Monday, January 26, 2015

Beer Bread!

Special Recipe Collection from the Ladies of the 5th Division Commandery, 1977
 What I'm about to share will likely seem elementary to anyone who bakes with regularity (I don't), or who has even a remedial understanding of middle school science (I used to, but gin and rum and destiny play funny tricks), but the fact that I dumped a bottle of beer on top of a pile of flour and ended up with bread amazes me still.  Even Dr. Husband, who does bake with regularity, was skeptical of the technique as laid out in 1977's Special Recipe Collection from the Ladies of the 5th Division Commandery (with good cause; the book, my grandmother's, is filled with her handwritten notes indicating when an important ingredient or instruction had been left out of a recipe and not caught before going to print. Her own contribution of "Grits Souffl√©" came with absolutely no cooking instructions whatsoever, only an ingredient list.)

The recipe for beer bread is so simple, even a governor of Texas could do it:

3 cups self-rising flour
4-5 tablespoons sugar
1 can beer

Mix together. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Bake in loaf pan, cookie sheet or anything you like.

Every other recipe in the book is attributed to an individual, except for this one. Maybe making beer bread was so ubiquitous that it's something everyone in 1977 knew how to do, like disco dancing?   

I used a bottle of "Guinness Blonde Ale" in the mix. It didn't seem quite done after 35 minutes in the oven so I kept in baking in 10-minute increments - all told it probably cooked about an hour.

 Our Rating:  Zero Screaming Husbands!
(all dishes are rated from one to five Screaming Husbands. One Screaming Husband equals a happy home where all problems are solved during cocktail hour. Five Screaming Husbands signals the beginning of divorce proceedings.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Jellied Cottage Cheese and Tomato Salad!

Jellied Cottage Cheese and Tomato Salad (Woman's Day Magazine, June, 1948)
When people tell horror stories about the gelatinized concoctions they were forced to eat as children, cottage cheese is usually involved.

Today's recipe includes tomato aspic, which Dr. Husband generally responds favorably to.

Also, cottage cheese, which has a more checkered history in our home. (Though I am exceedingly proud of an early effort.)

In the accompanying video, you'll hear me declare that I've never used cottage cheese as an ingredient in a gelatin dish, which is plainly false in even a cursory search of the archives; perhaps I've just blocked the memory of some of these past endeavors, or maybe the fact that cottage cheese wasn't such a featured ingredient made me forget its presence.

Today's treat was uncovered by my hipster boyfriend-in-law, Murph, who is always game to try anything but is suspiciously absent from tasting this.

Here's the recipe:

1 envelope plain gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 onion, grated
2 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 pound cottage cheese
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
Cole Slaw
Green Pepper Rings

Soak gelatin in cold water; add boiling water and stir until dissolved. Add salt, onion and vinegar. Add 3 tablespoons of this gelatin liquid to cottage cheese. To remaining gelatin liquid, add tomato sauce. Pour half of tomato mixture into lightly oiled mold; chill until set (keep cottage cheese and remaining tomato mixture at room temperature) and top with cottage cheese mixture. Chill until set and cover with remaining tomato mixture. To serve, unmold on slaw; garnish with pepper.

Now that I'm a self-declared expert on all things gelatin, I'm going to say that the fatal flaw here is using tomato sauce instead of tomato juice. I also would have subbed in lemon juice for the vinegar, to give it a little brightness - or perhaps kept the vinegar but used lemon Jell-O as a base. Anyway, the end result wasn't a big win. Tasting below.

But before you go, check out this nifty online exhibit of Jell-O history!

Also, Dr. Husband wants in on the act, and is soliciting recipes for baked goods that he can make. (He says he wants actual delicious things, but don't listen - send him oddball things that will play well on Youtube. Send your recipes here!)

Speaking of YouTube, subscribe to our channel! And like us on Facebook while you're at it!

Now, then, what you're all here for:


Our Rating:  Four Screaming Husbands!
(all dishes are rated from one to five Screaming Husbands. One Screaming Husband equals a happy home where all problems are solved during cocktail hour. Five Screaming Husbands signals the beginning of divorce proceedings.)