Hi Ho Hi Ho. Its Stealing Recipes We Go!Posted: December 12, 2011
Yes, it’s that season, the best time of year to steal a few recipes.
Cookie Exchanges, holiday parties, treats for teachers, gifts for neighbors and of course family holiday meals. It’s a lot of food and a lot of recipes. Did you ever wonder where all those recipes came from? I know they didn’t suddenly spring out of my brain and most of the favorites I couldn’t tell you who gave them to me. Since I don’t believe in ESP I must have stolen them…like the many pens and pencils that seem to accumulate on my desk; pens and pencils I never bought.
You are probably thinking – “me, who me, no I know where my recipes came from and I always tell people it’s Aunt Judy’s recipe;” but is it Aunt Judys. Really, is it Aunt Judys? Casually leafing through an old book that gives hundreds of recipes from the backs of boxes, bottles, cans and jars I found that Amy’s – and almost every other holiday cook’s, Bourbon Balls started out on the label of Karo Corn Syrup. Turns out one of my mother’s spectacular sure to please desserts – Brandy Alexander Pie was created by the folks at Knox Gelatin.
I do know where my favorite eggplant parmesan recipe came from – Susan Balch Clapham….now where she got the recipe I don’t know.
Stealing, borrowing, recipe cards attached to the plate of cookies – it all comes down to the same thing: we really don’t know who came up with most of our favorites, we just enjoy and pass on.
In a brief effort to reform my ways here’s a holiday favorite my family insists on every year. It actually came from Emeril Lagasse on the Food Network website. Here’s the recipe (with my comments):
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup packed light brown sugar
¾ tsp cayenne pepper
1 pound thinly sliced bacon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a broiler pan with aluminum foil. Place the broiler rack on the pan and lightly coat the rack with the vegetable oil. (You don’t want to skip this step – the brown sugar as it bubbles and melts when cooking really does make a sticky mess)
Combine the brown sugar and cayenne in a shallow dish, stirring to mix well. Press 1 side of each slice of bacon firmly into the sugar to coat well. (I’ve always coated both sides – just because I have such a sweet tooth) Arrange the bacon on top of the broiler rack in a single layer, sugared side up (in my case I don’t have to worry about which side is up, a side benefit of my sugar fetish). If there is any sugar left it can be sprinkled on the bacon. Bake until the bacon is crisp and the sugar is bubbly – 15-20 minutes. (I once tried with thick cut bacon but never felt the bacon got fully cooked by the time the sugar was bubbling – thin is best for this recipe).
Ethically is it really stealing when you alter the recipe? Later this week I’m going to try a recipe from Cooking Light but plan on making a few changes.
Key Lime Balls
2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
6 Tbl fat-free sweetened condensed milk (OMG – I didn’t know such a thing existed! I’ll be using the original stuff – the one with multi-thousand calories. Talk about sucking the holiday out of Christmas – fat-free – Really?)
1 tsp grated Key Lime Rind (since Key Lime’s are almost impossible to get around these parts I’ll be ignoring that ingredient – hope it’s not key)
1 ½ Tbl fresh Key Lime Juice (the bottled stuff is going to have to suffice) (anyway why do food writers think everyone has access to non-standard food staples, Some of us don’t have interns to run from store to store to find the perfect key lime. Sorry for the brief rant; now back to the recipe)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (I believe the package in my freezer at this very moment says “sweetened” – it will have to do)
1 1/4 Cups powdered sugar.
Combine crumbs, milk, rind, juice and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add 2/3 Cup coconut and beat with a mixer at medium speed for 1 minute or until no longer grainy. Add sugar, ¼ cup at a time, beating until well combined. Cover and chill 20 minutes. (ok who thinks that I will wait 20 minutes? Anyone? No one?)
Shape crumb mixture into 24 balls, about 1 teaspoon each. Place remaining 1/3 cup coconut in a shallow bowl; roll balls in coconut.
Refrigerate balls in an airtight container for up to one day.