Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Summer Kitchen

Early settlers kept their homes cool in the summer by doing all the cooking, baking and washing in the "summer kitchen". This was either a separate room off of the main house or a small "shed" just a few steps from the back door of the main house. It would have open windows to let cooler air in and not heat up the main house. Pioneer women in our area used such things as prairie grass, corn cobs or buffalo dung for fuel. I read somewhere that it took a bushel and a third of cobs to heat the oven! Anyway, I have a summer kitchen of sorts! Not as primitive as the pioneer women (although I would LOVE one some day!) But just the same, the idea is there. I have a stove in our cellar. It is an electric stove (which I dispise so maybe that is why it is in the cellar) but the oven works great. The access to the cellar is outside which I don't mind at all. I do ALL my summer baking there. That way I do not heat up the kitchen or house! I do alot of crock pot cooking also during the summer. LaVern LOVES chocolate, nuts and caramel so here is a recipe that combines all three. Enjoy!
Turtle Cake
1 chocolate cake mix (I use the cheapest I can find)
1/4 c. evaporated milk
3/4 c. butter
1 (14 ox.) pkg. caramels
1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. walnuts

Mix cake mix as directed on box. Pour 1/2 of the batter into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake 15 min. Melt caramels, butter and evap. milk. Pour caramel mixture over 1/2 cake batter. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts. Top with remaining batter and finish baking. Mine takes about 15 more minutes. Rich, gooey and oh, so good!

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