Welcome to December and all its tasty treats. An anonymous reader was served "a delicious yellow squash casserole that I was told contained mayonnaise. I have to have that recipe. Also, I want recipes for salads that will keep — not ones with lettuce that easily goes limp."
This request, too: You will find below some ideas and recipes from family cookbooks. We have more waiting in the inbox and would love a taste of your family's favorite recipes, printed in a family cookbook or not.
It seems that good cooks live long and fruitful lives — or perhaps we just hope that is so, as good cooks have many beneficiaries, one meal at a time.
Today's first evidence came in a letter from Mrs. Loretta Welsh of Tullahoma, who is a lively 89 years old. "Twelve years ago, I started writing and presented as a Christmas gift to each of my five children a family cookbook. I kept copies for grandchildren who were not yet adults. I titled the book 'Mealtimes and Memories,' had copies made on heavy paper and collected them in loose-leaf binders. This has allowed me to add to the book several times and counting."
Ms. Welsh is a willing resource for Fare Exchangers about family cookbooks, and if you want to consult, please write her through this column and I will pass it on.
Today she shared a favorite recipe with a fascinating name, Canatucky.
"The name came from the couple who invented the dessert, one from Canada and the other from Kentucky."
*Rich biscuit dough (or prepared biscuit mix)
*Sweetened sliced peaches
*2 cups sugar (or less works well too)
*1 cup hot water
*3/4 cup maple syrup (you may use maple-flavored syrup, but the real thing is better)
*2 tablespoons butter
The first step is to make a peach turnover with biscuit dough and sweetened sliced peaches. (My guess is that any simple recipe you could find would work well. J.H.)
Bake 15 minutes in a hot oven in a buttered pan.
Dissolve sugar in hot water. Add maple syrup and butter. Pour over turnovers, and bake slowly for 25 minutes.
Linda Morris wrote about the Myers Family Cookbook, "put together by my sister and a cousin several years ago. The hard part was pulling the recipes out of our mothers', aunts' and grandmothers' heads, as they cooked by feel and taste — not so much as measuring. We also included a family tree as well as a photo of our beloved grandmother, Maude Myers Hutson, who lived to be the ripe old age of 99. She was the inspiration of all the good cooks in the family."
Nearly a century of opportunities to sit in Maude Myers Hutson's kitchen, or dine at her table, clearly shaped this family.
Today we'll give you one of those recipes, and there are more to come. In addition, Mrs. Morris shared a recipe and reminiscence "from the days when I was dating my future husband, Hal Morris."
Turkey or Chicken and Stuffing Casserole
*1 whole turkey or chicken (about 3 cups)
*2 cups broth
*1 cup sour cream
*1 can cream of chicken soup
*1 package Pepperidge Farm herb stuffing
*1 stick butter
Cook and bone chicken or turkey (or use leftovers). Melt butter, and add stuffing; mix well. Put half of mixture in buttered baking dish. Spread over the mixture chicken that has been cut in bite-size pieces. Pour 1 cup of broth over chicken. After mixing sour cream and soup, spread over chicken. Add remainder of stuffing mix, and top with the 1 cup remaining broth. Bake in 350-degree oven for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
After hiking on beautiful Lookout Mountain trails long ago, Hal Morris often hosted his fellow hikers at a party that included the following dish, and Linda Morris remembered.
Hearty Hodge Podge
*2 pounds ground chuck
*3/4 cup chopped onion
*1 clove garlic or garlic salt
*3 cans minestrone soup
*1 (31-ounce) can pork and beans
*1 1/2 cups chopped celery
*1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
*1/2 teaspoon oregano
*3 cups water or broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown beef with onion; drain grease. Add all other ingredients, heat and stir. Simmer as long as you can, usually about 2 hours. "The longer the better," says Mr. Morris.
ONE FOR THE BIRDS
Roseann Strazinsky's first recipe today is for the birds literally. It's a bird suet recipe. "I'm also including a quick cookie recipe using Martha White muffin mix."
You will need a suet basket (cage) for this recipe, approximately 4 inches square.
*1 pound lard
*1 cups crunchy peanut butter (see note)
*1/3 cup granulated sugar
*1 cup whole-wheat flour
*2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal – not quick or minute oats
*2 cups cornmeal, white or yellow
*1 cup raisins
Note: If you don't use crunchy peanut butter, add 1 cup of crushed nuts.
Into a large pot melt lard with peanut butter over low heat. Be careful not to scorch it. Remove from heat, and add sugar, mixing well. Add the rest of ingredients, blending everything well.
Line a 9- by 13-inch pan with wax paper. Pour this mixture into the paper-lined pan. Freeze overnight, or place in a cold garage.
Next day, place a cutting board over the 9- by 13-inch pan to remove the suet/wax paper. Remove the wax paper, and carefully cut down center and into equal portions to make six 4- by-4 suet blocks. Place each block into a freezer bag, and freeze till needed.
Watch the birds enjoy their meal.
ONE FOR DESSERT
Easy Chocolate Chip Blondies
*2 packages (7.4 ounces each) Martha White Chocolate Chip Muffin Mix
*1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
*6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
*1 egg, beaten
*2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*1 cup chopped nuts
Heat oven to 350 degrees, or 325 degrees if using a dark, nonstick pan.
Grease and lightly flour an 8-inch square baking pan.
In large bowl, combine muffin mix and brown sugar; stir to blend evenly. Add butter, egg and vanilla; stir until well blended. Stir in nuts. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool; cut into bars.
Makes 12 bars.
I will usurp just a few of your lines here at column's end. During a recent post-surgery month at our house, kind friends have brought the most heartening of soups, a richness of snacks, a toasting of cider, a stack of cookies, a plethora of pudding. I marvel that every one of these givers is an excellent cook. And how does that happen? Everything brought was made (or purchased) with generous love, and that is the best seasoning. (One person even wrote her own thank-you note to her from us; all we had to do was check the boxes that fit our response and mail the stamped note back to her house.)
I will be waiting — we will all be waiting — to see what turns up here next week. Please come along.
* Squash casserole made with mayonnaise
* Steadfast salads
* Family cookbook favorites
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.
* E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Fax: 423-668-5092