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

 
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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
 
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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

 
 

Sun Shinny Day! Daffodil Cake

We have been so blessed with great weather over Spring break! The kids have really enjoyed themselves this week. The produce season starts soon and my kids know first-hand how much work is ahead! Life is good and we are enjoying all that God has blessed us with! To celebrate today (My Birthday) I thought with all this beautiful sun shinny weather. I would share a recipe for a delicious Daffodil Cake. This orange-scented spring cake displays a light and airy texture and features a sweet-tart cream cheese glaze. For a presentation that wows! Alternating the yellow and white batter this cake really is stunning .Garnish the cake plate with beautiful daffodils, or edible pansies! Enjoy!

Cake
1 1/2 cup(s) sugar
1 cup(s) cake flour, (not self-rising)
6 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon(s) orange juice, fresh squeezed
2 teaspoon(s) orange zest, grated
1/2 teaspoon(s) orange extract
12 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 tablespoon(s) fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
Glaze
4 ounce(s) cream cheese
2 tablespoon(s) orange juice, fresh squeezed
2 teaspoon(s) (additional) fresh orange juice
3/4 teaspoon(s) grated orange zest
3 1/4 cup(s) confectioners' sugar, sifted
Strips of orange peel, julienned, for garnish
________________________________________
Directions
Cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, whisk 1/2 cup of the sugar with cake flour; sift onto a piece of waxed paper.
In a bowl, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat egg yolks and 1/4 cup of the sugar 3 minutes. Beat in orange juice, zest, and extract.
Thoroughly clean beaters. In a large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat egg whites, lemon juice, and salt until foamy and beginning to hold their shape. Increase speed to medium-high; beat in the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue to beat until soft, glossy peaks form. Quickly beat in vanilla. Sift one third of flour mixture over beaten whites; gently fold in with a large rubber spatula, just until blended. Repeat 2 more times with the remaining flour mixture. Gently scrape half the batter into another large bowl. Gently fold in egg yolk mixture, just until blended.
Using a large spoon, alternately spoon batters into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan with a removable bottom; swirl batters slightly with a thin knife.
Bake 40 minutes, or until cake is firm in center when gently pressed. Immediately invert center tube of pan onto the neck of a bottle; cool completely. To loosen, run a knife around sides of pan and tube. Invert cake to unmold onto a serving plate.
Glaze: In a bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, 2 tablespoons of the orange juice, orange zest, and 1/2 cup of the confectioners' sugar until smooth. Beat in the remaining 2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar, half at a time. Add more orange juice as needed to make a thick glaze. Beat until smooth. Spread glaze over cake. Let stand until set; garnish with orange peel or flowers!
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County Fair, funnel cakes, kettle corn,pickles, blue ribbons...

Our County Fair is fast approaching! My son and I love to enter things in the fair, always hoping for a blue ribbon! He sells Justin's Ranger Cookies at our market and he always tells a joke when you buy a cookie. “Why did the cookie go to the doctor” ? "Because he felt crummy”. He has won a blue ribbon for his cookies, but the customers love his jokes! He is quite the entrepreneur. He is going to sell fish bait (worms) for the campers who come to our produce market. He already sells them  fire wood . He is as excited as I am about the Fair, we talk about it all the time. What jams and pickles should mom bring. What should we bake? But there are times when we can't wait to eat funnel cakes , kettle corn, corn dogs,fried Oreos ,let me stop! I have included a few  recipes for you to make at home. You don’t have to have a big fancy kettle to make kettle corn . It’s fun and easy. Moms Dill pickles are always a treat, the best I have ever had. And a simple funnel cake recipe. Enjoy! See you at the Fair!

               Easy Kettle Corn Recipe

Ingredients:
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt

*Special Equipment – A large pot with lid

Directions:
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add popcorn and sugar giving it a quick stir and then cover with lid.  Once popcorn starts popping, pick it up and give it a quick shake every few seconds until popping slows down, between 3-4 minutes.  Remove immediately from heat and pour into a large bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.  Do not make the mistake of removing the pot from heat without transferring to a bowl. Due to the high heat of the pot, if you don’t transfer the popcorn it will caramelize and perhaps burn

 

                   Keuchels (German Funnel Cake)

Keuchels (KEE-kulls) are wonderful things! They are puffy, round pieces of fried dough which are thick and chewy around the edges and thin and crunchy in the middle. A proper keuchel should be about the size of a luncheon plate and be a lovely, golden brown color. This is an old German recipe, similar to a funnel cake!

Mix well:

 1 qt. milk

1 c. sugar

1 stick margarine or butter

Dissolve a yeast cake in ½ c. warm water.

Knead together 8 c. flour and 6 eggs. Add the yeast and the milk mixture. Knead well. Cover and let raise.

Pinch off pieces by the handful and shape into round, flat shapes that are thicker toward the edge and flat toward the middle. Drop into a fryer of hot oil and fry until golden and floating. Drain well and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Eating them warm with jam or fresh fruit on top is a real treat.

Mom’s Best Dill Pickles
They are the very best pickles she has ever tasted or made.
Boil together:
3 quarts water
1 quart vinegar
½ cup salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp alum
Pack 20 to 24 small cucumbers into glass jars. Add 2 cloves of garlic and a head of dill to each jar. Pour the hot brine to fill the jars. Seal and process.

 

Tomato Marmalade

 

This is excellent with any meat. If you mix equal parts of this and hearty mustard it makes a great glaze for roasts.

 

Peel 3 oranges and 2 lemons. Cut the peelings into very fine slivers. Combine with 2 cups water and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain.

 

Remove all pulp from the fruit and add it to the peelings. Blanch and peel 5 ½ pounds of tomatoes and slice.

 

Combine all ingredients in a kettle and mix lightly. Add a spice bag containing 5 cinnamon sticks and 1 tbsp. cloves. Add 6 cups sugar and 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until thick and clear. Ladle into sterile jars and seal. Process 15 minutes.

 

Green Tomato Relish
This recipe is a great way to use up green tomatoes when the season is coming to an end.
Clean and cut into manageable pieces 5 pounds of green tomatoes. Pack them into sterile jars and to each jar add 1 clove of garlic, a few slices of onion, 1 whole clove and 3-4 dill heads. Place in a large pan:
1 quart of vinegar
1 quart of water
1/3 cup salt
sugar as desired
Simmer for five minutes then pour into the jars over the tomatoes. Seal and process for 20 minutes. These are really delicious!!!

 

 
 

Oatmeal Cake Recipe!

This is one of those recipes you don't want to miss out on! It is soo moist and decadent and is is always a hit. Making the day before is even better. After some research, I found that the ingredients or amounts seldom vary . Which tells me it is perfect just the way it is.When you combine perfect with simplicity, you can't lose. It has just the right amount of spice. With a wonderful coconut, pecan frosting you spread on while the cake is still hot. Placing it back in the oven to toast the coconut a bit! I love it! One of my C.S.A share holders said "Oatmeal cake was the requested cake by her father for his birthday every year". I figured it was worth looking in too. It has diffidently won a spot in my next cook book. Thank you, Tiffini Goesel!


Oatmeal Cake Recipe

1 1/4 cup boiling water, Add one cup quick oats, mix and let stand awhile, then add one cup of brown sugar ( with water and oats). In a separate bowl. Cream together 1 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup of shortening (or butter) and 2 eggs. Sift 1 1/3 cup of flour,1 tsp. Baking powder,1/2 tsp. salt,1/2 tsp.cinamon,1tsp. of vanilla. Add all ingredients together, being careful not to over mix. This causes the cake to be tuff. Pour into a 9 by 13” greased and flowered, pan and bake for 40 min.If you decide to go with two 9" cake pans bake only 25 min. No need to broil the icing ,but do pour in on when cake is hot. Bake until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean.

Topping for cake:
1 stick butter,1 cup brown sugar,1 cup coconut, 1 cup of nuts( I like pecan) , 5 oz. of evaporated milk( not sweetened condensed) 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Heat on top of the stove the above ingredients, until butter has melted. When cake is done pour topping over cake and place back in the oven until it bubbles around the edges.You can serve it warm with ice cream or cool. It is great the following day as well. Seems to get better with time. Great for entertaining. Travels well for church events ,picnics, pot luck, every one will request this classic.

 
 
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