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Volunteer Vittles Vol. 309  Cat Adams
 Feb 16, 2003 17:59 PST 
Volunteer Vittles Vol. 309
February 16, 2003

Oh, my goodness! With the holidays and the family happenings
(almost all good!), I am SO far behind in publishing. Please
forgive me.

Now... do you want the latest gossip in our house? Boy, is
my mom going to be mad at me when she reads this here. I
reckon that I better address it to Mom so she won't be too
angry with me. Guess what, Mom? You're going to be a great
grandma again!!! That's right! We're expecting another
grandchild in June (and, yes, I just found out!). [Note to
readers: I suppose that's a sneaky way to get my mom to
e-mail me, isn't it? But it's the truth. I can hardly wait!]

And I know that everyone will be excited to hear that we
got a brand new baby puppy (is that redundantly repetitive
or what?). Her name is Care Bear. We call her Kari Bear.
She was born November 15, and she's a Shetland Sheepdog
(also known as Sheltie). I am in love. She has this Cat
wrapped around her little paw... that's for sure!

Have you voted for us today?
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Welcome to all of our new subscribers.
This is your e-zine, so please contribute.
Any comments, criticisms, suggestions, recipes,
or household tips are welcome.
We LOVE hearing from you!

Contents in this issue:
. Recipe: Eggplant Parmigiana Crockpot
. Hints from Helga
. Little Vittles: Fluffer Nutter
. Recipe: Half-Sour Pickles
. Pet Place
. Recipe: Sausage
. Recommended Web Sites
. Recipe: Creamy Coconut Cake
. Humor/Inspirational
. Recipe: Clam Chowder
. Reader Comments and Requests

And now, on to today's Vittles...

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Fuller Brush Buy / Sell
High Quality Products with a
100% Satisfaction Guarantee
ID# 9201-675 or call 1 800 522 0499

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RECIPE: Eggplant Parmigiana Crockpot

Reader SWAG shares:


4 large eggplants
2 eggs
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons flour
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 32 ounce can Marinara sauce
1 pound Mozzarella cheese, sliced
olive oil, extra virgin

Pare eggplant and cut in 1/2 inch slices; place in bowl in
layers and sprinkle each layer with salt and let stand 30
minutes to drain excess water; dry on paper towels. Mix egg
with water and flour. Dip eggplant slices in mixture, drain
slightly. Sauté a few slices at a time quickly in hot olive oil.
Combine seasoned breadcrumbs with the Parmesan cheese. In
removable liner, layer one fourth of the eggplant, top with
one fourth of the crumbs, one fourth of the Marinara sauce
and one fourth of the Mozzarella cheese. Repeat three times
to make four layers of eggplant, crumbs, sauce and Mozzarella
cheese. Place liner in base. Cover and cook on low 4 to 5 hours
or auto 3 hours.
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Recipe ">
Send your recipe to Cat </A>

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Hints From Helga:

Reader Carol (from Pennsylvania) shares some roach advice:

   No matter, what you do, I'm sure you will, sooner or
   later spot one of those little nasties. For those strays,
   I have a can of Raid just waiting to get em!

   As soon as I spot one, very quietly, I grab my can of Raid,
   get at a comfortable distance & let em have it. Within
   seconds, they curl up & die.

   Good riddance, to the pest!

   They scare me, to pieces, but this, I can handle, because
   I'm a few feet away. I hope this helps.

Reader Callie asks:

   Can someone please tell me how to get rid of scorpions? I
   have had exterminators come every month for a year and half
   to no avail. I'd really appreciate any advice.          
<A HREF=" mailto:helg-@hotmail.com?subject=Scorpions ">
Send scorpion info for Callie </A>

Reader Betty advises:

   Does your brown sugar harden into a brick and you need a
   hammer to loosen it for use? Put a slice of apple in your
   plastic bag or box and keep it sealed. It softens it very
   nicely. There is one disadvantage though. If left in there
   too long, it bleaches the color out of the sugar. So I
   recommend just leaving it long enough to soften and then
   remove it. You can put another one in later if you need to.
   If you don't care about losing the color, just leave it in.
   This really works. Saves throwing the sugar away or using
   the microwave that I've not found to be very effective anyway.

Do you have a tip for Helga? Or a question for Helga?
<A HREF=" mailto:helg-@hotmail.com?subject=Tip for Helga ">
Send your question or tip to Helga </A>

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LITTLE VITTLES: Fluffer Nutter

Reader Bonnie (from Wisconsin) shares:

My kids used to love peanut butter...still do. They always
loved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but one time I
bought a jar of Kraft Marshmallow Creme and they had a recipe
on the label for "Fluffer Nutter" sandwiches. My four kids
went wild for it. I'm not trying to push Kraft but I don't
think any other company makes marshmallow creme. If you don't
enjoy these, then you really don't like peanut butter.
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Kids ">
Send your favorite kids' recipe to Cat </A>

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Stretch Limo Truck?


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RECIPE: Half-Sour Pickles

Reader Lois shares:

               HALF-SOUR PICKLES

8 cups water
1/4 cup pickling salt
1 gallon small pickling cucumbers
6 garlic cloves
6 dill heads or sprigs of fresh dill
2 Tbsp. dill seeds
2 small fresh or dried hot peppers
2 Tbsp. mixed pickling spices

Combine water and pickling salt in a pickle crock. Stir
well to dissolve the salt.

Wash cucumbers and remove blossom ends. Drain well. Add the
cucumbers to the salted water, mixing in the garlic, dill,
hot peppers, and pickling spices with the cucumbers. Stir
gently to distribute the spices evenly. Cover with a weight
to keep the cucumbers submerged in the brine. Cover the crock.

Store the crock at 68 degrees F. Check the crock every day.
Remove any scum that forms on the top. The pickles should be
"half-sour" in about 3 days. Taste the pickles. If the results
are pleasing, prepare the pickles for long-term or refrigerator

Pack the pickles in sterilized quart jars. Pour the brine into a
Non-aluminum pan and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Cool to
room temperature. Pour the cooled brine over the pickles, seal the
jars and store in the refrigerator. (See note below.)

Because of the relatively low salt concentration in the brine, the
pickles spoil easily if they aren't refrigerated after a week.
Don't use this recipe if you are looking for a very sour pickle.

Yield: 4 quarts

You know when the fermentation process has gone well when the
fermentation begin within a day or so of combining the ingredients
in the crock and lasts about as long as the recipe specifies. The
brine will be clear and tasty, not cloudy or slightly funky tasting.

If the pickles taste good and have a good firm texture, but the
brine is slightly cloudy, drain off the brine (reserving it)and
strain out the spices. Bring the reserved brine to a boil and cool
to room temperature. Pack the pickles into clean quart jars. Add
fresh spices. Pour the cooled brine over the pickles and refrigerate.
These pickles will keep for at least several months.

If you want to process the pickles for long-term storage, drain
off the brine (reserving it). Strain out spices. Bring the reserved
brine to a boil in a non-aluminum saucepan. Pack fresh spices and
the cucumbers into hot sterilized jars.

Pour the hot brine over the pickles, leaving 1/2 inch head space.
Process in a boiling water bath or steam canner for 5 minutes.
Adjust seals if necessary. Let cool for 12 hours, then check seals.
Store any unsealed jars in the fridge. Label and store the jars in
a cool dry place.

Processing does take away a little of the crispness of the pickles.
Obviously, its major advantage is that the jars need not take up
valuable refrigerator space.
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Recipe ">
Send your favorite recipe to Cat </A>

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Reader Grace shares:

Before I start my story just a few things to bring you up
to speed on the type of dog I have. I own a Shih Tzu. His
name is Snicker (type of candy). He is a small dog. His
height is no less than 9 and no more than 10 and a half

Shih Tzu's are mostly pampered and well groomed dogs (most
are in the American Kennel Club). Yet Snicker, on the other
hand, is just your normal small dog that runs around getting
dirty and knots. Now my story!

Well, my story begins on one beautiful summer day. The pool
has its cover on, and the dogs are out playing in the yard.
Now Snicker doesn't usually get near the pool because he
doesn't like water, but today he is standing right at the
edge. While my pit pull is on the other side playing with
the chow.

Well, Snicker decides that he wants to play too. So he runs
across the pool (remember he is small but he is fat too).
When he gets to the other side (the pool's not that long),
he stops for a minute and while he is waiting he starts to
sink but that doesn't make him move only until he starts to
feel the rush of cold water. Well, when he feels the cold
water on his paws, he jumps out of the pool and he's not
even that wet. After that he hasn't done it again, but next
time I will have a camera ready.

Well, thank you for listening to my story.
My name is Grace and I am a new member.

Do you have a favorite pet story or recipe (that's a recipe
to serve to your pet, not a recipe to cook your pet)?
We'd love to hear it!
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Pet Story ">
Send your favorite pet story or recipe to Cat </A>

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RECIPE: Sausage (for Jim)

Reader Peg shares:

Jim, it depends on the type of sausage you want to make.
I make Polish Sausage using pork butt (Boston Butt Roast
is what you most likely know it as), garlic, marjoram, salt
and lots of coarse ground black pepper. Have the butcher
order salt-cured pork casings for you, you'll need about
1/4 pound to make 40 pounds of sausage. Also, have the
butcher cut up the pork butts using the grinder on the
coarse grind setting. Have him grind it only ONE time;
otherwise, it will become too fine and mushy. Mix the
pork and seasonings by hand. Taste test a small amount by
shaping into a patty and fry. Add additional salt, etc.,
as needed. Stuff into the casings (be certain to soak the
casings for 10 minutes, then rinse by slipping them up over
the kitchen faucet, let cold water run through them to clean

The sausage can be coiled into rings and wrapped and frozen,
or cook some immediately by placing in a pot of salted cold
water; bring to boil, skim foam from top of water, and then
let simmer 45 minutes. Or, place in greased roaster in 350
degree oven and bake about 1 hour. Baked Polish sausage is
wonderful with sauerkraut added by placing it below sausage
before baking.

POLISH SAUSAGE: (40 pounds)
Garlic - 30 - 35 cloves, crushed
Marjoran - 1 and 1/2 jars (I use "Spice Islands" brand)
Salt - good handful

Same method using Pork Butt but use these seasonings:
Fennel Seeds - about 1/3 cup
Garlic - 30 cloves, crushed
Paprika - about 3/4 cup
Salt - good handful
Black Pepper - 6 Tablespoons
Crushed Red Pepper flakes - 3 Tablespoons

I usually pick-out about 80 pounds of Pork Butt (Boston Butt)
roasts and have the butcher grind it for me. Years ago I cut
all the meat by hand into very tiny cubes myself. But for about
the past 20 years I've resorted to having the butchers help. I'm
getting "older" and can't take all the standing involved to cut
it by hand.
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Recipe ">
Send your favorite recipe to Cat </A>

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Reader Kimberlee recommends:

Hot Spicy Food

Do you have a favorite cooking, household tips, or
craft web site (maybe your own)?
Please share it...
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Site ">
Send your favorite web site to Cat </A>

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RECIPE: Creamy Coconut Cake

Reader Betty shares:

If you like coconut this is the recipe for you....


1 yellow cake mix
1 large can Cream of Coconut
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 12 oz container cool whip
1 bag coconut

Bake cake according to directions. Bake in 9x13 pan.
Cool and poke holes in top of cake. Mix together the
Cream of Coconut and condensed milk. Pour this mixture
over cake and allow to soak in. Frost with cool whip
and sprinkle coconut on top. Chill. It tastes the best
the next day.

<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Recipe ">
Send your favorite recipe to Cat </A>

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ VOLUNTEER VITTLES ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~


A young wife called a newspaper office and asked for
the food editor.

"Would you please help me?" she asked. "I bought a
nine-pound turkey. Could you tell me how long to cook
it in my new microwave?"

"Just a minute," the food editor said, as he turned to
check his reference book.

"Oh, thank you," she said. "You've been a big help.

Do you have a favorite humor or inspirational story?
We'd LOVE to hear it!
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Favorite Story ">
Send your story to Cat </A>

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RECIPE: Clam Chowder (for Linda)

Reader Ruth shares:

                 CLAM CHOWDER

For Linda... here is a recipe for Clam Chowder that's
easy to make and my family loves it!

1 stick butter
1 large onion finely chopped
1 tuna size can minced clams (drain & save juice)
2 cans New England Clam Chowder Soup
3 cans Cream of Potato Soup
1 quart half & half

Saute' butter & onions for 3 minutes in pan. Add drained
minced clams. Put all cans of soup in oven proof roaster.
Add half & half, butter, onions & clams. Cover & bake in
200 degree oven for 4 hours. Stir every hour. If it looks
too thick, add clam juices.

This recipe is served at a famous restaurant here in St Louis.
Enjoy !

[Note to readers: We received some wonderful clam chowder
recipes from you all. Thank you so much. We'll be sharing
them in upcoming issues. It certainly is soup weather!]
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Recipe ">
Send your favorite recipe to Cat </A>

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ VOLUNTEER VITTLES ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~


Thank you all for sending in your recipes, requests,
tips, and comments! We appreciate it.

Reader Wanda shares:

   With turkey time upon us, I have been passing a simple tip
   for great tasting turkey with no basting and moist white meat.
   Drape the turkey with cheap fatty bacon. In 25 years I have
   never basted the turkey and everyone raves on how great it
   is. You can also bake your chicken the same way.

Reader Lois writes in (for Kim):

   Ham base is like beef base and/or bouillon. They have it
   in stores that sell bulk foods, and in a lot of big store
   spice sections. You can purchase it at

Reader Lynx advises (for Kim):

   It is just like beef or chicken base, only it's ham. It is
   a flavoring. It's made from a broth of meat then cooked down.

Reader Pat shares (for Kim):

   Ham base is like beef bouillon only with ham flavor. I use
   it when I cook ham and bean soup for an added oomph.

Reader Hope sends in (for Kim):

   I'm writing from western Canada which is probably no help at
   all, but if you can't find it on store shelves [seems it's
   expensive, as our stores stopped carrying it years ago],
   perhaps a restaurant supplier will have it.

   Don't know about your restaurants, but ours offer many ham
   base soups, so get the base from their suppliers. And so can
   you. If no supplier will sell it to you, perhaps a restaurant
   will. [I get mine from a restaurant supply house, and as they
   only sell in bulk, I'm going to have to live to be 300 before
   I use up this latest batch I got.]

   Warning: Ham base smells very strong. The first time I smelled
   it, I thought it was ' off '. Not to worry. It makes beautiful
   soups, my favourite being Navy Bean. [a piece of information all
   you readers were *dying * to hear,no? <g>]

[Editor's note to Hope: Well this reader is dying to try your
Navy Bean soup, Hope!]

Reader Esther advises (for Kim):

   Ham base is nothing more than what chicken base and beef base
   are. You can purchase it in granule or liquid form in your
   market, in the same department you purchase the small bottles
   or boxes of chicken or beef bouillon. Sometimes in some
   markets here, it is found in the section that carries Mexican
   products and goes by the name "Jabon", which means ham. Hope
   this helps.

Reader Della (from Colorado) asks:

   It is afternoon here in Denver and I just picked up a site
   on the Internet about a restaurant. They said something about
   a recipe "Hominy Stew". It sounded interesting to me and I
   wonder if you might have a recipe for this dish. It sounds
   like it could be an Indian recipe. I have searched several
   sites but found nothing.

Can any of you readers help Della? Thanks!
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Hominy_Stew ">
Send hominy stew recipe for Della </A>

Reader Martha (from Texas) cautions:

   Please, please, please don't feed your children raw egg whites
   as called for in the delicious sounding raspberry smoosh. Use
   pasteurized egg white powder which works and is safe. No
   salmonella or other beasties to make one sick.

Reader Caroline agrees:

   PLEASE!!! Never give children anything containing raw eggs!!
   If you want to chance it yourself, that's one thing, but NOT
   for your children! You can buy pasteurized dry egg whites.
   Reconstitute them, and proceed with your recipes safely.

Reader Margot asks:

   I have inquired of numerous sources on the Internet but have
   never received the answer I want. My question is: Since
   spearmint and peppermint have radically different tastes,
   how do I know which to use when a recipe calls for mint?
   I've never seen a recipe that specifies which type to use.
   I would be so appreciative if someone could answer this
   question. Thank you so much for your consideration of this

Can any of you readers help Margot? Thanks!
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Mint ">
Send mint info for Margot </A>

Do you have a comment or question? We'd love to hear from you!
<A HREF=" mailto:volunteer-@hotmail.com?subject=Editor ">
Send comments to the editor! </A>

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ VOLUNTEER VITTLES ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

See you soon with the latest yummy and delectable
culinary treats and... more reader contributions,
suggestions, and questions... Thank you all!

To Subscribe: Send a blank e-mail to:
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Subscribe to Volunteer Vittles </A>

Privacy Policy: Your Privacy is our business. Your
email address and/or any other personal information
will not be published or released to any outside entity
under ANY circumstances without your permission.

Questions answered or comments given by Helga are for
entertainment purposes only. The publisher, Volunteer
Vittles, and respective staff will not be liable for any
or all incidents, problems or misfortunes that may result
from such.

Copyright © 2003 Cat Adams. All Rights Reserved.
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