Pumpkin Bread

Sift together:
3 ½ c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg

4 eggs
2/3 c. water
1 c. oil
2 c. pumpkin
½ c. pecans (optional)  I like ’em
½ c. raisins (optional) no, thank you.

Mix well and pour into 2 g/f loaf pans.  Bake @ 350°F for 1 hour.


Gajar No Halwo (Indian Carrot Dessert)

This is called Halwa at local Indian restaurants.  I think that’s the Americanized way to label it.  My Indian coworker, Binita, gave me instructions for this. I made it tonight and Chuck says “Namaste, Binita!”

Grate 1 lb carrots on the medium size hole.
Cook on medium heat with @ 2 Tbsp ghee until softening.
Add 1 c. milk and continue cooking the milk down until the carrots are creamy.
Add 1/2 c. sugar 
and 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom.

Take off the eye and allow to cool a little while you have dinner.

(There are recipes online, now that I know the correct name to look for, that add cashews, almonds, pistachios and/or raisins at the end.  We are having plain and will try nuts later.)

Miranda’s Groovy Popcorn Candy

honey version:

1/3 cup honey
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla
6 cups popcorn (stovetop, not microwave)

Butter a very large bowl, dump popped corn into it. Mix honey, cream, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan. Cook to 250 degrees, stirring constantly. Watch thermometer closely. When it reaches 250, add vanilla, pour over popcorn and mix with wooden spoon.


crackerjack version:

1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup butter
6 to 7 cups popped popcorn

Follow same procedure as above for cooking ingredients and coating popcorn.

Nanny’s Sweet Pickles

You can make as much pickles as you have cucumbers for with this recipe.  My paternal grandmother would can anything that was ripe and ready, whether she had a handful or a potful.  I have found that 5.5 -6 lbs of cucumbers makes about 9 pints of pickles.

Put whole cucumbers in a container and pour boiling water over all of them.  Let them sit overnight.  Next day, pour of the water and cover them with boiling water again. Do this for 4 days.  On the 5th day, cut up the cucumbers (Thicker makes crisper pickles) and mix:

6 c. sugar
3 c. vinegar
2 Tbsp. salt
1½ Tbsp. pickling spice  (You buy it at the grocery in the spice aisle.  Nanny thought I was nuts to question that.) 

Make enough of this solution to cover the cucumbers.  Simple math will work to make more if you need it.  A minor variation in the amount of salt isn’t significant.

Bring the mixture to a boil and pour it over the sliced cucumbers.  Allow to sit for 2 days.  On the 7th day, bring the entire batch to a boil, place in jars and seal. Allow to set for @ a month until there are no more white blotches on the cucumbers.

Short cut:

You can turn on the eye and bring the mixture to a boil and allow it to cool every time it crosses your mind on days 5-7 and the pickles will be ready to eat when you are ready to put them in the jars.  This does make for a  more syrupy juice, which my mother doesn’t care for. I add more vinegar to the pot when I know she’ll be getting some.

My family love these in tuna salad, on burgers or on a cracker with cheddar cheese and mustard.

Tex-Mex Layered Dip

1 – 2 cans Refried beans

2- 2-3 medium avocados, peeled and mashed with
1-2 Tbsp lemon juice  (or your favorite pre-made guacamole)

3- 1 c. sour cream
     1/2 c. mayo
      1 pkg taco seasoning

4 – 6-8 green onions, sliced, include green

5 – 2 med tomatoes, diced  (or drain a container of salsa fresca instead of chopping onions and tomatoes)

6 – 1 small can sliced black olives

7 – jalapeno slices (How hot you want this is so subjective that I can’t even begin to give a quantity, pickled have significantly less heat than fresh.  I usually get a jar of pickled and use all of them because I like to have some heat all over instead of really intense heat in a few places.)

8- 2 c. grated cheddar cheese

Layer, bottom to top.   1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8

Chill. (I do it the night before)

Serve with tortilla chips.

Istanbul Green Beans

2 14 oz cans green beans (I use one of regular cut and one French cut)
1/4-1/4 c. olive oil  (do not substitute another vegetable oil)
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
2 medium onions, chopped
1 tsp. sugar
1 green bell pepper, chopped (optional)

Dump everything in a pot.  Bring it to a rolling boil, turn down to a simmer and cook out most of the water.  Refrigerate over night.  Serve chilled.

I got this recipe from my Middle Eastern History instructor.  He said it was served to him by every family he visited when he lived in Turkey.

I used to serve it with Greek chicken and call it a Cypriot meal.

Popcorn Cake

In a small pan, melt:
1 stick butter
1 pkg marshmallows
1/2 c. oil

Pour over:
4 quarts popped corn (with the old maids picked out)
1 bag M&Ms
12 oz. nuts 

Coat thoroughly.  Press into a tube pan or any attractively shaped dish.  Let cool over night.

The pan does not need to be greased before hand.  The cake will pop out easily when it’s cool.  It gets crumbly if allowed to get warm, so store it in the refrigerator.

I think my mother found this recipe in the Morganton, NC newspaper in 1994.  It got a lot of use for a couple of  years and then kind of fell to the wayside.