The Gratuitous Food Page
Great and small conversations and subsequent stories are shared over the dinner table. In hopes of continuing that fading experience, we’ll be posting recipes here and there that have proven to be successful conversation starters at our family tables (and those of our friends).
Mom’s Escalloped Corn & Oyster Casserole
2 C coarsely broken crackers
½ C melted butter or margarine
¼ tsp salt
1 pt. oysters, coarsely cut, with juice
2 cans 12-16 oz. niblets corn, drained
¼ C half & half
1 dash Tabasco sauce
Mix together in bowl: Broken crackers, melted butter or margarine, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix oysters, corn, half & half, and Tabasco sauce. Using a buttered casserole, alternate 3 layers of crackers and 2 layers of corn and oysters. Bake uncovered at 375º for 40 minutes.
Chocolate Sheet Cake
Combine and set aside:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
Bring to a boil and add to the above:
2 sticks margarine (I always use Fleishmann’s)
1 cup water
4 Tbsp. cocoa (I always use Droste’s cocoa)
½ cup buttermilk
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. vanilla
Beat well. Pour in 11/16/1” pan. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes. Frost hot cake with the following recipe:
1 stick margarine
6 Tbsp. milk
4 Tbsp. cocoa
Bring to a boil; add 1 –lb. powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla and chopped nuts. Beat. When slightly thick, put on hot cake.
With thanks to my sister-in-law Kathy Anderson who shared this recipe with me decades ago.
2 lb. ground beef 2 8-oz. cans tomato sauce
1 8-oz. pkg. wide noodles 2 3-oz. pkg. cream cheese
½ cup chopped onion 1/3 cup milk
¼ cup green pepper 2 tsp. lemon juice
1 ½ tsp. salt 1 tsp. garlic salt
1/8 tsp. pepper 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 small can mushroom pieces
Brown together beef, onions and green pepper. Add salt, pepper, tomato sauce and mushrooms to meat mixture. Cook noodles according to package directions using garlic salt instead of regular salt in the water. Combine softened cream cheese with milk, lemon juice, garlic salt, and Worcestershire. Mix noodles and cream cheese mixture together. Alternate layers of meat mixture and noodle mixture in 2 ½ qt. casserole. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.
This is what I’d call a “down home” recipe that came from my mother-in-law Marguerite Anderson and it appears it originally came from her niece-in-law Gayla Anderson. That’s as far back as I can trace it (all in South Dakota) but I’ll bet it’s been in the family for over 60 years. I don’t like rhubarb (gasp!), but Terry does. He took this big pan to his office and it disappeared within moments and with rave reviews. It calls for 5 cups of rhubarb so you can get rid of a lot of it at once!
5 cups rhubarb, cut in small pieces and put into a 9×13 baker/cake pan
¾ cup sugar
½ cup softened butter
⅛ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup milk
1 cup flour
Place the cake mixture over rhubarb.
1 cup sugar
1 TB corn starch
A pinch of salt.
Spread over the cake batter.
Pour 1 cup boiling water over all.
Bake 1 hour at 375°. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.