Mom's stored recipes include unexpected treasures

April 10, 2013 

My mom and grandmother saved everything from photos to old newspapers to recipes.

I can remember my grandmother saying, "You'll never know when you might need it." She must have passed that philosophy down to my mom.

Since Mom's death, Elyssa and I are deciding what of Mom's to keep, what to put in a yard sale and what to trash. It's difficult, as I said in a recent column. Often I have found what I think was trash and find little gems.

Mother never claimed to be a cook, although she did make several dishes that I make today. Her spaghetti and meatballs recipe came from the old Sorrento's Italian restaurant in Houston. We dined there a lot. Even as a child I loved Italian food and did not have to be coerced into eating it.

She also made a mean shrimp jambalaya and lobster or crab Newburg, which I also make, but that's about it. So imagine my surprise when we flipped through some files and discovered cookbooklets from Mississippi Power and Dole, plus some handwritten recipes.

The Mississippi Power recipe comes from a pamphlet that evidently was included in her monthly bill some 13 years ago, but it was on target from Mom's tastebuds. She loved crab, shrimp, oysters and, of course, lobster, but was picky about fish. No surprise that I am the same way; the leaf doesn't fall far from the tree.

This recipe is for a crab Mornay that is an easy fix. Along with this dish, Mom had kept a hand-written recipe for sugar snap peas with pearl onions, which is a good pairing with the crab Mornay.

These recipes like the others we have found are going into a recipe binder

that I am making that can be passed down to Elyssa and then to Lilly. I want them to know the great ladies that preceded them.

CRAB MORNAY

1 stick butter

1 small bunch green onions, chopped

1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

2 tablespoons flour

1 pint breakfast cream or half n half

1/2 pound-plus grated Swiss cheese

1 tablespoon sherry wine

Salt and pepper to taste

1 pound fresh white crabmeat

Browned breadcrumbs for topping

Parmesan cheese

Melted butter

Melt stick of butter in heavy pot and sauté onions and parsley. Blend in flour, cream and cheese until cheese is melted. Add all but last four ingredients. Fold in the crabmeat. Place on scallop shells and top with browned breadcrumbs, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and melted butter. Bake until brown and bubbly in 350-degree oven.

SUGAR SNAP PEAS WITH PEARL ONIONS

1 pound sugar snap peas

1 (10 ounce) package frozen pearl onions, thawed and drained

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Trim stem and ends from peas. Be sure to remove strings from both seams.

In large skillet over medium heat, cook onions in olive oil stirring occasionally until caramelized and golden brown about 6 minutes. Add garlic and brown sugar. Cook stirring constantly until fragrant or about 30 seconds.

Add peas. Stir-fry for 3 minutes. Stir in thyme, salt and pepper. Stir-fry until veggies are crisp tender. Makes 6 servings.

-- Recipe from Billy Leslie Wheaton

Another request for help

"At a recent church function, this couple brought cornbread salad, but I did not get the recipe," Peter Meakins said. "Could you or your readers help me out? It was delicious!"

Readers, I know you have cornbread salad recipes, please send them.

Tea party recipes, please

Women of Wisdom, or WOW, a Christian women's networking group, is hosting a Mother's Day tea, and members would like to make some special tea party recipes for the event. Readers, please share some of your best ideas and finger sandwich recipes with this group.

Farm to Fork event

Folks in Bradenton and Sarasota need to get ready for a special "Farm to Fork" Sunday brunch on April 21. "Farm to Fork" meals are happening across the country of these in Mississippi, too, to help promote local farmers and businesses that work with these farmers.

Mattison's City Grille in Sarasota and the Suncoast Food Alliance will host the brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. On the menu will be grits and sausage with baby Swiss chard, poached egg and warm bacon vinaigrette; salmon and cream cheese, smoked salmon mousse with peppered watercress, cream cheese, onion marmalade and bagel chip topped with Mote caviar; Main Street bacon and eggs, crispy pork belly, grilled asparagus, sunny-side up egg, smoked fingerling potatoes; chicken and waffles, a waffle breaded crispy chicken breast topped with maple gravy.

Participating local farms and organizations include the Suncoast Food Alliance, Sarasota CLUCK, Watercress Farms, Mote Marine Laboratory, La Casa Sierra Meat Market, Cincotta Ranch, My Mother's Garden, Jones Potato Farm, Lake Meadow Naturals and Bradley's General Store. Reservations are recommended and can be made online at www.mattisons.com or by calling 941-330-0440.

More on stuffed meatloaf

"Thank you for printing my request for stuffed meatloaf," said Susan Daugherty of Bradenton. "All the recipes sound great, but the one submitted by Angie Cassidy is the exact one I used to make. Thank you for submitting this, Angie. I will surely be making it soon. I have even made this with venison when I lived in Pennsylvania, and it is quite good."

Thanks to all the readers who submitted recipes.

Andrea Yeager, who can be reached at ayeager51@cableone.net, takes contributions or requests at Cook's Exchange, P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi, MS 39535-4567. If requesting a recipe, include the name or describe it.

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