In which an American classic gets twisted.
I just saw a chart the other day for how hot dogs are eaten in other places. Probably unsurprisingly to you, this recipe was not on there. This recipe also sparked a lot of discussion about what makes something “Deviled”. Is it the addition of mustard? I mean, deviled eggs and deviled hot dogs have that in common. But then I ponder about things like any “Diablo” recipe and those tend to include chilis. Is there actual criteria when naming something “deviled” or is it just an adjective that people assign willy-nilly?First of all, you should know that this recipe scared us. I had suggested to my brother that we make this recipe for his kids when they came to visit, he declined. I had the recipe in my head, however, so I had to make it.
It’s hot dogs cooked in a cream sauce with pickle relish and onions and green pepper. Well, we think it’s green pepper. Technically the recipe says “gr. pepper”. After I had added the 3 TB of green pepper, it occurred to me that it could’ve stood for “ground pepper” because it seems weird for green pepper to be measured that way, but then I remembered that in Iowa when my mom was growing up ketchup/catsup was considered spicy. 3 TB of ground pepper is a lot of black pepper for any recipe (with the exceptions being something HUGE or something like pastrami) and most of the other recipes that have “gr. pepper” make it obvious that the reference is to green pepper. Suprisingly, this recipe was not as bad as we thought it was going to be. It was actually kind of good, but I think it helps that we got good hot dogs. In hindsight, I wish we had butter toasted the buns. It would’ve added a little crispy element. Instead, it’s all sort of white and squashy and like the comfort food you never knew you needed. Because we didn’t know, we served these with our normal ketchup and mustard on the table, but this is an up to your taste sort of thing.
For a fun variation, add cheese to the cream sauce. It’s like a cheddarwurst.
We had a lot of sauce leftover that I secretly used in a creamy pasta dish later in the week. Don’t tell the kids.
In which I finally get around to posting a recipe with dates in it.
Finally I am posting a recipe that includes the dates that the blog was named after. (See About Page for further details). It seems to me that dates have fallen out of favor as a normal ingredient except in things like energy bites. I have so many “new” recipes that call for them, that I was excited to see a large resealable bag of them at Costco. I have to be careful with dates since there are dried dates that are rolled in oat flour to prevent them from sticking. Quick breads are great. They are easy to make, they are easy to store. They are delicious warmed up with butter, spread with jam, spread with cream cheese. My kids eat them, but only if I’ve sliced the loaf for them. John pointed out that it’s because without being sliced, he feels like the bread might have another purpose. Then went on to say something about “It’s the greatest thing since sliced bread because when the bread is sliced you know you can eat it.” Maybe I just need to start leaving “Eat Me” signs around my kitchen like in Alice in Wonderland?
But the thing is, I get caught in the banana bread/pumpkin bread/zucchini bread loop. There are so many other great quick breads out there. Most of them can be made into either loaves or muffins. Cooking time needs to be adjusted when changing pan sizes, of course. If I am deviating from the size pan specified by the recipe (usually from larger to smaller), I set the timer for the oven for 20 minutes and evaluate from that point, either with a toothpick/cake tester, or by sight as to how much more time is needed for a proper bake. I used mini loaf pans and I think we got 3 loaves. I have the other ones in my freezer. They took about 45 minutes to bake.Appropriately the dates for this recipe came from my grandma’s house when we moved her a year ago. They have been sitting in my freezer just waiting (along with fruit for fruitcakes, but that’ll be closer to Christmas). The applesauce I used for this came from my apple trees. It’s not heavily sweetened and was flavored with cinnamon, but not a lot. It’s very much a personal preference or what you have on hand sort of thing. You do not need to make your own applesauce for this recipe. However, if you decide to, making applesauce is not complicated.
A couple of other things about this bread. It is very dense and very moist. Toast the nuts before using them. It makes a difference. This is another one of those recipes where whole wheat flour can be used in place of white flour.
And really, isn’t this a lovely loaf?
After years of working from home, I am starting back in an office. There should be no interruption in blog posts for the immediate future. My family still needs to eat, so I still need to cook. After expressing concern that my blog would suffer, my brother suggested that he do a guest post. That will be upcoming in November (hopefully). In the meantime, I will continue to post recipes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
In which a glut of cucumbers leads me into experimentation.
Wow! A lot of great comments on yesterday’s post. Thank you! I’d love to hear from anyone that has tried any of these recipes after I’ve posted them to share their experiences making them. If you got a different result or hated something I liked, I’d love to know. If you discovered a better way to do something, let me know that.
Now on to today’s recipe.
This is a recipe I found when I was originally putting together the cookbook for grandma’s birthday. I had planted 4 cucumbers in my garden that year and was amazed at the number of cucumbers I got. I experimented with lacto-fermentation (I had one batch work and one that didn’t), I made a variety of pickles from one of my books. I experimented with adding a chunk of horseradish and some hot peppers in with the cucumbers. I was hoping that somewhere along the way, I would find the pickle recipe that would make all other pickle recipes seem insignificant and like a waste of cucumbers. Not a single one of my experiments was as successful or eaten as quickly as these bread and butter pickles. (Except for that one jar of spicy pickles that made it into a batch of dill pickle dip). I ended up gifting a jar of these pickles to my grandma and grandpa hoping for it to trigger days of yore or something like that. I don’t think it really worked, but they really are awesome pickles. You can get all fancy with these and use a crinkle cutter, but to get even slices, I usually use a mandoline.
Bread and Butter Pickles
4 qts sliced cucumbers
6 medium onions
Slice cucumbers (do not pare). Add 1/3 cup salt and cover with ice cubes. Mix thoroughly, let stand 3 hours. Drain well.
5 cups sugar
1 ½ tsp celery salt
2 TB mustard seed
1 ½ tsp turmeric
3 cups vinegar
Pour syrup over cucumbers. Heat to boiling and seal in pints. (As always use safe canning practices. If you have questions, there are great websites out there.)
In which I ask a procedural question.
This recipe looks delicious, or would if I had any idea how to make it. Normally, the recipes that are lists of ingredients don’t bother me. I know how to make a cake, I know how to make cookies. These? I don’t know if I am supposed to combine the peanut butter and condensed milk? Do I make balls and dip them in the chocolate? Do I combine all of the ingredients and it’s supposed to be like fudge? Anyone? Bueller?
In which I do not make Beef Wellington
There are days where making supper is just hard. I am crap at following recipes (before this). I am a reforming bad meal planner and never seemed to have the right combination of ingredients in the house to make the meal that I really wanted. I’d have to scour cookbooks and the internet in order to find something that I was in the mood for using the ingredients I had on hand. If you don’t already realize it, this is a very bad, time consuming way to go about meal prepping and planning. It can result in creative and tasty dishes, but ends up being very frustrating. It seems much easier to just do take out than have to go through that stress every night. It also doesn’t help when you ask the family what they want to eat and either no one has an idea or everyone has different ideas. Making these decisions after a long day of making other far more important decisions is hard. It’s a lot of pressure. Making the decision to go through all of these recipes and make them all has taken a lot of pressure off. I still don’t always have the right ingredients, but meal planning is significantly easier. Supper in a bread loaf. This recipe is the poor man’s version of Beef Wellington. It is because of this recipe that I had frozen bread dough in the house for the French Apple Coffee Cake. Had my house already been clean, my children all in school, etc, I might have taken extra bread dough and made beautiful decorations for this. I might’ve egg washed it, made gorgeous cuts to make this into a work of art, but instead, I just did the most basic version of this dish. Well, sort of. The directions say “season to taste.” For those of you that know me well, you know that my brain automatically shot in infinite directions. “Oh, this could be good seasoned with taco seasoning.” “Ooooohh, what about using my Krakow Nights seasoning?” “I have some fresh herbs in the garden, but I think those might be the wrong choice.” I settled on adding a bunch of Fox Point Seasoning. I thought it would add flavor, but keep it true to the original intention of the dish. I guess it worked. The kids inhaled the meal. John took leftovers to work and was asked about it. He said it was good reheated. In order for busy people to make this dish in time for supper, there is some pre-planning that needs to happen. The night before, get the bread dough out of the freezer and put it into the fridge. It will start the thawing process. When you get up in the morning, move the bread dough into a container on the counter and cover it with plastic wrap. (Speaking of plastic wrap, John told me that due to some environmental concerns, plastic wrap no longer has the coating on it that allows it to stick to anything, it now only sticks to itself.) Leave this on your counter until it’s time to actually make supper. For this purpose, an overly lengthy rising time is not going to affect your end product enough that you will notice. It may even allow some of the bread dough flavors to develop a little more.
If you cook extra ground beef, throw it in your freezer for something else. It’s much easier to do dinner in a hurry when at least part of it is already cooked. Substitute chicken, turkey, pork, or whatever for the meat. For a vegetarian version, use mushrooms, cooked lentils, or eggplant as your filling, add some sauteed greens.
This is one of those unapologetic dishes that is basic and filling. It’s open to all sorts of interpretation. Open up your fridge, your pantry, and your spice cabinet, get creative. If you have a great version of this dish, please feel free to let me know about it.
While scanning recipes, I found this picture:
Who in the world is Edna Ruth Bullock and what does it mean “Told Her Husband”? I decided to play Google detective and find out. I had no idea that I was about to embark on a very dark journey down a rabbit hole.
I didn’t do a lot of in depth research into this, but at 25, Edna was accused of killing her 27 year old husband, James in 1958. There was no evidence connecting her to the murder and she was not charged. However, she had been previously married a dentist named Dr Glennon Engleman. Engleman was eventually charged with at least 7 murders. Some things I read said that he seduced women, got them to marry men, and then killed the men for a share of the life insurance. Others said he was more of a hitman and just killed for profit. Regardless, I think I might be happy that I’ve got 5 months until my next dental appointment.
Wikipedia Article on Glennon Engleman
Article about the Movie “The Dentist”