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As so many of us are trying to come up with different things to make for meals these days, it is fun to go back to what our moms and grandmas used to make. They always fed lots of folks each day on a reasonable budget. Here are some ideas.

RED TOMATO MOLD

"Tomato Aspic" of the 1950’s

4 cups tomato juice, divided
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery leaves 
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 small bay leaves
4 whole cloves
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp plain gelatin 

1. Combine 2 cups of the tomato juice, onion, celery leaves, sugar, salt, bay leaves and cloves. Simmer uncovered for 6 minutes. Strain.

2. Meanwhile, soften gelatin in 1 cup of remaining cold tomato juice; dissolve in hot tomato mixture.

3. Add lemon juice and remaining cup of tomato juice. Pour into a 5-cup ring mold or individual molds; chill until firm.

MOTHER-IN-LAW'S SALAD DRESSING

From Irene Wirtz, this was her Mom’s recipe.

7 tbsp white sugar 
1 tbsp mustard
2 heaping tbsp flour 
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tbsp salt 
1 egg, beaten

1. Put everything but the egg into a double boiler; mix well and cook until the mixture is very thick.

2. While hot, pour it over the beaten egg in a bowl and beat again. To make sure the egg is cooked, I pour the whole bit back into the double boiler and stir it for 2 minutes.

3. It keeps well in the fridge, covered.

Linda’s Note: This uses dry mustard and apple cider vinegar.  If you want to use another vinegar, I am sure it will be good; it will just have its own unique flavor.

ORANGE ICING

Another “old recipe”

1/3 cup shortening
3½ cups powdered sugar (sift it, if necessary)
1 tbsp grated orange rind
1/4 cup orange juice

1. Blend shortening, 1½ cups powdered sugar, and orange rind until fluffy.

2. Alternate adding orange juice with remaining powdered sugar. Blend till creamy.

HAM AND VEGETABLE SOUP

1 lb dried navy or soup beans 
1 ham bone 
4 cups or more of water
2 cups canned or fresh tomatoes (16 oz, or 1 pint home canned)
4 cups ham broth (you could probably use chicken or vegetable broth) 
1/3 cup celery leaves and or stalks, cut fine
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Leftover ham in chunks or pieces
2 sliced onions
Black pepper, if desired

1. Soak the beans overnight, drain and cook in the ham broth until tender (the broth is made by cooking the ham bone in water till flavorful; reserve 4 cups of broth for the soup).

2. Add the other vegetables, and cook them till they are soft. Remove the bone; add the parsley and pieces of leftover ham.

3. Simmer for a few minutes; then serve. It will be thick and delicious.

Linda’s Note: with today’s modern things, you can buy bouillon liquid or bouillon cubes, and make your broth with water; it is quicker that way. All you need is the ham and don’t have to have a bone. When we do have a ham bone, I make my broth and freeze in 2-cup freezer containers for use, such as in this soup. I also do it with turkey carcass, etc.

CREAMED ONION SOUP

Boil as many sliced onions as you like (say 1/2 cup per person).

While the onions are cooking make a cream sauce with:

4 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
2 cups milk

Drain the onions; when they are soft, add them to the cream sauce and put in as much milk as you need to thin the soup — or use the water in which the onions were boiled.

Simmer for a few minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with browned buttered bread cubes on top.

Serves about 4

Valentine's Day

I have a special early Valentine for you. I found a neat website that has recipe cards, both 3x5 inches and 4x6 inches, lined or unlined. You can print out the index cards yourself. Below is also an example of one of them.

I have designed and sold personalized recipe cards on Ebay for quite awhile, but these are great and easy, too.

Have fun. There are many categories of cards: nature, cooking, animals, etc. Visit www.freeprintablerecipecards.net.

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