How old are you? Now, you know I don’t mean for you to tell me — just to think about things that you may be old enough to remember about life.

Do you have or have you had a recipe box? I am talking about the kind that holds 3” x 5” cards. When I was married in 1959, we were given a “kitchen shower.” Each guest brought a recipe on a card, and a kitchen gadget or something that was used in the recipe they brought.

Now, admittedly, in those days, many of us went straight from our mother’s kitchen to one of our own. Many times these days people are waiting until they are older to get married, and the bride and groom have had their own places and have brought together kitchens, so they are not starting without anything.

Back to recipe boxes, I have kept up with mine (there are now four), even through countless moves and two marriages, 35 years, and 23 years, respectively). I thought it would be fun just to reminisce a bit though those the other day.

Of course, my recipe collection graduated to shoe boxes, then boxes for the shoe boxes. They still keep, though, those precious memories of the past. Why the recipes do not all have names on them, I cannot say. Many of the recipes found their way into the three cookbooks I have written, but these did not.

The first has no name but is written in the most beautiful printing I have ever seen — no doubt from an elementary school teacher. I remember making it in our early married life because it was inexpensive, and made a lot.

Somebody’s Chicken Jambalaya2 cups long grain rice

4 chicken breasts, cooked, deboned, and cut into pieces

1/2 cup cooking oil (I used about 2 tablespoons less)

1 green pepper, chopped

4 green onions, chopped

2 medium onions, chopped

1 teaspoon each: salt, garlic salt, onion salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon red ground pepper

3 tablespoons parsley flakes

2 cans (15 ounces each) tomato sauce with bits

In oil, in large 3-4 quart pan, cook onions, and green pepper. Add chicken and tomato sauce and seasonings. Let simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Add 3 cups water, bring to boil, and add rice and stir. Cover and simmer approximately 15 minutes, till liquid is absorbed, and rice is done. Makes 8-10 servings.

Another is in my handwriting, so obviously I ate it somewhere and copied the recipe.

Carrot, Apple, Raisin Cake1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups cooking oil

3 eggs

2 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon each, baking powder, baking soda, and salt

2 cups shredded carrots

1 cup chopped apple

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Mix all ingredients, and pour into 2 9-in round layers. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until tests done with toothpick stuck in center. Remove to racks, and let cool. Frost with the following:


1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon milk

1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar

Nuts and coconut can be added, if desired.

This easy punch was served at many showers and parties.

Frosted Punch1 package cherry Kool-Aid

3 quarts water

3/4 cup sugar

1 can (46 ounces) pineapple juice

1 small can frozen orange juice

1 small can frozen lemonade

1 tablespoon each almond and vanilla extract

Mix all and freeze 4 hours before serving.

Add 2 liters Sprite or 7-up. Mix well in punch bowl. Makes about 50 servings.

— Barbara Richardson McClellan is a longtime food columnist and has written three self-published cookbooks. Her column appears in the News-Journal’s Taste section each Wednesday. Write her at or in care of the Longview News-Journal, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.