Sjkottkaker (Meatcakes)

Norwegian Meatcakes, Meatballs…you get the picture…literally!

Ingredients
1 pound ground chuck 1 pound ground veal 1 pound ground pork 1 cup un-seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup ½ and ½ or milk
2 whole eggs, beaten
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp. Allspice
½ tsp. Nutmeg
1 stick butter
2 cups flour
2 cups beef broth or beef boullion

Directions
1. In a large mixing bowl, soak the bread crumbs in the milk.
2. Add the 2 eggs, mix well.
3. Add salt, pepper and spices. Mix.
4. Mix in the 3 different meats with your hands or a wooden spoon. This is easier to do if the meat is chilled. I wear clean rubber gloves as I find that when I need to rinse them off hot water does the trick easily and I really don’t like touching the goopy meat mixture! If meat is a bit sticky, add a little bit more of the bread crumbs so they hold together.
5. Place large flat bottom skillet on medium heat and add 2 tbsp. butter.
6. Roll into *1 1/2- 2” balls (ping-pong or smaller size) and fry in butter in skillet, turning occasionally. Do not put too many in the pan at one time. As they brown up on each side move them to a shallow 2 ½ – 3 quart shallow casserole or chafing dish.
7. Heat two cups of beef boullion or beef broth in saucepan or microwave safe measuring cup.
8. When done frying, scrape up beef bits off bottom of pan.
9. Add beef broth to scrapings and stir well to make gravy. If too thick you can add a slurry of flour/water to it to make a bit more. Mix 1 cup water with 3 tbsp. of flour well and then add to the drippings so you don’t get lumps.
10. Pour gravy over the sjøttkake and keep warm until serving.

Makes approx. 75 2” meatballs
Serve hot as an appetizer with toothpicks or over broad buttered egg noodles.
*Meatballs should be on the small and bite-sized or as my late Italian step-father Vincenzo, would say as he teased my mother Carol, “They’re small because they are the ones the Italians threw away!”

Ready for Spring

tina2Author’s Note: Originally Published by Kirsten M. Walker for Kirsten’s Chronicles, a regular column on March 28, 2001 in the Hamden Chronicle Newspaper.

Okay, I’ve had enough. I’ll admit I’m ready for spring. Though most consider me a
seasoned Connecticut Yankee, I’ll let you in on little secret. I was actually
born in Louisiana. Our family moved home to Connecticut when I was a toddler
but I sometimes wonder if my southern birthright causes me to whine
occasionally for the warmth of the South.

Not since the winter of 1995-96 have we had this much snow and I welcomed it as
it came. Snowless winters for kids and adults like me are really a bummer when
it comes right down to it. You can’t ski or sled on grass. Throwing mud balls
is okay but not as easy or as tidy as snowballs. And who every heard of building
a snowman, without snow?

So, we got our wish this year. We got snow, and lots of it. We’ve built
snowmen, snow bears and snow clowns.

We’ve gone sledding, thrown snowballs, built igloos and taken blizzard walks. I
am down to one plastic toboggan that hasn’t split and my old reliable flexible
flyer. I need to restock before next season.

With the winds kicking up and the temperature dropping we were forced indoors
to spend not only quality time together but quantity time as well.

Wet, cold and sloppy from snow and slush, we dried off, changed clothes and
headed out on days the roads were clear. We went to the movies, the mall and
friends homes. Gift certificates from Christmas were quickly gobbled up on
tickets and popcorn when we actually found a “G” rated movie to see.
The mall was crowded with others like us looking for some sort of contact with
the outside world and bit if bright light, as artificial as it was.

In the middle of all the snow and sleet and rain and hail we also made our
share of trips to the pediatrician’s office with our littlest. Two storms in a
row I worried and prayed for safe travel negotiating snow drifts and sliding
cars to get her to the doctor’s office, pronto. Finding out it was
mononucleosis was not such a surprise as even promises of fresh snow and more
hot chocolate could not rouse her from her lethargy. The asset of the snow was
the time we needed and were afforded to spend indoors so she could get the rest
and TLC she needed. Much harder to do in the summer you’ll have to admit.

So, I’m tired. Tired of snow, tired of illness, tired (if it is possible) of
drinking hot chocolate. March is here. Spring is noted on the calendars at
least. In hopes that it’s truly “just around the corner” we’ve gone
shopping for Easter dresses, white shoes and spring jackets. Hanging yet silent
in the closets they are patiently waiting as we think of daffodils, kite-flying
and peeping baby birds. I can almost feel the spring breeze brush my cheek.

And I almost forgot; hot chocolate can always be replaced by Russell Stover
chocolate Easter Bunnies.

Author’s Note dated April 8, 2014 – Fast forward 13 years and the child picture above in 2001 contracted Mononucleosis AGAIN as a college Junior. We just had an exceptionally long, snowy winter AGAIN and we are ready for spring, and Russell Stover Chocolate Easter Bunnies!

Butter Cookies

Ingredients
½ pound butter (two sticks), softened
1 c. granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. almond extract
½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
2-½ c. sifted flour


Directions

Cream butter and sugar together.
Add eggs.  Mix well.
Add extracts and salt.  Mix well.
Add flour and mix well.

Method #1
Chill dough for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Roll out on floured board and cut with cookie cutters and place 2” apart on lightly greased cookie sheets.  Using parchment paper or Silpat mats instead makes clean up much easier!  You can top each cookie with colored sprinkles or shots now if you’d like.

Method #2
Roll into small 1” balls and place on cookie sheet.  Dip bottom of small juice glass in colored sugar and then press top of cookie down to flatten.

Method #3
Before chilling, roll dough into long cylindrical shape.  When firm, slice dough into ¼” sections with sharp knife. Chill dough for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Bake
8-10 minutes until edges are golden brown.  Cool on cookie sheets for 10 minutes then transfer to wire rack.

Glaze
Once cut cookies (without sprinkles) are cooled, frost the cookies with glaze made of 2 cups 10-X sugar (confectioner’s sugar), 1tsp. vanilla extract and 1-3 t tbsp. cream until spreadable and kind of drippy and add food color if you wish. Top with sprinkles if you like.

Every Mother is a Working Mother

Note from kmw: I cannot take credit for the entirety of this essay as it is something gleaned, rearranged for clarity and pasted together from many, many conversations with Moms as well as from the printed word in books and online. I read the passages listed below at the suggestion of my pastor during pre-marriage counseling. My husband and I came to the decision that when children arrived in our lives that I would be a full time mother at home. It was one of the first and the best decisions we ever made as a couple.

Question: “What does the Bible say about women working outside the home?”

Answer:
Whether or not a woman should work outside the home is a tough-decision for many couples when they start a family. The Bible has instructions regarding the role of women. In Titus 2:3-4 (See entire text below) the apostle Paul gives instructions as to how a young married woman is to be trained by older women: “…train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands so that no one will malign the Word of God.” I strongly feel In those few words, the Bible is clear that when children come into a couple’s life, that is where the young mother’s responsibility lies. The older women are to teach the younger women and to live lives that glorify God. Keeping these responsibilities in mind, an older woman’s time can be spent at the Lord’s leading and her discretion.

Proverbs 31 speaks of “a wife of noble character.” (See entire text below) Starting at verse 11, the writer praises this woman as one who does everything in her power to care for her family. She works hard to keep her house and her family in order. Verses 16, 18, 24, and 25 show that she is so industrious that she also runs a small business that provides additional income for her family. This woman’s motivation is key. Her work related tasks were the means to an end, not an end in themselves. She was providing for her family, not furthering her career, or working to keep up with her peers. Her employment was secondary to her true calling—the stewardship of her husband, children, and home.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say a woman cannot work outside the home. However, the Bible does teach what a woman’s priorities are to be. If working outside the home causes a woman to neglect her children and husband, then it is wrong for that woman to work outside the home. If a Christian woman can work outside the home and still provide a loving, caring environment for her children and husband, then it is perfectly acceptable for her to work outside the home. With those principles in mind, there is freedom in Christ. Women who work outside the home should not be condemned, and neither should women who focus on the stewardship of the home be treated with condescension.

Titus 2:3-5 – English Standard Version (ESV)

3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

Proverbs 31:10-31 - English Standard Version (ESV)
The Woman Who Fears the LORD

10 An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. 11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. 13 She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. 14 She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. 15 She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. 16 She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. 17 She dresses herself[e] with strength and makes her arms strong. 18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. 19 She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. 20 She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her houseld are clothed in scarlet. 22 She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates     when he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. 25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 27 She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” 30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

Swedish Apple Cake


Ingredients

1¼ sticks (½ cup plus 2 tablespoons) butter or margarine 1¼ cups sugar 3 eggs 1½ cups flour, sifted 1 teaspoon baking powder ¼ cup milk 2 to 3 firm cooking apples such as Granny Smith ½ cup sugar, for apple slices 1 teaspoon cinnamon Slivered almonds (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour pan an 8½-inch or 9-inch spring-form pan.
  2. Sift together flour and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl beat butter until light. Gradually beat in sugar until fluffy. Beat in first egg, then second egg. Beat in ¼ cup of flour mixture, then third egg. Slowly mix in remaining flour mixture, alternating with the ¼ cup of milk or water. Pour into prepared pan and smooth top.
  4. Peel apples; core and cut each into 6 to 8 wedges. Mix the ½ cup sugar with cinnamon. Roll apple wedges in cinnamon sugar and press wedges into cake batter all over the entire cake. Sprinkle any remaining cinnamon sugar over the top of the cake.
  5. If desired sprinkle a few slivered almonds over the top of the cake.
  6. Bake 1 – 1¼ hours, until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Cool 10-15 minutes then remove from pan.

10-12 Slices

Beaching It

The winter was long and too much time had passed since I went to my beach, Hammonasset. So today, Alan and I took a walk from West Beach to Meigs Point and back again, roughly 4 miles. It was wonderful. My soul longs for the beach, the ocean and the clear blue skies with no housing developments in sight. Hunting for sea glass and jingle shells I am content to listen to the seagulls argue over a crab leg and hear the rythym of the waves lapping at the shore. Alan said “No” to living near the shore and we can’t afford a 2nd home so I make due with beach days, beach vacations and beaching it.

 

 

Welcome

I love to draw, paint, craft, write, bake, garden and play outdoors. I have four grown children and 2 grandchildren now. I still want to publish a book that I write and illustrate. Maybe in this new season of my life, I’ll realize that dream.