I did not keep my promise to myself. I was not going to give you recipes for green foods for St. Patrick’s Day even though my DNA testing said that there was an amount of Irish DNA flowing with the almost all Scottish DNA. I was hoping to find 100 percent English. My maiden name was York, and all my life I have adored all things Brit — the poets, the accents, Stonehenge, fish and chips and definitely keeping up with the doings of the royal family. (Some of this is “tongue-in-cheek.”)
However, in looking back at some past columns, I found some recipes I had not made in many years, and immediately began to remember how good they were, and how delightful the people were who shared the recipes with me.
As you have noticed, I’m sure, many new food items have been created and also many of our favorite things have been removed from the shelves of supermarkets.
If you are a “mature” cook, you might remember little 6 ounce rolls of processed cheese. I remember two varieties, jalapeno and garlic.
I now substitute 6 ounces of Velveeta and either chopped jalapenos (not too much) and fresh minced garlic or garlic powder.
The first green recipe was given to me shortly after we moved to Longview in 1967 by a dear lady at First Baptist Church.
Ruth Cooksey’s Jalapeno Cheese Spinach
2 packages (8 ounces) frozen chopped spinach
2 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup reserved spinach liquid
Black and red cayenne pepper to taste
6 ounces Velveeta cheese
1 tablespoon (more or less) finely chopped jalapeno pepper (I used canned pepper. Fresh is good, but hotter)
1/2 cup buttered bread crumbs
Cook spinach according to package directions; drain spinach until very dry, reserve liquid.
Melt butter in a saucepan or deep skillet. Add flour and stir until well blended. Add milk, 1/2 cup spinach liquid, seasonings and chopped jalapeno. Stir constantly, until slightly thick.
Chop cheese into chunks and combine with spinach. Combine with milk and spinach liquid mixture. Pour into a 2-quart casserole dish and top with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes until bubbly. This makes about 7 to 8 servings.
In 1975, I got my first taste of performing in theater productions, playing Golde in “Fiddler on the Roor.” I was bitten hard by the Broadway bug and went on to play the role in two more productions. Then, when I became an aging ingénue, I played the role of Yente, the matchmaker.
We truly became a family, as often happens among theater casts and crew members. Several times we would bring food to rehearsals. The next recipe was brought by a superb actor from Canada, David Hardwick, who played the role of Motel, the tailor.
Burdick Salad (Lime Gelatin)
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained, reserve juice
Water, enough when mixed with pineapple juice to make 1 1/2 cups
1 small package lime gelatin
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 large carrot, grated (about 1 cup)
1/2 pint whipping cream, whipped
Heat pineapple juice and water to boiling. Add gelatin and sugar, and stir to dissolve. Add lemon juice. Place in refrigerator until slightly thickened. Add carrot and pineapple. Mix well, and fold in whipped cream. Chill until firm. Makes 5 to 6 servings.
Try my salad dressing recipe (on a green salad, not on the Burdick Salad mentioned above).
Barb’s Bleu Cheese Dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
1 4-ounce package bleu cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup half and half cream
Mix well, and refrigerate.
— 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or in care of the Longview News-Journal, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.