In light of the COVID-19 precautions...


Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitizers that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Avoid close contact with anyone who appears sick.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then toss the tissue in the trash.

Disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.

Talk to your doctor if you develop symptoms.

Stay home if you develop symptoms.

Avoid nonessential travel to areas with active COVID-19 outbreaks.


Visit the website for your local health department for updates.


If you are caring for an older adult:

Know what medications are needed and help them have extra.

Monitor food and medical supplies and have a back-up plan.

Stock up on non-perishable food to reduce shopping trips.

If a loved one is in a care facility, monitor the situation, ask about the residents and know the protocol if there is an outbreak.


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Anna Sultana's Floating Fruit Cake / COVID-19 Precautions


We’re going through a major pandemic.
Many towns and cities have instituted measures to reduce the virus’s spread.

Staying home is very important.
Our parents went to war.
We can manage to stay home to help protect our families, as well as our neighbours and friends.


On Facebook some friends have been mentioning that they were having trouble focusing on anything on their ‘To Do’ lists.
We’ve all been hit with a major shock.
I think we're just a little stunned by what is happening, but we will get back to normal after we've adjusted to the new reality.


A quick review of the COVID-19 precautions...
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitizers that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid close contact with anyone who appears sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then toss the tissue in the trash.
Disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.
Talk to your doctor if you develop symptoms.
Stay home if you develop symptoms.
Avoid nonessential travel to areas with active COVID-19 outbreaks.

Visit the website for your local health department for updates.

If you are caring for an older adult:
Know what medications are needed and help them have extra.
Monitor food and medical supplies and have a back-up plan.
Stock up on non-perishable food to reduce shopping trips.

If a loved one is in a care facility, monitor the situation, ask about the residents and know the protocol if there is an outbreak.


Seniors are particularly susceptible to this virus.
We’ve been asked to avoid going out as much as possible.
Meanwhile we still have to eat, and that usually means going to a store.
Especially during a Manitoba Spring, when our gardens are still under a foot or two of snow and nights can go below freezing.

Before going to a store, why not shop your kitchen.
If you’re like me over the years you’ve picked up a few tins of food that are sitting quietly on a shelf in your kitchen.
Now is the time to use them.
Think of clearing our kitchen shelves as the one silver lining of this cloud.


Ma’s floating fruit cake recipe is perfect for now.
She would use it when the budget was tight or she was too busy to go out.
It uses a tin of pie filling or fruit and doesn’t need eggs, which I found were missing from the shelves when I went to our grocery store on Monday.
We’re going to have to make do.
People have done that before.
We’re going to have to stay indoors.
Anne Frank and many others did that and more during WW II.

We’re all in this together.
We can do this.
Stay safe and well.


Hints:

Don’t have pie filling but do have a can of peaches, pears, apples or some other fruit?
Use the fruit and syrup, and take pride in knowing you’ve finally found a way to use it.

Don’t have sliced almonds? Chopped walnuts are also good.
About the dash of spice…Nutmeg goes well with peach, apple, or passion fruit.
Cinnamon sugar goes with just about any fruit.
You know what your family likes, and what is on your kitchen's shelf.

You can also leave the spice, as well as the nuts, out.


                        Floating Fruit Cake 

grease 2 8-inch square pans
        
preheat oven to 350º           

Sift into a large bowl
2 Cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Cup sugar
Cut in
4 Tablespoons margarine or butter
Add
1 Cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Mix well.
Spread half of the batter in each of the prepared pans.

Spoon over the top of each pan of batter
1/2 can of fruit pie filling
Pour over each layer of fruit
1 Cup boiling water

Sprinkle over each
1/4 Cup sliced almonds, more or less
a dash of spice (see hints)
Bake 40 minutes.
Serve warm.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Anna Sultana’s Onion Soup & Lamb Barley Soup / St. Patrick’s Day & St. Joseph’s Day


St. Patrick’s Day is on Tuesday.
Thursday, officially the first day of Spring, is also the feast of St. Joseph.

Do you ever wonder how St. Patrick and St. Joseph feel about the fact that their feast days always happen in Lent?

Sometimes St. Valentine’s also falls in Lent.
Lent or not - people celebrate St. Valentine's.
A loved one's fury, and revenge methods, are a lot scarier than God's judgment.
And, anyway, church rules have been known to change.

But, for Pat and Joe, it’s guaranteed that their big days will land in the no-frills, no-fun, no-treats-for-you, season of Lent.
It’s enough to make a saint curse.
I mean, Pat went to Ireland and Joe, well, who has better family connections?
What does a guy have to do to get a decent holy day?

Well… I think that this is not the time to worry about Lent.
Not when there are so many great traditional recipes to enjoy!


Here are a few traditional dishes for St. Patrick.
Don't forget to toast him with a few traditional Irish drinks:






 


Enjoy a pastry or two - Italian or Maltese style - in honour of St. Joseph:









Next Tuesday we'll have a new moon.
No big whoop… pretty much a night like any other night.
Well, we can say that about most days.
But we still have to eat.
Warm weather is still a long way off, so why not make some soup?


Hints:

For the Onion Soup…
For something a bit different use one pound each of red onions, sweet onions and yellow onions.
The red onions’ colour will bleed into the broth, but it’s the thought that counts.
Also it’s a way to use onions before they start to sprout.

The soup can be prepared, cooled, then refrigerated up to 2 days. 
When ready to serve, bring it to a boil, ladle into the bowls and continue.

If you want to omit the dry sherry, increase the beef broth to 7 1/4 cups.


About the Lamb Barley Soup…
If you have a lamb leg or chops dinner, be sure to save the bones. 
Place them in a large pot, cover with water, add a diced onion or two along with a few bay leaves, and simmer for a few hours. 
If you have an envelope of onion soup mix handy you can add that, too.
A teaspoon or two of chill powder adds a nice touch.
Let the broth cool and then strain it.
Pick any meat off the bones and add the bits to the broth.

If you haven’t had lamb since last Easter, use broth or water.
Ground beef will work with beef or vegetable broth.
Ground chicken or turkey is good with chicken or vegetable broth.


                        Onion Soup

Cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into thin slices
3 pounds onions
Place in a large pot 
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil 
Heat over medium heat and add
the sliced onions
Stirring frequently, cook 10 minutes.
Lower the heat and, stirring occasionally, simmer 40 minutes until the onions are golden brown.
Add
2 teaspoons dried thyme 
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 Cup dry sherry 
Cook and stir on medium-high heat 1 minute.
Add
7 Cups beef broth
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon vinegar
2 bay leaves 
Stirring occasionally, bring to a boil. 
Cover, simmer on medium-low heat 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Remove the bay leaves and discard. 

While the soup is simmering, toast 
16 French bread or baguette slices (1/2 inch thick)

Heat the broiler. 
Ladle soup into 8 ovenproof bowls.
Top with 
the toasted bread slices
1 1/2 to 2 Cups shredded Swiss cheese 
Broil, 4 inches from heat, 3 to 5  minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown. 
Serve with a mixed green salad and crusty rolls or bread.


                        Lamb Barley Soup

Finely chop
2 medium onions
4 medium carrots
Place in a large pot 
1 pound ground lamb 
the chopped onion
Heat over medium-high heat and stir until the meat is evenly browned and the onions are translucent. 
Discard any excess grease. 
Stir in 
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
6 Cups lamb broth
1 can condensed tomato soup 
the chopped carrots
1 Cup barley 
1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper 
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
Cover and simmer over medium heat for 45 minutes.
Serve with crusty rolls or bread.