Friday, February 8, 2013

Valentine's Day Holiday Menu 1

Valentine's Day is less than a week away, so it's time for you to start thinking about how you are going to do something special! Prepare your meal with the University of Iowa Press cookbooks!

Tomato Soup (serves 4) from the book Prairie Cooks

3 cups milk                                                     1 teaspoon soft butter per bowl of soup
2 1/2 cups tomato juice                                   1/4 teaspoon soda
1 tablespoon sugar                                          1/2 teaspoon dill weed

In a heavy saucepan, heat milk to very warm but not to scalding. In another saucepan combine tomato juice, sugar, and dill weed and boil gently for 5 minutes to reduce slightly. Remove from heat and add soda immediately. The mixture will foam up; stir it quickly and add instantly to the milk and stir. Pour into four bowls and place 1 teaspoon butter in each bowl. Serve promptly.

The secret of this soup is to keep it from curdling; you must not scald the milk. Add the soda to the hot tomato mixture immediately and then stir quickly into the milk.

Tomato soup is good served with fresh bread and cheese.

Favorite Rolls (makes 2 dozen) from the book Up a Country Lane Cookbook

1 cup milk, scalded                                            1/4 cup lukewarm water  
1/4 cup shortening                                             1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup sugar                                                     1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt                                                
1 package yeast (check the dates on yeast when you buy it)
3 1/2 cups flour

Scald milk. Remove from fire and add shortening, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt, stir to dissolve, then cool to lukewarm. While this is cooling, combine yeast, lukewarm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Let dissolve and bubble for 5 minutes. Add dissolved yeast to cooled milk mixture. Gradually beat in egg and enough flour to make a soft dough. Turn out on floured breadboard. Work in only as much flour as needed, no more; the less flour used, the lighter the rolls. Knead lightly for 3 to 4 minutes. It becomes smooth and elastic. Place dough in greased bowl, turning once to coat all sides. Cover with clean tea towel and let rise in a draft-free place until double (about 2 hours). Punch down and knead on lightly floured board for about 5 minutes. Shape into rolls and place on greased cookie sheet or baking pan. Cover with tea towel and let rise until double. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Turn out on wire cooling rack. If you like a crusty roll, leave as is. If you want a soft crust, brush rolls with butter or margarine when removed from the oven. This is fine yeast bread for beginners but it is equally good for experienced cooks.

Prairie Cooks, by Carrie Young with Felicia Young

Up a Country Lane Cookbook, by Evelyn Birkby

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Great Photos in Iowa

When Klondike Bill, a colorful transcontinental itinerant, and his dog team reached Iowa City, a photographer snapped them standing next to the University of Iowa campus. 

Was This Heaven?, by Lyell D. Henry, Jr. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Bald Eagles

Over wintering bald eagles can be seen across the country in large and small groups or as single birds.  Groups usually include a number of mature adults and a collection of juveniles up to four years in age.  Immature or juvenile bald eagles are mottled brown and often mistaken for golden eagles.  Although golden eagles range across the entire country during the winter months, they are found in very small numbers.  Data collected on mature birds indicates that bald eagles are slightly larger than golden eagles, and one needs to remember that in all birds of prey female birds are larger than males.     

Trees in Your Pocket has just posted a review of Trees in Your Pocket: A Guide to Trees of the Upper Midwest by Thomas Rosburg!

...Taking up minimal space and weighing virtually nothing, Trees in Your Pocket is the ideal guide to bring along on expeditions into the forest...

Read the review here.

Midwest Nature Quote of the Week

To any rule that might be drawn concerning hibernation, there is an exception to confound the issue. The phenomenon is not restricted to such herbivores as the rodents, for many of the insectivorous bats are hibernators. And even among the true sleepers, there such exceptions as the eastern chipmunks. One chipmunk may sink into the typically deep torpor of the true hibernant; another individual may remain active in deep January.

John Madson, Stories from Under the Sky