Thursday, February 26, 2015

My New French Oven

New Red French Oven

The first dish I made after receiving my new six quart French Oven was Coq au Vin and it turned out almost perfectly. Here is a list of other recipes created especially for this beautiful “La Cocotte” by Dominique Tougne of Bistro 110. I will try some of these in future. Staub Cookware Recipes

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Old Time Chicken Fryer

Old Cast Iron Chicken Fryer #89 A
This is my old cast iron chicken fryer. It belonged to my husband's Idaho family and is probably from the early 1900s. After all that use, I finally cleaned and restored it last month following some videos on YouTube. The only markings on it are "89 A," which according to Internet sources signifies that it was manufactured by Chicago Hardware. There was quite a multi-day project to clean and restore it. It was crud-encrusted when I first possessed it back in the 1960s and I had no clue as to how to remove all that baked-on grease. I used it quite often when raising my family, mainly making casseroles as I was never big into frying chicken. Then one day in January 2015, I encountered videos on how to clean old cast iron. There were many different procedures, including building a big bonfire and placing the iron pot in the middle of it. I followed a different set of tutorials. I started with Easy-off Oven Cleaner, going over it twice which used the entire can. That did not remove all of the crude, so then I scrubbed it well with very fine steel wool (0000) which removed a bit more, but not all. At that point I resorted to cleaning it on the Self-Cleaning mode of my electric oven. I was apprehensive, but my oven is old and it needed cleaning anyway. Well, that procedure did the trick. Every bit of crud was burned off, but it took many washings to remove all of the rusty residue from the pan and lid. Once I had the cast iron fryer "clean enough," I then started the process of seasoning the pan. I smeared it all over with cocoanut oil and baked it about two hours in the oven. I turned off the oven and left the pan sit in it overnight. The next day I wiped it clean with paper towels and repeated the seasoning process. Now, whenever I use it, I give it a quick re-seasoning by smearing the inside with oil and heating it on the burner for a few minutes before adding my food. The first dish I prepared in it was indeed fried chicken and it turned out delicious: Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Major John Weir, 1650

From: Edna Barney
Subject: Major John Weir, 1650 Virginia
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2005 15:09:24 -0500

This is merely food for thought. I have often wondered if the early WARE family of Virginia was connected to Amer VIA. Realizing that the letters "W" and "V" were used interchangeably during the middle ages, we really need to look for the name VIA under the "W" spellings also. I came upon some DNA testings for the Virginia WAREs and they do not seem to match the VIA DNA markers, so I had given up on that prospect. 

I was perusing the on-line Virginia Patents at the Library of Virginia and I came upon Captain (Major) John WEIR (WEIRE) of Rappahannock County, Virginia. He had many land transactions during the 1660s in that county and in Lancaster County also. There is even one deal with Thomas BALLARD. Doing a bit of Internet research about Captain John WIER, I found him in Gloucester County in 1650 and I even found the will of his wife, Honoria (maiden name unknown). Honoria JONES had died by 4 Jan 1685/6 when her will, dated 21st Oct 1685 was recorded in *Old Rappahannock County, Virginia*:

"Will of Honoria JONES, widow & Relict of Mr. George JONES, being sick & weak of body, but ... to my Daughter Margaret BLAGG, that seat... of land wch I purc. of Colnll. John VASSALL lying & being on South Side of Rappa. River contaying Eleven hundred seventy & five acres the sd land to be at her absolute sole disposall for ever... to my Daughter Elizabeth GARDNER my Wedding Ring wch joyned me and my Husband Majr. John WEIRE in Matrimonie... to my Son In Law Mr. Abraham BLAGG 20 Shillings to buy him a mourning Ring... to my son Richard GARDNER, a knife a ring of the aforesd value... to my Grandchild Richard WATTS, one Silver .. Grandson, Edward BLAGG, same aforesaid... to my Grandson Edward BLAGG same aforesaid... Grandson Luke GARDNER the same ... Grandson Jno GARDNER the same... Daughter Margrett BLAGG, Wife of Mr. Abraham BLAGG to be my sole Executrix.. S/Honoria JONES. Wits: James HARRISON, Andw. [AO] ONEBY, Michael BASSEY, Prvd. 21 Dec 1685 by BASSEY, Wits. Henry AWBREY, Geo. TAYLER. Rec. 4 Jan 1685/6." (Old Rappa. WB2:84-5, Old Rappahannock VA Wills, Ruth & Sam Sparacio, McLean, VA)

Notice that a witness to her will is HENRY AWBREY! According to Virginia Patent Book 6, page 565, William VIER was one of 102 persons transported by Mr. HENRY AUBERY who recorded 5100 acres in Rappahannock County, Virginia exactly ten years earlier in 1675.

When Major John WEIR died, he left a will in Maryland:
*7th May, 1671 - 28th Apr., 1678* (Maryland Wills, Liber 9, Folio 78) Will of Major John WEIRE of *Rappahannock Co., Va*. To wife Honoria, dower rights. To daughter-in-law Margaret, wife of John WATTS of Potomac R., and hrs., part of a tract of land, 1,108 A., bought of Henry RANDOLPH of Jamestown (½ of sd. tract having already been sold to *Robert PAYNE*). To dau. Eliza: and hrs., "The Island" at 21 yrs. of age. To son John and hrs., residue of lands in Va. and elsewhere. Exs.: Son-in-law Jno. WATTS, Wm. MOSELY, Capt. Jno. HULL. Test: Jno. BATES, Luke HUMBLETON, Jno. JEFFERY. (Maryland Calendar of Wills: Volume 1, p. 208)

I suspect that the WILLIAM VIER who was transported by Henry AWBREY in 1675, is likely the William VEALE who left a will, 29 May 1693 - 10 Feb 1693/4 in Essex County, Virginia. "May the 29th day 1693. /Will of William VEALE. In the name of God Amen. I William VEALE of the County of Essex in the parsh of Sittingbourne being very sick and weake but of perfect Sence and memory doe make and ordaine this my last Will and Testament in matters and forms as followeth." (Orders, etc, No. 1 [Deeds and Wills] 1692-1695, pg 252-253.)

To add more mystery to this, William VEALE's family married into the BUTLER family and George JONES, Honoria's second husband, had been a co-administrator in 1679 with Amory BUTLER. "Amory" is what I had always suspected was the name that "Amor or Amer" VIA may have been.

The outstanding COMBS Family Research Report ( has an excellent treatise: *VASSALL and WARE/WARRE/WEIRE* Families

Edna Barney (

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Maryland Crab Cakes

As a native Marylander, of course, I have my favorite crab cake recipe. Make sure you use genuine meat from the blue crab. The highest quality "picked" crabmeat, with the least amount of cartilage and shells, can usually be purchased from seafood specialty restaurants.

  • 1 pound fresh backfin crab meat
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 slices bread, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • butter for frying
Remove all cartilage from crabmeat. In a bowl moisten bread crumbs with milk. Stir in remaining ingredients, except the crabmeat. When well mixed gently fold in the crab meat. Shape into six or eight cakes. Brown the cakes in a frying pan, with just enough butter or oil to prevent sticking, about five minutes per side. Makes 6-8 crabcakes.

More of Neddy's Recipes

Colcannon Recipe

“Well did you ever make colcannon,
Made with lovely pickled cream,
With the greens and scallions mingled
Like a picture in a dream?
Did you ever make a hole on top
To hold the meltin’ flake
Of the creamy flavoured butter
That our mothers used to make?
Oh you did, so you did,
So did he and so did I.
And the more I think about it,
Sure, the nearer I’m to cry.
Oh weren’t them the happy days
When troubles we knew not,
And our mothers made colcannon
In the little skillet pot?”
~~The Black Family

The Colcannon Recipe 
1 pound cabbage
2 pounds russet or yukon gold potatoes
2 small leeks, green onions or scallions
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons butter
dash of nutmeg or mace
Core, quarter and shred the cabbage and place in a pan, covering with boiled salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Peel and cut the potatoes into two inch pieces and cook those in another pan, insalted water for about 15 minutes. Drain the cabbage and chop into very small pieces. Drain the potatoes and mash by hand. Do not use a processor or mixer! Meanwhile, wash and chop the onion - using the middle parts - not the root end or rough ends of the green part. In a pan large enough to hold the cooked potatoes and cabbage, combine the onions and milk and cook over medium heat until they are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. 
Add the potatoes, salt, pepper, and mace to the onions and milk and stir over low heat until well-blended. Add the cabbage and 1/2 cup of butter and stir again to the consistency of mashed potatoes. Mound the mixture in the middle of a platter and make an indentation. Add the remainder of the butter. Serves 4 to 6.

(This was first published on 1 August 2011, by Edna Barney at "Neddy's Kitchen.")

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Old Time Boiled Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
With an electric mixer whip the eggs whites with cream of tartar and a pinch of salt until egg whites stand in stiff peaks, but are not dry. In a heavy saucepan boil sugar and water for two minutes. Slowly, pour the boiling hot syrup into egg whites whilst beating at highest speed. When frosting becomes stiff enough to spread (2-4 minutes), fold in vanilla.
Old Time "Unboiled" Frosting:
(I have not yet tested this recipe)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 unbeaten egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • Beat all ingredients together until stiff enough to frost cake. This recipe makes enough icing for a large angel or chiffon cake.

    Old Time Boiled Frosting:
    (I have not yet tested this recipe)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Mix flour and milk over medium heat until it forms a paste. Let cool. Mix butter and sugar together then beat in cooled flour and milk mixture. This will take 10 minutes, at least, until no sugar granules can be felt between fingers. Add vanilla.

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

    Quick Banana Bread

    I originally published this recipe to the Internet on March 16, 2007

    This is my basic recipe for banana bread. I almost always fancy it up a bit with additions such as vanilla, cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, grated orange peel, chopped nuts, raisins, dried blueberries, shredded coconut or whatever I have on hand that sounds good. Be creative.

    • 1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 2-3 eggs
    • 1 3/4 cups flour (I use 1 cup of whole wheat plus 3/4 cup of all purpose white.)
    • 3 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 3 very ripe bananas (1 1/2 cups mashed)

    Cream butter and sugar together. Stir in eggs one at a time. Add the mashed bananas and continue mixing well. Mix the flour with the baking powder and salt and add to the creamed banana mixture, mixing well.

    At this point you can fold in any additional ingredients, such as chopped nuts.

    Pour into a greased and floured* 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 50-60 minutes, until the top is chestnut brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake rest in the pan for five minutes, and then run a knife around the edge and remove to cool. Serves eight generously.

    *I usually do not use flour for this step, but spinkle the oiled pan with granulated sugar instead.

    Belgian Waffles

    I first published this recipe on February 18, 2007

    I have had my Belgian waffle maker for a few weeks now and it has been a great addition to my kitchen. Thanks to my neighbor Kathleen for recommending it. The waffles that I have made are as tasty as any that I remember eating in Belgium and they are far superior to any that I have ordered in American restaurants anywhere. Do not expect this recipe to be as good if you use an ordinary waffle maker, as it will not become hot enough. When my waffle maker first arrived I did not have all the ingredients to make the recommended recipe, so I used Jiffy Mix and the waffles turned out wonderfully. With the Jiffy Mix recipe, I did separate the eggs, adding the yolks to the batter and folding in the whipped egg whites at the last. Following is a recipe that I adapted from the one that came in the instruction booklet for the Waring Pro Belgian Waffle Maker. That original recipe did not turn out well for me, and I feel it was probably because the fresh milk was not scalded, which may have affected properties of the yeast.

    Edna's Belgian Waffles (Makes Ten Waffles)

    Classic Belgian waffles have a crispy outside and are soft and moist on the inside. The Belgians often serve them as a part of a celebration. You can try these waffles for something as simple as celebrating a beautiful day. My husband likes his with Mrs. Butter-Worth syrup. I prefer fresh fruit such as sliced strawberries or blueberries mixed with sweetened Greek yogurt or whipped cream.

    * 1 1/4 cups water
    * 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)
    * 4 eggs, separated
    * 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
    * 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
    * 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    * 1 1/2 cups milk (scalded if using fresh milk)
    * 3 cups sifted flour
    * 1/3 cup sugar (I use Splenda)
    * 1/4 teaspoon salt

    Dissolve the yeast in 1 cup of lukewarm (105°-110°F) water with a pinch of real sugar (not Splenda); let stand for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture begins to foam.

    Cool the scalded fresh milk or heat the dry or canned milk in a heavy saucepan. Add the butter and when it has melted, stir in the oil, vanilla and remaining ¼ cup water and cool the mixture to lukewarm, 105°-110°F. Add the egg yolks to the yeast mixture and stir until smooth. Slowly stir the egg yolk - yeast mixture into the lukewarm liquid mixture.

    Put the flour, sugar (or Splenda) and salt into the large bowl; stir to blend and then slowly stir the entire liquid mixture into the flour mixture and beat until it is smooth.

    Let stand for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

    Whip the room-temperature egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold them into the waffle batter at the first 15-minute interval.

    Preheat your waffle maker on your preferred setting. Setting #4 for the Waring Pro Belgian Waffle Maker achieves a golden brown baked Belgian waffle. You can adjust the browning control if you prefer lighter or darker waffles. The green ready indicator light will turn on and the waffle iron will beep when preheated.

    Using the provided measuring scoop, pour the batter into the preheated iron. You may use a heat-proof spatula to spread the batter evenly over the grids, however once you get the knack of pouring the batter evenly you will not need to do this. Close the lid and rotate the waffle iron 180° to the right. Bake until the beeper indicates that the waffle is done. Rotate the waffle iron 180° to the left to open.

    For best results, do not open the iron during the cooking of the waffle, as doing so offsets the timing mechanism.

    I save the remainder of the batter not used, covered in the refrigerator, and two days later, I give it a stir or two, and it is just as delicious as when first made. Be creative. Orange or apple juice or flavored tea can be substituted for the 1/4 cup of water. Freshly grated orange rind or nutmeg can be added or a teaspoon of almond flavoring. The oil used can be a flavored one such as walnut or almond. A small amount of whole wheat, bran, ground oatmeal or almond meal can be substituted for the white flour. A couple teaspoons or so of flax seeds or chopped nuts can be added.

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

    Your iPhone Tracks You Wherever You Go

    Did you know your iPhone tracks you everywhere you go?

    Go to Settings -> Go to Privacy -> Location Services -> and scroll all the way down to the last item, System Services. Open and scroll down to the bottom of System Services and tap Frequent Locations. Apple has hidden a feature here so that your iPhone tracks you everywhere you go. This depletes battery power by constantly tracking your whereabouts, so turn it off unless you want to be tracked. Then go back to the bottom of System Services and turn on the Status Bar Icon, so that you will know when one of your Apps is tracking you.

    If you want to prevent your Apps from tracking you, you will need to read this article, which has many tips on saving iPhone battery power: The iPhone Battery Fix