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Food and Fun

  • As we break bread – Christmas 2001 in the New Normal: Part 3

    Editor’s note: Cole Waddell is a Lancaster resident who was living in New York City during the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. He moved back here in 2005. This is the third part of a three-part series about Southerners who shared Christmas dinner there each year.

     

    Six months after Dec. 25, 2001, finds me cleaning out my Aunt Ellen’s  accumulation of cards and notes.  

    One card is from Mrs. Boyce, a lady she knew.  

  • Baking on a budget

     

    The holiday season is hectic enough without fretting over what to buy for whom and how much to spend on gifts for coworkers, friends, neighbors and teachers. 

    Homemade cookies can make a lasting impression.

    According to a recent survey, 40 percent of consumers plan to spend less this year on holiday gifts. Holiday baking is a great way to tighten your budget without shrinking your gift list.

    Here are a few tricks and techniques to ensure sweet success this baking season.

  • One dish breakfasts simplify holiday meals

    When family comes home for holidays, the big meal of the day always gets the brunt of the attention.

    However, by working ahead, you can wake sleepy heads with an aroma from the kitchen and a memorable Christmas breakfast they will remember this time next year.

    Here are a few tips to consider before your house fills up with guests:

  • Don't get bogged down in a Christmas party quagmire

    You just walked by the bulletin board in the break room and saw a big question mark on the list by your name.

    You’ve been so busy that tomorrow’s Christmas party at work was forgotten. It’s a week earlier this year since there is one less weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    Now you’re in a cooking quagmire. 

  • Select the right potato variety

     Potatoes can be a mystery. With many stores now carrying multiple varieties, trying to figure out what potato works best for what can be a guessing game.

    Potatoes usually fall into two categories (baking and boiling). The chief difference between the two types is the starch content. 

    Baking potatoes are relatively high in starch. Boiling potatoes are lower in starch and waxy, which holds them together when boiling or in soup and stews.

  • Soup of the Devil

    In the late 1860s, chili was frontier food. 

    The mixture of dried beef, suet, chili peppers and salt was pounded together into compact bricks and left to dry in the hot sun was a regional dish enjoyed by those in Texas and neighboring Louisiana.

    Easily transported, these bricks could be dropped into a pot of boiling water on the trail to make a stew-like soup for settlers and cowboys trekking across the Midwest.

  • Talkin' Turkey

    There is a quotation by Albert Einstein tacked up in my work cubicle.             He was a genius when it comes to capillary forces, general relativity, matter-energy equivalence and how light from another star can be bent by the sun’s gravity.

    It isn’t Einstein’s ability to comprehend atomic vibrations, wave-point duality and critical opalescence that I respect. Gosh, I have trouble just spelling Brownian motion and thermodynamic fluctuations, much less discerning what all of that means.

  • Naming the turkey is a bad idea

    – Editor’s note: Due to overwhelming reader requests, we are reprinting this Remember When column, which was originally published in the Nov. 19, 2006, edition of The Lancaster News. The story of Jim the turkey has indeed become a Thanksgiving tradition at The Lancaster News.

     

    I don’t know if it was tradition or custom, but a couple weeks before “Big Thursday” or Thanksgiving Day, me and Daddy journeyed down to Tradesville to pick up our big ole gobbler.

  • Today's Recipe

    This tender, moist cake uses pureed pumpkin to replace much of the fat and is delicately seasoned with classic Thanksgiving flavors and can be made ahead of time.

    Glazed Chocolate-Pumpkin Bundt Cake

    Ingredients

    1 cup all-purpose, flour

    3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

    1 cup granulated sugar

    3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, (not Dutch-process)

    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

    1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • A winner, not a beginner

    Editor’s note – The Lancaster News recently asked readers on Facebook to share the names of some of the county’s best foodies. One of them is Cathy Ardrey. 

     

    Cathy Ardrey’s family thinks she’s a great cook, with good reason. 

    From vegetables to wild game and seafood, Ardrey has an arsenal of dishes, many of which she’s developed herself or adapted from recipes found in her cookbook library.