Saturday, January 27, 2007

Blending Recipes

I was away at a conference last week in the NW. Hint: I purchased an old "Pike Place Market Cookbook." I was at the Elliott Bay Book Company, and beyond the entire room of books on sexuality, I found a treasure trove of used books, including two huge bookshelves of cookbooks. In addition to the PPMC, I purchased Better Homes and Gardens Blender Cook Book. An entire book of blender recipes? Yes, and it's from 1971, so it also has lovely brown, gold and avocado green dishes on display.

This is a photo of 'stuffed beef rounds'. I've mentioned the obsession with prunes that one finds in vintage cookbooks, but I realize that there was also a big trend in rolling up foods. Where did this come from? I won't even put the recipe for stuffed beef rounds in this blog; I'll leave it to your imagination about what parts of this went in the blender, too. But yes, the beef is rolled with stuffing, cheese and bread. Seriously - how would one eat this? It's held together with toothpicks, too. Romantic this isn't.

I was showing this excellent book to friends at the conference and one found a great recipe for Tomato Soup-Kraut drinks. Yes, it asks for sauerkraut juice, an entire cup. I will send $5 to anyone who asks for 'sauerkraut juice' in the grocery store. I'm guessing it cures hangovers - someone would have to be pretty far gone to have thought of it. It also serves 8 while the rest of the drink recipes serve 5- 6: clearly this is intended for party-going people.

My good friend Pam who was also at the conference wrote me to congratulate me on being a bad influence on her cooking. You can see why from her recipe on Elegant Baked Beans below, with her notes. It's nice to know that I am bringing more people around to my 'who cares?' style of cooking.

Elegant Baked Beans

1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can small lima beans, drained [I didn’t have any, so I used canned corn]
1 large jar B&M pork and beans [I only had a small jar, but it worked fine]
6 strips bacon, cut in small pieces [only had Canadian bacon, but it worked too]
3 cloves garlic, crushed [don’t like, didn’t use]
3 large onions, thinly sliced [I used one Mayan sweet onion]
½ C brown sugar
¼ C vinegar [used apple cider vinegar]
1 t dry mustard
1 lb. browned hamburger

In separate pan, brown hamburger. In different frying pan, brown bacon, add garlic, onion, vinegar, sugar and mustard. Stir and cook for 10 min. Mix with beans, and hamburger [if used], and put in casserole. Bake at 350 for 2 hours, or until no longer juice. Cover with tin foil while baking.

This sounds lovely, and certainly more elegant than anything that comes out of my kitchen.

I read Lee Harris's Murder in Alphabet City while on the plane home. She is such a master at plotting and clues. She has two series, and this is the newer one. I like everything she writes. She is one of the Nuns, Mothers and Others mystery crew along with colleagues. These ladies are among the funniest and smartest mystery writers around.


KT Horning said...

Hi, Amy! I live in Wisconsin, and I'd be happy to seek out sauerkraut juice locally. If it's available anywhere in the U.S., it'd probably be here, especially if people use it as an alcohol-free substitute for boiling Sheboygan brats.

There's a grocery store here that I love to phone with unusual questions because, when they put you on hold, instead of muzak, you get to hear a motherly-sounding woman giving food tips and talking about great sales.

What makes this particularly entertaining is she has a Wisconsin accent you could cut with a knife (think "Fargo"). She says things such as "Think ice cream season is over? Oh, my, no! Not when you can get Babcock Hall ice cream for 3.39 a gallon at Sentry."

I'll call them with the sauerkraut juice question and report back. That one should get me plenty of time on hold.

Amy said...

Hi KT:
I'm glad you found us. I can't wait to hear how this goes...
I want to know 1. if they have it and 2. what the woman's voice told you while waiting.

I should have looked at more antique stores up there when I went up for Bouchercon, though I did purchase some cookbooks at the Historical Center gift shop near the Capitol there. It does have quite a few brats recipes now that I think about it.