Sunday, November 30, 2014

Papa's Mashed Turnips with Molly

A family favorite for well over half a century!

I'll readily admit - and have been honest with you guys in the past! - that I'm not a very enthusiastic eater of vegetables. I'll eat them, but they're never something I really go out of my way to try, and I do often fall prey to assuming I won't like a vegetable without having tried it.

Take turnips, for example. Turnips have been a staple at my family's Thanksgiving table pretty much as long as I can remember thanks to my grandfather (who we call Papa, thus the title), but I'm pretty sure I'd never actually tried turnips before starting this blog and they wound up as an ingredient in a soup I did. Until then, my experience with this particular root vegetable was my mom promising I'd like them if I gave them a chance and the scene in Meet Molly where she complains that the turnips she's being forced to eat from their Victory Garden taste like old socks until her mother adds some butter and sugar to them for her. Needless to say, I was never that enthusiastic about giving them a shot, but now that I've discovered they aren't anything close to bad, I knew what I wanted to feature for Thanksgiving this year.

After all, it's been a family favorite for over seventy years!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Addy's Turkey Stuffing

Just in case you feel like being a little more adventurous than Stove Top this year...

When it comes to Thanksgiving, I don't think I'm alone in being more into the side dishes than I am into the main meal itself. I don't have anything against turkey, don't get me wrong! But I'm more likely to try and run off with the entire bowl of mashed potatoes than I am to start a fight over what pieces of turkey I get.

Certain other family members feel the same way about stuffing, and while I'm not sure this is going to replace Stove Top for some of them, I have to admit, this authentic Civil War era recipe for turkey stuffing was pretty tops, if I do say so myself. It won my heart for being easy to make, tasty, and flexible enough to go with just about any entree if you make it on a random day to accompany whatever else is being made for dinner.

What can I say? Thanksgiving is still a couple days away, we're not making two turkeys this week!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Emily's Trench Cake

Don't let the name scare you off!

Happy Veteran's Day, everyone! Also, happy Armistice and Remembrance Day, as November 11th is called all three depending on where you are. To those not in the know, November 11th marks the date hostilities in western Europe stopped in 1918, thus ending the First World War. It's celebrated world wide as a day of remembrance not only for the causalities of that war, but of all wars, and the first celebration was held in 1919 at Buckingham Palace in England.

American Girl doesn't have a character who's specifically from America's involvement in World War One, but some of the characters do have connections to it - Rebecca's aunt, uncle and cousins leave Russia for America out of fear that her oldest cousin will be conscripted into the Russian army, Kit's dad fought in the trenches with the US Army, and Emily's grandfather served in the Royal Navy. Although it probably would have been more appropriate to do a Kit themed post, it's been a while since I've done an Emily solo post, and I was interested to see what was out there for British recipes for this period as they were involved in the conflict a lot longer than the United States was. After doing some poking around, I think I found something that will surprise pretty much everyone with how good it actually is, despite bearing one of the most unappealing names I've ever come across.

But before we get to that, I've got a couple other things to show you all!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Josefina's Pumpkin Pastel

A really interesting spin on your favorite Thanksgiving dessert!

November is here, which means Christmas commercials, the sun going down before I leave work, and Thanksgiving, the latter of which is probably the only thing I genuinely enjoy about November.

Well, that and the fact that people still consider it to be pumpkin season, and as I've mentioned, I happen to be a fan of pumpkin. There's a part of me that almost wishes it was available as a flavor for things like ice cream and cupcakes year round - don't even get me started on the pumpkin pancake mix my mom usually breaks out at Christmas time! - but I have to admit, it's also kind of nice to have it as something to look forward to in the fall. It keeps it a little special!

So, needless to say, I was excited to discover that the recipe included with A Reward for Josefina featured pumpkin as one of the main ingredients. I know the last time I tried an American Girl recipe starring pumpkin was kind of a disaster, but I went into it with a fair amount of cautious optimism, and I think I'm pretty confident in saying it worked out way better than I thought it would!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Rebecca's Heath Bars

Thus proving I really will try anything once in the name of the blog.

When my parents moved my sister back into college, they stopped by the Wilbur Chocolate Factory in Lititz, Pennsylvania and stumbled upon an interesting cookbook. As people often do since I started this blog, they brought it home with them to give me as potential inspiration for a future blog post, and considering this one is all about how to make your very own versions of popular candy bars, I knew Halloween was the perfect holiday to break it out.

Now I know it's technically November now, and Halloween was yesterday, but considering this was how I spent my Halloween, I'm not going to apologize for posting it off season. I'm also putting this out there right away: this was a lot of effort for a tasty treat, and I'm not sorry I made it... but if you want a heath bar, it's probably easiest if you just go out and buy one at the store. I'm not sure how much sense it actually made to try recreating a candy bar you can just go out and purchase!

Still, it was an interesting thing to make, and I'm excited to share the experience with you all.