Cookbook provides Cape recipes from 1960s

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I survived turning 50 years old without much to-do and don't feel a day older than I did before the birthday. The actual day was wonderful, spending it on the campus of the University of Missouri-Columbia with our son at Summer Welcome, which is freshman orientation. It was a great couple of days and I didn't even mind staying in the residence halls and getting a feel for that and the food served in the dining halls. It was a great 50th birthday, and I look forward to many more.

Kenneth Haas of Cape Girardeau is a dear friend from the senior center, and he gave me a cookbook for my birthday: "Cape County Dairy Dishes," published 1963. It is a mimeographed booklet, stapled together and contains 118 pages of recipes. I actually know many people who submitted recipes in the book; Mary Ann Pensel, the late Joyce Keochig and Meta Siemers, to mention just a few. I would like to share just a few recipes from this special recipe booklet.

Ham and Green Beans

This sounds like a recipe you might find at a good covered dish dinner at a church.

3 cups cooked macaroni

2 cups cooked ham

2 cups cooked green beans

2/3 cup diced cheese, cheddar or processed, like Velveeta

2 cups white sauce

Cornflakes or buttered bread crumbs for the topping

Place the macaroni, ham, green beans and cheese into a greased 2-quart casserole; toss lightly with a fork to blend ingredients. Pour the white sauce over the ham and bean mixture. Top with cornflakes or buttered bread crumbs. Bake in a 350-degree oven from 30 to 40 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. Serves 4 to 6.

To make white sauce: Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a double boiler, blend in 2 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/3 teaspoon pepper. Add 2 cups milk gradually stirring until mixture thickens.

Tuna Cheeseburgers

1 regular sized can tuna, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

1 tablespoon mustard

1 cup grated cheese

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Mix the ingredients above and spread on buns that have been buttered. Wrap in foil and bake in oven at 450 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.

Coconut-Cream Coffee Cake

6 cups flour

2 cups milk, scalded

1 package yeast

3 teaspoons salt

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup sugar

Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add sugar, beaten eggs, salt and half of the flour. Beat thoroughly and add rest of flour. Place on floured surface and knead into a soft dough. Place in greased bowl, cover and let stand in warm place until double in bulk. Knead down and let rise again, about 45 minutes. Shape into desired shapes. Place in greased pans. Top with favorite topping.

For the topping:

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoon flour

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 egg

1 cup cream

1 cup coconut

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

Beat egg slightly and add other ingredients. Mix well. Place on coffeecake. Let rise. Bake in 375-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Cheese Coffeecake

This recipe did not include the yeast coffeecake recipe, so you may use the one above if needed.

Line a well greased 9-by-13-inch pan with your favorite coffeecake dough rolled to about 1/4-inch in thickness. Let rise until light. Spread with cheese mixture. Bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes or until done.

For the topping:

2 1/2 cups cottage cheese

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 beaten eggs

3 tablespoons cream

Flavoring to suit your taste, a dash of nutmeg or 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

Mix sugar, flour and salt. Add beaten egg. Put cheese through a sieve and add to mixture with cream and flavoring. You may add a package of Philadelphia Cream Cheese to this mixture if desired.

Berry Custard Pie

Prepare an unbaked pastry shell. Fill with berries which have been combined with sugar to desired sweetness.

Make custard by combining:

2 eggs, well beaten

1/3 cup sugar

1 cup milk

Pour custard over the berries in pastry shell. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until custard is firm.

Other fruits, such as rhubarb or peaches may be used instead of berries.

Marble Fruit Swirl


1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup melted butter

Mix crumbs, sugar and butter. Press firmly over bottom of 9-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish. Chill until set.


2 cups sliced fresh strawberries

1 (3-ounce) package strawberry gelatin

1 (10-ounce) package frozen sliced strawberries, thawed

1 cup boiling liquid, juice from berries and water

1/2 pound marshmallows (8 ounces)

1/2 cup milk

1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Dissolve gelatin in hot liquid. Chill until partially set. Meanwhile, combine marshmallows and milk. Heat and stir until marshmallows melt. Cool thoroughly. Fold in whipped cream. Add berries to gelatin. Then swirl in marshmallow mixture to marble. Pour into crust. Chill until set. Cut into 9 or 12 squares.

If fresh berries are not in season, 2 packages of frozen ones may be used. Any other berry or fruit and gelatin combination may be used.

When using whipped cream as an icing, sweeten with confectioners' sugar. The cream will hold its shape for a longer period of time.

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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