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Turkey Creek Lane · Recipe

Recipe

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The sun is setting. It’s time to eat!

According to my husband, beef pot pie is one of the best things I make. It is also easy.

The two essentials to making meat pie are first to have enough good & tasty gravy to almost cover the cooked meat, and second to ensure that steam does not produce a soggy crust.

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My dough is rolled out and ready to go over the gravy-covered beef and vegetables.

Here are two sure-fire methods to prevent a soggy pie crust (I use method 2):

  1. Use any unsweetened pie dough and prebake separately on a baking tin cut to cover the casserole. Since pie dough shrinks during baking cut it slightly larger than your baking dish and prick it with a fork. Bake the pastry seperately at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Set your crust aside. Cover your meat and gravy (vegetables too, if desired) with aluminum foil and bake until warm in the casserole dish. When your meat and gravy is hot and bubbly, place the prebaked crust on top and serve at once.
  2. OR… put an unbaked dough over the stew and bake the meat mixture and dough at the same time (I prefer this method):

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Fill baking dish with cooked stew and gravy to one inch from the top. Place over it a generous covering of round of dough, allowing for shrinking. Brush dough with a little milk. Be sure to make slashes and prick your dough with a fork to allow steam to escape. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Cover pie crust edges with foil. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 35 minutes until crust is golden and your filling is bubbly.

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Buster begging for pie trimmings. He’s already had some. See the flour on his face?

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The pot pie is hot and ready. For my filling I used left-over roast beef & gravy, cooked mixed vegetables (frozen mix) and another cup of gravy made from a dried mix.

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Yea! My crust is flakey, not soggy.

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Dinner rolls minus one roll.

Last night I dug out my tattered original handwritten recipe, scalded, mixed and kneaded. I left the dough in a covered bowl overnight. This morning I shaped and set the almost finished rolls out in the warmest part of the kitchen to rise.

Buster watched.

When I came back into the kitchen later to check on my rolls, the towel that had been covering  the rolls was on the floor. A roll was missing. Buster was innocently sleeping on the rug in front of the stove.

He didn’t so much as blink when he saw me checking the rolls to see if any of those remaining were “obviously” licked or sniffed.

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Roll? What roll?

“Best in Show” Dinner Rolls

Along with homemade mincemeat and pumpkin pie, my grandmother and mother made these rolls for holiday dinners. As a teenager, I  entered them in the County 4-H Fair and won “Best in Show” in the yeast bread category. 

Warm 1/4 lb. butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup milk until lukewarm (scald milk, turn heat off, let butter melt then add sugar)

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Scalded Milk is milk that has come to a boil. There will be a skin on the top of scalded milk.

Mix yeast in lukewarm water.

Beat 3 eggs.

Mix milk and eggs and add yeast.

Gradually add 5 cups flour and 1 tsp. salt.

Let rise overnight in a covered bowl.

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The dough is ready to be rolled or shaped and set out to rise again.

In the morning knead a little. Shape your rolls. Let rise until evening.

Bake at 350-375 until golden brown.

Besides bringing dinner rolls I am also bringing a Sour Cream Apple Pie and Paula Deen’s Gooey Pumpkin Butter Bars to our family’s Thanksgiving dinner.

NOTE: If Buster had managed to snatch more rolls, it could have been fatal. According to this article,, a dog’s stomach is a nice warm, moist environment, so, unbaked dough can expand to many times its size when ingested. With Christmas just around the corner and holiday parties in full swing, keep in mind any four-legged family members, who might be waiting for “opportunity”, and take care not to leave “people” food out the way I did.

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Our neighborhood grocery has hitching posts and shelter for horses.

This is one of my favorite recipes. Perfect for special holidays, it looks and tastes wonderful. It is easy to make too.

I have also included my pie crust recipe.

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My, oh my…this pie is SO GOOD!

Amish Sour Cream Apple Pie with Brown Sugar Topping

FILLING:

Mix:

2/3 cup sugar

2 tblsp. flour

1/4 tsp salt

ADD:

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla

1 egg

Stir in 3 cups of apples. If apples are not tart add 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice to apples before adding them to the sour cream mixture.

Put filling into unbaked pie and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

Remove pie from oven and sprinkle with Brown Sugar Crumb topping. Bake for an additional 20 more minutes.

BROWN SUGAR CRUMB TOPPING

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup flour

1/4 cup butter (room temperature)

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Mix together all ingredients until they become course and crumbly.

COOL PIE FOR AN HOUR BEFORE SERVING.

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Be sure to cool for an hour before serving.

PERFECT PIE CRUST

Mix together

2 cups all-purpose flour (I use Gold Meadow)

1 tsp salt

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Cut butter and shortening into flour mixture with a fork until it is cumbly. Don’t worry about overmixing at this stage.

 Cut in with fork :

 2/3 cup chilled lard or shortening (I use Crisco)

2 tbsp. chilled butter

Sprinkle dough with:

4 tbsp. water

Blend the water lightly into the dough. You may lift the ingredients with a fork, allowing the moisture to hold the ingredients together. You may add up to 1 more tablespoon of water if needed.

Gather the dough up  into two balls. Chill until ready to roll out.

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Once you have sprinkled your dough with water, mix and handle the dough as little as possible. This crust has been rolled out and is ready to be crimped.

STILL LOOKING FOR APPLE RECIPES? The Rocky Road of Love has an Apple Cake said to be so rich, moist and full of tangy apples you can have it for breakfast, the next day: http://rockyroadoflove.wordpress.com/2007/09/28/fresh-apple-cake/#comment-939

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Looking for Holiday Recipes? Be sure to visit Overwhelmed With Joy’s 2nd Edition of, “Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style”  at:

http://overwhelmedwithjoy.blogspot.com/

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My mother was a tomato grower and canner without peer. 

Seriously, she was good.

Back then, my parents didn’t have air conditioning. But, that didn’t keep my mother from spending  day after day slumped over huge, steaming, graniteware kettles, doing things with tongs and filling shelf after shelf with her homegrown canned tomatoes. 

But, despite my mother’s success, maybe it is the memory of what seemed  like too many long hot hours and too many procedures and having to be totally sterile that made the discovery of a food dehydrator in DH’s barn so exciting.

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The abandoned food dehydrator waiting to be filled with tomatoes.

I also love the concentrated sweetness and flavor of sun dried tomatoes. Home dried tomatoes are less expensive than those from the grocery. They take up much less shelf space than canned tomatoes. They can be used in any recipe calling for tomatoes.

Best of all, they are easy to make.

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The first tier of tomatoes is ready.

Plum or Roma tomatoes are recommended. However, any type you want to use will work. The tomatoes should be firm and ripe, but not over ripe, which will lead to decay. For round or slicer type tomatoes cut the tomatoes crosswise into no thicker than 1/4 inch thick slices.

 Drain your tomatoes in a collander, pat slightly with paper towels, then place the tomatoes on your dehydrator racks leaving enough space between the slices for air to circulate.

 Rotate the trays if you have more than one to dehydrate. Ideally the temperature should be at 135 to 140 degrees. To oven dry: place your tomatoes on foil lined cookie sheets. Your oven temperature should be between 140 to 150 degrees.

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Be sure to turn your tomatoes over when necessary and to rotate the tiers. Some of mine are wet and need to be turned over.

Drying tomatoes will take from 10 to 24 hours. When your tomatoes are dry they should be leathery but pliable. As soon as my tomatoes were of the same texture as a raisin, I removed them from the dehydrator with a spatula. I decided to preserve them by freezing to prevent mold and used ziplock bags with the air pulled out through a straw.

 If your tomatoes come out too dry or you want to make them into flakes put them into your freezer for about 5 minutes and then crush them with a rolling pin or kitchen mallet.

 To make tomato powder use your food processor or blender until the tomatoes are ground very fine.

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1/4 cup of dried tomatoes I am going to hydrate with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

 To rehydrate your tomatoes, soak them in water or olive oil at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours. Using boiling water will speed up the process.

dsc00604.jpg Dried tomatoes can also be added to soups and stews during the last half hour to rehydrate. I added them to my chili on Sunday. DH said it is the best chili he has ever had!

SUN DRIED TOMATO CREAM CHEESE SPREAD

This recipe is simple and absolutely delicious.

– ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and coarsely chopped

– 8 ounces block cream cheese, softened

– ½ cup sour cream

– ¼ cup mayonnaise

– 2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced

– ¾ tsp. salt

– ¾ tsp. black pepper

– 1 Tblsp. Dried basil (I used 2-3 Tbsp. of fresh basil)

– A dash of hot sauce (or more if you like it spicy!)

Toss all of the ingredients into a food processor, and blend until smooth. (I just used a whisk because I like having little tomato chunks in my spread.) Chill for about an hour before serving. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container, and it will keep for up to two weeks.

– You can make this spread figure-friendly by using reduced fat versions of the cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise. It will taste so good, you’ll never miss the fat!

crean-cheese-3.jpgTomorrow I will use the cream cheese spread on bagels. But, DH and I couldn’t resist getting out some crackers and doing some taste testing. The spread is outstanding!

SUN DRIED TOMATO, MUSHROOM, CHEESE &

MEATBALL PIZZA

  • 1 1/2 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (I used 1 can of canned)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (10-ounce ) can refrigerated pizza crust
  • sweet onion sliced thin and chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
  • Meatballs (precooked & chopped) 

Combine dried tomatoes and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan; let stand for 15 minutes. Add canned tomatoes and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Add the next 5 ingredients and cook 5 minutes longer or until liquid has evaporated, stirring often.

Press pizza dough out onto a greased 12-inch pizza pan and spread with tomato mixture; if desired, arrange onions & meatballs on top. Sprinkle with cheese and bake in a 425°F oven 12 to 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

 

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hottie_33.jpg My “look” was a combination of Cher, Cleopatra and Morticia from the Adam’s Family. It took hours to get it right.

I was fifteen. It was my birthday and I was going on a “real” dinner date. 

It was also the first time I ate at a restaurant where  the person behind the counter didn’t ask if I wanted fries along with with the main course.

I’d spent hours getting ready.

My eyes were sexily ringed like Cleopatra’s. My lips were heavily coated in peppermint pink for maximum kissability. My dress was maroon with an empire waist and mini skirt. My shoes were clogs with big silver buckles. I’d poured “My Sin” by Lanvin over my pulse points every time I couldn’t smell myself.  And my long ironed hair hung down past my shoulders, like Morticia’s from the Adam’s family. Except, in my mind,  it was swinging from side to side like Cher’s did when she strutted onstage.

hottie1.jpg My, fried from being ironed, dark hair was my pride and joy. In humid weather curls still managed to sneak out.

Only “he” was 15 minutes late. Which cause me to overcomb and  flatten the top part of the hair I’d teased to perfection. My stomach was in knots.

But, I had only to smell his English Leather cologne that filled my parents front room and see his sporty, Madras plaid jacket to forget his breach. It was a wonderful start to an evening I expected to get better.

I wasn’t disappointed.

“He” took me to the M&M, a restaurant with early American maple tables, waitresses with red checked aprons and paper napkins. I’d never before had shrimp and saw the listing of breaded popcorn shrimp on the menu as proof I was in a top-rated place. Molded jello desserts on the buffet table were further evidence of sophistication.

“He” gave me a necklace with a single pearl for my birthday and his class ring. 

me_young21.jpg The pearl necklace is featured prominantly in this picture.

I had a boyfriend. 

With a ring to wear on a chain conspiciously around my neck or to cover with mohair and brush with a toothbrush in study hall, I was no longer an “unwanted”. I had a name to write over and over across my notebooks. And a “him” with wonderfully cute bad habits to complain about to those nearest and dearest.

 I will never forget that birthday. The M&M has been long gone. But, I do have a recipe that accurately replicates the cucumber mousse served on The M&M’s buffet.

It was and is still a favorite side dish.

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We have cucumbers and tomatoes in abundance. Using them up in different ways is a challenge.

CUCUMBER MOUSSE

  • 1 package lime-flavored gelatin
  • 3/4 c hot water
  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • 1 T grated onion
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 1 cup cucumber, pared, seeded, lightly salted and chopped
  • Dissolve gelatin in water. Add lemon juice and onion. Chill until almost set. Stir in sour cream and cucumbers. Fill a wet mold with mixture and chill thoroughly. When set, invert onto a platter and garnish.

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    Cucumber mousse topped with a little mayonaise and served over lettuce makes a refreshing and different side salad.

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    Tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden have become part of our kitchen decor.

    Horse manure!

    DH brags about the power of his horse manure compost as if he invented it and got a nobel prize for the invention. “George Washington swore the secret to good farming was horse manure,” says DH.

    “You just wait,” he said last summer, “George Washington knew his stuff, you’ll see.”

    We added dried manure to our compost pile of grass clippings and shredded leaves last fall. This spring DH tilled it into our garden. Then we used more grass clippings and shredded leaves for mulch on top.

    I was hoping the mulch would prevent unwanted plants from popping up, resulting in a no till, weedless garden. That didn’t happen. We had weeds. But, DH was so right about horse manure producing garden miracles. Our one cucumber plant has produced 60 cucumbers…so far.

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    Our onions shortly before they were pulled up and cured.

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    The first watermelons we found. There are at least 15 on that plant now.

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    An 11 pound zuchini that came from a volunteer plant on our compost pile. We didn’t find it until it had grown to this size.

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    A basket full of Yukon Gold potatoes. I had no idea potatoes could be so good.

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    Browning the meatballs and simmering the tomato basil sauce.

    Dinner tonight featured home grown tomatoes and basil.

    MY MEATBALLS

    Soak in milk, water or stock;

    1 slice of bread, 1 inch thick

     Beat:

    2 eggs

    Add eggs to:

    1 1/2 lb. ground meat/I used ribeye

    Saute until golden brown:

    1/4 cup finely chopped onion

    Add to the meat. Wring the liquid from the bread. Add the bread to the meat and then add:

    3 tablespoons chopped parsley

    1 1/4 tsp. salt

    1/4 tsp. paprika

    1/2 chopped clove garlic

    3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

    1/4 tsp. oregano/I’ve used Italian Herbs

    Mix and form into balls. Brown lightly in:

    2 tablespoons butter

     Cover your frying pan and simmer on low until the meatballs for 1/2 or until the meatballs are firm and no longer pink in the middle.

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    Cooking down the sauce.

    SPAGHETTI SAUCE WITH FRESH TOMATOES AND BASIL
    6 peeled, seeded and cut up tomatoes
    2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
     garlic, minced to taste or pinch of garlic powder
    1 tablespoon white sugar
    2 tablespoons fresh basil (more or less to taste)

    DIRECTIONS
    In a large skillet or saucepan combine the tomatoes,  tomato
    sauce, garlic, sugar and basil. (Other herbs may be added. I really like basil and prefer just that with tomatoes.) Stir all together and simmer over low heat until thickened. More sugar and a tablespoon of butter may be added if the sauce is too acidic. Flour (1 to 2 tablespoons) may be added if you prefer a thicker sauce. Stir frequently to prevent burning.

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    Homemade spaghetti sauce with fresh tomatoes and basil over meatballs & spaghetti. It was sooooooo good!

    HOW TO PEEL TOMATOES

    Put the tomatoes, a few at a time in a large pot of boiling water for no more than 1 minute (30 – 45 seconds is usually enough)

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    then….

    Plunge them into a waiting bowl of ice water.

     

     

    This makes the skins slide right off of the tomatoes!  If you leave the skins in, they become tough and chewy in the sauce…not very pleasant.

     

     

     

     

    After you have peeled the skins off the tomatoes, cut the tomatoes in half. 

    Now you need to remove the seeds and excess water. Wash your hands then squeeze each tomato and use your finger or a spoon to scoop and shake out most of the seeds. You don’t need to get fanatical about it; removing just most will do.

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    Toss the squeezed tomatoes into a colander or drainer, while you work on others. This helps more of the water to drain off. You’ll end up with a thicker spaghetti sauce in less cooking time!

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     According to my husband this was the best peach pie, ever.

    I made changes in the recipe because the peaches were so juicy. I also wanted my top crust to stay crispy. So, I mixed 2 tablespoons of flour with 1/4 cup of sugar. I put the sugar/flour mixture over the filling before dotting with butter and adding the top crust. (Don’t worry the top mixture of sugar and flour will cook into the pie. And, it will keep your top crust from becoming soggy.)

    PEACH PIE FILLING:

     5 to 6 cups of peaches

    1/2 to 2/3 cup white or brown sugar (I used 2/3 cup of white)

    1/8 tsp. salt

    1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch

    1/4 tsp. cinnamon

    1/8 tsp. nutmeg

    1 tablespoon lemon juice

    Dot with 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter

    DIRECTIONS: Bake the pie in a preheated 450 degree oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. The middle should be bubbling.

    dsc00223.jpg How to peel peaches: dip the fruit in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds. Remove from the water using a slotted spoon and put into a large bowl or pot of cold water and ice. The skins will easily slide off.

    Healingmagichands of  http://healingmagichands.wordpress.com/, kindly added it is important to make sure the peaches are ripe before peeling. Otherwise the peels may not slip off.

    Thanks for your help, Healingmagichands!

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    Peaches ripening in a sunny window.

    After a couple of days in a sunny window the peaches, saved from the beetles, were ripe and ready. I had enough to make a peach cobbler and a peach pie, plus some for the freezer. 

    I love peach pies, crisps and cobblers, BUT with freshly ripened organic ones, this dessert is one of my favorites. Especially topped with vanilla ice cream.

    dsc00224.jpg Getting ready to make peach cobbler.

    SOUTHERN PEACH COBBLER FOR TWO

    (Can be doubled)

    FILLING:

    2 cups peaches

    1/2 tsp. lemon juice

    2 tablespoons brown sugar

    1 tsp. cornstarch

    TOPPING:

    1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour

    2 tsp. sugar

    1/4 tsp. baking powder

    Pinch of salt

    Pinch of cinnamon

    Pinch of nutmeg

    1 tablespoon butter cut into pieces

    2 tablespoons whipping cream

    dsc00227.jpg DIRECTIONS:

    Grease small casserole dish with butter. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel & cut up peaches. Mix peaches and lemon juice. Mix cornstarch, brown sugar and cinnamon with peaches and put peaches into greased casserole dish.

     In another bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt. cinnamon and nutmeg. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Add the cream and toss with flour mixture just until the dough is combined.

     Turn the dough out onto a flour surface and knead a few times to smooth it. Then roll it out into the shape of the casserole dish. Place the dough over the filling and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. of sugar. Bake until the top is golden and the juices are bubbling. 25 to 30 minutes.

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     The cobbler is ready to eat.

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