Thursday, May 26, 2011

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: Eagle Brand Graham Bars

 I forget who gave this book (published in 1979) to me, either my wonderful mother or my grandmother, but I decided to browse through it the other day and found a simple looking dessert recipe.  I had to remember that this was the time before microwaves, and it was still and easy dessert!

The first thing to do is to take 14 graham crackers (24 halves) and crush in a bowl. Add a small package of chocolate chips (really, it asked for a small pkg rather than so many cups or ounces!) and a can of Eagle Brand Milk (this is the sweetened condensed milk, NOT evaporated milk).  Let it set for half an hour to soak up the sweetened milk.

 After it has set for half an hour, press into a buttered pan.  I forgot to butter this batch, but it came easily enough from the pan.
Bake for 350* for 20 minutes.

This picture doesn't look much different than the 'raw' above, but it is now a 'bar' and can be sliced.

We really did enjoy these!  When sliced, we rolled in powdered sugar. We ate them as we cut and rolled them, so once again there is not a photo of the final product. :)

Mark is now asking for another graham cracker dessert that I make with Kool-aide powder. I will have to make another post for this dessert.  Maybe I'll create a challenge for myself: make several posts on desserts made with graham crackers!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: More Laundry Soap

I was out of laundry soap again, and decided to try a different recipe this time. I made a batch that used my whole Fel's Naptha bar rather than just 1/3 of it. This recipe makes 5 gallons, which you dilute 1:1 with water (fill empty jugs 1/2 full of the soap, then finish filling the jugs with water). Then use 1/4 cup for front loading machine (or 5/8 cup for top loading.)
So, now I the equivalent of 10 gallons of laundry soap made up from things I already had stored. :)

Here's what to do:
Grate a bar of Fels Naptha soap into a large pot about 1/4 full of water (4 cups or so). Then bring to a boil. As it melts add: 1 cup Washing Soda and 1/2 cup Borax. Stir till melted.

I filled my 5 gallon bucket 1/2 full of hot water then stirred in the soap mixture. When it was mixed well, I finished filling the bucket. Then let it set overnight to 'gel'.
Remember you can add scent by putting in a few drops of essential oils (I like Jasmine or Orange) to each jug.  I have rose scent that I use sometimes for my lingerie, but find I don't like that for all my laundry.
When this large batch is gone, I am going to make a batch using my Castille soap.  So far, of the Fels Naptha and the Ivory, I don't have a favorite.

Monday, May 16, 2011

GRANDMOTHER'S LIBRARY: The Uninvited by Dorothy Macardle

I found this wonderful 1942 book while visiting a friend who was watching the movie of the same title.  I love this thrilling ghost story!  The setting is in England, so the language is all prim and proper as you see on the movies of this time.

It is the story of Pamela Fitzgerald and her brother, Roderick, who buy a house together. The house once belonged to Stella's parents. That is where her mother and a house servant died. It is they who haunt the house.

Towards the end of the book, they hold a seance to communicate with the ghosts. I do not endorse having a seance, but I thought it was fun to see the description. The following excerpt is from page 258:


       Ingram returned with his cards and laid them in a circle on the table in order; the alphabet was broken at opposite points by cards marked "Yes" and "No." He inverted a wine-glass in the centre and said that our preparations were completeNo hymn-singing, no plunging the room into darkness. I was relieved.
I thought this was fun to read because their game seems to be a card version of the Ouija Board game. It used cards rather than a board, and an upturned wine glass rather than a planchette.

And of course, there is a love story intertwined in all this: Roderick falls in love with Stella, but not until the end does he receive a shy kiss from her -- which seems to seal a marriage agreement!  Very sweet.

It was refreshing to read a complete novel with no mush and gush or gore!  It seems many of today's authors should take a lesson from Ms. Macardle: a complete story with full plot can be quite entertaining and does not need R-rated details (or worse) .  I do recommend this book.