Favorite Meatloaf Recipe

Blue Flame Favorites – Copies can be found on Amazon

It’s my favorite recipe and also the name of the recipe I found in the Blue Flame Favorites cookbook published in 2003 by the Oklahoma Natural Gas Company.  This book contains a lot of recipes collected and published for the previous 70 years.  A few are very familiar to my childhood.

Favorite Meat Loaf

  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 small onions, minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 pounds ground round
  • 2 cups soft bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons horseradish
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar

Preheat the gas oven to 350 degrees.  Melt the shortening in a skillet over a medium flame.  Add the onions and green pepper and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Combine the onions, green pepper, ground round, bread crumbs, eggs, salt, dry mustard, horseradish and 1/4 cup of the ketchup in a large bowl and mix well.

Press into a greased 5×10-inch loaf pan or shape into 4 small loaves and place in a shallow baking pan.  Do not allow the sides to touch.  Bake the large loaf for 45 minutes or the small loaves for 30 minutes.

Combine the remaining 1/2 cup ketchup and brown sugar in a small bowl and mix well.  Brush the loaf with the ketchup mixture and bake for 15 minutes longer.

Note: Meat loaf freezes well if cooled completely and wrapped in an airtight foil package.  To reheat, place the unwrapped meat loaf in a baking dish, pour tomato juice around the loaf and bake until heated through.

Favorite Meat Loaf

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Thermal Cooking aka Hay Box Cooking

What is thermal cooking? Well it’s like a slow cooker, but it does not use electricity at all and all the magic happens inside the insulated pot. The short and sweet of it is that food is heated to boiling for a period of time 5, 10, 15 minutes and then put into an insulated structure. The interior covered pot will retain all the heat and the food will slowly continue cooking for several hours.This cooking concept is not new. While doing some research I found a newspaper article from the late 1890’s describing the same method. I also found a drawing in the book Experiment Station Work, XLI from 1907. If interested in reading the article it can be found over on the Internet Archive.

Well my cooker is not made from wood but the concept is the same. I was able to duplicate the method using a lidded pot and a cooler. Considering the cooler took up so much counter space and the hot pot warped the plastic on the inside of the cooler I finally decided to purchase a small crock pot sized thermal cooker.

It’s very simple to use and there is no worry from leaving an electric appliance plugged in all day. Continue reading

Forefathers’ Day, December 22nd – It’s about the Succotash!

It’s all about the Succotash, the succotash… 🙂

Plymouth Succotash. Credit: Courtesy of Culinary Historians of Boston

Plymouth Succotash. Credit: Courtesy of Culinary Historians of Boston

Found in the Mrs. Lincoln Boston Cook Book – 1884

”     Succotash is the great dish in Plymouth at every celebration of Forefathers’ Day, December 22.  Tradition says it has been made in that town ever since the Pilgrims raised their first corn and beans, and it is supposed they learned to make it from the Indians.
Strangers are rather shy of this peculiar mixture; but it is a favorite dish with the natives, and to this day is made by some families many times through the winter
season. Although the dish has never been made by the writer, it has been tested by her in that ancient town many times, and the excellence of the following receipt
is unquestionable. It is given in the name of Mrs.Barnabas Churchill of Plymouth, a lady who has made it for fifty years after the manner handed down through many generations.
One quart of large white beans (not the pea beans) ; six quarts of hulled corn, — the smutty white Southern corn; six to eight pounds of corned beef, from the second cut of
the rattle rand; one pound of salt pork, fat and lean; chicken weighing from four to six pounds; one large white French turnip; eight or ten medium-sized potatoes.
Wash the beans, and soak over night in cold water. In the morning put them on in cold soft water. When boiling, change the water, and simmer until soft enough to
mash to a pulp and the water is nearly all absorbed. Wash the salt pork and the corned beef, which should be corned only three or four days. Put them on about
eight o’clock, in cold water, in a very large kettle, and skim as they begin to boil. Clean, and truss the chicken as for boiling, and put it with the meat about an hour and
a quarter before dinner time. Allow a longer time if a fowl be used, and keep plenty of water in the kettle.
Two hours before dinner time, put the beans, mashed to a pulp, and the hulled corn into another kettle, with some of the fat from the meat in the bottom to keep them from
sticking. Take out enough liquor from the meat to cover the corn and beans, and let them simmer where they will not burn. Stir often, and add more liquor if needed.
The mixture should be like a thick soup, and the beans should absorb all the liquor, yet it must not be too dry.
Pare, and cut the turnip into inch slices; add it about eleven o’clock, and the potatoes (pared) half an hour later. Take up the chicken as soon as tender, that it
may be served whole. Serve the beef and pork together, the chicken, turnip, and potatoes each on separate dishes, and the beans and corn in a tureen. The meat usually
salts the mixture sufficiently, and no other seasoning is necessary. Save the water left from the meat, to use in warming the corn and beans the next day, serving the
meat cold. This will keep several day’s in cold weather ; and like many other dishes, it is better the oftener it is warmed over, so there is no objection to making a large quantity. The white Southern corn is considered the only kind suitable for this ancient dinner. ”

Here’s my interpretation of the recipe.

Succotash Recipe – pre 1884

  • 1 quart large white beans (not peas)
  • 6 quarts hulled corn (corn cut from the cob)
  • 6-8 pounds corned beef
  • 1 pound salt pork
  • 4-6 pound chicken whole
  • 1 large white turnip
  • 8-10 medium size potatoes

Wash beans and soak over night.  Boil beans, then change the water, and bring back to a simmer.  Simmer beans until soft enough to mash.  Wash salt port and corned beef.  Put both in a pot of water and bring to a boil.  Truss chicken and put in the meat to cook for an hour and 15 minutes.  Put the mashed beans and hulled corn into a pot with some fat (little oil to keep from sticking to the pot).  Take enough of the water from the meat pot to cover the corn.  Simmer.  The corn and bean mixture will be thick like soup. Pare and cut the turnip into slices and the potatoes into cubes.  Cook until tender and serve separate with the meal.

 

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18th Century Recipe – White Pot Bread Pudding

18th Century White Pot Bread Pudding

18th Century White Pot Bread Pudding – My recreation of an 18th century recipe for White Pot Bread Pudding that I found via Jas Townsend on Youtube. I didn’t have raisins so I used dried apricots that I chopped small. Turned out awesome and I love my small tin bowl from Jas Townsend’s shop!  Check out the video and blog post about White Pot Bread Pudding on their WordPress site too! 

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Cooking in a Hay Box – Venison Stew

I’m stepping out here a little bit and venturing into the art of cooking in a hay box.  What is a hay box?  Think “slow cooker – unplugged”.  Researching the concept of slow fire-less cooking I found that the idea is not new.  I’ve been able to find newspaper articles and research papers mention using a fire-less cooker as far back as the 1890’s.  The idea is that you get your pot of food (broths, stews, vegetables do best) up to boiling and then put the closed container into an insulated box and let it simmer in its own heat for hours slowly cooking.

In the past the cook would have used hay for insulation, but towels or quilts will work fine too.  They would have used a wooden box, basket, drawer, trunk or other closed container to keep in the heat and keep critters out of the cook pot.

For my test I used a cooler for the hay box, and a sheet of insulation that came with a box of frozen food I ordered.  (I knew that stuff would come in handy for something!).  My pot was too wide, so I had to turn my cooler on its side so the pot would fit inside and the lid would close.  A tight fitting lid is needed so steam doesn’t escape.  I also used a grill thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature.  Since I didn’t want everyone getting sick I made sure the stew stayed a consistent temperature.  For the most part mine remained around the 150F range for about 6 hours.  When I opened the cooler to check it at the end the stew was still steaming and I had to use pot holders to remove the pot from the cooler!

If you want to read more on cooking with a Hay Box here’s an article you can read from the Win the War Cookery Book and a article written in 1907 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Here’s the can cooker that I used for this recipe. This cooker also comes in handy for camping too!

Here’s my recipe for Venison Stew.  Enjoy!

[gmc_recipe 6013]

Mom’s Chicken Casserole with Ritz Topping – 1970s

I’ve found one of mom’s recipes that she wrote down for me a long time ago. It’s another version of a chicken casserole.

Mom’s Chicken Casserole with Ritz Cracker Topping
1 chicken, cooked & pulled off the bone
10 oz. can condensed cream of chicken soup
10 oz. can condensed cream of mushroom soup
8 oz. container of sour cream

salt & pepper to taste
1 stick melted butter
Ritz Crackers

Take a shallow baking dish (Pyrex if you have one) and take a little butter and grease the bottom and sides of the dish. Boil the chicken – debone it and cut up in small pieces and place in the bottom of the baking dish.
Mix soups and sour cream together and pour over the chicken. Crumble up Ritz crackers and sprinkle heavy all over the top of the chicken and soup mixture. Melt 1 stick butter and drizzle over the Ritz crumbs. Bake in a 350 degree oven uncovered for about 30 minutes.image

Enjoy!