Cooking From Memory ~ A Recipe Journal

Fruit Soup

Ingredients ~

  • 1 cup pitted, dried prunes+
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • ¾ cup dried apricots
  • water to cover (about 3 cups)
  • ¼ cup quick-cooking tapioca
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup apple cider++
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar to taste+++
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • whipped cream, plain or vanilla yogurt

Method ~

Combine prunes, raisins, and apricots in a 3-quart saucepan. Add water to cover, about 3 cups. Bring to boil and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, bring 2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in the tapioca and simmer for 10 minutes while mixture thickens. When the fruit is softened, add the cooked, thickened tapioca, lemon juice. Apple cider, vinegar, sugar and the cinnamon stick. This mixture will thicken as it cools. If the soup seems a little thick, you can add more water or cider to adjust both the consistency and the taste. Serve either hot or cold, garnishing with a dollop of whipped cream, plain or vanilla yogurt.


+Different traditions as well as varying tastes may dictate the fruit you use. Variations include currants, golden raisins or any of the mixed fruit combinations. +Along with the prunes, raisins and apricots, I’ve used a mixture of fresh apples—½ each red, yellow and green apples. If you do this, you will need a little more than 3 cups of water to cover.

++You can also substitute pineapple juice for the apple cider.

+++Fruit naturally has sugar, so you’ll want to taste the soup before you add any sugar. That being understood, you may wish to adjust the ratio of sugar to lemon juice so as not to make this too sweet.


Peanut Blossoms

Posted in Cookies,Thanksgiving and Christmas Recipes by Paul Gauche on December 20, 2010









Ingredients ~

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ cup Crisco
  • ½ cup Peanut Butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Method ~

Roll into 1-inch balls and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes, remove from oven and top with a Hershey’s Kiss, pressing downs gently. Bake 2 minutes longer. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Or just eat them all whole their warm.

About 4 dozen cookies

Christmas ‘Julekage’ Bread

Posted in Breads,Thanksgiving and Christmas Recipes by Paul Gauche on December 29, 2009

Christmas Bread

You’d better have a day off and a lot of time to create this wonderful Christmas Bread. Three risings at 2 hours each means you’re committed. But when you slice into this on Christmas Eve, or toast it on Christmas morning, you’ll be glad you took the time. This is Joyce Gauche’s family recipe and I have no idea where she found the time to make this; it’s truly a labor of love.

Ingredients ~

  • 2 packages yeast
  • ½ cup lukewarm water
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups milk, scalded
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup candied fruit (or ½ cup citron and ½ cup cherries)
  • ½ cup blanched almonds
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 egg white, beaten until foamy
  • 1 Tablespoon cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Method ~

Dissolve yeast in the lukewarm water. Beat butter and sugar 10 minutes. Add the eggs, milk, yeast mixture, salt and 4 cups flour and combine well. Put into a bowl and let it rise for 2 hours. Punch down, add and combine well to following:

  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup candied fruit (or ½ cup citron and ½ cup cherries)
  • ½ cup blanched almonds
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cardamom

Add more flour to make a soft dough. Add flour slowly and carefully—don’t use too much. This is a soft dough, not sticky. Let this rise another 2 hours.

Punch down and shape into 3 or 4 round loaves. Brush the tops of each loaf with an egg wash:

  • 1 egg white, beaten until foamy
  • 1 Tablespoon cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Let this rise another 2 hours.

Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

When the bread has cooled a bit, top with glaze and a few pieces of candied fruit

  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • Cream, enough to make a thick glaze
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • Pieces of candied fruit

Sage and Cranberry Stuffing

Posted in Casseroles, Gratins & Hotdishes,Thanksgiving and Christmas Recipes by Paul Gauche on December 3, 2009


Ingredients ~ 

  • Turkey giblets (heart, liver, gizzard, and neck)
  • 1 quart (4 cups) water
  • 1 pound Italian sausage with sage
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 14 ounce bag Organic Stuffing Mix with Cranberries (I prefer 365 Everyday Value Organic Stuffing Mix with Cranberries and Organic Chicken Flavor from Whole Foods)
  • Sage to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


Method ~

Place the turkey giblets (heart, liver, gizzard, and neck) in a medium saucepan and cover with 4 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. 

Meanwhile, in a sauté pan, brown the sausage, stirring frequently and draining the grease. Cook sausage until it is browned and begins to crisp. Add the onion and celery and cook until softened.

When the giblets have finished cooking, remove them from the broth—reserving the broth, and set the giblets aside to cool. When cooled to the touch, take the meat off the neck. You’ll have to use your fingers to accomplish this rather tedious task.

Once the meat has been removed from the neck bones, add the neck meat along with the other giblets to a food processor and pulse 5 or 6 times until the meat is the texture of oatmeal.

Combine this meat mixture with the stuffing mix and combine well. Using the broth from the giblets, pour one cup at a time over the stuffing mix, stirring well to incorporate until the mixture is just moist. The stuffing should not be mushy. It should have a good texture.

Season with to taste with salt, pepper and sage.

Place the stuffing in a casserole and bake at 350 for 30 to 45 minutes.

Christmas Rum Cake

Posted in Desserts,Thanksgiving and Christmas Recipes by Paul Gauche on October 19, 2009

Photo Credit:

Ingredients ~

  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 or 2 quarts of rum
  • 1 cup dried fruit
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup baking powder
  • 3 juiced lemons
  • 1 cup of nuts

Method ~

Before starting, sample rum to check quality. If it’s good, proceed.  If not, test again. You may have gotten it wrong. Then proceed. Select large mixing bowl, measuring cup, etc.

Check rum again. It must be just right. To be sure rum is of proper quality, pour one level cup of rum into a glass and drink it as fast as you can. Repeat. With an eclectic mixer, beat 1 cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. 

Add 1 seaspoon of thusar and beat again. Meanhile, make sure rum is still alrighty. Well, alrighty then, try another cup. Open second quart if necessary. Add leggs, 2 c ups of fried druit and beat til high. If druit gets suck in beaters, pru loose with drewscriber. 

Sample rum again, checking for tonscisticity. 

Next, sift 3 cups salt and feffer (really doesn’t matter). Sample the wum again. 

Sift ½ pint lemon snoose. Fold in chopped butter and strained nuts. Add 1 bablespoon of brown sugar-or whatever color you can find. Wix mell. Grease oven. Turn cake pan to 350 greeds.

Pour mess into boven and ake. 

Check run again and bo to ged.


Green Bean Casserole

Posted in Casseroles, Gratins & Hotdishes,Thanksgiving and Christmas Recipes by Paul Gauche on July 28, 2009

(Photo Credit:

Ingredients ~

  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1 bag frozen French Cut Green Beans
  • The remaining French Fried onions

Method ~

Open the French Fried Onions and take out 2/3 cup of the onions, set aside. (This goes on the top during the last 5 minutes).  In a bowl, mix the following together and pour into the glass baking dish.

Bake at 350 degress for 35 minutes.


Sweet Potato Gratin

Sweet Potato Casserole

Ingredients for Gratin ~

  • 1 large can sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup (1 stick) melted butter
  • 1/3 cup milk

Ingredients for Topping ~

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup butter (5 Tablespoons)

Method ~

Combine the ingredients for the Gratin and mix well. Pour this mashed happiness into a well greased 2 quart glass baking or gratin dish and set aside.

Mix the ingredients for the Topping and pour evenly over the Gratin.

Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the Gratin sit for 10-15 minutes to set.

Serving Suggestion ~

To serve this as an hors d’oeuvre, buy a box of frozen pre-baked phyllo cups and fill them with a small, bite-sized scoop of the gratin (you can use a melon baller for this). Remove enough baked gratin and stir it all up to incorporate the topping into the gratin and then fill the cups.  Bake an additional 5 -7 minutes and serve.

Byerly’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Posted in Thanksgiving and Christmas Recipes,Vegetables by Paul Gauche on July 12, 2009

(Photo Credit:

Ingredients ~

  • 2 medium bulbs garlic
  • 4 pounds russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine
  • ½ cup grated Romano Cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp. white pepper

Method ~

Separate and peel  garlic cloves.  In a large Dutch oven, arrange potatoes and garlic cloves. Cover with water; add 1 tsp. salt.  Bring to a boil, covered, over high heat, reduce heat. Simmer until tender when pierced with a fork (25-30 minutes).  In a small saucepan, warm milk and butter over low heat.  Drain potatoes and garlic; add warm milk and butter, cheese, 1 tsp salt and pepper.  Mash with a hand potato masher and smooth.  Serves 8-10

~~ with thanks to Lund’s and Byerly’s

Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Two)

Posted in Thanksgiving and Christmas Recipes,Vegetables by Paul Gauche on July 11, 2009

Mashed Potates 2

Ingredients ~

  • 1 ½ pounds potatoes, peeled and cut
  • ½ cup green onions, slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 T chicken stock
  • ½ cup milk, heated
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 T prepared horseradish

Method ~

Place potatoes in a large pan, cover with water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and bring simmer for 20 minutes.  In a sauté pan, cook garlic, butter and onion until tender.  Add chicken stock.  Drain potatoes and mash, adding ingredients from sauté pan.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately or reheat in a buttered casserole at 300 degrees for 20 minutes.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes (One)

Posted in Thanksgiving and Christmas Recipes,Vegetables by Paul Gauche on July 11, 2009

Garlic Mashed

Ingredients ~

  • 1 head garlic, top sliced off
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 to 8 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup milk, warm
  • ½ stick butter, softened
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

 Method ~

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place the cut garlic bulb on a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil.  Close the packet and bake in the oven for 40 minutes until softened.  Put the cut potatoes in a large stockpot, cover with cold water, and add salt.  Bring to a boil, then simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.  Drain well in a colander.  While the potatoes are still warm, press them through a potato ricer or food mill and into a mixing bowl.  Whip in the warm milk and softened butter until incorporated and the potatoes are fluffy.  Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the skins.  Add the garlic pulp to the potatoes.  Beat again; season with salt and pepper.

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