Pineapple Casserole

I’m not 100% sure what a pineapple casserole would taste like, but with the flour and sugar, it sounds like maybe a dessert? This is an interesting one and I wonder how it would taste. The addition of a Ritz cracker topping is very unusual.

Pineapple Casserole

1 20 oz can chunk pineapple, drain & save juice

1/2 cup sugar

3 T flour

1 c grated cheddar cheese

20 Ritz crackers – crushed

1/2 c butter melted

3 T pineapple juice

Combine: sugar, flour & syrup

Combine: pineapple & cheese, stir in sugar and mix

Place in buttered casserole dish

Combine: Ritz crackers, melted butter, sprinkle over pineapple & cheese mixture

Bake: 350 – 30 min

“Uncovered”

“Double for a 9×13 dish”

Abalone

Most of us are familiar with the beautiful abalone shell, the blue, pink and silver wavy center that makes us think of the ocean, and even the crusty outside that has the mysterious holes. Abalone are a sea creature that lives in the rocky areas of the shore, and up to 30′ deep, and are present world wide. Many ancient cultures hunted and consumed abalone, and in modern times they are farmed.

Large abalone shell interior via Wikimedia Commons

I haven’t eaten abalone, so I can’t say what it tastes like. Abalone harvested out of the shell has a slightly suggestive appearance, which is why there isn’t a picture here. You can google to see what I mean. It is a popular luxury food item in China, Japan and Korea, as well as in Latin American countries, France and New Zealand. Native cultures, such as Maori and Tasmanian have strong ties to abalone harvesting as well. In America, it became popular between 1920-1930 due to better advertising and communication, to the point that abalone in California is strictly protected. In South Africa, abalone are on the protected species list but are being decimated due to illegal harvesting by poachers. There exists an illegal black market trade for abalone meat worldwide.

Big pile of abalone shells circa 1930 via SFGate.com

Should you come by some abalone meat and would like to cook it, this is a simple recipe without much elaboration. Keep in mind that the abalone meat is muscular like a clam, so the need to tenderize it is an important step. Sorry there isn’t more to this. However, cleaning the abalone may be necessary depending on its source. I’m not sure how farmed abalone arrives in the store, but wild will have a slick coating and need to be cleaned well. You may want to look here to see some step by step cleaning instructions with pictures.

Abalone

Tenderize – pound well, keep heat low

Cooking time – 1 1/2 minute for friend each side, broiled in pan max 5 minutes each side

Generally clean – slice & pound well, salt & pepper, roll in egg & ground crumbs

Sauce – butter, lemon juice, chopped onion, crush garlic

Pineapple Cake

Here’s another guess at what this is, but I’m a little more confident this time. This looks like a recipe for pineapple cake, or even pineapple upside down cake if you take a little effort. A little history, of course, because that is what I do heh. The first pineapple packing house was built in Hawaii in 1906. Pineapple found its way stateside and Americans (and others around the world) were thrilled with the tangy, sweet fruit. Also, skillet cakes were a thing well known to home chefs. I myself have a very old recipe for a prune cake that is baked in a skillet, then turned out upside down so the glaze is on top. The pineapple upside down cake was a natural evolution of the skillet cake.

Completely separate from the pineapple cake of American history is the Taiwanese pineapple cake, which is smaller, like a pastry. The pineapple industry is huge in Taiwan and celebrated a variety of ways, including the tourist food pineapple cakes.

This particular recipe is not for an upside down cake however, it is for a blended pineapple cake. This type of cake might have been iced with a light vanilla buttercream icing, or even a cream cheese icing, depending on your preference. You could also top it with the traditional cherries, sliced almonds, or a combination of both. The timing for baking isn’t on here, so I looked at several recipes for a guide. Start at 30 minutes checking with a toothpick but don’t go beyond 50 minutes.

Pineapple Cake

2 eggs beaten

1 c shortening

1 c brown sugar

1 c while sugar

1 t vanilla

Sift 4 c flour, 2 t baking soda, 2 t baking powder

Combine the sugars and flour mixture with the eggs, mix well. 

Add 1 c nuts – crushed pineapple juice and all

375

 

Further reading

American Baking Down the Decades via King Arthur Flour blog

Pineapple Upside Down Cake and History via What’s Cooking America

Pineapple Cake Recipe via She Wears Many Hats

Information on Taiwanese Pineapple Cakes via Wikipedia

Rye Bread (I think)

This is a well worn, well loved recipe that I believe is for rye bread. That is a guess because of the use of rye flour, but if you know differently, please let me know! I love when a recipe is beaten up, stained, and obviously well used. It tells me that it’s a good one. The ones I use the most are messy, too.

Unfortunately even though this is a much used recipe, the method is missing. And, since I’m not a bread maker, I can’t guess at it. Have an idea?

Rye Bread (Possibly)

1 qt very warm water

2 heaping table spoons lard

1 table spoon salt

4 table spoons sugar

4 table spoons molasses

4 cups medium rye flour

4 cups Post 40% bran flakes (these are still available in grocery stores)

2 dry yeasts (cakes)

Cheese-y Party Recipes

We are back in business, folks! I thank you for your patience for the past year. Let me just say that when you endeavor to renovate your home, it will likely take much longer than you expect, and if you live in your home during the project, add another month or two. O.o

Anyway, what a way to get back in business than with some cheese-y recipes. From 1980 (yes, that’s 37 years ago, gulp), these newspaper clippings were saved by someone who wanted to change things up for her next party. The article talks a lot about barbecues and summer time, but these could easily be repurposed to the upcoming winter holidays if you like. As the blurb below says, just stock up on cream cheese, it will make everything better! For your enjoyment, there is a recipe for Cream-cheese Hors D’oeuvres, Danish Cream and Camembert, Cherries N Cheese Dessert, Danish Chiffon, and Fruited Danish Cheese Pie; next clipping has Maraschino Cherry Cheesecake, Maraschino Cherry Pudding Parfaits, Baked Cherry Custard, and Cherry Vanilla Pudding. Down below on the last clip, there are a plethora of pickle recipes. Not to make pickles, but ways to use them.

Let’s try to find the corresponding items in the picture, above. The cream Cheese Hors D’oeuvres appear to be the plate of bite sized items in the lower left corner of that picture. They look like they are trying to disguise themselves as sushi or mini sandwiches. I’m not sure what the things in the middle are, they look a bit like candy but I think you’d have a savory surprise in your mouth if you bit into one expecting sweet. I think they are a black olive, halved and then wrapped around a bit of cream cheese.

Above that in the photo, looking like a pair of open faced egg mcmuffins, are the Danish Cream and Camembert. They appear to be some kind of cheese spread, but there aren’t any crackers evident or mentioned in the recipe. I imagine this would be best with Wheat Thins.

Jumping over to the right of the flowers in the Picasso vase we have the Cherries N Cheese Dessert. This is meant to be spooned into glasses, then topped with the cherry sauce. I can honestly say I’ve never thought of combining cream cheese and rice before now. And, I will attempt to never think of it again.

Finally, at the mid-right, something we all recognize, which is a cheese cake. That is the Fruited Danish Cheese Pie. I’m not up to speed on my Danish recipes, but does anyone know if cream cheese is a thing in Denmark?

There are two mystery items I’m not certain about: something with a peach and green pepper slices, and something that looks like a sandwich but I’m guessing is not. I have no clue and they aren’t referenced in the rest of the recipes.

This clip has four cheese cake or pudding/custard recipes, all with cherry, which is fine with me. Many places use strawberry or raspberry for toppings and I don’t care for those all that much, so cherry is A #1 in my book. Maybe not in these great of quantities, but you get the picture.

Finally, dill pickles and a variety of ways to insult your gastrointestinal tract. The worst offender is the Dilly Vegetable Medley, which is to be arranged in a straight sided bowl, like a torte. Layer all the various vegetables and heavily garnish with mayonnaise flavored with pickle juice. Listen, I like pickles, but this is just ghastly. The only thing that could make it worse is my first assumption that it would hold its shape because it was in gelatin.

Next recipe is Tuna Avocado Salad, e.g. tuna salad in an avocado shell, leading me to believe this newspaper is from California; Spring Dill Pickle Salad; and Pickle Bean Salad. This needs no explanation…it is pickles and beans, garnished with boiled egg quarters. If you like dill, dill pickles, or pickles in general, these might have sounded like fabulous dishes at the time. Who knows? We all probably ate them at Aunt Freda’s house and didn’t even think twice.

Swedish Timbale Iron

What could this beat up old thing be?

I have had this thing forever! I was unpacking a box of miscellany today and found it along with another gem I will save for a future post. My mother had this, it had been her mother’s. I don’t remember Mom ever using it. It is a Swedish Timbale Iron… We aren’t Swedish lol and I have no clue why Gram would have had it, except maybe it was a popular thing at the time she acquired it. It’s heavy and would make a good weapon haha, I believe that end piece is solid iron. I’d guess many of these were surrendered to the war effort in the 40s.

The end piece looks like it screws on

What exactly is a timbale, you ask? You have probably come across them in some form or fashion. In a general sense, a timbale is a crust, originated from the French for drum, and can also refer to food cooked inside a crust or case.

Looks yummy!

Rosettes and timbales

People of Scandinavian descent may recognize timbales, as they are the counterpart to rosettes, the popular Norwegian, Danish and Swedish Christmas treat. To call them a cookie doesn’t sound right, but they aren’t a donut either. Both rosettes and timbales are made by dipping the iron into batter and frying in hot oil or grease. The resulting case or pastry are then dusted with sugar, filled with puddings or fruit, and enjoyed with coffee, tea or chocolate.

I haven’t tried making these yet, having just unpacked this today, but I would love to try them one day. I remember having rosettes at my friend Diane B’s house in high school. So good, and I’m sure her mom would know what this iron is missing – its other pieces! When it was given to my mom, it must have had this shape on it and the rosette or other shapes somewhere else. You can see the iron handle is threaded so the head could be changed. Original sets were sold with a variety of shapes and sizes. Mine looks just like the ones below in a photograph out of the famous Fannie Farmer cookbook. I do wonder now about its age! (I also feel like this was a missed opportunity on the Great British Baking Show lol.)

From the 1896 Fannie Farmer cookbook, look at all the pieces!

The recipe for both treats appears to be the same, but you can fill your timbales with things other than sweets. Much like kolacky, the influence of new surroundings and cultures changes the way foods are consumed. While kolacky is traditionally a sweet bread, in Texas there is a popular savory kolacky movement that sounds delicious. Swedish timbales can be filled with salmon, asparagus, minced meats, and so many savory choices. My mouth is watering! Just a search on cooks.com brings up numerous pages of recipes for timbales of all kinds.

Did you know what this was when you first saw the picture? Some newer rosette sets have two prongs so you could make multiple items, whereas the traditional Scandinavians spent up to 3 minutes per item. Sounds tedious! Made the long winter days pass, I suppose. Have you made timbales in the past? I’m curious about your experience and memories.

Here’s a recipe I found specifically for timbales, from SwedishFreak.com.

Swedish Timbales

1 c (230 g) sifted all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp (14 g) sugar

1 tsp (4 3/4 g) vanilla

1/8 tsp (3/4 g) salt

1 c (230 g) milk

2 eggs (well-beaten)

timbale iron (rosette)

1. Sift sugar, salt and flour, mixing together well.
2. Stir milk and eggs together.
3. Gradually combine flour mixture and egg mixture.
4. Heat timbale iron in shortening or fat for 2 minutes at 375°F (190°C), then let the extra fat drain off.
5. Dip timbale iron into batter so that it’s submerged approximately 1/2 inch from the top.
6. Put the timbale iron back into the shortening or fat.
7. Let the case fry until it is golden brown and slides off the iron.
8. Reheat iron for a few minutes, then repeat.

Serving size: 24

TIPS: if the batter slips off, the iron is too cold; if it sticks to the iron, the iron is too hot.

 

Additional Resources

Step by step pictorial instructions to make rosettes via TheSpruce.com

Timbale recipe in the Fannie Farmer cookbook via K-State Libraries

Video on how to make both via NordicWear on YouTube

Bouquet Garni

A while back, I posted a recipe for a bouquet garni – basically a selection of herbs or spices, either tied or in a cheese cloth pouch. Since we have all new appliances that are significantly better than anything I have ever used in my life, I felt I needed to have a practice run on making a turkey before Thanksgiving next month. We did that yesterday, and I used a bouquet garni to season the bird with some amazing flavors.

I happened to have fresh sage and thyme, which I combined with garlic and shallots, then wrapped in cheese cloth and tucked into the cavity of the turkey before roasting. The flavors were subtle and enriched the meat with a beautiful flavor. This is a technique I highly recommend!

Here is the roasted bird with the bouquet garni peeking out. In the past I would put a regular white onion cut in quarters into the cavity, and while it did add flavor to the meat, it could be sharp if not a good onion. The shallots and garlic add a richness and the herbs temper that with sweet and savory aroma.

Our “Test-giving” dinner turned out great! I hope that as you begin thinking about your upcoming feasts, trying something new will open new flavor doors to you.