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Enjoy Mother's Day with Mom's Recipes

Kitchen Ade

Posted: May 9, 2012 - 9:34am
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Bluffton’s Caroline Kennedy was the winner of Jessica Bemis Ward’s “Food to Die For: A Book of Funeral Food, Tips and Tales,” a gift from Lynchburg, Virginia’s Old City Cemetery (www.gravegarden.org), for her submission of easy to prepare funeral foods, such as Carrot-Raisin Salad, upper right. Also earning high marks for its high comfort factor and taste, was “Alice Ward’s Apple Pie,” lower left, a Ward family “passed on” recipe favorite named for Hilton Head Islander Charlotte Ward’s mother-in-law, the late Alice Ward. And, when time is short, don’t discount the usefulness of quality boxed mixes for making nearly homemade baked items such as cranberry scones, lower right.

When readers of Bluffton Today were asked for favorite recipes from someone who had "passed on" for a chance to win a copy of Jessica Bemis Ward's "Food to Die For: A Book of Funeral Food, Tips and Tales," we were delighted that two of the area's best cooks -- Bluffton's Caroline Kennedy and Hilton Head Island's Charlotte Ward -- wanted to participate. Not only do we recognize these women as being very accomplished cooks (and frequent contributors of recipes to this column), but so do we applaud them for their creation of family cookbooks -- Kennedy for "Recipes from a Mother's Heart" (written in loving memory of her mother Iris Iona Sullivan Bain) and Ward for "Our Family Cookbook: 50 Years of Recipes Gathered from Sources Far Wide," volumes one through three. Fully cognizant of the power of a recipe to connect the living with loved ones who have passed, Kennedy, who was the winner of "Food to Die For,"  offers up  recipes for salads, while Ward  gives us apple pie -- a passed on recipe given to her by her  mother-in-law -- the late Alice Ward. Writes Ward, "There are apple pies. There are apple pies. And then, there is Alice Ward's apple pie." Preparing familiar foods, such as these, for a family mourning the loss of a loved one is a kindhearted expression of sympathy that can bring comfort like nothing else can. Kennedy's mother surely understood that kind of compassion, as do Iris' granddaughters Julie Wallace and Jenny Wallace Noel, who called their grandmother "Meme." Among the things their Meme taught them, wrote Kennedy in "Recipes from a Mother's Heart," was "that simple acts of kindness speak louder than grand gestures." Like beloved recipes, valuable tidbits of wisdom, such as this, are powerful bonds between our past and our present, not only on days like Mother's Day, but also on all the days in between. Treasure them, document them and, for all time, be sure to pass them on.

Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at kitchenade@yahoo.com.

Ham and Pasta Salad

Recipe courtesy: Caroline Kennedy, Bluffton
"Can be enjoyed as a light lunch or supper entree." -- Caroline Kennedy

1 1/2 cups dry pasta spirals
4 cups (1 pound) cubed cooked ham
1 1/2 cups small broccoli florets, uncooked
1/4 cup slivered red onion
1 1/4 cups Clear French Dressing (recipe follows)
1 cup cherry tomato halves, drained
 
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain well. Transfer to large bowl. Add ham, broccoli and onion. Add dressing and toss slightly to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Garnish with tomatoes to serve. Yield: 8 serving.

Clear French Dressing
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup white vinegar
 
In small bowl, whisk together sugar, mustard and salt until well blended. Add oil, a small amount at a time, whisking constantly. Add vinegar, a small amount at a time, again whisking constantly. Yield: 2 cups.

Carrot-Raisin Salad
Recipe courtesy Caroline Kennedy, Bluffton
"This simple, sensational salad is an all-time favorite for grieving families." -- Caroline Kennedy
 
2 pounds carrots, peeled and trimmed
1 cup raisins*
1 cup canned crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup mayonnaise (Hellmann's)
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
Salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, if desired
 
Shred carrots using large holes of grater. In large bowl, combine carrots, raisins and pineapple.
In small bowl, mix mayonnaise and sugar until well blended. Pour over carrot mixture and toss lightly to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Yield: 8 servings. *Cook's Note: To plump raisins, soak in water several hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Drain well before using.

Funeral Food Tip
Here's a particularly good funeral food tip from Caroline Kennedy regarding beverages:
"Drinks are often forgotten. Add gallons of sweet and unsweet tea, juices, soft drinks, jugs of drinking water and bags of ice in a Styrofoam cooler."

Alice Ward’s Apple Pie

Submitted by Charlotte Ward, Hilton Head Island
“There are apple pies. There are apple pies. And then, there is Alice Ward’s apple pie.” — Charlotte Ward describing her mother-in-law Alice Ward’s Apple Pie.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Basic Pie Crust
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup Crisco
6 to 6 1/2 tablespoons cold water (chill in freezer for 10 minutes)

Place all ingredients in a heavy-duty stand mixer. Mix at medium speed until the ingredients form a ball. When thoroughly mixed, split the ball into two equal parts and roll*each out into approximately a 12- inch circle. (One circle is for the top crust and the other for the bottom crust.) *Cook’s Note from Lew Ward:  “Handling the crust is a bit tricky as it has little cohesiveness. You may want to finish rolling out the dough on parchment and then transfer the crust to the pie plate that way. Or —  once the circle of dough has been made and trimmed,  carefully fold the dough over through the center and unfold it into the pie plate (or for the top, onto the filling).”

Apple Pie Filling

7 or 8 medium size Greenings* or Granny Smith apples (preferably Greenings)
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top of pie
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter
2 unbaked pie crusts (see recipe above)

Mix together sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour. Set aside. Core and cut apples into about 6 to 8 wedges. As you cut each apple, place it in a large bowl and sprinkle it with about a tablespoon of the sugar/cinnamon/nutmeg/flour mix. Continue this procedure until all the apples are cut. If there is any of the mix left over just sprinkle over the top of the apples and mix in with a tablespoon. Place apples carefully into the pie crust in a close layer on the bottom. Mound the remaining apples closely, working from the sides up to the center. Cut butter into small pieces dot evenly over the apples. Moisten the bottom crust rim slightly with your fingers. Place on top crust and seal bottom and top crusts together. Flute edges by lifting the crust up and pinching it slightly to create an indentation. Cut 5 slits in the top of your crust, about 1 inches long. Sprinkle some sugar lightly on top of the crust and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Check after 35 minutes to see if the edges are getting too brown. If so, cover the edges with aluminum foil (or with a commercial pie edge cover) until the top crust is golden brown. Check again after 50 minutes, and if it is golden brown, remove from the oven. If not, check every few minutes and when it is the desired color, place it on a rack to cool completely before cutting. Yield: 1 (9-inch) pie. *Kitchen Ade Note: It may take cooking to bring out the full sweet flavor of a Rhode Island Greening apple, but as far as American pie making goes, many consider the Greening to be the ultimate pie baking apple. Greening apples are crisp, juicy and tart. If you can’t find them, Granny Smith apples make satisfactory substitutes.

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