CARTHAGE, Mo. —
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. Who doesn't love a scoop or two (or three) of ice cream in a bowl, a cone, a sundae or mixed up as a malt or a shake? My sister, Sue, for one, but I believe she's the exception and not the rule when it comes to liking ice cream.
When we were young, our parents would take us to the local Dairy Queen for an evening treat, and I would get something with ice cream and Sue would get a Coke and potato chips. I never thought much about it then, but now I think it's a little strange for a kid to not like ice cream.
Sunday is the anniversary of the invention of the ice cream cone, and what a contribution it has made to the ice cream industry. I've always referred to the two most familiar cones as sugar and waffle, but I recently discovered that I should call the sugar cone a cake cone if I want one with a flat bottom that will sit up on its own. It may be easier to just point to the one I want filled, or perhaps I should simply distinguish between the pointy one and the flat one.
My favorite portable ice cream holder? A waffle cone lined with a smooth layer of chocolate. It requires no spoon or dish, and it's the perfect flavor combination.
A great use for cake cones is in baking cupcakes. Put a few sprinkles on top of the frosting and you have a great birthday treat. The cones can also be used for pie crusts. Dip them in chocolate for creative decorations.
I found some recipes for making your own ice cream cones, but they sounded like more work than they were worth. Plus, the pictures either didn't do them justice because they looked unappetizing. Some required a special tool and others sounded like there was a lot of precision required. I'm out. Just buy a package of your favorite cones and celebrate this tasty invention.
September is a busy month for celebrating this and that. Here are some more noteworthy observations from about.com:
National mushroom month: Never wash a mushroom under running water. Always clean with a damp paper towel.
National potato month: The potato is my favorite food, so I am ready to rejoice. It's the fourth largest fresh produce crop after rice, wheat and corn.
National rice month: Worldwide, there are more than 120,000 varieties of rice, and the United States is the fourth largest rice exporter. I would like to try a few of these varieties, but I will never find a rice that I like better than potatoes.
National honey month: Celebrate beekeeping and promote honey as a natural sweetener. Honey dates back to the Egyptians, who used it as a form of payment. Perhaps it was the first liquid gold.
National biscuit month: Always sift your dry ingredients and knead biscuits gently 10 to 12 times to blend well. For crusty biscuits, place them 3/4-inch apart on a baking sheet. For softer sides, place biscuits close together in a shallow baking pan. Brush the tops with milk or light cream to achieve a golden brown color.
In honor of some of these national designations, I offer recipes to start the party. The biscuit recipe is one found by my friend Carolyn Phillips, of Carthage. It's an oldie but goodie she found in "Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook." You can tell it's dated because it refers to the biscuits as "shortcakes." Though it's not as easy as opening a can of biscuits, it's not as difficult as making an ice cream cone. You can make homemade biscuits in almost no time at all.
The wild rice recipe includes rice and mushrooms, and the chicken dish adds mushrooms, if you choose, which I think is the best choice. These slow cooker recipes are from the "Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook." I hope you are having a wonderful September and happy eating!
2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups shortening
2/3 cup milk
Sift dry ingredients into bowl. Pour oil and milk into a measuring cup, but don't stir, then pour all at once into the flour mixture. Stir quickly with fork just until dough follows fork around bowl. Smooth by kneading 10 times without additional flour. With the dough on waxed paper, press out with hands or roll between waxed paper to half the thickness desired for baked shortcakes. Cut with unfloured biscuit cutter. Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 475 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Yields about 10 large shortcakes.
1 cup wild rice or wild rice mixture, uncooked
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced green or red peppers
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
Layer rice and vegetables in slow cooker. Pour oil, salt and pepper over vegetables; stir. Heat chicken broth. Pour over ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 21/2 to 3 hours or until rice is soft and liquid is absorbed. Yields 4 servings.
One-dish chicken supper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 can cream of chicken, celery or mushroom soup
1/3 cup milk
1 package stuffing mix and seasoning packet
1 2/3 cups water
Place chicken in slow cooker. Combine soup and milk. Pour over chicken. Combine stuffing mix, seasoning packet and water. Spoon over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Yields 4 servings.
Address correspondence to Cheryle Finley, c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802.