Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Lost Art of Home Cooking

Americans are eating their weight and more  every year in genetically engineered food, a new Environmental Working Group analysis shows. "On average, people eat an estimated 193 pounds of genetically engineered food in a 12-month period. The typical American adult weighs 179 pounds."

Maybe it’s because old time home cooking is becoming a lost art. Traditional cooking skills are dying out; so many modern cooks use boxes and cans as a basis for everything they do in the kitchen. Making gravy, custard, biscuits, pastries and stews seem to be a lost art. Even slow roasted meat, pot roast and homemade noodles seem like, “old people food,” to a lot of modern cooks. Too bad!

When we eat out I can’t wait for my next meal at home – so I can eat something good. Seems like in today’s world most people eating at home can’t wait to eat out. Not this old pot slinger.

-And a word on snacks – In Japan they say everybody is either in the Sweets Party or the Spicy Party. Divided as to whether they would rather have a sweet snack or a salty/spicy snack.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cornmeal Mush

Today we are going back in time – way back

I can remember my dad (born in 1914) talking about eating cornmeal mush as a kid. He grew up on a prosperous farm and always had plenty, but cornmeal mush was a common breakfast for his family. On other days they may have eaten bacon and eggs but in those days they did not have the convenience of a box of cereal, this may have been the cereal for Americans in pre 1920s.

Here it is – give it a try

Cornmeal Mush –or- Indian Mush

Boil 2 cups water, add 1/2 tsp. salt, and sprinkle in cornmeal slowly while stirring until mush becomes thick. Use your own judgment as to how much cornmeal is needed

Eat warm with butter, honey or molasses

Another variation of this, and one I have tried, and liked follows—

 Pour cooked mush in a bread pan and refrigerate until set. (A few hours) Slice and fry in a pan sprayed with a generous amount of vegetable spray or you can use butter for a little decadence

Fry until crisp on both sides, then serve with maple syrup or honey, or use your favorite flavored pancake or waffle syrup. (Mine is Boysenberry)

Cornmeal Mush is, as almost all foods made with corn, an invention of American Indians, it became popular in other countries, and in other cultures, but it is a decidedly American dish.

Note 1. Sometimes mush is referred to as Gruel, but technically gruel was made with oatmeal instead of cornmeal

Note 2. In days past this dish was most often referred to as simply - mush.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cowboys, Chocolate and Corn on the Cob

Two old Wyoming Cowboys were sitting around the bunkhouse on a lazy Sunday afternoon. After a couple of hours they tired of talking about the weather, politics and sports and the conversation drifted to cooking.

   The first guy said, "I bought a cookbook once but I could never

do anything with it."

  "Too much fancy stuff in it, eh?” asked the other.

  "You said it", the first guy replied.  "Every one of the

recipes began the same way, 'take a clean dish'..."


A  Sunday food riddle - What food do you, Peal off the outside, Cook the inside, eat the outside, And throw away the inside? Answer below:


 Corn on the cob

Did You Know? Chocolate has always been included on every American and Russian space flights

Friday, February 8, 2013

Is Pasta Really Bad For You?

With all the discussions about healthy foods vs. unhealthy, thought I would take a look at the much maligned Pasta. Pasta is almost all carbohydrates, and only four calories per gram. That sounds like something that would be very good for you, especially if you are active.  So why all the bad press?

Because most pasta, canned, frozen or restaurant, has too many calories and too much salt in the sauce and too many calories and too much fat in the cheese toppings.  I am exhausted from using the word too so many times. Another bad rap, the servings are too big.

Here is what we can do.

1.    Make pasta at home – come on its pasta, it is about as hard to make as toast

2.   Keep the serving size reasonable (especially if you are like me and head to the freezer for a bowl of ice cream about nine in the evening).

3.   Make your own sauce and keep the salt out, black pepper, paprika and Italian seasoning will make a wonderful and fresh sauce, add any other herbs of your choice

4.   Sprinkle on the cheese – remember it is to add taste – it is not the taste

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Crockpot Corn Chowder

Neil Waring Revered Wyoming Chef, outdoor cooking expert, admired woodsmen, award winning author, retired politician and honored citizen.

Make it in five or ten minutes and let it cook from Morning until Supper Time.

 The two types of corn add depth and great texture of this one


·         3 cups frozen corn

·         14 oz. can creamed corn

·         1 onion, chopped

·         2 (14 oz.) cans ready to serve chicken broth

·         1/8 tsp. pepper

·         1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves

·         2 Tbsp. cornstarch

·         3 Tbsp. water

Putting it together

 Mix everything but the cornstarch and water in 3-4 quart Crockpot and stir it up good.  Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until corn is tender. In small bowl, combine cornstarch and water and mix it in; stir into the Crockpot.

Cover and cook on high for 10-15 minutes until it thickens.

 Top with crackers and its ready to go

Makes enough for four (it is really clever using two 4s in a row)


Monday, February 4, 2013

World's Best Burger - At Home

Wait – what kind of recipe is this? Making a hamburger, everyone knows how, or do they?

Almost everyone makes hamburger at home, so why is it that after eating them so many of us are unsatisfied and dream of a good fast food burger? A burger that in your dream like state tastes better than home made, but do they really? If they do there are several reasons why. And here they are.

Fast food burgers are hot, fresh off the grill, out from under the heat lamp or micro waved just before bagging. At home we fry or grill them, put them aside and do a bunch of other stuff and then –“the burgers are ready,” might as well add, “Cold”.

Other than hot, here are the keys to a - Good Ol’ Home Burger

1.  Buy cheap, really cheap, if you can find them, white buns

2.  Make them thin and fry them hot and fast

3.  Salt & Pepper – No other seasonings

4.  When burgers are finished, set aside; butter the buns and brown in skillet. (after, of course, wiping out the skillet with a paper towel)

5.  Place bun on plate and add your veggies, pickles, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, cabbage, beets, whatever you like

6.  Microwave burger for 20-25 seconds – if you are a cheeseburger type add cheese now

7.  Put burger on bun and now, only now, add the usual condiments, ketchup, mustard or both

8.  Serve – now that is a good burger!

Now I am starting to get a little hungry.



Saturday, February 2, 2013

Good Ol’ Boy Corned Beef Hash

Got 'er done!

This is now one of your favorite recip                    

Stuff you will need - Ingredients

·      3 tablespoons butter

·      1 large onion, finely chopped

·      2 cups diced corned beef

·      4 cups diced potato

·      Salt and pepper – this really does not need salt but if your BP is good sprinkle a little on


1. Get out the big old black skillet for this one. I love it when I get to use this one – hunting camp type food – let the calories fly


2. Turn heat to medium/high melt the butter toss the onions in hot oil until they soften and turns a nifty golden brown


3. Toss in the corned beef and potato. Stir and let them sizzle, don’t let it get too hot, fry until potatoes start to turn soft


4. Press the potato mixture down to creating a more compact layer.


5. Cook for a few minutes continuing to smash down potatoes (like one large pancake), takes a few minutes to get a nice golden-brown crust, but that’s what you want


6. Flip and cook for another few minutes to heat through.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper before serving.


*This is great with wild game made corned beef