I store all kinds of things about cooking, quilting and some surprises in my cupboard. Check it out.

Peach and Cantaloupe Shortcake

CantPchS-Ck (1)I was looking through my collection of vintage cookbooks and found one dated 1944 (priced 10 cents) from Kerr Mason Jars, Caps and Lids.  

CantPchS-Ck (4)The art work in these old books is amazing and since this was published during WW II, there are a number of references to doing your part for the duration.

CantPchS-Ck (5)I found one recipe for Peach and Cantaloupe Conserve that sounded interesting, but I don’t make big quantities of sweet spreads any more.  I liked the idea of the combination of fruit and used a favorite fruit sauce recipe with a tiny percentage of the sugar called for and came up with these shortcakes.
CantPchS-Ck (6)We liked this dessert very much and it’s a good way to use fresh summer produce.

Here in the Cincinnati area, we have a melon which looks and tastes like a cantaloupe, but it’s as big as a medium-sized watermelon.  It’s called Indiana Melon and has the most wonderful flavor.  I also found some huge South Carolina peaches at the farm stand and had what I needed to make my shortcakes.

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PEACH AND CANTALOUPE SHORTCAKE


3 cups fresh peaches, peeled, seeded and diced

3 cups cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and diced
1 cup water
¼ cup granulated sugar (depending on sweetness of peaches)
1 Tblsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Butter and Egg Biscuit Shortcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
1 Tblsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
5 Tblsp. butter, cut in cubes
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg

Milk to measure 1/2 cup when mixed with vanilla and egg

Topping:

2-3 Tblsp. chopped walnuts

Thawed frozen topping or whipped cream

To Make Fruit Sauce:
In a large pan, place prepared fruit.

In a two-cup measure, place water, cornstarch and vanilla.  Whisk together and pour over fruit.  Stirring occasionally, heat fruit mixture over medium heat until it comes to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook for two more minutes, stirring constantly.  Set aside to cool to room temperature.  Fruit should be fork-tender and hold its shape.  Makes about 4 cups of sauce.

To Make Biscuit Shortcakes:

Preheat oven to 410 degrees F

Place flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.  Add butter cubes and mix with fingers until butter is distributed.

In a one cup-measure, whisk together the vanilla and egg. Add milk to make 1/2 cup.

Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and with a fork, mix together to form a ball of dough.  Place dough on a floured surface and knead briefly until it holds together.  Pat to about one-inch thickness and cut 8 circles with a floured two-inch cutter.  Place an inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake @ 410 degrees F for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.  Remove to a rack to cool.

To serve:
Split a biscuit and place on a dessert plate.  Spoon sauce over the biscuit halves, spoon whipped cream/topping on top and sprinkle with chopped nuts.

8 Servings

CantPchS-Ck (2)Note:  Refrigerate any leftover sauce and bring to room temperature to serve. 

Easy-to-Sew Pouches for a Garden Kneeler–Tutorial

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For the past few years (since I turned 80), I’ve had some back problems which make it difficult to do any gardening.  I can get down on my knees but have trouble getting back up.  Then, I found the Rumford Gardener’s Kneeler/Seat on Amazon and that solved the problem.
41J3S812GCL._SX425_The unit can be used as a seat or, more importantly to me, a kneeler.  It folds for easy storing, is shipped fully assembled and has been such a great help to me that I ordered another one to keep near the back yard.  I’m sure there are other brands that are just as good, but I haven’t used them and I know this one is a good value at around $25.

I noticed that there are also pouches for tools available but they cost about half as much as the kneeler and I thought it wouldn’t be hard to make a set.  These pouches are simple, easy-to-sew and work great for me.  I put four hand tools that I use the most in the pockets and can carry the kneeler from place to place in the yard without difficulty.

Here is how I made the pouches:

Choose medium weight fabric – heavy canvas would be difficult to sew and turn.  I found a remnant of medium weight outdoor fabric that worked perfectly.
toolpouch (1)TOOL POUCHES FOR GARDEN KNEELER – two pouches

CUT:
2 pieces 8 inches wide x 30 inches long of fabric for base
2 pieces 8 inches wide x 8-½ inches long of fabric for pocket
2 sets of Velcro fasteners 6-½ inches long

toolpouch (2)On top edge of pocket, turn down ¼ inch and another ¼ inch and stitch to form a ½ inch hem.

Place base right side up on surface.  Pin pocket fabric right side up on base, matching pocket with bottom and sides of base fabric.  Baste close to bottom and side edges to secure pocket.  Stitch down the center of the pocket fabric to make two sections.
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Bring top edge of base down to line up with bottom edge of base, right sides together (pocket will be on the inside).  Using ½ inch seam, stitch along the sides and bottom, LEAVING OPENING ON ONE SIDE OF ABOUT  3 INCHES TO TURN.

Trim corners, turn and top stitch ¼ inch from the edges all around the base, tucking in the opening seams and securing.
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Working with the back of the piece, measure from the top edge down 6-½ inches and draw a line.

Stitch one piece of Velcro with the bottom edge of the Velcro slightly covering the drawn line.  Stitch the other piece of Velcro to the back top edge.  Top edge will fold down to secure pouch.

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toolpouch (6)Fold edge down over bars on stool with pockets on the outside.

Repeat with the other pieces of fabric and Velcro to complete two pockets with a total of 4 sections for small hand tools.

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*I’m not being paid for my endorsement of this product – I just like it a lot and want to share.

Strawberry Chicken Salad with Strawberry Poppyseed Dressing

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I combined a couple of recipe ideas to make this chicken salad with strawberries and a strawberry poppy seed dressing.  My daughters and I love this salad.

It’s easy to make with cooked chicken breast (one full cup per serving), strawberries, pecans and dry minced onions.  My daughters don’t like to bite down on a raw onion, so I used the minced ones.  If I were making it for myself only, I’d add some sliced red or sweet onion.
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An easy-to-mix oil dressing with pureed strawberries is added to the chicken mixture …

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…and the salad is refrigerated for an hour or so to blend flavors.

STRAWBERRY CHICKEN SALAD WITH STRAWBERRY POPPYSEED DRESSING

FOR THE SALAD:
4 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (one medium sized whole breast)
2 Tblsp. dry minced onion
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
¼ cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

FOR THE DRESSING:
½ cup fresh strawberries, quartered
¼ cup white vinegar
2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 Tblsp. poppy seed
3/4 cup peanut oil

TO MAKE THE SALAD:
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, onion, 1 cup sliced strawberries and pecans.  Set aside.

TO MAKE THE DRESSING:
Place ½ cup of strawberries, vinegar, sugar, salt, poppy seed and oil in a food processor or blender and process until dressing is smooth and oil is completely blended with other ingredients.

Pour the amount of dressing you prefer over salad ingredients and toss lightly.  Place in covered container and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Makes 4 servings.

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Cozy Afternoon – Free BOM – Block 3

Cozy3 (1)

Jacquelynne Steves is offering another series of free blocks-of-the-month called Cozy Afternoon.

http://jacquelynnesteves.com/cozy-afternoon-block-of-the-month/

There will be five blocks, each with a pattern to embroider or applique for the center.  I have a large hassock with a lid which I’m going to cover, using five blocks – one for the top of the lid and four for the sides.

My version of Block 3 is shown in the top picture.  This will be one of the sides of the hassock cover, using a vintage embroidery pattern for the center.

Jacquelynne also provides a pattern for an embroidered or appliqued center and I made another block using the embroidered mug and a different set of fabrics.

Cozy3 (2)

The block pattern is generally easy, but I did not get the results I wanted for the four corner patches using the method given.  This could be my fault – I don’t do well when I have to sew pieces together and then slice them apart.  I’m not always as precise as I should be, but when I tried very hard on the second block and didn’t like the way it turned out, I drew the patch on my Electric Quilt software and got the measurements for a 3-inch finished block.  This one turned out perfectly.  I’m including the measurements and directions in case someone wants to do it the old-fashioned way.

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Cut one “A” 2×2 inches

Cut one “B” 2-3/8×2-3/8 inches (Cut on diagonal and use both patches.)

Cut one “C” 3-7/8 x 3-7/8 inches (Cut on diagonal and use one patch

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  • Sew one light blue triangle to right side of pink square.  There will be 1/4 inch tails on either end.

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  • Press seam open and sew white triangle across bottom of pink square.

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  • Press seam and trim tails.  Place on blue triangle, right sides together, and stitch across long side.

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  • Press open and trim tails.  Patch should measure 3-1/2 inches square.  The pink patch should measure 1-3/4 inches from seam to edge, which will match up perfectly with the other squares in the block.

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Cozy3-bot

This is a really nice BOM series and there’s still time to get the patterns and instructions for later use.  Jacquelynne does not archive her patterns for long periods of time.

A Good Day at the Antique Mall

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On Saturday, my daughter and I went to one of our favorite antique malls, Miller’s in Lebanon, Ohio.  I found a set of salt/pepper shakers from the era I like (late 1930s-early 1940s), marked “Japan” and a good addition to my Dutch collection.

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My daughter found the real treasure – a 1931 Lebanon High School yearbook which also included the 7th and 8th grade classes.  There on the 8th grade class roll was my mother’s name, Martha Mount.  Unfortunately, she must have been absent the day the pictures were taken since we didn’t recognize anyone who looked anything like my mother at that age.

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This was a new, modern high school at the time and I remember my mother saying how overwhelmed she was by the big campus and large classes after moving there from the little town of Morrow, Ohio, in the 7th grade.  Just think – a laboratory and a cafeteria!

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I made a copy of a snapshot of my mother in her 8th grade graduation dress – one she described as “beautiful”, probably made by her mother.

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A picture in the year book would have been nice, but just to find something from so long ago with my mother’s name is exciting.

A few years ago I wrote a blog about last-day-of-school dresses that my mother had made for me and the one dress I didn’t like that looked like her 8th grade graduation dress.

https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2008/06/14/last-day-of-school-dresses/

Cozy Afternoon – Free BOM – Blocks 1 and 2

Cup-B1 (1)

Jacquelynne Steves is offering another series of free blocks-of-the-month called Cozy Afternoon.

http://jacquelynnesteves.com/cozy-afternoon-block-of-the-month/

There will be five blocks, each with a pattern to embroider or applique for the center.  I have a large hassock with a lid which I’m going to cover, using five blocks – one for the top of the lid and four for the sides.  I used a fussy-cut center for the top which will get a lot of wear.

Beach-B1 (2)

I’ll be adding corner triangles which will make this a perfect size for my hassock.

The embroidery pattern was so cute that I made another block with a redwork cup.  This piece will probably be turned into a gift bag.

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Jacquelynne included block 2 in this post which I made using a panel with vintage embroidery of a sailboat.

 

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A pattern for a teapot applique (or embroidery) was included and I couldn’t resist making up another block to be used later in another project.

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Both of the blocks are very easy with good results.  I particularly like block 1 and will find other good uses for it.

There’s still time to join in the fun and make some really nice blocks.

Click on pictures to enlarge.

 

Blueberry Streusel Kuchen

BlueberryK-S (12) I had some beautiful farm market blueberries and decided to go to my favorite kuchen recipe which is adapted from a German version.  The original recipe called for quark, but I used ricotta.  Sour cream or yogurt will also work fine.  The cake base is covered with an easy, cooked blueberry sauce …. BlueberryK-S (8) …and topped with a delicious streusel … BlueberryK-S (10) This makes a lovely breakfast or dessert cake, served warm or room temperature.

BLUEBERRY STREUSEL KUCHEN

Blueberry topping

  • 1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tblsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Kuchen

  • 3 Tblsp. canola oil
  • 3 Tblsp. ricotta cheese, yogurt or sour cream
  • 3 Tblsp. milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup plus
  • 2 Tblsp. all-purpose flour

Streusel

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tblsp. light brown sugar
  • 2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 Tblsp. butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray or grease an 8-inch baking pan

To make blueberry topping: In a medium saucepan, place blueberries, granulated sugar, cornstarch and water.  Cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until sugar and cornstarch are dissolved and mixture just begins to bubble.  Remove from heat – stir in vanilla.   Set aside.

To make kuchen: In a medium bowl, place the oil, ricotta/sour cream, milk, sugar, salt and baking powder.  Whisk until blended.  Stir in flour just until mixed well.  Batter will be thick – spread batter in prepared 8-inch pan, using fingertips dampened with water to push the batter in place.

To make streusel: In a small bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar and granulated sugar.  Mix in the butter until mixture is blended. Spread the reserved blueberry mixture on top of the batter and then cover with streusel. Bake @ 350 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes until cake is browned on edges and beginning to brown on top. Serve warm or room temperature.  Yield:  6 servings

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