Kjod Kaker (Norwegian Meat Balls)

Here’s a traditional Christmas recipe for Norwegian meat balls.

1 lb ground beef
1/2 c bread crumbs
1 egg
2/3 c milk
2 Tbsp grated onions
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp allspice

Thoroughly mix all of the ingredients together. Form into balls about the size of large eggs and brown in hot fat. Add 1/4 cup of hot water, cover and allow to simmer until cooked to suit your taste. If preferred, meat balls may be removed to make gravy.

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German Hallapse

With the holiday season upon us, I thought it might be the season for some traditional  Christmas ethnic recipes. Being of German decent, I’m starting with a German recipe for Hallapse.

1 small head cabbage
1 lb minced beef
1/4 c uncooked rice
1 egg
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c water
2 Tbsp butter
1 c tomato juice

Lightly grease a casserole dish. Cut cabbage leaves loose at stem and steam for 10 minutes. Mix minced beef, uncooked rice, egg, salt and pepper. Place heaping tablespoonfuls on steamed cabbage leaves. Wrap and place with loose side down in greased casserole dish or roaster. Pour water over and dot with butter. Cook for about 1-1/2 hours. Cover with tomato juice. Continue baking for 1/2 hour.

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Bear Steak

With bear season in full swing, I thought it was time for another bear recipe. Here’s the bear steak recipe you’ve been waiting for.

Marinate your bear steak for 24 hours; wipe dry.

Sauce ingredients:

4 sliced onions
3 Tbsp butter
1 c water
Salt and pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 Tbsp chives
1 tsp prepared mustard
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 dash Worcestershire sauce

Sauté onions in water and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Add remaining ingredients and simmer a few minutes. Broil steak to desired doneness. Plate and pour sauce over steak. Add buttered sautéed mushrooms if desired.

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Squirrel and Gravy

Sitting in my tree stand the other day the silence was broken, and I was jerked back from an unexpected nap, when a young squirrel started barking about 2 feet above my head, giving me holy hell.  For a few minutes I forgot about waiting for a deer to walk under me, but rather thought about how that squirrel would taste in gravy. I even took the time to choose this recipe.

1 squirrel, cut up
2 Tbsp flour
1/8 tsp salt
Dash of pepper

Place squirrel in a 1-1/2 qt pot. Cover with water and cook over low heat for 1-1/2 hours or until tender. Remove squirrel and drain off all but 2 Tbsp of the drippings. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Add 1 cup of water or milk; place squirrel in gravy and heat.

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Pickled Eggs

I don’t know why seeing pickled eggs brings back memories of my boyhood days, but it does. Perhaps it’s because as a young lad I had to privilege of accompanying my Dad and Grand-dad into Swede’s, the local pool hall, and seeing the gallon jar of pickled eggs sitting prominently on the bar. I can’t remember seeing either of my two mentors quaffing down those eggs, but other patrons must have really loved them as the jar was always half full or half empty, depending on how one looked at it. I knew that you could go to Red’s, the local grocery store/butcher shop, and get pickled pig’s feet, pickled okra, pickled green beans and pickled asparagus. I knew that old man Keyser had a pickled liver, probably hanging on the back porch, but thought only Swede’s handled pickled eggs. It was many years later that I learned you could pickle your own eggs if you knew how.

There are many recipes for pickled eggs floating around out there, so many people must love (tolerate) these delicate alternatives to beer nuts. The USDA tells us that there is no safe way to pickle eggs for long-term storage, including canning them, but if you are a true pickled egg connoisseur, they won’t last that long anyway.

Here is one method of pickling eggs if you would care to try your hand at it.

Into a larger ‘pickling pot’ place 2 cups of 5% acidity vinegar, 2 tablespoons canning salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon dill seed, 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard, 1 clove garlic sliced thinly and 1 jalapeno pepper sliced thinly. Bring this mixture to a boil and maintain the boil for 3 or 4 minutes before removing it from the heat. After straining the garlic and pepper slices from the brine, drop the slices into quart storage jars, retaining the brine. Peel 12 hard-boiled eggs and put them on top of the garlic and pepper slices in the jars. After stirring the brine to make sure that the salt and spices are suspended in the brine, pour the brine over the eggs, leaving 1/2 inch head space in the jars. Place the flats and rings on the jars, shake well and refrigerate for 1 to 10 days, shaking the jars slightly each day to keep the pickling mix suspended in solution.

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Creamed Soup

Like Ole Mother Hubbard who went to the cupboard – instead of getting a bone – you went there for a can of creamed soup. But when you got there, no soup was to be found. What do you do? You make a base (roux) for what ever kind of soup you need. If you need cream of chicken, use chicken stock or chicken broth for half the liquid and add 1/4 tsp of poultry seasoning or sage. If you need cream of tomato, use tomato juice and add a dash of basil, garlic, onion powder, etc. If you need cream of mushroom, celery or chives, sauté 1/4 cup of needed item in butter before adding the flour. I think you get the idea. Use your imagination!

To make 1 can of soup:

3 Tbsp butter or oil
3 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
1-1/4 c of liquid, milk or stock

Melt the butter or heat the oil in a skillet and stir in the flour. Add and stir in the salt, pepper and any other desired spices. Cook over medium heat until everything is thoroughly mixed. Stir constantly while slowly adding the liquid to prevent lumps from forming. Bring to a boil and cook until thick.

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Biscuits -1890 Recipe

I was paging through my grandmother’s recipe book and found this biscuit recipe she had jotted down on a scrap piece of paper and decided to share it with you.

2 c sifted flour
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 c shortening or oleo
1 egg beaten in 1/2 cup water or milk

Measure 2 heaping tablespoons of the flour and use for flouring board. Put remaining flour in a bowl. Make a hole in the center of flour and into this add salt and baking powder. Add shortening and pour in egg/milk mixture. Use fingertips to gradually mix flour and liquid into a soft dough. Turn onto floured board and pat gently to half-inch thickness. Cut into small size biscuits with cutter. Place on greased pan. Bake at 400 degrees until brown on bottom, around 10 minutes, then place under a preheated broiler for a minute to brown tops.

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