Yep … here it is again – the annual day-before-Thanksgiving column when I have to wonder if any of you even have time to glance at this column. Hopefully you will put the paper aside and pick it up late Thursday afternoon when those of you who have cooked finally have time to sit down and put your feet up.
At this very special time of year when we pause to give thanks, I want to thank each of you for your encouragement and compliments about this column that have spanned the last 35 years. The “doors” of the Welcome to My Kitchen print column will close officially on Dec. 25.
As wise King Solomon wrote in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” But, behind those closed doors, recipe testing will go on so IF you still want to read about the recipes that we are testing and enjoying, just send me your email address and I’ll add you to the listing of friends who have been receiving this column via email in the past years. Hurray – no more deadlines! (Do I need to add that I won’t sell or give away your address?)
Now, back to the satisfactorily tested recipes that have been hanging out in the clip on our refrigerator door. Because of the season, almost any recipe that calls for pumpkin has especially appealed to me. I hope you have already tried last week’s pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin pie cupcakes! I know I’ve shared pumpkin soup recipes with you before and they’ve all been good, but here’s another that you’ll want to add to your recipe repertoire.
Simple Savory pumpkin soup was quick to fix and we loved it. The combination of spices and brown sugar called for may sound like a strange mixture of tastes but trust me on this and do NOT omit any of them. I failed to make note of the blog address of the person who posted this and I apologize for that.
We had an impromptu brunch for my Monroe cousins last weekend because several of the cousins had come great distances for the funeral of one of our very special “honorary” cousins, Marvin Dinkle. We found great gladness in the midst sadness as we sat around, reminiscing and telling wonderful “Marvin” stories. He will be missed.
My Kentucky cousins, Gerard (he’s another honorary cousin) and his wife Jane stayed here with us so I recruited them for kitchen duties. Gerard prepared Make-Ahead Scrambled Eggs and Jane made Jim ‘n Nick’s Cheesy Biscuits, which are really more like muffins than biscuits. The recipe as posted at www.plainchicken.com suggested making these as mini-muffins but Jane doubled the recipe, made them as regular-sized muffins and 24 “biscuit/muffins” disappeared almost instantly.
Page 2 of 3 - To contact Judi, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Dover Post is sad to see Judi Leaming retire her long-running food column at the end of the year. We will miss her column greatly and wish her all the best. Look out for a new column coming in 2014 from Dover Post news reporter and foodie Sarah Barban.
SIMPLE SAVORY PUMPKIN SOUP
1 cup finely chopped sweet yellow onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups half-and-half (low-fat OR regular)
Sauté onions in a large stir-fry-type skillet (or Dutch oven) until the onions are translucent. Sprinkle flour and curry over the onions and stir until well mixed in with the oil. Stir in pumpkin, brown sugar, seasoned salt and nutmeg. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. (I let this simmer on the lowest setting of my electric range top for several hours). When ready to serve, slowly whisk in half-and-half and heat until hot BUT – DO NOT BOIL. Serves 4 to 6. Can be made a day ahead to allow spices to blend.
MAKE-AHEAD SCRAMBLED EGGS
(remember this one for Christmas morning; from Gooseberry Patch “Big Book of Home Cooking”)
3 tablespoons butter, divided usage
2 dozen (24) large eggs, beaten and divided usage
1/2 cup milk
1 (10-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (4-ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped (we did NOT add this)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup pasteurized process cheese spread, cubed (Velveeta)
Lightly grease a 9-x13-inch (3-quart) baking dish and set aside. Melt half of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add half the eggs and cook until lightly set. Place in the prepared baking dish. Melt remaining butter in skillet and cook remaining eggs as above. Add to eggs already in baking dish. Combine condensed soup with milk and spread over eggs. Top with mushrooms, pepper, onion and cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bake covered casserole for 60 minutes. Serves 10 to 12.
JIM ‘N’ NICK’S CHEESY BISCUITS
(Jim ‘n’ Nick’s is an Alabama BBQ restaurant chain that is spreading around the Southeast – and Colorado. Check out www.jimnchicks.com)
Page 3 of 3 - 1 1/2 cups Bisquick
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease muffin tins well. Stir all ingredients together just until combined. (You’ll have to decide which size muffin tin to use. Jane used the regular 3-inch size.) Scoop batter into prepared pan and bake 12 to 15 minutes until golden.