Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sample Flavors of the Gardens

After the girls and I visited Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Ga., for spring break, I was eager to share favorite garden recipes with the family. My mother-in-law gave me the Callaway Gardens cookbook a few years ago, so I poured over it to plan our bicycle party menu. These recipes can be found in Flavors of the Gardens.

Pink Bicycle Dinner

Cold Raspberry Soup
Lemon Bread
Chicken Salad with Rice and Fruit

Cold Raspberry Soup

1 1/2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup cold water
3/4 cut hot water
4 cups fresh or frozen raspberries, pureed
3 1/2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
1 1/3 cups Harvey's Bristol Cream
1/3 cups grenadine
Juice of one lemon
Sugar to taste

Soak gelatin in cold water for 5 minutes. Stir in hot water and dissolve gelatin over low heat. Combine with  remaining ingredients and place them in a stainless steel container. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Garnish with a few whole raspberries, if desired. Yield: 24 servings. (Note: I halved the recipe and omitted the Harvey's Bristol Cream and grenadine. I used 1/2 cup sugar and added 1/4 teaspoon imitation strawberry extract

Lemon Bread
1/2 cups shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon lemon peel
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Juice of one lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 5x9 loaf pan. Cream shortening with 1 1/4 cup sugar; mix in eggs. Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk to shortening mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Mix in lemon extract, peel and nuts. Bake in 5x9 inch loaf pan for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and lemon juice and pour over the top of the loaf when it comes from the oven. You can poke a few holes in the top of the loaf before pouring the juice over if you wish. If you combine the sugar and juice just before pouring you will get a crisp, sugary topping rather than a glaze. Yield: 12 servings. (Note: I omitted the nuts and baked the bread in a muffin tin, which lessened my baking time.)

Chicken Salad with Rice and Fruit

2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1 1/2 cups cooked white rice
3/4 cup small green grapes
3/4 cup celery, sliced
1/2 cup pineapple tidbits, drained
1/2 cup mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 cup slivered almonds or pecans, toasted
1 cup ranch salad dressing
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss gently. May be made the night before. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Serve on lettuce with crackers. Yield: 12 servings. (Note: I did not realize until after dinner that I forgot to add the mandarin oranges. The chicken salad was still delicious without them, but I'm sure the oranges would brighten the flavor.)

I hope you have enjoyed our visit to Callaway Gardens over the last week. Find the Callaway cookbook Flavors of the Garden here.

"All I have done is try to fix it so that anybody who came here would see something beautiful wherever he might look." ~ Cason J. Callaway

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