Thursday, December 27, 2012

Feedback Needed!

Laura's "Sweet Memories" (the shop) needs your help!
Please take a minute and leave a comment here.  Thanks.

I simply need to know what you would be most likely to purchase if you were to visit my shop in 2013.

I have all sorts of handmade souvenirs, books, bookmarks, old-fashioned hard candies, chocolates and a number of flavors of fudge.  (These are just some of the items in the shop.)

If you come, visiting the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum, what would you most likely want to take home with you to remember your visit?  (Please, be specific. Thanks.)

Since every business seems to be hurting financially these days, and mine in no exception - I'd also like to get an idea of how much your average purchase might be.

Each year I endeavor to bring items to my visitors which they would like - but I have limited space and finances.  So I must use both wisely.  Over the last 3 years, I have expanded the variety of items in the shop.  But due to decreased tourism, I must make decisions as to what I'll continue to stock.

Please help me.  Thanks.  The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Monday, December 24, 2012

National Eggnog Day!

According to what Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote, in her book, "Farmer Boy", eggnog was not something reserved for Christmastime.  Almanzo's mother made eggnog for the little fellow, to cool him off during times he worked in the fields.  This was surely not the alcoholic laden drink that most think of at Christmastime!

I always liked the flavor of eggnog, but never really liked to drink it with rum in it.  I found this recipe years ago.  I eliminated the rum, substituted rum flavoring, and it became my version of eggnog.  But I've never tried it during the summer or fall, only at Christmastime!

This is a safe way to make eggnog, without being concerned about getting sick with raw eggs.
Farmer Boy Eggnog
Ingredients:
  • 4 Cups of whole milk
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 Cups of sugar
  • 4 Cups of Half 'n Half
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons of rum flavoring
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg & more for a sprinkling
Directions: In a saucepan, over the lowest possible heat setting, heat the milk, cloves, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Bring it slowly to a boil, (about 5 minutes) strain out the cloves, and set it aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the egg yolks and sugar, till it is fluffy.  Whisk in the milk mixture.
Put the mixture back into a large pan and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes. *Do not let it boil!  Cook and stir, till it thickens.  Remove it from the heat to cool completely.
Once it is cooled, stir in the 4 cups of half 'n half, along with 2 teaspoons of vanilla, rum flavoring, and the ground nutmeg.
Place this in the refrigerator for at least 6 to 8 hours.
*Pour it into cups, sprinkle a pinch of fresh ground nutmeg on top and enjoy!
This may not be exactly what Almanzo had as a boy, but it makes me think about him everytime I drink it!

*Note: For an extra frothy and thick eggnog: whip up the egg whites and place 1/4 cup of them in each cup before pouring in the eggnog.

Let's lift our cups in a toast to Laura and her husband, Almanzo, "Thanks for sharing your memories with us!"
The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Festive Bread Loaf

If you are preparing a festive holiday meal or need something to bring to a pot luck meal, this might just fit the bill!  I almost forgot that I even had this recipe!
It is a bread that goes with just about any entree, and it brightens up any meal.
Farmer Boy Beet Bread
Ingredients:
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast
  • 3/4 Cup of warm water (about 110 degrees F.)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Honey
  • 3/4 Cup of Beets, uncooked,  fresh & shredded (measure after being squeezed dry)
  • 1/2 Cup of warm milk (about 110 degrees F.)
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt
  • 3 Cups of bread flour (or, in a pinch, all-purpose flour)
  • 1 egg white
Directions: In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water.  Stir in the honey and let it sit at least 5 minutes.  Add the warm milk.
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Stir in the yeast mixture.  Add the butter and beets. 
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 8 minutes, till it is smooth.
Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in it, turning it to oil it. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm spot to rise.  After it has doubled in size, (about 50 to 60 minutes) place it in an oiled loaf pan (9x5x3 inches).  Cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let it rise again, till almost doubled again, (about 40 minutes).
Brush the egg white on top.  Bake in a pre-heated oven, at 350 degrees F. for 30 to 35 minutes.  It should sound hollow when tapped.  Remove from the pan to cool on a wire rack before slicing.

This loaf doesn't have an overpowering beet flavor, just the hint of the beets.  But it is lovely to look at and is really good with butter or cream cheese spread onto it!

It is a good way to use up those beets you've harvested from your garden!  What, no beet harvest?  Did you plant one?  You know, you ought to plant beets - they are tasty and really good for you & they are easy to grow!  you could even grow a few in a container garden & that fresh air you'd get daily watering them would be good for you too!

"Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.  In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let's be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worthwhile."  Laura Ingalls Wilder

My suggestion for growing beets applies to all you "City Dwellers" as well as the country folks - maybe even more so!  At least, try this recipe and see if you like it.  Then come back here and leave a comment, letting us all know of your experience.  Thanks.  The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sugar Free Cookies for Christmas!

If you have Type 2 Diabetes, or would like to make these for someone who has it, this is for you!  There is no reason not to enjoy cookies, with a recipe like this!
Farmer Boy Sugar Free Peanut Butter Cookies
Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup & 2 Tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Cup of Sugar Twin sweetener
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • a pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 Cup of Peanut Butter, (creamy works best)
  • 1/4 Cup of cooking oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons of water
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  Stir in the peanut butter, oil, egg and vanilla.  Add the water, as needed, to bring the dough together.
Roll into 1 inch balls.  Place on parchment paper lined sheet pan.  Flatten slightly with a fork, as you would with regular peanut butter cookies.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  Transfer to wire rack to cool.
""Oh, Laura!" Carrie said, as Laura blew out the lamp in the bedroom. "Isn't this the nicest Christmas! Do Christmases get better all the time?"
"Yes," Laura said. "They do."  " (from "These Happy Golden Years")
I hope this is also your conclusion about Christmas today!

If you make these cookies, please find your way back here, leave a comment about your experience.  Thanks. 
May you have a very blessed Christmas!  The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Friday, December 21, 2012

Power Christmas Cookies

My cookie baking for this Christmas is winding down & I'm a bit weary.  So I figured it was time for a cookie that would give me a little "Pick-me-up".
While this is actually a chocolate cookie, I beefed it up with a little instant coffee - that ought to do the trick!
Farmer Boy Mocha Nut Drop Cookies
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 Cup of unsalted butter
  • 1/4 Cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3/4 Cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 Cup of baking cocoa
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 Cup of Pecans, chopped
  • Powdered sugar
Directions: Cream the butter and sugar.  Add in the vanilla.  Mix in the flour, cocoa, and coffee.  Stir in the nuts.
Roll into 1 inch balls.  Place onto parchment paper lined sheet pan.  Bake at 325 degrees F. for 14 to 16 minutes.  Remove to wire rack to cool.  While still warm, dust with powdered sugar.  This recipe makes about 4 dozen.

These cookies are a bit fragile, but tasty!

"Oh for a little time to enjoy the beauties around me! Just a little while to be free of the tyranny of things that must be done!" Laura Ingalls Wilder

Well, the cookies have given me a little lift and maybe I'll be able to go on to make another Christmas treat - or I may just sit back in my recliner, munch on some of these cookies and watch a Christmas movie on TV!  We'll see!  :-)
I hope you'll try these cookies and then come back here to let us all know how it went, by leaving a comment here.  Thanks.   Merry Christmas, from the Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Cookies - Sugar Free!

Here is a recipe that everyone can enjoy!  I'm making these for a friend who is type 2 diabetic, but if you don't tell folks that these are made without sugar; they wouldn't know!
Farmer Boy Sugar Free Pumpkin Squares
Ingredients:
  • 1 3/4 Cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of orange peel, grated
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 3/4 Cup of Sugar Twin
  • 1/2 Cup of canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 Cup of sugar free applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 Tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 1/2 Cup of raisins
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease a 13 X 9 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, orange peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. 
In another bowl, combine the sugar substitute, apple sauce, pumkin, egg and oil.  Whisk the egg white, stir it into this mixture.  Add this mixture to the flour mixture, stir well. Stir in the raisins.
*Note: this batter will be thick.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake 25 - 30 minutes, till probe come out clean.  Remove pan to cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes, then cut into squares.

You could make this recipe using fresh, processed pumpkin, but that is way too much trouble!

"There are pleasant things to think about and beauty to be found everywhere, and they grow by dwelling on them." Laura Ingalls Wilder

These cookies, like all the rest of my recipes, are good at anytime of the year; so I hope you'll try making these cookies.  Then, please, find your way back here and leave a comment about them.  And while you're at it, tell someone else about this blog site.  Thanks.  The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Cookies (next installment!)

This is one of those dozens of cookie recipes that I've made, traditionally, for Christmas for over 30 years!  I'm not sure where I got the recipe from originally, but it is one of my personal favorites.
Farmer Boy Lemon Squares
Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Cup of butter, softened
  • 1/4 Cup of powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Cup of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
Directions: In a bowl, mix the flour, butter and powdered sugar.  Press this into the bottom of an non-greased square pan.  Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F.
While it is baking, beat the rest of the ingredients together.  Take the pan out of the oven and pour this mixture over the crust.  Place it back in the oven to bake for another 25 minutes.
You may wish to dust it with powdered sugar as you let it cool in the pan.  When it has cooled completely, cut it into 16 squares.
This goes pretty quickly, and since it is one of my favorites, I usually make a second batch just for me!

"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime."  Laura Ingalls Wilder

As I grow older: I find that I don't bake any more ...  and no less either!

I hope you'll try this recipe and then come back here and leave a comment. Thanks. The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Friday, December 14, 2012

More Christmas Cookies, 2012

Here is another cookie recipe.  This one is a relatively new recipe that I've worked up within the last 15 years or so.  (Some of my other recipes which I've used for some 30 + years are generational!) 

I always have an abundance of blackberries from my patch out back.  The Missouri Ozarks is known for its wild blackberries.  But I like to grow tame ones - they are the Jumbo variety.  And boy, each berry goes a long way!
Farmer Boy Ozarks Blackberry Squares
Ingredients:
  • 3 Tablespoons of butter
  • 1 Cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 Cups of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of ground mace
  • 2/3 Cup of apple juice
  • 2 Tablespoons of White vinegar
  • 1 1/4 Cups of blackberries
Directions: In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar, then mix in the egg. 
In another bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients, except the berries.  Add the creamed mixture to the dry ingredients.  Add in the vinegar and apple juice.  Mix this all together, but don't over mix it.  Fold in the berries.
Pour this into a greased pan 10 X 13 inches, and bake in pre-heated oven at 325 degrees F. for 35 to 40 minutes. 
Leave in pan to cool.  Cut into squares.

I think these are Larrupin' (that's an Ozarks colloquialism, used by some older Ozarks natives & the best I can figure, it means, "Exceedingly Delicious"!) 

"In the Ozark hills, neglected ground will grow up to wild blackberry briars, loaded with fruit in season.  As the shiftless old farmer said, 'Anyone can raise blackberries if he ain't too durned lazy.' "  Laura Ingalls Wilder

I hope you'll try this recipe and then come back here and leave a comment.  And while you're at it, please tell some others about this blog site.  Thanks.  The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Cookies, 2012

Here is another one of my cookie recipes. These are not recipes reserved just for Christmas.  But this happens to be the time that I like to make cookies. It's nice to be able to have the oven going without heating the kitchen as much as you would in the summer!   A little extra heat during the winter, always feels a little better. And making cookies to give away, always warms your heart too!
Farmer Boy Blueberry Shortbread Squares
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 Cup of cold butter (unsalted)
  • 1 1/2 Cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Cup of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Chinese 5 Spice
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cold water
  • 3/4 Cup of blueberries
Directions: In a large bowl, cut in the butter with the flour, salt, powder, spice and sugar.  Mix in the egg yolk, using the cold water to help the cutting in process.  Pour about 3/4 of this mixture into an ungreased square pan.  Press it in the bottom of the pan.  *Spread the berries over the top and then add the rest of the mix on top of that.
Bake at 375 degrees F. for 30 to 35 minutes.
Remove the pan to cool completely, before cutting into squares. 
*Note: If you are using frozen berries, make sure to drain the liquid from the berries, as you thaw them out before using them.
"Blue is without doubt a heavenly color, but it is better in the skies than in one's mind." Laura Ingalls Wilder
(It is okay in a berry too!)

I hope you'll try this recipe and then come back here and leave a comment about it. Thanks. The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Joy of Christmas

"Joy to the world, the Lord is come" - so the song says.  And, yes, this is the ultimate maker of the joy of Christmas.  But there is that tradition which can bring you extra joy - the joy you get in giving to others.  This is what sparks my hours of labor spent in preparing and sharing cookies and recipes during Christmastime.  I'm sure not making all these cookies for my own self-indulgence in them!  As a general rule - I'm not big on sweets.  So when you see a recipe on my blog, it is for you or whosever will.  I hope you'll try this one:
Farmer Boy Prairie Chip Cookies
Ingredients:
  • 2 Cups + 2 Tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons each, of ground cinnamon and ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 stick + 1 Tablespoon of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 Cup of brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 Cup of unsulfered molasses
  • 1/2 Cup of raisins
  • 1/3 Cup of nuts, chopped (I use walnuts of pecans)
  • 1/2 Cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 Cup of Peanut Butter chips
  • (optional - 1/4 Cup of Cinnamon chips)
Directions: Mix flour, soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a large bowl. 
In another bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar.  Add the egg and molasses and beat well.  Add the flour mixture in a little at a time and then the nuts and chips by hand.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. *
Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls.  Drop onto parchment paper lined sheet pan.  Bake 20 - 22 minutes at 375 degees F.
Cool on wire rack.
You can store these in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, or can they can be frozen.
*Note the dough can be frozen and thawed out for use later.

"Let us make memories carefully of all good things, rejoicing in the wonderful truth that while we are laying up for ourselves the very sweetest and best of happy memories, we are at the same time giving them to others."  Laura Ingalls Wilder

I have some other cookie recipes lined up to post before Christmas, just not the usual dozens this year!  Maybe you'll find something in these postings to make and give to someone else too!  If you do, I hope you'll come back here and leave a comment about it. Thanks.
The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Happy birthday, Rose!

Born on this day, in 1886 - Rose Wilder (Lane):
Rose was named after the little wild roses that grew on the prairie, where Laura and Manly had courted.
Rose moved, with her parents, to Mansfield, Missouri at age seven.  Being "As smart as a whip", she soon needed more stimulation to develop her mind and went on to live with her aunt, Eliza Jane, in Louisiana. (At least that was her excuse for leaving Mansfield behind!) She graduated at age 17 and went out to conquer the world!
In 1908 she found herself as the first woman to sell real estate in the state of California.  It was there that she met and married Gillette Lane.  During their nine year marriage, Rose lost her baby and never had any children.  She and Lane divorced.
Rose went on to develop her writing skills.  She wrote articles for magazines and newspapers. Eventually she became a field reporter. She wrote biographies, novels and political essays. She was a much sought after and successful writer.  She even helped her mother hone her writing skills, as Laura wrote her "Little House" books.
Rose chose to move to Danbury, Connecticut, to a house which reminded her of her parent's farmhouse in Mansfield.  Rose died there, at age 81, after having traveled to far reaching parts of the world throughout her life. At the time of her death, she was still writing and giving speeches.  The day before she died, she was even planning a trip around the world.
Rose is buried in the Mansfield Cemetery, next to her parents.

The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

National Cookie Day!

My Christmas Cookie Baking Excuse!

What, it's December already?  Where did the year go?  I was planning on baking a bunch of cookies that I normally bake for Christmas, but time got away from me!  I've been doing this for something like 35 years and this is the first time I wasn't able to get to that baking!  My apologies - if I had baked all those cookies, I would have posted them here.  So, this means I'll have to share those with you next year instead (Lord willing!).  In the meantime, I'll share a few cookie recipes here before Christmas.  Maybe they will be something new to you, that you'd like to make for Christmas.  This is one of my family heirloom recipes:

Farmer Boy Carrot Oatmeal Cookies
Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 Cup of quick oats
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 Cup of butter, softened
  • 1/2 Cup of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 Cup of nuts, chopped (I use Pecans or Walnuts)
  • 1/2 Cup of carrot, shredded
Directions: In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, and baking soda.  Add the butter, vanilla and egg.  Using an electric mixer at low speed, mix well.  Stir in the nuts and shredded carrot.  Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.  Bake in pre-heated oven, at 350 degree F. about 12 - 15 minutes, or till the edges are a light golden brown. Transfer on the parchment paper to cool on the counter.  Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
I like these cookies because they are not ultra sweet! They should be low in calories, but I'm not counting those, are you?
"Everyone is complaining of being tired, of not having time for what they wish to do... It would be a wonderful relief if, by eliminating both wisely and well, life might be simplified." Laura Ingalls Wilder

I hope you'll try this recipe for Christmas and then get back here and leave a comment about it. Thanks.  Look for more recipes soon!  The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Sunday, December 2, 2012

National Fritter Day!

I developed this recipe while living on the farm a few years ago.  At that time, I was growing organic apples in a small (12 acre) orchard.  I gave away bushels of apples and brought some to sell at the farmers market.  But I still had more apples than I knew waht to do with! 
I ate apples at just about every meal.  I made applesauce and apple butter and all sorts of dishes.  Now that I've moved from the farm and don't have access to all those apples, I really miss them - even though it was a lot of work!
Farmer Boy Apple Fritters
Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 Cup of milk
  • 2 - 3 apples
  • oil for frying
Directions: Dice up the apples (to 1/4 to 1/2 inches). (You can leave the peels on them.)  Pre-heat the oil in a skillet or deep fryer.  Mix all the dry ingredients together.  In a seperate bowl, beat the eggs, stir in the milk and the diced apples.  Combine with the dry ingredients.  When the oil is 375 degrees F. ease the batter into the oil, by a Tablespoon at a time.  Fry until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels or on a rack.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  (makes 12 to 15 fritters)
"Honest, well-directed labor need never descend into drudgery."  Laura Ingalls Wilder
I hope you'll enjoy making these, as well as eating them!  Please come back here and leave a comment to let us know.  Thanks.  The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Monday, November 26, 2012

Apple Walnut Scones

When I ran my Bed & Breakfast, I served a full breakfast to my guests.  One of the regular items on that breakfast menu included Scones.  This is a recipe I developed for the fall menu, when apples and walnuts are plentiful.
Farmer Boy Apple Walnut Scones
Ingredients:
  • 2 3/4 Cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 Cup of sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of: ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/2 Cup of chopped Walnuts, (Black Walnuts, if you can get them)
  • 1/2 Cup (one stick) cold butter, diced
  • 1 Cup of fresh apple, (any variety you like - I use Fuji)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 Tablespoons of sugar & cinnamon with 1 1/2 Tablespoons of milk (optional topping)
Directions: In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients, except the walnuts.  Cut in the butter.  Then add the nuts and mix.  (I mix the walnuts with all the spices before adding them.) Next comes the wet ingredients.  Mix the eggs, apples, vanilla and applesauce together and then add them to the dry mixture.  Mix enough to saturate the dry ingredients, but don't over mix it or it will become tough.
Form into balls, about 2 1/2 inches in diameter.  Place each onto parhment paper and flatten slightly.  Place the parchment paper with the dough balls into the freezer for about 1/2 hour. (This will help to keep their shape and rise higher)
After the resting time, remove from the freezer to a sheet pan. *Note: if you want to, you can apply the optional topping at this time.
Bake in a pre-heated oven, at 425 degrees F. for 18 to 22 minutes, till the tops begin to brown slightly.
Remove the scones to cool on the pan. 
This recipe makes about 1 1/2 dozen.
They are exceptional when served warm. When cooled completely, they can be placed in plastic bags for storage - even frozen, and then re-heated slightly.
They are great, served with a pad of butter on them, or dipped in apple butter or even served with a scoop of ice cream (maybe not for breakfast though!)

"We can work our dreams into realities if we try, but we must be willing to make the effort." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Once you try this recipe, please get back here and tell us how it turned out! Thanks.  Enjoy! The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Forgot the Sweet Potato Pie?

Everything is planned for the Thanksgiving feast - the turkey is getting stuffed, the green beaan casserole is ready to go, the rolls are ready, the mashed potatoes are ready, and "Oh, no!  I forgot to make the sweet potato pie!"   If that's the case for you, I have a simple solution!  Well, even if you didn't foget to make it, this is still a good dessert to use anytime.
Farmer Boy Sweet Tater Puddin'
Ingredients:
  • 5 Cups of grated sweet potatoes, raw (you can use a food processor)
  • 1/4 Cup of sugar
  • 3/4 Cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 Cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 Cup of corn meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 Cup of dark corn syrup
  • 2 Cups of milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 4 eggs, beaten
Directions: In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  Bring all the wet ingredients to room temperature.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry.  Stir in the grated sweet potatoes.
Pour into a lightly greased baking dish or casserole.  Bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 1/2 hours.  Remove from the oven and stir completely. Put it back into the oven and bake about another half hour.
This can be served warm or cold.
If you don't want to use this as a dessert, it makes a good substitute for that sweet potato side-dish! 
If you fogot to make that pie - keep this in mind:
"It does not so much matter what happens.  It is what one does when it happens that really counts." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Have a great Thanksgiving Day, and remember: it is the Lord who blesses us and gives us something to truly be thankful for in the first place! The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cranberries gone Mad!

Just when you thought it was safe to sit down to a Thanksgiving meal - the cranberry sauce has gone nuts ... well, nuts, raisins, apples, oranges and some other ingredients!

A few years ago, I thought I'd like to try something different from that traditional cranberry sauce.  So I developed this recipe for a change of pace, but now I have made it my traditional cranberry dish!
Farmer Boy Harvest Chutney
Ingredients:
  • 1 bag of fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 Cup of sugar
  • 1/2 Cup of brown sugar
  • 3/4 Cup of Apple juice
  • 1/4 Cup of Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 Orange, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 of a medium-sized onion (I use a white onion)
  • 1 medium-sized Sweet Pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 Cup of raisins
  • 1/4 Cup of Walnuts, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon each of ground: allspice, nutmeg, cloves and ginger
Directions: Place the washed and sorted cranberries into a large saucepan, cover with sugars.  Add the juice and vinegar.  Cover the pan and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, till the berries begin to pop open.  Add the chopped Apple (you may leave the peel on).  Add the Orange, onion, chopped pepper, raisins and walnuts.  Stir in the spices.  Cover, bring to a boil and simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.  Remove from the heat and serve warm or cool in the refrigerator and serve cold - or re-heat if you like.
"Thanksgiving will soon be here, and it is time to be getting our blessings in order. - But why wait for Thanksgiving?  Why not just be thankful now?"  Laura Ingalls Wilder

I couldn't agree more!  A blessing is always welcome, more that a cursing!  May you be blessed at Thanksgiving and anytime you repent of your sins, yield to the Lord, and be a blessing! The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Dear Friend Dies





































No wonder our world is in the condition it is!  The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

National Indian Pudding Day!

I'm celebrating this special day by passing on this recipe - it was given to me a number of years ago, (more than I care to number!) by a Native American.   They told me that it was an authentic tribal recipe, which was handed down for generations.  I have always been a little skeptical about that claim, but it is still a very good recipe.  If you know of it being authentic, I'd like to hear on that!
Farmer Boy Indian Pudding
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 Cup of coarse ground Corn Meal
  • 1 Cup of hot whole milk
  • 1/4 Cup of sugar
  • a pinch of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground Nutmeg
  • a scant pinch of ground Cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 Cup of Apples, finely chopped
  • 1/4 Cup of raisins
  • 1/4 Cup of Molasses
  • 1/2 Cup of cold milk
Directions: Heat the milk in a pan.  Pour it over the corn meal in a bowl.  Stir and transfer back into the pan.  Heat and stir constantly, till it thickens.  Put aside to cool.
In a bowl, combine the cold milk and molasses.  Add the chopped apples and raisins.   Stir this mixture into the cooled corn meal mixture.   Pour this into a lightly greased quart-sized casserole dish.  Place in a 275 degree F. oven and bake for 2 hours.  (I was told that this recipe was baked in the sun for hours by the Squaws.  I couldn't figure how they would have had some of these ingredients on hand! So, I dispute the story - maybe I'm wrong!  The person who gave me the recipe is now in the "Happy Hunting Grounds" and unable to clear this up for us.)

* Note: I've found that baking it in the casserole dish and then immersed in a larger pan full of water, helps keep the pudding more moist.  But I like the crustiness on the top myself!

Even if this turns out to be a non-authentic Native American recipe, and is more like a Pioneer Recipe which Caroline Ingalls might have made, it is still really tasty! 

I hope you'll try this recipe and then leave a comment here to let us all know.  Thanks.  The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Laura's sister, Grace dies - Nov. 10, 1941

Laura experienced the death of all her immediate family.  She lost her baby brother first, in 1875, then her father died, in 1902.  Her mother died in 1924, followed by her sister, Mary, in 1928.  Next to die was Grace, the youngest, and finally, Carrie, died in 1946.

By that time, she only had left, her husband, Almanzo and daughter Rose.  It may not be uncommon to lose your parents and siblings in your lifetime, but it wouldn't have been easy for Laura. 

By the time Grace died, Laura had written 6 of her books about her early life.  So, she had immortalized them.  Just think, we wouldn't be remembering Grace today, 71 years after her death, if Laura hadn't written those books!

We are all richer, having the known the Ingalls family through the writing of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Thanks Laura!
"If we would not be satisfied until we had passed a share of our happiness on to other people, what a world we could make!" Laura Ingalls Wilder

If you haven't read Laura's account of Pioneer life, by all means, begin today to read all her "Little House" books - you'll be blessed!  The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day Sandwich!

In the Republic of the United States of America, we have democracy at work at least every 4 years!  After a long campaign year it is time to sit back, and see what the voters have come up with for newly elected officials.  It is time to have my version of an "Election Day Sandwich" a BLT.  But it is not what you might think! (Just like those politicians!)  It is made with Bologna (or Baloney) - just like most politicians!
You make it, just like you'd make a Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato (BLT), except you fry up the bologna instead of the bacon.  It is best served warm.


"People join in with what they think is popular opinion until it is almost impossible to tell where anyone stands on any subject or to do anything because one cannot tell upon whom to depend." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Hope the election turns out to suit you!  God bless America! The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Celebrating "National Raisin Bread Month"

Usually, when you think of Raisin Bread, you think of it as a sweet treat.  But this is a Raisin Bread that you will want to use for making sandwiches!  It is a hearty bread, full of all those things that are good for you.  I'll try to include another recipe for that sweet treat type Raisin Bread in another post this month.

Since this is also "National Peanut Butter Lovers Month", after you make this loaf of bread, you can use it to celebrate this special day today, "National Sandwich Day" and make a peanut butter sandwich!  How's that for good timing?  :)
Farmer Boy Raisin & Nut Bread
(Note: You may use a bread machine to make this recipe.)
Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 Cups of Bread flour
  • 1/2 Cup of Whole-wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 3 Tablespoons of Toasted Wheat Germ
  • 4 Tablespoons of nonfat dry milk
  • 1 Tablespoon of dark Brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of ground Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 Cup of tepid water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons of regular raisins
  • 3 Tablespoons of golden raisins
  • 1/3 Cup of toasted Walnuts, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons of Active dry yeast
Directions: If you aren't using a bread machine: Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the wet ingredients and mix well.  Form a ball and knead, till it is smooth and not too sticky. (add a little more flour if it is too sticky, more water if it is too dry.)
Place it back in the bowl, which you have lightly oiled.  Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.  Punch it down and re-cover it and let it rise again.
Lightly oil a bread loaf pan.  After the loaf has risen for the second time, place it in the pan.
Cover it and let it rise again, till it is within 1/2 to 1/4 inch from the top of the pan.
Bake in a pre-heated oven, at 350 degrees F. for about 40 to 50 minutes.  It should be a dark brown color on top and sound hollow when tapped on top.  Remove it from the oven and the pan to cool before slicing. 

I hope you'll try this recipe and then leave a comment here. Thanks. The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Farmer Boy "Apples 'n' Onions"

If  you've ever read Laura Ingalls Wilder's book, "Farmer Boy", then you probably remember that a dish of "Apples 'n' Onions" was pretty important to Almanzo.  I've posted this recipe so that you can find out, first hand, why it was so important to him!  *Note: This is not the original recipe, which his mother made for him! (I know that, because I made the recipe up to suit myself!)

Ingredients:
  • 3 Cups of tart apples, (any variety you'd like - I use Granny Smith & Fuji)
  • 3 Cups of onions, (any variety you'd like - I use yellow, sweet or white)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of bacon drippings
  • 2 Tablespoons of butter
  • ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, (just a pinch of each)
Directions: Peel and core the apples.  Make very thin slices of them (1/8 inch or less - what I'd call "Paper thin").  Peel and slice the onions similarly.  Over medium heat, in a large fry pan, heat the bacon drippings and butter.  *Note: don't use an iron skillet - because the vinegar might interact and give you a bad taste.
Add the onions, vinegar and sugar. Cover the pan and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent burning and sticking, till the onions caramelize and turn golden brown.  Add the apples and spices.  Cover the pan again, stirring and simmering again, till the apples become limp.

That's it!  Pretty simple, isn't it?
I served this up here with sausage and a slice of multi-grain bread, but you can serve it any way you see fit.  It goes good, as a side dish, with many foods; especially pork.  I'll bet Almanzo would have been happy to eat it all by itself!

Once you've tried this, you'll see why, "Almanzo said that what he liked most in the world was fried apples 'n' onions." (Laura Ingalls Wilder - from "Farmer Boy")

If you like this recipe, please let us all know, by leaving a comment here. Thanks. The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Sunday, October 28, 2012

"National Pasta Month" continues!

This is a follow-up to my recipe for making fresh pasta.

Add color to you meal in a special way with this idea!
Farmer Boy Multi-Color Pasta
 If you make your own pasta, following my previous posting for that, or otherwise - this suggestion is for making your pasta into different colors!  (Shown here are some noodles I made.) 

All you need to do is add the natural coloring from some vegetables.  As you prepare you pasta dough, adding the egg to the flour, just add the veggies.  To make the green color, just add this to the egg: about 2 Tablespoons of cooked spinach, (chopped or processed in a blender), for the orange color: 2 Tablespoons of tomato paste, for a deep red color: 2 Tablespoons of processed beets.  This would be a great project - to experiement with different veggies to make all sorts of colors!  I guess you could be really creative and make a rainbow of colors for a meal! 

"Those who stop dreaming never accomplish anything." Laura Ingalls Wilder

If you come up with some other colors, I hope you'll leave a comment here to let us all know about them!  Thanks. The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Recipe for overgrown Zucchini

Still celebrating "National Dessert Month"!  Since it comes at the end of the harvest season, and most folks have those extra large, overgrown Zucchinis and don't know what to do with them - this recipe takes care of that!
Farmer Boy Zucchini Cobbler
Ingredients: (filling)
  • 8 Cups of Zucchini, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2/3 Cup of lemon juice
  • 1 Cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
(Crust):
  • 4 Cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 Cups of sugar
  • 1 1/2 Cups of cold butter, diced
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Directions: After preparing the Zucchini, cook in a saucepan, over medium heat, along with the lemon juice, till it is tender (15 - 20 minutes).  Stir in the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Simmer another couple minutes.  Remove from the heat.
In a large bowl, combine the flour and sugar.  Cut in the butter.  Stir 1/2 cup of the mixture into the zucchini mixture. 
Press half of the rest of the crust mixture into a greased baking pan (11 X 13 inches).  Spread the zucchini mixture over this and then sprinkle the remaining crust mixture over the top.  Lightly sprinkle the cinnamon over the entire top.
Bake at 375 degrees F. for 35 minutes, till golden and bubbly.
Just for fun, when you serve this, don't tell anyone what it is - they will guess it to be some sort of fruit cobbler.  Once they have eaten and enjoyed it, you may wish to tell them and they will be quite surprised!  I think everyone will be pleased!

When you make this, please leave a comment here to let us all know how it went.  Thanks. The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Monday, October 22, 2012

Recipe for "National Nut Day"

Well, here I am again, this time combining "National Dessert Month": along with this special day!  I just couldn't resist passing along this great and simple dessert!

This is one I made up a while back, but it gets pulled out every now and then, because it's just a favorite of so many folks.
Farmer Boy Chocolate Walnut Cream Pie
Ingredients:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cups of sugar
  • 1/3 Cup of corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 Cups of whole milk
  • 2 oz. melted semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Cups of walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 pre-made pie crust
Directions: (I used a store bought Oreo Crust & brushed the inside with egg white, then baked it at 375 degrees F. for 5 minutes. You could make your own, by crushing the cookie part of the Oreos and mixing it with butter, like a graham cracker crust.  Or you may wish to use a conventional flour crust. Either one works great!)
In a large saucepan, cream together the sugar and eggs.  Stir in the corn starch, salt, milk, chocoate and vanilla.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, till it thickens. (Bubbles should break and craters remain.)
Stir in the walnuts (reserve some for topping).  Pour into pie crust.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
You may wish to serve this with whipped cream topping or you could do a meringue topping.

Hope you'll make this and then leave a comment here.  Thanks. The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Farmer Boy Recipe for "National Dessert Day"

You may wish to use this recipe to continue your celebration of "National Dessert Month", or "National Dessert Day", or for "National Nothing Special Day"!   :)
Now, I've tried all varieties of Coconut Cream Pies - from "Pudding Mix Pies" to those made from "Scratch" and those topped with a ready-made topping, to those topped with meringue.  This recipe is my, "Made from scratch" version.  If you like those others, go for it!  If you are counting calories or sugar grams, this probably won't be for you!  But if you want to jump into a pie with both feet, and come up licking your chops, then maybe this is for you!
Farmer Boy Coconut Cream Pie
Ingredients:
  • 8 Tablespoons of sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Cups whole milk
  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • 3 egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)
  • 1 Cup flaked coconut
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 pre-baked pie shell (9 inch)
Directions: In a heavy saucepan, stir together the sugar, milk, cream, flour and egg yolks.  Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes.  Add the vanilla and nutmeg, then the coconut.  Continue stirring, till the mixture is thick - probably another 5 minutes or so.  *Note: it should be slightly thicker than pudding.  Remove from heat to cool slightly.  Then pour it into the pre-baked pie shell. (You may use a store bought pie shell if you'd like.  But, I make mine from scratch ahead of time!)
Go on to make the meringue.  Using an electric mixer and the whisk beater, beat the egg whites with 4 Tablespoons of sugar, till stiff, with peaks.  Spread this over the pie, up to the edges.  Sprinkle coconut on top and place in a 425 degree F. oven to bake for about 10 to 14 minutes. (The meningue should begin to brown on the peaks and the coconut should begin to get a light brown color also.) *Note: if you have a browning element in your oven, you can bake at 375 degrees F. and then use the browning element to finish it up.
I like to chill my pie completely before serving, but warm is OK too!

Just one more hint: Try using 1/2 cup of toasted coconut, combined with the flaked, when making the filling.  And, for an even richer pie: substitute some of the milk with coconut milk!

"Just a little thread of gold, running through a fabric, brightens the whole garment, so women's work at home, while only the doing of little things, is like the golden gleam of sunlight that runs through and brightens all the fabric of civilization."  Laura Ingalls Wilder

I hope you'll try this pie and then let us all know, by leaving a comment here. Thanks.
The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Friday, October 12, 2012

Farmer Boy Recipe - Fresh Pasta

What better way to celebrate "National Pasta Month", than to make fresh pasta?
Like so many, I have spent years buying dried pasta at the grocery store.  I never knew how much better fresh pasta was, till I finally decided to make it for myself!

I have coupled the process of making pasta along with a spaghetti sauce recipe that I got from an Italian lady years ago.  But, let me first say this: there are probably as many recipes out there for "Authentic Italian Sauce" as there are villages in Italy and maybe those even vary according to the traditions of each family!  This recipe is one that Maria gave me.  She came from northern Italy.  I watched her make it and have tried to duplicate everything. But there is still some variance between hers and mine.  She made a very large pot of sauce, because she was taught that way by her mother, who came from a large family.  Her mother learned it from her mother and so on down in their ancestry.  So I have adopted the basic recipe to fit my needs, not having a large family to cook for - if you, on the other hand, have a large family to cook for, then you'll need to adjust the amounts of ingredients to fit your needs.  And, as I've said, this is only one cook's interpretation of authentic Italian sauce.

First the instructions for making fresh pasta: *Note: If you like making bread from scratch, you'll like this too!  It is more of an art than a science!
  • Using flour (Whole Wheat, or other - I use Semolina Flour), make a mound (maybe about a cup) on a clean large bread board or hard surface, like a counter top
  • Make a well in the center of the flour
  • Add an egg (or eggs, depending on how much flour you are using) in the well
  • Gently loosen the yolk, but don't beat vigorously
  • Using a fork or your hands. gradually bring the flour into the egg from all sides
  • Using your floured hands, begin to mix and knead the mixture
  • As you knead, - you'll be looking to create a dough that is smooth, not too sticky (This may take about 10 minutes)
  • Once your dough is smooth, use a rolling pin and roll it out (you may need to divide the dough into smaller portions to do this)
  • At this point, the dough needs to be cut into the desired pasta - you can do this with a pasta cutting machine or with a pizza or pastry wheel or even a sharp kitchen knife - then it can be used immediately or dried
Fresh pasta cooks in about half the time, or less, than dried pasta (you'll have to experiment with that).
Also, if you use wheat flour it is lower in glycemic index, higher in fiber and protein.
For spaghetti noodles: you'll want to cook them in boiling water, "al dente" (this is Italian - it is translated as "to the tooth" and means to cook the noodles so that they are not too hard and not too mushy, just cookable).
Now the sauce recipe:

Farmer Boy Spaghetti Sauce
*Note: this is the basic recipe & can be used for a variety of dishes
Ingredients: *Note: the amounts of each will vary, according to the total amount of sauce needed (this recipe reflects my personal usage, for 6 to 8 servings over spaghetti noodles or Ravioli)
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 medium sized green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 medium sized yellow onion, minced or finely chopped
  • 1 rib of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 large can of tomato puree
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon of chopped basil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of chopped, dried oregeno
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seed
  • 1/8 teaspoon of mint extract
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional: 2 links of Italian sausage, without the casing (mild or hot flavor)
Directions: Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.   Drop in the peppers, onions, and celery to sweat. (if you are using the meat, brown it at the same time)
Add all the rest of the ingredients, cover and simmer for at least 1/2 hour. (If you like a little kick to your sauce, you can add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper seeds.)
"We eat too much! Everyone says so! But we keep right on eating." Laura Ingalls Wilder

"Some people eat to live, others live to eat!" The Old Man in the Bib Overalls
You are welcome to tweak this recipe to suit your own tastes.  If you make this recipe, please let us all know, by leaving a comment here.  Thanks.  The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Apple Walnut Bread

Still celebrating "National Dessert Month"!  Maybe I'll make it my own, "National Dessert Year" next year!  This is a recipe that I've developed and made for some 40 years. Gosh, am I that old already?  Seems like only yesterday.  Anyway, When I had an orchard on my farm, I used what I grew there, Golden Delicious Apples.  Now that I don't have the orchard, I am using an apple that is a little more firm and tart, Granny Smith.  But if you don't like either one of those apples, use what you like!
Farmer Boy Apple Walnut Bread
Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 Cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 Cup of brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 Tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 3/4 Cup of whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 Cup of walnuts, chopped
  • 1/3 Cup of raisins
  • 1/3 Cup of unsweeted, shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 Cups of apples, chopped (peel if you prefer)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  Stir in the milk, oil and egg, followed by the nuts and fruits.  When completely mixed, pour into a greased and floured loaf pan.  Bake for about an hour (till probe comes out clean).  Remove promptly from the pan to cool.
Preparation for making this recipe goes fairly quick - you don't have to be real exact in the chopping or size of everything, it just always comes out, no matter what you do! That's probably why I love making it!
The coconut keeps it moist and the raisins just seem to compliment the apples and nuts.  I like to use both regular and golden raisins.  Sometimes I add about a Tablespoon of apple cider or raisin juice along with the milk.  And when it strikes me, I may use more cinnamon.  Sometimes I even glaze the loaf with cinnamon, butter and powdered sugar. Whatever adjustments you wish to make to this recipe, is up to you!  But you can't go wrong with this basic recipe.
It is fun making this in the Fall of the year, when apples are abundant and it's nice to have the oven on!  And then the whole house smells like apples and cinnamon!

If you make this, please let us all know, by leaving a comment here. Thanks.  The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

"Those who stop dreaming never accomplish anything." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October is "National Dessert Month"!

Been waiting all year for this one!  What a good excuse to make some extra desserts!  If you've had a bad summer, maybe this will help ease the pain.
This recipe is one of those old-timey ones, that has its roots in the Pioneer Days.  It was something that was made easily out on the trail, where most of the ingredients were brought along.  It was a recipe used by many on cattle roundups, served out of their Chuck Wagon.

The origin of the name is associated with the dogs or puppies who helped round up the cattle or protect the camp or prairie home.

The basis for this particular recipe comes from 90+ year old, Freda, who is Almanzo Wilder's cousin.  She spent many years in her youth involved in the family Sheep Camp, trailing sheep from one state to another.
Farmer Boy Spotted Pup
Ingredients:
  • 3/4 Cup of uncooked white rice (You can use pre-cooked if you have it on hand)
  • 2 Cups of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 Tablespoons of butter
  • 3 Cups of milk
  • 1/2 Cup of cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 - 3/4 Cup of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3/4 Cup of raisins
Directions: Cook the rice in a 2 or 2 1/2 quart pan of salted water with the butter, by placing the rice in a pan of water, bringing it to a boil.  Cover the pan and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, till all the water is absorbed.  Add the milk and cream.  Simmer for 10 minutes with cover on the pan. *Be careful to not let it boil over.
In a bowl, stir together the eggs, sugar and cinnamon.  Add some of the rice into this mixture and then add the whole mixture into the cooking rice.  Simmer, covered, for another 5 to 10 minutes.   Stir in the raisins and flavorings.  Cover and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, to soften the raisins.
This may be served warm or cold, topped with milk or not.  If you like, you could add chopped nuts too.
* Please note: This recipe has nothing to do with the stew that Freda told me about, which she was once served by a Native American relative.  They told her, "Dig deep, get dog!"

* Also note: No dogs were harmed in the making of this recipe. :)
If you make this, please let us all know, by leaving a comment here. Thanks. The Old Man in the Bib Overalls