It’s Carol Ann, Inn Cook of County Inn Days. Today I’m working away in my Butler’s Pantry preparing all sorts of culinary delights and because sharing doubles my joy I will share a few of the recipes I’m preparing in case you get inspired to do a little cooking and baking yourself.
I love cookbooks and my cookbook closet is proof of that fact. Over the years I’ve collected quite a few wonderful cookbooks. With the help of these books menus are never ho hum affairs at The Jeremiah Brown House. There’s always something new being “cooked up” and there’s always cooking inspiration from the authors of these books. Some cookbook authors run restaurants or inns while others compile the recipes of famous personalities like Claude Monet, Beatrix Potter, Tasha Tudor or Princess Diana. I find menu planning with the help of these books as much fun or sometimes more fun then the actual cooking and baking. But of course cooking and baking is great fun too – the scents floating from the kitchen are Yummy and we all do have to eat, don’t we?
So let’s get started.
Sweet Potato Casserole
This recipe comes from cookbook author, Susan Branch. It appears in her Autumn Cookbook. It’s fun to have cookbooks which feature special recipes for the Season. This recipe is great with Thanksgiving Turkey or Christmas Ham. In fact it’s on the menu for Christmas dinner here at the Jeremiah Brown House, dinner for 20. If you’re on a diet you might want to skip it, but then again live a little . It’s the holidays!
Sweet Potato Casserole
Ingredients: 4 c. sweet potatoes cooked and mashed, 8 oz. cream cheese softened, 1/2 c. butter softened, 2 eggs beaten, 1/4 c, brown sugar, 2 and 1/2 Tbsp. dry sherry, 1/4 tsp. salt, 3/4 c. chopped walnuts, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg.
Process: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With electric mixer (not food processer) whip all ingredients except walnuts and nutmeg until light. Stir in walnuts and put into a buttered casserole. Spread evenly and put nutmeg over top. Bake 45 minutes till golden brown.
Once I try a new recipe and like it the recipe is copied and placed in a special notebook so that these tried and true favorites are easy to find when planning the next dinner party. There are notebooks for Tea treats, for Main Course foods, for Desserts and all sorts of other categories. My father, Joe, always used to say, “You’ve got to have a system.” So I enjoy creating a system for everything I do. You might call these systems rituals, but whatever you call them they help me get things done in an orderly fun manner.
But let’s make something else.
You probably wonder why these yeast rolls are called snake rolls. Well, though I didn’t bother with the details this time one can very easily turn these simple yeast rolls into little snakes by snipping a mouth and inserting a peppercorn for an eye.
The recipe comes from a book I have had for years. The book is so used the cover fell off ages ago. What fun things Ann Wiseman came up with in her book – breads shaped like pocket fish that puff out when baked at 500 degrees, pink angel breads made from tomato dough, cinnamon lambs with bodies made of cinnamon buns. So many fun things to dress up a dinner table.
But the snake rolls are my favorite because I can whip up the dough and it keeps in a bag in the fridge for days till ready for baking – 2, 3, 4 or however many rolls I need.
Ingredients: 1 pack yeast, 2 cups warm milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup oil, 2 eggs, 7 cups of flour or more.
Process: Mix and stir ingredients. Knead until smooth. Oil dough ball and store in fridge, covered, punch down from time to time. An hour before any meal cut off a lump of dough. Divide into balls. Roll balls into snakes. Tie snakes into knots. Snip mouth open an add an eye. Let snakes rise 15 minutes on a greased baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.
I love baking bread.
But I also love baking pies.
And it’s time for Pumpkin Pie.
Here’s my favorite recipe
Ingredients: 2 cups cooked pumpkin, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. ground cloves, 3 eggs slightly beaten, 1 cup light cream, 1/2 tsp. salt and a 9 inch pie shell.
Process: Combine pumpkin, sugar, spices and salt. Blend in eggs and cream. Pour into pie shell. Bake 40 to 45 minutes in a 400 degree oven until knife is inserted off center and comes out clean.
Now for the Pie Shell Recipe. The recipe comes from my friend Nancy who now lives in Washaugal, Washington.
Mix 1 and 1/2 cup flour wih 1 and 1/2 tsp. sugar and 1/2 tsp. of salt in a pie pan. Then mix 1/2 cup oil with 2 Tbsp. of milk and pour it into flour mixture.
Using a fork mix everything together and press into place.
And there you have a pie shell for pumpkin or pudding or any one-crust pie of your choice. The crust is great for quiche too.
But my other favorite pie is Apple. Ah, Long live Apple Pie and good friends who share it, friends like you and I. ( I set those lyrics to music once upon a time so I’m singing as I’m baking.)
Between my Mom and Paul Burrell, former butler to Princes Diana, I can come up with a lovely apple pie any time my spirit and tummy demand it.
My Mom, Lottie, and her double crust pie pastry recipe
Ingredients: 2 cups flour, 1 tsp. salt,3/4 cup crisco shortening, 5 Tbsp. ice water
Process: Mix all ingredients except water in a food processor, then add the water a little at a time till the dough holds together like a ball. Roll out onto a floured board. Place crust into pie pan.
The apple pie filling recipe comes from Paul Burrell in his book, “Royal Manner”. Paul says that this Deep Filled Apple Pie recipe is a particular favorite of the Royal Family. Well then that’s one thing my family have in common with the Royal Family. They all love this pie recipe too.
Ingredients: Pie crust recipe for double crust pie, 2 pounds of apples, finely grated rind and juice of one large lemon, 4 oz. of light brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. plain flour, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg, 2 oz. of sultanas, 1 oz. butter, 1 small egg white beaten, 1 Tbsp. caster sugar.
Process: Roll out the pastry and place in 9 inch pie tin. Chill for 30 minutes. Meanwhile peel, core and slice apples thinly. Place them in a bowl and toss with lemon juice. Mix the flour, brown sugar cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle a little of the sugar at the bottom of the pastry and mix the rest in with the apples and sultanas. Place the apples in the pie pan and dot with butter. Roll out the remaining crust and place on top as you wish. Brush with egg white. Trim the pie edges and if the top is a solid piece of pastry cut a small hole in the middle. Sprinkle the caster sugar on top. Bake 40 to 50 minutes at 375 degrees.
So there you have it! These recipes should keep you busy for a while… till the next time I share more Inn favorites. When you make these goodies think of me or better yet, write to tell me how they turned out and how you liked them. Sharing doubles the joy you know so share the food and share your thoughts. I will be back with more recipes from my Country Inn Days. Till then Bon Appetite and enjoy!