Happy birthday to J (a few days ago) and also happy birthday to this blog! On this day, 5 years ago, I started this blog – my first one. I thought I should celebrate with cake! Now I have to admit the actual cake recipe is from another of my favorite vintage cookbooks, my mother’s copy of To the Bride. The filling and frosting are both from volume 3 of the Encyclopedia though. The filling is crème pâtissière from the Cremes and Custards section. Honestly, I thought I got it thick enough but you can see that once on the cake it definitely oozed down the sides. It is the most amazing tasting stuff, but not as stiff as needed. The icing is Semisweet Frosting from the Chocolate section. It was a good consistency and generally good but I think I should have gone with the bittersweet chocolate approach. For my first effort at Boston Cream pie completely from scratch, not bad, but not perfect either. This means I’ll just have to try again, right?
Welcome, month of March! Today we made sweet and sour meatballs from (wait for it) – Christmas Cookery! This recipe is part of the “Trim the Tree” dinner. We made it with a combo of ground pork and beef, instead of the beef only in the recipe. The sauce is basically brown gravy with vinegar, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Pickled pearl onions, added at the end of cooking, definitely take the whole thing in a new direction when you get a chunk into the mix. I think this is the original idea behind the recipe now often made with ketchup. This is both less sweet and less tangy, although you could add more brown sugar and vinegar to taste.
You can tell we really like volume 2, right? And Canadian recipes in particular. This rum cake has dates and walnuts, and has a little rum baked in plus a little more in the glaze. Enjoy!
Full disclosure – we actually made this with flat iron steak instead. Totally yummy! On the left, “before” – steak is pounded, stuffed, rolled and tied. This is one of two pieces. Below – the two pieces side by side, nicely cooked and so aromatic! I think if you were doing this for company, you could make individual portions by using smaller steaks or cutting them into portions before stuffing and rolling. That could look very nice on the plate.
Since we did two recipes in week 3, here’s a bonus 5th recipe. And there may be a 6th coming, because there’s more in the Canadian Cookery section to love! But anyway – this is a very interesting recipe – maybe an inspiration for those packaged “assist” kits for ground beef? It has mushrooms and ground beef and noodles and a sauce, and cooks all in one pan with items added in stages. It’s very yummy! More work than dumping in ingredients from a pouch, but fewer chemicals and lots of nice flavor.
Here’s a bonus – two recipes in one week! On the left in the photos we have potato pancakes from the Canadian cookery (yes, I really like that chapter). These are savory, and have onion in them. They are fantastic! On the right is Deviled Flank Steak, which is basically in a sort of mustard and tomato sauce – a recipe from the Beef Cook Book section of the volume. My photos don’t do them justice.
Also known as French meat pie, this is a favorite in Maine from our friends in Canada. This is from the Canadian cookery section of volume 2, and it’s pretty simple. I used a butter-based pie crust, which turned out very flaky and almost like puff pastry as you can see from the photo.