Zina's Produce

  (Williamsburg, Virginia)
A Country Affair Farm
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How did you get those little wings out of that cake?

The other day I told my daughter " If ever I leave this world ,please do not think  you have to hold on to ALL of my cook books". This is a load I would not put on anyone. Our library has a great selection of books to buy. 1.00 for hardback and .50 for paper. I am always walking out with one or two..... Recipes that follow stories are my fav. It is not enough that I eat it I have to read about it too! Where it came from, what events are set around it, is it old..... So I always include a story about what it is I am sharing with people, something they can share when they prepare it. In a way I'm selling it, making sure you know you have to try this recipe.  I can sell anything! My friend said "I can sell ketchup to a lady in white gloves". The recipes I write about are worthy to be made, or I wouldn't waste my time. I have plenty of recipes not worth making much less writing about. This is not one of them. People love a story with a recipe. So here goes!  My friend told me that while traveling with her family in Savannah GA. They saw a huge wedding cake being brought out from a van. When asked "What kind of  cake is that"? The chef replied, a traditional Savannah wedding cake. "Hummingbird Cake". That evening while dinning, there it was. They all shared, as it was a huge. They were instantly in love. This was sometime back, before internet was assessable. The recipe was very hard to find. Finally a friend, who had collected recipes for years, had it!  What we do know is that the recipe gained widespread popularity after it appeared in the February 1978 issue of Southern Living Magazine. We also know that the recipe was submitted by a Mrs L H Wiggins of Greensboro North Carolina and consists of two layers of cake full of chopped pecans, crushed pineapple, and mashed bananas that are filled and frosted with a delicious cream cheese icing. I love Southern Living recipes, so the fact that it is the most requested recipe EVER! I had to have it. It is moist, nutty, fruity, and even better the next day. No one seems to know it origins; ingredients suggest it is from Jamaica. There are two schools of thought about this cake and why it is named after a hummingbird. One is that it is so sweet hummingbirds are attracted to it, and the other is you hum when you eat it.  You tell me. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family has.

                            Hummingbird Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt                                                                   

2 teaspoons baking soda
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon                
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 can (8oz) crushed pineapple, well drained
1 cup chopped pecans                                                              

 2 cups ripe banana
Cream Cheese Frosting:
16 ounces cream cheese softened
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 pounds confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350°.
Sift flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon together into mixing bowl several times.
Add eggs and oil to the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until ingredients are moistened
Stir in vanilla, pineapple and 1 cup pecans.
Stir in the bananas
Spoon the batter into 3 well-greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes,or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn onto cooling rack.
Cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
Combine cream cheese and butter; cream until smooth. Add powdered sugar, beating with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla.
Frost the tops layers, stack and then frost sides. Sprinkle top evenly with the 1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans


Egg Facts!

Here are some facts about fresh farm eggs put out by "Mother Earth". We love the taste of our "Good Life" farm eggs. Our customers love our beef, chicken, and eggs. It is a great feeling to think you have a little control in what your family is fed. No antibiotics, steroids, hormones...all good things. I often email these egg facts to my customers, or slip them into our egg cartons. I thought I would share them with you.

*For every one egg you eat from a pastured hen, you would also have to eat three factory eggs to get the same amount of vitamin E and five for as much vitamin D. All the while, each additional conventional egg you eat will be giving you one third more cholesterol.

To get the amount of beta-carotene present in one pastured egg, for instance, you would have to eat seven from a factory farm*, according to the 2007 Mother Earth News egg testing project.



More great strawberry recipes!!

Strawberries go out as quick as they come in. So take advantage of these babies while they are here! We love to eat them right out of the patch; they are so fresh and fragrant. "Putting them up" is also a great way to stretch the season. I like to freeze in freezer bags the exact amount for my jam recipe, or even for a pie. Then there is no guessing how many bags to thaw. There are other ways to put up berries. Drying berries is great fun, and then add them to yogurt, cereal, granola, cakes, salads, muffins, pancake batter...all year long! I say this is great fun, because the dehydrator does most of the work! Any way you slice it, we love strawberries!

Swedish Creme
1 pint heavy heavy whipping cream
1 TBSP Knox gelatin
1 cup sugar
1 pint sour cream
Combine whipping cream, gelatin & sugar in top of a double boiler(fancy way to say-a bowl on the top of a pot of boiling water). Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Heat until all is dissolved. Remove from heat & let cool. Add sour cream & pour into buttered molds. Chill in refrigerator until firm. I collect old tin molds, a Pyrex custard dish will work as good as any .Great for individual servings.

Berry Sauce (any berry in season; raspberries, strawberries, blackberries are our fav.)
 1 1/2 cups fresh  berries                                                                                                                                         

 1 TBSP corn-starch
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar( more if needed for )
Add sugar to berries giving them time to juice up. Separate the berries from the juice. Put juice,cornstarch and lemon juice in a sauce pan :heat until thickened, if any additional sugar is needed add now (some berries are quite tart) .Add berries to sauce; cool.Unmold Creams and drizzle with sauce. Enjoy!
MaKes  10 :1/4 cup molds or 5 my size!

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

This is really not a salad at all! It’s a yummy, salty, creamy, sweet dessert! A classic ,you will never grow tired of! It sounds kind of yucky with the pretzels, but that is the best part.This is a layered desert, cut in squares. I haven’t had a complaint yet. Perfect at strawberry pickin time.

 2 c. crushed pretzels

3/4 c. melted butter

2 tbsp. powdered sugar

1 (8 oz.) cream cheese (room temp.)

8 oz. Cool Whip

1 c. powdered sugar

1 lg. box strawberry Jello

2 cups of fresh strawberries

Mix together pretzels, melted butter and the 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar. Then press in 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool. Mix cream cheese, Cool Whip and 1 cup of powdered sugar; pour over pretzel crust.  

Dissolve large package of starwberry Jello in 2 cups boiling water. Add 2 cups of fresh strawberries. Mix well and pour over cream cheese. Chill for a couple hours. 

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