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This and That

Patty Vineyard MacDonald University of North Texas Press PDF

This and That

There are always snippets of information left over at the end of every project of this size. Corbitt combined these and placed them at the backs of all but her last cookbook. It proved popular with earlier readers, so I am availing myself of the same opportunity. In an effort to make your hours in the kitchen more effective, here are hints my mother and friends, fine cooks all, have passed along to me. I’ve added a few of my own picked up during a gastronomically satisfying half-century spent in my own kitchens.—Editor

If you don’t own a rolling pin, use a chilled cylindrical bottle of wine to roll pastry.

Something always needs to be grated: chilled citrus fruit is easier to grate. The extra flavor of freshly grated nutmeg and Parmesan cheese make it worth your effort. Either can be grated easily in a hand-held Zyliss or on a Japanese fresh ginger grater. Hard cheeses are easier to grate when they’re at room temperature.

Cream cheese is always worked at room temperature.

You can judge the amount of butterfat in cheese by its firmness; hard cheese has less. Never heat no-fat cheese; the gum arabic used in it does just what its name implies.

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Ice Creams, Ices and Frozen Desserts

Patty Vineyard MacDonald University of North Texas Press ePub

Ices, Ice Cream, and Frozen Desserts

Unless you live where you can obtain really good commercial ice cream, hand packed and cared for, it would be smart to invest in an electric ice-cream freezer. You can whip up your favorite flavor with very little trouble and deep-freeze the leftovers.

This was part of my childhood.


2 quarts

1-1/2 cups orange juice

3/4 cup lemon juice

1-1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3)

3 cups water

2 cups skim milk

Sugar or artificial sweetener to taste

Mix all the ingredients and freeze in crank freezer or in refrigerator tray in your deep freeze. I like to take it out of the deep freeze when partially frozen and whip by hand or with an electric mixer. The sherbet can be frozen in a mold to be more decorative. Unmold on a silver tray and decorate with orange sections and green leaves.


2-1/3 quarts

4 cups buttermilk

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Patty Vineyard MacDonald University of North Texas Press PDF


The Best From Helen Corbitt’s Kitchens

My favorite cookie:


2 dozen

15 ounces sweetened condensed milk*

½ cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

⅔ cup butter

1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed

1 cup uncooked oatmeal

[Preheat oven to 350°.] Blend together milk, juice and rind of lemon, and set aside. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cream butter, blend in sugar. Add oatmeal and flour mixture and mix until crumbly.

Spread half the oatmeal mixture in an 8 x 12 x 2-inch buttered baking pan and pat down; spread condensed milk mixture over top and cover with remaining crumb mixture. Bake until brown around the edges

(about 25 minutes). Cool in pan at room temperature for 15 minutes; cut into 1 ¾-inch squares and chill in pan until firm.

[*A condensed milk can no longer holds 15 ounces, so you will need to buy two. I decided to leave this in since Helen Corbitt was so fond of them.—Editor]

No Christmas cookie tray should be without a spice cookie, decorated with silver dragées, colored sugar, and all the things to add sparkle to your holiday table. This is a good one. You can also use them on your

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Fish and Seafoods

Patty Vineyard MacDonald University of North Texas Press ePub

Fish and Seafood

I like fish. But when I suggest fish to housewives as a way to add variety to their menus, I usually am met with “I hate fish!” The Dutch theologian, Erasmus, said of fish on Fridays, “My heart is Catholic; my stomach is Lutheran.”

Delectable fish dishes can be served from the . . . kitchen—if the desire is great enough. But fish should be treated with respect; never overcooked, and always eaten when ready. It is not a “keep hot in the oven” dish.

And they say it is good food for thinking! Anyhow, catch (or buy) it and cook it; don’t keep it. Quick-frozen fish has the original flavor but as soon as it comes into the kitchen, cook it.

In buying fish, allow from 1/2 to 3/4 pound per serving with the bone in—or 1/4 pound boned. Wash it well inside and out and wipe dry.

When buying a whole fish in the market, be sure the fish looks you in the eye with a healthy stare. You cannot tell about one that has been skinned and boned, so smell it and cook as soon as possible after you buy or catch, or freeze it. Don’t overcook.

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Vegetables and Cooked Fruits

Patty Vineyard MacDonald University of North Texas Press PDF

Vegetables and

Cooked Fruits

One could spend a lifetime expounding on the vegetable kingdom.

Personally, I like to cook vegetables just underdone; the “dressing up” that follows finishes the cooking. I find vegetables take on a blissful state if they are made “interesting.” These recipes are my most popular and flavorsome attention-getters, especially with the male half of the hungry horde.

Just a foreword: In selecting your fresh vegetables you should look for, first, clean vegetables, free from decay or bruised spots. Generally speaking, depend on your eyes rather than your fingers in judging vegetables.

After you get them home, wash well, pare or shell, as the case may be, but never soak in water as vitamins and minerals will be lost.

Somewhere back in the days of the early Romans, recipe books advised cooks to add a dash of soda to green vegetables to keep them green, and unfortunately some people still think it necessary. It detracts from the flavor, changes the texture, and goodness knows what happens to the vitamins. Generally speaking, again, vegetables cooked in a small amount of water uncovered, turn out better, both in looks and taste—so don’t make vegetable cooking complicated.

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