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Favorite dishes plain and fancy are collected on the right. I don't so a lot of measuring when I cook, and never measure very accurately. The recipes are all pretty elastic, and I like the variations.
The Refrigerator Door
I pin up scraps of paper with basic or often used recipes, but scraps of paper come and go. Even laptops come and go. But Pommelhouse persists! So I record here these tidbits for reference.
Pie crust: sift together 2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 tsp salt. Cut in 1/3 cup butter and 1/3 cup lard (yes). Add 5 T cold water for starters, hopefully not more, but sometimes it can't be helped. Seems to have something to do with how dry the air is.
Pizza dough: sift together 1 3/4 cup flour and 1 tsp. salt. Mix 1 T olive oil and 1 package yeast with 3/4 cup warm water. As for the procedure, you would have to ask Craig, who makes the pizzas around here.
Quail: lightly brown 4 semi-deboned quail in 2 T butter, adding salt, pepper, and tarragon as you turn them. Remove quail to baking dish. Whisk in 2 T flour, then 1 cup marsala, sherry or wine and 1 cup chicken broth, plus whatever blood you may have from the quail (sorry). Bake 45 mins to an hour at 350 degrees.
Duck: 15 mins at 500, 2 hours at 300, 30 mins rest.
Yorkshire pudding: 7/8 cup flour, 1/2 tsp salt. Mix 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup water, and 2 eggs, beaten. Beat the whole thing until it bubbles, then refrigerate until it's cold. Bake 20 mins at 400, reduce to 350 and bake 10 mins more. Serve immediately! Whatgoes up will come down!
Swedish meatballs: saute minced onions. Add milk, egg and bread to ground beef, season with parsley, paprika and worcestershire sauce. Simmer the meatballs in beef broth and serve with flat noodles.
Crepes: sift together 3/4 cup flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 T powdered sugar (optional) and 1 tsp baking powder. Beat together 1/3 cup milk (skim), 1/3 cup water, vanilla and 2 eggs, well beaten.
People who know I like to cook, and know I like books, sometimes assume that I will like cookbooks. I don't, especially. I have just four, and I have had them for 20-40 years! Of course, nowadays, you just Google anything you don't know how to make.
Here's what my Joy of Cooking (Rombauer and Becker) looks like. This book was majorly revised a few years ago, but I like the old one better. I say this without having even looked at the new one.
French Country Cooking, Elizabeth David. I like this one so much that when we lived in Hyde Park thirty years ago I decorated my kitchen after the cover. The recipes are very simple, uncluttered with such needless details as oven temperatures and measurements for seasonings. This one has been revised and preprinted many times. Mine is the 1962 edition.
Other favorites are Laurel's Kitchen (Robertson, Flinders, Godfrey), The House of India Cookbook (Syed Abdullah), and The Africa Cookbook, by Jessica B. Harris, which is wonderful. Bobotie has become a favorite dish in our house (but is not listed on the right because it is Ms. Harris's recipe, not mine). Every now and then I cook for two or three hours to produce a whole menu from this book. On those occasions, Craig says it takes a village to eat a meal.