The Brattleboro Reformer from Brattleboro, Vermont on December 14, 1983 · 7
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The Brattleboro Reformer from Brattleboro, Vermont · 7

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Brattleboro, Vermont
Issue Date:
Wednesday, December 14, 1983
Page:
7
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JJrattltboro Reformer, Wednesday, December 14, 1983 Page 7 Cuisine PEGGY WATSON Christmas Company For the cook, there is often a lot more to Christmas than simply the preparation of a fine dinner. In our house, as in many others, there will be a lot of people arriving which brings up the question of where everyone will sleep. So I got out my drawing board, T square and triangle and drew up all the rooms in the house, omitting only the cellar, the unheated attic, the bathrooms and of course the kitchen. I cut out bed and cot sized shapes from colored paper and moved them around as though solving some jolly puzzle and finally came up with an arrangement that would sleep in modest comfort and privacy all but 2.75 of those expected. (I suggested to a son coming from California that, since his house out there would be vacant, it might be a pleasant experience for his father and me to spend the holidays in it, but my idea was coldly rejected. ) Next step was a trip to the attic to check out the family crib and count the folding cots. A visit to our attic is like a major archaeological expedition. The objects you come across are arranged in layers. The deeper you go the farther you reach down into the past. In the process of digging, my eyes fell on the old umbrella tent and for one brief shining moment I thought I had all my problems solved. But no I mustn't even think of that. Hospitality is supposed to be warm. Next I faced the clutter problem. Knowing full well that our expected visitors will bring a generous supply of their own, which will no doubt be augmented on Christmas day, I felt it incumbent on me to reduce the clutter already resident in our home or at least find temporary housing for it so that circulation will be eased. It will probably take years before our own dear clutter is rediscovered but it has to be done. Now that I have at least gotten these chores begun, I feel entitled to spend some time enjoying myself. All those things are not really what I want to be doing before Christmas. Id rather be writing notes to friend to go in with cards or joining the merry throngs shopping on Main Street or wrapping things in gay paper while listening to Christmas music. And cooking. Christmas dinner is only the tip of the iceberg. A whole lot of other meals need to be considered and with a lot of leeway in order to accommodate vague arrival times and a changing cast of characters. A lot of the job involves making lists and marketing so that there will be adequate supplies of such mundane things as coffee, eggs, bread and the like. More interesting is to do a little cooking ahead hearty soups, a casserole or two and perhaps a chili or pot of stew all things that can be frozen until needed. In addition to these basic and nourishing dishes, I intend to make several more elegant treats among which will be a pound cake made festive with currants and crystalized ginger. Its a nice thing to have around not only for resident guests but for anyone who should happen to drop in. Or to give as presents. The granny of all pound cake recipes calls for a pound each of butter, sugar, flour and eggs, but modern recipes usually vary these proportions, generally increasing the amount of flour a bit so that a slightly less outrageously rich cake results. To be a true pound cake no baking powder is allowed. The leavening comes from two sources; from the air incorporated by a thorough creaming of the butter and the air beaten into the egg whites. Usually no liquid is used other than the eggs, but in this recipe a small amount of rum is included. My recipe is based on one by Madeleine Kamman, but the addition of crystalized ginger came from one we recently enjoyed made by Formaggio in Cambridge, Mass. POUNDCAKE WITH CRYSTALIZED GINGER Vi cup currants y cup dark rum 2Vt sticks butter 1 cup sugar 1 ounce crystalized ginger grated rind of a lemon 4 eggs separated 2 cups sifted unbleached white flour Have all your ingredients at room temperature. Soak currants in rum for a few hours or overnight. Cream the butter very thoroughly until the color becomes quite pale or white. Mix in the sugar and beat wejl. Mince the ginger and add along with the egg yolks which are added one at a time. Add the flour along with the currants and beat well until everything is well incorporated. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Add a bit to the batter and mix in. Then fold in the rest. Scrape into a well buttered 9-by-5-inch loaf pan or equivalent or use a fancy mold. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 1 hours. A pound cake often seems to tell you it is done before it really is so give it the full time but be sure your oven is not overheated. I have found crystalized ginger in several supermarkets under the brand name of Roland for under a dollar for a three-ounce box. This makes a moist and delicious cake that will keep a long time surely from before Christmas until after New Years. Now back to the attic to dig for sleeping bags. MERLE ELLIS A Meaty Pot of Christmas Cheer Gifts of food have become the in thing in the past few years. I get catalogs from such diverse establishments as Harry and David, selling fancy fruits and nuts from Oregon, to Saltwater Farms, selling fresh lobster from Maine. In between, there are hundreds of places where you can buy country hams, pickles, preserves, fruit cakes, and cookies all by mail order. The variety is extensive, the price expensive. Thats the one thing that most mail order food gifts have in common they cost a fortune ! Its become something of a tradition around our house to make our own food gifts. The cost is considerably less, and while they cant very easily be sent by mail, there is a certain benefit in delivering them yourself. Youre often invited by the recipient to help devour the gift along with a glass of good cheer. The kids usually stick to cookies or nut breads. My wife makes a marvelous blue cheese salad dressing and my mom makes the worlds absolutely best-ever fruit cakes. But butchers are basically meat people, and my holiday greetings usually run more toward a pot of meaty Christmas cheer or a slice of pate. There are all manner of marvelous pates, terrines and potted meats that make wonderful gifts for any occasion. Many of them offer a great way to use up some leftovers as well, but you neednt tell. Here are a few potted meat recipes I have accumulated over the years. All of them may be made in the days ahead and will keep nicely in the refrigerator. Simple potted meats may be made from stuff you very probably have kicking around in your refrigerator or freezer. To make very nice gifts, find some small crocks to pack them in. They will be every bit as delicious, though, packaged in inexpensive plastic containers. POTTED BEEF 1- to 16 pounds leftover roast beef, pot roast or steak teaspoon allspice V teaspoon powdered cloves V4 teaspoon mace V4 teaspoon pepper 4 or 5 canned anchovy filets V4 pound butter, softened Clarified butter Cut the meat into small cubes. Add seasonings and anchovy filets. Puree in blender or food processor until smooth. Stir in softened butter. Pot in small crocks or plactic containers Beware of Non-Stick Pan Fumes NEW YORK (UPI) - Non-stick pans used at normal boiling or frying temperatures (around 400 degrees) are safe, the Food and Drug Administration says. But if they are allowed to boil dry for 20 minutes or rrtore, toxic fumes may occur, which could make people feel ill if they remain in a closed area of concentrated smoke for a long time, says Elaine Rose-Ruderman, a Cornell University extension associate in consumer education. Ms. Rose-Ruderman says a recent article in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medicine Association reports several small pet birds were killed by fumes from a non-stick pan that accidentally boiled dry on the kitchen range. The pan with fluorocarbon polymer coating was left on a very hot burner 15 to 20 minutes, the article says. Although the fumes had an unusual odor, neither the family members or their cat or. dog suffered ill effects. and cover with clarified butter to seal. Cover containers and refrigerate. Serve spread on hot toast. POTTED HAM AND CHICKEN V2 pound cooked ham 1 pound leftover cooked chicken V2 pound soft butter 1 teaspoon salt Vi teaspoon freshly-ground pepper M teaspoon tarragon Bay leaves Clarified butter Mince the ham and chicken finely and blend with the butter in a food processor until thoroughly mixed. Season to taste with salt, pepper and tarragon. Put a bay leaf at the bottom of each pot and pile the paste on top. Allow it to stand in the kitchen for an hour before covering with clarified butter, then a lid, and storing in the refrigerator. POTTED CHICKEN LIVER 1 pound chicken livers Vt pound butter 2 teaspoons crushed coriander 2 tablespoons garlic, minced V4 cup Madeira Salt and freshly-ground pepper Clarified butter Chop the chicken livers roughly. Melt half the butter in a heavy frying pan and add the crushed coriander. Let it heat for a minute or two, then add the chicken livers and garlic. Cook them over medium heat to seal the outsides. Pour the contents into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Melt the rest of the butter and add the Madeira, stirring all the time. Bring to a boil and allow to bubble. Pour this into the blender and blend again. Add salt and pepper to taste, adding more coriander if you like. Pour into individual crocks or containers and cover with clarified butter to seal. Cover with lids and refrigerate. Here is a more elaborate potted meat recipe and probably the best. HERBTERRINE 1 pound boneless pork, with fat Vi pound boneless veal I cup chopped onion 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon butter 1 Vi cups chopped fresh spinach 3 tablespoons brandy legg 1 teaspoon dried basil (1V4 teaspoon fresh) 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (1 teaspoon fresh) Vi teaspoon dried thyme (1 teaspoon fresh) 1 Me teaspoons salt Vi teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed Vi teaspoon pepper 6 slices bacon 3 hard-cooked eggs Cut the pork and veal into small pieces and chop fine in a food processor or meat grinder. Saute onion and garlic in butter. Add spinach and cook for a minute. Put the spinach mixture in a bowl and stir in the chopped meat. Add brandy, egg and seasonings and mix well. Arrange bacon slices across bottoih and sides of an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan, letting slices hang over edge. Put half of meat mixture in pan. Arrange eggs (peeled) lengthwise down the center of the meat, pressing down slightly. PuUbe remaining meat on top and wrap bacon across the top. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover pan with aluminum foil. Set in a larger baking pan with hot water reaching a third of the way up the sides of the pan. Bake for lVi hours, until meat juices run clear. Let stand uncovered for 30 minutes. Pour off fat. Cover and put weights on top. Refrigerate 24 hours. Remove from pan and trim off excess fat. Cut into one-inch slices, wrap in clear plastic wrap and tie with ribbon for a delicious gift. Chronicle Publishing Co. ini Piccadilly Room ,u the BeRnaRdston Junction Routes s and 10. Bemardston. Mass 1 Miles South of Brattleboro Fine food, wines and spints in a quiet, elegant atmosphere. Tuesday to Saturday; Lunch ii:jo- 200 Dinner 6:00 - 9 jo Sunday Dinner 12 00-e 00 P M Sundays and Wednesdays Richard Stone playing classical guitar and lute GRANDMAS MEAT LOAF Unexpected Ingredients Can Make Dishes Special Some dishes simply sing with the kind of robust, stick-to-the-ribs flavor that makes for a long, satisfying visit at the dinner table. The best dishes to achieve that lovely, well-fed feeling are not the glamorous, all-dressed-up-for-com-pany dishes served for special occasions but the homey meals that family and friends can savor with delight. Sometimes, though, the addition of an unexpected ingredient lifts a dish out of the ordinary and puts it into the family favorite award category, serving equally as well for everyday as for company. In Grandmas Meat Loaf the sunshine flavor of fresh oranges enhances the other ingredients while giving a new dimension to meat loaf. Gound ham, pork and beef are combined and basted with a marvelous mixture of brown sugar, mustard, vinegar and fresh orange juice. Orange sections are then combined with the pan drippings to make a piquant sauce. Ham and Cabbage Slaw takes another old-fashioned idea and adds pizzazz. Chopped ham is combined with cabbage, apples, walnuts and grapefruit sections, all bathed in a pungent sauce enlivened with grapefruit juice. GRANDMAS MEAT LOAF 2 large eggs 1 cup milk 1 cup unsalted saltine cracker crumbs 1 pound cooked ground ham 1 pound ground pork, ( uncooked ) V4 pound ground beef round or extra lean ground beef, (uncooked) V 4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed 2 tablespoons cider vinegar 1 tablespoon dry mustard IV4 cups orange juice, divided 2 oranges, peeled and sectioned Orange peel, in thin julienne strips In a large bowl, beat eggs and milk until smooth. Stir in cracker crumbs; let stand five minutes or ugtil moisture is absorbed. Add ham, pork and beef and mix well; shape into an oval loaf and place in a shallow baking pan. In a small bowl, mix sugar, vinegar, mustard and V4 cup orange juice; pour over meat loaf. Bake in a 350 degree oven IV2 to 1 hours, basting every 15 minutes and adding more orange juice as necessary to prevent pan drippings from burning. When done, meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of meat loaf should register 185 degrees. Transfer meat loaf to a serving platter; cover to keep warm. Meanwhile, scrape pan drippings into a small saucepan and mix with remaining 1 cup orange juice an orange sections. Stir over moderately high heat until sauce is hot. Pour over meat loaf. Garnish with julienne orange peel. Yield: eight servings. HAM AND CABBAGE SLAW 2 tablespoons butter or margarine Mi cup chopped onion 1V2 tablespoons flour 1 tablespoon sugar Vi tablespoon prepared mustard V4 teaspoon pepper 1 cup grapefruit juice V4 cup water 2 tablespoons cider vinegar 4 cups thinly shredded green cabbage 2 cups diced cooked ham 1 cup chopped walnuts 2 apples, peeled, cored and diced 2 cups grapefruit sections In a large skillet melt butter; cook onion until tender. Blend in flour, sugar, mustard and pepper. Stir in grapefruit juice, water and vinegar; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Stir in cabbage, ham, walnuts, and apples; cook 10 minutes. Add grapefruit sections and heat. Yield: four servings. The Magic Pony I Antiqued & S6h & BROOKS HOUSE MALL I K BRATTLEBORO, VERMONT Open: Mon.-Sat., 10a.m.-5p.m. Fri. 'til 7 p.m, Sty

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