Miscellaneous

Source: Miscellaneous

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Miscellaneous

It’s always in the back of the cookbook, right before the index of recipes and kitchen tips: Miscellaneous. They are those how-tos and recipes that don’t quite fit a particular category. Aunt Martha’s  Red Hot Hot Sauce, Great Grandma Sue’s Apple Cider Punch, or Homemade Honey Marshmallows: all great recipes, but where to place them in the cookbook? Maybe they’re the only recipe of their kind submitted for the church or family cookbook, so they get shoved to the back.

This twelve months of waiting has been my Miscellaneous Year. Life has been the tab in the back of the book, where nothing really jumps out at you. Great family experiences have taken place, but there has been a shadowing over them or maybe I’ve watched them through a scrim, like the dream sequence in a play. Each event has had meaning and value, but where they will all come together in my life as puzzle pieces to form the big picture, well… Insert shoulder shrug and nonplussed expression.

This morning I put together my favorite midmorning, work-week snack. If included in a cookbook, it would be placed behind the miscellaneous tab. Trail Mix.  There’s no cooking for this one. The only seasoning comes from the dry roasted cashews and that flavor is a great compliment to the sweet raisins and chocolate covered craisins. Maybe one day the pieces of my life in transition will come together and I’ll see the bigger picture and taste all of the trail mix- the savory and the sweet in one big mouthful.

Chocolate covered craisins, pecans, walnut pieces, raisins and dry roasted cashews
Chocolate covered craisins, pecans, walnut pieces, raisins and dry roasted cashews equals Trail Mix.
Dump everything in a great big bowl and toss with your fingers till everything is mixed up evenly.
Dump everything in a great big bowl and toss with your fingers till everything is mixed up evenly.
Storing in an air tight container with an easy shake out spout, makes for easy dispensing.
Storing in an air tight container with an easy shake out spout, makes for easy dispensing.

Ms. Hudy’s Apple Cake

Pots of purple and white posies
Pots of purple and white posies

We were teased with a hint of Fall last week, with morning temperatures down in the 60s. This weekend it’s back to being warm, not too hot, but still warm. The skies have been glorious from horizon to horizon; blue like only September can create. Pots of mums sit along the porch railing, like old friends come to visit. The hummingbird feeder has been getting lots of buzzes, as the migration has started.

I’m cooking like crazy this morning. First was banana nut bread for the college man to take back to his dorm. As that was baking, I put together one of my favorite recipes for Fall: Ms. Hudy’s Apple Cake. Mrs. Hudora Lewman is a long time member of our church and local historian.This recipe was included in our church cookbook in 2012. The cookbook was compiled for a fund raiser and also to celebrate the congregation being together for 150 years.

Ms. Hudy's Apple Cake recipe straight from the cookbook. It calls for a glaze, and even though the cake is perfect without it, go ahead and gild that lily.
Ms. Hudy’s Apple Cake recipe straight from the cookbook. It calls for a glaze, and even though the cake is perfect without it, go ahead and gild that lily.

The most important step in the whole recipe is to grease and flour the pan. This cake is very dense and could stick to the pan without this step.

Grease and flour the pan
Grease and flour the pan
It's apple season. This recipe calls for 3 mellow apples. I used Gala apples because they'really a good apple for cooking and have a slight lemon flavor. As the apples were on the small side, I used 4 apples instead of 3.
It’s apple season. This recipe calls for 3 mellow apples. I used Gala apples because they’re a good apple for cooking and have a slight lemon flavor. As the apples were on the small side, I used 4 instead of 3.

This cake bakes for an hour and ten minutes; don’t fudge from this step either. The apples need every minute to bake- this cake is so good and will make any house smell like home.

Apple Cake gilded with the warm glaze
Apple Cake gilded with the warm glaze

Remington Is A Yogurt Freak or Happy Birthday, Unc

Remi recommends the yogurt and fruit parfaits from the Golden Arches
Remi recommends the yogurt and fruit parfaits from the Golden Arches

I didn’t cook anything this weekend. It’s been rather busy. Another road trip-this time to Petal to celebrate my brother’s birthday. I put together a coffee basket for his gift: Community Coffee, Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies, Almond Joy coffee creamer and an insulated mug.

My brother and I are only 17 months apart. He gave up his baby bottle for me, so the story goes. We have always been very close. I was two years behind him in school and when I reached 9th grade he was a cool 11th grader and wanted nothing to do with me. I was persona non grata. I was ‘she who was not to be spoken to’. When we passed one another on the high school campus, I would say, “Hi.” Older brother would shoot me that look that only brothers give their sisters, as if to say, “Get lost, twerp!”

Well, let’s just say that he should have known better. He just thought saying hello to me would cramp his style. I remember it like it was yesterday…

It was a warm, early afternoon and first lunch break. My friends and I were sitting under the live oak trees outside A-Hall, when I saw my brother and his group of cohorts changing class. As they sauntered down the sidewalk, I called out to him, “Hi, Chris!”

No response. So, I did it again, a little louder.

“HI, Chris!”

He kept on walking, ignoring me. I thought to myself, ‘Oh, I’ll fix you.’

“Hey, there, Chris! Hey, Chrissy. Oh, Chrissy-kins. Hi! Hi!” All spoken in a sing-song voice.

His friends erupted into laughter.

“Ha!” one of his group poked fun at my brother, laughing. “She got you-Chrissy!”

My brother, who had ignored me for weeks, stopped on the sidewalk with his arms akimbo. His expression was one of disgust. I held my ground, matching his stance and purse of his lips, the squint in his green eyes.

“What, Chrissy-kins? Can’t speak to your sister?” I kept on, tauntingly.

He kept looking like Mr. Bigbad, staring a whole in me. Then the bell rang.

“Alright, Mandy,” he said, trying not to smile. “Or should I say Mandy-kins? You win. See ya.” And he went on to class.

Wow, that was, let’s see…1979? Maybe. We called each other Chrissy-kins and Mandy-kins for years after that show down on the high school campus. Both nicknames got shortened to just ‘kins’. He’s now endearingly named Unc, by my three boys.

Today is Unc’s birthday. I’ll let you do the math to figure out how old he is. He has a sweet young family (we didn’t think he would ever get married, but he finally found someone to put up with him). Unc got to sleep in this morning, and his little boys and I were hungry,  so I went to the Golden Arches for sausage biscuits and fruit and yogurt parfaits for everyone. Remington (Remi for short – even the dog has a nickname) is their mixed breed and he is allowed in the kitchen. During meal times, Remi hangs out under the table waiting for something to hit the floor. The dog is a freak for yogurt! We finished our parfaits and then the cups were offered to him to lick clean. The dog was very appreciative.

Happy Birthday, Kins.

Remi is a freak for yogurt
Remi is a freak for yogurt

Jello Fluff

It’s Labor Day weekend and the last hooray of summer. The pots of tired impatiens, planted in the spring, have been pulled up and replaced with perky purple chrysanthemums. Even though it’s September, you wouldn’t know it by the temperatures. Fall just doesn’t seem to want to make an appearance, as the air is still muggy and HOT!

So, this morning I was thinking of something cool to make. An old tried and true came to mind. Here ’tis; quick and easy. The longest thing about making it is waiting for it to set.

Jello Fluff

Ingredients:

1 box Jello ( your choice)

3/4 cup boiling water

1 fruit cup ( liquid drained and reserved)

Enough ice and water to make 1 1/2 cups liquid ( you’ll see in a minute)

1 carton of Cool Whip

What to do:

In a large bowl mix gelatin and boiling water, till gelatin is desolved. Next, in a 2 cup measuring cup add the juice from fruit cup, ice and water together to make 1 1/2 cups liquid. Pour into gelatin mixture and stir till ice is almost melted. Remove any unmelted ice. Fold in the entire carton of Cool Whip and the fruit cup. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the frig, till it has set. Enjoy this cool dessert after supper or as a light snack.

Cool and light: Jello Fluff
Cool and light: Jello Fluff