Good-memory recipes: homemade Avanti's bread and pickle relish

Good-memory recipes: homemade Avanti's bread and pickle relish

I must be on a food kick this week, because I have two more recipes from readers to share with you. They're both recipes strongly associated with memories - and one contributor suggested I ask you readers - what foods do you associate with good memories?

The memories associated with Avanti's bread are my own, but maybe it's a memory-rich food for you, too. There was an Avanti's across the street from my alma mater and my friends and I would walk over there together for some pasta and bread. Carbs fuel your brain, right? Plus they took our meal plan cards, so it was a popular choice for students.

This recipe for homemade Avanti's bread is from Paxton resident Sherri Scott. I haven't tried it yet, but it's on my list for this weekend.


Avanti's Bread (1 loaf)
1 1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
6 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3 1/3 cups flour
Load ingredients into bread machine as directed and select dough cycle.  At the end of the cycle, remove dough and shape into loaf. Let rise approximately 20 min.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.

"I found that I really have to watch it closely," Scott said. " Put it in for 15 minutes, then keep an eye on it. When it gets to a golden color on top is a pretty good indication. Also, I use a baking stone, which helps quite a bit."

I'm salivating just thinking about it.

The homemade pickle relish recipe comes from reader Rebecca Patterson, and it was one of her dad's favorites, she said in an email. She had to dig to find the recipe, and thinks maybe it stopped being made in her family after her dad died. She was the one who suggested asking you about your favorite foods associated with memories.

"My mother, Ruby Bohlen, used this recipe for many years," Patterson wrote. "She got it from a friend a long time ago. One day, with an abundance of zucchini and no pickle relish, my mom thought 'why not?' It was really good."

The original recipe didn't have instructions for canning, Patterson said, and as she was looking for this particular recipe, she found other relish recipes that call for zucchini.

"They were divided between cooking the vegetables in the brine and treating them like in this recipe," Patterson wrote. "The biggest difference was the amount of salt used and the length of time setting. Zucchini has more water than cucumber so that would explain the difference."

Pickle relish

10 cups ground cucumbers (or zucchini)
5 medium onions, ground
4 medium green peppers, ground
Mix with 4 heaping tablespoons salt

Let rest 30 minutes, drain well.
2 cups white vinegar
4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons celery seed
4 teaspoons mustard seed
2 teaspoons turmeric
4 teaspoons pepper
Bring to a boil. Add vegetable mixture, freeze or pack in jars.

To pack in sterile jars, use the boiling water bath method for 5 minutes.


Photo from this Flickr page.

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algon wrote on August 11, 2011 at 8:08 am

Salmon patties (don't judge) remind me of Grandma making me lunch every day when I worked at Lakeview. She'd ask me four times if I was keeping cool enough and if they were working me too hard.

Now I make them for myself, (not a short process), but they don't have quite the same comfort.

Meg Dickinson wrote on August 11, 2011 at 8:08 am
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Every once in a while, when I was in fourth and fifth grade at Loda Grade School, she'd pick me up for lunch and cook me the same thing. Wow, I'd forgotten that.

Patrick Wade wrote on August 12, 2011 at 9:08 am
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Ever had a gondola from Avanti's? So good -- one of my favorite sandwiches on the planet, and it's because of the bread. I make sure to pick up a couple whenever I'm in Bloomington-Normal. I'm definitely gonna have to try this recipe.

Meg Dickinson wrote on August 12, 2011 at 9:08 am
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The gondola was a staple of my college career - and one of the favorite "free food" lures offered by over-the-top recruiting student groups and faculty members hoping you'd show up to non-class activities. Worked for me, usually. Yum.