Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"The Complete Barbecue Cookbook" & "A Salute To American Cooking" - Burgers in Bacon Skirts and Sunset-Baked Beans

Date I made these recipes: May 25, 2009 (Memorial Day)

The Complete Barbecue Book by John and Marie Roberson (Authors of The Chafing Dish Cookbook!)
Published by: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
© 1951; third printing August 1965
Recipe: Hamburgers in Bacon Skirts – p. 175

A Salute to American Cooking by Stephen and Ethel Longstreet
Published by: Hawthorn Books, Inc.
© 1968
Recipe: Sunset-Baked Beans – p. 24

I tell you what the National Cattleman’s Beef Association owes me big time as we had beef, beef and more beef this past weekend. I’d say we are now “beefed out” and are starting to turn a romantic eye to vegetables…or chicken…or even fruit.

On Saturday night we went and got burgers from a new place (chain) in town, Smashburger. They was pretty good although rather messy but we’ll likely go back.

Then on Sunday night, I made the Tarragon-Flavored Beef recipe and we had ourselves another moo-cow experience.

I was all set to go another route on Monday when my husband said he wanted burgers for Memorial Day (and he didn’t mean Smashburger) and so I dutifully pulled out the BBQ books and away we went.

These burgers were good although due to gusting winds beyond our control, they were cooked on the broiler instead of over charcoal. Move over, Chicago-we’re working our way up to bragging rights about being the newest Windy City!

I would be remiss if I didn’t say a word about the name given to the burger recipe: Hamburgers in Bacon Skirts. Did anyone else besides me think of the children’s book Amelia Bedelia?

In this book, Amelia Bedelia is hired as a housekeeper for a wealthy couple but is rather clueless as to how things are done. When the instructions say “Dust the house,” she finds “madam’s” scented dusting powder and sprinkles it all over the furniture. When the instructions say “Draw the curtains when the sun comes in,” she takes out a drawing pad.

But the best instructions are for the food: “Trim the beef” and “Dress the chicken.” Sure enough, Amelia Bedelia gets out a sewing kit and trims the beef with some beautiful lace and makes a small suit for the entire chicken.

I absolutely adored this book as a kid and now have my original copy of it (all battered and worn) in my own home. So you can imagine what a hoot I had when I saw “Hamburgers in Bacon Skirts.” I’m thinking a nice floral printed fabric might be nice for summer….

The beans were quite tasty as well although I should have made half the recipe as we now have beans coming out of our...ears. When I asked my husband how he felt about baked beans and he said “What’s a burger without baked beans?” I should not have taken him at his words because it turns out that beans are okay with him but only in small quantities. Live and learn.

I hope you all had a great Memorial Day. Aside from the mighty wind gusts, we actually had sunshine…you know, that rare thing we here in the north see from time to time!

Hamburgers in Bacon Skirts – serves 6
2 pounds lean beef
¼ cup heavy cream or condensed milk
1 tablespoons grated onion
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, beaten
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon marjoram
¼ teaspoon pepper
12 strips bacon
2 tablespoons soya sauce
6 hamburger buns

Form the meat, cream, onion, Worcestershire sauce, egg, pepper, and herbs into 5-inch patties. Bind them with bacon (2 strips each) and secure bacon with toothpicks. Sprinkle with soya sauce.

Place the hamburgers in a hand grill (or on a broiler pan). Sear the burgers on each side and cook, until done-about 5 to 7 minutes. Served on toasted buns with chili sauce.

Sunset Baked Beans – 4 (enormous) servings (Note: this recipe requires 3 hours of cooking time plus 2 hours of bean soaking)
3 cups navy beans
1 onion, sliced
4 ounces salt pork, diced
1-pound can tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
Dash of ginger
½ cup molasses
1/3 cup chili sauce

Place beans in saucepan, cover with water, bring to boil, boil 3 minutes. Cover. Remove from heat and let stand 2 hours. Drain liquid and reserve.

Put two cups of the bean liquid in a saucepan, add 2 cups water, onion, salt pork, tomatoes, salt, mustard, ginger and the beans. Stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer covered 1 hour. Turn mixture into baking dish. Combine molasses and chili sauce and pour over beans. Arrange salt pork over top. Cover and bake at 325 F for 1 hour. Remove cover. Bake 1 hour longer, or until beans are very tender (in my case, about 1.5 hours). If beans should become dry during baking, add more liquid. Remove pork before serving. (Why?! Wasn’t that the best part of a can of pork and beans growing up?)

Monday, May 25, 2009

"The Split-Level Cookbook" - Tarragon-Flavored Beef

Date I made this recipe: May 24, 2009

The Split-Level Cookbook – family meals to cook once and serve twice by LouAnn Gaeddert
Published by: Thomas Y. Crowell Company
© 1967
Recipe: Tarragon-Flavored Beef - 20

So Monday, May 18, was my husband and my 18th wedding anniversary and I intended to make something French to celebrate our honeymoon in France, Switzerland and Italy. But at the last minute, we decided to go see comedienne, Paula Poundstone, in “concert” at our local Guthrie Theater. We ate at a nearby Japanese restaurant (couldn’t be further from French food if it tried) and then went to her hilarious 3.5 hour performance. It was worth every pound…I mean penny!

Still, I pulled out a couple of French cookbooks and hemmed and hawed and had almost decided on some recipes when Memorial Day was upon us and my husband announced that he wanted burgers at some point over the weekend. Back went the French books and out came the BBQ tomes.

But I still felt as if I should salute the French in some way, shape or form and I got my chance, believe it or not, via The Split-Level Cookbook.

I know, I know. What the heck does France have to do with split-level homes?

Okay—stay with me on this: there was an article in the Homes section of my local paper, the StarTribune about….drum roll…split level homes. This prompted me to locate my recently purchased The Split-Level Cookbook. (Can you believe it? What are the odds that I’d had a split-level [home] cookbook?) One of the recipes in there was Bouef Bourguignon but seeing as how I made Julia Child’s recipe for last year’s anniversary dinner, I did not want to disparage that memory by making a lesser quality recipe and so I turned the page et voila there was a recipe for Tarragon-Flavored Beef. (The universe was in my corner this day!).

Now tarragon is very much associated with French cooking but I’m not a major fan. Still, I don’t hate it enough to pass it by and after vacillating over a couple other recipes (while carrying my book through the grocery store and trying to call my husband to no avail to get a read on a few other contenders), I finally committed and here we are. This recipe was good and tasty – bon appetite!

Tarragon-Flavored Beef - no serving size listed
2 pounds boneless chuck, cut in 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
1 tablespoon sugar
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons dried tarragon leaves
1 onion, chopped
¼ cup wine vinegar
1 cup consommé or bouillon
4-ounce can sliced mushrooms, undrained
8-ounce can tiny white onion, drained

Dredge the meat in flour and brown in the oil. When the meat is well browned on all sides, add other ingredients except the mushrooms and [tiny white] onions. Cover and simmer slowly for about 2 hours, or until meat is tender. Add more bouillon if necessary. Add the mushrooms and onions and simmer 10 minutes more. Remove the garlic.

Serve with noodles. (Note: the author instructed that you can also put the noodles in a shallow casserole and pour the beef over it, then cover with foil and bake in a 350 oven for 20-30 minutes.)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"Ann Sather's Restaurant 50th Anniversary Cookbook" & "The Marshall Field's Cookbook" - Swedish Meatballs and Wild Rice Soup

Date I made these recipes: May 17, 2009

Ann Sather’s Restaurant – A Chicago Tradition – 50th Anniversary Cookbook by Ann Sather’s Restaurant
No publisher, no ISBN; © 1995
Recipe: Swedish Meatballs – p. 28

The Marshall Field’s Cookbook – Classic Recipes and Fresh Takes from the Field’s Culinary Council by Steve Siegelman
Published by: Book Kitchen
ISBN: 0977989003 © 2006
Recipe: Boundary Waters Wild Rice Soup – p. 24

I mentioned in my last blog post that my husband and I went to Chicago a couple weeks ago for a weekend getaway. Although we usually have great meals in the Windy City, this time around, our two dinners were underwhelming. Bummer, that. (But breakfast at Lou Mitchell’s is a MUST! - http://www.loumitchellsrestaurant.com/ . We also stopped by Superdawg on our way out of town and that was great fun as well - http://www.superdawg.com/ )

At any rate, a couple days after returning to the Minneapple (as our city is sometimes called) we decided to get turkey dinner takeout from our version of Lou Mitchell’s – Keys Café http://www.keyscafe.com/ to make up for our dining disappointment in Chicago. As we were leaving, my husband, Andy, said “I wish we could figure out what’s comparable to Keys in Chicago” and in a minute, I had it – Ann Sather! http://www.annsather.com/ . Lucky for me, I bought her cookbook!

Ann Sather’s is billed as a Swedish diner but years ago we bypassed Swedish meatballs in favor of their version of a turkey dinner and we were in love—and very, very full!

So cooking from Ann Sather’s cookbook was a must (and here I was bemoaning the fact that I didn’t have any more “Chicago” cookbooks in my collection – duh!). But then I realized that the shelf directly above my computer contained The Marshall Field’s Cookbook, published a few years ago by the Marshall Fields Department Store.

Now in department store land, there existed three venerable chains (at least in this region). One was Dayton’s Department Store, started in 1902 in Minneapolis by the Dayton Family. Another was Marshall Fields in Chicago. The third was Hudson’s, primarily located in Michigan that was eventually acquired by Dayton’s to become Dayton-Hudson. All three department stores were the place to shop and drop and sold everything from haute couture to furniture.

But then, as they are wont to do, things changed. And so Dayton-Hudson and Marshall Fields joined forces and the whole “chain” was renamed Marshall Fields. Although this didn’t go over well at first, we eventually came around because Fields (as Chicago friends refer to it) was a high-end as our Dayton’s. In fact, despite the name change, many people, me included, continued to refer to it as Dayton’s (and still do—who cares what it’s currently called?!). (By the way, if you want to read another story on another day, Google “Frango Mints” and read about the debacle that happened when Fields sent their signature (chocolate) mint production offsite to another state -- talk about meltdowns!)

Anyway people, a few years back all hell broke loose when Target stores (a Dayton’s spin-off that eventually took over Dayton’s operations) sold the lot to Macy’s.

You have never seen such outrage. Emails were flying, letters to the editor were printed—it was retail Armageddon! It wasn’t that Macy’s is bad – it is what it is – but it isn’t as good as it could be. They have never been known as high-end (and don’t want to be) and they cut out several well-known brands, made plenty of sweeping changes and, if you ask me, cut out the heart and soul of the regional, well-loved store, and made it like every other store on the planet. In other words – boring! I honestly have to say that my purchases in that store have decreased significantly since they took over – this from the woman whose credit card used to be on fire! But oh well, it’s here to stay until the day when it’s not. Retail is a fickle environment.

So back to Marshall Fields…prior to the latest sale, they produced this cookbook of recipes that came from both the Dayton’s (and Hudson’s) and Fields stores and one of them is Dayton’s famous Chicken Wild Rice Soup. I love this soup. My version wasn’t quite as good as theirs but no matter. It brings me back to the days when I could finally afford something from the Oval Room, Dayton’s haute couture store (at sale prices, naturally) while buying a cup of this soup in the Food Court downstairs while waiting for my shoes to be repaired. These things are all still there but it’s just not the same and I’m willing to bet the Fields and Hudson people feel the same way. So hooray for soup that remains constant even in the face of great retail change! And hat’s off to Ann Sather’s for continuing to produce meals that give us comfort in these tough times.

Swedish Meatballs – makes 25 meatballs
2 ½ pounds ground chuck
1 ½ cup (8 slices) white bread, dampened with water
3 eggs
½ cup onion, grated
¼ tsp. nutmeg, ground
½ tsp. allspice, ground
½ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 T. beef stock
½ tsp. garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl except for the meat. Add the meat and mix well. Roll the mixture into 1” meatballs and bake them uncovered in a lightly greased baking pan at 300F for 45 minutes. Serve the hot meatballs with brown gravy.

Note: I served these with mashed potatoes. You could also use egg noodles if you wanted. As to the gravy, you can purchase already made gravy or make it yourself following the directions on the back of a broth container (like Swanson’s).

Boundary Waters Wild Rice Soup – serves 6
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 small leek, halved lengthwise, rinse well, the thinly sliced
1 ½ cups sliced button mushrooms
¾ cup diced carrots
½ cup all-purpose flour
6 cups chicken broth
1 ½ cups cooked wild rice
½ roasted chicken, meat chopped (1 to 1 ½ cups)
1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons dry sherry
2 teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted, for garnish (optional)
NOTE: I bought a roasted chicken from my grocery store instead of roasting my own and/or just cooking chicken breasts; it turned out to be cheaper to buy a pre-cooked roast than raw chicken – go figure!

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the leek, mushrooms and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until softened. (Note: I cooked it for 15 and the veggies were still a little too crisp for my taste. I definitely think more than 5 minutes is in order.)

Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the rice, chicken meat, cream, sherry, salt, pepper, parsley and thyme and cook for 5 minutes, until warmed through. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Garnish with the almonds and serve hot. To store, allow the soup to cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"Some Day You'll Thank Me For This - The Official Southern Ladies' Guide to Being a "Perfect" Mother" - Blonde Brownies

Date I made this recipe: May 16, 2009

Some Day You’ll Thank Me For This-The Official Southern Ladies’ Guide to Being a “Perfect” Mother by Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays
Published by: Hyperion
ISBN: 978-1-4013-0296-2 © 2009

Recipe: Blonde Brownies – p. 26

Boy I tell you what—you go away for a weekend and the cooking enthusiasm about disappeared. (It’s so nice to have someone else prepare food and serve it to me!) Good thing for me it was temporary.

My husband and I were in Chicago over Mother’s Day so I made this recipe a little later than intended. This is the second year without my mom so I didn’t have the celebration some people had with their moms and families but I thought about her the entire day.

In anticipation of Mother’s Day, however I purchased this book/cookbook Some Day You’ll Thank Me For This—The Official Southern Ladies’ Guide to Being a “Perfect” Mother by the authors of Being Dead Is No Excuse Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays. I showcased the Being Dead book a few weeks ago and always enjoy these ladies’ sense of humor.

But I have to say that although my mother had manners beyond belief, she (and I) were raised in the north and so much of what these ladies wrote about it not stuff that she passed down to me. In fact, I’m not sure she ever uttered “Some day you’ll thank me for this” but it doesn’t matter; I understood that concept from an early age.

The thing that I also realized a few years back, as the author’s did, is that every day I am becoming more and more like my mother. I say things she said, I do things that she did, and on any given day, I am staring back at her likeness in the mirror. Many people commented that I looked exactly like my mother—I always thought it depended on the day but took it as a compliment.

Now I should mention that like most young ladies, I did not, however relish the thought of becoming my mom. She had me in her early 30’s and while these days it’s almost the norm, back then it was harder for her to be an older mom. She grew up during the Depression and was a product of her generation—a little reserved, a little cautious and to me (at the time), a little old-fashioned but always unfailingly polite and charming and sweet. (I wish you could have heard her voice—it’s sort of Minnie Mouse meets Betty Boop and I loved to imitate her, sometimes to her amusement, other times to her chagrin.) And so during the early years, we locked horns all the time over everything from clothing to dating to even TV shows we were allowed to watch. (I’m not sure I ever confessed to her that I watched Dark Shadows while she was out, even though I was expressly forbidden to do so!).

But ah, ladies, all of a sudden that clock speeded up and the next thing you know, I am her.

I have to say the one trait that I inherited (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) is her housekeeping “philosophy.” My mom always vacuumed first and then dusted. My husband will vacuum but the art of dusting is lost on him. My mother never ever, ever, ever used a sponge that had previously mopped up counter crud on her dishes and yet my husband sees nothing wrong with doing the dishes with the same sponge; I haven’t gone so far as to use scalding hot water when dishwashing but I’m close. As much as I try though, he cannot be persuaded that my mother’s way is the better way. To be fair, Andy is much more involved in the household than my dad ever was and so it’s kind of hard to do things “my way or the highway.” But that doesn’t mean I don’t try!

So at any rate, many of the recipes in this cookbook are not ones my mother would have made and so I settled on something that she likely would have made and that is the Blonde Brownies.
This recipe is really easy and yet it didn’t quite come up to expectations. The brownie consistency was a cross between a cornbread, a brownie and a cookie and they were really sweet. But hey, who doesn’t appreciate a sugar buzz now and then?!

In the end, I really didn’t care how the recipe turned out as this was just my way to honor my mother. I can’t credit her with teaching me how to cook as she didn’t really let me into her kitchen, but I can credit her with so much more –how to be kind to people, how volunteering (without ever being lectured) is something we all should do and how a little Comet never hurt anything!

Blonde Brownies – makes one dozen but the recipe can be doubled
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1/c cup chopped nuts
½ teaspoon vanilla or lemon extract

Soften butter, blend in sugar and flour, add eggs one at a time, and fold in the nuts. Pour into 8-inched greased square cake pan. Bake 30 minutes at 350.

Note: The authors didn’t say to use unsalted butter (I did) but I’m wondering if that would have helped? I was surprised that salt was not included in the recipe but maybe it came in via the butter.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"Sheila Lukins All Around the World Cookbook" - Chicken Picadillo Enchiladas

Date I made this recipe: May 5, 2009 (Cinco de Mayo)

Sheila Lukins All Around the World Cookbook by Sheila Lukins
Published by: Workman Publishing Inc.
ISBN: 1-56305-237-7 © 1994
Recipe: Chicken Picadillo Enchiladas – p. 384

A few years ago when my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, my mother decided she wanted the family to gather in, of all places, Ashland, Wisconsin. Yes, I know—I was just as stunned as you are! But my folks had been to a hotel they liked, a restored Victorian that had a breakfast buffet that my mother salivated over, and so we all hustled up there for a big celebration.

Come to find out that the restaurant was no longer owned by the hotel and no longer served the breakfast buffet my mother dreamed of. Instead, we got packaged cereal, juice boxes and bad coffee.

Now my mother was not one to complain but you’ve never seen a woman so dejected in your life. And so after finishing the horrible fare, she gave a deep, heavy sigh and said “Well that was disappointing.”

I thought we’d about fall over with laughter. But the lady had a point. When you have your mouth all watered up for something and it doesn’t meet expectations, it’s hard to recover.

Sadly, this recipe was a disappointment, partly because of me and partly, I think, because of the recipe itself.

I’ve made picadillo before and talked about it in this blog and this one, sans the tortilla wraps and the sauce was pretty tasty. In fact, I could have eaten the entire bowl without batting an eye. Traditionally, picadillo is served with rice and that’s the way I’ve always eaten it. But that’s not the recipe I selected and so I made it as directed – well, almost.

Sheila’s recipe said to use a marinara sauce and included a recipe for it in this book (p. 302). But to my estimation, that recipe, an Italian concoction containing oregano, basil, tomatoes and wine, should have been used for spaghetti, not for Mexican food. And using a prepared sauce as an alternative didn’t sound much better. And so I went with Plan B – use canned tomato sauce that was doctored up. And might I just pause here to say – yuck!! (In other words, don’t do this at home). The cheese toping didn’t fare much better. All in all, I was doing great until we came to the enchilada portion of our program!

Now Sheila Lukins is no slouch in the kitchen, having co-authored the famous Silver Palate Cookbook and The New Basics (both of which I have and love) but I’m not so sure I’d have pared a sweet filling with a tangy tomato sauce toping. And so today, the day after I made this dish, I performed “surgery” on my enchiladas, taking out the meat (which I will then mix with rice) and chucking the rest. Yes, I hate wasting food but it was either that or the entire thing had to go and that would have been wrong (and the voice of my late mother yelling “Oh Ann Ma-rie!!!” would have been too much for me).

And so it’s up to you but I guess if you were going to be true to the recipe as written, then you need to use a prepared Italian sauce such as Prego or Barilla. That doesn’t fly with my palate but everyone is different.

In the meantime, I’m going to get out my rice cooker and go to town on the delicious picadillo filling!

Chicken Picadillo Enchiladas – makes 16 enchiladas or 8 entrée servings
3 T olive oil
½ cup diced (1/4 inch) red onion
½ cup diced (1/2 inch) red bell pepper
6 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
¼ cup coarsely chopped pitted green olives
½ cup golden raisins
¼ cup coarsely chopped almonds
2 tablespoons drained tiny capers
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups cooked shredded chicken meat
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
¼ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
6 cups Marinara Sauce (p. 302 of her book) or other prepared tomato sauce
16 large flour tortillas (about 8 inches in diameter)
12 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the chicken. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Spread 2 cups of the marinara sauce over the bottom of a large shallow baking dish (or use 2 medium-size baking dishes each large enough to hold 8 enchiladas).

Spoon ¼ cup of the picadillo 1 inch from the edge of a flour tortilla. Roll up and place, seam side down, in the baking dish. Continue with the remaining tortillas and picadillo.

Pour the remaining 4 cups sauce evenly over the enchiladas, then sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over the top. Bake until the top is slightly browned and the cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

"Out of Kentucky Kitchens" - Hot Brown Sandwich

Date I made this recipe: May 3, 2009

Out of Kentucky Kitchens by Marion Flexner; introduction by Duncan Hines
Published by: Bramhall House
© 1949
Recipe: Hot Brown Sandwich – p. 31-32

“And they’re off. They’re coming down the stretch….”

Saturday was (Kentucky) Derby Day in Louisville, Kentucky, home of the famous Churchill Downs and so in honor of that occasion, I made a version of the famous Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich.

The cookbook didn’t go into the details of how this sandwich came to be famous, except to say it was created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, so I Googled it and found that it was created as an alternative to late-night ham and egg sandwiches. I’ve also read that the sandwich was concocted from leftovers on hand in the kitchen. Either way, it’s an interesting sandwich, one that I’d say is along the line of southern comfort food (bacon + cheese sauce!), and one that might be darned good after a night in a bar to absorb all the alcohol. (Not that I made it for that purpose).

I also think that the dish is probably best experienced in its “native” environment (i.e. a Louisville restaurant) as the results were good but not great. The cheese sauce never got a chance to really bubble before the broiler started scorching my bacon and the parmesan cheese never really melted, either. A kitchen salamander ( a professional broiler) would probably kick this dish up a notch, allowing everything to melt at just the right time and temperature, but alas, I do not have one at home!

Still, the lack of a broiler should not dissuade you from making this dish as it is pretty simple to assemble and tasty even if it could have stood a bit more heating time as well as placement on a lower oven rack. I say make the dish, mix yourself a mint julep or two...or more... and sit back and watch the annual Run for the Roses (as the horse race is often referred to).

Speaking of horse races, one of the funniest episodes of the TV show, M*A*S*H was titled The Trial of Henry Blake (Season 2 – aired in 1973). In this episode, Henry got in trouble with the Army brass for allowing, among other things, the camp’s version of the Kentucky Derby. To this day, all I have to do is say “It’s Bouncing Betty, Bouncing Betty in the lead…” and people know of what I speak. Check it out if you have a chance.

Hot Brown Sandwich – serves 4
4 slices of toast
4 slices baked chicken or turkey (cut from the breast) about ¼ inch thick
¼ c. American cheese, grated
8 strips bacon, fried crisp
4 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup cream sauce (Note: this recipe didn’t have one so I got one off the internet. I guess back then, they just thought everyone knew how to make a cream sauce!)

Cream sauce
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

In a small, heavy saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over low heat. Blend 2 tablespoons of flour into the melted butter. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt.

Slowly add 1 cup of milk, stirring constantly. Continue cooking slowly until smooth and thickened.

Blend yellow cheese with cream sauce until cheese has melted. Place a piece of chicken on each piece of toast, and cover with ¼ cup of sauce. Place 2 strips of bacon (previously cooked) on each sandwich, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese. Place sandwiches in a pan under the flame until the cheese melts and becomes golden brown (in other words, broil the sandwiches until the cheese melts.) Serve at once.

PS—In case you didn’t know, Duncan Hines was a real person way before his name ended up on a cake mix box!