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Family favorites
Family favorites

Georgia Rainwater's Potatoes Deluxe
The richness of this dish prohibits its being served more than once a year, but boy howdy, is it ever tasty.

1 stick of margarine
2 lb package of frozen hash browns, thawed
1/2 C chopped green onions, including the tops
1 C sour cream
2 C grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup

Melt margarine in a 9 x 13" baking dish. In a large bowl, stir together the sour cream and soup, then fold in the hash browns, onions, and grated cheese. Pour into the baking dish, and bake for 45 minutes to an hour at 350º.

Optional topping:
Crush 2 C of corn flakes, mix with 4 T melter butter and spread on top of the potatoes. Add 15 minutes to the cooking time if you use the topping.

Jet Juice!
This is a low-fat, low-cal, low-salt, firey concoction that will cure what ails you. It's based on a spicy tomato juice drink Mom made when I was a kid, but my version is 100% more toxic. This is a great snack if you're dieting because one 8 ounce glass fills you up and kills off your tastebuds, all at the same time.

1 qt. 14 oz. container of Low Salt V-8 Juice
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp coarse grind black pepper
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp lemon juice
About four shakes of Tabasco Sauce
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dehydrated onion chips

Shake and chill for at least 12 hours. Serve with or without ice depending on your temperature preferences. I've never tried this as the basis of a Bloody Mary, but I'll bet it would be good!

Susan's Spaghetti Sauce
I use "no salt added" tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste in this recipe. If you choose to use these ingredients in their "with salt" form, omit the 1/2 tsp of salt called for in the directions.

Whisk together in a 2 quart pot:
1 14 oz. can of chopped tomatoes, no salt added
1 4 oz. can of tomato sauce, no salt added
1/2 6 oz. can of tomato paste - reserve the remainder for another batch
1/4 C red wine
1/4 tsp each: basil and Jane's Krazy Mixed Up Salt
1/2 tsp each: garlic powder, oregano, italian seasoning mix, cumin, Spices Etc. blackening seasonings

dash crushed red peppers, optional

Stir in
1/3 C chopped onion, sauted in olive oil
1 T fresh chopped cilantro

Optional extras:
Sliced mushrooms
1 1.7 oz can of chopped green chiles
Chopped artichokes

Simmer over very low heat for at least an hour, stirring often. The longer it simmers, the better it will be, but keep an eye on the thickness. Add extra water or wine if it starts cooking down too much. Serve on cooked pasta. This also makes a dandy pizza sauce and a quite tasty base for chicken parmesan.

Mom's Potato Salad, more or less
This makes a very sharp, vinegary potato salad that has a little more bite than the mush that generally gets served in restaurants. I like it this way, but you may want to leave out the vinegar if you don't.

Combine in a large bowl:
3 large potatoes, boiled until tender and chopped into cubes
1 C chopped celery
1/2 C chopped scallions
1/2 C chopped white or yellow onion
1/2 C chopped cornichons or other pickles

Mix in a small bowl
8 oz. bottle of mayonaise
About 3 T Dijon mustard, to taste
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 - 1/3 C chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp rice wine or white wine vinegar

Combine and chill overnight.

Grandmother Chance's Applesauce
My grandmother's applesauce was a childhood favorite and contains some ingredients not generally thought of as belonging in applesauce. These directions are what she wrote out for me nearly 25 years ago when I went off to college. Winesap apples are now classified as heirloom apples and are difficult to find in stores, but they really are the best choice for applesauce.

"Winesap apples are the best cookers. Wash, peel and quarter apples, and cook in as an small amount of water as possible, but watch closely so they won't stick to the saucepan. Drain what water is left and take the pulp through a sieve. Add 1 tsp vanilla, a pat of butter and sweeten to taste."

My Mother-In-Law's Southern Cornbread Dressing
First, make cornbread:
1 C corn meal
1 C unbleached white flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 T sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1 C milk
1/4 C soft shortening

Mix and bake in an 8 x 8 x 2" pan at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.

Crumble finished cornbread in a large bowl and mix with 3 tsp sage and 1/3 C chopped onion. Melt a stick of shortening with about twice as much water and stir into the cornbread mixture. Bake in a casserole at 300 degrees for 1 hour.

Tina Seldin's Famous Squash Casserole
The first year I lived in Atlanta, a number of us who were single had nowhere to go for Thanksgiving. One of the staff members put together an "Orphan's Thanksgiving" party and this simple casserole was one of the best dishes at the event. I now substitute plain yoghurt for the sour cream, but I suspect that low-fat sour cream would work just as well.

1 1/2 lbs. of yellow squash
1 can of Cream of Chicken soup - the low fat variety works fine
1 small jar of pimentos or 1.7 oz. can of chopped green chiles
1 can of sliced water chestnuts
2 small grated carrots
4 oz. sour cream or plain non-fat yoghurt
1/4 C chopped onion
8 oz. package of Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing mix
1/2 stick of butter or margarine

Cook squash until tender. Mash until chunky and drain excess liquid. Fold together with soup, pimentos, chestnuts, carrots, onions and sour cream. Now melt the butter in a frying pan and toss the stuffing mix together with the butter. Divide the stuffing mix into 3rds. Cover the bottom of a greased, 2 qt. casserole with stuffing mix, then add half of the squash mix, then another layer of stuffing mix, and so on. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. I have at various times topped this with sliced almonds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds and so on.

Darcia Mattson's Wine Coolers
This simple recipe, created by one of my many roommates, is better than any commercial wine cooler you will ever drink.

Slice one large orange, two lemons and two limes. Layer in a large glass container. Add cherries, peaches, blueberries, rasberries or any other fruit that catches your fancy. Pour in one bottle of white or blush wine, preferably something not too expensive. Allow this mixture to merge for at least 24 hours. Fill glasses with ice and about two thirds of 7 Up, Sprite, or club soda. Fill the remaining third with the wine mixture.

Grandmother Bardo's 1-2-3 Pie Crust
This is an extremely simple recipe and produces an excellent pie crust. For apple pie, I add a little cinnamon to the recipe.

1 C plus 2 T unbleached white flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 C vegetable oil
2 T cold water
1-2 T sugar

Combine flour, sugar and salt, then mix with liquids, adding the oil first and then the water. If the resulting dough is too dry, add a little more oil. Shape dough into a ball and place between sheets of waxed paper. Flatten slightly, then roll out. Peel off the top paper and place in pie pan, paper side up. Peel off the other paper. Fit pastry loosely into the pan and trim 1/2 inch beyond the rim of the pan, then flute the remaining dough. Prick the pastry with a fork in several places, then bake at 450 degrees for 12-18 minutes. Be careful not to let the pastry burn. Remove from the oven and add the filling.

For a pie with a top crust, center a second circle of dough over the filling and press the edges together. Cut several steam vents in the crust. Most fruit pies bake at 400-450 degrees for 40-50 minutes until the crust is golden.

Wayne Barry's Pasta Salad
3 handfuls of pasta - fusilli or rope pasta are good choices
1 C mayonaise
2 T cider vinegar
2 T dijon mustard
2 T shreaded parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1 ripe avacado, sliced and sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browning
1 can of chunk tuna or chicken
1/2 C chopped onion
4 finely chopped scallions
lots of fresh parsley
1/2 lb (when in shells) fresh raw peas

Cook the pasta until tender. Shell the peas. Combine the pasta, peas, avacado, onions, scallions and tuna/chicken in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine the mayo, vinegar, mustard, spices and parsley, then pour over the pasta mixture. Stir gently, chill and serve.


Copyright © 1999-2003 Susan Chance-Rainwater