Braille Monitor                                     October 2017

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The NFB Krafters Division is an active part of the NFB. It has a very busy list ([email protected]) and website The division holds a telephone conference chat most Monday evenings and offers several classes each month by email and telephone. Members do embroidery, knitting, crocheting, pottery, soap, latch-hook, sewing, jewelry, and more. Recently, this group exchanged recipes, and it seemed a good opportunity to share some with Monitor readers. Most are for food items, but recipes here include some items that are not for eating, as well.

Large Pasta Salad
by Bernice Bird

This recipe is from Bernice, who lives in Rochester, New York. She stays busy with her job, crafts, and family. She says she learned basic cooking skills from a school for the blind, and her skills have evolved over the years. She enjoys sharing her recipes and dishes with friends and family.

1 pound spiral, corkscrew, rotini, or other pasta
8 to 12 ounces sliced pepperoni
12 to 16 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 each red, yellow, orange, and green sweet bell peppers
1/2 of a large seedless cucumber
8 ounces grape tomatoes
1 small bunch fresh broccoli
2 large carrots
1/2 Vidalia or 1 medium red onion
4 stalks celery
1 cup stuffed green or seeded black olives
1/2 cup each frozen corn and peas

1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup balsamic vinegar
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons oregano
3 tablespoons parsley flakes
1 tablespoon rosemary
3 tablespoons basil
1 tablespoon chives
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon savory
4 garlic cloves, crushed


Dressing: Make the day before. Add all ingredients together and shake or stir vigorously. Refrigerate dressing overnight and mix well before pouring over salad.

Salad: Cook pasta in salted water with a little olive oil. Drain and let cool while preparing all of the other ingredients. Dice all peppers, onion, celery, and cucumber. Slice tomatoes in half. Peel carrots. After all peel is off, keep using your vegetable peeler to make thin strips of carrot. Cut broccoli florets into small pieces. Peel and dice cucumber. Make a stack of the pepperoni slices. Cut the stack into quarters; repeat until all pepperoni is cut into little wedges. Cut olives in half if desired. You can also buy a jar of already sliced green olives. If using them, drain. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, and add enough dressing to make the mixture wet with a little dressing standing. If you think you will have leftovers or if you make it a day ahead, make extra dressing because the macaroni absorbs the dressing. Of course, this only makes it more flavorful.

Notes: This makes a very large bowl of salad and could be cut down a great deal. You can add any fresh or cooked vegetables to the salad you want. You could add zucchini or yellow summer squash, but I don’t happen to like them. Mushrooms would be good also. Sweet pickle relish would give a slightly sweet zing to the salad. You could substitute diced chicken for the pepperoni. You could also use an Italian blend of cheeses instead of mozzarella cheese. If you don’t want to make your own dressing, you could use your favorite bottled Italian dressing.

Poppa Peanut’s Bar-B-Q Sauce
by Tanya VanHouten

Tanya VanHouten lives in Lonoke, Arkansas, and is a member of the At-Large Chapter. She owns her own business and enjoys gardening, crafts, and cooking. Her family has a lot of cookouts, and her dad taught her how to make this sauce. You need to make this in a giant pot or maybe your bathtub. You could halve the recipe if you don’t want such a large amount. You can also bottle it and give as gifts or make up the giant batch and grill a whole cow.

1 gallon Cattlemen’s BBQ sauce
1 gallon ketchup
1/2 cup chili powder
1/2 cup A-1 sauce
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup dried mustard dissolved in beer
1/2 cup prepared mustard
1-1/2 cups Splenda
1/4 cup cayenne pepper
1/4 cup black pepper
1-1/2 liters Dr. Pepper
1/2 cup lemon juice

Method: Combine all ingredients well. This makes a large batch, so save containers to store it.

Grape Salad
by Courtney Smith

Courtney SmithCourtney Smith belongs to a chapter at large and is a Krafters Korner board member. She lives in Iuka, Mississippi, with her husband Jason and their fur baby Ranger. She enjoys cooking and crafting, with a primary focus on loom knitting.

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 pounds red seedless grapes
2 pounds green seedless grapes
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons chopped pecans

Method: Mix cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Fold in grapes.
Cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans.

Fruit Compote
by Courtney Smith

2 medium tart apples
1 teaspoon salt
12 ounces frozen or fresh cranberries
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup golden raisins
1 teaspoon orange peel
1/4 cup orange juice
15-1/4 ounces sliced peaches, in own juice
15-1/4 ounces apricot halves, in own juice
1 cup pecans (or other nuts)

Method: Peel and slice apples. Combine first nine ingredients (through orange juice) in large sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered ten minutes or until berries pop. Add peaches and apricots. Stir in pecans, heat. Serve warm or cold.

Notes: I have used whole cranberry sauce, and you don’t have to wait for the berries to pop. We also add one can of fruit cocktail to add more fruit. Have leftover compote? Use it to make a cobbler!

Fruit Compote Cobbler
by Courtney Smith

1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter
2-3 cups fruit compote

Method: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in nine-by-thirteen-inch pan. Mix together milk, flour, and sugar. Add to pan over butter. Do not mix. Spoon fruit compote over milk mixture. Bake for one hour. Enjoy.

Mom’s Baked Beans
by Pearl Thurkettle

Pearl is the mother of Joyce Kane, president of the NFB Krafter’s Division. Joyce has this to say about her mother and this recipe, “Mom is ninety-nine years old and turns 100 in January 2018. She has been making these baked beans for a long time. She still makes them for all our picnics and events. Although I really don’t cook much, I do love her beans.”

4 slices bacon
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cans [16 oz. cans] Heinz vegetarian beans in tomato sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
dash of garlic powder

Method: Sauté bacon until almost crisp; add onion, and continue to sauté until onion is tender. Drain excess fat. Mix all ingredients in baking dish. Bake uncovered in 375-degree oven for fifty to fifty-five minutes. Recipe can be doubled for a large crowd or a hungry few.

Apple Cinnamon Ornaments
by Terry Knox

Terry Knox is a board member at Krafters Korner, and she’s from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She enjoys most all crafts but specializes in designing miniatures. This craft is great to make for Christmas ornaments but also useful for Valentine’s Day and other holidays. This is a craft project and not a food item. Please keep out of reach of small children, as the smell is wonderful, and children want to place them in their mouths. The glue in the ornaments makes them a non-food item.

1 cup applesauce
1-1/2 cups or 6 ounces of cinnamon
1/3 cup of white glue like Elmer’s or craft glue

large cutting board
cookie cutter of choice
drinking straw
rolling pin or other item to roll dough flat
bowl for mixing
ribbon, if using

Method: Mix applesauce and cinnamon together to form a ball; use spoon or your hands. Add in your glue as you form the ball. Place in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes. Sprinkle cutting board with some extra cinnamon and roll out the mixture. If your mixture is too dry, add more applesauce. If too wet, add more cinnamon and place in refrigerator for about five more minutes. When mixing your ball, you can add scent of lemon, vanilla, or mint to add to the smell. Roll out your mixture to one-quarter inch thick, no less as mixture will tear. Cut out ornaments using cookie cutters. Use straw to cut hole near the top; if making garland, cut two holes, one each side. Remove from cutting board and place on wire rack. Allow to dry for at least two days. While the ornaments are still damp you can write on the wet mixture by using a pointed item to inscribe letters (print or reverse Braille). You can also add things like glitter, beads, stones, and other small items of your choice to stick in the mixture. A suggestion: cut out ginger men shapes; when dry paint on eyes and buttons, and they last for years. Use the ribbon to thread through the holes so ornaments can be hung. At the end of the year, wrap in tissue paper and place in plastic bag or box; they will last until the next year. Caution: the smell might attract pests to your storage area.

Relaxing Bath Salts
by Nella Foster

Nella Foster lives in northwest Arkansas and is a member of the At-Large Chapter. She owns and manages a small goat dairy, and in her free time she enjoys gardening, crafts, cooking, and writing.

Warning: This product is only to be used on the skin and is not for human consumption.

1/4 cup grape seed oil
1 cup Epsom salts

Note: You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oils, such as lavender, eucalyptus or peppermint. Any fragrance will work, and you can make the scent as strong or as subtle as you wish.

Method: Mix all ingredients well and store in a covered container. You can put the bath salts in a pretty jar and give as gifts.

Lip Fudge
by Nella Foster

This lip balm smells yummy and feels great on your lips too. Remember this is a cosmetic, not a food, so it should probably be kept out of the reach of small children.

1 ounce cocoa butter
1-1/2 tablespoons solid coconut oil
2 teaspoons grated cosmetic grade beeswax (can be purchased at drug and craft stores)
1/2 teaspoon vitamin E oil (optional)
10 chocolate chips
2 to 3 small clean containers (you can purchase containers for lip balms at craft supply stores and online.)

Method: Mix all ingredients in a small glass bowl and microwave for about sixty seconds. Once everything is melted, stir to make sure the mixture is well blended, then transfer into containers. This is the hardest part because the containers are small, and the lip balm starts to firm up as it cools down. Let sit for a few hours or put into refrigerator until the lip balm is firm. You can double or triple this recipe and make as gifts.

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