Archive for the ‘Food and Recipes’ Category

Christmas Breakfast

The younger daughter wanted to make a casserole for Christmas breakfast, so I got the ingredients ahead of time.  It was the most delicious brunch/breakfast dish I’ve ever had, so I will record the recipe here for future reference.

Brown and drain 1 lb of ground pork breakfast sausage and spread it in a 9 x 13″ baking dish

Cover the sausage with 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese

Beat together 4 eggs and 2 cups milk and pour over the cheese and sausage.

Cover the casserole with 2 lb of tater tots

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 – 45 minutes.

Cool 5 – 10 minutes before serving.



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My camera is acting up today, and I am afraid it is slowly losing the fight against advanced age.  It is about 7 years old now, and has always been a good little camera.  I tried hard to never drop it, which was hard because I am not the world’s most coordinated person, but I succeeded.  Maybe after the camera recharges and rests for awhile I can get some pictures to show.

I don’t like marmalade much, and now that I am allergic to citrus rind, I won’t eat it anyway, but I am interested in making some to give as gifts.  I have an orange tree, and an anemic lemon tree, but my brother gave me a bag of lovely lemons, so today I am going to give the marmalade a try.   That’s the nice thing about living in the West – the lovely organic citrus in just about every yard.  The oranges on our tree have always been very sour, but they might make good marmalade, and I can substitute the juice for lemon juice in an emergency.  I also found a link to this recipe,


which sounds similar to one that was popular when I was newly married, only that one used apricot jam.

There’s no sense going to all the trouble of getting out the canning pot and doing all the dish washing for just one batch of jam, so I may as well do a few batches of plum jam too.  I need the room in the freezer.  I chop up the plums and store them in the freezer every summer to wait for cooler jam-making weather.

Yesterday I made my usual visit to the thrift store in Sebastopol.  It is a lovely drive in the spring, and the new lambs were in the fields with their shorn moms, the cows were sitting down in the slight rain, and a flock of Canada geese were all over another field.  The almonds are blooming and the fields were full of mustard flowers.  I found lots of old knitting and crochet books, a few patterns, and some pretty long lengths of fabric to use for muslins or little girl dresses.

UPDATE:  Well, making marmalade is quite a production, isn’t it?  There’s a lot of peeling off the rind, taking off the pith, chopping the fruit and peel, and watching for seeds – quite a bit different from plum jam where you just wash and pit the plums and toss them into the food processor for a quick chop.  I did two batches of plum jam, too, so the final count is  7 half pints of marmalade and 9 pints of plum jam.  The camera decided to cooperate.

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Golden Date Cake

I have a lot of cookbooks.  I started buying old cookbooks when I was a young wife who couldn’t afford new ones.  At that time, it seemed like nobody but me wanted the old books, and they were only a dollar or two at used book shops.  I read them like novels, and I especially like the ones with notes written in them telling you that this recipe is excellent and that this other one is awful.  Sometimes the old books will have pressed flowers or a curl of baby hair saved within its pages.  This week I have been reading some of the old books and thought that this particular book sounded promising:

This is a Fourth Edition from 1953.  My husband likes moist cakes, like applesauce cake, carrot cake, or a delicious fudgey cake.  This recipe sounded good, so I decided to try it:

Those are pretty good instructions for an older, privately printed cookbook.  I mixed the dry ingredients except for the sugar, creamed the sugar with the shortening (I was using Smart Balance margarine) in the food processor and set that aside.  I removed about 1/4 cup of the dry ingredients and added that to the now empty food processor, then put in the dates and nuts and chopped them up.  The shortening and sugar mixture was added to the dry ingredients with the milk and vanilla, and mixed as in the recipe.  Then I added the eggs and the rest and mixed that in.  I baked it in a bundt pan at around 350 degrees and kept an eye on it.  It baked for about 40 – 45 minutes.

Since I am allergic to citrus rind, I made the frosting a little differently.  I just put some powdered sugar into a  small bowl and juiced a small orange into it.  I mixed it, adding a pinch of salt and a little vanilla, adjusting the thickness by adding more sugar until it had the thickness of a glaze.  After I got the cake out of the pan (still warm), I spread this over the cake.

A very good cake.

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