Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Going Nutty

I'm going nutty!
That's right, I was going to visit my friend Miss Squirrels from Going Nutty.  I had to be nutty to think I was capable of cooking a meal for Miss Squirrels and her family.  I had to be even nuttier if I thought said meal was one I had never cooked before. And the nuttiest idea of all was to do it without Granny's help (sort of).  Yep, definitely nutty!
I decided it was time I learned to make pulled pork and caramel icing (fail).  After many attempts at reaching Granny she finally answered the phone and told me all I needed to know to cook my pork.

1 pork roast
1/2 c. vinegar (depending on the size of the roast, mine was about 3 pounds)
black pepper
seasoning salt
garlic powder
barbecue sauce

Place the roast in the roasting pan fat side up.  Add vinegar to pan and follow with seasonings.
So I learned my kitchen is in need of a roasting pan along with a rolling pin.
Put in a 325° oven for about 3 hours or until the meat is tender and a fork can easily be inserted (if you wanna be technical it should be until it reaches at least 145° on a meat thermometer).

After the pork is thoroughly cooked pull it apart.
I used two forks to pull the pork.
 Add barbecue sauce.

All of that was easy, I only had to call Granny 39 more times, and while my pork looked like Granny's, it didn't taste like hers.  I've gotta find out her secret to the barbecue sauce.
The caramel cake on the other hand was a failure. See that puddle around the cake? That's the icing that should be on the cake! More about that fiasco later...

I can say I completed the task, but I don't know how successful I was.  I hope Miss Squirrels and her Littles liked the pulled pork. And I hope they don't think I'm too nutty for making them something I'd never made before.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I Ate My Homework!

I learned in one of my professional development trainings this week that children from poverty stricken households have a cumulative vocabulary of less than 500 words by age three, while children from professional families have vocabularies on average of 1100 words (insert APA or MLA citation for Hart & Risley here).
I guess since I have reached adulthood and I am a professional my vocabulary is pretty adequate. That being said, I should have the words to describe the pie that is called Brown Sugar Chess Pie.  But my vocabulary fails me.
Since I've been unable to assign homework in nearly a month I'm assigning the first ever homework assignment for A Girl, A Granny & A Goal. (Don't start grumbling because this will probably be the only time you are encouraged to eat your homework!)
1. Read the recipe
2. Make the pie.
3. Leave a comment describing the pie in 5 words or less.

Granny actually uses a recipe for this one (mainly because she doesn't make this pie nearly as often as she should).  
Granny has some of the best recipes on this old (very old) legal pad!
 Here's her recipe for the ________________ Brown Sugar Chess Pie:
    (fill in the blank)
CLICK HERE for a printable version of Granny's Brown Sugar Chess Pie.


1 unbaked pie shell
2 eggs (slightly beaten)
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tbsp. meal
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. milk
1/2 tsp. vinegar
1 tbsp. vanilla

 To make the pie:
Mix all ingredients well. [Granny mixes all the dry ingredients before adding the wets, but I didn't do this when I made the pie and it turned out fine.]
Dry ingredients.
All ingredients mixed together.
 Pour combined ingredients into an unbaked pie crust [we use a store bought crust].

 Bake for 45 minutes at 325°.
Tip: I sometimes use foil to cover my crust so it doesn't overcook.  Yes, I just gave a tip like I'm some sort of expert....let me be the first to say I'm far from it!

If the directions are followed this pie will disappear quickly and the homework assignment will be easy to complete. 
Serve as is or with a scoop of Vanilla ice cream to kick it up a notch.

 Good Luck!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Granny & Nem's Cafe and Store

Being out of school for summer gives me a lot of free time.  I get to sleep in, eat whenever I want, eat wherever I want, shop, watch a lot of TV, travel (not doing too much of this year)...
This week I went to the Loveless Cafe for the first time...EVER (yes, I am a native Nashvillian)!  I can't believe I had never been.  The food was delicious!  I'm such a sucker for biscuits and jelly!

I also wandered into their little Hams & Jams store.That's when I saw their strawberry, peach and blackberry preserves for $8.75!!!!!! As Granny would say, "SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!"

Remember when I posted about Granny giving her strawberry preserves away (click here)? She should have been charging all those folks for that preserves.  She could even have her own little store.  I've already got a name for it, Granny & Nem (the rest of the family and I can be the "nem").
So here's what we'll have for sale at Granny & Nem one day in the distant future:

Granny's Strawberry Shortcakes

1 pkg Hostess Shortcakes (these are the best)
2 c. fresh strawberries
1/3 c. + 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 c. heavy cream

Wash and slice strawberries.  Place berries in a bowl and cover with 1/3c. sugar.  Set aside.  Combine cream & remaining sugar.  Mix cream and sugar until light and fluffy.  Cover and refrigerate. 
*not really cream and sugar in this bowl
 When sugar has dissolved on the berries they are ready.  Top a shortcake with berries (and sweet berry juice) and then finish off with a dollop of hand whipped cream. Enjoy and come back to Granny & Nem's!

Nem's Strawberry Ice Cream

6 c. Half & Half
2 - 14oz. cans Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 c. strawberries (Mom likes to mash her berries, but put them in however you like)
2 tbsp. vanilla flavoring
Ice cream salt

Pour half & half, milk, berries, and flavoring into the ice cream freezer.  Stir it all together.  Put the dasher in and the top on the canister (follow the directions for ice cream freezer). Surround the container with ice and sprinkles of salt.  Turn on the freezer and let it do all the work.
So super easy to make Mom's ice cream. I think she should charge at least 4 bucks for a half ounce of that goodness! I mean if Loveless can do it so can we!
Now if only Granny and I can crack the code for those Loveless biscuits we'll be in business!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef

This little piggy went to the market.  This little piggy stayed home.  These little piggies had roast beef. This little piggy had none these little piggies said "yummmm!" This little piggy cried all the way home.
At least that's sort of what happened.  Granny went to the market(s) and I stayed at her home (for a little while). Then all of us had roast beef, all of us said "yum," and Granny cried all the long.
Granny had no plans of cooking pot roast, fresh green beans, or squash...She was all set to cook Enchiladas. PawPaw, on the other hand, had other plans...
So we little piggies had roast beef (I did a little silent cheer). Now I know how easy it is to make a pot roast like Granny.
All I have to do is gather the following:
3lb beef roast (tenderized)
2 table spoons of Kosher salt
¼ - ½   cup Worchestershire Sauce
1/8  green bell pepper ( more or less to taste)
1 can Campbell's French Onion Soup
1 rib of celery
Throw all of that in the crock pot and put on high for 4-5 hours, then switch it to low and let it cook overnight. The cooking time will vary depending on the roast and the crock pot.
Granny didn't add carrots and potatoes this time) but it just a matter of throwing those items in the crock pot right along with the meat.  

After several hours of cooking.  The meat was thoroughly cooked and tender.  Granny made some sort of  gravy for it by mixing about 1/4 cup flour, black pepper and water (about a half cup).  Mix the liquid  until it becomes  liquid-y, pasty, gooey with the smooth consistency of glue. Pour the mix into the crock pot and mix it in with all the other liquids already in there.  Granny let it simmer in the crock pot for a bit longer and then we little piggies dug in.
Forgot to mention that while the beef was cooking PawPaw grabbed French dip sandwiches for him and Granny.  Granny didn't want the AuJus that accompanied her sandwich so she just added it to the crock pot too.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

D-Day Taco Soup

It's a rare opportunity that I get to teach Granny how to cook, but that's just what [almost] happened today.
I called Granny this afternoon. She was organizing her battle plans, in other words, deciding what to cook for dinner.
Me, being unaware of the surprise attack Granny was planning told her about a recipe a few of my friends told me about:
It's the easiest meal ever invented!
 It involves opening the following cans:
Black beans (or any other type of bean), rinsed & drained
Diced tomatoes with chiles (I use Rotel)
Then tear open the following packages:
Hidden Valley Ranch dips mix
McCormick Taco Seasoning
Finally, brown a pound or so of ground beef (or turkey, or chicken...)

Throw all of that in a pot (stove top or crock pot) and consider the battle a victory.
We added cheese and sour cream to ours.
But wait!
Just when I thought I had won the battle Granny invaded the soup.
She bombarded the soup with an extra can before I even knew what was happening!
Ounces of 98% Fat Free Chicken Broth were being poured in from above.
On this 6th day of June, Taco Soup would be forever changed.

The Taco Soup ambush Granny coordinated was genius!
The opposing forces (my mom, aunt and I) surrendered and became POWs (Partakers Of Wonderful soup) without being asked.
So as it turns out Granny won the battle.
And I will now add a can of 98% fat free chicken broth to my soup henceforth and forever more to commemorate this D-day Taco Soup.