Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Time to Share

I have never shared a recipe before, though they are crowded into my mind the way grass crowds moist ground.  I love cooking, actually, and know for a fact that those who find their way to our table never leave it unsatisfied.

I thought I'd share one of our family favorites, the one always mixed and baked to perfection my brother, James.  This is, actually for the benefit of Hanna, from Honey and Jam, whose wonderful blog has a habit of making me reach for a mixing bowl, drawn by mouth-watering photos and a shared love of good, well made food.
Lemon Squares

3/4 cup butter (softened)
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Mix butter, flour, and powdered sugar, until well blended and crumbly.  If the butter is not soft you will need to cut it in.  Pat into ungreased 9x13x2 baking dish.  Bake 20 min. at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

3 eggs
3 T. flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 T. lemon juice ( freshly squeezed is best)

Mix well and pour over crust.  Bake for 20 min. at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  While still hot, dust with powdered sugar.  

Eat quickly as these are apt to disappear rapidly.

And, for Genevieve, I am sharing the recipe for the dessert we've served for Christmas dinner 3 years in a row. I don't expect we'll stop serving anytime soon.
Streusel Squash Dessert

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold butter

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold butter
1 cup chopped pecans

1 medium butternut squash (4 pounds), peeled, seeded and cubed
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cans (12 ounces each) evaporated milk
4 eggs
Whipped cream and additional cinnamon, optional

In a bowl, combine flour and sugars; cut in butter until crumbly. Press into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until edges begin to brown. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, flour and cinnamon; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in pecans; set aside. 
Place squash in a large saucepan and cover with water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Transfer to a blender or food processor; cover and process until smooth. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugars, cornstarch and seasonings. Gradually beat in 4 cups squash, milk and eggs until smooth (save any remaining squash for another use). Pour over crust. Sprinkle with topping. 
Bake at 350° for 55-65 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Garnish with whipped cream and additional cinnamon if desired. 

Yield: 15-18 servings.

I hope you all enjoy!  There is something so blessedly wonderful in cooking, and sewing, and, sometimes, even cleaning.  


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Remembering Christmas Day

Christmas Day was gentled with fellowship of friends.  They came to visit us, all the way from San Antonio, TX, the dearest of friends whose distance makes their company quite rare.  Thus, joyous was the day when they entered our house, their eyes and mouth smiling, and ours smiling with joy in return.

We ate another version of Christmas breakfast, a delightful repast.

Nothing goes so perfectly with food as laughter, nor good company to share it with....

Leonor, Nelda, and Richard

Afterwards, the preparation of Christmas dinner commenced.

Whilst we bent over our dishes in the kitchen, Richard played with Matthew and Sarah Anne.

Then the bell was rung, and we all assembled around the long table.

More joy, more talking, more smiles...

The day slipped by, filled with meditation together, worship, wonderful conversations, until we gathered around the table again, to enjoy butternut squash streusel dessert and coffee, and play a game.

And thus comes the end of our happy December.  It was one of the most unforgettable.  January has passed since, rather quietly, and February is in its fullest time.  

Farewell, dear friends.