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Just a note to thank those who realized that we were in the path of Katrina and e-mailed to express their concern for our safety.

Yes, she passed through here, but she was only a shadow of her former self when she hit us. We had gusting winds of up to 60 mph and lost power for a short time. There were lots of tree limbs blown down, and a few trees. Our only personal casualty was a gas lamp in the front yard.

Please, everyone, think of those in New Orleans, Biloxi, Gulfport, and the other areas that were devastated by Katrina. Read the next letter for how to best to help them.


Katrina Donations

On 30 Aug 2005 at 20:00, Pat wrote:

> I would like to donate to the relief fund for the hurricane victims.
> But I  would like to donate to the charity the gives the biggest
> percent of my dollar  towards that relief, I know I have seen a list
> on the Internet before but I  can't find it. I have come to you before
> and you have come through with my  request. I hope you can help this
> time. You have the best site on the net. I  visit every day looking
> for new recipes and information. Thanks.  Pat 

Hi Pat,

As usual, the Red Cross is at the top of the list See the rankings here:

Charity Watch



 On 29 Aug 2005 at 6:31, Joe wrote:

> Hi, This is Joe again,
> I'm wondering if you can come up with a Cypriot sausage recipe. It
> begins with an L. 
> Although I find something called Sheftalia this isn't what my wife
> wants. 
> Thanking you in advance
> Joe

Hello Joe,

Perhaps you mean "loukanika"?

"Loukanika, the Cyprus sausage, varies in flavour depending on where it is made. The meat content is very high and usually crushed coriander and other spices are- added. Before being smoked, the sausages are soaked in red wine. Loukanika taste good when fried or grilled."

Recipes below for making the sausage.



1 lb ground pork
1/2 lb ground lamb
1/4 cup red wine
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 orange, peel only, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf, ground
1/2 tsp ground coriander
salt, freshly ground black pepper and hot pepper flakes to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Refrigerate and 
allow to sit, covered, for 2-3 hours so the flavors will blend.

Roll the mixture in to little balls. Heat a saute pan over medium heat, 
add a little olive oil and sauté the Loukanika until they are browned. 
Serve as a Meze (appetizer) dish with lemon to squeeze over.

I have found many variations on the recipe for Loukanika, so there is 
no single way to make it. This is my personal favorite.

Note – this is “quick” Loukanika as normally this mixture would be put 
in to a sausage casing, poached, cooled, sometimes smoked and finally 
sliced and cooked as above. You can take the longer route if you wish, 
but this more direct method makes a delicious Loukanika.

Serves 20 as a Meze or 4 as a main course.

   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
    1       lb           Lean pork shoulder, ground
    1/2     lb           Fresh pork rind
                         -- boiled for 2 hours,
                         -- drained, and ground
    1/2     lb           Pork fatback, ground
    1       t            Salt
    1                    Navel orange -- grated rind only
    1       t            Crushed dried marjoram
                         -OR- thyme
    1                    Bay leaf -- ground in a mortar
   1/3      c            Dry red wine
    1       t            Ground allspice or coriander -OR- both
                         Freshly ground black pepper
    2                    Garlic cloves -- crushed
                         Sausage casing

   Grind the pork, pork rind, and fatback through the fine blade of a meat
   chopper.  Combine in a large bowl with all the seasonings. Knead
   thoroughly.  Store in the refrigerator while you prepare the casing.

   Usually salted, the casing (pork intestine) especially the interior, must
   be rinsed under cold running water several times. (To avoid losing casing
   down the drain while doing this, be sure the casing is inside a very large
   pan!)  Allow to drain on a linen towel.

   Use a pastry bag to force the stuffing into the casing. Pinch at 3-1/2 to 4
   inch intervals allowing space between to form the sausage links. Normally
   the casing will not break, but if it does, that section must be discarded
   and a knot tied in the new "end". To cook, poach in water for 1 hour, then
   drain, discarding the cooking water. Fry the sausages in a frying pan over
   moderate heat, or use as suggested in any recipe. Drain and serve hot.

   Note: To store, freeze uncooked in meal-sized batches. The sausages should
   be used within a day or two if not frozen.

Cardamom Cookies

On 29 Aug 2005 at 11:55, Julie wrote:

> Dear Phaedrus,
> I seriously doubt that you'll be able to locate this any more than I
> have... goodness knows I've searched.  BUT, you are my last hope.
> About fifteen years ago I found a recipe for a cookie that featured
> cardamom as the main flavor.  I believe it was Danish.  Certainly
> Scandinavian.  I don't know if it's specifically a Christmas cookie,
> but it was in a Christmas cookie section of a women's magazine.
> It was a drop cookie and it was very buttery.  When it was done baking
> it came out thin with a lacy brown edge.  It's possible there were
> other spices in it, but if there were they were few.  Cardamom was the
> main, if not only, spice.
> They were delicious!  I wish I'd saved that recipe.  Can you help me?
> Thanks for looking,
> Julie

Hi Julie,

Gosh, Julie. Every Scandinavian country, plus Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands has cardamom cookie recipes. See below.


Danish Cardamom Cookies

Too much cardamom can produce a bitter taste, so don't increase the amount of 
cardamom called for in most recipes.


1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons ground cardamom
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon finely minced lemon peel
Sliced almonds, for cookie tops 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet.

Beat the butter, granulated sugar, and the cardamom in a medium bowl until 
fluffy. Sift together the flour and salt, and add to the butter mixture. 
Stir in the almonds. Combine the powdered sugar and the lemon peel.

Form 1 tablespoon of the cookie dough into a ball. Roll it in the powdered 
sugar mixture. Place the ball on the prepared cookie sheet, and flatten it 
with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in the powdered sugar. 
Press a few sliced almonds onto the top of the cookie. Repeat with the 
remaining cookie dough, spacing the cookies 1-inch apart.

Bake on the center rack of the oven until the cookies are light brown, 
about 15 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and cool completely 
on a rack before serving.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies 
Cardamom  Christmas  Cookies

 Ingredients :
 1 c. soft butter or margarine
 3/4 c. lard or Crisco
 3 c. flour (and 1 more to work with)
 3 tsp. baking ammonia
 1 tsp. cardamom

 Preparation :
    Grind baking ammonia to consistency of baking powder.  Cream
 shortening and sugar, adding sugar gradually to shortening.  Add
 cardamom; sift flour and baking ammonia.  Add dry ingredients to
 first mixture; knead well.  Form dough in long roll.  Let stand 24
 hours in cool place.  Pinch off as large as walnuts. Bake 20-25
 minutes in 300-325 degree oven.
Cardamom-Butter  Cookies

 Ingredients :
 1/2 lb. soft butter or margarine1 c. all-purpose flour
 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
 1/2 c. cornstarch

 Preparation :
    Found this many years ago.  Delicious, melt-in-your-mouth
 greatness. Definitely not for the dieter.  Cream well.  Sift
 together.  Add to above ingredients.  Cream well.  Divide into 2
 equal portions; wrap each in foil.  Store in refrigerator at least 8
 hour but no longer than overnight.  Remove one portion from
 refrigerator; shape into balls about size of large marble.  Place
 balls on ungreased cookie sheets 2 inches apart; flatten with
 floured tines of fork or floured cookie molds.  Bake at 325 degrees
 for about 20 minutes until delicately browned.
Cardamom  Cookies

 Ingredients :
 2 1/4 c. sifted flour
 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
 1 c. butter
 1 c. sugar
 2 eggs
 1 tbsp. ground cardamom

 Preparation :
    Sift together flour and baking powder; cream together butter and
 sugar.  Add cardamom and eggs, then dry ingredients gradually.
 Chill at least 4 hours.  Roll out very thin on floured board and cut
 with cookie cutters.  Decorate if desired.  Bake 6-8 minutes at 400
 degrees.  This dough is very sticky, so keep in refrigerator when
 not using.  You can color dough with food coloring, if desired.
Sliced  Cardamom  Cookies  (Finnish)

 Ingredients :
 6 eggs
 1 lb. brown sugar
 1/2 lb. butter
 1 lb. almonds, ground
 1/2 tsp. cloves
 1 tsp. soda
 4 c. flour
 1 tsp. ground cardamon seeds

 Preparation :
    Cream butter and sugar until very fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a
 time, beating well.  Sift flour with soda and spices.  Add to
 creamed mixture, a little at a time.  Add almonds.  Refrigerate
 overnight. Form 1 inch thick logs.  Place on greased cookie sheet
 and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown (20 minutes).  Slice them
 diagonally into 1/2 inch wide slices while still warm.
Swedish  Cardamom  Cookies

 Ingredients :
 1/2 lb. butter
 1 c. sugar
 1 tbsp. light or dark Karo syrup
 1 egg yolk
 2 tsp. cinnamon
 1 1/2 tsp. cardamom
 2 c. flour
 1 tsp. baking powder

 Preparation :
    Cream together butter and sugar.  Add Karo syrup and egg yolk,
 mixing well.  Stir in dry ingredients.  Roll into 1 inch balls and
 flatten with a fork or cookie press.  Bake in preheated oven, 375
 degrees, for approximately 10 to 12 minutes.  Makes about 4 dozen
 cookies.  *Can be somewhat liberal on amount of spices used.  Add or
 subtract to taste.  I like to add a bit more cardamom, it's
 expensive, so not too much!  These cookies freeze very well.  

Blackberry Syrup

On 29 Aug 2005 at 10:20, Lori wrote:
> Hi I love to can my own things they taste better.  I would like the
> receipe for canning blackberry syrup.  Thank you Lori 

Hi Lori,

This is what I have.


Blackberry  Syrup

 Ingredients :
 4 c. blackberry juice
 4 c. sugar
 1/4 c. lemon juice

 Preparation :
    Mix all ingredients and simmer until sugar dissolves.  (Will
 thicken more if cooked longer.)  Pour into clean hot jars and
 process 10 minutes in boiling water bath.
Blackberry  Syrup

 Ingredients :
 1 1/2 c. blackberry juice
 1 1/4 c. sugar
 1/2 c. white Karo

 Preparation :
    Bring to a boil and boil one minute.  Put in containers and
Blackberry  Syrup

 Ingredients :
 3 c. fresh blackberries
 3/4 c. sugar
 1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon peel
 1/3 c. water

 Preparation :
    1. In heavy 3 quart saucepan, combine blackberries, sugar, 
 lemon peel and water. Mix gently. Cook over medium heat, stirring
 constantly, until sugar dissolved.  
    2. Bring to boiling over medium high heat. Reduce heat. Simmer, 
 uncovered, for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fruit is soft.  
    3. While cooking 2 to 3 more minutes gently mash fruit against 
 pan with wooden spoon.  
    4. Cool to lukewarm. If desired, strain fruit mixture by pressing 
 through a sieve. Pour into a storage container.  
    5. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 weeks. Yields 2 cups syrup with 
 pulp, or 1 cup strained syrup.
Blackberry  Syrup

 Ingredients :
 6 c. mashed peaches
 6 c. sugar
 1 pkg. frozen blackberries, mashed
 1 c. crushed pineapple, with juice
 1 (8 oz.) jar maraschino cherries, chopped (optional)2 (6 oz.) pkgs. blackberry jello

 Preparation :
   Cook these ingredients 20 minutes, then add:  Bring to a good
 boil.  Fill pint jars; seal. 


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