Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My mother, Helen Rose is 98, today!. Here are some of her recipes

My mother, Helen Rose, is celebrating her 98th birthday, today!
In her honor, below, are a few of her recipes and some stories that conjure up delightful childhood memories from my time with her in the kitchen.
Mom's specialties were far ranging --- casseroles proudly brought to farm picnics, delicate Jello salad molds created for her ladies' luncheons. Biscuits in the morning with coffee and pies for dessert at the evening meal. She loved the creative aspects of cooking and the "giving" part of cooking.
She tried new ideas. Never lost her temper. Her kitchen drawers were stuffed with clippings and food photos. She scoured monthly women's magazines for inspiration. She was an enthusiastic cook.
Into her 90s, when still at the farm house, mother still made her fantastic biscuits for breakfast. I could never duplicate the technique. Her biscuits were light... melting in your mouth. Mine could be used for trap-shooting targets.
She began married life at age 21 in 1937 preparing "lunch" for gangs of hungry men working in the summer on wheat threshing crews. She learned early how to can and preserve. She made grape juice with grapes from the garden, snapped and froze green beans, put up corn sliced from the cob.
She had such an engaged touch. As a modern wife of the 1950s, mother embraced Miracle Whip, Jello, Tang and an automatic dishwasher, all as ways to make life better. But her roots were deep in farming. Every summer she made the most wonderful apricot freezer jam on earth from fruit on the tree in the orchard pasture.
My most pleasant memories with my mother center on food...harvesting it, preparing it and serving it to family and friends. Here's to you, mom!!! Thanks for giving me the Joy of Cooking and a life-time of recipes on which to draw. Happy 98th!!!

Mom's Holiday Fudge
4 1/2 C. white sugar
1 12 oz. "tall" can evaporated milk
2 Giant Hershey chocolate bars (4.4 oz. bars)
1 12 oz. pkg. Hershey semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 14 oz. jar marshmallow cream (or 2 7-oz.jars)
1/2 cube butter
2 t. vanilla
1 t. salt (scant)
1 C. chopped nuts (optional)

Bring sugar and milk to a boil in heavy large sauce pan, stirring constantly. Keep at a rolling boil for exactly 6 minutes. Avoid scorching. Remove from heat. Add in broken chocolate bars and chocolate chips, marshmallow cream, butter, salt and vanilla. Let chocolate soften. Then vigorously stir mixture with a wooden spoon until creamy and smooth. (Enlist family, if needed to help with the mixing). The fudge mixture should have a bit of sheen to it from the butter. Pour onto a cookie sheet and spread to the edges. Allow to cool, then cut into squares. Perfect for gifts at any holiday.

Helen's Apricot Freezer Jam
12 C. pitted ripe apricots (mashed with the skins)
4 C. Canned crushed pineapple
10 lbs. white sugar
2 C. lemon juice (throw in a bit of lemon rind)
4 pkgs. Pectin (MCP Ultragel)
Grated rind from 4 oranges, then cut into pieces, add.
1 qt. Karo light syrup.

Stir fruit, sugar and pineapple mixture in large pot over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Cool. Slowly add pectin, set aside for 30 minutes.
Grate 4 oranges, add rind and 1 qt. of Karo syrup, lemon juice and rind. Mix in. Set aside and allow mixture to thicken. Transfer to pint-size plastic freezer containers, label and freeze for later use.

Helen's Lemon Angel Dessert
1 small angel food cake
1 pkg. Knox gelatin dissolved in 1/2 C. water
6 egg yolks, separated from whites (reserve whites)
3/4 C. orange juice
1/3 C. lemon juice

6 egg whites beaten until stiff with 3/4 C. sugar.

Tear cake into bite-size pieces and place in a large mixing bowl, set aside. Mix egg yolks, sugar, orange juice and lemon juice in double-boiler. Bring up heat to a low boil, stirring constantly. Add gelatin, then cool.
Beat egg whites until firm, add sugar. Fold egg whites and egg-gelatin mixture together. Then carefully fold in angel food cake pieces. Place in 9x14-inch serving pan, spread to edges. Chill in refrigerator. Serves 12.

For more:
www.cooks.com, click here for angel food dessert recipes.
For rhubarb apricot freezer jam, click here.
Fudge recipes at www.cooks.com, click here.
Great fudge ideas, click here.
Tasty Kitchen, angel food strawberry cake dessert.

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