Archive for October, 2010

What could be more fun than eating food from different time periods?

Eating food from different time periods wearing costumes, that’s what!


Thus was our recent Time Traveler Party.

Attendees were told to dress as their favorite time traveler or time period and stop by the house to sample cuisine from great time line of the human race.

We had adventurers from the past, future, as well as various nations, celebrities, creatures from the great beyond, and people who just choose to live in the moment.

The menu was huge and sadly not as well documented by the blogger as it should have been (aka I didn’t write done everything everyone brought), but viddles abounded and everyone ate something tasty despite our time period preferences.

Time Travelers LOVE chicken enchiladas.

How does one decorate for such a strange party you might ask?

We filled the house with clocks all set to different times, chalk boards of various sizes, and “relics” from the past: a Walkman, old buttons, typewriter, hats, costumes pieces (provided by our good friend Kendra), etc.

We did hand out awards for the real time traveler amoung us: Harry Truman (who shamefully went undocumented)

AND for best costume: Marty McFly

Here is a speech from Marty…

The Menu:

Ancient Times

Numidia Chicken Stew from Ancient Africa (also, the most popular dish—see recipe way below)


Grapes, figs, olives, dates and prunes


Renaissance Faire

Wassail or Medieval Merry Maker

Bread and Cheese

Courage Tarts (a sweet potato and apple wine pie that is considered an aphrodisiac)

Pioneer Staples



Corn Bread


Victorian Darlings

Champagne with sugar cubes

Cream Puffs


World War II- Meatless Dishes for Patriotic Meals

Victory Garden (With dip)

Fountain Drinks and Coke in a bottle


Future Food

Pills (aka Good and Plenty Candy)

As we hurtled through time and space together we met new people, got re-acquainted with old friends and did not get sucked into a worm hole (very important)

So here, here to Time Traveling Food Parties!

Our strolling musician…

Recipe for Numidia Chicken Stew from Ancient Africa:

Try it, you just might like ancient food!

(from the Movie Menus Cookbook)


1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cubed


1/4 cup peanut oil

2 1/2 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/2 cup chopped pitted dates

1 Tablespoon of honey

1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon bottled horseradish

4 ounces mustard or arugula or dandelion greens

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


Preheat the oven to 375.

Mix the flour, coriander, pepper, cloves, cinnamon, allspice, and cumin in a large bowl. Season the chicken generously with salt and dredge it in the seasoned flour until well coated. Save any excess flour.

In a large Dutch oven, heat the peanut oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken cubes and brown on all sides, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Add the stock and vinegar to the pan and bring to a boil, scraping up any bits clinging to the pan. Stir in the leftover flour along with the dates, honey, Worcestershire sauce, and horseradish. Add the chicken, cover and bake for about 30 minutes or until the sauce is thick and bubbly.

Remove from oven, mix in the mustard greens and cilantro, and serve.


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Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year. I am a total chicken when it comes to ghouls and ghosties, but I do love kid-friendly-scariness.

Growing up we never had too many trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood. The other kids on the block were older than us, so the only Halloween visitors we had were the occasional college kids (we lived close to a university). After parading to the few houses on our street, my family would climb in the car and haunt the doorsteps of our friends.

The year I was a robot I went trick-or-treating with my best friend Curtis Milsap. Since my mom worked, Curtis’s mom was my weekday babysitter.  I was 7 at the time and have no memory of an adult going with us (different times), but I do remember how thrilling it was to run around the neighborhood we knew so well and have it be transformed by darkness and the rattle of our plastic pumpkins.

As you can see from the picture, I am wearing a bucket on my head, oven mitts and a large box. A homemade costume at it’s finest. As we made our way home and down the shadowy sidewalk that lead to the Milsap’s front door, I had to climb a step…you can guess what happened.

The robot went down.

I lost my balance and fell over backwards trying to lift my leg. Miraculously the bucket stayed on and the box was like armor. This was good and bad because it wouldn’t let me bend. I waved my arms around, but I couldn’t get up. I can still see Curtis’s younger brother Adam looking down at me in his Rubik Cube costume (at least I think that’s what he was). I was so embarrassed even at 7. Somehow someone lifted me on my feet (I have a feeling it was that missing adult I can’t remember). This is just one of my food stories that link me to the Millsap’s. I wonder if Adam and Curtis even remember it?

Like most kids, my Halloween ritual was to put on my pj’s and spread all the candy out on the floor and sort it. Reese Peanut Butter Cups are still my favorite. Then I would eat one or two and put it all back into the pumpkin.

And there it would sit until Easter, I kid you not.

Would my dad and mom eat some? Yes. But I didn’t really keep track. Just knowing it was there; that I had collected such sweetness was for some reason good enough for me.

Ask John about our candy bowl some time…old habits die-hard.

Did you ever share Halloween food traditions with someone else? Tell me a trick-or-treating story. Email me at thepiesthatbind@gmail.com 

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In the September issue of Better Homes and Garden’s they featured an article about how their classic cookbook has connected lives and generations. 40 million copies have been sold since it came out in 1930. They specifically feature young cooks and what the cookbook means to their lives and relationships.

It reminded me how my mom gave me a copy on my 22nd birthday when I was truly living on my own. My sister ended up with a neighbor’s copy that had a gold cover and looked just like the one my mom had when she got married.

The article prompted me to get out my, which is falling a part from use. It is the cookbook I go to when I don’t know how to do something, or if I need a recipe for a standard. I remember going to the 1950’s favorites section to learn how to roast BBQ ribs in my apartment oven.

It also made me cook something—one of the recipes from the September issue:

Slow-Baked Tomatoes with Garlic and Mint.


  • 1-1/2 lb.  cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup  extra virgin olive oil
  • 7 cloves  garlic, peeled, split lengthwise and green shoot removed
  • 1 bunch  fresh mint, trimmed
  • 1 to 2 tsp.  coarse or flake salt
  • 1 tsp.  freshly ground black pepper
  • toasted slices of rustic bread
  • Goat cheese (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Wash and drain tomatoes well. Pat dry with paper towels.

2. In a nonreactive (such as earthenware) 2-quart baking dish place tomatoes in a single layer. Pour on olive oil so they are very well coated and there should be a thin layer (1/8 inch) of oil on bottom of dish. Toss in garlic, mint, salt and pepper.

3. Bake, uncovered, for 45 to 60 minutes or until tomato skins split and soften but tomatoes still retain their shape.

4. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature. Spoon or mash over slices of toasted bread and serve with goat cheese. Makes 8 servings.

Yum. We ate it with homemade bread, cheese and salad.

Thank you once again Better Homes and Gardens. I am indeed mad for plaid.

Check out the article on-line at:

Mad for Plaid.

Let’s start our first of many discussions on cookbooks. What are your favorite cookbooks? Who gave them to you? Do you give them to others? Are you mad for plaid?

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My mother’s mother, Grandmother Lucille or Grandma Springfield as I called her growing up, passed away when I was 16 years old.

We were never really close, but over the past year I’ve done some looking into her life and I believe we are more alike than I ever thought possible.

One difference: she didn’t like to cook.

However there are a few food things she is known for in our family: the candy, divinity and goldenrod eggs, both things I am not too wild about.

Out of the blue a couple of weekends ago my mom brought me cinnamon rolls. These are the cinnamon rolls my mom has made me all my life. I love them. They are simplicity and warmth all wrapped in cinnamon-y butter.

For the first time in my whole 34 years, my mother told me that my grandmother use to make them for her. I had no idea the recipe came from grandmother. All these years I’ve been eating something that my grandmother made without even knowing it. She also told me that October 10th would have been my grandmother’s 100th birthday. I had no idea it was my grandmother’s birthday.

I was all-around shocked.

That Sunday I heated up the rolls and wished my grandmother a happy birthday. They were flaky and so soft. No matter how many times I make them, they never taste like my mothers. I know it’s my mom’s hands, smile and love that make the difference. I can’t help but wonder how they tasted when my grandmother made them. I’m sure it was different and special and something my mom misses every time she makes them herself.

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When I turned up at Melynda and Eric’s house one Sunday afternoon, I had no idea how much fun and foodlove was waiting for me.

Melynda told me in her e-mail that although her mother loved her children, she absolutely hated to cook. Yet her family still has some family recipes they cook together and pass down. Most importantly, they have an apple pie recipe…

Melynda’s apple pies not only taste incredible, she also makes them from apples given to her by apple-growing-friends. She takes the time to write the name of the friend (thus the orchard) on each pie before she sticks it in the freezer. Her family’s treasured recipe has expanded to include her friends in the tradition. How wonderful it is that!

When Melynda makes a pie, she doesn’t just make one, she makes several! This is a great time saver and a wonderful way to share pie-goodness with others. Here’s Melynda baking-it-up!

The story of the Dumpling Taste Off was also something I had to hear about…

Recipes and food bring us together in so many ways. Melynda and Eric’s love of food and the richness it adds to life is something I admire. Not only do they make the most of all the meat he hunts and savor the meals she cooks; they celebrate how timeless traditions keep us close and make good food taste even better.

Empty plate…yum.

Melynda, Me and Pie to go.

Freezer Envy! It’s so well-organized, full of apple pies and HUGE!

That Sunday I walked out of there with a pie, a cookbook, recipes, a full stomach and a wish come true (via Melynda’s wishbone collection She keeps the wishbones from the birds that Eric hunts. Thank you Mister Turkey wherever you are).

Melynda rates all of her recipes. Her family apple pie recipe is “star rated” and says “Absolute Favorite,” I couldn’t agree more!

Melynda’s Crust and Apple Pie:

Pie Crust:

Preheat oven to 450


For one Single Crust:

1/4 cup water

1 1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup shortening

Since Melynda makes a lot of pies at once, she doesn’t just triple her recipe, she figures out how to make six crusts at once.

For 6 single crusts:

3/4 cup water

3 3/4 cups flour

1 1/2 cups shortening


Cut in shortening (in flour) and then add water. Mix to a firm ball. Roll out on floured surface- place in pie pan. Poke with fork.

To cook, put in 450 over at 10-12 mins.

Apple Pie:


1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 Tablespoon of oleo

1 tablespoon of cornstarch (more in juicy apples, less if not)

5-8 granny smith

Milk for top crust


Fill crust with peeled and sliced apples, and all other ingredients (except milk). Top with crust. Spread milk on top crust. Bake at 425 for 15 mins. Reduce heat to 350 for 30-45 mins.

(if frozen, back at 425 for 30 mins and 350 for 1 hour)

Feather Dumplings – The winner of the Dumpling Taste Off!

Feather Dumplings – Star rated “Good with chicken noodle soup. Tried & true like mamaws!”


2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon white or black pepper

1 egg, beaten

2 Tablespoon melted butter

2/3 cup milk

30 mins before soup is done, mix-up dry ingredients. Add egg, melted butter, and enough milk to make moist, stiff batter. Either roll out and cut in squares or drop by teaspoons in boiling soup. After drop, cook covered without unsealing for 18-20 minutes.

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Time: 7:30PM

Table: Couch and pillows!

Who gathered:

* John

* Stephanie

* The Colts

* The Redskins

* A very large, very blue, foam cowboy hat

The menu:

* Lentil loaf with Paul Newman’s Vodka Sauce

* Griller with ketchup (for JY)

* Garlic Mashers (named by JY)

* Spicy brussel sprouts

* Carrots

* Biscuits

* Diet Coke

* Water

* Wine


* Lynley’s butterscotch brownies and what could be scraped out of the vanilla ice cream container

Dining Topics:

* Peyton Manning (Genius)

* The rules of football for the 50th time.

* One of the Young’s finally figures out why he or she can’t retain the rules of football (numbers/math).

* Football is a left-brain sport.

* Peyton Manning and Donavon McNabb Conversations as performed by JY and SY.

* Much groaning over TV ads except for the ones with Peyton Manning.

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There were so many things that I didn’t get to talk about before the leaves started to fall…

Lemonade Stands

I snapped a picture of this stand in September.

Before I started this project in August, I bought some lemonade from two sisters. They had a bowl full of water balloons sitting next to their bright pink pitcher. I asked them why water balloons? The older one said, “In case we get hot.” The next day I rode my bike by the stand, but it was gone. However there were rainbow-colored balloon scraps everywhere.

When I was a kid I always had a lemonade stand. I lived across the street from a park, so I made a killing. My artwork didn’t sell as well as the Dixie cups of sweetness, but I tried.

Baseball Game Food

I think it’s a 50/50 toss-up on why people go to baseball games. Food is a ritual that turns watching the game into an event. From eating it, singing about it and watching it run bases, food and connecting is almost as important as the players when it comes to America’s favorite pastime.

And of course, the ice cream truck…

I chased this one down last Saturday. I have been known to chase many an ice cream truck. My mother told me the other day that my grandmother used to do it too…I had no idea.

There I go…


See you next summer ice cream man!

What lemonade stands, baseball game, ice cream trucks or other summer food stories do you have to share? Send me your pictures, and stories! I would love to post some and interview you!

Comment or email me at thepiesthatbind@gmail.com

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