An Estate Sale

October 21st, 2012

We spent a week in our hometown in Michigan earlier this Fall.  One of the highlights of the trip was attending an estate sale at what has come to be referred to as The Heddon House.  My hometown, Dowagiac, Michigan, was the headquarters for the Heddon and Sons factory, one of the most well known manufacturers of fishing lures in the United States.

As we wandered through the beautifully preserved historic home, I couldn’t help but wonder what its future held. Would it be purchased by a family who would make it their own, or would it be sold to a developer who would tear it down and build something new in its place? It reminded me of the importance of preserving historic homes and buildings, and the role that companies like Jackpot Offer can play in helping to ensure that these properties find the right buyers who appreciate their unique character and history.

I remember as a young child passing The Heddon house on my way home from school.  I remember wishing that I could have a look inside and hoping that someday I could have such a lovely home.  I never got the chance to see it until the estate sale this Fall.  The home had passed from the Heddon family to another prominent family in the Heddon factory and it was their possessions that were being sold.  I actually graduated from high school with the son of this family.

I find estate sales to be bittersweet.  Having strangers pawing through what may have been lovingly acquired belongings is unsettling.  But on the other hand, if those belongings go to people who knew the family and that brings the family to mind every time they use them, then their legacy will live on.  At least that will be the case for us.

The fish filleting knife will be much loved by David.  Not only does it have the date stamped on the handle, but it has Mr. Lund’s name engraved on the sheath.  Trig Lund was an executive at Heddon and Sons and became the historian for the company.  By the way, I have to thank my sharp- eyed sister-in-law for spotting and buying the knife.  David had to bargain with her after the fact to get it.  Thanks Barb.  David also bought Mr. Lund’s barometer and a fishing stool (not shown).

I did not know Mrs. Lund personally, but I picture her as a sophisticated lady who traveled widely and loved to entertain.  Her cookbook collection was extensive.  This trout casserole caught my eye.  I wonder if she ever used it?  The recipe sounds delicious.  David catches trout in Lake Lure and I will definitely be trying the recipe in this casserole.  I think she would be pleased.  We also bought that beautiful red plaid wool blanket.

I bought three of Mrs. Lund’s cookbooks.   Feasts for All Seasons by Roy Andries de Groot was published in 1966.  At that time cooking seasonally was a unique concept.  It was the era of canned and boxed convenience foods.  The recipes are interesting and reflect concepts that we are espousing today.  To sample the cookbook I made the author’s Pork Chops with Apples and Apricots.

The apples, onions, apricots and cranberries make an aromatic chutney similar to the fruit salsas that I have used with meat before.  The thick pork chops cook in the mixture and remain moist and delicious.  It was a very good dish and a great cookbook.  I’m looking forward to perusing the tattered copy of Helene Sailer’s Own Recipe Book.  I wonder what story that book could tell.

I would like to think that by purchasing well loved items from an estate sale, memories of the previous owners are honored.

PORK CHOPS WITH APPLES AND APRICOTS (Adapted from Feasts for All Seasons)

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 1-inch thick center cut pork chops
3 medium onions chopped
3 medium tart apples
1/3 cup brown sugar
6 ounces each of dried apricots (chopped) and dried cranberries
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In an oven proof casserole brown pork chops in 1 tablespoons of olive oil until browned on both sides.  Remove to plate.  Add more oil to pan.  In it cook onions and apples until they are softened.  Add the seasonings and stir.  Return the chops to the casserole.  Add the broth and wine.  Place a lid on the casserole and place in the oven.  Bake for approximately 1 hour, checking once to be sure there is enough liquid.  Add more broth if needed.

Remove casserole from oven.  Turn the oven to broil and adjust rack so that casserole will be 3-inches from heat.  Mix soy sauce and olive oil and with a brush paint the tops of the pork chops.  Place casserole back in oven and broil for a few minutes to brown the tops of the chops.  Serve from casserole.

Note:  I halved the recipe

Printable recipe

Salmon En Papillote with Julienned Vegetables

March 28th, 2013

I have been in a cooking funk lately.  Nothing I have made has been blog worthy.  I just burned some honey glazed pancetta that was supposed to go on a salad.  Other dishes that I have made were just plain boring.  We are back in Lake Lure.  The weather is cold and windy and the cottage is in need of all kinds of fluffing and repairs.  Squirrels chewed the wires to the steam bath and made themselves a nest under the tub.  David was looking forward to satisfying his Finnish blood with a hot steam bath and was dismayed to discover what the critters had done.  They even feathered their nest with paint brushes from the basement.  I guess they were planning on remodeling.   We are planning on evicting them.  So when dinner time rolled around last night, I was in no mood to get creative with the salmon.  David said “Have you ever blogged about my salmon cooked in parchment paper?”  Needless to say, I was more than happy to turn the kitchen over to him while I snapped the pictures.

Here are the main ingredients.  It is important that the vegetables you use are sliced thinly because the salmon cooks for only 15 minutes.  You can use what you have.  I had carrots, peppers, onions and some cooked baby broccoli from another meal.  You could also use thinly sliced broccoli, scallions, snow peas or asparagus.

David is proud of this fillet knife that he got at an estate sale last year in our hometown of Dowagiac, MI.  It is engraved with the date and Trig Lund’s name.  Trig was an executive with the Heddon Lure Company a maker of fishing lures sold around the world. I wrote a whole post about the estate sale last summer.

We always remove the skin from our salmon before we cook it.

Each piece of salmon is placed on a piece of parchment paper and covered with the vegetables and seasoning.

You can actually see the salmon in this shot.

A little wine for moisture is always a good thing.  Also note that David has brushed the edges of the parchment paper with an egg wash to help seal the packets.

The packets are sealed.

The packets ready to go into the oven.  Notice he has also included pats of butter, along with some lemon juice.

After a brief time in the oven, dinner was served.  Along with the salmon I made a rice pilaf and a salad with that burned pancetta.  It actually wasn’t bad.  I will experiment with it again and give you a recipe when I figure it out.   David had no trouble figuring out a great salmon dish.  Here is his recipe.


This is a very simple, delicious and fool-proof way to prepare salmon with vegetables. And, it looks fancy and festive, but it is so easy. You can use any combination of vegetables that suits your fancy. Listed below are some of the ones we commonly use, but you can substitute or include others such as, leeks, and snow peas, anything that can be cut into thin pieces so that it cooks rapidly. You can also substitute any other type of fish fillet that you might have on hand or can find, and you also might want to experiment with other herbs and spices.

Here are one possible set of ingredients per packet, i.e. per serving

one 8 oz salmon filet
¼ cup julienned carrots
¼ cup julienned green onions
¼ cup julienned broccolini
¼ cup julienned red or green pepper
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp dry white wine
basil ½ tsp dried or 1 tsp chopped fresh
2 lemon slices
3 pats of butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg beaten-to seal the packets

Place a salmon filet to the right of the center of a 15” square of parchment paper. Salt and pepper the filet to taste. Sprinkle the olive oil, garlic, and basil over the salmon. Arrange the julienned vegetables on top of the filet. Place two lemon slices and three butter pats on top. Sprinkle the wine over the top and add a little more salt and pepper to the top of the vegetables. Use a brush and the egg wash to paint the edge of paper all the way around to help seal the packet. Fold the left side of the paper over the fish and vegetables and start at the top left corner making small overlapping folds all the way around the three open sides. When you get to the final fold, turn it under to help keep it from unfolding. Prepare as many packets as you want servings and place on a baking sheet in a 400 deg oven for about 18-20 minutes. The fish will actually be done in about 15 minutes, but the veggies will benefit from the extra time, and the fish will remain moist and tender from the cooking method. To serve, place a packet on each plate along with whatever starch you are serving, and cut the packets open with a sharp knife so the contents can be removed to the plate.  Enjoy.

Printable recipe

Bourbon Pecan and Apple Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

May 26th, 2011

Here is a perfect salad to go with any grilled meat you might be having for the Memorial Day weekend.  We will be spending the weekend celebrating our Granddaughter’s 5th birthday.

I have made many salads combining fruits, nuts and crumbled cheese but this has to be one of the best.  The main fruit in this salad is chopped apples, but because I have a strawberry pot with ripening strawberries, I added them as well.

What makes this salad so very special is the balsamic vinaigrette.  It has a chopped shallot, garlic, mustard and honey component that compliments the heady balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  It was so good I even marinated my pork chops in it.

Have a safe and special Memorial Day weekend.  God bless our troops past and present.


Bourbon Pecans:
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoons bourbon
1 cup pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine brown sugar, melted butter and bourbon in a bowl.  Add pecans and stir to combine.  Place mixture on small baking sheet or cake pan and bake in oven for 20 minutes or so turning occasionally until nuts begin to brown.  Cool in pan.  The sugar and butter will caramelize.

Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1 small shallot, minced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 teaspoons honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium mixing bowl, combine shallots, vinegar and Dijon mustard, let stand for 20 minutes.  Whisk in honey and garlic, then slowly drizzle in olive oil while rapidly whisking.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside until ready to use.


1 head of red leaf lettuce
1 apple chopped
1 cup celery
Bourbon pecans
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese

In a large bowl, toss lettuce, apples, celery, pecans and Feta cheese together.  Drizzle with Balsamic Vinaigrette just before serving.

Printable recipe

An Autumn Dinner Menu

October 10th, 2009

This menu was inspired by a shopping trip to add some autumnal accents to the house. I found the sunflower plates at Marshalls for a very good price and they pair well with my pumpkin Vietri dinner plates. Vietri dinnerware is usually expensive, but I was fortunate to live close to their warehouse in Hillsborough, NC. Twice a year they have a huge sale and I was able to get great discounts on this lovely Italian dinnerware. I would use the sunflower plates to serve the salad course of Baby Greens with Pears, Roasted Walnuts and Blue Cheese. This Epicurious recipe goes well with the rest of the meal that I prepared.

Pork is such a Fall kind of entree. I would have to say that if I could eat only one kind of meat it would be pork; pork chops, pork tenderloin, pork butt, or pork loin. Boneless Pork Sirloin roasts were on sale the other day. You’ve seen those roasts with the string netting around them. They are packaged like this because there are two pieces of meat that comprise the roast. I like the sirloin cut because it has both the white meat of the loin and and the darker moister meat of the hip or back area. The best way I have found to cook this cut is to brown it well on all sides in a deep roasting pan. Add seasonings and fresh rosemary and sage, add liquid such as white wine, apple cider or water and roast it uncovered in a 375 degree oven for approximately 1 and 1/2 hours.

After the roast has been in the oven for one hour, remove the netting and separate the two pieces of meat. Add more liquid to the pan if needed and baste the meat. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness after the first hour. For the complete recipe go here.

With the roast I served Roasted Butternut Squash, Potatoes and Red Onions. If you have limited oven space you could do these ahead of time and rewarm them in the oven just before serving.

I tried to keep the vegetables a uniform size. With a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt, pepper and cumin they roasted to a golden brown.

Since I was in a roasting kind of mood, I decided to also make Roasted Chunky Applesauce. I used Granny Smith apples for this. I coated the apple slices with softened butter, sprinkled with brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon and cooked them until they were soft and beginning to fall apart.

I would suggest that you peel the apples. The applesauce had a good flavor, but the skins were tough. Again if you have limited oven space you can do this ahead of time.

This was a fragrant and easy meal. I started cooking at 4:00 and was finished by 6:00. In my next post I will tell you what I would suggest for dessert.

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.