Homage To Abe Lincoln, New Doty Land Podcast Is ‘Live’

A new episode of my podcast Doty Land is ‘Live”!

Indiana Confederate Civil War reenactor Mary Beeman takes us back in time, alerting listeners as to why living history is not only a remarkable way to explore the past but great for family fun, too. Host Gregory Humphrey underscores President Lincoln’s character as the Republican nominee casts his 1860 ballot in Springfield. Plus, a-not-to-miss book about Abe, as recommended by a modern-day president. With lively music and historical tidbits, we head back to the Civil war era while paying homage to Abe Lincoln.

Podcast Photo Doty Land


Cake Recipe From 1916 Shows How To Ration For War Effort

Last week James and I stopped at the interesting WWI and Influenza Pandemic 1918 exhibit at Ebling Library.  One of the topics covered was how the food was skrimped and saved on the home front so to prioritize for the war effort taking place in Europe.

One of the ways to demonstrate that was with the following cake recipe.  It had to be something just short of dreadful.

1916 Recipe for Cake (002)


Trivia: Food Recipe And “E Pluribus Unum”

This Thanksgiving weekend I ran across a column by Adam Gopnik, who was on NPR this past week regarding his new book about food culture.  In the article Gopnik discussed Ben Franklin’s desire to see the turkey as the national bird instead of the eagle which he described as “a bird of bad moral character”.  That is not new information, but the following was–at least to me–perhaps to my readers too.

The national-bird question was not, in those symbol-building days of the  eighteenth century, the only instance in which issues of food touched on issues  of freedom. The phrase that Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson chose for  the motto on the national seal, “E Pluribus Unum”—one out of many—was familiar  to the founders from a popular British magazine of the day, but it likely  derived from a recipe found in a once famous poem often attributed to Virgil, “Moretum.” The poem describes a farmer making something rather like pesto: he  pestles together cheese and garlic and herbs and oil, and sees that, though the  whole is something quite new, each little green or cheesy bit doesn’t completely  blend in but keeps its own character. Out of many, one—without betraying the  many.

Love to read and discover these types of nuggets.

Letter From Home: 5/31/11 Recipe For Heavenly Orange Fluff

Spring seemed never to make an appearance in Madison for more than a fleeting day here and there over the past weeks.  The weather was too cool, the skies more clouds than sun, and the spirits of people were always dampened.  The flowers seemed to take it all in srtide with blooms lasting longer than the average spring.  But I could tell on some mornings the birds were not at all sure this was the best place to nest for the year.

Then Memorial Day came with temperatures soaring into the mid to upper eighties.  The sun lifted moods as people turned to cookouts and foods that were more suited to summer-like weather.

As such we turned to an old favorite salad recipe from my mom’s kitchen that is light and refreshing when the humidity is high. Better yet, it is easy to make and serve.  Several years back this recipe came to James from my mom.

Folks will think you put lots of effort into the salad, when in truth it almost makes itself.  Still, I need to thank James for the work he always does to make it look easy.

The results are incredible.

Heavenly Orange Fluff

Make the day before serving in a large glass cake pan…

2 pkg. orange gelatin (3 oz. each)

2 cups boiling water

1 small can of frozen orange juice (thawed)

2 (6 oz) cans of mandarin oranges, drained

1 large can of crushed pineapple (not drained)

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water and add frozen juice, undiluted.

Add orange sections and pineapple and studd well.

When set, cover with lemon topping:

1 cup milk

1 pkg instant lemon pudding

1 cup (half pint) whipping cream

Add milk to the pudding and meat until thick.

Whip cream and fold in to pudding.

Put on top of set jell-o mixture.

A Fall Pumpkin Soup Recipe From Our Home To Yours

A guest chef does my blog today.  But first a quick introduction.

Today was the final outdoor Dane County Farmers’ Market of the season.  Sunshine galore, but chilly winds made me think of hot soup. 

It is that time of year when hearty foods again appear so tantalizing as the seasons change.   One recipe that continues to provide fantastic aromas in the kitchen, plenty of carbs for energy, and loads of flavor when freshly made or placed in the freezer, is the soup that James makes many times every year. Give it a try…..you will be in love.

Now lets head to the kitchen.


Savory Pumpkin Soup
From the Kitchen of James

I visited Naples, Italy in 1996 and came home ready to recreate several of the dishes that I had tasted there.  This is a hearty Italian soup that is great for any time of year.  It is full of vitamins and minerals, great for building healthy hearts and bones-pumpkin is low calorie, excellent source of beta-carotene and zinc for a healthy immune system and youthful glow.  It only takes about an hour (maybe ninety minutes) to make, roughly 30 minutes on each of two days.  This soup is well-worth the effort!

Going Shopping:

*2 pounds Mild Italian Sausage meat:  (You can buy it in the casing as links or without the casing these days.  Often, the meat in casings is ground more finely and tends to be more tender in the soup, but you do have to cut the casing and remove the meat first, adding an extra step.  To be honest, I generally avoid the step and buy the meat without the casing-just let it gently simmer instead of boiling and it will be just fine!)

*3 large Apples:  Select a nice apple that holds its texture after cooking.  I like a nice Granny Smith apple, but a Gala, Braeburn, or Cortland would also be nice.  A Macintosh will fall apart and is not the most flavorful.

*2 quarts Soup Stock:  You can buy in cans now a vegetable stock or chicken stock which are very good.  Some versions are even low sodium (good for the heart healthy).  Or, you can cheat and use a couple of bouillon cubes of your choice.

Preparation Day One:
Soup Base Ingredients:
2 pounds Mild Italian Sausage Meat
2 Quarts soup stock

*Warm the 2 quarts of soup stock over medium high heat.
*Add to the stock as it heats, the mild Italian sausage meat bit by bit (taking the raw meat, chunk it up in little bite sized pieces by hand, dropping the pieces in the water as you go; this will prevent it from sticking together and making a patty at the bottom).
*Stir occasionally; simmer gently and avoid a rolling boil, which will just make the meat tough, for about 15 minutes (start timing after the last chunk of meat is in the water) or until the meat is cooked thoroughly.
*Let cool in the refrigerator over night.  

Preparation Day Two:
Remaining Ingredients:
2 large or 3 medium Apples, peeled, cored, chopped
3 large Carrots, chopped
2 stalks Celery, chopped finely (even better with some celery leaves)
1 pie-sized Pumpkin
Chopped fresh flat leaf parsley or cilantro, to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

*Begin by removing the meat and soup stock combination from the refrigerator.  With a spoon, scoop out the layer of rendered pork fat that has congealed on the top.  You will be left with the start to a great soup and there will be very little saturated fat in it.
*Reheat in stock pot over medium high heat this soup base.
*Peel, core and chop the apples; peel carrots and chop; wash and chop celery stalks.  Add to soup base.
*Cut open pumpkin; remove seeds (can be toasted in oven by themselves for yummy snack); peel pumpkin and cut into small bite-sized bits.  Add to soup base.
*Add water if necessary-soup should be liquid, and not so thick as a stew.
*Simmer for about 15 minutes or until carrots and pumpkin pieces are no longer hard-the pumpkin will fall apart a bit when pricked with a fork, while the carrots will remain more consistent.
*Add salt and pepper to taste; garnish with some freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro.
*Serve piping hot and enjoy!

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Sunday Echoes: Julia Child Makes An Omelet

When the public television station came to Wausau in the 1970’s, and therefore PBS was able to be seen at our  home in Waushara County, one  of the first shows that I watched and loved were the ones with Julia Child cooking.  But as we all know it was more than just cooking when Julia took to the kitchen.  She performed with pots and pans and her ingredients while talking endlessly with such ease and commonness that even a teenager could be lulled into her broadcasts.  She had the knack to make even shows about omelets interesting and fun-filled television.

Leek Soup Or Pumpkin Soup? (Recipes Included)

Today I joked that I felt like a scullery maid.   Tonight we have some friends over for dinner, and with both meat eaters and vegetarians it makes for more complicated cooking.  In addition, with  fall weather here and the chilly nights that they bring it is important to make the right type of hearty foods for everyone’s enjoyment.  So when planning tonight’s dinner James and I thought of two of our favorites soups that will also meet the appetites of those joining us tonight.    First up we will serve leek soup or pumpkin soup.  Both of these recipes have been placed on this blog in the past, and I know you will love them.  I urge you to give them a try.  We also are making ham roll-ups  and for the non-meat eaters drunken raisin and pecan rolls.  Both will be served with bechamel sauce.  (In the weeks to come I think I will place those recipes on this blog.)  While I know how to cook, and enjoy the work, it is James that creates the magic in the kitchen that makes food a meal, and eating an experience.  Today I was more the chopper and cleaner.   I was the 2009 male version of the scullery maid.  I am finally glad to just have a title!

To say that after all the preparation today there were a few dishes to wash, would be like saying there were just a few chads on the floor as the Florida votes were counted in 2000.  I think the dishwasher is on its third load…..and dinner is still three hours away.   The dicing, cooking, cleaning is all worth it of course after the whole meal is assembled and folks are gathered.  But I must say even at the height of ‘everything at once’ happening in our kitchen it still looked easier than our neighbor on top of a very steep multi-leveled roof doing work that is required before new shingles are added later this season.  I smiled a few times thinking how my mom cooked in a more ‘linear’ fashion, completing one huge part of the meal before engaging in another.  She would have smiled at the sight today and poked dad and I can see her face as she says “just look at how they are doing that”.

Beat Winter Blues In Wisconsin With Eggs Florentine Recipe

With another winter weekend here in Madison there is really only one way to cope.  That is to eat lots of cheese and diary products all combined in a marvelous blend that is sure to make your home warm and wonderfully scented as it bakes in the oven.  Served with a salad and a view outside to look at the wintery white seems like a perfect way to spend some time.  Our friend Henry Dudek made this for friends, and it never failed to delight.  He even liked the recipe so much he posted about it on his blog several years ago.

I attended a brunch yesterday where our hostess made a fine egg dish with lots of dairy in it. Usually I would just publish my own recipes, but this one is too good not to share. Note: Our hostess used Swiss chard instead of spinach, a substitution which I suspect is tastier. Maybe it should then be called Eggs Geneva.

Mix 8 eggs, 12 oz cottage cheese, 8 Tbs melted butter, 8 oz softened cream cheese, 8 oz sour cream, & 2 Tbs flour. Fold 1 cup of chopped fresh spinach & 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese into the egg mixture. Pour into a greased 13×9 glass baking dish. Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.