Recipes from Cumberland Creek

You asked for it! Here are some of the recipes I originally included in SCRAPBOOK OF SECRETS that were cut. There are three sections here–crop food, wake food, and food from my character’s home kitchens. I did not take pictures when we were testing all of this, but I do have a Pinterest board where I’ve found food that looks like the food in the book. Enjoy!

Section I Crop Food

Crop Til-You-Drop Spinach Dip
1 cup mayonnaise
1 16-ounce container sour cream
1 1.8-ounce package dry leek or onion soup mix
1 4-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1/2 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1-pound loaf round sourdough bread
In a medium bowl, mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, dry leek soup mix, water chestnuts and chopped spinach. Chill in the refrigerator 6 hours, or overnight. Remove top and interior of sourdough bread. Fill with mayonnaise mixture. Tear removed bread chunks into pieces for dipping.

When Annie brought hummus to share with the scrapbook club, most of them had never had it before and, at first, they were put-off by the way it looked. But, to be polite, they each took a bite and were surprised to find that it was delicious. They all asked Annie for the recipe.
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
2 1-pound 3-ounce cans chick-peas, drained and rinsed
2/3 cup well stirred sesame tahini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1/2 cup olive oil, or to taste

Mince and mash the garlic to a paste with the salt. Purée the chick-peas with the garlic paste, the tahini, the lemon juice, the oil, and 1/2 cup water, scraping down the sides, until the hummus is smooth and add salt to taste. Add water, if necessary, to thin the hummus to the desired consistency and transfer the hummus to a bowl. The hummus can be made 3 days in advance and kept covered and chilled. Divide the hummus between shallow serving dishes and smooth the tops. Serve the hummus with pita bread, raw vegetables, or both.

Cheese Biscuits
Paige missed these biscuits at the crop because she was spending the weekend with her son, Randy. But never fear, DeeAnn whipped her up a batch and had them waiting for her on her return.

2 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup grated sharp Cheddar
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 stick butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, to taste, and sugar together using a fork; cut in shortening until it resembles cornmeal. Add cheese. Stir in buttermilk all at one time just until blended. Do not over stir.
Drop by tablespoonfuls, or use an ice cream scoop, onto a well-greased baking sheet. Brush dough with melted butter. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

Blueberry Muffins from DeeAnn’s Bakery
DeeAnn’s intern whipped up a batch of these and forever endeared herself to her boss.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400°F .
Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

DeeAnn’s Lemon Bars
Scrumptious and inspiring. The scrapbook club came up with several variations on this one. Lime. Raspberry. Just switch out the juice and experiment.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
Pinch salt
2 sticks butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing
4 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch pan.
Make the crust by combining the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter to make a crumbly mixture. Press the mixture into the prepared pan. You may need to dip your fingers into a little flour or confectioners’ sugar to keep the dough from sticking to your fingers. Bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, mix the eggs, granulated sugar, flour, and lemon juice. Pour this over the baked crust and bake for 25 minutes longer. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar, if desired, when the bars are done.

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered milk
3 eggs
1 cup oil
3 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Grated lemon peel from 2 lemons
Cream together sugar, powdered milk, eggs and oil. Add flour, salt and baking powder alternately to creamed mixture with 1 1/2 cups milk. Add remaining ingredients. Beat 1 to 2 minutes. Pour into muffin pans. Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes.

II. Recipes from the Wake
The food at Southern wakes is legendary. Here’s a few of the dishes from Maggie Rae’s wake.

Pistachio Salad
Vera looks for this “salad” at every community function. Even though she doesn’t quite like the color of it, she loves it and heaps it onto her plate.
1 carton (16-ounce size) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 package (3.4 ounce size) instant pistachio pudding mix
6 drops green food coloring, optional
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1 can (20-ounce size) crushed pineapple, undrained
1/2 cup chopped pistachios or walnuts
In a large bowl, combine whipped topping, pudding mix and food coloring if desired. Fold in the marshallows and pineapple. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Just before serving, sprinkle with nuts

Shoofly Pie
For some people, shoofly pie is an acquired taste. If you like it, try it for breakfast, which is what the Pennsylvania Dutch have been enjoying for generations.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening
3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
To make the pastry, stir together the flour and salt in a bowl. Add half each of the shortening and butter and cut in with a pastry blender until the mixture is the consistency of coarse meal. Then add the remaining butter and shortening and cut in until pea-sized particles form. Add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing and turning the mixture lightly with a fork to moisten the dough evenly. Use only as much water as is necessary for the dough to come together. Gently gather the dough into a ball, divide in half, and flatten each half into a thick disk. Wrap separately in plastic wrap and chill for about 1 hour.

1 cup all-purpose flour
Two-thirds cup light brown sugar, packed
1 rounded tablespoon cold butter
One-fourth teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup light molasses
Three-fourths cup cold water
One-fourth cup hot water
1 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Roll out the pie pastry and line a 9-inch pie pan; set aside.
In a food processor bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, butter, and salt. Remove one-half cup of the mixture and set aside. Transfer the rest to a medium mixing bowl. In a small bowl, beat the egg lightly. Add the molasses and cold water, and blend but do not beat; you don’t want bubbles in the batter. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix the hot water with the baking soda and blend into the molasses mixture. Add to the flour mixture and mix well. Pour into the pie shell and top with the reserved crumbs. Bake for 35 minutes. The pie will appear quivery but will firm up as it cools. Transfer to a rack to cool completely before cutting.

Apple Crumble
Every Virginia family has a variation of this recipe in their larders.

4 cups peeled, cored, sliced apples
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup softened butter
Place apples in a lightly buttered baking pan or dish, about 10 x 6 or 9-inch square. Add water. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle crumb mixture over the apples. Bake apple crunch at 350°F for 35 to 45 minutes, or until apples are tender. Serve apple crumble warm with ice cream, if desired. Apple crumble serves 6.

Linguine Salad
A covered-dish-gathering staple.

1 pound linguine or other pasta, cooked
1 8-ounce bottle Italian Dressing
½ bottle McCormick’s Salad Supreme Dressing
1 cucumber chopped
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 stalks, celery, chopped
Garlic salt to taste
½ cup Parmesan cheese
Mix all ingredients. Refrigerate seven hours or overnight.

Red Velvet Cake
No wedding, no funeral, no picnic is ever complete in the South, without out the comfort of a red velvet cake.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ounce red food coloring
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans.
Lightly stir eggs in a medium bowl with a wire whisk. Add remaining liquid ingredients and stir together with whisk until blended. Set aside. Place all the dry ingredients in your mixing bowl and stir together well with another wire whisk. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high for about a minute or until completely combined. Pour into cake pans and then drop the pans on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
After about ten minutes, remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature
8 ounces of Philly cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
2 – 3 cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Mix the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes on medium speed until very smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing. Add the vanilla extract and mix. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Keep adding until you get to desired sweetness and thickness. Either spread on with a blunt knife or spatula, or spoon into a piping bag to decorate your cake or cupcake.

III From Home Kitchens

Annie’s Spaghetti Sauce
When Annie makes her spaghetti sauce, she frequently muses about the similarities between cooking and sex.

Fill a large (3 to 4 quart) pan with diced fresh tomatoes. Boil over medium heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Several cloves, diced fresh garlic
Large pinch of fresh dried oregano
Large pinch of fresh dried marjoram
1/2 cup red wine
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (or veggie crumbles)
2 to 3 eggs
Grated cheese, Romano or Parmesan 1/8 cups (fresh is better)
Italian seasoned bread crumbs (1/8 cup up to 1/4 cup)
2 fresh cloves garlic
1/2 fresh onion, diced
1 pinch fresh dried oregano
1 pinch fresh dried marjoram
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together by hand. Roll into balls slightly larger than golf balls. Fry in large frying pan over medium high heat (frying pan should have thin layer of olive oil). Turn meatballs occasionally so entire surface is crusty. Remove from pan.

Veggie Lasagne
Annie doubles this recipe when she has time on her hands so that her family can heat it up when she doesn’t have the time.

1 8-ounce package whole wheat lasagne noodles, cooked slightly (al dente)
1 9-ounce package frozen raw spinach
½-cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 eggs
3 cups low-fat cottage cheese
3 cups pre-made or store-bought pasta sauce
3 cups grated low-moisture part skim mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 325°F degrees.
In medium mixing bowl, beat eggs; add cottage cheese and Parmesan cheese. Spray a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Put one layer of slightly cooked lasagna noodles flat across the bottom of the baking dish. Add 1/2 the leaf spinach, pressing down lightly and evenly over noodles. Top with another layer of lasagna noodles. Top this layer of noodles with the cottage cheese mixture; add the remaining spinach. Then add the last of the lasagna noodles laid evenly on top of spinach. Spread pasta sauce evenly over the top; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Press down lightly.
Cover baking dish with foil, using foil sprayed with cooking spray and keeping foil off the center of the lasagna. Secure sides tightly over baking dish.
Bake about 1 hour 15 minutes in oven. To lightly brown the top, remove foil for a few minutes at the end of baking time.
Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Serves 10.

Sheila’s Apple Pie with Bourbon
‘Nuff said.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening
3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
3 pounds mixed sweet and tart apples such as eastern Golden Delicious, or Fuji and Jonathan, Stayman Winesap, or Braeburn, unpeeled, halved, cored, and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
10 to 15 gratings nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
4 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup bourbon
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon sugar
To make the pastry, stir together the flour and salt in a bowl. Add half each of the shortening and butter and cut in with a pastry blender until the mixture is the consistency of coarse meal. Then add the remaining butter and shortening and cut in until pea-sized particles form. Add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing and turning the mixture lightly with a fork to moisten the dough evenly. Use only as much water as is necessary for the dough to come together. Gently gather the dough into a ball, divide in half, and flatten each half into a thick disk. Wrap separately in plastic wrap and chill for about 1 hour.
To make the filling, place the apple slices in a large bowl. Sprinkle evenly with the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, and stir and toss with 1 or 2 large spoons to coat the slices evenly.
In a large frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the apple slices and cook, turning as needed, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until beginning to turn golden. Add the bourbon and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the apples are soft and the liquid is reduced to a light syrup. Stir in the orange zest. Let cool.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
To assemble and bake the pie, place 1 dough disk on a lightly floured work surface and roll out into an 11-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Drape the round around the rolling pin and transfer to a 10-inch pie pan, gently easing it into the bottom and sides. Trim the overhang so it extends about 1 inch beyond the rim of the pan, then fold the edges under. Roll out the remaining dough disk in the same manner for the top crust.
Spoon the filling evenly into the pie shell. Drape the second pastry round around the rolling pin and let it fall gently over the filling. Trim the overhang so it extends about 1/2 inch beyond the rim of the pie pan, fold the edge under, and flute attractively. Cut a few small vents in the top, then sprinkle the surface evenly with the sugar.
Bake for 10 minutes. Decrease the heat to 350°F and continue to bake for about 50 minutes longer, or until the pastry is golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm.
Serves 8

Early Morning Cinnamon Rolls
A gentle start to the day.

3/4 cup, milk
1/4 cup margarine, softened
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 (.25 ounce) package instant yeast
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 egg
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Mix in margarine; stir until melted. Let cool until lukewarm. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/4 cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt; mix well. Add water, egg and the milk mixture; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has just pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, softened margarine. Roll out dough into a 12×9 inch rectangle. Spread dough with margarine/sugar mixture. Sprinkle with raisins. Roll up dough and pinch seam to seal. Cut into 12 equal size rolls and place cut side up in 12 lightly greased muffin cups. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 380°F. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until browned. Remove from muffin cups to cool. Serve warm.

Beatrice’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
Beatrice always says if you’re going to bake, don’t skimp on the ingredients. Otherwise, what’s the point?

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Optional: 1 cup chopped pecans, or chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 380°F.
Mix sugar, brown sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl by hand. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt. The dough will be very stiff.
You can use mixer for this first step. Mix the dough well before moving on.
Stir in chocolate chips by hand. Use a sturdy wooden spoon for this and a bit of muscle. You can add the pecans, or other nuts, at this time. Stir and fold the chocolate chips and nuts into the dough until they are evenly dispersed.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown. You may even think that the chocolate chip cookies are underdone, but they will finish after you pull them out of the oven. If you leave them in too long, the cookies will be tough or crispy.
The centers will be soft. Let cool completely then remove from cookie sheet.

Vera’s Easy Peach Cobbler
Even if you’re a busy dance studio owner, you can find the time to whip up a batch of this during the peach season.

2 cups fresh peaches, sliced
1 cup sugar (for peaches)
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup baking mix, such as Bisquick
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 380°F.
Combine peaches and 1 cup sugar. Mix together milk, 1 cup sugar, butter and bisquick. Add mixture to baking pan, pour fruit onto the mixture. Bake for 45-60 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Beatrice’s Blackberry Cobbler
Vera’s first cobbler after years of not eating anything sweet.

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 cups blackberries, picked over, rinsed & drained
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, cold, cut in small pieces
1/4 cup boiling water

In a large bowl, stir together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup cold water until cornstarch is completely dissolved. Add 1 cup of sugar, lemon juice, and blackberries; combine gently. Transfer to a cast iron skillet.
In a bowl, combine the flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 1/4 cup boiling water and stir the mixture just until a soft dough is formed.
Bring the blackberry mixture to a boil, stirring. Drop spoonfuls of the dough carefully onto the boiling mixture, and bake the cobbler on a baking sheet (line with foil to avoid a mess) in the middle of a preheated 400°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the topping is golden. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.


New Fall Recipes from Cumberland Creek

In one of the opening scenes in SCRAPPED, my characters are enjoying some spicy pumpkin soup.


 Easy Spicy Pumpkin Soup

1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
1-1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1 cup low fat milk (2%)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, or to taste.

Mix first 5 ingredients and bring to simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Corn Pudding

Photo by azgalarneau.

I also made corn pudding with the classic Jiffy cornbread mix recipe. I don’t know who first came up with this, but it’s everywhere—and there’s a reason for it. It’s easy to make and it’s good. I like it because there’s no added sugar. It really is sweet enough without the sugar and my family gobbled this right up.

Once again, my scrappers are attending a funeral and this dish was featured at the meal afterward.

Jiffy Corn Pudding

1 can whole kernel corn, drained

1 can cream corn

1 stick butter

1 (8 oz.) pkg. sour cream

1 box Jiffy corn bread mix

Melt butter in dish. Put in corn and cream. Mix together well. Sprinkle corn bread mix over corn and stir all together. Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

2 thoughts on “Recipes from Cumberland Creek

  1. Linda says:

    In our family, your Pistachio Salad was known as Watergate Salad. Showing my age. I knew your recipe sounded very familiar. Wonder if political affiliation determined which name it went by in families?

    • Mollie Cox Bryan says:

      Thanks for commenting! That’s an interesting theory. My mom is a Republican and my dad is a Democrat, which of course, leaves me as in Independent. 😉

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