From Russia, With Love
Turns out I didn’t know much about savory stroganoff growing up; I surely didn’t know how to spell it or make it … but I sure knew how to eat it!
While researching a bit for my first stroganoff post back in 2011, I learned that stroganoff (as it’s name would imply) is a dish inspired from Russian cooking. I Googled “Russian Food Facts” and found this interesting passage …”Russia is mainly a northern country with a long-lasting cold winter. The food should give us much energy and warmth to survive during the winter time. So, the essential components of Russian cuisine are the ones, which provide more carbohydrates and fat rather than proteins.”
Yup. Those are my roots – carbs and fat (light on the proteins). LOL. Enough of the history lesson – let’s cook!
foodie tip ~
♥ Noodles or rice? Go for some wide noodles (shown) … nothing’s better!
♥ For you stroganoff fans out there give Mom’s Sausage Stroganoff recipe a whirl. It’s a different take on this beef stroganoff, it’s just as tasty and if you’re in a hurry to get your stroganoff fix, it’ll do the trick!
¼ cup | flour
1 teaspoon | salt
⅛ teaspoon | pepper
1 ½ pounds | beef, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons | butter
1 cup | onion, sliced
1 clove | garlic, minced
½ cup | water
1 teaspoon | worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons | catsup
4-ounce can | button mushrooms
¾ cup | buttermilk
to serve | noodles or rice
ii. what to do
1. Combine flour, salt and pepper. Coat cubes of meat with this mixture.
2. In a large pan, brown the meat slowly with the butter. When the meat is brown on all sides, add the onion, garlic, water, worcestershire sauce, catsup and liquid drained from canned mushrooms. Cover and simmer for about 2 hours. Trust me, it’s worth the time as the meat should finish out very tender!
3. Stir in the mushrooms and the buttermilk and cook only until heated through.
Serve over noodles or rice.
OK. I lied about no more history lessons!
As you can see by examples of my Mom’s handwritten recipe cards here on Betty’s Cook Nook, Betty had great penmanship. This morning I was admiring her handwriting in her recipe card above and noticed the funny little “ands” … Mom wrote them like a little “o” with a cross through it. A few online clicks later and I found out this character stems from shorthand – a form of abbreviated writing – that was invented before recording devices- back then the tape recorder. The connection to this recipe?
When I was growing up Mom was a court reporter. This meant she knew stenography (the process of writing in shorthand) and she was skilled at typing faster than the wind. Mom’s business tools were much different from today’s modern day tools; she often typed in duplicate and triplicate, making copies via carbon paper. To archive documents she made Xerox copy machine “copies” – not electronic scans. She had a typewriter – not a computer – until the early 1980s when technology started to transform her industry. I remember her first “green screen” IBM computer (sample above) … something that would completely revolutionize how she did work. And this funny little device called a stenomask she could place over her mouth to quietly repeat – almost in unison – what was being said in the court room; she could later come home and with a tape recorder and a “fancy” foot pedal device she could listen back-and-forth to court testimony while she typed it out the good ole fashioned way.
OK, now I’m done with the family history lessons. For now. :)
My cousin Julie revved-up her scanner and shot me some recipes from her San Antonio kitchen last week. This tasty banana nut loaf cake recipe was one of them… and hailed from Delores’ kitchen (her handwriting is shown on the recipe below).
Julie’s mom “Delores” was Mom’s sister… and “magically,” the Kiker family always referred to her as “Sister”… and her husband, “Uncle Bill.”
Julie said: “This is another recipe I thought my Mom got from your Mom. She made it several times and then taught Jeannette how to make it. Jeannette made it probably a zillion times for her! My father just loved that banana bread ~ or at least my Mother thought he did!”
Let’s Go Bananas!
½ cup | butter, softened (use Falfurrias butter per my Grandmother Nanny)
1½ cup | sugar
2 | cage free eggs, beaten well
3 | bananas, mashed well
½ cup | nuts, finely ground (I like pecans)
½ teaspoon | baking soda
4 tablespoons | buttermilk
1½ cups | flour
1 teaspoon | baking powder
1 teaspoon | vanilla
ii. what to do
0. Soften your butter. See tip below!
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a large bowl, mix the first five ingredients.
3. Dissolve the soda in the buttermilk; add to the first five ingredients.
4. Mix the flour with the baking powder; add to the ingredients along with the vanilla and mix well.
5. Grease the bottom of a loaf pan (roughly 8.5″ x 4.5″ x 2.75″) then line the bottom of the pan with wax paper.
6. Pour batter into baking pan and bake at 350°F for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Foodie Tips ~
♥ Ahhh, softening butter. I’m usually in the heat of the moment before I realize I need room temperature butter but it’s still in the fridge! If you’re short on time and can’t wait the 30-60 minutes for your butter to soften on the countertop, here are some helpful tips for how to accelerate things. I usually cut the butter into 1/2″ slices and set them near my preheating oven and usually in about 15 minutes things are ready to roll.
♥ This recipe was surely a family favorite ~ the measurements for how to make *three loaves* is noted in the original recipe below (see the circles)!
♥ Julie says this recipe is a good use for almost-bad bananas.
♥ You can also split this into two smaller loaves. I used foil pans that were 8″ x 3-7/8″ x 2.5″ and kept one and gave one as a gift.
♥ Who’s Jeanette? Click here and learn more about Jeanette and her famous oatmeal cookies!