Mary’s Memo #2296


Maybe it’s my age but this time of year I think about family and friends who are no longer here, especially those who shared recipes with me that I use at holiday time such as Daddy’s peanut brittle, Mother’s cranberry salad, and Milli Simerl’s chocolate chip cookies. Milli kept her chocolate chip cookie dough balls frozen and when you went to her home she took a dozen frozen balls from the freezer and baked them to serve with a cup of tea and then sent the rest home with her guest. Sorry to say but this kind of hospitality is almost extinct!

Milli’s cookie recipe is in my cookbook on page 101. If
you haven’t made them, do make a batch for your guests
this Christmas. Regarding “Thank You, I’m Glad You Like
It,” only about a dozen copies are still available. If you’ve
held out buying one or giving it as a gift, you should purchase it before the end of the year. The Bryan Chamber of Commerce and Sauder Farm and Craft Village gift shop in Archbold still have a book or two. You can also buy a copy from me when I am working at the Bryan Chief. It goes
without saying that I appreciate all of you who bought copies before now! For that reason there’ll not be a closeout sale.


Some of you don’t care and that’s okay with me, but
I am concerned about where my food is grown and processed, whether fresh, frozen or canned. First, I have no problem with Canadian foods because their standards are even higher than here in the US.

Awhile back, my niece sent me an email forward that
contained alarming information about Green Giant frozen
vegetables being grown and processed in China. I checked
it out on the internet and sure enough Green Giant frozen
vegetables and canned ones, too, come from China! Since I planned to serve the “who-doesn’t-like-it” green bean casserole at my holiday dinner, I found one brand that grows and processes green beans in the US and that’s Libby's. For this reason I bought Libby's cream style and whole kernel corn for Jo Cunningham’s corn casserole in my cookbook.


Maybe, according to a 12-year study of 1,031 Finnish
men. Those with higher blood levels of lycopene, a potent
antioxidant found in tomatoes and other red produce, were
55 percent less likely to have a stroke compared with men
who had the lowest lycopene levels, though the researchers pointed out that the overall number of strokes noted in the study was small (76 total). The findings were published in the October 9, 2012 issue of the journal Neurology.
SOURCE: ConsumerReports On Health, December 2012.


I know I have a winner when shoppers decide to buy ingredients before they leave the store or remark about what they’ve sampled to the Chief associate checking them out. That was the case recently with Sweet Potato Pear Casserole from the Sarasota, FL Junior League Cookbook. Although I think Thanksgiving/Christmas Sweet Potatoes in
my cookbook is the very best, this one is good and with far
less calories! Chief and Rays do not carry pear brandy, so I
replaced it with Triple Sec to complement the orange juice
and the least expensive orange liqueur.



6 large sweet potatoes, peeled

6 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled
and each cut into 8 wedges

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup orange juice

1/3 cup Triple Sec

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1/2 cup golden raisins

Cut sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Cook in enough water to cover in a Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, but avoid overcooking, for 10 to 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Layer sweet potatoes and pears alternately in a 9x13-inch baking dish. Combine the brown sugar, orange juice, Triple Sec, butter and raisins in a small saucepan over medium heat until brown sugar dissolves and butter melts. Pour over prepared layers and bake 30 minutes or until light brown and bubbly. Serve immediately. Yields 10 to 12 servings. Note: This can be made ahead for baking the night before.
SOURCE: Adapted from recipe in Simply Sarasota Creative
Casual Cuisine by the Junior League of Sarasota.


I limit most of my personal driving to Bryan so I’ve been
amazed at the number of stocking stuffer gifts for cooks,
edible and non-edible, that I’ve found at the Chief. Who
says Christmas fun is just for children! With “my best-oftime-
is-now” philosophy anyone can enjoy this custom!
Download PDF of Memo #2296

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