Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Homemaking Tip—Oats and Beans and Sausages

I love homemaking. I mean I really love it and have for as long as I can remember, maybe even before the forts and mud pie stage. At least I know I bottled pickles and applesauce to take to college and then baked bread and pies once I was there. Oh yes, I did get teased and even considered not baking bread anymore so that it wouldn’t smell up the apartment complex, but my knead won out. (Oh ho. Now that is a pun.) I don’t know why homemaking is such a target for poking fun, it’s not like we laugh at scuba divers or mermaids or storekeepers or loggers, but sometimes it seems homemakers wear targets along with aprons. So while I love homemaking, I'm not always good about telling you what I love about it.

Some days I make a better home than I do on others and today was one of the better days. Though homemaking is more than cooking, cooking is one way I make our home comfortable, so I put a pot of chili on for supper. I hardly save chili for fall, but beings last night was our first frost today felt like a chili day. This recipe is from Calvin’s mom and I love it because it is consistently good, economical, and freezes well. There is no need to soak the beans. In fact, I no longer soak beans for any recipe anymore. I love dried beans because they’re so economical and good for you.

Audrey’s Chili

Wash 3 cups dry beans (pinto, pink, red, or mixture) well and cover with 4 inches of cold water. Bring to a boil and maintain boil. Turn heat to low/medium low and cook for 2-3 hours until tender. (Make sure to occasionally check the beans so they do not boil dry. If additional water needs to be added, add hot water.)

Brown 1 # hamburger, 1 medium onion (chopped), and salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 packet of chili seasoning mix (any brand will do), 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce, and 1 can (4 oz) diced green chilies to hamburger mixture. Add meat mixture to cooked beans. Salt and pepper to taste and add 1-2 Tbsp of butter. Add additional water if needed. Simmer on low for 1 hour to blend flavors.

I also made an oatmeal cake. I love this recipe because it’s good, moist, nutty, and you can use leftover mush in it. It comes from my friend, Jane. Jane and I had babies just a few days apart. Abe and Joey were both beefy little babies and when they were draped over our shoulders and we greeted each other with “Hi Jane,” “Hi Jane,” it was like looking into a talking mirror. This recipe is saved in my recipe box with Jane’s handwriting and written on that old two-toned green computer paper with the holes up the side of it. I’ll never copy it to a recipe card because I love seeing Jane’s handwriting and wondering how she is every time I bake it.  That's another part of homemaking I love: preserving memories and friendships.

Jane’s Oatmeal Cake

1 ¼ cups boiling water
1 cup oatmeal
½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp soda
¾ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour water over oatmeal and let stand 10 minutes. Add butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Beat until well-blended. Add flour, soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Mix well. Pour into greased 9” x 13” pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Prepare frosting:


1 ½ cup coconut
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup butter
6 Tbsp milk
1 cup chopped nuts

Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan, mixing well. Put on low heat while cake is baking. Simmer for 15 minutes. When cake is done, spread frosting over cake and put it under the broiler just until bubbly. Watch very carefully, it usually takes less than a minute and it burns easily. Serve warm or cold.

Haley and her cupcakes

This last weekend my niece, Haley, taught me a good cooking tip.  She put a package of link sausage in an 8” x 8” cake pan then covered it with foil and baked it for 45 minutes at 350º, stirring once or twice.  Then she took off the foil and continued to cook the links for another 15 minutes until browned.  It was so slick.  The kitchen didn’t smell, there was no frying pan to clean, no oil splatters on the stove, and the sausage tasted so good.  Haley is a great homemaker.  She had decorated the windows and door with Halloween and fall decor, baked cupcakes, cooked breakfast and dinner, and played games with us to boot.  She seemed so excited to have us there.  It was fun to see all that she had learned from her mom in making people feel welcome.  And that's another thing I love about homemaking, making a safe place where others feel right at home.

I love homemaking.


Cali said...

You're right. We don't make fun of mermaids. I promise not to make fun of your recipes again. I love you mama. You made a WONDERFUL home for me to grow up in. I ALWAYS felt safe and loved. I love you, Cali

Ande Payne said...

Cali's right. You made the best home to grow up in. Cause our nest is best!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jane, I'm still here in Nebraska, and doing well. I laughed about the old green computer paper. Boy did we have a lot of it! I still have some of your recipes, in your hand as well as some others from Hollister. I cherish them and have fond memories every time I look through my recipe box. Jane

Cassidy said...

I would've LOVED to have a roommate in college who made homemade bread! As long as she wasn't a mother hen, of course... haha.
You do have a great home. Why do you think I come over so much??

Julie said...

I love homemaking as well. It makes me feel so good to just make everything cozy and cook something yummy for my family and others. You are a wonderful homemaker. We have a great example in you!

Jill said...

Seriously, why do people make fun of homemaking, especially when we all seem to have such a love affair with the concept of HOME? It's contradictory. I can't imagine anyone complaining about the smell of baking bread.

I love your closing sentence! "And that's another thing I love about homemaking, making a safe place where others feel right at home." I totally agree and am always grateful when I visit a place like this.

Deanna/Mimi said...

My day does not start right unless I have my "Jane Payne" fix. I love your posts and look forward to them. They are enlightening, well-written, comical, spiritual, uplifting, and just a beautiful great way for me to start the day. Thank you for teaching me so much. I am more fulfill after I read your blog. Hugs, Deanna

Heather @ Multiple Hats said...

Oh, that sausage idea is a fantastic one! Love keeping up with you, and learning while I do it :)

Tyler - Danielle - Emree said...

I think the largest compliment a mom can receive is knowing her kids loved the home they lived in. I think Cali and Ande are totally right. I am definitely just getting the hang of this home making business, but someday I hope Emree says that my nest is best :).

Thanks for all you do!

melanie said...

I love that the other Jane commented. Perfect for this post.

I can't imagine a person not feeling at home around you. I love the 'our nest is best'. Did you repeat that to the kids? I'm using it with mine!

Emily Jaynes said...

Aunt Jane-- I really admire your homemaker-ly-ness. I have fantasies that I will have an excuse to live with you for just a few months, and you will teach me all your tricks, and some of your love for homemaking will rub off on me.

michelle said...

I love homemaking, too. How cool that Jane commented on this post! Did you know she was a reader?

The frosting on that oatmeal cake is identical to the one we put on our Lazy Daisy cake. Man that's good frosting.