Monday, December 11, 2017




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McClellan: Remembering a dear friend

By Barbara McClellan
Nov. 29, 2017 at 4 a.m.


Because of a dear friend, I am now able to look back at almost every column I have written since the first one in February 1970. When I first began to write, I kept each column in a loose leaf notebook with protective pages as soon as it was published. Somewhere along the way (about 20 years ago), I got behind in the putting them in the correct order in the notebooks.

About three months ago, I casually mentioned to my friend that we should have a "column-pasting" party. I would cook; we would both work on columns and see how far we could get. We got up to 2012-2013, keeping our strength up with a spinach quiche and a coconut cream pie. She took the remaining years of unclipped columns with her to Tyler where she lived.

We talked, emailed or texted everyday, and often she would mention what date she was currently working on, and we reminisced about which of my children were mentioned in that column. She had become as much a part of the family over the years as any "born family" member because we had been close friends since we were in the third grade. My children called her their "co-aunt," and did not know that she was not a "real" relative until they were grown.

On Oct. 15, she brought a huge box of the finished columns, when she and our mutual friend, Melba Duke, came over for lunch. Along with the delivery came a threat (somewhat mild), that I had better not get that far behind again. We talked and texted back and forth all the rest of the weekend and on Monday until I got the last text from her at 12:05 p.m. She wrote again to me, but never sent it. When Melba told me about it later, it said, "I am feeling dizzy." She had an aneurysm in the brain, and did not survive. It has been five weeks now since my life-long, closest friend left this life. I miss you so much, Sara. Rest in eternal peace, Sara Cole Maples Cannon.

The two recipes I am sharing with you are recipes that Sara said that I needed to make very soon. The first is from a student who was in my choir in 1992 at Forest Park Middle School. His mother, Candy Schriefer, made these cookies which her talented son, Adam, brought to me. They are delicious, and you chocoholics will delight in them.

Adam and Candy Chocolate Snow-top Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

  • 6 tablespoons butter

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

  • 2 eggs

  • Powdered sugar (for rolling the cookies in)

Mix flour, baking powder and salt, and set aside. Melt 1 cup chocolate chips over hot water, or on low power in microwave. Beat sugar and butter until creamy. Add melted chocolate chips and vanilla. Beat in eggs, and gradually mix in flour mixture. Stir in remaining chocolate chips. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and freeze, until slightly firm. Shape cold dough into 1-inch balls, and roll in powdered sugar. Bake at 350 degrees, for 10-12 minutes until tops appear cracked. Let stand 5 minutes before removing to racks. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Mulled Cider

  • 1 gallon apple cider

  • 2 cups orange juice

  • 6 cinnamon sticks

  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves

  • 1 cup light brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup apricot brandy

Mix all ingredients except the brandy, and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Add brandy, and serve hot. (Brandy may be omitted.)

— 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 bayrm12@gmail.com or in care of the Longview News-Journal, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.

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