Saturday, December 29, 2012

Easy Fried Apples

Back in the vintage era people were enamored with apples.  It shows in all the vintage cookbooks I have since there are so many apple based recipes.  It makes sense however since no fruit stores better than an apple.  They get a bit sandy textured when they have been barreled which makes them unsuitable for eating out of hand, but they are still perfectly usable in recipes.  This was one I did with some BBQ pork chops awhile ago and is quite easy to prepare.

Fried Apples

Organic Granny Smith Apples, 1 per person
Lemon Juice
Brown Sugar
Unsalted Butter

Wash and core (and peel if desired) the apples.  Slice into slices 1/4" thick and sprinkle with lemon juice.  Dip each slice into brown sugar an place on a plate.  Heat frying pan on medium heat and add 1T butter.  When butter is hot place apple slices in pan and fry about 2-3 mins a side.  The sugar will come off and form a caramel sauce so don't let it burn, lowering heat as necessary.  When serving drizzle some sauce over the cooked apple slices.

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Vintage Diet, An Update

Many moons ago I sat down and dreamed up The Vintage Diet, a way to get back to basics with our eating and perhaps even lose a little weight in the process.  I wrote about it in 2 posts ("Why Am I Fat" & "The Vintage Diet: A Prequel") but then I never wrote about it again.  In truth, I did about 3 months of research on myself and my family with recipes and even posted menu plans every week on the Blog's Facebook Page but then I had to give it up and go to Alaska to work.  So what really happened during those 3 months that I was more or less following vintage recipes and trying to coalesce my ideas into what would become the Vintage Diet?  Well I started off at 360lbs and in 3 months lost weight to about 348lbs.  Alaska was my undoing though as the food was the worst I have ever experienced in my 5 years of working up there and I was backed into a corner, eat junk food or starve.  I ate junk food and with the unpalatable result of bouncing back to 360lbs by the end of the season.

But a funny thing happened after I got home.  Usually I balloon up in weight  because of the reduction in activity and general overeating because I'm happy to get back to the land of real food.  This time however I went more or less back to the Vintage Diet and my weight held the same as before, 360.  There wasn't much I could do to expand on the diet as I was busy with, well life.  Then I got a full time job at a grocery store in the produce department and everything changed.

The place I work at is not a natural foods store but they are upscale so they carry much in the way of organic produce and items.  With my discount it knocks the price down to comparable levels with conventional produce and I was able to experiment with organic food or what our grandparents would have just called food.  It's funny how all these years the food supply has become increasingly compromised to the point that we have to buy organic just to get the food our grandparents would have had but I digress.

I was able to pick up on the Vintage Diet again maybe 75% of the time and began to lose weight.  Keep in mind I do anywhere from 10,000 to 18,000 steps per day at work so that is significant contribution to my weight loss but it's not like I have to go to the gym and kill myself 3 times a week just to lose weight, and lose weight I have.  In 3 months I am down to 328 from 360 a loss of 32lbs.  I am hitting some resistance at the 328 mark but I have faith that in time I will break through to continue losing weight.  I recently acquired some vintage cookbooks that really give me insight into how people at back in the vintage era and will perhaps allow me to put the final touches on the Vintage Diet.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Creole Remulade Sauce

I've been doing some housekeeping on the Facebook Page for The Vintage Recipe Blog and in looking at the notes section I found a few recipes that I had posted there in order to cross merchandise the Facebook Page for the blog so to speak.   It's mostly sauce recipes but I feel they need a home here on the blog. 

First up is Remulade Sauce, a Creole version of Tartar Sauce but in reality it's an unfair comparison since Remulade is so much better.  It can be served with most seafoods or used as a condiment for Fried Green Tomatoes. 

Remulade Sauce

3/4C Dukes Mayonnaise
3 Cornichons Chopped Fine
1T Chopped Capers
1T Lemon Juice
1T Guldens Mustard
2tsp Finely Minced Fresh Parsley
1/4tsp Tarragon, minced fine (optional)
2 Dashes Tabasco
1tsp Paprika
pinch of salt

Stir well and refrigerate 1 hour.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Story of the Guitar

My wife is guest writing today...

If you have been following my blog since I started writing it (Everyday Fish Philippines), you will of course know I am from the Philippines.  What you may not know is music is the lifeblood of the Filipino.  We live and breathe music, we romance each other with music it is in our very soul.  Most Filipinos can play a musical instrument, being a banjo, ukelele, or an instrument familiar to a native tribe, but the ultimate is the classical Spanish Guitar.  Playing a guitar evokes images of gentleman wooing their sweethearts in the tradition of the Ligaw (courting).  I had always wanted to buy a guitar but it was too expensive for us to afford.

My father with my guitar in the Philippines.
Until I met my husband.  When we were courting he took us on a trip to Cebu and while there we went to Mactan Island he bought me a classical Spanish Guitar.  The guitars of Mactan are as good as Benedetto guitars.  It was at that point that I discovered that learning how to play a guitar is hard, especially getting it in tune. Maybe if I had protools at Musician's friend I'd be able to do it easier.  I did eventually learn some simple things with the guitar but it was my brother who really excelled in learning how to play.  When he was over our house he would sit endless hours just strumming the strings and learning songs.  Now that I am in the USA with my husband, I left the guitar with my brother, but I rather miss it now and wish that I had brought it along with me.  I also love playing drums but I'm not as good as my brother, how I wish I have the talent for that too.  

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Old Is New Again

I had a blip on the radar the other day that I ignored much to my detriment.  My old computer had been acting weird for a week or so but I had just chalked it up to it's advanced age.  Then the unthinkable happens and the computer just died.  Seeing as it was using older hard drives I lost pretty much everything to do with the blog, including the pictures and old ads I had collected.  Well I'm back up and running with a middle age laptop until I can get something better but in the meantime it means I have a clean slate to work with as far as the blog goes.  I know I don't write nearly as much as I used to, it goes along with having a full time job now.  Having the job has been a positive experience even if I had to shelve the blog for a few months while I was training.  The biggest thing I have taken away from working at an upscale grocer is my love and newfound depth of understanding pertaining to organic foods.  I started with experimenting with organic and now it's a full on passion.  I don't go crazy with it, insisting that all things be organic but if the option is available I certainly take it.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Monsanto: Poisoning You Since 1943 (At Least)

This ad was a gem of a find because all the previous Monsanto Ads that I have found dealt with the manufacture of Bakelite.  This was the first ad I could find that dealt with food and I can only imagine that Monsanto took up the mantle of of chemical food production as a part of the war effort.  Unfortunately this set them on the path to eventually making the GMO foods that people are only just now waking up to.  The artwork is the typical goofy chef guy throwing a pinch of something in a pot, it's only after you read the ad that you discover what an unhealthy substance this is.  Honestly the look on his face is disconcerting, like he's trying to hold in a fart or something.  Also, heath departments were rather lax in the vintage era because the cigarette over the ear would never pass muster today.

Swift Ham, It's the Ovenized Kind!

I'm not so sure about this ovenized ham.  Is this anything like parkerizing or vulcanizing?  Sounds like my ham is going to be given an indestructible plastic surface.  Better yet no parboiling is needed!  This ad makes little sense unless you know a little food history.  Prior to this time, hams were "country style" in that they were salted and cured in a smokehouse yielding a very salty, dry ham.  You had to soak the ham in simmering water (parboiling) to basically reconstitute it and remove the excess salt before you could eat it.  The ham in this ad however is ovenized which was Swifts early name for a ham being smokehouse cooked after watercuring.  It's exactly how hams are treated today before sale unless you buy country ham or Virginia ham.  Of course hams don't have that lovely rind of fat anymore thanks to the prevalent anti-fat mood championed by the food Nazis.  The cooking instructions on the bottom right suggest serving with spicy cauliflower.  What is spicy cauliflower you might ask?  I'm glad you did because apparently it's cauliflower topped with tartar sauce.  Oh my we're really in the culinary fast lane now, maybe next month we can try 1 drop of Tabasco in a soup?  Maybe after eating all that spicy cauliflower mom and dad will feel a little frisky and do it with the lights on.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Hearty Corn Chowder Recipe

There's quite a few recipes out there for corn chowder and in the main I think they're just bland.  This recipe is based on couple of the more interesting ones I've found with a few added twists all my own.  While not exactly vintage, corn chowder has been around since at least the 1800's.  What sets my recipe apart is the use of organic and fresh ingredients as opposed to frozen or canned.

Hearty Corn Chowder

4 Slices Smoked Bacon, Chopped
1lb Fresh Spicy Italian Sausage (about 2 links)
1 Large Organic White Onion, Diced
1 Red or Orange Bell Pepper, Diced
3 Cloves Organic Garlic, Minced
5 Ears Bi-Color Corn, Strip kernels from cob with knife
2C Chicken Stock
2C Whole Organic Valley Milk
1/4C Flour
1/2tsp Sage
1tsp Salt
1/2tsp Pepper
1/2tsp Smoked Sweet Paprika
Organic Green Onions for garnishing
Aged White Cheddar (Optional)

Prep all ingredients then in a heavy bottom 6qt pot heat on stove over med-high heat.  Cook chopped bacon until crisp then remove with slotted spoon reserving fat in pot.  Add corn kernels and saute until slightly browned.  Remove sausage from casings and add to corn, breaking up with spoon.  Fry until browned then add Pepper, Onions, Garlic and all spices.  Cook about 5 mins until onions are translucent.  Sprinkle with flour and cook a few minutes more stirring constantly.  Add in chicken stock and stir well then add milk.  Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 20 minutes until thick.  Serve in bowls topped with bacon pieces, sliced green onion and if desired, some grated aged white cheddar.

Note:  For the Italian sausage try to get it at a butchers like The Fresh Market or another reputable dealer.  Standard Italian Sausage sold in the grocery store is of questionable quality.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Antonio y Cleopatra Cigars

In the wide wide world of drugstore cigars Antonio y Cleopatra is unquestionably one of the better ones available.  Yes it's a machine made cigar but with a pedigree stretching back to the founding of the company in 1879.  Originally handmade in Cuba they were forced to move like so many other cigar makers after Castro's nationalization of the cigar industry.  Today they are made in Cayay, Puerto Rico and still are a great value in the wilds of the brands available in drugstores.  Certainly easier to find than cheap avo cigars.

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