My calls for help were answered and, as usual, my mom went above and beyond the call of duty.
I wanted to make a casserole, one my mom made pretty regularly when I was a child. It was creamy and had ground beef and vegetables and in short, it was perfect for this kind of weather.
Not only did mom dig up the 30-year-old recipe, she did me one better: She drove to my house, dropping off a huge bag of lemons (from her tree), a bag of oranges (from her neighbor) and two ancient tomes that are worth their weight in gold. Here I’m talking about her church’s women’s club cookbooks from 1977 and 1984.
Typewritten on someone’s old Corona and spiral bound, these books are rife with nostalgia, including every recipe from every church potluck I ever attended– from nut breads to cheese balls to every chicken dish imaginable. If ever I needed 150 different recipes that include cream of mushroom soup, I’m set. In fact, I’m beyond set. And if ever I have a houseful of people suffering from low cholesterol, I will solve that peculiar medical dilemma post haste.
FACT: I’m guessing there’s enough fat in just one of these recipes to blow one’s diet for a month.
Rest assured these books also include perennial favorites, such as “How to Make a Happy Marriage” and “Recipe for a Happy Day.” (My favorite ingredients: “Pinches of Warm Personality” and “Spice of life to taste.”)
Alas, I leave you with the recipe for Mary Murphy’s Potato Chip Cookies:
1 lb. soft margarine
3 1/2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. crushed potato chips
Mix all ingredients. Drop by teaspoon on un-greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle tops with powdered sugar. Makes about 100 cookies. Freeze, if desired.