Saturday, September 09, 2006

How It All Began

I made Ham Tamale Pie for dinner a couple nights ago, from the Farm Journal book again. The camera needs some new discs so I couldn't take a picture. This actually turned out very well, and was very tasty.

2 1/2 c. cubed baked ham

3 tblsp. melted fat or oil (I used olive oil)

3/4 chopped onion (I used a little onion powder)

1 clove garlic, minced (I used garlic powder)

1 1/2 tsp. chili powder (I did not do this)

2 tblsp. flour

1 green pepper (I did not do this)

2 c. tomato juice

1 (4 oz.) can mushroom stems and pieces (I had a can of sliced mushrooms, no stems. Yuck)

2 c. cooked lima beans (I used green beans)
1 pkg. corn muffin mix

1/2 c. milk

1 egg, beaten

Heat oil in skillet. Add onion and garlic, cook 5 minutes. Add the cubed ham. Sprinkle with chili powder and flour. Continue to cook over moderate heat 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Cut pepper into eighths; add to ham along with tomato juice, mushrooms with liquid and lima beans. Bring to boil; reduce heat, cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Pour hot mixture into greased 2 qt. casserole. Place in oven at 375 degrees F while mixing topping.

Blend corn muffin mix with milk and egg. Spoon over hot ham mixture - in a wide crisscross pattern, if you wish. **Amy's note: Why the big X? I did this, and it spread out to cover almost the entire pan, eliminating the shape.

Everyone in my family enjoyed this for two nights.

My interest in vintage cookbooks atarted with this one, while I was a teen. Square Meals, from 1984, is the first cookbook by Jane and Michael Stern, who now have many and are widely known. It is essentially what this blog is - a grouping of recipes from vintage cookbooks, only theirs are from the 1920's - 1950's. Of course they also do not refer to cooking mishaps, which I enjoy writing about! I took it from my Mom's collection. I love the section on ladies' lunches, and wartime points stretchers. The drawings and descriptions are just as good as the recipes.

I even tracked down some used copies of this one for gifts for my mother-in-law and others. It is truly charming and inspiring for all cooks.

I have dough chilling in the fridge for some peanut butter cookies, described as a "Teen Favorite" in one of my books. More soon.

I just finished reading Dirty Laundry, a Sofie Metropolis book by Tori Carrington. It is a humorous Greek family cozy series, though Sofie is a budding PI. It was ok, but I think I am getting mysteried out. I have a few more weeks until my mystery conference, so I need to hold on a little longer!

I did finish my cookbook inventory. Including the little booklet ones, I have 203 cookbooks. I did have more, but weeded a few to make room for more. About 1/2 of those are vintage.

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