J.D.'s Kitchen - April 2003
Old Fashioned Beef Pot Roast Royal Rice Lemon Buttermilk Pie Howdy, Howdy, Howdy! It's cold here on the mountain this morning, and the meadows were covered with frost so heavy at daybreak that at first I thought it had snowed last night! But by 10 o'clock the sun had melted all the frost, which created an "old timey risin' damp"! (That's the title of a banjo and fiddle turn written by my good friend Alan O'Bryant, of the Nashville Bluegrass Band.) The sun is warming up things nicely this morning and you can tell that spring is in the air once more. Before long my beloved mountains will put on their mantle of blossoms and wild flowers. Springtime here in the mountains is one of nature's busiest times. The honeybees are everywhere there is a blossom! The swallows and western Fly Catchers are darting about catching insects, and of course, the Hummingbirds are constantly fighting over territorial rights! Before long the Band Tail Pigeons will be nesting high in the Ponderosa Pines and the colony of Blue Birds that live in the bird houses I put up for them will soon have young ones to feed. That keeps them busy from daylight until dark. Hopefully it won't be long before I can set up my outdoor kitchen again and I can get down to cookin' the way I love best - namely over a good wood fire! But, that's still a few weeks away, so for now, come on into the kitchen where I've got the stove all heated up. Pour yourself a big cup of real Cowboy Coffee and we'll palaver over the fixins' of some good vittles! Last year I ran across about six cookbooks at the local thrift store. They're small volumes of 75 pages or less. Each one has recipes from a different state, and one has "Antique Recipes," all over 100 years old. The states were Arkansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas and Alaska. (You need to live in Alaska to fix those recipes!) Most of the recipes were like reading a 4-H cookbook or "calendar" recipes, but there are a few that stand out. Here are three of the best that came out of the Arkansas cookbook. Being an old Arkansas boy myownself, I'd swear that my mom had fixed these. I fixed this recipe on a cold, windy day. I put this in the oven about one o'clock in the afternoon and come suppertime I ate a "dogs bait" of it! Of course I fixed some buttermilk biscuits to go with it! Here's how to cook up a roast that you'd slap yer granny for! Old Fashioned Beef Pot Roast 4 lb. Beef chuck roast 2 TBSP flour 1 TBSP cooking oil 2 tsp. Salt 1/2 tsp. Dry Marjoram, crushed 1/4 tsp. Dry Thyme, crushed 1/4 tsp. Dry Basil, crushed 1/4 tsp. Pepper 1/2 onion, sliced 1/2-cup water 1/2 cup dry Red wine 3 medium onions, cut in wedges 1 lb. Carrots, peeled and chopped 8 small potatoes, peeled 1/2-cup water 1/2 tsp. Salt Rub flour into the meat. Use a Dutch Oven to brown meat all over in hot oil. Season with 2 teaspoons salt, marjoram, thyme, basil and pepper. Add sliced onion, 1/2-cup water and wine. Cover and roast at 350║ for 2 hours. Add vegetables and 1/2-cup water. Sprinkle vegetables with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, or until the vegetables and meat are tender. Remove meat and vegetables to a platter and cover with foil. Skim the fat from the pan juices. Add water to the juices to make 1 1/2 cups. Beat together: 1/2 cup water and 4 tablespoons flour. Stir in the juices. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until thickened to suit. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with sliced roast and vegetables. Serve this dish for one of your special occasion dinners and you'll get rave reviews every time! This dish along with a big skillet full of hot biscuits and it don't get no better than this when it comes to country cookin'! Here's an easy was to prepare Rice. It's fast and comes out great every time. The secret to the good flavor is to cook the rice in beef broth. Royal Rice 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions, with tops 2 TBSP Butter 3 cups cooked rice, cooked in Beef broth 1 4-oz. Can sliced mushrooms, drained 1 tsp. Kosher salt SautÚ onions in butter until tender. Add rice, mushrooms and salt. Heat thoroughly and fluff with a fork. 6 servings. This dish also goes well with some left over roast beef. Heat everything up well and slather gravy over all of it! Wow! Talk about giving you a cast of the slobbers! Or, heat up some left over rice in a skillet with a little olive oil, mix in a couple of scrambled eggs and you've got a breakfast fit for a king! It ain't hard to "throw a cravin'" on yourself when you start talking about good vittles such as this! Here's a recipe that throws a cravin' on me every time I read it. One thing we always had when I was a little bitty redneck back in Arkansas was plenty of Buttermilk. The kind we had back then wasn't this modern "low-fat," made with selected cultures type! Ours was fresh from the churn. If you've never had homemade buttermilk, you don't now what you've missed! Real homemade buttermilk has more of a rich, slightly sour taste than this stuff that is foisted off on the public today. The difference in taste is this: conjure up the memory of the finest steak you've ever had, then compare it to the worst, greasy burger you ever tried to eat! There's that much difference! Folks in Arkansas found a lot of ways to use their amply supply of buttermilk and this is one of the best. Lemon Buttermilk Pie 1 cup Buttermilk 1/2 tsp. Baking soda 1/3 cup Butter, melted 3 eggs, beaten 1/2 tsp. salt 1 1/2 cups sugar 2 TBSP cornstarch 1/4 cup lemon juice Grated rind of 1 lemon Mix all ingredients together. Pour into an unbaked crust and bake at 450║ for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350║ and bake 20-30 minutes (or until firm in the center). Chill well before serving. My momma used to make this pie and I'd never gotten the recipe for it, so when I spotted it in this book I let out a war whoop you could hear for a country mile! Folks, if you want a taste of real Ozark Mountain cookin', you've just got to try this Buttermilk Pie recipe. You can't tell that it's made with buttermilk. I know a lot of the folks here in the west weren't raised using buttermilk, and don't really care for it. But his one will really surprise you with its rich, lemony, taste. Give it a try and if you don't like that first bite, then just call me up and I'll come over and finish it off for you. That's the least I could do! (If you live around Cotopaxi, Colorado, then call Rom Thomason and he'll be glad to oblige you!) Well folks, that's all for this month's edition of the ol' Bluegrass Kitchen. Make plans to meet me here by the hearthstone of pure gastronomical bliss and contentment, where hunger and privations are all banished whenever possible! (How's those words, Ron?) Remember to pray for all of our servicemen and women who keep America the finest land on Earth. May God grant us all peace and health. Yer Friend, J.D. Rhynes
Posted By:  Charlene Sims

Copyright © 2002 California Bluegrass Association. All rights reserved.
Comments? Questions? Please email rickcornish7777@gmail.com.