Household Notes January/February 2014

Edited by Anne Gray

    Rose Doucet has written an informative article in this issue on the history of buckwheat on New Brunswick farms. I use buckwheat often. It’s a good-tasting, nutritious flour, and it’s easy to get local product. We’ve grown it, but as a ground cover, not a food crop. It was a strong and hardy plant, and I can see why early settlers were happy with it. It reseeded to come back in spring after a cold winter in the garden. I like plants that are hardy; I can imagine early farmers would think that akin to finding a magic bean. 

    Some of the following recipes are made with buckwheat flour, but all of them could have the wheat flour swapped out for buckwheat if you want to reduce gluten in your diet, or simply want to try something different.


Rose Doucet, Barnesville, N.B.

1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar 

pinch of salt

1 1/4 cup milk

2 eggs

2 tablespoons oil or melted butter

    Sift the dry ingredients together. Whisk the milk, eggs, and oil together, and add to the flour mixture. You can use buttermilk instead of milk. Pour the batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle (medium heat). Cook until the pancakes are bubbly and the edges are dry, about two to three minutes. Turn the pancakes, and cook for another 30-60 seconds.



Rose Doucet, Barnesville, N.B.

1 cup milk

3 eggs

2/3 cup buckwheat flour

    Whisk the milk and eggs together. You can use buttermilk instead of milk. Add the flour and beat until smooth. The batter will be quite runny. Heat a crepe pan on medium low flame (a flat-bottomed pan that’s at least 10” in diameter will suffice). Grease the pan with a small dab of fat or oil (I prefer coconut oil or lard). Pour two to four tablespoons of batter onto the pan and swirl until you have a very thin cake. This will take a little practice. When the crepe is full of holes and edges are dry, about one to one-and-a-half minutes, turn and cook for another 10-15 seconds. Stack the crepes on a clean tea towel and keep covered until ready to serve. Fill with something sweet or savory. 

    Makes 16 six to seven inch crepes. 


Doris Seaman, Moncton, N.B.

“My family always liked these.”

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons flour

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup chopped shredded coconut

1 cup almonds


    Cream the butter, gradually add one-half cup of the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the cup of flour and mix well. Press the mixture into an ungreased 11-inch by seven-inch pan. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the baking powder, salt, and the two tablespoons of flour. Beat the eggs until they are light and lemon-colored. Add the remaining one cup of sugar gradually to the eggs. Beat until fluffy. Add the vanilla, then add the dry ingredients. Mix in the coconut and coarsely chopped almonds.

    Spread this mixture over the baked shortbread layer, and bake for 30 minutes. Cool, then cut into bars. Leave the bars in the pan, and keep refrigerated until ready to serve. 



James Nickerson, Bridgetown, N.S.

1 cup white sugar

1 cup shortening

1 cup molasses

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

4 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons soda

2 teaspoons ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

    Combine all ingredients and blend well. Roll out the dough and cut as thick as you like with a cookie cutter. Bake in a 325°F oven. Makes two dozen. 


    I switched buckwheat flour for regular wheat flour in this recipe, with great results.It also has very little sugar; the apples cook down to add sweetness and depth to the chocolate flavor.

olive oil

2 apples

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 ounces brown sugar

3 1/2 ounces buckwheat flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 ounces cocoa

    Preheat the oven to 330°F. Use olive oil to grease an eight-inch round pan with a removable bottom. Put a circle of parchment in the pan for ease in removing the cake. Grate the apples. Separate the eggs. Beat the whites until stiff peaks form when the beater is lifted.

    In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks, vanilla, and sugar until smooth. Fold in the apple, flour, baking powder, and cocoa and mix well. Gently fold in the egg whites. 

    Spoon the mixture gently into the cake tin and bake for 30 minutes. A cake tester should be clean when tested in the centre of the cake. Cool on a wire rack. Serve with a yogurt-cream cheese frosting.


Myrtle Conrad, Cow Bay, N.S.

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 package chocolate chips

1 cup butter

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup nuts, optional

    Cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, mixing until well blended. Add the chocolate chips and nuts. 

    Drop by the spoonful onto a cookie sheet. Bake in a 350°F oven for eight to 10 minutes. Makes four to five dozen cookies.


Marg Brown, Newport, N.S.

2 cups raisins

2 cups water

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 beaten eggs

2 tablespoons Splenda sweetener

3/4 cup oil

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

    In a saucepan, cook the raisins in the water until the water evaporates. Add the applesauce, eggs, sweetener, and oil. Mix well. Blend in the flour and baking soda. Stir in the remaining ingredients and pour into a greased 8” x 8” pan. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes. Serve with whipped topping.


Anna Donelly, Fredericton, N.B.

1/2 pound semisweet chocolate

3 tablespoons butter

2 eggs

1/3 cup sugar

3/4 cup ground almonds

granulated sugar

powdered sugar

    Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler set over, but not touching, simmering water. Remove from the heat. Cut the softened butter into a few pieces and mix into the chocolate until melted. Beat the eggs with an electric mixer, gradually adding the sugar until ribbons form. Fold in the chocolate-butter mixture. Gently add the ground almonds. Cover and refrigerate overnight.    

    Heat the oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a cookie scoop to form the dough into one-inch balls. Roll the balls in granulated sugar, place on the baking sheet about two inches apart and immediately place in the oven. Bake until the centre of the cookies is no longer wet, nine to 12 minutes. When slightly cool, dust the cookies lightly with powdered sugar. This recipe makes about 36 cookies. 


    This came without the name of the provider, but it’s flu season, so we’ll share the recipe. We all need to do what we can to avoid becoming ill. I believe in garlic to ward off colds and flu. Maybe it’s the garlic breath that keeps bugs (and people) at bay.

4 bulbs garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

6 tablespoons butter

4 leeks, chopped

1 onion, chopped

6 tablespoons flour

4 cups chicken broth

1/3 cup dry sherry

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste

salt to taste

freshly ground white pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


    Cut off top 1/4” of each garlic head. Place in a small, shallow baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over them. Bake at 350°F until golden, about one hour. Cool slightly. Press individual garlic cloves between thumb and finger to release. Mash the garlic.

    Melt the butter in a heavy, large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, leeks, and onion; sauté until the onion is translucent, about eight minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the hot broth and sherry. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.

Puree the soup in batches in a blender or food processor.

    Return the soup to the saucepan and add the cream. Simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add lemon juice to taste. Season with salt and white pepper. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with the chives. Serves four.



Gail Mosley, RR Amherst, N.S.

    “Just sending my favorite bread machine recipe given to me by my neighbor and friend Phyllis Cameron. It’s a never-fail recipe that makes a sweet, wholesome bread. Every time I serve it I get rave reviews.”

1 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 cup molasses

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups bread flour

1 cup quick-cooking oats

1 package active dry yeast (2 teaspoons)

    Place all ingredients in the bread machine in the order given. Select the “White Bread” setting.


    We are looking for family favorite recipes for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, Tuesdays. Please send us anything special you prepare, or your best-loved dish that someone prepares for you. We want to know what makes it special. Whether it’s cakes, cookies, bread, vegetables or bars, we want to know what kind of magic you make at home. Remember to include stories and anecdotes along with ingredients. Where did you get the recipe? Did you make any changes? Does everyone love it, or does it take a little getting used to?

    You can email recipes to, or send it to us the “old-fashioned” way at the following address: Household Notes, Rural Delivery, Box 1509, Liverpool,  N.S.  B0T 1K0