Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Grandma Ethel's Homemade Tomato Soup

28 oz can of peeled whole plum tomatoes
1/2 teas baking soda
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup cream
1/2 teas salt ( this is to your liking too)
coarse black pepper to taste
2 tbsp butter

Open the can of tomatoes and puree leaving large chunks or no chunks of tomato whatever your liking is. Pour the tomatoes into the saucepan and add the baking powder stirring to mix. This looks a little frothy, and helps the milk from not curdling from the acid in the tomatoes. Turn on med heat and add the milk, cream, salt and pepper. (remember that pepper sinks to the bottom so don't just keep adding). Heat TO boiling but don't boil. Remove from stove and add butter to top of the soup while hot. Serve with crackers or better yet a grilled cheese sandwich.

* When Kathy and I were teenagers and we'd go shopping with Mom in Minot we would stop at Speedway, a restaurant on the way home and Mom and I would have tomato soup and Kathy would have macaroni salad. Kathy likes tomato too these days.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Pam's Sour Cream Raisin Pie

What’s your favorite pie? Pie came to America with the first English settlers. What kind of pie you grew up with depended largely on what are of the United States and where your ancestors came from. In the South pecan pies were popular with the many nut trees in the area.  Pennsylvania Dutch made molasses “shoofly” pies. Settlers in Florida, utilizing the plentiful local citrus, turned native limes into key lime pie. The Midwest, famous for its dairy farms, favored custard and cream pies. Massachusetts invented the beloved Boston Cream Pie, a hybrid pie-cake. This colorful variety of pies reflects the diverse tapestry of early American culture. If one wanted to, one could tell the story of our nation through pie. (http://toriavey.com/history-kitchen/2011/07/the-history-of-pie-in-america-2/).

My favorite pie has always been Sour Cream Raisin. Mom and I would buy a Sour Cream Raisin Pie at the bakery in Stanley and we would enjoy it for a week! Over the years my favorite thing to have at Schatz’s truck stop in Minot is Sour Cream Raisin pie. I have only made it a few times because guess who eats it all? Me. No one in my family thinks its as good as I do. I have messed around with the recipe and made notes until I think I have it like I like it, so I’m sharing it with you. I hope you like it. I’d love it if you have a favorite to say what it is and share the recipe! 

                      Pam’s Sour Cream Raisin Pie


      1 1/2 cups dairy sour cream
              1/2 cup whipping cream
      1 cup sugar
              pinch of salt
              Couple shakes of nutmeg
      3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
      3 egg yolks
      1 1/3 cup raisins (plumped)

              4 egg whites (notice:you need one more egg white than you           need egg yolks)
      1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
      1/2 cup sugar
      1 teas vanilla
      1 baked 9-inch pie shell
              1.5 tbsp cinnamon and sugar mixture

1.    Separate three eggs in bowls. Yokes in one, whites in one, add one more white to the bowl of whites making it four egg whites. Let them sit to become room temp. Next, pour boiling water to cover the 1 1/3 cups of raisins in a bowl and let that sit while preparing the filling mix.

        2.   For the pie filling, in a heavy medium saucepan stir together the sour cream, the heavy cream, 1cup sugar, flour, the 3 egg YOLKS, and the drained raisins. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. 

3.   For meringue, place the egg whites in the mixer and beat till looks foamy. Then add the cream of tartar. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed about 4 minutes more or until mixture forms stiff glossy peaks (tips stand straight). Add vanilla(clear if you have it so meringue stays nice and white). Mix just enough to mix in.

4.   Pour warm filling into baked pie shell. Spread meringue over filling. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 15 minutes or until the meringue is lightly browned. Remove and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture. cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Chill 3 to 6 hours before serving; cover for longer storage.

nutrition facts
(Old-Fashioned Sour Cream/Raisin Pie)
Servings Per Recipe 8, chol. (mg) 101, sat. fat (g) 9, vit. C (mg) 1, carb. (g) 87, Fat, total (g) 21, calcium (mg) 81, cal. (kcal) 545, pro. (g) 7, vit. A (IU) 486, iron (mg) 2, fiber (g) 1, sodium (mg) 125

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Rock, Paper, Scissors

                 It’s the first day of school. For many, it brings up a whole cauldron of feelings all mixed together, bubbling away, with scary, sad thoughts permeating our wellbeing. I’m not talking about just the nervous kids either, but many parents as well. 

                 I remember standing in the dining room window, tears streaming down my face,  watching Brendon walk to school with the Erickson kids like it was yesterday, back in Berthold, some 35 years ago now. I felt like I missed my last chance at something I couldn't get back, but couldn't put my finger on what. I told myself he’s ready and on to new great things, playing with friends etc… but without me (sniff). Ok stop Pam, that’s selfish! So I moved on to guilt. Guilt that I shouldn't have gotten mad at him as many times as I did. I should snuggled him more, and whatever else I could beat myself up about…To say I was overwrought was an understatement. It’s scary to think you aren't the only one now, that’s now going to be molding your child. You hope and pray other kids will be nice and include them. You're slapped in the face with the realization that they need you a little less with every passing year. For someone who sunk my whole identity into parenting, it was really rough. 

I’m thinking today of my teacher daughter, Shelbey, driving her 2 month old, and her 2 year old, to day care - hoping the caretakers are trustworthy and responsible in spite of all the scary stories we hear these days. She knows nobody could love these kids like she does, and longs  to stay home with them. To top it off, childcare is costing her 1700. a month. The thought of staying home with them is cut short when reality kicks in, because she knows she has to work to take care of them. She loves teaching music, so that helps her push past her sadness and  look forward to the day the boys can go to school with her.  She must put on a brave happy face, keep Briar fired up about playing with friends, say goodbye with a smile on her face, kiss Asher goodbye and forge on to school, breast pump in hand.

              For all the parents taking their first day of school pictures, this day puts last year, one more year further in the rear view mirror, and looking at their growth is bittersweet. In black and white we can see how fast they grow and change, and how fast the years are flying by! Looking forward to new teachers and new experiences but theres still a little fear of the unknown, mixed with the knowledge that life is now officially on fast forward for one more year. 

              Some hind sight suggestions I have are: first of all, try not to over think it like I did. Always try to look at the positive, knowing that life is moving as God intended. Children were given to us to nuture and guide to adulthood. Stay positive and look to the positive.  Secondly, make a plan to help out at school where you can and be involved. Your kids will remember you being involved and supportive of their teacher. Teachers need more support these days than ever. The key word there is support…if you are there to fault find, save it. Being a teacher is no easy task. Be helpful. On the other hand stand up for your child when you have to (they remember that too). Third, be sure you document the year. Just a week or so ago, Brendon, my son who trudged off to school 35 years ago, and his wife had the best time looking through all the stuff I kept and documented… cute stories, pictures and clippings. It takes time but it’s totally worth it. Even if its just an accordion pleated box, save some things and jot down some funny stories. Fourth, get ready to hear some new things about your child, as they are molded into school life. Like the old saying take it in, wheat and chaff together, and take what can make your child better and blow the chaff away. 

              So lots of special prayers today for students, parents and teachers as they start a new year. Lets not forget the parents of special needs students too,  who have so much to deal with as their child starts school. Hugs to all today!