Welcome to our 1864 farmhouse…life is good!

Thursday, March 31

throwback Thursday...oven-fried chicken


How can a week have flown by already? Time flies, as they say, whether you're having fun or not...so let's definitely try and toss a little "fun" into every day!

Mother Nature just hasn't made up her mind yet...although the calendar says "Spring" we've had chilly mornings at 18° F, then yesterday, it was 74° F bringing with it a high wind warning. Those strong winds blew in overnight, rattling the windows in the old farmhouse like the sails of an old schooner fighting in a storm.

Temperatures have dropped 30 degrees...time for hot chocolate and an extra blanket to curl up under. And so it goes...all in good time, the seasons will be as they're meant to be. And truly. that's okay with me...I still have oodles of indoor spring cleaning to do that's falling behind!

Today's recipe is taken from a 1959 cookbook titled, Farm Journal's Country Cookbook.

Quick & easy to prepare, this Oven Fried Chicken recipe has an unexpected ingredient; corn flake cereal! 

Although I've heard of recipes using corn flakes before, I've never tried one. Paired with real mashed potatoes and cream-style corn, we thought it made a terrific Sunday dinner!

Oven Fried Chicken

2-3 lbs. broiler-fryer chicken, cut into pieces*
1/3 c. melted butter or margarine
2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 c. corn flake cereal, crushed

Rinse and pat dry chicken pieces; dip in melted butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; roll in corn flake cereal. 

Place chicken pieces, skin-side up and not touching,  in a greased jelly roll pan. Drizzle chicken with remaining butter and sprinkle on any remaining cereal. 

Bake at 375 degrees for about an hour, or until chicken is 165° and juices run clear when chicken is pierced. Do not turn during cooking. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

*broiler-fryer chicken, cut into pieces

I bought chicken thighs and drumsticks instead of cutting a whole chicken

I hope you enjoy it...the result will be chicken that's crispy and juicy. And while some of the coating fell off, it didn't matter...we enjoyed every bite.

Thursday, March 24

throwback Thursday...meatballs & pasta sauce

Today's throwback recipe is from my Aunt Leona...she was a switchboard operator for AT&T (seriously, did I just read an article asking "What were switchboard operators for, anyway?" Yikes!)


I remember her as a quiet, elegant lady who lived in a pretty home with leaded glass French doors separating the living room from the dining room. (Isn't it funny what particulars we remember from childhood?) 

I'm lucky to have inherited from her a hand-painted china tea set, delicate English china plates, and an over-sized cup & saucer in bold yellows & greens...all are safely tucked in a cupboard, coming out only on special occasions.

And so, with that little story, I give you her meatball & pasta sauce recipe...

(As I mentioned last week, the recipe is true to the original, just as it was written. Below the recipe, I've noted any changes I made, or would make the next time I prepare it, with an asterisk explaining why.)

Leona's Meatballs & Pasta Sauce


2, 29-oz. cans tomato sauce
2, 6-oz. cans tomato paste
2 t. dried basil
1 T. salt*
1/4 t. pepper


1-1/2 lbs. ground chuck beef
1/2  lb. ground pork
3 T. fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 c. grated Italian cheese
1/2 c. dried bread crumbs 
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. olive oil

Combine sauce ingredients in a large saucepan; set aside.

Combine all meatball ingredients, except eggs and oil; mixing well. Add eggs to meatball mixture; blend together with a wooden spoon.

With wet hands, shape meat and roll into balls.* Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs, brown in hot oil; turning once. Add to sauce ingredients, simmer 3 hours.

*1 T. salt

clearly written as "Tablespoon" this resulted in a sauce that was too salty for me...when I make it again, I'll reduce the amount.

* meatballs

I used approximately a tablespoon +/- of mixture, resulting in about 36 meatballs

Saturday, March 19

beauty amid the heartbreak...violinists across the world play for Ukraine

I wanted to share this, just in case you haven't had a chance to see or hear it...
hauntingly beautiful.

Link to the story, here.

Wednesday, March 16

throwback Thursday...chocolate chip cookies!


It's time for my first Throwback Thursday recipe...and it just had to be about chocolate! 

This recipe was one of many handwritten cards tucked into a little green recipe box I found in my mother-in-law's garage. It's not her handwriting, so I'll never know if it was given by a neighbor, friend, or sister.  

Whoever it was that shared the recipe, had, in our opinion, a winner...and we're pretty picky when it comes to chocolate chip cookies!  I've made this recipe several times - they're easy to mix up and ready to enjoy before you know it.  

Because I want Throwback Thursday posts to be true to the original old recipe, I'm sharing ingredient measurements, baking times and temperatures just as they were written.  

Any simple changes I made for the sake of clarification, for example listing baking soda instead of simply soda, aren't noted.

However, any changes I made after my initial testing, are noted with an asterisk and an explanation as to why. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. quick cooking oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. butter, softened (no substitutes)
3/4 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 c. chopped walnuts*

Heat oven to 375* degrees.

Sift together flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Cream together butter and sugars; about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time; blend well. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture; combine well. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. 

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls, about 2 inches apart, onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 13* minutes, or until golden. Let stand on baking sheet 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack or plate to cool completely. Makes approximately 3-4 dozen. 

*walnuts - 
I substituted pecan chips purely for personal preference

*375 degrees - 
Mae tends to bake on the warm side...I reduced the temperature to 350 degrees

*13 minutes -
because Mae bakes a little warmer, I reduced the baking time to 9-11 minutes

My end result...I hope you like them!

Thursday, March 3

old-school recipes...worth revisiting!


"Old School"

...the values of an earlier generation, retaining something good, others have lost.

That's the definition I've found makes the most sense to me...old-fashioned values, passing down traditions & recipes, sharing the stories behind sweet family photos before they're forgotten. Holding on to things that seem to be at a loss in these "hurry up" times.

In a world that seems to spin faster every day, I'm making an effort to slow down that pace a bit by dusting off some handed down recipes that have been tucked away for far too long. 

Once-upon-a-time, I was a Cookbook Editor, what a fun job with the best people! We spent time researching recipes, testing recipes, and of course eating the fruits of our labor. Because of that job, I collected several old cookbooks found on country store shelves and in small town bookstores. You know the kind...cookbooks that "needed a home." 

This one is completely handwritten; wish I knew the year...

a 1959 Farm Journal Country Cookbook...

Good Neighbor recipes from 1952...

I have exactly 5 handwritten recipes from my grandmother
(everyone called her Mom)...

and while sorting through my my mother-in-law's garage after she passed away,
I discovered an old recipe box filled with dozens of handwritten recipes...

While it's fun to try new recipes, I think you can never beat a time-tested classic, so I've decided to share these old recipes. I'll show you the original recipe, let you know how it turned out, along with any changes I might make the next time I prepare it. Some of the handwriting and ingredients are faded and hard to read, but I'll do my best!

Maizy is what my grandmother always called me, and Mae is the name I've given my 1950 Hotpoint stove (Mae was my grandmother's middle name). So together we'll be working our way through the vintage recipes I have on hand.

And so, with that long introduction, next week you'll find a retro recipe worth revisiting! We've already tested Chocolate Chip Cookies, Pasta Sauce & Meatballs, and Bread & Butter Pickles. Next on the list...I'm thinking the Perfect Fried Chicken from 1959 would be great this weekend!


if you've been reading here awhile and wonder how we weathered the lack of propane and heat for 3 weeks in February, you can read all about it here

Settle in and put your feet up, it's a long read!

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