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Good morning, Halloween readers. Here's a request from two grandmothers who met at the post office recently. One held in her hand a tightly packed box of chocolate chip cookies for her Washington, D.C., grandson. "Hope they won't arrive in crumbs," she said to the second one, whose brownies had just been dispatched to Travelers Rest, South Carolina, for her grandson. And so they ask each other and you. "What baked goods are shipped best? We want recipes. And how do you pack to secure them?"

E of Henagar, Alabama, wrote, "Sometimes when a recipe calls for any alcoholic drink, including wine, I'd like to know if it can be replaced and, if so, with what. A family member with health issues cannot have anything alcoholic and has been going through allergy testing. So mealtimes have to be centered on what cannot be eaten by this dear one." Please send to this kind cook your best recipe substitutions for wine and anything else alcoholic.

An anonymous reader wrote, "I would like a recipe for a pie made with cookie butter."


We thank you, Sheppie Dunn of Copperhill, Tennessee, for providing a recipe for sourdough starter.

Sourdough Starter

1 package dry yeast

1 cup warm water

3/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons instant potato flakes

Mix yeast and warm water. Add sugar and potato flakes. Let mixture stand at room temperature in a warm place for one day, then refrigerate. On the sixth day, remove from the refrigerator and feed.

Feeding the Starter:

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons instant potato flakes

1 cup very warm water

Feed starter every 3 to 5 days by adding sugar, potato flakes and very warm water.

Let starter sit all day at room temperature. That night remove 1 cup of starter to make bread. Return the rest to the refrigerator. Feed again in 3 to 5 days from the day you made the bread. If you don't want to make bread, throw away starter or share with a friend.


Janice Hixson discovered the sought-after pecan bar, this one originally described as "the best bar cookie ever." It was first attributed to Sallie Beckes of Rising Fawn, Georgia, in a 2015 Fare Exchange.

Deadly Pecan Bars


1 package butter pecan cake mix

1 stick butter, melted

1 large egg, lightly beaten

For the crust, mix butter pecan cake mix, 1 stick melted butter and 1 lightly beaten large egg together.

You may mix by hand; mixture will be thick. Press mixture into lightly oiled 15- by 9-inch baking pan. Set aside.


1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

2 eggs

1 (16-ounce) box confectioners sugar

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

1 stick butter, melted

Mix cream cheese, 2 eggs, confectioners sugar, pecans and 1 cup melted butter, and pour the creamy pecan mixture onto prepared cake crust in pan. Spread out evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes. Cool completely before cutting.


One of a popular assortment of chocolate mayonnaise cakes, from Joy Yates of Cleveland, Tennessee, was printed in this column on Oct. 3. A reader got ready to make it and discovered baking soda listed twice and figured that the 1 teaspoon baking soda was correct and the 1/4 teaspoon measure was for baking POWDER. So please amend that recipe if you saved it, and let me know if you want another copy sent to your inbox. This was the version that was topped with chocolate cream cheese frosting.


"What foods freeze well, and how do you freeze them?" E of Henagar generously answered that query with the gift of a cookbook. "Fix, Freeze, Take and Bake" is full of help, and here are three appealing recipes from that collection. You will note the way these recipes work: instructions for preparing are followed by length of freezing time. And imagine this: One can even freeze coleslaw.

It is important to follow thawing instructions properly. Here is a warning from the book that was useful in my own weekend kitchen. "Do not thaw food at room temperature. Foods can be safely defrosted in the refrigerator, under cold running water or in the microwave."

Teriyaki Chicken

1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger or 1 teaspoon dried ginger

1 tablespoon chopped garlic or 1 teaspoon dried garlic

1 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, whole or cut in strips for stir-fry

In a freezer bag, mix 1/4 cup water, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar and white wine. Add chicken to marinade in bag, and freeze.

Variations: You may try this recipe with chicken wings, legs or thighs for grilled Teriyaki Chicken.

To prepare: Thaw chicken overnight in refrigerator. Grill or bake chicken breasts, or sauté chicken strips.

Freeze up to 6 months.

Chicken Potato Casserole

1 (10-ounce) can cream of chicken soup

1 cup sour cream

1/4 cup milk

1 cup diced cooked chicken

2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

3 1/2 cups frozen shredded hash browns, thawed

1 small onion, diced

1 medium bell pepper, any color, diced

1 1/2 cups crushed potato chips

In a medium bowl, combine cream of chicken soup, sour cream, milk, cooked chicken, 1 3/4 cups cheddar cheese, thawed hash browns, onion and bell pepper. Mix together, and transfer to a greased 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining 3/4 cup cheddar cheese and potato chips. Cover and freeze.

To prepare: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Loosely cover frozen casserole, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Uncover, and bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes.

Freezes up to 6 months.

Freezer Coleslaw

10 cups (1 medium head) shredded cabbage

1 medium carrot, shredded

1 green bell pepper, finely chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup vinegar

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon celery seed

1 teaspoon mustard (The recipe doesn't specify, but surely dry or wet mustard would work. - J.H.)

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, carrot, green pepper and salt. Let stand for 1 hour.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine vinegar, sugar, celery seed and mustard; bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, and let cool. Drain cabbage mixture, and gently stir in vinegar mixture. Freeze in tightly sealed freezer bags or containers.

To prepare: Thaw coleslaw, and serve chilled.

What will you creative cooks think of next? We can't wait to find out. Thank you for coming through October with us; shall we turn toward November?


* Shippable baked goods

* Alcohol alternatives

* Pie made with cookie butter

To Reach Us:

Fare Exchange is a longtime meeting place for people who love to cook and love to eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include precise instructions for every recipe you send.

Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750