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MID-ATLANTIC WEATHER WATCH FOR DECEMBER

Fair and cool(1,2,3,4)turning colder, lake-effect snow (5,6,7); fair and cold again (8,9,10,11,12,13) with some light snow (14,15) turning fair and cold again (16,17,18,19) with more light snow (20,21). Fair and cold yet again (22,23,24,25,26,27), with still more light snow (28,29); fair, very cold (30,31). and colder .   

MONTHLY GARDEN ACTIVITIES


BEST DAYS FOR FARM ACTIVITIES 

                                                       


JOHN GRUBER'S THOUGHT FOR TODAY'S 

LIVING  

"It’s not the size nor the cost of the gift that makes it meaningful, but the thought that goes into its selection”                                                                                                                                                                                       John Gruber  (1768-1857) 

COOKING & RECIPES

W

orking with basic ingredients, Early Americans were quite adept at creating  very simple yet  extremely satisfying meals. Here are some common elements of a colonial dinner from beginning to end!

     Start the meal with the ‘basic-of-basic’ dishes in early America.  Note that the meat shouldn’t be limited to beef but could be chicken, turkey, or pork. 

COLONIAL STEW

Ingredients:
1 lb. beef
6 carrots
2 potatoes
5 celery stalks
1 cup of peas
1 cup of beans
1 cup of corn
10 tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
5 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups water

Preparation:
Brown the meat thoroughly. Mix vegetables and seasoning in soup pot. Add vegetables and water to taste. Stir in meat, reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 1 hour.

     To go along with that hearty stew, serve these biscuits warm with plenty of butter.

COLONIAL BISCUITS

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
Dash of salt to taste
1/2 cup butter milk

Preparation:
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Add butter (still cold) cut into 4 or 5 pieces, work into flour mixture with pastry blender. Add cold milk, a little at a time, blending with a fork (use only enough milk to hold dough together). Roll dough about 1/2" thick onto a lightly floured board, cut with a small biscuit cutter. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 450°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until biscuits are lightly brown.
Makes  20. 
     

     Finish off this hearty meal with a nice dessert of gingerbread or the traditional apple pie!

COLONIAL GINGERBREAD

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 cup molasses
3⁄4 cup buttermilk
1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 egg

Preparations:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Butter and flour a 9x9x2 inch pan. Measure all ingredients into a large bowl. With mixer at low speed, beat until blended, constantly scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Increase the speed to medium and continue beating for 3 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl. Pour into pan. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

COLONIAL APPLE PIE

Ingredients:
Pastry for double crust 9 inch pie
1 cup sugar
1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
8 medium cooking apples, pared and sliced
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoon water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon butter

Preparation:
Line a 9 inch pie pan with half of the pastry. Combine sugar and juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add apple slices; cook slowly uncovered until fruit is tender. Lift apples out carefully and place in pie shell. Dissolve cornstarch in water; add to syrup mixture. Cook until thick. Add salt, vanilla and butter. Pour over apples in pie shell. Roll out remaining pastry, and cut into strips about 3/4 inch wide. Place over filling; seal edges. Bake at 425 degrees for 35 minutes. Hint: Use a deep pie pan so juices don’t run over and onto the bottom of the oven.