Nothing says fall like delicious pies lining the Thanksgiving table: pumpkin, apple... and squash pie?
I hadn't heard of this delicacy until I dove into Sara Delano Roosevelt's household book, which houses everything from the instructions for the layette set she stitched for Franklin to how to detect a sewer leak (a little bit of peppermint oil!). Her household book was compiled into print by Clara and Hardy Steeholm and sent to publication in 1950. This gem of a find is rich with the Roosevelt's personal lives and provides an intimate look at their history.
It's amazing what you might learn about a person by what happens in their kitchen, and Sara Roosevelt's book is no different. Though she didn't actually cook, her staff cooked for her, and the recipes she compiled each had a unique story from her journey. Some she picked up while traveling- Parisian Pancakes, anyone? Many came from her sister Annie, and one peeked my attention given to her by "Mother Roosevelt."
Does that name just sound intimidating, or is it just me?
"Mother Roosevelt" was Sara’s mother-in-law Mary Rebecca Aspinwall Roosevelt.
Mary was born in 1809 and married Isaac Roosevelt when she was 18 which came as a bit of a shock because Isaac was somewhat of a squire recluse nearly twice her age.
Nonetheless, they welcomed James Roosevelt (1828), the father of future president FDR, and twelve years later they welcomed a second son, John (1840). They lived on their estate, Rosedale, which still stands today.
Now, Mary wasn't likely to be cooking this recipe herself. From census reports, we see that in 1850, Mary lived with Isaac, James, and John as well as a coachman, groom, gardener, and three domestic servants. The following census lists them with a gardener, a coachman, and five domestic servants. I guess the groom's position went out of style!
Though this recipe isn't dated, Mary died six years after James and Sara married (Sara was James's second wife), so this recipe likely came to her between 1880-1886. It's interesting that it's sugarless- which would make it perfect for times when sugar was scarce!
Squash Pie Recipe:
To start with, I cut this recipe in half! Nobody needs a ton of squash pie if it turns out inedible! I used two bags of frozen butternut squash, cooked in the microwave for simplicity. The microwaved squash was incredibly moist, so, when adding my liquids, I omitted the cream and just used milk.
Now, the recipe says, "Beat together, put it warm in the paste-" which I interpreted as somehow beating it into paste form. BUT- a little research revealed that the "paste" was actually a pie crust! By the time I realized that I was too far in to whip up a pie crust, so I baked it in a pie pan, crust-less.
How Was it?
Well, if I presented this at a family meal instead of a pumpkin pie, there might be a mutiny in my house.
The ginger was the predominant flavor- which I loved. But, I couldn't personally overcome the eggy texture. Without sugar, it simply lacked the "pie" qualities we've become accustomed to today. Nonetheless, it was fun to create, knowing this recipe was cooked over two-hundred years ago!
I think I'll have to give squash pie another chance, and use this other historic recipe from 1912 Lowney's Cookbook, sugar and Nutmeg included!
Healthy Carrot Cake Recipe
Fall seems to be showing up here in Georgia, except it's still hot. Instead of relying on the outdoor temps, I've set my oven to 350 degrees and have been enjoying classic fall baking.
Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Chili, Apple Cookies, and flavorful Carrot Cake have been bringing my beloved Connecticut fall to my new Georgia kitchen!
Of course, sugar is no ones friend, so I've adapted this sweet, comforting recipes, to be slightly healthier by reducing the sugar and cutting out the butter- but don't worry, you'll never notice! Also missing from this recipe is a can of pineapple because...who remembers to buy that at the store??
I do apologize for not snapping better pictures... I was hungry!
Healthy Carrot Cake Recipe
Easy Lentil Dump Soup
We've all been super sick. It started last week when my baby developed a fever, cough, buggers accompanied by shear misery. Then five days later, my son caught it and a few days after that, my oldest daughter then my youngest daughter. I've just been too exhausted to even figure out if I'm sick.
Did I mention that this week is midterms for this mama? Yepppp..
The chorus of coughing and rapid consumption of tissues has lead to eating a ton of frozen foods which require no prep. We went through our freezer stash quickly! Today, before heading to the grocery store I decided to make a quick and easy dump soup.
Basically the premise of the dump soup is that you dump leftovers into a pot with broth. For this soup, I used:
One carton of broth,
1/2 lb of lentils
Two celery stalks sliced
8 baby carrots sliced
1/4 of an onion
And 1 cup cooked spinach from last nights dinner.
Then salt to taste.
Start by adding the lentils to the broth in your favorite soup pot.
Add in diced celery, carrots and onion.
Let simmer for 20- 25 minutes
When tender, add in ingredient that don't require a lot of cooking like the cooked spinach and salt.
Enjoy! The results would give Amy's canned lentil soups a run for her money!
Do you ever make dump soups? What do you like to add? Tell me about them in the comment section!
Banana AVOCADO Baby Food Recipe
There's something so rewarding about making your own baby food. Except if your little one refuses to eat it, which was the story of my older three kids.
I'd puree carrots, sweet potatoes, garden fresh produce and they would refuse to eat it. It was frustrating to say the least.
With my one year old, I've mostly purchased organic baby food puree, but I've made one easy recipe that he loves. The best part is it doesn't require cooking, only blending.
To make this puree, simply slice an avocado in half and place one half in a blender or food processor. For this puree, we're only using half an avocado, so I use the side of the avocado that doesn't have the pit and tightly wrap the other piece for later.
Next, add one full banana and your half of an avocado to a blender. I use a nutribullet because the small cups are a great size for a single serving of baby food!
Add 1 tablespoon of water, and blend!
Because this has avocado and banana, it's best to eat quickly after making as both will brown with air exposure- but the taste won't change!
What's your little one's favorite baby food puree to eat? Tell me about it in the comments!
Loaded Veggie Lasagna
And not broccoli with the zucchini, broccoli ricotta. My kids don't even realize it's there, but it adds amazing color and nutrients. And if you want to really take it to the next level, you can add some spinach to the ricotta as well!
Start by grilling your zucchini slices. This helps you avoid zucchini lasagna soup.
While the zucchini is grilling, cook one cup of broccoli. I used organic frozen broccoli and microwaved it, or you can sauté fresh broccoli. Then send it through the food processor. I used my nutribullet to turn it into a pure.
Next, mix ricotta with one egg, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, a pinch of salt and your broccoli pure.
By now you should be able to pull the zucchini off the grill. Charred zucchini doesn't compliment this dish, trust me in working on my grill skills ;)
Pour some sauce into the bottom of an 8x8 pan. Add a layer of zucchini, then ricotta, then zucchini, and more sauce.
Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes uncovered. Then pull it out and top with extra mozzarella cheese for another 5 minutes.
Enjoy, and pat yourself on the back for eating your veggies!
Gourmet Cheese Sticks
After the Build-A-Bear debacle of 2018, my kids were looking forward to going to the park and enjoying a picnic with some friends! We were selected to sample Finlandia Cheese Sticks through Moms Meet and thought a splash- and -snack playtime would be the perfect place to share some gourmet cheese sticks!
The flavors were so unique that I felt like it would be a hit or a miss with kids, but Finlandia sure knows a thing or two about incredible cheese! The gruyere and cheddar cheese sticks was a favorite with the kids, gouda came in second, and the gouda parmesan, with a slight crunch, was enjoyed mostly by the adults!
After our time by the lake, I left with my tired kids, thinking about the remaining cheese sticks the entire drive home. I've longed for gluten-free fried mozzarella sticks, but a melted mess 5 years ago had kept me from trying to make them on my own! But, I decided today was the day to be brave and use some of our remaining Finlandia Cheese sticks to either make a masterpiece or a [yummy] mess!
I started by preheating the oven to 450 and putting the cheese sticks in the freezer for 15 minutes.
In three separate bowls, I prepared one egg, 1/2c gluten free bisquick, and 1/2c italian bread crumbs.
After the cheese sticks were slightly frozen, I dipped them in egg, then bisquick, then egg again, and finally breading.
I baked them [or really just hovered by the oven] for 7 minutes.
The results- amazingness! While they might not look like they came out of a box, the flavor was incredible! Finlandia's cheese blends would make an amazing addition to summer parties for both kids and adults!
Thanks Moms Meet and Finlandia!!
is a writer & tired homeschooling mom of five.