Welcome!

Welcome! :-) Whatever brought you here today wasn't an accident, and I'm so glad you stopped by. I'm always glad to have folks drop in my kitchen for a visit and hope you'll feel right at home. We always have an ample supply of fresh lemonade, sweet tea, and a pot of coffee brewing along with a sideboard full of baked treats for you to enJOY while you're here. Relax and take your time as we visit and catch up on the latest news. Don't forget to email and let me know what's going on in your world, as well. And, come back soon!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mother's Day Remembrances


Peony -- My Favorite Spring Flower (reminds me of my mama)

Happy Mother's Day to all moms, grandmoms, future moms, want-to-be-moms, moms-of-pets (I have 4 cats; two of my sisters have their special dogs!), and so on. Whether you have children or not, you may have a mother, grandmother, sister, or a special friend who has "been like a mom" to you that you can remember this month. Be sure to express your love and appreciation to them for their influence on your life. (Note: If you'd like to read about the history of Mother's Day, you can do so here: http://www.mothersdaycelebration.com/mothers-day-history.html .)

My daughter made me my first Mother's Day lunch when she was seven years old. I don't know if you can read what she wrote on my handmade invitation (photographed below), but I framed it and have it hanging in my kitchen now. In case you can't read it, here's what she wrote:
lunch at
Kenda's
cookin
Free
For Mothr's
Day! Lunches
To Pat Rains
Kenda, age 7



When the kids were young, I never liked to eat at a restaurant on Mother's Day (and still don't), because they are always so crowded. Instead, we would prepare a picnic basket (or order out at KFC or a drive-thru window) and either go to the park or take a quilt and walk to the property where our house is now built. Outdoor picnics with the family were so much more fun than trying to find a table in a crowded restaurant. We usually ended our meal with a game of Frisbee or by taking a hike in the woods. We have a couple of old oak trees on the east side of our house that the kids used to enjoy climbing after (and sometimes during) our picnics.

Today, I want to demonstrate how to make one of my favorite "take-out" foods that looks complicated, but is really easy and yummy. From a make-ahead brunch to a picnic in the park, your mom will have a wonderful time if you prepare this beautiful meal for her. It's pretty wrapped and placed in a picnic basket, or presented on a delicate platter and served indoors.

Let's get started!
Lorna's Yummy, Yummy Reuben Loaf

Before I get going too far into ingredients, I need to say that this recipe was given to me several years ago by a dear friend, Lorna Strong, who is not only a great cook, but also, one of the BEST mothers on this planet. Happy Mother's Day, Lorna! You are LOVED!
Ok, now, let's get all our stuff and start cookin'!
Don't forget to check out the complete recipe on page 66 of "A Pinch of This... A Smidgen of That" cookbook, or if you don't have the cookbook yet, you can go to the end of this post, copy and paste it to your browser, and print it or save it in your recipe file. EnJOY!!


(see list of ingredients in recipe below)
Set aside 1 cup flour. Mix remaining flour, sugar, salt and yeast.

Stir in hot water (not too hot--about like a baby's bath water) and MELTED butter. (Mine isn't melted in the photo, but I promise, I did melt it before I added it to the flour mixture.)

(Just pretend the butter is melted, okay? :-)


Mix in only enough reserved flour to make dough soft. Knead 4 minutes (no cheating!).

Knead 4 minutes (no cheating!). I just do this inside the bottom of the bowl. I know some of you would take it out to the counter top, and that's okay. I'm just lazy.

and we knead.... (for 4 minutes!)... gets out all the frustrations of the day!

Now, comes the FUN part :-). No, really!! I love this part. You'll see.
On greased cookie sheet, (or on a piece of waxed paper) roll dough to 10 X 14 inches (I always, always get out my old wooden ruler and measure, and measure...). (Note: I always do this on waxed paper that I've covered with a little sprinkling of flour to keep the dough from sticking.  First, I wipe the counter clean with a damp dish cloth, then while it's still wet, I lay two pieces of paper, side-by-side, on the counter---it sticks, and I dust the top of it with flour before rolling out my dough. Works like a charm!)

Get out your dough roller, and don't forget your old wooden ruler ...

Begin by patting the dough down with your fingers and stretching it to form a rectangle (well, sort of). As you press it out more with the dough roller, you can gently tug at the corners to get it to a more rectangular shape.

And, don't forget to check the length and width (you don't really have to do this... I'm just OCD that way!) :-)

Yep, that's about 10 inches! Now, to get the other side to 14 inches.

Spread dressing down center 1/3 of dough. 

 Use your spatula to spread out the dressing so it covers the center 1/3 of the dough.

Top with layers of meat, cheese and sauerkraut.





Begin about an inch away from the filling and cut 1-inch wide diagonal strips along sides of filling out to dough edges. (It makes more sense when you see it :-).

Don't cut quite all the way to the end. Leave a little bit to tuck up over the filling on both ends.

And this is how it looks before you start to braid...

 I usually begin by tugging the dough at the end farthest from me to slightly overlap the beginning of the filling layers.



Then, alternating sides, fold strips at an angle across filling.

If you have any questions, you can always leave a "comment" or email me :-).

Now, do the same thing with the other side.

until it looks like this:

Now, when you're almost finished braiding (with one or two strips left), you will need to tug on the dough at the end just a bit and stretch it gently up over the filling before you braid the last couple of strips. Like this:

and like this:

and this...



and finally...

See, I told you this was FUN! :-)

Now, if you did like me and rolled this out on waxed paper instead of rolling it on a greased baking sheet, you'll need to transfer this pretty braided loaf of yumminess to your greased baking sheet so it can rise. I always smear a thin coat of plain Crisco (solid) down the middle of my cookie sheet.

Then, I carefully lift the Reuben Loaf off the counter and place it on the baking sheet to rise.



Cover dough. Place baking sheet over large, shallow pan, half-filled with boiling water for 15 minutes. (Or just cover it with a lint-free cloth and put it in a cozy place to rise for an hour or so,
which is what I always do.)  Rising time isn't critical on this loaf. I've even wrapped it in plastic wrap at this stage and refrigerated it overnight before letting it rise. So, you see it's fairly versatile.

Once it's risen, use a basting brush (or your fingers :-), to spread a light coating of egg white over the surface of the dough.


Sprinkle with caraway seeds.

Sprinkle seeds, as desired (I don't like too many of these.)

Bake at 400 degrees F. for 25 minutes, or until golden.

 Allow to sit 15 minutes before transferring to a platter to serve. Use a serrated knife to slice. Store uneaten portions in refrigerator; microwave to warm.


Serve with your favorite chips and dill pickle spears.



LORNA'S YUMMY, YUMMY REUBEN LOAF

INGREDIENTS:




3 1/4 c. all purpose or bread flour
1 T. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 pkg. Rapid-rise Yeast
1 c. hot water
1 T. butter or margarine
1/4 c. Thousand Island Dressing
6 oz. thinly sliced corned beef from the deli
1/4 lb. sliced Swiss cheese
1 - 8 oz. can sauerkraut, drained
1 egg white
Caraway seeds


DIRECTIONS:
Set aside 1 cup flour. Mix remaining flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Stir in hot water (not too hot--about like a baby's bath water) and butter/margarine. Mix in only enough reserved flour to make dough soft. Knead 4 minutes (no cheating!). On greased cookie sheet, (or on a piece of waxed paper) roll dough to 10 X 14 inches (I always, always get out my old wooden ruler and measure, and measure...). Spread dressing down center 1/3 of dough. Top with layers of meat, cheese and sauerkraut.

Cut 1-inch wide strips along sides of filling out to dough edges. Alternating sides, fold strips at an angle across filling. Cover dough. Place baking sheet over large, shallow pan, half-filled with boiling water for 15 minutes. (Or just cover it and put it in a cozy warm place to rise, which is what I always do.) Brush with egg white after it's risen. Sprinkle with caraway seeds.

Bake at 400 degrees F. for 25 minutes, or until golden. Allow to sit 15 minutes before using a serrated knife to slice servings. Store uneaten portions in refrigerator; microwave to warm.


6 comments:

  1. That looks absolutely yummy!

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  2. You're right, Bev! It's soooo good! Hope you'll try it and let me know how it turns out. Holler at me if you have any questions. :-)

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  3. I loved the story and the invitation. It's nice to know someone else saves that stuff because my daughter thinks it is stupid I have saved all her little scribblings.

    I also thought that the recipe tutorial was fantastic! I've never had a Reuban loaf, but it looks scrumptious!

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  4. Yep! I'm probably a "hoarder" when it comes to saving my kids' scribblings :-). They are precious to me. I'm glad to know other moms have done the same. Happy Mother's Day to you!

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  5. What a fantastic idea for a new take on a reuben sandwich. And it makes such a pretty presentation. I'd love if you'd consider sharing it in the online Get Grillin' & summer bbq event I'm hosting right now (it's entree week). http://bit.ly/jjM7Qg

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  6. Oh, I just love reubens! That look delicious!

    I love peonies, too. My peony bush in front has a lot a buds...I'm so excited!

    Thanks for stopping by my BlogFrog Community today. :) ~Ginny

    ReplyDelete