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Holy Crap — A Long Forgotten Recipe

Forgotten by me at least. lol. I haven’t cooked this in about ten years! Last night, with an eye to lunch today, I made a corn casserole. I’m allergic to cheese so I am always on the lookout for casseroles that do NOT involve this dread substance. I found this (and I have no idea from where I got the recipe) maybe 20+ years ago. When I was running regular Kindred meetings, I would get asked always to make this dish. It’s easy and filling and good. I pass it on: 

Baked Corn Casserole

1 can whole kernal corn (15 oz)

1 can cream style corn (15 oz)

1/2 c sour cream

2 sticks melted butter (1 cup)

2 eggs beaten (they’ve been bad 😉 )

1 package corn muffin mix (12 oz). [i do NOT use corn muffin mix. Instead, I make my own: 2/3 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 c yellow cornmeal, 1/3 c sugar, 1 TBL baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt all thoroughly mixed].

Generous pinch of nutmeg (optional).

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 
  2. Combine all ingredients and mix well. you can use a hand mixer but I just go at it with a wooden spoon. 
  3. Pour into a 9×13 baking dish.
  4. Bake at 350 F for 50-60 mins or until knife inserted in middle comes out clean and top is golden brown. 

 

Enjoy.  I liked this so much (and my household ate nearly all of it lol) that I just had to share. 

Checking In

Hey folks, 

These are tough and strange times in which we live. You’ve all been in my thoughts and prayers (i know it’s not in fashion to consider prayer valuable, but it is a very potent spiritual tool) since this all began, both because of the sickness and because of the economic realities attending it. 

My household — Gods willing – is so far, healthy. We already self-isolate so having to stay indoors and avoid face-to-face social interaction has not been a hardship. I’ve had a great deal of anxiety over my health, the health of friends and loved ones but I am managing that as best I can. My university was really amazing in how they dealt with this all: we had the system organized for online classes two weeks before things got really bad. I’m grateful for that. I also tend to keep a fully stocked pantry so we’ve been good (plus, my husband works from home already). As someone with a compromised immune system, I am deeply grateful for all those who wisely decided to stay in and socially distance even though they themselves are young and healthy. 

I know that none of this is the case for everyone reading this. I also realize that the social distancing is especially difficult for those extroverts out there. Please reach out. Let us know if you need anything – seriously; and I urge you all to keep each other in your prayers.  

One resource that I recently found has been helpful when it came to grocery shopping so I want to pass that on. Now, I’m not sure how far nationally this goes, but i’ve been using instacart.com and they have been excellent. I recommend them. 

I have read that cardboard can hold the virus for 72 hours so wipe down whatever comes into your house, maybe open packages outside and definitely wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. 

Be kind. I’ve read horrible reports of retail workers having to go sit in their car and cry because of how horrible people have been to them. These people and your medical personnel, your postal carriers, UPS, etc. are putting themselves out there and in danger to provide what we need. Be kind to them. They’re scared too. If you are working in the medical field, may. Apollo, Asklepius, Eir, and Hygeia watch over you and keep you safe. 

For those who have relatives abroad or in nursing homes – I am so sorry that you cannot be with your loved ones right now. I can only say that I hope this resolves as quickly as possible. 

It can be hard to be stuck at home when you’re more used to being out and doing, especially being out and doing in the midst of a crisis but if you’re one of those people, know that praying is doing something spiritually beneficial, and staying home is keeping people safe. There will be time to be out and helping in a hands-on fashion when the worst of the threat passes. In the meantime, I’ve tried to find local businesses in my area to support and also foodbanks. It is frustrating for all of us. 

Know that you are not alone. We can be there for each other and our Gods and ancestors are there for us always. You are ver much not alone. 

Finally, here is a bread recipe that I found recently floating around my facebook. I was vastly dubious but tried it today and it’s actually quite good.  It’s a Beer Bread, a good option when you need bread but have no yeast. It’s very, very easy to make too. For those worried about the alcohol content, that will burn off during the baking. It doesn’t rise very much but it has a nice, nutty flavor. Here you go: 

Beer Bread

Ingredients: 3 c flour, 3 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 c sugar, 1 can beer, 1/2 c melted butter.

  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Mix dry ingredients.
  • Add beer. Now the original recipe doesn’t say anything else at this point, other than to put it in a greased pan, but you need to knead it a bit and to shape it into a little loaf.
  • put in a greased loaf pan
  • pour butter over bread.
  • bake one hour.
     

Enjoy, and if you’re participating in the novena to our healing Deities or a particular healing Deity, feel free to post insights, prayers, updates on how that’s going etc. 

 

 

Cooking for Hermes

It is hotter than hell today in New York, even with air conditioning. I’m taking a break from a full day of cooking to write this and it’s a nice chance to sit own under a fan and rest my feet. I have deepest respect for the women in our ancestral lines who spent the majority of their time running a home, cooking, cleaning. I love to cook but don’t have to do so daily and I forget how exhausting it can be. It’s good to be reminded sometimes and I find it helps me connect more to my female ancestors overall.

Anyway, Hermes did us a good turn recently and asked for chicken. I divined to see if He wanted full sacrifice but the answer was no, cooking chicken for Him would suffice and since He always seems to approve of citrus dishes (especially sweets) when we offer them, I’m making lemon chicken. (I’ve included all the recipes below. He also wanted pie). Whenever I do a divination session, I ask if it’s ok to close the session. We literally could not close the divination until we’d worked out what meal to cook for Him. Unlike with sacrifice in our house, we’ll share in this meal too, unusual for us, but something He wanted.

So, in case anyone is interested, I wanted to share the recipes. Don’t poo-poo the vinegar pie. It’s an Appalachian dish, dating to the early 18th century, a poor-man’s lemon tart. It does not taste like vinegar at all, but like a lemon pie or tart citrus custard. So, give it a chance. You won’t be disappointed.

Lemon Chicken

Ingredients: 3 pounds of chicken or 4 breasts with bone.
4-6 lemons cut into slices
2 TBLS dried oregano
salt, pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 F. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Coat bottom of baking dish with olive oil. Arrange lemon slices on olive oil. Combine spices and rub thoroughly over chicken. Place chicken skin side down over lemon. Bake 20 minutes. Turn chicken skin side up. Reduce heat to 350 F and continue cooking 35 minutes (longer if necessary but until chicken is very tender You can, if you wish, broil it for a few minutes to cook the skin).

 

Basic White Sauce and Creamed Spinach

Equal parts butter and all-purpose flour (about 1/3 stick of butter). Put it in a pan. Melt and whisk together. Add spices – since I’m doing this with spinach, I used red pepper flakes, salt, and nutmeg. Add at least two cups of milk – eyeball it. Add until you think you’ve added too much. Stir continuously until it thickens. Add spinach. Keep stirring – it WILL cook down and get creamy just when you think it won’t.

 

Oven-Roasted Potatoes

Two and a half pounds of all-purpose potatoes
1 TBLS salt, 1 tsp pepper, olive oil, 4 finely chopped shallots
3 large chopped garlic cloves.

Preheat oven to 450 F. Coat bottom of pan with 2/3 cup olive oil. Cut potatoes into quarters if they’re small, or dice them if large. Spread in a single layer on the oil. Add spices, shallots, and garlic. Toss thoroughly. Cook for 20 minutes. Turn and stir. Cook for another 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Vinegar Pie

4 eggs, 1 ½ cups white sugar, ½ cup butter melted (one stick), 2 TBS. apple cider vinegar, ½ tsp. cinnamon, ¼ tsp. nutmeg, 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract.

Preheat oven to 425 F. Combine everything and mix well with mixer. Pour into 9” pie shell. Cook 25 minutes. This WILL BE WOBBLY when it is done. Just relax. Let it cool before you cut it and it’ll firm up as it cools. LEAVE IT ALONE UNTIL IT IS COOL. Trust me on this one.

(I made a whole-wheat pie crust today for this, but you could use any type of pie crust. I have various recipes that I use and it just depends on how lazy I’m feeling. Lol).

Now I’m off to finish my prep for dinner.

It’s That Time of Year Again…

It’s that time of year again when most of us start thinking about our dead. Of course I’m of the mind that every day is the proper time to think about our ancestors, but many of our religions give special focus to them in autumn (Dia de los Muertos, Samhain, Winterfylledh, etc.).

One of the things that my ancestors like, and almost demand this time of year, is that I cook for them; specifically, that I cook traditional family/ethnic recipes. My German, Swiss, and British Isles ancestors don’t seem to care (They’ll eat anything LOL) but my Lithuanians really, really, really want me cooking recipes that I got from my father who got them from his mom, and so on. Perhaps it’s because I don’t have as many points of connection as I would like with that part of my line, or perhaps there are reasons known only to them, but they are most insistent that I cook for them in a traditional way.

Usually, they’re happy if once in awhile I make my grandmother’s bread, though they’d prefer if I made all the bread consumed in my house (not a possibility due to my health issues. It takes hard work and endurance to cook like that!) but around this time of year and generally through Yule they want everything: vertinas, apple cake, bow tie cookies, breads, soups, stews, everything. I started by making bread last night.

To honor them, I’m going to share some of those recipes here. I encourage y’all to share your own ancestor recipes too. The kitchen is the heart of the home. So much family lore, history, and bonding has taken place over the centuries in the kitchens, in the work that nourishes the family. It’s no wonder that our ancestors like us to remember that, as they nourish us too.

Weird Ancestor Porridge : )

The first dish that I want to mention is a traditional dish served for the ancestors in Lithuania. I don’t have an actual recipe. It’s just a porridge made from various heritage grains. I usually combine nine different grains, some oat flour, corn meal, etc. I boil them on the stove top adding a ton of honey, dried fruit, sometimes almonds, salt until it tastes ok to me. Then I put cinnamon, sometimes nutmeg on it, sometimes sugar, put it into a special dish I have and offer it to the dead. The combination of grains I use varies and sometimes I’ve substituted lentils or peas for one of the grains. Use what you have.

Mamoom’s Basic Sweet Dough

bread

Bread is such a powerful thing, almost a sacrament in Lithuanian tradition. It represents everything good and holy, everything that nourishes life, and it can even be used in esoteric cleansings. (I can’t do a damn thing with traditional egg cleansings, but give me bread and I’m good to go). This is my grandmother’s favorite recipe.

8-9 cups of flour

1 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3 packages of dry, active yeast

1 ½ cups milk

1 cup (two sticks) butter

½ cup water

2 eggs

  1. In a large bowl combine two cups of flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast.
  2. In a medium saucepan heat the milk, water, and butter until very warm. The butter doesn’t have to melt all the way.
  3. With a mixer at low speed gradually pour liquid into dry ingredients. Increase speed to medium and beat for two minutes. Stir in the additional flour and the eggs to make a soft dough. (At this point you may add a cup or two of raisins. I prefer to use golden raisins. This is optional).
  4. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic – about ten minutes. Shape into a ball and put in a greased bowl, turning all over so top of dough can get greased (I use butter to grease the bowl). Cover with a dry towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled – about an hour.
  5. Punch down dough. Cut into thirds or halves, cover and let rise fifteen minutes. Put in greased pans and let rise 1 ½ hours.
  6. Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes.

 

Dad’s Bow Tie Recipe

bowties

(eat them warm ^__^)

Every culture seems to have some version of this: dough covered in powdered sugar. It’s a little bite of bliss. They take awhile to make though so be prepared.

12 egg yolks

4 Tablespoons of sugar

a pinch of salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon rum

1 pint sour cream

flour as needed.

  1. mix all this up well adding five or six cups of flour gradually. Roll the dough very, very thin and cut into rectangles. Cut a slit in the center of each rectangle and pull one end through to make a little bowtie.
  2. Fry until golden in oil 375 F.
  3. Roll those suckers in powdered sugar right away

 

Vertinas

dumplings

(mine never look this good! They taste good, but never LOOK this fine)

I hate making these. I love eating them but I hate making them. They take forever but they are so very worth it.

Meat: four pounds of pork loin deboned (I don’t like pork so I use ground beef)

Dough: beat three eggs. 1-2 teaspoons salt, 2 cups milk. While beating add 5-6 cups flour until dough is soft enough to handle.

Prep the meat: 1 onion chopped fine, 2 slices of bread crumbled, 2 eggs with a little milk to soften, 2 teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon pepper.

Roll the dough out thin, cut it into circles, fill the circles with a teaspoon of meat, and fold over, crimping the edges with your fork, or folding and pinching the dough.

Drop them in boiling water for 20 minutes. When they rise, they’re done.

Later this week, I’ll share some recipes from my adopted mom and bio mom. Enjoy, folks.

Knockout Wassail

To all my friends in the UK: wow. Y’all really do not skimp on punches (of the drinkable variety) and wassails that pack a wallop. Tonight I had friends over and made a wassail recipe that came with a small recipe book I recently received from Fortnum and Mason (it came as a gift along with a ton of tea I recently ordered). It’s supposedly a traditional English recipe. It was so strong I was tipsy just from the fumes while cooking it! LOL. 

I altered the recipe a bit (in favor of more booze, largely because I wasn’t up to doing conversions from milliliters to cups) and since I’ve had several requests tonight, I decided to share it with you here.

two large bottles of dry English cider.
200ML dark rum (I bought a big bottle of dark rum and put it all in because fuck it, rum).
half a cup of sugar (100 grams). I doubled this.
one bar of dark chocolate. I put in two bars of ghirardelli semi-sweet.
2 vanilla pods split
1 Tablespoon of pink peppercorns
4 star anise
2 sticks of cinnamon – I used three.
2 teaspoons of cardamom pods
2 teaspoons of cloves
1 orange and 1 lemon zest expressed.

Serves ten people.

  1. Put the cider and the spices (in a mulling ball) and cinnamon sticks in a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Once it comes to a boil, add the sugar, rum, vanilla, zests and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and break up the chocolate. whisk it in until it’s melted and thick and dark.

Drink.

Happy Yule, everyone.