By Jane Henegar
Good morning, good readers. As peach season winds down, we have some peachy requests.
First came a reminiscence about the former Signal Garden's peaches and cream ice-box pie. And then came a flood of requests for using those last peaches: peach pie, peach preserves, instructions for freezing peaches, peach smoothies, freezer peach preserves and pickled peaches.
Deb in Georgia wrote that "There was a restaurant near Signal Mountain Boulevard and Dayton Boulevard years ago called Signal Garden. They served a peaches and cream ice-box pie. Would anyone have that recipe or could tell me what you think was in it? I never tasted it, but I want to make it for a friend that says it was his favorite."
Georgia Haygood sent an ice-cream recipe, more accurately, an "ice cream" that is made of a frozen banana. Here are the specifics.
Banana "Ice Cream"
Ripe banana, frozen
1/8 to 1/2 cup of milk (more if you want a drink)
Vanilla extract (optional)
Slice frozen bananas into blender; use more milk to make a drink; add a little vanilla extract.
Several bananas may be frozen together; they are easy to separate.
Variation: Add other fruits such as strawberries.
To use as a drink, add more milk until desired thickness and refrigerate until ready to drink.
A second recipe from Ms. Haygood has an irresistible theme; it's okra for those who aren't okra lovers. This recipe came from the Jim Aplins, she said.
Okra for Those Who Don't Like Okra
Okra (small, whole)
Roll okra in olive oil and add garlic salt. Place on paper towel and microwave for 1 minute or more. Delicious with cocktails.
As promised, we received from Signal Mountain Rose the tapenade recipe she found during an adventure in Paris.
8 to 10 anchovy fillets (and 1/4 cup milk) (see note)
2 cups Greek or French black olives, pitted
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, peeled, green germ removed, and minced
Freshly-ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, peeled, green germ removed, and minced
6 tablespoons olive oil
Place anchovies in a small shallow bowl, and cover them with the milk. Let them sit for 15 minutes. Then quickly drain them, rinse with water and pat dry.
Place all ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor, and process to form a thick puree. With the processor running, add the oil in a thin stream until it is thoroughly incorporated into the mixture. Taste for seasoning, and adjust if necessary. Makes 11/3 cups tapenade.
Note: Soaking canned anchovy fillets in milk is the surest way to ease the salt out of them. While it won't take away all the salt, the milk absorbs a great deal of it, leaving the flavor and texture of the anchovy intact. You also can rinse them in cool running water, which will remove some salt but not much.
If you've kept tapenade in the refrigerator for several days, taste it before serving. Garlic fades slightly over time, and you may need to add a lot more.
This recipe calls for 8 to 10 anchovy fillets. If you like anchovy flavor, which can be pungent but here adds an earthy, undeniably fish-flavored dimension, use 10 fillets. If you're unsure about your penchant for them, start with 8 and add more if you like.
Martha Cole of Ringgold, Ga., can vouch for the quality of this dessert; It's a favorite when she prepares it for one of her grandsons. And you asked for it.
Heath Bar Dessert
1 stick butter or margarine
1 cup plain flour
1 cup Heath bar candy, crushed
Mix together and pat in a 9- by 13-inch pan sprayed lightly with Pam. Bake 20 minutes in preheated 350 F oven. Let cool.
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup Cool Whip
Mix together and pour over Heath bar crust.
2 small packages of French vanilla pudding mix
3 cups milk
Mix together and beat until thick. Spread over second layer.
1 cup Cool Whip, thawed
2 to 3 Heath bars, coarsely crushed
Top third layer with Cool Whip and crushed Heath bars.
Variation: Some calories may be removed by using the light versions of cream cheese, Cool Whip and skim milk.
To Reach Us
Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750.
Don Blevins of Signal Mountain learned about vinegar slaw from his mother, who now is 103 years old. She got this recipe years ago from S.H. Kress, the chain of five-and-dime stores. "When I went to town with her on the bus, she always took me to one of the department-store restaurants. She has always made this slaw. At Thanksgiving dinner, the large bowl of mustard vinegar slaw is always emptied."
This is an old-fashioned recipe and has some approximations, so you'll need to know something about cooking to make it work. My own mother, who was famous for her cooking, made what she called a "boiled dressing"; like boiled custard, it didn't call actually for boiling. It ended up on fruit salads as well as on cabbage salads. And it worked. I looked up a similar recipe, and its author explained that this was a substitute for mayonnaise in the old days.
Mustard Vinegar Slaw Dressing
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
3/4 cup vinegar
1 spoon of mustard (recipe does not specify dry or wet mustard; either would probably work)
1/2 cup water
1 spoon vanilla extract
Mix together sugar and flour in a saucepan. Add other ingredients, and cook as you would for a banana pudding until thickened. When it thickens, pour it over cabbage slaw and refrigerate before serving.
This recipe also may be used for cooked red cabbage.
Oh, you people: you do know how to cook. And how to share. Keep it up, will you?