Cooper’s Country Store Barbecue Sauce

From my sister, Amanda:

3 cups cider vinegar
2 T crushed red pepper
2 T black pepper
3 T ketchup
2 T salt
3 T sugar
3 T dry mustard

“I halve the red pepper, usuallly. Could probably reduce the sugar.”

This is what my family believe barbecue is supposed to taste like.


Coconut Curry Soup

I got this recipe from the Thug Kitchen website:

Coconut Curry Soup

Serves 4 as a main, 6 as a side

2 teaspoons olive or coconut oil

½ a large white onion, cut into 1-inch strips

2 red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch strips

1 large carrot, cut into 1-inch strips

1 cup chopped broccoli*

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons of loosely-packed minced fresh ginger

2 tablespoons yellow curry powder**

2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari

1 ½ cups of canned coconut milk

4 cups of vegetable broth

12 ounces of rice noodles, cooked according to the package***

2 cups of chopped spinach or whatever leafy green you like

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon Sriracha-style hot sauce****

Toppings: cilantro, green onion, sliced peppers, lime wedges.

Warm the oil in a large stockpot over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for a minute. Add the bell peppers and carrot and cook for a minute more. Add the broccoli and cook for another 3 minutes. You want to get the vegetables to soften up just a little but they’re gonna cook through the whole soup making processes, so don’t go trying to make those crispy bitches all soggy right out the gate. Gross.

Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, and soy sauce and cook for 30 more seconds or until your place starts smelling fucking amazing. Throw in the coconut milk and vegetable broth and bring that shit to a simmer, stirring it every now and then, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked noodles and spinach and let it all simmer together until the spinach starts to wilt, about a minute more. Turn off the heat and stir in the cilantro, lime juice, and Sriracha and taste. Add more curry powder, lime juice, garlic, soy sauce, whatever you think it needs to start tasting right.

Serve right away topped with some extra cilantro or some green onions, maybe some sliced peppers and lime wedges on the side. Whatever the fuck you’re feeling.


I didn’t cook the noodles first and they soaked up all the broth.  Don’t care; it was still tasty.  Also, the box of rice noodles we already had in the cupboard was 8 ounces, not 12.  Used about 1 teaspoon of dried ginger because our piece of fresh had shriveled up while we weren’t paying attention.



Grandma Ogburn Fruitcake

From Jackie:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Use either 1 ring pan or two small loaf pans. Line the bottoms with wax or parchment paper and grease and flour the pans.

1 1/2 cups mixed candied fruit (or 1 pound container)
1 cup raisins
3/4 cups chopped nuts (I use walnuts and pecans)
1/2 small package dried figs — about 1/4 pound or 6 or 8 figs, cut into small pieces (brown Greek or Turkey figs work better than Mission figs)
Mix together in a bowl and set aside

In a large bowl, sift together
2 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 lb (one stick) butter, rubbed into the flour and spice mixture and add
1 cup of sugar and the mixed fruit and nuts

In a small bowl beat together
1 egg and
1 cup of milk

Add to the flour and fruits, stirred together well to wet all the flour. Put batter into pans, topped with candied cherries and pineapple and or nuts.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours, until tops are light brown and the kitchen smells divine. Cool for several hours.

Take out of pans, dowse with brandy and wrap tightly in cling wrap and then another layer of foil. Keep for at least two weeks before eating, but can be stored until next year, if you unwrap and add more brandy, say on Easter and Labor Day. In the freezer, they will last forever.

Cilantro Chutney

Instructions from my co-worker, Vinu Patel, because you cannot stop cilantro from  growing in our herb bed:

Handful of cilantro.  (The way he held his hand looked like about 2 cups.)

1 jalapeno, seeds removed, 2 if you like it hot.  (That’s too much for him.  He thinks one is plenty if you use jalapeno.  If you use the long, red Indian pepper, use 2.  HE thinks they aren’t as hot.)

Little salt.

Little sugar

Little lemon juice. according to your taste. Less salt than lemon and sugar. (I would start with 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp each of lemon and sugar.  He held his fingers about an inch apart when he was telling me)

If you have, a little fresh ginger and little cashew nut.

Taste it and adjust it how you like it.