Velma Allred makes a pot of soup as she looks through the recently published Castle Country Cookbook. Allred contributed several recipes to the book.
Velma's Easter Bread as seen in the Castle Country Cookbook.
The Emery County Progress along with the Sun Advocate recently published the Castle Country Cookbook.
Velma Allred contributed recipes to the book. Allred currently resides in the Turnquist Cottages in Elmo. She is the mother of three girls, Nita Thayn, Tina Lyons, Jenni Fasselin and one son Chris Johansen.
Allred loves the life at the Turnquist Cottages and she said she was the first one to move in on opening day. Her children helped out and brought two or three pickup loads and she was all moved in. She's been in the cottages for six years now and before that she lived with one of her daughters.
"I was born and raised in Elmo and lived here most of my life. My second husband moved me to Oklahoma where I lived for 14 years, but after he passed away I came back here. My son moved back here too. So now all my kids are here close. I have 16 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren," said Allred.
Allred's small apartment is decorated with Indian art. "All my life I have loved Indian art. I love to cook. I love to make yeast dough and Greek Holiday Bread.
"Twice a week I go to rehab. I have cooked and baked all my life and cooked professionally. I cooked at the hospital in Moab and the Crest Cafe in Price and the Frontier Cafe in Roosevelt. I also cooked at the Stewart's nursing home in Roosevelt and worked for school lunch in Green River. I have cooked all my life for farm crews. I used to put food in the Dutch ovens when we were hauling hay and when we were done, the food was cooked.
"I have helped with farming and ranching all my life. I worked on many cattle drives where it was my job to cook and I hauled around the sick and injured cattle. I drove the chuckwagon too, and just made a meal out of whatever we had, meat, potatoes and beans and homemade bread with jam. Just whatever you had time to cook, because it's busy herding cows.
"I was a picky eater when I was young, so one day my mom gave me a potato and a knife. I chopped up that potato and cooked it in my dad's metal thermos cup lid and I have been cooking ever since. When I first learned to make bread, I wasn't that enthused, but the more I did with yeast dough, the better I got. I love making rolls and still make them.
"I have also done a lot of canning. I just canned everything in sight. It's been a big part of my life. We used to hike all over and I tended water and would walk to the head gate to direct the water into the fields. Now, I don't get out much, but I like to read my big print books. I have loved to piece quilts together too. For a long time I didn't keep track, but since we started keeping track I have made 1,050 quilts anywhere from king size to doll size. I have sold a few of them, but mostly I made them for my family. Every baby had to have a new quilt. I miss not being able to do that now. I am a diabetic and have bad feet and eyes, now. I tied a lot of quilts too, as well as quilting them.
"We did everything together with our kids, we grew a huge garden and canned and tended water together. We took the cows on the mountain, built fences, we hauled hay and silage. My kids learned to cook and bake. My daughters are very good cooks. They do a lot of canning too. At the holidays we would always put on a big feast. My mother taught me everything about food. We grew our own food and canned it, too. We've always had fresh vegetables from the garden, it's a good way of life.
"I have several friends here at Turnquist Cottages. We have potluck dinners and sometimes we get together and play bingo. I love it when the Jensen Band comes to play. I look forward to that old time country and western cowboy music. We have different musicians come from time to time out here and I really look forward to that. I just love being here, it's convienient for me. Most people here are friendly and nice. Sometimes the town people come out to listen to the band too.
"I have one friend I call my Georgia peach friend. We just really hit it off when she moved here. She is 92 years old and she still cooks and bakes and sews. She is a worldclass seamstress. She was the head of the Mormon Guild and sold quilts all over the country and she wrote books and taught classes. She is Nina Grimes. She loves the Jazz too. We watch the games and then we call each other and cuss and discuss how we think they did. They had a wonderful year, last year," said Allred.
Allred contributed several recipes to the cookbook.
Grandma Velma's Scratch Brownies:
1 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup of cocoa
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter and stir cocoa in until dissolved, set aside. Beat eggs and sugar together. Beat in flour, salt and vanilla. Add to cocoa mixture. Optional: 1 cup chocolate chips or 1 cup chopped nuts.
Bake in a greased and floured 9x13 pan for 30-40 minutes. Serve as is, frost, or add coconut or powdered sugar.
10 cups flour
1 cup vegetable oil
4 cups very warm water (not hot or it will kill the yeast)
1 cup sugar or honey
6 tablespoons dry yeast
1 tablespoon salt
Mix sugar, yeast, oil and water. Let sit for 5 minutes, add eggs, then dry ingredients. Let sit for 15 minutes; knead for 5 minutes. Shape into rolls or loaves. Knead fruit and nuts in after putting the eggs in the dough. Use 1 to 3 cups of nuts and/or fruit. Slice bread when it is cool. Butter or creme cheese spread on the slices add a nice touch. Rest of bread can be molded into loaves, tea rings and rolls. Let rise double and bake at 350 degrees as needed.
For holiday bread make 3 small round loaves. Set on a cookie sheet. Boil eggs hard and color. Insert one in the middle of 3 round loaves and bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes or until nicely browned. Use cinnamon, lemon, citron (candied) or any combination of dried or candied fruit and chopped nuts of your choice. Frost, thin, using powdered sugar, lemon or orange juice, water or milk. Anise seeds or poppy seeds can be sprinkled over icing if you like that. Great for Christmas or Easter.
The Castle Country Cookbook is available at the Emery County Progress office for $9.99 plus tax.