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Welcome, readers, to the giving of recipes and giving of thanks for them and for many other things.

We begin with the request of Mary Claire, who knows onions are mighty good for you, "and I want to make the best onion recipe ever: French onion soup. If your readers have a recipe that is not too labor-intensive, I would be very grateful."

As to the business of onions, she continued, "I don't know how to store them. The color seems to turn quickly when I put a cut onion in the refrigerator. Any suggestions?"

Finally, Rax is looking for help in making a Hollandaise sauce "or a similar sauce for Eggs Benedict that is not so rich and is easier to make than the traditional version. I went to First Watch [restaurant] today and also wondered how to make basted eggs, as they would be really good served with Hollandaise sauce as well."

 

FAVORITE FRUITCAKE

Ginny Cox served up her fruitcake with a familial recommendation. "Back in the early 1980s, my mother saw this recipe for an absolutely delicious fruitcake in this food column. It has been a family favorite ever since. We have to pace ourselves or it will be gone before Christmas. Sometimes I bake it in a tube pan, but recently started using two loaf pans. Either way works well."

 

Mrs. Harvey's White Fruitcake

3/4 pound candied cherries

1 pound candied pineapple

4 cups shelled pecans

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1/2 pound butter

1 cup granulated sugar

5 large eggs, beaten

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 ounce bottled vanilla extract

1/2 ounce bottled lemon extract

Chop fruits and pecans into medium-size pieces; dredge with 1/4 cup of the flour.

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

Add well-beaten eggs, and blend well.

Sift remaining flour and baking powder together; fold into egg and butter mixture.

Add vanilla and lemon extracts; mix well; then add fruits and nuts; blend well.

Grease 10-inch tube pan. Line with paper and grease again.

Pour batter into prepared pan.

Place in COLD oven and bake at 250 degrees for 3 hours.

Cool in pan on cake rack. Makes 5 pounds of cake.

Note: Cake may be baked in 2 (9- by 5- by 3-inch) loaf pans for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

 

BROCCOLI CASSEROLE

This casserole of broccoli and onions should go great on a holiday table; it comes from the Fairfield Glade, Tennessee, kitchen of Roseann Strazinsky.

 

Broccoli and Onion Deluxe

1 pound broccoli or 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen cut broccoli

2 cups frozen small whole onions or 3 medium onions, quartered

1/4 cup butter or margarine, divided

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt and dash of pepper

1 cup milk

1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese

1/2 cup shredded sharp American cheese (2 ounces)

1 cup soft bread crumbs

Cut up fresh broccoli, and cook in covered pan with 1 inch boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 10 to 15 minutes (or prepare frozen broccoli according to package directions). Drain.

Cook frozen or fresh onions in boiling salted water till tender. Drain.

In saucepan, melt half of the butter or margarine. Blend flour, salt and dash of pepper. Add milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat, and blend in cream cheese until smooth.

Place vegetables in a 1 1/2-quart casserole. Pour sauce mixture over, and mix lightly. Top with American cheese. Melt the remaining butter, and toss with breadcrumbs. Sprinkle atop casserole. Bake at 350 degrees until heated through, 40 to 45 minutes.

Makes 6 servings.

 

PIGS IN A BLANKET

Margaret McNeil of margaretsmorsels.blogspot.com has a favorite recipe for pigs in a blanket. "Son Number Two always requested these for his birthday parties. His birthday is less than a month away, so I thought I'd take a quick trip down memory lane.

"The original recipe called these Little Corn Dogs and used a can of cornbread twists. Unfortunately, they're no longer available. Instead of substituting crescent roll dough, I use a can of refrigerated breadsticks. I coat the front and back of the breadsticks with a little cornmeal before adding the cocktail wiener. The cornmeal gives a wonderful texture to the finished product.

"You can buy pigs in a blanket in the freezer section at the grocery, but if you have the time, they're easy to make. All you need is canned dough and cocktail wieners. I don't care for pigs in a blanket made with crescent rolls so I substitute a can of breadsticks. After I take the breadsticks out of the can, I coat both sides with the secret ingredient: cornmeal. I coat the dough before cutting it into thirds."

 

Little Corn Dogs

1 (11-ounce) can refrigerated breadsticks

Cornmeal (optional)

1 (14-ounce) package cocktail wieners

Coat breadsticks with cornmeal, if desired. Separate breadsticks into strips. Cut strips into thirds. Wrap each strip around one cocktail wiener. Place seam side down on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.

 

MASHED POTATOES

Last week we had three kindred mashed potato recipes, and this week one different version. MHW wrote, "More years ago than I care to remember, Marcia Guilbert shared this recipe from Celia Marks' 'Southern Living Party Cookbook.' I have used it many times, and it is always on my menu for Thanksgiving and Christmas." (Aside from J.H.: My copy of Celia's cookbook finally shredded into nothingness from overuse. She was a local treasure.)

 

Mashed Potato Casserole

8 to 10 medium boiling potatoes (about 4 cups)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

2 or 3 eggs

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (you may omit; I do)

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

2 tablespoons minced chives or grated onion

1 (3 1/2-ounce) can french-fried onions

Peel potatoes, and boil until tender. Drain and put in large bowl of electric mixer. Beat until smooth. Add salt, pepper and then cream cheese, and beat. Blend in eggs, flour (if used), parsley and chives, and beat thoroughly. Check seasonings, and put in buttered casserole. Spread slightly crushed onions over top, and bake uncovered at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes, until puffy and golden. May be prepared in the morning and refrigerated until baking time, the onions added just before placing in oven.

Makes 8 servings.

Marcia's note: The cream cheese package has a similar recipe using 1 egg and 1/4 cup chopped pimento, which I have used with instant mashed potatoes. Directions say bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, so this is adaptable to whatever else you happen to have in the oven!

MHW's note: I omit the pepper and flour, sometimes substitute dried parsley for fresh, and use grated onion. I prepare the casserole the day before, refrigerate it until baking time, adding the crushed onions just before placing in oven, and bake it at 350 degrees about 55 minutes to an hour.

Well done, you recipe senders. And let's get together after Thanksgiving; how about it?

 

REQUESTS

— French onion soup

— Tips for storing onions

— Hollandaise (or similar) sauce

— Basted eggs

 

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

Email: chattfare@gmail.com

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Jane Henegar
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