Over the past week you have been sending in your recipes and stories of your family’s culinary delights, and here are a few of our favorites:
Martha M. and her Grandmother’s Czech Walnut Tarts
“My Grandfather had a favorite black walnut tree grove. He would gather all the walnuts in a gunnysack and bring them home. He would run over the gunnysack with his car to break open the nuts. Afterward he carefully picked out all the meat. His hands were stained for weeks. Grandma got the nuts and made delicious goodies with them.”
Czech Walnut Tarts… Orechove Dorticky
In a big bowl, mix in the butter, sugar, lemon grind, vanilla extract, egg yolks and ground walnuts. Slowly mix in the 1¾ cups of flour. Work the mixture into dough and place it in the fridge for about 2 hours (or overnight).
Pull the dough out of the fridge and let it stand in the room temperature for a while until it is workable (about 1 hour)
Preheat the oven to 325°. Roll out the dough onto a floured surface until it is about ¼ inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out the various shapes.
Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool down.
Meanwhile, make the cookie filling: In a medium-sized bowl whisk together sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and egg yolks. Add in the butter (room-temperature) and whisk everything together until the mixture appears smooth and creamy.
Spread the cream on top of a cookie and cover it with another cookie to make a cookie sandwich; make sure that the cream layer is thick.
Melt the chocolate bar according to the directions on the bar package. Dip one side of each cookie sandwich into the chocolate. Top each cookie with a walnut half.
Candace L. and her family’s Carrot Pudding
“When I was a child and into my adult years my family spent every Thanksgiving at our grandmother Nammie’s home with all the aunts, uncles and cousins. Carrot pudding was the only dessert ever served. Shredded and peeled carrots and potatoes mixed with melted butter, flour, baking soda, cloves, nutmeg and chopped pecans. Steamed in old coffee cans for three hours. Served by spooning a helping onto small dessert plates and topped with hard sauce (confectioners sugar, butter and egg yolk mixed and then whipped egg whites folded in). Very delicious but rich and small servings are a must!”
Lois G. and Her Mother’s Cranberry Salad
“My copy of this recipe is one my mother cut from the newspaper in the 50′s and it was an immediate hit with our family. We’ve especially love it with turkey at Thanksgiving and beef at Christmas. My mother died in 1979 but we are still making the salad and my daughter takes it to company dinners where it has become her signature addition to the carry-in meal.”
Cook cranberries in lemon-lime soda until berries pop. Add sugar and salt and continue cooking 5 more minutes. While they are cooking, sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup cold water. Remove cranberries from heat, stir in softened gelatin and chill the mixture. When almost solid – stir in chopped celery, or pineapple tidbits, or pecans, OR all three. This never gets really solid like a gelatin salad. It is more like a thickened sauce great with any meat.
Jon W. and his Great Grandmother’s Custard
“My great Grandmother, Addie Lightfoot Dowden made angel food cake (if she could find any hens still laying at Christmas time) and made “boiled” custard (which should never really be boiled. I don’t know her recipe although someone in the family may use it. My wife, before she died, used an off-brand mix cake mix but never beat it as long as the box called for. Great Grandmother baked hers in a wood stove oven, feeding the firebox stick at a time to keep the temperature. My wife and I lived in England a year, and learned that until WWII, custard was a popular dish, almost a synonym for dessert. However, with a shortage of eggs during the war, a boxed mix became popular, and we were told that they got so used to it, they thought it better than the old recipe. But it AIN’t! Now in this area, boiled custard is available in bottles in the dairy section, almost is as good as homemade! But watch, one chain uses high fructose corn syrup, a dietary no-no, in it. Jon A. Whitfield, descended from a brother of the Rev. George Whitefield.”
Abbie W. and her Grandmother’s Cranberry Salad
“This was my grandmother’s recipe (I’m not sure how old it is, but the original recipe came from the days when Jell-O wasn’t pre-sweetened, and had double the sugar that I’ve included here.) My mother had my grandmother’s grinder, and I claimed it when my parents broke up housekeeping in 1996. Because I have the grinder, it always falls to me to make the raw cranberry salad. This was always served at Thanksgiving and at Christmas dinner in our family. My sister-in-law always insists that I bring it as my contribution to the family dinners.”
Raw Cranberry Salad
Soften gelatin in ¼ c cold water in a large bowl, for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle Jell-O powder over the gelatin; add 1 c sugar and 2 c boiling water. Stir until fully dissolved. Set aside to cool.
Grind the cranberries in an old-fashioned food grinder (blenders and choppers don’t work – you don’t get the correct texture.)
Chop the apple and the pecans.
Stir the ground cranberries, chopped apple and the pecans into the cooled Jell-O. It should be just about room temperature, so cool it further, if necessary. The result will be stiff with fruit and nuts, with just enough Jell-O to hold everything together.
Mold in a ring mold, or individual ramekins, or in an 8” x 8” pan. (Double the recipe for a 9” x 12” pan.)
Serve with a dollop of Miracle Whip.
We hope you enjoyed reading some of the great recipes and stories you all sent in! We sure did. We wish everyone a great holiday season filled with delicious family treats.
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