Monthly Archives: May 2009

My Sister Goes “Batty”

little_brown_bat_fwsMy niece recently sent me this true story – and  I had to share it with you all!

I’m sure many of us can relate!

I was not there, so this account is from mother.

Mom woke up in the middle of the night when she heard something that sounded like a mouse burrowing in paper. She listened for awhile and finally woke my Dad up.

When Dad turned on a light, the creature that was in the corner FLEW!

It was a bat and it was in their bedroom.

Mom started to scream, “Kill it, kill it!”

Dad jumped out of bed and slammed the bedroom door – now making mom and dad stuck with the bat! <insert dramatic dooms day music>

Dad started jumping around the room trying to catch it when it occurred to him that he had nothing to put it in.  So he rounded the bat into the master bathroom and slammed the door on him (again).

Then dad bounded out of the bedroom looking for a box leaving Mom screaming and hiding under the covers.

Now that Dad was gone she was a bit more nervous, especially when it occurred to her that the bat could fit under the small space under the bathroom door!

Just then she saw a head stick out from under the bathroom door and mom says she’s almost certain it stuck his tongue out at her!

Then Dad heroically returned with a box and started the chase again! He finally caught it in the box and removed it from the house.

My mom may never be the same.

I can understand why! My only question is – do bats really have tongues?!

Chocolate Fudge Pecan Pie Bars

Chocolate Fudge Pecan Pie BarsI’m nuts about nuts.

This was not something that I was born with. When I was growing up the only nuts in our home were the peanuts in our Christmas bags from Santa Claus and the black walnuts that we got free from grandpa and grandma.

Peanuts I like, black walnuts are another story.

I remember well my first English walnut. So mild and delicious! Then I was introduced to pecans and almonds and even cashews! I was in love! There was an entire nutty world out there for me to discover!

This recipe includes both of my favorites – chocolate and nuts!

Chocolate Fudge Pecan Pie Bars

2 2/3 cups flour
1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup butter or margarine
4 eggs
1 cup corn syrup
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (melted)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Mix together the flour with 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives in a scissors motion, cut in butter until the mixture has the texture of coarse crumbs.

Press into the bottom of a greased 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 15 minutes.

In a separate bowl beat eggs, corn syrup, 1 cup brown sugar, melted chocolate, vanilla and salt.

Stir in the nuts and pour the mixture over the warm crust.

Bake another 20-25 minutes or until the filling is set. Cool completely.

I didn’t have pecans, but substituted a mixture of walnuts and almonds.


Caramel Apple Crumble

Carmal Apple Cobbler I told you all about our family Iron Chef competition a few weeks ago…

Well… I just got the recipe for my favorite entry of the weekend!

My nine year old nephew invented this delectable dessert that had all his aunts swooning!

It was a caramel and apple combination on a cake base that was truly memorable.

Caramel Apple Crumble

1 package french vanilla cake mix
2/3 cup evaporated milk (separated) – ( this equals one small can)
3/4 cup melted butter or margarine
1 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
1 can apple pie filling
14 ounce package of caramels

Mix the cake mix with the melted butter and 1/3 cup of evaporated milk.  Add the pecans if desired.

Press 1/2 of the mix into a 9 x 13 greased cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the caramels with the remaining 1/3 cup of evaporated milk and set aside.

Remove from the oven and spread the can of apple pie filing over the crust. Pour the melted caramels over the apples and dot with the remaining cake mix.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the cake is not doughy.

PS: My home canned apple pie filling works great in this recipe!


Hershey’s Chocolate Cookbook

Hershey's Chocolate Cookbook

I not only have a chocolate addiction, but I’m also addicted to cookbooks. Finding a cookbook that features chocolate is like striking gold!

I must say, that I have looked at many chocolate cookbooks over the years, but not many have found their way to my collection. Why? Because not all chocolate cookbooks are created equal.

The Hershey’s Chocolate Cookbook , however,  is a classic.

It’s filled with real recipes – you know that kind that use real ingredients that I already have in my cupboard or can easily find at my local grocery store.

The directions are easy to follow – not complicated and don’t call for strange or unusual processes.

But the real highlight of this book is the gorgeous full-cover picture for every recipe.  And I mean gorgeous!

These photographers are amazing! My kids are forever leafing through the book, drooling over the pictures and begging me to make something.

Which is what I should be doing right now – making something chocolate – something warm and rich and gooey.

Now how’s turn is it to choose the recipe?

Beaver Roast

707px-slaaende_lighedI love old cookbooks – especially the ones from church or community groups. These cookbooks have the real recipes in them from real cooks.

They also frequently have some very interesting entries!

I just picked up a 1969 community cookbook at a garage sale over the weekend that really intrigued me! It has an entire section of old-fashioned recipes.

This recipe was one I just had to share – as the economy continues to crumble – we may all need it!

(This is copied exactly as it came from the cook book)

Beaver Roast

First catch your beaver.

Then dress the same as any other animal. Cut your roast from any part of the animal you wish.

Make a strong brine and pour over the meat and let stand overnight.  Then take enough cold water to cover and lay it  in a kettle with a few whole peppers, 6 cloves, a piece of  stick cinnamon, 6 allspice, a teaspoon of white mustard seed, if handy, all tied up together in a piece of cheesecloth.

Parboil half an hour.

Take up and put in a dripping pan with a pint of water and start it roasting in the oven. Then mix a teaspoon of mustard, a teaspoon of black pepper, a pinch of cayenne, with a tablespoon of flour and mix with water from dripping pan and use to baste with.

Either stick 2 or 3 garlics here and there in the roast, or chop an onion fine and mix with the dressing.

I’m not sure when you are supposed to know that the beaver is done – or just where the dressing is supposed to come from – but if the guys around here every bring a beaver home, I’ll try it out and let you know!