Meatless French Onion Soup

Meatless French Onion SoupThis meatless French onion soup is an inexpensive, delicious Lenten meal and not hard to make.

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 4 onions thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 slices of bread
  • 4 slices of Swiss cheese
  • 1 quart of water
  • 1 tsp soy sauce

In a pot — we used a Dutch oven — heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. Put the onions in the oven and let them cook for 10 minutes. Splash in some wine — we just used a box red — to deglaze then let them simmer on medium low for a half hour.   Stir in the garlic powder. Let it cook for two minutes then put in the rest of the wine. Turn the heat to hight to boil off half the wine, while you fill up a quart container with water. Add the soy sauce to the water then pour it in the pot. Add the salt and pepper. Bring it back to a boil then lower it to a simmer while it cooks for an hour.

Toast four slices of bread.  We used a Pao Caseiro from the Lusitania Bakery. Put a  slice in a broiler-safe bowl then ladle soup atop it. Pace the cheese atop the soup and broil until the cheese melts. A toaster oven works great.

Meatless French Onion Soup



Slavic Christmas Food Sale At HMB

Slavic Christmas Food Sale At HMB — Holy Myrrh-Bearers Eastern Catholic Church is having a Slavic Christmas Food Sale. Deadline for orders is Dec. 3 and pickup will be at the church, 900 Fairview Road, Swarthmore, Pa. 19081.

For sale are kielbasi, $10 for four links or $12 for a ring; meatless borscht for $8 per quart; ushki (mushroom dumplings), 8 per dozen; kutia, (boiled wheat, poppy seed, raisons and honey), $5 per half pint; mushroom gravy, $5 per pint; pierogies (potaot/cheese) $8 per dozen; and delicious pastry rolls at $15 per loaf with varieties being poppy seed, poppy seed-raison, walnut and apricot.

To order or for information call 610-544-1215 or email

Slavic Christmas Food Sale At HMB

Slavic Christmas Food Sale At HMB

Halubtsi, Halushki At Holy Myrrh-Bearers

The Slavic delights of halubtsi and halushki are featured in a special sale at Holy Myrrh-Bearers  Eastern Catholic Church in Ridley, along with a Ukrainian platter.

The halubtsi or stuffed cabbage is three for $10. The halushki, which is sautéed cabbage, onions and noodles is $4 a pint and $8 a quart.

The Ukrainian platter consists of stuffed cabbage, three pierogies, halushki, kielbasi, coffee and cake and is $8.

Orders must be made by Nov. 6. Pick up for the halubtsi and halushki is 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Nov. 11. Pick up for the platter is 9 a.m. to noon, Sunday, Nov. 12.

To place one call 610-544-1215 for email at

The church is at 900 Fairview Road, Swarthmore, Pa. 19081


Halushki At Holy Myrrh-Bearers

Halubtsi, Halushki At Holy Myrrh-Bearers

Daphne Cudd Curried Chicken

Daphne Cudd Curried ChickenDaphne Cudd Curried Chicken

There was an involuntary shudder and the green eyes suddenly were filled with fear.

Daphne Cudd was a beautiful woman, who had the good sense to be afraid of violent bandits and poisonous snakes. She had recently joined her husband in India.

Victoria was the queen and the sun never set on the British Empire.

Col. Reginald E. Cudd was the commanding officer of the 3732 Royal Fusiliers. He was ruddy faced, wore a handle-bar mustache, and engaged in much throat clearing.

“Harrumph! harrumph!” he said, as he speared a piece of chicken. “Veddy hot, but good, but good.”

Cudd chewed contentedly.

“What do your call this, my dear!” he asked.

Daphne was deep in thoughtful worry. Reggie had been blunt and direct in his warning about the plundering dacoits i.e. robbers and the deadly hooded cobras. The robber bands were active and the rain had brought out the snakes.

She shook her head.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “It’s an Indian dish. I got the recipe from a native.”

Daphne retired to her bedroom early. She read until overcome by tiredness, then fell into a restless sleep. Sometime past midnight a cobra, in an effort to escape the night’s chill, entered the Cudd residence through a hole where a pipe had once been. The snake made its way to Daphne’s bedroom, crawled into the bed and cuddled up next to the sleeping beauty.

During the early morning hours Daphne felt a cold and clammy weight on her chest. It seemed to get heavier and heavier. It finally woke her. She opened her eyes and found herself staring straight into the gleaming eyes of the snake.

Her sudden movement angered the snake. Its eyes cruelly glittered and its tongue movement increased. It appeared ready to strike. Then as Daphne lay still, paralyzed by fear, the snake became calm and appeared to fall asleep.

Daphne knew, however, that one slight movement on her part would probably mean death. The cobra’s bite was fatal, usually within 10 hours.

The snake’s weight became oppressive, even worse, the reptile had an awful case of halitosis, and its head was only inches from Daphne’s chin.

Daphne then saw a shadowy figure flit toward her dresser.

“My lord,” she thought. “Now I have a bandit to contend with also.”

She heard the dacoit open her jewelry box, and remove its contents. The shadow then approached Daphne’s bed. If she uttered a warning, the snake would wake up and strike her. She could only stare wide-eyed as the bandit reached for her.

The snake suddenly heard the movement and saw the bandit’s hand come toward it. The snake hissed and struck the prowler full in the face.

The dacoit slashed with his dagger and cut off the snake’s head. He knew he could not be saved, so he simply sat down to await his fate.

Daphne’s scream brought Reggie into the bedroom.

“Harumph! Jolly rich eh, what? A watchsnake. Too bad the rogue had to kill it,” Reggie said. Then he laughed uproariously.

At that moment, Daphne thought seriously about substituting arsenic for the curry in her Indian chicken recipe.

Of course, she did not. She had a deep love for Reggie, even though he was a blowhard. She continued to prepare his favorite dish. The recipe follows:

Daphne Cudd’s Curried Chicken

3 Lb. chicken parts

2 Tbs. water

1 Tsp. salt

3/4 Cup finely chopped onion

3 Tbs/ vegetable oil

1 Cup sour cream

2 Tsp. curry powder

1 1/2 Tsp. ginger

1/4 Tsp. ground cumin

2 chili peppers

Heat oil in 12-inch skillet or Dutch oven. Cook chicken in the oil over medium heat until brown on all sides, which should take about 15 minutes. Drain fat from skillet. Sprinkle salt, onion, chili peppers and water on chicken. Cover and simmer until thickest pieces of chicken are done, which should take between 30 and 40 minutes.

Remove chicken from skillet and pour liquid from skillet into a bowl. Skim fat from top and return a quarter of the liquid to the skillet. Stir in sour cream and the spices. Stir until hot taking care the sour cream doesn’t curdle. Pour sauce over the chicken.


Daphne Cudd Curried Chicken

Studenina Palinko Style, A Legendary Recipe

Studenina Palinko Style, A Legendary Recipe
Ready to eat

Studenina Palinko Style, A Legendary Recipe — Timmy Palinko was known all over the Pocono Mountains for his magnificent homemade whiskey. Timmy operated a butcher shop in Freeland, and while his meat was the finest quality, it was the top-of-the-line whiskey he manufactured that made him a rich man.

He had runners in every coal patch in Luzerne County. Of course federal agents were always after them. One day in Freeland,  a well-dressed agent approached Baron Lutz, one of Timmy’s runners.

The dapper detective told Baron he would give him $10 for a quart of good whiskey.

“Can’t do it for $10,” said Baron. “It will cost you $40.

The agent agreed, and handed over the $40.

“Hold this shoebox,” Baron said. “I’ll be back.”

After a while, the agent began to get suspicious. He opened the shoebox and found a quart of Timmy’s best whiskey, so he got what he paid for. It was hard for the feds to put one over on the natives.Timmy’s liquor still was hidden in the desolate strippings behind Eckley, and there was no agent alive who was ever going to find it.

Timmy, during certain holidays, would give out a bonus pint of his finest cornbrew to the best customers at the butcher shop.

One Easter there was an unbelievable run on the pork sausage.Timmy was making it as fast as he could and just barely keeping up with the demand. He finally ran out of pork.

“Keep everything under control,” he told an assistant. “I’ll be right back.”

He hopped into his pickup truck and took a ride into the countryside where he knew there were always pigs along the road. He spotted one, and simply ran over it. He tossed it into the front seat where it would not be seen, and headed back home.

He was in such a hurry, he ran a stoplight, and was pulled over by a state policeman new to the area.

“I’m sorry officer, I’m in a big hurry,” Timmy said, pointing to the pig. “That’s my sick brother, and I’m rushing him to the doctor.”

The cop took one look and waved Timmy on.

“I’ve seen a lot of ugly people in my time, but your brother has got to be the ugliest in the entire world,” the cop said.

Timmy smiled. “I’ll tell him what you said. He’ll be might proud,” Timmy said. A few minutes later he was back in his shop butchering the hog. The bulk of which was used in the making of his sausage.

But the feet were set aside to use in making studenina, a Slovak delicacy of which one never tires once one gets the courage to try.

Timmy enjoyed his whiskey, studennia and sausage.

After Prohibition, Timmy went into the legitimate whiskey making business, and until he died on April 27, 1947 put out what might have been be the best sipping whiskey in the world. His studennia weren’t bad either.

Timmy Palinko’s studennia recipe follows:

4 trotters (pig’s feet either split or not)
2 garlic cloves or 1 Tbl of garlic powder
6 peppercorns
3 Tbl black pepper
3 bay leaves
1 Tbl salt
1 Tbl paprika

Studenina Palinko Style, A Legendary Recipe
After filling the bowls put them in a cool place overnight.

Place the trotters in a large pot and add just enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil, skimming if necessary, for a half-hour. Remove them and discard the water. Rinse them and the pot. Place the trotters along with the rest of the ingredients back in the pot. Cover again with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for about three or four hours until meat is falling off the bone. Place the trotters in large bowls—Corningware works great. Pour the liquid over the trotters and let stand overnight in a cold place.


Studenina Palinko Style, A Legendary Recipe

Onion Tomato Soup Makes A Delicious Fall Meal

Onion Tomato Soup Makes A Delicious Fall MealOnion Tomato Soup Makes A Delicious Fall Meal — This fusion of French onion and comfort tomato soup will warm your heart on the coldest autumn day.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a stock pot and add a tablespoon of garlic. Add a large diced onion and a healthy helping of parsley (or basil or whatever fresh herb you have) and sauté.

Quarter a generous amount of tomatoes — nine delicious garden fresh ones in our case — and season heavily with salt. Dumb to do it that way? Smart? Doesn’t matter that’s what we did.

Put the tomatoes in the pot and and cover them with water. Throw in a beef bullion cube along with some pepper and paprika. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and leave it be for an hour or so then take a hand blender to it. If one should be sans hand blender one should use a food processor but that will increase the aggravation factor and start taking the fun out.

Return the soup to the simmer and cut some slices of nice Italian or French bread. Put it at the bottom of an oven safe bowl and cover with cheese. Nicely meltable American works fine. Fill the bowl with the hot soup and put another slice on top. If you wish you can put it in the microwave for 10 seconds to speed up the melting.

Eat. It’s a yum.

Onion Tomato Soup Makes A Delicious Fall Meal


Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce With Mini Shells

Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce With Mini Shells Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce With Mini Shells  — We partook of the wonderful bounty supplied by good neighbor Andrew S a few days ago and made a delicious pasta and sausage sauce which in which we soaked store-brand mini-shells and created an absolutely wondrous repast.

And we are going to tell you how we did it.

We took three pieces of Italian sausage, removed the casing and browned it in olive oil in a pot over medium heat. How much olive oil? We didn’t measure. It just covered the bottom of the pot.

We removed the sausage, and added powder garlic to drippings and oil. How much? Don’t ask. It covered the bottom of the pot.

We put in a diced onion and a large diced garden-fresh bell pepper and let them sauté.

We deglazed with white wine and put in a small can of mushrooms (undrained). We returned the sausage and added seven large delicious garden-fresh tomatoes. The tomatoes were salted and quartered, well eighthed actually. We did not peel or deseed them, nor de we add any extra stock or water.

This was a fun meal.

We brought the sauce to a boil and let it simmer for about an hour and a half, after which we started the shells in a separate pot. While the pasta was boiling we added powdered basil, oregano and fresh parsley to the sauce. Before the shells was completely cooked, we drained them and added them to the sauce.

We let it simmer for another 10 minutes or so, plated and ate.


We are sure better cooks could do better but this was easy and fun and totally beat the stuff from the jar.


Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce With Mini Shells

Chicken Cacciatore Today’s Meal

Chicken Cacciatore Today's MealChicken Cacciatore Today’s Meal — Today’s delicious meal was chicken cacciatore. Cacciatore means hunter in Italian. It’s simple and easy to modify. Our feast was an amalgamation of several recipes hence forming a new one.

Here it is.

4 Chicken thighs.

4 Large tomatoes (garden fresh, thank you Andrew)

2 Onions

1 Bell pepper

1 Tbl olive oil

1/2 Cup flour

1/4 Cup powdered garlic

1/8 Cup white box wine

3 Tbl salt

2 Tsp pepper

1 Can tomato sauce

1 Cup garden fresh parsley.

Dice the onions and pepper. Pat the chicken pieces dry and salt them.  Mix the rest of the salt along with the parsley, flour, and a tablespoon of garlic in bowl. Coat the chicken with the mixture. Cover the bottom of a hot dutch oven with the olive oil. Place in the chicken pieces. Fry on both sides, two to three minutes per side and remove. Put in the veggies and the rest of the garlic. Saute them for about five minutes. Deglaze the pan with the wine and return the chicken. Cut up the tomatoes and put them in the pot. Add the tomato sauce and a can of water. Bring to a boil then let it ease to a simmer. Let it remain at such for a couple of hours.

We served it with bow ties and Walmart bread. Chef Bill Sr. found it especially praiseworthy and gave it yum.


Chicken Cacciatore Today’s Meal


Grilled Italian Sausage Sandwich Labor Day Meal

Grilled Italian Sausage Sandwich Labor Day MealGrilled Italian Sausage Sandwich Labor Day Meal — Today’s Labor Day meal was grilled Italian sausage sandwiches smothered in a homemade sauce based on garden fresh heirloom tomatoes and red bell peppers.

Thank you Andrew.

The sides were locally grown corn from Pete’s Produce Farm and a homemade white bean and sausage soup.

The beverage was Golden Monkey Beer from Victory Brewing Co. in Downingtown.


Grilled Italian Sausage Sandwich Labor Day Meal

Charlie Talltale Flapjacks

Charlie Talltale FlapjacksCharlie Talltale Flapjacks

By William Lawrence Sr.

Nobody knew Charlie’s real name, not even his closest friends. He was the biggest liar in California and probably the smelliest person in Sacramento.

He was known throughout the gold territory as “Charlie Talltale,” and the only reason his friends came within listening distance was to hear his outrageous lies and to eat his flapjacks.

Charlie credited the miraculous flavor of his pancakes to his magic frying pan. He bought it in a second-hand store in Sacramento and swore that it was human.

“It’s a female,” he should whisper. “It grows four or five feet at night and dances. Sings too. Sweetest voice this side of Helena, Montana.”

His audience would laugh and jeer.

“Does it have arms too, Charlie? Does it have hot lips, Charlie? Did you ever kiss your frying pan, Charlie?”

California’s biggest liar would lean back and smile knowingly. His friendly blue eyes twinkled like the night’s brightest star. “I’m telling you the truth,” he said.

One night a few of the old prospectors were sitting around a campfire laughing at Charlie’s preposterous claims.

Old Dutch Martin, who had been sipping homemade whiskey, suddenly got an idea. He would take Charlie’s magic pan and hide it. He got up and, without letting his cronies in on his plan, stumbled towards Charlie’s camp.

Charlie, after making flapjacks that day, had rinsed the pan in the nearby stream, and without realizing it, placed it over the nest of a family of pocket mice.

Just about the time Dutch Martin arrived, the pocket mice decided to leave their burrow. The effort of moving the pan caused the mice to grunt and squeak. To Dutch, standing there boggle-eyed, they sounded like a dance-hall soprano. Then the pan started to move. It appeared to grow feet and dance.

“Whoops,” shouted Dutch. “Charlie was telling the truth.”

Dutch ran back to the campfire to tell the boys what he saw. All the boys were pretty well soused, but since Dutch was known as a straight shooter, decided to investigate his story.

They made enough noise to awaken Charlie from a sound sleep. He listened as Dutch pointed to the pan and described what happened.

Charlie grinned, “Ah, the pan must really like you Dutch, she don’t dance and sing for just anybody.”

Charlie invited the boys to stop around the next morning for the most delicious pancakes in the west. Here is his recipe:

Charlie Talltale’s Flapjacks

1 Cup flour

1/2 Tsp. salt

1/2 Tsp. baking powder

3 Tbl. sugar

2 Eggs

1 Cup milk

2 Tbs. melted bacon fat or butter

Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Beat eggs until light in a separate bowl. Stir in milk and bacon fat or butter. Then, using a few strokes as needed (over-beating results in tough flapjacks) blend the egg mixture into the dry.  Pour about quarter-cup of batter per flapjack on a hot greased pan. The flapjacks are done when both sides are nicely browned. Serve with butter and syrup. Charlie’s flapjacks always came with bacon.

Charlie, whenever, possible added fresh picked huckleberries to his flapjacks always measuring by a generous eye. Arguably, that’s what really made them a legend.

For a modern twist, use blueberries in lieu of huckleberries, mix a very ripe banana into the batter and add a dollop of vanilla.


Charlie Talltale Flapjacks