J.D.'s Kitchen - February 2007

Blue Mountain, Hot Buttered Rum

Winter Meatballs and Dumplings

Mountain Man Chicken

J.D.'s Bread Pudding

Howdy, Howdy, Howdy!

Why is it, that when we get older, if we set down very long, we want to take a nap, and then when we go to bed at nite, we wake up at 4:00 AM, or earlier! Now that I've been retired for 14 years and can sleep in as late as I want, I canít sleep. Absolutely maddening at times! This morning was one of those times. At around 3:30, I was wide awake again. Probably awakened by a spider tromping across the ceiling, or under the bed. Actually it was the wind sighing through the big Black Oak tree out side my bedroom window. A storm is brewing here on the mountain this morning, the day after Xmas, so out of the sack, turn the coffee on, shave, dress and watch the day come alive.

A day like this is tailor made to stay inside and do those "inside things" that we put off on sunny days. Things like write my Feb. column for the Breakdown, especially since our esteemed Editor Mark Varner needs it by Jan. 1st. The wind is starting to make the pine trees sigh like a low moan, and it wont be long until the deer and other critters will seek shelter in the deep woods from the impending rain storm. I know it's early, but the 'ol speckled Coffee Pot is a'bubblin on the 'ol cook stove. So tie yer pony in the shed out back there, and come on in here and pour yer self a big cup of Cowboy Coffee, and grab a chair next to the fireplace, and enjoy the warmth of a good fire, whilst we make "Medicine" over some good Vittles!

A cold stormy day like this one always puts me in the mood for a good Hot Buttered Rum! Back in the winter of 1993, I spent several evenings doing considerable "research" for the perfect Hot Buttered Rum recipe. Some were pretty good, while some weren't so good. However, in the course of doing such "research", you are duty bound to take the good with the bad, so being the man I am, I did drink all of my efforts to find The Perfect recipe! I must say, that it was a very enjoyable endeavor! In due time though, I did come up with what I consider the perfect recipe. This was a result of me buying a container of Hot Buttered Rum mix, and after reading the ingredients in said container, I threw it away, as I couldn't pronounce most of the ingredients, let alone know what the hell they were! My cardinal rule when it comes to packaged foodstuffs, if I canít pronounce it, I donít buy it, let alone eat it! So with that said, hereís the result of a winterís worth of research. Enjoy these on a cold winter evening.

Blue Mountain, Hot Buttered Rum

1 1/2 cups of milk

1 egg

1/8 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg

2 tbsp. brown sugar

1/8 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. butter 1 1/2 jigger of Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum per cup

Beat the egg in a bowl for two minutes. Add everything but the Rum. Heat in a saucepan, stirring constantly. Pour Rum in a large cup, add hot mixture and mix good. Wow! Blue Mountain memories galore!

A couple of these on a cold winter's evening will make you fall asleep like an old hound dog in front of the fireplace! Like my 'ol pard Vern Williams used to say; It sure feels gooood!

Winter time here on the mountain finds me doing a lot of my evening meals in the oven or one of my big crock pots. One day last week though, I had a craving for some meat and Dumplings. There's nothing better for supper on a cold evening than some meatballs and dumplings! So with further ado I whipped out one of my original recipes, and fixed some.

Winter Meatballs and Dumplings

1 lb. ground Turkey meat

2 cups pancake mix

1/2 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1 tsp. garlic powder

2/3 cup of milk

1 tsp. whole Oregano

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. rubbed sage

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

a pinch of cinnamon

dash of Paprika

1 Quart of broth

salt and pepper to taste

Put the broth on to boil. Mix turkey with the spices real good. Roll into 1" balls. Fry in 3 to 4 tbsp. of Olive Oil until browned. Put them in the boiling broth. Mix two cups of Pancake mix with 2/3 cup of milk. Separate egg whites and beat until stiff, and fold into the dumpling batter. Drop by the teaspoonful into the boiling broth. Cook 15 to 20 minutes until light and fluffy. Serve hot.

There's another of my original recipes that I mixed up one night, when I had a craving for some good 'ol dumplings. To make the Dumplings even more savory, you can add any seasonings you would like to the batter. Chopped Onion and Parsley works great, as well as some Italian seasoning, or even some chili peppers. Use your imagination, and see what you can come up with. I like to use Aunt Jemima's Original pancake mix for my dumplings.

Another of my favorite meals come wintertime is roasted chicken. A chicken that has been cooked properly is hard to beat. Throw in a big pan of sourdough Biscuits and you have a meal that is fit for a King. To roast a chicken properly, you have to start the night before, by soaking it in Salt water. I salt the chicken heavily, inside and out with Kosher Salt, place it in the sink and cover it with cold water. This draws out all of the "bad JuuJuu" that is inherent in all fowl. The next day, rinse the bird good, rub it real good with melted butter or Olive Oil, and proceed with your recipe. You will notice a better flavor in chicken that has been prepared this way. So with that said, hereís how I fix some.

Mountain Man Chicken

1 4-5 lb. chicken

6 potatoes, chunked

3 carrots, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large red onion, sliced

1 can of beef broth

1 can of Rotel tomatoes and chili peppers

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Soak chicken overnight in salt water. Drain, pat dry, rub with Olive Oil, salt and pepper it good. Place in a Dutch oven, add everything else and bake at 350 degrees for 1Ĺ hrs. Have a pan of biscuits ready to slide in the oven when you take the chicken out.

When you have a good meal like this on a cold winterís evening, all the cares of the day just melt away. Like the author Cervantes said, Everything is better with Bread.

A lot of times when I know that I'm gonna heat up my oven to do some roasting, I'll whip up a baked Dessert to have. The secret is to bake the dessert first while you're fixing the main course. That way the oven is nice and hot, and the Dessert is ready to eat when the meal is through. Or, to heck with the main course, just do it the Cowboy Way and eat the Dessert!

One of my all time favorite desserts that my momma used to fix for me when I was a little red neck is Bread Pudding! Bread Pudding, when done right is right up there with the best desserts in the world! Served chilled, with a big dollop of whipped cream and a shot of Kahlua over it. Wow! I did considerable research on this recipe too one winter, and here's the result of those long hours of research.

J.D.'s Bread Pudding

8 slices french bread, cubed

1/2 cup of raisins

1 12 oz. can evaporated milk

2 large eggs, beaten

2 tbsp. butter, melted

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1 tsp pure vanilla

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts

Mix everything but the bread and raisins. Pour over the bread and raisins. Mix good. Pour into a buttered baking dish. Let it stand 10 minutes. Bake 35 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Whip up some heavy cream and lace it with a little Brandy or good Rum, to have over the pudding, and son, it donít get no gooder than this! I've done throwed a case of "the slobbers" on myself just writing<
Posted By:  Charlene Sims

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