Sunday in Iowa...


The restored Pella Opera House in Pella, Iowa
The opera house is in use for many performances and weddings, receptions, and the like.

Do You Remember?

Sue - those sandals were red!
Do you remember......
When being "bigger" meant inheriting Mom's old Brownie camera?
When we spent all our allowance on getting tiny black and white photos developed at our local Drugstore?
When we first saw real, although poor quality, COLOR photos?
When you could take Polaroids - and had to brush something over the picture to make it develop?
When you could get pretty good color Polaroids - and they have faded drastically over time?
And now you can store hundreds of photos on a "flash" drive and carry them in your pocket - older is not always better.

Family Favorites...Citrus Chicken


 We have been trying again to eat more chicken. Not only is it good for us, it is also less expensive. Tonight Citrus Chicken from Better Homes and Gardens chicken cookbook 1993 was on the menu.
 It turned out well, was quick to fix and everyone seemed to like it. They had suggested serving it with Linguine, but Lyle and Bettie thought noodles would be better. I cooked the noodles while I was getting the chicken done and added butter and Italian herbs to them. Served with the chicken with the orange and mushroom sauce it made a filling and quick to fix dinner.
Citrus Chicken
4 medium skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 12 to 16 ounces)
2 teaspoons shredded orange peel
1 cup orange juice
¼ cup balsamic or white wine vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon instant chicken bouillon granules*
Dash pepper
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
Linguine or noodles or rice
DIRECTIONS
Rinse and pat dry chicken. Place each breast half between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Pound lightly with the flat side of meat mallet to a ⅛ inch thickness.

In a small bowl; stir together the orange peel, orange juice, vinegar, cornstarch, honey, bouillon granules and pepper. Set aside.
  In a large skillet cook mushrooms in hot butter till tender; remove from skillet. In the same skillet cook chicken over medium heat about 4 minutes or till no longer pink; turning once. Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm. Return mushrooms to skillet. Stir orange juice mixture and add to mushrooms. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Serve chicken and sauce over pasta of your choice or rice. Sprinkle with chives and garnish with orange slices if desired.
*I used about ⅛ cup of chicken broth instead of the bouillon. Using the broth as part of the 1 cup of orange juice.

Porcupine Meatballs in Mushroom Sauce

Remember this recipe from the 70’s?  I modified the classic recipe from a 1974 Presto pressure cooker recipe and instruction book because my husband isn’t a canned tomato soup fan. 
I have a 6 quart pressure cooker, although the book says the recipes were tested in a 4 quart cooker too.  The one in the picture is my old aluminum one...probably from 1974 too!
My husband really, really likes these, and they are so easy…and fast.  No browning, so the rice pops out of the meatballs, and the gravy is ready too.  I served them with that 70’s vegetable, frozen peas and carrots.
Porcupine Meatballs in Mushroom Sauce
  1 1/2    pounds  ground beef
     1/2    cup raw rice
  1           teaspoon  salt
     1/2    teaspoon  pepper
  1           tablespoon  onion -- minced
  1           can  mushroom soup, condensed
     1/2    cup  beef broth
Combine meat, rice, salt, pepper and onion.  Shape into small balls. (I made 18).
Heat soup and broth in the pressure cooker.  Drop meatballs in the soup mixture.
Close the cover securely.  Place pressure regulator on vent pipe, bring to pressure (15#), reduce heat, and cook 10 minutes with pressure regulator rocking slowly.
Let pressure drop of its own accord, 10-15 minutes.
Can substitute tomato soup for mushroom soup.
Serves 6

 Adapted from "Presto"

In the Kitchen...Double Boilers

 Double boilers are a basic pan set. Water goes in the bottom pan and what you are cooking in the upper pan. This allows a more gentle cooking and helps keep puddings etc from scorching. You do have to keep water in the bottom pan and not have it touch the upper pan. 
 There are not as many on the market as it is not as common as it used to be. I use my enamel one that I got for a shower gift many years ago. My daughter requested one for Christmas last year and I bought her the Faberware Classic double boiler, the same one that Sue has in her kitchen.
 Be sure it is heavy enough to keep the water at a simmer and still heat the upper pan.
 If you do not have one a bowl set in a pan not touching the water works also. Really the set is worth the purchase price as you can use the pans for other cooking. I use mine so much that I really would have to keep it over other pans.
 Scrambled eggs, melting chocolate, any pudding or pie filling benefits from this type of cooking. You can set it off of the heat and the water will keep it warm. I always melt chocolate for dipping candy this way.
 Below are some recipes using a double boiler. 

Myrna’s Lemon Meringue Pie
Old Fashioned Cooked Dressing
Aunt Helen's Peanut Clusters


Sunday in Iowa...

This is the old gas station on a corner in What Cheer, Iowa
My husband's parents patronized this gas station for many years. 
It was at the foot of the street they lived on in What Cheer in their retirement.
It has been maintained, with mural windows, although it has been closed for some time.

Do You Remember?

L-R..Kay, Myrna and Sue
Do you remember.....
When having your own bike or trike was the best present you could get??
When your folks didn't worry about you riding around your neighborhood?  
When the neighbors or the milk man or grocery delivery man would tell your Mom where you were?

Family Favorites...Ring Bologna and Sauerkraut



Myrna and I grew up in a German-speaking community where really good ring bologna was available from the local meat markets, each from their own recipe.  Now we are lucky enough to live near Pella, Iowa, (many folks here are Dutch) where there are two meat markets that each make and market their own recipe for ring bologna and both are good.  You can buy Pella or Ulrich’s bologna at all the supermarkets around here.  I know that many Midwestern states have their own local favorites.
Here’s the way we like it at our house.  I use Frank’s brand canned sauerkraut – it tastes the most like our grandma’s homemade – and no, they didn’t pay me to say that.   This is a good, simple recipe that my husband likes with boiled potatoes or noodles, either one in brown butter.  The noodles in the photo are homemade .    
Ring Bologna and Sauerkraut
  1          each  Ring Bologna -- (1 lb. or more cut into 4 pieces)
  32        fluid ounces  Sauerkraut
     ½      cup  Onion -- chopped
  2          tablespoons  Butter
     ½      teaspoon  Celery Seeds
     ½      teaspoon  Caraway Seeds
     ½      teaspoon  Salt
     ½      teaspoon  Pepper
In a large skillet, sauté onions, celery seed, caraway seed, salt and pepper in butter.   Add sauerkraut.   Add ring bologna on top. (Bologna could be pierced or slashed instead of cut into pieces.)
Cook, covered, 20 -30 minutes.  

4 Servings