The Braille Monitor                                                                                         June, 2002

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This month's recipes have been contributed by members of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota.

Peanut Butter Divinity

by Marie Whitteker

NFB of Minnesota president Joyce Scanlan says, "Marie Whitteker has been a member and valued leader of the National Federation of the Blind for many years. She attended her first national convention in Minneapolis in 1947. Her skill in making peanut butter divinity is the envy of all. When Marie's divinity comes up for sale at our annual convention auctions, the bidding becomes ruthlessly competitive. On August 11, 2002, Marie will celebrate her eighty-ninth birthday."

Marie Whitteker
Marie Whitteker


2‑1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup water

2 egg whites at room temperature

1/2 cup chunky peanut butter

Method: In a 9‑quart saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, and water. Bring to a boil and cook until it reaches the hard-ball stage (260 degrees on a candy thermometer), stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. After that point stir frequently and test by dropping a bit from your spoon into a cup of cold water. When the syrup forms a hard ball after submersion in the cold (but not ice) water, it is ready.

In a large bowl beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Gradually pour the cooked syrup onto egg whites, beating continuously at high speed with an electric mixer. Add peanut butter and beat until candy holds its shape, about 3 to 4 minutes. Test candy by spooning a small amount onto waxed paper. Mixture should mound rather than flatten out. When candy is ready, quickly drop from a teaspoon onto waxed paper.

Makes about 5 dozen candies.

Polish Reuben Casserole

by Lawrence Kettner

Lawrence Kettner is a longtime leader in the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota. He is an outstanding cook and a regular contributor to our traditional bake auction fund raisers held at state conventions. His homemade pickles go for a high price on the auction block.


2 cans (10‑3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of mushroom soup

1‑1/3 cups milk

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

2 cans (16 ounces each) sauerkraut, rinsed and drained

1/2 package (8 ounces) uncooked medium‑width noodles

1‑1/2 pounds Polish sausage, cut into 1/2‑inch pieces

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Swiss or Monterey Jack cheese

3/4 cups bread crumbs

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Method: Cut Polish sausage lengthwise and then into 1/2‑inch pieces. (Optional: Brown the sausage and drain or blot away fat with paper towels.) Set aside. In a large bowl combine cream of mushroom soup, milk, chopped onion, and prepared mustard. Blend together well and set aside. Spread sauerkraut in greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with uncooked noodles (about 2 cups). Spoon soup mixture evenly over top. Top with sausage, then cheese. Combine melted butter and bread crumbs in a small bowl; sprinkle over the top. Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven one hour or until the noodles are tender. Makes eight to ten servings.

Chicken Divan

by Ahmed Chaing

Ahmed Chaing is president of the Minnesota Association of Blind Students and an active member of the National Federation of the Blind. He came to the U.S. from Sudan in December of 1999. As a worthy Minnesotan he has adopted chicken divan casserole as one of his favorite dishes. Ahmed served this casserole for his buffet meal when he was a student at BLIND, Inc.


1 16-ounce package frozen cut broccoli

2 cups cubed cooked chicken

1 10‑3/4-ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 ounces (1/2 cup) shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup bread crumbs

2 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted

Method: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two-quart baking dish. Cook broccoli as directed on package; drain. Arrange broccoli in greased baking dish. Layer chicken over broccoli. In small bowl combine soup, mayonnaise, and lemon juice; mix well. Spread over chicken; sprinkle with cheese. Combine bread crumbs and melted margarine or butter; sprinkle over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for thirty to thirty-five minutes or until thoroughly heated. Makes six servings.

Irish Lamb Stew

by Tom and Joyce Scanlan

Joyce Scanlan is president of the NFB of Minnesota and executive director of BLIND, Inc., the adult training center in Minneapolis. Her husband Tom is a longtime leader of the affiliate and currently edits the newsletter. Joyce says, "This has become our favorite recipe for Irish stew, which we serve on St. Patrick's Day to from twenty‑four to forty guests. Other items on the menu are smoked salmon on crackers, sweet and sour red cabbage, soda bread, shamrock cookies, and Irish coffee, with lots of lively Irish music in the background."


Tom and Joyce Scanlan
Tom and Joyce Scanlan

2 pounds boned leg of lamb, cut in 2‑inch pieces

1 quart water

2 sprigs parsley

1 bay leaf

2 celery tops

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons Accent

2 cups cubed yellow turnips

6 small onions, peeled

3 medium potatoes, pared and halved

2 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons water

Method: Place lamb in a saucepan or Dutch oven with 1 quart water, parsley, bay leaf, celery tops, salt, and Accent. Cover and simmer one and one‑half hours or until lamb is tender.

Add turnips, onions, and potatoes. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender.

Combine flour and water and stir until smooth. Stir into lamb mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until broth is thickened. Makes six servings.

Peanut Butter Pie

by Emily Fuselier

Emily Fuselier is a leader in the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota. She loves baking pies and cakes. She frequently brings her scrumptious offerings to BLIND, Inc., where she serves as information and referral officer/receptionist. This recipe for peanut butter pie is one of her special favorites.

Emily Fuselier
Emily Fuselier


18 chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed (or you can use Oreo or chocolate wafer crumbs)

2 tablespoons butter, softened

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

1 cup peanut butter

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 to 2 cups whipping cream, whipped

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Method: Combine cookie crumbs and 2 tablespoons softened butter in a bowl; mix well. Press firmly and evenly over the bottom and sides of a pie plate.

Beat the cream cheese with the sugar, peanut butter, and 2 tablespoons melted butter in a mixing bowl until well blended. Fold in whipped cream and vanilla and spread this mixture atop the crumb mixture in the pie plate.

Melt the chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan, stirring constantly, and then blend in oil. Decorate the pie with the chocolate mixture by piping it with a decorating tube, or drizzle it over the top. Refrigerate or freeze until serving time. If the pie has been frozen, thaw before serving. Makes 6 servings.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

by Jan Bailey

Jan Bailey serves as president of the Rochester Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind and is on the state Board of Directors in Minnesota. She is everyone's first choice when seeking a State Services for the Blind rehabilitation counselor. Jan has many fine recipes in her collection, and this is one she was eager to share.

Jan Bailey
Jan Bailey


1 package yellow cake mix

1/2 cup warm water

1 cup oil

4 eggs

1 package instant lemon pudding mix

1/4 cup poppy seeds

Method: Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly with wooden spoon or electric mixer. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for fifty to sixty minutes.

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