Standby recipes from days gone by

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Recently I returned to Shawnee High School in Wolf Lake, Ill., for my high school homecoming. It was so good to see old friends and hear about their children and accomplishments. I enjoyed reminiscing about fun times in the home economics room. One year we made homemade cream horns as a fundraiser to go on a trip to Nashville, Tenn., and stay at the Opryland Hotel. We would run in the home-ec room in between classes to roll another layer of butter into the dough before wrapping it around metal forms to bake. I still use some recipes from my home economics class.

Sweet and Sour Spaghetti

1 pound ground beef

1 medium onion, diced

1 can tomato soup

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons prepared mustard

1/4 teaspoon red cayenne pepper, or to taste

1 cup ketchup

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1 can mushrooms, drained

1/2 pound (8 ounces) spaghetti, cooked

Brown ground beef and onion in skillet. Drain grease from meat. Add soup, brown sugar, mustard, red pepper, ketchup, salt, garlic salt and mushrooms. Cook over low heat until bubbly and thickened. Add sauce to cooked spaghetti. Top with any grated cheese.

Orange Crescent Rolls

1/4 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)

1 package active dry yeast

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs, beaten

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon salt

3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided

Orange Filling (see recipe below)

Orange Glaze (see recipe below)

In a large bowl, combine warm water and yeast. Stir until yeast is dissolved. Add sugar, eggs, 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, sour cream and salt. Beat until mixture is smooth. Add 2 cups flour and stir until well mixed. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, adding additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time if dough is too sticky. Place dough in a well-greased bowl. Turn dough over once to grease the top.

Cover rolls with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise until doubled in size, approximately 1 to 2 hours. After rising, punch dough down then turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough briefly, 4 to 5 times. Lightly grease two 13-by-9-inch baking pans.

Divide dough in half. Roll half of the dough into a 12-inch circle. Brush dough with 1 tablespoon melted butter and sprinkle half of the orange filling mixture on top.

Cut into 12 pie-shaped wedges. Starting with the wide-end, roll-up each wedge. Bend into a crescent shape and place point-side down in the baking pans about 1-inch apart. Repeat with the remaining half of the dough. Cover and let rolls rise in a warm place until doubled in size, approximately 1 to 2 hours.

When ready to bake preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare orange glaze while rolls are baking. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove rolls from oven. Place pan on wire rack to cool.

Drizzle glaze onto the warm rolls. Makes 24 rolls.

Orange Filling:

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon grated orange zest

In a small bowl, combine sugar and orange zest; set aside.

Orange Glaze:

1/2 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed orange juice

In a small heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, combine butter, sugar, sour cream and orange juice. Bring to a gentle boil, boil 3 minutes stirring constantly so mixture does not burn. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly until rolls are finished baking. Banana Cake

Another great memory from high school are the many meals I ate at friends houses. One recipe I still use today is for Clara Mae Tucker's banana cake. Her son Scott and still are good friends, and I think of him when I make this cake.


1 3/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs


2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix well with the moist mixture.

Add in:

2/3 cup buttermilk

2 mashed bananas

Stir well. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray and flour a jellyroll pan with 1-inch sides.

Pour batter into pan and spread evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

While cake is baking make the icing.

1 stick butter or margarine, softened

6 tablespoons milk

1 (1-pound) box powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix well until smooth. Pour over warm cake. Top with rough chopped pecans.

Have a great 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 Southeast Missourian staff.

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