Country Cooking – April 8

Two weeks in a row without a country cooking column. Actually I had one ready to go but with the office closed it is still on the computer there. Then I proceeded to write another only to discover too late I had the wrong address. I wonder when I will ever get used to this laptop that the kids gave me for Christmas.

  I have found plenty to keep me busy for the past several weeks although. I can’t remember how long it has been since I left the building. Several years ago I purchased a couple of jigsaw puzzles to give as gifts but since they were still in the closet it was a good time to work on one. A thousand pieces takes a while to get to the rightful place so the picture is complete. I was certain I had lost some pieces only to discover they were in the correct place. Finally after five and half days it was complete and I let it rest on the table for a while so I could enjoy it. Leah and my sister also sent some embroidery to do and that will be the next project. 

  Mark arranged a family conference on the computers on March 29th. It was good to see all of them, except James’ family as he had to work at that time. They still have about 40 students on campus that need to have meals. Leah is doing online teaching, Mary is home after knee surgery and doing quite well and is able to drive to therapy by herself, Jon continues to go to the office but only takes phone or email messages. No one is allowed in the courthouse except those that work there. We were allowed one family member to come in until April 2nd. We still have our meal together and coffee in the afternoon. My TV is on most of the time so it does seem like there is some communication. Two of my granddaughters called the other evening and both conversations were well over an hour each. Sarah timed her vacation for March and planned to work a few days in the Austin office but had to cancel that and work from her parents’ home. She planned to return on the 24th but that was cancelled and rescheduled for April 3. Abby works at Minot University and of course most of the students have left there also. It was difficult getting to the cafeteria a day or so ago because of the heavy wet snow fall.

  We have had some beautiful weather and lots of kids are out riding bikes or walking when they have their school work completed. It’s probably just as difficult for the parents to help with the lessons as much has changed especially math I hear. On Thursday evening we had rain but doesn’t appear to be as much as might have been predicted. This week looks to be more like spring and every day we see more of it. The robins and flocks of birds are in the area, the tulips are up and other flowers and I hear the rhubarb is also showing growth. Speaking of plants the amaryllis that appeared to no longer have life has started new growth. I wish I knew how to take better care of it. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  I trust you will stay healthy and content. This too shall pass. We have had other times similar to this but we made it through eventually. Our prayers are for the wellbeing of all and what we can learn from this time. 

Morning Glory Muffins

1 cup vegetable oil 

3 extra large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups grated carrots

1 apple, unpeeled and grated

1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple , drained

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup raisins

2 1/4 cups flour 

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together eggs, oil and vanilla.

Add carrots, apple, pineapple, pecans, coconut and raisins. Stir together. Sift together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fill muffin cups. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Makes 14 -16 muffins.

Sweet and Tangy Carrots

2 pounds carrots, sliced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

  Place 1 inch of water, carrots and salt in a large saucepan, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender. Drain.

  Return carrots to pan and add brown sugar, butter, mustard and pepper. Cook and stir over low heat until carrots are well coated. Makes 8 servings

Pineapple, and Onion roasted Ham

1 navel orange sliced into 1/4 inch rounds

1 red onion sliced into 1/2 inch thick rounds

1 can pineapple chunks drained and divided 

1/2 fully cooked ham about 7 pounds

1 12 oz. bottle cola divided

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 teaspoons soy sauce.

Preheat oven to 375. Arrange orange and onion slices and 3/4 of pineapple in a roasting pan. Place rack on top. Place ham cut side down on rack. Pour 1/4 cup cola over ham. Cover with foil and bake 1 1/2 hours. Puree remaining pineapple and cola until smooth. Stir in brown sugar and soy sauce and cook until syrupy. Brush over ham and bake uncovered 15 minutes.Turn ham and repeat. Bake until ham is heated through. Serves 10

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