Thursday Recipe Exchange: Road Trip!

This will have to be quick today. It’s been crazy here and I’m once again on a deadline. Some day I’ll be able to actually cook  more than stir-fry and salads again. But let’s have some fun tonight. I thought in honor of our friends at Balloon-Juice’s “LOUDMOUTHS ACROSS AMERICA TOUR 2012” it might be fun to put together some road food for their trip.

JeffreyW thinks sandwiches are the perfect trip food:

JeffreyW Sandwich

And he has a treasure trove of  mouth-watering sandwich ideas, right here

I like the idea of a flavorful sandwich, I mean what’s to argue with there? For my car trips, I often pick up a bag of Vic’s popcorn and some mixed nuts. Then I always make a batch of something sweet to take along, too.  Last couple of trips it’s been Orange Cookies (recipe below). What do think our intrepid explorers should take with them to North Carolina? Anyone else going to be there? Who else thinks this trip is going to be epic? Can’t wait for the videos…

Orange Cookies

  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp orange zest
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • dash salt
  • ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts or almonds

bowl & baking sheet

Add lemon juice to milk and let set for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cream butter & sugar, add egg, orange peel, orange juice, vanilla, & milk. Mix well. Sift together dry ingredients, then add to butter mixture. Add nuts. Refrigerate 15 minutes or more (keep refrigerated between batches, also).

Drop by teaspoons full to baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Makes 3 dozen

Food In Fiction: To Kill a Mockingbird, Pickled Pig Knuckles and Ambrosia

Originally published on November 3, 2009

Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch and Mary Badham as Scout

The last entry in the To Kill a Mockingbird recipes is one you probably won’t try and one I’m making up as I go along.  I wanted to include Pickled Pig Knuckles for one reason only, because the section of the book where this shows up is so touching, it brings tears to my eyes whenever I read it.  Atticus has lost his case and Tom Robinson is on his way to prison.  The next morning, as the children struggle with what has gone on, Atticus sits down to breakfast, only to be greeted by an incredible plate of food like he has never seen before.  Confused, he lets Calpurnia lead him into the kitchen, which is filled to overflowing with gifts from everyone who appreciated all he did for Tom Robinson:

The kitchen table was loaded with enough food to bury the family: hunks of salt pork, tomatoes, beans, even scuppernongs.  Atticus grinned when he found a jar of pickled pigs’ knuckles.  “Reckon Aunty’ll let me eat these in the diningroom?”

Calpurnia said,”This was all ’round the back steps when I got here this morning Mr. Finch.  They – they aren’t oversteppin’ themselves, are they?”

Atticus’ eyes filled with tears.  He did not speak for a moment.  “Tell them I’m very grateful,” he said.  “Tell them – tell them they must never do this again.  Times are too hard.”

I searched for Pickled Pigs Knuckles recipes, this one for Pickled Pigs Feet seemed like the best one, so  thought I’d link to it, since I’m not likely to recipe test it anytime soon.  I think you could easily substitute knuckles without any ill effects.

Pickled Pigs Feet:

Nowadays the commercial products are just so expensive that it’s more economical to make your own. Besides, homemade pickled pigs feet taste far better than what you can get from the jar. I prefer to make my own as opposed to spending about 1 dollar and 25 cent for each piece of pigs feet.

Pickled Pigs Feet Recipe

6 – fresh pigs feet, split in half lengthwise
2 – red chile peppers, fresh
1 – medium onion, chopped
2 – bay leaves
2 – tablespoons salt
1 – teaspoon peppercorns
1/2 – tablespoon mustard seed
1/2 – tablespoon coriander seed
1/4 – teaspoon cloves
sliced ginger
white vinegar

to read more, go here

The Ambrosia appears earlier in the story, at a disastrous Christmas celebration, where the only redeeming feature is the food.

….Aunt Alexandra didn’t understand girls.

But her cooking made up for everything: three kinds of meat; summer vegetables from her pantry shelves; peach pickles; two kinds of cake and ambrosia constituted a modes Christmas dinner.

Ambrosia is pretty simple, but a fresh ambrosia salad in 1930’s Alabama in December, I wasn’t sure what would be used.  I decided that peaches, grapes, banana, whipping cream, pecans, little bit of sugar and mixing it together could work.  For a more modern touch, substitute ginger ale for the sugar and sprinkle with coconut.  Neither may be authentic, but they are tasty all the same.

For more fun, check out the nasty bits posts.

Thanksgiving Table: Cranberry Sauce

I love cranberries and I love cranberry sauce with whole cranberries.  The only problem is the amount of high fructose corn syrup in canned versions.  I’d never made my own until a few days ago, I think because in my head I thought it was complicated.

Those of you who have made it can stop laughing now.   Thank you.

It couldn’t be simpler and fun to make (mostly because the cranberries pop as they cook).  Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:

Cranberry Sauce

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup water or unsweetened cranberry juice (100% cranberry juice)
  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup sugar
  • 12 oz (1 bag) whole, raw cranberries


Wash cranberries. Bring juice and water to a boil, add sugar and stir until sugar dissolves, then add cranberries, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes, no more.  Remove to a tempered glass dish or mold, cover and refrigerate for 12 hours.  What you’ll have is a nice thick cranberry sauce with whole cranberries.  You can add different things for a variety of sauces:  pecans, orange rind, apples, walnuts, blueberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, currants.

Spinach-Raspberry Salad

Spent the morning at the Farmer’s Market and later this week I’ll go to the local farm stand (and by local, I mean 1/2 mile away).  Fresh pasta and sauce tomorrow and I’ve been asked to bring a salad to a dinner this week, this is what I’ll be taking:

 Spinach-Raspberry Salad:

  • 8 oz  fresh spinach leaves
  • ½ pint fresh raspberries
  • 4 oz chopped pecans
  • Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing
  • 2 oz mild bleu cheese, crumbled

Serving bowl

Wash and thoroughly dry spinach & raspberries, add to serving bowl with pecans, toss with dressing and add crumbled bleu cheese.  Serves 4