Family recipes shared during reunions

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

It's almost family reunion time for our family, and there are many details to be taken care. We start months ahead with lists of things to get done, but when the big weekend comes, it is all worth while.

In making plans for a photo show presentation, we made a trip to Lebanon, Ind., over the weekend to look through hundreds of photographs that various family members have taken. There were many memories stirred up in reminiscing over pictures of generations of family members. My aunt and uncle have so much history stored in their minds, I found myself trying to write down as much as I could. And like many other things, there just wasn't enough time.

But what would family time together be if recipes didn't come up? When I mentioned to my cousin about getting the recipe for her sticky finger biscuits, out comes this old wicker basket overflowing with a couple of hundred recipes. Pieces of tattered paper, recipe cards, clippings from newspapers, sides from product boxes, and even sticky notes filled to the edges with hand-written recipes. Was that ever fun to look through. I asked Kristin and Sharon what their favorites were, and as you can imagine, every recipe they pulled out was a "Oh, that is really good." So, I chose just a few to copy, no more than 30 or 40, and I will share a couple of those with you today.

Sticky Finger Biscuits

1 can Grands brand biscuits

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup crushed Honey Bunches of Oats cereal, or your choice

Melt butter in microwave safe bowl. Add brown sugar, syrup, cinnamon, vanilla and cereal. Mix well. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Place biscuits in pan and pour syrup mixture over the biscuits. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes, or until done.

Use your imagination with cereal, pecans and increase or decrease cinnamon as desired. Kristin used Cranberry Almond Crunch cereal and it was delicious.

Sugar Cream Pie

3 heaping tablespoons flour

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 pint half-and-half

Dash salt

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon vanilla

Mix ingredients in a saucepan and cook until thick. Pour into an unbaked pie shell. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Spaghetti Sauce

2 small cans tomato paste

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Spoonful of crushed garlic

1 pint tomato juice

1 quart jar Ragu Sauce with meat

1 pound sausage, turkey sausage or ground beef

1 onion, diced

Brown meat in large pan with onion. Drain. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until flavors blend. Serve over hot cooked pasta, or divide into smaller containers and freeze until ready to use.

Spinach Bisque Soup

1/2 cup onion

2 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup flour

1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

2 1/2 cup milk

1 cup water

3/4 cup grated cheese

1 (10 ounce) package spinach, chopped, thawed and drained

Sauté onion in butter. Stir in flour, salt and nutmeg. Stir in milk and water until thickened. Add cheese to melt. Add spinach and heat until hot, but not boiling.

Blackberry Slump

4 cups fresh blackberries, about 1 1/2 pounds

1 cup sugar, divided

1 cup flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Place berries in deep dish. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup sugar. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar in bowl, add milk and butter and whisk until smooth. Pour over berries and bake 45 minutes or until brown. Let cool and serve with ice cream.

Escalloped Oysters

Butter the bottom of a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Crush 1 2/3 packages of soda crackers.

Layer the following ingredients:

Crushed soda crackers

1 pint fresh oysters

Salt, to taste

Dots of butter around casserole

Wet generously with half-and-half

Add about 1 quart of milk. Bake 325 degrees for 1 hour. Serve piping hot.

Southwest Cheesecake

16 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

2 cups sour cream, divided

1 1/2 packets taco seasoning

3 eggs, room temperature

4 ounces green chili, chopped and drained

2/3 cup salsa

Tortilla chips

Combine cheeses; beat until fluffy. Stir in 1 cup sour cream and taco seasoning. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Fold in green chili. Pour into a 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until center is just firm. Remove from oven. Cool 10 minutes. Spoon remaining sour cream over top of cake; return to oven 5 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack. Refrigerate, covered, overnight. Remove from pan; place on serving plate. Top with salsa. Serve with tortilla chips. Serves about 50 appetizers.

I hope you have enjoyed this sampling of Indiana from a household that I dearly love. 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 or by mail at P.O. Box 699; Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by the Southeast Missourian staff.

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