Sunday, April 09, 2017

 Like me, my mother, Dorothy Sargent Boudreau, was a writer/journalist. She loved cooking and good food and before her death put a cookbook together called Stove Stories. She believed food was more than food, but part of the experience of daily life, filled with memories. It was never published, but from time-to-time, I post her recipes.

MINE was a sweet-toothed family, no doubt of that.

Mother had been known to put down a book she was reading and go out and whip up a batch of fudge or possibly penuche.

Her brother could go through a pound of chocolates in record time and adores the very sweet double-boiler pudding you'll find here.

Dessert was a must at our house and often mother would announce, "Tonight there is apple pie, but there's also one serving of chocolate pudding and two pieces of orange cake left over from yesterday. What will you have, Walter?"

And my father would say, "All three," and proceed to finish the last morsels. He also subtly scrutinized each dessert plate to be sure his as the largest portion.

The single exception was my brother, who viewed the seven-minute boiled frosting mounted on mother's devil's food cake with something akin to nausea, which meant more for me! Not so with the Brambles. I've included the recipe. These had to be portioned out carefully.

And with my children Aunt Leah's chocolate sauce served over simple one-egg cupcakes had to be allotted three each to the four-member family. Which bring to mind a story that can still produce guilt in my son.

Seems when these two were quite young, J caught his sister, seven years older devouring HIS last cupcake and portion of sauce. Five at the time, he went screaming to his grandmother to stop this atrocity. 

Loathe to believe her granddaughter would stoop to such perfidy, she ignored the wails. And in desperation, the lad bit his grandmother on the wrist. 

To this day when the cupcakes and sauce are served, Donna-Lane chuckles. J grimaces and admits to more than a touch of regret about that long-ago bite.

About the candied orange peel, which is a bit of work, but well worth it. This goes back to the days of the extended family when every home harbored a grandma, grandpa, maiden aunt, widowed uncle or some relative.

Indeed, at one time our home had a paternal grandfather, a maternal grandmother, a paternal uncle and a maternal cousin.

But back to the orange peel, every Christmas for years, mother would make up sweets to fill one-pound boxes for what she referred to as "as the nice little old ladies in the neighborhood." The boxes wrapped in silver paper and with a piece of pine tucked into the red ribbon bows were duly delivered by my brother and me. They contained dates stuffed with fondant, dates stuffed with walnuts, chocolate fudge, divinity fudge, penuche and candied orange peel.

The ladies were delighted.


And melt in your mouth, they do. A recipe from Betty of Nebraska and chicken-fried steak fame. Her daughters insists on these of the holidays and gets them too.
  • 1 cup (2sticks) butter
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • Powdered sugar for coating
Melt butter in small pan.

Remove from heat. 

Stir in 1/4 cup powdered sugar, water and vanilla. 

Gradually blend in flour, then pecans to make pastry-like dough. 

Pinch off dough a teaspoon at a time. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. 

Bake in slow oven 300° for 20 minutes of until delicately golden. 

Remove from cookie sheet, dust with powdered sugar while warm.

As children we loved this and still do as adults. Trouble is now, I have to make it and get to it about twice a year. It's a bit time consuming and then it disappears so rapidly. Still worth while.

Prepare orange peel by cutting peel lengthwise in section. 

Cover with cold water, bring to boiling point and cook slowly until soft (about 20 minutes). 

Drain thoroughly, cut off any extra white part of rind and cut peel in thinnish strips. 

Good scissors will do the trick. Set the strips aside and prepare the candying ingredients.

BRING to boiling point,1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water and 2 tbsp. corn syrup.

Add one cup prepared peel and cook until it is clear 230° on candy thermometer. 

Remove peel from syrup with a slotted spoon and spread on a plate to cool. 

Roll in granulated sugar and spread on wax paper to dry and store in glass jars.


Mollie was a member of mother's bridge club and an excellent cook. When she entertained the group, the
members looked forward to this butterscotch sauce which she served over an ice cream puff and lavished with almonds. 

I once saw a gentleman, who shall remain nameless, eat four generous scoops of ice cream topped with this sauce. No dainty sherbert dish here. It took a soup bowl to hold the scoops with the sauce perilously near to the brim.
  • 1/4 pound butter
  • 1 package of light brown sugar
  • 1 pint of heavy cream
Put all contents in the top of a double boiler, blend and cook over the bottom pan for at least four hours. 

That's all there is to it.

I've told you the history of this sauce si suffice to say it brought us memories that I'm going to make it as
soon as today's typing stint is finished. 

Living alone now, I'll consume those 12 cupcakes, liberally sauced without and help, even tho' I may freeze six of them until next week. The sauce will keep.
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 oz. cooking chocolate
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
Combine salt, sugar and cornstarch. 

Add boiling water slowly and blend. 

Add chocolate. Put in double boiler and cook until thickened, stirring as needed. 

Add vanilla last.

1 comment:

Ellen said...

Okay, why didn't I see this post before? Just meandered over to your blog, today, after having read Rick's post, yesterday. My intention was too find a post from two years ago, but now my mouth is watering. What do you use for brown sugar in France? Cassonade? Or something else?