Country Cooking – July 11

It was a busy week with the Fourth in the middle of it and all the celebration that goes with that. We also had most of the family home for part of the week as did many others. James and family came on Wednesday evening from Indiana and the girls wanted to be sure to see some fireworks. They were disappointed as those nearby were cancelled because of the rain and were rescheduled after they left. Ruth and family were here to celebrate with her in-laws Henry and Harriet Schmidt. The Schmidts have moved to Princeton, MN to a retirement home but came to Slayton to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary as most of their families live in this area. By Sunday it was very quiet at my house and time to get back to the usual routine whatever that is.

The water has receded somewhat and if it wasn’t for the frequent smaller showers it would finally be dry. Can’t remember when we ever had this much flooding for such a long time. Many fields have huge ponds yet and too late for replanting. The lakes are filled to the brim and overflowing as well as many ditches.  It will take time for the water to move down and then we will think about those downstream that may also endure flooding because of the excess water in this area. The crops that are on higher ground look good. We shouldn’t complain as at this time of the year and usual hot temperatures most years we would be hoping for rain. The lawns need to be mowed more often and we have saved a lot of time by not having to water the plants and gardens.

My bird feeders didn’t seem to be emptying and no wonder. The seeds had molded and as soon as I cleaned them and put new seed in the containers the birds were there eating. Can’t blame the birds as we wouldn’t eat moldy food either. High humidity and the mold starts to grow quickly.

Sometimes I hesitate to ask

My friends to tea, in fear,

To offer tea, without cake,

Slothful, I should appear.

Why hesitate? Oh, why so blind,

That I should fail to see,

True friendship is the finest treat

That one can serve with tea.

Summer Steak Kabobs

1/2 cup canola oil

3 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 1/2 pounds beef top sirloin steak cut into 1-inch cubes

Hot cooked rice

1/2 pound whole fresh mushrooms

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 medium onion, cut into wedges

1 medium sweet red pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium yellow summer cut into 1/2 -inch slices

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine first six ingredients, Add beef; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Using 12 metal or soaked wooden skewers, alternately thread the beef and vegetables; discard marinade. Grill kabobs, covered, over medium heat until the beef reaches desired doneness, 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally. Serve with hot cooked rice. 6 serving.

Classic Potato Salad

3 pounds red potatoes

6 large eggs

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons yellow mustard

2 fresh chives, chopped

Freshly ground pepper

2 stalks celery, chopped

3 tablespoons yellow mustard

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 white onion, finely chopped

Place the unpeeled potatoes and 2 heaping tablespoons of salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender 10-15 minutes. Drain, then chop into 1/2 inch pieces.

Cook eggs until hard-boiled. Drain and cool. Peel the eggs and chop. Combine the potatoes, mayonnaise, mustard, celery, parsley chives, onion and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss to coat the potatoes with the dressing, add the hard-boiled eggs. Gently stir the potato salad, taking care not to mash the eggs.

Serves 8.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1/2 cup softened margarine

1/2 cup oil

1 3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped nuts

2 cups finely diced zucchini, peeled or not

Cream margarine with oil and sugar. Slowly beat in eggs, vanilla and buttermilk. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cloves. Slowly beat this into creamed mixtures. Add chopped nuts and zucchini, blending well. Pour into greased and floured 9 x 13 inch pan.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup chopped nuts on top. Bake at 350 º for 40-45 minutes. Cut into 18 squares.

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