Summer dishes to make you smile

<strong>Penny’s Pantry</strong> Penny Case

Penny’s Pantry Penny Case

I’ve been hungry for lobster or crab salad, which I like on shredded lettuce — it’s also good on toast or crescent rolls.

I’m making all my summer salads now. I just found a new fruit salad recipe I want to try, and I also love pasta salads with corkscrew pasta, which you can make with Italian or ranch dressing. You can mix in any kind of vegetables, chicken, pepperoni, crispy bacon, and cheese cubes.

I can eat these salads every day. My favorite is macaroni salad, which I put tuna in because my mom made it that way (tuna in oil gives it a richer flavor). Potato salad, on the other hand, isn’t one of my favorites but my mom’s was the best. One time, I managed to make some that tasted just like her but then couldn’t remember how I made the dressing!

My classmate Ruth Anderson Johnston’s husband George came over to see if I wanted some rhubarb, so I followed him home to where he had a large patch by his garage. He even cut the stalks in three-inch pieces. I’ll make a rhubarb crisp and maybe the sauce with tiny dumplings in it like my mom did.

Until next time, enjoy these recipes!

Pickled Beets with Eggs

• 4 lbs. fresh young small beets

• 1 cup sugar

• 1 cup brown sugar

• 2 cups water

• 2 cups cider vinegar

• 3 bay leaves

• 2 tsp. mustard seeds

• 1 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1 tsp. cinnamon

• 1 tsp. whole allspice

• 1/2 tsp. each ground cloves, ground allspice, celery seed

• 1 dozen small peeled and cooled hard-boiled eggs

Wash the beets. Place in a large saucepan with water, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour or until tender. Drain and cover with cold water. Trim off tops and roots and slip off the skins. Divide between two wide-mouth quart jars. In a large saucepan, combine the rest of the ingredients except eggs. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Divide liquid between the two jars and allow to cool completely. Add the eggs to cool liquid (beet juice) and refrigerator for two days.

Note: If you add the eggs to the hot mixture, you get a very rubbery, practically inedible egg. I do my beets in a gallon jar and use medium to large eggs. I also put raw onion slice in mine.

Fried Green Tomatoes

• 4 large green tomatoes

• 1/2 cup flour or cornmeal (or 1/4 cup of each)

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1/4 tsp. pepper

• Bacon drippings or vegetable oil

Cut tomatoes into quarter-inch slices. Combine flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge tomato slices in flour mixture. Fry in hot oil or bacon drippings until brown on both sides, turning once.

Note: I always dredge mine in an egg and milk mixture first, then the flour and cornmeal mixture. You can do this with sliced zucchini also.

Blueberry Dumplings

• 4 cups fresh blueberries, divided

• 1/2 cup sugar

• 2 tbsp. flour

• 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

• 1/3 cup water

• 1/3 cup sugar

• Pastry for double crust 9-inch pie

• 6 tbsp. margarine or butter

• 1/3 cup sugar

Combine 2 cups blueberries, 1/2 cup sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Stir well. Set aside. Combine 2 cups blueberries, 1/3 cup sugar, and water in a medium pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until berries are soft (15 minutes). Press soft berries through a sieve, reserving 1 cup juice. Set aside. Roll out pastry on a floured surface. Cut into six-inch squares. Place 1/3 cup blueberries mixture in center of each square. Place 1 tbsp. margarine on top of each. Moisten edges of dumpling with water. Bring corners to center pinches edges to seal. Place dumplings in a greased 9×13 pan and pour blueberry juice over them. Sprinkle 1/3 cup sugar over top. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Blueberry Syrup

• 4 cups fresh blueberries

• 1 cup water

• 1/2 cup sugar

• 2 tbsp. cornstarch

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Mix well. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until thickened and bubbly. Serve over pancakes, waffles, or ice cream.

Penny Case is a lifelong resident of Wellington who loves to cook and share recipes. Send recipes to her at 22 Johns St. or at

Penny’s Pantry Penny Case’s Pantry Penny Case