Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Farmer Boy Recipe - Scrapple

Since this is "National Hot Breakfast Month", I figured I'd include this great recipe!
There are probably as many recipes for Scrapple as there are towns or villages in the world!  From the best I can gather, it has its origins in Germany. This is where my ancestors came from, and they brought their version of it along with them.  In my heritage recipe collection, I have at least 5 different versions!  Some of them are so old, that the paper is just about to crumble. And some make me wonder what these people were thinking when they put their recipe on paper! But, I urge you to try this recipe, I think you'll like it.

So, sorting through all this, I came up with my own version of Scrapple.  I present this to you, with the hope that you'll try this recipe and give me some feedback. I haven't found anywhere in my research, that any of the Wilder or Ingalls families ever recorded a recipe for Scrapple.  But that doesn't mean that they didn't have one or that they didn't eat it!

All my family Scrapple recipes, (those really old ones) call for a labor intensive operation.  I won't get into the details on those here, but they involve a hog's skull and lots of parts from a hog, which aren't readily available today; unless you buther your own livestock!  My recipe is much less labor intensive and uses ingredients that you can find just about anywhere.

Farmer Boy Scrapple
  • 1 Cup of corn meal*
  • 1 Cup of cold water
  • 1 Cup of hot water
  • 2 Tablespoons of bacon drippings
  • 1/4 Cup of cream
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1/2 lb. of groudn pork, or pork sausage
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground sage & poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon of groudn black pepper
Directions: (the preparation is similar to making Gruel and Fried Corn Meal Mush - see my recipes in the archives) *Note: One of my ancestors made this with Oats, instead of corn meal.  (I've not tried that ... yet!)
In a skillet, melt the bacon drippings.  Add the onions and brown the meat.  Mix in the seasonings and pepper.  In another pan, boil the cup of water.  Add the cornmeal.  Add the cream and cold water.  Stir the meat mixture into the pan of corn meal.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes, till it gets very thick.
Remove this mixture to a greased loaf pan and refrigerate overnight.
To make the scrapple, just slice into 1/2 inch slices, dredge in flour and fry in butter.

None of the recipes from my family ever give a serving suggestion with the recipes, and I'm not sure what traditions they had for accompanying dishes.  I've seen people eat scrapple alone, without any sides.  I've also seen it eaten with eggs, or pancakes.  And it can be served with or without syrup. Some serve it doused in applesauce or honey.  It can be eaten as a side dish at dinner or supper meals.  So, I'm not going to tell you what you should do with it, other than enjoy it!  :)

"The world is the beautiful estate of the human family passing down from generation to generation, marked by each holder while in his possession according to his character." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Please be sure to leave your comment here.  Thanks.  And I welcome new followers to my blog.
The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Farmer Boy Recipe - "Fried Corn Meal Mush"

Since this is "Hot Breakfast Month", I thought I'd include this recipe.

In Laura's book, "Little House on the Prairie", they ate this for breakfast. One particular time, they ate it along with hash made from Prairie Chicken!  After that great meal, Pa had the enthusiasm to make the door needed to protect their newly built cabin! 
You probably won't have any Prairie Chicken Hash available, but it is worth trying this recipe, with another type of hash or even without hash.  (Besides, I don't recall having a recipe for Prairie Chicken Hash to help you out there!)  :)

  • Prepared Gruel (corn meal mush)
  • All-purpose flour
  • Butter
Directions: After making a batch of Grue (see my recipe in the archives), place it into a greased loaf pan and refrigerate it overnight.  Then slice it into 1/2 inch slices.  Melt some butter in a fry pan or skillet.  Simply fry up the slices, turning to brown both sides. 
Serve warm.  You may wish to make this as a side dish with eggs.  I like this with molasses drizzled on top.

Freda, Almanzo's cousin, told me that her uncle liked to fry this up in Bear Grease!
I don't know what this meal will do for you, but I'd sure be glad  to hear, if you'll come back here and leave a comment - especially if you fry it up in Bear Grease!  :)  Thanks.
The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"National Cherry Pie Day"

Following the theme of "National Cherry Month", we have this special day.  I guess it was all designed around that old legend of George Washington, (whose birthday we celebrate this month). It was said that George, as a young boy, chopped down his father's cherry tree.  When he was confronted with it by his father, George could not tell a lie, and told his father that he had done it.  Thus George was given the reputaion of never telling lies.  As he progressed in life, he was trusted with commands in the army and eventually the office of the President of the new nation.  Whether there is any "truth" in that legend is another story!

Somehow, this brings us to my recipe for this special day.  This recipe is not my usual sort, (made from scratch or one handed down in my family) it is a 21st Century recipe.

Farmer Boy Cherry Mini-Puff Pies
  • 1 sheet of store-bought Puff Pastry
  • 1/3 of a can of store-bought Cherry Pie Filling
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Almond Extract
  • Powdered sugar
Directions: Following the directions on the package of Puff Pastry, thaw out one sheet.  In a small bowl, mix the almond extract into the pie filling.  Having first rolled out and cut the pastry into 3 inch squares, place each square into each chamber of a very lightly oiled muffin tin. Into each, fill with 1 teaspoon of the pie filling mixture.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool in the tin.
Serve warm, dusted with powdered sugar.
These are a great, quick substitute for a whole pie! And, of course, you could serve them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!  :)

"Cooperation, helpfulness, and fair dealing are so badly needed in the world, and if they are not learned as children at home, it is difficult for grownups to have a working knowledge of them."  Laura Ingalls Wilder

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

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Farmer Boy Recipe - "Gruel"

You may know this as "Corn Meal Mush".  This is a recipe that Freda, (Almanzo Wilder's cousin) gave me. The family used to make this when they were out on the trail, trailing their sheep.  The ingredients were something that could be brought along or easy to come by.

You don't have to be out on the trail to make this!  But you might want to pretend that you are!  You can eat this for any meal of the day!

*By the way - we have our Native Americans to thank for this one! If they hadn't been grinding up dried corn and showed those European settlers, we might not have corn meal today!

  • 1 Cup of corn meal
  • 1 Cup of cold water
  • 1 Cup of hot water
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 Cup of nuts, finely ground (walnuts, hickory nuts or even acorns!)
  • 1/4 Cup of cream
  • dab of butter
  • Optional - 1 teaspoon of sugar or brown sugar
Directions: Simply boil up a pan of salted water. Add the corn meal and salt.  Mix in the nuts. Add the cold water and cream.  Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring.  *Note: if you are making this for a crowd, you'll have to adjust the measurements.
Serve warm, with a dab of butter on each serving.

Freda said that, "once you've eaten this every morning (and sometimes at every meal), for weeks on end, you might have a taste for something else! But, when you need something, it is easy enough to make it!"  Hovever, most of her family thought it was great and couldn't get enough of it!

*Update: When I made this the other day, serving it to Freda - she had a new appreciation for it!  She said it was "Larrup'in!"

"If we expect to enjoy our life, we will have to learn to be joyful in all of it, not just at stated intervals when we can get time or when we have nothing else to do." Laura Ingalls Wilder

I like this dish and I also put maple syrup on it.  Try it and then leave a comment here. Thanks.
The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Thursday, February 14, 2013

"Valentine Pancakes"

You didn't think I'd pass up Valentines Day without a special recipe, did you?

Since this week is "National Pancake Week" and this is "National Cherry Month", this is their baby! (so to speak  :)
Farmer Boy Valentine Pancakes
  • 2 Cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 Cup of quick oats
  • 1 Tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Cup of whole milk
  • 1/3 Cup of water
  • 1/8 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 1/2 Cup of dried Cherries, cut in half
  • red food coloring
Directions: In a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.  Add the rest of the ingredients, except the cherries, and mix.
Let the mixture rest for about 15 minutes.
Drop by 1/3 cup onto lightly oiled griddle, over medium heat. Quickly add about a teaspoon or so of the cherries to the first side of each pancake, as it cooks. 
Do not brown as much as you normally would, but cook slowly for about a minute to set the first side.  Then flip the pancake and do the same for the other side.
Take off of the griddle and cut heart shape - you can do it with a sharp knife, free-hand, or use a heart-shaped cookie cutter.
Brush each pancake with melted butter mixed with a few drops of red food coloring.  (I tried putting the food coloring into the batter, but it doesn't come out as nice as adding it later.)
You can keep them warm in the oven, set at the lowest temperature setting, till you are ready to serve them.
Serve warm, with a pad of butter and your favorite syrup, if you wish.

"If we would not be satisfied until we had passed a share of happiness on to other people, what a world we could make!" Laura Ingalls Wilder

If you make these pancakes for your sweetie, please come back here and let us know how they came out.  Thanks.
The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy birthday to Farmer Boy!

"Farmer Boy", as Laura Ingalls Wilder called her husband in the book about him, was born on Friday, February 13, 1857.  Almanzo James Wilder, lived to the age of 92.  He did become a farmer all his life!

If you know of him, from the book that Laura wrote about him as a boy, you'll probably remember that his father gave him a fifty cent piece to spend any way he wanted.  If he had saved fifty cents every day from that time till today (if he was still alive) he would have saved a total of $27,386.00!  Now, that's something for young people to strive to do! :)

It was Almanzo's rich appetite that caused me to call my recipes, "Farmer Boy".  I could also relate to his accomplishments as a farmer.  His influence is still seen today!  Happy birthday, Manly!  

The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Farmer Boy Recipe - "Rise & Shine Pancakes"

Hear that rooster crowing, "Come on, get up, get up!"?  Well, if he doesn't get you up and going, then maybe this pancake recipe will do the trick!
Farmer Boy "Rise & Shine Pancakes"
  • 2 Cups of biscuit mix (homemade or store bought)
  • 1/4 Cup of quick Oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 Cup of whole milk
  • 4 Tablespoons of sugar (divided)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of corn starch
  • 3/4 Cup of orange juice
Directions: In a sauce pan, combine 2 Tablespoons of sugar, the corn starch, and the orange juice.  Bring to a boil, stirring.  Remove from the heat and cool, till it is lukewarm.
In a bowl, add the milk and eggs to the dry mix and oats, stir to mix.
When the orange juice mixture is cool, add it to the batter.  Let this rest for about 15 minutes, while you prepare the optional syrup.

Optional syrup ingredients:
  • 1/2 Cup of butter
  • 1/3 Cup of honey
  • 2 Tablespoons of frozen Orange Juice concentrate (thawed)
Directions: In a microwave bowl, or a sauce pan on the stove, combine the ingredients and bring to a boil.

On a hot griddle, pour out the batter, by 1/4 cup at a time, and cook the pancakes.
Serve hot cakes, topped with a pad of butter and your choice of syrup. 

This lip-smackin' breakfast should get you goin'!  And even if you live in the city, you'll feel like you live on the farm and hear that rooster crowing!

"To know that I have helped someone a little or made a day brighter will make my own work easier and cause the sun to shine on the dark days, for we all have them."  Laura Ingalls Wilder

If you make this recipe and it really does brighten your day, please come back here and tell me! Thanks.
The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Monday, February 11, 2013

Look who's 91 yrs. old!

Born on Saturday, February 11, 1922 - Freda!  Freda is Almanzo Wilder's cousin.  She is my special house guest.  If you visit my shop this year, you should be able to meet her!  She loves to sit in the shop and visit with folks.  She has lots of great stories to tell about her life.  And much of her life was very similar to what Laura's family and Almanzo's family experienced!

Freda is also an accomplished writer!  She writes poems and inspirational prose. Some of those are a available at the shop.   And I am working with her to write her memoirs.  What a great life she has lead!

Please join with me today, in wishing her a happy birthday.

The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Sunday, February 10, 2013

"National Pancake Week"

Let's see, what was that saying I heard somewhere?  Oh, yeah, "Seven days without pancakes, makes one weak (week). Or something like that. :)

Not only are we celebrating "National Pancake Week", but also this is "National Cherry Month".  So, it hit me - why not see if I can find a recipe, among my heritage recipes that covers those two celebrations?  This is what I came up with:  (this is on the order of those "Dutch Baby" or "German Pancakes" that I posted some time ago - you'll find that in my archives)
Farmer Boy Cherry German Pancakes
  • 1/2 Cup of flour
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of sugar
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 Cup of whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 1/4 Cup of butter
  • 3/4 Cup of cherry pie filling
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of brown sugar
Directions: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  In a number 7 size iron skillet, melt the butter. (Don't let it turn brown or burn!)   Pour in the pie filling.  Place the skillet into the oven for about 5 minutes.  Prepare the batter while waiting.
Mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  Add the eggs, milk, and extract.  Whisk to mix and break up any lumps.
Take the skillet out of the oven and pour the batter on top of the cherries.  Sprinkle on the brown sugar.  Bake for about 20 minutes, till puffed up and golden brown. Serve warm.
* Note: this will make a large pancake, enough for 2 good servings.  If you want to, you can double the recipe and use a larger skillet and then slice into wedge servings, like a pie.

"As far back as I can remember, the old times were good times."  Laura Ingalls Wilder

If you make this recipe, please come back here and leave a comment. Thanks. The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Laura Ingalls Wilder - Birthday!

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls was born on Thursday, February 7, 1867 in a log cabin, about 7 miles north of the town of Pepin, Wisconsin.

She was the second daughter of her parents, Charles and Caroline Ingalls.  The first daughter, Mary Amelia, was born two years prior.

Laura grew up and married Almanzo Wilder.  When Laura was around 65 years of age, she wrote what she thought was her autobiography.  In it, she told of her life growing up in a pioneer family in the late 19th Century America.  After submitting the manuscript, "Pioneer Girl", to the publishers, it was turned down. They suggested that it be re-worked into story form.  Laura worked on it, with the help of her daughter, Rose.  Rose was already a known author.  It was then published as "Little House in the Big Woods". That was the beginning of the acclaimed, "Little House" book series, which was the continuing story of her life.

These books have become classic children's literature, translated into many languages, and read and enjoyed by people of all ages.  Eventually, after her death, her book, "Little House on the Prairie" was the basis of the TV series of the same name.

Laura took what was a concept for her to make some extra money during the Depression, and made a "Second Effort" career out of it.  This was at an age when most people would be considering retirement!  And millions of readers are grateful to her for making that second effort!

Today we celebrate Laura's 146th birthday.  Happy birthday, Laura!

If you like this blog, please sign on to be a follower.  Also, tell others to do the same.  Come back often and leave comments, if you will.  And I hope you'll visit my shop in Mansfield, Missouri when you come to visit Laura's Historic Home and Museum.  Thanks.
The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"2 Celebrations in 1"!

This is "National Pancake Day" and "World Nutella Day"!  What do you mean, you don't know what Nutella is?  In my opinion, it is the best improvement to Peanut Butter ever invented!  It is peanut butter (actually Hazelnuts) whipped up with chocolate.  To celebrate these 2 special days in one recipe, I offer this:
Farmer Boy Nutella Pancakes
  • 1 1/4 Cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 Cup of quick oats
  • 1 Tablepoon of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 Cup of whole milk
  • 1 Cup of butter milk
  • 1/4 Cup of water
  • 1/2 Cup of Nutella
Directions: In a large bowl, stir all the dry ingredients together.  Mix in the wet ingredients.  Cover and let this mixture rest and rise in the bowl at least 15 minutes.
Drop, by 1/3 cup, onto a lightly oiled griddle, over medium heat.
Cook on first side, till bubbles break on top.  Flip the pancake and continue to cook on the other side, till lightly browned - check center to be sure it is fully cooked.

 You could serve this with any of your favorite syrups, or even spread more Nutella on top of each pancake. You might want to use Sourdough for this recipe.  That recipe is found in my archives.
If you are serving these to children, you may have to make a double batch!   These are not your Mama's pancakes!  :)

"We cannot take our opinions from our fathers nor even keep the opinions we formed for ourselves a few years ago.  Times and things move too fast." Laura Ingalls Wilder

I would like to know what you think of this recipe - so, if you make it, please come back here and leave your comments.  Thanks. The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Saturday, February 2, 2013

"Crepe Day"!

Basically, a "Crepe" is a very thin pancake.  Once cooked, you can roll it up, filled with any number of ingredients - from sweet to savory.  If you've never made crepes before, you should find this method easy.  If you prefer, you could go out and buy a special crepe pan for making these, but I just use a regular, small fry pan.  This recipe is my choice to celebrate this special day:
Farmer Boy Apple Walnut Crepes
  • 2 Cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 Cups of whole milk
  • butter, melted
Directions: Place all ingredients in a large bowl.  Whisk, till all are blended and all the lumps are gone. In a round fry pan, (9 - 10 inch) over medium heat, melt about 3/4 Tablespoons of butter (each time, before you put the batter into the pan).  Just as the butter begins to turn brown, pour in about 3 Tablespoons of batter.  Lift the pan off the heat and swirl it, so the batter flows evenly into a round, nearly the size of the pan.   Gently flip it when lightly browned, (it won't take long!) and cook the other side.
This recipe makes about 2 dozen.  (You can double this recipe, if you want to prepare more at a time.) Once you've cooked them, you can stack them, keeping them warm by draping them with a kitchen towel.  *Note: they can be frozen for use later - see below.
Now, on to the filling:
  • 1/4 Cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger and ground cloves
  • 1/3 Cup of Walnuts, chopped
  • 2 Apples, (I prefer Fuji), chopped or diced
  • Sour Cream, dollops for each
  • 2 teaspoons of butter
Directions: In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients together.  Stir in the apples and nuts.  In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the apple mixture. Cover, cook and stir, till the apples are soft.
To each prepared crepe: Spread in the dollop of sour cream, add about 2 Tablespoons of the apple mixture and roll it up. Place each on a plate, dusting with powdered sugar.  Serve warm.

Once you have the knack, you can make any type of crepe filling you desire.  Experiment, using other fruits, nuts, jams, etc. & even try making some savory ones, with veggies and meats!
*Note (about freezing): Place a sheet of wax paper between each, making certain to keep each one flat.  Place a few in a plastic freezer bag and seal.  This way you can have them ready anytime!  When you go to use frozen ones, bring them to room temperature.  Once they are thawed, simply re-heat them in the oven, (350 degrees F.) for only a couple minutes or heat them in a microwave on medium for only a few seconds. (If the filling is hot, this may not even be necessary.) 
I recently served this recipe to Freda, (Almanzo's 90 year old cousin) - she had never had crepes before & she loved them!  Now I'm making them quite often!  I'll post some savory recipes soon.
If you try this recipe, please come back here and let us all know how they came out. Thanks. The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Friday, February 1, 2013

Charles & Caroline Ingalls anniversary

Certainly a match made in heaven!  They were married on February 1, 1860 in Concord (Jefferson county), Wisconsin.  Their marriage was life-long, till Charles died in 1902 - 42 years later.  They had five children: 4 girls and one boy (little Charles Frederick (Freddie), who survived just over 9 months). 
They were, of course, the parents of Laura Ingalls; who became a famous author.  It was in her "Little House" books where we became acquainted with "Ma and Pa". 

"At evening still my fancy sees
The flash of snowy wings,
And in my heart
The Meadow Lark,
Still gaily, sweetly sings."
Laura Ingalls Wilder

Thanks for reading my blog posting today -  I hope you'll sign up to be a regular follower, if you haven't done that already.   The Old Man in the Bib Overalls