EATON, Colorado — A person you’ve been introduced to, but never met, is about to creep back into your life.
This muse wrote once about her mother-in-law who had fame by appearing in Busby Berkeley movies. She wasan extra in the movie “Footlight Parade.”
Though late husband John never spoke fondly of her cooking, turns out she was quite a collector of all things food related, including hand written recipes from all her friends in this village.
If you don’t know much about Colorado, let me help you.
Eaton lies in the foothills to the east of the Rockies.
I visited it once. It is a small place. One of its claims to fame was a restaurant named the “Eaton Place.”
I have consulted Pat Hyde’s recipes in the past, including those in a very old Betty Crocker cookbook.
Those are the books you consult for the real basics … three teaspoons equal a tablespoon, etc.
The hand-written recipes are the gems.
A few are on crinkled, faded paper, with barely legible writing.
You want to know about “penuche?”
Here you go: 1.5 cups brown sugar; 1.5 cups white sugar; 3 Tbs. white on dark Karo; 2 tsp. butter; 1 cup milk; .5 cups nuts; vanilla, salt.
Do any of you know white on dark Karo? Or, Karo?
Turns out I have a bit of that in my cupboard … probably left by my mother.
The “penuche” recipe provided lists the ingredients.
After that, you’re on your own.
This recipe unfortunately doesn’t name the source.
If you’re not familiar with penuche, here’s that information: It is a “fudge-like candy” made from the sugars, plus vanilla. It has a “tannish color,” and is said to be reminiscent of caramel.
How about potato dumplings, contributed by Mrs. Flenicka on Aug. 23, 1931.
This, to go with roast pork or duck: Four medium potatoes, salted. Rind gone; One egg, add to hot spuds (egg cold); heaping teaspoons of dry farina or Cream of Wheat, flour; one cup at a time until you can handle without it being sticky; handle with spoon; turn out on bread board, form into balls. Put in salted boiling water. Keep covered. Boil 20 minutes. Six dumplings.
This one is on my to do list.
How about something to go with the taters, from Nov. 11, 1926?
Here is “French Steak:” Two medium onions, chopped fine; one bunch celery, chopped fine; put in kettle and cover with water; add seasoning to taste; let it cook til done.
Let stand until cold.
Fry steak your own way (to taste). Take steak out of pan and leave all the grease in pan. Put boiled ingredients in the frying pan and heat. Serve over steak.
Right now, a lot of us are tired of the pork and kraut, the loads of cookies. Holidays have become passe.
How about going back to some of the true basics?
This is your gift from Colorado.
Email Louise Swartzwalder at firstname.lastname@example.org