Braille Monitor                                                    October 2009

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This month’s recipes come from Virginia. Since many Virginia members are transplants from other parts of the nation, they prepare both traditional Virginia and other interesting regional foods.

Kansas Dirt
by Sandy Halverson

Sandy Halverson has been a member of the NFB for thirty-four years in Colorado, Missouri, Alaska, Maryland, and Virginia. Now a medical transcriber, she has wowed us with her skills as the Potomac Chapter recording secretary for several years.

She says: “During the first several years that John and I were married, we lived in Kansas City, Missouri, eight blocks from the Kansas border. At my first employee potluck luncheon, I learned about Kansas dirt. It's fun to make, is great for a crowd, and will be enjoyed by all.

20 ounces Oreo cookies
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
12 ounces Cool Whip
2 3-1/2-ounce boxes vanilla instant pudding
1 cup powdered sugar
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method: Crush cookies to consistency of soil. (A food processor or blender is great for this task.) Place half of the mixture in a deep bowl. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugars, and cream cheese until smooth. In a separate bowl mix milk, vanilla, and vanilla pudding and combine with cream cheese mixture. Fold in the whipped cream and transfer by cupfuls to the bowl with the cookie crumbs. Top with the remaining cookie crumbs and refrigerate so the dirt settles and absorbs the flavors beneath.

Festive Apple Bread
by Gwen Beavers

Gwen Beavers from the Blue Ridge Chapter, a retired medical transcriber for the Medical College of Virginia, has become an entertainer. She and her husband Henderson play clarinet and guitar gigs throughout the Charlottesville area in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Gwen has been an NFB member since 1973.

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 15-ounce jar applesauce

Method: Place brown sugar, butter, and eggs in a large bowl and beat well. Then add the flour and beat in. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into a greased nine-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until toothpick comes out clean. You can make this recipe into a fruit cake by adding one to two cups of candied fruit or cut-up fresh fruit. It freezes well.

Ambrosia Salad (Delicious and low-fat)
by Gwen Beavers

1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained
1 15-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
1 banana, sliced (Add this near serving time.)
1/2 cup seedless grapes
1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted

Method: Combine all fruit but the banana with marshmallows in a medium bowl. Stir yogurt into fruit mixture. Sprinkle with coconut that has been toasted for a few minutes in the oven or for fifteen to twenty seconds in the microwave. Refrigerate overnight.

Pineapple Upside-Down French Toast
by Deborah and Stewart Prost

Stewart and Deborah ProstThe next three recipes are from Deborah and Stewart Prost, who live in Norfolk, Virginia. Deborah is a board member of the Tidewater Chapter of the NFB of Virginia. She is also a teacher of blind children in the Chesapeake public school system. Stewart is the president of the Tidewater Chapter. This recipe is taken from the book, The Younger, Thinner You Diet, by Dr. Eric Braverman.

4 large eggs
2/3 cups low fat milk (I have used skim or soy milk.)
1 to 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cumin
4 slices whole wheat or oat bran bread
1 teaspoon safflower oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 round slices fresh pineapple, 1/2 inch thick

Method: In a large bowl combine well the eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla, orange zest, nutmeg, and cumin. Soak bread in egg mixture for about one minute. Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat and place two slices of bread in a single layer in skillet. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar over each slice and cook four to five minutes. Flip bread and place a pineapple ring on top of each slice. Sprinkle with more sugar and allow to cook. Flip bread back; cook until sugar is melted and pineapple is warm, about three minutes. Repeat with remaining two slices of bread. Serve immediately. Makes four servings.

Whole Wheat Raspberry Muffins
by Deborah and Stewart Prost

2 eggs, beaten
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries

Method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla in large bowl. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add to egg mixture; blend until dry ingredients are just moistened. Fold in raspberries. Spoon dough into paper-lined or greased muffin tins and bake for fifteen to twenty minutes. Makes eighteen muffins.

Pat Potter's Kahlua Cake
by Deborah and Stewart Prost

1 package devil’s food cake mix
1 3-ounce package French vanilla or chocolate pudding
2 eggs
1 16-ounce container of sour cream
1/2 cup Kahlua
1/4 cup oil
1 12-ounce package chocolate chips

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients, using electric mixer on medium speed for three to five minutes. Pour into well-greased bundt pan and bake for forty-five minutes to an hour. Cake is done when it springs back when lightly pressed with a finger. Toothpick test does not work. Allow to cool slightly in pan before removing to cool completely on a rack.

Corn Pudding
by Kathy Owen

Kathy Owen has been a member of the NFB for about thirty-seven years. She is now the president of the Blue Ridge Chapter. Retired from the Virginia Industries for the Blind, she now keeps busy with volunteer work for the church, and she still finds time to offer musical programs at local homes for the elderly. She also cooks.

2 cans cream corn
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon flour
3/4 cup evaporated milk
A tablespoon or two butter

Method: Mix flour and salt with sugar. Add 3/4 cups of evaporated milk and the eggs lightly beaten together. Place the corn in greased casserole dish and mix corn and milk mixture together. Dot the top with butter. Bake in oven for forty-five minutes at 350. Test after thirty minutes. Pudding is done when a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Ball
by Kathy Owen

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup green pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Method: Mix ingredients together and place in a covered container. Chill in refrigerator. Serve with crackers.

Thanksgiving Turkey in a Brown Grocery Bag
by Seville Allen

Seville Allen has been a member of the NFB Virginia since 1974. She has served as president of the Potomac Chapter and as a member of the NFB of Virginia board. She has chaired various ad hoc committees. Now retired, she spends her time working with the NFB and her church and enjoying life.

Seville says she’s been cooking her turkey this way for about twenty years. It comes out moist and often falls off the bones. When she first decided to resume the Thanksgiving dinner tradition of inviting those in the area without families, she was worried about how to cook a turkey since she had never done it. The Washington Post came to the rescue with this recipe.

1 turkey (Size depends on how many are invited for Thanksgiving dinner.)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Paper grocery bag

Method: Prepare turkey by removing wrapping and washing inside and out. Remove giblets and neck and set aside. Dry the bird and sprinkle salt and pepper in the cavity. Place turkey in paper grocery bag and make sure the entire turkey is covered (You may need a second grocery bag if the turkey is over fourteen pounds). Place bagged turkey in an oven-ready roasting pan, making sure the bag is well-tucked around the bird on all edges of the roasting pan. Bake at 350 for twenty minutes a pound, e.g., bake a ten-pound turkey for two hundred minutes—three hours and twenty minutes.
If you like giblets or giblet gravy, cook those in a small pan using enough lightly salted water to cover the giblets. Cook until tender, use for gravy or a snack before the Thanksgiving dinner.

Three Bean Hot Dish
by Joy Relton

Joy Relton, a thirty-year member of the NFB, is now the president of Virginia’s Greater Springfield Chapter. She has been a guide dog user for thirty years as well. Joy enjoys church activities and is president of her local Toastmasters group. She has worked on the Hill as an advocate for the blind. And, among her other talents, she is an avid karaoke singer.

1 15-ounce can red kidney beans 
1 15-ounce can baby (green) lima beans
1 32-ounce can baked beans, vegetarian style
1 to two pounds lean ground beef
1 pound bacon, cooked and cut into small pieces
1 cup catsup
1 cup brown sugar
1 heaping teaspoon prepared mustard, any kind
1 medium onion, chopped

Method: Brown ground beef with onions and drain. Set aside. Brown bacon and drain. Drain lima and kidney beans. Combine all ingredients in large ovenproof dish. It works well to use a large casserole dish with a lid so that you can take it from the oven straight to the table. Place in preheated 350 degree oven and heat thoroughly, stirring occasionally. This usually takes about thirty minutes. I've taken this dish to many potlucks and rarely bring any home.
Please note that the lima beans aren't always shelved with the other canned beans in the grocery store, and many employees are not familiar with them. The green ones have a totally different flavor from the other beans, and the different colors make it an attractive dish.

Cranberry Relish
by Mary Ann Kessler

Mary Ann Kessler is a ten-year member of the NFB and leader of the social committee for the Potomac Chapter. She keeps busy studying Braille and piano and working with friends on NFB projects and committees. This dish is great for holidays or anytime. It is especially nice since it requires no cooking.

1 bag fresh cranberries
1 unpeeled orange, quartered and seeds removed
1 cup nuts
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar or equivalent sweetener

Method: In food processor first chop the orange, then add all but a handful of cranberries and process all together with sugar. Then add nuts and the reserved cranberries and chop just a bit more. You can also add a cup of celery and/or a seeded, quartered apple with the orange. Place in a serving dish. Chill before serving.


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