She saw the look on my face and told me to calm down. She had steamed carrots for dinner and set them aside in the warming oven. She then poured the liquid which was just water and carrot juice into the measuring cup. She waited until we needed it it and added the water needed for the cake recipe. We called that watery soupy stuff, pot liquor.
So, we had carrot flavored cake, I thought. No. We had cake. You couldn't taste carrots in it. I still thought Gram was a little tipsy or maybe a it silly. Who wants carrot juice in cake? Well, I do.
Since that traumatic Sunday dinner, I found my mother draining the fruit cocktail into a measuring cup when she made her fruit cocktail upside down cake. Putting the juice of the pineapple back into the cake of pineapple upside down cake makes the neighbor lady a little jealous of your moist cake.
You may think this is a very good idea for the use of sweet fruits, as the pouring of peach preserve juices over cereal is a real treat. But, with few exceptions like pickled eggs, the brine or juices of the veggies you have canned can also be used in cooking or baking as well as a flavorful vegetable juice mix. Anybody ever heard of V-8? You can hide a world of vegetable flavors ion any tomato based drink, soup or sauce.
Even if you are past the stage of getting your kids to eat better and stop fighting the healthy stuff, you can benefit from adding the fruit and vegetable juices that go down most sink drains back into your diet.
My kids are all in their thirties and they still don't know why they can't get food 'like at home' from the restaurants. They don't know that Prince of Wales cake contains all of an apple except the seeds. They don't know that their burritos had beef calves liver in them, that the Welsh meatballs were actually liver and every cake they ever ate either had fruit juice or the pour off from the green beans in it. They didn't need to know, then. Oh, yeah, I never liked pumpkin pie all that much, so most of the pumpkin pies they ate were sweet potato and a small white potato to lighten the color. Sorry, guys. One time it was yellow squash and a sweet potato. Yeah, I am THAT kind of mom! Happy Mother's Day! You didn't die.
Now, I want the world to know. You can pour the pot liquor back into the potatoes when you mash them. It is also great for soup thickening. The next time you bake apples for dessert, wrap a couple extra in aluminum foil. Mash them into cakes and cookies, or throw their delicious vitamin C into the meatloaf or chili. Use the pot liquor. Enjoy