Welcome to the Kitchen Korner

I’m always in need of recipes. I’m trying to be an optimist. Think fiddle heads or BBQ. If you have a favourite family recipe, please send by May 15, for the June issue. Regular mail should go to: The Shoreline Journal, Box 41, Bass River, NS B0M 1B0; Fax: 902-647-2194 or email:  maurice@theshorelinejournal.com

PLEASE NOTE: Hoping you will want to use some of the older recipes uploaded to the Nova Scotia Archives. Reading and interpreting the old recipes can be challenging. For example, the ingredients are given by weight and not by cups, tablespoons, imperial or metric measure. Ingredients were also known by different names. For example, baking powder was called pearl ash and gelatin was called isinglass. Today's equivalents for several of the recipes tried by archives' staff are found in the modern methods section.

What's Cooking is the latest addition in a continuing series of digital products developed and released by the archives. For more information about archives' offerings, go to https://archives.novascotia.ca/


Kitchen Korner - Archives 2023

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Kitchen Korner May 2024 - In for the long haul?

A few years ago we were being asked by then Premier McNeil to stay home to help curb the spread of CoVid-19. At that time, we were afraid we might be in for the "long haul". CoVijd is still with us, but the intensity has dropped significantly, although it will be with us maybe for generations.

We will become accustomed to its presence, but our mindset will be similar to how we treat a bad outbreak of flu, or the common cold or measles.

Some unfortunate souls contacted and still occasionally get the "long haul" strain of CoVid. Probably not a special stain, but rather how their immune system reacts.

Unfortunately, within last couple of years, we have been bombarded with something that is affecting social as a whole and if we don’t find a way to curb it, could become even more widespread than CoVid or any plague. Instead of continuing with "love thy neighbour", many are turning to "hatred" when you have something bad to say about anyone who doesn’t smile when two pairs of eyes focus on one another. Others take it beyond words, and take the route of violence and encourage others to participate. Take for instance the battling between Republicans and Democrats, or the occupations happening on university campuses. College students should have opportunity to demonstrate and voice their opinion just as they did during the "hippie" wars while the war in Vietnam was at its peak. The problem with college occupations today is not the students (some go too far), but it is the non-campus professional agitators, who show up to ‘create utter hell".

It has to stop and as a society all of us must revert to "LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR".

During those "stay at home" days, many turned to gardening, some to renovating the home, while others, wanted to spend some time in the kitchen. Laura Fisher, Truro decided to make one of her favourites, Black Olive Chili, then sent along the recipe. Laura says she really likes it and freezes well. Laura describes it as "Beef chili, no beans .. I use sliced black olives instead of traditional kidney beans. I also use green peppers, onion, mushrooms and diced zucchini".

Black Olive Chili

  • 1 tuna of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tin of tomatoes paste
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1 onion minced
  • 1 green pepper minced
  • 1 pkg Mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 tin of sliced black olives
  • 2 cups of diced zucchini, if you like,
  • 1 1/2 pound med ground beef cooked loose

While ground beef is cooking in a large saucepan, make sure beef is cooked loose, arrange and prepare all ingredients. Add to meat, saving mushrooms and zucchini until later, stirring well and bring to bubbling boil on medium heat. Add mushrooms, and after about five minutes add zucchini.

Laura says, I make a Mexican spice mix I use but you can just put in 2 or 3 table spoons of chili powder and some garlic powder to taste, Add sauce and simmer until veggies are soft and the way you like it. Salt to taste.

Mexican Sauce for Chili

I double the recipe and keep it in s jar. It is great for tacos and fajitas or even rice. If you wish to double size of sauce mix, double the quantities below. I use 4 Tbsp of the seasoning mix for the chili recipe.

  • 4 Tbsp chili powder
    2 Tbsp ground cumin
    1TBSP celery salt
    2 tsp garlic powder
    2 tsp onion powder
    2 tsp smoked paprika
    1 tsp dried oregano
    1 tsp ground black pepper
    1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes

For excess amount put into appropriate size containers and freeze. When you want a quick meal, let thaw slightly, or empty into saucepan and heat on very low heat until mixture is totally thawed. Then heat slowly on medium heat until hot. Stir frequently.


April 2024 - Is Winter Over?

Effective Five days from Publishing Day (March 27th), March is behind us. Just because April Fool’s Day is still to come, we don’t need the weatherman to play a trick on us by providing another major snowstorm. (Rember the age old adage – " arch in like a lamb and out like a lion". We’ve had enough and we’re done with it!! Yes, we had some undesirable days, but in an overall aspect, this winter was not as cold as it could have been. Occasionally the snow has helped insulate us and we’ve probably burned less furnace oil than last year, which is good because the price was far higher than last year.

Remember March during CoVid. Naturally people did not like having to self isolate; non essential businesses were mandated to close. Any eatery with sit-down seating was closed, but those with drive-thru or take-out services could operate. When barber shops and hair salons are not allowed to open their doors, we were liable to look like hippies from the 60’s when CoVid was over. Closing the provincial borders and requesting people separate themselves from others by at least six feet shows the seriousness and potential disasters. CoVid is still with us and we must be careful. Where it’s presence is still rampant is on the business side……. Struggling to get customers back in stores and restaurants; overcoming the changes in human resources, where not enough workers are available to do the jobs.
The other noose hanging around the neck of small businesses is trying to pay back the emergency CoVid funding they received. If they cannot meet the repayment schedule, they lose the forgivable portion. (If a business received $60,000 CoVid Emergency Funding, repaying on time they pay back $40,000 and $20,000 is forgiven. Since CoVid restrictions were reduced then eliminated their struggle has been generating enough revenue to keep the doors open. Unfortunately many small businesses mayu not survive.

This month’recipe selection is "Chicken Cacciatora" which can be found on Page 230 of the Five Roses Cookbook. I can’t give you the volume number as it’s not in the best of shape as both covers disappeared ages ago.

Chicken Cacciatora

  • 1-3 lb Chicken, cut up
  • ½ cup Five Roses Flour
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 14 oz can Tomato Paste
  • 1 cup Canned tomatoes
  • ¼ cup white wine (optional)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Pepper
  • ¼ tsp Oregano
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 cup Sliced Fresh Mushrooms

Coast chicken pieces with flour (I like to put in bread bag and shake), brown in olive oil over high heat. Remove chicken and set aside. Add onions and sauté over medium heat until tender but not brown. Remove excess fat. Combine remaining ingredients, except mushrooms, in a bowl. Return chicken to skillet and pour tomato sauce on top. Cover and simmer until sauce thickens and chicken is tender, about 45 minutes. Add mushrooms 15 minutes before end of cooking. Remove bay leaf skim off excess fat.

Serve with rice or noodles.

For a vegetable anything is fine, but for colour on the plate something green is recommended. Fresh asparagus, green beans, Brussels sprouts (my favourite), or broccoli fit nicely.


March 2024 - Weather patterns changing

Overall, we have not suffered a severe winter. Last fall, many were fearful we would have an "Old fashioned" winter with lots of snow; being snowbound; schools closed and several days without electricity. Fortunately, we have not had those experiences in Colchester and Cumberland.

It is noticeable how the weather patterns have changed, Since White Juan, a period of twenty years, when a storm, particularly a "Nor’easter" made landfall anywhere along the South Shore from Liverpool to Bridgewater, it continued as in a straight line through Halifax to just east of Amherst / Pugwash over to PEI and then toward Newfoundland. Time and time again, the intensity of a storm would be on the Eastern side of that imaginary line.

Late last summer, weather pattern changes were noticeably. In late July, the heaviest rain falls and subsequent damage followed a line for Peggy’s Cove to Windsor. Anything to the right of that line (Bedford, Lr Sackville, Mount Uniacke, and Windsor) were in for big trouble.

Even in South Maitland at then junction of Hwy 236 & 215 there was a major washout – probably 30’x30’x 30’ which has withstood the test of time for 100 years. No sooner did NSTIR complete the remediation – three weeks later – on Friday than another heavy rainstorm washed the road out again – within 12 hours.

This time NSTIR took repairs much more seriously and within two weeks, performed extensive repairs that I am will hold up. If there is a storm large enough to erase this intersection from being passable, just as a warning don’t go looking for Truro or downtown Halifax, because they will no longer exist.

Now the winter pattern shifted toward the east. Anything to the East of Pictou toward Guysborough will now be the focus of storm intensity. Will this pattern last for 20 years as it did from White Juan?

After White Juan there was a snow drift nine feet high clear across Hwy 215 in Maitland – 50 feet from my house between me and Frieze & Roy General Store. This most recent storm, when Sydney got 150 cm of snow (equates to 5 feet, there was not enough snow on my lawn to "make a snowman". Go figure!!.

The cost of groceries, particularly meat, isa through a roof. Years ago, one could make a down payment to buy a house for the same price we pay today for two large thick t-bone steaks. Now I look for a package of ground meat to make Sloppy Joes. I can use ground beef or turkey. A handful of home make French fries and we are no longer hungry.

Sloppy Joes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of extra-lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 onion, small diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 red pepper, small diced
  • 1 1/2 cup no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt for Life Sea Salt Blend Black pepper, cracked
  • 8 whole-wheat hamburger buns

Preparation

1. Brown meat and onion in large sauté pan. Strain remaining fat and juices from pan. Add garlic, jalapeno and red pepper; cook about 5 minutes more. Stir in remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 5 to 10 more minutes. Scoop 1/2-cup portion onto each bun and serve.

Serves: 8 sandwiches


February 2024 - Days are getting longer

Every day daylight lasts approximately two minutes longer. We can count our lucky starts. I can’t wait for another two months to pass and the sun gets stronger. By then, it will be much more comfortable. As you can detect, I don’t like winter.

Overheard an oil delivery man telling a friend, this winter the degree days have been stronger. Simply means we are putting through the furnace to keep warm. Most furnace oil companies are smacking their lips, as this year the degree days have been much more in their favour than they have been for six years.

16 years ago, in January / February there was strong North-Westerly winds for about 10 days. Many said they were never so cold. Thanks heavens we have not had much in sustained strong winds for a long period of time as I would have been very uncomfortable.

Whenever it has snowed, we get a couple of days with warming temperatures, more snow, then 24 hours of rain to take away the snow, but leaving everything covered in a sheet of ice. As a result many spend most time inside, watching curling and tennis, or simply hibernating rather than venturing out to put their brittle bones in danger.

The political antics south of the border are unbelievable. I don’t agree with all that is going on in Canada, but I’m glad, I don’t have to put up with the antics in USA, because I can turn the television off. Although a couple of weeks of Florida sunshine would be enjoyable this time of year.

Heard again on the television, the emergency departments in Halifax were overloaded and people were waiting for hours. Most common ailment was broken hips and other fractures due to icy sidewalks or respiratory problems.

This winter, I have had two or three cravings for Chili.

Here’s a recipe, I’ve made before from the Five Rises Cookbook. Thought I would share with you, as it’s always a family treat. If you make enough of it, it is easy to heat up and serve the next day.

Chili Con Carne

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups coarsely chopped onions
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic (Garlic powder will do)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • ¾ tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • Pinch – cayenne pepper
  • 5 1l2 oz can tomato paste
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 – 19 oz cans red kidney beans

In saucepan, cook onion, and garlic in oil over medium heat. Add meat and brown. Add seasonings and tomato paste. Stir well and add beef broth. Bring to a boil, partially cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add well drained beans and cook 215 minutes longer.

Serve with crusty bread and a salad.

Cooking time is about an hour. Serves 4.


January 2024

WOW. Last fall we did not have snow 'til January. This year, what a difference. Going my memory, but seems we have had more wintery weather than we did from January until early March. Looking ahead next week, we are in for a few days of temperature rising to 15-16 degrees. Before and after Christmas, the weather experts are suggesting the thermometer will get up similar amounts around Christmas.

Even though the children and skiing enthusiasts will not agree with me, now that we have gone this long without any major snow accumulation, I hope it continues this way. Early this week around Highland Village, I saw several out o their Ski-Doo’s enjoying the light blanket of snow in the fields.

With so many people travelling to spend Christmas and Boxing Day with family, we certainly don’t want to have poor driving conditions. Much better to have a green Christmas than a number of people facing danger and maybe even stranded along the highway over the holidays.

Not sure if we will have a Green or White Christmas. Reports are not in on the province’s Christmas tree industry. They’s have a troublesome year, with all the moisture and less summer sunlight than desired. It’s hard to tell if the Canadian dollar has been positioned to increase exports, especially to USA. Pundits say the year will be okay, but not a banner year.

While thumbing through cook books, I came across a number of recipes, which Hazel Hill, a great friend from Great Village before her passing, sent to me some time ago. Thinking ahead to the cold winter months, and a desire to include as much fiber in the diet as possible, I chose her great recipe for Refrigerator Bran Muffins. They are favourites in our family, because just a few can be made at one time and you can have warm muffins, whenever you want.

Refrigerator Bran Muffins

  • 3 cups Quaker All Bran
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 2 cups buttermilk or sour milk
  • ½ cup salad oil
  • 1 cup raisins, dates, currents or prunes
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 ½ cups flour, unsifted, (may use 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour and 1 scant cup enriched white flour).

Pour boiling water over bran in large bowl, stir to moisten evenly. Allow to cool. Add eggs, molasses, buttermilk, salad oil & salad oil. Blend well. Stir together: baking soda, salt, baking powder, sugar & flour, then stir into bran mixture. Store in a tightly covered container in refrigerator for up to five weeks. When desired spoon batter into greased muffin cups and bake at 425 for 20 minutes.


 

 

Maurice Rees, Publisher
The Shoreline Journal
Box 41, Bass River, NS B0M 1B0
PH: 902-647-2968; Cell: 902-890-9850
E-mail: maurice@theshorelinejournal.com