2019 plans: also Coleslaw, Pumpkin Pie, and Hoppin’ John

Happy New Year to all. I hope to write more, play Solitaire less, Facebook even less, and maintain Faith, Hope, and Love for all.

My sister had an idea a few years ago to cook through a cookbook in a year. I never could choose which of my 50+ books to use, but this year I will use Betty Crocker as my go-to book. This does not mean I will cook each and every recipe, nor each recipe exactly, but will use this standard American Cookbook as the first source of inspiration. For example, if I want to make to make pork chops I will peruse this book’s recipes to determine how to fix them. So I did make a breaded pork chop and Betty instructed to bake them on a rack in the baking pan in the oven.  I did and they turned out nicely. I failed to take a picture so you must take my word for it.

Hubby was grilling ribs. Cole slaw is a nice side dish. I bought a package of broccoli slaw to use. I made a combination of Betty’s Coleslaw and her Old-Fashioned Cabbage Salad from page 138, plus ingredients from a variation.

  • 1/2 package broccoli slaw
  • 1 apple cored and diced
  • 1/4 shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • pinch of celery salt
  • a few grinds of black peppercorns

My go-to pumpkin pie is Betty’s. I have made it before https://mykitchenmythoughts.com/2017/03/14/pi-day/. The problem I had this time is that the crust did not seem to bake through on the bottom. The edges were beautiful. What did I do wrong? I have never pre-baked the crust for pumpkin pie.

Hoppin’ John is on page 226. I did not use this recipe because this traditional New Year’s Day meal is made of rice, black-eyed peas, and pork in many different proportions and variations. I used bacon and added onion and spinach. The sprinkling of red pepper flakes was the only real thing I took from Betty.

It’s different every time!

bbq 004

I make my own barbecue sauce and it is never the same. But this time I remembered what I did. I find that BBQ sauce is basically a tomato base with a “hot” added plus some vinegar of some kind. I saw once a “recipe” that was three ingredients of ketchup, sriracha, and Worcestershire. I don’t usually cook with ketchup; I save that for cheeseburgers. Although I do plan to make my own ketchup later this spring. I have seen a recipe for making it in the slow-cooker. I like that idea.

I love barbecued ribs! So we bought a rack of baby-backs at our discount grocery store. So I don’t know if this is the best of my homemade sauces or if it was the best rib rack we bought or the two of them combined, oven-baked smothered with sauce.

Not wanting to use ketchup I use tomato sauce. And not having Worcestershire, I use apple cider vinegar. Most of the amounts are approximations and can be adjusted to taste.

bbq2 002

  • 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder (at hubby’s insistence)

Just mix this all up together. I suspect hubby also put in some ground coffee. He has been telling me this is an essential ingredient in barbecue sauce. Anyone ever hear of that?

We poured the sauce over a rack of ribs (cut into individual ribs) turning them to coat each one in sauce, covered the roasting pan with foil and baked this for 45 minutes at 325 F. Then removed the foil, baked for about 10 more minutes, and then broiled for maybe 5 minutes. We then poured the sauce over the ribs. These were delicious! I may never let hubby grill ribs again!

I also made coleslaw and toasted some anadama bread slices on the griddle. I make a dill-buttermilk coleslaw dressing adapted from my cookbook The Basic Gourmet by Morgan, Taggart, Taggert, and Vareldzis (1995 Chronicle Books). I buy the coleslaw mix in the produce section because a head of cabbage makes too much slaw.

  • 1/4-1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill weed; I used snippings of fresh dill because I had some!
  • 2 teaspoons mustard, any kind
  • 1 dash hot pepper sauce (sometimes I forget to add this)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar (I usually leave this out)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Whisk the ingredients together and pour over the coleslaw vegetables and stir to coat.

This was good eating!