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Photo of Gigi Firth with

her dog.

Gigi Firth

Recipes

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From the Editor: This month's recipes were provided by Gigi Firth, Secretary of the National Association of Guide Dog Users. She recommends them all. She also makes the following announcement: the National Association of Guide Dog Users (NAGDU) is putting together a cookbook as a fund-raising activity. If you would like to help us with this project, please send some of your favorite recipes to Karla Westjohn, Editor, Harness Up, National Association of Guide Dog Users, 2009 Broadmoor, Champaign, Illinois 61821. You can send Karla your recipes in Braille or print or on cassette tape or disk in DOS files. Unfortunately, Karla doesn't currently have e-mail, so that option is not available.

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French Market Beignets

by Cathy Pinckley

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Cathy Pinckley is Gigi Firth's sister.

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Ingredients:

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons margarine or butter

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 package dry yeast

1 large egg

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Vegetable oil

Sifted powdered sugar

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Method: Combine milk, margarine, and brown sugar in a saucepan; cook over low heat until margarine melts. Stir often. Cool to approximately 105 to 115 degrees F. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in yeast. Let stand five minutes; then stir in egg. Sift flour, salt, and nutmeg together. Add 1-1/2 cups of the flour mixture to yeast mixture. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer until smooth (1 or 2 minutes). Stir in remaining flour to make soft dough. Place dough in a well greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let dough rise in a warm place free from drafts about one hour or until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down and turn onto a lightly floured board. Knead four or five times. Roll dough into a 15-by-12-inch rectangle. Cut into 3-inch squares. Then cut each diagonally. Place on a floured surface and let rise in a warm place free from drafts about thirty minutes or until double in bulk. Pour three inches of oil into a fryer or Dutch oven. Heat to 375 degrees. Fry a few at a time about one minute on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve warm. Makes about forty.

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Cathy's Hush Puppies

by Cathy Pinckley

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Ingredients:

1 cup corn meal

1 cup flour

1 cup sweet milk

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 large onion grated

1 small can corn

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Method: Mix all ingredients together just before frying. Do not stir any more than absolutely necessary. Drop by tablespoonfuls into oil in electric frying pan or deep fryer heated to 400 degrees. Cook about four minutes on each side till hushpuppies are golden brown. Drain on paper towels and keep warm.

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Lemon Ice Box Pie

by Carolyn Fisher

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Carolyn Fisher is Gigi Firth's mother and the compiler of the family cookbook from which these recipes come.

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Ingredients:

3 lemons (choose juicy ones)

3 eggs, separated

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Vanilla wafers

Butter or stick margarine

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Method: Crush vanilla wafers in the bottom of an 8-by-8-by 2-inch pan or round 9-inch pie plate. Drizzle enough melted butter over wafers to moisten all crumbs. Line sides of pan with whole wafers. In a bowl beat egg yolks until frothy. Add juice from the lemons and beat until mixed. Add condensed milk while beating. In a separate bowl make meringue. Egg whites will achieve better volume if they come to room temperature before beating. If still cold, set the bowl in a bowl of warm water until they warm up. Add 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (or baking powder) and a pinch of salt to whites as you begin beating. Beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Gradually add six tablespoons of sugar, one at a time, and beat until meringue is stiff and shiny. Pour lemon mixture into wafer-lined pan and top with meringue. Seal meringue to wafers. Bake at 400 degrees or until meringue is lightly brown (from five to ten minutes). Refrigerate until chilled through. Serves nine.

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Asparagus, George Style

by Polly Fisher

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George Fisher is Gigi's brother, and Polly is his wife.

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Ingredients:

1 pound fresh asparagus (must be tender, pencil-size is best)

1 teaspoon fresh chopped garlic

1/2 cup white wine (only good drinking wine)

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

1 teaspoon canola oil

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Method: In large frying pan heat butter and oil. Saute garlic, stirring for about five minutes or until it begins to turn light brown. Add asparagus and saute for about five minutes. The asparagus should still be tender crisp. Add the wine and simmer for two to three minutes. Then serve. You can also saute fresh mushrooms or onions before adding the asparagus. Allow each to cook to desired doneness; however, the asparagus must be crisp. If not, George won't eat it! Any leftovers make excellent cream of asparagus soup.

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Broccoli Soup

by Carolyn Fisher

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Ingredients:

1 stick butter or margarine

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

4 cups reconstituted dry milk

16 ounces frozen broccoli

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon Tony Chacherie Creole Seasoning

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Method: Cook frozen broccoli in a small amount of water until tender. In an iron skillet melt butter, add flour, and stir until well mixed but not brown. Add milk, stirring constantly. Stir constantly until soup thickens. Add cooked broccoli and seasoning. Serve hot. Use larger package of broccoli if desired. The more broccoli the better it is. For those who like things spicier, add more Tony's to taste.

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Seafood Gumbo

by Carolyn Fisher

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Stock Ingredients:

2 packages dried shrimp

3 or 4 stalks celery, cut in 2-inch pieces

1 large onion, chopped

2 catfish fillets

Gumbo Ingredients:

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup flour

2 large packages frozen shrimp (or equal amount of fresh shrimp)

1 package frozen crabs for gumbo or 1 can crab meat

3/4 cup green onions, finely chopped

Salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste

file (optional)

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Method: In a large stock pot with four or five quarts of water, combine all stock ingredients. Boil for thirty-five to forty minutes. Strain through colander. Rescue catfish and return to liquid. Discard the remaining solids in colander. Reserve stock. In a heavy skillet over high heat to begin with, heat the cooking oil and flour. When flour begins to brown, reduce heat and brown slowly, stirring constantly, until flour is dark brown. (A properly made roux is the secret to good gumbo.) The brown you want is almost black but never burned. If you get little black specks of burned flour, throw mixture out and start again. There is no way to rescue it. When roux is done, pour off excess oil, or skim off the excess from gumbo before serving. (Tip: If you have trouble getting the roux browned properly or if you are worried about browning it too much, add a teaspoon of Kitchen Bouquet per gallon of gumbo. This spice will darken the gumbo and add some flavor as well.) Add roux to liquid in stock pot. To this add frozen shrimp, package of frozen crabs for gumbo or 1 can crab meat, salt, pepper, and cayenne. At the last minute add finely chopped green onions. Cook gumbo only until shrimp are done. Do not overcook, or shrimp will be tough. Serve over rice and add file. Never let file come to a boil. File can be served at the table and added to taste by each diner. Since File cannot be reheated, in this way gumbo can be saved and reheated. There are many ways to make gumbo. Here are a few options for seafood gumbo. The celery and onions can be finely chopped and left in the stock instead of discarding. Parsley is also good. Add with green onions. The amount of seafood used can be varied to suit your taste (and pocketbook). Oysters can be added if you like them.

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