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Not your traditional 'Pigs in the Blanet'

I remember as a kid my mother making homemade sauerkraut in her big crock. After the cabbage was shredded and salted, she cured it for several weeks until it was ready to can. She used her home-canned sauerkraut in inexpensive, hearty, down-home-style recipes. Even though I don’t make homemade sauerkraut, I love that crisp tangy taste with its robust flavor and crave recipes that call for sauerkraut. It is so low in calories and so high in vitamin C.

■ Mom’s Pigs in the Blanket

Serving size: 8

2 pounds hamburger

1 onion, chopped

1 27 ounce can sauerkraut, drained

2 eggs

salt and pepper, to taste

2 cups cold cooked rice

1 medium head cabbage

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 quart tomatoes

Wash and core cabbage. Place in a large pot of boiling water and cook for five minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for five minutes to softened leaves. Drain and set aside. Mix together beef, rice, eggs, garlic, salt and pepper. Separate cabbage leaves carefully, keeping them whole. Place leaves flat and trim the thick center vein to thickness for the rest of the leaf. Spoon meat mixture on base of each leaf; roll up; tucking ends and sides under. Combine tomatoes, onion and brown sugar. Put un-drained sauerkraut in slow cooking pot. Arrange cabbage rolls over sauerkraut. Pour tomato mixture over all. Cover tightly and cook on low for six to 10 hours; on high three to five hours.

■ Delicious Cheesecake

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup sugar

2 ounce packages cream cheese, softened

3 eggs

1 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup lemon juice

8 ounce sour cream

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine butter, crumbs and sugar; pat firmly on bottom of buttered 9-inch spring form pan or an 8-inch square cake pan. Bake in 350 degree oven five minutes. Remove from oven and cool. In large mixer bowl, beat cheese until fluffy. Beat in condensed milk, eggs and salt until smooth. Stir in lemon juice; pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake 50-55 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool to room temp; chill. If using sour cream, spread on top of cheesecake. Top with fruit (cherry or blueberry pie filling) if desired. Keep refrigerated.

GARY’S TIP: To keep Jack Frost off your windows — add a half of cup rubbing alcohol or anti-freeze to each quart of water used. Rub the inside of windows with a sponge that has been dipped in rubbing alcohol or anti-freeze mixture. Polish with paper towels or soft towels, or head south.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Recall it as often as you wish — a happy memory never wears out nor is ever forgotten.