Celebrating Mother's Day with mom's recipes

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Today is a special day; it is not only Mother's Day, it is also graduation day for the centennial graduating class at Cape Girardeau Central High School. Our son, Ross, is among the students in the class of 2012.

Ross has had an amazing high school experience. The lessons and knowledge gained in marching band will be useful the rest of his life; teamwork and patience are always wonderful skills to hold with you for life. The hundreds of hours practicing pay off on competition day when trophies are brought home to Central. The excitement and thrill of basketball careers came to an end for this year's three seniors with a record of 27 wins and seven losses. Ross, TJ and Vance stuck together to finish as Conference and District champions; what a fantastic way to finish your senior year.

But one of the main things I cherish about Central is the public and living witness that principal Dr. Cowan is to the students. His genuine love for life and spirit filled with joy is contagious for those around him. I will forever be grateful that our paths crossed in this life.

Today we celebrate all graduating seniors, especially my nephew Nathaniel, graduating with his master's degree in electrical engineering from University of Missouri-Columbia, and all those very dear to our family; you know who you are.

For Mother's Day, I will share a few recipes from my own mother, Marilyn Kinsey. Mom has raised her six children and now is enjoying her grandchildren. Here are a couple of my favorites from her files.

Pecan Pie

I'm sure the reason this pie is so good is the fresh pecan crop my dad gets off his pecan trees.

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup syrup; dark, light or pancake mixture all work fine

1 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup evaporated milk

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

1/4 teaspoons vanilla

Pinch salt

1 cup pecans, or a few more as desired

1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Mix together slightly beaten eggs and add syrup, brown sugar, milk, butter, vanilla and salt. Beat at medium speed of mixer until well mixed or whip vigorously with wire whisk. Place pecans in pie shell. Pour filling over the pecans. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes or until browned and set. The filling will puff up during baking but will settle back down during cooling.

Rhubarb Custard Pie

This recipe was my grandmother's, and my mom has kept it a family favorite.

4 cups rhubarb

1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon flour

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 cup milk

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

Cut rhubarb into 1/2-inch pieces and place in pie shell. Mix together sugar, flour, butter, vanilla, salt, eggs and milk. Beat until blended. Pour over rhubarb. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes until custard is well set and crust is browned.

Mom's Fabulous Biscuits

These biscuits also double as shortcake by adding more sugar than it calls for to the dough before rolling and baking. Ross loves these biscuits smothered with milk gravy alongside country fried steak and okra.

2 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup shortening (Crisco)

Approximately 2/3 cup milk

Mix flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, salt and sugar. Cut in shortening with a fork. Toss with a fork and add milk gradually, enough to make a soft, sticky dough. Turn out on floured board and flour hands well. Press together and pat out to flatten out to 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick. Cut out using a biscuit cutter or a glass rim, working as close together as possible so as not to have to reuse the dough. Place on a baking sheet, not quite touching. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned. The biscuits are light and delicious.

Old German Date Cake

This recipe was also my grandmother's, and Mom makes it every winter. I absolutely love it. It keeps well wrapped tightly in the refrigerator and makes nice gifts for friends at Christmas. Mom always wraps them in plastic wrap, then ties them up with red and green curly ribbon.

1 pound package pitted dates

2 cups water

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

4 tablespoon butter, softened

3 cups unsifted flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups whole or broken pecans

Bring to a boil the 1 pound of dates and 2 cups water and let it cook for 2 or 3 minutes very low. Turn off heat and add 2 teaspoons baking soda and set aside.

Cream together sugar, eggs and butter. To this creamed mixture add alternately the flour and salt and the date mixture. Lastly add vanilla and stir in nuts. Bake in 2 greased and floured 9-by-4-by-3 loaf pans. Bake at 325 degrees for an hour or until just done to the touch. Turn out on rack and cool. Keep in plastic storage bag in the refrigerator. These also freeze very well. This cake is delicious sliced and served with whipped cream alongside a cup of coffee. It just would not be Christmas at the Kinsey's without this cake.

Yum-Yum Quick Hamburger Casserole

1 pound ground beef

1 medium onion

1 cup sliced celery

1 can mushroom soup

4 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 can or 2 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup uncooked rice

1 can drained mushrooms, or fresh as desired

Brown ground beef, onion and celery. Add all other ingredients. Bake in casserole dish at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring several times as it bakes and until thickened and slightly browned.

Have a fabulous Mother's Day and an amazing graduation day. Until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at news@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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