Corned Beef Stew

Corned beef

Prepare equal quantities of all ingredients. Boil carrots and potatoes together until they just begin to soften. (If you cook the root vegetables completely before combining ingredients, they will fall apart in the stew.) Steam cabbage until it turns slightly limp. (It will taste bitter and smell bad if you don’t cook it enough and disappear in the stew if you over cook it.) Pull apart corn beef into bite size chunks. Combine all ingredients.
Mix the juice from steaming and boiling the vegetables with the juice from boiling the corned beef in such a proportion as to create an end product that is pleasantly salty to taste. Add enough of this mixture to cover all the ingredients in a stew pot. Season with black pepper to taste. Heat until hot enough to serve.

Corned Beef

4 qts water
1 C salt
1 tsp saltpeter
1 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp ground cloves
12 cloves garlic crushed
1 minced onion
10 bay leaves
10 #s beef brisket

Bring water to a boil and then remove from heat. Add all ingredients to water and stir until salt is completely dissolved. Let brine stand overnight to cool. Cut beef into one pound chunks and trim away excessive fat. Soak meat in brine under refrigeration for two weeks, stirring every few days. Weight meat to assure it remains covered in liquid.

Remove meat from brine and stew until tender (four hours). Meat will look pale pink when raw and turn bright red when cooked if it was cured completely.

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Paul’s Mulled Wine

Riddle: What smells like elixir, tastes like candy and poisons like a spider?

 6 jiggers red wine

4 jiggers spiced cider

1 jigger brandy


1 cinnamon stick

1 orange slice

2 tsp sugar

Mix liquids and sugar in a mug and stir with the cinnamon stick. Heat in a microwave for less than two minutes. Affix an orange slice to the mug just before serving.

The earthy flavors of Rioja or Bordeaux will add more character to the drink than will the cherry or berry notes of cheap California merlot or zinfandel. (Keep in mind that heating wine evaporates its finer points and accentuates its faults.)

Spiced cider recipes vary. I like those calling for allspice, cloves, cinnamon, orange and lemon zest. Be aware that using too much zest can overwhelm the apple and too many cloves can numb your tongue.

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Paul’s Sangria

1 bottle hearty, dry, red wine (750 ml)

1 bottle red grape juice (1.5 to 2 qts according to sweetness)

1 lemon

1 lime

3 oranges



Juice the lemon, lime and one orange. Do not strain away incident pulp; it adds character. Mix this with the wine and grape juice. Refrigerate all ingredients and stick a large glass serving pitcher and tall glasses in the freezer. Just before serving, slice the remaining oranges, put them in the pitcher and then pour in the juice and wine mix. Fill the glasses with ice and then bring everything to the table. The idea is to consume a chilled drink just the way you mixed it, not watered down by ice. So make sure you serve it cold and drink it down before the ice thins it. If you do everything right, you should end up with a colorful presentation that goes down like grape juice and assaults the senses like malt liquor. If this offends some of your guests, they can lighten the concoction with lemon-lime soda without losing the general idea of the flavor.

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Paul’s Jalapeno Spoon Bread

Some Like It Hot!

Remember how Big Red’s used to serve their hamburgers with a jalapeno on top? That is how I like to serve a Corning dish full of this corn bread. It is a nice way to warn people that all those green specs aren’t green onions. Watch out! A square of this is likely to make you run, not walk, to the keg for another pint of beer.

People like this dish because it is so moist, a little sweet and pleasantly spicy. Great party food.

1 C Yellow Corn Meal

1 C Flour

¼ C sugar

1 TBSP baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 C milk

1 (15oz) can creamed corn

1/3 C melted butter

1 egg  lightly beaten

1 or 2 jalapenos minced


Combine dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in another. Add wet ingredients to dry. Mix quickly and as little as possible. Pour into a buttered, 8″ pan.

Bake in a preheated, 400° oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a tooth pick may be inserted and withdrawn clean.

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Paul’s Russian Tea Mix

3C Tang

1C powdered lemon Drink

1C powdered instant tea

3/4C sugar

1/4C powdered orange rind

3tsp powdered cloves

2tsp powdered cinnamon


Directions and Notes:

1.) Thoroughly mix all ingredients in a bowl and then store in tightly sealed jars.

2.) Do not substitute other powdered orange drinks for Tang. The other guys have some additive that gives their drinks a gagging after taste that gets you right in the back of the throat.

3.) I powder the instant tea granules in the blender before measuring or using. If you don’t crush those little spray-dried spheres, they rise to the top of the conglomerate rather than mixing.

4.) Remove the peel from several oranges, cut into strips and then dry at room temperature for a week or so or in the oven for some hours on the lowest setting. Grate the strips to powder in a blender. The peel is not adequately dry until it is absolutely rigid and snaps like a cracker between your fingers. If you add inadequately dried orange rind to the other powders, the mixture will set up like concrete in storage and quickly become unworkable. Good luck getting it out of the jar without breaking the spoon, the jar or both!



I make a cup of hot tea with two tea bags and then add three heaping teaspoons of mix. That makes a brew strong enough to draw inquiries from across the lunchroom.

“What is that you’re drinking? It smells like Christmas.”

“Russian Tea mix.”

“Oh yeah, I remember that. Grandma used to make that around the holidays. What is that stuff floating on top?”

“That’s orange rind. I add orange rind to give it a little extra zip.”

“Oh. It doesn’t look very appetizing.”

“Yes, well, you see, that way I don’t have to share.”

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Adeline’s Strawberry Fondant

Dessert! Dessert! Did someone say dessert?

Do you have a sinful sweet tooth that is leading you astray?

Do you want a piece of heaven but you can’t believe in God?

Hear me my brethren! Receive thee the blessing of this recipe – bought with prayer and supplication from a missionary woman!


2C sugar

1C heavy cream

3TBSP light corn syrup

1 quart strawberries

Cook sugar, cream and syrup to 240°F (soft ball stage). Pour this mixture into a buttered pan and cool. Knead until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate overnight in a sealed container. Reheat in a double boiler and thin as necessary with a little cream. (But be careful not to make it too thin!) Wash and refrigerate the strawberries. Handle the berries by the stems, dipping them in the fondant and placing them in a pan lined with wax paper to cool. Refrigerate to hasten cooling. Be sure the berries are dry; otherwise the fondant will not stick to them. Prepare this dish only hours before consumption. Like any devil’s treats, leftovers of this dish will lose all their appeal by the morning after.

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Wine Maxims

p160In the wine world there exists so vast a field, so many exceptions, so much change in fashion and sensibilities, so much variation within classes, so much change within the industry, so much difference vintage to vintage, it is folly to propose such a thing as a “rule”. And yet my experiences cause me to propose a few:

Tannic and acidic wines are better between bites. Smooth, sweet and fruity wines are better by themselves.

Wine and cheese are tireless lovers.

French wine with French foods, Italian with Italian, Spanish with Spanish and Alsatian with Asian.

Cook not with wine you would not drink – and (if you follow this rule), what could be better than more of the wine the dish was cooked in?

A feature dish or a feature wine. Never make two stars compete.

Never a wine less sweet than dessert.

Nothing born of vinegar can be a friend to wine.

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