Category Archives: Cooking

Shirley Booth’s Chess Tarts Recipe

Shirley Booth and Don DeFore

http://www.flickr.com/photos/34637380@N00/3193268492

From Good Housekeeping, December 1964:

“Shirley Booth, like the generous person she is, gives Sally Edwards credit for these tarts.

CHESS TARTS

l package piecrust mix or favorite pastry for 2 crust pie
2 eggs
1/4 c. butter or margarine
dash salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1/2 cup snipped, pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped California walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
candied cherries
slivers of preserved orange peel
slivers of preserved citron
green seedless grapes

Make day before serving as follows:
1. Make up piecrust; then, on lightly floured board, roll it out 1/8-inch thick. For each petal tart shell, cut out 5) 2 1/4-inch fluted pastry rounds. Place 1 round in bottom of each of 6) 2 3/4’inch muffin-pan cups. Wet edges of rest of rounds, then press 4 of them to sides and to round in bottom of each cup, overlapping edges slightly.

2. Prick well with 4-tined fork. Refrigerate 30 minutes; bake at 450 degrees F. 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool; lift each carefully from cup; store at room temperature.

3. In saucepan beat eggs well; then add butter or margarine, salt sugar, raisins, dates. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick. Refrigerate this filling, covered with waxed paper.

~About an hour before serving:

1. Stir walnuts and vanilla into filling; then pile some filling in each tart shell. Whip cream; use to top tarts. In center of each mound of cream place a cherry; surround with orange peel and citron. Refrigerate.

2. Arrange tarts on pretty serving plate; pass, with tiny bunches of grapes. Makes 6.”

Jim Manago has written a book “Love Is The Reason For It All – The Shirley Booth Story”. You can read about it here. His site is very impressive with lots of photos of Shirley Booth as well as stories behind the scenes of “Hazel” and other celebrities like Whitney Blake, Karen Carpenter, and Joyce van Patten.

Don DeFore was one of my favorite actors and it was fun to read the interview with his son. It makes me like him even more to know that he was an active conservative.

For those interested in purchasing the book, Jim recommends that you go to bookfinder.com.

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Filed under 1960's, Baking, Books, Christmas, Cooking, Internet links, Vintage Magazines

Celebrity Recipes – Good Housekeeping December 1964

Yesterday I posted photos from the December 1964 issue of Good Housekeeping. Carol from Old Glory Cottage asked for the celebrity recipes referred to in the photo. (Carol has some great vintage Christmas images in her sidebar.)

There are too many for me to type all of them and they’re posted in the back of the magazine all chopped up, a column or two on each page so too difficult to scan. But I tell you what I’ll do: since Carol asked for it, I’ll include Lucy’s today, and list each celebrity and the name of their recipe and if anyone wants one, please leave a comment and I’ll post as many of them as I can.

Here’s what it says:

“Lucille Ball, one of Hollywood’s most hospitable stars, often treats dinner guests to this ‘happy ending’.

APPLE JOHN
Make about two hours before serving as follows:
1. Start heating oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 2-quart casserole. Fill it with 8 cups thinly sliced, pared, cooking apples, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1/4 cup water; then toss together with a fork. Bake, covered, 1 hour or until apples are tender. Now turn oven heat up to 450 degrees.

2. In bowl combine 2 cups packaged biscuit mix and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar; quickly stir in 2 to 3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine and 1/2 cup milk. Then drop, by rounded tablespoonfuls, around top edge of casserole, also one in center of biscuit ring. Bake, uncovered, about 12 to 15 minutes or until biscuits are golden and done. Cool slightly.

3. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream on top of each serving. Makes 9 servings.”

Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson: Pecan Pie

Julie Andrews: Striezel, Hot Mincemeat Pie with Rum Sauce

Doris Day: Green and Gold Salad

Bing Crosby: Wild Duck

Deborrah Kerr: Creamy Raspberry Cups

Patty Duke: Crunch Walnut Bread

Jack Benny: Superior Fried Chicken

Polly Bergen: Chili

Tony Curtis: Hungarian Kipfel

Shirley Booth: Chess Tarts

Fannie Hurst: Indienne Beef Stew

Peggy Lee: Hearts of Palm Salad

Johnny Carson: Christmas Waldorf

Eartha Kitt: Salade Nicoise

Danny Thomas: Homos Be Tahinee

Gina Lollobrigida: Christmas Wreath Cookies

Carol Channing: Golden Popcorn Balls

Rick Nelson: Beef Tartare, Stuffed Brussel Sprouts

Beatrice Lillie: Peel Fold Christmas Trifle

Raymond Burr: Grand Marnier Chocolate Mousse

Carol Burnett: Chicken Casserole

Inger Stevens: De Luxe Rice Pudding

Hugh Downs: Nut Filled Cakes

Blanche Thebom: Doppa I Grytan

Walter Cronkite: Harvard Beets

Eileen Farrell: Citrus Froth

Elke Sommer: Christmas Stollen

Dick Van Dyke: Brandied Sweet Potatoes

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Filed under 1960's, Baking, Christmas, Cooking, Paper Dolls, Vintage Christmas, Vintage Magazines

Gingerbread Men

Better Homes and Gardens Cookies and Candies, 1968 edition

My friend Merrily gave me this cookbook when I was 16. She was one of the best cooks I knew, and certainly the best cookie maker. The recipe for my sour cream pound cake came from her.

We have literally worn the cover off of this book over the last 39 years. Joe’s luscious fudge is in this book, and this is the only gingerbread man recipe I’ve ever used.

Better Homes and Gardens Cookies and Candies, 1968

Notes:

* If rolled thick, this recipe makes a soft cookie, which is what my family prefers. However, with the last bit of dough, I roll them thinner for a crunchy cookie which goes well with morning coffee.
* Plan ahead and chill the dough. It does make a difference. I’ve tried doing it in a rush and it just doesn’t work. The dough is sticky and then I add too much flour.
*I’ve never used shortening, I’ve always used vegetable oil (canola, etc.).
* Make sure the cookie cutters are well floured before each cutting, or you’ll start losing arms, heads, etc. that don’t want to separate from the cutter.
* Keep a pastry brush handy. Flour is needed to dust both the rolling pin and the rolling surface, but you don’t want that floury taste on the bottom of the cookies. It’s a hassle, but dust them off before placing them on the baking sheet.
* Parchment paper gives the best result. For years I Pammed the sheet, but the pp results in a better cookie.
* Press raisins into the cookie after they’re on the sheet. Frozen raisins work better. Soft, room-temperature ones don’t want to press in and will likely fall off.
* Sprinkle sugar over the tops before baking.
* Bake one sheet at a time, although it isn’t as important with this recipe as it is with chocolate chip type cookies.
* Turn sheet around half way through baking.
*After baking, let set for about 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

I store the finished cookies in a clear jar on my counter-top. If left out on a plate in humid weather for a long time they stay soft, but not as nice. Besides, it’s way too easy to pick up one from a plate everytime I pass by.

My grandsons love these. In fact, they asked me to make paper gingerbread men for them to play with last summer. I used my larger sized cutter for a pattern and we had the plain, regular gingerbread man, plus Gingerbread Batman, Gingerbread Robin, Gingerbread Joker, Gingerbread Superman. Construction paper was cut out to make their clothes and their faces were done with Crayolas.

This post linked to Food on Fridays @ annkroeker.

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Filed under 1960's, Baking, Books, Christmas, Cookbooks, Cookies, Cooking

Plymouth and Nearby Environs


When I was a girl, I always loved the stories about the Pilgrims and the early years of America. History was one of my favorite subjects, but there was something really special and American about the story of the people who left their home in search of religious freedom, came across the ocean in a crowded boat and made new lives for themselves and their families in a wilderness.

Three years ago, I accompanied Joe on a business trip to Massachusetts and was so excited to finally get to visit the place I had read about 40 years ago. And although I had plenty of time to explore the Plymouth area, unfortunately many of the sites are closed in December, but I visited what I could. One of my first stops was Pilgrim Hall, the museum established and built in 1824.

Pilgrim Hall - I call it the Politcally Correct Palace


After about 5 minutes I felt like I’d been slapped in the face and that the museum curators were trying to kick the wind out of me. There was no honor of the Pilgrims, no celebration of their experience. All of the plaques describing the paintings and artifacts sneeringly contradicted the traditional story. What was left was how awful all this intrusion was to the Indians and how noble they were.

It was politically correct to the Nth, nauseating degree. I couldn’t believe it. They kept emphasizing that all those stories we read before were false; of course that was before the enlightened ones starting writing the history books.

(A few years before that we’d been to the Smithsonian and I was absolutely shocked at how PC it was. The exhibit on World War II was overwhelmingly focused on the Japanese internment. What little space that was devoted to the American GI was negative. It described that everywhere our soldiers went, there was rape, venereal disease and unwanted, half-American children.)

(I had better cover myself here because I don’t have a lawyer on retainer – the following is my opinion. Liberals tend to be sensitive and lawsuit happy.)A rhetorical question:are the same jaded, hair-shirt-wearing, self-flagellating, over-educated nincompoops in charge of all the museums dedicated to the American experience?

Please, say it isn’t so.

View of the bay, Plymouth, Massachusetts


Plymouth, Massachusetts has an incredibly precious heritage. Is that what you’ll find on their webpage? No, you’ll find one of those boxes on the left that shouts: “No Place for Hate”. What does that mean? Do they actually believe that other American towns advocate the opposite? The only reference to their role in American history is the following from City of Plymouth official website which says: “Most Americans are familiar with the story of the pilgrims’ voyage across the Atlantic aboard the Mayflower, and their landing at Plymouth Rock. Today, Plymouth Rock is just one of the sites that tell the story of Plymouth. When you visit our Town, you will learn about more than the pilgrim voyage, you will learn about our diverse and unique community. ” (emphasis mine)

Even the unofficial town website doesn’t have any history, but they do have another one of those little boxes. They aren’t warning us about hate. It tells us about International Day of Climate Action! (exclamation mark theirs).

But there is hope! (exclamation mine) The following quotes are from an article from the Plymouth Guide titled Putting the Thanks back in Thanksgiving – New book embraces treasured Pilgrim saga.

Hooray for the Plymouth Guide.

A big double hooray for Jeremy Bangs.

Strangers and Pilgrims, the 928-page history of the Pilgrims by Jeremy Bangs, explores the religious and political foundations of the Pilgrims in England and Holland and finds historical basis for much of the treasured Pilgrim tradition.”

“Bangs, for instance, points to the false notion that the Pilgrims never referred to themselves as Pilgrims. While some have suggested the name was invented in the 19th century, Bangs said the title of his book, Strangers and Pilgrims, comes from a quotation published by Robert Cushman in 1622.”

“Bangs said he has no stake in how the story plays out, but admits he is amused to see so many of the original notions about the Pilgrims have proven to be more or less accurate.”

If I had it to do all over again, I’d still go through the exhibit, because it does contain the actual belongings of the Pilgrims which is incredible to me, but I’d ignore their little plaques signs and explanations.

Doll from Mayflower passage, 1620


The swords and furniture were interesting, but what I really was drawn to was a little doll, carried on the Mayflower by Mary Chilton. How in the world could something as fragile as that rag doll survive almost 400 years? I don’t know, but I’m so glad it did. I can’t find a photo of it, either on the Pilgrim Hall website or doing image searches. If anyone knows where there’s a picture of it, please let me know. I did a rough sketch and made a few notes, but it’s hard to tell anything about it. The description said it was made from wool, linen and cotton.

I wonder who made it. Mary? Her mother? In England or Holland? Maybe on the Mayflower itself.

As a lover of textiles, I consider it a real American treasure.

First Congregation Church - Middleboro, Massachusetts


In nearby Middleboro is the First Congregational Church

organized in 1694 by the children of the Mayflower Pilgrims.

Ceiling of First Congregation Church


The current structure was built in 1828.

Auditorium - First Congregational Church


Across the road is an old cemetery. Some thoughtful person had placed flags on the graves of U.S. military veterans.


This headstone marks the grave of a Revolutionary War soldier.

Cranberry bog - near Middlleboro Massachusetts,


This is what a cranberry bog looks like. I think they’re beautiful.

And incidentally, if it’s a can of Ocean Spray cranberry sauce that you open on Thanksgiving, you might be interested to know that O.S. is not a corporation – it’s an agricultural cooperative of the growers. If you ever find yourself in Middleboro or Lakeview, Massachusetts, give yourself a treat and go see the Ocean Spray headquarters. A winding drive, the little bridge over the stream with swans swimming on it and the white colonial style building, it is the nicest business office I’ve ever seen.

Here in our region we have Big Lot stores, and they’re pretty good, but I’ve never seen anything like Ocean State Job Lots. I could spend hours in that store. Just take an extra suitcase and a little extra cash is all I have to say. I bought everything from poppy seeds to gourmet snack items to dishes to stamp pads to tools and blenders in there – all at very good prices.

Going into Benny’s in Raynham, Massachusetts was like time travel for me. In 1950’s and 1960’s Tulsa, we had OTASCO stores (Oklahoma Tire and Suppy Company). Benny’s is so like them I could’ve believed I was a kid again. From the traditional looking shopping center and sign out front to the smell when I walked in the door, I felt like I was in a time warp and I enjoyed every minute of it. I actually did a lot of Christmas shopping there, too. If I lived in that area, Benny’s would be one of my regular stops.

Coming back around to the history of the region, the people of New England are so blessed to be surrounded by history everywhere;this region is absolutely rich with roots in our country’s founding and early days. I wish New Englanders viewed that as something to be treasured rather than something to be embarrassed about.

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Filed under 1950s, 1960's, America, Books, Childhood pastimes, Cooking, Current Events, Faith, Heros, History, Internet links, Local Shopping, Military, Shopping, Thanksgiving

Chocolate Syrup

100_8552

from The Tightwad Gazette II


This recipe is from Amy Dacyczyn’s book The Tightwad Gazette II, which I highly recommend. It’s good for making chocolate milk, hot chocolate or an ice cream topping. Since the publication date is 1995, I’m sure the price of Hershey’s chocolate syrup has gone up. I don’t know because I haven’t bought any for years.

100_8570
It is cheaper and tastes better than commercial chocolate syrup. Just don’t overcook it. You will end up with something like fudge sauce, which is great over ice cream, but difficult to dissolve in a glass to make chocolate milk.

It doesn’t take very long to make; after it comes to a boil, you only cook it 3 minutes. It’s easy to make, our grandson almost always asks for it and if we don’t have any in the refrigerator, he loves to help his grandpa make some.

And while it’s cooking, well, that fragrance in the kitchen is like perfume.

This post is linked to:
Food on Fridays @ annkroeker
Frugal Fridays @ Life as Mom

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Cockeyed Cake (Chocolate)

Don’t have any eggs, shortening or 30 minutes to devote to making a cake? Cockeyed Cake doesn’t even require a mixer and is a very thrifty recipe.

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The I Hate to Cook Book


This recipe comes from the Peg Bracken’s 1960 “The I Hate to Cook Book”. As you can see from the photo, my copy is quite worn, but it’s one of my favorite cookbooks because it blends good, dependable recipes with humor and clever illustrations. It’s very mid-century, so if you like this era, I highly recommend this book.

When I was in grade school at Mingo (and when school cafeterias actually cooked instead of the way they do it now – just reheating frozen food), the cafeteria ladies made this cake but they called it Wacky Cake. This is what Peg says on pages 91-92 and will give you an idea about her writing style, which I find very amusing:

100_8592

Illustrations by Hilary Knight


“This is a famous recipe, I believe, but I haven’t the faintest idea who invented it. I saw it in a newspaper years ago, meant to clip it, didn’t, and finally bumped into the cake itself in the apartment of a friend of mine. It was dark, rich, moist, and chocolatey, and she said it took no more than five minutes to mix it up. So I tried it, and, oddly enough, mine, too, was dark, rich, moist and chocolatey. My own timing was five and a half minutes, but that includes looking for the vinegar.)

Cockeyed Cake

1 1/2 c. sifted flour
3 T. cocoa
1 t. soda
1 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
~~

5 T. cooking oil
1 T. vinegar
1 t. vanilla
1 c. cold water

Put your sifted flour back in the sifter, add to it the cocoa, soda, sugar and salt, and sift this right into a greased square cake pan, about 9x9x2 inches. Now you make three grooves, or holes, in this dry mixture. Into one, pour the oil; into the next the vinegar; into the next the vanilla. Now pour the cold water over it all. You’ll feel like you’re making mud pies now, but beat it with a spoon until it’s nearly smooth and you can’t see the flour. Bake it at 350 degrees for half an hour.”

Chocolate Icing
1 T. butter
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 T. cocoa
dash salt
1 t. vanilla
3-4 T. milk
1/2 c. chopped pecans

1.While cake is baking, place butter in mixing bowl to allow to come to room temperature.
2. Sift powdered sugar, salt and cocoa together.
3. Add most of the milk and vanilla. Blend well.
4. Mix in chopped pecans.
5. Place on warm, not hot, cake and allow to soften a bit before icing.


Cake Notes
:
*At the bottom of this post I’ll include the amounts for a double recipe, which is what I usually make. Realizing that anyone can double the above amounts, I have gotten myself in trouble on other recipes by forgetting to double some of them. It’s so much easier to have it all written down.
*Even though she says you can mix it in the cake pan itself, I find it difficult to do. If you are proficient at it, go ahead, it will save you having to wash a bowl.
*A few years ago, I read that one should only grease the bottom of a cake pan, because an ungreased side gives the cake something to cling to and rise nicely. So that’s what I’ve down ever since and it’s never caused a problem. Just run a knife around the edge of the pan before serving to loosen it.
*The picture below doesn’t do justice to the cake. It’s a really nice, chocolatey cake, just as Peg said.

Icing Notes

*The Mingo School cafeteria ladies didn’t ice the cake, they simply sifted powdered sugar over the cake. This works fine if you’re serving all of it immediately, but the next day it absorbs some of the oil from the cake and begins to look tired.
*This is my standard icing recipe that I learned from my mother. I never measure the ingredients, but I did today for this post.
* Baking time is subject to the vagaries of your own oven. This morning it took an extra 30 minutes. There must be something wrong with my thermostat. Just keep checking it after 30 minutes and use the toothpick test.
*Once I used cream in the icing recipe instead of milk and really didn’t care for the result. It stayed way too soft for me.
*The milk requirement in the icing is variable. Too much and it will be runny, too little and it will tear up the cake when you try to spread it. After adding the initial amount, mix it up and add only 1 T. at a time.
*Don’t put the sifter in the sink after you use it. You might need to add more powdered sugar if the icing is too thin. This has happened to me many times.
*This is a good recipe if you have a vegan in your family. Just use vegetable shortening (instead of butter) and water (instead of milk) in the icing recipe.

100_8597

Cockeyed Cake

Double Cake Recipe:
3. c. flour
6 T. cocoa (1/4 c. + 1/8 c.)
2 t. soda
2 c. sugar
1 t. salt
~~
10 T. oil (1/2 c. + 1/8 c.)
2 T. vinegar
2 t. vanilla
2 c. cold water

Double Icing Recipe
2 T. butter
3 c. powdered sugar
dash salt
2 t. vanilla
1/4 + 1/8 c. milk
1 c. chopped pecans

This post is linked to:
Food on Fridays @ annkroeker
Frugal Fridays @ Life as Mom

*Updated October 28, 2012: a reader (Peg) pointed out that I had doubled the amount of cocoa in the half recipe. That has been corrected, and I sincerely hope it didn’t cause any trouble for anyone. The Wacky Cake recipe that our cafeteria ladies made was indeed more chocolatey than this one from the I Hate to Cook Book, but I doubt it was twice as chocolatey.

Mea Culpa.

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Filed under 1960's, Books, Cookbooks, Cooking, Mingo, Oklahoma, Thrift, Using What You Have

Vegetable Soup

100_8140 My mother made the best vegetable soup in the whole world. Mine is similar and very good, but hers was great. And of course, she didn’t follow a recipe or write it down. Mostly it was just what she had on hand, although she always started with bacon, and since both of our sons don’t eat meat now, I nearly always omit it. But it really is better with the bacon.

I don’t follow a written recipe either, but I will try to give approximations. This is a very flexible and forgiving soup; if I don’t have one ingredient, maybe I have something else that will work. For instance, I like to add about 1/2 c. of barley after it’s boiling to thicken it. If I’m out of barley, then I grate a raw potato. Also, I like a variety of colors, so I put in corn (frozen or canned), or maybe some chopped yellow squash. For something green, it’s green beans, peas or broccoli. When using broccoli, I don’t add it until about the last 1/2 hour or it will turn to mush; very unpleasant. When our youngest son was a teenager and nearly all he ate was meat, surprisingly, this soup was one of his favorite meals. Inexplicably, vegetables that he wouldn’t have touched if served separately, were eaten along with everything else. I even used to sneak in a turnip once in awhile because it looks about like potato in the general mix. So, here goes:

VEGETABLE SOUP

1-2 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
salt
pepper
herbs and spices (optional)
paprika
chili powder
oregano
~
3 carrots, scraped and chopped
Water
Tomato product: sauce, paste, canned tomatoes
6+ potatoes (I like a lot of them) peeled and chopped
yellow vegetables, chopped if necessary
green vegetables, chopped if necessary

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1. Turn burner to medium heat and add olive oil.
2. When oil is hot – but not smoking – onion, celery, & garlic.
3. After vegetables become translucent, add salt and pepper, paprika,
chili powder, & oregano.
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4. Add carrots.
5. Pour in about 2 quarts of water and tomato product.
6. Add potatoes, yellow and green vegetables.
7. Bring to a boil and add barley or grated potato.
7. Stir occasionally. It will stick and burn if left completely unattended (especially if you add barley).
8. Set heat on low and cook for about 2 hours.

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Notes:
~This is a very nourishing, thrifty and comforting soup. For a small family, it will make several meals.
~If you want to add bacon, fry it first, then crumble and use the bacon grease to saute the onion, celery and garlic.
~If you use canned tomatoes, the broth will be thinner, of course. Tomato paste will make a thick broth, more stew-like. When I use paste, I cut the vegetables in bigger chunks.
~Leftover spaghetti sauce can even be used for the tomato base. If so adjust the other herbs/spices accordingly.
~Add water while it’s cooking if it looks like it needs it, or you like it thinner.
~Use your own judgment about what leftover vegetables you would like to add. Personally, with the exception of lima beans, I don’t care for beans in vegetable soup but if you do, go ahead and put them in.
~Omit all the herbs and spices if you prefer the flavor of the vegetables alone. Or, if you want to make it more like minestrone, eliminate the chili powder and add basil and beans.
~I’ve never been successful in adding macaroni or rice to this recipe, but if you know just when to add them, try it. Neither one should be put in for the whole cooking time.
~My mother added shredded cabbage, but this is something else I can’t seem to get right. Maybe I’ve tried to use too much. Maybe she just put in about a cup of shred. It was very good in hers.
~Even though our sons are grown and gone from home, I still make a large kettle of this soup. It’s actually better the second day after it’s been refrigerated overnight. And it’s so easy to just re-heat a couple of bowls for lunch on Saturday when we’ve been working out in the yard or come in from church on Sunday.
~On subsequent days, it will look like it needs water added before reheating, but only add a little, if any at all. It becomes more liquid as it heats.
~If reheating on the stovetop instead of a microwave, stir fairly constantly while heating. It sticks and burns easily.
~Cornbread is the best accompaniment, but cheese and crackers are good, too. My husband likes it with hot, buttered toast.

Linked to:
Food on Fridays @annkroeker
Frugal Fridays @Life as Mom

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