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Bar Soap for Dishes

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Rayla 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Friday, November 30, 2001 7:49 AM
  Subject: bar soap for washing dishes

  An Amish group used to use a bar soap to wash dishes about 30-40 
  years ago...
  I need a recipe to make that bar soap

Hi Rayla,

I could not find a recipe for "Amish dishwashing soap", as such. My understanding from reading is that the Amish of the time in which you speak used the same bar soap both for dishes and for laundry. Below is a recipe that is purported to be an Amish bar soap recipe. That's the best I can do for you on this. If you make it, be careful with the lye. For more information about lye and soapmaking, go to this site:

Simpler Thyme


  How do we Make Soap

  11 Cups of Lard (strained)
  5 Cups Cold Water (rain water if available)
  1 Can of Lye
  1/2 Cup of Borax
  1/3 Cup of Sugar
  Strain the following mixture into a pan. Pour cold water into a jar 
  and add lye and borax and sugar until it dissolves. Stir well with 
  a wooden stick until lukewarm. (The chemical reaction will warm the 
  liquid) Pour this lye mixture in the Grease slowly. Stir for 15 
  minutes and then pour into a mold. Cut into squares before it becomes 
  to hard. Let the squares stand 2 weeks before using.

  Bacon grease or other food grease can be used to make soap, but lard 
  makes the whitest soap.  A very dangerous step is when the lye is put 
  into the water. The fumes from that reaction are really bad. The 
  consistency of the mixture is about that of corn meal mush or slurry.  
  The mold box was about 3 or 4 inches deep and lined with old muslin to 
  keep it from leaking.  Most people would wait about 1 day before cutting 
  into squares. One CAUTION, with the lye ingredient this product was only 
  for clothes or dishes. 

Double Panning and Cheese Biscuits

----- Original Message -----
From: Jennifer
To: phaedrus
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2001 1:01 PM
Subject: double panning

> My father wants to make the biscuits from red lobster.  Somewhere he
> heard that he should double-pan.  What does this mean and is it
> necessary?
> Thank you!
> Jennifer

Hi Jennifer,

Double-panning just means using one pan or one cookie sheet placed on top of another. Double-panning isn't always necessary, but it's a good idea when baking cookies and some kinds of breads because it protects against their burning on the bottom thanks to the insulating layer of air. If you use two flat cookie sheets rather than the waffled kind, you should put pennies between the two to act as spacers.

I have recipes for Red Lobster Cheese Biscuits, so I am sending a few along.


Red Lobster Garlic Cheese Biscuits (Light)

Amount Measurement Ingredient Preparation Method
2 c minus 1 T flour
1 tb plus 2 tsp baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 pinch salt
3 tb stick margarine, chilled
3/4 c low fat (1.5%) buttermilk
1 1/2 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 t garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 450F. Line baking sheet with parchment or 
waxed paper; spray with nonstick cooking spray. 
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, 
soda and salt. Add 2 tablespoons of the margarine and blend 
with pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 
buttermilk and cheese; combine with fork, handling dough as little 
as possible. Drop by spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet; bake
until lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes. 
3. While biscuits are baking, in a small microwavable bowl, add 
remaining tablespoon margarine; microwave on high until margarine 
is melted. Stir in garlic powder; set aside. 
4. When biscuits are done, remove from oven and brush margarine
mixture evenly over the warm biscuits. Remove from baking sheet 
and serve immediately. 
Serving (1 biscuit) equals 3/4 fat, 1 1/4 bread, 15 calories. 
Per serving 83 calories, 2 gm pro, 9 gm carb, 4 gm fat, 338 mg sodium, 
4 mg chol, 0 gm fib. Source: Weight Watchers Magazine, December 1994
Red Lobster Cheese Biscuits Version 2

Amount Measurement Ingredient Preparation Method
1 t garlic salt or powder
1 T Parsley flakes
1 t italian seasonings
5 lb bisquick
44 oz -- water, cold
1 lb cheddar, sharp grated
1/2 c butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix bisquick, water and cheese. Drop 
by large spoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. 
After baking, (while hot) brush on melted butter or margarine mixed 
with garlic powder, parsley flakes and Italian seasoning. (Amounts 
will vary by the size batch you make, but a little goes a long way.) 
Serve hot. The RL manager's recipe is for a large quantity, so you'll 
have to reduce the ingredient quantities by the size batch you desire. 
Note: For a smaller batch I usually use 2 C. Bisquick, 1/2 cup cold water, 
and 3/4 c. grated cheddar which will yield about 12 biscuits. You may 
also substitute soda water or ginger ale for the water, if desired.
Red Lobster Cheesey Garlic Biscuits

2 c. Bisquick
2/3 c. milk
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
 Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine mix, milk, and cheese,
until soft dough forms. Beat vigourously for 30 seconds. Drop
dough in heaping tsp. onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10
min. or till golden brown. Combine melted butter and garlic
powder. Brush over warm biscuits before removing from cookie sheet.

Instant Expresso

----- Original Message -----
From: Robbie 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Friday, November 30, 2001 9:25 AM
Subject: Instant Expressor Powder

> I'm trying to find this item and it doesn't seem to be available 
> in atlanta.
> Have any ideas where I might order expresso instant powder?
> Robbie 

Hello Robbie,

Sure, here are three online sources for instant Espresso:

Caffe Tucano

LA Times Pointshop

Shop Viviano

In a city as big as Atlanta, there should be a specialty coffee shop somewhere that sells it, though. Perhaps an Italian Grocery?


Coco Bread

 ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Maree 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2001 6:49 PM
  Subject: Coco bread

  Dear Uncle Phaedrus,

  I was so excited when I saw you had found the recipe to Jamaican 
  Coco bread.  But alas, this is not the right one.  The Coco bread 
  that we are looking for seems to be a yeast bread and looks like a 
  what we Americans would call a roll.  As the person said who is 
  searching also, it is white in color and very buttery.  It appears 
  to start out as a circle and then is buttered and folded.  I have 
  only seen them in Black River and they are worth the trip to taste.  
  Thank you soooo much.  

Hi Maree,

Searching yet again, in the hopes that someone had posted the other coco bread recipe on the web by now, I found the below recipe. It may not be right, either, but at least it doesn't have coconut in it....


  Jamaican Coco Bread

  It's easier to get a softer bread with buttermilk and egg, 
  so this recipe calls for that. 

   1.5 tsp           Yeast
   3   c            Flour
   2 tsp           Sugar
   1/2   tsp           Salt
   3 tbsp           Salad Oil
   1 cup            Buttermilk
   1                egg

  Melted Butter to brush                        

  Use dough cycle on machine. Remove dough from machine and divide 
  into 8-10 parts.       
  Preheat oven with a baking stone to 500. Place a half-sheet pan 
  in the oven and another in the broiler. Roll each part into an oval. 
  Slash a few cuts on top with a knife. 
  Pop in  the oven for three minutes, then remove to broiler
  for another thirty seconds. Brush with clarified butter after
  removing from the broiler.

Paratha Roti

----- Original Message -----
From: Cheri 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2001 9:32 PM
Subject: coco bread recipe

> Hi Uncle Phaedrus,
> I am a friend of Maree's who recently asked you about a coco 
> bread recipe .The bread we search for is sold in the bakery at 
> Black River. It is a yeast dough with lots of butter. One local 
> from Billy's Bay told me that 'coco' refers to the 'shape' of 
> the bread. He said there are big loaves, then smaller loaves, then 
> coco bread which is a fist sized bread, what we call rolls or buns 
> here in the US. He told me it's not a bun because those are sweet 
> and spiced. Another local told me he had learned in school how to 
> make these coco breads. The yeast dough is rolled out in a circle, 
> then spread with butter, then folded in half. Then butter is again 
> spread on the semi-circle and it is folded again to quarter it...
> butter again..fold again.
> I see that this is how it's done because I managed to unfold a coco 
> bread once after it was baked and this does seem to be the method. 
> We are wondering if it's only to be found in the Black River bakery 
> as the recipe is so difficult to find. The yeast dough is very light 
> and flaky...seems different than a regular bread dough, but perhaps 
> it's because of all the butter spread upon it. We go to Treasure 
> Beach and people there go to Black River especially for coco bread...
> and it is not the sweet bread variety. If you have never had it...go 
> to Black River and try it...and get us the recipe please. I am going 
> to try a regular white bread recipe and then do the butter spreading 
> and folding and see how close I can come to their product. It is 
> exquisite, I promise you....check it will never be the 
> same. I live in Vermont, far from Black River ,JA... so I 
> must try to duplicate that food of the gods...cuz who knows when I 
> can get back to buy it there? If you are there at 10:30AM to get it 
> fresh from the oven, you will agree that it is a heavenly food...
> though somewhat decadent due to all the butter!!!!! 
> So, Uncle P. ....are you in Jamaica or operating from some other part 
> of the globe? But even so, you must have contacts there...please help 
> us...we are having coco bread withdrawal.....
> nuff respect
> Cheri

Hi Cheri,

I wish I could help.... I searched again this morning for you. The only thing I found was a message claiming that the below recipe for an Indian bread called "paratha roti" is the same thing as coco bread. If you try it and it is a good bread, please let me know....

I also looked for a place online that maybe you could buy coco bread and have it shipped to you. I did find this:
Caribbean Food Delights
They have coco bread, and there's a photo of it on their site. I don't know how good their coco bread is.

I know, none of these things are Black River coco bread.... I wish I were at Black River, sipping on Blue Mountain. (The Guatemalan I'm drinking isn't bad, but it's not Blue Mountain). If I were there, then I would try find a way to finagle the coco bread recipe from the cook for you. I'm not above bribery.

But I'm not in Jamaica, and I have no contacts in Jamaica, and so I must disappoint you. Please believe that I tried my best. I will save your e-mail, and if a better coco bread recipe appears tomorrow or the next day or next week or next month or next year, I will send it to you.


Paratha Roti


1 lb Flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons powdered milk
3 teaspoons baking powder
Water for mixing
2 oz butter for rolling


In a bowl combine flour, salt, powdered milk and baking powder.
Add water and mix together well until soft but pliable. A sprinkle 
of dry flour may be added to help form it into a ball.
Leave to rest for twenty (20) minutes.
Divide ball into 4 smaller balls, and leave to rest an additional 
20 minutes.
Roll open each ball with a rolling pin, paste with butter, sprinkle 
some dry flour on top of butter and close it up rolling.
Then cook on the tawa on medium heat.
The "TAWA" is an iron plate or griddle commonly used in India to cook 
a variety of main dishes & bread.
While the roti is still hot, beat with a wooden spoon so that it 
separates easily, into smaller pieces.
Leave to rest for 15 minutes.


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