While overseas, we often could not get some of our favorite foods. Most of the time it did not matter, but occasionally we wanted comfort food from home. Not only are English muffins easy to make, but use ingredients that were found easily while we traveled.
They are good plain, but English muffins are much better toasted. They are good eaten in so many ways; with eggs and cheese, as hamburger rolls, smothered in butter, or as a base for peanut butter and jelly.
Andrea commented that she really wanted tiramisu for dessert. We looked in three stores before finding lady finger cookies. We did not find gluten free ones at all. So we decided to try to make our own.
The recipe we tried was very easy. The cookies crisped up and are wonderful for dunking in hot drinks or just eating plain.
Before getting married, I worked as a third grade paraprofessional. My first year was wonderful. The teachers used me as an under teacher, working with different students and using my strengths to help the classes. Since I am right handed, I learned to write on a chalk board and I taught cursive that year.
Since I interacted with the students so much, they spoiled me often. At Christmas, Brianna brought me a batch of this candy. I liked it so much, I requested a recipe. I have made this recipe almost every year since. Now Andrea makes this recipe also.
Many years ago, my friend Charlotte, shared this tea with me on the way to school. I thought it was great and she gave me the recipe for “friendship tea.” I made it a few times and forgot about it.
Years later, I was given the recipe for “Russian Tea” from Mom McGuire. We played with the recipe and made it in a variety of ways. Adrian has always enjoyed it. He thought it was called “Rotten Tea” and that is what we call it at home more often than not.
Pasties are popular in Calument where Daddy spent a lot of time growing up. He said that Petila’s taxi in Calumet would often take his family to McLain park and then come back at a prearranged time to take them home. His grandmother made them also. There are many recipes for pasties, but all are similar.
Feel free to experiment with the basic recipe. We often make the pasties with cubed meat instead of ground. Be careful not to overstuff the crust, it is much better to have leftover filling!
When serving, I like them best with a little extra butter. Some people serve them with gravy. My mom eats them with ketchup.
For some reason, I did not bring a chocoate chip cookie recipe when we moved to Slovakia. My friend, Joan Britton, gave me this recipe and told me the dough was really thick (her recipe called for one egg), but was the best recipe. I could not find chocolate chips there, so I just cut up chocolate bars.
We took them to work to share and I often left out the chocolate for our friend who was allergic to it. The cookies are still very good without it!
When we moved overseas again, the eggs were smaller and we discovered two eggs worked very well. We also could not find brown sugar, so we started using molasses instead. Even though we can get brown sugar here, we prefer being able to adjust the molasses to our own personal tastes.
I never had ginger beer until we lived in Swaziland. It was a great drink for hot days, but we did not make it often. The recipe our friend gave us was very good but required the mix to ferment a few days before drinking. We rarely planned far enough ahead, or we let it sit too long, so enjoying ginger beer was rare.
Then we discovered this recipe. We often make extra base to freeze. It defrosts quickly and is a nice beverage to enjoy on lazy summer days.
We prefer this with sugar, but it also tastes good with raw honey.
Another version that we enjoy is replace the water with very strong peppermint tea that has been cooled and strained.