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Good morning, October celebrants. In a world of pumpkins and apples and spices, the robustness of autumn invades our senses ... and our kitchens.

We have a repeat request for "homemade apple butter, or any other fruit butters, that do not contain added sugars." And then, from the same anonymous Exchanger, "I would also like advice on choosing walnuts that are not bitter to the taste. Seems like I guess wrong about half the time."

He or she added this one. "Does anyone have a recipe for fruit crumble that is gluten-free?"

 

COOKIE BONANZA

Roseann Strazinsky keeps on cooking at her Fairfield Glade, Tennessee, home. This morning she wrote, "I am sending you my favorite Pumpkin Cookies that make about six dozen cookies."

 

Pumpkin Cookies

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 egg

1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup chocolate chip pieces

Powdered sugar (optional)

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, pumpkin and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Mix well, scraping the sides as you go. Add nuts and chips, and mix thoroughly.

Drop by teaspoons onto well-greased cookie sheets. (I used kitchen parchment nonstick pan liner and was able to reuse them.) Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Remove from cookie sheets while still warm using a metal spatula; cool on racks. I like to sprinkle them with a dusting of powdered sugar.

 

PORK ROAST

The pork roast conversation got some help from Edith Parker Middleton's amazing collection, "Recipes and Remembering."

 

Crockpot Pork Roast

1 large onion, sliced

2 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin

1 cup hot water

1/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon ketchup

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Dash of hot pepper sauce (optional)

Place onion at the bottom of a crockpot. Place pork on top of onion. In a medium bowl, combine hot water, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, pepper, salt, garlic powder and hot sauce. Pour mixture over pork. Cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or until internal pork temperature reaches 160 to 170 degrees on a meat thermometer. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

 

SKILLET ENCHILADAS

C.K. of Nashville likes to cook this easy dish for her gluten-free friends.

 

Beef and Quinoa Enchilada Skillet

1/2 cup quinoa

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound ground beef

1 small onion (about 1/3 cup), finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 (10-ounce) can mild enchilada sauce

1 (14-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained

1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (8.75-ounce) can yellow whole-kernel corn

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup shredded Cheddar Jack cheese

1 to 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped, for garnish if desired

Chopped tomatoes for garnish if desired

Fill a small pot with 1 cup water, and cook quinoa according to package directions. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet, over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and onions, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, crumbling beef until no longer pink. Drain fat, and return to burner.

Add quinoa, garlic, enchilada sauce, tomatoes, black beans, corn, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper until well combined. Cook over medium-low heat until heated through, about 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and cook until cheese melts, 2 to 3 minutes.

 

If desired, sprinkle with chopped cilantro and chopped tomatoes, and serve.

CAST-IRON CARE

Here's how Roseann Strazinsky's mother kept her cast-iron skillets. "After my mom washed hers, she always took a paper towel with a dab of salad oil and rubbed it over the skillet to keep it from rusting. Then she placed a sheet of paper towel into the pan before putting it into her cupboard."

 

MUFFINS FROM OATMEAL

Sharing good recipes seems to be part of A.H.L.'s DNA, and this week she adds a recipe for the frequent leftover oatmeal of cold-weather mornings.

 

Leftover Oatmeal Muffins

This is a simple muffin recipe for using leftover oatmeal (steel cut, rolled, quick or minute oats). They all work well. Mix with cinnamon, raisins, chocolate chips, nuts or blueberries.

1 1/2 cups leftover oatmeal

2 eggs

3/4 cup oil

1/2 cup milk

2/3 cup brown sugar

2 1/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup raisins (or chocolate chips, nuts or blueberries)

3 tablespoons oats

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease muffin tins or line them with muffin cups.

Whisk together the leftover oatmeal, eggs, oil, milk and brown sugar until smooth and there are no clumps of oatmeal.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.

Fold the flour mixture into the wet mixture until combined. Be careful not to overmix.

Stir in the raisins (or chocolate chips, nuts or blueberries).

Spoon into prepared muffin cups. I like to use the square brown paper liners. This recipe will make 12 large muffins. If you prefer smaller muffins, this recipe will make about 18.

Sprinkle some oats on top of the muffin batter in each cup.

Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 22 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool the muffins before removing them from the muffin tin.

 

JUST A DASH

R.H., a busy mom and businesswoman, knows just what to do when someone needs a meal in a time of busyness or crisis. "I stop by Vinterest Southside on the way home and get a jar of vegetable soup concentrate from The Ruffled Rooster and a loaf of Bread Basket bread. All the recipient needs to do is pour the soup into a saucepan and add water, and butter the bread and heat it. I usually call ahead to Vinterest make sure these two items are in stock."

 

OMISSION CORRECTION

Pete Rolston's cornbread, printed last week, came from this Martha White recipe with the slightest variations. Here is the official version. And yes, both recipes call for an egg.

 

Martha White Southern Cornbread

This six-ingredient recipe yields a cornbread that's not too sweet and instead is full of corn flavors. It's the perfect side to soups.

1 large egg

1 3/4 cups buttermilk

1/4 cup oil or shortening, plus more for skillet

2 cups white cornmeal

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Optional:

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons butter

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Grease a cast-iron skillet with oil or shortening and put it in the oven.

In a large bowl add the egg, buttermilk, oil, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine.

Bake for 25 to 28 minutes or until golden brown. Brush on melted butter when it comes out of the oven (optional).

Today's column, in review, is just right for the season. Thank you for your tasty and tasteful contributions to the art of cooking and eating well. That goes not just for those who do the work, but for those who read about it, and who applaud the cooks.

 

REQUESTS

* Homemade apple butter sans sugar

* How to choose walnuts

* Gluten-free fruit crumble

 

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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Jane Henegar
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