Going through a friend's collection

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

This week I was given a box full of treasures and memories from a friend I have known all my life. Kimberly Werner Halter and I grew up in the same church along with her parents. She is home from Australia and in the process of disposing of a lifetime of collected items from her parent's home. In that effort, she gave me a huge box full of cookbooks.

I have looked through almost every book and enjoyed every note that her mother, Ada, wrote beside recipes she made for church Circle meetings and bridge groups. She even rated them with comments whether it was good, very good and fix again. I love it that she took the time to do that, and now I can enjoy them.

Here are a few recipes from Ada Werner's collection of favorite recipes.

Crunchy Chicken Salad

Rated and dated "good, Aug. 29, 1992"

1 large head green cabbage, shredded fine

9 green onions, chopped

9 tablespoons slivered almonds

8 tablespoons sunflower seed kernels

3 whole chicken breasts, cooked and chopped

3 packages Ramon noodles, Oriental, crushed


3 packages seasoning from noodles

4 tablespoon sugar

6 tablespoons vinegar

2 teaspoons salt, pepper or seasoned salt, to taste

A little salad oil

Blend all of these dressing ingredients well or in a blender.

Cut cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add all ingredients; pour dressing over and allow to marinate overnight or several hours.

Peach Surprise

Rated and dated "very good, Dec. 31, 1978"

3 cups fresh peaches

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg, beaten

6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Place peaches in an oblong dish. Sprinkle lemon juice over peaches. Mix together flour, sugar, salt and egg. Crumble over peaches. Drizzle melted butter or margarine over top. Bake at 375 degrees until brown.

Apple Surprise Cake

In Ada Wenrer's Missouri Farm Bureau cookbook, the two apple cake recipe pages are so marked up I could hardly read them. She must have made dozens of these and made changes to them as she went along.

Rated and dated "very good, Sept. 13, 1995," and twice more in 1997.

2 cups unpeeled apples, diced

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg beaten

1/2 cup coconut

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup cooking oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup nuts

Mix apples and sugar. Sift flour, baking soda and salt. Add to apples; add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes in an 8-by-21-inch pan.

For the icing:

4 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons milk

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup coconut

Combine butter, sugar and milk in saucepan bringing to a boil. Cool until thickened; add coconut; pour warm onto cake. Place under broiler and brown slowly about 2 minutes.


2 loaves frozen bread dough

1 cup chopped onion

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

8 slices American cheese

2 cups cabbage, shredded

Let dough rise as for bread in warm oven. Brown meat and onion, then add cabbage; cook until tender. Tear off pieces of dough, about egg-size balls. Roll dough flat, place cheese and hamburger mixture inside and roll up. Brush top with butter and bake 30 minutes or until brown on top.

Pizza Cups

1/2 pound ground beef

1 (16-ounce) can tomato sauce

1 tablespoon minced onion

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 can refrigerator biscuits

3/4 cup Mozzarella cheese

In a large skillet, brown the beef and drain. Add tomato sauce, onion and seasonings. Simmer uncovered, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, separate the biscuit dough into the muffin cups. Spoon the meat mixture into the biscuit cups. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

Hot Crab Casserole

In Ada's note, she had written to add shrimp to the casserole to make it extra rich and good. It can also be made the day ahead and refrigerated until ready to bake and serve.

1 can crab, drained

1 cup soft bread crumbs, 2 slices

1 cup mayonnaise

3/4 cup milk

6 hard boiled eggs, chopped

1/3 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup sliced green pepper

1/4 cup sliced celery

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup buttered crumbs, for top

Mix together ingredients and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour. Serves 6 to 8.

I hope you are lucky enough to get a special surprise in your life just as I did with this box of special books. Have a wonderful week, and until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at smcclanahan@semissourian.com or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by Southeast Missourian staff.

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