Thursday, January 30, 2014

Old Cook Book by Edna Jaques

Old Cook Book

A cook book dated eighteen eighty three
That my old mother handed down to me,
Full of old recipes...I wonder where
They ever gathered up such bills of fare,
Soups...jellies...pies of every hue and shade
Cross-barred and 'kivered, every kind was made.

A Christmas cake from Queen Victoria's day
Buttermilk scones...seed cake with caraway
Plum duff and gingerbread...brown buttered toast,
A Yorkshire pudding cooked above the roast,
Braised duck...fillets of sole and caviere
Washed down by some old vintage rich and rare.

Spiced apples...raisin loaf and hot cross buns
Old fashioned cookies...pans of Sally luns
Sweet ginger pears...and herring cured in brine
Brown Betty pudding...cabbage shredded fine,
Roast suckling pig with dressing bulging out,
A little sprig of parsley in its snout.

I wonder how they ever lived to write
The bills of fare that greet my eyes tonight.

- Edna Jaques

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sweet and Savoury Corn Cake

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2-3 eggs
1 cup corn flour
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (or to your liking) Parmesan cheese

Combine butter and sugar well.  Add eggs and beat.  Add corn flour, white flour, milk, baking powder and beat well.  Fold in grated Parmesan cheese.  Pour into greased pan.  Bake at 350 for approximately 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown.  Cool and serve. 

Good as a side or for breakfast with maple syrup.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Ham and Cheese in Puff Pastry

1 package of frozen puff pastry (contains 2 sheets), defrosted
2 tablespoons mustard (plain yellow or your favorite variety)
1/4 pound deli ham (Black Forest, Honey...etc), sliced thin
1/2 pound mozzarella cheese (or favorite variety), sliced thin
1 egg, beaten
parchment paper
Italian seasoning (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Roll out first sheet of puff pastry on floured surface.  Place it on parchment paper on cookie sheet.  Leaving an inch border around edges, brush mustard on first layer.  Place ham on mustard and then cheese on ham.

Roll out second sheet of puff pastry on floured surface, same size as first layer.  Place on top of filled pastry.  Seal edges by brushing the beaten egg on bottom edge of puff pastry and press with top layer.  Brush egg on top.  Cut slits to let steam escape.  Sprinkle small amount of Italian seasoning over finished pastry before baking.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes until puffed and golden brown.  Cool and serve.


"Modern living is increasingly about convenience, often leaving behind the pleasures of ornamentation and ceremony.  As many of us are discovering, efficiency and quality of life are not necessarily synonymous.  New products and diversions whiz through our lives at lightning speed; as we discard older objects and occupations to make room for them, we often don't fully realize what we've given up until it's too late."

Lesley M.M. Blume
Let's Bring Back

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Buckwheat Gritz

1 cup whole buckwheat
2 cups hot water
2 cups water
salt to taste
butter to taste
cream to taste

Rinse buckwheat.  Place buckwheat in bowl, add 2 cups hot water and let soak 20 minutes.  Pour buckwheat and water into saucepan and add 2 more cups of water.  Bring to a boil and cook uncovered until buckwheat has turned mushy and water is cooked out, about 15 to 20 minutes.   Add salt, butter and cream to taste.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

To A Seed Merchant by Edna Jaques


Your catalogue arrived today,
Thanks for the cover bright and gay,
And all the lovely host it brought,
Delphiniums, forget-me-not,
Nasturtiums clustered to one side,
And pale pink roses for a bride.

Although the winter wind is blowing
Here in my room are flowers growing,
Petunias in their gay attire,
And marigolds like sacred fire,
With Canterbury bells to ring
Above the tender fields of spring.

Outside my window blizzards rage
But here upon the glowing page
They smile like lovely guests - and, oh,
I am so glad that flowers grow
In books...I have them twice you see,
Next summer in the yard, and here tonight
Beside the fire with me.

Poem by Edna Jaques

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Lemon Water

1 lemon
1 cup of water, warm or cold (try carbonated water for a change)

Squeeze 1/2 lemon for every cup of water (or to taste).

Some Nutritional Benefits of Lemon Water:

  • Rich source of Vitamin C, citric acid, potassium, calcium
  • Contains pectin fiber
  • Aids digestion
  • Reduces pain and inflammation in the joints
  • Helps replenish body salt after a workout
  • Flushes out toxins
  • Helps purify blood
  • Boost you immune system
  • Keeps your skin blemish free
  • Reduces the production of mucus and phlegm in the body
  • Promotes Healing
  • Freshens Breath

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Old Fashioned Food

Old Fashioned Food

I like old fashioned food, salt risin' bread
A batch of cookies in a covered crock,
Sweet cakes with currants in and caraway
Cabbage and carrots and a piece of hock
Simmered to bring the hidden flavor out,
A bit of pork smothered in sauerkraut.

I like an apple pie baked to a turn
Flavored with nutmeg and a pinch of clove
Brown crusted bread sweet as a hazel nut
Baked slowly in a big old fashioned stove,
'Er buckwheat pancakes sizzling from the pan
Enough to warm the heart of any man.

Johnny cake...gingerbread and chili sauce
Fried potatoes done to a golden brown,
And jelly roll whose crumbling sides drip jam
(My mother was the best cook in the town)
Oh yes - I had forgotten pumpkin pie
Thinking of Maw's, I could sit down and cry.

I might as well give up, for what's the use
Loving these things I never could reduce.

Poem by Edna Jaques

Photo by Jacklyn Waronek