Sunday, February 7, 2016

Feed Your Soul

Last week I received a beautiful box of limes from Uncle Ralph. Yes, those really are limes even though they are very yellow. And they are the best limes on the planet. Maybe these are what made me want to cook so badly this weekend, in spite of having several other more important things to do.
 There is nothing I enjoy so much as going into my beautiful kitchen on a weekend afternoon and creating something delicious. 
What will I do with the beautiful limes? I have a lot of plans.
First of all one would be put into my favorite soup.  This is a recipe I created based on things I like. It is a chicken dumpling soup with cabbage, cilantro, lime, garlic and ginger. 
Ingredients part 1:
1 pint home made veggie stock
any diced veggies you'd like to add that need cooking - carrots, turnips, etc. 
1T soy sauce
1T spicy Korean sauce
chicken dumplings from Chinatown
 Put all into a pot and bring to a boil, when boiling add the dumplings and cook until done. Meanwhile:
Ingredients part 2:
cabbage (napa, regular, or red)
In a large bowl shred the cabbage very fine (about 1/2 cup) add the cilantro leaves as many as you like. Using a fine grater, grate one clove of garlic over this, and some fresh ginger. Add the juice of a lime.   
When the dumplings are cooked through, pour the whole thing over the raw veggies. 
 Allow to cool a little before eating. This is always too much for one meal, so you can take the left overs to work for lunch tomorrow.  

It was also time for home made veggie stock. 
I make mine from all of the left over cuttings from the vegetables I use for a month or two. I just put them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. When I have three or four full bags it's time to take down the big copper cauldron and brew up a batch. 
 It is a bit of a stinky affair, but well worth it.
I usually get 8 - 9 pints. And I can them in my grandmother's giant canning pot.

One of the most wonderful things about having two kitchens is I can do the really messy stuff down stairs. Canning in such a big pot produces a ton of steam. And it is much easier to fill with the garden hose anyway.  

I use this stock in a lot of my cooking. Tonight I wanted to make a pumpkin baked zitti, but I didn't get to the baked part because I was too hungry. Long story short, the pumpkin I roasted on Friday was very dense. I added a little stock and some tomatoes and voilá! a nice thick sauce. 

This afternoon I spent some time making my new favorite vintage recipe: Cup Ginger Cake.
 A few weeks ago the archivist at work brought me something new to conserve (new to me). It is a cookbook dating back to at least 1867. It is another handwritten manuscript receipt book and it's full of fun deserts. I have refrained from engrossing myself in it - way too much to do! But I have browsed a few times. One recipe kept nagging me after I'd read it:  Cup Ginger Cake. I think mostly because of the odd title. The recipe is:
Take 3 teacups full flour, 1 sugar, 1 molasses, 1 sour cream, 2 eggs,  piece of butter, 1 tablespoon each soda and ginger and a few cloves ground. 
Okay - well now the "cup" thing makes sense right? 
 Great-Grandmother's teacup.
The necessary ingredients:
 I basically mixed everything together in one bowl. I did mix the dry ingredients together first and beat the eggs before adding them. But maybe next time I will mix the dry ingredients and then the wet in a separate bowl before combining them. I baked it all at 350°F for 35 minutes. It is a little dryer in the bunt pan than when I made it in a 5x8" pan. So that is something else to consider. But it is still very yummy.
 A new favorite for sure. Happy cooking everyone!

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