Archive for May, 2003

Faithful Soup correspondant Harsh Betty should seriously consider changing her name to Harsh Betty Crocker – seems that cooking is in her blood. Here she shares with us some of her family history:

Dear Soup Lady,
I was looking for my dad’s recipe for Beans and Rice when I found a bunch of recipes my grandfather developed while he was working in a restaurant during the Depression. He was a chemist, and this represented quite a step down for him, but work was work. Besides, what is cooking but chemistry?
Harsh Betty

By the spring of 1936, the Sunny Farms Restaurant food and service had “gone down hill”, so about May, 1936, owner Jim Turnbull hired Denton J. Smith, Jr. (Denny) to take over as manager of Turnbull’s Sunny Farms Restaurant and Dairy Bar in Greenfield, Massachusetts. Jim Turnbull asked Denny to make Sunny Farms a first class operation.

One thing that Denny did immediately was to hire an unemployed Chemical Engineer, Bill Minnick, husband of his sister, Barbara Smith Minnick to develop unique and delicious new recipes for the restaurant. Several recipes Bill developed during May and June of ’36 that have survived include the Roast Beef BAR-B-Q recipes: this pair of recipes includes the beef “Basting Liquid” which was “mopped” onto the surface of the beef toward the end of the roasting, and a separate, unique BAR-B-Q sauce which was spread onto the sliced beef in the BAR-B-Q sandwich. Bill also developed the uniquerecipe for Hot Fudge Sauce for ice cream Sundaes which was used exclusively thereafter at Sunny Farms.

Turnbull’s Famous BAR-B-Q ROAST BEEF
Developed by Wm J. Minnick, May-June 1936

Part 1: Basting Liquid (for Beef Roasting process)
2 ½ lbs. butter
2 qts. apple (cider) vinegar
1 pt. water
1 tsp. dry mustard
½ cup minced onion
1 bottle Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins)
1 pt. chili sauce
1 pt. tomato catsup
2 juice of 2 lemons
½ lemon whole (seeded)
3 cloves garlic chopped fine and tied in a bag
2 tsp. sugar

Mix altogether; cook to season well. Baste meat with mop. Apply Wen meat is ¾ done. Keep (basting liquid) hot..

Part 2: Barbecue Sauce (spread on Roast Beef Sandwiches)
½ cup apple (cider) vinegar
2 tsp. (level) French’s Mustard
Dash Tobasco Sauce
Dash Lea & Perrins (Worcestershire) Sauce
2 cups tomato juice
2 oz butter
(Dash) salt

Stew a clove of garlic in tomato juice before adding juice to mixture.

Thanks, Betty, for generously sharing this recipe. Betty herself is a vegetarian but she does not begrudge those who partake of the cow every now and then.


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Have you ever eaten something in a restaurant and wished you could make the same thing at home? The Soup Lady is not shy about this: first you ask for the chef, complement the daylights out of him and then ask for his recipe. This maneuver almost always succeeds but most times it results in portion sizes suitable for the entire cast of Sergeant Bilko and Gomer Pyle put together.

In this recipe, an original creation developed by Harsh Betty’s grandfather, he has done us all the kindness of listing the ingredients for both restauarant and home preparation.

Turnbull’s Delicious Hot Fudge Sauce
Developed by Wm J. Minnick, May-June 1936

Boil slowly for ½ hour or until slightly thickened or as desired:

24 cups sugar
8 cupscocoa (high quality Dutch)
2 cups flour
½ tsp. salt
6 cups corn syrup
16 cups water

2 cups sugar
8 cups ¾ cup cocoa (high quality Dutch)
2 cups 2 tbsp. flour
½ tsp. pinch salt
6 cups ½ cup corn syrup
16 cups 1½ cup water

Remove from heat and add:
4 tbsp. (batch) 1 tsp. vanilla (home)

Make this now and then go out and find something to pour it over.

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That dedicated vegetarian, seasoned globe-trotter and self-confessed Hawaii-lover, Harsh Betty has made many proud references to her original recipe for spicy beans. The Soup Lady could not resist her overwhelming curiosity any longer and begged for the recipe to share with the world. Harsh Betty writes:

Dear Soup Lady,
This is my own original version. You can do this in the oven if you don’t have a pressure cooker, although it takes longer. Saute your onions and garlic and rice, transfer to an ovenproof dish, add everything else, cover, and bake at 350 for about an hour. Keep an eye on it and stir occasionally. There’s probably a way to do this in a crock pot, too, but I haven’t tried that yet.

If you prefer to use canned beans (and I’m not responsible for your flatulence if you do), you can omit the soaked dried beans from the original recipe; just cook the rice with the onion, garlic and seasonings, then dump in your slightly-but-not-entirely drained can of beans at the very end and stir.

Harsh Betty’s Cuban Beans & Rice
– a goodly dash of olive oil, or canola or sesame or heck, melt some lard ifyou like, I’m not going to stop you
– one medium-sized onion, any color, peeled and chopped
– two cloves garlic, peeled and minced
– one cup brown rice (you can also use white; add a little less water andreduce the cooking time a little if you do, but brown is healthier, and your colon will thank you!)
– optional: one healthy piece of kombu or wakame or both
– 2.5 cups of water
– 1 tsp cumin
– 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
– 1 tsp salt (reduce if adding seaweed)
– 1/4 tsp black pepper
– 1 cup soaked, drained dry adzuki beans, or black beans, for the less
adventurous (soak overnight, or at least four hours)

In a pressure cooker, heat the oil (or melt the lard), add onion and garlic, and saute for a few minutes, until the onion begins to become translucent. Add the rice and continue to saute for a few more minutes, until the rice is just beginning to look golden-brown.

Pour in the water, add the seaweed if you like (it reduces froth as the rice cooks, and reduces gas in the beans, and adds minerals), then the seasonings and beans. Put the lid on your pressure cooker, bring it to the first ring (this is the only kind of pressure cooker I’ve worked with, so I’m not sure if the ring system is a common unit of measurement, but keep it at the lower pressure setting, however your machine chooses to express that) and keep it there for about 30 minutes. Allow it to depressurize naturally, by turning the heat off.

Remove the lid, stir and enjoy. This is especially wonderful with shredded cheese (soy cheese works fine, for you purists), and/or on a tortilla, and/or slathered with sour cream, salsa, guacamole and so forth.
Visit Betty at Harsh Betty’s Party Favors. The Soup Lady especially enjoys the posts about Betty’s work as an actress for the local police academy. Her portrayals of victims of various crimes help the police recruits prepare for situations they might encounter and she gives them a good run for their money. I think more of us should look for opportunities to render blood-curdling screams. Daily life would be a much less stressfilled event. Unless you are a student at the police academy.

By the way, the Soup Lady admires those individuals who can actually limit themselves to 1/4 teaspoon when adding ingredients. I have no such restraint and I basically do not belive that 1/4 teaspoon of anything can make much of a differrence, so I personally measure by the palmful.

Do what you want.

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Among the experiences the Soup Lady wishes to have before she shuffles off this mortal coil is to have a turducken.

Now it seems pretty unlikely that I will ever make one myself and judging from the preparation time alone, one would have to guess that this would not be a reasonably priced thing to order in a restaurant. But I do like the idea of food stuffed with food that is stuffed with food and so I have invented the slavic version: Pierpobage.

Oh yes – pierpobage. A pierogi stuffed with mashed potatoes that have been molded around sauted cabbage.

Is it not wonderful?

Imagine the excitement as you arrive in the dining room carrying a covered silver dish and announce to your guests that you have toiled long hours over the highly prized yet rarely seen Pierpobage! Oh my dears, I can actually hear the gasps of astonished delight. Well now, yes – it is the traditional Polish peirogi with potato and cabbage stuffing, but doesn’t it sound so much less pedestrian by employing a colorful name?

Maybe this idea needs to be slightly more developed.

How about Pancheeries (pancake rolls filled with ricotta cheese and berries)? No? Well then – chilhotburgs (hot dogs with chili and ground beef sauce)? Don’t tell me you’ve had them – I just invented them.

Maybe this isn’t going to be as easy as I thought it would be. Hold on – I just had one more idea: Hamchickchee – boneless chicken breasts with a thin slice of ham and cheese rolled up with it , then the whole thing gets breaded and fried.

Yes, that’s it – hamchickchee. If you see this around anywhere, remember that I invented it.

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Rose Petal Recipes

The Soup Lady belives that one should make a fuss over your mother whenever you can, but this is especially important for Mother’s Day. The routine around here is a day off for Mother – no cooking, no cleaning, just a day of relaxation and pampering. Usually the tribute to Mother is well-intentioned but uninspired and more often then not erupts into a wild frenzy of toast and scrambled egg making. This year, why not prepare the most romantic and girly thing you can imagine – rose petal food.

No joke. Here are several levels of involvement to chose from, depending on the amount of effort you usually expend on this holiday FOR THE ONLY MOTHER YOU WILL EVER HAVE. You may have to read these recipes more than once to wrap your brain around the idea of it, but once get used to it, it seems like a perfectly lovely and altogether reasonable thing to do.

A Mother’s Day Rose Petal Brunch
Rose Petal Fruit Salad
Rose Petal Omelette
Coeur La Creme with Rose Petals
Rose Petal Drink
Rose Petal Pound Cake with Rose Petal Syrup

A Mother’s Day Rose Petal Tea
Rose Petal Sandwiches
Rose Petal Drop Scones
Rose Petal Cookies
Rose Petal Tea
Rose Petal Sugar & Rose Petal Butter
Rose Petal Jelly

A Mother’s Day Rose Petal Supper
Chilled Pear and Rose Petal Soup
Salad with Rose Petal Dressing
Linguine and Rose Petal Pesto
Grilled Chicken with Rose Petal Mango Sauce
Rose Petal Jam Tarts

Additional Mother’s Day Rose Petal Treats
Green Tea and Rose Petal Popsicles
Rose Petal Ice Cream
Rose Petal Wine
Rose Petal Ice Cubes

*Most important in all of these recipes is the the flowers must be totally organic – no pesticides! Roses that have been sprayed with chemicals are not suitable for food use.

The Soup Lady takes no responsibilty for any ill effects caused by the ingestion of excessive amounts of rose petals. In fact, if you are reluctant to serve your mother rose petals as food, why not try these methods of offering rose petals to your mother?

Rose Petal Potpourri
Rose Petal Facial Steam
Rose Petal Soap
and the ever popular Rose Petal Rosary Beads

And so the Soup Lady wishes a Happy Mother’s Day to you and your mothers. What’s that you say? Which of these delightful offerings will the Soup Lady be producing next week? Why, …none. I will be busy hanging over the business end of a pair of dice in Las Vegas and will have to enlist the aid of QVC to salute my own dear mother from afar.

All rose petal recipes can be found here …


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