Posted in From Scratch, Historical, Seasonings, Sauces, Dressings & Mixes, The Hungry Hen

The Buckhorn Inn House Dressing

IStsducc2cmcp81000000000When I was a kid and my Momma moved us back to Virginia from North Carolina, goin’ out to eat was a treat…one that came fewer than the risin’ of a  Blue Moon. When we first came up, we stayed out in Craigsville where Grandma was married to her second husband, Maxie. There, they both had a match box for a trailer. To be truthful, I don’t think they make things that small anymore. Maxie was usually gone—Gone Drinkin’—and most times when he was back, him and Grandma spent fightin’ up a storm – about him bein’ gone off drinkin’. Their fightin’ never bothered us kids none, because we actually liked ol’ Maxie. He was a man rarely seen and of very few words but when he was around, he wasn’t grouchy like most adults were back in them days. lol. He never took a strap to us or made us shush because even our breathin’ got on his nerves.

Now, while Maxie and Grandma had their problems – if he had taken her with him, I’m sure all would have been right in her world—but as I said, he was good to us. Once, I remember him makin’ her drive us out to Highland County, just because Maxie had a hankerin’ for some bread. That bread is still famous around these parts. It’s a heavy Yeast Bread that some might call Depression Food. The trip to Highland was just the icing on the cake. Maxie decided to surprise us with a trip to the infamous, Buckhorn Inn, which is actually on out there in Churchville, Virginia.

Yup, it’s still there and at the time of writin’ this piece, it’s for sale. More on that later, though.

That day, some of us cousins piled up in Grandma’s little ol’ Chevette while she drove Maxie and the rest of us wherever he wanted to go. Tons of windin’ backroads, skyscrapin’ mountains and too-many-to count-pit-stops for Maxie, who had to relieve  himself all too often of all that Old Milwaukee beer. snickers

Once it was all said and done, though, Maxie treated us to a buffet supper at, The Buckhorn Inn, located at 2487 Hankey Mountain Hwy, Churchville, VA 24421. Now, while I can’t tell you what in the world the food is like now, I can tell you it was all home cooked and delicious back then. Not that Maxie would have known it that night. He kept tellin’ the Waitress he wasn’t eattin’ because he had bread and beer in the car, lol. Still, he sat there patiently with a drunken grin on his face while we scoffed all that food down and got him more than his money’s worth. 

ISat48r2n4tip10000000000The Buckhorn Inn, built in 1859, is rumored to be haunted, not that the ghost stories frightened anyone off from eattin’ there back in the day. I think the ghost or one of them is a soldier?  Here are the claims of a Psychic and Paranormal Investigation done there. I can’t raise my right hand and swear on any of that. But it is interestin’ for those who crave somethin’ ghoulish. As I said above, it is FOR SALE. Sadly, since I was there as a kid, it has passed through the hands of many, many Owners. Some good, some not so great. Shame. Its in great shape and has awesome potential. Way above my price range but if there are any filthy rich gazillion-aires out there that just want to throw some money my way, I’d be happy to take the place on, lol.

Now that I have drug you down memory lane, let’s get to the point of this article. Few years back, while stummblin’ around my husband’s hometown of Deerfield, Virginia, I got my hands on a cookbook published by one of the church’s out there. (Deerfield Church of God) Inside was a recipe for The Buckhorn Inn’s House Dressing. That took me down memory lane, which made me just drag you down kickin’ and screamin’ and well, now here we are… to the recipe bit. I’m not sure if those who own it now use any of the old recipes, but here’s one for history’s sake. Enjoy. It’s a simple one but who knows, you may like it.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic Salt
  • 1/4 cup Oil
  • 1/4 cup Vinegar

Directions

Stir all ingredients well and put in a Jar for storage. Refrigerate.

Note: I just add it all to a Mason Jar, put lid on, and shake for dear life.

 

 

Save

Posted in Bread, Rolls & Such, From Scratch, Mine v/s Theirs, Pork, Seasonings, Sauces, Dressings & Mixes, The Hungry Hen

Ham & Cheese Yeast Rolls

One great thing about Facebook & Pinterest – the recipes. The bad thing about those recipes, many get you excited only to leave you feeling miserably disappointed. Money doesn’t grow on trees, so wasting bucks on ingredients creating something that doesn’t taste all that great, well, that’s a huge kick in the gut.

Luckily, we learn from experience and while that doesn’t mean we just give up on trying new things, it does mean we can spot, “what wont work”, head on. I did that the other night when someone on my Friend’s List was showing up a cool video of something that reminded me of Cinnamon Yeast Rolls, but instead of the Cinnamon and Sugar, they were rolled up and baked with Ham & Cheese. In their version, the recipe called for one of the many kinds and versions of “Canned Biscuits.”

I HATE BREAD DOUGH THAT COMES FROM A CAN. You can call it biscuits, pizza crust, croissants, rolls or whatever the hell you want to call it. It all tastes the same – processed yuck. That being said, I thought this was an incredible idea minus the Canned Yuck. So, last night, I sat down and whipped up a version of MY OWN HOMEMADE YEAST BREAD DOUGH to make this heavenly, Ham & Cheese Comfort Food treat.  AND, I know many of you are limited on time. You don’t have time to knead, let rise, then knead again only to let rise again. So we are going to use RAPID DRY YEAST and we are only going to KNEAD ONE TIME. Ready?

The.Crowin.Hen.Ham.Cheese.Yeast.Rolls

 

Ingredients

  • 2 Large Eggs, Beaten
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup of Honey (Some people prefer a little sweeter than others. So your choice. Either 1/2 cup or 2/3 cup)
  • 3 Individual packs of RAPID or INSTANT DRY YEAST
  • 4 1/2 cups of unbleached Flour
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons of Salt
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 & 1/2 cups of warm Milk (heated to 110 degrees)

 

Filling

  • 1 Pound of Black Forest Ham (I get my sandwhich sliced.)
  • 1 pack of sliced Swiss cheese (10-11 slices)
  • 4-5 slices Deli American Cheese
  • 1 Glass Pan

 

Directions

In one bowl, whisk together the dry yeast and 4 cups flour. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat eggs. Add salt and let dissolve.

In a glass measuring cup, heat milk in a microwave with butter. If you make it too hot, no worries. Just let it cool down a bit before you add it to the yeast. And don’t stress over it being a perfect 110 degrees. A degree here or there should kill it.

Add honey to milk and then all ingredients (egg, salt) to the flour and yeast.

Begin to mix. Adding a bit of flour of you need to until dough pulls from edges. Take to the counter and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is nice and smooth. Dust the counter and your hands with the 1/2 excess flour and look, if you end up using a bit more, don’t panic. It is what it is. If you think you have used way too much, rub Crisco on your hands and begin working the dough. This helps to make it elastic and workable without using more flour.

Let dough rest for about five or ten minutes.

Next step, with a rolling pin, roll the dough into one big rectangle, like so…

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Next, lay the ham out over it…

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Then, the Swiss cheese and lastly, fill in the gaps with the American.

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Roll the dough up placing the seam side down.

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Slice

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Place in glass pan

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Cover with a warm towel – I usually pop one in the dryer and sit in a dry, warm place.

Let them rise to double or triple their size. Depending on the temperature of the house and the ham & cheese, this could take an hour or two. Maybe less. Last night, it was raining here so it took a few hours. The key to light bread or one of them, is letting it rise long enough. Some people panic and go by directions. If it says 40 minutes, they let it rise for 40 but sometimes it takes longer,,,,

Once it has risen, bake in an oven 375 or 400 degrees until golden brown. Brush tops with butter OR the sauce below (if you use the sauce, bake it with it on.) and serve HOT.

These are out of this world. If you try them, please tell me what you think.

 

Here is a sauce that went with the recipe/video that I found on Facebook. Me and the kids didn’t like it because its sweet, although my husband loved it. If you don’t want the sauce, don’t use it or brush the inside of the dough with mayo—or nothing at all. We had some with nothing and it was delicious. Nothing else needed. NOTHING.

Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce.
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 stick of melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds.

Mix together, brush tops of rolls before you bake.

 

Again, this is a hot, amazing roll that can stand on it’s own or go great with soup or anything.

Posted in Chicken, From Scratch, Salads, Seasonings, Sauces, Dressings & Mixes, The Hungry Hen

Jalapeno, Bacon Ranch Dressing on a Grilled, Rotisserie Chicken Salad

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This will take some steps but its really simple. My kids love it and it took me YEARS just to get them to eat a salad. Plus, the Dressing, is my oldest Son’s crack. He uses it on everything. EVERYTHING. And you can work it out to suit your level of spiciness. Also, there are two options with the bacon, which again, you can pick to suit your tastes.

Now, while we all love to skip steps or throw in our own curve balls, please try this with the ingredients I have listed below first especially where the Dressing is concerned. If later on, you want to go with a store bought brand in a bottle, go ahead but just try my way first. I honestly don’t think you’ll regret it,

Let’s start with making the Dressing, first.

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You will need….

  • A box of Hidden Valley Ranch Mix.

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  • 1 Mason Jar
  • 1 Cup of Mayo
  • 1 Cup of Milk (Fresh or Canned Milk. I like Fresh.)
  • 4 Strips of Bacon Fried extra crispy and cooled. (NO BACON BITS. Try Actual Bacon.)
  • 4 TBSP of Hot Pickled Jalapeno Peppers. If you use Medium or Mild, you may want to use 1/4 cup. Remember, if you are playing with Heat, go small before you go big. After this sits in Fridge for awhile, the Heat GROWS. Keep that in mind. Use Pickled because the Brine adds a zip to this recipe.

Directions

Add Mayo, Milk and Ranch Mix in Mason Jar. Seal with a lid and give it a good shaking. Grind the Jalapeno Peppers in a Food Processor and then add to the Jar—shake again.

As far as the Bacon, you have two choices here. You can add the crumbled Bacon to the Dressing—keeping in mind that the Bacon, no matter how crispy, will go soft. If you don’t mind soft Bacon, then go for it. If you want Crunchy Bacon,  add a little to the salad just before serving.

Store in Fridge for an Hour before serving.

Now, For the Chicken and Salad …..

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This will make 4 Large Salads.

You will need…..

  • 4 Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • McCormick Perfect Pinch Rotisserie Chicken Seasoning

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  • 1/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Salt
  • 1 Head of Leafy Lettuce
  • Flaked Parmesan Cheese
  • Grill
  • Optional: Sliced Cucumber, Diced Fresh Apple (If everyone will eat this, use it. If not, Don’t. My kids wont but I will, so I just add it to mine and not to theirs.)

Directions

Put Chicken Breasts, frozen or thawed, in a bowl of water (enough to cover them) with Salt and Vinegar. Let Thaw or Marinate for a few hours until no longer frozen or you’re ready to Grill.

Throw on the Grill, using Rotisserie Seasoning on both sides. (Don’t be shy!) Cook until juice runs clear.

While they are cooking, cut up lettuce and if you are using Cucumber or Apple, cut those up too. Sprinkle a little lemon Juice on the apple and it will not turn brown.

Once the Chicken is done, slice in thin pieces. Season some more if you’d like.

On a plate, lay a bed of Lettuce and Cucumber or Apple. Lay out the Chicken. If you didn’t use the Bacon in the Dressing, crumble some now and sprinkle it on. Sprinkle with the flakey Parm Cheese. Drizzle with Dressing and Serve.

 

Posted in Back in the Day, Depression Food, From Scratch, Historical, Pork, The Hungry Hen

How to Cook an Aged, Country-Cured Ham

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Funny, how one day I noticed just how popular Country Hams were. I was standing at the concessions stand at my daughter’s softball game. Waiting on my Fries, a kid beside me looked up at his mother and said, “Mom, did they make the Country Ham sandwiches again?” Over Hot Dogs, Burgers or Fries, some freckled faced boy wanted salty, country pork. And my slap to attention didn’t stop there. I was at the local, summer Carnival when I seen a lady I had not seen out our way before. I asked what drug her out of the city limits and she replied, “Oh, my husband and I try to stop in every year just to get us a Country Ham Sandwich.” When my Great Aunt Joyce came down to visit not long after, I asked if she was hungry and wanted a sandwich. “Do you have any Country Ham? I haven’t had that for ages. I am just dying for some!”

Country Ham is most certainly right up there with Fried Chicken and Sweet Ice Tea. The problem is, not many folks make one anymore. They wait till they hit up a Family members house, a carnival or, well, as I learned, a ball game somewhere in the South. I suppose one reason could be the size of a Ham. They are rather large and most folks don’t have the freezer space to store the left overs. Most can’t even eat a third of one on their own. But the biggest reason, I think, people make them less and less at home is because they don’t know how. Honestly, it takes a bit of doing and many have lost the know-how.

The trick to a Country Ham is, you want to soak it overnight. You want to soak it for at least 12- 18 hours. You want to cover it in water—and folks, sometimes I change my water out a few times, depending on how salty you want it. I’ve also have soaked mine for two days, as well, before. And, I have actually soaked mine in a five gallon bucket. Not everyone has the sink room, ya know?

Next, and this is a part many forget because the “knowing’ has been lost between generations. Get yourself a pot. Drain the Ham from the water you have been soaking it in, place it in the pot and cover over again with fresh, cold water. You are going to want to SIMMER the Ham for ONLY TWO HOURS. I don’t care if that thing is the size of a watermelon, only SIMMER for TWO HOURS. DON’T BOIL. SIMMER. 

When the two hours is up, pull the Ham off the stove and just let it sit in it’s own juices – that pot of water—and completely cool down. Once it has, cut off the rind and clean it up. You can glaze it…

Honey – Just drizzle Honey over the Ham.

Brown Sugar – 1 Cup Brown Sugar (I like Dark), 1-2 tsp. Dry Mustard and 1/2 tsp. Cloves (optional)

Or whatever Glaze you want to invent. I’ve seen some people make Glaze out of Jams like Orange, Apricot, Apple Butter, whatever. It’s you’re world, so roll with it.

Last, place it in a preheated oven at 400 degrees and Bake (about 30-40 minutes). When you cut Country Ham, don’t cut thick slices. It should be cut in super thin ones. Not unless you are into thick. Freeze any extras in pieces to make Beans or whatever you desire or to pull out when company comes over to make Red Eyed Gravy or Biscuits.

Posted in Ducks & Other Birds, From Scratch, Historical, Other, The Hungry Hen, Wild Game, Guineafowl, Birds, etc.

Braised Guinea Hen Recipe, Information & Cooking Tips

 

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A lady told me awhile back, “Once you cook Guinea, you won’t want chicken anymore.” Now while I still haven’t cooked a Guinea, I do recognize the fact that these birds can be multi-purpose. Eggs (Seasonal Layers), Pest Control and Meat (Compare to Pheasant). While some absolutely hate them—they are noisy and can bully chickens—hey, there’s a pecking order to everything—others love them because they make great alarms. Anything comes around, they are the first to catch wind of and make noise about it. They also work in a pack, might want to tell that to the snakes before they enter the yard. And snakes are just an appetizer. These things wipe out spiders, ticks, locusts, grubs, snails, beetles, WASPS!!!! AND THAT’S just the tip of the iceberg!

So, I am still considering bringing Guineas home. And if I ever get more land and that farm I dream of, then you can bet your best Sunday bloomers, I’ll be gettin’ em sooner rather than later. Until then, here’s the 411 on the bird.

Aside from what I’ve already said, Guineas are native to West Africa. Sometime during the 15th-16th century, the bird was brought to Europe and soon after, became very popular in Colonial America. They are great foragers, so if you get some, you will want several, as they hunt in a group or pack. If you bring them in as keets—babies—then free ranging is a cinch but if you bring them in as adults, you might want to consider locking them up for three or so weeks before setting them free to range on their own.

Guineas are compared to Pheasant as far as taste goes. In fact, I’ve heard them called, “Poor Man’s Pheasant” because it costs a fraction less to raise a Guinea than it does a Pheasant. Don’t let the nickname or cost fool you, though. In many Countries, Guineas are like our Lobsters. They are considered fine-dining without a doubt!

The darker meat, is darker and more rich than, let’s say, chicken. There is less fat, so it’s healthier. They have smaller bones but produce bigger breasts (again, in comparison to chickens). Hens, on the table, may average between 2 to 3 pounds.People prefer the Hens to Males because the Hens have bigger breasts and actually, are said to taste better. The breasts also have a better texture to the meat. 

Roast them like you would a Pheasant, even stuffing them using the giblets. If you are eating Guinea breast, remember that the meat can go dry. Usually, in Colonial times, they would wrap the breast in a fat, like salt pork. One historical way of cooking them would be to place them in an oven at 400 degrees for 40 minutes—basting. Remove the pork and then roast for ten minutes allowing them to brown. Now days, one could use a thick sliced bacon, I’m sure.

Below, is a recipe our European and American Ancestors once loved….

Braised Guinea Hen

  • 1 Guinea Hen
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1 TBSP of Vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Pepper (Black)
  • 1/4 tsp. Dry Mustard
  • 1 Garlic Clove, crushed
  • Dash of Cayenne
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Broth

Directions

Cut the Guinea in quarters and sauté in heated butter until all sides are brown. Mix together remaining ingredients and pour over bird, cover and simmer for 30 minutes until almost tender. Remove cover, turn up heat and continue cooking until almost all liquid has evaporated. Wild Rice goes well with this. Serves 4.

 

American Heritage Cookbook

 

Posted in Bread, Rolls & Such, From Scratch, Historical, The Hungry Hen

Historical Lightnin’ Bread : No Yeast, Salt Rising Bread

Lightnin’ Bread is also known as Salt Rising Bread. Back in the day, when you couldn’t count your bottom dollar on how Yeast was gonna turn out, people made Lightnin’ Bread. You will create your own fermentation which makes this bread rise. It takes some time to make, which maybe why people don’t fool with it much today. In my opinion, this bread should make a comeback for Homesteaders or for those just tryin’ to get back to the basics.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups Milk
  • 2 cups of White Corn Meal
  • 1 TBSP Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 8-10 cups Sifted All Purpose Flour
  • 2 TBSP Shortening

Directions

Scald Milk in a saucepan on the stove. Remove from heat and add to Corn Meal, Sugar, and Salt—stirring until smooth. Cover with a teat towl and set in a warm place overnight. The following morning, add 1 cup warm water mixed with Baking Soda and about 2 1/2 cups Flour. (This should make a stiff batter. If not, add flour till it does.) Set bowl of batter in a pan of warm water. Cover. And let standing until it foams up. (2 hours to half a day). Try to keep water at an even tempoerature all the time. Not too hot. Not too cold. If it seems like the batter is not rising, give it a stir to help things along.

If you notice an odor, then all things are working. The odor is another reason people now days may be afraid of this bread but don’t be. This odor is caused by acetous, which is souring or, you may know it as, fermentation. You may also think, souring means, a tart or foul bread but its not. The more souring that happens, the sweeter the bread will be when baked.

When the batter has risen, knead in Shortening and more flour. (Could take up to 8 cups) to make a stiff bread dough. Shape into 2 loaves, set in greased loaf pans, and let rise again until doubled. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until light brown.

 

The American Heritage Cookbook

Posted in Bread, Rolls & Such, From Scratch, Historical, The Hungry Hen

The Story and Recipe of Anadama Bread

During the 19th century, Massachusetts, there lived a Fisherman and his wife…or so the story goes. Every day at the crack of dawn, the Fisherman would set sail into the deep of the sea hoping to make his catch so that he could shape some sort of modest living for himself. Every evening, tired and worn, he’d come home to a woman who was hell-bent on neglecting him. Each and every night, there upon the table, was nothing more than corn meal and molasses. Unable to stand it any longer, the Fisherman finally lost his temper over what his wife considered to be a good enough meal for a hard working man. Among the heated words spewing under his breath, in a rage, he threw yeast and flour into her joke of a supper and then all of it into the oven to cook. Even after the loaf had baked and he sat down to eat it, the Fisherman would famously go down in history, saying, “Anna, damn her!” Hence the name, Anadama Bread. This, as you can imagine, is classified as one of our Historical Recipes and, a keeper.

 

  • 1/2 cup Corn Meal
  • 3 TBSP Shortening
  • 1/4 cup Molasses
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 3/4 cup Boiling Water
  • 1 package active Dry Yeast or 1 cake compressed
  • 1/4 cup Warm Water
  • 1 Egg beaten
  • 3 sifted cups of All Purpose Flour

Mix corn meal, shortening, molasses, salt and boiling water in a big bowl. Let stand until water is lukewarm. Sprinkle yeast over warm water to dissolve, then stir yeast, egg, and half of the flour in. Beat vigorously. Stir remaining flour in and mix until dough forms. Transfer to a greased loaf pan and cover. set in a warm place until dough rises 1 inch above the pan. Sprinkle top with a little corn meal and salt. Bake in a PREHEATED 350 degree oven for 50-55 minutes. Cool before slicking.

 

 

From the American Heritage Cookbook