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Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750.
Good morning, Fare readers. And on this day before Valentine's Day we can think of goodies that are neither sweet nor heart-shaped, as love takes many forms and suits a multitude of tastes. Some examples sought here are cowboy cookies, coffee cakes that contain no baking powder or baking soda, brown-sugar pound cake and carrots once served at The Loft restaurant.
Why, carrots can even be a love language -- and a healthful one at that. Times Free Press reporter Clint Cooper's story on cooking carrots (pardon us while we alliterate) brought forth a question from a reader who remembered her favorite carrots ever at the now-closed Loft Restaurant. Can anyone bring back that recipe for our anonymous friend? The three sweet requests came from a certain Mrs. McIntosh.
Our longtime friend Signal Mountain Rose has made a sugar cookie or two in her career and hopes this one will work for Kittie Stauffer; it came from Southern Living's 1991 Annual Recipes. Although Rose never ices her sugar cookies, a proper icing is here provided.
1/2 pound butter
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups flour plus 1 cup for rolling
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream butter and sugar and add other ingredients. Chill dough thoroughly. Roll out on floured board and cut any shape desired. Sprinkle with sugar (red or green at Christmas) before baking in a preheated 350-degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Frost if desired with the following.
1 1/2 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Food coloring of choice
Beat butter at medium speed of an electric mixer. Add sugar and milk, beating until blended. Stir in vanilla. Add food coloring.
Pat Longwith of Cleveland found a requested recipe in her aunt's "Pickens Family Cookbook," compiled in 1984. This aunt "was a wonderful cook. I've eaten this pie and it is remarkable." The final directions say, "Cover with meringue" and we will include a meringue recipe for your convenience. I, however, have never made a meringue that satisfied so, if you are a meringue expert, don't forget our correspondent Lisa B.H., who needs chocolate meringue pie expertise ... not merely a recipe.
Gladys Caramel Pie
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons plain flour
3 egg yolks
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sift together sugar and flour. In a separate bowl beat egg yolks in milk until smooth and set aside.
Melt butter in deep heavy skillet and pour blended mixture into skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to thicken, 3 to 5 minutes.
While stirring this melt 1/3 cup sugar in a small skillet over high heat, using other hand to stir sugar until completely melted. Reduce heat and stir together until well blended. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour into 8- or 9-inch baked pie shell. Top with meringue and bake meringue according to directions.
One originator of this meringue and the pie that anchored it described such a pie as good hot or cold or even frozen, as "it tastes like a popsicle when you eat it frozen." Some things are simply tasty at any temperature.
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons of sugar
Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until stiff and glossy. Spread evenly over hot filling, sealing meringue to pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden.
The Keister family calls their version of chicken and dumplings "chicken and slickers," and they sometimes save time with a rotisserie chicken. "Get a rotisserie chicken and remove all skin and bones and use that already cooked chicken. Of course you will still need to use chicken broth." Terry Keister's habit is to "cook up a chicken ahead of time, save the broth and do the rest within a couple of days."
Chicken and Slickers
1 whole chicken
1 teaspoon salt
Cook chicken in water, celery, onions and salt until chicken is tender. Remove from broth, allow to cool a bit and remove chicken from bone. Set aside. Strain the broth and add more chicken broth to make about 10 cups of liquid. Save 3 cups of the cooked chicken for this recipe.
Dumplings (aka Slickers)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons shortening
Combine flour, soda and salt; cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk, stirring with a fork until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface, and knead lightly four or five times.
For rolled dumplings, roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut dough into 4-by-1/2-inch pieces. Drop dough into boiling broth, gently stirring after each addition. Add the cooked chicken.
For drop dumplings, pat dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Pinch off dough in 1 1/2-inch pieces and drop into boiling broth.
Reduce heat to medium low, and cook 8 to 10 minutes or to desired consistency, stirring occasionally.
Our lastnameless Barbara has an all-purpose recipe, and a delicious one, that she uses "for soups, stews, and chicken and dumplings."
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup all-purpose flour
Bring milk and butter to a boil; add salt and nutmeg. Remove from heat and immediately add flour stirring until dough leaves the sides of the pan. Incorporate the eggs, one at a time, forming a sticky dough. Drop spoon sized balls of dough into simmering broth until they rise.
We never were much for Valentine's Day around our house. I gave away the heart-shaped cake pan years ago. And yet there is something to be said for saying, in audible and readable and culinary ways, one's gratitude at being the recipient of the grace of love. So, whatever the language, shall we give thanks? Let's.