Archive for October, 2003

Broken Glass Cake

It’s not too early to start planning for Thanksgiving. The Soup Lady believes that anticipation heightens the pleasure of the experience so I will now share with you my plans for a guaranteed traffic stopper at anybody’s family gathering: Broken Glass Cake.

brokenglasscake.jpg Yes, it’s Jello. Why is this fascinating food the object of such derision? The Soup Lady does not brook any sort of nonsense when it comes to gelatin deserts so don’t even start. Look at it. Who could resist this this? They all come around to admire it like moths to a flame. And, as you know by now, the visual spectacle is worth almost as much as the taste of it, especially in mob scenes such as Thanskgiving. Who among us would not relish the idea of being the agent behind an edible spectacle? It’s what the youngsters used to call a rush, and it’s a feeling not soon forgotten, my friends.

This one is Straight out of that indipsensable tome, the Joys of Jell-O Recipe Book, by General Foods Corp:

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1 package (3 oz.) each Jell-O Orange, Cherry, and Lime Gelatins
4 cups boiling water
1½ cups cold water
1 package (3 oz.) Jell-O Lemon Gelatin
¼ cup sugar
½ cup pineapple juice
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs*
1/3 cup melted butter or margarine*
2 envelopes Dream Whip Whipped Topping Mix or 2 cups whipping cream
*Or use 16 to 18 ladyfingers, split, to line pan instead of crumb-butter mixture.

Prepare the three flavors of gelatin separately, using 1 cup boiling water and ½ cup cold water for each. Pour each flavour into an 8-inch square pan. Chill until firm, or overnight.

Then combine the lemon gelatin, sugar, and remaining 1 cup boiling water; stir until gelatin and sugar are dissolved. Stir in pineapple juice. Chill until slightly thickened. Meanwhile, mix the crumbs and melted buter; press into bottom of 9-inch spring-form pan.

Cut the firm gelatins into ½-inch cubes. Then prepare whipped topping mix as directed on package or whip the cream; blend with lemon gelatin. Fold in gelatin cubes. Pour into pan. Chill at least 5 hours, or overnight. Run knife or spatula between sides of dessert and pan, and remove sides of pan before servig.

Makes 16 servings.

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Now you know that the Soup Lady prefers the version made with the lady fingers, don’t you? I think you could have made easy money betting on that one. Although this year, I am greatly tempted to mold the whole thing and surround it by grapes on a footed hammered aluminum server. Now tell me you wouldn’t stop to gaze upon that.

That’s what I thought.

Crown Jewel Mold: Prepare Crown Jewel Dessert, omitting crumb mixture and pouring mixture into a 3-quart mold or 9-inch spring-form pan.

Crown Jewel Pie: Prepare Crown Jewel Dessert, pouring mixture into 2 ladyfinger- or crumb-lined 9-inch pie pans. (To line pie pans with ladyfingers, use about 18 ladyfingers, split. Line the bottoms of the pans; then cut remaining ladyfingers in half crosswise and line the sides of the pans.)

Crown Jewel Cheese Dessert: Prepare Crown Jewel Dessert, substituting 2 packages (3 oz. each) cream cheese, beaten with ¼ cup milk until fluffy, for the whipped topping.

Note: Other Jell-O Gelatin fruit flavours may be used instead of those suggested in recipe, forming any combination of colors desired. For instance, make all the cubes of Jell-O Black Raspberry or Lime Gelatin and substitute Jell-O Strawberry Gelatin for the Lemon gelatin.
from The Joys Of Jell-O Recipe Book

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Wild Rice & Mushroom Soup

Humankind is that much poorer these days as the Soup lady has discovered that Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Grill in King of Prussia Pa. has closed up shop. It was not exactly a mecca for gourmet diners, but it did have a lovely White Bean Chicken Chili on the menu that always pleased me.

StarBowlmedjpg.jpg No, the reason that the Soup Lady is in distress is that they had those lovely Homer Laughlin Star Soup plates there. At one time, I tried to purchase them from the manager and he rebuffed me. Hard to accept, but I boldly forged ahead and contacted their commercial restaurant supplier to see if I could purchase a small quantity retail. The answer was again no and I have been pining for these bowls ever since.

So now the place is closed up and where are those dishes? Are they locked inside and gathering dust? Were they sold at auction? Why was I not informed? I would have gone there to bid on them. Have they been shuttled off to other Dick Clark’s, if indeed the chain survived? Where are they? Where are they?

Nevertheless, the Soup Lady must put aside bitter disappointment for the good of soup lovers everywhere. Now that proper soup weather has returned here in the Northeast, let’s get back to business and get started again with a surefire winner:

Wild Rice & Mushroom Soup
Cook ½ cup wild rice according to package directions. Set aside.

In a soup pot, over medium-high heat, melt 3 Tablespoons butter. Add 1 celery stalk, cleaned and finely chopped, 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped, 1/3 pound porcini mushrooms, chopped and 1/3 pound button mushrooms, finely chopped. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, until the vegetables are very soft.

Add the cooked rice, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 4 cups vegetable broth, 2 Tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped and freshly ground black pepper. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 20 – 30 minutes.

Add ½ cup heavy cream, and taste for additional seasoning.

Preparation Time:15 minutes / Cooking Time: 45 – 55 minutes
Serves: 6
recipe found at the fabulous (but very light on soup recipes) Break Eggs where they recommend using sliced shiitake mushrooms. The Soup Lady prefers chopped porcinis in this soup.

Imagine how nice this soup would look in a star soup bowl. Boohoo.

star bowl.jpg

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