Things that went wrong making supper

Posted April 20, 2017 by synnagain
Categories: Uncategorized

can-stock-photo_csp15040789My first thought was soup. It’s a cool night, but I had no saltine crackers. I did have a recipe for home made crackers but it seemed involved. Next thought: hot dish. For those who don’t live in MN or ND or thereabouts, that’s a casserole. I had one in mind that started with a jar of organic garden pasta sauce, but I must be getting weak, because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t open the jar. Ok, so while I pondered what to have for a main dish, I thought I would bake a pineapple cake. I had a bowl of crushed pineapple in the refrigerator. I must have underestimated the time it had been there, because there was mold on it. That got dumped out. What other kind of cake could I make? The old timers made hot milk sponge cake, which I’ve never tried. The name sounds easy and I quickly found a recipe online. It, too, is involved, and i had to melt butter in milk. Couldn’t find a kettle. There are two kitchens on this place and the pots and pans sometimes migrate. Finally I located one that was halfway suitable. The butter is churned from jersey milk and although it’s carefully rinsed, it sours before its time. Sour cream butter is ok; I don’t mind it. But I seldom bake cakes and the cake pans were wedged in the cupboard, and needed a rinse. The only flour I could find was whole wheat. That didn’t seem right. Finally I located the all purpose flour in an unopened bag, but try as I might, I never did find the vanilla extract so I flavored the cake with almond extract. Back to the main dish. By this time I don’t feel like making an omelet so I decide to hard boil the eggs. That casserole will have to wait until there’s somebody here to open the pasta jar for me, or I obtain a jar opening device. As an afterthought I cook rice, and get out some carrots to bake. I have two antique refrigerators, one older than I am (and people tell me I’m no spring chicken, whatever that means), and the carrots froze because the thermostat was stuck, so they are slimy and no good. Have to discard them. I have a half bag of california blend vegetables. By this time I’m not hungry. Wish I had gotten a sandwich up town, or that I had a frozen pizza to heat up. Postscript: the sponge cake turned out picture perfect. Maybe will serve it with blackberries.

Food Production

Posted March 22, 2016 by synnagain
Categories: cooking, Uncategorized


Trying to improve the food I eat. I’ve been conscious of food sources for years but a person gets careless. Rather than dwell on what I’ve done wrong, I am attempting to make positive changes, even if they aren’t the ultimate. Am going into the production of non-homogenized milk (pasteurized only) from cows that a neighbor is milking. Jerseys. The difference in taste is noticeable. So far we’ve separated milk and made butter, yogurt, ice cream and cheese. I don’t buy eggs from the store anymore. All are free range and locally produced. I do think, though, that vegetables and fruit should predominate in a person’s diet. To become more self sufficient in vegetable gardening and foraging is at the forefront of my plans for the upcoming summer. I found a site that advertised 69 free seed catalogs and I ordered them all. Some plants have been started already. These include vegetables and herbs, but I think flowers are important, too. Some are edible, and others are for pest control. Their main purpose, though, is to brighten and beautify the surroundings.

really old story

Posted April 1, 2014 by synnagain
Categories: cooking

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This is one of those stories so old I am not sure if I remember it right, if at all.  There must have been a few weird people in Norway a hundred years ago.  This is hard to admit because I grew up believing Norwegians were the most reasonable of all the world’s ethnicities.  Anyway, my grandfather who left there at age eighteen said he and his parents went to visit neighbors.  He was just a kid.  He found the coffee at that household undrinkable.  Why?  Because it tasted of salt.  But I guess a tiny pinch of salt takes the bitterness out of coffee that’s too strong.  I know this is true because I googled it.  Anyway, I’m testing it out right now.url-2

Swedish after all

Posted February 19, 2014 by synnagain
Categories: cooking

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I just joined an online group called My Swedish Roots.  In the back of my mind, I thought I had more familiarity with Norwegian cuisine.  Mainly because there is more “Norwegian” in my Minnesotan background and I don’t recall my mother making anything particularly Swedish.  However, when I looked into the recipe section, many images came to mind.  I do know quite a lot, after all.  Swedish meatballs are always served at the lutefisk suppers (and the Swedes call it lutfisk).  Sandbakkels are Swedish, as are Lucia buns, limpa rye bread, hardtack.  Rice pudding and various berry puddings.  Many of these belong to the common Scandinavian heritage.  Those weird cookies made from baker’s ammonia.  Good old Swedish glogg.  Brown beans, soup made from yellow split peas.  Heart shaped waffles.  Swedish pancakes (very crepe-like).  Oh yes, caviar.   I think the word smorgasbord is Swedish.  I guess I do know quite a bit 🙂Image

Warmer Days

Posted January 22, 2013 by synnagain
Categories: cooking

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5433994329_cbae7ac14b_bI neglect this cooking blog horribly. More so than my other blogs. On this cold winter day I am reminded of warmer days. Happier days. I remember my mother and Hilda, a friend who lived to be 100, cooking rømmegrøt in the kitchen. Hilda also made rømmebrød, which looked like pie crust but tasted heavenly. She also made julekage. My mother didn’t make as many of the traditional Norwegian dishes but she did make some nameless Swedish puddings that she had learned from her grandmother. Also she had a fondness for limpa (Swedish rye bread), and she made jelly roll and oatmeal bars out of Saskatoon blueberries. When we held a hospice festival here on the farm, I set up a little Scandinavian bakery in the summer kitchen. We were going to sell treats like krumkake, lefse, the above-mentioned rømmebrød, and an aunt who isn’t even Scandinavian made a delicious Swedish flatbread with anise that she had researched. The neighbor who was a star attraction with her lefse refused to sit in the summer kitchen (not enough air in there). I had to set her up under a canopy outdoors so that knocked my Scandinavian bakery idea in the head. I also remember Hilda told me she had never made waffles. So I loaned her my waffle maker. She had me over for her waffles, which were kind of heavy, and confessed it wasn’t really her thing, and if I wanted the waffle maker back, I knew where it was. I never did go get it. I’m sure it’s still in her house. Waffle making isn’t my specialty either.

As Rhubarb Season Closes…

Posted June 11, 2012 by synnagain
Categories: cooking

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I cut rhubarb for a friend but she forgot it here.  The rhubarb in the patch has gotten too mature, and my friend headed off for Colombia. So I decided to make rhubarb muffins with the stalks that were left behind.  Everything went wrong.

The only muffin tins I could find were the ones that stick.  Change of plan.  I opted to pour the batter into an oiled pie plate.  Preparation set me back a few minutes.  Then I discovered I was out of sugar.  Not to worry.  I found two tiny honey containers, each with a few drops remaining.  And a half of a third cup of sugar at the bottom of the canister.  So I got by.  I like to add a fourth cup of peanut flour which I make in a grinder.  It adds sweetness.  I couldn’t find the peanuts even though I practically stood on my head in front of the cupboard.  That meant I had to opt for sesame seeds.  Which add healthy 🙂

Visually, the bread turned out beautifully.  And nutritious.  Think of all that lycopene!  However, it was bland and tart at the same time.  Half was eaten.  Maybe my dog Poika would like a slice.

The Last Chard

Posted November 2, 2011 by synnagain
Categories: cooking

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As winter looms, there are chores to check off the list: hay, firewood, garden produce. The other day my brother was helping me harvest beets. “These are carrot-shaped”, he said, shovel in hand. “That’s because you’re digging up the swiss chard”, I replied. I managed to salvage enough chard for a meal. I made a dish from Recipes For a Small Planet. I cooked onions from the garden, no garlic because I don’t care for it, a bit of olive oil, the chard with the leaves and stalks chopped separately, a can of red kidney beans, cooked rice, soy sauce. Add some sharp cheddar. It’s a colorful dish for a colorful fall day. The chard I raised this year was the Bright Lights variety, a red, yellow and purple mix.

Harvest or Not

Posted September 29, 2011 by synnagain
Categories: cooking

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The ground in the orchard is carpeted in apples. My neighbor gave me another giant cabbage, and I have a gallon crock in the kitchen for making sauerkraut, which I have never done before. I’ve already frozen tomatoes and made salsa but it’s ready to be done again. Beets, green onions, fennel, and shell beans are still in the garden. What’s more, the big bag of ripe bananas from Teals are now overripe. The killing frost that destroyed the swiss chard (which is very hard to kill) might be termed a blessing. No, wait. In the warm weather it has started growing again……

Carob Brownies

Posted September 23, 2011 by synnagain
Categories: cooking

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Carob beans, also known as locust beans, have been used for thousands of years, for everything from celebrating religious holidays to fodder for animals. Carob powder can be used like coco powder in recipes but it is not chocolate and if a chocolate taste is anticipated, one is likely to be disappointed. Yesterday I made carob brownies and ate them with Greek God yogurt. It was just a standard brownie recipe so I won’t bother writing it down. Carob is slightly sweet so I used a bit less sugar. I ground up almonds and substituted almond extract for vanilla. They were incredibly good.

The Vegetable Monster Again

Posted September 10, 2011 by synnagain
Categories: cooking

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I took a big bite out of the vegetable monster yesterday. There are some people both young and old who think anything that goes to waste from a garden is a dirty shame. A little of that has rubbed off on to me. In reality, anything that isn’t harvested goes back into the soil. But I still try to use or give away as much as possible. And I hardly ever turn down vegetables offered to me. In the past two days I have frozen and given away tomatoes, froze corn, stuffed myself with corn, and enjoyed fried green tomatoes. I also made scalloped tomatoes.