“Test the Recipe” is a recurring column on PCFG where we test vintage (anything published before 1990) recipes and see if they stand the test of time or need updating. In this post we test the recipe as exactly as possible for the most accurate outcomes. Those recipes that need updating will be featured later in a “We Can Do It Better” post.
It’s been a while since my last Test The Recipe post, but I decided I wanted the next edition to be a breakfast one. After a recent trip to the city, I’ve had blueberry muffins on my mind. So it was off to the old cookbooks to see if I could find an old blueberry muffin recipe to test. I found one in the McCall’s Cook Book from 1963. This book is huge and has pretty much everything in it. It’s actually kind of two recipes since they first offer a basic recipe and then offer variations, one of which, luckily for me, is blueberry. I’m a big fan of muffins because they’re easy to make and can then also provide a breakfast option for the rest of the week.
Pretzels of all kinds are a great snack. Hard pretzels are yummy, and easy to take on the go, but I think we can all agree that soft pretzels are the superior variety. If you don’t, then you might want to stop reading this post now, since, spoilers – this post is about soft pretzels. The main downfall to soft pretzels is that you generally have to put on pants and leave the house to get one, unlike hard pretzels which are usually already there. You can always make your own those times that you’re craving a soft pretzel but also don’t want to go to the mall or other pretzel selling location, but as we discovered when we made the Pretzel Pizza, making pretzels from scratch is kind of a pain in the ass. It’s kind of actually less work to just go buy one.
However! We have come up with a method for making pretzels at home that is not a total pain or a ton of work. It does require putting pants on temporarily to go get the initial base ingredient, but once that part’s done you can totally have a no-pants pretzel party.
It’s now officially fall which means it’s seasonally appropriate to start eating pumpkin again! It also means that Smoothie Sunday is coming to a close for the year. But they’ll be back again next year! But for now we’re winding down with a yummy fall themed smoothie. I’ve made a couple of smoothies that use overnight oatmeal before, and that makes up the base of this smoothie as well. It does require a bit of advanced planning (I myself actually almost forgot to get the oatmeal ready last night) but it’s worth it. This smoothie is super creamy and really filling. It’s a nice hearty smoothie to get you through those early fall mornings.
You hear a lot about antioxidants but you don’t hear very often what they actually are. Antioxidants are molecules that prevent the oxidation of other molecules. This is important because oxidation can produce free radicals, and too many free radicals can set off a chain reaction that may damage cells. How good antioxidants are for you is in debate (as is almost every health related thing it seems) but keeping the oxidative state in your body balanced is important, if nothing else. The body likes homeostasis. I decided to call this smoothie the Antioxidant Power Smoothie because blueberries, pomegranates and cocoa are all fairly high in antioxidants. Surprisingly this was my first time adding chocolate to a smoothie, probably because I generally don’t like having chocolate for breakfast. But this smoothie turned out really yummy and wasn’t overpoweringly chocolate-y. Scientists can argue about how good this smoothie may or may not be for you, but your taste buds will all agree that it’s delicious!
This week’s Smoothie Sunday is a first because it’s main ingredient is actually kind of a weed. Wineberries are an Asian species of raspberry that after being introduced to North America for ornamentation escaped from cultivation and now just grows in the wild. They can be a bit annoying if they take over your garden, but overall we’re fans of wineberries here at PCFG. They’re smaller and sweeter than raspberries and also free. Obviously when eating fruit found out in the wild you want to be careful that you’re not eating something poisonous, but they have no poisonous look-alikes in North America, so if you find something that looks like a little raspberry growing it’s probably a wineberry and safe to eat.
This smoothie almost didn’t get made this year due to a drought affecting the wineberry output in my neighborhood, and then also a power outage the morning I was planning on making it. But luckily things came together and I was able to make it. It’s really yummy, so if you have wineberries growing by you, I highly recommend working them into your smoothie repertoire.