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Virtual Xmas -- time to start cooking

The kitchen's going to be a BIG CHALLENGE at the end of the day as we
prepare all this glorious FOOD!!

Hi there!

Just thought you might like to try Ian's festive Ice-cream recipe!


This ice-cream has all the seasonal ingredients, and is a delicious,
refreshing alternative to Christmas puddings, etc.

        20 gm. candied orange peel  [see notes]
        20 gm. candied lemon peel
        20 gm. glace cherries
        30 gm. raisins
        30 gm. sultanas
        Quarter tsp. ground mixed spice
        60 ml. (4 tbsps) PX sherry  [see notes]

        3 egg yolks
        75 gm. Muscovado sugar  [see notes]
        100 gm. ordinary granulated sugar
        250 gm. chestnut puree (unsweetened)  [see notes]
        300 ml. single cream
        300 ml. double cream

Mix all the "flavouring" ingredients together about 4-5 hours before you
need to add them to the ice cream.  Stir occasionally during this time.

Put the sugars and the egg yolks in a bowl and beat hard until they go
creamy coloured and are completely combined.  Heat the chestnut puree with
the single cream until almost boiling, then pour slowly into the egg mix,
beating hard all the time.  Put the bowl over a saucepan of boiling water
and stir until the mixture starts to thicken.  Allow to cool.

Lightly whip the double cream, and fold into the cooled mix.  Add to the
ice-cream machine [see notes] and churn until almost set.  Add the
flavouring ingredients and continue churning until done.  Store in freezer
till needed.  Remove from freezer to fridge about 30 - 45 minutes before

Bon Appetit!


1.  Use the real candied peel chopped up yourself - you can find it in
Italian deli's.  Avoid the stuff sold in gooey syrup - it has little flavour.

2.  PX (=Pedro Ximenez) sherry is made from raisins.  It is intensely sweet
and tastes of raisins.  It is added to naturally dry sherries to sweeten
them for sale, but can also be bought as a liqueur wine.  If unavailable,
replace with a sweetened Madeira.

3.  Muscovado sugar is a brown, unrefined sugar and can be replaced by any
similar product.  However, some "soft brown" sugars are made by adding
molasses to refined sugar.  If you have to use such a product, increase the
amount to 100gm., decreasing the amount of refined sugar proportionately.

4.  If you are making your own chestnut puree, you will need about 350gm. of
chestnuts.  Peel them and boil in a little water till they reduce to a
puree.  Cool and seive (easier said than done!).  Alternatively use canned
unsweetened puree, but you may still have to seive it if it has lumps in.

5.  If you don't have an ice-cream machine, just shove the whole lot into
the freezer.  Get it out and beat hard as it starts to freeze round the
sides.  Do this a couple of times.  Add the flavouring at the second beating.
Many thanks and a festive yuletide to you!
Ian Black  ianblack@easynet.co.uk
Hampshire, UK  - mintemp  -8C

I forgot to mention for the party:

Home made French Onion Soup,
Tapanades of Roasted red pepper, roasted garlic, sundried tomatos, and
Kalamata olives.

The rest is store bought.

John     John Jones, jijones@ix.netcom.com
Fremont CA, USDA zone 8/9 (coastal, bay)

Too bad the refreshments also
have to be virtual, but I guess that's better for those of us who are

Anyway, my family doesn't believe it's really Christmas unless they get their
Aunt Bill's Brown Candy.  I've never been able to find out who "Aunt Bill" was
-- but the original recipe came from "Aunt Susan", who hosted a cooking show on
Oklahoma City's radio station WKY back in the forties.  The closest thing you
can find to old-fashioned "whole cream" in a modern supermarket is whipping
cream.  A brief word of warning, though.  This is traditionally a team-cooking
project.  I can make it by myself because I'm ambidextrous and still reasonably

3 pints white sugar
1 pint whole cream1/4 pound butter
1/4 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound pecan meats
Melt one pint of the sugar in a heavy iron skillet over low heat, stirring
constantly until a brown syrup is formed.
Meanwhile, place two pints of sugar and the pint of cream in a kettle and bring
it to a boil, stirring frequently.
As soon as the sugar is melted, pour it into the cream mixture very slowly,
stirring vigorously to keep it from boiling over.  Continue cooking and stirring
until the mixture forms a firm ball when dropped into cold water.
Remove from heat and add soda, stirring hard as it foams.
Add butter and stir until melted.
Set aside to cool without stirring.  (My grandmother put it out in her unheated
but enclosed back porch for about 10 minutes.  I let it cool until I can handle
the pan with my bare hands.  Modern cooks who use a candy thermometer would
probably say cool to about 120 degrees.)
Add vanilla and beat until the mixture is thick and dull looking.
Add nuts and pour into buttered pan.
Let set overnight before cutting.

The finished product has the flavor of caramel and the texture of creamy fudge.
It doesn't set up if undercooked or understirred -- but even then it makes great
ice-cream sundaes.

Merry Christmas!
Sharon McAllister

We recently had these cookies and I guarantee they are to die for. (or is
that rot for?)

                                Cranberry Date Bars

1 bag (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed)
1 package (8 ounces) chopped dates
2 tablespoons water
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter or margarine, melted

2 cups pwd. sugar               you can cut this in half as it is a large
2-3 tbsp orange juice
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a covered saucepan over low heat, simmer cranberries, dates and water
for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the cranberries have popped.
Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla and set aside. In a large bowl,
combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in butter
until well blended. Pat half into an ungreased 9 x 13 baking pan. Bake at
350 for 8 minutes. Spoon cranberry mixture over crust. Sprinkle with the
remaining oat mixture. Pat gently. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes (may need
more time) or until browned. Cool. Combine glaze ingredients: drizzle over
bars. Yield: 3 dozen

Terri Hudson


Dear friends:

I understand that you are having a cookie exchange as part of the
evening activity so I offer you this following recipe to take home with
you. It was originally given to me by one of my students a few years
ago. I have made it many times and it is one of my favorites for
munching on during a cold winter evening!!
Some of those cold nights are coming up!!... but then so is springtime!

Here is the recipe:
In a 9 inch x 9 inch square pan melt 4 tablespoons butter, mix in 1 cup
graham cracker crumbs, press into bottom of pan. On top sprinkle 1 cup
of coconut, then one cup of chocolate chips, then 1 cup of chopped
walnuts. Pour over the top of this 1 can of condensed milk.
Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes. Cool and cut into
squares for serving.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone.
Christopher Hollinshead

Mississauga, Ontario  Canada  zone6b

Desert:   Ris a L'amande
** Served with a cherry sauce **

I once received a Christmas Pudding from England but my boys would not eat
it, Pity.
Recipe for Ris a L'amande
3/4 liter Water
1/2 stick Vanille
110 G long corned Ricc ( desert rice )
2 dinner spoons of Sugar.
100 G Almonds, ( Skinned and finely Chopped, I save one to act as the six
penny in the desert )
3/4 liter whipped cream.
Scrape the Vanille stick, ( very fine ) I cheat by using liquid Vanille
which I put in before the cream.
Boil the Vanille add the Rice and cook for 50-55 minutes ( very slow ) and
allow to get  cold
Before serving add the Sugar, Almonds, whip the cream very stiff and fold
in to the cold rice.
I cheat because I use a little gelentine because I think it makes desert.


   My recipe for Stollen is from my years at Iowa State University, circa 1960

2 pkgs. dry yeast                  4-41/2 c. flour
1/2 c. water                       1 c, raisins
1/2 c. milk                        1/2 c. citron
1/2 c. sugar                       1/2 c. glace' cherries
2 eggs. beaten                     11/2 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 tsp. salt                        1/4 c. butter melted
1/4 c. butter, softened            1/4 c. sugar and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon,
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1,  Soften yeast in warm water.
2.  Scald milk and add 1/2 c. sugar and salt. Cool.
3.  Add yeast mixture, eggs and butter, stir until smooth.
4.  Add flour, nutmeg and lemon peel.  Mix thoroughly.  Do not add more than
    41/2 c. flour as it will make a very dry product.  Then add fruits.
5.  Knead until smooth and elastic;  let rise until double.
6.  Knead down.  Let rest 10 min.  Divide into two parts. Roll into 8" circles,
    brush with melted butter and cinnamon and sugar mixture. Crease in center
    and fold in half.
7.  Place on greased cookie sheets and let rise until double.
8.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 - 40 min. or until golden. Watch carefully.
    Cool and then decorate with frosting, nuts and fruits.

    Delicious cold or warm and can be toasted.

  Merry Christmas to all from snowy Sioux City, Iowa.  Lawrence and Helen Lacey

Sharon Ruck, of Texas, says:

I usually make Mexican food for the Cat skinners (folks who blade the roads
and runway with huge Cat tractors and blades) for Christmas in Ant.  They
work 6 days a week, so they do Holidays on Saturdays, so we do it Sat night.
I make Posole, which is Menudo withOUT the weird stuff.  Here is an EASY recipe:

POSOLE ala Ruck:
whatever amount of whatever kind of pork meat in the freezer, cut up
1 big white onion, cut up
2-3 big cloves of garlic (not whole head, just the individual parts)

Put these in a BIG pot and brown gently, adding some red chili powder while
it cooks.

When mostly cooked, add more chili powder and then dump in one gallon can of
Bushs' white hominy  (Bushs' has best texture and taste, TRUST ME!!!)
Fill can 3/4 full of water, and add to pot.
add cumin powder, black pepper and a pinch of salt, then add enough red
chili powder to make the broth VERY red.  Since most (HAHAHA) red chili
powder is not hot, you are adding taste, not heat.

Cook all day, over simmering temp.
Serve with cut up cilantro and limes (squeeze juice over bowl of Posole,
scatter cilanto on top).  My daughter likes with grated cheese too.

It's even better the next day, or the next.  Freezes very well, tho the
hominy will not be as crisp, goes a little soft.
I also like to make the custard in the Betty Crocker cookbook, for baked
custard.  We really like this when we aquire a dozen or so fresh eggs from a
friend with too many chickens!

All the traditions are changing constantly. When there is no need 
for them they don't appear any more. The tradition of having the 
traditional 'LUTFISK' on the Xmas table is more and more 
transformed to having salmon instead.

>LUTFISK is boiled ling previosly soaked in lye!!
Its originally stockfish (from iceland I think).
My grandpa used to buy the dry fish and soak it himself. But I buy it ready-soak
and ready to boil.

When its ready its kind of jellylike and doesnt taste much, its served with
cream sause and boiled potatoes and spiced with salt and allspice.

>Salted herring ------- just cut it up and put it into the potatoes??
no, no,

> what do you do with the salted herring before cooking, soak in water??

Expl. You can buy it from a barrel, and then you have to soak it in water,
or I use to buy previously soaked herring ready to fry. I also coat it (with egg
and breadcrumbs)  and then fry it, served with onion sauce and boiled potaoes
its really tasty.

Gunnar Andersson, in Sweden


The End
Carolyn Schaffner in Buffalo, NY

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