnaise cake, whereupon she found this similar recipe from February 2015 in Southern Living. Chocolate icing tops it off.
Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 large eggs
1 2/3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mayonnaise
1 1/3 cups hot water
Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk together flour and next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Grease (with shortening) and flour a 13- by 9-inch pan.
Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla at medium-high speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer about 3 minutes or until mixture is very light brown and ribbons form when beater is lifted. Add mayonnaise, and beat at low speed until combined.
Add flour mixture to egg mixture alternately with hot water, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. Frost with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting.
Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (32-ounce) package powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
5 to 6 tablespoons heavy cream
Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
Whisk together powdered sugar and cocoa in a medium bowl; gradually add to butter mixture alternately with 5 tablespoons cream. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. (If needed, add up to 1 tablespoon cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, to reach desired consistency.) Increase speed to medium, and beat 1 to 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
ICE CREAM LAYERS
Janice Hixson also found a homemade ice cream sandwich recipe, as per your request. The recipe calls for, well, ice cream sandwiches ready-made, which is a fine ingredient.
Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert
12 frozen ice cream sandwiches
1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/4 cup Smucker's hot fudge topping, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup Smucker's hot caramel topping, plus additional for garnish
1/4 cup salted peanuts
Arrange 6 sandwiches in 9-inch square pan, cutting to fit. Spread with half of whipped topping. Spoon fudge topping on whipped topping. Drizzle 1/4 cup caramel topping over hot fudge.
Layer with remaining 6 ice cream sandwiches. Spread with remaining whipped topping. Freeze 3 hours or overnight. Remove from freezer 20 minutes before serving. Cut into squares.
Drizzle with hot caramel and hot fudge toppings before serving. Sprinkle with peanuts.
JUST A DASH
Open the freezer at the home of C.B.H. these days, and you will find on almost every shelf homegrown tomatoes. Yes, the freezer. When it's time for dinner, she and her little ones pull out a hunk of cheese and some homemade bread, make the easiest of tomato soups, and feast.
"Sauté onion and green pepper in olive oil or butter until soft. Take the tomatoes straight from the freezer; you don't even have to peel them. Thaw enough that you can core and puree along with the onion and green pepper. Add chicken broth, season to taste, and heat well."
We will return to that bottle of amaretto reserved for pie making, but for now, thanks to Sylvia Smith for digging out her Ronald McDonald cookbook for an amaretto pie.
We are always in the market for your ideas, quick and complicated. But you knew that.
» Grape jam or jelly
» Family memory recipes
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