250 Cookbooks: Spices of the World Cookbook by McCormick

Cookbook #46: Spices of the World Cookbook by McCormick. Mary Collins, Home Economics Director of McCormick. Produced for McCormick by Penguin Books, first published 1969, my copy is reprinted 1972.

Spices of the World

The Spices of the World Cookbook was one of my favorites for years. My copy is old and tattered and many of the pages are falling out. But I only marked one recipe and there are few food stains on it, so I probably used it mostly as a reference or for ideas. Since it is produced by the spice company, McCormick, the recipes are all nicely seasoned. It’s an interesting cookbook to have around, but it is not a current favorite of mine.

The recipe I used a lot – and will use again – is the one for pickle relish. I so enjoyed making dill pickles a few weeks ago that I’d like to make relish too.

For this blog, I chose a recipe for Waldorf Salad. I remember these from childhood, but I’m not sure I have ever made one myself. I originally planned this to accompany focaccia sandwiches prepared in my Foreman’s grill. But the weather had another plan. It rained, and rained. Lyons, Colorado flooded, and we lost power, so no grill pan sandwiches.

In spite of our power outage and then the flooding and destruction of the roads to anywhere from where we live, I forged ahead with the Waldorf Salad. Luckily the batteries in my camera were charged, and the salad was a simple preparation requiring only a knife, no power equipment!

Here is the original recipe, scanned in from the book:

Waldorf Salad RecipeI made a half recipe and it lasted us for a couple days. It stored fine in the refrigerator.

Waldorf Salad
serves about 4

  • 1 1/2 cups diced apples
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel
  • 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • dash of mace
  • dash of cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (I used low-fat mayonnaise)

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.


This was good. What really made it spring to life was the cardamom. I did not have ground cardamom, but I did have cardamom seeds, so I grated a little of one seed into the salad. My mace was ancient; fresh mace would probably have made it even better.

I will definitely make this salad again. It’s a nice salad to accompany sandwiches, and is also a good treat at any time.

Waldorf Salad

Favorites: Fresh Peach Pie

Peach fest 2013! Another of my long-time favorite peach recipes.

This is my mother’s recipe. The peaches are not baked, they are just laid in a baked crust. It’s best eaten the day you make it, so have company over!

This is the pie to make when you have lots of perfectly ripe peaches, peaches so good that they barely need a pie to make them better.

Fresh Peach Pie

  • 2 1/2 – 3 pounds fresh peaches
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 baked pie crust (9-inch)
  • whipped cream

Mash enough of the peaches to make 1 cup of pulp (save the rest for slicing into the pie). Combine pulp, sugar, cornstarch, and water and cook until thick. Cool.

Slice the rest of the peaches and put in a baked 9-inch pie shell. Sprinkle with the lemon juice. Pour cooked mixture over fresh peaches in pie shell.

Serve with whipped cream.


Favorites: Sour Cream Peach Muffins

I’ve been making these for years. I probably clipped the recipe from a magazine or newspaper.

Inspiration for adding this recipe today is from my September 2013 Just Peachy post. It’s time for a peach fest!

Sour Cream-Peach Muffins
makes 12 muffins

  • 1 cup chopped peaches
  • 1 cup sour cream (or yogurt)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter, melted (or use vegetable oil)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (depending on sweetness of peaches)

Mix peaches, sour cream, and egg, stir in margarine. Combine dry ingredients, then stir into the wet ingredients just until blended.

Put into 12 muffin cups and bake at 375˚ for about 35 minutes, or until golden and tops spring back when gently touched in the center.

250 Cookbooks: Just Peachy

Cookbook #45: Just Peachy Peach Cookbook. Judith Ann Bosley, L. E. B. Inc., Boise, Idaho, 1993.

Just Peachy CookbookThis cute little cookbook is one of my favorites. For the shape and the title and the memories, probably more than the recipes. I bought it at the fruit stand in Lyons back in the 1990s, when there used to be a fruit stand in Lyons. Each July through September, the fruit stand purveyors regularly brought peaches over the pass from their orchards on the western slope (of the Rockies), peaches that were tree-ripened and delicious. Peach varieties ripen at different times, so first we’d get flamin’ furies, then redhavens, reginas, rozas, red globes, suncrests, and finally cresthavens. That was the sad time, because it meant the season was at its end.

I love peaches. Mostly I like them plain and natural. So juicy that you have to go outside to eat them. This year, I searched out the best Colorado peaches at county Farmers Markets and natural food stores. My first were in August. They greeted me with their aroma early one Sunday morning:

peachesOf course I bought more than we could eat right away (that’s just the way I am) but that doesn’t worry me. When I get too many, it’s time for a peach fest: peaches over ice cream, peach cobbler, peach pie, peach crisp, peach jam, and peach muffins. Thanks to my Just Peachy cookbook, I have added a new recipe to my peach repertoire: Peach Bread. That recipe is below.

Just a few quick notes on the other recipes in this cookbook. Many are for desserts that I probably won’t make, but I noted and might try recipes for: coffee cake, oatmeal muffins, peaches and pork tenderloin with cilantro in tortillas, peach glazed cornish hens, peach chutney, and peach butter.

Here is the peach bread recipe that I am basing my own on. This photo illustrates the cute layout of the book:

Peach Bread RecipeI am cutting the recipe in half, substituting brown for white sugar, and using half whole wheat pastry flour instead of all white flour.

Peach Bread
makes one 8×4-inch loaf

  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 small eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped fresh peaches (2 or 3 peaches)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or use all all-purpose flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts

Beat the oil with the sugar a minute or two on high, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla, then mix in the peaches with the mixer on low.

Stir together the dry ingredients, then add with the nuts to the batter, mixing on low speed and only until all of the flour is incorporated.

Bake in a greased and floured 8×4-inch loaf pan for 1 hour or until the bread tests done. Let cool a few minutes in the pan before removing to cool on a wire rack.

Peach BreadThis was excellent . . . enough said.

Peach BreadNote added June 2014:

I had some nectarines that needed to be used in cooking. So, I made this recipe for Peach Bread, substituting nectarines for peaches and baking as muffins. It made 8 muffins, and I baked them for 22 minutes at 375. Very good!

Favorites: Patty’s Zucchini Bread

Zucchini BreadIt’s late summer, that time when gardeners discover huge zucchinis and plot how to get rid of them. No, I am not a gardener, I was on the receiving end in this monster zucchini transaction. We were headed off for a camping trip and needed a breakfast bread, and I had a hankering for zucchini bread. So both my problem and my gardener friend’s problem was solved.

My only zucchini bread recipe was in my dessert document as “Sherry Zucchini Cake”. It was cooked in a bundt pan and had an optional thin vanilla frosting. I always thought of this zucchini cake as zucchini bread, since I used to cook it in mini-loaf pans to give away at Christmas time, back in the 1990s. Just to check, I went online and found that most zucchini bread recipes are just like my zucchini cake recipe, but none of them had sherry or lemon in them. They are missing out on all that flavor!

This week, I wanted a more nutritious loaf, so I substituted whole wheat for some of the white flour. I thought brown sugar would make it even better, so I tried that too. I worked out the baking times for loaf pans instead of a bundt pan. So, I think I can call this successful recipe “Patty’s Zucchini Bread”.

Patty’s Zucchini Bread
makes 2 8×4-inch loaves

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla (use a good vanilla)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry (dry or sweet)
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts
  • 1 cup raisins

Grease and flour 2 8×4-inch loaf pans and preheat the oven to 325˚.

Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Beat together oil and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and sherry. Stir in flour mixture. Add zucchini and lemon peel, stir to blend. Fold in nuts and raisins.

Turn into the two prepared loaf pans. Bake at 325° 55-60 minutes, or until it tests done with a toothpick. Let stand in pans 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.

250 Cookbooks: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Cookbook #44: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin’s Press, NY, 2007.

Artisan Bread CookbookFinally, one of my contemporary cookbooks! 2007! I bought this book to learn more about a new way of making yeast breads, called the “no-knead” technique.

No-knead yeast breads are prepared by mixing flour, yeast, and water into a wet dough and letting the mixture stand at least overnight. The dough is then shaped gently into a free-standing loaf and baked on a stone or in a crockery pot in a very hot oven. The result is an artisan-type bread, like you would buy from a good bakery in your town. The crumb is uneven and creamy, the crust is thick and chewy and dark brown. It’s amazing. I experimented with  bread baking for forty years but never produced an artisan loaf until I tried this new method.

The method is not only new to me, it’s new to the world of baking, according to this 2006 article in the NY Times: The Secret of Great Bread, let time do the work. I read that article, and Jim Lahey’s recipe that goes along with it, sometime in 2007, but did not try the technique until I saw a recipe in a King Arthur Flour catalog for “The Almost No-Knead Baguette“. I studied that recipe, and re-read the NY Times articles, and then tried the baguette. It turned out great.

I bought the cookbook Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day from King Arthur Flour after my success with the baguette. I tried several recipes from this book, mostly with success. Then I saw a class on no-knead breads offered by the Culinary School of the Rockies – I signed up for it. It was a great class. Today, in 2013, I am totally hooked on this technique. So much so that I wrote about it on my other blog: A Lovely Loaf (2011).

Traditional bread making employs the process of kneading to “develop the gluten”. This means, the gluten molecules move into a side-by-side alignment and then bind to each other to produce the elastic network that gives yeast breads their lift and their texture. No-knead bread making uses time and a wet dough to the same end. Since the no-knead dough is wet, the gluten molecules can move about on their own, but it takes some time (at least a few hours).

Now, I never hand-knead breads anyway, I always use my bread machine for that. So why would I want to try the no-knead method? First, it sounded like a good experiment. Second, once I did it, I found the result quite different from kneaded bread. Usually there are (desired) uneven pockets of air in baked no-knead bread, and the crust is always thick and chewy. No-knead breads just look cool. I still make both kinds of yeast breads; one method is not better than the other – each has its place in my repertoire.

No-knead bread advantages:

  • if you are used to kneading your bread without a machine, these breads use less of your hands-on time
  • they bake up like artisan loaves
  • great for pizza dough and focaccia
  • can store the dough in the refrigerator for two weeks

Kneaded bread advantages:

  • you can use a high proportion of whole grain flour in your breads
  • the crust is soft and easy to cut through to make sandwich slices
  • the texture is smooth and uniform (sometimes nicer for sandwiches)
  • you don’t have to start your bread the day (or week) before

The recipes I gleaned from the cooking class call for mixing the ingredients for a loaf of bread the day before baking. In the Artisan Bread book, you can bake the bread the same day, or you can let it sit in the refrigerator for up to a couple weeks. This is an advantage, especially if you have a full schedule of work and family and play. Time in the refrigerator also helps develop the bread’s flavor. The disadvantage is that the dough takes up a chunk of refrigerator space.

I made the “Deli-style Rye Bread” from the Artisan Bread cookbook. Since this is a recently-published book, I’m not going to scan in the recipe (copyright issues). Briefly, this cookbook has a plain design, with some black and white photos in the “how-to” section and a few glossy photos in the center. It is clearly written and friendly. I highly recommend it for the adventurous bread maker.

(In addition, there are recipes for items that go with or use bread: Tuscan White Bean Dip, Bruschetta, Spicy Pork Buns, marmalade, kebabs, and more.)

My version of the recipe below is a little different from the book’s, and the directions are written to explain how I make this bread in my own kitchen.

No-knead Rye Bread
makes 4 1-pound loaves

Mixing and Resting

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons caraway seed (I like lots of caraway; use less if you don’t)
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 5 1/2 cups bread flour (you can use all-purpose flour)

Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. You can used a stand mixer, or you can do it by hand. Mix only until all the flour is incorporated. It’s really, really sticky. It took some work to get all the dough off these beaters:

rye bread doughLet the dough stand at room temperature a couple hours (covered lightly).

Note: I left the dough in my mixer’s metal cooking bowl and it (1) rose up over the top and (2) stuck to the bowl, making it hard to clean. I suggest moving the mixed dough to a glass, plastic, or enamel bowl that is lightly oiled and large enough to allow the dough to rise to double its bulk.

After two hours, use the dough immediately or better yet, put it in your refrigerator. (The refrigerating step makes the dough easier to handle when you go to bake it, and it adds some flavor as the yeast works with the flour and sours it a bit.) If you decide to refrigerate the dough, transfer it to a plastic container large enough to allow for the dough to grow in volume by at least 50%. Lightly cover the dough in the container.

Here is my dough (in the bright light of the morning), after a couple days in the refrigerator:

rye bread dough


You will need:

  • a pizza peel
  • a large baking stone
  • cornmeal
  • flour
  • a cornstarch/water glaze (microwave 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch in 1/2 cup water for 60 seconds)
  • a baking pan with about a half-inch of water in it

Sprinkle some cornmeal on a pizza peel. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and dust with a little flour (just enough to make it less likely to stick to your hands). Grab about a quarter of the dough: if you weigh it, it should be about one pound. This is a messy process:

pulling doughThis is sticky dough! I had to keep washing my hands to take these photos.

(Put the rest of the dough back in the refrigerator. It keeps two weeks.)

Here’s what the dough looked like before forming the loaf:

doughCloak the dough. This means that you take it in two hands, and stretch the outside of the ball of dough down to the bottom, rotating as you work around the dough. (I’ve used this method a lot of times to form rolls; it’s hard to explain. What you want is a smooth surface on top, with the ends are tucked down on the bottom side of the formed ball of dough. It takes about 30 seconds.)

Place the dough on the corn meal sprinkled pizza peel. I had a lot of flies in my kitchen, so I put some plastic wrap on top (with a tiny amount of cornmeal sprinkled on the loaf to prevent it from sticking).

Here is my formed loaf, before rising:

formed loaf before risingLet stand 40 minutes to 1 1/2 hour (I let mine rise 1 1/4 hours). Dough that has not been refrigerated will take the lesser amount of time. You won’t see the dough rise a whole lot, especially if it has been refrigerated. (In fact, mine flattened out.) Here is my “risen” dough:

risen doughAt least twenty minutes before you bake the bread, put a baking stone in the oven and preheat to 450˚. Put in on the top oven rack.

Just before you put the dough in the oven, put the pan with water in it on the rack under the heated baking stone. (This helps develop a good crust.)

Brush the dough with the cornstarch/water glaze and slash the top with deep cuts using a serrated knife. I sprinkled it with more caraway seeds. Slide the loaf off the pizza peel onto the heated stone in the oven.

Bake 30 minutes. Voila! You are done.Rye BreadThis bread makes great corned beef sandwiches. I used my own dill pickles – yummy. I sliced the bread after only an hour’s cooling, and found it easiest to slice the chewy crust with an electric knife. Since there is rye flour in the dough (whole grain flours break up air bubbles), the texture is more uniform than on my no-knead white-flour only loaves.

I had fun with this bread project. It was a hot day, so I wanted to bake it in the morning and have it ready for lunch. While it rose on my counter and the oven heated, I was off on a bike ride, getting exercise as advised by Jane Brody in her NY Times column (Jane Brody’s nutrition book was my preceding cooking blog entry). Bread baking doesn’t have to mean that you spend your whole day in the kitchen.