Ryebread; Split Pea Soop; Cherry Jazz
Story and Photo by Guest Writer John P. Freeman
Subbing this month for the Man in the Kitchen was a bit daunting. I decided to sift through all my old handwritten recipes. I found my Swedish grandmother’s rye bread recipe and one for my mother’s green split pea soup. These must be at least 50 years old because my grandmother moved back to Minnesota in 1954. I decided that I wanted to make rye bread and pea soup. Together they would make a hearty meal for either lunch or dinner.
Grandmother’s recipe for rye bread was awfully sketchy, just the barest outline, leaving the details to a tried and true bread maker. And that’s not me. I tend to over-knead these sorts of things. So I went online to search for an appropriate rye bread recipe that I could make using a bread making machine. The one I chose called for fennel seed and orange zest instead of caraway seeds. The website is www.kitchenparade.com.
Swedish Rye Bread
1 1/4 cups warm tap water
1 Tbl. soft butter
1/2 Tbl. table salt
1/4 cup honey (or part molasses)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbl. fennel seed (I only used 1 Tbl.)
Zest of an orange
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups rye flour
1 packet (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast (rapid rise for bread machines; you might have to adjust the amount for your bread machine)
Bread machine: Add ingredients in order listed, not letting the yeast touch liquid. Set for wheat bread and light crust.
Mother’s pea soup recipe was relatively simple to follow. It called for a ham hock to cook with the peas. Now that my wife, Marty, and I are empty nesters, we don’t buy a ham with a bone in it. Most are too large and we would be eating off it for days. I decided to add diced ham instead.
Split Pea Soup
Saute 1 cup of diced onions in butter.
Add 8 cups of broth (chicken or vegetable)
Add 2 pounds of green split peas (rinsed)
Add 2 tsp. salt and add pepper to taste
Add garlic (if you don’t like it, don’t add it)
Add 2 bay leaves
Add 1 cup diced or sliced carrots
Add 1 cup diced celery.
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer until the peas are soft and start to break up.
When done to your liking, test for flavor and add seasoning to your taste
Since this was turning out to be a meal, I thought, ”Why not dessert, too?” Looking through the recipes again, I came across a 1970s cherry concoction called “Cherry Jazz.” With George Washington’s birthday coming up, something with cherries seemed appropriate. This recipe is easy; very difficult to mess up. I looked for the recipe on the web and found it under the name “Cherry Crisp” at www.cooks.com.
Pour one can of cherry pie filling (canned cherries will not do) into a 9-inch glass pie pan.
Sprinkle, as evenly as possible, one small box of cake mix (like Jiffy) on top of the fruit filling. Do not mix in. Since I couldn’t find a small box (9 oz.) of Jiffy white cake mix, I bought a regular size white cake mix and weighed out 9 oz.
Pour 1/4 lb. of melted butter or margarine over the cake mix. Do not mix in.
Sprinkle chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans) over the top.
Bake for 45 minutes in a 350º preheated oven until top is a nice golden brown.
Chill in refrigerator and cut in slices like pie.
Top with whipped cream if desired.
If this were going to be a meal, perhaps wine would be appropriate. What wine goes with pea soup? Going back online I connected with www.winespectator.com. Under the forums section there was a discussion about what would go well with pea soup. There were recommendations for Chablis or a white burgundy, or even a chardonnay. Others said drink what you like, even a beer or a red wine as long as it is not too strong.
Smaklig Måltid! (Swedish for “bon appétit!”)
Joihn Freeman is a retired high school math teacher. He enjoys music, bridge, travel and walking each morning around Longview's Lake Sacajawea.