Thursday, September 29, 2011

I was reading an article in the British edition of Country Living Magazine that reminded me I have a very healthy Rose Geranium plant. So I started researching ways to use this herb. There are several recipes online but I found the most information in "Forgotten Skills" cookbook. I started a couple of jars of rose geranium sugar and then made Apple Rose Geranium Compote which I served hot over baked oatmeal. Yummy.

Peel, quarter, and slice 8 medium eating apples into 1/4 inch segments. Put them into a stainless-steel saucepan. Add 3/4 cup sugar, juice of 1 lemon, 2 -3 strips of the lemon rind, and 3 - 4 rose geranium leaves. Cover with a parchment paper lid and the lid of the saucepan and cook over a gentle heat until the apples are soft but not broken. Remove the rose geranium leaves and discard. This compote will keep in the fridge for 5 - 6 days.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The pear bunt cake was good. I plan to bake another one and add more spices. I think it will freeze very well. The recipe is in Sounthern Living cookbook 1986, page 247. I will share my altered recipe later. Today is Pear Day.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The pears we picked at a friend's house are filling the air with their sweet aroma. Now, what to do with all of them?! I have several cookbooks open to possible recipes. This afternoon I baked a pear bunt cake to take to a carry-in this evening. I'll let you know if it tastes good. I will dehydrate a few as I have good taste memories of dehydrated pears from KS days.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My sister, neice and I share an interesting cookbook; "Forgotten Skills of Cooking" by Darina Allen. She is called "The Julia Child of Ireland." It is my year to have this cookbook. All that to say I tried her Homemade Tomato Soup recipe and loved it. I am going to reprint the information in its entirity so you can experience this cookbook. You can also go to to learn more about this chef and her school.


Tomato paste is one of the best ways to preserve the flavor of ripe summer tomatoes for winter use in soups, stews, casseroles, and tagines. A food mill is really the only gadget that works for this . So buy one and even if it sets in the back of your cupboard for the rest of the year it will be worth it. Another use for the good mill is ricing potatoes.

Makes 1 1/2 quarts

6 lb very ripe tomatoes

1 medium onion, chopped

good pinch of salt

a few twists of black pepper

1 teaspoon sugar

Cut the tomatoes into quarter and put into a stainless-steel saucepan with the onion, salt, freshly ground pepper and sugar. Cook on a gentle heat for 10-15 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft (no water is needed). Put through the fine blade of the food mill or a nylon sieve. Allow to get cold and refrigerate or freeze. We freeze tomato paste in milk containers, but any containers of a volume that suits your lifestyle would be fine. Ensure that you allow room for expansion when the liquid freezes; otherwise, the container may burst.

Note: I didn't allow my paste to cool as I wanted to make the soup right away.


In this recipe, basil or mint may be added, and cocnut milk can be substitued for Bechamel sauce with delicious results. Note that fresh milk cannot be ddded to the soup, since ythe acidity in the tomatoes will cause it to curdle. For tomato and basil soup or tomato mint soup, siply add 2 tablespoons of your chosen herb at the same time as you add the sugar.

serves 8

1 onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons butter OR 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

5 cups homemade Tomato Paste (see previous recipe), made from very ripe tomatoes

1 1/4 cups Bechamel Sauce (see pate 116)

1 1/4 cups Chicken Stock (see page 262) or Vegetable Stock (see pate 390)

salt, freshly groupd black pepper and sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)

Sweat the onion in the butter or oil on a gentle heat until soft but not colored. Add the tomato paste, Bechamel sauce, and stock. Season with salt, freshly ground pepper and sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes.

Puree, taste, and dilute more, if necessary. Bring back to a boil, correct the seasoning, and serve with the addition of a little cream, if necessary.

Enjoy! I made ours with Green Zebra and Yellow tomatoes because that was what we had on hand. It was a pretty light green color and tasted great. I used the coconut milk and canned chicken broth. Also fresh basil from our garden.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

When our grandaughter was here this summer she was wearing a dress I had made but was now too tight in the armholes. She asked me to fix it. So, I cut the skirt off at the empire waistline and added a waistband with elastic. Then I took it to TN Quilts and found a fabric that complemented the skirt for a long sleeved blouse. Then I decided it needed leggings and a camisole which I found at Target. It just needs either white or gray ruffle socks to complete the ensemble. It is so much fun to sew children's clothing!

Monday, September 19, 2011

I have returned from Missouri where I attended my nephew's wedding. Fall was in the air along with the rain. The outdoor venues were moved indoors and everyone had a great time. The Bride and Groom are the hosts of a TV show called Must Have Outdoors. (you can Google to learn more.) I have no pictures of the wedding because my camera stayed on the kitchen table in TN! The reception was held at the old Apple Shed in Clarksville, MO. It is no longer used to process and ship apples but it rented out for such occasions. It is rustic, but the bride and her helpers turned it into a beautiful setting for dinner and dancing. Wildflowers in mason jars and small baskets of apples graced the white linen covered tables.

Mom sewed a beautiful quilt top that I quilted on my long arm machine for the Bride and Groom.