Under Pressure Dinner

Reader Contribution by Char Scace
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A few years ago, my daughter’s class did a cookbook fundraiser for their class trip. Now I must explain that my daughter was in a combined classroom of 7th & 8th graders with a total of 13 students at a small Catholic school in Southern Wisconsin. The students asked their parents and the rest of the parish to submit recipes for their cookbook. As many will agree with me, the best cookbooks are church cookbooks.

One recipe I found was named “Milk Can Feed,” which was submitted by the mother of one of my daughters’ classmates, who is known as the best cookie maker in the parish. Having eaten many of Kelly Kemp’s Cookies, as they are lovingly referred to at any church function, I figured this recipe would be great, too. The original recipe had an army-sized yield, but we are only a family of 6. Sure, we could do leftovers a few times or I could try to reduce the recipe.

As I didn’t own the milk can required to make the dish, I couldn’t call it “milk can feed.” But I decided that my pressure cooker would work—so here’s my recipe for “Under Pressure Dinner.” Arrange 12-18 ears of sweet corn on end around the outside of the pressure cooker. Then place 1 quartered head of cabbage, 2 quartered onions and 3 pounds of red potatoes in the middle of the corn circle. Layer 10-12 polish sausage or fresh bratwurst on top of the corn, cabbage, potatoes and onions. Finally add 2 quarts of hot water.  Once 10 pounds of pressure has been achieved, cook for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let the pressure cooker release pressure for about 15 minutes, then enjoy. (For more on pressure cooking, check out the article The Benefits of Pressure Cookers.)

I did, however, think that since hunting season is upon us, many men may be interested in the original recipe so here is “Milk Can Feed.” Arrange 24-36 ears of sweet corn (husk on but silk removed) on end, in the bottom of a clean 10 gallon milk can. Then add 4 heads of cabbage quartered, 4 onions halved, and 10 pounds of potatoes. Then stuff 20-25 polish sausage into the can and add 1-1/2 gallons of water. Put lid on tight and wire to the handles of the can. Place a 1/8-inch hole in the lid with a nail to act as a vent like a pressure cooker. Place on a HOT campfire.  When steam comes out of the hole, cook for 20 minutes more. Remove from heat and let stand for 20 minutes. Dump into large pans.

Char Scace is a married, busy mother of four with 20 years of professional chef experience.

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